Tips to Make You a Better Fly Angler Part 2

Tips to Make You a Better Fly Angler Part 2

by Captain Jim Barr

of www.skinnywaterchartersri.com

Go Barefoot in the Boat- If the weather/water is warm, going barefoot in the boat helps the angler to avoid stepping on their fly line. Footwear of any kind provides enough insulation to prevent you from being able to feel that you are stepping on your line. Many a cast has been ruined and a fish lost by a pinched line on deck.  Bare feet can also present a slipping hazard on a wet deck, so you be the judge. Alternatively use a stripping basket to hold your fly line. Also, remember to stretch your fly line, preferably before you board the boat, and if that's not possible or you forget, strip the fly line off the reel into the wake of the boat as you relocate. Water pressure applied to the fly line will stretch the line and remove any twists and coils. If you do not cast in a relatively straight plane, but have a circular or "oval" rod rotation, this will add twists to your line causing it to kink.

Fluorocarbon or Monofilament Leaders- I have a couple of simple rules on this subject.

1. First, I don't spend stupid money on monofilament and fluorocarbon tippet material. For fluorocarbon I buy "Vanish" manufactured by Berkley. For monofilament I buy "Berkley Trilene Big Game" in Clear.I buy spools of this quality line in different tests. For Fluorocarbon, typically 17 and 20 lb and for Big Game, typically spools in 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 40 lb. test. I tie my own tapered leaders thus the reason for buying multiple spools of different test. Ultraviolet rays combined with the effects of saltwater degrade these lines, so annually I throw out the leftover spools and buy fresh material.

2. When it comes to what lines to use. My simple rule is if I am using a floating fly line with a floating fly pattern because I want the fly to be on the surface or just below the surface, my leader and tippet system is made entirely of monofilament (nylon) line. On the other hand, if I am fishing deeper waters, particularly around cover such as heavy seaweed, ledge and boulders, the first four feet of my leader is 40lb monofilament, but the balance of the leader system is Fluorocarbon material. Fluorocarbon is nearly invisible under water and it is made of a heavier density copolymer... so it sinks. It's valued for its refractive index which is similar to that of water, making it less visible to fish. Mono floats/Fluro sinks- easy to remember.

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Tips to Make You a Better Fly Angler Part 1

Tips to Make You a Better Fly Angler Part 1

by Captain Jim Barr

of www.skinnywaterchartersri.com

Hook Set- Many fly anglers new to the salt environment utilize the same fish striking (hook set) they do when striking a trout taking a dry fly. This is an overhead, high rod tip motion with the butt of the rod somewhere between the angler's waist and shoulder. If you use this technique when striking a saltwater fish (Stripers, Bluefish, Bonito and False Albacore to name a few), you're going to miss a lot of fish. The proper technique in saltwater is to keep your rod tip low to the water during your retrieve, and even putting the tip under the water's surface is perfectly acceptable. The retrieve has the fly line loosely pinched between the forefinger or middle finger (or both) of the rod-hand and the fly rod grip as the angler strips in line with the line-hand in a fashion that best imitates the swimming motion of the bait you are imitating. As the line is stripped over the fore-fingers of the rod hand the angler applies more pressure to the pinch point so that if the fish strikes the fly as the angler drops the line to pick it up again for the next strip- the line will stay tight helping to hook the fish. As the angler repeatedly strips line imitating the swimming motion of the bait, when the fish strikes the fly, the angler is in a position to "strip-strike" the fish keeping the rod tip low. The strip-strike has the angler pulling the line with force with the line-hand as he releases pressure at what was the pinch point on the rod-hand. The fly line will go tight immediately, and the rod will begin bouncing under the pressure and head-shaking action of the fish. Typically the hook is set in the fish's jaw, however it's perfectly acceptable to strip-strike the fish again with a good degree of force to "seat" the hook. The angler then raises the rod to play the fish.

 

Rod Positioning While Playing a Fish- After the angler has set the hook and is now playing the fish, care must be taken to land the fish. I see many anglers who engage in hand-to-hand combat, "fighting" the fish as if it's a 200 lb beast. It's unnecessary, and I typically coach new anglers engaged in this life and death struggle, to Relax. Yes, keep pressure on the fish, don't allow a slack line and when the fish wants to run, let it. If the fly reel drag is set properly, it will do the work of applying pressure and slowing the fish's run. Typically there is no need (except for the macho photo shot) to rear-back and bend the fly rod in half as you play the fish. The drag and the spring action of the fly rod will do the lion's share of the work. When the fish slows and you can turn it, do so, but keep a tight line and if the fish makes a run back to the boat as Bonito and Albies typically do, reel like a mad person to maintain a tight line/contact with the fish. If the fish pulls to the right, apply pressure to the left, and vice-versa- this will tire the fish more quickly. It's also OK to the turn the fish from side to side to tire it. Remember, for toothy fish, each time you reverse direction the leader is being pulled across the fish's teeth. In the case of Bluefish particularly, a steel leader should prevent being cut off.

Never put your line hand on the rod blank above the fly rod grip to apply additional leverage. A fly rod is meant to flex deep into the handle and putting pressure on the fish with your hand positioned on the blank above the grip may very well cause the rod to break. Additionally, try not to bring the butt of the rod above your waist while fighting a heavy fish. A high rod position exerts significant pressure (bend) on the tip section of the fly rod which may result in breakage.

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Five Common Casting Problems

Five Common Casting Problems

by Captain Jim Barr

1.      Why isn't the line straightening in front?

You may have forgotten to start every cast with the line fully extended on the water or ground, straight in front of you with no slack.

You may be pulling the rod too far back during your back cast. This will cast the line down toward the ground or water behind you and, consequently higher up on the next forward cast. To fix this, attempt to bring your rod to an abrupt stop nearly vertical (near your ear) during the back cast. Your next forward cast will have a much better chance of straightening out.

You may be pausing too long before you start your forward cast, which allows your back cast to fall near the ground or water. This sends your forward cast up high, and makes it fall in a heap. Open your stance and watch your back cast to understand the timing for bringing the rod forward.

You may be accelerating to a stop with too much force, causing the line to bounce back after it has fully extended in the air.

You may be starting your forward cast with too much speed, which sends the line up high in the air, and then into another heap. Remember to start slowly, then smoothly accelerate to the hard stop. Pretend you are flicking paint off a brush on your forward and backwards stops.

2.      You hear a noise like a snapping bullwhip during your forward cast.

This happens when you start your forward cast too soon, before the line in your back cast has had time to fully straighten. To correct this, pause a bit longer between the back cast and forward cast.

