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Showing posts from September, 2014

Urban Fishing Tip: Net Handle Extension

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Everybody knows that if I am out fishing, I land my fish with a Lucid Fishing Grip.  However when I am out on a harbor wall or fishing from an elevated position say 10 to 20 feet above the water I need a way to grab the fish.  This is the only time you will see me with a net in my hand.  Standard net handles are just to short to reach the surface of the water so a handle extension becomes required gear.  I have witnessed many ways that shorebound anglers extend the reach of their nets.  Crazy things from sections of rope, duct tape attached broom handles, to different sized pvc pipes sleeved and bolted together.  Then I saw a design that was easy to make, easy to use, and most of all easy to transport.  My friend and constant fishing partner came up with this system and when setup it increases the reach of the net by almost 12 feet.  
     First off you need a net, preferably one with a telescoping handle and big bag.  The more compact and easier to handle it is the better.  Second go …

A Quick Trip for Big Brown Trout

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Everybody I have talked to lately is carrying on about how great the salmon run on Lake Michigan has been this year.  Now I am not much of a salmon guy, not that the fish aren't fun to catch they just don't get me fired up.  Brown trout on the other hand I love to catch and if the salmon are coming in then the browns are never far behind.   I have a very basic fishing mentality when it comes to shore fishing the Great Lakes.  Why waste time trying to chase them in open water during the summer, when they come right to shore in the fall.  With that in mind a buddy and I packed up our gear and headed north to Port Washington, WI.
The fishing was noticeably slow as we headed down the harbor wall.  Lots of people were setup and waiting for their chanceto hook into a salmon.  I rigged up my rod with the 3 way rig I outlined in a earlier post and poured myself a cup of coffee.  These are the kinds of mornings Wisconsin is famous for cool breezes, changing leaves, and big fish.  We wat…

Urban Fishing Tip: Sliding Weights vs. Boat Traffic

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The other day while out catfishing I watched in horror as my braided line got picked up by a passing boat prop.  My spool was dumping line so fast that by the time I got to the rod I had been cut off and lost close to 100 yards of 80 pound braid.  Had I remembered this trick when I casted out I could have easily avoided the whole scenario.  This tip is most effective when fishing canals, rivers, lakes or surf that is plagued by passing boats.  It uses a second sliding weight to pin the line to the bottom of the waterway. Keeping your line off the surface, and out of harms way.  I made up this quick video to explain the concept a little better.
Tight Lines.

Vibrations Tackle Free Contest Giveaway

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One of our supporters Vibrations Tackle is giving away 2 Limited Edition Fall Musky Jigging Kits.  All you have to do is register at http://muskie.outdoorsfirst.com/ (if your not a member already you should be), find the contest in the blogs section, type the comment "I want to win!", and post your favorite musky picture.  Contest ends 10/01/2014.  Winners will be picked at random.
Tight Lines.

Chasing Channels

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We got started a little late tonight. My kids were having some friends over for a sleepover and I was moving kinda slow. I was feeling guilty about leaving my wife home all night with 5 high energy children just so I could go out and do a little catfishing.  As Richard pulled up to the house I suddenly realized that I wasn't packed up and ready to go.  We had planned this all week, but like usual I was running behind.  Rigging up the rods I said, "I don't think we can make it all the way to Lake Columbia and still catch bait before dark."  "OK" Richard said, he is one of those go with the flow guys.  I asked him if he would mind us chasing some urban catfish instead.  I knew of a nice little spot here in the middle of Madison that consistently produces channel cats in the 30+ inch range.  Richard agreed to try my plan and soon we were loading up my pickup and cruising down the road.
We stopped at a local shop and bought a sucker to use as cut bait.  Stink ba…

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur STX Round Reel Review

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For the past few seasons I have been exclusively using the Abu Garcia Revo Toro Winch for my day to day trophy fishing.  This is an excellent all around low profile reel.  This year with the addition of my snakehead rod I was in need of a durable reel that I could keep spooled with a smaller diameter line.  I keep 100 pound braided line on my Revo to fish for muskies, large catfish, and strong saltwater species.  Although it worked fine for bass (read overkill), I just couldn't get the casting distance I was after.  While doing my research I discovered this gem of a reel.
 The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur STX Round Reel is an update of the BCX series of baitcasters that was offered by Abu Garcia.  They are available in 2 sizes and in left or right hand retrieve.  It features a smooth 5 bearing system.  Four of the bearing are stainless steel to hold up to the riggers of fishing, and 1 roller bearing (anti-reverse) for consistent smooth casting and operation.  A 6 pin centrifugal brake f…

