Fishing & Boating News
(05/15/2001 - Albany, GA) In no particular order, these are some of my random notes, special stories and final impressions from the past week...I thought they were worth sharing...
(A day with Rodney Hardwicke)
(05/14/2001 - Hot Springs, AR) What a sight to see...pretty impressive to see a helicopter hovering overhead and chasing the boats as the five finalists took off to start the day - Operation Bass had loaned me a boat to go take a few pictures and then I was gonna have the rest of the day to wrap this up
Understanding the changes at the world's largest fishing organization
(05/11/2001 - ) I'd stated in one of my past articles, "Bass Fishing to NASCAR Proportions" that I looked for the winning combination for growth and new formats to evolve from within the B.A.S.S. organization sometime in the future. I also stated that television coverage has to be stepped up a lot in the future, for the continued growth and recognition of the sport. However, someone eventually has to pay for this futuristic television coverage.
Texas State Hatchery, Jasper, TX.
(05/11/2001 - Jasper, TX) "We did a pre-stocking study on both lakes before bringing these bass fingerlings in, stated Texas Parks & Wildlife Fisheries Biologist, Todd Driscoll, "So this is where we'll be inserting 500,000 pure Florida Bass into Rayburn today, he informed as he carefully released a net full of the baby "super-bass" into a thick, brushy patch of flooded buck-brush up in a protected cove. The 500,000 Florida Bass were a part of the one million –plus- fingerlings being released into the prime bass fishing waters of Lake Sam Rayburn and Lake Toledo Bend.
Show me an angler who hasn't busted off a big fish and I'll show you an angler who hasn't spent much time wetting a line.
Babe Winkelman Fishing Column
(04/20/2001 - ) While most anglers give a lot of thought to the rods, reels, electronics and lures they purchase, many give little or no consideration to the line they buy. That's a mistake, because selecting the right line for the job not only can improve your success, it also can determine whether or not the fish ever gets to the boat.
(04/19/2001 - Braham, MN) More and more anglers are finding out just how effective bottom bouncing can be. Initial reactions may include questioning why a finicky walleye would even come close to something as clunky as a bouncer, but don't let that bother you, as the walleyes sure don't seem to mind. In fact, the big clunky, hunk of burning love, may even act as an attractor. Painted models have been to known to acquire teeth marks, which are the direct result of a savage walleye attack. It may also explain a few of the missed fish, that occasionally happens.
(04/16/2001 - ) Always the Crown Jewel" and "Number One Star" of the O.M.C. Fiberglass Boat Group, Stratos/Javelin Boats as most of you know, has recently been acquired by Genmar Boats Holdings, Inc. This is a move which has made largest independent pleasure boat manufacturer in the world. Now owning, operating, and managing 18 different boat companies including the likes of Ranger Boats, Lund, and Crestliner just to name a few, Genmar is putting everything they have into building this new family member back up to the proud and regal status with which they have always remained synonymous.
IN THE BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
(04/14/2001 - Lafayette, LA) Fishing is more than a hobby for the people of south Louisiana. It's a way of life. Catering to the outdoor lifestyles of their neighbors, Gulf Coast Boats' Ted and Juanita Morrow have created a boat dealership especially for a lifestyle that is centered around fishing and boating.
Don't take chances, take cover.
(04/12/2001 - ) Let's face it, as tournament fishermen we have to endure tough weather situations: wind, snow, sleet, hail, rain, and combinations of all of these. Some of the most dangerous conditions in which some of fish are thunderstorms. Thunderstorms are dangerous, some contain strong straight-line winds and can spawn tornadoes. One of the most dangerous aspects of any thunderstorm is the lightning that accompanies it. Anyone is at risk to get struck by lightning, whenever a storm is around.
Finding walleyes on big water can be a real challenge; So much so that it may scare many anglers away.