 3.      The line keeps hitting you or the rod.

This usually happens because there is a crosswind blowing the line into you or the rod on either the forward or back cast. To fix this, rotate your body so the rod is on the downwind side of your body (off shoulder cast). Also, be sure to cast with the rod tilted slightly off to the side, away from vertical.

 4.      You hear a "whooshing" noise during the back cast.

You are probably beginning the back cast with too much speed. Start slowly. Remember the rod goes fast only at the end of the cast, not at the beginning. You may also be moving the rod through a very wide arc. Keep the casting arc narrow by stopping your back cast just barely beyond vertical. The more line you have aerialized the wider your casting arc needs to be in order to maintain line speed and to prevent the line from dropping.

5.      Your casting hand is getting tired.

You are working too hard. Take a break. Massage your casting hand with your line hand. This may be a good time to start living dangerously- try casting with your other hand.

 

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12 Steps Guaranteed to Make You a More Accurate Bowhunter

  1. Never dry fire any bow….. There are great amounts of energy stored in the limbs and bowstring. When you release the string with a properly spined arrow that energy is transferred through that arrow and forces it down range. The energy has to go somewhere. Without an arrow that energy would transfer through the string to the cams and limbs forcing the bow to literally explode.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart so if you were to draw a line from your back toe to your front toe, it would continue and point to your target.
  3. Make sure not to grip the bow with the palm of your hand. Holding the bow this way will create torque in your grip forcing inconsistency in your shot.
  4. Instead place your hand parallel to the ground, bring the bottom center part of your palm to the bow as if to say “STOP” and your finger tabs (not fingertips) to the front of the bow. Keep your thumb pointed at your target. Do not squeeze the grip. Loosely hold the front of the grip just enough so the bow does not fall from your hands. .
  5. Every arrow has an odd vane or fletching. Which way that is indexed will be determined on the type of rest you shoot off of. To nock an arrow, turn the bow parallel to the ground placing the string against your hip. Always grab your arrow 1/3 of the way up the shaft so the odd vane can be determined and also so that your release mechanism does not get in the way or caught up. Place the nock on the bowstring in the center of the D loop. Push until you hear a click when the nock properly seats on the string.
  6. When adjusting an index trigger release mechanism on you wrist make sure you pull on the release jaws with your hand open so that the end of your jaws sit between the first and second knuckle of your index finger.
  7. Always make sure you face the trigger of the release away from you before you draw the bow. Also keep your index finger pressed up against the rear of the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  8. Draw the bow with your bow arm extended out toward your target and your release arms elbow tucked tight into your torso. Utilize more of you back muscles instead of your shoulder until you reach the let-off at full draw.
  9. Bring your release hands index finger knuckle up to the back of your jaw and place it under your earlobe. The elbow of your release hand should point in the exact opposite direction of your target.
  10. Anchor point. THE most important step of shooting accurately and consistent. The string should be placed in the corner of your mouth and also should touch the tip of your nose. Tip of your nose, Corner of your mouth.
  11. With both anchor points in place, look through your peep sight and line up your front sight in the middle of it.Place the correct pin on your target. Bring your index finger over the trigger and feel where it is. Don’t squeeze. Take a breath and exhale. Halfway through your exhale, pause, and gently squeeze the trigger.
  12. Your follow-through is also very important. DO NOT watch the arrow. Instead, Try and keep that pin on the target until the arrow hits it. This will force the habit of keeping your bow arm up for a perfect follow-through.
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Spring Fly Fishing in New England

           

At last winter is behind us and another open water season is at hand! Here in Southeastern Massachusetts the stocking trucks started rolling the week of March 24th. You can get a report of stocking progress on the Mass wildlife website. Stocking reports are updated every Friday. Early season Stillwater trout fishing activity is mainly close to shore around rocky shoals, sand and gravel bottom coves, inlets and outlets and edges of weed beds bordering deeper water. If you don’t see rising fish, keep casting and moving and moving until you locate fish. Even though they may not be rising, cruising fish are often looking for something to eat. Some good prospecting flies include woolly worms and woolly buggers as well as traditional streamer flies such as the Grey Ghost, Black Ghost, Mickey Finn and Black-Nosed Dace. After locating some fish, if the action slows down, switching over to nymphs and wet flies often continues the bite until the fish quit hitting or move on. Old standbys like the Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail, Prince and Midge larva imitations all take fish.              

            In rivers and streams early season fish are tight to cover to avoid fighting the main current flow. Targeting rocks, logs and other current breaks as well as back eddies and slower pools and runs will help you locate fish. Stream fishing is usually slow until the water warms a bit and the flow is more manageable. As streams warm toward the end of April and early May, streamers, nymphs, wet flies and dries all take fish. The same nymphs, streamers, and wet flies which work in ponds work in streams also. In addition, Hendrickson and Quill Gordon dry flies imitate early season mayflies. An excellent reference for hatches and the flies that imitate them is A Hatch Guide for New England Streams by Thomas Ames Jr. Small Black Gnats, Mosquitoes, and Griffith’s Gnats work well when stream or Stillwater trout are rising to midges.

            Right after ice-out dark bottomed ponds and some isolated coves in lakes begin to warm and become attractive to largemouth bass, pickerel, crappies, perch and bluegills. The best areas are coves, set-backs, swampy areas- especially those with stumps, blow downs or other woody cover, and slow moving inlets and outlets. Largemouth bass congregate in these up until spawning time when they spread out more for the spawning ritual. An accurately placed Woolly Bugger, Bunny fly, Deceiver, hackle fly like the Seducer as well as crawfish imitations will all take these shallow water bass. A light landing streamer fly won’t spook as many fish as hardware in the shallows. Bass of all sizes will eventually use these shallow areas, but some are real bruisers and a big bass tearing up the shallows can be exciting.

            Spring weather can be quick changing, with vernal cold fronts often frequent and severe. Stretches of warm weather gets the food chain started and a couple of warm days before a front comes through can really jump start the fishing. As the front comes in and the storm begins the fishing can be great. After a few hours of cold rain and wind things begin to shut down, and a northwest wind and clearing skies after the storm signals slow fishing until things warm up a bit. A day or two of warm sunshine will get things back on track, though.

            Toward the end of April and early May Stripers will return and begin to work their way North. Estuaries that are beginning to warm and support Herring runs will eventually attract bigger Stripers intent on taking advantage of all the groceries. Spring and early summer is a great time for wading and inshore saltwater fishing. Deceivers, Clousers, Bucktails and Surf Candies will get you into Spring Stripers. Check your backing and fly lines, attach a new leader and get there!

