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Month: December 2017

Best Fishing blogs of 2017

Best Fishing blogs of 2017

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 […]

Boating Basics: Several Steps on How to Moor a Boat

Boating Basics: Several Steps on How to Moor a Boat

Tom Keer 12/21/2017 One of the most important and easiest skills for boating basics to learn is how to moor a boat. Here are three tips on how to moor a boat to a dock, a buoy or the bottom. How to dock a boat: Necessary […]

Which Catch and Release Net to Use for Fish Conservation

Which Catch and Release Net to Use for Fish Conservation

In the past, you may not have given much thought to the type of catch and release net you’ve used. However, the net you take along on your fishing trips actually plays a key role in the survival of any fish you release back into the wild. The best catch and release net will give you the ability to land, photograph, and release fish without causing any harm to your beloved quarry.

Remember that the more you handle a fish, and the longer you keep it out of the water, the less likely it is that the fish will remain alive and healthy once released. When considering which type of catch and release net to use, take into account the following fish conservation tips.

 

  1. Look for a net that is made with tangle-free rubber mesh instead of one that has knots or nylon string netting. A rubberized catch and release fishing net will keep the fish’s slime coat intact, which helps the fish continue to fight off disease or infection. Lures or flies are also much less likely to become tangled in a rubberized net.
  2. Find a catch and release fishing net that is fairly shallow so that you can snap photos of your catch while keeping your net (and the fish) in the water. If you want to quickly remove the fish from your net for photos, hold the fish horizontally. Remember that gravity out of the water is greater, so this can cause stress on the fish’s skeletal system.
  3. The best fishing nets for catch and release are lightweight and simple to transport. These nets are easy to carry along whether you are walking along the rocky banks of a mountain stream or fly casting from the deck of a flats boat. 
  4. Consider the species you plan to target in relation to the spacing of the holes in your net. Make sure that the holes in your net are small enough to keep your catches from slipping through and won’t get caught on delicate gills or fins. You know, as the old Irish blessing goes, “May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it.

Since you know how rubberized landing nets can contribute to higher fish survival rates when catch and release fishing, why not learn a few more catch and release best practices? Applying fish conservation methods like these can help ensure that our nation’s fisheries stay healthy and offer plenty of angling opportunities for future generations.

Galveston Pier Fishing Tips to Help You Change Things Up

Galveston Pier Fishing Tips to Help You Change Things Up

There are many great Texas fishing spots for both fresh and saltwater. When deciding where to fish for saltwater species, keep in mind that access to deeper water can be an issue, especially if you don’t happen to have a boat or are just there […]

Best Winter Catfish Bait Options for Cold Weather Fishing

Best Winter Catfish Bait Options for Cold Weather Fishing

Winter fishing tips always include the reminder to fish slowly. And the best way to catch catfish is to fish slow anyway so winter catfishing can require some serious patience. But with the frigid water temperatures, unless you own a neoprene wet suit, at least […]

Last minute boating holidays

Last minute boating holidays

We boaters don’t know the word quit, so we always try to squeeze in a few last minute boating holidays.  There are several different options from which to choose.

1. Boat Parades

Where to boat if you haven’t winterized yet? Check out the boat parades offered in many communities.  Folks in Old Town Alexandria and Washington, DC turn out in droves for the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights.  Dozens of boats are decorated in festive lights and cruise the Potomac River.  Tempe, Arizona’s Festival of Lights is one western equivalent, with boats buzzing the shoreline of Tempe Town Lake.  Many of the best boating lakes and waterways have similar festivals, so check and see if there is one nearby.

2. Last minute Boating Holidays

Some folks combine travel and boating, and this time of year there are some boating holiday deals to be had.  Of course you can head to England and cruise one of the canals and save money.  One service is called hireboat.com and stops in small towns and villages while cruising through the English countryside.  Bangers and mash and a pint of Guinness never tasted so good.

