EP:84 Baitcasters and Spinning Reels

EP:84 Baitcasters and Spinning Reels














     In this weeks episode of the Human Powered Angling Podcast I answered listeners questions about kayak surf landings, line selection for ice fishing, and shared my experience using Reel Grips on my favorite fishing combos.  The bulk of the show was dedicated to the explanation of baitcasters and spinning reels as well as their operation.  It's important to remember that each reel design has advantages and disadvantages on the water.  Knowing when to use which reel will help you catch more fish.


     Thank you for listening to Episode 84 of the Human Powered Angling Podcast.  You can subscribe to the podcast on ITunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher Radio.  If you do choose to subscribe please take 30 seconds to leave a review.  The reviews are essential for getting the podcast recommended in the search results of our fellow anglers.  Before you leave please take a second to sign up for my free monthly newsletter.  It comes out on the 15th of each month and only on the 15th.  It's full of tips, tricks, some discounts, and of course subscriber only content.  So make sure you get yourself signed up today!
     Tight Lines.

Jonesin' For Beyond The Breakers


     Earlier this year I had the trip of a lifetime with my good friend Spencer Jones.  We traveled 26 hours from the frozen state of Wisconsin to the beautiful beaches of south Florida.  The two us were looking for adventure and we found it by competing in the Sailfish Smackdown Tournament.  It seemed simple enough, go off shore, catch a sailfish, and then come back home.  It turned out to be a grueling event that tested both our bodies and our minds.
     In our defense we did a lot of research and we arrived in Pompano Beach as prepared as possible, but somethings can be only learned by doing them and we learned a lot of hard lessons.  That's were this book comes in.  Spencer noticed that much of the information we needed wasn't written down anywhere so he wrote this ebook to help other anglers looking to compete in this elite level event.  He covered all the needed topics.  From selecting a kayak, to what you gear should be chosen, and why a minimalist approach is a good idea.  He even explains the gulf stream currents and how to safely launch and land your kayak from the beach.  
     Everything you need to know to make this trip is covered.  At 34 pages long it's a quick read, but knowing what I know now I'd say it's required reading for anyone traveling in from out of state with sailfish on the brain.  You can purchase the book on Amazon.  Or if you prefer check out the ebook on Smashwords.
     Tight Lines.

Now On Stitcher Radio


     I've gotten a bunch of requests to find other platforms that people can use to listen to the Human Powered Angling Podcast.  Apparently a lot of people don't use Itunes and aren't fans of Google Play.  This means that listening to the show is inconvenient, we can't have that so I started to explore other places to share a podcast.  While on my search I had a listener ask if I would make the show available on Stitcher Radio?  Well, after a long submission and approval process I'm proud to announce that every episode is now available.  You can check out the Stitcher Radio by following the link here.
     Tight Lines. 

My First Book Keep Casting


     My first paperback Keep Casting has gotten the final approval for publishing from Createspace.  I've been working on this book for the last year in between fishing, speaking, and other random projects.  It's a collection of stories from the Shorebound Hero blog, with a few more random stories thrown in for good measure.  Hopefully the proofs that I've ordered will turn out well and the book will be available shortly after the first of the year.
     Tight Lines.

EP:50 Facebook Live Q&A

The Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast
EP:50 Facebook Live Q&A














     In this episode of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast I said thank you.  This show marks one year of the podcast and I'm grateful for each and every one of you that have taken the time to listen.  To commemorate the occasion I recorded the show while hosting a Facebook Live Q&A session.  That way I could answer more questions and interact directly with the audience.  It was a lot of fun and again, I thank all of you for following along.
Thank You.

   Thank you for listening to Episode 49 of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast.  You can subscribe to the podcast on ITunes and Podcast Garden.  If you do choose to subscribe please take 30 seconds to leave a review.  The reviews are essential for getting the podcast recommended in the search results of our fellow anglers.  Before you leave please take a second to sign up for my free monthly newsletter.  It comes out on the 15th of each month and only on the 15th.  It's full of tips, tricks, some discounts, and of course subscriber only content.  So make sure you get yourself signed up today!
     Tight Lines.

YakAngler.com Interview

     I was recently featured on the YakAngler website.  It's an interview about my thoughts on being an out of town angler competing in the Sailfish Smackdown Tournament.  The interview was conducted by their contributor Spencer Jones.  Keep in mind that I was exhausted because we had just wrapped up day one, so my mind wanders a bit.  I had a blast at this event and can't thank Spencer and the crew over at YakAngler.com enough for creating this video.  I've been a fan of the website for a while now and this is my first time to be featured.  You can check out the interview by following the link here.
     Tight Lines.

