The Outdoor Guys – Radio for Outdoor Sportsman

 

By Forrest Fisher
The way of the future includes modern sportsmen on the move. As we travel from place to place to fish, hunt, shoot, hike or camp, it can pay dividends to hear fresh advice from the experience of seasoned outdoors folks through podcasts (that include re-playable radio shows). It’s one easy way to keep up, no matter where we are.

Outdoor Guys Radio is a weekly outdoor show, dedicated to hunting, fishing, shooting, and the great outdoors. Airing on ESPN 99.3 FM and 1510 AM in Kansas City since 2011, listeners can catch the show every Friday afternoon from 3-4:00 Central on ESPN Kansas City or on Saturday morning from 9-10:00 Central on Sports Byline USA.

Avid outdoorsman and outdoors writer, Ken Taylor, has been a host of Outdoor Guys Radio since the show began in 2011. Ken has been hunting and fishing since he was old enough to pick up a BB gun, and is passing that passion on to his two sons. Both boys love to hunt and shoot, and are also avid fisherman. Ken credits his dad with instilling in him a love for hunting, fishing, and all things outdoors. Thanks mostly to his understanding wife, Ken spends over 90 days a year hunting and fishing. Ken enjoys hunting big game, upland birds and waterfowl in both Kansas and Missouri. The rest of his year is spent fishing on their home lake, shooting at Powder Creek Gun Club and training Ruby and Belle, the family’s Vizslas. Adds Ken, “Ruby and Belle are our most reliable hunting partners!”

The show features the best of regional and national experts, providing listeners with informative news, tips, destinations, and even a wild game recipe or two. In addition to the on-air shows, segments are also available through our podcast page and on iTunes. Each week, Outdoor Guys Radio hosts the best of local, regional and national experts in hunting, fishing, shooting and the Great Outdoors.

A few of “The Guys” who regularly contribute to the show include such national celebrities as Brandon Butler, Executive Director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri: Brandon is an avid outdoorsman, prolific writer, and a great defender of the rights of sportsmen; Jared Wiklund, Public Relations Specialist for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever: Jared provides listeners great insight into habitat and upland birds; Dr. Grant Woods, GrowingDeer.TV: Dr. Woods is a renowned biologist, game management expert, and the host of Growing Deer TV; Jim Zaleski, Outdoors Writer: “Jimmy Z” is an accomplished outdoors writer, fisherman, and radio host. He brings a wealth of fishing and hunting knowledge to the show. In addition, Zaleski is the Director of Tourism for Labette County, KS; and many other notable outdoor guys.

Sports Byline USA: Outdoor Guys Radio is broadcast every Saturday morning on Sports Byline USA! Sports Byline USA airs on over 200 markets across the United States. Click here for a listing of stations that carry Outdoor Guys Radio.

Outdoor Guys Radio on SB USA is also heard around the globe on over 500 stations in 168 countries on American Forces Radio.

Help Support Military Heroes, Kids, Conservation during Holidays

  • Help Youth Groups, Military Veterans, Conservation
  • Free Entry to Holiday Sportsman Show
  • Visit with Outdoor Vendors offering Giant Discount Options
Every day, F.I.S.H receives applications of soldiers and veterans in need and F.I.S.H. helps them in every possible way. The Holiday Sportsman Show supports F.I.S.H. with your Gift Card Purchase.

By Forrest Fisher
We all have outdoor youth friends (4H) and most of us have met more than one disabled military hero, you know these groups need our support. A little can go a long way. Here is a special link to provide support for those in need and to find some timely outdoor holiday gifts too.

Visit the on-line Holiday Sportsman Show (it’s free), no spending is required, but you can purchase a $15 gift card package to receive an option for thousands of dollars in discounts to help our military heroes (F.I.S.H.), kids (4H and others) and outdoor conservation. That easy.

Click the picture to enter the show

Explore outdoor halls you can navigate with your mouse, then go back again and again (for free) on your electronic communicator or computer. Visit vendors providing amazing discounts for the holidays. Gift buying and funding support made easy.

Take a peek, visit the show: Open through December 31, 2018.

Please purchase a $15 gift card package, you won’t be disappointed.


 

Outdoors Apocalypse, “New Kids” can provide New Leadership

Outdoors Apocalypse - A Story to Share

  • New Ecology, New Nature, New Adventure
  • New Gear, New Kids…Old Fun in a New Way

By Forrest Fisher

Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota can offer a new view to age-old rocks and mountain formations – a great place to explore.

Summer is warmer and starts earlier, winter is warmer and shorter. We have a longer rainy season each year. Modern generations are convinced that nature is changing. 

New forms of fun have evolved to welcome millions of millennials to the outdoors where they escape to thrills with a welcome rush of fun, sometimes for just a moment or two.

The “new kids” bungee cord, hike, run, breathe fresh air, hear the surf crashing, ski downhill on snow-covered mountains, skin dive to photo-shoot fish on coral reefs – any of these a short flight from home. A usual manner of departure for their modern millennial day. They enjoy the wind moving through their hair, are protected from UV rays with modern sunscreen and meet accepted new standards of our apparent new age.

Outdoor participation is in a state of change in our modern outdoors, but it is about the millennial modern perspective, insulated within a well-planned, undeterred call for momentary adrenaline through nature. Then it’s back to work. Some millennials work 20 hour days, mostly on a keyboard.

As we approach Thanksgiving, is it time to rethink the feast of nature?

There are times when the truth of the woods, nature itself, is under question by the city folks, many millennials themselves. The new nature includes getting lost and resting easy to find yourself, sometimes in solitude, sometimes with a friend.

A roll-up air mattress that fits into the backpack with comfort to be found in a pop-up camp tent to enjoy a great night of sleep under the stars.

Pinnacle Dualist Complete is a great pocket-sized camp set for hiking and biking.

In your backpack, you remove your Pinnacle Dualist, it is the ultimate mess kit with stove and tiny isobutane fuel supply – total weight: 27 ounces. The kits integrates everything for hot meals and warm drinks in an impossibly small footprint.

No plastics allowed, no cigarettes, just filtered stream water, sustainable supplies, all with efforts to provide for a better future in nature and time away.

A clean future.

A green future.

A sustainable future.

Maybe these “new kids” reached their campsite on a rock-proof mountain bike. New products today can provide increased range for adventure.

Silence is the special gift of such new adventure, interrupted only by the sound of a lazy campfire, glimmering fireflies from a nearby field and woods. There is expectation for surprise looking skyward for a meteor to zoom across the night darkness.

That’s a moment to make a timely wish for peace in the world.

Nature by itself is a natural celebrity. A place where your internal clock is secure and a new secret to sync your body system is discovered. The “new kids” live true with such adventure.

Microlite Stainless Vacuum bottle is efficient, lightweight and affordable.

There is time to write a handwritten letter to someone you know that needs a letter.  A sip of purified mountain water from your Microlite water bottle that keeps liquids hot or cold for all day. Delicious.  

Nature is truly grand.

Morning light provides a new connection to the day ahead. It’s hard to miss the “new day” vindication of mixed color, hues of yellow, orange and red. It’s a beautiful planet you think to yourself.  You sense a new and sudden perfection with nature at this moment. You welcome your relaxed state of mind.

Friendship, wildlife, nature, conservation – all linked at this moment. 

Your mind wanders a bit, then you think back to mankind centuries old to realize the bonus, this is the same morning sunlight that people 5,000 years ago watched come over the horizon. So times have not changed, you option in thought. You do know though, that this overnight experience has provided an uplift for you.

Nature is truly grand.

Human nature is a bit like Mother Nature with the seasons of spring, summer, winter and fall, you imagine. The seasons restore each other. Maybe Mother Nature has not changed all that much then or, you option, maybe it has. There is time to ponder this question.

Can there be a new algorithm to slow down this latest “new kids” generation that seeks to find instant solutions through the assortment of so many keyboard tools.

Jeans, T-shirt, sneakers, ball cap and sunglasses is all you really need to “fit in.” Soong as you have a battery cord and charger.

So we ask is this the new nature or the old nature? The “new kids” nature is, you accept, extraordinary.

Some parts of our planet can provide an age-old view into our changing nature.

Sunset arrives with an orange glow.

The clouds rest.

The wind is silent now too.

An owl hoots in a nearby tree.

It’s time for millennials to join up with nature to find adventure in the outdoors.  It’s time for millennials to understand why hunting and fishing are important to our future and our ecology.

Us older folks could use the new leadership, don’t be afraid to ask us for a match.

Boots to FIX Achy-Breakee Knees – I’m a brand new, old Outdoor Guy

 

  • Midsole support and solid heel fit helped heal my knee bones
  • Semi-automatic shoe-lacer, especially good for old guys 
  • For hunting – they’re scent-free, waterproof and handsome to deer to stare at while I draw my bow
Click the boot to see how the shoe-lacing system works.

By Forrest fisher

In my short seven decades of hunting, hiking, fishing and camping, I have bought and tried virtually every boot ever made on the market. Most of them are pretty good and they work well for their intended purposes. Somehow without my knowing, time has passed and it seems I got old. First the back, then the knees, you know how things go when you wear out parts – especially in cold weather.

Then I had a chat with my long-time outdoor pal, Kim Emery, and she shared that there was this new boot that everyone was raving about for comfort.  It was waterproof, you could get insulated or uninsulated, and if you wanted to save your back from bending over too far to tie the shoelaces, you could get them with the new, semi-automatic, wind-up shoe-lacer…push to lock, pull to release. Kim said, “You’re gonna like these Forrest.”  When a trusted friend tells you that, they got ordered, they were on their way.

As soon as I received them, the shipping box wrapper lasted about 4 seconds until I reached the Irish Setter boot box. First off, they are handsome. Second, they were so lightweight. I felt myself hurrying to get my sneaker shoes off to slip into my new size 14 handsome boots. My heart was actually racing a bit, they looked so good. Would they fit? Would they work for me?

My wide foot slithered into them like a hot knife into warm butter. Wow, I thought, they feel really good. I stood up after figuring out the tighten-me-now shoe lace mechanism and there I was. I took a few careful steps. Then I hollered over to my better half, “Honey, come see these new boots! They’re amazing, they feel good, they help my knees, I can’t believe it!”

Smiling ear to ear, “I’m going hiking out back dear,” I was yelping. Underfoot and knee comfort like never before. Even my back felt good. I called Kim to share my surprise with this newfound hope for more time outdoors. Today, I wear them everywhere, every day – hunting, fishing, walking, shopping…everywhere. They are MY BOOTS. Good for uneven, even, rugged and un-rugged earth.

I researched them to learn more, because they are not only comfortable, they are warm and dry all day too. What are they made of? They are Irish Setter model 2890 boots and it turns out they use modern technology in putting these together, but without getting into the fancy names, they work. They even have odor elimination for smell-free feet when you hunt big game critters, like I’m doing today.  I’ve had them a month and I’ve mistreated these like every other boot I have owned and they still look new. They don’t know what foot-dragging and toe-kicking abrasion means, they look brand new. AND, most of all, I can walk all day without looking to rest on my butt. That new shoe lace mechanism is called the BOA® lacing system. Only one word for these boots: LIFESAVERs! Irish Setter model 2890.

About Irish Setter: Based in Red Wing, MN, Irish Setter is a division of Red Wing Shoe Company that produces a full line of performance hunting boots and rugged outdoor casual footwear. Irish Setter continues to use leading technologies and the finest materials to offer customers the highest quality outdoor footwear. For more information about Irish Setter’s heritage, products and retailers, visit www.irishsetterboots.com.

 

Life Outdoors? Make it Hot, Cold and Cost-effective!

Twist top (screw-on) is non-leak style and can hook onto your backpack or belt loop.

  • Irreplaceable Item for Family Fun Outdoors
  • Hot or Cold Vacuum Bottle for All-Day Use
  • Unbreakable, Unleakable, Efficient, Lightweight, Affordable & Colorful

By Forrest Fisher

Gotta love space age stuff when we ordinary folks can benefit for a few dollars of our hard earned pay.

My daughter was in a hurry to meet up with her family for a long overdue camping vacation. The kids were waiting in the van outside the house all prepped and ready to find some peace, quiet and campfire time. She had been up all night finishing up lesson plans for her school, she is a teacher, and was anxious about not forgetting anything for her family of 6. She said aloud, not looking at any list, “Check, check, check, and oh! I can’t forget the hiking jug. So, so important.” After that, she ran downstairs to the basement to bring back her water bottle.

“What’s that?” I was asking because I had not seen this purple-colored water bottle before. “Get a new water bottle?” She said, “Dad, I’m in hurry. Thanks for coming over to take care of the dog, the fish, the rabbit, the birds and the turtles, but I don’t have time to tell you about this one right now. I gotta go, everyone is outside and waiting for me. Just one thing dad, we never go out anywhere without this jug these days, it keeps things hot or cold for all day. It’s a life-saver, it’s a Microlite vacuum bottle. Bye dad, love you!”

Twist top (screw-on) is non-leak style and can hook onto your backpack or belt loop.

With that, off she went, the van with mom and dad and four kids went off into the horizon of the outdoors for a few days. How she does it, I’ll never know. To be young, right?

Of course, I wasn’t going to settle for that too-simple answer of…“it’s a life-saver.” I wanted to know more. That’s me, a continuous researcher when it comes to finding better gear for the outdoors. I went online and Googled it. “Microlite Vacuum Bottle.” There it was, carried by GSI Outdoors (www.gsioutdoors.com). There are many sizes, but I noted she was carrying the larger size, that made it the 1000 ml model (33 ounces or about 1 qt.). 

I read that the GSI Outdoors Microlite 1000 is a stainless steel insulated vacuum bottle with a twist top, unleakable if you follow instructions, and is the perfect bottle to keep hot coffee, hot tea or hot soup just the way you poured it in (hot) for about all day (18 hours). On the other end, for hiking, biking, working around the woods, watching for shooting stars in an all-nighter, or resting in your tree stand waiting for mister big – it’ll keep your water ice cold for as long as 32 hours. What impressed me too, was how small it was to be so keenly efficient. That’s how it is advertised too, smaller (thinner walls) and lighter (it only weighs 13 ounces!).

Gotta love space age stuff when we ordinary folks can benefit for a few dollars of our hard earned pay.

The Microlite vacuum bottles are made from specially treated stainless steel (18-8), they’re durable and unbreakable, won’t rust, making them totally cost-effective for my day outdoors. The bottle top was a secure screw-on (twist-on) top and I noted right away that it was available in nice earth tone colors that would work for an all-day backpack sit in the woods with my camera or bow.

The Microlite vacuum bottles offer a variety of top lock styles, colors and sizes. Click the picture above for a video of options (under 30 seconds).

Last, important to provide the forecast of life expectations for this $34 bottle, GSI Outdoors products like this are covered by a Lifetime Warranty against material and workmanship defects. You just call 1-800-704-4474 or email: contact@gsioutdoors.com and you’re able to ask questions and get answers. That’s a good deal for something that will last a lifetime.

I ordered one through Amazon and I’m hoping it comes in before my daughter gets back.

Yep, surprise!

I can see her smile right now. I’m going to ask her, “What’s unbreakable, unleakable, efficient, lightweight, affordable and colorful? This is a test.”

Giving back to teachers….fun too.

Life is entertaining when you get to watch the birds and the bees after feeding the dog, the fish and the turtles. You might know how that goes if you have kids and grandkids. If you do, you now know that perfect gift.

Enjoy every day you can get outdoors!

Why We Fish…Eastern Basin Lake Erie

How sweet it is to fish Eastern Basin Lake Erie for WALLEYE! Mike Joyner Photo

  • Plentiful Walleye, Bass, Yellow Perch, Steelhead, Lake Trout, Musky
  • Fun, Adventure, Camaraderie, Unforgettable Memories
  • Tasty Eating, Extraordinary New Friends, Discovery
Ken Perrotte (L) and Mike Joyner head for the fish cleaning station at Dunkirk, a busy place after a 4-hour fish trip from Chadwick Bay Marina. Fishing secrets and happy moments afloat are shared within these walls. Forrest Fisher Photo

By Forrest Fisher

For all of us that fish Lake Erie for walleye from New York or Canada, this summer has been one to remember. The fish have been cooperative, close to home and more plentiful than ever before. The eastern basin has finally become much like the western basin, in that you can catch walleye by many means when 41 million fish reside nearby and you are fishing with something that represents a forage item that walleye savor.

Boat launch action at Buffalo Harbor State Park, Erie Basin Marina, Sturgeon Point Marina, Sunset Bay State Park, Hanover Launch, Dunkirk Harbor and Barcelona Harbor has been busy and steady. Boat trailer plates can be noted from many states in the parking lots, not something that is new to WNY, but the sheer repetitive volume each day and each weekend is new. Visitors fish for walleye, perch and bass too, and catch bonus 20pound lake trout and leaping steelhead that provides an additional test of angler durability. It’s pretty exciting to say, “Fish On!” You never know what species might be there, though walleye are the norm.

Like kids in search of candy, these repetitive fishermen need more. They need a fish-catching refill whenever time allows and, even if they must drive a few hours, they come. Even Ohio anglers are heading to WNY! Now that’s a switch!

If we ask the visitors or locals why they fish, the answers are far and wide. Some say, “It’s just fun, I like the way they taste.” Others say, “I eat, therefore I fish.” Many of us say the same about hunting. Still others add, “I want to fill my freezer for winter, I don’t ice fish and fish are expensive in the store.” Add, “I like just like it” or “I wanted to fish with my grandkids,” or “My wife wanted me to cut the grass so I came fishing,” or “I just love being here, I don’t care if I catch fish.” There’s more, you’ve heard them now and then.

Mike-Joyner (L), NYS Outdoor Writers Association – President, and Capt. Jim Steel (Dreamcatcher Sportfishing Charters) share a picture moment after a nice catch near Van Buren Point in Lake Erie.  Forrest Fisher Photo

I asked Captain Jim Steel, a Lake Erie charter captain (Dreamcatcher Sportfishing) who works the Sunset Bay-Dunkirk area, why he fishes. The soft-spoken master captain says, “Because I Iike to fish. I like to share our incredible resource with others. My first mate is Rich Fliss, both of us never stop thinking about fishing. Even when we’re deer hunting, we text each other from the tree stand and exchange ideas for gear and new rigs to try next, to fish better with. My wife (Diane) is also a coast guard certified first mate, we are first aid/CPR certified too. We are all drug-tested. We follow the rules and people know, they’re safe here.” Captain Jim Steel has a big heart and he shares his tactics, his gear choices, line sizes, snap-swivel choices, all that. Even his thinking about strategy for the fish day and why. He explains gear choices for the day, right down to lure picks (Renosky’s, Bay Rat’s, Challenger’s, Chatterstick’s, etc.), colors, actions and depth placements. Visit his website at www.dreamcatchersportfishing.com or call 716-983-7867 to visit aboard his 31-foot Tiara (w/rest room).

Lures that make a difference, like this one, include color, buoyancy, hook size, snap connector choice and leader length. Forrest Fisher Photo

While some people fish to simply fill their freezers, fishing for Lake Erie walleye is more than a grocery trip for most anglers. For Captain Jim Steel and so many others, it is a passion. It is a new experience to enjoy each and every time. Steel adds, “You know, each trip is such fun because so often we take people fishing that have never been here before. Watching them enjoy reeling in a big catch is an unlimited fun moment for them and for us.”

Steel says, “The fishing changes day to day and so while it may appear that all of our tackle rigs in the rod holders are a bit overwhelming, many are often quite different from each other. Some rod/reel rigs have light line, some have heavy line, some are rigged for lead-core line, others for downriggers, still others for other specific purpose. We use varying types of leader lines too. Whatever the fishery demands for us to do to catch fish that day, we are prepared. That’s one of the reasons why we are busy with repeat anglers using our services all summer. We use new Okuma rod-reel tackle each year, it all works and we avoid malfunctions to be sure folks enjoy the best day without problems.”

Like a hunter looking through his binoculors for game in the deer woods, Steel and others that have stepped up to the now affordable hi-tech sonar gear, can search with down scan and side scan electronics to find fish. The sonar adds excitement to the trip. “There’s one,” says a client watching the screen. “You can sense the excitement and anticipation in their voice.”

Modern sonar can identify schools of walleye and other fish species, making the fishing a bit more fun with anticipation. Forrest Fisher Photo

For many of us regular fishermen, we share our fishing spirit all summer long, all the while, in pursuit of our quarry, the wily walleye.  We share our enthusiasm. We share our reverence and respect for the fishery, big fish and little fish. We embrace the army of anglers that enjoy and share in these same things. Together we are a brotherhood of men and women and kids that love the outdoors with a passion that cannot be equaled. As a brotherhood, we define a time-worn trail to pass along to younger generations.  First encounters, indescribable moments in time – the one that got away, the one that didn’t, the one that won the prize.

Dan Tone, mentor of the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen and founder of the Western New York Environmental Federation, and an honored member of the NYS Outdoorsman’s Hall of Fame, shares his humble smile while fishing Lake Erie last month. Forrest Fisher Photo

We share in orange sunrise moments, peaceful sunsets and at night, even the Milky Way and twinkling stars in their constellation positions add to our unforgettable moments during our fishing time. Each of these, we share with the same appreciation of where we are and what we are doing when we are fishing. We embrace such moments and they help make us who we are. We are fishermen. We are special, especially in today’s world.

Each fishing day, the goal is to encounter that first fish. Sometimes it takes a while longer, so we change lures, colors, and tactics. That’s fun too.

Last month (August), my grandson and I were set up to troll a few miles from the south gap of Buffalo Harbor. Using 5-color lead core lines, short leads off the downriggers and diving planes too, we fished for about 45 minutes to catch 7 walleyes on stickbaits and weighted-willow blade spinner-worm rigs. About an hour of no strikes, my grandson asked, “Ya know Dziadz, I sort of miss how we used to fish for bass. Can we do that again sometime?” I answered, “Sure! How about now?” He quickly asked, “We don’t have any of our lightweight rods do we?” They were in the storage locker, so off we went to the rocky structure of Seneca Shoal.

Using Heddon Sonar’s, jigging Rapala’s, drop-shot rigs with ElaszTech plastic worms in peanut butter/jelly color rigged 20 inches off the sinker with size 2 VMC hooks, fished with 20# Gamma braided line and 8# Gamma fluorocarbon leaders, and casting Storm 360GT 5-inch jig tails, we landed 24 bass and 7 more walleye in the next 2 hours. Wow. The afternoon was unforgettable. For all time. Reasons why we fish are simple. Indelible. Fun. It keeps us ageless wonders from the 50s young for a day.

We live in an incredible time on an incredible fishery because the resource of Lake Erie is in our backyard. We are the lucky ones. Why we fish? It’s about expectations, adventure, friends, fun and working hard to make it all happen. Checking gear, camaraderie, sharing secrets and embracing the spirit of the catch, even when we don’t catch ‘em, that’s why we fish.  You might have many reasons. All good.

The future of fishing, our clean waters and our kids depend on you sharing why we fish with that youngest generation of today. Kids today need to hear it from their master mentors. Parents. Grandparents. Charter captains. Those expert Southtowns Walleye anglers that go to those long meetings on Southwestern Boulevard. That’s us. The future depends on us. That’s you and me.  So get busy, go tell those kids you know why we fish and invite them along. Be gentle, be thorough. Laugh hardy. Create special moments not to be forgotten. This year, our fishery will help.

Share some of the best time to be found on the planet in WNY fishing for Lake Erie walleye.

For more information on eastern basin Lake Erie, accommodations and access points, visit www.tourchautauqua.com.

For the latest fishing report, visit the Lake Erie fishing hotline: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishhotlines.html.

For maps, fish details, charter captains and fishing clubs, visit: http://www2.erie.gov/hotspot/index.php?q=fishing-maps.

Editor Note: Forrest Fisher is one of the 17 original founding members of the Southtowns Walleye Association, is a syndicated outdoor columnist over the last 36 years with feature stories in local newspapers, state, regional and national outdoor magazines.

Light Wizards of the Midnight Woods

We discovered this book while visiting the Black Caddis Ranch B&B and it started us on a new adventure with the outdoors that we will enjoy or all time. Radim Schreiber Photo.

 

We can all connect to nature with our visits with fireflies. They seem to talk with us if you listen, especially in Tionesta, Pennsylvania. Click picture for a visit to the Firefly Experience. Radim Schreiber Photo

By Forrest Fisher

The half-moon rising in the distant eastern sky was dim and sheltered by scattered, giant, white clouds. The openings in the clouds allowed us to see millions of stars and the vastness of the Milky Way as we have never seen before. There were no streetlights anywhere within miles of this cheerful and peaceful mountaintop place and the crackle of the fire was adjusting to the new log. It provided the perfect music to especially enjoy this time of day.

Our adventure into the outdoors took a wonderful turn this summer when Peggy tossed a new log onto the simmering campfire. The sunset was just about complete, a stream of beautiful tinsel sparks rose upward. It was a warmly coded skyward message to life in the night woods, and to us, that darkness had arrived.

Rose, my wife of 49 years, had a warm smile like she often does, as she was discussing some fine points of nature and observing wildlife with our granddaughter. Kiley was completing a summer research internship for the State University of New York Environmental School of Forestry in Syracuse, New York, as a senior college student. I sensed that science and adventure were finding common ground. Rose had questions about the recipe to observe the ancient winged ancestors that lived here, just as they started to light nearby fields and forest.

Peggy’s sister, Barb was visiting with her two nieces, Molly (9) and Carly (12), and the girls had noticed the blinking lights of the fireflies too.  Molly noticed them first, “Aunt Peggy, look there! There they are! Wow! They’re beautiful!” Carly added, “Why do they light up and blink like that Aunt Barb?” A short silence followed as Barb looked to Peggy who prepared to answer, “Well, the fireflies that light up are the boy fireflies and they’re calling to the lady fireflies to show them where they are. They’re looking for a date. It’s that simple.”

The flight of the fireflies applauded with intricate light beams in a code that seemed to match the rhythm and Ukulele tone of music around the campfire.  

Peggy smiled. Barb smiled. Rose and Kiley smiled. Carly answered, “Oh, ok, I get it.”

Just then Molly rose from her fireside chair and ran onto the backyard lawn. Molly cheered, “Look at all the fireflies!” The back lawn was skirted by a knee-high grassland meadow around the backyard perimeter. Kiley went to Molly and added to the conversation about fireflies and explained the great job that her Aunt Peggy and Uncle Ken had done with helping everyone in the whole world understand more about fireflies at this ranch.

Rose and I shared thoughts about these intriguing airborne insects of the night. Do they carry a message for us all? It seems that fireflies offer magic and wonder to every outdoor adventure where the land and air is clean, like here, in the middle of this wonderful Pennsylvania woods just south of the Allegheny National Forest, in Tionesta, Pennsylvania.

We all sat there in awe of all the twinkling airborne light forms. Hundreds and hundreds of them. My mind transcended to an effortless zone of harmony and wonder for a moment, a thought-binding moment.

There is mystical, divine and magical experience from the light of a true firefly experience like this. I sat back into my chair and looked at the embers of the fire, then upward to the thousands of stars of the Milky Way shining bright. How lucky we were to be here.

Just then Kiley started to strum her Ukulele, sharing the chords played with Molly and Carly. She said, “This is a C, E minor, F, G and A minor, that’s it, pretty easy with a little practice,” Would you like to try it? That was Peggy’s que to bring her Ukulele out from the house to join in. Two Ukulele’s at the same campfire! We all knew this was one special night for our memory book of perfect medley. Kiley and Peggy were strumming and singing “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and the flight of the fireflies surrounding us seemed to be applauding with their brilliant intricate flashes in some sort of light beam code. Where is Peter Pan? I was thinking. Like the two ladies playing the music and all of us singing or humming along (I can’t sing), were on their stage. Tin Man and Judy Garland were there in spirit. There were bears, wolves, trout and other critters of nature alive in our campfire talk.

That’s when I learned that we can talk to fireflies.

We can question them. They reply. Feel the connection by virtue of the extraordinary light gallery.

We discovered this book while visiting the Black Caddis Ranch B&B and it started us on a new adventure with the outdoors that we will enjoy or all time. Radim Schreiber Photo. 

We can all connect to nature by our visits with fireflies. Such visits require no special gear. A comfortable chair, perhaps, a glass of wine from a grape aging specialist, Gregg Stoos, and a quiet campfire with friends.

The fireflies, like guiding spirits, dance to challenge the darkness with their light.

They hover and move silently through the darkness.

Their movement and motion with different color light can appear to write a letter or a symbol. Are these the source for early Greek symbols? The roots of math? My mind wanders and wonders.

The fireflies provide a sure source for wonder…are they sharing a language not yet known to us? A secret code? Perhaps early settler groups to North America could understand this code? I ask myself. Is it a computer code? A binary switch of sorts? A prismatic code not yet known to us? Does it lead to a vault of undiscovered knowledge?

Whatever signals the night light beacons of the fireflies share, to watch them is enlightening.

All these thoughts, yet, so many questions in wonder, how can that be? I ask myself.

I realize I am so relaxed, so mesmerized by the flight of these miracle insects that fly with lighted inspiration. Everyone sitting around the campfire is too.

The Black Caddis Ranch B&B and Cabins in Tionesta, Pennsylvania, offered all the comforts of home and more, with delicious breakfasts, peaceful parlor rooms, and new friendships with fireflies and hummingbirds. Click the picture for more.

Just being near these fragile airborne creatures of the night is such a reward to cherish. For us astonished onlookers, their intricate behaviors seem to share a virtue of loving life and respect for one another.

As the music lessened, the magic around the campfire was evident to all. This Black Caddis Ranch place is a really special place, as we were isolated to the darkness of this perfect night with a band of chivalrous fireflies that led us to enjoy a nighttime gallery of airborne art to appear all around us.

Kiley added, “Each firefly species is different and has a season. Their season can be predicted by growing degree days, it’s a sort of farm language. Synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) are out during June about the time the orange daylilies bloom and usually peak at end of June. The “big dippers” or photinus pyralis, start to appear at the beginning of July.” Rose and I returned home the next day to sit in our backyard about three hours north. We saw some fireflies there too, but nothing like what we saw in Tionesta, Pennsylvania.

Peggy and Ken Butler host a wonderful Bed & Breakfast Lodging House called the Black Caddis Ranch in Tionesta, Pennsylvania, it is home to the Pennsylvania Firefly Festival, and I guess we know why now. There is firefly magic in this special place. The spacious accommodations are wonderful and are modernized amidst a home that was built in the 1800’s. Real wood floors and walls and kitchen tables, a giant stone fireplace in the front parlor, complete with homemade pancakes and maple syrup from nearby trees, and a myriad of other breakfast goodies, this all made this place that sort of place that my better half and I search for…and only hope to find. Peggy and Ken, and many close friends, are the originators of the Pennsylvania Firefly Festival (PAFF, https://www.pafireflyfestival.org/) that is hosted at their ranch, but there are fireflies present on most summer nights.  It’s a magical place.

We’re going back to be inspired by the night flight of fireflies, the Milky Way, a quiet campfire and honest friends. The daytime song and buzz of hummingbirds adds to the peace and magic found here.

For more info: Ken and Peggy Butler – Black Caddis Ranch B&B and Cabins, 13558 Route 666, Tionesta, Pa., 16353. Phone: (814) 463-7606. Web: www.blackcaddisranch.blogspot.com and also https://www.pafireflyfestival.org/.

 

Hunting for Beginners – Getting Started

A hunters first deer provides an unforgettable smile into the heritage of our ancesters. Forest Fisher Photo

  • Hunting is Inexpensive
  • Hunting is Ethical
  • Hunting is Challenging and Builds Character
Hunting with a mentor can provide understanding of animal habits, calls and safety awareness. Forrest Fisher Photo

Compiled by Dave Barus, this story is shared in detail through the courtesy of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Division of Wildlife.

Harvest Your Own Natural Food

Hunting is a source of natural, free-range, and inexpensive food. Not to mention the meat is lean and healthy!

Hunting is one of the most inexpensive and ethical ways to fill your freezer with natural, free-range meat, but taking up hunting can be challenging and intimidating.

Don’t let this discourage you.

We can help you with all the information and resources you’ll need to safely and responsibly hunt and harvest your own local food.

The Challenge

On a hunt, your senses are sharpened. Awareness of your surroundings is heightened. This is more than observing the environment – it’s active engagement. Hunting challenges the mind and the body. It demands skill, knowledge, and patience. It also brings us closer to nature and understanding our natural environment.

A young hunter’s first deer provides an unforgettable smile and an understanding of why hunting is healthy and resourceful. Forrest Fisher Photo

Conservation

Hunting in the United States is highly regulated, which helps make it a safe, sustainable, and highly popular activity. The sale of hunting licenses, permits, and stamps provides much-needed funds to wildlife research and management programs. Ethical hunters care about the environment. Without proper conservation, our wild spaces could be lost.

Ecological Balance

Ohio hunters play a critical role in the control of deer and other animal populations, which are carefully studied by the Division of Wildlife. The length of hunting seasons and other regulations are directly related to the need to thin or extend species numbers in the state. Without the help of Ohio hunters, a few of the risks include uncontrolled deer populations devastating crops and creating hazards for drivers on roads and highways throughout the state.

For learn more, please visit: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/hunting-trapping-and-shooting-sports/hunting-and-trapping-basics/hunting-for-beginners.

Editor Note: Many other states have similar “get started” young hunter or “1st time” hunter programs, but this program explanation from Ohio does a good job of providing all the right things to know in very little space. Hats off to Ohio! Dave Barus

Lake Erie Walleye Hammer Forage off Chautauqua County, New York, during Summertime TV Shoot

Rush Outdoors TV Star, TIm Andrus, had a great day on Lake Erie from Barcelona Harbor in Westfield, NY, fishing with Captain Brad Smith of Barcelona Charters.

  • Secrets to Finding Out Where Summer Walleye Live?
  • Color is a Factor, Pearlescent Coatings Improve Attraction Rates
  • Check Terminal Tackle and Leaders to Assure Hooked Fish come to Net
When the bite is on, walleye can wack two planer board lures on the same feeding surge. Hungry fish! Forrest Fisher Photo

By Forrest Fisher

Captain Brad Smith had an ear to ear grin as we walked up to his dock at Monroe Marina on Barcelona Harbor in Westfield, New York.  “Good morning guys!” He greeted us. His sweetheart 1st mate, Darcy Smith, was right by his side and shared, “It’s going to be a great day.”  John Lenox and Tim Andrus, stars of Rush Outdoors TV, and myself, couldn’t agree more. It was so good to be on the water at sunrise with a calm wind and a fishing crew that understood the changing moods of the megapixel walleye (see them on your sonar) that migrate to eastern basin Lake Erie during summer. Summer walleye can be tricky to catch. I had a feeling today would not be one of those days. The big smiles when we arrived were way too happy!

Captain Brad said, “Let’s get on board and ready up guys.” The 28’ Marionette was so big and solid with a large deck area out back, rest room down below and state of the art electronics, there was no doubt about safety, comfort and fun for everyone aboard.  The rig can accommodate seating a fishing party of 6 guests.

Captain Brad Smith (L) and Rush Outdoors TV Star, Tim Andrus, share line setting strategy as the day begins. Forrest Fisher Photo.

As we shared conversation, coffee and Tim Horton donuts, Captain Brad explained that the area had sustained some extended north wind and the stable water layers that had been setting up may have moved. He pointed to the dashboard sonar, “Look there, the water temp fell about 8 degrees overnight to 66, so we may have to search a bit, but I have a good idea on where to start.” Being a curious fisherman, I asked, “How do you figure that out?” Captain Brad replied, “You make sure you have friends that are scuba divers and share your fillets once in a while. It’s easy after that!” Everyone laughed a bit.

Captain Brad pointed over to the boat moored right alongside his common dock, it was the giant scuba diving boat of Barcelona. “My friend runs that one over there and he shares where the fish are with wind changes, I’ll share some of that with you all as gear up.”

After checking the leaders on the 12 rods set to fish, then helping us understand the secrets to good line terminations with top notch snap and swivel hardware, and good knots, he looked up at Darcy and said, “Are you ready honey?” Darcy smiled back,”Just waiting on you dear.” The inboard engine exhaust fans had already been on for a few minutes. Captain Brad gave the all clear with a circle wave with his thumb up. “Let’s start ‘em up!” The sheer power and growl sound from the twin 418 Chrysler engines roared to life. It was satisfying to be here.

Tim didn’t miss a word on the plan for where we might find fish, John was double-checking the camera gear.  We slowly backed out of the dock and headed for open water along the Chautauqua County shoreline toward Pennsylvania (southwest). Boat speed was slow at first, checking sonar and probes, the water temp was coming up.  When we reached the “right zone” about 8 miles out, the temp had quickly changed to 74 degrees, Captain Brad started to set lines. Nothing more exciting than fish-catching expectations when those reel clickers start sounding off.

Walleye averaging 3 to 5 pounds are common off the Barcelona Harbor deep in eastern basin Lake Erie. Forrest Fisher Photo

The pro that he was, Captain Brad dropped two very large planer boards in the water, one on each side of the boat, two sea anchors, also one on each side. When the boards reached about 150 feet out, he set three 4-color leadcore lines on one side and three 7-color lines on the other. “It’s a school effect thing, it works,” He shared. Then two dipsey lines were set on each side and one downrigger line on each side. A total of 12 lines! He made that all look so easy. In between line deployments, Darcy was reading off sonar observations, “Four fish at 40, two fish at 35, one lone fish at 90 – probably a lake trout. We are in 115 feet of water.” “What’s our speed dear?” Captain Brad asked. “2.2 miles per hour, changing a bit from 2.0 to 2.4 with the quartering chop,” Darcy replied.”  “That’s a good start for now,” Brad shared with his usual ear to ear confidence grin, sunshine gleaming a bright, self-assurance flash off his white teeth.

The dive boat that was next to us at the dock passed us as we slowly went looking for those occasionally elusive walleye, but no sooner did the distant wake reach us, when one of the planer lines soared backward. “There’s one! Who’s up?!” Brad said. We all shared on the hookups to bring the fish in.  Just a few minutes later, a nice 4-pound walleye was aboard. Tim held up the healthy fish for a film shot and another line popped. It was going to be a great day indeed.

The Barcelona Harbor Dive Boat Service usually has a full complement of divers on weekends, as they search deep water offshore wrecks for fun and adventure. They share fish information too! Forrest Fisher Photo

Captain Brad had deployed an array of spoons, stickbaits and spinner/worm rigs, most of them non-commercial homemade lures with homemade colors that he had learned to use through the years, mostly from his mentor, Captain Mike Cochran. Additionally, Captain Brad’s son is also innovative with colors and unique lure designs, stickbaits and spoons, that complement catching fish aboard Barcelona Charters. “Born here, built here, I like the way my kid makes lures, especially the colors,” Captain Brad added. “Renosky lures work too,” Captain Brad added.

Many of the lures had a sort of clear pearlescent attraction film color on them, all handmade at home. Many wish the lures were for sale, but they’re not. They work, maybe that’s what counts.

A handmade clear shiny film applied to the lures was a trigger that worked to perfection on this trip. Forrest Fisher Photo

The first fish came aboard at 7:50 a.m., after that, we caught one fish on an average of every 6 to 10 minutes through 11:16 a.m., it was busy fun! The longest stint of no fish through that time was 19 minutes. Quite amazing.  John tossed a quarter in the drink one time, after 15 minutes of no releases, with Tim quipping, “It’s a tradition when it slows down, a toast to Odin.” TV star, Tim Andrus, was taking abuse from John too, as John said, “Captain Brad, don’t know how you did it, but you got Tim to work today!” Tim was helping out with setting and resetting lines to the boards. Actually, it was a busy time, a good busy time.

Tim responded, “Hey Forrest, what’s that sound, can you hear that snap, crackle, pop? Oh, oh, sorry, that’s John’s bones, it happens every time he is landing another fish.” We laughed and joked the whole trip. Tim was helping net and stow the fish after catching and caught a fin on the thumb. John didn’t let that pass, “Don’t worry Tim. Pain heals, chicks dig big scars and glory lasts forever!” We all laughed again.

John Lenox caught a few coldwater fish species, incuding steelhead, Coho salmon and a large lake trout. Forrest Fisher Photo

Not to allow any silence to sneak in between reel drag sounds, Brad chided in, “Know what’s the best part of a trip out here with Barcelona Charters? It’s Brad and Darcy!” Saturday Night Live would be proud this group. Hardy fun! Laughing all the way.

Lots of camera footage was recorded and my camera shutter made history, frequent click and shoot mode in action. Already, more than 30 fish had entertained us through the morning, 26 of them came to the boat net. That tally included one steelhead, one lake trout and one Coho salmon! The rest were mostly walleye, some to 7 pounds, but we also caught yellow perch, silver bass and white bass. Seven species! A great day of fun and fish-catching.

Captain Brad Smith shows off the future of the walleye fishery for years to come, as this size walleye is prevalent in the 2018 walleye catches. The Lake Erie fisheries scientists estimate that 41 million walleye reside in Lake Erie right now. Forrest Fisher Photo.

How do you spell fun? W-A-L-L-E-Y-E! Especially if you ask Tim or John, as our catch rate may have exceeded expectations. The bottom line? We forgot life for a moment, we had so much fun. The viewers will too, when they see this show. John wasted no time in booking another charter for his family a few weeks down the road.

One thing to remember when you fish with a charter captain and first mate that understand their job, they like to share. We all learned a lot, including new ways to fillet fish, as we watched Captain Brad after returning to the dock.

Time to fillet, the best part of a succesful walleye adventure. Forrest Fisher Photo

If you’re out this way, contact Captain Brad of Barcelona Charters at 814-602-9899 or email: brad@barcelonacharters.net. Look for the fishing TV show by checking on-line at http://www.rushoutdoors.com/.

Tight lines!

Fishing, Sightseeing & Fun Boat Cruise Adventure for a Windy Florida Day

Speckled Trout Fun near Captiva and Sanibel Islands in Lee County, Florida.

  • Big Boat Comfort and Capability Allows for an Unforgettable Cruise Adventure
  • Enjoy Watching Loggerhead Turtles, Dolphins, Pelicans, Eagles, Osprey and Nature at Work
  • Fishing Fun – Sea Trout, Barracuda, Hammerhead Shark and Stingray
Dolphins followed us out and the ladies enjoyed every second of this personal adventure at sea. Forrest Fisher Photo

By Forrest Fisher

Vacation time in Florida can be such fun! My better half discovered that we were not far from Sanibel and Captiva, the shell treasure chest of the world. So Rose started to search out the adventure trail and found there were charter boats for fishing that would conduct shelling and eco-tour trips too. We had a match! Love that woman.

One phone call later, the date was set and the plan was solid with friends from Michigan to join us aboard Southern Instinct Charters with Captain Ryan Kane (http://www.southerninstinct.com/).  The plan, according to my better half, was to compromise fishing and touring, weather permitting, but there is not much weather that can hold back the capability and comfort aboard Captain Kane’s 36-foot long Contender.  With triple engines, getting to wherever you want to go is not an issue and it doesn’t take long to get there at about a mile a minute.

The long boat gave the four of us plenty of room to move around and we enjoyed comfy seating while listening to the stereo tunes of golden oldies and country western music. While the boat doesn’t appear to have a rest room, it does! The ladies were thrilled. I thought to myself, “We can do this again and stay longer!”

Remote islands near Sanibel and Captiva offer secret shelling treasure adventures for those that approach by boat. Forrest Fisher Photo

Bob and Shirley Holzhei, from Michigan, met Rose and I at 7:00 a.m. at Port Sanibel Marina. Captain Kane had the ice chest coolers filled with chilled beverages, snacks and plenty of water.  Live bait was in the rear well and we had an access ladder just in case we needed to search the offshore beaches for pirate treasure. This charter boat was perfect in every way, I knew we were in for the time of our life on this day.

One sad thing was that while the sky was clear of storm clouds, the weather report offered that the invisible wind was sending waves five to seven feet on the outdoor gulf waters. It looked like we might be looking at a rescheduled trip. Not for Captain Kane, he said, “OK, let’s go kids! No planning calendar today! We’ll just go out and have some fun. We’ll see how it really looks and if it’s too rough, we’ll tour North Captiva and Cayo Costa islands to be safe. We’ll fish for speckled trout with popping bobbers and live shrimp. We’ll have a great day! We’ll do the deep sea fishing to waters less travelled on another day. Sound ok?” Who could say no?!

Captain Kane was so reassuring, we were thrilled to be heading out of the marina with a cast of pelicans and dolphins that had found their way in there.  But we were not in Disney, this was real. The ladies loved every second. They never stop talking about it, even months later

The three giant outboard engines hummed up from idle speed to flyaway throttle and we were getting somewhere fast. Yikes! This was fun. About 5 miles out (4 minute drive time, we were airborne), Captain Kane said, “Looks like we made a good call, it’s so rough out there.”

I thought, for sure, there was no better way to spend the day with friends and it turned out to be a trip we will never forget.

We toured deserted outer islands and watched dolphins chase the boat, Rose said they were talking to us, but I thought they were playing. We watched loggerhead sea turtles – some were nesting on the isolated beaches, we saw a mother and father eagle feeding their young with fresh fish, watched ospreys capture fish after a 300 foot nose-dive, and we enjoyed a slow ride along areas protected from heavy surf. This was an adventure like none other.

Bobbers and live bait fishing is productive when the Captain knows where to anchor the boat. Forrest Fisher Photo

Not long later, Captain Kane asked about fishing and we were all in. The fishing license is included with Captain Kane’s charter license, so everyone wanted a rod. We anchored in a protected inshore area near a sandy point and deserted natural island where the tide current was holding shrimp and baitfish not far from the boat. Good captains know these gentle weed lines, clam beds and secret spots from years of trial and error.

