All posts by calstaff

Ever had a Big Fish Break your Line?

Is there a worse feeling in the world than when a big fish breaks your line?
But very few get a shot at redemption on the same fish.
Thats what happened to this Angler

Watch as he hooks into a big gar and loses it. But he gets a second chance when they just happen to run across the float a couple of hours later…

Now that is just a crazy fishing tale! It’s great that he’s got it on video. Not many would likely believe the story otherwise. That was some excellent work to get the line re-tied without spooking the gar and having it run again guys.

Although it seems the gar had the last laugh in this story when it knocked the fisherman flat to the ground. Still, an incredible catch and tale these guys will no doubt be sharing for a long time to come.

Photo: Screen Captured from Youtube
Sources: Lunkers TV, Travis Smola

13 Awesome Hikes within 5 Miles in Northern California

1. Stout Grove, Jedediah Smith State Park

Only 9 miles east of Crescent City is this gorgeous state park. It lies alongside the Smith river and has LOTS of hiking trails. Feel like being lazy? Take the half-mile hike around Stout Grove, or as we call it, “Mother Nature’s Cathedral.”

2. Boy Scout Tree Trail, Jedediah Smith State Park

Since you’re already here at Jedediah Smith, you might want more than a half hour hike? Then take the 5.3 mile Boy Scout Tree Trail. We’re bending the rules with this one. If you go up and back it’s twice that, but this hike is so worth it and it highlights some of the most incredible parts of Redwood forest known to man. Make sure to get there early. This one is getting more popular.

3. Montgomery Grove Trail, Mondocino

Take this scenic road in (Orr Springs Rd.) to meet the trailhead in Montgomery Woods. This spot is pretty remote and at least a 30 minute drive from a freeway. But the ride there is scenic and lovely. Only a 2 mile hike, this is the Shangri-La of hiking spots for sure.

4. Tall Trees Grove, Redwood National Park

This trail is 3.9 miles long. You’re going to climb over 650 feet as you walk this path. Here’s where you’ll find the Libbey Tree. Once believed to be the tallest tree in the world, it’s since been overshadowed by a few others, however, no one knows the others’ whereabouts. They’re kept secret.

5. Sun Trail (OR) 6. Dipsea Trail, Muir Woods

There are two trails to choose from here. Sun Trail is 4.7 miles of scenic views. Climb a hill that gives you a breathtaking view of Mt. Tamalpais. Don’t feel like taking this one? Then follow the arrow to the Dipsea trail. This 3.7-mile loop hike takes you to ocean views and back into the Redwoods again. While these trees aren’t as impressive as other areas, there are fewer folks who know about this one. Be warned: there’s a 14-rung ladder that can be slippery. Not always fun for children – or nervous parents.

7. Floating Island Lake Trail, Tahoe

Just 1.6 miles until you’re seeing this. Walk along a wooded path with the most amazing nature sites around. Don’t wait for a better weekend. Go now!

8. Bridge Trail, Pescadero County Park

This trail is 1.1 miles of lush green ferns and a babbling creek. What more could you ask for? Stop along the bank and read a book for awhile. Snap photos of wildlife beneath the canopy of trees.

9. Hidden Falls Trails, Auburn Regional Park
10. Codfish Falls Trail, Auburn


This trail is 1.7 miles and takes around an hour. The difficulty level is easy to moderate – even a mom with a baby can do it. Follow along some pretty parts of the North Fork American River. Just know, there are some steep drop-offs to the river below. So if heights aren’t your thing then this one isn’t for you.

11. Pfeiffer Falls Trail, Big Sur State Park

This 2.5-mile hike is the most popular one at Big Sur. Begin by the lodge and climb a tree-covered hill to reach a pretty awesome waterfall. Then head on a bit farther to see the valley below. Gorgeous!