5 Quick Tips for Productive Fall Shore Fishing

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Well the days are growing shorter and the water is getting colder.  I thought a couple quick tips for fall shore fishing were in order.
Throw a of stocking cap and a pair of gloves into the backpack.  Fall weather can be pretty unpredictable.  The days can start calm and sunny then can turn into cold and windy in a hurry.  A stocking cap and gloves might mean the difference between landing a trophy or landing in the hospital with hypothermia.  I prefer wool gloves since they still trap heat and stay warm even if wet.Afternoons are awesome.  With cold nights now becoming common, it takes a little longer for the water to warm in the shallows.  Afternoon fishing is normally the most productive time for bass and panfish since the water is the warmest just before the sun goes down.Slow your retrieval speed.  Since fish are cold blooded, as the water cools they start to move slower.  Slowing the retrieval speed allows the lure to stay in the strike zone a little bit longer.  Making a conscio…

Share Your Passion

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How many times have you been talking about fishing and had somebody say, "I used to fish" or "that looks like fun, but I don't have the gear."  It happens to me quite a bit and recently I decided to do something about it. A friend and coworker of mine named Richard, who has listened to me carry on for years about the great fishing we have here in Madison finally accepted my invitation to get outside and catch some fish.  He has seen my photos, read my blog, and he even spent some time fishing when he was younger.  The only issue he had was a lack of gear and no local knowledge about where to fish.  I told him to get a fishing license and he could borrow some of my gear to get started.
After a few trips around town, and relearning how to cast a line, he began catching fish.  The fish were small, but they were fun to catch on an ultralight rod.  Eventually he purchased a rod and was only borrowing my lures.  Soon to follow was a tackle box and then some lures of hi…

Hat(ch) Patch Review

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Every once in awhile I come across a product that I fall in love with, the Hat(ch) Patch is just such a product.  I wear a lot of hats, not just in life, but actual hats.  Being your average balding American male I have a ball cap on my head during at least 75% of my day.  Also as a company supported angler I wear many different hats to help promote my supporters brands and products.  These hats are given to me as gifts and I just don't feel comfortable destroying them. Digging hooks into the bill to dry my flies not only rips the fabric, but it also gives me a poor appearance makes me look homeless.
The Hat(ch) Patch is a great little device from Nature Boy Designs that solves this problem by allowing me to dry flies on my hats without messing up the bill.  It is made out of a carbon fiber patterned plastic that not only looks great, but is contoured to fit your hat.  The bottom side has integrated clips to attach it to the bill and the top side features a low profile durable foam…

Gander Mountain Guide Series Frontier Fly Rod Review

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I love a really nice fly rod, but sometimes the really nice rods cost a really nice bundle of cash.  While chasing carp this summer I broke 2 rods in 3 days and that kind of damage doesn't agree with the family budget.  I was in need of a new rod and my fishing funds were low.  I tried the normal channels of asking buddies and browsing craigslist, but I couldn't find a rod I could afford.  Then while killing time at Gander Mountain on a rainy day I found the Guide Series Frontier fly rod.
     The Guide Series Frontier is a 4 piece budget rod that is made in China.  It's a graphite rod which allows for decent sensitivity considering its low cost.  It has many nice features like an aluminum uplocking reel seat, alignment dots to aid in rod setup, and a full wells cork grip.  I especially like the oversized hook keeper and generous fighting butt.  The rod has a blue finish with light blue thread wrappings giving it a very clean look.  It even comes with a roll up canvas rod …

Why Do Fish Eat Worms?

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While waiting for school to start today my daughter noticed my fishing gear by the door and said, "Why do fish eat worms?"  I just kind of laughed it off and answered, "because their hungry."  I loaded up the gear in the truck, dropped her off at school, then headed to the lake.  A few casts into the morning, and my brain wouldn't stop replaying the question.  So why do fish eat worms?  Not just a couple fish, but almost every freshwater fish I can think of eats worms.  Bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, trout, pike, walleye, the list goes on and on.  Now I know the evolutionary basics about earthworms.  I also know that they are terrestrial, meaning they don't live in water on purpose.  Sure they might occasionally get washed into the water during a heavy storm or maybe dropped into the water by a clumsy bird, but that would mean that fish generally wouldn't have them as a prey item.  So why do fish eat worms?

After a lot of thought I came up with 3 idea…

7 things in 200 days

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According to my fishing journal September 2nd will mark my 200th day on the water this year.  I looked up the actual number of days and it appears I have missed 44 days so far this season.  Not bad when you consider what my family has been through this summer.  Here is a quick list of the 7 things I am most proud of (fishing wise) in these first 244 days of 2014.
First- I started working with another great company as a ProStaffer for Nauti Lures.
Second- My Cub Scout fishing derby celebrated its 4th year.
Third- Caught the second species of trout needed for my IGFA royal trout slam.
Fourth- Spent some time legitimately learning how to fly fish.

Fifth- Finally caught some species of fish that had been eluding me.
Sixth- After breaking 3 rods this season, I have realized that I don't need high end gear to catch fish.
Seventh- Learned how to better promote my blog and now have over 120,000 views across 5 platforms.
 All this makes for an exciting beginning to 2014.  I want to thank everybod…

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