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Month: December 2011

Working with the Wind

Working with the Wind

Tom Keer 12/29/2011 Every boater and angler has a relationship with the wind. Sometimes it’s a love-hate relationship. A sailor, for instance, leaps for joy when there’s a stiff wind. It’s what we wait for, that tell-tale snap when a boat comes about and a […]

Tips for The Catch-and-Release Trout Angler

Tips for The Catch-and-Release Trout Angler

Kirk Deeter 12/28/2011 Releasing a trout after you catch it is no guarantee that the fish will live to fight another day. In fact, research has shown that mortality rates can be more than five percent, and a lot of that is caused by improper […]

What is your favorite fishing show?

What is your favorite fishing show?

A) “Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show”

B) “Facts of Fishing”

C) “Bassmaster Elite Series”

D) “So you think you can Bill Dance”

E)  There are fishing shows?!

If you answered “E,” you might be missing out.

Okay, so I made up the title of Choice “D” but the Bill Dance Outdoors TV show has been on the air since 1968. There are many other fishing shows to choose from and, for those of us who just cannot get enough of fishing, even an entire channel devoted to fishing. WFN, the World Fishing Network “provides a daily escape for over 50 million recreational and sport fishing,” 24/7.

I prefer fishing shows that treat fish with respect, as the star of the show. Another quality I enjoy –  when the host is really having a great time, and is so enthusiastic that it makes me want to get out on the water afterwards.

Although I’m sure they don’t give away all their secrets, there are also tips and tricks galore. I frequently learn something new to try.  Maybe it is just a different time or place to use a known technique.  Sometimes just a slight change in the presentation can make the difference and really turn on the bite.


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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.   

Split Rings

Split Rings

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP Sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter with interesting blogs about fishing and boating. Get fishing tips and tricks and read personal stories from anglers who live and breathe fishing and boating. Learn new fishing skills, boating resources, fishing etiquette, conservation and more. Please […]

Oh Christmas Reef

Oh Christmas Reef

Andy Whitcomb 12/20/2011 Fish structure doesn’t just concentrate fish for angler success; the extra underwater surface area cultivates algae and plankton, starting the food chain and increasing the productivity of the entire system. And who can think about natural fish structures without thinking about Christmas? […]

Give the Gift of Fishing

Give the Gift of Fishing

If you’re like me, you’re probably scrambling around trying to find those last minute holiday gifts. Here’s an idea that works for anyone, doesn’t cost much at all, and will be remembered and appreciated for a long, long time.

Give the gift of fishing.

Sure, a rod, a reel, a special lure, or even a box of flies might be on many wish lists. But you don’t have to spend money on actual merchandise to make fishing a holiday gift.

Simply take out a note card and make a “voucher.” Or you can even print out a coupon from this link right here.

“I promise to take ________________ for a full day of fishing within the next year. I can’t make any promises about the weather, or how much we will catch. But I can promise to share a great experience, answer any questions you have, help out as much as I can, and if we catch a big one… I’ll take the pictures.”

As I reflect on the year past, I inevitably find myself wishing I’d gotten out on the water with more friends and family members. Putting it in writing makes a holiday gift and New Year’s resolution, all at once.

The beauty of the gift of fishing, is that it can be for anyone—a child or grandchild, a spouse, a neighbor, or work colleague. Young, old, male, or female, one size fits all. The “colors” are always perfect. It works in any language. Even if the gift recipient has been fishing before (even if they’re a die-hard angler), you can rest assured that no two fishing adventures are the same, and that you’re giving a unique gift. And the memories last a whole lot longer than anything that comes in a box wrapped with shiny papers and ribbons.

Of course, the real beauty of the gift of fishing is that it’s good for our sport. The more we share fishing with others, the more we ensure that this pastime is paid forward, the more people who care about our fish and resources, and so forth.

Actually, when you think about it, if you’re really lucky, maybe this is the type of present that will be “re-gifted” to others down the line. What’s the last present you gave with the hope that it will be re-gifted?

Heck, even the naughty ones on my list deserve a little fishing. If we all found even one person to give the gift of fishing, the holiday season would be merry indeed.


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Kirk Deeter

Kirk Deeter

Kirk Deeter is an editor-at-large with Field & Stream, and he co-wrote The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing with the late Charlie Meyers.

Grilled Trout Bruschetta

Grilled Trout Bruschetta

Kirk Deeter 12/7/2011 Now that we’re into the holiday season and the festive entertaining has started, I thought I’d offer up a personal favorite recipe. I like to serve this as an appetizer when entertaining fishing friends. What better way to reminisce about a good […]

Chocolate Bobbers

Chocolate Bobbers

Andy Whitcomb 12/6/2011 We had just begun to decorate the Christmas tree, when it struck me – “it” being a rather heavy Santa Claus fishing ornament. Some collections are achieved; others are thrust upon you.  The latter usually arrives on special occasions in the form […]

A New Version of Sporting Art: Cliff Casey

A New Version of Sporting Art: Cliff Casey

We fishermen tinker and tweak to get things right.  When we get going on a mission to modify gear to our specific needs, everything is under review. Boats, trailers, rods, and rigging. . . nothing gets overlooked.  We’ll dye feathers to better match the hatch and pull out markers to color stickbaits and plugs.  One man, Cliff Casey, takes these modifications to a whole new level.

Casey, a life-long fisherman and hunter, grew up in Illinois.  He began drawing and painting at an early age and his path landed him at the Colorado Institute of Art, and he graduated with a degree in Advertising Design.  Recently he’s turned his attention to custom-painted fishing lures. Prior to mass production, all lures were painted by hand.  What’s different here is that these lures are hand-painted by an artist!  Casey used water-based Creatix colors that he first applies with an airbrush.  After the base coat is dry he pulls out the acrylic paints and a series of brushes to apply the necessary detail.  For durability Casey adds a top coat of Devcon 30-minute Epoxy.  Lures are placed on a spinning wheel to ensure a smooth finish.  Most lures take a week or so to complete, and depending on the amount of work required, he charges $12-15 per lure – not bad when you consider the amount of work involved.

The net result (pun intended) is that many tournament anglers contact Casey to get an extra edge to help them win the big prize.  Other anglers reach out to him for different reasons.  They are down to their last favorite plug and the manufacturer isn’t making any more.  Casey easily solves those problems by beginning with a similar shaped lure and then painting to match.  I think his personal motto might be “there are no problems, only solutions.”

If you’re looking for an extra edge this year or you’re in need of replacement lures, check him out at www.cliffordcaseysart.com.  You’ll be glad you did.


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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.

Ice Fishing: Get On Your Bucket!

Ice Fishing: Get On Your Bucket!

Kirk Deeter 11/30/2011 Here’s a little project that will get you ice fishers ready for the upcoming season: Make yourself a custom ice fishing bucket. It only takes a little time, it doesn’t cost much, and you only need a few materials, most of which […]