12. Bumpass Hell Trail, Old Station

This trail offers 2.9 miles of hiking wonderland, but it’s only open from June until October. This hike boasts nature’s still busy volcanic activity below. A popular hike not only for the scenery but for the occasional streams of thermal mist that come from the earth below.

13. Cascade Falls Trail, Lake Tahoe

Ever looked DOWN a waterfall? Here’s your chance. Only a two-mile jaunt into heaven. Walk along the mountainside with Cascade Lake in view, and you’ll feel like you’re in a fairy tale. Bring along a camera. You’ll want to remember this.
It’s pretty safe to say that Northern California is the bomb when it comes to meandering paths and rocky peaks that are just waiting for our hiking boots. You’ve been given your marching orders, people. Get out there and enjoy the prettiest part of the country that you get to call home.

Wild Game Cuts – Illustrated Guide

If you’re interested in how to butcher your own deer harvests, you might like this illustrated deer meat guide.

This illustration by artist Nadia van der Donk shows where the different cuts of meat come from on a deer.

A single deer can provide a lot of meat that can last for months if rationed properly. The hide can also be used for a wall hanging or carpet.

Butchering at home requires a lot more than a deer meat guide. You’ll need the right knives for skinning the hide, a hacksaw, wet stone and gloves for cleanliness.

Plus, the process can get a little dirty, so having a safe place to do it without risking a seriously messed up kitchen is key.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll be much better off taking it to a deer processing facility or experienced butcher.

But, if you’re up for the challenge of learning how to do it, this handy guide will help out big time. You’ll know where the steaks, loin and roast section comes from. Perhaps only cut the area of the meat that you only want instead of dragging the whole deer back to your camp, which could be miles.

Getting a deer from the field to the freezer starts with properly field dressing the animal. Make sure to store and hang the meat in a cool and dry environment that is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sources: nadiavanderdonk.com

California Criptid Walks – Seven Places for the Paranormal

When there’s something strange and it don’t look good, it can be quite a thriller of a ride, but lest you fall into the Twilight Zone by accident -or if you want to go looking for trouble- here are a few places for California Criptids and paranormal pacers.

Moro Rock Trails – Tulare, CA
Starting off easy in Tulare, there’s the Moro Rock Trail, where the walk may be beautiful, but when you try to take a picture of the scenery, you may find yourself with some Phantasmic Photobombers trying to get in the picture. I wonder if they’ll pose for a selfie?

Alum rock Trail – San Jose, CA
On a slightly more delayed schedule, the Alum Rock Trail in San Jose’s state park has visitors reporting not spooky daytime apparitions, but unsettling nightmares for long after, as if being chased through the park by a sinister but unknowable presence. Maybe, like Orpheus, we shouldn’t turn back around. It’s for the best.


Lost Coast Trail – Petrolia, CA
Things get Twilight-Zone-esque on the Lost Coast Trail in Petrolia, where hikers report the timeline being a bit wibbly-wobbly, and space and time get a little bit warped. Some say they’ve traveled back in time while hiking it, and disappeared for several minutes. A glitch in the Matrix? One too many drinks? I kinda want to find out. I wonder if you’ll run into any hikers from any other timeline?

Pear Lake

Pear Lake Trail – Sequoia National Park
The Pear Lake trail in Sequoia National Park is tough, and if you linger, you may hear others walking parallel to your trail, somewhere in the woods to your left. Some have reported seeing unearthly cloaked figures. To be fair, if I saw another human being in a hooded robe, I’d probably walk faster even if they were standing in a brightly-lit walmart, but let’s not dwell on what they were doing walking hidden in the forest.


Mount Diablo trail – Contra Costa County
Mount Diablo trail in Contra Costa County has its own legends. The name of the mountain may be explained by a plaque at the top, but some locals believe a somewhat more sinister tale involving a missionary feeling something sinister, with worrying visions and thoughts. Maybe he had a run-in with the guys from the Pear Lake trail.


