HENRY REPEATING ARMS Helps Raise Over $70,000 for Sick 14-Year-Old Volunteer Firefighter

  • Henry Repeating Arms Donates 54 Custom-Designed Octagon Barrel Firearms to Help Cause
  • Special Edition Bids, Open to Public…Bid on GunBroker.com, item #705771173
Joe Petrucelli (L), Owner of Tri-County Sporting Goods, presenting check for $70,000 to Joshua Brennan and his family (C) with Anthony Imperato (R), President of Henry Repeating Arms.

BAYONNE, NJ, October 9, 2017– Henry Repeating Arms of Bayonne, NJ, and Rice Lake, WI, designed 54 SPECIAL EDITION custom .22 caliber Henry Lever Action Octagon barrel rifles to help raise funds for 14-year-old Joshua Brennan of New York.  Joshua was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left-Heart Syndrome before he was even born.

The first 24 of these rifles were donated directly to the Firemen for Joshua Foundation, a 510(c)(3) organization, the remaining 30 were purchased by Joe Petrucelli of Tri-County Sporting Goods.  Petrucelli then organized further fundraising efforts to benefit the charitable foundation formed in Joshua’s name.

For the past few years Joshua has served the emergency service community by volunteering at the Pawling Fire Department in Dutchess County.  While he is too young to fight fires, he is a critical member of the Pawling Fire Department.

Washing trucks, keeping the firehouse in good order, lending a helping hand in the kitchen, and attending special events are just some of the tasks that Joshua tends to.  Joshua’s efforts all stem from his love for the department and his call to volunteerism instilled in him by his father Tom, who is also a volunteer firefighter.

Joshua Brennan suffered heart failure last year and surgery provided a pacemaker and two valves to keep him alive.  Joshua now needs a heart transplant.

In 2014, a similar partnership between Henry Repeating Arms and Tri-County Sporting Goods raised over $60,000 for 4-year-old Grayson Sutton of Sedan, KS, who was battling Primary Pulmonary Hypertension and facing a series of costly surgeries.

President of Henry Repeating Arms, Anthony Imperato explains, “Tri-County Sporting Goods has always stepped up to the plate to help Henry with any of our “Guns for Great Causes” program initiatives. When they told me about this great young man, Joshua…and his battle, we instantly decided to reciprocate.”

The 54 special edition rifles are currently being sold through Tri-County Sporting Goods in Patterson, NY, and all proceeds are going to benefit the Firemen for Joshua Foundation, which goes directly to Joshua and his family.

Petrucelli organized Firemen for Joshua Day at Tri-County Sporting Goods on September 30th where over 200 people from the local community came together to show their support.  Joshua was nominated for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and he and his family were presented with a $70,000 check from the proceeds of the rifles sold to date along with donations from local businesses. Proceeds are expected to raise over $100,000 before the end of the year.

Serial number “JOSHUA001,” the first of 54 made is currently up for auction on GunBroker.com, item #705771173.

Tri-County Sporting Goods will continue to sell the Firemen for Joshua rifles while supplies last, as well as custom serial numbered Henry Heirloom rifles. Proceeds from these sales will continue to fund the Firemen for Joshua foundation.  To purchase one of these rifles contact Joe Petrucelli at (845) 878-6084. General donations are being accepted here: https://www.gofundme.com/firemen-for-joshua.


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.   


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 on a Rising Moon Hunting Night

  • Big Bucks, Acorns and Apples
  • Dreaming about Scent Control
  • Elevated Hunting Stands
  • 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.

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.

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, even for small calibers like the .22 caliber rifle you like to use for inexpensive target shooting.   

The unit functions by using a single-piece cable with integrated phosphor-bronze brush and braided mop wraps around the unique Flex-Case Handle to keep the system stowed and organized.  

To use, simply flip open, feed, clip, and pull.  Throw it in your pack, or put it in your pocket. It’s the next best thing to a self-cleaning gun. 

It’s compact, ergonomically adjusted for comfort in your hand during usage, and it completes the task of cleaning your barrel FAST.

Available in several calibers, the .22 cleaning kit will be most popular with “plinksters.” 

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

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


  • Cast. Reel. Twitch.
  • Reel. Rip! Reel. Stop!
  • Wait for it … Set the hook!
The RipStop™ tail design creates a fast-ripping, flashing swimbait action. Hard-stopping, forward motion stops on a dime, with a subtle shimmy before coming to a rest, then ever so slightly lifts its head with a super slow-rise. (Photo Credit: Rapala)

Boat your latest trophy catch courtesy of the groundbreaking RipStop®, the exhilarating new fast-ripping, hard-stopping, hard-plastic boot-tail rip bait from Rapala®.
“This is the kind of bait that gives you goose bumps,” says Rapala Director of Field Promotions, Mark Fisher, who helped dream up and design the RipStop.  “It’s a cross between a swimbait and a jerking, twitching bait that suspends.”
“Those characteristics and the new bait’s ability to “stop on a dime” make the RipStop unique,” says Brandon Palaniuk, a seven-time Bassmaster Classic competitor.  “If you watch a live baitfish swim around, it’s often in a stop-and-go type of motion.  This bait has that ability to stop right on the spot.”
“The ability to stop and suspend is the missing link that swimbaits don’t have,” Fisher explains.  “And Rapala has that.  The lure comes to a fast stop, almost as if it’s making a collision.  And it doesn’t go out of the strike zone — it stays right in front of the fish.  That is the integral part of this whole philosophy.”
Also integral is the RipStop’s unique hard-plastic-boot tail, which creates what Fisher describes as a “hard-rolling, slashing action” that mimics the live-minnow moves of a soft-plastic swimbait.  “But it’s not a hybrid,” he says.  “It’s not incorporating soft plastics into the element of the bait.  It’s a hard bait with a soft-bait action.”
“That’s something fish have never seen before,” says 2013 Forrest Wood Cup Champion Randall Tharp.
“We’ve never had a hard bait with a boot tail molded into it like that,” says Tharp, a four-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier. “That feature of the bait creates its unique action.”
“RipStop’s can be fished as a twitch bait, popped and ripped like a jerkbait, cast and retrieved at a steady retrieve, or with modifying your speed or cadence,” Fisher says.  They feature Rapala’s new Dual Control System design, which enhances action by offering greater stability and unbelievable control at any speed.
They suspend with a very slow, heads-up rise on the pause, shimmying slightly before coming to rest. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” Tharp says.
Although soft-plastic boot-tail swimbaits elicit bites well on the retrieve, many sink like a stone when paused, scaring off fish still considering whether to commit.  The RipStop’s ability to stop, suspend and then resume swimming will convert lookers into biters.
“The only problem with a swimbait is when you get a negative fish that comes up behind it, there are times when they’ll just bump it,” Fisher explains. “And most often, it happens with soft plastics. But when anglers get that bump-bump on a RipStop, they know they’re going to make that fish bite. They’re going to catch it with the treble hook.”
Weighing ¼ of an ounce, RipStops cast far with little effort and dive up to 3 feet.  Featuring modified flat-sided bodies, they cut easily through the water and give off maximum flash.  Their two-part plastic construction includes non-inserted lips.  Containing no rattles, they swim silently. RipStop’s come armed with two sticky-sharp, light-wire VMC® Treble Hooks.  They measure 9 centimeters and are available in 14 color patterns.
For the best results, fish RipStops on a spinning rod spooled with 6- to 10-pound-test Sufix® 832 Advanced Superline® braid tipped with an 8- to 10-pound-test leader of Sufix Invisiline 100 percent Fluorocarbon.
“Anglers want a supple line that’s going to allow that bait to really get its action,” Palaniuk says.
Tharp agrees.  “The lighter the line the better,” he says.  “It’s going to allow that bait to do what it’s designed to do – give it more of a natural appearance.”
For more information, visit www.Rapala.com.

And, be sure to check out Facebook.com/RapalaUSA for the latest tips and tricks to take your angling acumen to the next level.

4 Days to IRMA: How Much Time Boaters Have to Prepare

  • Essential info for boaters, clubs, marinas at BoatUS.com/hurricanes
Recreational boat owners need to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma (credit: NOAA)

ALEXANDRIA, Va., September 5, 2017 – According to the National Hurricane Center, Florida may have up to four days to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, a “potentially catastrophic Category 5” storm now approaching the Leeward Islands.

While it’s difficult to determine landfall, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) urges boaters, marinas and boat clubs to use the valuable time to prepare, and offers free help online at BoatUS.com/hurricanes.

The boating group says that it doesn’t take a direct hit to damage or sink recreational vessels, or cause havoc at boat storage facilities.
The storm-planning available from BoatUS help includes:
1. “BoatUS Tips for Protecting Boats in Hurricanes,” a basic two-page primer that contains advice on hurricane preparation for all recreational boaters.
2. “Boater’s Guide to Preparing Boats and Marinas for Hurricanes” has more details on how to protect your boat as well as marinas.
3. “What Works: A Guide to Preparing Marinas, Yacht Clubs and Boats for Hurricanes,” a helpful resource for marina and boat-club staff, community resiliency managers and local government organizations that focuses on protecting boating facilities.
When a storm approaches, BoatUS.com/hurricanes also has up-to-the-minute storm-tracking tools with live satellite images and checklists for what to do before and after a hurricane strikes.
Much of the hurricane guide information comes from BoatUS and its Marine Insurance Catastrophe (CAT) Team, a recognized leader in hurricane preparedness with more than 30 years of post-storm boat salvage experience. Go to BoatUS.com/hurricanes for more.

About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS): Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than a half-million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.

Tru-Fire® Introduces the Bulldog Foldback Buckle Release

Made in the USA, Tru-Fire, has introduced the single-jaw Bulldog Foldback™ Buckle strap-style archery release. It’s time to hunt!

SUPERIOR, Wis.. (Aug. 15, 2017) — Tru-Fire, the leading brand for mechanical archery releases, has introduced the single-jaw Bulldog Foldback™ Buckle strap-style archery release.  Like all Tru-Fire releases, the new Bulldog is made in the USA, and it features several patented Tru-Fire innovations and a wide range of adjustments.  It also fits both left- and right-handed archers.

The Bulldog’s hardened-steel single jaw provides versatility and allows it to be used on aluminum loops as well as string loops.  Its ultra-smooth roller jaw is spring-loaded and works in unison with the trigger, so it automatically returns to the closed position when the trigger is released.  The trigger travel is adjustable via a single Allen screw at the trigger’s base.  The compact, machined-aluminum head is clear anodized for a corrosion-resistant natural finish, and it is length adjustable.