Using a slip bobber that created a popping sound when pulled with a circle hook just below, offered a live shrimp to a hungry trout attracted by the sound. It did not take long for Captain Kane to have all of our lines in the right place.

A few minutes later, Shirley hollered, “Hey, I think I have one, it’s pulling so hard. Bob, please come help me.” Bob said, “I can’t, I got one too!” Forrest, “I don’t want to lose the rod, can you come back here please, Bob has a fish on too.” I hollered back, “I do too!” Rose was the only one that had just reeled her line in to check the bait and shared, “I’m coming back there to help you Shirley, hang on.” Captain Kane was helping everyone at the same time. Fun?! Are you kidding?! This was incredible. Unforgettable! Not your ordinary fire drill. Memories are made of this. Shirley landed a small hammerhead shark and was ecstatic, and scared too. “I caught a shark! Can you believe it?” Captain Kane was careful, but sure-handed with the small shark and Shirley had a chance to touch the skin. “It feels like sandpaper!” She screamed a bit. I think they were happy tones.

Shirley Holzhei landed a small hammerhead shark and enjoyed the thrill of touching the sandpaper-like skin for the first time. Forrest Fisher Photo

We landed 25 trout in only an hour or so, a shark, caught some wonderful warm sunshine. We also hooked a giant barracuda and lost it, then hooked and landed a giant stingray that took us 45 minutes to bring in. What a battle that was! Bob and I had to switch places a few times and do the anchor dance, under the line, over the line, under the line…stretch, oooohhhh, aaaahhhhh, ouch, roll, turn, don’t lose the rod. Man, what a time! More than 50 pounds in size, we landed the nearly 4-1/2 foot long winged sea creature that resembled a spaceship shape from a TV space show.

Rose Barus caught trout after trout, I think she might have been the hot fishing line in the boat. Forrest Fisher Photo

Captain Kane removed the stinger to make the large critter safe while aboard while we prepared to release back to nature, then gave me the 5-inch long stinger with directions to placed it in a bottle for safe travel home and soak it for 2 days in bleach to sterilize the poison normally found on the stingray barbs. “The stingray will grow it back,” said Captain Kane, “And the stingray is not harmed in any way.”

Captain Kane uses Dan James Fishing Rods in his boat because they are durable, lifetime guaranteed and made locally in Fort Myers (http://danjamesrodcompany.com/). They are guaranteed for life.

The 7’ lightweight fishing rods we used were so light, so strong and so just right.  I had to ask, what pound test was on that rod? “10 pound braid,” said Captain Kane. “Some of these rods, like the one that you caught that big stingray with, are new fishing rods in the development stage. I use only Dan James Custom Fishing Rods made right here locally in Fort Myers (http://danjamesrodcompany.com/). They cost more, but they are guaranteed for life, and Dan is a disabled military veteran and close friend, we fish often. You would never know he is disabled, he is an example for all of us who might think we have troubles. We share ideas about how to make fishing better for clients, how to make better boat adventure tours, better fishing rods and how to enjoy every single day we live life with our family and friends. We both share that kind of passion for our families and the outdoors.”

The stingray we landed took 45 minutes to bring aboard. Forest Fisher Photo

Captain Kane added, “Dan tests his rods with me and other charter captains, but in the shop too, you wouldn’t believe some of the abuse he wreaks on these blanks while testing them. He puts his rods together to be light and sensitive, yet uses a strong, high modulus blank so folks don’t get tired using the rods and can fish with confidence even when they hook a big fish like you did with that lightweight rod. You can push the limits with his rods.”

We headed back to the marina and all of us were happy to be on the water with such a knowledgeable captain. We explored and enjoyed some of the best that Southwest Florida has to offer. Captain said, “When you come back during summer, the winds are always lower in the warm months and we can run far without much trouble. We have natural and artificial reefs out here that hold giant gamefish like Tuna, Snapper, Grouper, Wahoo, Cobia, and more. We’ll do an offshore trip to have some fun with these, I’ll call you when it gets good! How’s that sound?”

Like music to my ears Captain Ryan. C’mon summer!

About Fort Myers: Our accommodations were nearby, but there are numerous choices. Visit this link for more info on charter fishing, lodging, beaches, hotels and Islandology (https://www.fortmyers-sanibel.com/islandology). 

Islandology, a new word for most of us. Very interesting video. Check it out. Click the picture.

It’s Fawning Season…things to Know…things to Help

Healthy whitetail deer management practices are key to healthy wildlife. Jim Monteleone Photo

Photo by Art Jacobson, retired DEC biologist

Fawns are frisky, healthy, delightful and ready to play with anyone that will return the favor.  Mostly their brothers and sisters, and mother. There are lots of them right now.

Most fawns in New York are born in late May or early June, and the first few months are a critical period for survival.

Fawn survival is heavily influenced by habitat quality, and those fawns that have good hiding cover and quality forage have the odds in their favor.

You can improve habitat for fawns on your lands by promoting native forbs in fields and forests.

• Avoid mowing large fields until mid-August –  mowing fields in June can kill or injure fawns. Large, un-mowed fields provide excellent cover from predators and high quality native forage for fawns and their mothers.

• Create patches of young forest within your woodlot – removing overstory trees and allowing more sunlight to penetrate to the forest floor, will stimulate growth of herbaceous plants and new tree seedlings. Fawn survival is typically lower in wooded areas than in areas with some agriculture and fields, but increased greenery on the forest floor improves cover for fawns, helping them to stay camouflaged and protected from predators. It also provides more food for the fawn and its nursing doe. Overstory tree removal is best done during winter or another period outside of the breeding, nesting or brood-rearing season for many wildlife species.

• Keep winter in mind – Thinking ahead to winter projects, it is much easier to identify trees by their leaves than by their bark. Summer can be a good time to mark trees for winter-time cutting projects designed to enhance year-round browse and cover. Contact a DEC forester or biologist for advice.

• DEC reminds you, if you happen to find a fawn: If you care, leave it there!  For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about the care of young wildlife, visit DEC’s website.

Employing these simple practices can help fawns survive into adulthood. After all, healthy fawns have a better chance of becoming healthy adults and improve our opportunity to let young bucks go and watch them grow!

Top-Water Popping Frog is Bass-Killer

It's all about visual surface distrubance, underwater sound waves and your reaction time!

By Forrest Fisher

Deep hook sets are common with the new LiveTarget popping frog.

Some of us white beard anglers of today grew up fishing surface frogs 60 years ago.

At first, we baited real frogs, but after we ran out, plastic frogs were invented in the late 50s and we learned how to use them fishing with short, deep-sea fishing rods and wide-spool, open-face fishing reels loaded with 40 pound test Gudebrod braided line tied direct.

Those old plastic frogs were so very basic and mostly were only hollow, air entrapping plastic caricatures of frogs that floated. They sank after a while. Today, the new “best frog” out there has a popping action and it is much more sophisticated, more durable and is killer-effective. Gotta love some things about the word “modern.”

Vicious strikes are the norm when you fish frogs near weed cover.

Personally designed as a “Signature Series” product by LIVETARGET Pro Angler and TV personality, Scott Martin, the Hollow Body Frog Popper has become a personal favorite in my topwater tackle box.

The frog is new in that it has a narrow profile and cupped face that make this bait special when you walk it across the surface.  Special in that the face creates a unique sound message below…”Hello, I’m food, c’mon, get me,” and it offers a different sort of visual splash attractant message to join with the sound message.

I tried several colors and up north, the frog colors worked best for me, especially in heavy, super-thick cover, though it is still a mystery how the fish can even see the bait in thick weeds. Toemayto or Towmahto it is not, it seems to matter.

Color seems to matter in places you fish, but related cover may affect color choice.

Down south in Florida, summer time Florida bass yield to the white frog LiveBait color more than any other. Why? The difference between oatmeal and hominy grits is what I think. Very little, but it matters if you live down south.

The two-hook design is not unique, but what is unique are the extra strong forged hooks that embrace and provide stealth cover for the soft collapsible body of the frog.  Their extreme sharpness provide deep and sure hook-up. The only thing between you and fish is your line and if you fish these in thick cover, check your line often, use a good, modern, braided line and a positive knot with a stiff rod that will allow you to haul the fish out of the thickest cover you might imagine.

The proof is in the live well. Click the picture for the full video and the source of the pictures used for sharing this effective new lure.

The acid test? Here it is. Drop a 10-pound anchor in the thickest weeds you can find, then move your boat 30 feet away and see if you can rip that anchor up and out without breaking your line, your rod or the gears on your reel.

For line, I like 60-pound Gamma Torque, I simply cannot break it. Other brands work too, but I think you could tow a tree with Gamma and it is thinner than most others to allow longer casts. Visit: http://gammafishing.com/.

For the frog, one last thing: best of all, these new LiveTarget Popping Frogs are available in two sizes for working extra thick matt or thinner lily pad style cover. 

If they don’t wack it in the weeds themselves, they seem to panic and inhale the lure when the popping action occurs at the weed edge. They don’t want that easy meal to get away. Visit: https://livetargetlures.com/collections/hollowbody/products/frog-hollow-body-popper.

Fun fishing!

(Author Note: Photo’s are recaptured with permission from attached Scott Martin video.)

Chautauqua Lake, NY – 26 Walleye FUN, Rod-in-Hand Fishing…Memorial Day Treat

Frank Shoenacker gets the net for another one of our 26 walleye caught in daylight the Friday before Memorial Day.

  • Simple Fishing, Simple Fun, NEW METHOD
  • Peaceful Fishing Fun with Time to Share Conversation
  • Braided Line, Fluorocarbon Leaders, Sharp Hooks 

By Forrest Fisher

My fishing friend, Captain Frank Shoenacker (Infinity Charters), gets the net for another one of our 26 walleye caught in 3-4 hours of daylight fishing on Chautauqua Lake the Friday before Memorial Day.  Forrest Fisher photo

“There’s one!” Frank shared, “Can you get the net Forrest.” It was actually, to be more correct, “another one.” 

We started at 7 in the morning on the Friday before Memorial Day, the sun had not yet made it over the eastern hill at Bemus Point.  Through about 10:30AM, we landed 26 walleye. Not joking.  My fishing buddy and friend, Captain Frank Shoenacker (pronounced “sha-na-kir), enjoys fishing for walleye with rod in hand.  “It’s real fishing,” he says.

When he’s not guiding for fun with guys like me to catch walleye to 6 pounds, he likes to work on his rigs, experiment with new baits, learn from other experts – like at the seminar series at the Niagara Outdoor Show every year, and also share what he knows too.

Our catch included a good number of throwbacks that were 1/8″ under the 15″ minimum, but being honest, I filled my limit fishing with fish to 24 inches long while spending a peaceful morning of conversation with this incredible fishing expert and friend. Secrets abound, some of them you need to find out from Frank himself, but think about it, 26 walleye. An amazing morning!

The future for great walleye fishing at Chautauqua lake looks really good if the 14-7/8″ fish landed are any indication. Minimum size limit is 15″, 5 fish bag per day. Forrest Fisher Photo

I felt like I was fishing in a throwback time. You remember those old days when going fishing meant leaving the rest of the world behind and just hoping to find some fish that would bite? That’s how it is was with Frank. We’ve been fishin’ friends for a few years now because we share a passion for the fun and legacy of catching walleye in Chautauqua Lake (and Lake Erie), especially with rod in hand. 

We leave the fancy toys, riggers, boards and all that behind when it comes to early season walleye fishing. I like to cast toward evening and into the night, but Frank prefers to catch fish in daytime hours (who doesn’t?) and shares his secret tactics with those folks that use his guiding services for charter fishing on Chautauqua Lake, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Frank says, “For the newbie fishing folks to enjoy the day and really have fun, I have learned the lesson that keeping it simple gets that done. Customers go home happy and with fish for the table if they want to keep ‘em.” When I saw how simple his tactics were, how savvy and coy they were at the same time, I was not just impressed, I was blown away. 

An 8HP, Four-Stroke trolling motor and wind sock combo allow total, fish-catching, boat control with the Shoenacker method. Forrest Fisher Photo

As we moved from spot to spot collecting three or four walleye from each fishing zone, we shared conversation with 9 other boats out there vying for a fish-catching moment. In all, there was only one fish among them! Surprising to me? Yes! We were killing ‘em. Why? Stealth. Proper colors. Proper presentation. Fishing were the fish were (perhaps the biggest reason).

Cut weeds, floating weeds, short emerging weeds, all were also present in the water, but no algae or moss. Seeing the weeds, you might agree, trolling is not an option. At least not an option that most folks might take. For Frank, it’s the one situation he likes the best. “No boat traffic this way,” he says with a smile. 

He likes to use a modified troll using his 8HP/four-stroke engine with a drift bag to make the type of motion control possible that he wants for his 17-foot Lund fishing boat. Very slow forward motion in particular places, almost negligible motion…but there is motion, fish-catching motion. 

Frank understands this motion thing quite well and can explain it. He puts the presentation on the fish where they are and then tantalizingly appeals to their sense of scent, visual attraction, lure motion and hunger using small baits. The scent of live nightcrawlers on his assortment of artificial worms in combination with vivid colors, stealth bead rigs and a unique catch-no-weeds arrangement, makes Frank rig effective on Chautauqua Lake. Quite amazing really.

The motor was running, though I couldn’t hear it. As Frank reached for a Tim Horton’s Timbit he looked over his shoulder at me and said, “It’s so good to be out here just fishing for fun today, ya know?” He tossed his line out about 40 feet behind the boat and told me to follow suit. He had the right side, I had the left looking back toward the transom. We caught one freshwater clam before moving to the next spot. “Lots of spots to fish,” Frank shared with a grin.

In similar depth water, we repeated the cast-out routine using his 7’ high tensile strength graphite St. Croix rods and Daiwa reels filled with 10-pound test Seaguar 832 braid and terminated with a fluorocarbon leader to the lure. You could feel every pebble, every bottom sensation and every nibble, tap-tap and anything else that contacted the lure. The rig provides the perfect rod-in-hand experience for every angler.

Rod feel is important when fishing simple. This St. Croix “Eyecon” rod works well. Forrest Fisher photo

Over the next two hours, we landed dozens of walleye, but we also hooked or caught other fish species too, including musky.

I raised my rod tip, there it was, one tap and a slight movement left, dragged the rod forward and wham, the fish slammed the lure, just like Frank said they would. This guy likes to share fun, that’s all I can say about this trip.

“Get the Net” was a frequent expression that morning. The net is important to keep big fish from falling of and to keep little fish getting injured. Forrest Fisher Photo

Frank catches walleye using a method with lures that he alone has perfected. Since I’ve been doing this for 60 years I can say that.  The results are amazing on even a short day of fishing. Imagine 26 walleye, a 4-foot musky and so many other fish from a lake 17 miles long that thousands of anglers fish each year.

It pays to have some secrets, right? If you’re looking to share in this fun, look him up, Google Chautauqua Lake, Captain Frank Shoenacker (585-406-5764), Infinity Charters (www.tourchautauqua.com/Go-Fishing/Charters-And-Guides/Infinity-Charters-LLC.aspx?mid=15798&c=76) for simple fishing, rod in hand. 

I enjoyed hearing that one expression we used so often, “Get the net!”

A most relaxing day!

Unforgettable.

Thanks Captain Frank.

Franklin, Pennsylvania – an Outdoors Treat for Mind and Heart

Peace and bronzeback fun abound on the Alleghany River near Franklin, Pennsylvania.

  • Trout Stream Fishing, a Spring Hatch, Fly Rod Fun 
  • Smallmouth Bass, Light Lines, Tube Jigs, Screeching Drags, Double-Headers…a Musical Concert!
  • Riverside Camping near Franklin, Pennsylvania – Campfires, Peace, Eagles, Blue Sky…Unforgettable

By Forrest Fisher

The morning fog rising off the Allegheny River as it flows through mountain valleys and near lands where footsteps have likely not yet travelled. Breathtaking to see in person.

Last week was a journey week for Fern and I. We hitched up the GMC-1500 and travelled to Pennsylvania for a visit with fellow outdoor writers to share ideas, toss a few fishing lines, compare shotguns, quip about each other’s hair loss and joke about how we might climb the tallest mountain to hunt turkey where no one else could possibly be.

Some of us are getting too silvery between the ear lobes to climb much of anything that some might call a mountain – like the stairs to the second floor of the hotel. Still, we kid about it, it’s fun. It helps to laugh, since according to Fox News, laughing helps us all keep younger, the ultimate quest.

As writers, we share our love of the outdoors in every aspect. We talked about fishing rods, reels, boats, 4-stroke engines, shoes, waders, braided lines and fly lines, firearms, new laws, arrows, bows, boots, deer ticks, health insurance and the cost of gas, not necessarily in that order.

My friends in the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association are from an elite group of outdoor folks that love to share the one thing they want to help others find out about – the outdoors. The fun of hiking, fishing, camping, hunting and all the rest.

New terms in the last few years include kayaks, mountain bikes, mini-backpacks, ceramic forks and our dependency on space age communications…‘er, cellphones. We all agreed that the world seems to think we need these gizmos. We did not talk about Chinese exports and our own American need to overconsume everything, thank goodness, since the microbrews tasted so good.

Western Pennsylvania near Oil City and Franklin, offer a step back into American history, American values, culture and the outdoors, all quite refreshing in our modern day and age.

One evening as we walked down Main Street from our affordable and comfy Quality Inn hotel room in downtown Franklin, Pennsylvania, my wife said, “Isn’t it great to see families holding hands, talking and walking from one small shop to another, window shopping and just enjoying conversation?” Who could disagree?

Franklin is special in that regard, besides being right next to Oil City, where our life in the petroleum world started long ago. We are all lucky to live in America, but I was considering that we were really fortunate to find a place like this highly valued town. So to share more about this for friends and vacationers, if you’re looking for a clean, wholesome and healthy place to visit this summer, check out this National Heritage Oil Region in western Pennsylvania, where oil was discovered. I know, who of us knew?!

Home that were built hundreds of years ago and used during Revolutionary War periods still dot the landscape along the Allegheny River. 

We visited the DeBence Antique Music World as a touring stop and we heard the sound of beautiful birds outside trying to overcome the music inside, all coming from mechanized musical instruments that were on museum display and were played for us visitors. Some of these things were straight from the Wild West and the Matt Dillon timeframe – including church air organs. I felt like we were in a time machine. The mosaic of musical gear we observed, provided a symmetry of sound that was beautiful, unamplified, all natural, and was mostly using simple air, simple springs, and old-fashioned ingenuity. No hidden circuitry, if you know what I mean. No permission to share your name, pictures, location or personal information. I miss those days.

We walked a bit farther down the sidewalk, passing undisguised church steeples and wooden-front stores and shops, all still in use, many built in the late 1700’s.

Spring flowers were in bloom alongside the shop venues when we stopped with our writer friends to have dinner at Benjamin’s Roadhouse. Simple wooden tables, wooden floors, a 200 year-old bar and undisguised comfort. We enjoyed live music too, blues and rock, from a group called the Max Schang Trio – you gotta love base, drums and guitar simplicity, half of us were singing! It was that melancholy good.

As we drifted back to the hotel to refuel our energy for the next day and a fishing adventure on the Alleghany River, our conversation embraced the unfussy life of the old days and life in the outdoors, and how good we felt visiting this town.

Healthy smallmouth bass that weighed-in at more than 5 pounds were caught by our friends and I… fun? I could only say…WOW! Yes!  We landed more than 40 fish in just a few short hours. An unforgettable day on the river.

The next day, we each caught several dozen smallmouth bass casting trouble-free tube jigs. Simple fishing, albeit from a modern watercraft and using Gamma brand braided line – the good stuff, and made right in Oil City. Still it was simple, drag-screeching fun.

We observed campers in simple pop-up tents that had hiked down to the river bottom to overnight a stay and fish the shoreline of the river. Watching them cook breakfast took me back to my young family days and camping. Camping is much more than a place where you spend a small fortune to live like a homeless person! Many joke about that.

This adult bald eagle was having an argument with a red-tailed hawk that had decided it was better to find another meal and live another day. The bird-to-bird argument was audible from several hundred yards away – another unforgettable moment on the Allegheny River near Franklin, Pennsylvania.

Camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, even a simple lunchtime break, all allow us to observe nature and sort of “find ourselves.” Some say we all quest to find a deeper understanding for all things outdoors.  Maybe, but we will find fresh air, silence, the sound of the wind shifting through the trees, the music of water rushing over rocks in a creek, and other hidden things that to learn more about outside. All devoid of over-complexity. In the outdoors, with nature, we look to form a special bond with our own universe and the simple natural world. 

If we are lucky, we share such essential time with those special people that we share life with, our family and friends.

For more about this region, visit: www.oilregion.org.

Fish On! Bass Fishing after ICE-OUT on Lake Erie

  • Rust-free Jigheads w/Flambeau Outdoors Tackle Storage w/Zerust® Dividers
  • Abu-Garcia Veritas Rods, SX30 Reels, 8# Seaguar AbrazX clear fluorocarbon line
  • Strike King Tubes and Paddle Baits (Green Pumpkin)
  • Safety First! Wear Life Jackets, the Water Temp was 36 degrees
  • Eastern Basin Lake Erie EARLY SEASON SECRET: 3-Way Rigs, Long Leaders, Live Golden Shiners
Charlie Puckett (left) and Captain Terry Jones share the fun of catching that first fish of the year on Lake Erie near Buffalo, NY – the water temp was 36!

By Forrest Fisher

My alarm went off at 6AM, the coffee pot came to life, my gear was ready at the door to move to the truck and it was just then that I looked out there. SNOW?! What?! Can’t be, I thought, but sure enough, the white stuff coated my semi-new truck and made it really glisten. Santa would be proud. I just smiled to myself and said, “It’s ok, I’m going fishing with friends today.”

For the record, spring is here! You know it, I know it, we all know it. So this past weekend on Sunday, I contacted on old friend that is a bass fishing guide on Lake Erie and a new friend who works for Flambeau Outdoors – the tackle box storage company that never fails. We decided to wet a line in Lake Erie where ice-out happened just days ago.

Captain Terry Jones from First-Class Bass Fishing Charters asked us to meet at Anchor Marine boat launch on Grand Island at 9AM, so Charlie Puckett and I did just that. Terry hollered over, “I’ve got plenty of gear guys, just bring the coffee and hop in, got golden shiner live bait too, we’re good to go.” Don’t know about you, but anytime the moment of truth arrives, you know, that a fishing day plan is going to happen for certain, my heartbeat quickens a bit. It’s exciting! Especially when you head out to fish for giant springtime Lake Erie smallmouth bass in a brand new Lund 1875 Impact boat package, complete with a Motor Guide Xi5 electric bow motor and two Lowrance Elite sonar units that can spot fish to give us a little confidence that we might catch a few.

Motorguide electric bow motor, Mercury 4-stroke main engine, Lowranace electronics, Abu-Garcia rods and reels, Seaguar line…NICE.

Of course, Mother Nature was doing her best to remind us who is boss after every sunrise. The water temperature had dropped to 36 overnight, the wind was wavering between 5 and 15 mph from the west-northwest, the waves were growing. Not sure why we were all still smiling with wet raingear on after reaching the rocky shoal about 6 miles above the Peace Bridge.

The 4-stroke 150HP Mercury was purring along so sweetly to move us around on the shoal, we couldn’t even hear it. After 45 minutes, Captain Terry said, “OK, let’s go to another spot where we might find some active fish and the wind might be quieter.” I was thinking that’s exactly what other great smallmouth bass anglers like VanDam, McClelland, Hartman and my father – who loved to fish for smallmouth, might suggest too. One thing for sure, we would not be working topwater baits!

We headed for a rock pile near Woodlawn Bar, not far from the shoreline windmill farm near the old Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna, New York. A few minutes later, we switched lures to Strike King tube jig tails (green pumpkin color) with Captain Terry’s custom (home-made) football jig heads inserted, all coated with a dash of his secret smell attractant, and we let our lines down to drift and jig in 33 to 38 feet of water. 

Flambeau tackle box storage divider systems are now coated with Zerust® to help prevent or minimize rusty hooks. It helps to keep your hooks razor sharp.

As we did that, with Captain Terry’s tackle box open and about 100 jig heads in all sizes looking at us, Charlie shared the latest about the new Flambeau tackle box divider packs. He said, “Yep, these are the best, our storage box divider systems are now coated with Zerust®, a patented, infused plastics technology that emits an odorless, harmless vapor in the container area of your storable latch-down tackle box. It provides rust and corrosion protection. No more rusty hooks!” You can check it out at www.flambeauoutdoors.com. The new gear today, like these dividers, do help anglers “be better out there.” The new stuff never ceases to amaze me.

My 7’-0” Abu-Garcia Veritas rod and Abu SX-30 reel with 8-pound Seaguar AbrazX clear fluorocarbon line was working perfectly. It was throbbing every now and then, my trailing jig tail was navigating the rocks and bottom rubble, hopping, dragging along, moving slowly, and acting attractive and vulnerable.  As I was concentrating on the highly visible white rod tip…so easy to see from inside the boat, Captain Terry hollered, “FISH!”

The lone line we had trailing with a 3-way rig and a golden shiner lip-hooked from a size 1 Mustad circle hook suddenly bent clear down to the water. Charlie grabbed the rod and the first fish fight of the day was on. A few minutes later, we slid the net under the 4.6 pound female that was still hard with eggs. The 20-inch fish was also waiting for spring weather. One or two pictures later, we carefully released this healthy bass back to the depths to live another day.

The perfectly-sized golden shiners came from Tony Scime’s Tackle Shop (716-444-1704) in the heart of the Upper Niagara River fishing district on Niagara Street in Buffalo, New York.  A good place for anglers fishing the FLW Costa Bass Fishing Tournament out of Buffalo to pick up Strike King jigs, tails, tackle, supplies and the hottest baits at the time.  The summer tournament is set for July 26 – 28, 2018, (https://www.flwfishing.com/tournaments/2018-07-26-lake-erie-buffalo). 

We tested the Lake Erie Buffalo Harbor waters near the south gap, the middle gap and near Motor Island in the Upper Niagara River before realizing it was already 3PM. How did that happen? When you’re having fun with friends, time flies.

Dressed for warmth, Charlie Pukett and Captain Terry Jones cross under the Peace Bridge that connects Buffalo, NY with Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, as the current rushes by at up to 18 mph.

The Lowrance sonar showed us that fish were present, but they were sluggish and the water color was not the best. It didn’t matter, we were enjoying conversation, fresh air and outdoor camaraderie.

All of us had spring things to do, like everyone, but this day was simply the best way to kick off the Lake Erie fishing year. If you want to do the same, give Captain Terry a call at 716-875-4946 or look him up at www.1stclass-bass.com.

Imagine that sound, “Fish On!”

Be sure to dress in layers to stay warm right after ice-out on the big water lakes, but GO GET ‘EM!

Gobble! Gobble! Gobble! It’s Nearly Opening Day in Florida

  • 2018 Turkey Season is Just Ahead, BE PREPARED
  • Follow Jim Monteleone in his 3-Part “Turkey Expertise Series”
  • Learn “HOW-TO-HUNT TURKEY” – Series Starts February 15, 2018

By Forrest Fisher

The turkey view that every turkey hunter would like to see on opening day morning right at sunrise. Joe Forma Photo

That’s right, it’s February, but each year in early March, just when many Major League Baseball teams are holding spring training out west and down south, turkey hunters are training too, gearing up for opening day of the turkey season just ahead.. 

In Florida, the 2018 spring youth season will run Feb. 24-25, the adult season starts March 3, with other southern states are not far behind. Hunters travelling with their families to share in the sandy shorelines of warming saltwater beaches have an opportunity to do more than collect seashells, they can hunt Osceola wild turkey too.

As the spring turkey hunting season nears across the country, the NWTF provides their annual Spring Hunt Guide as an overview of each state’s up-coming wild turkey hunting season.

The 2018 NWTF Hunt Guide provides the most up-to-date wild turkey population and harvest data available from state wildlife agencies across the country. Visit the links provided for each state and assure that regional sectors regulations are clear for exactly where you plan to hunt.

You can also search the NWTF Wild Turkey Records database and discover where the largest birds in the country can be found. 

Following this very brief introduction from NWTF in getting prepared for the 2018 spring turkey season across our great country, follow the new 3-part “Turkey Expertise Series” provided for your education and enjoyment from one of the most knowledgeable and humble turkey-hunting experts you may ever meet, Jim Monteleone.  He has taken the birds all across America.

It’s going to be an exciting year. Follow us through this 3-part series on www.ShareTheOutdoors.com.

Enjoy!

Kids Today – Not Wired for Nature, FIND HELP HERE

  • Are Your Kids Part of the Keypad Generation?
  • If So, Find Suggestions for a Remedy Here
Click on the book to order one!

By Forrest Fisher

Worried about your kids or grandkids and their continuous attention to some sort of keypad?  You know you are, so am I.  They are growing up with something missing, but none of us know what to do.

While in Alaska recently, I had the pleasure to meet Richard Louv, a journalist, book author, radio, TV interview guest and fun-related speaker with a focus on bringing more kids and adults into the wonderful world of the outdoors.

Widely accepted as an authority on the outdoors, Louv created the expression “Nature Deficit Disorder,” as data provides evidence that both kids and adults spend less time in the outdoors than at any other me in our American history.  Louv cited that this translates an increasing fear of the unknown in nature.  Louv is the author of the book, Last Child in the Woods.

In this influential work, Louv cites barriers that impede people from identifying a path into nature.  He told me one thing that I think all of us must not forget, “the more high-tech our lives become, the more nature we need in nature.”

Louv explain details about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors.  He directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

Last Child in the Woods is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond—and many are right in our own backyard.

The latest edition reflects the enormous changes that have taken place since the book was originally published. It includes:

  • 100 actions you can take to create change in your community, school, and family.
  • 35 discussion points to inspire people of all ages to talk about the importance of nature in their lives.
  • A new progress report by the author about the growing Leave No Child Inside movement.
  • New and updated research confirming that direct exposure to nature is essential for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.

Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder has spurred a national dialogue among educators, health professionals, parents, developers and conservationists. This is a book that will change the way you think about your future and the future of your children.

Learn more here: http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/.

 

Best Walleye Fishing in 30 Years! New York’s Eastern Lake Erie

  • 2017 Angler Survey Catch Rates are nearly THREE TIMES GREATER than 30-Year Average
  • Anglers Harvested More than 70,000 Walleye in 2017
  • Walleye Fishing Expected to Remain Exceptional for Years to Come
While fishing Lake Erie with Captain Dan Korzenski of Hooked-Up Sportfishing from Dunkirk Harbor, NY, Ted Kokur and his three buddies landed more than 20 walleye in a morning of fishing. Korzenski is a noted trolling expert with charter openings for 2018 (716-679-9320, dkkorzenski@hotmail.com).

Stickbaits, spinner/worm rigs and spoons fished in, or just above, the thermocline in summer last year, produced limits of walleye for anglers near and far.  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that walleye fishing on Lake Erie during the 2017 season experienced the highest recorded success in nearly 30 years.

Captain Korzenski is a local professional charter captain and shares his fish-catching success methods with all of his clients on each trip, if they want to know how.  A good thing if you own a boat and want to come back and try walleye fishing with your own tackle.  The local stopover bait and tackle store for daily catch rate success is Bill’s Hooks (5139 W. Lake Rd., Dunkirk, NY; 716-366-0268), just a few miles south of the city of Dunkirk on Route 5.  Visit with Gerri Begier there and allow yourself to learn about hot lures, snaps, swivels, fluorocarbon, leadcore line, rods, reels and a dozen other things you never knew about walleye catching, lure making and finding fish if have the time.

Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The New York State waters of Lake Erie are world famous for outstanding angling opportunities for walleye, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch,  Our Lake Erie waters have consistently ranked among the top three most heavily fished waters in the state and the fishery generates more than $26 million in economic activity annually.  Anglers should take advantage of Lake Erie’s current conditions and experience this world-class walleye fishery for themselves in 2018.”

DEC has conducted an angler survey on Lake Erie to estimate fishing quality and fish harvest annually since 1988.  In recent years, walleye fishing quality has been generally increasing.  Survey results for 2017 revealed record-high walleye catch rates that are nearly three times greater than the 30-year average.  DEC estimates that anglers harvested more than 70,000 walleyes in 2017, a level not achieved since 1989.

Walt Gaczewski of Elma, New York, 80 years young, full of smiles, has his hands full walleye fishing with charter captains from the Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association (www.great-lakes.org/ny/elecba; 716-672-4282) last summer.  Steelhead, giant smallmouth bass, yellow perch and white bass are also secondary catches during Lake Erie walleye fishing outings off Chautauqua County, NY.

This exceptional fishing was due in large part to contributions of strong walleye reproduction in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2015.  Recent evidence also suggests that walleye reproduction was strong again in 2016.

Walleye are one of the most popular gamefish in New York, as they put up an exciting fight during the catch and make for a tasty meal on the table.  Walleye are aptly named because of their unique eyes that have a reflective layer of pigment called the tapetum lucidum, which allows them to see very well at night and during other low-light periods.  This layer also gives walleye their “glassy-eyed” or “wall-eyed” appearance.

Lake Erie is continually ranked among the world’s top walleye fishing destinations by angler publications with an abundance of trophy-size walleye ranging from 8-10 pounds, with local tournament winners often landing fish exceeding 11 pounds.

If you are looking to organize an office party outing, Captain Lance Ehrhardt from the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association (716-672-4282) can provide a listing of local charter captains that catch fish.  Erhardt prefers to keep the live bait worms on shore – he is a stickbait expert, but has clients reporting summer catches of more than 40 walleye a trip during hot summer outings.  Imagine that!

Given that walleye typically live 10 years or more in Lake Erie, combined with excellent reproduction rates in recent years, anglers should experience continued, exceptional walleye fishing in future years.

For the latest Lake Erie fishing hotline report updated weekly in summer, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9217.html.  For lodging and other information for vacation planning, wine country tours, microbrewery locations, campsites, boat launches and more, visit http://www.tourchautauqua.com/.

Boat speed, surface temperature, bottom temperature and frequent turns into “secret lake areas” where fish are found allow anglers to reap schooled walleye benefits.

 

CORE ARCHERY, Train Yourself to HIT THE BULLSEYE, then DO IT AGAIN and AGAIN

 

  • Train Mental Skill and Subconscious Mind to Excellence with Proper Back Tension
  • Building Blocks to Solid, Consistent Arrow-Shooting Form
  • Learn from a Champion
Click the picture to obtain a copy of this inexpensive book.

By Forrest Fisher with Larry Wise

When your form is physically complete and practiced so it operates through the subconscious mind, you develop good mental skills to help you score high under all conditions.  CORE ARCHERY will train you to be like this. CORE ARCHERY is a systematic set of archery shooting form steps built around the proper use of your skeleton.  It is about proper back tension, and much more, on the building blocks of consistent, solid shooting form.  It is a proven, simplified approach to consistent shooting form to achieve your desired results.

Throughout each form step of CORE ARCHERY, the governing theme is to maximize skeleton and minimize muscle.  If you do this, your form will be energy efficient, fatigue resistant and highly repeatable.

CORE ARCHERY is a complete system of archery shooting form, presented here as the sequence of proper mental and physical actions required to launch an arrow to the target center.  It consists of only the necessary and sufficient actions needed, and it has been validated by many archers.

CORE ARCHERY gives you the insight into good archery shooting form that will allow you to find the form you’ve lost or to gain it for the first time.  Most important, when you learn core archery, you’ll be able to repeat your form, shot after shot after shot.

The author, Larry Wise, knows his beans…and his archery.  He has been a competitive archer since 1979. His professional record shows 38 individual or team 1st Place/Championship titles, 11 2nd place finishes and four 3rd or 4th place.

He has given more than 300 “Tuning Your Compound Bow” seminars in 20 states; written five books on bow set-up and tuning; been a member of several bow manufacturers shooting and advisory staffs, and has done design consulting.  He coaches nationally and internationally.

Since 2004, Larry has coached more than 300 individuals privately, written and edited a national archery coaches study course, taught national-level coaches courses, and coached the U.S. archery team at the 2005 World Indoor Championships (winning 13 medals, including seven gold).

In 2016, he co-authored the “Adaptive Archery Manual for Disabled Sports USA”.  In 2014, Larry and Coach Linda Beck co-authored the “National Training System for Compound Bows” for the US Archery Association which is used by the Compound Junior Dream Team for which Larry is an assistant coach.

There are nine chapters and a special insert made from a 30-second video of the author making one well-executed shot.

  1. Intro: Core Archery Explained
  2. Your Shooting Objective
  3. Stance & Build Your Form
  4. Drawing the Bow
  5. Aiming & Sighting
  6. Aim & Release
  7. Learning Back Tension
  8. Muscle Activity during Back Tension
  9. The Mental Game of Core Archery

SPECIAL INSERT – The Shot Sequence in Digital Photos.  This is a unique chapter utilizing 44 photos of one shot to show you the steps of a good archery shot as that shot is being built.  The photos are on 44 consecutive right hand pages and spring to life as you thumb rapidly through them.  Study the flow from one image to the next to identify how each of the 12 form steps leads into the next.

Larry notes, a bit tongue-in-cheek, “Archery is a simple two-step sport.  Step One is to learn to shoot an arrow in the ten-ring.  Step Two is to repeat Step One!”

CORE ARCHERY is paperback, 8-1/2” x 5-1/2”, 140 pages, it retails for $13.95 plus shipping / handling.  Published by Target Communications Outdoor Books (TCOB) as part of its “On Target” series. CORE ARCHERY and other archery/bowhunting books, plus deer, bear and turkey hunting books, are available at www.targetcommbooks.com.

 

Fishing Southwest Florida with “Fishin’ Frank”

  • Common Answers and Fishing Solutions, Eye to Eye
  • Rods, Reels, Lines, Baits, Hooks and Rigs – Learn for Free
  • Where to Fish, Where to Park, What to Use, When to Go – Can it Get Any Better?!
  • Black Bass, Grouper, Snook, Crappie, Redfish, the list is LONG
  • Saltwater and Freshwater Goodness Tales of Help for Every Angler

By Forrest Fisher

Pier fishing in Charlotte Harbor Park is much easier and much more productive with advice from Fishin’ Frank. Forrest Fisher Photo

While visiting a bait shop in Port Charlotte (Florida), I met a young-minded, white bearded, guy that the locals call “Fishin’ Frank.”  He was talking to a gentleman angler and his friend in the store about tackle to use in saltwater.  The guy was a fisherman from Minnesota.  With a half grin, he said, “Frankly, have you ever heard of catching giant gag grouper on plastic-tail black bass baits?  How about goliath grouper on a Carolina rig? Or giant snook on a freshwater Storm Twitch stick bait? Redfish on Zoom plastic worms…with a bobber?” The room went silent. “Nope,” the guy answered.  “Let’s talk simple,” Frank added.

Making common sense of non-sense is something that this witty expert angler guy in southwest Florida does every day to help others understand how to catch fish in saltwater.

Jeff Liebler loves to catch tasty saltwater sheepshead and this is one species anglers can catch from shore and off common fishing piers all along the gulf in January and February.  Forrest Fisher Photo

In a few short seconds, I discovered Fishin’ Frank knew more about catching fish than most people who spend all their recreational time fishing might know.

At his bait shop called “Fishin’ Franks” (http://www.fishinfranks.com/) you’ll encounter the best part of your future fishing day: Frank makes it his mission, for the moments with you, to share his knowledge when he senses what you need to know. You need to ask what it is you want to know first, after that just LISTEN (listen good).

Why does he do this? He’s a common sense guy that understands nature, forage, predator fish, the moon, the tides, his budget, your budget, his time, your time and, after a few minutes, your needs.  Simply said, Frank likes to help people.

Catch fish or not, it’s fun to talk to this guy.  Frank is friendly, accurate, an eternal optimist, and he’s there to come back to…if you catch ‘em or not – to answer more questions from you.

We all like people like this, but beyond that, Fishin’ Frank goes the extra mile to pursue the answers and solutions for you when he asks, “Did I answer your question?  Do you have any more questions? Do you wanna know where to go fish while you’re here? From shore or boat?” Yep, hard to find this anywhere else in the country and world, I have fished those places and can confirm there is no other around exactly like Fishin’ Frank…who shares for free.

If you are a fisherman that loves to fish and catch fish, Fishin’ Frank’s Bait and Tackle Shop on Highway 41 (4425 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, Fl., 33980; 941-625-3888) is your “one-stop/must-go” place to visit.  After that, if you’re lucky and there is an open slot, sign up for his free fishing seminars held on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of the month.

Giant crappie are among freshwater fish that abound in the freshwater canals of Port Charlotte. Simple jigs, small blade baits and live minnows are top baits.  Forrest Fisher Photo

The seminars run from 7PM – 8PM at Luigi’s Restaurant in Port Charlotte, most folks start getting there around 5:30PM, they want a good seat. While there, you can eat, drink and be merry, while asking questions to quiet your quest for more information and savvy know-how and what-to-do stuff from Frank and the charter captain experts that talk with him.  Best of all, everyone else there is a fisherman too, you’ll meet others that fish and know the area. Very cool if you are a visitor or resident.

In Frank’s little bait shop (not that little), the only thing you’ll find are hundreds of lures, hooks, floats, plastics, rods, reels and lines and fishing stuff that works in this fishing area for freshwater and saltwater fishing.  And, at prices that can match on-line sales. How can Fishin Frank do this?  The simple answer: sheer volume.  He sells everything he carries right off the wall as soon as it gets there. Franks says, “I order lures by the thousands and still can’t keep up with the hot colors. For some lures like the Storm Twitch, I order 1200 at a time and they are gone very quickly.” If you and I visit there, we’ll find answers and solutions to our fish-catching problems at little cost to us. Quite amazing.

This past week at Frank’s seminar, Charter Cayle Wills of Bad Fish Charters (http://www.reelbadfish.com/home.htm), originally from Warren, Pennsylvania, where he cut his teeth on tiny trout streams, was one of two guest speakers.  Captain Karl Butigian, Back Country Charter (https://www.kbbackcountrychartersfishing.com/), local native from Port Charlotte, also joined Fishing Frank to free the confusion about fishing the waters Port Charlotte, Florida. These guys offer charter fishing from their boats, or they will go with you in your boat for half price. Hard to match that offer.

The discussion this week was about using your freshwater lures to catch saltwater fish. Was it interesting? Indeed, it was eye-opening in a world of when it seems common sense is uncommon to find.

This column will begin a multi-part series about using those lures, the how, the where, and the what, from the information shared by this dynamic three-some of fishing experts.  Look for Fishin Frank’s – Part 1 next week.  To jump start you, need to know where to start fishing from shore? Frank has that for you! Look here: http://www.fishinfranks.com/where_to.htm#wade. You’ll find maps and more. Step by step.  Just don’t forget to go back to the store and thank this gentleman giant of the Florida fishing world.

When you’re ready to catch some BIG saltwater fish to satisfy the open space in your freezer, hire a charter captain that knows his business and is not out there to just take your money. Two of these “good guys” are listed in this story. Forrest Fisher Photo

Captain Karl conducts hands-on seminars at many locations when he is not fishing.  Captain Cayle writes for Waterline magazine, a local fishing publication, and is also staff at Fishin’ Frank’s store. Look to meet both of these angler gentlemen at the Charlotte County Boat Show Jan.11 – 14th, March 8 – 11 at the Punta Gorda Boat Show, and at the March 24, 2018, Fishin Franks Tent Sale, where about 3,000 anglers meet with manufacturers at the store and adjacent area to make incredible over-the-counter deals on fishing gear.  It’s free to attend.

Wildlife is everywhere when you fish Florida. Enjoy every moment. Forrest Fisher Photo

Tight lines everyone!

Shotgun Choke Tubes – Making the Best Shot Possible

  • Choke Tubes Allow Shooters to Change their Pellet Dispersal Pattern
  • Choke Tubes Allow for “Quick-Change” Performance
  • Find the RIGHT CHOKE TUBE for every Shotgun you Own

When it comes to shotgun choke tubes, there is one name that rings true as the go to source of knowledge.

That name is Trulock.

From hunting to tactical, the team over at Trulock knows exactly what is needed to take the best shot possible. With decades of experience in engineering the world’s most efficient chokes, the team over at Trulock is second to none in knowledge as well as experience.

The story behind Trulock Choke Tubes, dates back to 1981 when founder George Trulock first began work engineering and designing his revolutionary new choke and installation system.  George identified the need for a system that could be retrofitted into most shotgun barrels without the use of an adaptor or complicated machining tools. His final design accomplished just that. 

Since then, George introduced a process and system that has been in continuous production, as well as being adopted by several major shotgun manufacturers as the industry standard.  An inventive genius that has contributed to improve the shooting industry for all time.

To date, Trulock has a stock of approximately 2500 different chokes, with more scheduled to hit the market very soon.  Trulock chokes are guaranteed to turn heads, they make competitors take notice.  Folks that use them know that Trulock choke tubes are “THE brand” that everyone should look to when they need the right choke for their style of shooting fun.

This year, if you are planning to attend the 2018 SHOT Show, Trulock invites you to visit their booth #15855 and learn more about why Trulock Choke Tubes and the “Legend” behind their invention have helped to improve shotgun choke technology.  

Follow Trulock for exclusive content and discount deals on Facebook, and check them out on-line at www.trulockchokes.com.

 

New Year 2018, Venue for Outdoor Review, Much Change and Much To Learn

  • Moms Take to the Woods and Streams with Their Kids
  • More Industry is heading to Preserves and Protected Areas
  • Global Warming, Invasive Species…More

By Forrest Fisher

A grandmother of six from New York State, Rose Barus says, “Alaska is beautiful, but if we talk with folks that have lived there for generations, they acknowledge that change is taking place. Let’s all work to understand much more.”  Forrest Fisher Photo

In the lives of sportsmen and sportswomen, the outdoors is about fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, boating, safe shooting, all that and more. Today we know that many things are subject to change and are scientifically measurable. One of the largest trends (change) is that there are many more ladies than ever before taking hunter safety training, learning to fish and becoming certified all across the country to carry a handgun. Modern moms want their kids to eat organic, untainted food, like venison from deer and to be safe. More moms in the woods will take their kids with them.  More kids in the outdoors, a very good change.