(04/11/2001 - ) It's easy to understand why, especially when you consider all of the options. Questions come to mind like; Just where do you start? And how do you start? Do you rig, jig, crank or bounce? Do you fish deep, shallow, or somewhere in-between ? With so much water to cover and so little time, there is no way you can do it all. Rather than trying to cope with more than you can handle, anglers might be better served by taking a smaller slice, and concentrating their efforts on an amount that's much more manageable.
(04/11/2001 - Lake Sam Rayburn, TX) Lady Bass "Rookie of the Year", "Three time Lady Bass Classic contender and one time Bass N'Gal Classic angler, "Lady Bass and Bass N'Gal National Champion" and "1999 Woman's Bass Fishing Association World Champion", "FOLKS" meet a wife of thirty three years, mother of two, grandmother of four, and 1999 WBFA World Bass Champion, Donna Newberry.
Let's start bridging the gap
(03/31/2001 - ) It's been said that lake property owners don't like bass fishermen. The issue has been blown way out of proportion, and has been inflated to the point, that it has become a hot issue over the years, with both groups.
(03/24/2001 - ) Piranhas of the ice-fishing belt, or as Chip Leer of On Ice Tour calls them, "shiner minnows on steroids". Cold-blooded fishes, which actually prefer winter to summer, mix and mingle in voluminous packs. With silvery-sided runs of passion and gluttony they swallow whole what they can and shred what they cannot. 100 catches a day are common.
(03/24/2001 - ) From coast to coast, panfish anglers embrace the arrival of spring. Unsafe black ice has vanished and our beloved bluegills and crappies frolic in predictable places. Classic shallow and stained-water locations host much of the activity. Wind protected bays and river backwaters rank high. Many of these venues are considered "community spots", where boats pile up and shore-casters line the banks. But if you don't enjoy running with the Jones', some fine-tuning is necessary to find that "spot on the spot", away from the masses.
(03/22/2001 - ) Do those fishing sprays, pastes, and liquids that you apply to your lures really work? The answer to this question is: "yes they do." Some much better than others.
Old lures have a history, some much more than others.
(03/16/2001 - ) Lures come in many shapes, and sizes, and just about every color in the rainbow. However, some lures come, and some lures go, but they all have a history. One lure that's withstood the test of time, and in my opinion is truly a legendary lure. That lure would be the Big-O.
From the NAFC's Catch & Release Files
(03/16/2001 - Minnetonka, MN) Sometimes the word leaks out on your favorite fishing hotspot and the pressure builds. What you discover is that the fish you’ve been chasing get a little weary of the constant attention and they become tougher to catch. Sometimes your only option if you want to continue the success is to innovate. Chuck Booker discovered this when his favorite creeks became hotspots. Booker lives in West Amherst, New York, and the small streams he likes to fish are Fourmile, Twelvemile and Eighteenmile creeks. Within the last two years the pressure on these three locations has well over doubled. Booker attributes this phenomenon to the Internet and the promotion the creeks have been receiving on web sites.
(03/13/2001 - Braham, MN) Mudlines are often the key to successful reservoir angling, but unfortunately for many anglers, the how's and where's are as clear as mud. Veteran reservoir anglers know all too well that mudlines are the place to be when things are right, but as barren as the Mohave Dessert when they're not. The following should help clear things up, and give you the confidence to start getting your share of mud running walleyes.
(03/14/2001 - Toledo Bend Spillway, Sabine River, LA.) "AYIEEEEEE" the yell went out as the angler's 12 ' surf-rod bent to the throb of another "thump!" Walking downstream to position himself for landing the big fish, the angler began playing out the big fish, which was severely stressing his tackle. "I don't know what this fish represents in numbers that I've caught today, the angler grimaced as he pumped and reeled, "But they've been hitting like this since 8:am this morning!" A quick look at my watch showed that it was12:Noon, which meant that the angler had been catching Striper for 4 hours straight now and as he finally managed to wrestle the "hard-bodied" line-sider to the shore he quickly landed and released the 10 lb class fish before recasting for yet another go-round.