Lake Chabot trail
In Castro Valley, Lake Chabot trail is great for hooking a few fish or getting a nice walk, but if you walk for too long, you may start to experience your worst fears clamoring into your mind as visions. Or, you know, you might have anxiety. You should probabl hike with a buddy either way.


Crystal Cave Trail – Sequoia Nat Park
Last, the Crystal Cave trail (no, not the videogames) in Sequoia National Park. Maybe you should just avoid walking in Sequoia National Park alone, considering this is the second trail of theirs on this list.
This one features a terrifying white, slimy creature hiding in the stalactites on the roof, preying on anyone who wanders off from their group. Yet, in spite of my investigations (read as: first page of google search results) I couldn’t find any more details about the creature except “White and slimy”, nor what it does to the hikers it finds.

Anyone want to go hiking with me?

by Sam Morstan

Sources: GoogleMaps, CA Wildlife, CA Hiking Associations

Bowfishing Heaven

Youtubers Bowmars are at it again with some sweet bowfishing action!
The Bowmars sleep and breathe outdoors, especially bowfishing. Here’s a recent clip to show how passionate they are is some clips from their resent bowfishing trip.

With bowfishing becoming more and more popular, it is always cool to see people like the Bowmars stepping out and getting in on the action.

The cool thing is that it is a sport that doesn’t take much money to get into at all. Picking up a simple bow kit, and making time to get out on some local water is all you have to do to start practicing your skills as a bow fisherman.

Sources: Bowmar Bowhunting Youtube, Jesse Males

Combine a dumb deer and some bad Shooting

And you’ve got the Funniest Bow Hunting fail.
We’ve all had those days in the stand when nothing seems to go right. It could be wind direction, out-of-range deer, or simply a missed shot. But if you think you’ve had some misfortune, try taking a look at this video without cracking a smile. (You’ll also realize your worst day wasn’t that bad after all!)

Tim Wells was the man behind the camera as his wife took part in a tree stand deer hunt. With a doe standing directly beneath her, it looks like a done deal. But as you’re about to see, this was one lucky deer – or should we say, five times lucky!

Watch how this comedy of errors unfold:

It doesn’t get much better than that! Makes you wonder if this deer realized that if she just stood still, she’d live to tell this funny tale. Not sure if she’s the world’s stupidest deer… or perhaps the smartest!

And this one-liner from Wells is pretty hilarious:

“Well there was one night with my wife that I’ll never forget and it wasn’t our honeymoon.”

Sources: Tim Wells Youtube, Justin Hoffman

We’ve all heard the stories of the one that got away

Fish prove too much for these anglers to handle in this fish fail compilation.
It was this big! We’ve all heard the stories of the one that got away. We’ve been telling our buddies those tales since the first time dad handed us that old Zebco. Fortunately, for these lucky (or unlucky) anglers someone was right there capture the evidence of their epic fail on camera. Sometimes we just get caught by surprise.

These guys can let the video speak for itself. With this fishing fail compilation, there’s no need to exaggerate the story.

Sources: Minuto de Pesca Facebook, Reid Vander Vein

Hold on tight to that nice fish you just caught

Or you’ll end up like this guy.
Getting a good photo of the big lunker you just caught has never been easier than it is in today’s age of cell phones and small digital cameras.

Now you just have to remember that the big fish you just pulled out of the water wants back in real bad.

Here’s how you get a wet photo of your fishing buddy:

To the guy taking the video and laughing his head off: enjoy it now because your time is coming.

After that, raise your hand if you or your fishing partner have lost a fish trying to get a picture of it.

If you said no, you haven’t been a fisherman long enough.

Sources: Beer and Fishing Facebook, Craig Raleigh

Have you seen a Coyote with Five Feet before?

Well, this deformed coyote has them.

In a Facebook post shared by Mac Frederick, we see a coyote with five feet. This beast has a strange mutation that has given it an extra foot. These incredible pictures and x-rays prove the five-footed coyote is for real.


