Monday, September 30, 2013

Best Hunting and Fishing Face Mask/Neck cover .... THE HOO-RAG!


I had misplaced my hunting face mask from last year so i decided to get online and find a replacement. To my pleasure I stumbled across something called a Hoo-Rag. At first i was uncertain of even what exactly it was but after looking at their site I was an instant fan! The Hoo-Rag is a micro-fiber material that provides warmth in the colder months and is breathable and cool in the summer. It is the PERFECT FACEMASK FOR DUCK HUNTING. As everyone who hunts waterfowl and turkeys knows, an uncovered face can ruin a great hunt. THey also are great for long days on the water to protect you from sunburn and biting flies from the
neck up.
After perusing their huge selection of colors and patterns I decided on the Woodland Digital Camo pattern as it blends great in marsh and woodlands making it a win-win in most hunting scenarios. My favoirte feature is the functionality of this thing as it can be worn over 8 different ways. I usually sport it as a face mask or balaclava when hunting. For fishing it makes a great neck guard.

The best part is, they are inexpensive at $15.00 a piece and the do niot charge for shipping. I have already used mine a dozen times and just as a mosquito guard in the early season around here, it has earned its keep. Take a minute to check out all the different sytles they offer and i guarantee you will find one you like. They even offer custom branding and printing with YOUR COMPANY'S LOGO! I have provided a link on the home page straight to their site.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Tackle Grab For the Win

I stumbled across Tackle Grab while perusing the internet looking for low cost tackle. Ihave to say it's a pretty fresh idea that I had not seen and it peeked my interest.

Tackle Grab is a subscription to mail order tackle shipped to your door.

You pick month-month, 3, 6, or 12 months and pay a flat rate which is about 12 bucks a month. In return they mail you a selection of various lures and soft plastic baits every month. It is a great way to try something new or something you may have never seen before.

Here's the part I really like: When you sign up you fill out a Angler Survey on what kind of fishing you do and premium brands you prefer so that you don't get a bunch of useless tackle that end up in the bottom of your tackle bag.


I did some research and all the reviews I see say they are well worth the investment and cannot find one person who wasn't pleased. I have signed up and will have to report back when I get my first package. Check out the link on the main page and see what you think too.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

HOW-TO: Duck Hunting Decoy Spreads

With Duck season fast approaching and alot of new hunters getting into the sport, I thought I would write a HOW-TO article on positioning of decoy spreads.. This is one of the key factors in duck hunting and if you ever have hunted with me, you know how exact I am in their placement.  I have put together some microsoft paint drawings to illustrate the different spreads I use. This is not the ONLY way you can place them for success so play with them and see what works best in your situation but it is what I have found to work the majority of the time.

A couple things to remember:
  • Always leave a pocket (or two) for the birds to land
  • Always pay attention to the layout of your decoys in relation to wind dierection as birds will land into the wind 99.9999% of the time.
  • Start with less decoys in the early season and more as the season progresses. Also try and match the birds you are seeing in your area.
  • Puddle ducks like calm, sheltered waters where diver ducks will burn up a spread in the highest winds without regard.
The Letter J 
The letter J is often spoke about in duck hunting because it naturally forms a pocket for incoming waterfowl to land comfortably. It can be adjusted for any wind direction other than straight in your face especially if hunting a long point. If using ducks and geese put the geese on the outeer edge and the ducks closer up towards shore. I find that geese are comfortable further from shore while puddle ducks tend to want to be inshore more.

The Hybrid W
Alot of people like to use a W as well as it creates 2 pockets. I like to step it up a bit and do a small J on one side of the blind out of geese, a gap in the middle with just a pair of ducks, and then a W off to the other side. This gives you multiple land zones for finicky ducks that want that "perfect" spot to plop down.For this the wind needs to be at your back or VERY slightly side to..

 Setting Sun
This setup is great for a point setup but will work elsewhere too. It is mainly used for diver hunts. Each leg will be a different species(Canvasbacks, Bluebills, Goldeneyes, Buffleheads) and then a knot of mixed decoys in the middle. Alot of species like to only decoy to birds of the same kind, you know "Birds of a feather flock together... NO B.S.) It may look funny but it works i will swear to that. The birds will fly down the line of decoys and attempt to set down next to the mix in the middle. 