Kids are the future of the sport
(03/13/2001 - ) In the past year or so, I've heard a lot of people make the statement that the sport of competitive bass fishing will be as big as NASCAR in just a couple of years. Anything can happen, but realistically a few breakthroughs' must be made in the sport to boost tournament bass fishing to NASCAR levels.
(03/13/2001 - Braham, MN) To get a jump on a little early season walleye action, you might think about giving a river a try. Rivers can offer some phenomenal fishing opportunities, especially during the early spring period. While tremendous catches are often made, it does takes a little understanding to get the most out of situation. Factors that must be considered are water temperature, levels, and clarity. They all play a role in where walleyes will be found, and just how active they'll be. Rivers open up much sooner than lakes do, and warm up even faster. Because of that, everything is accelerated, with spawning taking place weeks ahead of icebound lakes. Fishing in and around the walleye spawning season can be a little tough at times, and absolutely phenomenal at others. Dramatic swings in activity can occur from one day to the next, and may leave anglers wondering where the heck they all went.
(03/10/2001 - Woodbury, MN) After introducing you to the book, "Precision Casting," it seems logical to think about how you can use the dive curves with your own personal experimentation to make yourself a better crankbait fisherman.
Why some anglers catch fish while others struggle
(03/08/2001 - Zavalla, TX) Well this month I am going to try to explain why some anglers catch fish, while others struggle to get a limit.
142 years ..... from Scows to Skeeters
(03/07/2001 - Lyme, CT) Nestled on Hamburg Cove off the Connecticut River in Lyme, Connecticut is Reynolds' Garage and Marine Inc., and they have been in business at this location for 142 years. The business began in 1859, when Ephraim Otis Reynolds started serving the carriage riding public. Ephraim built two and four seat carriages with canopy tops, carriage tops and open conveyances. Each wheel spoke was painted and striped appropriately; each carriage received a hand rubbed coat of varnish, leather upholstered seats and cushion, and a black patent leather dashboard. The blacksmith shop, located below the carriage shop made all the iron rims for the carriages. In addition to servicing and building the carriages, Ephraim also operated a general store that included a grain room, hardware department, kerosene tanks and many other necessary items that were shipped to him by the Connecticut River. Wagon production ended in about 1890 since Studebaker was able to build the carriages in an assembly line production and Ephraim could no longer compete. Therefore, Ephraim continued the repair business.
(03/02/2001 - Woodbury, MN) It's all about your lures spending more time where you intend them to be. Crankbait anglers have long suffered from not knowing, for sure, how deep their lures run when they cast them out and retrieve them. Unless your Risto Rap snags bottom––and you know how deep the water is where it hit bottom––you don't know for sure how deep that lure runs. And even if you find out how deep that lure runs on one cast, what if you make a longer or shorter cast? What if you reel in faster? What if…
What a difference water clarity makes, when it comes to presenting a crankbait.
(03/01/2001 - Woodbury, MN) Time after time, we find examples in fishing where you can be more successful by trying to see the world the way fish see it. The key word, in this case, is "see." If you take a few moments to notice how clear the water is, you can make important adjustments in how you present crankbaits that will make a difference in how many fish you catch. So much in fishing is theory. There are a lot of things we don't know for sure, but we make assumptions based on experience. One assumption: when fish can't see your lure well, they have a hard time eating it if it's moving erratically. If the water is dirty, fish are better able to capture your lure if they can determine where it's going and how fast. (Even in clear water, the same can be said during any low-light condition––such as early morning, late evening, at night, when it's windy, and under heavy overcast.)
And Fishing is Heating Up!
(02/27/2001 - Zavalla, TX) Spring has sprung in East Texas. The pear, plum and red buds are in full bloom. It won't be another week or two and the dogwoods will be in bloom. All this means to anyone who lives in the East Texas area, is that the bass are starting to move up on to the beds for spawn.
