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Month: July 2014

Garden Harvest

Garden Harvest

Debbie Hanson 7/29/2014 This time of year, most gardens are producing plenty of vegetables and flowers. Though gardens require work to maintain, the tasty results are well worth the trouble. Whether the garden is a small urban raised bed or a larger rural roto-tilled plot, […]

10 Saltwater Fish Species to Catch by Boat

10 Saltwater Fish Species to Catch by Boat

While there are many fish species that can easily be caught while fishing from the shore or a fishing pier, there are also several that you wouldn’t have much of a chance at catching unless you were fishing offshore from a boat. Here is a […]

The Digital Revolution

The Digital Revolution

For a traditionalist like me, giving up my maps, charts, and visits to a tackle or coffee shop is not going to happen. I prefer to sit on a bench, drink a coffee, and listen to an angler talk about nailing a big fish. I enjoy the chats about “the one that got away” too, but I must admit I’m a sucker for a happy ending.

Still, I find parts of the digital revolution really helpful, and there are a number of sites that I check periodically. I’m not the kind of guy to swap a story for a video, but here are a few digital resources that help me along the way. And as a partial dinosaur I’d be grateful for your recommendations, too.

 

  • Take Me Fishing, www.takemefishing.org, is a great resource for licenses, boat registrations, boat ramps, blogs (thanks for reading mine!), and general technique and species information. There are how-to videos and places to go that are perfect for family fishing trips or covering fish facts for your kids.

  • Weather Underground, www.wunderground.com, is one of my go-to weather resources. It has a tremendous amount of data distributed in one dashboard. From daily, hourly, and weekly reports to sunrise/set times to lunar phases and historical trends, it’s a one-stop shop. A wide variety of reporting sites make it easy if you’re on the move, and if you’re a creature-of-habit you can customize your coordinates, too.

  • Saltwater Tides, www.saltwatertides.com, offers 2,500 locations where coastal anglers can get tide predictions. Coastal states from Maine through WashingtonState are represented, and there are a number of specific areas covered in each region, too. You can pick between an individual through 14 day time period, and get tides up to a year in advance (helpful for planning family fishing vacations). You’ll get High and Low Tide predictions twice a day, the average tide’s height, sunrise/set, and lunar phases.

  • FishBrain, www.fishbrain.com, is a digital way to improve and share your fishing. It’s an app that allows you to show what you want from pictures of your catches to tackle used to weather conditions. You can also follow anglers in the areas you fish to see how they’re doing, and to study the building databases to help you figure out what to do more of (and what to do less of). Learn about wind direction, air pressure, water temperatures among other things to put more fish in the boat. Urban fishing and back country fishing are featured equally.

What are your favorite digital resources for fishing and boating?


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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.

UCAST

UCAST

Andy Whitcomb 7/23/2014 I don’t know if he fishes but last week, I followed the approximate path of Lebron James’ moving truck and drove 1066 miles to attend  ICAST in Orlando, Florida. It is the “world’s largest sport fishing trade show.”  The 11,000 plus attendees […]

Places to Boat and Fish

Places to Boat and Fish

Tom Keer 7/21/2014 Remember how the digital world was positioned as a way to make life easier and more efficient?  In some ways it hasn’t but in other ways it certainly has been wildly successful.  A lot of fishing sites are a great example, with […]

5 Fishing Gear Tips for Urban Anglers

5 Fishing Gear Tips for Urban Anglers

Chicago has Lake Michigan, Detroit has the Detroit River, New York has Central Park, and San Francisco has San Francisco Bay. You may think that there aren’t many places to fish in an urban environment; however, these big city examples should encourage you to think again. While urban spots experience more pressure and will require you to pare down the amount of gear due to transport constraints, you can still have a great time while fishing in or around your favorite city.

Since urban anglers most often fish from a pier or the shore, the key is to fish light while still having access to gear that will contribute to catches. Here are five urban fishing gear tips to help you make the most of your big city angling adventures.

 

  1. Scale back the amount of tackle you bring to just those items that will fit into two small, plastic boxes with adjustable dividers. If you have a backpack, you can easily slide two storage boxes inside of a regular backpack so that you have less gear to carry.

  2. Use lighter gear that will provide more action and a higher number of fish. An example of a light set up for fishing freshwater would be a 5-foot ultra-light rod paired with a small spinning reel and 4 to 6-pound monofilament line.

  3. If you have a fishing vest or cargo pants with plenty of pockets, wear them. The pockets will come in handy for storing extra leader material, weights, line clippers, a small pair of pliers, and a few extra lures.

  4. Make sure you include small finesse baits in your arsenal. Keep in mind that fish in urban areas will be more likely to hit smaller baits that are fished slowly. If fishing a freshwater area where bass are present, for example, you may want to bring along a package of 5-inch or 6-inch finesse worms.

  5. If you plan to take the kids along on an urban fishing trip, you’ll also want to bring bobbers and bait. Toting a minnow bucket around the city isn’t very convenient though, so bring along bread balls, hot dogs, or a small can of crickets or worms instead.

Have you found a specific technique or lure that works well in your favorite urban fishing spot? We’d love to hear about it! Provide feedback on this post by logging into the Take Me Fishing Community or by commenting on the Take Me Fishing Facebook Page.


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Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.

4 Family-Friendly Spots for Lunker Largemouth Bass

4 Family-Friendly Spots for Lunker Largemouth Bass

Debbie Hanson 7/15/2014 It has been said that people often give nicknames to those they care about most. This would explain why one of America’s favorite freshwater game fish, the largemouth bass, is affectionately known by a number of different monikers such as bucketmouth, bigmouth, […]

Carp Love

Carp Love

Andy Whitcomb 7/13/2014 The common carp is so widely distributed we often forget it is a non-native species. Good luck finding a lake or river without these bottom-dwelling fish wallowing it. In many bodies of water, carp make up a majority of the fish biomass. […]

Conservation through Participation

Conservation through Participation

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For Space, Beauty, and Good Fishing, Nothing Beats a National Park

For Space, Beauty, and Good Fishing, Nothing Beats a National Park

Tom Keer 7/10/2014 According to the National Park Service, our country (including Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) has a whopping 7804 parks for us to visit.  The largest is in the Adirondacks, and there are some 6 million acres for Upstate New Yorkers […]