The above and below x-ray photographs show the skeletal makeup of this one-of-a-kind mutant coyote.

What would cause such a deformation in this otherwise normal coyote? A genetic defect certainly caused the growth of the extra foot. Could it have been influenced by toxins this coyote came in contact with, or was there a mix-up during gestation? The reasons for this mutation may remain a mystery for some time.

Sources: Mac Frederick Facebook, Eric Nestor

What’s with the Shotgun for Bass Fishing?

Would you think to bring a shotgun to bass fishing? Well this guy sure did, and with good reason.
In this video you’ll get to see some great blasting and casting when two guys bring a shotgun fishing.

They give some great tips about filling your bird tags and hooking lunkers for anywhere you call home.

As you just saw the reason this guy wanted to bring a shotgun bass fishing was because of the cormorant bird. These ‘water turkeys’ frequent lakes where you can also find hungry pre spawn bass.

Although the shotgun worked well for the birds, the angler was using a Zoom 4? Lizard to lure in the pre spawn bass. The fisherman used a dragging technique to find where the fish were biting. He put the Lizard lure on the line and with aide of the split-shot, it bounced along the ground as the boat slowly over along.

After searching around the lake, tho guy had the most luck with the lizard lure and the chatterbait. Keep in mined each area has a unique environment, so you’ll have to find out which patterns will catch fish in your neck of the woods. However if you’re after birds, shotguns work well no matter where you go.

Video Transcription
Alright, so you’re probably asking, ‘why would you ever bring a shotgun out on a fishing trip?’ Well here in the south, we have birds that I call ‘water turkeys’, but their official name is a Comerand, and they’re a nuisance to a lake, and they can actually come in and take over. They fly in in the south and they eat all your baitfish and your bluegills, and they can really destroy a lake in a short amount of time. So my man Fred here, his job today is to run ’em off, shoot ’em, do whatever we can do to kinda get rid of some of these and kinda help get some of these birds out of this lake before they destroy it.

Here we go!

[Shot]

Get ’em Fred!

There he is! [shot] Got him!

Alright guys, it’s pre-spawn here in Alabama, and I’m gonna show you some techniques I use that really work. And this is what I call the #Hundie rig, and I say that because it works 100% of the time. But all joking aside, it is a really good technique to catch pre-spawn bass, and specifically to find out where these fish are at. So I’ll just show you, for instance.

I’m gonna target areas that are maybe 40-50 feet off the bank, and in the pre-spawn, these fish, the water temps aren’t warm enough to go spawn yet, so they’ll sit out here in what I call the prime real-estate. So just say, if there’s a stump right out here, 40 ft off the bank, there’s always gonna be a fish on it, even if you pull up and you catch that fish, you know, thirty minutes later, a day later, another fish is gonna move in. These are paths that they use in the spring, and kinda staging positions that they sit in. And the thing that I like to do is throw a really tiny lizard, I use a Must-add grip-in hook, and that hook will keep that lizard head from sliding down, so that’s a really cool hook for this technique. Eight-pound test line, a split-shot weight, and a spinning rod. And I’m just gonna cover all of this area, and I’ll catch a lot of small fish using this technique, but it’s really good to let me know what depth they’re holding in. Because the water’s still cold enough that they could be sitting out here in the deep part, they could be 20-40 feet off the bank, I don’t really know yet, so I’m gonna use this rig, find out where the fish are, and then I may swap over to a chatterbait or something, or maybe try to go for one of those bigger fish. But this is really successful because it’s a finesse presentation, and in the wintertime when the water’s still cold, or pre-spawn, they’re not necessarily wanting a heavy meal, you know. They’re fattened up over the winter, they’re looking for something a little light, and this is just small enough and just tempting enough to get them to bite it. So let’s see if we can catch something with this technique, and then we may swap them over to something and look for something big, but I have caught big fish on this finesse presentation before. So let’s try it out.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget the secret sauce. I always use it on my soft plastics. Make ’em hold on to it.