Running 2 Fish Finders On A Kayak

     For the last two years I've raved about my Garmin 73sv unit.  This fish finder has performed flawlessly and I love the 7 inch screen, SideVu, ClearVu, and all the preloaded maps (17,000+).  In fact the only issues I've ever encountered had nothing to do with the Garmin 73sv.  They can all be attributed to the mounting location.  I keep the Garmin 73sv on a Ram Mount that fits in the Slayer Propels integrated track system.  This way I can slide the unit towards or away from my seat while on the water.

     This makes it easy to view the screen and adjust settings depending on conditions.  The problem is that it's really only convenient from the seated position.  Once I stand up, looking at or moving the screen messes with my balance.  We all know when standing up in our kayaks things can get a little tippy.  Even with the stand assist bar turning to look down at the fish finder can be a dangerous proposition.  After thinking about this for a while I decided maybe it's time to add a another fish finder.


     Some of you may be thinking I've lost my mind.  "Why would anybody need 2 fish finders on a kayak?" is a common question I've been fielding lately.  Here's a couple of reasons...just hear me out on this.  First, power boaters use multiple units all the time.  It's common to have a unit for the angler in the front and the back of the boat.  Second, I fish a lot of weed edges in the Madison area.  I commonly drift with the wind across the weed beds while chasing bass and muskies.  This kind of fishing requires me to stay at a certain depth of water to be the most effective.  In the past this has meant constantly having to turn around while standing up to check my Garmin.  Just to make sure I haven't drifted out into deeper water.  Add in the constant wakes produced by pleasure boaters and jet skiers on our metropolitan lakes and it can make keeping my balance a chore.  If I had a second unit mounted at the bow of the kayak then I would only need to glance down to know the water depth of water.  Third, it's my kayak, and my money, so I already bought the 2nd unit and have it mounted on my kayak.
Looks pretty good with 2 fish finders.

     Obviously I don't need two Garmin 73sv units for this to be effective so I ended up purchasing a unit with only a few basic features.  After some research I decided on the Garmin Striker 4 for the front of the kayak.  This unit has GPS tracking, depth, and water temp.  It also uses CHIRP technology so the 2 fish finder signals won't interfere with each other.  Gotta love technology!  I think this is gonna be a real game changer when fishing tournaments this season.  What are your thoughts on running 2 fish finders on a kayak?  Think it's worth it?  Think it's a waste?  Leave me a comment below.
     Tight Lines.

EP:49 Getting More Involved In Your Fishery

The Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast
EP:49 Getting More Involved In Your Fishery














     In this episode of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast I talked about a few ways to get more involved in your local fishery.  One common question that gets asked is "How do I get a voice in what happens on my local lakes?"  The simple answer?  Join a club or organization that's full of like minded anglers.  Becoming more involved on a local or regional level is the best way to get your voice heard.  So find a club, attend a meeting, and take some time to give back to your favorite fishery.  Your grandchildren will thank you.
Hosting a Cub Scout Fishing Derby on a Free Fishing Weekend in Wisconsin.

   Thank you for listening to Episode 49 of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast.  You can subscribe to the podcast on ITunes and Podcast Garden.  If you do choose to subscribe please take 30 seconds to leave a review.  The reviews are essential for getting the podcast recommended in the search results of our fellow anglers.  Before you leave please take a second to sign up for my free monthly newsletter.  It comes out on the 15th of each month and only on the 15th.  It's full of tips, tricks, some discounts, and of course subscriber only content.  So make sure you get yourself signed up today!
     Tight Lines.

