This past weekend Coyote and Company took a 4 day excursion to the remote island of North Bass, located in the Erie Island chain.
There was good reason to believe that a large protected marsh on the island would be home to some potentially massive Swamp Monsters...however...cold weather, rain and Vampire Flies became a battle won by the environment, ultimately cutting the trip short.
From the start it seemed that the team had everything going against them, but in light of it all...they got some pretty great footage!
North Bass Island is known for its extremes and by extremes we mean extreme numbers of things. The first creatures encountered on the island were snakes. LOTS and LOTS of snakes.
NBI is covered in Lake Erie Water Snakes, a nonvenomous but fairly aggressive species that made itself present almost everywhere we went. In total the team captured 27 snakes and filmed a few great sequences that displayed what NOT to do if ever forced to encounter this species.
NOT TO DO pretty much means things that will get you bit and Coyote took a bakers dozen worth of tooth filled hits this past weekend. LEWS have an anticoagulant in their saliva which causes wounds to bleed excessively...the bites often look worse then they are but no matter how you justify it...a snake bite is a snake bite, and a snake bite is no fun!
This is supposed to be the year of Common Snapping Turtles...but this expedition again brought the opportunity to catch some big fish by hand. The team shot 3 sequences designed around the Common Carp...last week we didn't provide you with a picture proving Coyote's fish capturing skills...so here is one for the record books!
So how do you catch a Carp? You run down the shore line after the school of them as fast as you can...
You jump over a log that they are hiding behind...
And you do your best to grab one, hold on for dear life against the thrashing and splashing of hundreds of them in the water, and you try to scoop up the biggest one you can and ultimately get it under control.
Snakes...Fish...where were the turtles? The lack of sunshine and water temperatures that were nearly 15 degrees below average for this time of year definitely kept these large reptiles in hiding.
The team explored the island for several hours, Coyote climbed a really ancient looking tree...
Some fast pace running sequences were shot...
Coyote captured a very beautiful Fox Snake...
And then the rain hit. Torrential thunderstorms forced the team take refuge in an abandoned bus where they held up for nearly 12 hours.
The next morning brought sunshine and with it three things.
First the team stumbled upon a junior sized Swamp Monster...a wee lad that weighed in at about 20 lbs...
And then a second...even smaller mini monster that tipped the scales at about 10 lbs.
The team attempted to shoot some underwater footage with the turtles on the edge of Lake Erie...but with the rains came the hatching of some species of fly,that were coined Vampire Flies because they were out for BLOOD!
Hundreds of thousands of flies swarmed the island...literally it was unlike anything you could imagine. Cameras could not be held still to shoot, bug spray of several designs did nothing to repel them, and eventually it got so bad the team was forced to evacuate the island and end the mission.
Those little dark spots on Coyote's shirt...those are flies. There honestly is no describing how many flies were swarming on North Bass Island...and you would have to of been there in person to understand what it was like to be covered and bitten by these little blood suckers. Wishes were made for a giant fly swatter...but in the end...it was the bugs who won.
Overall it was a successful trip...cut a bit short...but that is the life of outdoor production...sometimes you brave the wilderness...sometimes it braves you. Perhaps North Bass Island is home to a world record size Swamp Monster...they mystery is still out there. The team was happy to catch any turtles with the weather conditions faced...all you can do is hope for better luck on the next adventure out.
A World Record Snapping Turtle is out there somewhere...the search continues for Coyote and his team. Until next time...Welcome to the muck...this is SWAMP MONSTERS!