If we talk to folks in Alaska, they acknowledge things are changing. There are fewer halibut to catch, Chinook (king) salmon are part of a variable up and down population swing more often and there are plans for new copper mines (at Bristol Bay) that may contaminate a myriad of pure water rivers with their process discharge effluents.

Is our increasing population to blame for many of the changes we read and hear about? Is world industry to blame? Is our world receding? Global warming, is it for real?

Many college-oriented experts say so, despite certain science that appears to still be quite uncertain to measure long term trends. Some experts say we do have measurable evidence of shrinking ice caps.  We all might agree that our weather is certainly changing, that’s for sure, but is it a natural cycle or man-caused?

Birds are a serious part of the storyteller tale of evidence about our planet ecosystem. There are more than 10,000 bird species in the world, but in the last 100 years, about 200 of those species have gone extinct. Should we be concerned? Yes, of course, but we should work to understand why these birds have disappeared. Those reasons might include poaching, polluted waterways, contaminated air currents, inadequate garbage disposal and a long list of manageable people issues that until now, were not considered important.

Birds, fish, seals, beluga whales, walruses, polar bears, many other animals, arctic ice and people like you and me, all seem affected.  So, believe it, we are certainly in the process of change. To the untrained among us (like me), we accept that most people are not climate scientists, biologists or environmental science engineers, but we do need to rely on the science and studies, and understanding, of these experts who do know.

With communication e-networks on the increase, it you live your life at work and at home from your smartphone and laptop, like a majority of working people today, where do we draw the line on false facts and untruths that can seem to affect lives? We can only combat the fold between falsity and truth by asking questions and trying to get involved so we can all understand more about our changing environment and actual reality.

The fact about all that is, for the bulk of us, the outdoors is something we do for recreation. It’s not our life. Maybe we need to make the outdoors and understanding it a larger part of our lives. Ecosystems worldwide are changing. Ships, planes and global industry are a big part of the management issue for world eco-health. Invasive species have come to us from these sources and more.

We have killer bees in much of America, Burmese pythons in the two million acres of the Everglades, snakehead fish that can breathe air or water in the Potomac River, and many more invasive critters that most of us sportsmen have little or no concern about. We should. These invasives are changing things, many have NO predators. Get involved.

Overall, we read there are something like 50,000 invasive plants and animal species in America alone. In Lake Erie, there are 186 invasive species at last count. There are non-native fish and mussels in that mix, too. These things affect you and me, and us all.  America offers many great places to enjoy the outdoors in all its splendor, but yes, it is changing.

As sportsmen, let’s help our neighbors all around America by keeping an eye on things that can change our ecosystem. Let’s keep our national parks and monument trails intact. Let’s prevent industry from moving to capture minerals, oil and precious ore from areas that are now protected. They have been protected for a reason: to prevent change.

Many industries want to mine copper in the border waters of Minnesota, or drill for oil and mine in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the name of new energy development. I think these and many other areas should consider continued protection from industrial exploitation well into the future.

It’s important to let your legislators know how you feel about such change. Please join me in one resolution for the new year, to get more involved in these issues that affect our future.

It’s a Happy New Year for learning and sharing.

 

 

 

Outdoor Adventure is No Coincidence – Get the Kids, Pack Up the Car

  • Define a New Resolution Milepost for this New Year! 
  • Outdoor Adventure for your Family ONLY BEGINS WITH YOU
  • Teach your Kids to Find Clear Skies and Share Real Outdoor Tales
  • Cast a Line, Pitch a Tent, Pan-Fry Dinner, Hunt, Shoot or Watch for Shooting Stars…Here’s How

By Forrest Fisher

The littlest fish can provide the greatest thrill when you’re 3-years old! She screamed and said, “Help! I have a giant fish! Help!” Unforgettable moments that will last a lifetime – for both of us.  

If you are a wanna-be outdoorsman, no matter where you live, you might or might not already know that there is no end to the fun to be found outdoors through all 12 months of the year.  You sense the need for new outdoor discovery, but what to do, where to go, who to call?

You can fish from shore or boat or ice – and score on fun and food for the family.  You can hunt for small game, big game or many game birds and enjoy in the sacred traditions of our forefathers.  You can camp in any of hundreds, maybe thousands, of wildlife management areas.  You can hike to your heart’s content for miles along your favorite trails, a lake shore, around your favorite pond, along a mountain stream or in any of many state and national parks.  There many places to find the roads less travelled.

You can keep up with seasonal changes and best places to do all these “outdoor things” by joining a local outdoor club where you live.  Find a phonebook to look them up to find them, but these outdoor club groups abound all across the country.  Nationally, look for Trout Unlimited, the Safari Club, Ducks Unlimited, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Back Country Hunters and Anglers, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership,  the National Wildlife Federation, the National Rifle Association or the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  Experts share their innermost outdoor secrets in many of these groups.

If you would rather “see” to learn, visually, you can take a side-seat to recorded adventure and excitement outdoors.  You can absorb and learn from that one moment of  truth that only occurs in the wilds – setting the hook, taking the shot – there is outdoor television.  We have today, a choice of outdoor channels that cater to the wonderful specialized outdoor interests of fishing, hunting, camping and capturing to share that special spirit to be discovered in the wild outdoors.

Bowhunting with my grandson started when he was 6-years old, we hiked, scouted the woods and made sure we had enough face camo to blend in – the most fun part at that age.

For myself, I was so fortunate to have had parents that understood just how important starting kids off in the outdoors was, teaching us three kids to fish from when we were very young – I was four years old.  My mom and dad have both passed on now, I so miss them, but their lessons of living an honest life and their lessons for functional simplicity live on with me each day. They kept things easy for us kids to understand. Starting a fire, baiting a hook, stopping to listen to the water run through the rocks of a stream or over a waterfall.  They would stop and say, “Isn’t that beautiful? We would watch deer from a distance all summer, then hunt in fall. We learned to love every season.

In January, my oldest granddaughter and I would tap the maple trees in our nearby woods to make a few gallons of delicious maple syrup. Today, this young lady is in her last year of college studying to be an environmental scientist. 

Now, especially during the holiday season and with the joy of Christmas, I think of the delicious family recipes they passed on that always included the bounty of the outdoors.  Our Christmas dinner included the whole family sitting around the table.  At first, there was just my mom and dad, my brother, sister and me.  We quickly grew to more than 20 people bonded by our love of family, the outdoors and an understanding of our supreme Creator, who we thanked before the grand meal at every Christmas dinner.  There were specialty dishes mom would make and these included old-fashioned, handmade delicacies.  Potato soup, fish dinner, homemade sweet bread and honey, a side salad of garden vegetables that included lettuce, carrots, radishes, tomatoes and ground salt and pepper.  As we slurped the soup, my dad would pass out four walnuts to each of us. We passed the nutcracker around and broke these open to eat with the salad, each nut reflected the forecast for your health through each quarter of the following year.  A good nut meant good health, a crumbly nut meant you better be careful in that quarter. Mystical? Maybe, but you know, it was just something they passed on from their parents and, as kids, we believed every word.  If we received a bad nut, mom would hold us to eat more fruits and vegetables in that quarter to “make sure” we did not get sick. It worked too. There were no magical pills, of course, we were all “good nuts.”

Fishing for Lake Erie smallmouth bass is fun when you’re 7-years old and grandpa says, “Set the hook!” When the drag starts screaming and your grandkids are screaming louder…special moments for all time.

We lived in Western New York, the fish dinner included walleye from Lake Erie, perch and crappie came from Silver Lake and Chautauqua Lake, and bass from Buffalo Creek near Blossom, New York.  I rode my bike to that creek about three or four days each week in summer, met my cousin there who came from the other direction, and we would fish all day to catch our limit of smallmouth bass.  On most days, we used small crayfish (freshwater crabs) we caught by hand, they lived under the rocks in the creek. Fun? It was unforgettable! The big crabs would often be faster than we were, they would pinch our fingers. Yep, we yelped like little babies that needed a diaper change. Learned some new words too.

Dessert followed the Christmas meal, warm homemade apple pie topped with French vanilla ice cream. Ten minutes later, most of us were dozing off as we watched TV in legendary satisfaction, right before we started to sing our famous off-tune Christmas carols. No one slept through that.

Our tradition of sharing the bounty of the outdoors with family started nearly 70 years ago for me and is a keepsake that my wife and I try to maintain each year with our kids and grandkids.  In hindsight, there is not much I would ever change.

If there is one thing to share it is this: Get your kids started in the outdoors early.

They’ll find peace, joy, confidence in themselves and fun, and love of life and nature, and when you’re old and gray, if you are lucky enough, they will never stop thanking you. My better half and I smile to each other quite a lot these days.

Start the new year off this way and next year at Christmas time, you may find that the best wishes for the happiest holiday and adventure season of sharing love in the outdoors started last year…right after New Years Day.

 

 

Win $30,000 at the Vegas Shoot in February 2018 : The New Gearhead Ultimate Bow Hunting System – made by Engineers that Hunt

  • Compact Bows, Imagine Axle-to-Axle lengths of 18.5 to 24 inches
  • Add, Faster Arrows and High Impact Energy
  • Ground Blinds for Archers…Plenty of Room NOW

By Forrest Fisher

I’ve never seen anything like these Gearhead bows.  They are unique in appearance, are shorter and lighter than most other bows and they offer superior performance too.  Gearhead is offering a $30,000 cash prize to the winner of the Bowhunter Division at the 2018 Las Vegas Archery Shoot, set for Feb. 9th – 11th, 2018, with payouts to 5th place.  Read up on the rules at this website: https://www.gearheadarchery.com/pages/winwithgearhead.

Gearhead Archery started an archery company based a new concept of compact and powerful bows they call their T-Series because they wanted to build the ultimate hunting bow. Gearhead Archery believes, that once you begin to hunt with and experience the benefits of their compact T-Series bows, you will never want to carry a large bow into the field again.  Check ‘em out.

The Gearhead Archery compact line of T-S series bows include the T18, T20, and T24; that is, axle to axle 18.5”, 20.5” and 24.5”. The compact line comes standard with a backpack of your choice, to allow you to take these bows anywhere.  The compact line is specifically designed for difficult hunting conditions, whether you are in the confined space of a ground blind or tree stand, or on an extreme backcountry hunt, the compact T-Series bow will be there with you.

All of the compact line of T-Series bows deliver plenty of kinetic energy, speed, and accuracy, despite their deceptive small size.  In fact, these bows deliver the same punch as any full size bow with an equivalent draw length, don’t let the size fool you!  Size and Accuracy how can that be? The single biggest myth of short ATA bows is accuracy, we can tell you this is NOT true,

Gearhead Archery currently has Pro Staff shooters shooting the T24 and have won and placed at multiple events.  The dual riser plate design on all Gearhead bows is more precise and true that any other bow on the market.  The simple fact is that the Gearhead Archery dual plate riser design is engineered like a bridge, giving them the repeatability, strength, and rigidity like no other bows built.

Gearhead Archery engineers will tell you that one of the biggest telltale signs of a rigid and well-built bow is shooting very light arrows to induce sound and vibration to draw out any weakness.  They have evidence that Gearhead bows eat light arrows and don’t cringe like other bows.

The compact line can accommodate draw lengths from 24″ to 30″ and with the use of a custom FTR release aid that can extend draw lengths up to 34″, simply incredible.  The PATENTED FTR release aids can adjust your draw length from 1 to 4 inches with one of the FTR-series releases.  Another benefit of the release option is that it allows one bow to fit multiple shooters by simply changing to a different release.

Finally, all Gearhead Archery bows can be converted from a true Right to true Left-handed in minutes, without a bow press. Another incredible feat.

 

Boundary Waters Wilderness Ecosystems UNDER NEW THREAT of TOXIC COPPER MINING

  • Sulfide-Ore Copper Mining can be Toxic to Watersheds
  • Mineral Leases Have Been Granted, Industrial Proposals are Underway
  • Ecosystems, Streams, Lakes, Forests, Fish, Wildlife and PEOPLE will be Threatened
  • Conservation Group is ASKING FOR YOUR HELP

By Forrest Fisher

Sulfide-ore mining on the edge of America’s most visited wilderness will threatens undisturbed ecosystems, clean air and water, and the local economy of thousands of people. Brian O’Keefe Photo

Did you know that the Boundary Waters Wilderness is America’s most-visited wilderness?  It is, yet this pristine area of more than one million acres located in northeast Minnesota in under threat.  While it includes a watershed of backwoods streams, lakes and lush forests, the watershed and habitat is under imminent, toxic threat of Sulfide-ore copper mining.  Sulfide-ore copper mining has never before been permitted in this pristine Minnesota watershed, yet it appears that mining is imminent.  Mineral leases have been granted.  Industrial proposals are underway.  Locals are asking for help, asking for others in the outdoor media and worldwide conservation media to let the public to know.  Many say we need an immediate public outcry.

According to experts, the short science to understand is this: sulfide-ore copper mining threatens aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of the South Kawishiwi River area, Mining Protection Area, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and other parts of the Superior National Forest including the Withdrawal Study Area, Voyageurs National Park and Boundary Water Region of Quetico Provincial Park.           

Partners to protect the border waters area include the American Fly Fishing Trade Association, Izaak Walton League of America, National Wildlife Federation, American Sportfishing Association and many others. Brian O’Keefe Photo

Local protection and conservation groups are no longer local and have formed a nationwide coalition. “Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters” is a coalition of hunters and anglers joined by campers, hikers and conservationists from Minnesota communities and America, working together to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).  The coalition was formed in 2015 to speak up and has grown to include major conservation, outdoors and sporting partners, all committed to the common goal of permanently protecting the habitat for fish and game, nature, and people, in the Boundary Waters Wilderness, and protecting the stable economies of the wilderness edge communities that reside nearby.

Opposition to copper mining partners include American Fly Fishing Trade Association AFTA, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, International Federation of Fly Fishers – Upper Midwest Council, Izaak Walton League of America, Minnesota Conservation Federation, Minnesota Kayak Fishing Association, National Wildlife Federation, Orion – the Hunter’s Institution, Pope and Young Club and Wildlife Forever, American Sportfishing Association, Bear Trust International and others.  Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters also has a growing list of business supporters, including the world’s largest fishing lure company, Rapala.

CLICK TO JOIN the petition and activities to protect this region.

How can you help? Take Action Right Now. 

Sulfide-ore mining on the edge of America’s most visited Wilderness threatens clean air and water, and the local economy of thousands of people.  As hunters, anglers and conservationists, it seems common sense and vital to take a stand to oppose the practice of mining that can alter the future and change undisturbed nature so much.  This is a national issue that requires congressional action.  Let your elected officials know, wherever you live, that you oppose sulfide-ore mining near the Boundary Waters Wilderness.  Get educated and spread the word. Let your friends and family know about the issue, then please follow us on social media.

Visit SportsmenfortheBoundaryWaters.org.  How much support is there to oppose this mining action?  Visit us Facebook to learn that and so much more, and know that we need you and all of your friends too.  Please pass the word.

New Element 1×30 Red Dot Sight from Sightmark

  • 2-MOA Red Dot Precision
  • 15,000 Hour Battery Life
  • Windage and Elevation Adjustments

Delivering tough-to-beat accuracy and a crisp, wide field of view, the new Sightmark Element 1×30 (SM26040) is their update to the popular Tactical Red Dot Sight (SM13041). Enhancements include a smaller, more precise 2-MOA red dot, improved brightness settings and two night vision compatibility modes.

Sightmark has integrated improvements based on customer suggestions, and added more of their own, including a longer range of adjustment for both windage and elevation, battery life (up to 15,000 hours) and an improved IP67 waterproof rating. Notably, the Elements’ windage and elevation caps can now be flipped and used as tools for making adjustments.

Shipping with a reliable cantilever mount, the Element 1×30 absolute cowitness height fits all magnifiers set up on the Aimpoint T1 mounting system, allowing shooters to engage targets at further distances. The Sightmark Element 1×30 red dot sight includes flip-up lens covers, a manual and a CR2032 battery in the box.

Visit Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to learn more about Sightmark® products.

About Sightmark®

Sightmark manufactures award-winning products including riflescopes, gun sights, laser sights, night vision, flashlights, bore sights and other cutting edge, premium shooting accessories. Inspired by military and law enforcement technology, Sightmark products are designed for competition, shooting, home defense, personal safety and other tactical applications, as well as hunting. For more information about Sightmark products, visit www.sightmark.com. For media requests related to Sightmark, please email mediarelations@sightmark.com.

NY Deer Hunting Season is LONG, Cost is CHEAP – Still TOO MANY DEER

  • Imagine 79 days of Legal Big Game Hunting
  • Imagine 79 days of Hunting for $52 Cost
  • Imagine 7 Deer Harvest Bag Limit
  • All True, yet there are STILL TOO MANY DEER
  • New York NEEDS MORE HUNTERS!

By Forrest Fisher

Car collision rates say New York has too many deer, but hunters have trouble finding them. There is a cure. Joe Forma Photo

Remember those days in school when the teacher said, “Time up, pens down!”

New York deer hunters take note, time is almost up. The close of the New York southern zone firearm season (shotgun, rifle, handgun) for deer and bear hunting is just ahead, ending this Sunday, Dec. 10, at sunset. The next morning at sunrise, the extended combination late big game season opens for an additional nine days, to include crossbow, late archery and muzzleloader (black powder) season, ending on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at sunset.

When you consider that the big game season in New York’s southern zone (area south and west of the Adirondacks) actually started on the first Saturday of October, then ran for 6-1/2 weeks through the start of firearm season that began on Nov. 18 for three weeks and two days, and now the late season for nine days. That adds up to a little more than 11 weeks of big game hunting season for deer and bear. Wow, that’s 79 days of big game hunting!

The annual cost for the regular resident season firearms hunting privilege (license) in New York is $22 (includes big game and small game), the resident archery privilege is an additional $15 and the muzzleloader/crossbow privilege is also an additional $15. Total cost for all possible combinations during the big game season is a mere $52 for those 16 years of age and over (through 69 years old), or about 65 cents a day.  AND, if you purchase the archery and muzzleloader license, you are provided with a free (no additional fee) either-sex deer permit and a free antlerless deer permit.  So for $52, you can harvest 2 bucks and 1 doe over those 79 days of New York big game hunting seasons.  The regular season license will allow the hunter to bag one antlered deer (a buck).

For just $10 more, the hunter can purchase an application to enter a random drawing for two deer management permits allowing the harvest of one antlerless deer (doe) per permit in a designated wildlife management unit (WMU) of the hunter’s choice – if the management unit doe harvest is deemed available by the DEC and you are among the lucky hunters to win in the random drawing to help control deer overpopulation. Hence, while it is common knowledge that scientific deer management is based upon controlling the population of female deer, in New York, hunters have to pay for the privilege of helping to administer the science.  

New York is so interesting.

In addition, if you happen to hunt in a wildlife management unit where there are too many deer, additional doe permits can be purchased for, you guessed it, $10 for two.  For example, in WMU-9F, that is Elma, northern East Aurora and related adjacent areas, a hunter could obtain two more permits. If you have a lifetime license, those permits are free.

New York is so interesting.

If you add all that up, that’s seven possible deer for the freezer or the food pantry. Over 79 days of hunting, that is an average of about one deer every 10 days if you’re really good at this hunting thing, but if you are like me and many other hunters at this point of the season, you might still be looking for your first deer for the year. Hmmm, so what’s up with that?

Well, in a state with about 590,000 big game hunters, the annual harvest is 230,000 deer or so (buck and doe). While the numbers say that only about one in every three hunters will even harvest a deer, the DEC seems to be doing their part in providing hunters with access (long season), affordability (low cost) and opportunity (many state forests and access areas open to hunting).  Kudo’s to New York for this. 

Not without purpose, New York wildlife management groups appear to be working with safety management and insurance groups that report about 70,000 deer-vehicle collisions annually in the Empire State, with an average cost of about $4,000 per incident.  Across the country, 238 people were killed in 2015 when their vehicle struck an animal or when they tried to avoid striking an animal.

Add that deer also are also responsible for transportation of deer ticks that carry Lyme disease, it would seem New York needs even more harvest by hunters to control the malady of too many deer. So why is New York charging hunters $10 to purchase a deer management permit application?

New York is so interesting.

Because this is New York, the land of nothing is free. Your guess is as good as mine.

It would seem that with these data, the doe permits should be cheaper than free for every hunter. I like that hunting for deer is affordable in New York when compared to other states, but understanding the issues present (collisions, Lyme disease, property damage), New York needs to do more to raise the number of hunters out there and reduce the numbers of deer.  

How about if NY were to pay every hunter $25 for every deer harvest? Yes! Could such a simple incentive help the deer management group and would it also achieve the goal of accurate hunter harvest reporting?

How about if NY were to plant food plots in state forest areas?  We would see far less deer, safer highways, etc., etc.

New York is so interesting.

C’mon NY.

That’s my 2 cents.

 

TILLY, TILLY – It’s a Thankful Season for Walleye Fishing

  • A Highly Versatile Walleye Bait that Produces in a Variety of Situations
                                                                                                 Tilly TL 5-7 , 1/4 oz, Bumble Bee

Ramsey, MN (Nov 13, 2017) – Phantom Lures, widely known for its design and manufacture of high-quality proven fishing baits is pleased to introduce the arrival of the Tilly, a new walleye catcher that has the versatility to tackle a wide variety of fishing situations.

“We are thrilled to bring our latest innovation, the Tilly, to market for the 2017-2018 Ice Fishing Season,” stated Operations Manager Jeff Schulte. “The entire Phantom Lures Team is passionate about fishing year-round, and with the close of the open water season, comes frozen lakes for those of us located in the Ice Belt. We feel the Tilly is a great entry point into the growing sport of ice fishing, and we expect that with the introduction of Tilly, our brand can bridge the gap between open and hard water seasons.”

The Phantom Tilly is a drop-the-gloves vertical jigging bait with an aggressive flutter on the fall that also incorporates a strong BB rattle for when it’s time to ring the dinner bell. The Tilly is 2.5 inches of individually hand-painted fury. From hardwater to open water this bait is no one trick pony, the Tilly puts Walleyes on the board in all situations, making it a multipurpose, battle-born product anywhere there’s a fight to be had.

The bait is available in two sizes, the Tilly TL5-7 at ¼ oz and the TL-9 at 5/16 oz, both are identical in length, but weighted differently to accommodate fishing in deeper or shallower water, weather conditions and presentations.

For more information about the full product lines from Phantom Lures, visit the Phantom Lures website or contact Jack Gavin at: jack@providencemarketinggroup.net.

About Phantom Lures:Since 1996, Phantom Lures has built a strong and loyal reputation in the muskie fishing industry by making excellent, custom, quality baits that are used by first time fishermen, guides and tournament anglers. This reputation is now migrating to the walleye and bass world. Our tournament –winning baits produce actions that put trophy fish on your line, leaving you with great pictures and lifelong memories. For more information about Phantom Lures, visit PhantomLures.com or call 763.951.2902.

Personal Carry Live Bait Container, a BEST GIFT IDEA for your Fisherman

  • Personal CARRY-IN-YOUR-POCKET Live Bait Container…it’s called “BAIT-UP”
  • KEEP the LIVE BAIT ALIVE!
  • No Nets, No Wet Hands, No Lost Bait…GREAT FOR WADING ANGLERS
  • Innovative, Portable, Durable, Inexpensive….Convenient and Effective
  • WORKS GREAT for Kayakers, Ice Anglers, Shore Fishing Anglers that Wade, for Everyone Else
The Bait-Up bait product keeps live bait fresh in your pocket without batteries. Click the picture to see how it works.

By Forrest Fisher

Are you one of those anglers dedicated to simple fishing with live bait? If you wade a stream or walk the shoreline of a small pond or lake, fishing with live bait just become easier and more fun with this product.  This product is versatile enough to allow live bait angler to carry minnows, leeches, hellgrammites, shrimp, crayfish and baits, even sand fleas for coastal waters, and at the same time, this device eliminates the usual hassles that hinder keeping live bait functional and alive. No batteries are required!
CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO THE RIGHT to see a video on how it works.

“Bait Up” and its patent-pending Dual-Lid/Floating Basket design allows the angler to quickly choose live bait without searching through water, sometimes it can be icy cold! The design of Bait-Up also allows the angler to completely submerse the device to replenish stale, low-oxygenated water without the loss of any live bait. What does this mean for today’s active angler?

No more carrying those large, bulky and sometimes, battery-operated bait buckets, with you when you are wading or walking your favorite river, stream, or creek. The same thing goes with the limited space in a kayak or canoe, or while attending your ice fishing tip-ups.

No more reaching into a large bucket of icy cold water to search for your live bait and no more need to empty out the water each time to easily retrieve a bait fish.
No more losing bait fish each time you need to replace the water with fresh water.

Bait Up allows the live bait angler to conveniently keep, carry, view, and select live bait without any problems.

FLOATING BASKET
Lifts bait out of the water instead of the angler searching through the water for their live bait.
DUAL LID DESIGN
Select Lid allows for quick bait selection.
Fill Lid eliminates bait loss when the angler needs to refresh water.
DURABLE CLEAR CONTAINER
Allows the angler to constantly monitor live bait activity to determine when water needs to be refreshed.
Perfect for the walking and wading angler. The included lanyard easily attaches to a fishing vest accessory loop, belt loop, or it can be worn by the angler.

There are two sizes:
Bait Up 20:
SIZE: 7″ tall x 3″ round
HOLDS: 20oz. of water and can carry smaller sizes or amounts of live bait.
COMES WITH: Lanyard
Bait Up 35:
SIZE: 8.5″ tall x 3.625″ round
HOLDS: 35oz. of water and can carry larger sizes or amounts of live bait.
COMES WITH: Lanyard
“Bait UpTM” allows the live bait angler to conveniently keep, carry, view, and select live bait without being bothered by the movements and demands essential to be successful while fishing with live bait.

Learn more at this link: www.bait-up.com.

 

New York State DEC Announces Nov. 18 Start of Regular Firearms Season for Deer and Bear Hunting in Southern Zone

Hunters are Encouraged to Pass on Young Bucks

NYSDEC encourages hunters to pass up the shot on young bucks. Joe Forma Photo

With the start of New York’s most popular big game season slated for Saturday, Nov. 18, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is encouraging hunters to be safe, enjoy the natural beauty of the environment, and consider passing up shots on young bucks.

“New York has some of the best hunting opportunities in the nation, and our ongoing conservation efforts and hunter safety programs are providing ample opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy all New York has to offer,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Deer and bear hunting is also an important tool for New Yorkers to assist our wildlife management efforts and critical for controlling populations especially in areas and habitats where deer overabundance are causing ecological damage. The opening of the Southern Zone regular season is a cherished tradition for many families, drawing friends and relatives together for a weekend afield. I wish all hunters a safe and successful season.”

Deer hunting has been changing in New York, with more hunters opting to voluntarily pass up shots at young, small-antlered bucks in favor of letting them grow to be older, larger bucks. DEC is encouraging hunters to make a difference for the future of the deer herd and increase their likelihood of seeing older, larger bucks by choosing to Let Young Bucks Go and Watch Them Grow.

Regular Firearms Season for Deer and Bear Begins Nov. 18
The 2017 regular deer and bear hunting seasons in New York’s Southern Zone begin at sunrise on Saturday, Nov. 18, and continue through Sunday, Dec. 10. The Southern Zone regular season is New York’s most popular hunting season; approximately 85 percent of New York’s 575,000 licensed hunters participate. Harvest during this season accounts for nearly 60 percent of the total statewide deer harvest and between 30 to 60 percent of the statewide bear harvest.

Maybe some of the most fun is just seeing deer come toward your stand on opening day, but choosing to take a doe early or not, especially during the rut, is a tough call for many hunters.  Joe Forma Photo

Following the regular deer and bear seasons in the Southern Zone, late bowhunting and muzzleloading seasons will run from Dec. 11 through Dec. 19. Hunters taking part in these special seasons must possess a hunting license and either bowhunting or muzzleloading privilege(s).

In the Northern Zone, the regular deer and bear hunting season opened Oct. 21, and will close at sunset on Dec. 3. The Northern Zone includes the Adirondacks, Tug Hill Plateau, Eastern Lake Ontario Plain, and the Champlain and St. Lawrence valleys. A late bowhunting and muzzleloading season for deer will be open in portions of the Northern Zone from Dec. 4 to Dec. 10.

DEC Encourages Hunter Safety
While statistics show that hunting in New York State is safer than ever, mistakes are made every year. DEC believes every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable, and Commissioner Seggos is encouraging hunters to use common sense this season and to remember what they were taught in their DEC Hunters Education Course.

Firearms Safety:

  1. Point your gun in a safe direction.
  2. Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
  3. Be sure of your target and beyond.
  4. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

DEC also encourages hunters to wear blaze orange or pink. Wearing orange or pink prevents other hunters from mistaking a person for an animal, or shooting in a hunter’s direction. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot.

When hunting in tree stands, use a safety harness and a climbing belt, as most tree stand accidents occur when hunters are climbing in and out of the stand. Also, hunters should never climb in or out of a tree stand with a loaded rifle and never set a tree stand above 20 feet.

Help Protect New York Deer from Chronic Wasting Disease
Although no new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in New York deer have been found since 2005, DEC continues to take the threat of CWD seriously. CWD is fatal to deer, and if introduced, could spread rapidly. Once established, CWD is practically impossible to eliminate from the wild deer herd. Preventing CWD from entering New York is the most effective disease-management strategy. Hunters can help protect New York’s deer herd from CWD by following these tips:

  • If hunting outside of New York, debone or quarter the deer before returning to the state, and follow the law about importing carcasses or carcass parts from outside of New York. CWD Regulations for Hunters.
  • Use only lures or attractant scents that do not contain deer-based urine.
  • Dispose of carcass waste in a landfill, not on the landscape.
  • Report any deer that appears sick or is acting abnormally.

Report Your Harvest – Remember: Take It – Tag It – Report It
Hunter contributions to deer and bear management don’t end when an animal is harvested. All successful hunters are required to report their harvest of deer and bear within seven days. Failure to report is a violation of the Environmental Conservation Law and reduces the data DEC uses to manage deer and bear populations. Hunters may report via DEC’s online game harvest reporting system or by calling the toll-free automated reporting system at 1-866-GAME-RPT (1-866-426-3778).

Additional Reminders for the 2017 Southern Zone Regular Hunting Season
Choose non-lead ammunition for high quality meat and reduced risk of lead exposure to humans and wildlife.

Hunger Has A Cure… The Venison Donation Program (link leaves DEC’s website) is a great way to help those less fortunate while assisting with deer management in New York.

For specific descriptions of regulations and open areas, hunters should refer to the 2017-2018 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide available on DEC’s website. Hunters are urged to review all regulations and safety tips in the guide. Hunters may also be interested in DEC’s Hunting the Black Bear in New York (PDF, 727 KB) or reviewing DEC’s unit-by-unit Deer Hunting Forecasts.

HAWKE a SCOPE for Air-Powered Rifle ACCURACY

  • Air-Powered Rifles Generate High Shock and Vibration
  • Special Optical Scopes are Essential
  • Hawke AIRMAX fixed my Airgun Shooting Accuracy Troubles

By Forrest Fisher

The AIRMAX reticle is glass-etched and based on the spacing of a 10x Mil Dot with multiple aim points, great for multiple weight projectile pellets.

Airguns today are growing in popularity all over the world and they are now offered in many ballistic sizes. Airguns appeal to the other craze in the world too, they offer “green shooting,” with no gunpowder, no catridge casings, no toxic outgas and no garbage in the woods, and more, they are affordable and reusable at little or no cost. The one problem with shooting airguns accurately at long range though, is finding an optical scope that can handle the shock and vibration.

With my GAMO Big Cat 1250 pellet rifle (.177 caliber), I’ve tried two brands of scopes, names unmentioned, to discover that airguns can have a devastating effect on optics when the right products aren’t used. After two years of some shooting frustration – target plinking with constant creep accuracy, I have found a scope that actually works more than three weeks with repeat, same hole accuracy, week after week. My Hawke AIRMAX 3-9×40 offers the right specialized optics for the serious airgun shooter that I am.

Hawke sells this “super airgun scope” in either 30mm or 1 inch chassis design, and has one model (Airmax 30) that offers an illuminated reticle. My Airmax (Model 13-110) uses the non-illuminated AMX reticle in a traditional scope design.

The AIRMAX solved my air gun accuracy problems. This 3-9 x 40 AMX model has a 1-inch or 30mm tube chassis option for easy mounting and matched the fast-focus eyeball of for quick shooting style.

To be absolutely sure of your pellet rifle accuracy, go purchase your 4, 6, 8 or 10 grain pellets, then use a micro-gram archery scale to identify and remove the outliers (the heavy and light pellets) that contribute to shot placement inaccuracy.

The adjustable objective is integrated into the scope rear end for accurate focus and parallax error elimination.

We zero the scope to the middle of the paper and it is not unusual for us to place 5 shots within ¼ inch of each other at 50 yards. Our country backyard rodents are no longer a problem and fun of shooting for free (no bullets) is fun again.

Check out this airgun scope they call the Hawke AIRMAX, it’s affordable at about $200 and most important, it holds accuracy shot after shot.

For technical details visit: https://us.hawkeoptics.com/airmax-3-9×40-amx.html.

JIM ZUMBO’s Moose Backstrap RECIPE

Jim and Madonna Zumbo with the results of a very simple cooking solution that Jim is sharing with us.

ONLY Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • Cavender’s Greek Seasoning
  • HOT GRILL

Presented by Forrest Fisher (photo credits: Jim Zumbo)

When Jim is not shoveling snow off the deck or fighting off the Wyoming wolves and grizzlies that want to partake in his cooking, he is sharing recipes with outdoor friends on-line.  Here is one of those special, easy-to-do recipes in Jim’s own words.

“While hunting deer in Arkansas with a group of hunting writers, we were served backstrap by the ladies who cooked at the lodge.  It was sensational.  That’s where I learned this recipe.  It’s so simple, you won’t believe it works.

The simple “Prep & Cook” process:

  • Trim the backstrap of all fat, then put it in a glass bowl or non-metallic bowl.
  • Drizzle the meat with Olive Oil.  Flip it around so it’s well-coated.
  • Then sprinkle Cavender’s Greek Seasoning on all sides of the meat. Let it marinate for 4 to 6 hours before cooking.
  • Leave it on the counter for the first few hours, then put it in the fridge for the remainder of the time.
  • You’ll note that the olive oil will tend to jell a bit in the fridge.
  • Next step, put the backstraps on a hot grill.  

When you put it on the grill, the olive oil will drip and cause the flame to flare up. Not to worry, it soon burns down, and will initially give a nice sear to the meat.

Important: Keep a meat thermometer handy.  If you like it rare, remove it when the meat hits 140.  At 150 to 155 it is well done.  Cover it with foil for a few minutes.  And that’s it.  Be sure you eat it HOT — right off the grill.

There are many ways to cook backstrap. Before I learned this recipe, I sliced it into steaks or butterflied it and then cooked it.  Never again.

I don’t know why this recipe works so well.

The meat has a terrific flavor and seems more tender.

Give it a shot and try it. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Leftovers are sliced thin and used in delicious sandwiches.

It’s called Livin’ Large — with Madonna Zumbo.”

Thanks Jim!

Some background.  I met one of the founders of the Cavender’s Greek Seasoning Company, Steve Cavender, at an Iowa Governor’s Deer Hunt hosted by the late, great, Tony Knight. Steve was from Harrison, Arkansas, and shared his seasoning with us.  Tragically, he passed away far too soon, but the family continued the company.  I didn’t know much about the seasoning and used it, among others, to flavor meals.

This is my go-to recipe for every backstrap I cook, 100% of the time.  All it takes is olive oil and Cavender’s Greek Seasoning (which you can buy at Walmart). That’s important to know.  It makes me crazy when I see a recipe with a rare ingredient that’s almost impossible to find.

Learn more about Jim Zumbo secrets of the wilds in Peterson Hunting Magazine, look for the closing back page article entitled, “Rear View.”  Good stuff.  Subscribe here ($5/year SPECIAL DEAL!): https://securesubs.osgimedia.com/orderpage_ex8.php?m=petersenshunting&pkey=IBQ1

Lake George Village, October Smallmouth Bass ON-THE-BITE…40 feet down!

  • Paddle-tail Jigs Entice Deepwater Smallmouth Bass during PEAK Color Foliage
  • October Fishing on Lake George offers Exhilarating FUN, Finesse Fishing    
  • Morning Fog is Part of Stirring Fishing ADVENTURE

By Forrest Fisher

Walt Lockhart with one of many smallmouth bass we landed fishing the southern basin of Lake George in eastern New York State. Forrest Fisher Photo

The air tasted fresh.  One ray of sunlight was flickering through a tall tree to the east, lighting up the top layer of fog not far from Lake George Village.  We were here to fish for October bass.

The steamy vapor of hot coffee was bidding to escape my thermos lock-top cup.  The morning chill and hot java was perfect for a wake-up solution that followed a late campfire with friends the night before.  The coffee sparked my step as I studied the heavy fog cover on Lake George at 7:15 in the morning.

Adirondack serenity was everywhere.  Nature in this Warren County (New York) location was complete with stunning foliage color.  Very satisfying.  It’s hard to find wilderness-perfect moments in time, but I knew this was one of those.

A blue heron was beak fishing for breakfast to my immediate left.  A dozen wood ducks were bobbing the weeds along a shoreline of boat docks in Dunham Bay.  Overhead, there was a flock of Canada Geese silently flapping southward high above the fog.  They were not honking, they were apparently in stealth mode, except their wings created a slick-moving wind sound that had caught my attention.  More to study about that species, I thought.  We never stop learning.  I grinned.  Getting to 70 years young and still learning, life is good when you visit Lake George.

My fishing partner for the day was an old friend and fishing guide, Frank Tennity, who had brought along his usual 35 pounds, or so, of jigs, rigs, hooks, plastic worms, hard body lures, sinkers, a few fishing rods and related “other stuff” to catch fish, no matter the conditions.

I brought my coffee cup.  Ready here.

My fishing partner, Frank Tennity, is a charter captain from Conesus Lake, NY, but he was able to charm those Lake George smallmouth bass into the boat as well.  Forrest Fisher Photo

We met up with a fishing and hunting friend of local outdoor columnist, Dan Ladd (www.ADKhunter.com).  Moored at the Dunham Bay docks, Walt Lockhart welcomed us with a warm smile to the usual October morning fog of Lake George.  One warm and hearty handshake later, we hopped aboard his very comfortable 23-foot fishing boat.  The canvas cockpit made a difference, protecting from the fresh-smelling dew.

Convenience is important when the fog is so heavy you cannot see across the road.  We enjoyed the wait and sat in the comfy, covered boat.  We talked fishing, sipped coffee, joked about alarm clocks and after about 30 minutes, we could see 100 yards.

That was our green light.

The Lowrance sonar unit provided a split screen with a plotter and GPS coordinates using the Navionics (https://www.navionics.com/usa/) Lake George depth map.  The Navionics software helped us navigate to the “right spots.”

While we came to bass fish, Lake George is more well-known for lake trout and landlocked salmon in autumn, but we were up for the challenge of smallmouth bass.  Walt knew the waters from his many years of fishing experience at Lake George and we newbies to the area had high hopes to hook up with some fish.

“We have crayfish, emerald shiner minnows and smelt as the main forage here,” Walt explained.  “So we’ll throw something that will sort of imitate all of those.  I did also bring some live shiners if you want to try those.“

Some of the rods were already rigged with a ¼ ounce jig head that featured a large thin-wire hook threaded with a 4-inch Keitech plastic paddle-tail.  I was excited.

The boat moved slowly as the motor kicked into and out of gear at Walt’s direction.  We were drifting and fishing in between motor drive connections.  We made progressive motion along the south shoreline of Dunham’s Bay toward Crooked Tree Point and Lake George Village.  We casted our lines along the drop-offs near the weedline edge there without any response from the fish, but our first morning objective was to fish the sharp drop-offs with middle-level gravel shoals near Diamond Island and Dick’s Island.

The fog slowed us down, but we arrived after about 30 minutes of careful boat control.  The rocky shoals were marked with a bright buoy line and the sonar showed fish on top of the shoals in 25 feet or so.  The sun was rising and the fog was lifting.  The water was VERY clear and clean, as I could see my jig down about 15 feet.

Using his Lowrance sonar with Navionics map chip, Walt found lots of fish for us to catch.  Forrest Fisher Photo

Our 6-pound monofilament was thin and clear, a necessary tool to catch fish here with the extreme water clarity.  Over the next 20 minutes, we caught five bass, no giants, but the fish were so healthy looking and strong.  They each jumped above the water surface and electrified the chilly morning for all of us, but Walt wasn’t happy, he wanted to find bigger fish.

The wind was calm with a slight surface movement from the south as we moved to fish the steep drop-offs near Wood’s Point and Plum Point.  As we approached visibility to Lake George Village, we found fish.

Tightly packed schools of smallmouth bass were holding 40 feet down in 80 feet of water.  The fish were less than 100 feet from shore, that’s how fast the bottom drops in this location.  The bass were there and on a binge feed.  Sheer fun!  Among the three of us, we landed and released about 30 smallmouth bass, not giants, but up to 2 pounds.  Fun fishing.  It was one exciting hour!

For size and color details on the highly effective jig tail we were tossing, visit: (http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Keitech_Swing_Impact_FAT_Swimbait/descpage-KSIF.html), we were using the Sun Gill color.

The Keitech fat swimbait jig tails we used were VERY effective. The fish would hit them on the descent.  Forrest Fisher Photo

We carefully released all the fish as we caught them, then we moved to fish shallower water.  New challenge, same lures, the paddle-tail jigs.  We stopped to flip the docks along the Burnt Ridge Road boat slips on the way back “just to see” if any largemouth might savor an invigorating nibble for a freshly-delivered breakfast jig.

Sure enough, we hooked up with a few 2-pound largemouth bass to finish our short trip.

A complete morning, by 10:30 a.m. we were back at the dock with a late morning schedule to fill.

Our next destination was lunch with outdoor friends at the Docksider Restaurant (http://docksiderrestaurant.com/), a quaint little eatery with a cozy bar on nearby Glen Lake, just 10 minutes east.  The food was scrumptious and while there, we met other fishing friends that had just enjoyed a great morning of fishing Glen Lake for their renowned giant bluegills.

Located right on Glen Lake, 10 minutes south of Lake George Village, the Docksider Restaurant was a cozy place to relax for lunch and meet with friends. Forrest Fisher Photo

They wouldn’t tell us their fishing hotspot until we traded our Lake George smallmouth bass news.  Deal.

Tales of fishermen secrets continue every day, no matter where you are.  Even among strangers, it’s half the fun of fishing!

There is one very helpful free fishing booklet with maps, directions and tips on where to fish Adirondack lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, even offering what to use, where to access and who to call for more information.  The link: www.visitadirondacks.com, for Warren County see page 32.  For a list of local fishing guides and charter captains, or for accommodation contacts, drop a note to Kristen Hanifin at LGRCCCVB@LakeGeorgeChamber.com.

A Special CASE for “Border Water Walleye and PERFECT Boneless Fillets”

  • Expert Guides DO Simplify Catching Fish – with simple JIGS
  • Rainy Day BLESSINGS on the Rainy River  
  • One BEST Fillet Tool CAN SIMPLIFY Cleaning Walleye by the Dozen

By Forrest Fisher

Nature and the peaceful wilderness to be found near Sportsman’s Lodge in Baudette, Minnesota, will create NEVER-FORGET memories for all that visit. Forrest Fisher Photo

We arrived in the front lobby of Sportsman’s Lodge on the Rainy River in Baudette, MN,   The weather was cold and nasty, and VERY rainy.  We were in a momentary downpour.  I looked disappointed, my better half smiled at me and joked, “It’s ok, it’s gonna be good luck, it’s raining and we’re on the Rainy River!  I couldn’t help, but smile back.

Hungry Lake-of-the-Woods walleye are asking anglers, “What’s for Dinner?”  Forrest Fisher Photo

We were one step closer to the fishing the Walleye Capital of the World that we had read about so often, not to mention a few decades of dreams.

What I didn’t know was that the number of fish to catch in the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods was beyond the normal angler’s day of fantasy fishing.  We discovered a brand new REALITY here, an iconic, never-forget celebration of most-ever-walleye-caught memories.

Not long after we arrived, we were fishing with Captain Ralph Christofferson (218-634-1342) aboard his 27-foot Sportcraft, a beautiful, fully-equipped, big water vessel.  Lake of the Woods offers about 1,700 square miles of fishing with more than 14,500 islands and 65,000 miles of shoreline.  Impressive fishery numbers and with plenty of forage in the form of emerald shiners, tulibees and various crustaceans.

We boated out to the lake and anchored, only a 10-minute ride with that giant 454 Chrysler engine humming us into competition with throngs of honking Canada Geese that were nearby.

Captain Ralph provided everyone his hand-made, 6-foot 2-inch, personally customized, St. Croix fishing rods to use.  The rods were light .and beautiful, a pleasure to hold.  Perfect balance.

Captain Ralph Christofferson provided the expertise that enabled us to catch walleye and sauger at the unbelievable rate of more than 20 fish per hour.  Forrest Fisher Photo

The rods were geared up with an open-face spinning reel, 6-pound test monofilament (P-line) and gold-plated 3/8 ounce jigs tipped with a salted emerald shiner minnow.  The minnows were “slid” onto the hook with Captain Ralph’s “secret twist.”