The Bulldog’s Foldback Buckle strap is comprised of high-strength nylon webbing sandwiched between two layers of felt for maximum comfort and sound absorption.  A TrapTab™ at the end of the elastic portion of the strap and a clip integrated to the strap prevents it from completely opening when putting it on or taking it off.  The patented Foldback Ring design allows the release’s head to be easily flipped back 180-degrees, where it stays in position against the buckle strap and tight to the archer’s arm to prevent the head from hitting anything while moving around the stand.

The head can be flipped forward in an instant to engage the string loop.

The new Tru-Fire Bulldog release is available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.trufire.com for a suggested retail price of $69.99.

About Tru-Fire:  Headquartered in Superior, Wis., 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. Like Tru-Fire on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TruFire.


  • 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.”



Need a Small Boat Transducer Mounting Rig?

  • Hands-On REVIEW of a Cabela’s Product: Video & Commentary
  • Affordable & Works Perfect for Small Boats
  • Durable & Adjustable, but Instructions are Difficult
The Sonar Transducer Mounting Rig works perfect, but the instructions could have been more clearly written.  It did help me understand more about finding the bigger fish!

By Tyler Mahoney

“Up until this summer, I had never personally used sonar electronics to aid in my fishing. I finally broke down and bought a small Lowrance Hook 4x Sonar unit in June.

My intention was to use it to fish the smaller lakes and ponds that I fish regularly with my small boat that is powered by a small electric motor. Once I bought it, I needed to determine how I was going to mount it. Luckily, I came across a great product at Cabela’s product that would allow me to mount it on any boat.

The product is called the Cabela’s Portable Transducer Mount, see the link: (http://www.cabelas.com/product/Portable-Transducer-Bracket/699847.uts).
While it has some small imperfections, it works great for my purposes and I strongly recommend it, there is no hole drilling required and it is adjustable over a wide range of possible dimension.

The unit will fit boats with a 15-20 inch high transom and with a transom thickness up to 2-1/8 inches wide. It’s made from high-grade aluminum and while the instructions might have been more clearly written, it was not that hard to figure out once I got started.

The video will explain the issues I found. Overall, it meets my objectives and I like it.  Cost was under $50.
See the below Youtube video for a short product review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP2wqwZKMxc.



  • 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

Get Walleye Savvy Quick – ST. CROIX Walleye EYECON® FISHING ROD SERIES

  • Eyecon® ECS-70LF, 7ft., Lite-Power, Fast-Action, SCII Graphite
  • When a Fishing Rod Icon creates a Walleye Fishing Eyecon®
The St. Croix Eyecon® WALLEYE SERIES of fishing rods are sensitive, powerful and affordable.  

By David Gray
Part of the fun in the sport of fishing is the never-ending search for new equipment that works and fishes better. Last April, a friend introduced me to a new rod, the Eyecon ECS-70LF from St. Croix. The rod had such a “great feel,” I talked him into letting me borrow it for a couple of months so I could try it out.
The Eyecon ECS-70LF is one of the most impressive rods I have used in a long time. It says “Walleye Series” on the rod and it does a great job presenting finesse baits, but that is not all this rod does. The rod fishes well for walleye, crappie, bluegill, float fishing for smallmouth, and is great when spin fishing for trout. I used the 7-foot Eyecon with 3-pound line and 1/32 ounce jigs for trout and the rod was pure joy. Such are the numerous unadvertised advantages, since it can also handle medium-sized crankbaits with ease too.

Finesse fishing for walleye can be very successful with the right tools, beginning with the right fishing rod.  Forrest Fisher Photo

How a fishing rod casts, or more precisely, how the rod transfers energy to cast a lure, is where most rods fall short. It is one performance task to bring a large bass or walleye to the boat, but a very different performance task to achieve casting distance and accuracy. The Eyecon excels in both performance tasks.
My first use of the Eyecon was an eye-opener. When I picked it up, it made me stop to do a double-take on the rod, then the line and the lure. There was a captivating synergy in just picking the rig up to hold. Simple moments that are remembered like that mean good things. My first cast with the Eyecon surprised me. It went 10 feet farther than I was aiming. My second, third and fourth cast did the same. Every cast was 10 to 15 feet further than my aim point. The Eyecon is so efficient at transferring energy, it was casting farther than most similar action 7-foot spinning rods.
My experience with fishing rods is that when they can cast light lures well, they usually do not have super-sensitivity, but the Eyecon surprised me there. It is a very sensitive rod and lives up to its finesse label.
Every once in a while, a new product raises the performance bar and the Eyecon does exactly that. Everything that you want a fishing rod to do well this rod does extremely well.
The Eyecon ECS-70 LF is as a great buy in a 7-foot spinning rod. It delivers a higher level of fishing performance, helps you fish better and makes you a better fisherman. You gotta love fishing tools that allow you to achieve all that. I have one of my own Eyecon’s now. They sell for $120-$130 and come with a 5-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service.
If you need more info: http://stcroixrods.com/products/freshwater/eyecon/.

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.


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.

VIDEOS: BoatUS – FIX, LEARN & DO Summer Boating How-to ‘Film Festival’ Kicks-off

  • 15 new VIDEO SHORTS by BoatUS Editors on How-To FIX, LEARN & DO Practical Boating Projects
BoatUS’ How-to videos are easy to watch.

NOT HOLLYWOOD, Calif., August 7, 2017 – What are the most common boating tasks when boat owners need to ask for help? Editors at BoatUS Magazine, the trusted voice of American boating, compiled a list of the top topics and announced the kickoff of a “BoatUS Summer How-to Film Festival” today with the release of 15 short, easily-watchable videos.

“We’re calling the video release a summer ‘film festival’ because all are themed with a “how-to” focus, are organized in one simple place to view, and are easy to watch outdoors,” added BoatUS Magazine associate editor Charles Fort.

Mark Corke, BoatUS Magazine associate editor, shared thoughts about the videos:  “The topics chosen come from decades of BoatUS member requests.  These are the practical things that most trailer-boat owners want to know.”

Titles range from launching your boat solo and changing a prop to backing a boat trailer down the ramp, changing a bilge-pump switch, and troubleshooting trailer lights.  Most are just two or three minutes long.  Breakout the popcorn and check out the videos at YouTube.com/BoatUS.

About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):  Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than a half-million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.

Become a Citizen Scientist for Black Bear Research in New York New “iSeeMammals” App


iSeeMammals is a new citizen science project of DEC and the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University. It collects data to help researchers and DEC biologists study the distribution and size of the black bear population in New York. iSeeMammals will help researchers collect data from more areas than researchers can cover in the field.

Participation is open to all. iSeeMammals collects information about where and when users identify bears or bear signs (scat, tracks, hair, markings) while hiking or on their personal trail cameras. Photographs of observations, repeat hikes, and trail cameras set up for multiple months are strongly encouraged. An app for data collection and submission is available for free download in Apple and Android stores.

Visit iSeeMammals.org to:

Learn more about the project

Access photo galleries of iSeeMammals data as photos are submitted

Get information on bear ecology and bear management in New York

See extras like quizzes, contests, and giveaways

Training workshops and seminars may be available; inquire via their contact form. 


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.

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.


Rapid-Adjustment Sight Leads the New Sight Lineup


From their home in Superior, Wi., Rocky Mountain brand has roared back to life with the introduction of innovative new broadheads as well as a new lineup of archery sights.  Leading the sight lineup is the new Rocky Mountain Driver sight that can be adjusted for elevation quickly, easily, and very reliably.

Available in either a 1-pin or a 3-pin configuration, the Rocky Mountain Driver features hard-coat-anodized all-aluminum construction with a dovetail mount design.   The dovetail mount provides up to 3.3125 inches of sight-radius travel with six locking positions and allows for easy removal of the sight for transport and storage.  The Driver’s radial-arc elevation adjustment ensures fast and repeatable tuning to user-determined distances, while keeping the bezel square in relation to the eye.  Elevation adjustments are made via a large wheel on the side of the sight, and an adjustable reset block allows a quick return to the minimum-distance zero stop.

The Driver’s windage and pin elevation markers are laser etched, and the windage is tool-free micro-adjustable.  The 2nd and 3rd axes are also adjustable. The .019-inch fiber-optic pins are fully captured, and the pins are removable on the 3-pin version.  The bezel incorporates a bubble level, and a light adapter is built-in.

Available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.huntrockymountain.com, the new Driver 1-Pin and Driver 3-Pin rapid-adjustment sights have a suggested retail of $129.99 and $149.99, respectively.

Headquartered in Superior, Wis., Rocky Mountain is a wholly owned subsidiary of FeraDyne Outdoors.  Renowned for its fixed-blade technology since 1979, the Rocky Mountain brand was relaunched in 2017 and has expanded its offerings to other archery accessories including a line of archery sights.  For more information on Rocky Mountain, visit www.huntrockymountain.com; or write to 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; or call 866-387-9307.


Kayakety Yak – Maneuvering, Fishing, Funning & Rigging, (Part 2 of 2)

  • Certain optional kayak gear is handy and necessary.
  • Customize your fishing kayak for comfort and function.
Randy Boeller drove all the way from Houston, Texas, to land this chunky smallmouth on the upper Maries River. Jim Low Photo

By Jim Low

With a new Kayak, there are quite a few features to look for, understand and think about.  Here are some of the features that are important to me:


Before writing a check, take time to sit in several kayaks to see if you can stand to sit in it for hours.  Try to find a dealer that will allow you to test “drive” kayak before purchase.  Ideally, a seat should have an adjustable, padded back rest.  The seat should also be padded with a material that allows water to drain away from your kiester.

Equally important are adjustable foot rests.  Pushing on these anchors you in your seat, providing a solid paddling platform.  They should be adjustable, not only for different leg lengths, but to allow you to change your leg position to avoid stiffness.  The surfaces of these pedal-like accessories should have a non-slip surface.


Sometimes these are built into the kayak’s hull and hold rods upright.  This works fine, as long as you don’t encounter any overhead obstructions.  Much better are rod holders with swiveling mounts that fold parallel with the deck.  Having multiple rod holders allow you to switch baits without re-rigging.


Most kayaks have fore and aft cargo compartments, but these are hard to reach on the water.  Small compartments within reach of the seat are more practical.


You don’t need much of an anchor for kayak fishing, but they do come in handy when you want to hold your position against current or wind.  Anchors need ropes, and having loose rope around your feet is inconvenient, not to mention dangerous.  Anchor trolleys keep your anchor rope organized with cleats and allow you to instantly tie off anchor rope at the desired length and release it just as quickly.  A small, foldable anchor will fit easily under or beside your seat, out of the way but available when needed.


You laugh, but nothing is worse than cracking open a drink only to have it tip over in your lap moments later.  Well, okay, lots of things are worse, but a spilled drink is bad enough.  When not holding drinks, cup holders are useful for holding snacks, phones, lures, pliers and a dozen other things.


