2011 Starts Off Right

January 1, 2011. How can you start the year off better than fishing and eagle watching on the James River?  And to fish with a guy named Joe Bass, I mean, how cool of a name is that for an angler?  Joe fished with his longtime friend, Bob, (shown in image).  Both guys are hold pretty big fish.   Joe's holding a 20 pounder and Bob's hoisting a blue cat of 37 pounds.  Both fish were on at the same time too!  Big fish of the day, though, was caught by Joe ... a 48 pounder! 

The highlight of the day, though was catching a five pound fish out of 39 degree water which we filited and ate for lunch.  After the 'shore lunch' on the pontoon boat the guys were ready to take a couple of filets home for eating. Deeeelicious!

What you can't see in this image are all the bald eagles that seemed to be around us all day long.  I've never seen so many bald eagles 'perched' in trees.  They didn't seem to fly much today, except to go from tree to tree.  Occasionally, they'd fly around the river in search of a meal, but for the most part they sat content in the branches of trees along the riverbanks.  What made this day so unique was the constant calls we'd hear from these great birds.  All day long ... that high pitched chirp.  We heard over 100 bald eagle calls this day, it was phenomenal.

NOTE:  Here is something pretty cool if you want to hear what an eagle sounds like.  Click here and it'll take you to a site that has about 10 bald eagle calls on it.  Not like hearing and seeing on in nature, but it's close. 

January 6, 2011.  Warren Foster and I took a ride out on the non tidal James yesterday in the Discovery Gheenoe.  I love my little boat with it's amazing 20-year old 5hp motor which starts on the first pull 85% of the time.  The other 15% it's the second pull.  We traveled downriver to Warren's Island (Williams Island really, but Warren does so much volunteer work on the island that many of his friends call it Warren's Island).  Around the backside of the island lives a pair of resident bald eagles.  You have to know exactly where their nest is to see them, but once you see it, it's unmistakable.  They should nest soon, and will hopefully have a successful breeding season, and we'll have a young eaglet flying around in about four and a half months.  We didn't see either Thunderhawk or Lightning, probably because of the noise being created by a backhoe loading giant rocks & boulders into the side of the canal.  Lots of noise.  If I were an eagle, I sure wouldn't want to be around all that noise.  Hopefully that project will finish asap.  I'll keep you updated on their nesting.