Debbie Hanson 12/27/2013 Every 365 days most of us go through the process of evaluating what we plan to improve upon or what we resolve to do differently as a new year begins. There are plenty of people who resolve to lose weight, go to […]
Month: December 2013
When you first start learning about fly fishing, it can seem a bit intimidating — especially if you’re used to the world of traditional spinning gear. There are literally dozens of fly fishing knots you can use based on the situation or your preferences, but […]
For the last few weeks, entrances to stores have been a little noisier than usually with holiday bell ringers. When the jingling first arrives on the scene they attract my attention and I am more inclined to spread some Christmas cheer. However at the risk of sounding Grinchy, after a while I start avoiding the noise, looking for other entrances.
As yet another example that my thoughts rarely stray far from fishing, I suspect that the relationship between sound and fish reaction may be similar.
There is plenty of evidence that sound can attract fish. Keith Sutton wrote in his book, “Out There Fishing” that piranhas are attracted to splashing, “like iron filings to a magnet.” I have read where anglers on lakes in Mexico also splash the water with their hands to fire up bass. On an episode of “Hookin’ Up with Mariko Izumi,” a chartered captain thumped a pool cue on the bottom hull of his boat to bring up large striped bass from the depths.
To give lures this added appeal, many contain rattles or BBs. These can be especially effective in areas where the water is not clear, and where fishing pressure is less. Sometimes, however, fish can become desensitized to the same sounding lures. There are new lures that make more of a clack or knocking sound with movement and even crankbaits containing electronic sound-making devices for a new audio presentation.
Winter’s cooler waters mean more reaction strikes so I am more likely to cast noise-making lures. Slower moving fish aren’t actively chasing down prey, but may still slam lures when startled with something right on their nose.
A mistake many anglers make is assuming that a steady sound would be the ticket to a strike. However, you rarely see the Bassmaster Elites with a steady retrieve for noise-making crankbaits. Michael Iaconelli, for example used a pattern of three strong cranks and a sudden stop during a late season event. It is this change from sound to stop and back again, where the hits often occur. Another technique I watched the pros use is to show the fish one lure (either noise-making or silent) for a few casts, when switch. Bam!
Noise can be a good thing for fishing but you may not want to jingle ALL the way.
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Most all of us cringe when it comes time to store our treasured possessions for any length of time. Remember that super bummed out feeling you had when your mom took away your favorite teddy bear when you were about eight years old? She may have said that it was time for him to go to a new “home” in the attic, but you wanted no part of giving him up and storing him away.
Well, anglers tend to get the same sort of feeling when it comes to storing their fishing gear for any length of time. Some of us even shed a tear as our mind flips through the mental scrapbook of memories created when the weather was warmer and the bite was hot.
However hard the truth is to face, if you live in the Northern part of the country and haven’t picked up ice fishing yet, you’ll need to store your gear for a couple of months. Even if you live in a warmer climate, there may come a time when you decide to take a vacation that doesn’t involve fishing (GASP!) or have a few weeks of inclement weather. Regardless, at some point, all anglers will need to store their gear.
Here are five tips to remember when storing your rods and reels:
Check the guides on the rod to see if any are loose or cracked. If you do find any damaged guides, you can buy new ones and have them replaced. Most tackle shops will do this for you at a fairly minimal cost. If you want to try to replace the guides yourself, be sure to use caution when removing the glue from the blank to avoid damage to the rod.
Clean and lubricate all metal parts. If you fish saltwater, your rod and reel should be rinsed with freshwater after every trip. When storing for a longer period of time, be sure to wipe down and lubricate all metal parts outside and inside the reel with an anti-corrosion spray. It’s also a good idea to check and re-grease your drags.
Loosen the drag on your reel. Most reels have drag systems that can lock up or become compressed if left tightened for an extended period of time.
Remove fishing line. This tip is particularly important if you use monofilament line since it will hold the shape of the reel and create memory in the line. The less memory in your line when fishing, the better.
Store your rods in a rod rack. Leaning rods upright against a wall without the support of a rod rack is not a good storage strategy because this can cause curvature in the rod.
What other tips or suggestions do you have for keeping your gear in top shape during the off-season so that it’s ready to land the big ones come spring?
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My kids love everything related to water. Even when not actually fishing or boating, my family plays fishing related games and still hits every aquarium, boat show, fish hatchery, and pet store just for the chance to see something aquatic.
Some selected early reading material may have contributed to this enthusiasm. Here are a few titles that come to mind:
The Classic, “Red Fish, Blue Fish” by Dr. Seuss is a great introduction to fish for early readers with the fun rhymes and bright colors of smiling creatures.
“Trout Trout Trout” by April Pulley Sayre is described as more of an amusing “chant” than a story for ages 5-8. Wacky illustrations accompany an introduction to many amazing species of freshwater fish.
We recently discovered the “Fishing Kids” series by Mike Holliday. These three early chapter books are fishing mysteries where the discovery along the way is useful information about fish biology, species characteristics, and techniques to catch.
I should also include that the romping, childhood adventures of Patrick McManus have been popular in our family. To help entertain with long road trips when my brother and I were young, Mom often read his outdoor humor books aloud. The only downside was that Dad, the driver, would laugh so hard the old station wagon might have weaved a bit on the road.
What “fishy” books do you read to your kids?
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Debbie Hanson 12/9/2013 We all get bummed when snowy, windy or rainy days put a damper on our fishing plans, but these types of days create the perfect opportunity to learn how to tie flies. If you haven’t tried fly fishing yet or are still […]