These really are the mothers of all accessories.  Factory-installed accessory mounting systems permit you to customize your kayak in ways limited only by your imagination.  They accept universal mounting plates can be drilled to accept anything you want.  This is an easy way to keep cell phones, tablets, GPS units and other electronic devices handy.  Naturally, if you are short on imagination, manufacturers have lots of ideas, including tackle bins, live wells, rod holders, fish finders and, yes, cup holders.


Paddling into the wind can be a challenge when fishing on lakes or large streams.  A rudder or tracking skeg keeps you on track without constant correction.  This is especially handy for trolling.


Speaking of trolling, trolling motors made specifically for canoes and kayaks are available.  Hobie offers kayaks equipped with their patented MirageDrive, the original kayak peddle-drive system.  These items aren’t cheap…unless you compare their prices to the cost of a bass boat.

One often-neglected accessory is a top-quality paddle.  A cheap paddle will wear you out if it doesn’t wear out first.  Don’t balk at spending a couple hundred dollars on an ergonomically friendly paddle that keep you, your wrists and shoulders out of the orthopedic surgeon’s office for years.

Fishing kayaks have become so popular that organizations dedicated to them are springing up around the country.  Missouri has two that I know of: Missouri Kayak Fishing Association and the Show Me Kayak Fishing.  You might consider hooking up with these folks for help learning the ropes of kayak angling.  Once you go ‘yak, you’ll never look back!


6 Tips to Prevent Tragedy or Death at a Boat Slip – From BoatUS

  • Never Swim Near Boat Docks that have Electrical Power.
  • Freshwater Docks are More Dangerous than Saltwater Docks.
  • Someone in Trouble? Shut Down Power to Dock First.
  • Follow this Rule: “Reach, Throw, Row, but DON’T GO.”
Swimming near boat docks with electrical power can be deadly. Read what you need to know. Forrest Fisher Photo

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The fatalities over the weekend of an 11-year-old girl in New Jersey and 19-year-old young man in Ohio are bringing scrutiny to an age-old summer ritual that’s common on waterfronts across America: swimming near boat docks.  Initial reports say the youngster died when touching a dock’s electrified boatlift, and the Ohio teen died as a result of dangerous electrical current in the water while trying to save his father and family dog that also appeared to be stricken by the electrical current.

The BoatUS Foundation, the boating-safety arm of the nations’ largest recreational boat owners group, has some tips to prevent an electrocution tragedy.  While swimming deaths due to electricity fall into two categories, electrocution and electric shock drowning (ESD), both can be prevented the same way.  Electrocution can happen in freshwater or saltwater, when swimmers make contact with energized metal dock fittings, boats or other structures due to faulty alternating current (AC) wiring.

ESD occurs when AC gets into freshwater from faulty wiring and passes through a swimmer, causing paralysis or even sudden death.  Unlike electrocution, with ESD a swimmer does not need to be touching a boat or dock structure, and even minute amounts of electricity can be incapacitating and lead to drowning.  The risk of ESD is greatest in freshwater or brackish water, so some areas such as estuaries or rivers may only be in the danger zone after heavy rains.

In saltwater, electrical current takes the path of least resistance, bypassing swimmers. Unlike a drowning swimmer, who typically can’t yell out for help because their mouth is mostly underwater, an ESD victim is often confused about what is happening, may be able to shout, and will feel numbness, tingling, pain and paralysis.  Tingling in the swimmer’s body is one of the early warning signs of ESD.

What can you do to prevent an electrocution or ESD fatality? Here are 6 tips:

  1. Never Swim around boat docks that use electricity.
  2. Post “no swimming” signs.
  3. Have a qualified electrician with experience in dock electrical service inspect your private dock annually.
  4. Install ground-fault protection on your boat and private dock.
  5. Ask your marina if they have installed ground-fault protection, and if the electrical system is inspected and tested annually-just in case someone falls overboard. No one should ever swim in a marina

    Swimmers near boat docks can be affected and shocked in the water near to the dock because of this technical wiring deficiency. Courtesy of BOATUS
  6. Periodically test your boat for electrical leakage into the water. What do you do if you see a distressed person in the water near a boat dock?

A drowning victim often looks “playful,” while an electric shock drowning victim looks “distressed.”  It may be difficult, however, to immediately determine either, so play it safe by not jumping in.  The first task is to shut off power to the dock at the breaker panel, and if equipped, disconnect any power cable to the vessel.

If power cannot be shut down, follow the “reach, throw, row, but don’t go” mantra by using an oar, boat hook or throw a floatation device to reach the stricken person.

For more information, parents, dock owners, boaters, and marina and boat club operators can go to the BoatUS Electric Shock Drowning Resource Center at www.BoatUS.com/Seaworthy/ESD.

See more at: http://www.thefishingwire.com/story/406710#sthash.hku6iXil.dpuf.

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.


Kayakety Yak – Maneuvering, Fishing, Funning & Rigging, (Part 1 of 2)

  • These craft are made to order for fishing small and remote waters.
  • You will never go back to aluminum canoes once you’ve fished from a kayak.
  • You can customize a fishing kayak for anything.
The author brought this scrappy largemouth to hand on the upper Gasconade River.

By Jim Low

Ask anyone who has fished an Ozark stream (or anywhere) in a kayak, and you are likely to hear a paean on the many advantages of these craft.  My “aha moment” came within five minutes of climbing into a 10-foot Old Towne model. 

A slightly overlong cast landed my Rebel Craw in a wad of flotsam and I swore like a sailor, knowing I’d have to paddle like a demon against a stiff current to retrieve the $6 crankbait.  Resting my rod in the notches provided for that purpose, I grabbed the double paddle and instantly became aware of the advantages of kayak fishing.  Instead of the heavy labor needed to propel a bulky aluminum canoe upstream, a few strokes had me within reach of my lure.  Then, instead of struggling to turn a 16-foot behemoth around in tight quarters, I executed a neat 180-degree turn and was fishing again.

In the South, when food is so good you can’t believe it, they say it will make you want to slap your mama.  At that moment on Bryant Creek, I wanted to slap my Grumman.  Don’t get me wrong, canoes have their place. 

There’s no beating the cargo capacity and stability of an 18-foot touring canoe on a camping trip.  Lightweight Kevlar models in a variety of sizes and styles make canoes much more versatile than they were 30 years ago.  But for fishing skinny water or remote spots, nothing beats a kayak.  You can throw three or four of them in the bed of a pickup truck and carry them in to places other anglers can only dream of reaching.

I had no idea how important portability was until I found myself near the end of a day-long float on the upper Maries River a few years ago. 

My fishing buddy has bad hips and knees and could barely get in and out of his borrowed kayak with assistance.  We were tired and ready for a hot meal with adult beverages, when the river unexpectedly ended.  A flood had deposited several thousand cubic yards of gravel and hundreds of trees in what once was the main channel.  What was left was a quarter mile of small rivulets separated by gravel bars and choked with willow thickets. 

Randy got himself and our fishing rods to the end of the blockage, but it fell to me to drag our kayaks through the hellish mess.  I don’t know what we would have done if we had been in a canoe.

Greg Stoner of Camdenton landed two nice walleyes while fishing from his tricked-out Hobie kayak on the Niangua River.

Many kayaks are not particularly well-suited to fishing.  Dagger-like racing models are not stable enough, and too long to be maneuverable.  Short, inexpensive kayaks are similarly tippy, and there’s no place to put your fishing rod and other gear.  To enjoy kayak fishing fully, you need one fitted out specifically for that purpose.  Prices for fishing kayaks range from a few hundred dollars for models with basic features and to thousands of dollars for boats that practically paddle themselves.  There are quite a few features to look for, understand and think about. 

Check the many features out in Part 2 of 2, coming up next week. 


By SportDOG Staff

Reliability, simplicity, and effectiveness are among the reasons to use a bark-control collar, as well as why they’ve become increasingly more common with dog owners in recent years.

However, when the electronic bark-control collar was first introduced, questions and skepticism regarding its use were brought up by multiple sources. Over time, doubts and concerns regarding no bark collars decreased as users became more familiar with the concept behind the design.

Today, these collars are widely accepted as a common training tool for dog owners. Despite their widespread acceptance, a few common misconceptions remain.

SportDOG® Brand, a leader in the design and manufacturing of some the most dependable and trusted dog-training products and accessories, has taken on the call to answer some of these remaining questions. With over a decade of experience, SportDOG has become a trusted source of information with both dog owners and professional trainers.

Here’s 3 of the most common misconceptions regarding the use of electronic bark-control collars, as encountered by the SportDOG team.

Using a Bark Collar Will Prevent My Dog From Ever Barking Again

To some pet owners, this notion can be concerning, as most don’t set out to keep their dogs quiet at all times. Whether it’s the verbal behavior their dog exhibits when playing with others, or alerting them when needed, such as a knock at the door, completely silencing their dog is not the owner’s end goal.

While it’s true that the purpose of a bark-control collar is to curb unwanted outbursts, the effects of the collar are not permanent. Should the owner want their dog to be capable of barking, he or she can simply remove the collar. Over time, the dog will begin to associate its behavior with the collar. With features like 3 selectable modes and 10 levels of static stimulation found in the SportDOG NoBark SBC-R, owners can customize the anti-bark collar to fit their dog’s specific needs, making the transition process even easier.

A Bark Collar Should Be Worn 24/7

If worn for more than the recommended amount of time, any kind of electronic collar can be dangerous to a dog’s health. This health concern doesn’t originate from the static stimulation delivered to the dog, but through the possibility of pressure necrosis.

Simply said, pressure necrosis is trauma to a dog’s skin (calluses, sores, etc.) that develops as a result of the collar remaining on for an extended period of time. This is caused by human error, and is not a failure of the collar. To prevent this, the collar must be properly fit to the dog’s neck, and rotated to different positions when used for long periods throughout the day. If the collar is too tight, continual pressure from the contact points (i.e. probes) can restrict blood flow to the tissue underneath, causing it to breakdown and deteriorate. Consequently, if the collar is too loose, it can be easily rotated around the neck or moved vertically as the dog raises or lowers its head. In either circumstance, owners need to make sure the collar is properly adjusted and remove the collar if worn longer than recommended, which is generally 8-10 hours per day. When removed, the probes of the collar should also be cleaned with alcohol wipes every 1-2 days to prevent bacteria from developing.

Bark Collars Aren’t Safe To Use on Dogs

Since the introduction of the electronic bark-control collar, one of the earliest misconceptions regarding its use is that it’s not safe for dogs. Many owners were concerned that the amount of static stimulation delivered would be too much for the dog to endure, or cause irreconcilable harm. Again, this is simply not true. SportDOG has gone to considerable lengths to make sure that each of its collars is perfectly safe for use on dogs. Through extensive research and development process and by using the most advanced technology available, SportDOG collars are considered to be among the safest designs on the market.

