Current Plans for Fishing in 2022…

We’ve been kicking around the idea of fishing in the Southwestern Missouri, Northwestern Arkansas and Northeastern Oklahoma region this year. There are a few rivers that we have been really curious about. Researching the area, it appears that a canoe will be necessary for some of them but that’s fine with me.

Our friends keep telling us to go fish at Noel Missouri for trout but I’m not interested in fishing shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of people. We prefer some solitude when we fish. And at this juncture in our lives…we’re after native smallmouth bass anyway!

Of course, so much will depend on the weather, especially how much rainfall we get this coming Spring. And lets not forget COVID! Heaven help those who try to ignore it and get on with living.

I’ve managed to track down a few fishing reports and poured over several maps so far. It definitely looks promising. Part of our desire to fish new areas stems from the sense of adventure that we like to incorporate into our trips.

We seem to have our fishing gear “dialed in” and are not planning any significant changes this year so it will allow us to focus entirely on destinations. Non-resident annual fishing permits are reasonable for both states at $49.00 each. So approximately $200 and we can fish Missouri and Arkansas for the year. There will definitely be canoe rentals, shuttles, camping fees, fuel, food etc to contend with…but things are already falling into place and we’re excited.

We can’t fast-forward through Winter so we will do the best we can. Hopefully we will be able to squeeze in a couple of recon trips between now and Spring to get a feel for what we will be dealing with.

There’s always a lot of work to do before we ever step into a river!

10,000-8000 year old Atlatl Point…

A while back I did a blog post entitled “An Oasis” where I briefly mentioned finding an atlatl point while roaming around a particular area that we like to visit.

I am well versed in “outdoors skills” or as they call it these days…bushcrafting. I tend to notice things that are out of place within an environment and this was a classic example. But what started it all off was the topography as well as the flora and fauna in the surrounding area. Once you start putting the pieces together, a bigger picture begins to emerge.

This area is now part of a lake that finally filled up in 1989. I was roaming this area before that time. I can remember the two natural springs as well as the cliff overhangs and natural shelters that offered protection from the elements. Also, I noticed some of the flora that seemed to me to be a bit out of place. Upon further research it was discovered that some Archaic groups were thought to have cultivated some of these plants.

I am not an archaeologist or paleo-botanist but interestingly enough, I tend to forage on these same plants when outdoors. Why pack a lunch and carry extra weight when I can feed off the land. But back to the topic at hand…I had always thought that this area would make a good seasonal camp for our ancestors. There are two high points nearby that allow hunters to see quite a distance out over the prairie/savannah. An asset that our ancestors would not have overlooked. Coupled with natural shelter and water sources close at hand, it seems like a no-brainer to me. Yet one atlatl point does not confirm this idea but it doesn’t detract from the idea either.

These two were found in close proximity to each other. But I seriously doubt the bone would have survived for as long as the point has been around.
Obviously broken yet interestingly, it appears to have been resharpened.

So, what does any curious outdoorsman do? They seek out the experts for more information.

I spoke to a friend of mine who has a sister that is an archaeologist, or more correctly, a lawyer who helps First Nations tribes repatriate artifacts back into their tribes. Once the picture was sent and information given, I got an email from her stating all of the legal ramifications of picking up said atlatl point. Great! Not what I wanted to hear. However, she was gracious enough to forward my information along to some colleagues in the field who ended up getting me into contact with our State Archaeologists.

I offered to take the archaeologists to the area and briefly explain my thoughts and then see what happens. They were excited, yet due to budget constraints were unable to put anything together. I’m sure they see a lot of atlatl points anyway…so I wasn’t surprised.

But it was interesting to get a report from 4 Professors about this atlatl point. Consensus was that it was from the late Paleo-Indian to early Archaic Indian Period (10-8k rcybp) and was classified as a Dalton point. I was pretty excited, but I’m a nerd! I was curious about their position that “it probably washed down the river so it will be virtually impossible to locate its source.” However, a simple glance at a topographical map will show that this is a very small spring-fed tributary that doesn’t extend too far from where the point was found.