It didn’t take long to discover active fish at our anchored spot.  In less than 3 hours, we landed more than 50 walleye and sauger. Captain Ralph said, “It’s sort of a slow day.”  In the words of our young friends and millennials, OMG!  Except, he wasn’t kidding!

We kept our daily limit of 4 walleye and 2 sauger each, and there was five of us.  Yes, we had a cooler filled with 30 fish and ice, ready for the pan or the freezer.  We arrived at the dock, it was a short walk to the Sportsman’s Lodge state-of-the-art fish-cleaning house.  There were plastic bags, foam trays for holding the clean fillets, saran wrap, ice and lots of bright lighting.  I could see the light.  Indeed, in more ways than one.

While some anglers use an electric knife to clean fish, most old-timers know there is about 15 percent waste with that method.  I’m an old timer and I had a brand new fillet knife that I received on my birthday.

A manual fillet knife job will yield the most meat for the plate.  If you consider some of the catches for the week – and we ate most of the fish right on site the day we caught them – you might think that manual filleting the fish was a tough task, but not so.

My 6-inch W.R.Case fillet knife is unequalled as an angler tool and doubles as my favorite kitchen tool.

It’s not work if you a knife like mine, a new 6-inch Case, fixed-blade, fillet knife (Model BR12-6 SS).  My Case fillet knife is so sharp and rigid, but also provides some bend in the blade if you press a bit, to be flexible, making it so simple to use.  It seems to never lose its really sharp edge and we cleaned so many fish with it.

Every now and then, I touch up the edge with a very gentle stroke on a carbide diamond wedge, then a final stroke or two using a very smooth Arkansas super-fine stone and water.

One other thing about this knife, it is ergonomically perfect to fit my hand. It feels just right, you know, comfortable and solid.  The steel blade and formed poly-handle are melded as one, permitting full control, and it works like a hot poker through butter.  Even with potatoes, onions, carrots and sausage, you get the idea.  It’s my favorite all-around cutting tool.

Many things we buy in the USA are now manufactured elsewhere, but W.R.Case knives are made in the USA (http://www.wrcase.com/knives/), one more of many reasons why I like them.

The bottom line for a good knife: can it hold an edge?  Indeed.  This thing holds an edge like no other fillet knife I have ever used, and I have used most of them.  I’m not sure what kind of steel alloy this Case knife uses, but whatever it is, please tell them to never change it.

My grandkids will want one of these 20 years from now and, of course, my Case will be here ready and waiting.

Last, this knife is an easily affordable investment at about $25-$30 cost.  Check google for the best price or go direct to W.R.Case.

Love this knife, the expert guides and this deluxe accommodation where we caught all these fish just a short boat ride and simple drop-jig cast away.  Dreams are made of this.

We’ll be back soon (http://sportsmanslodges.com/).

 

 

Autumn Color, Nature, Wilderness Air and Fresh Coffee at Lake George

  • Business Takes a NEW Direction
  • Lure of Autumn Bass Fishing, Lake Trout, Landlocked Salmon
  • Sights of Colorful Foliage
  • Plans for Waterfowl Hunting, Stream Fishing for Brook Trout

By Forrest Fisher

Rising fog from mountain valleys appear like slices of horizontal white pie resting between high, dark mountain peaks of the Adirondacks in the Lake George area. Forrest Fisher Photo

My workday plan was busy with a business trip from New York City to Montreal.  The airport traffic was heavy, the security lines long, longer than ever, the sky was clear and it was a beautiful day.  I was not happy with bumper to bumper traffic conversation between the interstate roadway vehicles and the morning disc jockeys were in a rant about their bummed weekend.  They made the congestion worse.  Then I suddenly realized, “I can drive!”

About two hours or so up the northbound highway, the traffic was gone and I discovered a wonderful sense of peace and quiet.  I left the long lines of airport security, the chaos of baggage, laptop checks and body scans behind.  All gone.  All replaced by a road trip drive that would change my persona for the day, maybe forever.

There was a faint sliver of fog rising from the valleys that appeared like slices of horizontal white pie resting among the high and very dark mountain peaks of the Adirondacks in the background.  Driving down Highway 87, the road signs announced Lake George and despite the near-darkness, I noticed that the autumn scenery was stunning in this particular area.  Signs advertised fly fishing, Hudson River rafting, rail trail bikes, historical sites, boating, biking, hiking and more.  These diverted my mind and were tempting me to consider a new daytime destination, maybe as just a momentary, side-of-the-highway, homesteader.  Yes, I thought, pull over, if only just to watch the enchanting sunrise.

Highway 87 runs north-south and Exit 21 and 22 provide easy access to Lake George Village and Dunham’s Bay Resort, where I found morning coffee. Photo: www.visitadirondacks.com

Rocky bluffs jutted upward and outward along the freeway, as I tried to focus on driving and not the scenic beauty.  That was just not possible.  The scenic views were an immediate visual award, an instant lottery prize win, just for making this drive.  I sensed myself grinning to the view, perhaps that was one honest measure of my sheer contentment.

A few minutes later, in the distance, the brilliant orange ball of morning sun began to tiptoe upward.  It was only a dull orange color sky at first, and then the first sliver of the sun crest rose just above the lowest horizon in the east.  I pulled off the roadway at Exit 21 and decided I needed a cup of java just to watch the morning light.  Driving down Beach Road in Lake George Village, sort of exploring too, my business trip had become an adventure.

I continued along Highway 9L just for a few minutes, it was October and many business places were already closed for the season, but it was so quiet, so enjoyable.  Then I came to Dunham’s Bay Resort (www.dunhamsbay.com).  I went in and asked about coffee. Yes!  They had fresh java and all the mixings, it smelled so good.  I toasted a cup to my decision to drive and thought about those poor folks that were probably still waiting in the airport line, grinning again.

A cup of fresh morning java from Dunham’s Bay Resort catered to my view of the morning sunrise at Lake George. Rose Barus Photo

I moved to the front of the resort and sat in one of the outdoor lawn chairs.  The warm Lake George water and chilly mountain air caused a fog to form on Dunham’s Bay right in front of the resort.  It became thick and started to settle before it started to rise.  I went back in for more coffee.  With cup number two, I realized I was looking at the highest mountain tops to the west, visible above the fog.  They suddenly emerged into a sea of brilliant color as the sun lit them up.  A flock of ducks went squawking by in flight, high overhead, that I heard, but could not see.  My brief adventure continued.  The natural intense lighting of the sun was doing everyday work.  I was inspired by the dazzling beauty and the coffee tasted so good.

An immediate urge for home ownership in the area seemed an almost immediate necessity.  How did I ever miss this Lake George area before?  Perhaps, if only for now, I might try for a short stay.  No.  Maybe on the way back, I thought, that way I could stay a day or maybe two.  Today, back to reality, there were meetings planned and work to do.

Vibrant autumn foliage was evident along Highway 87 and the pristine upper Hudson River. Rose Barus Photo

I realized that with the flight reservation and airport plan from the start, my fly rod was not with me.  On the next drive north, there might have to be a stopover.  Imaginary fog would be the cause, I’d need to pull over to stay safe.  Again, I’m grinning.  What a plan.  I realize that this drive to a brief coffee stop has me totally energized.

A new essence for realizing the seasons of the year was added to my list of “important things,” the autumn colors of October on Lake George are unforgettable.  Perhaps I must remember to do this again, maybe when NOT ON BUSINESS next year, I thought to myself.  It is a family type of destination, I could bring everyone, the grandkids too.

Historic sites abound near Lake George Village, adding the need for a second or third trip to “see it all.” Forrest Fisher Photo

My cellphone is activated and the calendar is reserved one year ahead around the seasons and the scenery just recorded only to memory.  Of course, I’ll never forget this day.

The backcountry is a new priority.  I return to the ribbons of roadway heading north with a new vision of the stunning foliage and clean, spring-fed, waterways that are abundant here.  These waters are filled with trout and untainted crustaceans.  Pleasantly now, I’m in a new comfort zone for effective business and again, I’m grinning.  Driving was such a good idea.

Time spent in the Adirondack Mountains of New York during autumn are positively special.  October is the month of color transition in the Lake George area of the Adirondack Mountains and lush green leaves turn to brilliant colors of bright yellow, orange and red.  They are unforgettable.

Color and visions from morning light to sunset are remarkable all around Lake George.  Accommodations are at low rates and fishing charters are still running.  The crisp air is right for a fall getaway.

Not sure I can wait for next time!

For Lake George information, visit www.visitlakegeorge.com or call the Warren County Tourism Department at 518-761-7653.   

MAG-12 BUZZ Worm: MASSIVE Action & GIANT Motion ATTRACTION

By Forrest Fisher
So just what’s in a worm that is not a real worm? Why do fish even think about biting it?
It might be a lot of things, but there is simple mystery, appetite, movement, unusual size, smell, color, contrast and perhaps…hunger.
Mister Twister’s NEW 12″ Mag 12 BUZZ Worm is a large profile, big bass worm with a length that is BIG with a tail designed to provide maximum action and vibration while fishing, especially around structure.
The latest addition to Mister Twister’s bass fishing line-up works great for targeting bass on structure such as ledges, reeds and brush piles in deeper water. It is exceptional for flipping, Carolina rigging and Texas rigging. Use a 5/0, 6/0 or 7/0 hook.
In Florida golf ponds, especially in winter months, the biggest bass will only eat the BIG worms. This Mag 12 worm works on those bass, fish that top the 10-pound mark.

The Mag 12 BUZZ Worm’s tail has a natural, free-falling action imitating wounded baitfish. When a bass’s metabolism heats up during the summer, the Mag 12 BUZZ Worm is sure to satisfy big bass appetites. In autumn, like now, this is an energy storage candy bar for big bass looking ahead to winterize their consumption system.
“I’ve caught them flipping reeds in Florida to dragging ledges on the Tennessee River system,” says Bass Elite Series Pro Clent Davis. This bait is a bass getter. When the bite gets tough and when I am looking for that kicker, I turn to the Mag 12 BUZZ Worm”.
The Mag 12 BUZZ Worm was in Clent’s lure rotation for his 5th place finish at the FLW Costa event on Kentucky Lake in June, 2017.
“The 12″ BUZZ worm is one of those game changers for me,” says two-time BASSMASTER Classic Qualifier, 2015 Bass Nation Champion, 2014 ABA National Champion, and 2012 BASSMASTER Weekend Series Nation Champion Albert Collins. “I catch big fish on the Hang 10!, but with the Mag 12 BUZZ Worm, I have the confidence that at some point I will get some upgrades,” he says.
Watch this video tosee a bit more about catching fush with this BIG WORM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU–Y-dnNiU&feature=youtu.be.
Mister Twister’s NEW 12″ Mag 12 BUZZ Worm is available in 10 fish-catching colors, including Cranapple, Watermelon Red, Green Pumpkin, Red River Special, Red Bug, Plum, Blue Fleck, Rayburn Bug, Black/Blue Flake and Junebug. These colors were selected by our Pro Team members. View the NEW Mister Twister 12″ Mag 12 BUZZ Worm.

 

Quantum Gravity Fright, RISING MOON Hunting Night

  • Big Bucks, Acorns and Apples
  • Dreaming about Scent Control
  • Elevated Hunting Stands REQUIRE SAFETY AWARENESS
  • Prusik, Gravity, Your Whitetail Deer Hunting Future

By Forrest Fisher

Healthy bucks roamed near the field edges along the apple trees and oak woods, captivating my attention with scrapes and rubs.  Jim Monteleone Photo

The phrase “Whitetails Unlimited” is catchy if you are a deer hunter, especially a whitetail deer hunter.  It’s also the name of an organization that has more than 100,000 members because the hunting messages they share are effective, useful and are delivered from the experience of real hunters and field contributors.  There is more than beginner value.

Whitetails Unlimited Communications Director, Jeff Davis, was his usual self. Modest and humble, unassuming, friendly and confident, as he extemporaneously addressed more than 150 outdoor communicators at the opening luncheon of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) Annual Conference at the Sportsman’s Lodge, on the Lake-of-the-Woods in Baudette, Minnesota.

His voice was passionate, descriptive and implicit with experience from encounters with an army of ardent whitetail deer hunters.  Davis has met hundreds of hunters and shared in many their most exciting tales and hunter secrets.  Hunter’s trust this hunter-gentleman because not many questions are ever left unanswered, at least not until the next issue of their extensive quarterly conservation and hunting magazine.  Magazine issue content is an art and delivery science.

Jeff Davis, Whitetails Unlimited Communications Director, is modest, humble, unassuming and highly experienced.  Davis delivered the message of “Tree Stand Safety” to outdoor communicators at the 61st Annual Conference of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, held at Sportsman’s Lodge on Lake of the Woods in Baudette, Minnesota.  Forrest Fisher Photo

With a slight grin that emerged to also offer a note of truth and sadness, “Not every tale has a happy ending,” Davis said.  He postured his oncoming message from experience and history, with an element of approach intended to share and impart his high concern for hunter success and safety.  His audible expression was unmistakable and optimistic. He was delivering advice for hunting and addressing an eager and robust audience that was all ears.  We all felt comfortable to learn more.

As Davis continued, my mind drifted off. Was his smooth delivery hypnosis? Not sure. Was I bored? No, but my tummy was full from lunch. Like listening to a short sermon in church, my brain had transcended into an imaginary place and I was on a hunt. All the elements of what Davis had been talking about were in my dream. I think I drifted into dreamland for just a minute or two, but I clearly remember the details of my dream.

There was a succulent white oak tree forest with mounds of sweet acorns next to a row of apple trees where my trail cams had chronicled bucks rumbling antlers with each other in the previous weeks. There was a highly traveled rub line and it was near sunset in my aspiration.   A full moon had just started rising in the eastern sky, it had a tinge of orange color.  Scrapes every 25 yards were visible. There were the sounds of apples and acorns crunching in the distance from my tree stand about 95 yards downwind. Yes, I had audio, and many deer. Imagine such unlimited whitetails. I was in my place of reverie as a deer hunter.

As summer wanes, the bucks lose their velvet and seek safe resting spots in heavy cover for daytime vigils and the annual “doe watch” in wait for the upcoming rut cycle. Jim Monteleone Photo

My tree stand was situated where it was because I wanted to be safe about human scent dispersal.  There I was, sitting in a hanging tree stand elevated 20-feet, vertical access from a stick-ladder and feeling very happy and safe.  I knew this was a good spot.  It was so quiet, except for those inconsiderate munching deer chewing in the distance.

Sitting on my butt in my stand, full-body harness in place – I wear it every time, my bow was resting on my lap. The deer on this night had dispersed and had no interest for my grunt and bleat combinations. Probably a wind direction issue. The sun had disappeared and it was time to head back. Disappointed, I started to think about what to do next time.  I dropped my bow down on the lift-line, my backpack too.  Then I started down the ladder.  Oops!  My foot slips on the top step and I was suddenly airborne.  In a split second, I crashed hard into the ground and could not move.  I could not feel my arms or legs.  What happened I thought to myself?  I had been in my dream spot.  I started to grunt a bit from my perceived pain when my better half woke me up and said, “Hey Forrest, the speaker just called your name from the raffle.”

There were people clapping warmly. “Oh, I said, sorry honey, I must have dozed off.”

I got up and approached the speaker’s stand when Jeff Davis said, “You win a THE Safe-Line from MUDDY!  Congratulations!  Enjoy.”  Wow.  Thank goodness I was dreaming!  I was literally trembling as I walked back to my seat, the dream had been so real for a brief moment, then at the end, a nightmare.  I smiled, trying to hide my brief moment of fear from far away in dreamland.

When used with a full body harness (fall-arrest system), the MUDDY Safe-Line allows hunters climbing up or down to stay connected to safety and avoid a fall that could result in serious injury or death. (Photo Courtesy of GoMUDDY.com)

As I sat there in a semi-stupor, I realized that in the dream I had been so focused on the next hunt, that safely getting down from the tree came second.  My safety came second.  My life came second.  My safety and how important I was to my family was not even part of my thinking in the dream.  It was now.  So I took a step back to really think about it.  I knew that another force from far away must have been talking to me to even have this dream, or maybe that Jeff Davis was one of those magic-maker speakers where everyone can get up and talk like a chicken upon request.  You’ve seen the act.  I laughed to myself and grinned over to my wife who said, “You’re so lucky!”  No kidding, especially this time, I thought.

So I continued in my post-dream thought, how could this accident have been prevented?  We know how my safety was compromised because every solid hunter has thought about the next hunt at the end of a fruitless day.  We can lose our focus for safety during “thinking moments” like that.

A MUDDY Safe-Line for secure descent would have saved me from this dream accident.  Under $40 worth of gear (www.gomuddy.com), the same gear I had just won.  I felt connected to another source of energy for a second or two.  Sort of unreal.  For a moment, no kidding, I felt an angel must have been telling me that I need to be more aware of safety.  Thank you Lord.

To use the Safe-Line, you attach the line to the tree just above your tree stand with the loop knot provided.  You leave this rope in place now during hunting season.  The body harness Carabiner Clip latches right onto the Prusik knot loop of the Safe-Line – it comes with two Prusik slip knots (for a two-man stand), the Prusik loop slides down the Safe-Line as you proceed one step at a time and down you go.  Safely.  The bottom of the Safe-Line is then tied around the tree at ground level.  Going up or down on slippery steps wet from rain, snow or ice is no longer a safety concern.  The Prusik knot will go with you as you gently push it up or slide it down with you in either direction.  If you should drop quickly, it immediately locks into place, saving you from rapid descent, a fall and possible death.

Fall arrest systems are comprised of a full body harness such as these from Hunter Safety Systems and include a tree belt, lanyard, relief device and climbing belt. When used in conjunction with a “Safe-Line” and Prusik Loop Knots, hunters are protected from ever falling to injury during ascent or descent. Photo courtesy of www.hssvest.com.

Davis’s message from Whitetails Unlimited Magazine for the attending outdoor journalists visiting from across the country was TREE STAND SAFETY.

I think I got the message. In my case, Davis had help even he did not know about. No, I’m not superstitious, but I am listening to thoughts of safety much more now.  The dream honestly scared me.

My grandkids are just coming of age to hunt deer and the kids will be just like many of us in the outdoors, hunting from that one place that deer rarely see, an elevated tree stand.  Safety will be the first concern for each of us when we consider the future safety of our grandkids.

Write it down as a MUST-HAVE:

One (1) Safe-Line (MUDDY, www.gomuddy.com) for every tree stand and one (1) full-body harness (HUNTER SAFETY SYSTEM, www.hssvest.com) for every hunter in your party. 

Then and only then, can you go up and down from your elevated tree stand in total safety while thinking about the strategy for the exciting day ahead, or for the strategy on that next deer hunt.  I had a lucky dream, then a lucky raffle.  Don’t you be unlucky by choice.  Conquer safety. Make it habit. Start now.

Pass it on. Please.

About Whitetails Unlimited: Founded in 1982, Whitetails Unlimited is a national nonprofit conservation organization that has remained true to its mission, making great strides in the field of conservation. We have gained the reputation of being the nation’s premier organization dedicating our resources to the betterment of the white-tailed deer and its environment.  On behalf of our 105,000 plus members, we welcome you to browse our site and learn more about WTU, our past accomplishments, and the organization’s commitment to caring for our priceless renewable natural resources. We appreciate your interest in Whitetails Unlimited and hope that after reviewing our site, you will consider joining the whitetail team “Working for an American Tradition.”  The Whitetails Unlimited quarterly magazine (60-80 pages, 4 times per year) is not available on newsstands, only through membership.

USA Heads to World Bass Fishing Championships In South Africa

  • Competition Begins Oct. 5, 2017
  • Live Weigh-In Results Available On-Line
  • Follow David Fritts, Scott Martin, Fred Roumbanis and many other top pro’s
  • No Surprise What Lures are Catching Bass in South Africa…Read On.
The U.S. Angling Board of Directors selected the USA Bass team (L to R): Lionel Botha, Fred Roumbanis, David Dudley, Team Captain – Scott Martin, Scott Canterbury, Mark Rose, James Watson and David Fritts.

From State College, Pa., we learn that fishing fans are in for a Gold Medal fishing competition treat this week.  The USA Bass Team (Capital City/Lake Murray Country RTB USA Bass Team) competes in the 2017 WORLD BASS FISHING CHAMPIONSHIPS.

Team Manager John Knight says, “We are ready to compete, we are also going to keep everyone posted on Team USA via several social media outlets. We want America’s sports fan to be right there with us.” The USA Bass team consists of top anglers from FLW and BASS.

The contest starts with practice on October 2nd – 4th, and competition on October 5th, 6th and 7th.  Team USA will be vying for the World Championship Gold medal versus teams from across the globe on South Africa’s River Vaal.

The Capital City/Lake Murray Country RTB USA Bass team will take on South Africa, Russia, Mexico, Portugal, Swaziland, Namibia, Italy, Zambia, Germany, Zimbabwe, Spain and Croatia. The competition begins October 5 and runs for three days.

Daily weigh-in’s will be updated beginning 10 a.m. Eastern Time at: https://www.weighmasters.net

Hottest lures during the practice days?  Senko’s and Bay Rat’s.  Follow the daily hot lure trail on USA Bass Facebook site listed below.

Bass World Championship Event pages:

Thanks to the USA Bass supporters that made this trip to South Africa possible:

Gold “Title” sponsor:  Capital City/Lake Murray Country RTB.

 

 

Silver sponsors:  Hidden Bay Graphics, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, Bay Rat Lures, Regional Jet Center:

Bronze sponsors: Kid Casters, Careco TV, Bass Kickin’ Tackle, Uranus Fudge Factory, Bob’s Machine Shop

U.S. Angling is a 501c3 charitable organization that supports the Capital City/Lake Murray Country RTB USA Bass team as they compete in world championship fishing events around the world. Businesses and individuals wishing to support the USA Bass team in South Africa are encouraged to visit our website at www.usabass.org for sponsorship opportunities, or contribute at Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/usabass.

Fort Myers & Sanibel Island Beaches ARE OPEN

  • We HAVE SURVIVED Hurricane Irma VERY WELL
  • Come Enjoy, Explore, Swim, Fish, Cruise
  • It is a Shell Collectors Bonanza Adventure Time

By Forrest Fisher

If you know Lee County, Florida, you know that homeowners and snowbird visitors alike had safety and property concerns after Hurricane Irma sent a measure of fear throughout Florida in September.  It’s over.  The area is back in the swing of Florida fun.

The great warm weather and sunshine is back, though for adventure visitors, it might be good to know that the waves from Irma’s passing along our shell-drenched beaches on the Gulf of Mexico have brought in more shells than ever.

On a recent trip to Sanibel with my family, we met local treasure hunters that explained how post-storm periods are the one great time to bring out your best metal detector to find ancient treasure.  The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island in southwest Florida continue to provide new experiences for visitors to Florida’s unspoiled island destination.

If you love wildlife, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge plans to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week with “Ding” Darling Days, Oct. 15-22.  The refuge will offer free admission access days on several occasions during that week.  For a full “Ding” Darling Days schedule, call 239-472-1100 or visit www.dingdarlingdays.com.

For more information with the latest vacation information, please visit www.FortMyersSanibel.com.

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel in Southwest Florida includes: Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Pine Island, Boca Grande & Outer Islands, North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres.

Get a SMART Plinker-Cleaner, the Bore Boss®. UNDER $10!

  • Fast, easy, bore cleaning
  • Simple, clean storing solution
  • Ergonomic grip for ease of use
  • Compact design to go where you go
  • Made by REAL AVID

By Forrest Fisher

From the Real Avid folks and their barrel of innovation, comes the ultra-compact Bore Boss®.  It’s the first ever self-storing, easy-feeding, clean-pulling, field-ready, hassle-free, pure-genius bore cleaner that I have ever used, even (and especially) for small calibers like the .22 caliber rifle you like to use for inexpensive plinking and target shooting.   

The unit functions by using a single-piece cable with an integrated phosphor-bronze brush and braided mop wraps around the unique Flex-Case Handle to keep the system stowed and organized, and it fits in your pants pocket. Hard to beat that.  

To use, simply flip open the small case, feed the cable, clip on the handle and pull.  Throw it in your pack or put it in your pocket. It’s the next best thing to a self-cleaning gun.  Love this thing and I have provided one for all my grandkids that like to shoot. They also have a pocket copy of “Firearms Safety: 10 Rules for Safe Gun Handling” from the National shooting Sports foundation (NSSF) and they know the rules inside out.

This plinker cleaner is compact, ergonomically adjusted for comfort in your hand during use and it completes the task of cleaning your barrel FAST.

Available in several calibers, the .22 cleaning kit will be most popular with “plinksters” and the cost is under 10 bucks.  

Visit this link for more details: https://www.realavid.com/shop/bore-boss-22.

Walleye & Sauger Slamming Jigs at Lake-of-the-Woods – Baudette, Minnesota

  • Usual Fish Catch Rate is 4-7 Fish/Hour
  • Hot Lure: 3/8 Ounce Jig (hammered gold/pink) Tipped with a Minnow
  • Angler Qwest Pontoon Boat Rig was Safe and Extra-Comfy

By Forrest Fisher

Lake of the Woods offers top notch walleye and sauger fishing just 5 to 15 minutes from the dock.  This graph is typical for fall fishing stints. Forrest Fisher Photo

Brad Dupuie and Roger Nieson treated several friends from the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) to a short afternoon “Angler Qwest Pontoon Boat fishing trip” for walleye and sauger on Lake of the Woods near Baudette, Minnesota.

Roger Nieson with a nice walleye from LOTW (Lake of the Woods). Forrest Fisher Photo

With the lake in turnover mode and the water with a tea-like water color, we still landed over 30 fish, keeping 18 in the 3-hours.

Executive Director, Julie Knutson, from the Watertown, South Dakota, Visitor’s and Tourism Bureau, were visiting and fishing with us at the conference…the action was non-stop!Forrest Fisher Photo

We dropped lines with simple jig/minnow rigs and VMC jigging spoons in 26 feet of water off the Rainy River outlet to the lake.   The technique that produced good fish was to release the jig straight down alongside the boat, let it hit bottom, then lift sharply about 6 inched to one-foot, then let the jig flop back to bottom, wait 5 seconds, then lift about 4-6 inches off bottom and wait.  Repeat every 20 seconds or so.  Slam, dunk!.

Welded stainless steel side plates and fixturing is standard gear with this Angler Qwest pontoon boat model. Forrest Fisher Photo

The Angler Qwest pontoon boat was not ordinary, powered by a 200HP, 4-stroke Merc that used very little fuel (regular gas).  The well-outfitted boat could outrun (speed) more ordinary 27-30 foot fishing craft designed for six anglers and a charter captain.

The boat featured extra special build items that included a teak floor, live wells, rod holders, deck wash-down hose, measuring board table, sidewall cupboards, set up for downriggers, welded stainless steel fixturing all around, side-deck grill options, all equipped to handle 4-ft waves in the Great Lakes.  AND, it travels at 45 mph!

Trax Tech Rod Holders  allow high-tech fishing with boards, riggers and divers. Forrest Fisher Photo

We had 8 of us friends on board too.  Rods were 6-7 feet lightweight open-face spinning reel rigs with 8-pound monofilament line, though many anglers use lightweight braided lines tied direct to the jigs.  The stained water color allows the line color of any type.

David Gray of the VEXPO North American Sportshow shared fish-catching fun moments. Forrest Fisher Photo

All of us enjoyed a great time fishing out of the Sportsman’s Lodge in Baudette, Minnesota, where special fall rates are in effect or the next few weeks.  Visit http://sportsmanslodges.com/ for more information on lodging.

Lovin autumn life in the outdoors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orleans County Fishing Report – Sep. 19, 2017

  • Weather Warm-Up will Cool-Down Lake Ontario Fish Movement in Trib’s
  • Archer’s Club Tourney Coming Up on the “Oak,” see Details
  • Smallmouth Fishing Good on Lake Alice

Today is Tuesday September 19, 2017.

Well it looks like we are in for another long stretch of pleasant summerlike weather conditions.  This should slow down the migration of trout and salmon towards their spawning grounds just a bit.

Early morning and late evening fishing from the pier heads have been fairly productive, as has been trolling the “wall” at those times.

There are still a good number of fish and bait in the 70 to 200 feet of water range for those who still have boats in the water.

This past weekend I was at a function at the Archers Club and conditions never looked better.  There is a good water flow throughout the entire area which should make for some fantastic fishing this fall.  They also have made some great improvements to the facilities in the enlarged kitchen area.

Mark on your calendar October 18th, 19th and 20th for the St. Mary’s Archers Club Catch and Release Fly Fishing Derby.  This great event features 3 days of great fishing, fantastic food and some wonderful prizes, truly an event not to be missed.

With the warm up, fishing in the lower stretches of the “Oak”, Lake Alice and the Erie Canal has slowed a bit except for the smallmouth bass fishing.  That will all change once some cooler temperatures return to our area.

Initial reports from the DEC creel census folks look like this has been one of the highest catch rate years for trout and salmon they have ever seen.  This proves, once again, that Lake Ontario and its tributaries are alive and very healthy, even with the little extra water Mother Nature has given us.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

 

 

Wonders of Wildlife NOW OPEN, An Amazing Adventure into the WORLD of WILDLIFE

  • Wonders of Wildlife provides Tribute to Fish and Wildlife
  • Wonders of Wildlife NATIONAL MUSEUM & AQUARIUM is Extraordinary
  • Founder, Johnny Morris, Has Provided a Trail to Lifelong Conservation in the Outdoors through Fishing, Bass Pro Shops and now, WONDERS OF WILDLIFE
  • Rick Clunn will Attend

By Forrest Fisher

Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium Opens Sep. 20, 2017 – An Extraordinary Experience! 

One of the most respected professional bass anglers in the world is Rick Clunn.  I was humbled to fish with Rick on three different fishing tournament occasions in the mid-90s.  Having done that, It was easy to understand why this southern gentleman was such a successful angler. 

In one word, Rick Clunn has “FOCUS” when he is fishing.  He “TUNES-IN” to every spot, every situation, every cast.  His success as a 5-time BASS Champion demonstrates his “UNDERSTANDING” for fishing.  Above all his fishing success, Rick Clunn is humble, soft-spoken and a true conservationist.   Today Rick will be in Springfield, Missouri, and he has this to share with everyone through his Facebook account:  

Rick Clunn is humble, successful and a role model for all anglers – he will be on hand today at the grand opening.  Rick Clunn Feature Photo

“Melissa and I will be privileged to attend the Grand Opening of the Wonders of Wildlife.  I am sure, like everything Johnny Morris has created, it will defy even the most complimentary descriptions possible.  I made the statement after winning the B.A.S.S. St. John’s River Tournament, “Never accept that all your greatest moments are in the past.”  This man has lived that philosophy his whole life and continues to.  Most will see and be inspired by the Wonders of Wildlife, but I fear there are some who will see it as only a capitalistic venture or a monument to an individual’s ego.

For those of you who might feel that way, I offer my observations and understanding.  I present this view because I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people ask, “Why does he build these museum style stores to sell fishing tackle? Why not be like others in the industry and just put up a metal building and have a lot less overhead?”

I will tell you, to me these are monuments, but not to Johnny Morris! These are monuments to all outdoors people and to the Natural World that he continuously and tirelessly fights for.  At Big Cedar Lodge on Table Rock Lake, there is a Convention Center whose walls are lined with some of the greatest conservation mind’s, thoughts and quotes.  If you think the many Bass Pro Outdoor Worlds are only about selling fishing and hunting tackle I offer the following: “If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.” Zane Grey.”

I grew up an Angler when being an Angler was observed as nothing more than playing hooky from school or work.  It did not share the status of football, basketball, golf, or other sports.  One of my supervisors at Exxon Oil would talk with you about golf all day, but don’t dare waste company time talking about fishing.  Even after I quit my socially excepted profession, working for the 2nd largest computing center in the world, and started my angling career most thought I had a bad case of sun stroke.  I confess, I will never forget the first time I was proud to be an Angler.  I had gone to Springfield, Missouri, to represent one of my sponsors at the grand-daddy of all fishing stores, at their Spring Fishing Classic.  I had been in a lot of tackle fishing shops, but nothing could have prepared me for this.  When I walked in the front door of the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World, I was moved.  It was beautiful and I had never seen anything like it.  But more than its beauty, I felt a sense of pride in who I was that I had not felt before.  To this day I challenge every outdoor person to tell me that they did not feel a little of the same, their first time there.  I now know that Johnny saw the Outdoors – and those who enjoy it, as important elements in the conservation of the fast disappearance of our natural world.

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” Henry David Thoreau.

I recognize now, like Johnny did from the beginning, that to conserve the natural world we have to expose as many people to its Wonders as possible.  He knew that fishing is one of the last remaining vehicles for the masses to experience the natural world and understand its importance to the sanity of man’s world.  Johnny’s Conservation efforts are never ending.  So when you tour the Wonders of Wildlife, remember the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country.”

Please stay tuned to the Wonders of Wildlife Facebook account for Live streams Sept 20th www.facebook.com/wondersofwildlife

Events start at 3:00 PM the 20th. #WondersofWildlife.

Hope to see you there soon.

 

NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program Reaches 30 Million Children

This simple Eddie Eagle GunSafe® lesson can save a child’s life.  From the NRA, please PASS IT ON! Courtesy www.EddieEagle.com

FAIRFAX, Va. – The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program, NRA’s groundbreaking gun accident prevention course for children, has achieved another milestone by reaching its 30 millionth child.

Created in 1988 by past NRA President Marion P. Hammer, in consultation with elementary school teachers, law enforcement officers and child psychologists, the program provides pre-K through fourth grade children with simple, effective rules to follow should they encounter a firearm in an unsupervised setting: “If you see a gun: STOP! Don’t Touch. Run Away. Tell a Grown-Up.”

Volunteers for the Eddie Eagle program come from diverse backgrounds, but they share a commitment to keeping children safe. Those involved include NRA members, teachers, law enforcement officers and community activists who teach the program, as well as private donors and Friends of NRA volunteers who raise funds to provide the program’s educational materials.

More than 26,000 educators, law enforcement agencies, and civic organizations have taught the program since 1988. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, incidental firearm-related deaths among children in Eddie Eagle’s targeted age group have declined more than 80 percent since the program’s launch.

The Eddie Eagle program has been praised by numerous groups and elected officials, including the Association of American Educators, the Youth Activities Division of the National Safety Council, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the U.S. Department of Justice (through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency), and 26 state governors.

Law enforcement partnerships with Eddie Eagle have proven to be very effective. In fact, almost 400 Eddie Eagle mascot costumes are in use by law enforcement officers across the county. NRA also offers free Eddie Eagle materials to any law enforcement agency, educational facility, hospital, or library across the nation.

Funds raised through Friends of NRA and distributed through The NRA Foundation enable schools and police departments to teach the program at little or no cost. The NRA encourages citizens nationwide to participate in heightening gun accident prevention awareness within their local communities.

Schools, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, and others interested in more information about The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program, or persons who wish to see if free materials are available in their communities, should email the NRA Community Outreach Department at eddie@nrahq.org or visit www.eddieeagle.com.

About the National Rifle Association: Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. Five million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and is the leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military. Visit http://www.nra.org.

FLW Costa Bass-Fishing Series Moves to Buffalo, NY, in 2018

  • FLW Costa Series to Buffalo, NY
  • Competition Event Set for July 26-28, 2018 
  • Eastern Lake Erie Bass Fishing Resource DRAWS WORLD CLASS ANGLERS 
  • Abundant Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass will Provide Highlight for Region
Patrick Kaler, President and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara and Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission, has worked with FLW executives, local bass fishing organizations and  local members of the Erie County Fish Advisory Board to bring the Costa FLW Bass Fishing Series to Buffalo in 2018. Forrest Fisher Photo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – September 8, 2017 – On July 26th – 28th, Buffalo will welcome an estimated field of 150 boats and 350 anglers plus staff to compete in the 2018 Costa Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Tournament Series.  The bass fishing tournament will take place in Lake Erie with boat launch action from Safe Harbor Marina at Buffalo Harbor State Park, located in Buffalo’s growing recreational resource area known as the “Outer Harbor.”   

Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) is the world’s largest tournament fishing organization consisting of three events among five divisions.  The top 40 pro-anglers and co-anglers in each division will advance to the FLW Bass Championship in Lake Guntersville, Alabama.  The Buffalo event is expected to generate approximately 1,200 hotel room nights and produce over $836,000 in economic impact.

Lake Erie’s great renown as a bass fishery helped propel its selection for the 2018 event, tournament organizers said. Bassmaster Magazine recently ranked Lake Erie as the country’s seventh best and the Northeast’s top bass fishery.

“We are thrilled to visit Buffalo, New York, and the world-class Lake Erie fishery for a Costa FLW Series tournament in 2018.  Buffalo hosted FLW’s All-American Championship in 1990 and 1991, plus FLW Series events in 2004 and 2011, and a College Fishing qualifier in 2011.  

Each of these tournaments rank among the best ever held, so our return to Buffalo is welcomed and long overdue.  This is a highly anticipated event for our staff and competitors,” said Kathy Fennel, President of Operations, Fishing League Worldwide 

“The COSTA FLW Championship Series will bring some of the world’s best fishermen here to Lake Erie, which is itself home to some of the best freshwater fishing in the world and a perfect site for this competition.  This three-day event will be a great opportunity to see bass fishing pros using every lure in their tackle box in pursuit of trophy fish and the top prize.  Avid anglers, weekend warriors, and anyone who’s ever dipped a line should be excited about this competition, which will put our world-class bass fishing in the national spotlight,” said Mark Poloncarz, County Executive Erie County

“This tournament’s return to our area is just one more example of the Buffalo Niagara region’s growing reputation as a world-class destination for anglers,” said Buffalo Niagara and Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission President and CEO Patrick Kaler. “The FLW series exemplifies how fishing tournaments and tourism can reel in major returns for the local economy.” For more information regarding the Costa FLW Series tournament in Buffalo visit: https://www.flwfishing.com/tournaments/costa.   

The Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission is a subsidiary of Visit Buffalo Niagara that promotes Buffalo and Erie County nationally and internationally as a premier sports tourism destination for the economic benefit of the community by boosting hotel occupancy and encouraging visitor spending. http://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/sports-commission/.      

Fishing League Worldwide (“FLW”) is the premier tournament fishing organization that provides unparalleled fishing resources and entertainment to the anglers, sponsors, fans and host communities.  FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the best in fishing on and off the water. 

FLW fishing coming to Buffalo, New York, is exciting news covered by several local and regional communication and news networks.  Forrest Fisher Photo

Barcelona Walleye RUSH OUTDOORS to Offshore Bite for TV

  • WHO: Rush Outdoors TV & Barcelona Charters Teams Up to Catch Fish
  • WHERE: Eastern Basin Lake Erie, Barcelona Harbor, Chautauqua County, New York
  • WHAT: Catching Walleye and Lake Trout
  • HOW: Troll Speed: 2.3-2.5mph; Water Depth: 130-135 feet; Fish Depth: 75-85 feet; Water Temp: 66 degrees
  • GETTING TO THE FISH: Downriggers, Divers, 8-color and 10-color leadcore
  • PROVOKING A STRIKE: Custom-painted Stickbaits, Homemade Spoons, Handmade Spinner/Worm Rigs

By Forrest Fisher

Tim Andrus, outdoor mentor and star of Rush Outdoors TV, lands a nice 5-pound walleye near Barcelona Harbor, New York.  Forrest Fisher Photo

NY Outdoor News editor, Steve Piatt, (http://www.outdoornews.com/new-york/) gave me a ring last week and asked if I could fill in for him to do a Rush Outdoors TV Show taping with network outdoor stars, Tim Andrus and John Lenox.  You know my answer! “Uh, let me think about it Steve.” ….clear the decks!  “No I’m not busy, why?” 

The next day, I received a phone call from John and we met yesterday at dockside at Barcelona Harbor in Chautauqua County, New York, and I was introduced to Captain Brad Smith and his wonderful wife and 1st Mate, Darcy, of Barcelona Charters (http://barcelonacharters.net/). Their 28-foot Marinette Fisherman boat is docked near Monroe Marina.   

Captain Brad Smith ran 10 well-equipped lines with no tangles and 31 fish boated over the day. Forrest Fisher Photo

It was about 8AM, the winds were SSE at 8mph, the sky was clear and blue, the sun was coming up quick in the eastern horizon and there were 14 rod/reel rigs set to go aboard this comfortable, well-outfitted, boat. 

Tim said, “I think we’re ready to go Captain Brad.” With a friendly and crisp response and a “welcome-to-my-boat” grin, Captain Brad answered, “Wait a minute, I gotta get my coffee cup and give the fish a chance to wake up.  I’ll be right back.”

That’s how our day started.  Very relaxed.  The stage was set for a fun day with fun people aboard a big boat with a kitchen and rest room, built to find fish, catch them or release them, store the keepers in a cooler and bring everyone back to port safely with pictures and reality fish tales to share.

“Which way we going honey,” Darcy asked Captain Brad.  “I think we’ll try east today, if that doesn’t work, we’ll swing back to west.”  Captain Brad took the helm and we skirted the excavator rig barges still working on clearing the harbor-mouth after last winter’s storm seige.  The storm opened the breakwall and after it was breached, the harbor filled with sand, stone and debris. 

Action outdoor star of Rush Outdoors TV, Tim Andrus, was aboard and John Lenox, co-star, activated several camera’s throughout the day to capture the non-stop action we found fishing with Barcelona Charters.

With Captain Brad Smith setting and running 10 lines without a single tangle, and Darcy Smith running the boat to waypoints and adjusting the trolling speed, the twin 318 Chrysler engines came alive as we headed for a secret offshore shoal about 3 miles away in 78 feet of water.  Slowing down a half-mile short of the waypoint, Captain Brad hopped down and started setting lines. 

With John Lenox on the left, Tim Andrus on the right, we enjoyed 7 double-headers through 4-hours of fish catching. Forrest Fisher Photo

This guy should have a different name, perhaps “Flash.”   That name would be more suitably correct for this elderly, young-minded, genius fisherman.  By the time we arrived, the lines were all in and we were ready for action. 

As the bottom came up, Darcy keep us all up to date with live reports. “There’s big fish at 75 feet, there’s a bait school at 55 feet, there’s two fish at…,” and so on.  “The water temp is 66 degrees.”  Tim and John and I were enjoying the live feed of all this data.

As Darcy read off depth, speed, water temp and fish sightings, Captain Brad would adjust the lines.  He had three 10-color Sufix non-stop (very thin) 18-pound test lead core lines on the starboard side, three 8-color lead core on the port side, two wire-line diving planes on each side and two downriggers, with all the lines set to the fish depth that Darcy monitored.  What a team. 

“Berkley XT Fluorocarbon leaders are part of my fish attack,” says Captain Brad.  “The leadcore lines, divers and riggers all use different leader lengths, but I think the nearly invisible line is important, and it has different flex to the lure too.”

John Lenox caught many walleye like this one, perfect table fare, over the trip. Forrest Fisher Photo

As the water depth dropped off, we hooked up with our first fish, a small walleye, then another, then another.  Double headers happened over the next three hours…SEVEN TIMES.  Imagine that.  “Hey Tim, can you slide to the right, I gotta net John’s fish,” Captain Brad would say.  “Hey Forrest, can you slide to the left, I gotta net Tim’s fish.”  What a day. We shared fish stories from times past – we all hunt, fish and share passion for the outdoors.  There was not time for many stories.  We were busy catching fish.  Fun busy.

What makes a fun fishing day like this happen?  The word is out that the “deep walleye bite” is pretty much over in eastern Lake Erie.  Guess we know the deep bite is still VERY GOOD.

There were only two boat trailers at Barcelona Harbor this day, and these were bass boats. 

A fish-filled day like this happens when you find a charter captain that understands how to use his gear to find the fish and can figure out a way to meet them half-way to provoke a strike.  He knew which lures to switch to, colors to try.  He understood the difference between tape flash differences underwater and sun angle relationships with the lures he used.

Tim Andrus landed his biggest ever lake trout, a 20 pound-7 ounce monster fork tail, on a Captain Brad Smith homemade spoon. Forrest Fisher Photo

There is much to learn from this gentleman of a charter captain and his 1st mate who fish like this.  The fine points of successful fishing are in the details.

Captain Brad Smith (left) and his 1st mate and wife, Darcy Smith, offer a friendly, enjoyable fishing day aboard their 28-foot Marinette Fisherman charter boat, rigged and moored at Monroe Marina, Barcelona Harbor, Chautauqua County, New York. Forrest Fisher Photo

Leader length, type of line, knots, terminal connection hardware, hook types and sizes, flash, glow tape, these things all matter. 

Captain Brad is well booked for the next 7 days or so, but there is still time to catch fish after that.  Don’t call ghostbusters.  Go check your calendar.

The fish were DEEP, 75 down in 130 feet, but once we found them, running the lines over the fish produced big time.  Have never witnessed a more efficient charter crew.  

Amazing fun that ended with a cooler made to lift with not less than 4-people!  We landed 31 fish in four hours, keeping 17 walleyes for the pan, 3 lake trout for the smoker and several giant, sweet-tasting, silver bass.

That’s a fun fishing day!  If you plan to come visit, just click on http://www.tourchautauqua.com for lodging and general information about this area.  Watch Rush Outdoors TV (http://www.rushoutdoors.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/rushoutdoors.uncut/) to note several more visual details I agreed not to disclose in writing.  See you then.

(left to right) Forrest Fisher, John Lenox and Tim Andrus,with a nice photo summary of the bigger fish caught on the fun trip. Captain Brad Smith Photo.

