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Showing posts from May, 2016

EP:09 5 Mobility Hacks for the Shorebound Angler

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EP:09 5 Mobility Hacks for the Shore Angler







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In this episode of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast I offered up 5 tips or hacks if you will to help the shore angler.  I talked about the thought process involved in order to avoid falling into the "I need to carry all my gear, all the time mindset."  Below is a great picture to illustrate my point.  The poor guy was trapped in one spot the entire night. Mobility is everything when fishing from shore.  You'll hear me preach this over and over.  As a shore bound angler you have to be able to move to cover water effectively.  I mentioned a lot of different items from backpacks, to tackle trays, to fly flotant in this episode so just click the links if you're interested in picking any of these up for your own angling use.  These are all affiliate links so buying through them doesn't cost anything extra on your end, but makes a big difference on this end. Thank you for listening to Episode 9 of th…

In Pursuit of the Big 50

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No, I am not having a midlife crisis, I am 36.  I want to catch a 50 inch musky.  Really bad...almost awkwardly bad.  Can't explain it, and neither can my friends.  We fish in rain, snow, hail, heat, any weather condition.  I have fished with pneumonia, arthritis, and extreme sunburn.  My wife doesn't understand it, I don't think she ever will.  I am obsessed, addicted even.  Seriously, I feel guilty if I don't go fishing.  Not motivated, but guilty.  Like I somehow let myself and everybody around me down if I don't at least try.  Some days I don't even want to fish.  I end up at the lake anyways, casting out a lure.  I  have casted to the point my hands went numb and I accidentally threw the rod into the lake.  I have fished till I fell asleep and found myself sitting on the shore hours later.  Again I don't know why, I just have to catch that fish.
So how close have I came to that magic number?  42 inches, or as my brain reminds me, 8 inches to short.  Tha…

EP:08 Topwater Tactics for Bass and Muskies

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EP:08 Topwater Tactics for Bass and Muskies









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In this episode we talked about Topwater Tactics for Bass and Muskies.  This ended up being only about conventional fishing because it's only a 30 minute podcast.  We outlined the importance of reel and rod selection.  Also we covered how to find the fish, tips for better hookups, and how to keep the fish on the line after the strike.  As promised, below are some links to some of my favorite lures for bass and muskies. Spro Bronzeye FrogWhopper PlopperBog Baits Big Foot FrogLive Target Field MouseLee Lures Top H20Rapala Skitter PopThank you for listening to Episode 8 of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast.  You can subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss an episode on ITunes and Podcast Garden.  If you do choose to subscribe please take a second to leave a review.  The reviews are essential to getting the podcast recommended in the search results of fellow anglers.  Before you leave take a second to sign u…

That Was Bigger Than Expected

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Opening weekend came in like a lion here in Madison, WI.  I was busy with a few guided trips, getting the kayak out on the water, and catching up with some old friends.  However the one thing I had been wanting to do was fish a little pond full of carp I found last fall.  It was full of smaller 3-5 pound carp and I thought it had a lot of potential as a spot to take first time fly carpers.  The location is free of overhead obstructions so casting is much easier than some of the other urban fishing spots I frequent.  Plus the fish in this pond don't seem to be as bothered by my presence.  You very rarely see wakes when you screw up a cast making it an ideal spot for a newbie.
As I said in the beginning most of these carp run a little on the small side.  Nice thing about carp is that size doesn't really matter. They all run like freight trains.  It didn't take to long and I had my first common on the bank.  After the release I noticed that all the activity just stopped.  No m…

EP:07 Outfitting a Canoe for Fishing an Interview with Scott Hamstra

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EP:07 Outfitting a Canoe for Fishing





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In this episode I sat down to talk with Scott Hamstra retail manager for Rutabaga Paddlesports.  Over the years I've fielded a lot of questions from both traditional paddlers and budget conscious anglers about outfitting a canoe for fishing.  I started my paddle sport angling trips from the seat of a heavily used Coleman canoe.  At the time it was the only thing I could afford that allowed me to fish, while getting my two young kids out on the water.  Things have come a long way since those days of concrete anchors and muffler clamp rod holders.  There are a lot more options available to the consumer now then when I started.  Scott and myself talk about some of the advantages of fishing from a canoe.  We also discuss the use of track systems, rod holders, anchor trolleys, and even paddle choices.  We even took a few minutes to discuss the new Old Town Next and Native Watercraft Ultimate boats.  These watercraft blur the …

TFO Fly/Spin Rod Review

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Last summer I picked up a new ultralight rod for trout and panfishing.  I had recently started using a new to me technique called threadlining.  Threadlining was developed by angler Joe Robinson down in the great state of Texas.  Joe Robinson was a fly fisherman for many years before he made the switch to a spinning rod.  He took the ideas of light weight fly fishing and combined them with the advantages and casting accuracy of an ultralight spinning rod.  More specifically he had custom spinning rods built from 2 and 3 weight fly rod blanks.  He shared all of his ideas in his book, Piscatorial Absurdities—A Fly Fisherman’s Guide to Radical Freshwater Ultralight Spin Fishing.
Fast forward a few years and this ultralight technique started to grow a following which caught the eyes of TFO.  They decided to offer a rod based on his build specs so other anglers could experience this amazing technique without the need to have a custom rod built.
So first off let me say that this was my first…