I offered to send it to the University but never received a reply back. I think it belongs in a museum but again, they probably have quite a few already.

In my mind…it confirms my theory that this area has been in use for millenia, and for good reason.

Oklahoma Weather…

Funny how it was almost 65F yesterday but only reached 27F today (at 5am). With the wind it felt a constant 14F all day long. We didn’t get much snow thankfully.

The birds.

The birds kept me hopping though. When I went out back to bust ice in the horse trough, the birds swarmed in for a drink of water. So I went out front and put a bowl of water out by the birdfeeders for them. Needless to say, it kept freezing up so I repeatedly had to refill it. Since I couldn’t go fishing today…what better way to pass the time than to be at the beck and call of a bunch of birds. It was literally a “for the birds” kind of day.

I have no idea how it happens, but when I put out Cardinal seed, they show up. I never see them until then. The suet was a big hit as well and I’ll need to buy some more soon.

It was kind of nice to watch the snow falling and witnessing Zip’s first ever snow. He loved it and like a little kid, constantly wanted to go out in it and play only to come in when he needed to dry off and warm up. Rinse and repeat ALL day.

For not having any plans today…we sure were busy. Stay warm and we’ll catch you on the next one

Links That Keep Me Going…

I thought I would share a few links from businesses and YouTube channels that specialize in JDM fishing gear, or fishing in general. During the “winter doldrums” these links keep me fired up.

As much as I detest YouTube…I will add some channels that I enjoy in spite of the “experts” in the comment sections!

-TroutMagnetMan https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwWCjOaWgSZm8ogjti50JFg/featured

-Enjoy Fishing Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrQAtakEbQa-YZ6zmESV92w

-i_fish https://www.youtube.com/c/ifishcatfish

-TSURINAN https://www.youtube.com/c/%E9%87%A3%E3%82%8A%E3%81%AA%E3%82%93%E3%81%A7%E3%81%99ch

-27 mojo https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvGkG9JtqfRZFY-yIGQJcag

-Threadline Angler https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTrXgmWY9fLzd9BqfOnZwpg

-Hobie-Wan Kenobi https://www.youtube.com/c/HobieWanKenobi

-Brooksy https://www.youtube.com/c/JonnyBrooksFishing

-RoKKiT Kit https://www.youtube.com/c/rokkitkit

-Henry Gilbey https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGM2KWkhqA8L18HT7oFsfrQ

-Gido’s Fishing Adventures https://www.youtube.com/c/GidosLandBasedFishingAdventures

-Lanix Fishing Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/LanixFishingChannel

These are just a few that I regularly watch. I enjoy several different forms of fishing and I like to see “how it’s done” in various parts of the world. And now for the Ubiquitous Disclaimer: I do not sell anything, make commissions from, or have sponsorships from any of the above. They are merely links for the sake of information.

Doing Projects to Pass the Time…

Since I have 2 weeks before I see the surgeon for a post-op appointment, I have decided to test some “proof of concept” ideas that I have been kicking around.

This build was based on the Quick Pi Kit from http://www.back7.co

I have wanted a rugged and portable computer setup for taking out to the field. I figured a Raspberry Pi 4 would be ideal because it is cheap and relatively functional for my needs. So basically, this is a Raspberry Pi 4 in a waterproof Pelican Case utilizing 3D printed parts from back7.co. It is a friction fit so no holes are drilled in the Pelican 1150 case to preserve its waterproof-ness.

Keyboard, Battery, RSP1 and Quick Pi Kit.

I downloaded a free Pi image containing CubicSDR from the SDRPlay website and flashed it onto a MicroSD card. The SDR (software defined radio) that I used was the SDRPlay RSP1.

As I’ve stated before, I enjoy listening to various radio programs spanning Mediumwave (AM), Shortwave (HF), NOAA weather, Airband and VHF/UHF frequencies. The CubicSDR software is pretty basic without a lot of features, but it is simple to run and doesn’t require a high end processor to function. I can connect to my Apple Airpods via Bluetooth or you can plug in a speaker or even opt for headphones.