Here’s one. Got her. ‘No giant, but I’ll take it. Probably the number-one question I get asked on my Youtube channel, is ‘have you ever caught a small fish’, and of course, I catch a bunch of small fish throughout the year, but a lot of them don’t make the cut. But I’m gonna make sure that I show you guys some dinks in these videos. Little dinks, but still just lettin’ us know, we’re trying to key in on where they’re hanging out at, and hope to get into a big one soon.

So just to take a quick look, I probably caught that fish about fifty yards off the bank, but the fish that’re hanging out here are probably gonna move up into that cove there in the spring, and that’s where they’re going to spawn at. That’s the number one problem I see in the people fishing at the pre-spawn, they go straight to the banks, but a lot of the fish are still hanging out here offshore, so it just takes a little time to find ’em, but it can be rewarding.

There he is. Got him. Got a little drag for a little guy. I like it. A little junebug lizard. Come in here buddy. There we go. A little male bass. Got pretty colors on him, a little technique. There’s my lizard.

Now I’ll show you one other technique I like to do, I call it a dragon technique. What you do is just flip it out behind the boat and uh, if the wind is blowing, you just let the wind carry you. But if not, you just put the trolling motor down on the slowest speed and just drag it along every now and again, just cut it off. You’re not wanting that split-shot to be sitting down there on the bottom, and you’re wanting that lizard to kinda be bouncing back there on the other side of it, and I’ve had some good luck doing this, especially if I don’t know what area to target, I’ll drag until I get a bite, and then I’ll start casting and try to pick a spot apart, but we’ll see if they’re up for Dragon technique today.

Got him. Let’s see, what do we have here… Feels like it might be a decent little fish. Nope, not a little dink. Still fun catching ’em. Notice how far it was off the bank right there. That’s what I’m looking for, information. Not necessarily big bass right here. Oh this thing’s a fighter. Come on in here, buddy. There we go. Little healthy fish. Well alright, I think that’s enough to kinda tell us what we need. So we’re gonna put this one back. Haha.

Here we go. Oh yes sir. That’s a nice one. [something about good females] She’s got some power to her. Just gonna take my time, let her run out. Come on in here. There we go. A nice springtime fish right there. That could be a big male. Now these fish are confusing me. If that was a female, she should have some eggs. That’s probably a nice male right there. But hey we’ll take it on the hundie rig. Can’t beat that.

Alrigh now I’ve figured out where they’re at, located ’em, might swap over to spinner bait or chatter bait and try to get a real big one. But my rig did its job.

Alrighty, first fish out here with pre-spawn techniques. Chatter bait, search bait, trying to figure out where they’re at. Nice little chunker, female. Yep, that is a good way to start. Females are moving up. I’ll take it. No red tails, but you can tell she’s getting ready to pop.

Oh! That was not a good female; chopped up, spitted out. Hey we’re runnin’ a little bite here.

Alright guys, I’m gonna end today’s video here. I did end up catching some really nice fish, but I’m gonna save that, it’s gonna be a whole new video in itself, and it’s all thanks to this new rig I showed you. So hopefully you can go out and use it and find some pre-spawn patterns in your area, but before I end this video, I want to show you some typical spring lures that you’re gonna see me using this upcoming spring. Spinner bait, that’s the rig I was just using, swim jig, chatter bait, now these are all really good baits for the springtime. ‘nother chatter bait, and something like a big– that’s a custom-painted bluegill. And if you wanna see me use any other techniques or whatever for the springtime, just make sure to leave it in the comments below and I’ll try to make sure to cover those techniques, but make sure it’s a shallow water springtime technique. So get ready folks, I’m pumped up, it’s finally spring, the fish are finally moving up, and you’re definitely gonna see some big bass caught on our channel, so guys, get out there, and catch some of those springtime fatties!

Sources: BammaBass Youtube, Johnny Certo