During its development of the company’s latest NoBark collar, the SBC-R, SportDOG incorporated 10 levels of static stimulation as well as 3 programmable modes: Temperament Learning, Progressive Correction and User-Selected. The new collar also has a built in safety feature ensuring that if your dog barks 15 times or more within an 80 second period, the SBC-R will stop issuing static stimulation for 30 seconds, and then resume normal operation. Combining these standard features along with a waterproof and submersible housing makes the SBC-R one of the safest collars on the market.

For more information on the SportDOG line of products, as well as the recently released NoBark SBC-R, visit www.sportdog.com.

Finding Your True Draw Length

Most important bow buying decision…

By Larry Wise, International Champion Target and Field Archer, and International Coach

The most important decision, by far, when buying a bow is getting the right draw length. Without the proper knowledge and some expert advice, the novice – and even some experienced archers – have made disastrous mistakes.  Knowing your true draw length is as important to your shooting success as knowing your shoe size is to your walking comfort.  When the shoe doesn’t fit, you feel miserable until you change it.  Same with an improperly fitted bow.

The most accurate method of measuring true draw length is to draw the bow of a friend who is about the same arm length as you.  You must consider whether or not you plan to shoot the same style as your friend, i.e., with a release aid or fingers only.  Release aids generally act as an extension of your fingers and cause the string to be drawn a shorter distance than when drawn using a finger tab.  This difference can be as much as two inches.

With this in mind, draw the bow in the style you plan to use and try to get comfortable with an anchor.  This may take some experimenting if you are a beginning archer.  A local dealer or an experienced archer can help at this point.

After you have drawn the bow several times and feel somewhat comfortable, draw again with an arrow in the bow.  When you reach the anchor that seems comfortable, have someone mark the arrow adjacent to the rest mounting hole in the handle riser.  This mark should be directly above the grip where your hand touches the deepest part of the handle.  The distance from this mark to the recess in the nock is your true draw length.  It is a measurement of your body size for the purpose of drawing a compound bow.

BEWARE!  Most bow manufacturers do not advertise or take orders using true draw measurements.  Instead, they use a traditional draw length which is slightly longer than true draw.  The difference is the distance from the plunger hole to the back of the handle riser.  This adds about 1-3/4 inches to the true draw measurement.  This gives us the following relationship:

Traditional Draw = True Draw + 1-3/4 inches

Please keep in mind that your arrow length must be longer than your true draw length so the arrow point extends beyond your arrow rest.  How much longer depends upon you and your purpose.  If you intend to shoot broadheads, then your arrow length must be longer than your traditional draw length with this bow so the broadhead is not drawn into the handle riser or your fingers.  The tournament arrow must extend only past the arrow rest at full draw.


This article is reprinted courtesy of Target Communications as part of an educational program for outdoors readers.  It is excerpted from the Pre-Use Bow Preparation chapter of TUNING YOUR COMPOUND BOW, a 152-page how-to book by Larry Wise, International Champion Target and Field Archer, and International Coach.  Learn more at targetcommbooks.com



Larry has been a competitive archer since 1979, been on several bow manufacturers shooting and advisory staffs, and has done design consulting. His professional record shows 38 individual or team 1st Place/Championship titles, 11 2nd place finishes and four 3rd or 4th place.

He has coached archery in New Zealand, Australia, Columbia, Israel, England, N. Ireland, Dubai and the U.S.  He has bow hunted since 1956 and put many whitetails on his den walls. He has given more than 300 “Tuning Your Compound Bow” seminars in 20 states.  He has written five books on bow set-up and tuning.

Since 2004, Larry has coached more than 300 individuals privately, written and edited a national archery coaches study course, taught national level coaches courses, written more than 50 magazine articles, coached the U.S. archery team at the 2005 World Indoor Championships (winning 13 medals, including seven gold).

Nautilus Reels to Offer Customized “No Pebble Mine” Reel to Support Bristol Bay

  • Nautilus Reels Supports NO PEBBLE MINE Conservation
  • NEW Nautilus Reel Features Artwork symbol NO PEBBLE MINE
The Nautilus family will offer a one-of-a-kind CCF-X2 reel that features artwork and customized colors that center around opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine. The multiple award winning dual action CCF-X2 drag system features twice the drag strength (20lbs+), twice the smoothness and half the startup inertia as the former CCF. Nautilus Photo

MIAMI (March 17, 2017) — Recognizing the enduring challenge of defending watersheds and resources, Nautilus Reels is pleased to support the efforts of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program and their work to protect Bristol Bay and the related ecosystems of the region with a unique customized reel.

Nautilus has created a one-of-a-kind CCF-X2 reel that features artwork and customized colors that center around opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine.

The CCF-X2 Disc Braking System is an upgraded, stronger, lighter version of the Cork and Carbon Fiber brake of its predecessor. It features twice the drag surface in a dual-action brake configuration. Coupled with hybrid ceramic bearings, the reel delivers less than 1% startup inertia at all drag settings. This brake unit is feather light and can be easily switched from RH to LH retrieve. The Brembo® brakes of fly fishing.

Nautilus Reels aims to make a statement against Pebble Mine with the custom reel while also gathering more support for No Pebble Mine efforts. With this in mind, this unique reel will be given away to one lucky winner who signs up for Trout Unlimited’s email list at savebristolbay.org/nautilus-sign-up between now and June 15, 2017.

Nautilus Reels is eager to help defeat the proposed mine. “The threat to Bristol Bay that Pebble Mine brings is a threat to the heart of fly fishing for salmon,” says Nautilus owner Kristen Mustad. “Nautilus Reels recognizes the need of the fly fishing community to come together to protect this area.”

With more anglers behind the cause of saving Bristol Bay, Nautilus believes we can defeat this threat to one of the most treasured ecosystems in the world fly fishing community.

About Nautilus Reels:

Founded by Kristen Mustad, Nautilus Reels produces an award-winning line of reels from its headquarters in Miami, Florida. Nautilus is on the forefront of reel innovation and maintains a tradition of experience and excellence while continuously redefining performance. For more information about Nautilus Reels, please visit their website and follow Nautilus on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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

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. 

College Team Bass Fishing – Lake of the Ozarks is “On-Fire!”

  • Kansas State Collegiate Bass Team
  • A Day in the Life of a College Angler
  • Tournament Planning in Calculus Class
My Partner, Tyler Nekolny (left) and I weigh in 14-15 on Day 1, was exciting for our Kansas State Fishing Team.

By Hunter Whiteley

My partner and I took 11 days to fish the B.A.S.S. Carhartt College series Midwest regional and the FLW regional.  At Lake of the Ozarks, all I can say is, “The lake is on fire.”  The lake is fishing hot, better than I have ever seen it fish.  

Every single day, we landed a fish that went 5-pounds plus, with multiple days producing more than one.  Breaking down the lake was a handful.  We found the pattern to be secondary points that had the channel swing up against them with a flat on the other side.  It didn’t matter what type of rocks were on the flat.  Then for bigger bites we would back off to long tapering points that had structure on them.  These didn’t produce the numbers we needed but when you got a bite it was a good one.

Understanding these patterns had us feeling comfortable going into the B.A.S.S. regional which was a three-day event.  The first day we caught our limit early and moved out to find the bigger bites.  Culled once and lost a big one.  We weighed 14 pounds-15 ounces, good enough to put us in 20th place and good enough to put us inside the cut-line, but we needed another good day on Day 2.

Day 2 rolls around and we had a cold front move through and shut down our fish.  At about 10:30 we go to move and have motor issues.  This put a damper on our fishing and we only weighed two fish for 7 pounds-7 ounces.  This cut our tournament a day short due to not making the cut, but on the other hand – the bright side, this gave us a day to go over our plan for the FLW Regional and catch up on some sleep and school work.

Hunter Whiteley and Tyler Nekolny on the run to their next spot. Ronnie Moore Photo

The FLW started really well.  We roll into our first stop and put two fish in the box. On our next stop we fill our limit and cull three times. This is when I knew it was going to be a special day.  Then, surprisingly, the day got tough.  We didn’t have another bite till an hour before weigh in.  

We moved to key in on the bass pushing shad up against wave breaks.  We culled two more times before we had to weigh in.  Good stuff.

We walk up to the tanks and were listening to weights and knew that we had made the prize-cut, but not sure how high we would finish.  We weighed in 18 pounds- 2 ounces, good enough to put us in 4th place and make the cut to fish the national championship.

I would like to also congratulate two other teams from Kansas State:

Sheldon Rogge and Travis Blenn, on qualifying for the B.A.S.S. College National Championship.  

Quinn Fowler and Josh Schraad for qualifying FLW National Championship.

My next tournament is a club tournament on Milford Lake in Kansas.  It will be a tournament that is dominated by smallmouth bass and will help us learn more about how to compete using different fishing tactics.

Our Kansas State College fishing team members (left to right): Sheldon Rogge, Grant Srajer, Travis Blenn, Tyler Nekolny, Hunter Whiteley, Josh Schraad, Quinn Fowler, Payton Miller, Adam Fuchs, Shaun Finn.

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


One TINY Secret to Stabilize GIANT Outdoor Fun

My 3 outboards (from 9.9HP to 200HP),  my Sea Doo, lawnmower, 4-wheeler, pressure washer and chain saw all get a little more “LOVE” from me since I started using StarTron fuel stabilizer.  Everything runs great with this incredible engine life-saver for spring start-up fun in the outdoors.

By Dave Gray

It’s not glitzy, but it will show you some love!      

Jump on most e-commerce tackle store sites or walk into a Bass Pro Shop store and as anglers, we can browse an almost endless variety of equipment, gear, and tackle.

Today’s tackle is not only better performing, but better looking than ever. 

Rods, reels, lures, and about everything on the shelf is all jazzed up and makes you want to push two shopping carts so you can load them up. 

Even the new Plano tackle boxes are not just functional, but darn good looking containers.  So good looking it makes me want to retire my old shabby lure boxes and treat them to a new Plano.  

If you are like me, it is looking, shopping and putting new tackle in your shopping cart that is half the fun. 

It is hard to beat the fun of opening up the packages and stowing new gear in the boat.  Every angler can relate to the feeling of great anticipation.  And we know some fishing items work well for us and some disappoint.  That is OK, it comes with the sport and it is great to experiment with our tackle.

There is one item a fisherman needs where if it does not work it brings more than disappointment.  A lost day of fishing is only the beginning of what it costs if it does not work.

It is fuel additive stabilizer.  

I guess most anglers are like me.  End of season and time to store the boat.   Grab some fuel stabilizer, whatever brand they have, where you shop and dump it in.   And hope it works, so that next spring the motor runs when you want it to. 

