Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Category: Fishing and Boating

Fishing and Boating

Making a boat push pole

Boat push poleWhile on a recent river camping trip, my flat bottom aluminum boat high centered on a stump. My son and I were idling through a slough when we ran over a tree stump that was just below the surface. Usually this is no big deal. Everyone gets in the back of the boat, put the motor in reverse, rock the boat back and forth until the boat moves off the stump.

The problem is, when you have people standing up in the boat rocking back and forth, there is a chance that someone will fall out of the boat.

To hopefully eliminate the need to pile up in the back of the boat with the motor running, I am going to try and make a push pole out of 1 inch PVC pipe. Being made out of PVC, the pole will not be able to take a lot of stress. But on the plus side, the pole will be light and will not take up a lot of room in the boat.

This will be my first attempt at making a push pole, and to be quit honest, I do not know how its going to turn out.

Firearm for a river camping trip

AK-47 AR-15 Survival RiflesA buddy of mine and I are planning a 100+ mile 3 – 4 day river camping trip. On this trip we will be going into some pretty remote areas. After we put our boats in the river, there are no boat launches for probably 50+ miles. The location is East Texas on the Sabine river.

I would like to bring either a rifle or shotgun for personal protection. Black bears are known to be in the area where we are going, as well as everything from coyotes to wild hogs.

I am more concerned about running into a rabid raccoon, then having problems with a black bear, but you never know.

The options are:

River trip part 4

This update was supposed to be in 2 parts. The first part was supposed to be doing some maintenance to the boat, such as fixing some broken rivets. The second part was supposed to be taking the boat out on the river to make sure is running ok, and to to use a GPS to see how fast the boat can travel down the river.

Well, the boat never made it to the river.

Broken boat rivetThe front of the boat has a deck that is held in place with rivets. Over the years of walking on the deck the rivets have slowly pulled lose or broken.

Replacing the rivets

Use a drill bit the size of the rivet, drill through the middle of the rivet, the head should come loose.

Use a punch or drift pen to drive out the middle of the rivet.

If the rivet does not want to drive out, use the drill to drill it out.

Insert new rivet into the hole.

Use a rivet gun to secure the rivet.

River trip part 3

Evinrude 30 Horsepower Angelina River TexasWhen planning a trip like a 100+ mile river / camping trip, its important to test your gear. Part of the testing phase is making sure your boat is in good running order. The purpose of todays trip was to test the boat to make sure it was in good running order.

A few weeks ago I put the boat in for repairs. During a recent camping trip a bolt fell out of the gear shifting lever, the water pump impeller has never been changed, and the spark plugs were looking a little old, the oil in the lower unit had never been changed and there was a short in the starter button.

Trip to the shop

I brought the boat to a local boat repair place. the service guy was told what I wanted, I even had him go out to the boat and take a look at something I wanted fixed.

River trip part 2

Toledo Bend DamFor those of you that have not read River Trip Part 1, please do so. After talking to my buddy about the boat launches I went and looked at on my first trip, he sent me an email with what was supposed to be a boat launch just south of the dam on Toledo Bend dam.

The plan for Sunday was for my wife and I to make a trip to Toledo Bend dam. There are two roads on each side of the river on the south side of the dam where the Sabine river starts. The goal is to see if there a feasible boat launch.

What I found on the trip on each side of the river were steep banks, and no real boat launch. There is a place where a pipeline crosses the river. On the Texas side of the river, it looks like bags of cement were placed on the bank to stop erosion. The bank is so steep that it would be dangerous to carry a boat and boat down the bank.

Comparing the banks at the Toledo Bend dam to the other boat launches:

From my house, its plus or minus a few miles, its 50 miles from my house to the dam at Toledo Bend

The banks dam are very, very steep. I would consider the banks so steep that it would be unsafe to a boat and motor down the bank.

River Trip Part 1

Sabine RiverFor around 14 years or so, a couple of my buddies and I have been talking about making a river trip from the northern part of the Sabine river, all the way to the Orange / Bridge city area. If everything goes according to plan, we will be making the trip sometime in 2012. The trip is currently in the planning phase – we talking about what boats we want to bring, where we are going to launch the boats at, who is going to be going on the trip,,, just stuff like that.

There are two boat launches in the Bon Wier Texas / Merryville Louisiana area that we are looking at using. On Sunday January 15, 2012 my wife and I made a trip to the boat launches to see if it was feasible to launch at either one.

