Provides information of Fishes

Month: April 2012

First Fish

First Fish

Tom Keer 4/26/2012 Fishing in my adopted home state is open all year long. I am thankful for this when the migratory saltwater fish pack their bags and head south; there are trout, bass, pickerel, and panfish to catch. I am also thankful for this […]

Do You Keep a Fishing Journal?

Do You Keep a Fishing Journal?

Kirk Deeter 4/25/2012 You should. I know, I sound like your high school English teacher. My high school English teachers told me to keep a written journal also, and I didn’t pay attention. But then an interesting thing happened. I took up fishing as a […]

Pickin’ and a Grinnin’

Pickin’ and a Grinnin’

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Why I Love Docks

Why I Love Docks

Tom Keer 4/19/2012 One of the best parts of heading out for a day on the water is the wide variety of docks that accompany the boating environments. As I was checking out some fishing spots the other day I noticed a wide variety of […]

Fishing Tip: Good Casts Happen by Thinking Feet First

Fishing Tip: Good Casts Happen by Thinking Feet First

Kirk Deeter 4/18/2012 A strong house is built on a solid foundation, from the ground up. So, too, is a good fishing cast. It doesn’t matter whether you are throwing a baitcaster, a spinning rod, or slinging flies with the long rod, how and where […]

Shall We Snag Now?

Shall We Snag Now?

Photo credit www.eater.com

The paddlefish is one of those rare fish that will never bite. This bizarre shark-like fish only eats by filtering the water for microscopic plankton. And plankton are very difficult to put on a hook. Thus, the only method to catch paddlefish is snagging, generally with a large weighted treble hook.

In many states, the paddlefish is protected but in Oklahoma, snagging paddlefish is promoted. According to the 2012 Oklahoma Fishing Guide, the population is “thriving” and about half of the paddlefish anglers come from other states. The Paddlefish Research and Processing Center, near Miami, OK is an interesting facility. Funds resulting from this program help state biologists “collect important biological data to assist biologists manage this unique population.”

The chances of hooking this amazing fish, which can average 30-50 pounds (the state record is 125 pounds), increase in April and May when the paddlefish are concentrated over large gravel spawning areas.

“I think it was 2 ½ hours before I hooked anything,” wrote lucky angler Dr. Jim Long, Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. The occasional fish surfacing kept him chucking across the river. When he finally set the hook on a bump, “she nearly pulled me in.”

Last week, camera ready, I watched a friend blindly heaving a large weighted treble hook into an Ovaltine-colored river. After half an hour, this activity seemed as futile as turning 180 degrees and lobbing into the woods, trying to snag a Sasquatch. (Check your Sasquatch season regulations.)

However, I still have my paddlefish permit… And it has been a while since something almost pulled me in…


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.   

The Fish Moon

The Fish Moon

Tom Keer 4/12/2012 Many coastal fishing communities have roots in Native American cultures. In many regions, the full moons are all named in conjunction with a natural event. Due to increased gravitational pull caused by these strong moons, a tremendous amount of water is moved […]

Crappie Management Tools

Crappie Management Tools

Andy Whitcomb 4/10/2012 Although crappie is a popular sport fish, they can be challenging to manage. For example if trophy largemouth bass is the goal, crappie is not recommended for stocking in ponds. They are notorious for stunting. According to “The Crappie Fishing Handbook” by […]

Safety First

Safety First

Many boaters have already logged significant hours on the water. For me up here in New England? I’m just getting ready. The initial arrival of migrating striped bass combined with unseasonably warm temperatures has motivated me to get my boat out of the mothballs. Part of my checklist is reviewing all of my U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) safety requirements. I’ve got PFD’s for every passenger I intend to bring onboard, a whistle, a visual distress signal, and a fire extinguisher. All flares have been replaced, all electronics work, and the radio works like a champ. I toss in my anchor and line, and everything from last year is a go. Then I wondered: is there anything else that I should add to make this upcoming season safer?

To learn about other options I turned to Mike Mills, the owner of one of the industry-leading marine supply companies, Jamestown Distributors (www.jamestowndistributors.com). Mike is about as experienced a boater as it gets. He is a former competitive sailor, a motor boater, a fisherman, a surfer, heck, the guy even kite boards! Mike had some great ideas for additional safety items to make the season more enjoyable. If you’re ever in Bristol, Rhode Island in the offseason stop by his shop and check out his perfectly restored 1970 SeaCraft. (Otherwise, look for it on the water). Here’s Mike’s top 5:

1. Stay Afloat Stay Afloat is a boat damage control putty that instantly stops leaks in boats and fittings. Pull it out of the container, pull off a desired amount, knead in your hands, and fill the hole. The putty can be used in the water and it is an instant fix (no waiting necessary). If you’ve got a hole or crack in your hull and the water is coming in, apply the putty. It’s made in America, too.

2. Emergency Location Beacon Devices There are a number of EPIRB products that reveal the location of a boater in a man-overboard situation. One of them, the SafeLink R10 SRS, fits to a lifejacket and alerts vessels with an AIS chart plotter that a boater is in distress. It also communicates GPS position information to all rescue services who monitor channels.

3. Medical Kits Having an onboard medical kit to accommodate passengers and crew is important. There are a number of fully stocked waterproof boxes or bags that provide medical supplies for use on short, medium or long trips by your crew. The contents in the packs are a true, how should I say, life preserver.

4. Autotether Wireless Lanyard System In the past, boaters would attach a red lanyard from their belt to their kill switch. Moving around required constant hooking and unhooking. The Autotether has a sensor that transmits radio waves between the captain and the sensor on the kill switch for a distance inside of 150 feet. If that distance is increased, as in the captain falling overboard, the engine cuts out.

5. A waterproof, hand-held radio. Boaters who’ve experienced electrical problems or blown fuses know that they can’t use their dash-mount radio. Having a backup is always a good idea. ‘Nuff said.


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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.

Sun Sense is the Key To Happy and Effective Fishing

Sun Sense is the Key To Happy and Effective Fishing

Kirk Deeter 4/4/2012 The more I fish, the more I pay attention to the sun. There are two reasons for that. The first has to do with common sense, health, and safety. There are obviously a number of risk factors every time one goes fishing; […]