Fish-Catching Fun in Comfort on Lake Ontario

  • Lower Niagara River, Wilson Harbor and Olcott Harbor ALL Provide Easy Access to Big Ocean-sized Fish
  • Boat Trollers and Pier Casters both SCORE on Fall King Salmon
  • Charter Fishing from a Boat is FUN, Affordable and Comfortable

By Forrest Fisher

Whopper steelhead are among usual late summer catches when your lure and feeding time for the fish are in-sync, as they were for Rick Updegrove the last week of August. Forrest Fisher Photo

With water levels slowly returning to normal, late summer on Lake Ontario means fishing fun at nearly every port of angler access, from shore and boat. 

The end of August is the start of peak fishing for King Salmon, but steelhead, lake trout and other cold water species also add to the reel-sizzling, fish-catching fun.

Fishing out of Wilson Harbor with Charter Captain Bob Cinelli aboard his aptly named “White Mule,” a 36-foot Tiara – ask him how that name came to be, was a simple day of fishing pleasure.  The boat is big, bold and beautiful.  Rest room below decks, sleeping compartments…nice.

The fishing rigs aboard “White Mule” are brand new models of time-tested rods, reels, lines and lures.  Cinelli only uses the best and he should know after more than 30 years of fishing experience on the “Big-O.”  Daiwa 4011 hi-speed reels, Heartland rods, Big Jon downriggers, 20-pound test Ande monofilament lines on the downriggers – tipped with Seaguar fluorocarbon leaders, copper line for use with the giant “Otter” planer boards, and the sharpest hooks on his select set of favored spoons. 

Fishing with friends Mike Norris, Rick Updegrove and John Syracuse, we all took turns landing King salmon and steelhead.  Our trip started early at sunrise and we were back to port at noon or so, with plenty of fillets for the smoker. 

The big question for many anglers is how to fish and with what. What color? What spoon? How Deep? Charter captains often have ALL THOSE ANSWERS.  Forrest Fisher Photo

North winds over the previous few days had started a small turnover offshore, but that did not hold up the fishing action with Captain Bob, as he revised the fishing program to find the winning combination to find King Salmon and steelhead.

We started out running lines at 30, 40 and 50 feet down using downriggers with 8-foot sliders, diving planes off copper out 100 feet, all with some variation of green-colored spoons in 125 feet of water.  To find the hot fish, we slowly trolled out to 300 feet and then back shallower, looking for active fish on the feed.  Back and forth Captain Bob moved us around, then we found active steelhead off the planer boards and riggers.

Just like fishing for marlin in the ocean, steelhead in Lake Ontario fly out of the water.  Up, up and away. The fish not only soar above the water, they swim fast to the left, to the right, and then right at you.  When that happens, you need to test your shoulder and arms for durability, and turn the reel handle very fast.

I had a nice steelhead on, it was my turn when the port side Otter board with the copper line jerked free with a jolting, rod-throbbing pulse as it exited the line release.  We all thought it was a King as John hollered, “Forrest, you’re up!”  I vaulted from my seat to take the rod from first mate, Nick, and moved to the padded rear railing on the boat.  A very safe and adequate spot to lean on as the fish was battled back to the boat.

“How much line is out Nick?” I asked. “About 400 feet, just keep reeling, you’re doing just fine.”  Rick joined in the verbal fun, “Feel that burn Forrest?!”  How did he know?  Indeed, my shoulders were on fire.  How could this be? I was being worn out by a less-than-monster fish.  Mike shared, “Hang on to him, it looks like the biggest one so far.”  Easy for him to say.  Then John added, “If you’re tired, I can take the rod.”  I didn’t say anything, but was thinking, “No way John,”…I’m not sure I even heard that. 

Maybe I was just hearing voices in my subconscious state of fish-fighting mindset? 

Nope, on the other hand, these are what fishing friends are for.  Heckling.  Bantering.  Funning.  A few minutes later, my arms really were actually getting numb – 400 feet of copper is a LONG WAY, but we landed the fish just fine.  I turned to grin at “my friends” not saying a word about my frozen arm joints.  It was 65 degrees out and I was forming sweat on my brow.  

Love this fishing!

John added, “Imagine how that guy felt yesterday that caught that 51-inch King, 39 pounds – 3 ounces, to take the lead in the LOC Derby?” He was not making me feel any better.  “Honestly,” I returned, “I cannot imagine that.  I think you might need to share the rod with your friends in that case.”  John grinned and said, “Hey, that’s what fishing friends are for.”  

We were having a great day.

O

Success is a double header with some high-flying steelhead.  L-R: Mike Norris, John Syracuse, Rick Updegrove.  Forrest Fisher Photo

Over the course of the morning trip, we had 12 releases and this was a “SLOW DAY” according to Captain Bob.  My sore shoulders did not agree.  I gotta start working out harder.   We caught lots of “shakers,” the term for young-of-the-year King Salmon that weigh 2-3 pounds.  The future fishery. All were released unharmed.

This fishing trip was fun.  Maybe the best part of such a trip is that when four guys head out to fish this way in total comfort with the latest gear, hottest lures, a captain that can navigate and a first mate that coaches you along the way, and it’s affordable.  

“Leave the dock at sunrise and back by about 12-12:30 with four guys,” Captain Bob said, “Our usual pricing is not expensive at $150 apiece.  $25 more each and you can fish the whole day.”  Unreal.  Affordable fun.  We all chipped in to tip the first mate.

A lot of us spend that much on just one good fishing reel (I do). 

My new view, I’m getting older – save time, save money, fish with a charter.  Not only do you get to fish with the best gear and fish with friends, you go the hottest fishing places at the best times and someone else cleans your catch! Then you  just head home for the freezer with all of your healthy dinner meals for the next few months.  

Need the right sensor gear to catch fish? Sonar, radar, surface water temp, water temp at the ball, boat speed, and a radiotelephone to phone home are all part of the half-day fish trip.  Forrest Fisher Photo

If you’re looking to do this, you can contact Captain Bob Cinelli Sportfishing directly by calling 716-860-5774.  You might also learn a lot about the lake, the fishery, the forage, the predator fish, invasive species, why the fish are able to be caught on certain lures and bait, the Lake Ontario water level, issues and more. 

Captain Cinelli is the chairman of the Niagara County Fishery Advisory Board.  He has the inside line on what’s happening on Lake Ontario and the Lower Niagara River.  And with the hottest fishing.

Fish on! Who’s up?!

BASS PRO SHOPS assisting TEXAS RESCUE EFFORTS

  • Bass Pro Shops assisting in Texas rescue and relief efforts in wake of Hurricane Harvey 
  • More than 80 boats deployed for rescue efforts, donations for immediate relief

HOUSTON – Aug. 28, 2017: Bass Pro Shops is coordinating with local, state and federal agencies – including police, fire and rescue teams on the ground – to support ongoing rescue and relief efforts related to Hurricane Harvey. The outdoor company is providing more than 80 Tracker boats to government agencies and rescue organizations in Houston and other impacted communities in Texas.

In the immediate wake of the storm, Bass Pro Shops is also supporting disaster response organizations by donating truckloads of relief supplies totaling $40,000. The contributions support Convoy of Hope, a Springfield, Missouri-based humanitarian organization, and the American Red Cross. Donated supplies include protein-rich foods like Uncle Buck’s Premium Jerky and peanuts for those in the field.

Bass Pro Shops has seven retail locations and seven boating center locations in Texas, including three in the greater Houston area. The company is supporting impacted associates through its Bass Pro Cares Fund, which provides support for critical living expenses in times of devastating need.

The company remains in close contact with the governor’s office, first responders and associates on the ground to monitor response efforts and assess ongoing needs. Bass Pro Shops encourages all customers and community members who want to support relief efforts to donate directly to the American Red Cross.

About Bass Pro Shops®: Bass Pro Shops is a leading destination retailer offering outdoor gear and apparel in an immersive setting. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today more than 100 retail and marine centers host 120 million people annually. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is known as a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”

 

 

Bass Fishing Escape to Cassadaga Lake

  • Drop-Shot Rigs Simplify Lure Location
  • Venom Worms Offer Unique Action on Drop-Shot Rigs
  • Colors, Bottom-Weight, Make a Difference

By Forrest Fisher

Scott Gauld showed us that big smallmouth bass and big largemouth bass can live together in the unique, healthy underwater habitat of Cassadaga Lake. Forrest Fisher Photo

When the wind on Lake Erie kicks up waves that churn over the top of the 7-foot breakwall at Chadwick Bay in Dunkirk, New York, it’s too rough to go bass fishing there.  In Chautauqua County, though, there are many other inland lake options that can offer the green light on those days. 

Mike Joyner and I had joined fishing educator, tournament bass angler and longtime friend, Scott Gauld, at Cassadaga Lake, a little waterway located near the village of Lily Dale, just 15 minutes away.  See: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26964.html.   

We launched at the state boat access located on the Middle Lake, the scene was pristine, not crowded and offered two floating docks for launch and retrieve. 

Giant fluffy clouds masked a brilliant blue sky and there was a rising red glow of sunrise glimmering over the trees in the eastern horizon.  But surprisingly, to the north, there was another cloud line of demarcation, as a cold front with dark rain clouds was visible in that direction.  They seemed to hover there and we hoped they would stay away.  They did and we didn’t get wet. 

A Drop-Shot rig and “Standout Hook” are effective when used with a properly hooked Venom plastic worm. Forrest Fisher Photo

Scott explained that we would try our luck by fishing the weedline in the Lower Lake (there were three lake parts to Cassadaga Lake: Upper, Middle and Lower) and that would put our lures in about 10-12 feet of water.  He described the details that we start out by trying one of his old favorite baits he had used successfully there several times before, while fishing with his dad. 

He reached into a storage compartment on his new Nitro bass boat to hand each of us a 4-inch Salty Sling plastic worm (Venom Lures), then helped us rig up in drop-shot style using rather unique Size 1 “Standout hooks.” 

Green-pumpkin copper and green-pumpkin candy were the plastic worm color choices.   

We were using 7-foot Quantum rods with Sixgill open-face fishing reels loaded with 8-pound test Berkley Nanofil braided line that had 6-feet of Stren fluorocarbon leader (8-pound test) tied on to the end of the braid.  Scott said, “The braid will give us better feel and the fluorocarbon will help keep us in stealth mode so the fish can’t see our line.” 

I felt like we had a distinct advantage, such was the confidence in Scott’s voice.

The “Standout Hook” allows for perfect presentation and perfect hook set to allow release of the fish unharmed in any way. Forrest Fisher Photo

The plan was to toss the drop-shot rigs a few feet in front of the boat and allow them to reach bottom, then lift slightly and check, sense, feel for the slightest tap from a feeding fish.  Both smallmouth and largemouth bass lived in the lake, but so did crappie, walleye and musky too.  Lots of possibilities.

The standout drop-shot hook was tied about 8-10 inches above a specially made 1-1/4 ounce sinker made by the Western New York Bassmasters fishing club, that allowed for quick descent and positive contact with the bottom.  Scott demonstrated what to look for and how to react with a demonstration.  “Cast out, let it hit the bottom, lift the rod ever so gently, feel for a fish, watch the rod tip, if you get no reaction from a fish, then lift the rod tip and gently swing the bait toward the boat a foot or two – watching it the whole time, then drop it to bottom again and repeat.” 

We observed this process while he cast a few times and visually showed us how to work the bait back to the boat.  What he stressed for us to know and learn was to sense for that possible VERY LIGHT TAP, the strike signal, from a feeding fish.  A moment later, he said, “There’s one! Fish on.”  He lifted his rod tip to set the hook and started reeling.  A beautiful, healthy, 3-pound largemouth bass came aboard about 30-seconds later.  My camera woke up to capture this really handsome fish. 

We were having a friendly contest with two buddies in another boat. Hardy, old time anglers and long-time friends, Leon Archer and Wayne Brewer, were fishing with pro bass angler, Scott Callen, in another bass boat.

Mike and I grinned at each other because it seemed that Scott had insight and skill for this Cassadaga Lake waterway.  The fish went into the live well to be released after we weighed them and finished fishing later in the morning.  The plan was for each boat to weigh in a three fish bag of bass for the top-gun honor.  A little friendly competition.

One moment later, Mike hooked a smallmouth bass and brought it aboard.  We caught several fish along the weedline and enjoyed just working the baits and learning this new fishing method.  

The Rattle-Shake swim jig lure tipped with a white Venom Skip Shad tail fooled at least one musky while I had been casting for bass. Fun! Forrest Fisher Photo

We caught many other fish, smaller bass, a perch, and then I even hooked-up with a giant musky.  He looked like about 45-inches or so, maybe a 30-pounder, using one of Scott’s Rattle-Shake swim jig lures tipped with a white Venom Skip Shad tail.  The big fish swirled at my bait, grabbed it, and took off with my line like a freight train to Texas.

Then, in less than five seconds, he spit it back toward the boat, the line went twang, and the bait went airborne as it came flying back right past my ear.  WOW!  The rod was a just little too light to set the hook into the jaw of that monster, but what a huge fishing moment! I’ll never forget that fish.  Unforgettable memories are made of this.  Pure fish power.

Our three biggest bass tally weighed in at a little under 10-pounds.  A very nice morning of fishing, fun, good natured joking, busted laughing and serious hook setting above talk-to-fish expressions.  There were one or two comic expression, “Oops, that one got me,” or “I should’ve set the hook sooner,“ or “Thought that was a weed.”  Fishing with friends, it’s the best.

One other new secret to learn on this trip was the covert hooking of the plastic worm.  The worm was hooked by pushing the hook point right through the worm diameter about a half-inch from the heavy end of the worm, so the rest of the worm just dangled freely.  It looked so very real in the water.  Tantalizing.  

The rod, the line (type and size), the hooks, the weight, and where you cast was important too, but the most important thing was the technique of hooking up the Salty Sling worm to the hook.  That’s what gave the worm the action that provoked the fish to strike.

It was deadly.

The best part of the fish day can be the rabble-rousing jokes that fly among fishing buddies that share their love for the outdoors with a rod and reel. From L to R: Leon Archer, Wayne Brewer, Scott Callen, Mike Joyner and Scott Gauld.  Forrest Fisher Photo

I added a little diagram to the “fishing secrets” book I keep after each trip for future use and to share with some youngster learning to fish along the way when the chance to help a kid occurs.

Cassadaga Lake is a sleeper lake for sure.  When the bigger nearby waterways of Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake are too rough with wind or rain, this is one secret spot to be aware of. 

Lots of cooperative fish for catching and releasing for the fun of fishing. Especially with friends. Right now, you know at least one way to fish and what to do when you get there.

Tight lines everyone!

DONUTS, HOT COFFEE and WALLEYE AT SUNRISE!

  • The “Great Lakes Experience” EVENT is Exemplary
  • Allowing Lures, Lines, Rigs, Rules and Laws, to Meet Each Other
  • Communication, Great Fishing and Laughter Create EFFECTIVE FUN
  • Summer Fishing for Lake Erie Walleye in Chautauqua County, NY

By Forrest Fisher

Which lures to choose are among key questions that anglers ask each time they head out to Lake Erie for walleye.  This year, some of the solid choices are shown here. Forest Fisher Photo

If there is a language common between anglers and fish, they were talking to each other off Chadwick Bay in Dunkirk, New York, during the Great Lakes Experience earlier in August.  More than 20 charter boats each caught dozens of walleye.  Yes, each.  If we average the catch at 20 fish per boat, that’s about 400 walleyes in less than four hours of fishing.  And when the fish are biting, good things happen, especially when folks from local, state, county and federal positions get together to discuss the recreational fishery and all that goes with it.

That’s what happened during the 9th Annual Great Lakes Experience Fishing Day.  About 100 people from Erie County, Niagara County and Chautauqua County were invited to fish together.  Attendees met at the harbor at about 6:00 a.m. on August 9, 2017, for the annual Tim Horton’s “Meet & Greet” session. Nothing like donuts and hot coffee at sunrise!  We divided into groups from there as we were assigned to captains from the Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association (ELECBA), that provided a unified effort with a simple goal: To catch some fish and share more about reasons why the Lake Erie resource is so important and so priceless.

I was fishing with Captain Jim Skoczylas (Ultimate Adventure Sportfishing (716-796-5372) and first mate, Tom “TJ” Yetzer. They provided guests on board Jim’s 31-foot Tiara, a fun and comfortable time, even in the 4 to 6 foot waves that came up later in the morning. 

 

Ally Pawarski from the Buffalo Sports Commission, shares in the walleye fun and bounty of Lake Erie with a nice 5-pound fish. Forrest Fisher Photo

Skoczylas says, “While the fishing has been really good this year, each day we play it by ear to adapt when we need to change lures and methods.   On some days the fish want crankbaits, other days they want spinner/worm rigs, on finicky days – color matters, but on most days this year, it has not mattered too much what you put down there.  The walleye have been looking to eat and there are many year classes, especially young fish, in our New York, Lake Erie, fishery right now.  Many of us are wondering if there might be a shortage of emerald shiners and smelt – the primary baitfish groups out here, because the fish usually want to eat our lures quite readily.”Between hearing Yetzer holler, “Fish-on, who’s up?” and Tom Hersey, Erie County Commissioner of Environment and Planning say, “Oops, I think I might have lost that one (four times),” there was lots of kidding, laughs and honest fascination with the rigs and processes used to catch fish.” 

Captain Skoczylas found fish about 70 feet down in 80 to 105 feet of water. Downriggers, diving plans and long lead-line rigs were used to catch 26 fish in less than 4 hours of fishing. Forrest Fisher Photo

On the other hand, Ally Pawarski, Sales and Services Manager with the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission, didn’t lose a single fish and was tuned-in for the whole trip – landing the largest walleye on our boat. 

Dan Rizzo, Commissioner of Erie County Parks, Chris Catanzaro, Project Manager for the Erie County Harbor Development Corporation, along with Patrick Kaler, CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Visitors Bureau, all enjoyed fish-catching and common conversation.  I was happy to be among this dedicated group.

Spinner/Worm rig colors for blades and beads, and hook size, can vary from day to day, but the question can be finding the right one on the day you are fishing. Forrest Fisher Photo

We talked about the fishing goodness, Buffalo Harbor State Park boat ramps, the Central Train Station location, Canalside activities, Buffalo Riverworks, Lake Erie recreational access, kayaks, the health of the fishery, the Coast Guard, the people and the fun of the outdoors on the waterfront.  Add in ideas for marketing and distribution, thoughts of a virtual fish-catching program from Lake Erie on the internet, on-board drone videos for future customers fishing Lake Erie along the New York shoreline, and you can see, conversation was all-inclusive with new ideas.

Running 12 coordinated lines at depths of 70 to 80 feet down in 85 to 105 feet of water, and using all the gear dressed up with spinner/worm rigs and stickbaits, we hooked up with 26 fish in a very short 4 hours on the water.  Diving planes, weighted leadcore lines, downriggers and lots of lures and stickbaits were all part of the presentation mix with a trolling speed of 2.1 mph.  It was a perfect scenario for catching fish and to discuss issues/answers. 

After the fishing, the perfect walleye fish fry lunch was served at the Northern Chautauqua County Conservation Club.  We heard from several speakers, perhaps the most notable was about raw sewage overload on our Great Lakes from Rich Davenport, Director from the Erie County Fish Advisory Board. 

Everyone enjoyed a great time networking about life in the outdoors and the incredible natural resource, Lake Erie, and agreed to work hard together to keep this treasure alive and well into the future. 

There were representatives from the NYSDEC, including Stephen Hurst – Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources Bureau Chief from Albany, Patricia Riexinger recently retired from that same position, Don Einhouse and Jason Robinson, fisheries biologists from the NYSDEC Lake Erie Fisheries Unit, a host of legislative leaders – Senators and Assemblymen, the charter captains and their crews – the proper combination for networking and laughter too.    

Gene Pauszek, outdoor communicator for the Dunkirk Observer, caught this 11.41 pound walleye monster a few days before the Great Lakes Experience in early August.  He was fishing aboard Sassafras Charters with Captain Lance Erhardt and using a borrowed fishing rod and rig to fool this whopper.  Go figure.

This annual event allows local groups to bring certain very real issues to light and provides the potential for discussion on the battlefront of conservation, the outdoors and our Great Lakes resources.  There is nothing like a face-to-face meeting of the minds.  Issues and solutions, in between catching fish and a few grins, become a solid focus.  

Amidst the apparent visual complexity of multiple rods/reels, downriggers, diving planes, planer boards, temperature measurement and trolling gear, and lots of lures, the confidence in the voice of our hosts on board each charter craft was reassuring.  Confidence reigns.

The event was organized by Zen Olow (Northern Chautauqua County Conservation Club), Lance Erhardt (Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association) and Andrew Nixon (Executive Director Chautauqua County CVB), and a supporting cast of dozens. 

Fish on!  Who’s up?! God Bless America.

AR-15 Provides High Accuracy in 6.5 Creedmoor from Diamondback Firearms

  • Long Range Ballistic Flight, High Accuracy
  • Recoil Reducing Stock for Low Recoil
  • Affordable (under $1,300)

Diamondback Firearms, a top-tier, Florida based manufacturer of quality pistols and rifles, has introduced their new DB1065CB AR-15 rifle, chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, to market.  The 6.5 Creedmoor is growing rapidly in popularity because of its superior ballistic performance over .308 and other long-range calibers.  The 6.5 Creedmoor is the fastest growing caliber for tactical shooters and is a great selection for medium to long range (500 to 1,000 yds.) shooting.

Ballistically speaking, when compared to the .308, the more aerodynamic 6.5 Creedmoor performs exceptionally well, with a very noticeable reduction in recoil.

The Mako Group is excited to partner with Diamondback by featuring the revolutionary FAB Defense GL-Shock Recoil-Reducing Stock and the AGR-43 rubber over-molded pistol grip on this new model rifle. The state-of-the-art GL-Shock has a unique, patented “Anti-Rattle” mechanism with no protruding parts, so as not to get snagged, and comes with a built-in silicone chrome alloy—perfect for your AR15/M4/M16.

The AGR-43 pistol grip comes with multi-textured rubber features for a more secure grip. It provides a better shooting angle, heightened control and less wrist fatigue and hinged floorplate for battery storage.

Other features of the DB1065CB AR-15 rifle include a 20” stainless steel fluted barrel, the 15” Victor M-Lok rail and the Double Side Port Muzzle Break.

The DB 6.5 Creedmoor will be offered in Black (MSRP $1,229.00) and FDE (MSRP $1,259.00), which will make it one of the most affordable in the market.

About Diamondback Firearms: Diamondback is located in Cocoa, FL and has been family operated for over 30 years. Diamondback Firearms was created in 2008 with the DB380 and DB9 pistol series. DB has evolved to now include the DB10 rifle/pistol series with .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor calibers offered. DB15 rifle/pistol series with .223/5.56, 300 BO, and 9mm calibers offered. In January 2017 DB Firearms moved into a brand new 40,000 sq. ft. state of the art facility, which will also include Diamondback Barrels Division and CNC machines. All Diamondback products are manufactured in the USA.

About The Mako Group: The Mako Group is the exclusive U.S. distributor of the finest tactical equipment and weapon accessories that have been proven in combat. Designed for law enforcement agencies and militaries worldwide, Meprolight night sights and optics, FAB Defense weapon and personal defense accessories, Front Line Holsters and RTS Target Systems are available at firearm retailers everywhere. Connect with The Mako Group on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube to stay up-to-date on the latest news and products. For more information visit www.themakogroup.com.

Mepps Squirrel Tail Recycling Program

Antigo, WI – Aug. 24, 2017 – Mepps® continues to ask hunters to save their squirrel tails. The tails are used for their hand-tied, dressed hooks of their world-famous, fish-catching lures. They’ve been recycling squirrel tails for over half-a-century.

“Squirrels are good eating and we can reuse their tails for making the world’s #1 lure,” explains Mepps® Communications Director, Josh Schwartz. “Consider harvesting squirrels for the 2016 hunting season.”

Mepps buys fox, black, grey and red squirrel tails and will pay up to 26 cents each for tails, depending on quality and quantity. Plus, the cash value is doubled if the tails are traded for Mepps lures.

Schwartz reminds everyone, “We do not advocate harvesting of squirrels solely for their tails.”

For details on the Squirrel Tail Program, either visit our web site www.mepps.com/squirrels or call 800-713-3474.

For additional information contact:
Josh Schwartz
715.623.7556
jschwartz@mepps.com

 

Children in the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program

  • Free for Kids 10 to 110 Years of Age
  • No Experience necessary
  • Classes Conducted at State University of NY at Fredonia

The Children in the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program will be starting its eighteenth year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to youth and adults in the western New York region.  The classes will be presented every Tuesday starting August 29, 2017, from 7-8:30 pm at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, in Fredonia, NY.

No prior experience is needed and all classes are free. Classes are appropriate for anyone between 10 and 110.

In 1998, Alberto Rey and Mike Conley attended Sportfishing and Aquatic Resource Educational Programming (S.A.R.E.P.) through the Cornell Cooperative. The seminars provided training for teachers and future instructors who would provide educational conservation experiences to children. Shortly afterwards, S.A.R.E.P. Youth Fly Fishing Program was founded after a grant was received from Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.  The program has continued to grow over the years as enrollment has steadily increased and as the program has provided new services to the community. In 2016, S.A.R.E.P. /4H Youth Fly Fishing Program’s name was changed to Children in the Stream/4H Program.

Children in the Stream is an educational program that provides children with information and experiences related to aquatic resources, conservation, ethics, and fly fishing. Fly fishing has a long history of integrating these elements into the core of the sport. The ethics of the program promotes “catch and release” as well as respect for fellow fisherman and the land on which one fishes. It is our goal to protect the species and the land for future generations. Our program closely ties together the importance of understanding nature with the rewarding act of fly fishing.

Children in the Stream is a volunteer organization that relies on the generosity of the fly fishing industry and of public and private donors. It provides programming to the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County and to middle and high schools in the area. Children in the Stream provides workshops to an average of 350 children a year.

Here are the elements of the program: Weekly Fly Tying and Rod Building Sessions Monthly Fly Fishing Field Trips Canadaway Creek Conservation Project Conservation Days Workshops  Brook Trout Restoration Project Children in the Stream Conference: An Interdisciplinary Fly Fishing Conference

For more information on our efforts you can look at this episode by a national television show, Aqua Kids, who documents the Children in the Stream’s Canadaway Creek Conservation Program and Brook Trout Restoration Program. Here’s are also some recent articles and blogs written about the program and the Children in the Stream Conference; http://buffalonews.com/2016/11/17/bill-hilts-jr-fly-fishing-program-gets-anglers-ages-involved/ http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/outdoors/will-elliott-helping-fly-fishing-take-flight-20150321 http://www.fishhound.com/blog/bringing-brook-trout-back-great-lakes http://www.fishhound.com/blog/when-you-live-and-love-fishing-possible http://www.orvisnews.com/FlyFishing/Children-in-the-Stream-Conference.aspx http://www.orvisnews.com/FlyFishing/Children-in-the-Stream-Conference-a-Success.aspx http://www.flyfishergirl.com/

You can also see recent pictures, movies and information from our recent projects in the blog section of this site. For more information about our home waters, check out our our history of Canadaway Creek link.

If you would like more information on the program please contact me Alberto Rey here or at alberto@albertorey.com or by calling 716-410-7003.

FLW ANNOUNCES 2018 COSTA FLW SERIES SCHEDULE

  • Lake Erie – Buffalo, NY – Trophy Smallmouth Bass Fishery, is NEW ADDITION to FLW Northern Series
  • Lake Guntersville will host 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship November

MINNEAPOLIS (Aug. 22, 2017) – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing

2018 Costa FLW Series Schedule is Official 

organization, announced today the 2018 Costa FLW Series schedule, which will consist of three events in each of the five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – along with the no-entry-fee Costa FLW Series Championship to be held on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama.

The top 40 pros and co-anglers in the final point standings in each division after three qualifying tournaments will advance to the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship, provided they fished all three qualifiers in a division.

The highest finishing pro from each of the five Costa FLW Series divisions based on final results at the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup, along with the highest finishing pro from the championship’s international division. A total of six Costa FLW Series pros will advance to the 2019 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing.

Complete rules and entry dates will be announced soon.

2018 Costa FLW Series Season Schedule:

Central Division            Fishery                       City                                         Local Host

  • April 19-21         Table Rock Lake           Branson, Mo.                 ExploreBranson.com
  • June 7-9            Lake Barkley                 Cadiz, Ky.                      Cadiz-Trigg County Tourism      
  • Oct. 11-13         Lake of the Ozarks        Osage Beach, Mo.         Tri-County Lodging Association      

Northern Division

  • June 21-23       Lake Champlain             Plattsburgh, N.Y.           City of Plattsburgh
  • July 26-28         Lake Erie                       Buffalo, N.Y.                  Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission
  • Sept. 6-8           1000 Islands                  Clayton, N.Y.                 Clayton Chamber of Commerce    

Southeastern Division

  • Jan. 4-6            Lake Okeechobee          Okeechobee, Fla.         Okeechobee County Tourism
  • March 1-3         Lake Seminole               Bainbridge, Ga.             Bainbridge CVB
  • April 5-7            Santee Cooper              Summerton, S.C.           Clarendon County CC

Southwestern Division

  • Feb. 15-17        Sam Rayburn Reservoir Jasper, Texas               Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn CC
  • March 22-24     Grand Lake                    Grove, Okla.                   City of Grove       
  • Oct. 4-6            Fort Gibson Lake            Wagoner, Okla.              Wagoner Area CC        

Western Division

  • Feb. 8-10           Lake Havasu                 Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Lake Havasu City CVB               
  • May 10-12         Clear Lake                     Lakeport, Calif.              Konocti Vista Casino Resort/Marina
  • Sept. 27-29       California Delta              Bethel Island, Calif.        Russo’s Marina   

Costa FLW Series Championship

  • Nov. 1-3            Lake Guntersville           Guntersville, Ala.           Marshall County CVB

The full schedule and details for each fishery can be found at FLWFishing.com.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Costa FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.

About FLW – FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Snapchat.

PHANTOM LURES PARTNERS WITH PRO-TROLL FISHING

  • GAME-CHANGER: EChip with Proven Phantom Musky Baits, will be MORE DEADLY than ever
  • Select Phantom Lures will include Pro-Troll EChip

Ramsey, MN (August 21, 2017) – Phantom Lures, widely known for its design and manufacture of tournament-winning muskie lures and innovative walleye and bass crankbaits, is excited to announce their exclusive partnership with Pro-Troll.
Beginning in 2018, select baits from Phantom Lures will incorporate the Pro-Troll E-Chip. New fresh water styles and finishes will be available to cover any angler who wants to catch trout, salmon, bass, walleye and muskie.
“This exclusive partnership with Pro-Troll is very exciting for all of us at Phantom Lures. It furthers our commitment to growing the Phantom Lures brand,” stated Phantom Lures Co-Owner, Roger Neilson, Jr. “The technology that Pro-Troll offers with their EChip is remarkable and when combined with our Phantom Lures, it is sure to put more fish in the boat.”
The EChip from Pro-Troll is the world’s first microchip designed to go into a bait and replicate the voltage discharged by the nervous system of live bait. It has been scientifically and practically proven to attract more and bigger fish.
“Pro-Troll is pleased to enter into this exclusive partnership with Phantom Lures,” commented Dick Pool, President and Founder of Pro-Troll. “Their baits and brand are well known within the muskie world, and their presence in the walleye and bass world continues to grow. We look forward to integrating our EChip into their popular line of baits.”
The entire line of Phantom Lures can be found at www.phantomlures.com.  In addition, you can view the baits in action on the phantom lures video page.  Here you will find underwater video showing the baits in use, with commentary and feedback from former touring walleye angler and co-owner of Wired2Fish, Scott Glorvigen. Stay connected with Phantom Lures via their social media channels, facebook.com/Phantom-Lures and on Instagram (phantom lures) and via the #BelieveInGhosts and #BIG.

Individually hand-painted, factory tuned, and tank tested, the Phantom Standard MUSKY LURE gives you ultraconsistent, proven, side-to-side wander of the venerable glide bait.  Built torture-tough from a high-impact resin that fishes like maple with a bonus: This Beauty’s got a death pause that kills.  Sink with a  reliable 1′ per second, letting you dissect open water reefs, weediness or sections of emerging weed tops with a surgeon’s precision. A threaded brass receiver securely locks in interchangeable Phantom weights to fine tune sink rates and intrude any zone, making Standard a countdown’s dream for suspended fish. Forrest Fisher Photo

About Phantom Lures: Since 1996, Phantom Lures has built a strong and loyal reputation in the muskie fishing industry by making excellent, custom, quality baits that are used by first time fishermen, guides and tournament anglers.  Our tournament –winning baits produce actions that put trophy fish on your line, leaving you with great pictures and lifelong memories.  For more information about Phantom Lures, visit PhantomLures.com or call 763-951-2902.
About Pro-Troll: Founded in 1978, Pro-Troll Inc. creates and markets innovative fishing and marine products and is a leading developer of technology-driven fishing tackle.  Its proprietary fish attraction device, The patented EChip, replicates in lures the electrical nerve discharge of bait.  Pro-Troll sells its technology and products globally in the U.S., Scandinavia, Germany,

 

FireDisc® Cookers Score High Marks with Sportsmen, Tailgaters, Party Folks and in Customer Satisfaction Ratings

Need a durable camp cooker that folds up to a VERY SMALL SIZE and can do it all for hunters, fishermen, campers or tailgate fun?   Check out FireDisc® Cookers: https://www.firedisccookers.com/products/ to see the manner of set-up, take-down and storage. So simple.
Yet, FireDisc is massively overbuilt, is still light in weight, incredibly easy to use and designed to last for a long time.

It’s perfect for anyone who likes to fish, hunt, camp, RV, tailgate or just recreate outdoors all year around.FireDisc is revolutionizing how hunters cook their camp chow and how fishermen cook shore lunch.  FireDisc is a robust cooking device that was made to travel with you in your truck or boat.  FireDisc seasons like a cast iron skillet producing excellent fish, game and eating anyway you like it. The FireDisc advantage offers compact take-down to a size that will fit in any boat, large or small, sets up easily to work dockside, at a shore lunch or at campside. The unit is powder-coated and is overbuilt. It is heavy duty and built to last. FireDisc will cook virtually everything.
The unit operates on one 16.4 oz. propane canister, fires up fast (no waiting for charcoal or fire), cooks for plenty of people, seasons like a cast iron skillet and cleans up quickly with just water.
Why people love cooking with FireDisc Cookers:
• Portable and easy to haul
• Heats quickly with propane
• Easy to clean with just water
• Great for cooking for large groups
• Perfect for cooking delicate items like fish and vegetables – no grates
• Year-round cooking
• Available in height options: 24” or 36”, shallow or deep
Check out this video: https://youtu.be/omJWFthICuQ.   FireDiscs come in deep or shallow, short or tall, black or red and are available starting at $279.99 at firedisccookers.com and at select outdoor retailers and hardware stores across the country.
How good is a FireDisc® Cooker? The recently released NPS (Net Promoter Score) numbers for FireDisc® Cookers show a high level of customer satisfaction, with a good probability that consumers who bought their products would recommend them to their friends and colleagues. FireDisc Cookers received an NPS score of 88 with a 4.9 out of 5-star rating for 2016.
The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It is used as a proxy for gauging the customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service and the customer’s loyalty to the brand. It serves as an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research and claims to be correlated with revenue growth. NPS has been widely adopted with more than two thirds of Fortune 1000 companies using the metric.
The Net Promoter Score is calculated based on responses to a single question: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?
NPS can be as low as −100 (everybody is a detractor) or as high as +100 (everybody is a promoter). An NPS that is positive (i.e., higher than zero) is felt to be good and an NPS of +50 or over is excellent. The FireDisc Cooker NPS score of 88 is among the highest rankings given to any company. Scores for other companies during the same time period included USAA – 80, Costco – 78, Nordstrom – 75, Apple/iPhone – 70, Amazon – 69 and Southwest Airlines – 66. It is a great testimony to the design and quality of FireDisc products and their customer satisfaction.
For more information about “Built to Haul, Cooks it All” FireDisc Cookers, visit their web site at www.firedisccookers.com

Ducks Unlimited reaches Conservation Milestone

The Greenhead Mallard is among many beautiful waterfowl that have benefitted from the conservation process and volunteerism of Ducks Unlimited efforts. Joe Forma Photo

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Ducks Unlimited (DU) has achieved a conservation milestone with more than 14 million acres of habitat conserved in North America.  The groundbreaking number is a cumulative accomplishment of the millions of DU volunteers and partners who have been a part of the organization over the past 80 years.

“As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, this milestone is a fitting tribute to the hard work of each and every volunteer, partner and staff member who has contributed to our mission over the past 80 years,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “If not for their dedication and commitment to conservation, this accomplishment would not have been possible.”

Such conservation gains did not come easily in the face of ongoing threats to waterfowl and their habitats. Loss of wetlands across North America is a challenge DU volunteers take seriously, and their efforts will continue into the future.  Although DU has successfully conserved more than 14 million acres of critical wetlands and associated habitat since our founding in 1937, wetland losses continue.

In the last 50 years alone, the United States has lost more than 17 million acres of wetlands. As human populations grow, demands for clean and plentiful water for use at home and in many agricultural and industrial processes also increase.

Ducks Unlimited – working with partners – provides valuable, on-the-ground solutions that benefit waterfowl populations and maximize water resources through the dynamic natural functions of wetlands.  In addition to providing habitat for waterfowl, wetlands naturally slow and store water to help recharge watersheds and aquifers, improve water quality through biological and physical processes and provide important wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.

“DU’s policy efforts and the hard work of our volunteers, partners and staff will be more important than ever in the coming years,” said Dr. Tom Moorman, DU’s acting chief conservation officer.  “DU, along with our waterfowl conservation partners at the state, federal and private levels, must continue with the cooperative progress that led to 14 million acres conserved, and expand that effort wherever possible to meet ongoing or new threats to wetlands and waterfowl habitat in North America.”

The groundbreaking number is a perfect example of how hunters and others with a passion for waterfowl and wetlands conservation can come together for a common goal.  DU’s mission has always been to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitat for North America’s waterfowl, and this milestone is a direct reflection of that statement.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.

The GREATEST Scent-Control Whitetail Apparel Ever Made

  • Gain the ScentLok Advantage with Full Season Taktix™ 
  • Every Year We Learn from Successful Hunters: They admit, CONCEALING Human Odor is at Top of List
  • We Found this Affordable, Comfortable, Concealable

Muskegon, MI (August 14, 2017) – Fooling a deer’s eyes and ears can be relatively easy.  Stealth and woodsmanship play critical roles, as does modern camouflage.  His nose, on the other hand, takes more, a lot more.

The most successful hunters employ comprehensive scent-control regimens and follow them with great discipline. Involving more than just sprays and scent-control clothing, an effective scent-control regimen like the ScentLok Seven helps hunters like John Eberhart, from Michigan, experience consistent success.

Eberhart is a whitetail bow-hunting guru and says he has never owned, leased, hunted a relative’s property, or ever paid a dime to hunt anywhere.  Eberhart has never hunted in a managed area, over a food plot, or over bait.  He exclusively hunts state, federal, and free walk-on properties, and knocks on doors for free permission to hunt private properties in a state with some of the most pressured whitetails found anywhere.  Over 53 hunting seasons – the last 20 in ScentLok clothing – Eberhart has connected with 30 Michigan record book bucks.

Other hunters like Don and Kandi Kisky are equally passionate about defeating the four common types of odors that kill hunts. The self-proclaimed Whitetail Freaks harvest massive mature whitetails year after year through meticulous property management, endless scouting and the ScentLok advantage.

HOW MUCH IS YOUR HUNTING CLOTHING HELPING YOU?

In today’s virtual sea of hunting clothing, trendy camouflage only gets a hunter so far.  The new ScentLok Full Season Taktix™ Jacket and Pant for men and women goes beyond comfort and aesthetics.  It is the only hunting apparel to combine three unique performance attributes that help hunters stay comfortable while allowing their quarry to get closer them without scent detection than ever before.

Full Season Taktix features proven Carbon Alloy™ odor adsorption to neutralize the three pillars of human odor.  Next, it utilizes a superhydrophobic NeverWet™ treatment that permanently protects hunters from water and rain without stiff and noisy waterproof membranes.  Inside, Taktix employs advanced internal moisture wicking to keep hunters dry and comfortable.

Full Season Taktix Jacket

In addition to its trifecta of unique features, ScentLok upped the ante with Full Season Taktix to deliver additional touches any whitetail hunter will appreciate.

  • The outer micro tricot fabric is deadly quiet.
  • The low-bulk wrists will not interfere with a bow hunter’s release.
  • The exterior look is a blend of overlay color panels.
  • There are 13 easy-access pockets.
  • There is also a harness opening to keep stinky fall restraint gear enveloped inside the jacket’s Carbon AlloyTM barrier.

Better whitetail-hunting clothing simply does not exist.  This extraordinary new apparel is priced for any hunter at just $149 per piece, is available in four of today’s top camo patterns, and also comes in women’s sizes XS – 2XL and men’s sizes S – 3XL.

Over the course of 25 years in business, ScentLok hunting apparel has been proven deadly in the field by some of the world’s most dedicated hunters.  Ask and receive more from your hunting clothing.  Start hunting with the ScentLok advantage.  See the full line of proven ScentLok products.

About ScentLok: ScentLok Technologies, headquartered in Muskegon, MI, USA, is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of performance, hunting and casual odor-controlling apparel, footwear and equipment. Founded in 1992 on scientific principles, ScentLok is the only company with access to all scent-controlling technologies including their patented activated carbon technology, which is consistently proven to outperform other technologies tested. ScentLok is a pioneer in the hunting industry, which many credit with creating a market based on the elimination of odors to get closer to big game.

Big Beast Bass Adventures at Conesus Lake (NY)

  • Silent Presentation is KEY
  • Simple Fishing Rigs can be MOST EFFECTIVE
  • Quality Line, Sharp Hooks, Stiff Rod can help ASSURE Hookup & Catch
Simple Fishing can be effective, things to consider and details are part of this fish-catching story. Forrest Fisher Photo

By Forrest Fisher
When does the adventure of a short fishing trip become special?
After that unforgettable connection to big fish success.
When the fun is non-stop spontaneous.
When you realize something very good happened that was not totally expected.
When you’re fishing with your grandson!
That’s when. Grandkids grow up too quick, but they sure create some great memories that become more than special. Here’s one trip story that is time-honored in my “greatest gift” memory scrapbook.
Bass boats with 250HP engines whizzed from spot to spot around the lake, their engines echoing brilliant monotones of sheer power among lake cottages and the luscious green hills. You could sense the connection to new technology watching them.
There were jet-ski rigs too, and water skiers, and brave stand-up paddle board folks, and kids in tow on floating rafts behind family-sized pontoon boats – there was lots of mid-afternoon activity. Fun activity.
There was also one bright-yellow 12-foot Mirrocraft aluminum boat with two anglers and only two fishing rods. In the sun, the yellow boat rig was easily visible from a half-mile, but looking from the bottom up, it was so bright that it matched the sunshine. An uncommon mode for fishing stealth.
There was no gas-powered engine on the transom. It was a very common, simple, durable, car-top fishing boat with wooden oars for normal motion, except for one thing: On the bow was mounted an old-time, cable-drive, foot-pedal controlled Johnson 12V electric motor on a cross-piece of pressure-treated board. The battery was in a case in the back of the boat for weight distribution and a shielded electric cable, duct-taped along the side of the boat, made the power connection. A Lowrance X-50 sonar unit, tiny in size and volume, but effective, was also hooked in, providing underwater eyes for depth awareness.
The rig offered stealth movement in sheer silence. It provided more ability to work a quiet fishing line around weedbeds, docks, and rocks and buoy markers, maybe even more stealth than one of the new $85,000 bass boat rigs.
With a 15-pound cannon-ball anchor for holding position in the wind, it was simply efficient. In fact, it was a pretty slick-looking fishing rig in a class all by itself. Even with movement, it did not spook fish – big bass, that were nearby.
The fella driving the boat was my grandson. I’m so proud that he shares a similar passion for the outdoors, like I do, and that his father does too – now a long-standing family tradition. It’s the kind of passion and tradition that keeps us all curious to learn more about new things we find when we spend time in the outdoors. It helps to bring us back to meet adventure in the outdoors time and again, and that next time can never be far away.
His fishing rigs are simple, but like the boat, are totally functional. He has thought this out. The boat and fishing rigs are assembled to hook and land big black bass.
His humble Shimano open-face spinning reel is mounted on a 7-foot long, semi-stiff graphite rod (Carbon-X, S-15) with 10-pound Gamma braid line that has 6-feet of 16-pound fluorocarbon Sun Line leader tied to the end. The leader is dock-tough line, thin in diameter and is nearly invisible. The 10-pound braid allows feathered casts for short pinpoint casting, or into the wind with a little “wrist-reach” for long distance.
Terminal tackle includes heavy-wire size 3/0 VMC hooks, the same kind used by many of the Elite Series pro anglers. His favorite bass bait? Friend and bass pro-staffer, Scott Callen, recommended the Sun Line and the 6-inch Big-Bite-Baits “TRICK STICK” plastic worms. My grandson rigs them Texas-style to be weedless (not wacky). An assortment of worm colors is visible in the clear plastic Plano tackle box on the boat seat, and there is only one box. My grandson adds, “Why complicate simple fishing, but just gotta make sure you have that green-pumpkin red flake in there.”
A check with Ted’s Bait & Tackle in Lakeville, N.Y. (opens at 6AM every day, (585) 429-0587), helped with the plastic worm color selection. Proprietor Ted Decker and associate, Bill Brizzee, know the lake and what’s working, and they provided advice about the Big Bite Bait worm colors. Brizzee says, “Yeah, you know they’re priced right ($1.99) in a 5-pack package and we go through ‘em pretty quick when the fish are biting – like this time of year, especially that green-pumpkin color and black w/red sparkle color.”
My grandson stood up in the rig and said, “This little boat is so easy to take places, it is so stable in the water and so safe, and so crafty inside the areas I like to fish. The weed lines, the tree blow-downs near inlet and outlet creeks, the docks, and if you splash-cast up into the shade of whatever structure you can find – even in 6-inches of water, so that your worm entry makes little or no sound, it just settles and sinks – the fish just jump on it. Getting the presentation right is fun! It took me a few years to get better at good casting though.” I knew about those fun years, “Look, you caught a 40-foot hemlock tree!” More good memories.
He went on to show me his nearly perfected casting technique,splash-casting, and on the second cast, he said, “There he goes, he’s movin with it.” He reared back and set the hook two-handed. “Got ‘em! Fish on!” He smiled with that look of fun and approval. Not using the net, he reached over the side and lipped the big bass. One picture later the fish went back to swim another day.
He did that 11 more times in the next two hours. The largest for this day was a healthy 4.65 pounder and the smallest was a 13-incher. All of the fish were plump and with good color.
Sunfish and perch make up a large part of the bass diet here, but why they like plastic worms is still anyone’s guess. I suppose they look like a salamander, leech, snake, nightcrawler or other edible live bait forms too, but one thing for sure, the fish like ‘em – or hate ‘em, because they seem to destroy them.
Before fishing, we reviewed the Conesus Lake Fishing Forum on Facebook at this link: https://www.facebook.com/ConesusLakeFishingForum/. We noted that there is a weekly, 3-fish, Tuesday evening fun bass contest open to all anglers that begins at the state launch in the central portion of the lake.
Exactly where did we fish? We launched at the north end of the lake and followed the directions and advice provided by the NYSDEC to fish the lake. Visit this link: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html.
We worked the weedbed edges, shadow side of some of the docks, and we also did some deep jigging in 25 feet of water. Found success there too, but switched to using sonar-style vertical jig baits there.
Advice for the next trip? Leave no docks and weedbed drop-offs unexplored, don’t forget the water bottles and the peanut butter/jelly sandwiches.
Tight lines everyone.