Sunday morning started off bright and when my wife and I crawled out of bed around 8:45am. After getting our shower and having some breakfast, it was finally time to get one the road. We stopped at a local corner store to picked up some snacks, bought a sunday paper for the coupons, then it was to wal-mart to get some gas. If you use the wal-mart gift card, you save 3 cents a gallon on gasoline. A few days before hand, my wife put $40 on a gift card. When we stopped at the super wal-mart in Jasper I put the whole $40 in my truck.

After gassing up, and getting some snacks, it was finally time to get on the road. My wife and I left Jasper heading west on HWY 190 towards Newton. At Newton, we passed over HWY 87, then turned south on HWY 190.

Three Day Fishing Camping Trip Story

Testing bug out plans during a three day camping trip

During December of 2016 two of my sons, a buddy of mine and I went on a three day camping trip on the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas. One reason for the trip was rest and relaxation, another reason was to test various survival plans.

If a long term SHTF / teotwawki survival situation were to happen, fishing will be an important way to gather food. One of the goals of this fishing / camping trip is to practice our SHTF / teotwawki fishing skills. another goal of this trip is to make observations about issues that people might run into.

There are a lot of people out there who plan on bugging out to the wilderness after the food and water run out at their home. Part of the SHTF survival plans are along the lines of “when we run out of food, we will have to go to the food”. This usually includes grabbing the bug out bag and bug out to a wilderness location where they survival can hunt, fish and gather wild foods.

One issue, the person rarely gets past the planning phase. In order to have a balanced SHTF / teotwawki survival plan, people should also test those plans. The only way to test the plans is to get away from the computer and do something. Being an armchair survivalist is not enough. Make your plans, test your plans, analyze the results from the test, make improvements on those observations.

Sunday, December 25th (Christmas)

Stockpiling TEOTWAWKI Fishing Gear and Juglines

Texas channel catfish caught in the Angelina river

Survivalist, are you stockpiling fishing gear for SHTF? Also, are you stockpiling gear to make stuff like juglines and trotlines?

The past 2 days I have been working on juglines for an upcoming camping trip. When I started thinking about how much time and effort I put into getting the juglines ready, I was a little set back.

After talking to my wife, I probably put 6 – 8 hours into redoing, and working on the juglines. The lines had not been used since June 2011. I changed the lines out, added some PVC pipe to the noodles and replaced the J-hooks with circle hooks. When I started cutting the PVC pipe, I was using a hacksaw. After cutting a few pipe, I dug the skilsaw out and started using the saw instead of the hacksaw.

For the sake of discussion lets say this happened after a SHTF / teotwawki event. I would have had to use a hacksaw to cut the PVC pipe. But then again, its doubtful I would have had any PVC laying around. To make the noodles for this weekend I used some 3/4 inch PVC I had in the shed.

Without PVC pipe I would have threaded the line through the middle of the noodle.

Stockpiling Fishing Gear

How to make noodles to catch catfish

Noodles  for catfishing In this article we are going to be looking at making noodles to catch catfish. This type of rig may not be legal in all areas, so check the local laws before you do anything.

Buy some noodles from the local china-mart. The noodles might be seasonal, and should be found in the swimming pool supplies. So far I have only found the noodles in 2 colors – blue and pink.

Cut noodle into 8 inch lengths

Get some 3/4 inch PVC pipe, caps and some PVC glue

Cut PCV pipe into 9 1/2 – 9 3/4 inch long sections. 9 3/4 seems to work better then 9 1/2.

Glue cap on 1 end of pipe

Insert PVC pipe into noodle until cap comes into contact with noodle

Drill a 1/4 – 5/16 inch hole in the end of the pipe sticking out past the end of the PVC pipe

On the topic of fishing

Bass fishing southeast TexasIf you are looking for peace and quiet, few things can compare to fishing. Casting a lure or bait out into the water, and letting it sit, is about as close to nature that one can get.

Last weekend my wife and I went to Dam B to do some fishing. As I was casting off the bank, and bass followed my lure up to the bank and grabbed it just before it was supposed to go out of the water. It was so peaceful and natural, as the bass swam up to the lure and grabbed it. I wonder how many times that has been replayed over the past thousands of years.

The bass was pulled up, the hook was removed and the bass was released no worse for the wear. Maybe it will be a little wiser from its experience, but then again, maybe not.

