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Showing posts from April, 2016

Increase the Life of Your Balsa Crank Baits

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Balsa wood crank baits are a main stay in the arsenal of many anglers.  All of the major manufacturers produce them.  They come in every size and color pattern you can imagine and are amazing fish catchers.  However by their very nature they can be extremely fragile.  Especially when they are visited by the teeth of various freshwater predatory species.  This means that a balsa wood lure is only going to last you a few fish if the bite is on.


At least that's what it used to mean.  While attending a seminar this winter I was shown a great tackle tip.  It was the use of heat shrink tubing to extend the life of balsa wood baits.  As you can see in the picture above, adding a small amount of tubing will keep the lure from being ripped in two when it's struck by a fish.  All you have to do is remove the rear hook, slide the heat shrink onto the lure, apply some heat (carefully), and then reattach the hook.  It's a great way to extend the life of your lures.  It should allow ever…

EP:03 Fishing Kayak Questions

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EP:03 Fishing Kayak Questions


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     In this episode of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast we covered some of the questions first time kayak anglers fail to ask when choosing a fishing kayak.  We talked about the need to base your purchasing decisions on species, water type, and angler size.  I also shared my personal story on learning how to properly transport the kayak.  Real thought should be given on how you will move your new kayak from place to place.  So we talked about the various methods as well as the advantages of using a trailer.
Below are some links to the products I've used in the past to help with kayak transport. Bed ExtenderYakima Roof Bars RackKayak SaddlesYakima Kayak Straps     I hope that the information we covered in this episode will help you make a more informed decision when purchasing a fishing kayak.  Buying into the world of kayak fishing can be a bit pricey, but if you take your time and do a little research you can be sure that y…

EP:02 Finding Urban Waters

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EP:02 Finding Urban Waters



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In this episode we covered some of the tricks to finding urban fishing waters.  Not all anglers have the time to get out of the city and travel to a quiet stream.  Many don't have the cash flow to take off on exotic trips to the Bahamas.  However a great many more don't realize the fishing opportunities they have close to home.  We covered how to find productive waters, how to get access, and gave some tips for the drive by angler.  I also discussed the use of 2 great apps that can help any angler find more fish.
Here's the links to both great apps:
Navionics Boating App
Google Earth
Hopefully this episode gave you some useful pointers that can aid you in the pursuit of trophy fish.  Remember that the best way to find out if the waters close to you have fish in them is just to get out there and cast a line.  Please keep those questions coming.  You can drop me a line at shoreboundheromadison@gmail.com.  If you like what you he…

EP:01 Search Baits for Cooler Water

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Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast Episode 1





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     In this episode we covered popular baits for searching out fish in cooler water.  This could be opening weekend for many of us here in WI.  Or it could be any angler out looking for a bite with waters at or below 50 degrees.  We covered multiple species including bass, pike, musky, and catfish.  We even went through a couple options for the warm water fly anglers we have in the listening audience.
Below is a list of links you can use to find the baits we discussed:
Mepps #5 Black Furry in Orange and BlackVibrations Tackle EchotailRoad Runner JigBerkley Gulp 2 inch MinnowBerkley Catfish Dough BaitSenko WormClouser Minnow FlyWooly Bugger Fly

Even I Don't Trust My Sense of Direction

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Imust admit it was my fault we got lost.  To be honest though neither of us are particularly good at finding our way.  We miss exits, turn left instead of right, even fish on the wrong side of the lake sometimes.  That's exactly what happened last week when I offered to take a buddy of mine out catfishing.
We met up mid afternoon in the hopes of getting after some of those fat prespawn Lake Mendota channel catfish.  I had all the rigging we needed, all he had to do was meet me at the launch with his kayak.  Using the word "launch" might be a bit of an overstatement since really it was just access.  I wanted to take off from Governor's Island and pedal out to the end of a bay near the river channel.  At that point we just had to drop anchor and cast out our lines.  "Simple" I told him, "Nothing to it."
So that last part was a bit of a lie because getting our kayaks to the waters edge proved to be challenging.  Every place we could find to enter the w…

Growing Up

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Tight Lines.

A Weekend Full of Free Local Seminars

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Over the weekend I had the opportunity to sit under some amazing local anglers.  I'm always looking for information, especially when it's free.  Learning from others that are experts in their fields is a great way to shorten the curve when out on the water and these anglers didn't disappoint.
The first angler I heard was Rob Wendel of the Regional Hobie Fishing Team.  He was giving a seminar at the Lake Michigan Angler tackle shop on Trolling for Great Lakes Salmon and Trout.  I've been following Rob for awhile now on social media and his catch photos are seriously impressive.  From giant kings to monstrous browns he has the knowledge and know how to land big salmonids from our little boats.  He covered everything from basic rigging to advanced techniques and took the time to answer every body's questions.  His ideas on trolling spread group dynamics were thought provoking and impressive.  Everything is accounted for in his setup.  His lure spread works to the stren…