Tenkara Fishing For Carp

     A few years back I was approached by Badger Tenkara.  They wanted me to test out a new rod they had designed.  Specifically, they wanted me to try and catch larger fish like bass or carp.  You heard that right, tenkara for carp!  For those that don't know about tenkara it's a form of Japanese high mountain stream fishing that uses a fixed length of line and a fly to catch fish.  I'm over simplifying the history a bit, but you can learn more about tenkara here.  What Badger Tenkara was after was proof that you could land larger freshwater species on this flexible, reel less, fly rod.  Now if you've followed this blog for any length of time you know that I've broken a few tenkara rods while attempting this task.  Some were my fault, some were a by-product of trees placed in bad locations by the City of Madison Parks Department.  I've managed to land quite a few fish with my tenkara rod over the years like the bass shown below, but I couldn't seem to bring a carp to hand.
Looks worse than it is the bass was fine.
     You see carp have a tendency to fight, hard.  They'll normally give a few long runs while fighting that can put you into your backing.  This presents some problems when using a tenkara rod.  Although my buddies and myself have tried to catch "tenkara carp" on multiple occasions, those runs just get the better of us.  I needed to find the right conditions if I was gonna get a carp and a tenkara rod in the same picture together.
     I've thought about this on and off all winter.  I realized that what I needed to do was find a spot that had a high carp density.  It also needed to be relatively small so that the carp didn't have a lot of room to run.  Finally, to get my best shot at landing one I needed it to be cold outside.  You see carp are cold blooded so when the water temps are down so is their energy level and metabolism.  This means that they don't have the energy to put up a fight.  For me it means that I would have a good shot of finally landing a carp on a tenkara rod.  While scouting potential waters on Google Earth the other evening and looking at the weather forecast I decided that my best shot would be on a warm afternoon early in the week.
     When the day arrived I headed to the pond as soon as I got off work.  Walking the shoreline I carefully scanned the water looking for a feeding fish.  There was a brutally cold wind blowing across the water.  It made locating fish extremely difficult.  After a few hours I saw the bubble trail.  Crouching down along the vegetation I waited like a lion ready to pounce should my prey decide to wander into casting distance.  It was a slow and deliberate cast.  I knew it had to be just right because I probably wouldn't get a second chance at a feeding fish.  The fly hit the water perfectly and I could just see the tip of the fly as it settled down into the mucky bottom.  The bubbles stopped right over the fly.  I swung my rod to the side just as the carp picked up my offering.  The hook dug into the fishes lip and he suddenly came alive.  He put up the best fight that he could, but I was right about the cold water and without much fuss he was soon in the net.  It was the first carp of the season and I did it on a tenkara rod.  Releasing him back into the pond I noticed another trail of bubbles heading my direction, but I was satisfied.  Pulling a smoke from my pocket I sat down in the damp grass and watched 2-3 carp as they nosed around in the sandy bottom.  It was a good day to be near the water.
Man I love to catch these fish with a fly rod.
     Tight Lines.
     


EP:48 What Kayak Is Right For YOU

EP:48 What Kayak Is Right For You













     In this episode of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast I rambled on for 45 minutes.  I talked about upcoming events, the Madison Musky School, spring fishing, and answered some questions from you the listener.  The topic for this week was how to pick the kayak that's right for you.  I covered 3 basic questions you should ask before choosing a kayak of your own.  Once you hit a certain a price point, say $750.00 up you won't get a bad kayak.  Although you may pick the wrong kayak if you don't ask yourself the right questions.
With all the fishing kayaks on the market today, it's important to know how you fish before you open your wallet.
   Thank you for listening to Episode 48 of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast.  You can subscribe to the podcast on ITunes and Podcast Garden.  If you do choose to subscribe please take 30 seconds to leave a review.  The reviews are essential for getting the podcast recommended in the search results of our fellow anglers.  Before you leave please take a second to sign up for my free monthly newsletter.  It comes out on the 15th of each month and only on the 15th.  It's full of tips, tricks, some discounts, and of course subscriber only content.  So make sure you get yourself signed up today!
     Tight Lines.

Why I Ordered A Paddle ONLY Kayak

It's time to up my paddling game.