If there is one thing that I like about fishing (besides catching something), it has to be being close to nature. When the boat is launched, and I head out on the water, there is a certain peace and clam that is over the water.

The water is pure, it knows no violence, it knows no anger, greed, envy, jealously, or hatred. The water is a friend to everyone, as it treats everyone the same.

Stockpiling SHTF Fishing Gear For Fishing After Collapse of Society

Stockpiling SHTF fishing gear for fishing after collapse of society

One of the things about keeping a stockpile of SHTF survival gear, is having a well rounded stockpile. This includes having SHTF fishing gear on hand. A lot of survivalist focus on various items, and often overlook at age old resource of fishing.

Some fishing gear on the market is cheap, so there is no excuse for not stockpiling at least the basics.

With tackle box and catfish bucket in hand, its time to take inventory of my fishing supplies.

Lets take a look at the tackle box first. I have owned this tackle box for close to 16 years. Its been just about everywhere fishing with me, everywhere from 30 and 45 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico to lake Sam Rayburn.

My gear is divided into a couple of different boxes, with more gear stored in the gear room.

Stockpiling SHTF Fishing Gear

Ok, lets get started:

On the topic of fishing

While playing around in youtube, I decided to put together a few playlist. One of the playlist is about fishing and here it is.

To advance to the next video in the play list, click the next button in the bottom left hand corner.

Fishing is something that I was raised around as far back as I can remember. when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, I remember my mom and dad taking my brother and I fishing around the local ponds. When we moved to Bridge City, my dad bought a boat to take us out on Sabine Lake between Bridge City and Port Arthur.

Now that I am grown and have kids of my own, I have tried to keep that family tradition going by taking my kids fishing.

Stockpiling Trotline Supplies For After SHTF

Weldbilt boat on the Angelina River

Yesterday evening I started working on some trotlines to be put out Friday evening. The first thing that I realized was how much supplies its going to take to deploy 2 trotlines about 150 long.

The line being used for the main beam comes in spools 300 feet long, and has a tensile strength rating of 330 pounds. When you start running a line across a slew, 100 – 150 feet can go pretty quick. One trotline I saw awhile back must have been close to 200 feet long.

Lets talk about running the main beam line of a trotline. With the spools having 300 of line, your probably going to need 3, 4, 5 or even 6 spools of line for a SHTF stockpile. This of course depends on how many trotlines your going to be running.

Some of the sloughs that I fish in are probably 75 – 100 feet wide. With 300 feet per spool, I would only be able to run 2 or 3 lines across a slew. If I was running a trotline across the main river, 300 feet would probably only get me 1 trip across the river.

A Weekend Of Fishing On The Angelina River

Jugline fishing

This past weekend was one of those weekends that seems like a blur. I spent 3 days out on the Angelina River running trotlines, juglines and fishing.

Long story short – Friday afternoon, get the trotlines and juglines ready; Friday evening go put the juglines and trotlines out, check everything Saturday morning, go back Saturday evening, check and rebait the trotline, put the juglines out, Sunday go check everything again, pick the trotline up, pick up the juglines, go fishing, get home Sunday around noon.

Now for the rest of the story.

Over the past week I had been making up some trotlines in the backyard. The local china-mart sells spools of trotline string with a 330 pound tinsel strength, this is what makes up the main beam of the trotline.

So I started off by measuring out 2 double arm lengths of string, which equals out to about 8 feet, tie a loop knot about 3 – 4 inches long, measure off about 8 feet, tie another loop knot, measure off about another 8 feet, another loop knot,,, repeat until I had about 120 of line.

Stockpiling Fishing Supplies for SHTF

Bass fishing on the Angelina River

As I have said in several forum post about stockpiling survival gear for SHTF, I think fishing supplies should be at the top of the list. That is, unless you live in a desert or hundreds of miles from a water source.

In some kind of long term SHTF survival situation, fishing could be an important food source. The better prepared you are to utilize fish as a food source, the better your chances for success.

On the way home from work today, my wife and I stopped by Ward’s Outdoor Supply in Jasper Texas. The store is snuggled in the corner of an Exxon gas station at the northeast corner of Hwy 96 and Hwy 190.

To be honest, when I entered the store, I was not expected much, but I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I was very surprised at the wide selection of fishing supplies that Ward’s had in stock.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018