Exit Strategy

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As shorebound anglers we constantly deal with situations that would be foreign to most boat anglers.  Many times we have to land fish in areas that are hard to access.  I know from my own experience that I can often make a cast from areas that don't allow me any access to the water on foot.  This means that I need to find a place to land the fish safely.  I call this part of the shore fishing process the exit strategy.  All you need to do is take a few seconds to look around and find a safe place to land the fish before you make a cast.  This way when you hook into that trophy you already know where you're going to bring it to the net.  This will make it easier for you and the fish.  Make this practice a part of your angling thought process and I guarantee you'll successfully land more fish from the shoreline.
Tight Lines.

Orvis of Madison May Happier Hour

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This Thursday night is Happier Hour at Orvis of Madison.  For those of you out of the fly fishing loop (hahaha) this is a free seminar series that Orvis of Madison offers each month.  This months speaker is Orvis fly fishing shop manager and Southern Wisconsin Trout Unlimited chapter president Tristan Kloss.  Tristan will be sharing his secrets to finding productive water in the driftless area.  He'll be sharing the specific websites and other online tools that he uses to get on the fish that you constantly find on Orvis of Madison's Instagram page.  Also if you contact the store and RSVP for the event you will be entered to win a fly box full of productive patterns tied by Tristan himself.  To contact the store call (608) 831-3181 or follow the link here.
Tight Lines.

EP:06 Take A Vet Fishing an Interview with Rob Blanchar

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EP:06 Take A Vet Fishing





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In this weeks episode we talked to Rob Blanchar one of the founders of Take A Vet Fishing.  Take A Vet Fishing gets veterans out on the water.  In fact the organizations motto is "A Day of Giving Back" and they live that motto.  Take A Vet Fishing has grown from very humble beginnings on Lake Waubesa here in the Madison area.  To now having events in 5 different states serving veterans and their families.  Yes, you heard that correctly, their families.  Take a Vet Fishing honors the families too.  Many times people forget that the family still needs to function during deployment.  Sometimes the families have to be rebuilt when the service ends and civilian life starts again.  Many times with the after effects of war following our veterans home.  Take A Vet Fishing is an amazing organization working hard to help our veterans both get on their feet and out on the water.  To find out how you can help out or to get signed up if yo…

What A Racket

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I've never bothered with owning a landing net.  It was just something extra to carry and I never saw a real need for one.  I already owned a set of Lucid Fishing Grips so I could land any critters with teeth easily.  Everything else I'd just tail grab or lip.  Then last year while fishing for bass on the Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Tournament Series I lost two fish I desperately needed right next to the Slayer.  I was crushed and I got no sympathy from my fellow anglers back at the landing.  In fact many of them looked shocked that I didn't have a net on my kayak.  After the event I went out shopping for a landing net.  Turns out they are stupid expensive!  So here's a fun DIY that works well, is easy to make, and is reasonably cheap.
First you need to find yourself an old tennis racket.  You may even find one laying around the house.  Next you need to get a net bag.  Mine was salvaged from a broken net I found on the bottom of Devils Lake.  The other item you see in the …

Poppin' a Chubby in the Driftless

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While out and about on some random creek in the driftless area of Wisconsin this week I got to encounter a new species.  We were supposed to be catching those little trout that so many anglers invest small fortunes in.  Instead we got into a number of Hornyhead Chubs.  I've been introduced to various chub variants in the past though mostly as BAIT.  Nobody ever told me that chubs were so much fun to catch.  They were aggressive and put up a great fight for their size.  The colors on this particular species (Nocomis biguttatus) were just gorgeous.  My angling companion didn't seem nearly as excited to catch these awesome little locals as I was.  So I figured I'd leave some interesting facts here to help educate my fellow anglers. Male hornyhead chubs exhibit small horns or tubercles during the breeding season. Although commonly found in coldwater streams, chub species are able to survive in a wide variety of water temps. Average size of hornyhead chubs is 4-7 inches.  How…

Your Day Will Come

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Tight Lines.

EP:05 Choosing a Kayak Fishing PFD

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EP:05 Choosing a Kayak Fishing PFD






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In this episode of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast we talked about choosing a personal flotation device (PFD).  PFD's have come a long way in the last few years and the myriad of styles and options can be a little confusing.  We got started by explaining what makes a PFD kayak specific and then talked about the advantages to owning one designed with the kayak angler in mind.  Then we talked for a little bit about the inflatable PFD.  Finally, we covered my own thoughts on when to wear each style of PFD.  I'm hoping it will help clear up any confusion those new to the sport may experience.  Wearing a PFD is literally a life saving decision, make sure you always have it on.  Below is a list of affiliate links to the PFD's I own and trust when out on the water. NRS Chinook PFDMustang Inflatable PFDMTI Belt Pack Inflatable PFDThat about wraps up this episode of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast.  Remember that i…

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