I have not used every brand of fuel stabilizer on the market.  I used to grab any brand on the shelf.  And I have been disappointed more than once come next spring with hard starts, or non-starting engines.   I also had problems with fuel stabilizers that caused spark plugs to foul during the first spring start up. Leaving the boat on the trailer to go buy spark plugs is not a fun way to spend a first spring fishing or boating day.  

One product I came across and now ALWAYS use, is StarTron Enzyme fuel additive.  It works, and works so well, I use it in all my gas-powered equipment.    I use StarTron in 3 outboards from a 9.9hp to a 200hp.  I use it in my Sea Doo, lawnmower, 4-wheeler, pressure washer and chain saw.   And they all start and run the next season.  

Check out the engine formula type you need, order from this link: http://www.starbrite.com/startron.

Try StarTron Enzyme fuel treatment and it will show your equipment some love!  

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.  

Early Smallmouths – Tricks, Lessons, Lore and Fun

  • Learning where and how to catch early-season smallmouth bass on the middle Gasconade River
  • We shoulda’ been there tomorrow!
All we caught the day we fished were smallish bronzebacks and bucketmouths like this one held by Will Rollins.

By Jim Low

April is, indeed, the cruelest month for those of us who live to wade-fish for smallmouth bass in skinny water.  Small streams that teem with bronzebacks in July are strangely empty this time of year.  That’s because smallmouths migrate downstream in the winter.  If they didn’t, they would be trapped in dwindling pools that freeze from top to bottom in the depths of winter.  They start returning when spring freshets pump warm water into the veins of Missouri’s headwater streams.  But wade-fishing is largely futile until late April and doesn’t fully measure up until the middle of May.

Most hard-core wade fishers grew up without access to boats.  The upside to this is that we learned to catch smallies in places where boat-bound anglers can’t go.  The downside is that we never learned how to catch smallmouths in larger streams.  So, I was genuinely excited when fellow smallmouth addict and Share the Outdoors reader, Dan Reiter, invited me on a guided smallmouth trip on the middle Gasconade last week.  I have paddled this water a few times but haven’t spent enough time there to figure out seasonal fishing patterns.  Will Rollins, who guides fishing trips out of Vienna, Mo., had called Dan and said conditions should be perfect for smallmouths to begin running.

That was enough to induce Dan to make the trip from his home in Afton, and he said I was welcome to tag along.  Our rendezvous was at mid-morning, March 24, at Moreland’s Catfish Patch and Steak House, where there is a private access just upstream from the Highway 63 bridge.  From there, we headed downstream to a series of creek mouths where Will said fat bronzebacks would be gathering for the next stage of their spring migration up into spawning areas.

Dan Reiter scanned the river from his “catbird seat” as we motored between widely separated smallmouth hot spots.

The sky was overcast and the temperature was in the low 50s, which was pleasant enough if you had a fleece jacket and a wind-proof shell.  There were a few sprinkles of rain early, but not enough to dampen our spirits.  The river was up five or six feet as a result of recent rain.  The water level was falling, which Will said was perfect, allowing the relatively clear water of feeder streams to mingle with muddy river water at creek mouths.  That interface, said Will, was where we would find the fish.

Action was slow at the first creek.  We threw scarlet-colored pot-bellied crankbaits and white, twin-tailed grubs all around the mouth of the creek, catching only a few small largemouth bass.  Thinking the fish might have moved on upstream, we pushed up into the creek as far as fallen timber would permit.  We found only more small largemouths hanging in pockets of cover, waiting to ambush passing prey.  Time passed quickly, though, with good-natured banter and the getting-acquainted conversation that naturally accompanies a fishing trip with new friends.

Will was perplexed.  Everything looked right to him, other than the apparent absence of fish.  We eventually caught one small bronzeback, but nothing like what Will had predicted.  He began to second-guess himself, wondering if we might be a day early.  We moved downstream a few miles to another creek that he knew was a proven producer, but the situation there was the same.  It was time to pull out all the stops.  We motored even farther downstream, practically to the Conservation Department’s Paydown Access.  Here another creek created a broad, shallow slough with a network of willow-lined channels.  The upstream edge between the slough and the Gasconade’s main channel featured a long, sloping gravel bank where fish could lie in clear creek water, just out of the river’s muddy current.  If we didn’t catch fish here, said Will, we wouldn’t catch them anywhere.

We didn’t.

We hit one more creek mouth on the 17-mile run back to where we put in, but the news there was the same.  By then Will was fully convinced that we had arrived 24 hours too soon.  The river needed to fall another foot or two before fish really moved into creeks.  He had another client the next day, and he planned for them to fish the same places we had fished.  He was sure the story would be very different.  “I’ll send you pictures,” he promised.

Did he ever.  Throughout the next day, I got texts from Will, each accompanied by a photo of progressively larger smallmouths, proudly displayed in the same spots Dan and I had fished.  It was a clear case of “You shoulda been here tomorrow.”

Will was correct in his prediction that fishing would improve the day after we fished. This is one of three fat bronzebacks he boated and sent me pictures of the next day (March 25).

What I got from the day actually was better than catching fish.  I got to see where and how Will catches late-winter smallies and learned his insights about where, when and how to fish for them.  “Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day.  Show him how to fish, and he will go back and catch them on his own.”

I also got to visit Will’s base of operations, Vienna Marine.  It’s on the east side of Highway 63 right in the middle of town.  The place is absolutely jammed, not only with fishing gear, but archery and other hunting equipment, too.  Next time I want to catch smallmouth or goggle-eye on the middle Gasconade River, this is where I will to stop for the latest fishing information and stock up on whatever the fish are biting on.  I might even book a guided trip for another lesson in seasonal smallmouth tips.


Spring Cure for Your Freezer Meat

  • March and April is Prime Jerky Making Time
  • Turn Freezer Meat into Healthy Snacks
Each Hi Mountain Seasonings Sausage kit, Jerky Cure & Seasoning Kit and Snackin’ Stick Kit comes with everything you need: seasonings, cure and casings. The entire line of products, cooking tips, instructional videos, and recipes is available at www.himtnjerky.com.

Spring is a great time to go through the freezer to clear out older harvests and turn them into some great, healthy snacks like jerky or sausage. Whether you have an abundance of ducks or geese, fish or game meat, Hi Mountain Seasonings has a jerky & seasoning kit to turn that aging meat into healthy, mouthwatering treats. Don’t let any of your harvests go to waste; simply turn them into jerky or sausage for easy to grab-and-go summer snacks.

Each Hi Mountain Seasonings Sausage kit, Jerky Cure & Seasoning Kit and Snackin’ Stick Kit comes with everything you need: seasonings, cure and casings. All can readily be made in the convenience of an oven, smoker or dehydrator, and it is a fun project for the whole family.

With 21 different Jerky Cure & Seasoning Kits, 14 Snackin’ Stick kits and 12 Sausage Making kits, finding a Hi Mountain Seasoning kit won’t be a problem, but narrowing down the selection might be.

This spring clean out the freezer and make some delicious, healthy, palate- pleasing treats for the entire family. Jerky Cure& Seasoning Kits season up to 10 pounds of ground meat or 15 lbs. of whole muscle meat and retails for $7.99.  Snackin’ Sticks season 20 lbs. of meat and retail for $21.99. The Sausage kits each season 30 lbs. of meat, with the exception of the Bratwurst kit that seasons 24 lbs., the Salami kit that seasons 18 lbs. and the Hot Dog kit that seasons 23 lbs. All sausage kits retail for $20.99 with the exception of the Hot Dog kit, which retails for $19.99.

Hi Mountain’s entire line of products, cooking tips, instructional videos, and recipes are also available at www.himtnjerky.com. Hi Mountain products also can be found at high-end sporting-goods stores, farm-and-ranch stores and many local grocery stores.

Located in the heart of Wyoming, Hi Mountain Seasonings was founded in 1991. It is the premier manufacturer of kits for homemade jerky and sausage. Hi Mountain Seasonings has successfully captured distinct, traditional Western flavors in its jerky cure& seasonings, Western-style seasonings, bacon cures and other products that make up the unique line of gourmet Western seasonings. For additional information, write: Hi Mountain Seasonings, 1000 College View Drive, Riverton, WY 82501; call toll-free 1-800-829-2285; or visit the company website at www.himtnjerky.com.

“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.




FISHING FANS Will Experience LIVE COVERAGE of 47th Annual Bassmaster Classic

  • Classic LIVE Will Be Broadcasting in Real Time
  • Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
  • George R. Brown Convention Center – Houston, TX
Cameras will be streaming live coverage of the Classic leaders on Lake Conroe back to the expo production facility, where hosts will break down the action for fans tuning in through Bassmaster.com and WatchESPN with hosts, Tommy Sanders, Mark Zona, and Davy Hite along with Dave Mercer and on-the-water reporter Robbie Floyd, will provide analysis and live updates. Forrest Fisher Photo

HOUSTON — Fifty-two of the world’s best bass anglers will head to Houston next week to compete for more than $1 million in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, and fans will be able to follow the action as it happens.

Classic LIVE will be broadcasting in real time from the B.A.S.S. booth at the Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in the George R. Brown Convention Center.

“What an incredible venue we have this year being set up in the heart of Houston, Texas, and watching the action unfold live on a lake that some anglers are saying might produce multiple 10-pound-plus bass,” said Mike McKinnis, vice president of media content for JM Associates and producer of The Bassmasters TV show on ESPN2.

Cameras will be streaming live coverage of the Classic leaders on Lake Conroe back to the expo production facility, where hosts will break down the action for fans tuning in through Bassmaster.com and WatchESPN.  Hosts Tommy Sanders, Mark Zona, and Davy Hite along with Dave Mercer and on-the-water reporter Robbie Floyd, will provide analysis and live updates.

This year, special guest Brian Robison of the Minnesota Vikings will also be onsite for the Classic LIVE show to provide some local insight. Robison played for the University of Texas and calls Lake Conroe his home lake.

Also, special guest RJ Mitte, who plays Walter White Jr. on the series “Breaking Bad,” will be joining the set at the expo.

The 2016 version of “Classic LIVE” reached nearly 12 million minutes viewed during the three-day event.

Each day of competition will have six hours of coverage, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Watch the tournament leaders catch bass in real time on the exclusive Classic LIVE program on Bassmaster.com and simulcast on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

Facebook Live broadcasts will be added to the coverage this year, on the B.A.S.S. Facebook page, including coverage of takeoff on Day 1, the Toyota Mid-Day Report all three days around noon, and the press conference with the Top 6 anglers after each competition day.