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8 Ways To Catch A 25lb Striper

8 Ways To Catch A 25lb Striper From Your Boat This Spring On Cape Cod

Part 2

 

5)  Troll A Tube Down Along The Elizabeth’s

The tube and worm is a great way to catch a big bass, especially if you are new to a specific area. Down along the Elizabeth Islands the tube and worm has caught big bass for decades.

Some guys will get in tight to the rocks and troll, but if you’re paranoid about the house-size rocks you can troll a bit farther offshore while casting plugs in towards the beach.

It’s a good way to cover water and survey the coastline. Without a doubt my favorite tube is a 24 inch red un-weighted.

6)  Ditch The Boat And Walk The Flats

I really enjoy seeing bass in skinny water. On a bright sunny day it’s almost like fishing in the tropics.

If you have a boat at your disposal you can motor to an unoccupied area of the flats, ditch the boat and fish the area on foot. Of course just be sure to keep an eye on the tide!

This is one of my favorite ways to catch stripers and the best part of all is that you can usually get away with using really light tackle. On the flats it’s usually all sand for as far as the eye can see, which means you don’t have to worry about the bass cutting you off on a sharp rock or barnacle.

Any sort of lure that mimics a sand eel is usually a good choice. Fresh dead sand eels can be lethal, as can crabs and other prey items which you may stumble across as you walk the sand bars.

7)  Take A Ride Off The Outer Cape

Vast schools of bait fish, stripers, bluefish and tuna swim just offshore Outer Cape Cod during the spring. Some guys will even catch tuna, stripers and bluefish during the same trip.

Fishing this area is a long ride from just about any port on Cape Cod. This means you will probably have some space to yourself which is good, but it also means that you are going to have to work to find the life.

Keep an eye out for diving gannets, which will show you the way to herring, mackerel and other large prey items.

Humpback whales can often be found feeding in this area. Where you find whales you will usually find large concentrations of bait, which of course can draw bass, bluefish and bluefin.

8)  Fish A Live Pogie

Each year is different, but we’ll sometimes catch a dozen or more live pogies from various Cape Cod harbors and bays during the spring before sunrise. I can’t throw a cast net to save my life, but fortunately for me gill nets do the trick.

A big pogie is pretty irresistible to any striper of more than 25 pounds. If you can stock your live well full of pogies, then I think you will have an excellent chance at bagging that first real cow striper of the season.

Where do you fish the pogies after you catch them?

If I had the choice I would choose a spot with some swift current, or in tight along many of the Cape’s boulder strewn coastlines.

What do you think? Let me know by commenting below.

Tight lines and take care,

 

Ryan Collins - http://myfishingcapecod.com/

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=58&tab=3

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8 Ways To Catch A 25lb Striper (Part 1)

8 Ways To Catch A 25lb Striper From Your Boat This Spring On Cape Cod

Part 1

If you are like me then you are really starting to chomp at the bit. Spring is right around the corner and so are the fish.

The first migratory striped bass will be on the small side, but soon thereafter we’ll start seeing much larger stripers. Each spring on Cape Cod bass as large as 50 pounds (I’m sure there’s a 60 in there as well) move north to the Cape.

Spring is a phenomenal time to target big bass from your boat. In this post I’ll share with you 8 different ways you can catch a 25lb or bigger striper from your boat this spring on good ole’ Cape Cod.

1)  Drift A Fresh Dead Whole Mackerel Somewhere With Current

You hear a lot about fishing with live mackerel or chunks of dead mackerel. However I really recommend testing out fishing with whole fresh dead mackerel.

During 2012 I vividly remember one spring trip where fresh dead whole mackerel out produced live mackerel. The trick is finding an area with current, and then allowing the fresh dead whole mackerel to drift and bounce along the bottom.

Use as little weight as possible and hook the mackerel through both lips so that it flutters through the current naturally. Schoolies will occasionally engulf an entire dead mack, however you can target the larger fish in the area by fishing with huge dead macks (14 inches and larger).

2)  Cast Topwater Plugs In Buzzard’s Bay

If you are really on top of your game you might be able to intercept a big school of bass in Buzzard’s Bay before the fish move into the Canal.

These bass are voracious and hungry from the long swim north. At this time of the year the water temperatures in Buzzards are on the cool side, which means you have a good chance of finding topwater action.

I feel like spring is prime time if you fish Buzzard’s Bay.  One of the keys is finding the birds which often lead the way to the topwater blitzes.

If you’d like to make life easier on your boat try crimping down the barbs on your treble hooks. Crimping down the barbs also helps minimize injury to these fresh from the ocean stripers.

3)  Bounce A Bill Hurley At Billingsgate

I love fishing Bill Hurley jigs because they work so well. They aren’t renown for their vertical jigging prowess but I was fortunate to experience some nice success last spring vertical jigging with Bill Hurley’s at Billingsgate Shoal.

One of the traditional methods at Billingsgate is to jig wire when the bass are paving the bottom. Last year I opted to “sit” on top of the fish and slowly jig Bill Hurley’s as we drifted through the area that other boats wire jigged.

This was the first time I tried this technique and we caught some awfully nice bass up to 30 pounds. To get the jig a little extra attention try rigging a Red Gill Teaser a couple feet up the line.

4)  Pick A Nantucket/Vineyard Sound Shoal And Give It A Shot

There are many shoals and rips throughout Nantucket and Vineyard Sound. During the spring some of these rips become inundated with squid and other bait fish.

Unlike July and August, the water here during the spring is still cool, which means you can find some really nice bass. The stripers will often be chasing squid which means topwater plugs, rubber, parachute jigs and fresh dead squid are a go-to.

It can take years to figure out what tides fish the best, and what shoals the bass are most attracted to. However during the spring you can find success by moving around and fishing as many shoals as you can in one trip.

If you login the time and cover enough water you’ll eventually find some life.

What do you think? Let me know by commenting below.

Tight lines and take care,

Ryan Collins - http://myfishingcapecod.com/

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=58&tab=3

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Day Dreaming of Spring

Anyone who loves fishing as much as I do, knows that by mid-winter we really start itching to get back out on the water and need fishing related activities to satisfy our craving. This is the time of year when spending some time diving into the books can be super beneficial. All season long I am constantly reading, learning, testing and practicing, but in the winter it is a little bit easier to sit and absorb the material without distraction. With all the ever changing baits, styles, natural forages, weather patterns and presentations of today, it is important to learn as much as you can to be prepared for situational fishing. Don't get me wrong, the joy of fishing can be found by just heading down to the lake, grabbing a rod, tossing out any old bait at any old time and catching some fish, but for those of you who are looking to take it to the next level or just want to know more about the patterns and cycles of your fish, putting in the time is crucial. This winter, take a little bit of extra time and pick a topic that you would like to be better at. Study it; memorize it and when the spring comes put it to the test. Just like when we were in school, if you put the time in and get good results, you will be rewarded right away and with that, you will be Hooked.