    Recently I ordered a new kayak for my personal fleet.  It's not because I really need one.  Nor is it because my Slayer Propel or Versaboard are worn out or need replacing.  I decided to order a new boat to help me become a better kayak angler, actually I ordered it to become a better kayaker.
     Now don't get me wrong I love pedaling my Slayer Propel.  It's a great boat that's designed to excel in a variety of conditions.  In fact it may be to GOOD.  Over the last few years I've come to realize that although I have gotten much better at catching fish from a kayak.  My actual paddling skills haven't improved at all.  They haven't needed to because my choice of boat allows me to go out in conditions that are way past my ability.
My Slayer Propel flanked by some fast paddle only kayaks.
     This has become more and more apparent in recent months.  While paddling on the Wolf River in Northern WI I found that I lacked the required skill needed to safely negotiate whitewater rapids.  While out on Lake Michigan this fall I was shocked to discover that I didn't know the correct way to quarter a wave because my Slayer handled them so well that it didn't really matter.  Then at the Sailfish Smackdown on day one I watched as many competitors in paddle only boats moved effortlessly through the waves while I crashed and smashed my way around in the wind and current.  While driving home from that Florida event I had to face myself and admit that I had no idea how to actually handle a kayak.
See I do know how to paddle.  Of course I only do it when I'm in shallow water.
     It's not like I don't paddle on a regular basis.  I'm fond of saying that the best thing about a pedal driven kayak is that you can always paddle it.  I just don't actually do it.  One of my long term goals is to become a certified kayak instructor.  I think it will help my business as well as my credibility in the industry.  To be able to pass any of those tests I'm gonna need to up my game.  I need to make an effort to learn how to properly draw, brace, and efficiently paddle a kayak.  So what did I decide to get?  I decided to order a Manta Ray 14.
Native Watercraft Manta Ray 14
     This boat is perfect for what I want to accomplish and the conditions I fish in.  It's 14 feet long and is built from roto-molded plastic.  That's a fancy way of saying that I can't break it.  It has built in rod holders, a wheel to aid in transporting, an integrated track system to mount my accessories, and is rudder ready.  At 14 feet it should be able to handle the big water well and it's narrow design allows it to move quickly through the water like a Jackson Kraken or a Viking Profish Reload.  This is good because I'll likely be paddling against these boats when out on the local tournament scene.  The only thing I don't like about this kayak is the fact that it only comes in Hidden Oak camo.  Luckily for me I was able to convince the Native Watercraft factory to make me one in a custom color.  They're gonna make it in Blue Lagoon so it matches my other boats (a perk of being on the prostaff).  I'm pretty fired up and am doing my best to patiently wait for the kayak to arrive in the next few months.  I'll still be out and about on my Slayer Propel most of the time, but my kayak game is about to hit another level.
     Tight Lines.

How To Take Your Prostaff Photos To The Next Level

Built with Canva.com
     It's really important as Prostaffers that we always portray ourselves in a professional manner.  Whether in person or online the companies that allow us to represent them are counting on us to always to be at the top of our game.  I've noticed lately that many of us struggle to get past the lack luster images we use on our social media pages.  We either can't figure out the technology or just don't have the resources to build photos with our sponsors logos.  I know because for a long time I struggled with the same issue.  Then I discovered Canva while wandering around online.  I use Canva to build all the images I use on Facebook, Instagram, my blog, or in other promotional outlets.  Check out this video I made that explains the whole process step by step.  It's free and it will help you take your prostaff game to the next level.


     Tight Lines.

EP:47 How CHIRP Can Help You Catch More Fish

EP:47 How CHIRP Can Help You Catch More Fish















     In this episode of the Bluegill to Bull Sharks Podcast I talk about how CHIRP technology can help you locate and catch more fish.  CHIRP is a relatively new tool in our fishing arsenal and even though I've been aware of how useful it can be on the water it wasn't until the recent expo season that I realized how much about the technology I didn't understand.  So I decided to study up on the topic and share that knowledge with you.  This episode will help you better understand how CHIRP varies from traditional fish finder signals.  It may even convince you to finally upgrade that tired old fish finder unit on your favorite kayak.
Garmin makes a great fish finder that uses CHIRP to help you identify and catch more fish.
   Thank you for listening to Episode 47 of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast.  You can subscribe to the podcast on ITunes and Podcast Garden.  If you do choose to subscribe please take 30 seconds to leave a review.  The reviews are essential for getting the podcast recommended in the search results of our fellow anglers.  Before you leave please take a second to sign up for my free monthly newsletter.  It comes out on the 15th of each month and only on the 15th.  It's full of tips, tricks, some discounts, and of course subscriber only content.  So make sure you get yourself signed up today!
     Tight Lines.

My 5 Favorite Feeds On Instagram

     As much as I love writing for this blog, I constantly find myself getting sucked into the world of Instagram (you should follow me).  Wandering through the hashtags I've bumped into a lot of amazing photos and personalities.  I thought I'd drop a link to 5 of my favorites for you to check out.  You should look them up if you find some free time while scrolling through the feeds.

     The first one on my list is local musky on the fly ace Austin Mitchell.  I fished against him last year in one of our local musky leagues.  He's an amazing fly tier and his passion for the craft shows in everything that drops from the jaws of his vice.  To check out Austin's feed follow the link here.

     Second on the list of must follow favorites is a crew from down south.  The boys at Skinny Water Culture never fail to impress whether it's on the fly or on the flats.  They have a fierce devotion to their home state of Florida and the fish they catch are simply amazing.  Be sure to follow the link here to keep up with the awesomeness.