Layout Blind Decoy Spread
The last illustration is stricly for diver and sea-duck hunting and for use with layout boats. It is deadly when applied and almost never fails to draw in the birds. Here too birds will follow the string of decoys to the wad in the middle and usually try to sit down.

None of these layouts are set in stone and all can be changed up to fit your scenario. Play with your spread and find out what the birds in your area want to see.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chesapeake Bay Adventures Airboat Ride

Sunday I was able to finally get some time to slip down to Yorkhaven Marina and check out my friend's new business.... Chesapeake Bay Adventures. He does airboat tours in Poquoson and I was fortunate enough to get to go for a spin along with my good friend Buddy, his wife, and my other half and BOY WAS IT A BLAST! Here is a video!

The machine is a Diamondback brand boat with a 600 horsepower Supercharged LS6 motor. It has seating for 9 including the captain and a standing platform on top the blade cage that is the ideal perch for phenomal photography of wildlife and the surrounding marshland. We saw a huge assortment of birds, a few terrapins, and fish boiling in the flats. All around awesome experience that the ladies really enjoyed too. There is also a restaurant the on the premise  ofYorkhaven Marina called Owens which has some great home cooking and cold drinks to fill your belly after the ride so it makes a great little sunday excursion for the family.

Picture by Brian Lockwood

I highly recommend anyone that wants to do something special with their children or significant other takes a look at hiring Jamie Moore for a tour.He is licensed, insured, and a very safe captain. He charges 50.00 per person with a minimum of 4 passengers. This isnt your 30 minute ride up and back down the creek either. You get an hour to an hour and a half of airboat fun sliding around turns, breaktaking views of the wetlands, and all personally narated by Jamie, a native of Poquoson who is up on the history of the entire area. Give him a ring and tell him Blair sent you!

Contact Info:
Captain Jamie Moore
Chesapeake Bay Adventures

Here are some of the photos I from our time out.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hog Island hunt Wednesday

4 of my closest friends and myself all took off yesterday from work for our yearly hunt at Hog Island Refuge in Surry, VA. It is one of the very few days of the year that the facility is open to first come/first serve hunting. All other hunts are done by a strict VA Quota Hunt lottery system where hunters enter for $7.00 in hopes of being drawn.


 Upon arrival you will see why it is such a desired hunt looking like a scene straight from some Telvised hunting show. The whole place is managed specifically for waterfowl with beautiful flooded impoundments and acres of corn fields. After a 4:45AM arrival, security check at the gate, and safety briefing, me and my party were off to the spot we picked to hunt. We got set up just in time and enjoyed the show that ensued. There must have been at least 1000 geese roosting overnight there and ducks by the 10s and 20s zig zagging acroos the sky. Todays hunt was only for Teal and Geese. We scratched out the only two geese that came close enough to take an ethical shot. Mission succsessful!

The Decoy Spread

 Left Flank
Me in the middle, sporting the Hoo-Rag!
Right Flank

By 8:30AM the action tamed down and few birds were flying. We decided it was time to call it so I pitched the idea of dove and or squirrel shooting another one of Virginia's Wildlife Management Areas(WMAs) call Chickahominy WMA as it was a Wednesday and probably free of the weekend hunting madness. We loaded up, checked out at Hog Island and proceeded down the road stopping at Bacon's Castle Market for a much needed and very delicious breakfast sandwich. After the quick stop the crew headed to the Surry/Jamestown Ferry to make our way acroos the James River the scenic and most direct way possible.

When finally arriving at Chickahominy WMA we found that the field was in use by a gentleman and his wife training a pack of bird dogs so we opted for squirrel hunting even though the fields of corn had been cut and looking like dove heaven.

 It was a good call. We all ended up spotting some squirrels with Dylan and myself making a few choice shots. We called it a day at 2pm and headed home to clean the game. Great day off work with some of the funniest people I know just laughing and having a good time. Can't wait for Jackson to be old enough to join in!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Its that time of year...

