Tom Keer 7/28/2011 After a long hard year in school, kids want a break. Fishing is a perfect release, particularly if you don’t turn into summer school. Kids are visual, so when you take them fishing, appeal to their keen eyesight. Bobbers when bait fishing, […]
Month: July 2011
Kirk Deeter 7/27/2011 Just because the hot days of summer signal that the mayfly season is mostly behind us doesn’t mean that fly fishing has entered the “doldrums.” In fact, I’d say things are just about to get really good. You see… it’s hopper time. […]
To catch an exceptionally large fish is an amazing feat. Unfortunately, due to the customary stereotype that anglers tend to exaggerate the size of their catches, providing proof can be a challenge as well.
A photo helps but does not remove all size discrepancy. Anglers frequently pose with their catches at arms’ length, thus distorting the perspective. The Snap Shot Ruler corrects that problem by allowing a vertical measurement with the weight in the same shot.
If you are lucky enough to preserve the moment in a photo, skewed or not, then what? Carry it around, hoping someone will ask you about your latest fishing adventure? That could take a while. Post it online? Then you run the risk of a Photoshop savvy viewer tampering with the results. (I’ll try to show an example of this next week.) Perhaps the true test of the catch photo is the time-honored tradition of whether or not it is deemed bait-shop-wall-worthy.
In bait and tackle shops all across the country, photographs of grinning anglers are displayed, no doubt spurring on more excitement, dreams, and fathead minnow sales. Walk into Derick’s Bait and Tackle in Manhattan, Kansas and you’ll see Aaron Carpenter (red t-shirt) on the wall holding a massive flathead catfish.
“It feels good to have my fish pictures on the wall,” Aaron understated through a flathead-sized grin. Once an aspiring chef, Aaron likes to bring home fillets for the table and I often hear of his success with crappie and channel catfish too.
Maybe someday I will make it big… on a bait shop wall. Have you made it?
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When one of my fishing buddies was a bachelor, I helped him move several times. Amazingly, his possessions consisted of little more than half-empty containers of brown mustard and dozens of pairs of shoes.
Yet I do not recall any fishing shoes. But then, except for waders, what are “fishing shoes?”
My “fishing shoes” are usually shoes that once served other purposes but now are in the later stages of their life. If fishing from shore, well-worn “clodhopper” boots help, well, hop clods en route to a rural farm pond. If fishing from a boat, old sneakers usually do the trick but sometimes I will go with a sturdy pair of sandals.
Normally, I don’t notice shoes but I was sorting through some photos recently and realized that maybe I too, have a shoe problem; I have actually taken photos of some professional anglers’ shoes. Rather than dwell on what this means, I have decided to turn this into a fun little quiz.
Can you guess the angler by the footwear?
(Hint: Two have won the BassMaster Classic, one has a T.V. fishing show, and one is just a dude who loves to fish.)
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Kirk Deeter 7/13/2011 There’s something special about standing knee-deep in a river as you fish. But wading can be tricky, and sometimes downright dangerous. Follow these 10 tips to keep things safe: 1. Wear wading boots that offer good traction. Either felt soles (where legal, […]
It is easy to understand why Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas are popular destinations. It may take most of the day, but one can wander through a fantastic, wide selection of boats and fishing tackle and the kids can ogle at massive blue catfish and spotted gar in aquariums containing thousands of gallons of water. That is, when they are not pleading their case for a giant stuffed fish pillow.
When traveling, I also always try to visit the off-the-beaten path, neighborhood bait shops. The kind of place that may have a “web site,” but it is in the corner, behind the bait fridge. Ken’s Bait Shop in tiny Rimersburg, Pennsylvania is one of those charming places.
The sign on the door may say, “Closed”, but there is a “ring bell” sign too that more often than not will bring a proprietor from some nether region. Here, you can be sure minnows are sold the way they are supposed to be. Rather than count each individual minnow, density is assessed in a glance by how effectively the bouncing little fish obscure the bottom of the minnow bucket. Plus, during the warmer months, minnows and night crawlers are available on the front porch via the honor system and a money envelope to drop in a slot in the door.
Like many bait shops around the country, Ken’s Bait shop has the creaking screen door that might stick and threatens to whack your backside upon departure. There is a musty smell, perhaps of a dried out fathead minnow, crushed into the Astroturf long ago.
The inventory of hooks, weights, lures and such may be smaller, but what lures the bait shop carries are probably going to be the ones that work in that area. It is a great place to pick up some unique, regionally specific lures. In addition, the owner can be a wealth of information, often sharing what is biting, where to go, and what to throw.
Now if only Ken’s Bait Shop carried giant fish pillows. . .