Something else that every angler should be looking forward to and equally as important is to organize and prepare you gear for the upcoming season. Depending on your skill level, all of this information may not pertain to you, but if you spend as much or more time on the water than not, most of these tips will ring true. Lure preparation is very important. I like to make sure that all of the old line is clipped away from the split rings and adjust any of the rings as needed to make sure the bait is running true. It is also very important is to check the hooks on your lures. Many times it is a good idea to change them out season to season or more often depending on the style of fishing you do. Dont forget to check the paint job. On many of our lures that are beat up, it is possible to do some touch ups of our own, and it is a good way to refurbish your supply without spending a fortune on new stuff. Another important aspect to preparing is going through your terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jig heads and the myriad of other peices we have should be inspected and organized accordingly for the upcoming season. Organization of your gear is very important, especially on the water because it puts what you need in your hand quickly and allows you to get your line in the water faster. Speaking of line, this is perhaps the most important thing I would recommend doing in the off season. I like to strip all of my old line off from the season before and re spool everything. Now, that may not be necessary for you to do especially if you only fish a couple times a week or even a handful of times a season, but for me, I am on the water every day, and I go through a ton of line. By the end of the season, the line still on the reel has been used and abused. I will spend some time oiling and greasing my reels, and then I will put all new line on before the start of the new season. There is nothing worse than heading out for your first fishing trip of the season, targeting some big pre-spawn bass and hooking a monster only to have your old line from last season fail. It will really start you off on the wrong foot for the year and put you in the wrong frame of mind as a fisherman. Hopefully some of these tips will help you to ride out the winter a little bit easier and be better prepared for an outstanding fishing season in the spring.

 

Greg MinerCharles

River Charters

508-560-2496 

http://www.charlesrivercharters.com/

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=58&tab=3

 Enter here for a chance to win the Bass Pro Shops Ultimate Tackle Give away!  http://bit.ly/1geOze9

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Satisfy Those Winter Cravings

Satisfy Those Winter Cravings

 

Every year right around this time, the urge to feel a tug on my line becomes too much to ignore. Even though the temperature has been exceedingly cold and the conditions are tough for fisherman, there are still some exciting and fun fishing opportunities for anglers thru the ice. The first and most important thing is to research the ice that you plan on fishing as thoroughly as you can, most importantly, ice safety. Check with other fisherman, or even your local police or fire station may have information on ice thickness. Once you determine that the ice is safe, you’ll need to make sure you have all your gear ready to roll before you head out so you don't get stuck out there with non functioning gear.

I like to head over to Bass Pro shops in Foxboro. They have everything I need from hand warmers to ice augers, jigging spoons to ice fishing tip ups. They have it all and that makes it super easy to grab what I need and go. After our pit stop at BPS we head out for a great day of fishing. Last week before our latest bout with snow, a few friends and I tried our luck at a small pond in Natick, MA.

The pond is known for its clarity and depth so we brought a combination of tip ups and shiners as well as jigging rods. Armed with Swedish pimples and little Cleo's (all of which are available at BPS I believe) we spent a good portion of the day jigging over deep holes. Of course we set a few tip ups just to increase our odds of hooking up with something and to feel the excitement of racing over to the trap not knowing what is on the other end.

The first hit of the day came from a nice yellow perch. Man was it fun to feel the fight on my light tackle jigging rod for first time in a long time. After that, we hit some crappie and pickerel. Nothing too big but we did see some really nice yellow perch a little later in the day right before we left. We spent about 6 hours out on the ice that day and caught more pan fish then we could count. We caught and released everything of course, back to their icy winter world in hopes of seeing them again in the warmer months ahead. 

If you haven't had a chance to get out on the ice this season or ever have never tried ice fishing before, there is still time for you to get out and experience the excitement. There are so many people and places with information that are happy to share and help get you in the best position possible to catch some fish and have a safe and fun time doing it. 

 

Greg Miner

Charles River Charters

508-560-2496

www.charlesrivercharters.com

“Life is better on the river"

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=58&tab=3

 

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Not So Fast! Preparing your fishing equipment for the off season:Part 3

Not So Fast! Part 3

Suggestions for preparing your fishing equipment for the off season.

by Captain Jim Barr- www.SkinnyWaterChartersRI.com- Bass Pro Shops, Foxboro, MA- Pro Staff- 10/23/13

 

Fly, Spinning and Baitcasting Rods:

Use an old but clean toothbrush and with hot soapy water clean the reel seat, the fittings  that secure the reel to the reel seat and the screw threads of the reel seat. Clean around all of the guides and the tip top. If the cork grip is discolored, or slick with an oily residue- use a very fine grit sandpaper or 0000 steel wool and carefully rub down the grip to restore it's color and smooth surface. (Use masking tape to cover the rod blank and the reel seat immediately adjacent the cork grip to guard against scratching). If there are cracks in the cork or sections where the cork filler dislodged, mix cork dust (sand a wine bottle cork and collect the fine dust) with waterproof glue (Elmer's), and using a flat wooden stick or coffee stirrer, push the paste into the cracks and pits. Wait 24 hrs to allow the cork/glue slurry to cure and then carefully sand the grip with fine grit sand paper to return it to nearly new condition. Wipe down your rod sections with a clean cloth soaked in hot soapy water (use a mild soap). I like to then polish each rod section with a furniture spray wax such as Pledge. Spray the wax onto a clean dry cloth and polish each rod section. For multi-piece rods, apply beeswax, bowstring wax (or paraffin wax at a minimum) to each male ferrule of the rod sections. (The wax keeps the rod sections from coming loose after repeated casting). For fly rods, store the rod sections in a rod sock and secure everything into the appropriate rod tube. (If your rod tubes have a description of the rod on the exterior make sure you've got the right rod in the right tube, otherwise you might be in for a surprise when it’s time to fish. Pay attention to the details. Store the tube in a cool and dry environment. For one-piece rods, several storage related products are very helpful in organizing and protecting your investments. Most anglers will store their rods with the reels attached and that’s fine as long as it’s done carefully. Most however roughly gather the rods together and prop them in a corner of the basement or garage so they are stacked on top of one another. I have several suggestions:

 

  1. Remove all terminal tackle and wind all the line onto the spool and secure the line with a rubber band or ladies hair tie.
  2. Slip rod socks over each rod to protect the blank and guides from damage. Most of our rods these days are constructed of graphite. If these rod blanks are scratched or nicked they can easily fail under the load of a fish or during the casting process. Protect your rods with simple covers: Bass Pro Shops Rod Sock
  3. Rather than propping the rods leaning against one another, develop a system for storage, whether it’s overhead or standup design. I recommend vertical storage systems in rod carousels. They don’t use much space, and they rotate making it very easy to remove specific rods without sorting through the “pickup sticks” type storage.
  4. Where necessary, replace worn or broken guides on your rods. The following link will take you to a You Tube video that explains the repair process. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki0GviM6WI0

 

Zippers: Take particular care with any clothing items and gear bags that have zippers. Zippers exposed directly to salt water and salt air can get encrusted and lock up, and when you forcibly try to free them because you're in a hurry, the zipper head or slide will often break. The following link will take you to a blog on my website that offers tips on how to remove salt, clean and maintain zippers exposed to the salt environment. http://www.skinnywaterchartersri.com/SWC-Blog.html?entry=zip-it-up

 

These suggestions cover much of what anglers should pay attention to as they prepare to put their equipment away for the winter months. Like your car or your house, regular maintenance will help ensure that your equipment will last longer, look better and be ready for next year’s fishing season.

For additional tips, suggestions and announcements from Skinny Water Charters, visit my website at www.SkinnyWaterChartersRI.com.

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David's Fishing Poem

Shared with us by Greg Minor of Charles River Charters

 

David is 10 yrs old and quite a little fisherman. After a couple of trips with CRC, he was inspired to write this poem for a school project. I think its great and it speaks to the passion these young kids have about our sport. Makes me feel good about the future! 

 

I held my breath as I cast, 

Releasing it as the bait hit the water.

I waited with anticipation,

For nothing else at the moment mattered.

 

The line tightened upon the water,

As the current pulled it downstream.

To catch a big ole fish today

Was my wholehearted dream.

 

I felt a tug, and then another...

I waited for the perfect time,

To set my hook and catch my prize.

The moment was so sublime.

 

The big bass fought with all her might

To loosen herself from my hook,

But I was determined and held my rod high.

My job was not forsook.

 

My heart was racing, I squealed with glee

As I watched the big girl fight. 

She lept from the water, did a quick dance 

And escape, she hoped she might.

 

I smiled with pride as I lifted my prize

And admired her natural beauty.

I then returned her to the river,

For this, I felt was my duty. 

 

Greg Miner

Charles River Charters

508-560-2496

www.charlesrivercharters.com

 

“Life is better on the river"

 

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=58&tab=3

 

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Not So Fast! Preparing your fishing equipment for the off season: Part 2

Umpqua-Glide-Fly-Line-Dressing-KitBaitcast Line WinderNot So Fast! Part 2

Suggestions for preparing your fishing equipment for the off season.

by Captain Jim Barr- www.SkinnyWaterChartersRI.com- Bass Pro Shops, Foxboro, MA- Pro Staff- 10/23/13

 

Fly Lines and Backing:

Inspect your fly line backing closely. Dacron and Gel Spun backing is very durable however it can become damaged from exposure to the elements or if a fish takes you deep into structure during the fight and rubs the line against abrasive surfaces. If it is frayed in spots or simply has not been replaced for some time, replace it with fresh backing… it’s cheap insurance to prevent losing the fish of your life. In most cases 30 lb Dacron backing is perfectly adequate for saltwater fishing. (Use 20lb for freshwater). If you desire a thinner backing that will allow more line to be added to your large arbor spools, Gel Spun is a good choice, albeit a bit more pricey. In most cases, 200 yards of backing is plenty for stripers, bluefish, false albacore and bonito. For other faster and longer running fish, best to consult with an expert shop or guide who can advise what’s necessary. 

 

Inspect your fly line closely, particularly the first 30-40 feet, for cracks in the plastic coating. Repeated casting and exposure to salt, sand, and the sun’s UV rays will take a heavy toll on fly lines. If your line has cracks, it will likely be to the “head” section of the line and the line should be replaced.

(You may want to cut off the head section of the fly line and retain the running line portion for fashioning shooting head systems.)  If the fly line is undamaged clean it with warm soapy water and apply a dressing.  Regular cleaning and dressing of your fly lines is absolutely critical in preserving your investment.

 

Rather than rewinding your fly lines back onto the spools, coil the lines in large coils and secure the coils using pipe cleaner ties. Label large plastic re-sealable food bags with the specifics of each line (line type- floating, intermediate, fast sinking etc, and weight) and store the lines in a cool, dry location. Keep these lines stored until spring when you will wind them back onto the reel and spools using your line winder or by hand. Storing lines in large coils will mitigate line memory so that come spring you are not dealing with "slinky toy" coiled lines resulting from being tightly wound on your spools during the off season. I would also suggest that you discard all leaders/tippets tied to your fly lines and await the arrival of spring to replace them with fresh material.

 

Spinning and Baitcasting Lines:

As a fishing guide the lines on my spinning and baitcasting reels take a beating. I go back and forth between using monofilament and braid. Both have good and bad qualities. Monofilament is inexpensive and tangles less frequently than braided line. Mono’s primary downfall from my perspective is that it does not cast as far as braid and has too much stretch. Braided line permits very long distance casts, it’s strength to diameter ratio is a real plus, it does not stretch under load and it creates a super sensitive connection between the angler and the fish, however it is prone to easily developing wind knots and it is prohibitively expensive to replace each season. As for monofilament line maintenance, I simply replace it with fresh line on all reels after each season. As for braid, I replace it when I need to.

In both cases for removing old line from reels, I use empty line spools and attach them to a variable speed drill using a “MacGyver”-type bit or the line winder mentioned earlier in this article. On the spinning reels I secure the open bail with a hair tie to prevent it from accidentally tripping while the line is being rewound onto the waste spool or line winder. In both cases the use of a line winder for adding new line makes the job infinitely easier. Remember to recycle your lines to prevent injury to animals and the environment.

Baitcast Line Winder: http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-XPS-Aluminum-Line-Winder-for-Baitcast-Reels/product/104172/

Spin casting line winder: http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-XPS-Aluminum-Line-Winder-for-Spinning-Reels/product/20677/

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Not So Fast! Preparing your fishing equipment for the off season: Part 1

Not So Fast!

