Thursday, May 21, 2015

cobia catch

Happy [almost] Memorial Day weekend, friends! I'm sorry for the far and few between posts... It's been a little hectic around here! BUT! Last week I had the opportunity to go cobia fishing out of Beaufort, and we could not of asked for a better day. The weather was perfect and we were able to take our 21 foot boat close to 30 miles offshore. We had the boat in the water by about 630 with the goal of catching bait before heading out to the Betsy Ross to try our hand at the cobia. It was a beautiful morning and we had high hopes for the day.
Once we got out to our destination, we among the other boats that had beaten us out there and settled in for a day of fishing. It didn't take 30 minutes before we started seeing fish around us, and watched another boat land a nice cobia. Right about that time, we had a large barracuda post up under our belt. At first we weren't sure what kind of fish it was because we could just see his outlined in the water, but after a little go pro sleuthing thing we discovered it was indeed a snaggle-toothed 'cuda. Well, no wonder fish were steering clear of us!
After 2 sharks, a(nother) big barracuda, and a remora, we decided it was time to try out another spot. The guy diving to spear fish 30 yards away from us I am sure was not helping, either. So, on we went, stopping about half way back to land to give it another go. At the very least, we knew we'd catch some other bottom feeders, right? Right. Lines weren't in the water 2 minutes before we started bringing up black sea bass and Charleston snapper.
I kid you not, the 4 of us were catching so many, I moved to the front of the boat to fish and just quit telling anyone when I brought a fish to the boat. The first 5-6 were all like "woohoo!" The remaining 40-50 (I quit counting in the mid-20's)? Somewhat less exciting. But only a bit. Because, honestly, who isn't excited when they're catching fish?
Not me, that's for sure! After an hour or two of non-stop fish catching (no cobia included), it was time to make our way back towards the landing for one last ditch effort at the bridge beside it. It's apparently been a hot spot for cobia, so we figured we'd better give it one last try. 
Well... guess what. Even though I'm sure you've already figured it out by now. I caught a cobia, at long last! It was a pretty quick fight, and he wasn't very big, but it was a cobia nonetheless and I was pumped. Still am, actually, now that I think about it!
How's that for a fishing day? Travel nearly 30 miles offshore and catch zero cobia, but land one in the last 30 minutes of the day, 500 yards from the landing. Who knew? Either way, it was an awesome day, and totally worth the miles we put in.

You better believe we enjoyed this guy not 24 hours later... Grilled cobia is just so delicious, isn't it? Now get out there and do some fishing (and grilling), too! 

P.P.S - Good luck to all of the boats fishing in the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament this weekend! [But especially the Rascal... Duh]

Friday, May 8, 2015

video diary: Argentina 2015

Well... Turkey season came and went with little excitement, save a possum or seven. I guess that means it's now Turkeys - 7, Hollis - 0. Womp womp. But, apparently a lot of people boarded the struggle bus this season and had little to no luck as well.

Annnddd... I know you probably thought I forgot about the video from our trip to Argentina, right? Well, I assure you, I did not! On top of how crazy things have been around here since we got back, we had close to 35GB of video to go through. [Dad - that means a lot.] It was really fun to go back through and see the awesome shots we made (and missed), and relive the hunts all over again. And to see exactly how much alike my dad and I are... Our similarities when we shoot is uncanny. I don't think I've ever used the word "uncanny" here before. Weird. Anyways... We also had a guy with Frontera Wing Shooting & Blackcat Natural Films come out in the field one day and film us. He used both a GoPro and his fancy camera, so some of his shots were too good not to incorporate into this video. [You'll see the Frontera logo in the corner of his video portions.] Sooo....

No more waiting! Here you have it! The 2015 Argentina video... Enjoy!

If you're having trouble viewing this video, click here to watch it on YouTube.

Now, let's start planning a trip back. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

mother's day gift guide: the outdoorswoman

I haven't done a gift guide in quite some time, and was recently prompted to write one for Mother's Day for Wide Open Spaces. While that article is much more in depth, I thought I would give you a quick overview of the items you could buy the lovely outdoorswoman in your life! Moms are the best (I know mine is), and you can find something below for the angler, the hunter, the traveler, and even the perpetual thank you note writer.
5. stationery (I know, a shameless plug)