(02/27/2001 - Millcreek Lodge & Grocery, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.) While practice fishing for the upcoming Bassmaster Texas Invitational tournament on lake Sam Rayburn TX, Bass Pro Robert Tucker of Sachse TX, was cranking some creek-edge drop-off grass with a 30 year old "Hump-backed" Rebel crank-bait when a 2:30 pm bite put him on a whirlwind scene of events that would eventually end up at Millcreek Lodge & Grocery getting certified for a "possible" new lake record rod & reel catch for a Blue Catfish, as well as "possible" new line class world record for 12 lb test monofilament line. "I thought at first that I had a big Buffalo on when it hit, Robert stated "But after it made a sizzling run that started overheating my reel I thought… "HELP"!!!
"If there's a single piece of ice fishing equipment that will double your catch, it's portable sonar."
(02/21/2001 - Braham, MN) Good stories make good lead-ins. And during a recent interview with On Ice Tour's Chip Leer and Tommy Skarlis, Chip broke into the following... "I was winter guiding on little northern Minnesota lake. Our crew was after crappies and it didn't take us long to find fish suspended in 35-feet of water. While unpacking the gear I noticed we were short a flasher. Being the guide, I volunteered to go flasher-less. But one of my guests demanded that I use a flasher and that he would go without. After some discussion, I agreed. The crappies were on fire! Everyone in the group, aside from Mr. No Electronics, was seeing fish 20-feet down, dropping down to them, and hooking fish. I figure he was out-fished at about a 10:1 clip – the guy got his clock cleaned."
(02/21/2001 - Braham, MN) Often disparaged, seldom celebrated. They go by the name eelpout, burbot, ling, and lawyer; technically, they're freshwater cod. In Minnesota, On Ice Tour's home turf, eelpout is most common. The bearded wonders are frequent byproducts of hardwater walleye and lake trout trips. But the time has come for eelpout to share or possibly steal the limelight. And this is why...
(02/21/2001 - Braham, MN) Conquering early season walleyes can be a formidable task, and has sent many an angler home disappointed as well as empty handed. The thing is, it doesn't have to be that way, and success is often just a short distance away. The key is keeping an open mind, and reacting to the given conditions.
(02/13/2001 - Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.) "I guess I started building my jigs back in 1979, Lonnie began to review while fawning over a new prototype spinner bait skirt he had just developed, "Because I had just won a Lone Star Tournament on Lake Toledo Bend with one of my home-made jigs, "Then, He recalled, "I really got lucky by winning six more tournaments in 1980 and '81 on my jigs, which were being hand built in my garage at College Bryan Station, TX. "Then, after a few more years of building and fishing my "home-mades" for pocket money, my "garage based production company" slowly blossomed from the hand to pocket cottage industry to what is now a multi-million dollar International sport-fishing market, where "Millions" of my Stanley fishing products are now being used by anglers all over the world.
(02/12/2001 - Braham, MN) Have you tried cranking up a bunch of walleyes yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Believe it or not, walleyes have a hard time resisting crankbaits, especially when they when they show up in the wrong place at the wrong time, (for the walleyes that is).
(02/12/2001 - Braham, MN) Where in the world can you go and have a real shot at catching a walleye over nine pounds every time you get out on the water? The answer is none other than Lake Erie, the world's finest walleye fishery, bar none. The number of walleyes available to Erie anglers is staggering. What's even more impressive is the average size, as anglers can expect to catch plenty of fish in the six to nine pound range. Although just about anytime of the year is the right time to fish Lake Erie, there are definitely peaks that anglers should try to take advantage of. One of the most intense peaks of the entire season occurs just after the spawning period. Although the post spawn period is usually associated with some of the toughest conditions you'll ever be faced with , Erie is definitely the exception.
On The "River of Cypress" Betwixt- Logansport LA, and Joaquin TX.