Suggestions for preparing your fishing equipment for the off season.

by Captain Jim Barr- www.SkinnyWaterChartersRI.com- Bass Pro Shops, Foxboro, MA- Pro Staff- 10/23/13

Ardent Reel Clean KitBass Pro Shops Reel Tote

Now that the 2013 northeast saltwater fishing season is at an end for most anglers, excepting the “die hards”,  don't be so quick to put away your equipment for the winter months in "as is" condition. End of the season maintenance of fishing equipment used in saltwater requires careful cleaning to avoid ugly surprises when spring arrives and you’re ready to get back on the water. The following suggestions will help you “wind down” from what I hope was a great fishing season by helping you prepare your equipment for its winter slumber. Another reason to clean and prepare your equipment now is for that unplanned opportunity that may arise to fish in the southern climates this winter. If your stuff is ready to go, it’s one last set of chores you need to deal with when you’re getting ready to wet a line. The process of cleaning and organizing your equipment now can also be helpful in identifying those items you’d like to add to inventory or replace that can go onto your personal holiday wish list (to avoid the socks you don’t want and the stale fruit cake!)


The following is a review of what’s critical:

 

Fly Reel & Spare Spools:

Use a line winder and remove all the fly line from your reels and spare spools (or carefully coil the fly line by hand). Anglers Image makes a simple, low cost line winder. Preferably use a high speed line winder with an electric drill to remove the fly line and the backing.

Once the lines (and backing) are removed, thoroughly clean the reel and spools using hot water, mild soap, a spare tooth brush (mark it so you don’t end up using it later to brush your chops) and a clean rag. The following YouTube video by Captain Bruce Chard may assist in the steps for both a short and longer term cleaning regimen.

I keep my fly reels and spools organized in compartmentalized reel cases. As a fly fishing guide I have several of these and they are great for keeping equipment organized and protected. I have separate cases for fresh and saltwater reels and spare spools. You can easily overspend in this category and it’s totally unnecessary:  A very good choice is Bass Pro’s Reel Tote.

For fly, spin and baitcasting reels, purchase a reel cleaning kit that contains the simple tools, solvents, oil and grease your reel needs to say healthy.  Always save your reel’s maintenance instructions that become very helpful in knowing the specific lubrication points for your equipment. If you’re not the type of angler who likes to personally maintain your equipment, find a local shop that is professional and get your equipment to them sooner than later while they are not busy.

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Thanksgiving on the Charles

Life is better on the river

 

Charles River Charters

Every year for a long time now my brother and I slip away for a few hours on Thanksgiving morning in an attempt to work up an appetite by hooking into a few fish. Usually the water is freezing and the wind is wiping but the thought of keeping the tradition alive for another year keeps us warm enough to key in on a few Bass. After yesterdays tropical weather system giving way to bright blue skies Today is no exception. With cold wind and freezing temps we are definatley earning it today. Our traditional trip over to Bass Pro shops in Foxboro armed us with everything we need to give it our best shot. We threw everything from blade baits to soft plastics and jerk baits to drop shots… but finally we found them. Its always a great feeling when you put the right plan together and can land a few fish but what feels even better is maintaining a tradition. As usuall after landing a couple Turkey day Bass we will make our way to the ramp and start the journey home feeling satisfied that we did it again for one more year. Returning with cold faces and fingers we will be greeted with the aromas of Turkey in the oven and the smiles of friends and family and the warm feeling of succeeding in our yearly quest.

 

Fishing in Massachusetts can stay exciting for a long time into the cold weather months. If you would like to start your own tradition whether its Turkey day lunker hunting or just a yearly cold water mission Charles River Charters is there for you. Consider starting your own tradition and experience the feeling of a yearly ritual that is rewarding and exciting!

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Tree Stand Safety

While it might not be the most popular topic in the world tree stand safety is extremely important and should not be ignored. All too often we adopt the attitude that falling out of a tree stand only happens to someone else. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Not only is it important to make sure that you are properly secured when you are in your tree stand but it is also important to be properly secured while you are climbing up to your tree stand or climbing down. Last year I had a hang on stand  I was using in connection with a special conservation hunt in the town where I live. I had a couple of climbing stick sections that I used to get me up to where it was easier to use the tree branches to climb the rest of the way up to the stand. One day as I reached the top of the climbing sticks the sticks pulled away from the tree with me falling over backwards hitting the ground flat on my back. I was lucky that other than being stunned from the fall I had no injuries. I was extremely lucky. Two major mistakes on my part, one, I should have been tied to the tree while climbing and two; I should have checked the climbing sticks to make sure they were securely attached to the tree. Someone had undone the straps and made it look like they were still tight to the tree. Unfortunately we do have to be concerned about the anti hunters who will sometimes go to extremes.

Always make sure that your climbing sticks and your stand are secure before you climb up. It is also a good idea to check the condition of your stands each year before you put them up, something we often overlook to do.

Some of the items that are a necessity for staying safe while using a tree stand are as follows:

  1. A safety harness to be worn and used all times when you are in the tree.

Pictured here are some of the more popular safety harnesses all are designed to provide you with a safe connection to a safety rope which is firmly tied to the tree. The first pictured is a Gorilla G Tac Ghost safety harness. Next is the Hunter Safety System HSS Alpha Harness and the last one is another Hunter Safety System model.

 

  1. A safety rope is also a critical part of your safety gear.

The first safety rope is the Big Game Platinum Collection safe line. The second one is G-20 Gorilla Gear safety harness and the third item is Hunter Safety System Life Climbing line.

  1. A sharp knife should be in an easily accessible place in case you have to cut yourself loose in an emergency. You will eventually black out if hanging unsupported so it is important that you can cut yourself loose if you have to.

 

  1. You should also have a cell phone where you can reach it to call for help in an emergency.

 

One final suggestion is that you try out your safety gear under a controlled situation just high enough off the ground so you will be hanging free. Ideally, this should be done with someone there to help if needed. This will give you a chance to prepare for an emergency if one does occur.

Bass Pro Shops is the perfect place to pick up your tree stands and your safety gear and our expert hunting associates are there to answer any questions and offer suggestions and advice on being safe in your tree stands.

 

Hunt safe,

Don Nelson

Bass Pro Shops

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=58&tab=3

 

 

 

Hunting associate

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Saltwater Fly Fishing Here in New England.