     One of my can't miss favorites is Pond Kings.  I have an unhealthy dedication to small pond fishing and these guys from Georgia post up some amazing photos that are sent in by their followers.  Just send them a DM with your epic catch from a local pond and you might see it featured in their feed.  You can check them out here.

     Coming in at number 4 is Peter Miller from the hit fishing show Bass 2 Billfish.  Peter does an amazing job of showing off the best of what Florida has to offer.  He's also a three time sailfish champion and a proud father.  I'm sure you're already following Peter and his show, but just in case you don't here's the link.

     Finally on the list is a great feed that has nothing to do with fishing.  It's the husband and wife team behind the Live, Work, Wander YouTube Channel.  They're a couple that lives in a sweet 4x4 Volkswagen Vanagon.  The photos are breathtaking and honest.  If you like travel, humor, and the occasional story, you should click this link and give them a follow.
     Tight Lines.

I Finally Saw The Native Watercraft Titan!

Native Watercraft Titan Propel
     That's about it, I'll shoot of a video of it soon and will get an on the water review as soon as possible.  For more information on this sweet new kayak from Native Watercraft check out my earlier post by following the link here.
     Tight Lines.

EP:46 Cold Water Kayak Safety

EP:46 Coldwater Kayak Safety














     In this episode of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast I offered up some tips about cold water kayak safety.  When the spring days are warm every kayak angler starts to get the itch to get out on the water.  However just because the air is warm it doesn't mean the water can't kill you.  I discussed the importance of wearing a PFD (sorry about the rant), the 120 rule, and why a buddy and a float plan are required this time of year.  Follow these tips to make sure you live long enough to get back out on the water.
A PFD and a drysuit will make a world of difference on the water this time of year.
   Thank you for listening to Episode 46 of the Bluegills to Bull Sharks Podcast.  You can subscribe to the podcast on ITunes and Podcast Garden.  If you do choose to subscribe please take 30 seconds to leave a review.  The reviews are essential for getting the podcast recommended in the search results of our fellow anglers.  Before you leave please take a second to sign up for my free monthly newsletter.  It comes out on the 15th of each month and only on the 15th.  It's full of tips, tricks, some discounts, and of course subscriber only content.  So make sure you get yourself signed up today!
     Tight Lines.

Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel On The Water Review

The river is opening up!
     Last year about this time I made up a quick walk through video of the Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel.  It was a pretty basic video that just included the specs as I walked around the kayak while filming.  It's bothered me that I never got the chance to get it out on the water.  Apparently it's also bothered those of you that subscribe to my YouTube channel because I've gotten a lot of messages asking me what it paddles like and if I could maybe shoot a video of it out on the water.  Well I finally got around to borrowing the Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel from my local rep and filmed this quick review while dodging chunks of ice on the Yahara River.  I really liked how this kayak handled even if it is a totally different boat than my faithful Slayer.



     Tight Lines.

Be My Buddy At Fishwithme.net

Proudly rocking the colors.
     As many of you are aware I'm pretty picky about who and what I support in the fishing industry.  Our sport is full of companies, products, and gimmicks.  Everybody's out to make a buck (myself included).  So when I met up with fishwithme.net at the FishX expo earlier this year I was skeptical of what they were pushing.  They talked about a network of anglers that were looking for fishing buddies.  Fisherman that wanted to find friends, share charters, split event costs, and share tactics.  Admittedly I was reluctant to sign up, but the free 1 year membership offer had me curious.  So I signed up, struck a deal to share with all of you, and setup my account.
     I love the concept of this site.  One of the struggles I hear a lot from anglers is that they'd fish more if they had more fishing buddies.  This site solves that problem.  You can search for members in your area, check their bio, and then message or buddy them.  Instant fishing buddy for life.  It also allows you to post events you're attending so you can meet up with other anglers that you already know.  This eliminates that whole, "I want to go, but I don't know anybody" argument we all have with ourselves the night before an outing or tournament.  You can even pay or split costs for a charter using this site.  This means those trips of a lifetime are suddenly in reach.  It's an amazing platform and it's built for anglers!  I can't get enough and will gladly pay the annual membership fee of only $36.00.  The best part of all this is that they worked out a special deal for you the reader.  Want to try out this service?  Then send me a message on Facebook and I'll share with you a secret code that you can enter to get the first year free!!!  I know you won't regret it, just be sure to make me your first buddy.
Fish with me over at fishwithme.net
     Tight Lines.