If you follow my blog you will start to notice a shift this time of year as the fishing winds down and the hunting turns on species by species. I will still cover rock fishing trips and other fishy events as they happen. Stay Tuned! Here are a few pictures taken while out milling around in the jon boat the last few days scouting ducks and catching a few puppy drum.

Forgotten Island

Salt Marsh Serenity

Sunset on Seaford

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dinner for 4... and 2 halves

Last night me and the misses had some friends over for dinner so I decided to cook something delicious for our guests. I still had some fish left in the freezer so Blackened Fish Tacos was the decision made. I made two batches of meat, one was cobia and the other was a couple fillets of red drum and triggerfish. Both were excellent!

For fixing we used sour cream, shredded cheese, romaine lettuce, and fresh diced tomatoes but you can add all kinds of stuff to customize them to your specific taste.

They are very simple to make, super tasty, and guaranteed to please. I've posted the recipe under my recipes section of the blog.

Best of all Jackson and his buddy Trace got to have some playtime time while us parents got to catch up and have a few laughs. In my opinion that is what shared meals are all about... the bringing together of good friends for a great meal.

These two are going to be inseparable in a few years.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Matrix Jigheads and Swimbaits - Product Review

I was able to be lucky enough to demo some new soft plastic baits and jigheads from Matrix Shad/ Dockside Tackle. I have to say they really do perform very well and outfished the Saltwater Assassins I normally use.  Here are the colors I received to try out and share with some of my local tackle shop owners. Upon inspection the first thing i noticed was the attention to detail in the molds they use.  Each bait has raised gill plates which doesn't sound like a big deal but adds extra displacement and turbulence to your bait as it paddles through the water.

Due to our water currently being slightly stained, I chose to try out the "Pink Champagne" and the "Lemon Head" color patterns. Both Caught fish equally well but I tried to conserve the Lemon Heads because I know for a fact they will crush Stripers this fall under the lights. 

Dockside Bait and Tackle were also generous enough to send some of their custom jigheads along with their swimbaits. This in my opinion is one of their best products. At first glance I noticed a few key features that will really have me putting in an order the next time I order some jigheads.

  • First off, A STOUT, SHARP, HOOK with a wider than average gap which allowed for more frequent solid hook ups. I am confident that you would break off before bending this hook on a big fish. Big plus + in my book
  • Every one in the two packs I received were poured straight with the hook, eye and lead uniforn and true. This is important to create a straight swimming jig and prevent twisting/spinning on the retrieve.
  • The bait holder truly locks the bait on even when being tail tugged by small pesky croaker saving from having to constantly change plastics.
  • The reflect eye is nothing more than a sticker but does add some serious flash and a nice finishing touch on detail.

ALL and all I would recommend the Matrix Swimbaits and ESPECIALLY the jigheads to anyone looking to catch flounder, speckled trout, redfish, or stripers. They offer some great discount pricing if you buy in bulk and have all varieties of sizes to suite your need. Give them a look at :

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Opening Goose Day a Bust

Went out yesterday morning to one of the new blinds. Had one of those "Go Figure" days. Got setup and waiting before the first glimmer of morning sun even touched the horizon. It was so warm i decided to leave the waders in the closet and opted for board shorts, flip flops and a camo tee. As the sun started to creep up and I annouced it was legal shooting time, 3 mallards passed 20 yards, perfect side on shot right in fron of the blind and kept on cruising. FIRST "Go Figure" moment.

About 7:30am we started hearing some honking and noticed we had about 65 geese sitting on the beach across the cove from us about 400 yards away. We watched them get up and fly in 3 differnet flocks of 15 to 25 over the chainlink fence behind them and into a local powerplant. never coming close at all. (Go Figure)

Decided to pack up by 8:15am as most geese have flown by that point. Snapped a pic of the spread and picked up for the morning.

Afternoon, we went to the beach the birds left from and setup just knowing they would return. They did just that........ 2 minutes after legal shooting time. (Go Figure!!! #3) We got out to pick up the few decoys we had put out and we had geese trying to land on top of us the whole time.