Full setup running. I’m using a Baseus 65watt 30,000mAH battery and I am not getting voltage error messages from the Pi.
Basic image on screen.
Screenshot of CubicSDR in operation
Portable antenna I was using.

It was fun to test out and it works well. My compliments to Jay over at back7.co for the very well made 3D printed panels to go inside the Pelican 1150 case.

This is a fully functioning Raspberry Pi so I can pull up files from a thumbdrive or connect to wifi if needed. The only limiting factor for a build like this is your own imagination. It’s not quite a “cyberdeck” nor is it an SHTF backup computer, but it has lots of possibilities.

Quick Pi Kit insert.
7 inch Pi touchscreen, Raspberry Pi 4 and cable extensions. I added a small fan to help control the temperature of the Pi.
Wired up and ready to fit inside the Pelican 1150 case.

I know it’s not fishing related…but it’s wintertime and I do have other interests. Thanks for reading…

Alleviating Boredom…

As I’ve stated before, I am an Amateur Radio Operator as well as a Shortwave Radio Listener. In short…I’m a nerd! For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with the airwaves and what I could pick up on a radio.

Tecsun PL-880

You can still use traditional shortwave radios to listen to the bands or you can use software defined radios. SDR’s are basically black boxes with circuitry that are connected to a computer. The software on the computer is what demodulates the RF signals into audio. The graphical user interface simulates a radio. Pretty cool technology!

Airspy Dual and the RTL-SDR dongle.
Airspy HF+ Discovery and the RSPduo.
Nooelec SDR SMArt dongle.

The RTL-SDR dongle and the Nooelec SDR SMArt dongle each cost $30.00 USD and are 8-bit ADC processors. Frequency coverage is 24MHz-1.8GHz. The Airspy HF+ Discovery is an 18bit ADC processor and run $169.00 USD. Frequency range is 0.5kHz-31Mhz and 60MHz-260Mhz. The SDRplay RSPduo ($249.00 USD) is a 14-bit ADC dual tuner SDR with a frequency range of 1kHz-2GHz.

Connecting these SDR’s to a laptop or desktop and running the software creates a much different radio listening experience. With this method, listening to radio signals is on a different level since it is visual as well as aural.

Chuwi HI10X Tablet running Airspy SDR# software to decode signals. SDR used is the Airspy HF+ Discovery.
Lenovo Yoga 730 running SDRuno software connected to the SDRplay RSPduo dual tuner.

In amateur radio parlance, I can cover all frequencies from DC to daylight. An exaggeration to be sure, but frequency coverage is impressive. Much wider coverage than a standard amateur radio. Each of these SDR’s are useful for different purposes. Some are primarily focused on HF frequencies (0.5kHz-30MHz) where others are wideband and are useful for scanning VHF or UHF frequencies as well as the FM band.

Antennas are the most important part of this system. Currently I am using passive loop antennas (Airspy Youloop $35.00 USD) active antennas (mini whip and Bonito Meg Aktiv MA-305) a long wire antenna and a Loop on Ground antenna.

I built the Loop on Ground antenna as an experiment but have been very impressed with its performance. I wound a FairRite #2873000202 binocular core transformer with 28AWG Kinar wire to create a 9:1 transformer.

9:1 transformer wound with 6 turns and 2 turns.
Box houses the 9:1 transformer, connectors for wire and an F-connector for feedline.

Since these are receive ONLY antennas, it is acceptable to use CATV RG-6 coax cable. My Loop on Ground antenna has 60 feet of wire to form a loop. Total cost for this antenna was $12.39 USD. Results were spectacular. My signal-to-noise ratio was greatly improved. Background noise was drastically reduced which makes listening much easier on the ears without a bunch of static.

SNR was averaging 50dB’s which is really good for my location.

When it is cold outside and I can’t go fishing, I tend to sit at my desk and surf the airwaves just to see what’s out there. There are still a lot of programs on the shortwave bands believe it or not. You can decode weather faxes as a way to get weather information without any network connections. Listen to AM and FM, NOAA weather radio etc etc.

All of the software I use is FREE. Zero cost. And there is software for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android. In the main picture you can see my mini-Windows 10 desktop and 34″ monitor running both SDRuno software and the Airspy SDR# software at the same time. You have lots of options!