Lake Erie-Lake Ontario-Niagara River “On-Line” Fishing & Vacation Map is FREE

  • Integrated Map Provides Fish Locations, Shore Fishing Access, Boat Access
  • Depth Contours ZERO-IN on Hotspot Fishing Locations
  • Bait Shops, Marina Locations, Shipwrecks, ALL HERE…ALL FREE
Depth Contours as well as on-shore landmarks for boater access, shore fishing, restaurants and marina locations are included for Niagara County, Erie County and Chautauqua County waterway areas.  The website map link and info is free. 

By Forrest Fisher

There is a NEW interactive, online, Western New York Hotspot Fishing Map application that is yours FREE at this link:  https://wnyfishing.mrf.com.

The regional website map has been designed for everyone, including for cellphone and laptop use.  It is the perfect “get-it-now” reference tool for many user groups.  Boaters, anglers, scuba divers, vacationers and many other groups, family fishing groups, now have good waterway reference map.  Need to research waterway areas of the Greater Niagara Region of New York State BEFORE the trip?  Here is your resource.

The map spotlights lake depth contours, boating access points, marinas, shore fishing sites, sunken wrecks, fish species locations, bait shops, information sources, dining establishments and give all that to the user with GPS coordinates.  Erie, Niagara and Chautauqua counties offer some of the best freshwater sportfishing the world has ever seen!

World class walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, musky, trout, salmon, all here, and many species of panfish.  Nearly everything an avid fisherman would ever want.  Carp and Channel Catfish too.

The Greater Niagara Region has established a reputation that boasts excellence in sportfishing, boating, kayaking, and outdoor on-the-water recreation.  Hire a charter, bring your own boat or fish from shore, the new regional map website will be useful for everyone who looks to quench a hungry angling appetite.

The website map is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast and for families looking to get back to finding the family fun of the outdoors through fishing and boating.  There are many other outdoor attractions, state and county parks, hiking paths, bird-watching opportunities (the Niagara River Corridor is internationally recognized as an important bird area), hunting options and more.  There are cultural, historical and recreational highlights from Lewiston in Niagara County, to Buffalo in Erie County and to Jamestown in Chautauqua County.  The new website and map app offers access to outdoor information and adds value for visitors and residents alike.

The area below Dunkirk, NY, and Barcelona Harbor, in Westfield, NY, is the “HOT WALLEYE ZONE”. Here is the 1st look-see from a free fishing map link that all anglers can enjoy for the very first time at no charge.

The website (https://wnyfishing.mrf.com) offers information to get you started and headed in the right direction, from charter listings to marina information; from shore fishing spots to license information. Unfortunately, it can’t help you set the hook and reel the fish in!

Greater Niagara – You’ll “fall for us” all over again reel soon!

Lake Erie Fishing Hotline, (716) 855-FISH, www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/, fishhotlines.html

Niagara Co. Fishing Hotline, (877) FALLS-US, www.niagarafallsusa.com

This map was made possible through the funding of Erie and Niagara Counties. It was prepared cooperatively between Erie and Niagara County’s respective Sportfishing Promotion Programs, with assistance from the Erie and Niagara County Fisheries Advisory Boards. Additional maps may be obtained by calling: Buffalo-Niagara CVB at 800-BUFFALO or Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. at 877-FALLS US.

New Speed-Load Browning Tactical Knife

  • Handy hand-hold knife handle
  • Four blade inserts
  • Any common utility knife blade will fit  as a replacement blade!
  • Priced under $40

A Speed Load Tactical model knife has been introduced by Browning for 2017.  The new knife features a folding liner lock blade with four replaceable 420J2 stainless steel razor blade inserts.  The four inserts include one partially serrated drop point, one modified tanto, one modified sheepsfoot and one standard utility blade.  

A handy feature of the Speed Load Tactical knife is that it will accept any replacement blade for a common utility knife, easily purchased at most hardware stores.

The handle is sculpted black G-10 scales with anti-skid grooves on rear of handle. The knife also features a steel pocket clip, thumb stud and rugged flapped nylon belt sheath with polymer hard case insert for storing extra blades.

Overall length is 7-5/8” and blade length is 3-1/4”. Suggested Retail, $39.99.

For more information on Browning products, please visit the website at www.browning.com.

Jay Wallen Wins Hobie Bass Open on Kentucky Lake

  • Kentucky Lake, Kentucky
  • Home of Big Bass

The third time was the charm for Jay Wallen of Lexington, Kentucky. After finishing third the past two years, Wallen has battled through to take the Hobie Bass Open win. This was year four of the tournament that took place on Kentucky Lake in Marshall County, Kentucky, June 10-11, 2017.
“I’m so happy I pulled it off so I can go to the Hobie Worlds 7,” commented Jay. “That’s what this whole thing is about. I just couldn’t be happier.”
Wallen went into the final day of the two-day “CPR” (Catch-Photograph-Release) kayak fishing tournament with a very small, one-inch lead. A crowd of anglers was chasing close behind and he felt the pressure. Changing up from day one, he hunted his fish on a ledge farther north, closer to the dam where he’d finished the first day on a furious flurry. However, on the final day the bite proved to be a grinder. He averaged one fish every two hours, but they were good ones.
Wallen’s three-fish daily limit was anchored by a 20-inch largemouth that he said he probably should not have caught. The jig pulled right at the boat, but he got the net under the fish before it hit the water.
“That’s when I knew I had a chance. I didn’t think I had it won, but I had a chance,” he said.
Wallen fished clean, converting all his bites and it proved essential. With just 30 minutes of fishing time left, he culled an 18-incher, giving him a daily total of 56.75 inches. It was just enough. His two-day total of 115.5 inches narrowly beat his closest challenger.
“The biggest thing about this tournament is you compete against your peers and some of the best kayak anglers out there,” Wallen went on to say. “That’s what makes it special. You do this in front of all your peers and a lot of them are happy for you. We’re all for the most part, friends.”
The win earned Wallen a check for $4,000, but it was the trip to the Hobie Fishing World Championship 7 that has him most excited. The World’s destination is expected to be announced in July. Wallen is ready, wherever it winds up. “You could put it on the moon for all I care! I’m ready to go, to represent team USA,” he said.
Joshua Stewart of Waverly, Tennessee nearly matched Wallen inch-for-inch, but ultimately finished second with a total of 114.25 inches. He fished a jig in shallow water in the New Johnsonville area of Kentucky Lake. Stewart earned $2,500 and an invitation to the Hobie Fishing Worlds 7. “This is the biggest one, the most meaningful finish of my kayak fishing career,” he said.
Drew Russell of Louisville, Kentucky, rounded out the top three. He earned $1,700. “I was shooting for a top ten finish, so I’m thrilled with third. I’ll be back. We’ll get it next year,” he said of just missing the Hobie Worlds. Russell fished worms and jigs on ledges and points.
The Hobie Bass Open paid out to 12th place. There is always a 100% pay out of angler entry fees in this competition. 115 anglers fished the adult division.
The youth division was won by Jaxton Orr, who compiled an impressive two-day total of 102.25 inches. He was followed by Will Stumbo (95.5 inches) and Cole Kleffman (83.75 inches)
Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau and Hobie Worldwide sponsored the 1st place winner to attend the Hobie Worlds. Additional sponsors included lodging host Kentucky Lake Dam Village State Resort Park, the host city of Calvert, Hobie Polarized, Lowrance, YakAttack, Bassin’ Magazine, RAM Mounts, St. Croix, Daiwa, Power-Pole, Mustad and Gerber.
This year there are two new US and Canadian qualifying events for Hobie Fishing World Championship 7: the Shasta Bass Kayak Classic and the 2nd Annual IKE Foundation Celebrity Pro Am Tournament Kayak Division hosted by Hobie’s own Mike “Ike” Iaconelli. Ike’s event will be special. It will be a star-studded occasion contested on the non-tidal sections of the Delaware River and includes dinner on the illustrious battleship, USS New Jersey.
The full Hobie Fishing Worlds “7” North American qualifying event schedule is as follows:
1) The Shasta Bass Kayak Classic, March 25-26 – 1 qualifying spot
2) The Jamaica Bay Kayak Fishing Classic, May 18-21 – 1 qualifying spot
3) The Hobie Bass Open, June 9-11 – 2 qualifying spots
4) The Border City Classic, June 24-25 – 2 qualifying spots
5) The 2nd Annual IKE Foundation Celebrity Pro Am Tournament Kayak Division, July 7-8 – 1 qualifying spot
Since 1950, Hobie has been in the business of shaping a unique lifestyle based around fun, water, and innovative quality products. From their worldwide headquarters in Oceanside, California, Hobie Cat Company manufactures, distributes, and markets an impressive collection of eco-sensitive watercraft, with subsidiaries; Hobie Cat Australasia, in Huskisson, NSW, Australia and Hobie Cat Europe, in Toulon, France and independent distributors; Hobie Kayak Europe and Hobie Cat Brasil. These products include an ever-expanding line of recreation and racing sailboats, pedal-driven and paddle sit-on-top recreation and fishing kayaks, inflatable kayaks, fishing boats, surfboards, stand-up paddleboards and the new Hobie Mirage Eclipse™ Standup pedalboards, plus a complementary array of parts and accessories. www.hobiecat.com
For more info: Contact Ingrid Niehaus, (949) 499-2225, iniehaus@hobiecat.com

I Met a Polar Bear, Face-to-Face! Thanks to Johnny Morris, YOU CAN TOO

  • Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium OPENS Sep, 21, 2017
  • Will be Largest, most interactive, dynamic Fish and Wildlife “Experience” in the World.
  • Located next to Bass Pro Shops National Headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Will also be the New Home for BASS FISHING HALL OF FAME

By Forrest Fisher

The hair on my arm shot up as if I had just walked into a static field of electricity. My heart rate quickened.  The face of the bear was powerful and profound. The moment was unforgettable. It was extraordinary.  It was sacred and it was full of Polar Bear ambition.  It was striking.

Image is courtesy of Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium

The largest, most immersive fish and wildlife attraction in the world offers a video that did that to me! Visit: https://youtu.be/QnG5tf_Pp3I.

 

The Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium will celebrate its grand opening on Sep. 21, 2017.  Located in Springfield, Missouri, the 320,000 square foot structure will feature exhibits that manage to create new moments of introduction to conservation, with a focus on providing education and knowledge of wildlife, fish and sea creatures for all that visit.

Wonders of Wildlife will feature a 1.5-million-gallon aquarium adventure and will showcase 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, as well as more than 70,000 square feet of immersive wildlife galleries and dioramas.  Plus, more than a mile of immersive trails and exhibits.

Wonders of Wildlife will also offer another giant reason to visit.  Officials from the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame and noted conservationist, Johnny Morris, recently announced that Wonders of Wildlife will also provide a new, permanent home for the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame will honor bass fishing legends and was developed in partnership with the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.), the exhibit includes a fascinating collection of artifacts and memorabilia, including authentic rods and reels, antique lures and historical photos.  More than 60 Hall of Fame members will be featured including Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, Roland Martin, Johnny Morris, Ray Scott, President George H.W. Bush and many others. Several artifacts date back to the early days of B.A.S.S. tournaments in the 1960s, including the scale used to weigh record catches and the first BASSMASTER Classic victory trophy.

Image is courtesy of Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium

“To be part of a transformational project like Wonders of Wildlife and share the story of bass fishing with generations of future visitors is a dream come true,” said Donald Howell, president of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame board of directors. “There is no better location to honor the individuals that have played a crucial role in bass fishing. Visitors will be blown away by all that Wonders of Wildlife encompasses, and we’re grateful to Johnny Morris for his partnership and bringing this vision to life in such compelling fashion.”

The site will offer extraordinary experience for visitors with a collection of exhibits and galleries that showcase national conservation organizations within a single “must-see” destination experience, sharing the story of hunters and anglers conserving wildlife and the outdoors.

Other partner galleries include The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Fishing Hall of Fame, the Boone and Crockett Club’s National Collection of Heads and Horns, the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum, the National Archery Hall of Fame and many others.

“Our mission is to establish a world-class destination that celebrates people who hunt, fish, and act as stewards of the land and water,” said Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, a conservationist and the visionary behind the Wonders of Wildlife. “There are so many notable hunters and anglers that have played an important role in the conservation of our precious natural resources and habitats.  We are honored to welcome the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame to help further enrich that story for our visitors.”

Founded in 2000, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to all anglers, manufacturers and members of the media who further the sport of bass fishing.  Honorees include notable contributors to the sport who elevate it to the professional level and lesser-known supporters that have and continue to sustain bass fishing, both honoring the past and looking to the future.

While previous plans called for a stand-alone location in Alabama, organizers recognized the opportunity to reach a far larger audience by partnering with Wonders of Wildlife.

For more information, visit www.wondersofwildlife.org.  For information about the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, visit www.bassfishinghof.com.

 

BLACK BEARS ACTIVE in New York State DIX MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS

  • Black bears have been active stealing food.
  • Campers, hikers, and rock climbers om alert in two locations

Campers and hikers are encouraged to keep all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear resistant canister to avoid attracting black bears.

Campers are also advised to avoid cooking and eating after dark. Prepare and eat food away from the tent site.

If approached by a bear, do not give it food. Make noise and try to scare it away. Call the DEC Regional Wildlife Office at 518-897-1291 to report encounters with bears.

Hikers and campers may also want to consider carrying bear spray as a precautionary measure for close encounters. If you do so please read the instructions carefully before setting out on the trail and be sure to follow the instructions if you use the spray.

Gill Brook

Bears have approached hikers and campers in the area around Gill Brook, Indian Pass, Mt. Colvin, Elk Pass, and Nippletop. These bears are approaching closely in an attempt to intimidate people into giving them food. DEC warns hikers and campers not to reward bears by dropping packs or otherwise providing them with food.

DEC recently captured and euthanized the most aggressive of the bears. A bear with one purple ear tag and one green ear tag had been approaching numerous hikers and campers very closely and not backing down.

Another bear with one red ear tag has been a reported problem but has not behaved as aggressively has been encountered less frequently.

Chapel Pond

Other bears have been stealing food from campers and rock climbers in the area around Chapel Pond, including the Beer Walls. Campers are hikers are encouraged to keep all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear resistant canister or out of sight in motor vehicles.

Rock climbers should rack up at their vehicle, leave all food in the vehicle, or carry any food with you as you climb. Do not leave packs on the ground for bears to destroy.

DEC has temporarily closed one of the campsites at the Chapel Pond Outlet while it attempts to capture the bears. Captured bears will be given unique colored ear tags, hazed, and released. 

For more info, click here: Prevent human bear conflicts.

YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING TOURNAMENT AT CHAUTAUQUA LAKE

  • ADRIAN COLLEGE WINS YETI-FLW NORTHERN CONFERENCE
  • Jarret Martin & Zachary Graham Haul in 20 Bass, Weigh 5 biggest: 16lbs-3oz
  • Presented by Bass Pro Shops
Adrian College anglers, Jarrett Martin and Zachary Graham, both of Gallipolis, Ohio, won the YETI FLW College Fishing Northern Conference tournament at Chautauqua Lake.  FLW Photo

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (July 24, 2017) – The Adrian College duo of Jarrett Martin and Zachary Graham, both of Gallipolis, Ohio, won the YETI FLW College Fishing Northern Conference tournament at Chautauqua Lake.  Presented by Bass Pro Shops, the two-angler team weighed in their five-bass limit at 16 pounds, 3 ounces.   The victory earned the Adrian College Bass Club $2,000 and the team will now advance to compete in the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

“We were fishing on the north end of the lake,” said Graham, a sophomore, double majoring in environmental studies and geology. “We found a stretch of bank with no docks with a long, rocky flat.  About 40 yards off of the bank, the rock would meet the grass, and we just worked the grass-line all day long.”

“It was really one of the only green grassy areas that we were able to find,” said Martin, a senior majoring in business administration.  “The lake has been sprayed recently, and there was quite a bit of brown, dead grass, but the fish were in the green stuff.”

“Jarrett was throwing a Rebel Pop-R surface plug, off of the front all day and I was throwing a Fluke off of the back,” Graham said. “We doubled up at least seven times.”

The duo estimated they caught around 20 keeper bass throughout the day – with around 13 smallmouth and seven largemouth.  Their five-bass limit at the weigh-in consisted of two smallmouth and three largemouth.

“I think the key for us was the cloud cover,” Martin said. “If it would have been sunny, the fish would have been hiding in the shade, but the way the clouds were, the bass were in the mood to eat all day.  They were extremely active.”

“I think the Pop-R was the key,” Graham added. “We have a lot of confidence in that bait and it produced the two biggest fish of the day for us.”

The Rebel Pop-R has been the judging standard for topwater poppers/chuggers. Visit http://www.rebellures.com/rebel-pop-r-8054 to review all color options. Rebel Lures Photo

The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2018 College Fishing National Championship are:

  •   1st: Adrian College – Jarrett Martin and Zachary Graham, both of Gallipolis, Ohio, five bass, 16-3, $2,400
  •   2nd: Lake Superior State University – Jake Dorony, South Lyon, Mich., and Hunter Scharphorn, Grand Haven, Mich., five bass, 15-6, $1,000
  •   3rd : Adrian College – Nicholas Czajka, Brighton, Mich., and Jack Hippe III, Davison, Mich., five bass, 15-3, $700
  •   4th : Youngstown State University – Jonathan Creed, Niles, Ohio, and Mike Soots, McDonald, Ohio, five bass, 14-13, $500
  •   5th : James Madison University – Blake Miles, Chesterfield, Va., and Jack Goodwyn, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 14-12, $500
  •   6th: Michigan State University – Tyler Andrews, Charlotte, Mich., and Danny Sprague, Hastings, Mich., five bass, 14-8
  •   7th: Pennsylvania State University – Derek Horner, Port Matilda, Pa., and Maurice Hudson, Broomall, Pa., five bass, 14-4
  •   8th: Kutztown University of Pennsylvania – Joe Tini, Archibald, Pa., and Corey Bechtel, Allentown, Pa., five bass, 14-1
  •   9th: Pennsylvania State University – Chris Trianosky, Phoenixville, Pa., and Lou Mocniak, Washington, Pa., five bass, 13-14
  •   10th: West Virginia University – Michael Shughart, Shippensburg, Pa., and Branden Newcome, Ellamore, W.Va., five bass, 13-4

Complete results can be found atFLWFishing.com<https://www.flwfishing.com/results/2017-07-22-chautauqua-lake> .

This YETI FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake was the second regular-season qualifying tournament for Northern Conference anglers in 2017.  The next YETI FLW College Fishing event will be the Northern Conference regular-season finale, scheduled for Sep. 9 on Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio.

YETI FLW College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments, along with an additional qualifier for every 10 teams over 100 that compete, along with the top 20 teams from the annual YETI FLW College Fishing Open advance to the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

College Fishing is free to enter.  All participants must be registered, full-time students at a college, university or community college and members of a college fishing club that is recognized by their school.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FLWFishing

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/flwfishing

Visit FLW Fishing at http://www.collegefishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.

About FLW – FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.

For more information visit FLWFishing on-line at: http://www.flwfishing.com/ and also follow FLW here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FLWFishing

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/FLWFishing

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/FLWFishing

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/flwfishing

Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/flwofficial

Learn Elk Hunting: Archery Details, Step-by-Step

Bugle Magazine is a hunter’s bi-monthly resource package, with tips, advice, gear know-how and humble stories from successful experts. Photo Courtesy of RMEF

By Forrest Fisher

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) has gone beyond the norm to help people everywhere learn more about conservation and hunting, and why hunting is so important to conservation.

Just having returned from a visit to Medora, North Dakota, and the National Park that Teddy Roosevelt created there, I am sure that our late President Roosevelt would be so very proud of the dedicated folks at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

I joined RMEF this past year and keep asking myself why I took so long to find RMEF, but at least now, I’m a member and their BUGLE magazine is not just a magazine, it is a learning tool.  In this latest issue (Jul/Aug 2017) of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation BUGLE, story author – Kurt Cox,  shares intimate, in-depth details of those many things a first-time archery elk hunter might be wondering about.  Veteran hunters too, can learn from Kurt’s tales of hands-on truth in easy-to-read lessons and descriptions.

He describes his manner of calling, his movement in trailing an Elk for a shot opportunity and how he survived through his consumption of spring water, wild berry picking and frosty overnight chills. All this amidst the wonder of the visual expanse of mountain peaks, dark timber and an internal impulse to use cow calls. All hunters can learn from his shared experiences in this story.

Cox shares his hope and wonder, all the while looking for that perfect spot that he might send his arrow and put some meat in the family freezer.  Then after much effort, significant effort, there is a cow, then a bull, then an arrow shot and a score.  We learn about ethics here too, since Cox takes a second arrow shot and a third too.  There is explanation for the harvest in this manner, clarification that hunters country-wide need to know more about.

Check out this story, then read much more in this ARCHERY ISSUE of BUGLE Magazine, in the nearly 40-page special edition section.  Learn about cows and bulls, elk habits, use of camo, scent, sound, the excitement, the right gear, making the right noises, the reality of the experience, and perhaps you will find in you, like me, the inspiration to travel thousands of miles to hunt an elk.

Hunting for elk is an escape for some, but it is an inspiration for all hunters.

The mission of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is to insure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.  I came late to embrace this RMEF group – I’m from the east, my poor excuse, but I’m here to pass the word to all of my hunter friends, especially bowhunter colleagues, to join up with RMEF and start the complete learning of how to better yourself for your next hunt.

What you learn from the BUGLE magazine will help make you a better hunter every time you step into the world of the woods.

Visit www.rmef.org and sign up soon.  After just one or two issues, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.  Reading this magazine is an adventure in learning.  Don’t delay. Remember, hunting is conservation.

 

Walk the Dog with a Frog!

  • Built-in “Walk-the-Dog” Action
  • 2-1/2 inches, 9/16 oz, 16 colors
  • Extra-wide Premium VMC® double hook
The Terminator Popping Frog is one topwater frog lure finally made to cast well, endure vicious strikes with strong design in the hook tie and extra-wide VMC hook, to bring the big bass to your live well. Forrest Fisher Photo

By Forrest Fisher

YOUR TOPWATER FROG CHECKLIST:

  1. Like to fish for bass in the summertime?  Topwater action can be the most exciting! CHECK
  2. The Terminator Popping Frog is designed for flawless, big, fish-catching fun.  Many crankbaits have their action built in by design of the lip and weight placement, why not the same on a frog.  Now, YES, we have built-in action on a topwater frog too.  The Terminator Popping Frog provides a cupped face to create a loud, strong pop, it will drive fish crazy, even from deep below. CHECK

                                                                               Bass-catching happiness! Forrest Fisher Photo
  3. The weight is positioned to allow long, perfect casts and the extra-wide hook gap converts strikes into hook sets.  The extra-soft body compresses easily to expose those hooks.  CHECK
  4. The round rubber lug tentacles articulate life-like action.  Even the line tie is extra-duty and is welded for no line-wiggle escapes during the hook set.  The Terminator Popping Frog is a unique bass-catching tool for all serious Bass anglers.  CHECK
  5. The Model 25 is the only model made at this time, but it is a perfect size at 2-1/2” in length and 9/16 oz. Perfect.  CHECK
  6. The color on the right is my favorite “Lime Leopard” color, but there are 16 colors.  The lure is a topwater fish killer that allows every angler to fish effectively with the effortless walking and/or popping action built into this topwater frog lure. CHECK
  7. The premium VMC® double hook allows you to hook up with new bass friends as you “Walk the dog with a frog!” FISH-ON!

Get one. CHECK!

Cost?  Under $10. Check colors and supply: http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Terminator_Walking_Frog/descpage-TWFG.html?gclid=CIzzjd6egdUCFcKKswodEigFdw.

 

 

Smiley Sakakawea Walleye – Fishing a Canyon Reservoir

Captain Jeremy Olsen shares secrets for fast walleye fun on Lake Sakakawea in early July.

  • SLOW-TROLL Tricks are Deadly on Walleye Waters
  • Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota, offers Hands-On Learning
  • Bring a Camera: Canyon Colors and Walleye Go Good Together
Delicious, tasty walleye are a top goal for anglers fishing everywhere, but on Lake Sakakawea, the pristine clean water is chilly all year long and the walleye taste better than most anywhere. Forrest Fisher Photo.

By Forrest Fisher

Wanna catch walleye?  Know the two rules that apply everywhere.  Rule #1: Catching fish is fun.  Rule #2: Fishing with a professional guide that understands fish movement helps to make Rule #1 possible.  You can do it on your own later.

No matter where you go, catching quality walleye as a target species fish is the primary objective for many anglers.  This story is proof that Rule #2 is a good money-saving idea.

Coincidentally, my wife and I were vacationing in North Dakota near Teddy Roosevelt National Park and my better half whispered in my ear, “You should go fishing at least one day while we are here – Lake Sakakawea is just up the road, I’ll go souvenir shopping.” Such a deal.  I could not say no.

So I asked Kelly Sorge what people fish for.  The “always cheerful” proprietor at Indian Hills Resort (http://www.fishindianhills.com/) said, “Crappie, northern pike, bass, trout and walleye – we have all those species here, but most folks fish for walleye.  They like to eat them cooked over a campfire here.  The walleye are so pure and so tasty from Sakakawea.”  That settled it.

I rushed for my cellphone to make the call to Liebel’s Guide Service.  Capt. Jeremy Olsen called me back a short while later to set up time and departure to fish this beautiful Little Missouri River reservoir – it is pristine, with millions of years of erosion providing colorful rocky backdrops on the canyon walls.

Capt. Jeremy Olsen is a top fishing guide that will teach you how to have fun catching fish. Imagine catching 17 walleye in less than 90 minutes! Forrest Fisher Photo

Lake Sakakawea in central North Dakota was created for flood control on the Missouri River by the Garrison Dam.  The average width of the lake is 2-3 miles, but it is about 14 miles wide at the widest point, heavy with clean, deep water, shallow water, many undulating bay backwaters, drop-offs, flats, and a beautiful view of colorful mountain walls – hundreds of millions of years old, that form the gorge that creates this waterway.  In short, it is breathtaking!

We met at 7 a.m. and when I saw his new boat, I was thrilled, motivated and EAGER to set foot on the 21-foot Lund, 219-Pro-V, with a 350 horsepower Mercury Verado.  Cost: $81,000, I asked.  Cost of my Charter: $350.  A win-win for any angler.  The new Lund Pro-V fishing boats are special: quiet, safe, powerful, live well, many other features.  It’s all there on this boat.

We left the dock at 7:15 a.m., took 15 minutes to motor 10 miles to a chosen fishing spot (it didn’t take long at 62 mph), set up our lines on lightweight Phenix casting rods (http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Phenix_Rods/catpage-PHENIX.html).  At 7:40 a.m., Capt. Jeremy had the fish figured out and we landed our first walleye.   By 9:15 a.m., we had landed 17 walleye!  Could we call this a great day?  No way, it was an insurmountable day!

It will be a day that I would never forget as a walleye angler.  Indeed, vacations and special fishing moments are about making special memories.   I have no doubt that Capt. Jeremy could do this again.

While I’ll admit, my standards are higher than the average – I expect to catch lots of walleye and often, to beat the usual catch rate, but who would have ever guessed this catch rate of walleye could even occur in wild waters in the middle of summer?  Not me.

Capt. Jeremy is an expert.  He knows the secrets to understanding how fish move, when they move, forage location, wind and eddy current effects, and how to attract fish to invoke a strike.  For this day, he choose Smiley Blade attractors and worms.  The Smiley Blades offer slow rotating action when tied in front of a 3-foot fluorocarbon leader that has two to four beads in front of a single 1/0 hook.  In actual use, this action is death to walleye on Lake Sakakawea.  I discovered after getting home to Lake Erie, it is deadly anywhere else that walleye swim too.  The blades turn with as little as 0.4 mph forward speed because they are made from lightweight Mylar.  Capt. Jeremy buys the blades separate and custom-makes the Smiley Blade rigs with his kids, adding a dash of special magic, I’m sure.

We attached the Smiley Rig leaders to a 1-1/4 ounce wire/bottom-bouncer and set the MinnKota Ulterra bow motor to troll at about 0.6 mph.  Three or four minutes later, presto!  Fish on!  Walleye after walleye came into the boat.  We released all the smaller fish as they were caught.

If you’re out that way, you can contact Capt. Jeremy through Lieber’s Guide Service at http://www.liebelsguideservice.com/.  He will travel to many other waters too, including Montana.

Of course, understanding where to drop lines (location), why to drop where we did (bait movement and water clarity), and how fast to go, are among reasons why we ask a charter captain to take us fishing when we go to a new lake.  A charter captain fishes many more times than we do and it is always a learning experience.

This was new water for me, I’m a Lake Erie walleye fisherman, fishing Lake Sakakawea was quite different.  To do it again, I think I’d contact Capt. Jeremy again and leave my boat home.  The trip was safe, fast, affordable and fun.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

To learn more about Smiley Blades, a video with details about rigging, design, styles and colors is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoO7MxmD-rA.

Accommodations: You can camp at Indian Hills for just $20/night.  There is a boat launch, convenience store, fish-cleaning station and running potable water at several spots.  If regular tenting is too primitive for you, there is one cabin there called “Peacepipe” that accommodates 6 people with bunks, A/C, sink and kitchen for $90/night.  At Peacepipe, you and your family can camp in comfort, and while this style camping cabin has no shower or toilet inside of it, the conveniences are an easy 200’ walk to the shower house.  There is a built-in, sit-down table that seats four, the kitchen counter includes a 2-burner hot plate, small refrigerator and wash basin (potable water is just outside) with drain.  You only need to provide your own sleeping bag or bedding.  Outside you’ll find a picnic table and fire ring, and exterior electrical outlets.  We stayed here and it was great.  Above that, they offer condo’s and lodge rooms too.  Choices are what life in the outdoor lane is all about.  The degree of “outdoorism” that you choose is available here.  My kind of place (http://www.fishindianhills.com/).

For additional general information on Lake Sakakawea and other North Dakota sites to see, visit http://www.ndtourism.com/blog/lesson-about-lake-sakakawea.

This may have been one of the most fun, most learning trips I have ever had the pleasure to experience. One last word, I love North Dakota!  My sweetheart of 48 years and I will be back soon.

Pebble Mine – Does Anyone Hear the People of Alaska?

  • Bristol Bay is the Spawning Home for FIVE SPECIES of SALMON
  • Pebble Mine Could Destroy the Bristol Bay Fishery
  • Many Groups, based on Science/data, OPPOSE Pebble Mine
  • Review the Details

By Forrest Fisher

The author and his partner share in the Alaskan resource of healthy, uncontaminated, Coho Salmon during the annual September run. The Pebble Mine could jeopardize this fishery. Forrest Fisher Photo

Not far from Anchorage, Alaska, generations of people among multiple nations of the world have relied on the fishery resources of Bristol Bay.  The Pebble Mine project has been a virtual threat for nearly ten years now.  For investors, it looks good on paper, but the potential for problems on the project might also destroy the most unique and most valuable salmon spawning fishery resource in the entire world – with value to healthy human life.  Is that worth the risk of mining?  Would you agree that outflow of residual pollutants and possible uncontained, unplanned leakage of mining fluids and related contaminants into the effluent of this unique fishery worth any risk at all?  Would we want to risk destroying the spawning beds for five species of Alaskan salmon?  Not me.  Not you, I hope.

From the records of Alaska as referenced in http://www.savebristolbay.org/people (please check the link), Alaska ranks ninth among seafood-producing nations in the world. Forty-two percent of the world’s harvest of wild salmon and 80 percent of the production of high-value wild salmon species such as sockeye, king, and coho salmon, come from Alaska waters.

Salmon is the most valuable commercial fish managed by the state of Alaska and Bristol Bay is Alaska’s richest commercial fishery. In Bristol Bay alone, the 2008 harvest of all salmon species was approximately 29 million fish, and the value of the 2008 commercial catch topped $113 million.

Bristol Bay has long been recognized as a vital contributor to Alaska’s commercial fishing economy, so much so that in 1972 the Alaska legislature determined that it was in the best interest of the state to establish the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve. This protected Bristol Bay fisheries’ longstanding and valuable commercial, subsistence, and sport fishing from oil and gas development.

However, it does not protect against hard rock mining operations like Pebble Mine.

All five species of Pacific salmon return to Bristol Bay to spawn in its rivers, including pink, chum, sockeye, coho and king. The waters of the region have long been an integral part of the state and local economies, providing thousands of sustainable jobs to Alaskans for generations.

Commercial fishing-related jobs account for nearly 75 percent of local employment. The annual payroll for fish and wildlife-related employment totals $175 million2. Commercial fishing and the associated canneries have been the major industries in the area for many decades. In 2009 residents marked the 125th anniversary of commercial fishing in Bristol Bay.   The commercial fisheries management area of Bristol Bay includes eight major river systems: Naknek, Kvichak, Egegig, Ugashik, Wood, Nushagak, Igushik and Togiak.

The Kvichak River, which runs from Lake Iliamna (the largest freshwater body in Alaska) to Bristol Bay, is home to the single largest salmon run on the planet. The Nushagak River hosts the largest king salmon run in Alaska.

Annual commercial catches between 1984 and 2003 averaged nearly 24 million sockeye salmon; 69,000 chinook; 971,000 chum; 133,000 coho and 593,000 pink.  Bristol Bay’s productive salmon runs are remarkable even by Alaska’s standards, where the next largest commercial sockeye salmon run in 2008 was 4.15 million in the Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands region.

Every year fish return to Bristol Bay in astounding numbers, largely due to the sound, scientific management of state and federal agencies.

For instance, in 2008 the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run produced approximately 42 million fish National Geographic listed Alaska as one of only three well-managed fisheries in the world, the others being Iceland and New Zealand. The forecast for 2016 season is expected to be another banner year, at roughly 46 million.

It seems common sense that we as an educated people of science and logic for the better of all peoples, would need and want to protect this nature resource.  With its astounding beauty and prolific salmon runs, Bristol Bay is a place of international importance.

The future of this fishery would appear to be threatened by the proposed Pebble mine as well as hard rock mining on adjacent state and federal land.

As this seems common to basic understanding, the Bristol Bay watershed must be put off-limits to Pebble and other large-scale mining projects.

The Alaska Trout Unlimited Program works to protect and restore wild salmon and trout populations throughout Alaska.  Through sound scientific data, strong grassroots outreach and advocacy, and hands-on involvement in conservation projects Alaska TU protects some of the most prized rivers on the planet, works to restore those that need some help, and engages the next generation of coldwater stewards in Alaska’s natural heritage.  Alaska TU works with a unique and broad coalition of Alaskan’s to protect Bristol Bay.  To reach Alaska TU at their Alaska Office, write Alaska TU, 3105 Lakeshore Drive, Anchorage, AK 99517, (907) 770-1776.  If you support this effort Alaska TU encourages you to donate at this link: https://gifts.tumembership.org/donate/bristolbay. 

Bristol Bay is a sacred trust that we as “modern man” must all work to protect well into the future.

For more information, visit: http://www.stoppebblemine.org/.  For a No Pebble Mine sticker, visit: http://www.cafepress.com/mf/69574663/nopebblemine-sticker-3x3_sticker?productId=879617887.

Mount Rushmore – Independence Day Glory!

The entrance to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial offers clear signage and directions during an initial view of the grandeur of this sacred place.  Forrest Fisher Photo

By Forrest Fisher
Mount Rushmore is no ordinary mountain.  Visiting this sacred place in the Black Hills of South Dakota has been on our “bucket list” for a long time.  As we approached from the north driving down Highway 85, the illusion of darkness rising on the horizon – the Black Hills in the distance, was clear and beautiful. “There they are,” said my excited best friend and wife of 48 years. “They’re so awesome, aren’t they?” Added my granddaughter, Kiley Rose, a college student of environmental science and forestry, and our mentor for all things nature, especially trees and birds.

“They say the Black Hills look dark because of all the tall pine trees that grow here in this part of South Dakota,” Kiley shared. “And this area is rich in birds and animals too.” As we travelled through Rapid City and up Highway 16 (Mount Rushmore Road) on the mountain toward Mount Rushmore, there were large signs on the roadway directing where to turn, park and enjoy the view.

The views from just about anywhere on this National Monument Memorial property are spectacular. The scenes are permanently imprinted to memory, though I also took hundreds of pictures to share with family and friends back home in western New York.

The “Avenue of Flags” offers a lofted flag of every state in the United States, a symbol for freedom and citizenship as a democratic government representing the freedom of all people in this country. Forrest Fisher Photo

The sculptured faces of four of our former great presidents are carved high above in the granite stone of this majestic mountain.  Chosen by sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, visitors have a clear, spectacular image of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln as viewed left to right. For several of the people I spoke with, many simply gazing with a prolonged stare at the figures – the predominant feature of these four American leaders seems to be their eyes.

One man from Texas said, “You know something, I think their eyes offer us understanding and humility.” Another visitor overheard the onset of our discussion and shared, “I agree, their eyes draw my attention almost immediately, as if to invite discussion among each of them.” Another nearby person, a foreign lady visitor from Japan, smiled and leaned our way to say, “I think their eyes create a sense of trust, so I agree with you both, but I also think their noses are predominant.” Instantly, we all smiled at that and I brought up a short story about “smell and scent” to share with this amicable threesome.

I added, “When my family initially came up to visit the monument, we drove past the official entrance and down the hill toward the presidential “side view” of George Washington. My granddaughter and I decided to hike around the parking area access paths and with her knowledge of trees, she went directly to one of the pine trees, put her nose to the tree, smiled, and called me over.” She said, “Can you smell this and tell me what you think this bark smells like, Dziadz?” So I did and said, “It smells like vanilla.” “Yes!” She exclaimed. “This is a Ponderosa Pine tree, this odor is their distinguishing element!”

When you get up close to the bark itself, Ponderosa Pines smell like vanilla extract – something I learned from my granddaughter who is majoring in environmental science.  We never stop learning! Forrest Fisher Photo

So I returned to the group conversation and said, “Have you visited the Grand View Terrace eating area? Some people we met had been raving about Thomas Jefferson’s homemade ice cream recipe – which they serve here.  About the nose, maybe you are right – the ice cream is vanilla flavor.  You can smell it just by standing next to someone with a cone or dish of the tasty dessert.  It was crowded.”  Smiling a bit, I added, “So maybe you are right, the nose is the champion feature of these carved presidential figures!”  Everyone returned a happy face grin and we all moved on, satisfied to share a moment of observation with each other.

Though the Ponderosa pines offer the scent of vanilla and the Thomas Jefferson homemade ice cream recipe is vanilla flavor – and it is delicious, our visit to this incredible place was not ordinary vanilla.

Every visitor, there were 1000’s, appeared to be in reverent awe of the monument.  There was a soft-spoken drone of conversation in the air that hovered above the sound of the breeze, with these flags proudly waffling a soft message of freedom in the wind.  Every single state in the country has their flag displayed here.  It felt so very good to walk among the cascade of flags aptly named, the “Avenue of Flags.”

Mount Rushmore associate, Jane Zwetzig, had provided us with early advice about making sure we test the delicious ice cream.  The vanilla flavor and sweet taste is like the monument, unforgettable.

The information center is a “must-see stop” to insure you understand what to see during your day visit. Forrest Fisher Photo

A stop to the Information Center provided details about current day activities, with informational brochures and details of exhibits, they helped to plan hiking trail and exhibit visits for the day.  There are guided walks down the Presidential Trail and tours, Ranger programs, amphitheater programs, the Sculptor’s Studio, the bookstore, the gift shop and also, an audio tour.  There is also an audio tour device, a handheld wand, that can be rented for $5 and is available in four languages.

The food court is a great food stop, complete with bison burgers, bison hotdogs and a long list of other, non-meat, healthy foods and beverages.

Toward evening, the sculpture is illuminated for one hour, starting 30 minutes after sunset, and that marks the onset of the “Evening Lighting Ceremony.” The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is open year-round, except on Christmas Day (Dec. 25), from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the summer, and through 5 p.m. in the winter. The cost is FREE, except there is an $11 parking fee for cars.

At the end of the “Avenue of Flags,” there is a balcony where families gather for pictures to be cherished long into the future.

Hotel accommodations are plentiful in Rapid City, Hill City, Keystone and several other small towns nearby, including infamous Deadwood (Wild Bill Hickok – Saloon No. 10), about 45 minutes to the north.  We spent the overnight at the Gold Dust hotel in Deadwood (http://golddustdeadwood.com/), recently renovated in this former western outlaw town – such a great place to visit.

For more information about the Black Hills, Badlands, Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse monument and other local sites, visit: http://www.blackhillsbadlands.com/business/black-hills-visitor-information-center.

The busiest day of the year for Mount Rushmore? You might have guessed, is July 4th. According to manager, Lloyd Shelton, Independence Day will usually see a little more than 10,000 visitors per hour. The good news is that the park services can handle that volume and there is plenty of room.

You will find inspiration from the presidential presence with a wonderful sense of opportunity to share and absorb the energy and leadership provided from these mountain-top carvings at the memorial monument.  These elements of Mount Rushmore are unchanged, regardless of the number of visitors.  We enjoyed every moment of our visit – the people, the property, the outdoor elements of unique grandeur.  This is a great summer stop.  Upon arrival, the mystique of this special place is clearly apparent.

We drove all the way from New York State (two fun days), a long trip, and we are already planning a return visit!

 

Guide-Fishing Secrets to Catch Chautauqua Lake Walleyes

  • Chautauqua Lake Secret: Work the Weedline
  • Keep Fishing Simple To Succeed Often
  • Spinner/Worm Rigs & Snap-Jigging
Jan Adair (left) landed this nice walleye, her first walleye ever, while fishing Chautauqua Lake, then caught five more walleye before the noon hour while fishing with Captain Frank Schoenacker (right).

By Forrest Fisher with guide, Frank Schoenacker (Infinity Charters)

 When great guides and charter captains talk, honest anglers that don’t always catch fish listen.  So I listen very well.  I’m as honest as they come.  One thing I’ve discovered, when anglers share life through the gift of a fishing charter, good things can happen! 

During a recent Chautauqua Lake fishing trip for one client couple, there came lasting memories and lots of fishing fun. 

The client contacted my friend and local guide, Frank Schoenacker, in December, as she had purchased a charter fish trip as a Christmas gift for her boyfriend.  Frank said, “They both fish, but haven’t done much walleye or musky fishing.  So last week, they had a couple of firsts.  She landed her first ever walleye, which was a nice 17-inch fish, then she followed up with 5 more!  That’s not all, her boyfriend caught his first musky while fishing for walleyes.” 

Frank added, “I teach my clients to fish simple.  It all starts with meeting them at a common place.  At Chautauqua Lake, for many guides and for me too, that place is the Bemus Point boat launch.  The next thing is not overcrowding the action and the people aboard. On Chautauqua, I limit clients to two people maximum and I don’t fish when I have clients.   I provide equipment and have it setup before the trip.” 

When Frank talks, he explains juicy details, “On my boat, I use an 8-horse kicker to troll weed edges at slow speed (1 mph or so), mostly using a very simple, old-fashioned, spinner/worm harness.  Small beads, a small spinner blade and small hooks are essential when fishing Chautauqua.  Lots of reasons why, they have to do with catching your targeted species.  Boat control and using electronics to see the weed edge is critical.  My boat is a tiller steer, so I have direct contact with my motor and boat direction.  I tie my harness with small hooks (size one), then use a small copper or fire-tiger blade (size 2) off a clevis, then I usually add small red beads as attractors – or whatever fish think those are!  They work.”

Schoenacker uses a sliding-sinker for weight on his 6 to 8 lb braid as mainline.  He adds, “Pretty much an old school setup. Normally I’m anywhere from 8 to 14 feet of water depth depending on the weed edge where we fish.  Early in the season when water is cool, I’ll use nightcrawlers (sometimes half-worms are better than whole ones) and I start to use a rubber worm soon after, as white perch get pesky and they won’t touch a plastic worm.” He was smiling with a big grin.