Check out the full article here
Happy (almost) Mother's Day to all you moms out there!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

what do deer eat around here?
In case you didn't already see, I put together an article on exactly what foods deer love the most around these parts, and I wanted to share it with my fellow hunters/blog followers. Whitetails aren't exactly picky eaters, but it's important that they get enough nutrition year-round. Here's a list of the top 10 deer foods in the Southeast (in no particular order) to help you with your plans for the upcoming deer season!
Brambles (i.e. thorny, tangled blackberry or raspberry plants) are perennial plants popular for deer. They are found in the wild, but can also be cultivated along the edge of a food plot to provide an additional (and tasty) source of nutrition for deer throughout the fall, when they bear their fruit. Careful, though – they can get out of hand pretty quickly and take over your plot!
Deer love grape vines, like the muscadine variety, which ripen in late summer and into early fall. They will eat the both the fruit and the tender leaves and twigs along the climbing vines. Like brambles, grape vines can be cultivated, and are found in a wide variety of places. Their ability to climb helps them succeed even in shady wooded areas.
Greenbriar grows similar to brambles, with a strong root system that can easily take over food plots if not managed. It can grow into dense thickets that provide excellent cover for deer and help them feel less exposed. Cultivate greenbriar along a fence or hedgerow along with some brambles, and you’ve got a guaranteed snack bar that the deer will undoubtedly frequent. This is also a good way to determine your deer-to-food ratio – if the plants are essentially mowed to the ground, you’ve either got too many deer or not enough food (or a combination of both). If they look somewhat eaten (or not at all), you’ve either got plenty of food or… no deer. Let’s hope it isn’t the latter.
Ahh, soybeans. A superfood of deer food. Soy is incredibly high in protein, and a large plot can last from early spring on through the winter months if the deer don’t mow it down first. It thrives in the summer, which is a key time of year for deer – antlers are returning, fawns are growing, and does are lactating – and you want to make sure they are getting the necessary amount of protein. Just make sure you plant an ample supply – deer can make quick work of a small plot, and you don’t want to be left with nothing when fall turns to winter and they are forced elsewhere to find food.
Ever come in from the woods and you’ve got dozens of small, fuzzy little pods stuck to your pants? Meet beggar’s lice, another browse enjoyed by deer that grows naturally in the wild. It is very similar to soy in terms of protein levels, grows during relatively the same time frame, and can be planted and cultivated if little is naturally produced on your land.
Pokeweed, known by many other names like poke and pokeberry, is a hardy perennial weed with dark purple berries sprouting from a magenta stem. Although it is poisonous to humans, deer readily enjoy this plant, which is high in protein and easily digestible. Pokeweed has a strong root system, and is therefore is able to grow in various soil types, sun or shade, and can withstand wildfires or controlled management burning.
The strawberry bush, often referred to as “whitetail ice-cream,” is a sweet and delicious favorite for deer. It produces tasty fruit throughout the summer, but deer will devour the entire plant. They can plow through strawberry bushes like a hungry man at a barbeque buffet, eating them down to the stem in no time at all. If you’ve got these tasty treats out for deer, don’t expect them to last!
American beautyberry is another fruit-producing perennial shrub that whitetails adore. Deer will eat the leaves and stems of the beautyberry throughout the summer, but the moisture-rich fruit itself is key. The little berries remain on the plant into the winter, even after the leaves have dropped. PS: This plant can work double duty – you can crush its leaves and rub them on your skin to repel mosquitoes!
I can’t tell you how many times I carefully pulled at a honeysuckle flower as a kid, hoping to extract that one little bit of its sweet nectar. While honeysuckle evokes fond childhood memories, the soft vine and leaves provide a protein-rich food source for deer nearly year-round. Understandably, many people have a love/hate relationship with the flowering vine. Despite deer being drawn to it like a moth to flame, the Japanese variety, non-native to the U.S., is quite invasive and can overtake natural vegetation in no time, particularly seedling trees. Much like brambles, greenbriar, or grape vines, honeysuckle should be planted along a fence line, but must be carefully managed to avoid a wide-spread takeover. Be sure to check the laws to make sure it’s not illegal to propagate honeysuckle in your state.
Last, but certainly not least... Clover – the magical food plot staple. Deer are naturally drawn to clover, and it is probably the most popular food plot staple for those looking to attract whitetails. It starts turning green in early spring, and remains so until late in the winter, providing a hearty source of nutritious vitamins, minerals, and protein for deer throughout most of the year. Clover is easy to grow, survives in many different conditions, and will come back for several years after planting. There are many varieties of it, so you can tailor your plots based on what will work best for your land.

See the full slideshow here. Now, get out there and get planting!