[unable to retrieve full-text content]
Month: May 2011
I’m very fortunate to have a job (with Field & Stream magazine) that allows me to travel to different waters, and catch many species of fish. But, like most anglers, I have a “bucket-list” of fish I’d still like to catch. I’m not talking about that mythical 20-pound bass, or the 30-inch brown trout (who doesn’t want to catch something that big?)… I’m talking about specific species that has always captured the imagination. Is there a certain fish that makes you wonder about the fight… or you just want to see up close? A “life fish” doesn’t have to be a “lunker” by definition (at least not in my mind). It might be that native, elusive greenback cutthroat trout in the far reaches of the Colorado high country. Then again, it might be a “silver king” tarpon–an amazing, almost prehistoric creature–hooked off the Florida coast.
As for me, the one fish that has always intrigued me is the white sturgeon. Sturgeon are the largest freshwater fish in North America, and some can grow to lengths of 15 feet or more. Last week, I had a chance to fish the Willamette River in downtown Portland, Oregon, with guide Dan Ponciano and photographer Tim Romano… and I caught the first sturgeon of my life.
I can tell you that even “small” sturgeon pull hard. This sturgeon was over five feet long, and was plenty tough to handle on a G.Loomis Pelagic trolling rod. Some sturgeon will even jump. Catching sturgeon is not something you just go out and try. We found ours in water over 100 feet deep, and we used dead baits (squid, shad, and smelt), with 16-ounce sinkers to drop hook and line all the way to the bottom. You see the rod twitch a little… make a mighty hook-set, and then hang on and start cranking. If ever in the Pacific Northwest (the Columbia and Snake Rivers are prime sturgeon territory), it’s worth trying to catch these fish…
…Or anything else that’s on your wish list. What’s at the top of your angling agenda?
You Might Also Like
Andy Whitcomb 5/24/2011 Here in north central Oklahoma, this is Cowboy Country. Not just because of the influence of the university, but also in history. In fact, when I am not scribbling thoughts on paper, I actually work along side Pistol Pete’s great grandson. Now, […]
Stephanie Vatalaro 5/23/2011 If someone told you there were simple things you could do to keep fish from dying and protect our waters, you’d want to know more, right? Well, if you’re a boater or angler in the Great Lakes region, there’s a lot you […]
A long time ago Mark Twain said, “common sense ain’t all that common.” Since this upcoming week is National Safe Boating Week – May 21 – 27, 2011 – those words ring loud and true.
Unless you live in a Tropical region where boating is a year-‘round activity, many of us get rusty in the offseason. In the fall many of us turn our attention to hunting and in the winter we might shift to ice fishing or to skiing. When the spring rolls around and the weather gets nice our thoughts turn to boating. Boating is like riding a bicycle, true, but our skills probably got a little rusty with the lack of use. Practice trailering your boat, review operating manuals for chart plotters, depth finders and radio stations. A quick refresher brings them to the forefront of our mind. I recently heard a story of a boater who stuck a nozzle at a gas pump in a rod holder and filled his bilge with a hundred dollars of regular.
Getting back in the swing of things isn’t hard, and a good place to start is with a safety inspection. U.S. Coast Guard agents offer convenient inspections. Check your lines, your fenders, your anchor, and make sure that you have a kit with a flare, a whistle and a mirror.
Life preservers have come along way in recent years. While you’re checking to match the number with your passenger count also look to make sure that the style suits the size and weight of your crew. In 2009, drowning was the #1 cause for boating fatalities. Life jackets are lighter and more comfortable than ever, and many have CO2 auto inflators. Wearing them while onboard in rough conditions makes sense, and keeping them handy is a great idea. Having them buried in a hatch under anchors and gear doesn’t help the cause.
Rules of the road should be refreshed, too. Most boaters yawn at the though of sitting down with Chapman’s book, but how many times are you on the water where you witness another boater violating the most basic of rules? Long-time boaters should pass their knowledge and experience along to other members on their boat. They’ll be ready to successfully take over the helm at a moment’s notice. Or try an online course through the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division at www.uscgboating.org or at the National Safe Boating Council at www.safeboatingcouncil.org.
Many of us have heard that the word BOAT is an acronym for “Break Out Another Thousand.” Sometimes it’s true, but most of the time getting our boat out of hibernation requires a few simple tasks. Electrical problems from faulty trailer lights to non-working marine radios can be easily corrected by rewiring electrical connections. Water has a way of corroding just about everything in time, and while you’re rewiring your radio connection why not just replace them all? Another good idea is to install new breaker panels. Replacing panels as well as batteries every few years whether they need it or not reduces opportunities for failure. Changing filters, such as fuel, oil, and water pump filters, keeps your engine purring like a kitten. And if you’re trailering your boat check your rollers, bunks, and hubs. The repeated launching and loading process gives trailer parts an opportunity to corrode.
Repetition is the easiest way to achieve mastery, and by going through the motions you’ll have a safe boating season.
You Might Also Like
[unable to retrieve full-text content]
Andy Whitcomb 5/17/2011 Okay, I think I have worked past my boat trailer light issues… I am ready to do some boat shopping. Not long ago, I had a 14-foot V-bottom boat. It was a hefty riverboat, originally purchased in Alaska. Tall and heavy, it […]
Largemouths are often thought of as the crème de la crème of the bass species. We often get a lot of questions about the best ways to spot and lure these beauties. Here are a few tips and tricks:
1.) Avoid the current! Largemouth bass prefer standing water like lakes and reservoirs.
2.) Try going after them early in the morning or later at night when they are feeding. These guys tend to “nap” during the day and may not be as excited to bite.
3.) Always check the weather forecast and fishing conditions for the day prior to heading out on the water. If lake water is higher due to recent rain, bass may be hanging out closer to the bottom and slightly farther out of reach of your cast.
4.) Though largemouth bass are hungry critters that rarely seem to pass up a meal, it’s best to try out natural bait like worms, bugs, crawfish or whatever you feel most comfortable baiting.
5.) If they don’t bite right away, be patient. Try changing up your cast, your bait or your lure a few times during the day to get a different result. If you see a largemouth approach your bait then turn away, it may just be because it’s a lazy fish by nature. Quickly re-bait with a new offering and cast again!
6.) When you feel a bite, keep in mind that largemouths tend to “run and jump” as they attempt to struggle free. Remain calm when reeling in your catch, and if you feel you’ve got a big guy on the other end, try to pump your rod a bit between reels gently enough to avoid snapping the line.
For more tips and tricks, check out the fishing section of our website! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to land me a prized largemouth bass!!
You Might Also Like
Stephanie Vatalaro 5/2/2011 Sure, when you wake up the morning of a planned fishing excursion, you’ll check the local news to get a handle on the day’s weather – but that’s not the only forecast you’ll want to review. There are actually many elements that […]