“Starting at the tail end of June, I fish a rubber worm instead of a live worm pretty much all the time.  When the bite slows at mid-morning, I have one client go to a live worm.  Sometimes we can get an extra bite or two. “

What if the fish aren’t biting?  Franks says, “I move around and pre-fish before guided trips so I have a plan based on wind and weather for the day.  Generally, during the early season I’m in the lower lake mostly (south of Route 86 bridge).  This year (2017), the channel in Bemus was good early.” 

Even in summer, it pays to bring an extra jacket when the weather send a chilly breeze at sunrise.

“It’s not as simple as I’m making it sound, you need to adapt and you know when that needs to happen after a few decades of fishing, ”Schoenacker says.  “Weed lines off the creek mouths are good, so I look around Prendergast Bay, Dewittville Bay, Goose Creek, etc.  The fish tend to be active at different places and at different times, so this is where the knowledge of the guide comes in.  Add the varying style of fishing we can do and add the potential to change position, “run and gun,” from spot to spot, we find them most every day we try.” 

If you live on or near the lake, that is a bonus.  He adds, “Pre-fishing helps me have several spots planned.  Any angler that fishes today needs to have pretty good electronics so they can see the fish for as many times as they work the weed line.  I have also seen that when walleyes are active, the white perch are less of a problem.  I’m seeing several good year classes of walleyes in the lake now, lots of 13-14 inch throwbacks, then there are numbers of 17 inchers and then a class of 20 inch-plus fish. “

Anglers are pleased that the walleye population is doing well in the lake and folks are also very pleased that the DEC lowered the walleye minimum size limit to 15-inches in 2017.  Schoenacker adds, “I do some musky trolling, but my primary focus is on fishing for walleyes.”

“I’ll fish the weed lines until the water warms and fish move deeper.  At that point I move to open water trolling and snap-jigging.  Snap-jigging works for me right on through the fall.  I like the weedline and jigging programs best because you hold the rod and feel the fish hit.  Hard to beat that for sure,” says Schoenacker 

Schoenacker adds, “I want to help people have more fun finding and catching fish, so I’m sharing some of my program plan with walleye anglers everywhere that plan to fish Chautauqua Lake sometime soon.  This gives you the background on my simple walleye program, but don’t forget, you can always call me for a hands-on trip.”

Lastly, Schoenacker has two boats, he uses the smaller one (Lund ProV Tiller with 60hp Yamaha and 8hp Yamaha) for that up-front experience on Chautauqua Lake, but he is also a licensed Lake Erie Charter Captain and member of the Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association and National Association of Charter Boat Operators. He will also share his fishcatching secrets while aboard his Pro-Line 25 (powered by Evinrude 225hp ETEC and 9.9hp Yamaha kicker).  You can reach Capt. Frank Schoenacker by phone at 585-406-5764, email: fcs49@hotmail.com, or on his website at: http://www.infinitycharters.com/

You know, we never stop learning when people that know way more than we do are willing to share.  Hat’s off to Captain Frank!

TOTAL INSECT PROTECTION for Hunters and Everyone Else

  • Total Protection from Mosquitoes, Deer Ticks, Chiggers
  • Total Protection from No-See-Ums, Black Flies, Sand Fleas, Ants, Gnats
  • Prevent Zika, Malaria, West Nile, Dengue, Lyme disease, others
  • Made in the USA
Photo Courtesy of RYNOSKIN® TOTAL

By Forrest Fisher

This article is not an ad, but I suppose it could be.  I just want all of my friends and neighbors of the outdoors to know about this for only one selfish reason that I have, Lyme disease prevention.  In New York State, a recent study shows 1 out of every 2 deer ticks have Lyme disease.  Period.  You must protect yourself from this beast of a disease, and the affected deer tick population is  increasing logarithmically as it spreads across the country. 

For the record, deer ticks get Lyme disease from white-footed mice.  Mice are where Lyme disease comes from, but it is the deer ticks that can give Lyme disease to us humans when they bite us because they are so small, their bite is nearly painless and we simply cannot see them most of the time.

When two of my grandkids came down with Lyme disease last year, we researched so many products to help find protection.  Most of the protections are chemically based and work well, but there was always a concern about the chemicals and possible effects years down the road.  Then one day in our research, we discovered Rynoskin Total. It’s chemical free, is comfortable, does not retain heat (in summer, this is important), and is impervious to Mosquitoes, Deer Ticks, other Ticks, Chiggers, No-See-Ums, Black Flies, Sand Fleas, Ants, Gnats and many other biting insects.  It is a positive measure toward preventing Zika, Malaria, West Nile, Dengue, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and other vector borne illnesses.

Could there be anything better?  Not for me.  At least not yet in our world of technology.  This suit brings total comfort and peace of mind to me as an outdoorsman and to my family. 

My first question was, why didn’t I know about this sooner? I’m a turkey hunter, deer hunter, walk-in-high-grass trout angler, and if you get the picture, I’m outdoors a lot in the places where deer ticks that carry Lyme disease like to be too.

Rynoskin Total is specifically designed to be worn underneath your clothing.  This unique concept provides for comfort, breathability, stealth movement and eliminates snags against brush.  The Rynoskin is stretchable and it fits snuggly and comfortably on your body over your under-garments, but under your exterior clothing.

It provides insect protection in a form that will stretch to accommodate all different body sizes.  Many over-garment insect protection suits are hot, make noise when you move and snag against the brush as you sneak about the woods stalking that next trophy deer. I tried this suit. It does it all.  Rynoskin Total is ultra-lightweight, body-forming, cool, and comfortable.

My entire body suit – which is comprised of socks, bottoms, tops, glove and face mask/hood – weighs under 6 ounces!

For my grandkids, the best part about Rynoskin Total is the chemical free nature of this product.  They have a future to live.  It is completely safe to use and it is effective no matter how many times you wash it over time. The suit protects the user by the unique weave of the fabric and the form fitting elastic cuffs that create the ultimate barrier against biting insects.  This body suit is so comfortable that you forget you have it on.

Photo Courtesy of RYNOSKIN® TOTAL

If it matters to you, the suits come in various colors, but a lighter color will allow you to find ticks on your suit more easily, the whole time knowing that they cannot penetrate your Rynoskin.  That’s comfort.

Here is a video with a hands-on, eyes-on, narrative to see: https://youtu.be/wENkNvNPEKA.

The Rynoskin Total suits are scientifically tested and made in the USA.  I’m sold. A little over $100 for the whole thing. Cheap at 1,000 times the cost if you have been affected by Lyme disease and understand you might be taking 32 pills and one injection every day for years while you moan in pain. That all makes it really affordable for my way of thinking.

Wish they made one for my dog!  How good is it?  It’s guaranteed.  If you are not satisfied with your Rynoskin, just call (866) 934-7546 within thirty (30) days of purchase for a full refund with proof of purchase.

Check it out on line at: http://rynoskin.com/. 

Outdoor Resources for Families – FREE From New York State

  • New York State Conservationist for Kids is FREE
  • Useful Outdoor Discovery Articles
  • Environmental Education Information for All Ages
Kids and Nature work together to promote Conservation. Check out these links!

Many children learn about the outdoors from adults who accompany them as they explore. Plenty of times the kids teach the adults as well as the adults teaching the kids! If you are looking for ideas on how to enjoy the outdoors with the young people in your life visit the web sites listed below.

Outdoor Discovery is an online newsletter from DEC for families. It encourages New Yorkers to explore outdoors and learn about the environment. Each issue introduces subscribers to a a seasonal environmental or nature topic, suggests a related activity and lists family friendly events at DEC’s environmental education centers. DEC Outdoor Discovery is emailed to subscribers every other Wednesday and also appears on DEC’s website.

DEC operates environmental education programs statewide. These include two environmental education centers from Albany to Buffalo, plus regional environmental educators who serve New York City, Long Island and Central NY.

The DEC’s residential environmental education summer camps have be operating for over 60 years. The camps serve boys and girls ages 11-17, who attend a week long program exploring the outdoors and learning about the environment. Campers can even participate in a hunter safety class and receive their hunter safety certificate. The four summer camps are located across the state, two in the Adirondacks, one in the Catskills and one in Western New York.

National Wildlife Federation advocates spending at least one hour each day outdoors in nature. Their web site Be Out There provides ideas for reconnecting kids with the many benefits of the great outdoors. Good for both mental and physical health, spending time outdoors is also fun and helps kids build a connection to nature. Using the “NatureFind” feature visitors can find outdoor activities in their area, and across the country.

Nature Rocks from the Children and Nature Network, The Nature Conservancy and R.E.I. provides ideas for exploring outdoors with children. They also offer a search feature to locate programs, sites and outdoor play groups, known as Nature Rocks Flocks in your area.

For more, just visit: http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/59422.html.

GT meets DT, with a STORM!

  • The 360GT is Simple and Affordable.
  • Toss it out, Retrieve it…that Simple.
  • Learn why it Works Here, see the Video.

By Forrest Fisher

Rapala created a series of lures that allow anglers more understanding about their fish-attracting products just by reading the label.  For example, the new “DT” series of Rapala’s are labelled DT-4, DT-20, etc. and the acronym stands for “Dives-To” 4 feet, 20 feet, and so on.

In similar manner, Storm created a “GT” series searchbait-minnow labelled “360-GT,” intended for use 360 degrees around the angler casting position.  The “GT” stands for “Go-To” lure.  Pretty catchy, pretty simple, and as I discovered, pretty effective.

The supple, soft, durable, plastic body offers a wide swimming tail action that wobbles left to right as it is retrieved.  The wobble from the tail causes the head to roll left and right a bit, emanating a faint, resonant, rattle sound from the jig head as the lure is retrieved.  Depth is controlled by angler speed of retrieve, the selected weight of the jig head and the size of the tail selected in the available assortment of the GT series.

Al Lindner says, “Throw it out, turn the reel handle, that’s it.  Incredibly productive, incredibly effective.”  We all know that when Al Lindner says it that way, I think you gotta try it for yourself.  So I did.  I believe Al.

I fished these in Florida, North Carolina and New York in the last few months to field test their effective attraction.  A faster retrieve caused a gentle internal rattle sound to emanate – an audible frequency sound that seemed to drive fish nuts.  Not sure the fish were attracted to the lure or just wanted to kill the sound source because it bothered them.  Either way, I caught smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, northern pike and crappie on these enticing “Go-To” lures.  Do I like them?  Yes!  An understatement.

Why do I like them?  They are affordable priced.  They are packaged with three tails, one tail is pre-mounted to the rattling head, and two tails are spares.  The jig head is molded around a VMC fish hook.  They are a “keep-it-simple bait.”  Right now, this toss and retrieve bait is available in 11 common baitfish color patterns and three sizes, perfect for a tasty predator ambush.  They are inexpensive, priced from $4 to $6.    

See a video about how to use this simple, easy to fish bait.  Al Lindner talks about it in some detail as you watch through this video: https://youtu.be/SXpFV_HBxmk.

Search out more about the size, weight and color options at this link: http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Storm_360_GT_Swimbaits/descpage-360GT.html?gclid=CjwKEAjw4IjKBRDr6p752cCUm3kSJAC-eqRt-ie33kR_cEohLuabI94Q-pqSKYFFhHU-_GUILMo-5RoCBFjw_wcB.

 

Fishing Boom in the Drought-Stricken Everglades

By Forrest Fisher

Mayan chiclid are honest fighters on light gear and they can get quite large, this is 2-1/2 pound fish!  This species and others are feared to be competing with native species in some areas, allowing FWC to issue a no-limit daily bag rule for anglers that enjoy consumption of the fish they catch. Conservation and protection can be delivered in many forms.  Forrest Fisher Photo

While visitors are not normally familiar with catching fish that look like they might be from an aquarium, there are locals and visitors reporting many fantastic panfish catches.  

Exotic panfish, such as oscar and Mayan cichlid, are biting almost as fast as you can cast or bait your hook. Low water levels in the marsh are concentrating fish in the L-67A and other canals of the Everglades Wildlife Management Area, and anglers are frequently reporting catches of multiple fish per hour.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) promotes the consumptive use of exotic fish as a management tool, and anglers are encouraged to take as many oscars and Mayan cichlids as they would like.  There are no size or bag limits on these species.

“As is frequently the case, low water conditions near the end of a dry season have fish stacked up in the canals along the vegetated edges. Anglers are enjoying exceptional catch rates,” said Barron Moody, FWC regional freshwater fisheries administrator.

Concentrate your fishing effort close to shoreline vegetation or along the drop-offs near the banks.  Good fishing can be had from shore or by boat.  Live baits and artificial lures produce good catches in the WCAs.  The preferred live baits are shiners, crickets, and worms.  The top producing artificials are soft plastics rigged weedless, Beetle spins, crankbaits, and topwater poppers or chuggers. 

Even if portions of EWMA are closed due to environmental conditions, the boat ramps and canals remain open for fishing.

So grab your fishing license and get out there while the fishing is hot.

For more information, view the FWC’s Everglades fishing brochure and recent site forecast at MyFWC.com/Fishing. Current fishing forecasts, regulations and directions to boat ramps can also be obtained from FWC at (561) 625-512.

There are consumption advisories for some species. Visit FloridaHealth.gov and search “Seafood Consumption” in the search bar for more information.

“Sunny Day Kids” are HOOKED ON FISHING FUN!

  • Fishing & Learning Adventure on the Buffalo River
  • May 28, 2017; Bison City Rod & Gun Club, Buffalo, N.Y.
  • 141 Kids, 322 Total Attendance; 21 Volunteers; 8-Learning Stations
There is something very special about that first fish!  Kids and parents found adventure and fun while learning about rods, reels, bobbers and fish-catching at Bison City Rod & Gun Club in Buffalo, NY. 

By Forrest Fisher

The forecast for rain and fog was swept aside when bright, sunny skies with a gentle 75 degree breeze surprised families with kids from Buffalo and Western New York.  They came to fish and learn at Bison City Rod & Gun Club for the 13th Annual Jimmy Griffin Memorial Teach-Me-To-Fish event.

Each youth carried a personal registration card with their first name, last initial and age. When the kids achieved learning at each station, the station captain would hole punch the card, when all the stations were completed, the youth was eligible to drop the card into the raffle hopper for one of 76 free rod/reel rigs.

Once a polluted waterway that would burn from the heat of a lighted match, today the Buffalo River waterfront is clean, alive, and hopping with fish, kayaks, canoes and kids with fishing poles.  The Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper Group is a big part of the clean-up progress.

The kids and their families all learned a bit more about the adventure of the outdoors through the fun of fishing, many for the very first time!

While the river was running a bit muddy from recent heavy rains, the steady flow of riverfront kayakers, sailboats, canoes and power boats showed proof that water color is not a deterrent.  Kids fishing from the Bison City fishing pier were busy.  Even single adults without kids came to discover the fun and adventure of “how-to-fish”.  More and more people want to know.

Lynda Kollar, Rose Barus and Linda Cooley energized a positive first-moment connection with folks at the registration welcome station.

Inner city kids and parent, guardians and many others discovered the fun of fishing with the Buffalo city skyline in full view. 

Kids and parents learned “How-To-Fish” and what to do from Western New York bass pro, Scott Gauld, who took time to share “easy tips” for everyone in the program.  He explained that catching a fish with a rod and reel (bait or artificial lure) is not only possible, it is fun and not difficult.  Gauld provided that special seal of “sure-fun is right around the corner” that only a professional angler might be able to influence for new onlookers.  Kids went away looking for the fishing pier!

Marine Unit 2 with Erie County Sheriff Tim Dusza and his team, provided tours of their vessel.  Everyone learned about water-safety, kids were allowed to blow the horn and turn on the flashing lights. Big smiles there!

Russ Johnson and Bob Carlson, members of the East Aurora Fish & Game Club, who have perfected the system for educating kids and parents on how to tie a perfect Palomar Knot and Clinch Knot, taught everyone how to tie on a hook in only a few seconds.  

Rigging a weedless plastic bait, a plastic worm or jig tail, was made easy with a hands-on demonstration by junior Bassmasters Alex Gauld and Collin Voss, as they provided each youth with a souvenir plastic creature bait sample from Cabela’s.  The kids could use the bait to fish with or take home.  The girls seemed to pick the pink squiggly-tail crayfish!

Environmental Conservation Officer, Jeff Jondel, and firearm safety instructor, Joe Mills, provided hands-on firearm safety training.  They shared the rules of responsibility for parents and kids, so they could experience the Cabela’s BB-Gun Range, an inflated and fully enclosed, fully safe, “bounce house” style event.  The NRA safety-instructors provided easy 1, 2, 3 steps for responsible use of a firearm, using a BB-gun.  Kids and parents took turns checking their aim using Daisy Red Ryder BB-Guns, shooting at suspended souvenir paper targets.  Happy kids took their targets home with ear-to-ear smiles as souvenirs.

Lifetime youth educator and certified New York State Archery champion, Paul Stoos, worked with Earl Farrel, Sr., to provide first-time how-to lessons for kids at the Cabela’s Archery Booth, using air-suspended floating ball targets.  

Charter Captain Jerry May and walleye master, Ted Malota, taught kids how to cast a spincast fishing rod with hookless casting baits.  The kids were sailing their lines a very long way toward hula-hoop targets in just minutes.  Ted shared, “Wow, some of these kids are really good with so little practice!”  Fun for all!

The kids and adults fished from “George’s Landing,” the legacy honor name for the Bison City fishing pier.  It was a fun and exciting adventure station for kids, even more exciting for some parents who had never touched a live fish before. On-site fishing educator, Dave Solowski, provided eager kids with bait, pre-rigged rods, reels, bobbers, hooks, split-shot and plenty of nightcrawler bait supplied by Weekley’s Worms.  Weekly’s Worms provides more than 50 million redworms and nightcrawlers to anglers every year.  Imagine that!

Dockside outfitter, Donna Kayes, provided solid “pre-fish confidence” while outfitting each youth with a life-preserver before entering the fishing pier area.  Several first-fish catches were recorded, with new adventure and fun had by all. The fish were placed in the aerated “Lunker Pool” and released by the kids after the event.  Kids that did not catch a fish enjoyed seeing the swimming fish that others caught. After the event, the kids helped release all the fish to swim another day, a meaningful lesson in conservation for our youth.

Lyme disease is a serious killer of healthy fun and life. “It starts with deer ticks,” says instructor, Sheri Voss, as she uses dolls and explains details  to stay safe in a manner that little kids and their parents can understand. 

At the newest learning station, “OUTDOOR AWARENESS,” outdoor educator, Sheri Voss, provided hands-on lessons for families with advice on how to stay prepared, protected, informed and proactive, whenever they head outdoors.  There was special focus on deer ticks and the Lyme disease outbreak in northeast USA.

As families completed the learning station tours, a 70-page slide show was shown on the 7-foot screen indoors, allowing for continued fishing and outdoor adventure education.  While observing the screen, the kitchen crew provided world famous Sahlen’s grill-cooked hot dogs, Perry’s Ice Cream, Paula’s Donuts, Gwen Jozwiak’s hand-made “fish cupcakes,” beverages and other munchies.

During the random gear raffle, 76 happy youths won a free rod/reel combo.  Everyone else, adults too, took home fishing maps, tackle, and special prizes from the “Bison City Tackle Treasure Chest.”

The kids and the adults were all BIG WINNERS!

This special youth outreach event is annual event sponsored and coordinated by the Bison City Rod & Gun Club with special thanks to Ted and Doraine Malota, Cabela’s, Erie County Federation of Sportsmen, WNY Safari Club, Sahlen’s Meat Packing, the Norby Antonik Foundation, Weekley’s Bait, Paula’s Donuts and 21 dedicated volunteers who donated their time to help youth and their families learn more about the outdoors through the fun of fishing!  

Big Cash for Eastern Lake Erie Walleye Anglers – Southtowns Walleye Association Tournament

  • Hot Walleye Bites, is it YOUR TURN?
  • CHANGE Lures, Speed, Turn Radius, Time of Day You Fish
  • CHECK Colors, Leaders, Hooks – Control Hand Odor Scent
Catching big walleye during tournament time is about making changes to adapt your style to the fishery of the day. Learn from what the lake offers each day.

By Forrest Fisher

Many anglers in the Northeast USA and especially in Western New York, have a preference for Lake Erie walleye fishing.  Many of them are ready for Southtowns Walleye Association (SWA) Tournament action that will begin very soon. 

Walleye fishing is center-stage over the first few weeks of June, especially June 10-18, when many anglers will be entered in the 33rd annual Southtowns Walleye Association Walleye Tournament.  This is a 9-day/1-fish tournament where the single biggest fish wins. That means any lucky angler can win.

BIG CASH PRIZES: SWA offers cash awards for the top 200 places, with the top 10 places winning big money.  The top prize can be as much as $8,000 in cash plus prizes.  Last year, Jim Horbett took 1st place with his 11.63 pound walleye.  See Bob Fessler or Don Mullen for info, or call 716-462-9576, or visit www.southtownswalleye.org to enter, but do it soon, as registration is closed after the tournament begins.    

The Lake Erie eastern basin walleye resource is healthy and getting bigger with local spawning stocks that can also include migratory western basin fish, which may begin to arrive when summertime is imminent.  We’ll have to wait and see if the area will receive some hot weather to make that west to east migration happen before the tournament ends.

Moving around, making changes, searching the shallow water, the mid-depths and deep water – out there, look for suspended fish in the top 25 feet, these changes can be the key to finding an isolated school of walleye whoppers.

POST-SPAWN WALLEYE:  Local walleye anglers already know that the fish are around and are here in good numbers after the last few weeks of spring fishing. The males that have been caught at night are beautiful fish in the 3 to 7 pound range, not prize winners, but freezer fillers, or are perfect for pictures and catch and release fishing fun.  As the season evolves after the area experienced a very rainy May, the larger females will be recovering from their post-spawn doldrum period and will be hungry. 

The fish will be deeper during the day, but at night, will be feeding in the shallow upper water layer offshore, and also, some fish will be very near to shore during the early part of the tournament (at night).  This fishing can be hit or miss, but if you don’t try it, you’ll never know.

EARLY START:  If you have been fishing like many do, early riser at 330AM, trailer hook-up, travel and launch before sunrise, lights on, lines in, great bite and then suddenly, NO BITE.  What happened?  Simple to figure out if you think about it.  Most of the fish have been on the feed all night, especially during full moon or bright moon periods.  They’re done eating! 

Notice I said, “most of the fish.”  So don’t give up, there will be isolated schools that have yet to feed, but think about night fishing once or twice during the tourney.

Spinner-Worm Rigs are often a top choice for local area anglers, but color, blade shape, bead size and boat speed can make a sound (noise) difference that matters. Willow leaf? Colorado? Indiana blade? Copper? Nickel? Brass? Pick on and vary from there.

LURE OFFERINGS:  What about your lure offerings?  Well you never know what will work until you try, but most anglers use shallow running sticks or spinner-worm rigs and weight the lines to reach the fish at whatever their level, usually 15 to 25 feet from the top.

COLOR & LIGHT PENETRATION: Colors matter for some of us, though not sure the fish care much of the time, but the variable with color is light penetration. If the fish are on the feed, wham!  There will be fish on your line no matter what you are using.  If not, check your lure for action, assure your leaders are healthy, hooks too, then get out there.

The rest of the time when the goggle eyes are not on the feed, you may have to provoke them.  By nature, walleye are night predators, but most anglers in SWA fish daytime. Maybe some anglers are getting old?  Nahhhh!  We just like to see the hooks and jawbones we need to avoid burying in our hand with natural light.

Matching bait offerings to forage options can produce instant fish on the line. Color matters in shallow line sets.  Don’t be afraid to change to something nobody else is using! Old lures can work today too.

BIG FISH CONSISTENCY:  Anglers that win the prize for most fish and biggest fish are often the same anglers year after year.  Reasons why may be widely varied, but not for them. Winning anglers are adaptive.  They change lure style, lure size, color, shape, and they consider all their tackle box options.  Get creative, know what you have in your tackle box.  Know to change your boat travel orientation with wind direction.  Turn more, turn less, swing wide and slow, or wide and fast, but change.

AVOID NO-CHANGE: Be careful not to get into that same “catch-no-fish” pigeon hole that happened once or twice last year or that last time that you never told anyone about.  If you are fishing with the same lure and using the same technique at the same speed and wondering what’s going on, you know it’s time to consider CHANGE.  Explore a bit. Get creative. In your heart of hearts, you know when something needs to change, so do it.   

THINK ABOUT CHANGE: Should you change WHEN you go fishing?  Start at 3PM instead of 3AM?  That’s your call, but what you change is up to you when you’re not catching fish.  Fish move, water temperatures swing with wind shifts, eddy currents push forage to new locations, creek outflows can attract or repel forage and predators, take advantage of these things. Talk with others.  After all that, there is one more thing, keep it simple so you can do it again.  Write it down if you have to, add it to your logbook.  Keep a logbook. Update after every trip.  You will not believe what you learn from your own notes a week from today.

The Rainbow Smelt Banana Bait from LiveTarget Lures offers another option for lure selection.  It made some novice anglers feel like old pro’s last year. It has wiggle, wobble and a sound-making shake.  When it’s time to CHANGE, you will know.

MAKE YOUR OWN CHANGE: Look at a lake map, study your sonar map, evolve to get smarter with each trip on the water and rationalize what is going on, or you can call a best friend that seems to be catching fish!  It’s really up to you to discover the new methods that will work for you. 

After each tourney, I’ve always shared what was working for me and my friends in the boat with others.  It’s what every fishing club is all about.  It’s why some friends share their secrets during the tournament.  It’s how many anglers invent their next new change, by combining what they do with others that have shared to create a new approach.

WALLEYE TRACKING STUDY: Lastly, a new research initiative on Lake Erie – east to west and USA to Canada, that started in 2015 uses acoustic telemetry to track walleye movement. Researchers are studying the west-to-east and east-west fish migration that affects the New York walleye fishery.  A $100 reward can be yours if you catch one of the walleye that have a tracking device, just call DEC (716-366-0228) and report each tagged fish along with returning the internal acoustic tag.

Good luck on the water!

 

Gurgle, Babble & Slurp – the Welcome Language of a Reborn Trout Stream

By Forrest Fisher

Chuck Swanderski, a member of the Doc Fritchey Trout Unlimited Chapter, volunteers his time to teach youngsters and oldsters about the fun of fly fishing. Forrest Fisher Photo

Fly fishing for trout is a new adventure for fishermen more familiar with trolling for Great Lakes walleye or casting for tournament bass.  That makes it a new adventure for yours truly.

The new unfamiliar tool? A lightweight fly rod about eight-feet in length with a single-action reel that holds a heavy-looking fluorescent color “fly line” with a long, fine, clear leader tied to the end.     

We were fishing Quittapahilla Creek, a small stream in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania (near the candy-making city of Hershey), known locally as the “Quittie,” and my mentor for the day, Chuck Swanderski, a member of the Doc Fritchey Trout Unlimited Chapter, shared some of the history of this waterway. 

For newcomers to fly fishing, the choices are many, including dry flies, wet flies, streamers and nymphs. Forrest Fisher Photo

The creek starts as a clear, clean, upward bubbling spring, just a few miles upstream from where we were standing.  Problem was that it had become an industrial waste discharge outlet for 80 years ending just after WWII.  At that time, the stream was dead with little aquatic life and no fish.  From WWII until about 1990, the area had become a waste dump when concerned citizens started a clean-up with organized angler groups.  They petitioned for grant monies and project funding from state and federal sources, and got them. 

Tying a 2-fly rig is simple with the right instruction, as the first fly is tied normally, the second fly is attached by a short 12-inch leader to the curved shank of the first fly. Forrest Fisher Photo

Trout Unlimited assisted with the hard work and planning efforts, providing manpower for stream improvement that included invasive plant removal, stream clean-up, riparian buffer tree plantings, bank retainer netting, in-stream boulder structure placement and habitat construction, cedar chip trails (anti-deer tick), safety-minded access, parking areas, stream stocking and harvest monitoring.  And more.

The downstream areas of the riffles created from water flow over the in-stream boulder placements become highly oxygenated, providing preferred comfort zones for oxygen-seeking trout.  They are also preferred areas for anglers to ply their skills with fly presentations.

The 2-fly rig is effective when aquatic insects are present in healthy streambeds and are drifting along in the current. Forrest Fisher Photo

For this day, Chuck provided me with an intro to learning on-stream etiquette and made it a fun adventure for yours truly.  He supplied details about the usual “how to do” things with the nearly weightless feathered hooks.  It might have been a sort of day-long ordeal for Chuck, but I think we had some great fun. 

We shared conversations, we laughed, and we joked about modern life, mostly comparing it to ancient life in America five decades ago when we were kids.  Lots to compare with 27 cent gas and Dick Tracy wristwatches from back then.  Beam me up Scotty.  We’re almost there!

It is humbling to watch a skilled fly angler cast a nearly weightless fly with so little effort.  Chuck was VERY good.  With a curious and watchful eye, it is easy to see that there is an artful rhythm to the whisper of the unassuming fly line soaring gently overhead to land so softly in a riffle 40 feet upstream.  No sound, no vigor, just a small feathery sample of barbless food for a hungry trout. 

This home-made streamer from Neshannock Creek Fly Shop caught several fish for us when the 2-fly rig only drew followers.

As I listened to Chuck direct my ability to make unfettered motion with a 50-year old Fenwick “gold series” fiberglass fly rod and fly, I forgot about all of the many issues on my mind.  Paying bills, story deadlines, emails to answer, calls to make and the ever-growing to-do list for around the house back home in East Aurora, New York, five hours north.  They all disappeared during these few hours of on-stream renewal.  I was developing something I had only heard about from other fly rod anglers, a kinship with the natural world of a water flow and feathered, fuzzy hooks.

The author enjoys chemical-free protection from deer ticks, black flies and mosquitoes with a protective skin covering suit made by Rynoskin Total (http://rynoskin.com/) that fits comfortably under his clothing, even on hot days. Note the beige color suit that includes socks, bottoms, tops, gloves and hood (gloves and hood not worn in picture).  Chuck Swanderski Photo

My heart and soul was at peace with nature in this restored stream.  I was feeling quintessential on the Quittie!  The gurgle of the flowing water was such a welcome sound.  It is, perhaps, a sacred signal that these same swish and chinkle sounds occurred hundreds of years before. 

At that moment, I was again stopped in mid-thought, feeling bonded by nature to our forebears.  I thought to myself, again, such peace.  I measured my heartrate, it was 52.  Indeed, heart-found peace!  This fly rod stuff was really good stuff. 

Earlier we tied on a two-fly rig using nymph stage Hare’s Ear flies to imitate aquatic insect larvae in the stream. After an hour of casting skill improvement, we moved from hole to hole and rifle to riffle checking for active fish. The fish were moving toward the fly, but would turn away, perhaps the wrong size or pattern. Maybe my leader was too heavy.  So Chuck switched me to a hand-made streamer fly made by his old fishing buddy at Neshannock Creek Fly Shop from another favorite fishing spot of his near Pittsburgh (visit http://www.ncflyshop.com/).

The retrieve was fairly simple when compared to some bottom big jig bass fishing tactics. This simply was cast out with a roll cast, then retrieved in a pull, pull, and stop manner. Bringing in a few inches of line with each pull.

On the second cast, a 15-inch rainbow trout slammed the fly. Wham!  My arm jolted forward as the fish ran the other way, then leaped high in summersault fashion some four times before coming to our welcome net about 45 seconds later.  My heart rate zipped a bit too, awesome fun that was measurable.  What fun this was!  We carefully released the fish to fight another day, maybe to provide these same moments of fun for some youngster tomorrow or the next day. 

This 15-inch rainbow trout wacked a streamer fly and just made the day so much more special. A beautiful, colorful fish.  Chuck Swanderski Photo

Lastly, Chuck was really happy to share something that might serve as a learning lesson for thousands of other streams in the country, the Quittapahilla Creek Garbage Museum.  Here was a collection of hundreds of various shapes of disposed plastics. Bottles, baby toys, plastic chain, plastics in many forms, most of it tattered, broken, but still identifiable.

The Quittapahilla Creek Garbage Museum creates a mind-sustaining mental picture of what plastics have done to our environment and everything in it.  Forrest Fisher Photo

According to a written message from the Garbage Museum Executive Director, an educator person who placed numerous informational learning signs for others to study and whose name is not known to me, “Most plastics will DECOMPOSE, but never BIODEGRADE.  Breaking into smaller chunks, the plastic molecules will be with us for millions of years, ingested and excreted millions of times by fish, birds and other organisms.”  After reading this I thought to myself…and we wonder where cancer comes from – something we didn’t have much of 50 years before plastics.

Then I recalled the movie named “The Graduate,” where most of us remember the most significant word from that steamy movie made in 1967, “plastics.”  There is goodness and not-so-goodness, perhaps, with every invention.  I wondered if the preceding native ancestors, the Lenape Indians, would continue to use plastics if they understood what we now know about plastics?    

It was getting late, we had walked about 3,000 feet downstream stream from the public parking lot on this 34-acre Quittie Nature Park stream and the temperature was 90.  It was time to recap our trip with friends from the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association at the nearby Snitz Creek Brewery, a tasteful beer-making facility not far from the stream.  We took a beer plant tour with co-founder, Patrick Freer, then discovered a few moments later that there is nothing quite like a microbrew they call “Opening Day IPA.”  This is particularly true among fellow fly-rodders that can tell a tale, if you know what I mean.  “No, my fish was bigger.  I caught two. I caught four.” And on and on.  You get the picture.  A fun, thirst-quenching, long-winded, joke-filled lunch.  The best kind.    

When friends and community work together to create a revitalized stream treasure and nature area, the future is brighter for everyone.  On a related note though, while we seem to have saved our second amendment with our current legislators – a good thing, the work of clean streams and waterways may become more challenging due to currently retracting rules of the Clean Water Act.  Be watchful as sportsmen, speak up when we need to.

Hats off to all those volunteers that take the time to reclaim lost parts of nature for the benefit of our common future. 

 

ZIP-LINE FUN, THRILLS for YOUNG & OLD!

  • Extraordinary Speed in Safe Flight from Tower-to-Tower
  • Adventure, Fun and Assured Safety
  • Full Body Harness & Head Helmet Protection is Required
  • My Favorite Place: Peek ‘N Peak, near Findley Lake, New York

By Forrest Fisher

The harness and safety helmet assure your personal safety, the rest is SHEER FUN!  My granddaughter Kelsey went first. “Yeaaahhhhh!”  Unforgettable!

Those zip-lines with strange looking towers on the hills in the distance of places we travel definitely beckon for adventure seekers.  Many have never tried them out.

At Peek ‘N Peak Resort and Conference Center (http://www.pknpk.com/) near the quaint country village of Findley Lake, located in the southwest corner of New York, my grandkids would not allow me to just watch them try out the zip-line.

They said, “C’mon Dziadz (Polish word for grandfather), your time to fly from the towers has come!” I smiled and said, “OK, sounds good.”  Not really sure of what I was getting myself into.

We rode the ski-lift to the top of the hill to start out on the high zip-line.  My granddaughter Kelsey went first.  “Yeaaahhhhh!” Screaming away at 120 decibels or more, as she headed for the next tower station more than one-thousand feet away.

My turn was next.  What a minute.  Was there a giant 12-point buck walking to within 10 yards of my tree stand?  Why was my heart pounding?!   I was a bit nervous and even was trembling a bit.  Here I am, an ex-military Vietnam-era veteran and I was shaky.  After all, we were only about 100 feet off the ground and there was a 20 mph wind blowing.  Not to make light of things, but there was rain in the forecast too, and it was dark and cloudy right about now.  I was not going to wimp out.  Couldn’t do that.

I harnessed in, told myself to “think brave”, got the “all clear” after being checked by the operators and, again, I could sense my wide-open eyeballs.

Excitement is a very cool thing in life!  It can be hard to find when you’re looking at 70 birthday candles just ahead.

Zeeooooow.  I zoomed off and in what seemed like 5-minutes, I landed on the next tower about 30 seconds later.  Standing right next to my granddaughter, she asked, “What’d ya think Dziadz, fun right?!”

I answered, “Yup!” And smiled ear to ear in convincing fashion, double-checking to see if my tongue had been frozen to the roof of my mouth and did a double take to see if I didn’t wet my pants.

Kelsey then said, “OK, this tower is really going to be even more fun.  It’s a dual zip-line and we take off together.  I’ll race you to the bottom of the hill!  Are you ready Dziadz?”

We harnessed up.

Yikes, this was exciting!

My sensory expectations seemed in better control after that first long ride.  Clip, Clack, Clip, we were in.  Standing next to each other, we were ready.  Just then, Gazzzooongg!  Thunder in the distance.  Then suddenly, the dark skies opened up.  It was a near-torrential downpour.  They said, “We are closing the towers, your harnessed in, go down if you like, you’re the last riders.”

I felt like Matt Dillon and was up against the fastest draw in the west.  He always keeps his cool.  That was my mindset.

We smiled to each other and screamed our, “Let’s go!”  We were either brave or not so smart (I was thinking that other word that starts on “s” and ends with a “d”….stupid).

In the middle of our descent as we exceeded 70 mph, flashes of light jumped out left and right in the distance.   There was lightning all around us as we zoomed through some nearby treetops.

Flashbulb Fodder?  I asked the Almighty for some help.  He was with us because I can share this fun tale.

We were wet to the bone.  Mighty thankful too, that we did not complete an electrical storm circuit during the flighty speedy trip down the dual zip-line.  It was an incredible experience.  We were both happy for this extraordinary hair-raising survival encounter with adventure.

We climbed down from the tower.  Both of us kissed the muddy ground.  What a run!

I was ready to leave the zip-line and head over to the bar in the sip-line!  You know, a cold water on the rocks is what I needed.

Everybody met in the facility lobby and hugged. Kelsey said, “Wow!  That was incredible, wasn’t it!?” Literally wet to the bone, we all looked up and in just 5-minutes, the clouds had vanished and the sun popped out.  Life is.

“Wanna do it again Dziadz?” I resorted to that canned ear-to-ear smile that we grandfather’s all carry for emergencies and said, “Maybe tomorrow, ok?”

The Giant Dual Zip-Line adventure at Peek ‘N Peak soars over the trees side-by-side on independent lines next to your partner, allowing both riders to enjoy an exhilarating and majestic view of the surrounding mountains and valleys.  It’s a 2,000 foot long glide path!  Photo courtesy of Peek ‘N Peak

The Giant Dual Zip-Line adventure at Peak ‘n Peek allows you to feel sort of like a bird, a hawk or an eagle on a dive.  Imagine, those types of birds do this all the time to survive via their very nature.

There is also an Aerial Adventure Course that features 69 obstacles and includes eight courses of varying difficulty. Participants climb up and down cargo nets and ladders while navigating course elements, including zip lines, in this tree top adventure.  Suited for all ability levels, this course is a 3-hour, self-guided experience that allows you to explore the course at your own pace.  You can try any (or all) of the eight different courses, working your way through the tree tops from platform to platform, encountering obstacles along the way.

I was humble and kindly declined to look for yet another new adventure experience.  Had to use that ear to ear grin trick again.

The zip line adventure was not really on my bucket list, but oh-my-gosh!  It was such unforgettable fun.  We will do that again, but maybe not, if rain and thunder are in the forecast. I’m going to check beforehand!

The lifestyle we have shared in my family includes being active in the outdoors, but is focused on fishing, hunting, hiking, boating and family campfires.

When my younger grandkids heard that there was a pool here that offered a “wave” and had a “long slide”, good old gramps thought it would be a great next stop too.

We have learned to love this special place in the quiet hills.

Check it out: http://www.pknpk.com/packages-deals/overnight/ski-ride-packages/.

New Tru-Fire Release Eliminates Trigger Punch

  • Instant Cure for Target Panic
  • Eliminate Trigger Punch
  • Anti-Punch Trigger Feature is Selectable
The new Tru-Fire Panic-X release is designed to help eliminate an archer’s tendency to activate the trigger before being absolutely ready.

“Punching” the trigger rarely results in an accurate shot in archery.  Tru-Fire, archery’s leading release brand, has introduced the new Panic-X release, designed to help eliminate an archer’s tendency to activate the trigger before being absolutely ready.

Target panic is something that plagues thousands of archers daily.  Punching the trigger is one of the many symptoms. The new Tru-Fire Panic-X is designed to help eliminate trigger punch. The Panic-X counters target panic with its Anti-Trigger-Punch Technology that actively prevents hook release by punching the trigger in a situation where trigger panic takes over. If the archer tries to slap the trigger, the Panic-X’s internal sear will not release the string, allowing a moment for the archer to reset and resume the proper shooting sequence.

On- or off-selectable, the Anti-Trigger-Punch feature can be used for training or in the field. In the off position, the Panic-X works exactly like a standard Tru-Fire release with a cam-sear design that actuates the crisp string-hook release for extremely reliable accuracy. When turned on, this feature will only allow the trigger to release the Panic-X’s capture-style hook following a smooth, constant trigger squeeze. The Panic-X ‘s trigger travel is adjustable, as is the length of the release, itself.

The Tru-Fire Panic-X also features a premium leather buckle strap with heavy-duty yellow stitching. Its patented Tru-Fire Foldback strap allows the release to be folded back 180-degrees. This new release also features the Tru-Fire’s patented TrapTab design that allows the archer to secure the release to their wrist with one hand.

The Tru-Fire Panic-X is available at retailers nationwide or conveniently online at www.trufire.com for suggested retail price of $149.99.

About Tru-Fire

Tru-Fire is the world’s largest manufacturer of bowhunting releases, and all of its products are proudly made in the U.S.A. Every Tru-Fire release is designed to provide years of trouble-free use and dependability. Before any new design can wear the Tru-Fire logo, it is tested extensively on the company’s exclusively designed pneumatic release tester that can automatically load the release to 100 lbs. for 5,000 consecutive pulls, then an additional 100 pulls at a staggering 200 pounds. The release is then live fired 2,000 times to evaluate component fatigue and string loop wear. All of this testing proves that your Tru-Fire release will be absolutely reliable the moment you need it most. For more information on the company or its products, write to: Tru-Fire, 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; call 800-282-4868 or visit www.trufire.com.

Kentucky Lake Hobie Bass Open: June 9-11, 2017

  • Open to Public, All Kayak Name Brands are Welcome
  • Anglers Practice CPR on Hot Bass Fishing Water
  • Key on Shallow, Deep, and Ledge Drop-off Hotspots
  • Angler Skills will Feature Plastic Baits, Top-water and Crankbaits

By Forrest Fisher

Anglers will test the Kentucky Lake waters shallow and deep to find the hot bite.  Forrest Fisher Photo

At last year’s Hobie Bass Open, the camaraderie among competitors and respect for each other was a vital surprise to me, a first-time visitor to the Kentucky Lake event.  Ron Champion and Matthew Scotch punched their tickets to the Hobie Fishing World Championship.  They took on different strategies.  One ran long and the other fished local.  They were both winners.  What will it take to grab a hotly contested qualifying spot this year?

Kayak anglers from all around the country will fish nearby, some will venture long distances to their secret fishing places, all in search of big bass for this catch, photograph and release tournament. Forrest Fisher Photo

We’ll find out soon.  The 2017 Hobie Bass Open qualifier for Hobie Fishing Worlds 7 will be held at Kentucky Lake Dam Village State Resort Park near Calvert, Kentucky, June 9-11, with top tournament sponsor, Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB).

The Kentucky Lake Hobie Bass Open is part of a series of qualifying events to be held in the U.S. and Canada that will produce six Hobie Fishing World Championship spots on the North American team. First and second place winners will be invited to join Brendan Bayard and two-time Hobie Fishing Worlds champion, Steve Lessard, at the next edition of the Hobie Fishing Worlds competition at a site to be announced later.

Camaraderie and hot competition go hand-in-hand at the Hobie Bass Open. The lake offers shallow and deep embayment fishing, but anglers in recent years have scored fishing near something the lake is famous for, ledge drop-offs.  The results have been world-class fish weigh-ins. The water is big and the fishing options seem wide open.

The Hobie event on Kentucky Lake is a catch, photograph and release (CPR) tournament where anglers measure and photograph their top three bass during each of the two days, to be scored by total aggregate length – using a calibrated measurement board.  Eligible species include largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass caught on human-powered kayaks, canoes or SUPs.

The hot bait in 2017 might be a plastic worm?  Special color?   Sky color, sunshine density, wind direction, water temperature and angler skill will spell the result for success or less. Forrest Fisher Photo

One hundred percent of entry fees will be paid out with a ratio of one place for every 10 entrants. The top prize is $4,000 based on a field of 150 kayak anglers. The first-place finisher will have his/her airfare, accommodations and entry fee to the Hobie Fishing Worlds covered, courtesy of Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park and Hobie Worldwide.

There will be raffles and prizes as well as other awards including one for the biggest bass each day. Sponsors include Hobie Polarized, Lowrance, YakAttack, Bassin’ Magazine, RAM Mounts, St. Croix, Daiwa, Power-Pole, Mustad and Gerber.

Anglers will enjoy a BBQ dinner on Saturday and an awards luncheon on Sunday.  To register (or for more information) visit:  https://www.ianglertournament.com/2017-hobie-bass-open-adult-division-fun-festival

The tournament winners circle will feature well-deserved payouts, back slapping conversations of hardships worth the effort and very few tall tales. Forrest Fisher photo

While anglers are vying for big fish all across the long lake, the Hobie Fun Fest is open to the public and will be held simultaneously along the lakeshore in Kentucky Lake State Park Village, near the dam, on Saturday, June 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Hobie invites all competitors to bring their families and friends to join in the festivities.  All will have the opportunity to demo Hobie fishing and recreational kayaks, SUPs and sailboats, as well as Hobie’s Mirage Eclipse stand-up pedalboard.