Anyway, I thought I would share a different hobby that I have besides fishing. Stay warm out there…

The Search Begins…

Some of you may remember that I broke the tip section on this rod (Abu Garcia Troutin Marquis Nano TMNS-575L MB) at the joint when we were fishing over in Arkansas back in July 2021.

Broken tip dangling from the line.

Needless to say, ordering replacement parts for JDM fishing tackle isn’t always easy.
I will fire off a bunch of emails and see what happens. I really like this rod and hope things work out in getting the two replacement sections. I will update the blog IF I am successful.

Very light and very compact! Perfect for throwing in a backpack.

The Surgery Went Well…

We were up at 0430 so we could be at the hospital by 0600. I was in the operating room by 0715 and the surgery took about 2 hours. So far everything seems to have been a success, but I will know for sure by tomorrow when the anesthetic fully wears off.

I have to wear this wrap for 14 days and am not looking forward to that at all.

For the procedure, it consisted of an A1 pulley release at the left index finger. An Endoscopic carpal tunnel release and a cubital tunnel release and transposition of the ulnar nerve. And thanks to the “Opioid Crisis” I was given a whopping 10 painkiller tablets. Yeehaw!!!

I’m just hoping for a successful and speedy recovery. Granted, typing with one hand takes me a lot longer lol.

Readers…Meet Zip!

This morning we drove out to our daughter and son-in-laws ranch to pick up the puppy. We decided to name him Zip after the Heeler in the movie “Last of the Dogmen” starring Tom Berenger.

The morning started off chilly and 32F but had warmed up to 37F when we arrived. I’m not going to lie…we were excited to pick Zip up. That is literally all we talked about the entire week prior.

Somebody is attached to him already!
Poor little guy got a little car sick on the ride to his new home.
Checking out his new surroundings.
ZZZzzz! Trying out his new bed. He was OUT!

We plan on socializing him for a few months, potty training and basic commands as well. Introducing him to all of the other animals will be fun and interesting. He will be a good fit to our homelife and property. We look forward to many, many years with him.

Putting up Birdhouses…

I have wanted to put up birdhouses around our property for a few years now. I bought two of the Audubon birdhouses and covered them with several coats of polyurethane over the weekend. I even used silicone to seal the top seam to prevent water from seeping inside.

I will start with two and see how it goes. I decided to hang them early so they will be ready for spring so that they are available for any “new arrivals.” It doesn’t show up in the picture but they are both within line of sight of the bird feeders and suet blocks. And unlike my neighbors, we tend to leave the dead standing trees in place to provide more habitat opportunities, so the birds have plenty to choose from.

Currently, the temperatures have varied wildly from 24F all the way up to 78F so I’m trying to get as much done before winter fully arrives. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Is a puppy in my future?

Our daughter got married yesterday so the wife and I arrived early to help out with anything that needed to be done. As we went around to the back of the house we heard a cacophony of noise coming from a dog run. As we peeked inside there was my daughters dog named Maisie with her litter of 7 puppies.

I have never “picked” a dog, quite the opposite. To date, every dog I have had has picked me. And this little guy walked right up to the fence and started pawing my fingers. I reached in and picked him up to give him a good look. I put him down and he followed me all over the yard. His temperament seemed pretty even and we seemed to get along well. The litter will be fully weaned around Christmas time so I may pop back over and take him home.

Obviously, the wife has some input into whether I can get the puppy so I will keep my fingers crossed. I have always wanted a Heeler pup, so we will see how things play out.

Leather Sheaths…

For a long time I have wanted a leather belt sheath for my Swiss Army Alox Farmer knife. I was perusing the Etsy site when I ran across a vendor by the name of WideRiverChe and decided to order sheaths for my Farmer as well as my Leatherman Wave. This particular seller is based in the Ukraine so it takes awhile to receive via regular mail. I can promise you that it is worth the wait. These 2 sheaths are well made and fit like a glove as well as looking nice.

I am not selling anything but if anyone is interested in these sheaths or various others that WideRiverChe makes, check his site out on Etsy.