(01/31/2001 - ) "Boy, we got it whupped now, the guide alerted to us as we pulled, pushed, and clawed out way through the entanglement of vines, tree-limbs, and "barbed-wire" brush, "That hidden lake should be just around the next creek-bend fer-sure, he grinned as we dodged and ducked the "whipping switches" of Ma Nature. "Then, as we finally rounded the next bend in the flooded timberline, "Whelp, we sure-nuff got it whupped this time, re-grinned the guide as he alerted us to the fact that the hidden lake would be "just" around the next bend, "fer-sure"."Welcome to Sandbar Fever Folks!!"
(01/29/2001 - ) When it comes to bass fishing, boat positioning is probably just as important as having your rods and reels on board with you. Using your boat properly while bass fishing can definitely make the difference between catching bass or not catching bass, especially when certain circumstances prevail during the course of the time spent on the water. For example, let's say that you were fishing for bedding bass during the Spring. Many anglers are aware of the sensitivity nature of the bass during this time of the year, they can be very skittish and frighten (or you can spook them) very easily right? Now, you certainly wouldn't want to motor the boat right up on top of the beds and scare the bass before you had a chance to fish for them would you? of course not! In this article I hope to help you understand the importance of boat positioning by giving you a few scenarios that many anglers encounter during the course of their time they spend on the water.
(01/19/2001 - ) On the surface, it would appear that fishing in the United States has never been better. But lurking just below the surface-literally and figuratively-are numerous threats to the sport of angling.
(01/19/2001 - Lake Fork, TX) Lake Fork this last year has been a very tough lake to fish. As a guide on Lake Fork, I fish the lake about 250 days of the year and it has been hard to figure out how to catch the better fish. For the last year my night fishing has been the same. I have always said that if I could book every one of my trips at night I would never day fish, but this past year I've caught fish more during the day than at night. Here are some of the things that I think has happened:
(01/16/2001 - Lake Toledo Bend, TX.) Several "blips" on the depth recorder mark fish holding over a 23' creek point ridge with the edges dropping off into a 32' creek-channel, distinct upside down Christmas tree patterns designate the fish as possibly being crappie. "One sure-fire way to find out what they are, advised the attractive young lady at the helm of the sleek Skeeter bass boat, would be to drop a line, or two, to see just what they are. And it doesn't take much more coaxing before two lines were dropping live minnows down to the recorded marks of the fish, taking only seconds before the true nature of those electronic blips were finally verified..........."Crappie",.... nice, girthy chunks that mark them as Palo Gaucho Crappie.
Lake Sam Rayburn, Texas.
(01/09/2001 - Lake Sam Rayburn, TX) "Over there, alerted the guide as we slowly moved into the grass pocket, make your cast's just past those clumps of grass which are out from the moss-edges, he advised, then retrieve them into the grass-tops to try and snag the strands of the hydrilla. To most anglers, "snagging-up" with anything while retrieving our lures usually enflames with some sort of frustrated and derogatory remarks, "But, when grass-tippers snag their lures into the grassy weed-beds their response is always one of exhilaration, and anticipation as they brace for a sudden bass attack....... "THEN HANG ON FOR DEAR LIFE!!"
Testing the waters and weather in the land of Mozart
(12/29/2000 - Mittersill, Austria) Among fly-fisherpersons, the prime locales of the world are well known. The Florida Keys, Montana, Alaska, Argentina and the Bahamas are the subject of countless articles and dozens of outdoor shows. Outside of the chalk streams of England, Europe is rarely a destination for the international fly-fisher. Austria however, is the keeper of what could be the world's best-kept fly-fishing secret. Austria and its alpine lakes and streams provide visitors with uncrowded access to unspoiled, world-class fishing in a variety of environments.
(12/20/2000 - Walker, MN) Clearly, I can recall Minnesota's esteemed Governor, Jesse Ventura, then traveling by the ring name of "The Body", being backed into turnbuckles by villains the likes of Jerry Blackwell and The Claw. And just when The Body and his feathered boa appeared to be in dire straits, out thrust the brawny arm of tag team partner Adrian Adonis, the Atlantic side of The East West Connection. The Body tagged and through the ropes entered Adonis to begin counter-pummeling. Former AWA fans can now regain their seats... Fact or fiction, teamwork, that's what it was all about. A reference to tag team professional wrestling might be a bit of a stretch, but trust me; teamwork plays a vital role in ice fishing.