Also on Bassmaster.com, fans can keep up with every fish caught through BASSTrakk, a real-time leaderboard that shows each angler’s catch according to estimates of marshals assigned to each competitor’s boat. In addition, on-the-water reporters provide a running commentary on the action in the Live Blog.

“Through those features, along with videos and photo galleries, we’ll have the lake covered from top to bottom,” said Jim Sexton, B.A.S.S. VP/Digital. “And we’ll cover every inch of the Minute Maid Park weigh-ins and the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo, as well.”

Qualifying anglers for the classic this year:

Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C. (8)

Drew Benton, Panama City, Fla. (1)

Hank Cherry, Maiden, N.C. (3)

Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla. (5)

Keith Combs, Huntington, Texas (6)

Scott Clift, Dadeville, Mo. (1)

Cliff Crochet, Pierre Part, La. (4)

Ott DeFoe, Knoxville, Tenn. (6)

Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala. (8)

Brent Ehrler, Newport Beach, Calif. (2)

James Elam, Tulsa, Okla. (2)

Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla. (16)

Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas (15)

John Garrett, Union City, Tenn. (1)

Shaw Grigsby, Gainesville, Fla. (16)

Greg Hackney, Gonzales, La. (14)

Skylar Hamilton, Dandridge, Tenn. (1)

Wil Hardy, Harlem, Ga. (1)

Charlie Hartley, Grove City, Ohio (2)

Matt Herren, Ashville, Ala. (7)

Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz. (5)

Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala. (15)

Michael Iaconelli, Pittsgrove, N.J. (18)

Alton Jones Sr., Lorena, Texas (18)

Alton Jones Jr., Lorena, Texas (1)

Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala. (8)

Timothy Klinger, Boulder City, Nev. (1)

Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla. (10)

Ryan Lavigne, Gonzales, La. (1)

Jordan Lee, Vinemont, Ala. (3)

Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa. (2)

Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif. (6)

Bill Lowen, Brookville, Ind. (9)

Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala. (3)

Aaron Martens, Leeds, Ala. (18)

Ish Monroe, Hughson, Calif. (10)

Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C. (3)

Darrell Ocamica, Fruitland, Idaho (1)

Takahiro Omori, Emory, Texas (12)

Brandon Palaniuk, Hayden, Idaho (7)

Clifford Pirch, Payson, Ariz. (4)

Jacob Powroznik, Port Haywood, Va. (3)

Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif. (17)

Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz. (15)

Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky. (1)

Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn. (2)

Gerald Swindle, Guntersville, Ala. (16)

Randall Tharp, Port St. Joe, Fla. (4)

Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich. (26)

Jesse Wiggins, Cullman, Ala. (1)

Jason Williamson, Wagener, S.C. (2)

Chris Zaldain, San Jose, Calif. (3)

 *Number in parentheses represents the number of times each angler has qualified.


For more, please visit:  http://www.bassmastermedia.com/article/FishingFansWillExperienceLiveCoverageOf47thAnnualBassmasterClassic



New Fishing Rods: St. Croix’s BASS X

  • Delivers Affordable Performance
  • Sets New Standards

By STOadmin

Bass anglers are becoming more discriminating every year. They demand more out of their gear and they are expecting performance at an affordable price. The NEW BASS X series from St. Croix delivers, meeting those objectives, with an array of rods that answer definitive angler demands.

Each of the 14 BASS X rods are constructed of SCII graphite providing the foundation of lightness and sensitivity.  Fuji® reel seats on both the casting & spinning models are paired with hard aluminum-oxide guides – a winning platform for casting, retrieving and fighting worthy denizens of the deep.  While the technology drives design, the aesthetics of the blank, guides, and split grip handles ensure these rods look and feel as good as they fish.

BASS X rods were designed in Park Falls, Wisconsin, and are handcrafted in our Fresnillo, Mexico, facility.  They retail for $100 – $110 to allow BASS X to deliver incomparable value.  When paired with a 5-year warranty backed by its Superstar Service, St. Croix delivers on its goal of affordable performance.

About St. Croix Rod Company: St. Croix Rod is a family-owned and managed manufacturer of high-performance fishing rods headquartered in Park Falls, Wisconsin with a 68-year heritage of USA manufacturing. Utilizing proprietary technologies, St. Croix controls every step of the rod-making process, from conception and design to manufacturing and inspection, in two company-owned facilities. The company offers a complete line of premium, American-made fly, spinning and casting rods under their Legend Elite,® Legend® Xtreme, Legend Tournament,® Avid Series,® Premier,® Wild River,® Tidemaster,® Imperial® and other trademarks through a global distribution network of full-service fishing tackle dealers. The company’s mid-priced Triumph,® Mojo Bass/Musky/Inshore/Surf, Eyecon® and Rio Santo series rods are designed and engineered in Park Falls, Wisconsin and built in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Fresnillo, Mexico. Founded in 1948 to manufacture jointed bamboo fishing poles for a Minneapolis hardware store chain, St. Croix has grown to become the largest manufacturer of fishing rods in North America.

Rage Offers Brand New Turkey Broadhead

  • Tested and Proven, Slip-Cam Mechanical is Deadly
  • New Meat-Hook Design for Turkey  

SUPERIOR, Wis. — Rage has designed a new broadhead specifically for turkey hunters that will eliminate the problem of a flopping-then-fleeing gobbler following an otherwise fast and deadly pass-through. The new Rage Turkey broadhead features a new cut-on-contact tip with a pair of massive Meat Hooks to inflict maximum lethal damage, all while slowing the arrow enough to anchor the bird. This Turkey Broadhead combines a gigantic 2 1/8-inch-cutting-diameter, two-blade Slip-Cam broadhead with the Meat-Hook Tip to stop a turkey dead in its tracks.

This new Rage Turkey broadhead features a pair of surgically ground, .035-inch-thick stainless steel blades that produce an initial slap-cut entry hole of nearly 3 inches, and while the Meat-Hook Tip has a 9/16-cutting diameter in its own right, a pair of blunt notches on each side of the tip were designed to slow the arrow as quickly as possible upon impact to potentially impair one or both wings for a faster, safer kill.

The 100-grain Rage Turkey Broadhead also features an extremely aerodynamic, precision-machined and anodized aluminum ferrule paired with the proprietary Rage Shock Collar™ for optimum blade retention and consistently reliable blade deployment. The 100-gr. weight on this new broadhead offers archers the ability to change broadheads with little, if any, adjustment to their bow setup between seasons.

The new Rage Turkey Broadhead is available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.ragebroadheads.com for a suggested retail price of $29.99 for a two-pack.

Rage Outdoors is the world’s number-one manufacturer of expandable broadheads. It also manufactures quivers and accessories. A Feradyne Outdoors brand, Rage is headquartered at 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; call 866-387-9307; or visit www.ragebroadheads.com.




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.  



Remington Responds to 60 Minutes

  • Firearm Safety Remains Remington Number One Priority
  • Remington Distressed Much Information Not Presented
Visit: http://xmprecall.remington.com/

With Firearm Safety their number one priority, Remington Arms Company, LLC (“Remington”) is voluntarily recalling Remington Model 700™ and Model Seven™ rifles which were manufactured from May 1, 2006 through April 9, 2014 and which have a X-Mark Pro® (“XMP®”) trigger. Rifles manufactured after April 9, 2014 are not subject to recall. Visit this link for more info: http://xmprecall.remington.com/.

On February 19, 2017, the 60 Minutes television program broadcast a segment about Remington Arms Company, LLC and two tragic incidents which occurred in 2011.  In narrating the details related to each incident, 60 Minutes omitted and misrepresented key facts which would have allowed the viewer to have an accurate and complete understanding about each.  For example, 60 Minutes knew but did not disclose that both of the rifles in question were examined and tested by forensic scientists employed by each state’s crime lab and were found to be in proper working order.  Remington provides this response to offer a more complete record of the relevant facts and a comprehensive overview of the incidents described in the story, and the recall which was at the center of the story.

The 60 Minutes segment showcased two separate incidents which it alleged stemmed from issues related to the rifles’ trigger mechanisms.  Although Remington shared voluminous information and spent hours providing background information to 60 Minutes related to the recall and the two incidents, 60 Minutes failed to offer its viewers critical facts and content core to each incident.  It is imperative that 60 Minutes viewers, our customers and the public, have accurate and complete information related to these two incidents as well as to the recall of Model 700 rifles with X-Mark Pro (“XMP”) triggers and the settlement of the Pollard v. Remington class action lawsuit. 

Remington stands behind the safety and reliability of its products and vehemently denies allegations by 60 Minutes and others that there is any design defect in another trigger mechanism, the Walker trigger mechanism.  Remington made a commercial decision to put an end to the expense and uncertainty of protracted litigation, and agreed to settle the Pollard class action on terms which are in the best interests of Remington and its valued customers.

Separately, after Remington’s own investigation determined that there was a possible assembly error affecting some XMP triggers, in April 2014 the company immediately and voluntarily issued an international recall on all Remington products with XMP trigger mechanisms manufactured from May 1, 2006 to April 9, 2014 and broadly promoted and advertised the recall.  Under the recall program, over 350,000 XMP trigger mechanisms have been replaced.  Firearm safety remains our number one priority.

Remington was first contacted by a 60 Minutes producer in October 2016 advising that CBS was “working on a [60 Minutes segment] in regards to the XMP recall and the pending Pollard Class Action Settlement.”  The 60 Minutes producers, representing that CBS was interested in airing “a complete, well-rounded, and accurate report,” asked Remington to provide background information about Model 700 rifles and about two independent incidents involving Model 700 rifles.  Given this representation and with the hope that 60 Minutes was truly interested in producing a balanced and accurate report, Remington sent 60 Minutes numerous records and information on those topics, and it also directed CBS to specific, readily available public records related to the topics chosen as the focus by 60 Minutes.

It is distressing that most of the information Remington provided to 60 Minutes was not included or ever referenced in its February 19, 2017 Remington segment.  To set the record straight and to provide Remington’s valued customers and viewers of the 60 Minutes segment with a complete and accurate understanding of several of the matters presented in the segment, Remington provides below a listing of information either in 60 Minutes’ possession or readily available to it in public records before it aired its segment.  This material puts the 60 Minutes’ segment in context and exposes 60 Minutes’ pre-determined viewpoint and intentional omission of key facts that would have reflected balanced reporting of the circumstances of those tragic incidents.