The 2017 Hobie Fishing World Championship US and Canadian Qualifiers has added two new events this year: the Shasta Bass Kayak Classic and the 2nd Annual IKE Foundation Celebrity Pro Am Tournament Kayak Division hosted by Hobie’s own Micheal “Ike” Iaconelli.  Ike’s event will be special.  It will be a star-studded occasion contested on the non-tidal sections of the Delaware River and includes dinner on the illustrious battleship USS New Jersey.

The full Hobie Fishing Worlds 7 North American qualifying event schedule:

Big fish and small, a 1/4 inch difference can change the standings. Forrest Fisher photo

The Shasta Bass Kayak Classic, March 25-26 – 1 qualifying spot was earned by Naoaki “Uminchu” Ikemiyagi

The Jamaica Bay Kayak Fishing Classic, May 18-21 – 1 qualifying spot

The Hobie Bass Open, June 9-11 – 2 qualifying spots

The Border City Classic, June 24-25 – 1 qualifying spot

The 2nd Annual IKE Foundation Celebrity Pro Am Tournament Kayak Division, July 7-8 – 1 qualifying spot

Since 1950, Hobie has been in the business of shaping a unique lifestyle based around fun, water, and innovative quality products. From their worldwide headquarters in Oceanside, California, Hobie Cat Company manufactures, distributes, and markets an impressive collection of eco-sensitive watercraft, with subsidiaries; Hobie Cat Australasia, in Huskisson, NSW, Australia and Hobie Cat Europe, in Toulon, France and independent distributors; Hobie Kayak Europe and Hobie Cat Brasil. These products include an ever-expanding line of recreation and racing sailboats, pedal-driven and paddle sit-on-top recreation and fishing kayaks, inflatable kayaks, fishing boats, surfboards, stand-up paddleboards and the new Hobie Mirage Eclipse™ Standup pedalboards, plus a complementary array of parts and accessories. www.hobiecat.com

Eastern Lake Erie Fishing Hotline

Erie, Chautauqua & Cattaraugus County Fish Report thru May 5, 2017 – from NYSDEC

  • Perch: Hot Bite between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point
  • Crappie: Chautauqua Lake open water bite slow, canal action is fair
  • Inland Trout: Look for blue-winged olives, stoneflies, Hendrickson hatches
  • Bass: Dunkirk Harbor, Buffalo Harbor, Chautauqua Lake
Lake Erie giant smallmouth bass fishing gear is the order of the day for many anglers heading to enjoy the bonanza of big bass action starting up in eastern Basin Lake Erie. Forrest Fisher Photo

Eastern Lake Erie & New York State Harbors

Anxious Lake Erie boaters have been launching out of some sites, while others launches remain closed. There is limited boat launching at Buffalo Boat Harbor. Launch docks are in at the ramp near the restaurant, but the newly constructed launch ramps remain fenced off. Sturgeon Point is closed until a dredging project removes the sand bar at harbor mouth. At Cattaraugus Creek, Town of Hanover launch is open and launch docks are in. The State launch is also open, but launch docks are not in place. Dunkirk and Barcelona boat launches are open with launch docks in.

Anglers report a good yellow perch bite between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point in 52-62 feet of water, with some limit catches. The hot spot has been off Evangola State Park. In other areas, there are reportedly smaller roving perch schools, so being mobile helps. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping around the upper Niagara River.

Cooler water temperatures in Dunkirk Harbor have made for modest catches of smallmouth bass so far. Look for the bass bite to pick up with rising water temps. Some bullhead catches have been reported in Dunkirk Harbor. Yellow perch are still biting well in Buffalo Boat Harbor, but most have been small lately.

Eastern Lake Erie Tributaries

Heavy rains have all Lake Erie tributaries running at very high and muddy levels. Chautauqua County received less rain than the Buffalo area, so look for those creeks to drop back first. Steelhead catches were tapering off prior to the storm event. Look for smallmouth bass numbers in the creeks to be on the rise.

Upper Niagara River

Due to muddy creek outflows, waters are turbid along the upper Niagara River’s east shoreline. This may slow the yellow perch bite which was previously good along City of Buffalo shore sites. Perch have also been biting well in many upper river harbors and marinas. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots.

Chautauqua Lake

The open water crappie bite has been relatively slow lately. Good sized yellow perch and bluegill have been biting well in the shallow zone, especially near weed beds. Anglers are catching good numbers of bullhead along shorelines. Low light periods are typically best, but anglers are catching them during the day as well. Worms, leeches, raw shrimp or chicken livers fished on the bottom work well for bullhead.

Inland Trout Streams

Inland trout fishing is on hold due to high water conditions, with many creeks over their banks. When creeks drop back to fishable levels, look for hatches of blue-winged olives, stoneflies and Hendrickson’s on the streams that have them. Productive offerings for spinning angers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region’s best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

Spring Trout Stocking

All of Region 9’s trout stocking waters have been stocked with at least one stocking increment. For County lists of stocked waters check the Spring Trout Stocking 2017 page. Hatchery staff are now delivering additional stocking increments for the larger or more popular waters. The following waters are scheduled an additional stocking between 4/24 and 4/28.

Cattaraugus County: Bone Run (South Valley), Harwood Lake (Farmersville).

Genesee River Angler Diary Program

DEC Region 9 Fisheries Unit will be running an angler diary program for the Genesee River during 2017, and is currently looking for anglers to keep diaries. The diarist program aims to record data for trout and bass fishing trips on the Genesee River from the Pennsylvania line downstream through Letchworth State Park from March 1st through October 31st, 2017. If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to contribute your observations by keeping a diary, please call DEC Fisheries at (716) 379-6372 or email fwfish9@dec.ny.gov.

If you need more fishing information or would like to contribute to the fishing report, please call or e-mail Mike Todd (716-851-7010; michael.todd@dec.ny.gov). Good Luck Fishing!

The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.

Big Spring Bass: Add HOVER-ABILITY to Your Secret Fish-Catching Arsenal

  • Add Spinner Bait: 3/8 oz TERMINATOR Double Gold Bade (#2 & #4.25)
  • Add Tail: Big Bite SUICIDE SHAD, BB-Kicker or Curly Tail
  • Add Stubborn Fish Solution: HOVER-CONTROL
The Terminator Colorado Willow spinnerbaits provide high vibration, their stainless steel wire frames are strong, bending for greater flash and thump, and allowing the lure rip and roll through logs, snags and vegetation. Add a paddle tail and you have HOVER-ABILITY and fish catch power.

By Forrest Fisher

Spinner baits are an incredibly effective fishing bait for black bass.  Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass seem to be bothered by them enough to hammer them when the time to toss these is right and when the action is just perfect at the depth the fish are feeding.   Sounds like a tall prescription right?

The author added a weird color tail to the spinner bait, like this bubblegum color, for a surprise visit attack from Mister Bass.

Some things in fishing are difficult, but this one is easier than it sounds. One of my favorite spinner baits is the 3/8 ounce Terminator with two gold blades: one a Colorado number 2 and the other a willow leaf number 4.25.  Sounds particular because it is.  Spinner baits are largely about the action and flash, but in many cases, you might wonder why one spinner bait is more effective when they both appear to have the same color, size and all that. 

One of the larger secondary factors is the sound from the noise of the blades hitting each other, the wire connector, or the tail.  These baits with the “right sound” can work everywhere you fish.  Fact is, the sound works to attract fish and the fish wack them because, while they may not be hungry, they are irritated.  That’s the reason to cast them 3-4 times in the same relative place.   

Another secondary factor is the speed of your retrieve.  You will note that many recent press release news flash items about reels highlight high speed gear ratio retrieve rates.  Sometimes fast is a winner, usually, it’s not.  Not to say it might not be in some cases, but often, it’s the other way. 

Plastic tail types can be varied, but here are three that offer large difference between them to allow speed control and HOVER-ABILITY.

When the fish are not biting, if the spinner bait slows down, it is provocative and even more irritating. Fish will come out of hiding to slam your lure.  So what about “control the speed” short of slowing down your retrieve?  How can we do that?

Focus on “hover-ability” to get this right.  You add a tail.  Simple.  Many to choose from, here are three of them that I favor.  The size and length of the body are a factor, but even more an element for control is the size of the flapper.   The standard style plastic tail only slows the bait down a little bit, but the hollow paddle tails are like speed brakes.

The Big Bite Baits Suicide Shad swim bait provides a lifelike swimming action that excels on the back of a swim jig, underspin, vibrating jig, umbrella rig or a spinner bait.

Even if you try to retrieve these fast, you’ll think you have a fish on.  They resist and waggle back and forth a ton of vibration, providing substantial drag and added action to the spinner bait.  Add that they also allow the blades to rattle even more!  Amazing addition when the time to try this demands a S-L-O-W action that hovers.  Two of my favorites that I can afford to buy several colors for come from Big Bite Baits at Tackle Warehouse, this place is becoming one of my most visited tackle site sources. (http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Big_Bite_Baits_Suicide_Shad_Swimbait/descpage-BBBSS.html)

The Suicide Shad and the BB-Kicker are paddle tail HOVER CONTROL GIANTS in my book.  They each offer a different action because of their width and length, and maybe a larger factor, the floatation influence of the tail. 

Designed with a thinned-out central body, but with an extra-thick boot tail, the backside of the Big Bite Baits BB Kicker swim bait creates big momentum when it swings, adding a heavy, hard-pounding action with vibration.

Add it to the spinner blade hook by carefully threading it on so it is perfectly centered, toss it out, let it sink to your desired depth, start your retrieve.  Slam!  Wack!  Happens often.   Switch between all three of the tails shown and see how the lure action is altered and how the delivery of these actions can change the rate at which fish inhale these baits or just swash their tail at them.

You will discover an amazing learning experience. 

Rocky Mountain Warhead Broadheads for Compound Bows and Crossbows

  • Deployment System is Durable, Deadly,
  • Stainless Steel Blades
  • Inexpensive: Under $20 for 3-Pack
The Rocky Mountain Warhead features an aluminum ferrule with a 1.75-inch cutting diameter and a cut-on-contact tip blade design that starts working the instant it makes contact.

From Superior, Wisconsin, a well-known name in the archery broadhead market, Rocky Mountain, debuted its new product line at the ATA in Indianapolis this year.  As part of the new line up, Rocky Mountain introduced the new Warhead, a 100-grain 2-blade cut-on-contact mechanical broadhead with wing blades for superior hide penetration and bone breakage. Once inside the animal, the wing blades of the Warhead force open two larger blades providing deep penetration and massive wounds.

The Rocky Mountain Warhead features an aluminum ferrule with a 1.75-inch cutting diameter and a cut-on-contact tip blade design that starts working the instant it makes contact.  The Warhead’s jackknife blade-deployment system will not open until the blades have made full contact with the animal, making broadside and even angled shots more deadly.  With its aluminum ferrule and durable 0.035-inch-thick stainless steel blades, the new Rocky Mountain Warhead slices through hide and soft tissue on contact, yet it has the strength and sharpness to bust through bone.

Available in standard 100-grain, the Warhead is easily identified by its black ferrule.  An anodized orange ferrule identifies the 100-grain WarheadX version for crossbows.  The new Rocky Mountain Warhead and WarheadX are available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.huntrockymountain.com.  Suggested retail price is $19.99 for a three-pack.

The Warhead’s jackknife blade-deployment system will not open until the blades have made full contact with the animal, making broadside and even angled shots more deadly.

Headquartered in Superior, Wis., Rocky Mountain is a wholly owned subsidiary of FeraDyne Outdoors. For more information on Rocky Mountain, visit www.huntrockymountain.com; or write to 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; or call 866-387-9307.

USA First-Ever Ladies Team – Ready for World Match Fishing Competition

  • Six American Lady Anglers Head to Hungary
  • 2017 Ladies World Championships
  • Lady Anglers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida
Qualified USA Lady Anglers, like Kristen Monroe, will represent the United States during the 2017 International Match Fishing contests in Europe.

While “match fishing” is hugely popular throughout Europe, the uniquely foreign sport and its seemingly bizarre tactics can leave even the most experienced American anglers scratching their heads.

Please don’t confuse something merely unfamiliar with a sport that’s in any way simple or unsophisticated, to the contrary, a quick search of the Internet or trip to the library will reveal an entirely new world of highly evolved angling complexity called “match fishing!”

Match fishing competitions find participants confined to small areas, or pegs, along a bank, with the goal of catching the heaviest combined weight of fish during a prescribed time period.  Equipment and tactics are highly advanced and vary depending on the venue and available species.

USA Ladies Team Coach, Attila Agh, explains time-honored match fishing rigs to Kristen Monroe.

Top competitors catch six fish or even more per minute, over a three-hour period – all the while managing delicate tackle, adjusting presentations and continually metering precise quantities of ground bait into the water to attract fish and keep them feeding.  Adding to the apparent madness, competitors often employ tiny size 16-20 hooks to target fish less than four-inches long, but must be ready to battle larger fish like carp on the same gear.

Six accomplished female anglers will represent the United States at the 24th Annual Ladies’ Match Fishing World Championships in Szolnok, Hungary, on August 26 and 27 of this year.  The first-ever USA Ladies Team has been assembled by the United States Angling Confederation (USAC), a non-profit organization granted authority to host and participate in World Championship Sport Fishing events through a varied network of international partnerships.

The team consists of Barb Carey, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson and Kristen Monroe of Wisconsin, Elise De Villiers and Penelope Smit of Florida, and Shelly Holland of Minnesota.  De Villiers and Smit are veteran match anglers, while Carey, Holland, Hudson, and Monroe will be competing in Hungary for the first time.

“Each of these outstanding women were selected for the team on their unique, individual merits,” says USAC’s U.S. Freshwater Fishing Sports Director, Mike McNett.  “These are all skilled anglers and Barb, Hannah, Kristen and Shelly are also established fishing industry professionals, which is a great help when it comes to generating the industry interest and support necessary for a new team. Elise and Penny have a good deal of competition experience and will be a tremendous help to the other ladies in shortening their learning curve and getting them ready to compete.”

“We don’t expect miracles,” says Team Coach, Attila Agh, a lifelong match angler from Hungary who moved to the United States 17 years ago and has since become a U.S. citizen. “Our competition has been fishing in this way for their entire lives, but I am very encouraged by the spirit our ladies are showing, their angling ability and their competitive nature.  They are learning the necessary skills that are new to them, and progressing quickly.” Coach Agh warns the international competition not to count the American ladies out.

The team agrees.

“It’s a real treat and privilege to be learning this new style of fishing with the goal of competing on an international stage,” says Barb Carey, founder of WI Women Fish.  Carry has, herself, been teaching people to fish for many years. “I guess the shoe’s on the other foot now!  We really want to be competitive, so we’re learning and practicing our new skills almost every day.”

De Villiers, who started her match-fishing career in the United States nearly 20 years ago, coached and fished on the South Africa ladies team in the FIPSed World Championships in 2012 and 2013.  “I’m very excited that the U.S.A. will have a team competing in Hungary this summer,” she says. “I’m enjoying getting to know these other wonderful ladies and helping to prepare them however I can. I’m extremely proud to be representing Team USA.”

In addition to maintaining a rigorous training schedule, the USA Ladies’ Match Fishing Team is raising money to offset equipment, training, travel and competition costs leading up to the competition in August.  Individuals and businesses interested in helping the team financially, are invited to make tax-deductible donations of any amount at http://www.gofundme.com/team-usa-ladies-match-fishing.

Bronze ($500), Silver ($1,000) and Gold ($2,000) level sponsorships providing sponsor logo placement and other various forms of recognition are also being offered.  Visit http://www.teamusafishing.org for more information, or join the conversation on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TeamUSALadiesMatchFishing/.

Media Contact: Hannah Hudson, Hannah@stonehousephoto.com

 

Forget the Last Arrow, Focus on the Next One

  • Leo’s Archer’s Dominate Accuracy Competition in NY
  • Michelle Zeller, Victoria Ruda win State Championships
  • Paul Calleri Inducted to NYFAB Hall of Fame

By Forrest Fisher

Humble trainer from Western New York, Bryan Zeller, also enjoys the rigors and self-discipline requirements of statewide competition.

The green light, the red light, the archer draws the bow string, heart pounding a bit, muscles straining a bit, remembering all the fine points to shooting an arrow that has an intended landing point.

Breath in.  Focus. Breath out. Hold.  Release.  THWACK!  

About 60 feet away, the soaring arrow ends flight, fletching’s wiggle in the distance.  It stops on a target spot that has significance for measuring accuracy skill of the shooter. 

The target center dot, the aiming point, is a mere one-inch or so in diameter, centered with a tiny “X”.

A tiny place for an arrow to find when it starts flight from a hand-held bow and arrow, especially in the setting of competition with other archers that share the same passion for shooting an arrow to find that same “X”.  It is a time for courage, a time for sharing and a time for humble thanks, win or lose.

In New York State, the competitive archery season just ended with the New York Field Archers and Bowhunters (NYFAB) State Championships in Oneonta, NY.  For individual archers that hail from Leo’s Archery Club in Western New York, observers might have to wonder what the secret is to training so well, as this group of individuals earned several titles and medals amidst heavy and stiff competition.  The group holds practice sessions at the indoor archery range located at West Falls Conservation Society in West Falls, NY, where members help each other fine tune their skills, and share learning sessions with others in the community that range in age from 5-years to 75 years old.  

A happy group of archers in training and competition, some young and not so young, enjoy the skill development sessions at the West Falls Conservation Society in West Falls, New York. Vicki Ruda Photo

NYFAB State Championships in their particular style were earned by Anthony Berti, Denton Lowe, Kiersten Mucha and Victoria Ruda.  Six other members won medals for placing in their divisions.

Happy Michelle Zeller earns a championship football during New York State NYFAB Competition. 

In the NYFAB Classic, first-place finishes were won by Denton Lowe, Kiersten Mucha, Victoria Ruda, Jon Zurek and Jim Ralston, in their respective categories.  Five other members also won medals with high rankings.

In NYFAB’s Superbowl Shoot (state-wide mail in shoot), some 20 Leo’s members competed.  Michelle Zeller and Victoria Ruda won championship footballs in their divisions.  Four other members brought home medals for placing.

In Western New York Championships held at Doc’s Archery Range, Leo’s Archer members brought home six first-place finishes in various divisions.

Also, there was a most notable lifetime achievement at Oneonta, as white-beard trainer and archery mentor for so many, Paul Calleri was inducted into the NYFAB Hall of Fame.  His friendly style and humble contributions were recognized by fellow archers for his many contributions to the organization of youth and adult archery, rules and regulations, meetings, competitive and fun shoots.  He is pictured with fellow Hall-of-Famer, Mark “doc” Irlbacher.

Bryan Zeller and his team of trainers have mentored kids and adults alike to discover and share in the fun of archery.  Zeller says, “Some of our students just enjoy a once-a-week shoot with us, some continue to want more and step up from simply shooting the bow for fun to try their hand at some of these competitions, a truly significant test of their developing skills.  Win or lose, they are all winners in my eyes.”     

White-beard archery mentor, Paul Calleri, was inducted into the NYFAB Hall of Fame, he is pictured here with fellow Hall-of-Famer, Mark “doc” Irlbacher.  Vicki Ruda Photo

With a warm-hearted training approach like that, maybe the reason for the success of this group under the pressure of competition is not difficult to understand. 

Hats off to all of Leo’s Archery Team from Western New York.  

Firearms Industry Economic Impact is UP 168% since 2008

  • Pittman-Robertson excise taxes for wildlife conservation UP 138%
  • State Business Tax Support UP 107%

The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that the total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $51.3 billion in 2016, a 168 percent increase, while the total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to more than 300,000, an 81 percent increase in that period, according to a report released April 10, 2017, by the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the industry’s trade association.

On a year over year basis, the industry’s economic impact rose from $49.3 billion in 2015 to $51.3 billion in 2016, a nearly 15 percent increase.

“Our industry is proud of its strong contribution to our economy as a growing number of Americans have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF President and Chief Executive Officer. “In response to that growing market, we have increased our direct workforce dramatically over the last decade, adding jobs that pay an average of more than $50,000 in wages and benefits.  

In addition, since 2008 we increased federal tax payments by 156 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 138 percent and state business taxes by 107 percent.”

The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2017” provides a state-by-state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid.

Check out the data in this report: http://www.nssf.org/share/pdf/2017_Economicimpact.pdf.

 

 

Walleye in Lake Erie – Fishery Movement and Study

  • Fish are Tagged, Electronically Monitored for Movement
  • Angler Reward System ($100)
  • Cooperative Study: Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (GLATOS)

By Forrest Fisher

Biologists throughout the Great Lakes are using science and technology to help understand the mysteries of Great Lakes fish, their health and their seasonal movements. NYSDEC Photo

Trained biologists and technicians implant acoustic transmitters to understand fish movements and how they relate to fishing effort and harvest. 

Walleye, lake trout and musky in eastern Lake Erie are netted, identified, tagged with a transmitter and released, then monitored to determine preferred spawning areas and habitat. 

The tagged fish are monitored by a network of acoustic receivers throughout Lake Erie.  Orange external loop tags identify fish that contain acoustic transmitters and offer a $100 reward when returned by an angler. 

This is one of 12 programs that the NYSDEC Lake Erie Fisheries Unit is has provided staff and study toward research and management of objectives for Lake Erie, Chautauqua County and Region 9 in New York State.

For many decades, knowledgeable eastern basin anglers (Russell Johnson, Elma, NY) pondered the idea with angler groups that walleye from the western basin might travel long distances and move to the eastern basin during summer weather to feed on plentiful rainbow smelt, emerald shiners and alewife schools of baitfish.   The color and shape of the migrating fish was slightly different in appearance according to some anglers in the late 1970’s.  Today, the 2010s plus, the forage base adds in the vast population of the round goby family.  Every predator fish seems to find this plentiful resource, perhaps an invasive species godsend that was not accepted as a stable forage base upon it’s early discovery a decade or two ago.

Trained biologists and technicians implant acoustic transmitters to understand fish movements and how they relate to fishing effort and harvest.  NYSDEC Photo

Today, we know from early metal fin-tagging studies and angler report data that walleye in the Great Lakes are known to move long distances through multiple fish and wildlife management jurisdictions.  Understanding fish movements and how they relate to fishing effort and harvest is essential when managing a complex, valuable, multijurisdictional fishery such as the Lake Erie walleye fishery.  Today, this can be accomplished in a more dynamic manner and in real time with in-the-water migratory data collection.

Beginning in spring 2015, New York State DEC biologists started to deploy acoustic receivers in the eastern basin of Lake Erie to monitor the timing, magnitude, demographics, and spatial extent of the western basin walleye migrants tagged on western basin spawning areas by Ohio DNR. Additionally, acoustic transmitters were surgically implanted into walleyes from eastern basin spawning aggregations to estimate spawning site fidelity and movement patterns of individual eastern basin spawning stocks.  

Orange external loop tags identify fish that contain acoustic transmitters and offer a $100 reward when returned by an angler.  NYSDEC Photo

The relative contribution of eastern basin walleyes to the mixed-origin fisheries in the eastern basin will be assessed by implanting acoustic tags in walleye captured in the eastern basin summer fishery.  Acoustic receivers are placed on known spawning areas in the spring and deployed in four lines spanning the eastern basin from north to south to monitor summer and fall movement.  Existing acoustic lines in the western and central basins will allow detection of the westward movement of walleye tagged as part of this study.

Participating organizations include New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Great Lakes Fishery Commission and Michigan State University.

Acoustic transmitters were surgically implanted into walleyes from eastern basin spawning aggregations to estimate spawning site fidelity and movement patterns of individual eastern basin spawning stocks. NYSDEC Photo

Project personnel are many, but key investigators include Jason Robinson (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation) – jason.robinson@dec.ny.gov; Don Einhouse (New York State Department Of Environmental Conservation); Chuck Murray (Pennsylvania Fish And Boat Commission); Tom Macdougall (Ontario Ministry Of Natural Resources And Forestry); Chris Vandergoot (United States Geological Survey); John Dettmers (Great Lakes Fishery Commission) and Charles Krueger (Michigan State University).

The project is set to run from January 2015 through January 2019, receiving funding from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health, United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System. Federal and International tax dollars are at work here for a worthy environmental cause.

The information contained in this article and more information on these and other Great Lakes acoustic projects is available in greater detail at the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (GLATOS) website.

 

 

Thermal Riflescopes from Pulsar (Part 1of 2)

  • Can Detect Heat Signatures more than 1,000 Yards Away
  • Works Both Day and Night
  • Picture-in-Picture Digital Zoom

By Forrest Fisher

All Apex riflescopes feature proprietary Picture-in-Picture digital zoom, letting shooters maintain a wild FOV while placing precise shots with confidence, 10 electronic reticles and 3 rifle profiles with 3 zeros per profile.

If you attended the SHOT Show earlier this year and you are a long-distance varmit shooter, the popular Apex line of thermal riflescopes from Pulsar was impressive.  Here is the lowdown on this new line of heat-detection zoom scopes.

From Mansfield, Texas, Apex now offers four, all new, upgraded models for 2017: Apex XQ38 (PL76417), Apex LRF XQ38 (PL76419), Apex XQ50 (PL76427) and Apex LRF XQ50 (PL76429).  Featuring improved high-resolution displays and new LRF models, the Apex series continues to deliver quality thermal imaging at down-to-earth pricing for the masses.

Detecting heat signatures up to 1,420 yards away at both day and night, the Apex XQ38 displays thermal images from its 384×288 resolution, 17µm pixel pitch core on a high-quality 640×480 AMOLED display.  Continuous and stepped zoom allow shooters to zoom in on targets at .1x increments or use quick 2x, 3x or 4x stepped zoom.

After listening to feedback from users in the field, a new LRF XQ38 model was added to the Apex lineup, enabling shooters to acquire precise target distances with a built-in laser rangefinder up to over 1,000 yards away.  Both XQ38 models feature variable 2.2-8.8x magnification and 32mm objective lenses.

Perfect for long-distance shooters, new Apex XQ50 2.8-11.2×42 models boast an impressive heat detection range of up to 1,750 yards.  The LRF XQ50 includes the same, accurate built-in laser rangefinder for gauging precise distances.

All Apex riflescopes feature proprietary Picture-in-Picture digital zoom, letting shooters maintain a wild FOV while placing precise shots with confidence, 10 electronic reticles and 3 rifle profiles with 3 zeros per profile.  Two CR123A batteries help the Apex achieve a 4.5 hour battery life (with video out off).  Included with all Apex thermals are: 2x CR123A, video/power cable, wireless remote control, weaver/picatinny mount, cleaning cloth, carrying case and hex wrench.

Visit Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to learn more about Pulsar® products.

About Pulsar : Every Pulsar device is designed, manufactured and tested to ensure demanding professionals receive the most reliable, most advanced thermal and digital night vision performance the industry has to offer. The result of Pulsar’s commitment to industry-leading excellence is consistent world-class quality, precision engineering, seamless device operation and cutting-edge proprietary software. Pulsar produces an array of advanced optical devices designed for law enforcement, security, home defense and hunting applications, including thermal imaging and digital night vision monoculars and riflescopes, night vision binoculars and goggles, rangefinders, IR flashlights and related accessories. To learn more about Pulsar, visit www.pulsarnv.com or call 817-225-0310.

 

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“Big-Bite Bait” Soft Plastics: Effective, Affordable

Part 1 of 3

  • Not Your Ordinary Soft Plastic Bait (Made in the USA)
  • How to Choose, What to Choose, How to Rig, How to Fish
  • Simple Hooks & Simple Jigs CATCH FISH
  • Tackle Warehouse has Sale Prices
Big Bite Baits are Made in the USA, they are affordable and they catch fish.

By Forrest Fisher

No matter where you live, north or south, everybody wants a “Hot Lure”.  If you fish, you never stop searching.

Walk into any bait shop or major tackle store today and you’ll see what no one else ever thought about a few decades ago.  Soft plastics.  There are hundreds of options for soft plastic lure baits and there is an endless assortment of colors, too. 

There is also an endless assortment of soft plastic baits that cost quite a lot – this keeps kids from fishing (my view).  Kids lose a few lures and they’re off to play football or soccer.  They can’t afford it.  Enter modern technology and Big Bait Lures. 

There are 16 color offerings for the Big Bite Baits arsenal for Squirrel-Tail Worms, the tail floats, this is a sort of gismo-worm that is truly a tantalizing fish-catcher in my experience. Forrest Fisher Photo

The state of the art in manufacturing process control has allowed Big Bite Baits to produce their soft plastic lures to sell at a very reasonable and affordable price to fit the pocketbook that even kids can afford.

Big Bite Baits produces soft plastics that are soft, firm, short, long, heavy, light, stiff – or not.  Some are smell fishy and they come in an assortment of affordable forms:

  • Creature bait
  • Worm bait  
  • Craw bait
  • Jerk bait
  • Shimmering tail baits
  • Grubs, Jig Baits and more

With all the choices, there is a lot to think about.  Why?  Well, we all need a standard bait and go-to bait, and it needs to be in the right size and right color for the place we are fishing.  Fishing right is a lot about lure selection.

For best selection, we need to pick the one way we most like to fish plastic baits, because there are a lot of ways.  Depending on the soft plastic bait type selected, there are lots of options.  You can thread the bait onto a jighead, rig it on a weighted or unweighted hook, depending on if we want it to sink fast, sink slow, or if we want to cast it short or far.  Is it windy?  Is it deep?  Are there snags or is it a sandy or gravel bottom? Tree limbs?  All these things count in what we pick to use.

Whatever type soft plastic you choose, it should be selected because it will fit the fishing style you like to fish with. It will be effective where you like to fish for when you fish and it will provide some capability to remain snag free.  And, it fits your budget (why I like Big Bite Baits).

These Big Bite Bait Stand-Up FinTwist Heads are the perfect solution for presenting the Squirrel-Tail Worm.

Let’s take one example.  I went looking on-line for a new sort of plastic worm just to show the fish where I frequently cast a line that there is something different.  I skipped over to Tackle Warehouse (http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/) and there they were, something I had never seen before: Squirrel–Tail Worms for under $3 for a package of 10.  That took care of my pocketbook budget.

These worms caught me with just one look.

Designed by Elite Series Pro, Jeff Kriet, the Big Bite Bait Squirrel Tail Worm first debuted on the television show “Day-On-The-Lake”.  Kriet says, “The Squirrel Tail Worm features a fat head for easy rigging and a buoyant rattlesnake tail, offering tantalizing tail action.  I wanted a worm that had a tail that stands up.  The tail is made to float, just the tail-end of the worm.  When I shake it and pull it, whenever I hit a rock, twig or trash, that is when I’ll throw slack in my line and try to shake it without moving it.  The floating tail has a subtle, tantalizing quiver that fish can’t resist.  They will bite this bait when they won’t bite anything else.  I think this will be the best shaky head bait ever made.”

Then I clicked over to Terminal Tackle (http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/termtack.html) and there they were, hook options: worm hooks, drop-shot hooks, swim bait hooks, slip weights and jigheads of many shapes and functions.  I was looking for a stand-up head jig hook (sort of like a Shakey Head) that would work with these new worms.  There they were, a 4-pack for under $3. Their official name is Big Bite Bait Stand-Up FinTwist Heads.

How to rig the Squirrel Tail: Bend the screw retainer near the head of the worm to be relatively in-line with the hook point, then simply thread the head of the worm onto the screw retainer, adjust the angle of the worm and place the hook into the body so it is straight and in-line, and covers the hook point. Weedless and a Killer-Lure.

A short review right on their web page showed these affordable jigheads come equipped with super-sharp Gamakatsu hooks, the specially shaped head helps them stand up on the bottom and dance with the slightest twitch of the rod.  The convenient screw-lock bait keeper also allows you to rig a finesse worm (like the new squirrel tail worm) perfectly every time, and a horizontal line eye helps resists snags.  They are available in multiple sizes, but the 1/8 ounce size allows you to deliver killer finesse presentations.  The Gamakatsu hooks will deliver solid hooksets, most anglers know that.   

Cast it out, doesn’t have to be far.  Let it go to bottom, wait 5-10 seconds. Lift up slightly on your rod tip and lightly jiggle it for 1-2 seconds or so.  Wait, watch the line.  Is it moving off?  If so, set the hook, if nothing, not a problem, we’re fishing. Move the rod to achieve a tip-jiggle action and reel in about 2-3 feet as you jiggle. Right before you stop, hop the bait with a 1-2 foot rod tip swing.  Let it settle to bottom and give it complete slack line. Watch the line.  The tail is now floating vertically upward as result of your last movement. It’s quivering.  Usually, by now, the line moves off if a fish is interested. WHAM!  Set the hook.  If not, continue until you reach your feet, sometimes they are right at your feet as you fish from shore or boat.

There you have it.  Where to get started, where to get the affordable baits and hooks, how to rig it and now you need to do the rest. Get out there!

Squirrel tail worms catch all sizes, but getting kids started first with small fish and affordable, effective baits is a good idea.

 

 

 

Inshore Canals & Flats for Saltwater Fishing Fun

  • Snook, Redfish & Tarpon Highlight Spring Action
  • New LiveTarget Swimbait Lures are Killer Baits
  • Use Light Line, Strong Leader
  • Incoming Tide = Angler Advantage
The new Swim Bait that has caught fire with guides and everyday anglers that fish saltwater for snook, redfish and other species, is the LiveTarget Scaled Sardine, shown here. Just throw it in and reel it back, it sinks about one foot per second until you start the retrieve.

By Forrest Fisher

Winter has not been the same this year anywhere in the country.  Minnesota lost much of their ice by early March, Tennessee and Kentucky bass and crappie fishing turned on early, and in Florida, the steady rise in water temperatures on both the Gulf and the Ocean has led to non-stop action for many anglers.  Fun fishing!

Fishing with a fishing mentor and local veteran of the Florida saltwater fishing, Jim Hudson, I have learned so much about the nature of fish habits, baitfish preferences, lures that feeding fish prefer, line color, lure color, hook size and little things that make the difference between fish on the line or no fish at all.

The short spring snook season started on March 1 and runs through April, with the size limit in Florida waters regulated by location.  In southwest Florida, the slot limits for snook is not less than 28 inches and not more than 33 inches, with a one-fish daily bag. 

Jim Hudson says, “Slot limits for speckled trout have allowed a resurgence in Florida trout numbers and even the smaller fish will slam a swim bait, making for fast and fun fishing action.”

Hudson took the time to teach me about lines, leaders and lures, using little, lightweight jigs for speckled trout, surface baits for redfish and swim-tail lures for snook.   On my first mid-morning cast toward a dock on the canal system near Ponce de Leon State Park, my LiveTarget lure hit the water and I didn’t even move the lure one-inch when a gutsy snook slammed the bait.  He thrashed all around the dock and I had trouble keeping him out of the pilings there, but the 7-foot St. Croix rod and Daiwa reel held up their end and I was able to bring the fish to the boat where Jim carefully slipped his rubber-coated (no harm) under the spirited fish.  We released the slick fighter to grow a bit bigger for next year.

The hot lure was a LiveTarget scaled-sardine swimbait, new last year, it swims just like a real live fish bait.  It’s soft and lively, is the right color, and offers a snag-free design with an above-body hook point location.  The heavy, strong, Gamakatsu EWG (Extra-Wide Gap) hook makes it perfect for big saltwater fish, but as most saltwater flat anglers know, even smaller saltwater fish will slam a big bait.  I use this rule though, big fish like big baits – they hate to waste energy.   See this video on how a bass fishing pro describes the many features of this exciting new lure:  https://youtu.be/gaNEmPQUF3c.

I picked up the two sizes that come in this color pattern, a 3-1/2 inch model (½ ounce) and the bigger 4-1/2 inch model (1-ounce) that casts into the wind with no problem.  With a unique “oscillator-design” tail, they both swim like the real thing.  I tie the lure direct with a Uni-Knot from a 4-5 foot long length of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader that is fastened to very thin 10-pound test braid with a Double Uni-Knot.

For more about this hot bait, there are two videos and more technical info about product description from our friends at Tackle Warehouse: http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/.  My basic descriptions end with, “They work.”

For more about how to tie the Uni-Knot, visit our knowledgeable fishing friends at Salt Strong in this well-done video: https://youtu.be/MtCKGnZwOb0.  Salt Strong offers many excellent fishing tip videos and a “How-To-Fish” training course that is among the best I have ever viewed.

Some of the “smart-angler” folks use the FG-Knot to tie their braid to the fluorocarbon leader, but I have always used the Uni-Knot because it is easier to tie, though the FG Knot is smaller in physical size.  This might be important if you fish with a Reaper fishing rod, which offers a high-performance rod guide that enables truly long casts and you want to keep the knot friction to an absolute minimum.

Jim Hudson has used the same LiveTarget swimbait lure for fast action along the saltwater front and hooked into other species.   Hudson adds, “Don’t be afraid to add a little red color from a magic marker near the throat section of any lure when action is slow and the water is super-clear, this can make a difference.  Then just rub a little fish-scent over it to hide any offensive odor.”

Local anglers and many guides use a cast net to capture live pilchards and pinfish, then tail-hook the live bait with a circle hook and toss into the incoming tide current with the same line-rod-reel rig.  This set-up will usually fool even the most finicky fish and the circle hook prevents gut hooking so the fish can be released unharmed.

Using the LiveTarget swimbait lures also allows the fish to be released unharmed, since the EWG hook is set around the jawbone of the fish.  Kayak anglers, boat anglers or wading anglers can effectively and successfully throw this bait.  In the salt, you could get a new arm-stretch and rod-bend very soon.

The mullet color in the LiveTarget swimbait lure is especially made as an easy-to-catch forage species for several larger predator species such as Redfish, Snook and Tarpon.

Right now, the redfish are schooling, the snook are moving into shore-fishing canal zones and under the piers at night, and the sheepshead have been schooled and active for about 6-7 weeks now.

Releasing the little ones….fishery conservation measures have allowed the Snook fishery across Florida saltwater zones to regain their predator prominence with slot limit and bag limit regulations. Jim Hudson Photo

The sheepshead prefer live bait shrimp pieces fished off a 2-hook chicken rig or a simple red-head jig hook.

For redfish, switch your swimbait to the new LiveTarget mullet color and hang on.  This is a species-focused bait color that can tear up a tight fish school.  Fish on the feed will race to get the bait first.  On the right day, action like that is in the memory book for all time.

Local tackle shops carry the bait if you need it right now, but sometimes they might not have the favorite colors you want.  When fishing the Gulf of Mexico southwest Florida, I always stop in to Fishing Frank’s Bait & Tackle on Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte, Florida.  The staff submits copy to four different periodicals each week! They also sponsor a radio show and are in the swing on where to go and what to fish each day. 

If you can’t find your “right color”, then hop on-line and head for our friends at Tackle Warehouse: http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/. 

“Big swim baits catch big fish, big fish will not waste energy feeding 20 times when they can feed once and be done,“ says Jim Hudson.  He ought to know, this Georgia native, now Florida resident, catches more fish from the salt than anyone I know.  Anglers in the know, share with others that want to learn.  Hats off to Hudson, since I always want to learn.

Tight lines.  

 

 

Start Early to Learn Blackpowder for 2017 Hunting Season

• Part 2 of 2
• CVA Video – About Blackpowder Bullets
• New Sabots vs. Old Ball Bullets, Details

By Forrest Fisher
While there are many other blackpowder firearm models that cost much more, the Optima™ Pro 209 Magnum Break-Action represented the state-of-the-art blackpowder gun building technology when I got started about a decade ago. They make the same model today with even more improvements.

To simplify blackpowder firearm use, watch this video on how to load and shoot a blackpowder rifle, it’s about 4-minutes in length, from CVA:

The Optima Pro 209 barrel is an impressive 29″ inches in length and is fully fluted at 1:28. This provides plenty of barrel to burn “magnum” charges. At the same time, the overall rifle length and weight remain comfortable and easy to handle. The firearm is furnished in the box with Dura-Bright™ fiber optic sights that are all metal, with fully protected fibers, just in case you choose not to add a scope. The fiber optics are guaranteed for life. The neat thing about the Optima family of rifles is that they offer the option of barrel length (26 – 29 inches) for special game and shooting considerations. The barrel options also include nickel or matte blue color.

Based on the volume of “blackpowder jargon” everywhere we travel, it seems the new blackpowder hunting boom took off for good and it is now accepted as another great way to hunt big game. Local stores can’t keep some popular models in stock during hunting season, which is why I’m sharing this now. Experts at local stores say, “The new break-action designs bring the bore cleaning activity into a more reasonable scheme that a larger population of hunters are now willing to accept. Before models like this, cleaning a blackpowder barrel could take an hour, now it’s only a few minutes. Big difference.”

I checked with local stores where I live in Western New York to learn more about the blackpowder grain and blackpowder pellet options. One counter gentleman was a chemist in a previous life and said, “Blackpowder is really a formula combination of many elements including salt peter, charcoal and Sulphur. It is very dirty when burned and must be cleaned from the barrel the same day it is shot or serious oxidation (rusting) will occur.” That’s why, today, the two new blackpowder substitutes, Pyrodex and Triple Seven, have become the most popular blackpowder fuels. Both made by the Hodgdon Powder Company, the Pyrodex is also available in an easy to use “Pyrodex Pellet”, with 30, 50 and 60 grain pre-formed pellets available.

With two 50 grain pre-formed Triple Seven pellets stacked in series, a 225 grain Powerbelt sabot bullet will deliver about 2000 feet per second from the Optima™ Pro 209. That’s what I use. The end of the pre-formed pellets is coated with an ignition compound for easy start once the primer is ignited by a trigger pull.

Bottom line? Muzzleloading is fun and affordable. The new in-lines will allow older black powder traditionally styled rifles to be recognized in modern focus too, thereby allowing growth of the sport. In my travels to learn as much as possible in the shortest time on this subject, I discovered a very helpful book “SUCCESSFUL MUZZLELOADER HUNTING” written by Pete Schoonmaker. The author covers all the various styles of muzzleloader guns, the different muzzleloader hunting projectiles, various powders, plus safety and proper loading techniques, including older style ignition system and the hot 209 primer ignition in-line system. The book is a 144-page paperback book with 150 color photographs through 20 chapters to include hunting strategy, planning, and identification of the most common muzzleloading problems and issues. Amazon carries the book in used versions for under a dollar. Yep, true.

Even though blackpowder shooting is over 300 years old, it is still growing! Not only is it a thrilling sport, it is fascinating too. According to field representatives at Connecticut Valley Arms, “For some hunters and shooters, blackpowder hunting opens a whole new way of life. “ I can believe that, after watching how these new firearms perform at the target range.
The use of a modern muzzleloader combines a respect for traditional American hunting standards with the technology of today. A good blend for developing and nurturing newcomers to the blackpowder world, and for an appreciation of our pioneering past.

Share the outdoors with someone that would like to know more about the outdoors, but is afraid to ask.
Be safe.

Educational Fly Fishing Conference – It’s About Kids

• Learn Fly-Fishing, 3-Day Session, Low Cost
• For Teachers, Everyday Workers, Friends of the Outdoors
• Schooling for Adult Mentors, Community Outreach Mentors
• Science Educator, Orvis Endorsed Guide Instructor

By Forrest Fisher
The summer of 2012 – it was a good year. A very special, dedicated group of outdoor educators held the first and only national interdisciplinary fly fishing conference, and this bi-annual nationwide community outreach effort continues in June, 2017.

Designed especially for professional educators that teach school-age children, the Children in the Stream extends an invitation to community education and company training instructors alike, through an intensive 3-day conference that will train adults about the outdoors through the fun of fly fishing. The conference will introduce methods for instructors to manage effective sharing and teaching skills necessary to integrate this idea to meet curriculum requirements for community schools, organizations and company training platforms.

The course is comprised of comprehensive workshops that use fly fishing as the foundation for investigating science, math, English language arts, visual arts and community outreach. This truly unique interdisciplinary approach is possible because of the eclectic expertise of participants and the commitment from instructors.

The conference is presented by Dr. Mike Jabot and Alberto Rey. Dr. Jabot is a renowned professor in science education who is a member of NASA’s international educator’s team and who has received many teaching awards. Alberto Rey provides his extensive experience as a humble Orvis endorsed fly fishing guide, as a distinguished university professor in visual arts, and as the founder and director of a successful 18-year old youth fly fishing program.

Children in the Stream provides the instruction, materials and means of acquiring discounted equipment needed to implement the participant’s own customized interdisciplinary fly fishing curriculum or to start a youth fly fishing program in a community protocol. The truly unique programming also meets the needs of school’s that utilize common core learning standards. The instructors address how to realize the participant’s goals while working within limited budgets. The interdisciplinary workshops of the conference promote a holistic integration of conservation and community involvement that will help to nurture future stewards of our natural resources. The ultimate goal is to develop the interest of our youth for the outdoors and provide them with an appreciation and more complete understanding of their environment.

The conference is held at the beautiful Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History in Jamestown, New York. Roger Tory Peterson was an ornithologist who developed the “Field Guide to the Birds” and other field guides, and he inspired and “instructed” millions of bird-watchers and helped foster concerns for our environment around the world. In 1984, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History was founded in Peterson’s hometown of Jamestown, New York, as an educational institution charged with preserving Peterson’s lifetime body of work and providing environmental programming.

The conference this year will take place on June 27, 28 and 29. The cost for the three-day conference is $350 which includes instruction in the classroom, instruction in the field, fly rod outfits, fly-tying kits and reference publications. The low conference fee is available because of private grants and donations from the Dreamcatcher Foundation and the Orvis retail company.
For information about the schedule and comments about Children in the Stream by previous participants, please go to http://www.childreninthestream.com/. Please share this with a friend.