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Kayak Fishing & pepperoni on a stick

Mike Wasko of Old Forge and Brandon Winn of Duryea recently participated in the South Abington Twp. Police and Maintenance 16th Annual Fishing Derby. Washo finished first in the 13-15 age group for catching the biggest fish.

Never let it be said that I’m not up for trying new things. I love new adventures in the great outdoors, new challenges connected to my hobbies and of course I never say no to new foods. My job has afforded me many opportunities with all sorts of challenges. I can say that I have repelled from one hundred foot rock ledges, crawled around in caves filled with hibernating bats and carefully jumped from rock to rock though a snake denning area. My past adventures have also included wrestling deer trapped in nets, grabbing two foot hellbenders from under rocks in Pine Creek and submerging my body through a hole in a frozen lake.

I don’t think I will ever get tired of trying something new even if it isn’t quite as exciting as some of my past adventures. I recently received an invitation to fish out of a kayak in the Susquehanna River. Dave Buck from Endless Mountain Outfitters of Sugar Run insisted that I would enjoy the fishing and the kayaking adventure. The kayak Dave provided for our morning on the river was designed by fishermen for fishermen. This one happened to be called the Commander Angler 14 foot. The seat was elevated and there was plenty of room for tackle and long legs. Bryan Kolodziej was the fishing guide for today’s trip.

We put our kayaks into the water at the Terrytown Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Access Area across the river from Wyalusing. We were armed with rubber worms called Yum Dingers and green colored tube baits. The trick is to paddle close enough to the shore and cast towards it. These kayaks were very stable and easy to maneuver into place. The fish quickly cooperated and a new adventure was written into the archives. I hooked into several bass with one actually strong enough to turn the kayak around a few times and that’s part of the fun. I can’t imagine the fight one would get if they hooked into a two foot catfish or carp. We continually moved downstream with the current and would paddle back upstream to fish the same hole twice. I sure the same type of fishing could be done with any kayak but I must admit the fishing kayaks have many added features.

The three mile kayak fishing trip took us about four hours. We were not in a hurry to finish and we took our time fishing some of the nicer holes. I would recommend a day on the river in a kayak. Whether it includes a fishing rod or not is completely up to you. You will see our trip on the river in an upcoming story on WNEP’S Pennsylvania Outdoor Life. Here’s how you can get in touch with Dave Buck of Endless Mountain Outfitters as well as two other kayak trip providers in our area.

ENDLESS MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS: 570-746-9140 OR www.EMO444.com

SUSQUEHANNA KAYAK & CANOE RENTAL: 570-388-6107 OR www.kayaktheriver.com

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER ADVENTURES: 570-328-4001 OR www.susqpaddle.org

The River is a fun place to spend time on or near. The Fish and Boat Commission has rules to follow to help keep your outing legal and safe. Kayaks, canoes, inflatable rafts and paddleboards are not required to be registered, unless they are being used at a state-owned access area, state owned lake, Pennsylvania State Parks and state forests lake. In these cases, you must either have your non-powered boat registered or have a launch permit issued by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission or the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. In addition to the registration requirement if using a state owned property, important life-saving equipment is required to be carried on all non-powered crafts. Every person in a kayak, canoe, inflatable raft or paddleboard must have on board a readily accessible U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Children 12 years of age and younger must wear their life jackets while underway on any boat 20 feet or less in length and on all canoes and kayaks. Life jackets save lives, so Wear It!

The law also requires unpowered boat operators to carry some form of noise making device. It must be capable of sounding a prolonged blast for 4-6 seconds that can be heard by another boat operator in time to avoid a collision. An athletic coach’s whistle is an acceptable sound producing device. Clip it to your life jacket for easy access. Lights are also needed. If these vessels are on the water after dusk they must have a hand-held or installed white light to be displayed in time to avoid a collision with another craft. When anchored or moored after dusk, an all-round white light must be displayed where it can best be seen 360 degrees. If you need more information on the rules and regulations, go to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website at: http://fishandboat.com.

Now it’s time for Pepperoni on a stick, but first an explanation. Like I wrote earlier in this article, I love trying new things including food. We were recently invited to join close friends of ours for an evening around their campfire at Frances Slocum State Park. We offered to bring along a few munchies but they insisted they had it all. My Polish background automatically envisioned kielbasa on a stick. After all it’s part of everyone’s campfire menu, isn’t it?

Much to my surprise, our friends of Italian background proceeded to cut up a stick of pepperoni into half inch slices. They then skewered them with a long metal fork and handed them to us. This was truly a violation of camping 101. I bet it is even against the Geneva Convention or something. This was just wrong. Pepperoni belongs on a cracker with cheese or on a pizza. Not cooking over an open fire. But I decided to take one for the team and join in on their ceremonial degrading of a fine piece of Pepperoni. The grease quickly started dripping into the fire. My nose caught a whiff of the fine pork juices sizzling on the red hot embers. It was quite intriguing. My mouth started watering as I waited for the all done signal. And then it happened. Jacobs camping history was written. The silver dollar sized piece of slightly crispy pepperoni was a culinary delight, a true strike of genius. It was an unprecedented meeting of Polish and Italian campfire etiquette. I can’t help but think about what this family will come up with next. Who knows, maybe donuts on a stick. We would like to thank the Ciampi family from West Wyoming for the new experience.

Be sure to watch Pennsylvania Outdoor Life tonight at 6:30 p.m. on WNEP. We’ve dedicated this half hour to snakes of Pennsylvania including the one that visited our weather set last weekend. Have a great day!

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