Topic 1:  The Stringer Incident

60 Minutes presented the tragic story from Mississippi of then 15-year-old Zachary Stringer shooting and killing his 11-year-old brother with a Model 700 rifle in June of 2011.  60 Minutes represented that Zachary was convicted in the shooting death of his brother with a Remington rifle even though Zachary “insisted it went off by itself.”  Leslie Stahl then suggested that the rifle fired because of a potential manufacturing defect (excess bonding agent) which prompted Remington in April of 2014 to voluntarily recall all Model 700 rifles with XMP trigger mechanisms.  Remington had previously explained to the 60 Minutes producers that to be subject to the recall condition of a potential unintentional discharge caused by excess bonding agent on the blocker screw, the excess bonding agent had to be of a certain consistency and the rifle had to be being used in certain cold weather conditions.  The rifle was indisputably not being used in cold weather conditions when it was being handled by Zachary Stringer inside his home in Mississippi in June of 2011.

When 60 Minutes told Remington before the segment aired that it intended to address the Stringer tragedy, Remington sent 60 Minutes the following materials:  (1) the Mississippi Supreme Court decision affirming the manslaughter conviction of Zachary Stringer; and (2) the transcript of the trial testimony of the forensic scientist from the Mississippi Crime Lab who had examined and tested the rifle.  The Supreme Court decision set out in great detail the facts of the incident and the trial transcript of the forensic scientist’s testimony detailed her examination and testing of the rifle conducted after the shooting.  CBS withheld the following facts from these materials in its possession:

·         According to the Supreme Court decision, Zachary gave law enforcement officers three conflicting and inconsistent accounts of how the shooting occurred.  In his initial handwritten statement given to officers in the presence of his parents two days after the shooting, Zachary claimed his brother had shot himself while the two of them were home alone.  Zachary later admitted that immediately after he shot his brother, he put his Remington rifle back in his closet.  He then retrieved his brother’s shotgun, “fired a round into the woods, and placed the shotgun between [his brother’s] legs” in an effort “to make it look like an accident.”

·         In Zachary’s second statement, given almost two months after the first statement and in the presence of his attorney, he claimed that after his brother shot the family dog with a dart gun, Zachary retrieved his Remington rifle from his bedroom.  Without checking the rifle’s action, Zachary claimed the rifle fired as he got up from the couch in the living room.

·         In Zachary’s third statement (given a week after his second statement), he claimed his brother was pestering him and pretending to shoot him with the dart gun.  At that point, Zachary said he threatened to shoot his brother if he continued to pester him, and he loaded a round in the chamber of his Remington rifle.  Zachary claimed the shooting that followed was accidental.

·         As shown by Mississippi Supreme Court decision and the trial transcript provided to 60 Minutes, the rifle was examined and tested after the incident by a forensic scientist from the Mississippi Crime Laboratory.  As the transcript of testimony from the trial shows, the forensic scientist performed functional-reliability tests on the rifle, including drop and impact tests, and the rifle did not accidentally discharge and was determined to be “in good working order.” 

In sum, the following materials were not referenced or acknowledged by 60 Minutes although they were provided to 60 Minutes and are linked herein:  (1) the opinion by the Mississippi Supreme Court; and (2) the transcript of trial testimony of firearms examiner for the Mississippi Crime Lab.

Topic 2:  The North Carolina Incident

60 Minutes also reported on a shooting incident occurring on December 23, 2011, in Columbus County, North Carolina.  One woman was killed and two others injured by a single bullet discharged from the bedroom inside a neighbor’s house across the street.  The 23-year-old neighbor and owner of the Remington rifle claimed he was retrieving the rifle (which was in a gun case) from his bedroom closet.  Thinking the rifle was unloaded, the neighbor pulled the rifle from the case with his right hand while holding a cell phone in his left hand.  As he pulled the rifle out of the case, it discharged.  The bullet traveled through his bedroom window and across the street where it struck the three women as they were walking to their car.

60 Minutes suggested that the rifle fired without the trigger being pulled because of the potential manufacturing defect which prompted the April 2014 XMP trigger recall.  When 60 Minutes told Remington that the segment might include the North Carolina incident, Remington sent the 60 Minutes producers the following materials (none of which were referenced or acknowledged by 60 Minutes in the segment):  (1) the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s report on its examination and testing of the rifle in question; (2) the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s report on its separate examination of the rifle; (3) the initial report and the subsequent deposition transcript of the firearms expert hired by the attorneys for the women’s families in their subsequent lawsuit against Remington; (4) the transcript of the recorded statement given to local law enforcement on the day of the incident by the neighbor who was handling the rifle; and (5) an e-mail string between the attorneys representing the families of the women regarding their expert’s findings on examining the rifle.  In addition, 60 Minutes had knowledge of, and access to, the Mecklenburg County court file which included the complete transcript of the deposition of the neighbor.  In airing the portion of its segment concerning the North Carolina incident, 60 Minutes withheld and omitted the following facts:

·         On the day of the incident, the neighbor told law enforcement that the rifle fired because “I must have bumped the trigger.”

·         The neighbor testified at his deposition that he thought the rifle was unloaded at the time of the incident.

·         The NCSBI examined the rifle and found it to be functioning properly.

·         The FBI examined the rifle at its Quantico, VA laboratory and found it to be functioning normally.

·         In his initial report of March 31, 2014, the firearms expert hired by the family’s attorneys stated that, based on his examination and testing of the rifle, it “displayed no conditional nor configurational defects that would cause it to fire in the absence of a depressed trigger.”

·         In an e-mail string between the family’s attorneys, they reported that their firearms expert found the rifle to be “within factory specs with no visible defects.”

·         In his deposition of May 14, 2015, the expert hired by the family’s attorneys testified to the following:  (A) his opinion that at the time of the shooting the man handling the rifle did not know it was loaded; (B) the rifle’s safety was in the “OFF” or “FIRE” position at the time of the incident; (C) if the safety had been engaged in the “ON” or “SAFE” position, the rifle would not have fired under any circumstances; (D) during his inspection of the rifle, he never found any excess bonding agent (Loctite) to be in any way interfering with the safe operation of the rifle; and (E) that in the usage of the rifle before the incident and in the multitude of tests performed on the rifle after the incident, the only way the rifle could be made to discharge was by pulling the trigger.

The materials provided to 60 Minutes by Remington and linked herein included the following:  (1) the NCSBI report; (2) the FBI report; (3) the statement of the gunhandler given to law enforcement on the day of the shooting; (4) the transcript of deposition of the expert witness hired by the plaintiffs’ attorneys; (5) the initial March 31, 2014 report of the plaintiffs’ expert; and (6) an e-mail string between plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Topic 3:  Verdicts in 2008 and 2011

60 Minutes also made reference to a 1994 verdict against Remington in a case involving a Model 700 rifle with a Walker trigger mechanism (the Collins case).  60 Minutes did not disclose that in the only two injury cases tried to verdict since the Collins case involving Remington trigger mechanisms containing the connector component, both juries returned verdicts in Remington’s favor finding that the Remington trigger mechanisms were not defective.  Both of these verdicts were provided to 60 Minutes before the segment aired, and 60 Minutes intentionally failed to disclose these verdicts to its viewers.  The verdicts provided to 60 Minutes are linked herein:  (1) the 2008 jury verdict in Williams v. Remington; and (2) the 2011 jury verdict in Hull v. Remington.


For decades, Remington bolt-action rifles have been a favorite of millions of American hunters, target shooters, law enforcement and military personnel.  Remington continues to stand behind the safety and reliability of its firearms.  That is certainly true for its bolt-action centerfire rifles, including the Model 700, which has earned its reputation among millions of satisfied users as America’s most popular, reliable and trusted bolt-action rifle.


Firearm Cleaning with Otis Ripcord

  • Breech to Muzzle One-Pass Firearm Cleaning
  • Removes Entrapped Fouling Quickly 
  • For Handguns, Rifles and Shotguns


By Forrest Fisher

The Otis Ripcord is so effective I had to buy one for every caliber size in my firearm collection – for those many times when I shoot and don’t have enough time. © Copyright Otis Technology. All rights reserved.

When I first used this creative new invention from Otis to clean one of my favorite firearms at a shooting club, I squinted down the fouled barrel to verify my 30-06 needed to be de-fouled.  It was ugly in there.

While my buddies were fiddling with much more complicated cleaning systems, I needed to get this done quickly and assure I could deliver my grandson to his soccer game on time in the next 15 minutes.   Dropping the barrel of the cleaning cord down the rifle, I grabbed the end and pulled the cord through from breech to barrel exit.  Peering down the barrel one more time, I was amazed to find a glistening, shiny, internal bore surface. Wow.

I coiled up my 10-second cleaning kit (literally, 10 seconds), that is, I coiled up my Otis Ripcord and was on my way.  See ‘ya guys!

Easy, fast, effective and inexpensive.  When something like this fits my budget and my timetable for budgeted time, it needs to be in my collection of outdoor tools.  Some of the options offered for caliber sizes are shown below and listed on the Otis website at http://www.otistec.com/.

Looking for a Fishy Kayak?

  • How to Choose, Many Makers
  • Things to Consider, Tackle Storage
  •   Peddle or Paddle?  Sit or Stand?
New kayaks can be peddled like a bicycle or paddled like a canoe, but one factor to look for is weight capacity and seat comfort. Forrest Fisher Photo

By Forrest Fisher

There is a new wave of fishing access, waterway fun and outdoor adventure that is sweeping our young-minded nation.  The portability and capability of new kayak products are more popular and in greater demand every day.  I searched out many of the kayak lines out there and concluded that when safety and durability are a function of your interest – big water (ocean) or small water (ponds), the Hobie Company has a product that everyone should know more about before purchasing any other kayak product.

There’s never been a better time to take up kayak fishing.  Whatever your game – freshwater bass or trout, saltwater redfish on the flats, or hard-pulling, aggressive fish, like kingfish and yellowtail in the big water offshore – there’s a Hobie kayak built for the job.

Every Hobie kayak comes ready to fish from the factory, but some are more ‘fishy’ than others. The current fleet offers deck plans with space to mount rod holders and electronics, hatches big enough to stash extra tackle, and spacious above-deck cargo areas in the stern, the ideal place for an H-Crate storage system or Hobie Livewell.

The 13- to 16-foot kayak models are at home on the ocean or a large lake, where the length will help glide you safely over swells and tough choppy conditions. Hobie Photo

There are compact boats, deliberately built short. Others are long and slender, or somewhere in between. Hobie’s flagships feature the MirageDrive, an elegantly engineered and time-tested pedal drive that offers numerous advantages.  Hobie also has kayaks to paddle the old-fashioned way.  They also have portable inflatable kayaks and the family-oriented Mirage Islands and trimarans with sails that work together with the MirageDrive.

Variety is good.  There is no one boat that fits everyone or is perfect for each fishery.  Every kayak is a compromise.  The right one for you depends chiefly on two things: your body size and shape and the adventure you plan to put that kayak craft through on the water.