 The best time of year is now here, when the leaves are changing, apple picking and saltwater fly fishing are at it's finest. I am talking about boat and inshore fishing with the fly rod for Striped Bass, False Albacore and Jumbo Bluefish. These fish are tracking and eating a lot of bait that is entering the bays and shores of our coast for their fall migration from Massachusetts all the way to Montauk, NY. They are focused on bait fish like; Bay Anchovies, Peanut Bunker, Spearing, Sand Eels and Silver Sides and what better way to catch these predators than on the fly rod.

    Fly fishers utilize patterns that so closely mimic these bait fish that we have an edge over most conventional anglers by offering patterns that are the right size, shape and color of the natural. When it comes to the right size shape and color, fly rodders use patterns such as, Lefty's Deceivers, Clouser Minnows, Sand Eels and Silver Sides. Hook sizes vary, from 3/0 on the larger size down to size 2 to represent the proper size of the offering with such an appropriate proportion to the bait fish being represented. Most patterns are tied on Gamakatsu SC15's or Mustad 34007's as these hooks are an awesome saltwater choice due to their inherent strength. Materials used for these fly patterns can be anything from bucktail, marabou, crystal flash in addition to many other types. Some utilize lead dumb bell eyes or stick on eyes as I am a huge fan of eyes as we are trying to make our flies look lifelike. The lead eyes ensure that the fly sinks quickly to get down to where the fish maybe, whereas the stick ons simply make the fly look alive.

    The tackle that I use in saltwater here in New England are rods that are 9' in length for a 9 or 10 weight line, like the TFO Professional II series, the Sage Response or World Wide Sportsman Gold Cup . I prefer to use an Intermediate line as the entire line sinks slowly and I am able to fish sinking flies and poppers equally well. I fish a RIO Striped Bass line in a size 10wt, weight forward and the line is easy to pick up for those fast shots that need to be taken sometimes to busting fish on the surface. My leader consists of a 7'  16lb RIO as these aren't for trout or bonefish and the shorter leader turns over the heavier and larger patterns. When Bluefish are around I use Tyger Ty-able wire for my tippet,  as it is quick to attach with regular fishing knots and doesn't effect the flies ability to be retrieved or swim properly.

Lundin Coward

Fly Fishing Department

Bass Pro Shops, Foxborough

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=58&tab=3

 

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Fall Deer Hunting with Trail Cameras

Well summer has ended and it is time to get ready for the upcoming deer hunting season. One of the most important parts of preparing for deer season is scouting. Now if you are like me there are always too many demands on your time which limits you ability to get out in the woods and go scouting. With the cooler but comfortable days of early fall there is nothing I like better than to be out looking for deer sign and trying to locate the best spots to hunt in the approaching season. I do this as much as time allows as it the best way to locate deer. Unfortunately there just doesn’t seem to be enough time. Whitetail buck

An excellent tool that we have available to help us in our scouting efforts is the game camera. These cameras can monitor and pattern deer activity 24 hours a day seven days a week. Once you have identified an area where the deer are active, placing a game camera  there will not only identify the deer coming through there it will also tell you the exact time and date that they were there. There are many brands and models available with varying complexity, features and prices. Some of the more popular brands are Primos, Wildgame Innovations, Moultrie,  and Bushnell. Most of the basic units have infrared light for black and white night pictures along with the capability to take color pictures in the daylight. The infrared light  does not spook the deer as a white flash can sometimes do. I have actually got a beautiful close up picture of a deer’s nose this season on one of my cameras so obviously the infrared light did not spook it. Some of the cameras allow you to review the pictures right on the unit and others require the pictures to be viewed on a computer with a SD card. The units have different levels of mega pixels with the higher the mega pixels the clearer the pictures.Crush Cam 8

It is not really possible to cover all of the various features available here in the blog so just be sure to come visit your Bass Pro Shop and come see these and more of the different models we have in stock. Our knowledgeable hunting associates will be available to make recommendations and answer your questions about game cameras and their set up and use.

Hunt safe,

Don Nelson

Bass Pro Shops Hunting Associate

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=58&tab=3

 

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The Excitement of Fall Fishing in Rhode Island

Gibbs Lures Danny Plug

Fall is now becoming a thing of reality, crisp air, with the leaves starting to turn and the fall bait/game fish migration is kicking in. Hundreds of thousands of bait fish are making their way to open water from salt ponds and marshes where they were spawned to the delight of our salty game fish species. Striped Bass, Bluefish, False Albacore and Bonito are ramping up for the arrival of these morsels.

    I am a native Rhode Islander and this time of year really gets the blood flowing. Most anglers venture to the hallowed fishing areas of Narragansett, Point Judith, and Charleston and all the way down the coast to Westerly. Chasing and throwing eels, plugs and spoons to hook and hopefully land one of the many denizens that are strapping on the feed bag. However you really don't have to make the long trip to the south coast to catch and I mean catch quality fish. The other day, right in downtown Providence at India Point Park I managed to raise and catch several decent sized stripers and many bluefish as well. I was fishing a 9' Loomis plug rod loaded up with 65lb Power Pro braid on an Ambassador 7000 reel with a 20lb Seaguar fluorocarbon leader. I threw an assortment of baits but my personal favorites were and are a Gibbs pencil popper fished with a "walk the dog" action...color was yellow as well as blue. My all time go to plug though is the Danny Plug, fished slowly so the plug would wake and the strikes were explosive. Gibbs plugs are made of wood. I am still casting some that I have for over 25 years and they are working like they were brand new. My suggestion for tackle for any part of the bay would be an 8 to 10 foot surf rod either conventional or spinning spooled with between 20-30lb monofilament or 40-65lb Power Pro braid. My leader consisted of about 3 feet of 25lb fluorocarbon with a cross lock snap on the end to attach the lure. Above the leader I used a #2, 310lb stainless barrel swivel and was ready to go. Tides at this time of year are still something to be aware of as also the time of day, however these fish are becoming more active during daylight hours unlike the summer time when night time was the only time when fishing from shore.

I hope that this information will be helpful and look forward to seeing a bend in your rod.

Tight Lines,

Lundin Coward

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=58&tab=3

 

 

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Risk Mitigation for Wade Fishing at Night- A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

Risk Mitigation for Wade Fishing at Night- A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

by Captain Jim Barr of Skinny Water Charters

 

Personally I would rather saltwater fish in very shallow water (preferably with a fly rod), thus the name for my charter business, Skinny Water Charters. (www.SkinnyWaterChartersRI.com).  Most seasoned striped bass anglers know these fish prefer to feed heavily at night and in the low light of early morning and evening. It’s true that in the spring and fall months stripers can be found in the middle of the full light of day, typically when they are making their spring and fall migrations or when they have pushed bait to the surface creating those dreamy sustained top water blitzes. This top water action is found in both shallow water as well as deep water environments. In Rhode Island, during July and August, stripers will often retreat to deeper and colder water that can significantly degrade our shallow/top water fishing opportunities.

