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Month: July 2013

Aquatic Veggies

Aquatic Veggies

Andy Whitcomb 7/29/2013 Aquatic vegetation is one sign of a productive body of water. It indicates plenty of nutrients and high fertility. Various types of vegetation in water may serve as food for microscopic insects, spawning habitat, and nurseries for larval fish. Large water plants […]

22 Essentials to Bring Aboard for a Day of Boating

22 Essentials to Bring Aboard for a Day of Boating

The day before a boating or fishing trip can be busy considering the planning that is required. Take full advantage of the time you spend on the water by being adequately prepared for a variety of situations that may come up. It’s fairly easy to […]

Ocean Fishing for Reds

Ocean Fishing for Reds

There’s nothing I love more than spending time outside with my kids. Which is why I cherish our beach vacations so much — we’re always outside and on the go. Whether it’s biking to the Salty Dog and back, body surfing or showing off our preposterous Kadima skills, our crew is all about finding great ways to spend quality time outdoors.

And last summer we came up with yet another when one of our close friends invited us to go fishing. In the ocean. Which is, you know, ocean fishing, right?

Right. Sort of, at least. Because where we went, it was really more like shallow channel fishing — the organic version, in that we caught our own bait. And I must say, it was an incredible experience, one we’ll do again and again and again.

SO, how did it all go down, you might be wondering? I’m glad you asked. Because I happen to have prepared a little slideshow showing you that very thing.

What’s key here is the release, and my man Patrick nailed this one.

Once you’ve thrown your net like a champ, hang tight for a bit and let it do

it’s thing.

And once it’s had time to do just that, it’s time to reel that bad boy in to see

what you got.

With any luck, it’ll be filled with these — shrimp. You’ll wanna toss them in a

bucket. Well, except for one. Because you’re gonna take him and…

Hook him through his — I dunno, what is that? His abdomen? Or belly? I’m going

with abdomen. It sounds more legit. So, hook him through his abdomen.

Because once you do that, you’re ready for your real catch. Sadly, I don’t have

pictures of any of our (perfect) casts, but we were throwing into a channel that

winds it’s way to a place called the Salty Dog and beyond on beautiful Hilton

Head Island.

And the triplets had a blast. This was Sammy after his

first haul of the day. Everyone did well.

At least that’s what it looked like for us on that day. A pretty nice outing,

don’t you think?

So that’s it! Easy peasy. Nothing to it. And truly one of the best times we’ve ever had at the beach. I highly recommend you giving it a whirl. There’s nothing like taking little ones fishing. No matter where you are!


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Stephanie Vatalaro

Stephanie Vatalaro

Stephanie Vatalaro is vice president of communications for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and its Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns where she works to recruit newcomers to recreational fishing and boating and increase awareness of aquatic conservation. Stephanie grew up in the Florida Keys as the daughter of a flats fishing guide. Outside of work, you can find her fishing and boating with her family on the Potomac River in the Northern Neck of Virginia.

Yard Fishing

Yard Fishing

Andy Whitcomb 7/23/2013 Every fishing or boating show likes to include something for the kids. Often this is in the form of a hands-on casting booth where the target may be a giant inflatable fish mouth. These booths always have a long line. This fun […]

4 Productive Post-Fishing Rituals To Adopt

4 Productive Post-Fishing Rituals To Adopt

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 […]

Cape Cod National Seashore

Cape Cod National Seashore

One reason I wanted to write about National Parks this month is because I live near one and that means that I am fortunate to have a lot of great fishing close to home. The Cape Cod National Seashore is a 68-square mile park founded by Massachusetts native President John F. Kennedy in 1961. The 40 miles of beach runs from Chatham to Provincetown which is where the Pilgrims landed in 1620. That stretch of sand offers some of the best striped bass and bluefish fishing on the Eastern Seaboard. That said, the Gulf Stream pushes close to Chatham so there are seasonal opportunities for bonito and False albacore.

Most visitors are surprised by the lack of buildings on or near the beach. Out here you’ll only find sand, occupied by fishermen, sunbathers, swimmers, and surfers. Primetime for beachgoers is July and August, while prime fishing is in May, June, September, and October. It’s a match made in heaven. During the summer, night fishing for striped bass is what we’re all about, and aside from a few couples on a romantic walk you’ll have the prime fishing grounds all to yourself.

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Nauset Beach, where Tony Stetzko hooked the 1981 world record striped bass (73 pounds). Coast Guard Beach. Lecount’s Hollow. Head of the Meadow. High Head. Race Point. All hallowed names familiar to a surf fisherman.

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There are many different lodging opportunities near the National Seashore. They range from hotels, motels, B&B’s, campgrounds and home rentals. There isn’t a lot of distance between the bay side and the ocean side so drive times are minimal. That said, there is no camping on the beach. In a few spots like at Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro and at Race Point in Provincetown you can drive a 4×4 on the beach. Just follow the rules and you’ll be good to go. http://www.nps.gov/caco/cape-cod-national-seashore-oversand-beach-driving.htm

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If you plan an adventure, most importantly remember a Massachusetts saltwater license is required.

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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.

How to Fit Your Child for a Life Jacket

How to Fit Your Child for a Life Jacket

Stephanie Vatalaro 7/17/2013 We know that life jackets are synonymous with boating safety and that everyone on board should be wearing a life jacket each and every time on the water. But when it comes to matching the jacket with the person, one size does […]

Acadia National Park: Maine’s One-stop Fishing Spot

Acadia National Park: Maine’s One-stop Fishing Spot

Tom Keer 7/17/2013 Many of us who try to get in as much fishing as possible always run into two primary issues: time and money. Maine’s Acadia National Park could be the answer to that problem. In the park you’ll find freshwater, warm water, and […]

Chub Love

Chub Love

On a family vacation years ago, the only handy water was a tiny creek. We set off to explore it one afternoon, perhaps to catch some crayfish but noticed even more inhabitants and soon returned with our poles.

Anglers often debate which fish fights the hardest, but pound for pound, or in this case, ounce for ounce, the creek chub is worthy of this debate. It is an aggressive feeder and once hooked, refuses to quit fighting.

To set up your kids with some great fun, dig out your tiniest hooks, hopefully size 10 or smaller. I also grab some of the diminutive bobbers that are used for ice fishing or drifting jigs for steelhead. Little pieces of earthworms or grasshoppers will attract these sturdy minnows, which usually are no more than about 7 inches, but may reach 12 inches in larger streams.

Any light spinning or spin cast rod and reel combo. The tour guide at the Pumping Jack Museum in Emlenton, PA recalls the great spunk of these fish while catching them with a cane pone when he was a kid. A stealthy approach and long rods keep the action going if the fish get spooked.

Wherever you are vacationing, do not overlook ANY body of water. Chances are, it contains fun.


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.   

2 Family Fishing Games to Play on Your Summer Vacation

2 Family Fishing Games to Play on Your Summer Vacation

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 […]