Provides information of Fishes

Month: August 2011

My Banana Split

My Banana Split

Andy Whitcomb 8/30/2011 Years ago when I was setting up a marlin trip out of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, my guide warned, “And NO bananas!” I wanted to laugh at his apparent fruit issues but from his tone over the phone, I […]

Angling for Carp

Angling for Carp

Stephanie Vatalaro 8/29/2011 More than ever before, Americans are discovering the exciting world of sport-fishing for carp. It’s not difficult to understand why. Common carp can grow large, often exceeding 30-pounds in weight (sometimes reaching 40- or 50-pounds) and fight harder than almost any other […]

Casting with the Wind

Casting with the Wind

I’ve had some of my best fishing days when the wind has been blowing hard.  It never ceases to amaze me that though I can’t cast very far into a strong headwind, the fish oftentimes wind up right at my feet.

The water can be bumpy. It can get roiled on a river and choppy on a lake or on the ocean.  Working with the wind is critical, and truth be told, a tailwind helps me cast into next week.  I’ve learned to deal with crosswinds, but I still don’t like ‘em much. 

I’m a right-handed caster and a wind from the left is ok but a wind from the right creates tangles that test my patience.  Headwinds shorten every cast I make and I used to despise them.  It doesn’t matter if I’m casting a plug, a fly or bait, I have a tough time hitting my target.  Age has taught me to turn that frown upside down.  Now I get up wind of them and turn a headwind into a tailwind.

There is an old fisherman’s saying about the wind.  It varies slightly by the state or region, but it goes something like this:

“Wind from the East, fishing is least.  Wind from the North, blows the fish forth.  Wind from the West, fishing is best.  Wind from the South blows the lure in their mouth.”

I love adages, and have found most of them to be spot on.  But last week my wife Angela and I found the exception to the rule.  We were at the leading edge of a Canadian Front that was bringing welcomed cool weather to our heat-blistered state.  According to the adage, the North wind usually shuts off the fishing by “blowing the fish forth.” 

In this instance they blew the fish from our neighboring areas, but they blew them right to us.  The feeding frenzy that ensued was tremendous enough to carry us through the long winter ahead.

If you have any adages of your own please let me know what they are.  Of course I’ll have to check them out. So let me thank you in advance; you’ve given me a reason to get out of the office!


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Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.

Fish Photo 101

Fish Photo 101

Kirk Deeter 8/24/2011 We all love to snap photographs of our favorite fishing moments. What better memento of a great experience on the water than an image of you and the one that didn’t get away? But if you are a catch-and-release angler, you should […]

Just Get There

Just Get There

Andy Whitcomb 8/23/2011 A surprisingly good fishing vehicle, back in the salad days. While channel surfing the other evening, I stumbled across a show called “Bait Car.”  This was NOT the bait-related fishing show I had hoped to see.  (However, it did bring back some […]

A Strapping Lad

A Strapping Lad

These trailers are supposed to be empty.

While visiting Pennsylvania recently, I noticed something that might cause a touch of concern for boat owners: frequent sightings of vehicles towing empty boat trailers.

I have a feeling that most of those “missing boats” are out on the water being maximized for use by their owners during the warm, summer months.  Or is there some sort of a boat trailer show at the Venago County Fair? What may cause that aforementioned concern – in Pennsylvania specifically – is the fact that the state’s rural roads are twisting, steep, and narrow.  Combine that with the evasive maneuvers required to dodge wildlife coupled with the precautions one must take when towing a boat trailer in general – with a boat on and without – and needless to say, it’s best to go at moderate speeds when driving and make sure your trailer is prepared for transportation.

Whether you live in the country or the city, it’s always a good idea to periodically review boat trailering procedures (this is a good checklist) to make sure everything is locked in and secure.  I use heavy-duty ratchet straps and carry extras on my boat trailer. Though I check everything several times, when towing, I can’t help but constantly check the mirrors to make sure my trailer is where it’s supposed to be.


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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”…  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie.”  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.

Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well…

And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.   

Gas-Saving Tips for Boaters

Gas-Saving Tips for Boaters

Tom Keer 8/11/2011 As gas prices at the pump hover around the $4.00/gallon mark, I’m glad I keep my boat on a trailer.  Out here in Massachusetts it costs $5.50/gallon to fuel up my boat at the gas dock.  Like many other boaters, I’ve been […]

Beat the Heat (and Crowds) with a Float Tube

Beat the Heat (and Crowds) with a Float Tube

Kirk Deeter 8/10/2011 My favorite way to fish in the month of August is from a float tube or personal watercraft. Why? Well there are several reasons, really… 1. For starters, since August is the peak of vacation season in many states (it is in […]

Keep it in the yard

Keep it in the yard

Everyone loves water. Clean water. And we want to protect it.  As anglers and boaters, we recognize the importance of water quality and preservation.  We are careful with fuel and clean our boats to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species.  We follow fishing regulations and pick up litter, leaving the lake shore cleaner than when we found it.  And our licenses and boat registrations are up-to-date which help fund  other conservation operations.

Most of these conservation practices occur while on the water.  But what about the down time between trips to the lake? Perhaps improved water quality can start right in your own back yard.

Consider that most yards are essentially a part of your neighborhood watershed. When the lawn has reached saturation point from irrigation or a rain event, water then needs to go somewhere, hopefully not in your basement. That excess water racing down toward the curb and on into the street storm drain can carry fertilizers, pesticides, and sediments and find their way into your favorite fishing hole.

Beyond scolding the dogs for not considering erosion as they dig up the marigolds, what can be done?

“Buffer strips” are vegetative zones near water that slow runoff and act as a filter to improve the water quality.  To some extent, even the average backyard lawn can begin acting as a buffer, by increasing the efficiency of irrigation and chemicals applied. Better water quality means better fishing and boating.

Another way to start helping your local waterway is not to bag lawn clippings. Horticulturalists with the University of Missouri point out that “25 percent of your lawn’s total fertilizer needs are supplied by clippings left on the lawn” in an article, “Don’t Bag It Lawn Care.”

Additionally, Dr. Carl Whitcomb (Dad) says that if you set the deck of the mower to cut grass a little higher, you will encourage deeper roots.  Because grasses already have a fibrous root system, with deeper soil penetration grass will have access to more soil moisture and require less irrigation, and thus there will be less of a water demand on your local reservoir.

By increasing the efficiency of landscape maintenance practices, what happens in my backyard stays in my backyard. And my fishing and boating waterways are cleaner because of it.


Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”…  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie.”  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.

Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well…

And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.   

All Hands on Deck

All Hands on Deck

Tom Keer 8/4/2011 I smiled as I watched a grandmother and her granddaughter prepare for a sail.  They were trying to get their sailboat on the water in the midst of a very busy harbor.  The grandmother and the granddaughter worked as a team; clearly […]