(12/20/2000 - Walker, MN) The stereotypes are out there. A casual ice angler glances out the frosted window of a permanent shelter to verify that his tip-up, which was deployed yesterday, remains un-sprung. Another angler, this one seated next to a buddy in the cab of a pickup, wipes just enough condensation off the passenger window to scan the ice for tripped flags. And a third party, slurping suds and dealing poker inside a toasty cabin, forgot about their field of tip-ups a case of beer ago...
(12/18/2000 - ) My Spanish-speaking guide used hand signals to tell me the bass far below was just nibbling the tail of my plastic worm. Then, tapping his index finger on his temple, explained that the fish was too smart to be caught.
(12/16/2000 - Toledo Bend Reservoir, TX/LA) "There they are, Patty alerted as the LCD graph marked several large fish holding over the hump. "They be Striper, and big ones at that, Noe advised just seconds before Patty shrieked "FISH ON!" The next few seconds were "blurred" as we hurriedly reeled in our lines to give Patty some fighting room. "GOSH" this fish is strong, Patty lightly complained as the brute forced her to brace for a long fight. "Finally, after some "toe-to-toe" moments of drag burning runs and rod wrestling, the lady finally managed to lead the Striper to boat-side, "Where, after another surging run, Noe finally "swoops" out the large Striper into the net. It was 6:58 am, only minutes after launching from the Harbor Lodge boat ramp, and by 7:45 am we would have eight more "shrieks" & hook-ups which saw "nothing but net" as Noe was kept busy landing Striper from eight to fifteen lbs.
(12/08/2000 - ) Boy, what a year. As any angler knows, that has fished this year, if you want to fish something new, just wait a few weeks. We had very little rain this year and that means that on generating lakes like Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend, the water table goes down and down and down. Partner that up with an unusually short Spring, if any and a very hot summer. Then add a Fall that has not existed, and what looks like an early Winter, and you have almost no specific fishing pattern for the whole year. I am just like any other angler seeking for knowledge, I read alot of articles from amateur anglers to the Pros, and when I find something that would help build my arsenal for ways of catching Mr. Bass, I try to put it into my memory files
(11/24/2000 - Walker, MN) We've all been out there when it didn't seem to matter what you gave them or how it was presented. The very moment aggressive to nearly hostile crappies or sunfish see it they thump it. Under such conditions you can jig a lure with every conceivable combination of motions and there will be dinner on the table. These fish are ON, or as On Ice Tour labels them, Gulpers. But what about when they're OFF, behaving like Gawkers, or somewhere in between? By the way, naming rights for these "in-between-ers" is yet undetermined and On Ice Tour is open to suggestions.
(11/24/2000 - Walker, MN) Oh, the good old days... Chip and Tommy reminisce about afternoons-spent ice fishing from a wood heated shanty. Toasting by the stove. And that march out to the fish house; pulling the Radio Flyer; carrying buckets of gear; shuffling through drifts of snow. Such fond memories...
(11/22/2000 - ) It took the third person saying about the same thing in the span of a couple hours to get through to me, but I finally realized I had a failure to communicate.
An Adventure into the "Awesome-Autumn" Top-Water Phenomenon
(11/22/2000 - Lake Sam Rayburn, TX) On this day of "trick or treat" when ghosts and goblins were running amuck, three anxious bass anglers managed to weave their way through those "things that go bump in the fog" for some "Awesome-Autumn" top-water bass adventures that most of us only dream of, "or read about"................As the Spook slowly "wobbled" past the grassy-staub, the obvious strongly hinted for me to put down the fishing rod and pick up my camera, but when the obvious suddenly "EXPLODED" out of the water..............."Too late!!"
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