3. When is the best time to go boating?

Not now for me, the ice will soon be on the lakes.  I’ve been thinking about combining a vacation with boating by heading to the Tropics.  A few ideas for my cheap boating holidays came by looking at boats for rent in the Virgin Islands.  The costs are a bit expensive, but if I can split the fares with my family or friends they’re more than reasonable.

Deals on last minute boating holidays appear every day.  Maybe the best way to ring out 2017 and to ring in 2018 is on a boat.  The truth is a local, foreign or Tropical trip all sound good to me.

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.

Top 10 Christmas Fishing Gifts Everybody Wants This Year

Top 10 Christmas Fishing Gifts Everybody Wants This Year

Debbie Hanson 12/12/2017 Finding Christmas fishing gifts that everybody wants and needs doesn’t have to be a challenge. In fact, it’s actually super easy to track down angling-related items that almost every single fisherperson can use.  You better not pout, you better not cry… this […]

4 Essential Tips to Optimize Your Ice Fishing Setup

4 Essential Tips to Optimize Your Ice Fishing Setup

Temperatures are consistently dropping in the Northern tier, so it’s time to think about getting together your ice fishing setup.   If you’re like me your ice fishing gear has gathered dust since last season. 1.  Ice Fishing Essentials Clean and relubricate flags and reels […]

Austin Bass Fishing Tips and Best Places to Go

Austin Bass Fishing Tips and Best Places to Go

Photo Credit Michael Oehrtman

Austin, the capital of Texas, lies in the Hill Country region of Texas. Austin bass fishing, as well as Texas fishing in general can be phenomenal due to the long, warm season and impoundments creating quality water resources.

The Colorado River is impounded within the city of Austin, forming the slow river-like Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake. The shoreline is mostly privately owned, leaving little shoreline access besides a few public parks where one can find a couple of boat ramps maintained by the Parks and Rec Department of Austin.  Recreational boating can be heavy during the day, especially during the summer so non-peak usage times such as evenings and cooler months may be the best time to try your luck. Fishing also can be influenced by water release from the dam of another close Colorado River impoundment, the more “lake-like,” vast Lake Travis.

Walter E. Long Lake is much smaller and located just east of Austin. It is noted for great bass fishing too. The water here is used to cool a power plant so it will remain warm in winter if the plant is running. The hybrid striped bass here and in Lake Travis are a bonus for fishing in Austin with anglers having success with jigging spoons or topwater lures. Other Austin bass fishing opportunities include Lake Georgetown, Granger Lake, and Lake Kyle.

Bring standard bass fishing tackle but that medium action rod and reel combo with 8-10 pound line just may get put to the test. The chance of a true lunker is so high that the state has a ShareLunker program where genetics of these giants are passed along to new generations at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center near Athens, Texas.

Soft-plastics worm rigs are tough to beat throughout the summer. With cooler temperatures, spinnerbaits or swimbaits and lipless crankbaits may get that reaction bite.  When bass fishing Austin, you should go smaller and think more finesse presentations for smaller rivers and streams such as at McKinney Falls State Park.

Although Austin bass fishing usually employs normal bass techniques, you may want to keep an open mind as far as bass fishing tips. Austin also is known for a bridge that spans Lady Bird Lake that happens to house over a million bats. Bass are opportunistic and will eat just about anything that will fit in that oversized mouth. In fact, a bat lure was introduced this year at ICAST. Perhaps, on my next trip to Texas, after I get my fishing license, I may just have to try one of these unique topwater lures below that bridge.

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.   

5 Easy Steps on How to Maintain Your Fishing Gear for Winter

5 Easy Steps on How to Maintain Your Fishing Gear for Winter

November is a transitional time of year.  Anglers in the northern tier are pulling out tip ups, ice augurs, and other winter fishing gear.  Momma always said pick up after ourselves, and that means it’s time to properly store our fly, conventional and bait gear. […]