In Rhode Island we are blessed with many shallow water /tidal estuaries, flats and salt ponds, absolutely wonderful places to fish for stripers and hickory shad. During those warm summer months one of my favorite places to fish are the salt ponds along our southern coast, each of which is connected to the ocean via narrow breachways that supply cold and highly oxygenated water, and striper forage that includes crabs, shrimp and a variety of small baitfish. Ideally I like to target fishing in darkness, during an incoming tide, and in skinny water. During periods at and surrounding the new and full moons that bring big tidal exchanges and fast moving currents, the incoming night tides can produce spectacular fishing in a beautifully serene environment… few if any competing anglers, no waves or engine noise from passing boats, only the composite sound of the ocean breaking on the distant barrier beach, the occasional screech of a seagull or tern… and the nearby slurping of stripers feeding in shallow water.

Tragedy Narrowly Averted

Several years ago on an early July evening, the stage was set for such an outing. In two canoes, three of us crossed the narrow breachway as the tide began to turn. The new moon would guarantee no light except the faint glow of a starry sky. We each wore a life vest for the crossing, and brought our chest waders, chest packs, and headlamps that would provide the light we’d need to change fly patterns and hopefully unhook fish. We anchored the canoes in a foot of water on the southernmost end of an expansive sand flat that was beginning to come alive with gulls and terns wheeling over clouds of sand eels that were beginning to school on the flat. We removed our life vests and stashed them in the boats for the return trip, wet waded the short distance to dry land to put on our waders and packs, string our fly rods and tie on our starting fly patterns.  In short order we were positioned on the flat and casting to nervous water as the sun set and the salt pond began to fill with cold ocean water.  Our timing was near-perfect, as the light fell from the sky and the “sun setters” on the far shore packed up their beach chairs and wine glasses, the parking lot emptied, and the stripers began feeding… heavily.

As expected the top water fishing became spectacular. We had the entire flat to ourselves on a warm summer evening with all the striped bass we could ask for feeding on the surface as close as a rod length away. We continued to wade the flat casting to pods of breaking fish as they recklessly fed further north on the flat into the belly of the salt pond. During those several first hours of the incoming tide the fishing was so fast and furious that we paid little attention to the gradually deepening water and the distance we were opening from our anchored canoes. The sky was black, the only light being our headlamps that we turned on occasionally to change a fly and unhook a bass. I glanced at my watch and realized there were two more hours of incoming tide before the water went slack. Panic set in when I realized we were roughly 200 yards from where we anchored the boats, that the current was still flowing heavily against us and that I recalled having crossed through several  low areas on the flat where the water would be deeper than the waist high depth I was now standing in.

We soon realized our peril. I was the strongest wader of the three of us, so the plan was that Paul would stay with his girlfriend, turn on their headlamps and make whatever progress they could as I pushed hard against the current and deeper water to get to the boats before we were all swept off the flat into the deep water where with all our gear weighing us down there would be little chance of avoiding being drowned.

As I crossed several deeper areas on my way to the boats, as feared, the current pushed water over my waders so that by the time I reached the relative safety of the canoes I was exhausted and my waders were nearly full despite wearing a tight wading belt.  I stripped off my beach shoes (I never wear wading boots when fishing in saltwater estuaries) and waders and piled into the canoe and floated them down-current to my friends. Together we found shallower water further west on the flat, and eventually paddled back to the launch.

Lessons Learned

I have since wade-fished that same flat during similar conditions but I do a few things different than the night we came so close to tragedy. What’s different?

and the case is inserted into the Lifeproof Lifejacket  Float http://www.basspro.com/LifeProof-LifeJacket-Float-for-iPhone-4-and-4S-Case/product/12091205013851/

  • I tether my canoe or kayak to my wading belt as I wade across the flat. Gone are the days of having to fight against a strong current to get back to my boat.

As anglers we generally are in “overkill” mode when it comes to gear that we take fishing. At the end of every wade fishing venture I take, I can easily identify half the inventory I brought that I didn’t use, but the problem is I don’t carry forward that lesson to the next outing. If you can build into your behavior a discipline that steers you away from toting stuff you never use and backfill some of that space and weight with the safety gear noted above, you’ll be more inclined to fish some of those quasi-risky locations and conditions where the big ones prowl.

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Trail Camera Time is Here

If you haven’t already started your deer scouting it is probably time to start thinking about getting started. Nothing can replace actually walking the woods and getting first hand knowledge of the areas that you plan on hunting. Once you have identified potential areas where whitetails are frequenting then it is time to determine the actual deer patterns. Trail cameras make a great tool to bring your scouting to a new level. A trail cam can be used to tell you the deer that are coming through (bucks, does, sizes, how many, and also when they are there.

Selecting a trail camera that fits your needs is important as there are many options available. There are a number of things that you should consider before buying a trail camera. One is ease of use. This is an important characteristic for me personally as I want a unit that is simple to operate. I don’t want to be fumbling around in the woods trying to read the owner’s manual while I am setting it out. Another important consideration is the megapixels of the unit which basically determines the quality of the pictures. The rule is the higher the megapixels the better the quality of the pictures. Usually there is also a direct relationship between the number of megapixels and price. Battery life is also an important consideration as you don’t want to be changing batteries every week. Another consideration is an infrared trail camera vs a flash camera. The pictures will generally be of a better quality and in color with the flash type, but trigger speed may be a bit slower and battery drain will be greater. Another potential problem is that the flash may spook some game. On the other hand the Infrared trail cameras will have a lower battery draw, a faster trigger speed and will not spook game. Range of the unit can also be an important consideration based on where you are using your trail camera. Another concern is price with these units, more money does not always yield better results you have to ultimately decide what you want and don’t want in a trail cam as there is no point in paying for capabilities you don’t need. One final consideration that you will want to consider is reliability.

cam    cam    cam    cam

 One good way to determine which unit(s) are best for your needs is to read online reviews. Bass Pro Shops maintains a large collection of customer reviews and ratings on its website which can be a valuable resource in deciding which unit to buy. Bass Pro Shops carries a large selection of the popular brands of trail cams such as Moultrie, Primos, Bushnell and Reconyx. So don’t put off your scouting any longer stop by and get a trail cam and get started. One hunting associates are ready to help you make the right choice.

 

Good hunting,

Don Nelson

Bass Pro Shops

Foxborough

 

 

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