The Madison Angling Experience

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Over the weekend I was cued into something new hitting the Madison fishing scene.  It's the brain child of two anglers who have their pulse on the Madison area.  It's a one stop shop for everything that makes fishing in Madison great.  The new site is full of information on the local lakes.  You can watch videos, get tips, and read informative blog posts about chasing your favorite species on the Madison Chain.  The coolest part is their list of social event links.  As we're all aware Madison is home to many events over the course of the year.  By checking out The Madison Angling Experience now you can plan your fishing trip around more than just when the fish are biting.  See upcoming social events, tournaments, even beer tastings!  This site has it all and is just going to get better as the game fish season gets underway.  Check out the site by following the link here.  To stay up to date on all the fun subscribe to them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.  This is go…

Upcoming Podcast and What's Going On

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So lately I've been pretty busy over here at ShoreboundHero.com.  I've been out fishing, attending sponsor meetings, working on the kayak, delivering presentations, and getting everything together for a new podcast.  That's right a new podcast!!!  A whole new content medium for me to explore and share with the angling world.  The new podcast is going to be called Bluegills to Bull Sharks with Israel Dunn and I've finally finished the cover art and trademarked the name.
I'm getting pretty fired up about it and have been working hard to learn the in's and out's of podcasting in the hopes of creating a quality listening experience.  The learning curve so far has been pretty steep, but I think I'm getting the hang of it.  Below is a test file (not the podcast) that I recorded recently to try out the equipment.  It's kind of random, but will serve as the latest post about what I've been up to and some exciting upcoming events.  To listen to this audio…

5 Tips for Early Carp on the Fly Success

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As the seasons change and winter loosens its grip on the Midwest a lot of fly anglers turn their attention back to the water.  I'm no different here in southern Wisconsin, so I thought I would offer a few tips to help my fellow anglers in their pursuit of the "Golden Bonefish."

1. Find Warm Water
This is hands down the best tip I can give as we head into spring.  Warm water normally equates to active fish.  Since most fish are poikilothermic (cold blooded) they need the warmer water to get moving.  You can normally find warmer water near discharges, in small ponds, or over shallow sandy bottoms.  If you can find water with a noticeable temperature increase that is holding carp, then you've probably found some feeding fish.

2. Stalk Slowly/Blend In
Remember that these fish have been sheltered by the ice all winter.  Carp are easily spooked first thing in the spring.  Wear muted natural colors as you approach the water.  Look for cover to hide behind whether it's a bus…

Musky Guides vs Milwaukee Brown Trout

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This is a simple story, a story about two musky guides who decided that they wanted to catch a brown trout.  Not your run of the mill Driftless brown trout, nope they wanted to catch a fish worth bragging about, a Great Lakes brown.  Now to be fair I should tell you that both anglers normally strike out when they head to Milwaukee.  The odds were stacked against them when they left the driveway that morning.  Still they had a nervous optimism as they rolled down the highway.  The story goes something like this...
Late Wednesday night my phone lit up with a text notification.  It was JJ of the Madison Musky Addict guide service.  I read the text in disbelief, "I want to try and catch a brown trout for the new smoker."  I read the text again just to make sure I wasn't dreaming.  You see JJ is a musky guide, only a musky guide.  He puts his boat away when the water gets over 80 degrees.  If the musky season isn't open in Madison, chances are he isn't fishing.  Seizin…

Come Join Me at Orvis of Madison

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This Thursday, April 7th I'll be the featured speaker for the Orvis of Madison Happier Hour series.  I'll be giving my newest PowerPoint seminar, Urban Fly Fishing the Madison Chain.  This new presentation will cover how to find productive water, the rigging and gear required, and some species specific tips for chasing local fish.  Will go more in depth about how to pursue carp, bass, and even muskies with a fly rod on the Madison Chain of Lakes.  So join me at Orvis of Madison this Thursday at 5:30pm for Urban Fly Fishing the Madison Chain.
Tight Lines.

UK Pro Pole 38HDF Review

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About a year or so ago I decided that I needed something more versatile than a tripod for taking pictures when out fishing solo.  My daughter was quick to recommend that I buy a "selfie stick" which made my wife burst out in laughter.  "Those things are stupid!" she said, "Seriously, how vein do you want to seem?"  She had a point, so I dismissed the idea and kept lugging my tripod around on my backpack.  The issue I was having though was taking pictures for the blog.  I needed some different camera angles to make my photos look more professional.  It was really starting to bother me that my images constantly had parts of the fish missing because they just wouldn't fit into the frame when holding my camera at arms length.
Then one day while talking with my soon to be brother in law about my photography issues he said, "It's not a selfie stick if you use a GoPro pole."  He had a point (petty I know), so I set my obsessive researching mind …

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