Tom Keer 6/29/2016 Walking a beach while looking for fish is about as fun as it gets. If you’re not used to surf fishing then it can be downright intimidating. The expansiveness of the ocean, the rising and falling of tides, and the movement of […]
Month: June 2016
Andy Whitcomb 6/27/2016 The kayak is a tremendously popular water craft. It is light, quiet, stable, and grants access to water that many other fishing boats may not be able to reach. Although not yet allowed in Bassmaster tournaments, several elite anglers like Hank Parker […]
Are you in the process of planning a family fishing vacation? If so, you will want to be sure to ask a few important questions before you book your trip. When you ask the right questions and consider the answers in your planning process, your chances of catching fish and having an enjoyable experience will go way up.
Fishing Vacation Questions
• When is the best time to go fishing at this vacation destination? It’s always a good idea to ask the local fishing lodge, resort or guide when the best time of year is for fishing, and then plan your vacation accordingly. They should be able to advise you as far as when you’ll have your best chance at catching fish considering the location, weather, and species.
• If you plan to take a fishing vacation at a lodge or resort, are there package rates available that include guided fishing trips? If so, it might simplify your trip and help make it even more economical.
• Is a deposit required to secure your spot on the boat or with the guide? Most charter captains, fishing guides, lodges, and resorts will require a deposit to secure your reservation. This is especially true during busy fishing vacation seasons, so be sure to ask and write down any important confirmation numbers or details.
• Do you want to fish with a large group of anglers or would you prefer to have a more personal experience? You can go out on a large head boat or party boat that holds a large number of anglers or book a private charter to fish with just your family or friends.
• Does the fishing guide or resort offer a “rain check” option if the weather doesn’t allow for catching fish? While you can’t control Mother Nature, you can be informed about what your options are in the event she doesn’t want to cooperate with your vacation schedule.
• Are the fishing guides or charter captains licensed? Most state laws specify that charter captains or fishing guides must have a license in order to carry paying customers.
• How many years of experience do the fishing guides or charter captains have? The more experienced the guides are, the better educated they are about the area and seasonal fishing patterns.
• How long do you want to spend on the water each day? If you plan to do some family fishing with young children or elderly members, it would be a good idea to limit your fishing time to just a few hours at a time.
• Are there certain amenities that you need or want to have available? If you book a charter on an inshore flats boat, for example, you probably won’t have immediate access to a bathroom. If you aren’t sure whether or not the boat or resort has the amenities you are looking for, always ask so there are no surprises or disappointments later.
• Where should you meet your guide or captain the morning of your fishing trip? At your hotel, cabin, or the dock? Be sure to get the specifics so that you don’t waste valuable fishing time.
• Can you bring your own rod and reel? If you have a favorite rod and reel that you like to use, be sure to ask the guide or captain if it will be suitable.
• Can you keep and eat the fish you catch on your trip? Don’t forget to ask about the bag limits and fishing regulations. Make sure you are informed and know which fishing rules apply to the area before you go.
Once you have asked these important questions about your fishing vacation, you can brush up on your fish species identification and find out which baits or lures work best.
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Odds are pretty good your tackle box is pretty well stocked with fishing gear. Most are chock-a-block with pliers, hook sharpeners, bobbers, and the like. But here are nine items that solve problems and can save the day.
Scissor/forceps. You’ll find stainless steel versions at most fishing shows for about five bucks. Clip the tip to your shirt pocket to keep this commonly used item handy. Use it to remove a hook that is deep in a fish’s throat, for cutting line to tie on new lures, and for bending down barbs.
Shrink wrap and spare guides. Boat shrink wrap can be used to quickly add a new guide to a rod. Tear off a piece, wrap it around the guide, and hit it with a hair dryer. Yeah, I’m sure you don’t have a hair drier in your pocket, but stop by a gas station rest room and use the hand drier. Forget about the odd looks….
Tape. Electrical tape is great for quick patches as it’s stretchy, so if windings are coming off your guide wraps or if your butt cap keeps falling off, take a turn or two and keep fishing. Cotton athletic tape in your tackle box is good for index fingers for fly rodders, as it prohibits line cuts on wet hands. For a quick measurement to determine a legal fish, add some tape to your rod blank. You’ll know in an instance if the fish goes in the box or back into the water.
Pin-on reel. Retractable reels are excellent for keeping certain items handy: nail cutters, hook sharpeners, leader straighteners and the like. They’re the kind waitresses use in diners.
Spare polarized glasses. They break, they fall off overboard, they scratch, and sometimes they get sat on. Heck, sometimes I even lose mine! A back up pair in your tackle box makes good sense.
Landing gear for toothy fish. You might be bass fishing but if a pike or a pickerel grabs your lure you’ll want something to tame him. A Bogagrip or long-nosed pliers is a must.
Reel lube. Nothing is more irritating than a squeaky reel. Nothing is easier to fix. A drop of lube makes everyone happy…including your fishing buddy.
Wax. If the section of your rod tip comes loose from the butt section, add a bit of wax to the female ferrule. The tips will stay put with a bit of wax.
With these few items in your tackle box you’ll reduce both your cussin’ and your fussin’. On to the fishing. Read more on fishing gear and tackle to get ready for the summer!
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Debbie Hanson 6/10/2016 Knowing how to identify fishing hot spots can mean the difference between a day full of non-stop action and a day full of yawning. While every waterway has unique features and distinguishing characteristics, there are certain areas that will almost always hold […]
The best fishing boats are the ones tailored to meet your particular needs. It’s common for anglers to change their tackle for different fishing conditions, which makes it reasonable to change your type of boat, too. Use these four tips to narrow down your search.
1. How Many people will be in board?
Realistically identify the fishing situations and conditions where you’ll use your boat for the majority of your time. Sure that bass boat looks sleek, but it’ll be a tough fit for your six fishing buddies. Evaluating how many people will regularly be on board will help determine length, beam, horsepower, and trailer type.
2.Where are you planning to go Fishing?
If you’re fishing local water regularly then you’ll have an easier time picking a hull design. But if you’re changing spots that range from small ponds to big lakes, and then you add in several ocean trips you will find that the jon boat that is perfect in a small pond can be a liability in the ocean. Migratory fish can move from protected salt ponds to open ocean; that flats fishing boat that worked well in the salt pond is a liability in 3-foot swells. Your first boat should accommodate the majority of your fishing conditions with a second boat filling in your secondary needs.
3.What is you budget?
It always makes sense to have the best and most reliable boat for the majority of your fishing conditions. You’ll spend less time on repairs and maintenance and more time fishing. So if you’re going to buy a new boat be sure it’s covering your prime fishing situation. A good way to fund a second or third boat is to buy them used, particularly at the end of the season. You won’t have to spend a lot of money on a boat you’ll use only in specific situations.
4.What is you style of fishing?
Fly fishing boats should be open, bass boats should be fast, and boats used for trolling in deep water should be comfortable. Match your boat to your style of fishing and you’ll have more fun.
It’s not a far stretch to own a few boats, and going in with a well-thought out plan that matches your fishing and financial plan is the best way to make it happen. Use our boat explorer tool to learn more about all of the different types of fishing boats that are on the market.
Photos courtesy of Nate and Chelsea Day I distinctly remember the first time I went fishing at just 5 years old. A school friend knocked on my Maui condo door and off we went, plunking little lines along Kihei’s shoreline. He was weirdly experienced at […]