One thing is obvious.  Bigger people need bigger kayaks.  Whether you’re tall or a bit husky, make sure to sit in the cockpit of any kayak you’re considering.  With Hobie, try out the different Vantage seats.  All are comfortable with wide-ranging adjustability.  The ST and XT seats that outfit the Pro Angler series are larger and taller, serious fishermen like these.

Don’t forget to check the capacity of the kayak.  Take your weight, estimate your gear load and add in a few pounds for the fish you’ll catch.  It’ll help you decide whether you need a 400-pound capacity kayak like the Hobie Mirage Outback or a larger 600-pound capacity Mirage Pro Angler 14.  The latter are great for big men who think like boys (like me).

A smaller person will fit in just about any kayak.  A big boat can still be a mismatch and can be too much of a good thing.

Check out the H-Crate storage system from Hobie with the above-board seating on top of this model kayak. The angler is higher for improved visibility when searching out sand bars, shoals and bedding fish. Hobie Photo

The sturdier kayak models are longer, in the 13-16 foot range, and with these, you can feel safe and comfortable on the ocean or a large lake, where the length will help glide you safely over swells and tough choppy conditions.  The Mirage Revolution 16 is one such unit that will fill the bill for safety in tough seas.  The same boat will have a harder time of handling the sharp turns of a narrow, twisting river backwater.  So it’s a good idea to match your kayak to the intended use.

In general, shorter kayaks such as the Hobie Mirage Sport are easier to turn and pivot, but aren’t as efficient for covering long distances.  Longer boats such as the Mirage Revolution 13 hold a straighter course.  Wider boats in the Pro Angler Line feel stable and support more weight, whereas narrower boats glide with less effort.   Here, you need to decide which is best for your intended use.

Every one of the Hobie roto-molded polyethylene models comes with molded-in rod holders.  They are ready to fish straight from the factory, but if you’re a serious angler you’ll love the additional features offered in the Mirage Outback and the Pro Angler series.  There are more places to mount accessories such as rod holders and camera mounts.  The Pro Anglers add horizontal rod holders and long lengths of H-Rail for mounting even more gear.

Kayak fishing has allowed growth of anglers that are bonding to the outdoors with friends and neighbors, fishing in local and regional contests, and enjoying better quality time with their own families. Hobie Photo

If storage space or transportation is an issue, take a look at the Hobie inflatable series.  They feature rugged, PVC-vinyl construction and offer performance that rivals more rigid models.  Set up takes about10-minutes.  Each one comes with an Easy-Load Rolling Travel Bag.  Some are even light enough to bring along as checked airline baggage.

There’s a lot to consider, so put in some research before buying your next kayak,but if you want safety and reliability, my choice would be with a Hobie.  Save your pennies and put them good use for your safe and fun future on the water in your kayak.

To see a Hobie, look for a dealer near you through their on-line Dealer Finder, then drop by any other local kayak hop to take a closer look at their kayaks.  Many offer demos.  Stop by an annual fishing or outdoor show where you’re likely to see kayaks rigged for fishing and can chat with kayak fishing guides for expert advice.  If you want to feel a lot younger, do what I do and get up early to visit a kayak fishing competition – there are numerous events all around the country now.

If you choose your new kayak with some foresight, it will open a thrilling new world of fishing adventure.  Enjoy!

Fish On! New Trapper BoxTM Hooks

  • Angler has New Advantage
  • New Shape is Innovative, Patented
  • New Shape Hook Design – Hard to Shake Free

For STO 02022017, FISHING and PRODUCTS, Picture 2of2By Forrest Fisher

Not until now, have I ever considered why fish are able to get off when I’m fishing with a giant hook and plastic worm.  They have the mechanical advantage to leverage the hook point out with a bit of a wriggle and a shake.  Some folks at Trapper Hooks have also made an adjustment to the physics principle involved by creating a new hook design.  Imagine that now, a hook for fishing and catching fish that is brand new.  I think this is an amazing invention.

My first cast with these new hooks proved my point.  I had threaded a 4-1/2 inch “Squirrel Tail” worm (Big Bite Baits) with a Tilapia-color tail onto a size 1/0 Offset Wide-Gap hook (style 20610) from Trapper Tackle and flipped to the edge of weedbed that had grown high near a drop-off.  With just one jiggle of my medium-action St. Croix rod tip, a fish inhaled the bait.  The 3-pounder came right to the top, tail-walked, jumped twice and soon after, I reached under his belly to safely boat the bass for a quick release.  He could fight again tomorrow.

For STO 02022017, FISHING and PRODUCTS, Picture 1of2The hookset felt so solid.  When I saw the hook-up point of interface, I understood why.  It was buried to the sharp-corner bend of the new shank design.  The new hook has good retention.  The sticky-sharp Piercing PointTM provides a nice path for the surgically sharp hook point to bury itself, removing the old advantage that physics and old-style hook shapes have provided to the fish.  Advantage to the angler.

In three trips so far with these new hooks, I have not lost any fish.  Reviewing the catalog, there are several design styles and several sizes, including a drop-shot hook that can be used with live bait.

This hook design changes the world of fishing and after just this simple trial on the water, it is easy to understand why.  Check ‘em out the next time you visit your tackle store or visit their web link to find out where to get ‘em: https://www.trappertackle.com/store-locations.


  • Angler has New Advantage
  • New Shape is Innovative, Patented
  • New Shape Hook Design – Hard to Shake Free

For STO 02022017, FISHING and PRODUCTS, Picture 2of2By Forrest Fisher

Not until now, have I ever considered why fish are able to get off when I’m fishing with a giant hook and plastic worm.  They have the mechanical advantage to leverage the hook point out with a bit of a wriggle and a shake.  Some folks at Trapper Hooks have also made an adjustment to the physics principle involved by creating a new hook design.  Imagine that now, a hook for fishing and catching fish that is brand new.  I think this is an amazing invention.

My first cast with these new hooks proved my point.  I had threaded a 4-1/2 inch “Squirrel Tail” worm (Big Bite Baits) with a Tilapia-color tail onto a size 1/0 Offset Wide-Gap hook (style 20610) from Trapper Tackle and flipped to the edge of weedbed that had grown high near a drop-off.  With just one jiggle of my medium-action St. Croix rod tip, a fish inhaled the bait.  The 3-pounder came right to the top, tail-walked, jumped twice and soon after, I reached under his belly to safely boat the bass for a quick release.  He could fight again tomorrow.

For STO 02022017, FISHING and PRODUCTS, Picture 1of2The hookset felt so solid.  When I saw the hook-up point of interface, I understood why.  It was buried to the sharp-corner bend of the new shank design.  The new hook has good retention.  The sticky-sharp Piercing PointTM provides a nice path for the surgically sharp hook point to bury itself, removing the old advantage that physics and old-style hook shapes have provided to the fish.  Advantage to the angler.

In three trips so far with these new hooks, I have not lost any fish.  Reviewing the catalog, there are several design styles and several sizes, including a drop-shot hook that can be used with live bait.

This hook design changes the world of fishing and after just this simple trial on the water, it is easy to understand why.  Check ‘em out the next time you visit your tackle store or visit their web link to find out where to get ‘em: https://www.trappertackle.com/store-locations.

Flies in my Champagne!

  •  Special People Deserve Special Moments
  • New, Unbreakable Outdoor Drinkware
  • Secret Dry Fly Hiding Places!

For STO 02012017, PRODUCTS, picture 1of1By Forrest Fisher

The day of fishing is done, your body tells you it’s time to rest and relax. The sun is setting and there is a perfect orange glow reflecting within those tiny bubbles hatching on the surface of your crystal clear champagne glass.  A special moment!  There you are in the middle of a mountain camping trip.  Champagne glasses in the wilds.  Possible? Yes.  Likely? Not until now.

My wife and I discovered these new unbreakable champagne flutes that stow away as a 2-piece threaded combination. They go anywhere and survive.  They fit in my shirt pocket and I found myself packing my dry flies in them on a recent trip – they were totally protected and perfectly unruffled.  I carry two of them at all times now.  Multiple uses!

The base detaches and then snaps into the rim for travel, reverse for use.  Imagine, unbreakable champagne flutes on the top of a mountain, at your Florida poolside vacation site (where glass is typically not allowed), on the river, at the campsite, on the beach or anywhere you might want to create a special moment.  We have been amazed at the durability of this drinkware and the compact packing size.

If you are an outdoors-minded person, you know that mastering the necessary aspects of having fun in the natural world include survival and once in a while you want to accommodate for a special moment after the day is done.  Special moments for celebration and recollection, such is part of the outdoors lifestyle for special folks.  Check these out for yourself, they are low cost, last a lifetime and are perfect for when you want them. Visit https://www.gsioutdoors.com/.

No worries about broken drinkware.

Here’s a toast from Mother Nature to you! Cheers!

RAGE Arrow Packages Now in KIT FORM

  • Pre-Cut to 29.5 inches
  • SC-2 Blade, 100 Grains
  • Advanced Shock Collar, Non-Fouling Design

For STO 01272017, HUNTING and PRODUCTS, Picture 1of2Posted by Forrest Fisher

Folks don’t need to tell me personally about how effective the Rage broadheads are.  They have proven their value with me the last 7 years.  They are deadly effective.

For STO 01272017, HUNTING and PRODUCTS, Picture 2of2Rage, the number-one-selling mechanical broadhead on the market, now offers two complete arrow packages so archers can spend less time building arrows and more time shooting them.

The new Rage Simply Lethal Arrow package combines a popular Gold Tip pre-fletched carbon arrows with the archer’s choice of either the Rage SC 2-Blade 100-gr. or the Rage SC 2-Blade Chisel Tip 100-gr. broadheads and a set of field points for practice.  Extremely tough and very dependable, these arrows come out of the box pre-cut and fully equipped with nocks, inserts, and 2-inch GT vanes installed.

Designed for draw weights up to 70 lbs., the arrows in the Rage Simply Lethal package are pre-cut to 29.5 inches to fit most archer’s setups.  They have a straightness ±.006-inch and weight tolerance of ±2.0 grain.  The deadly cut-on-contact Rage SC 2-Blade is a proven 2-blade Slip Cam™ design with advanced Shock Collar technology that keeps the blades in place until the moment of contact.  This delivers full kinetic energy to provide extremely large wounds and better blood trails.  The Rage SC 2-Blade Chisel Tip incorporates a bone-crushing chisel-tip design and features the Shock Collar retention system for dependably devastating entry and exit wounds.

Both Rage Simply Lethal packages come with three fletched arrows, three broadheads and three field points. The Rage Simply Lethal arrow packages are now available at retailers nationwide with a suggested retail price of less than $60.  They are easily distinguished apart by the red packaging of the Rage SC 2-Blade and the yellow packaging of the standard 100-grain Rage SC 2-Blade.  Spend your time shooting instead of getting your equipment prepared to shoot.

Rage Broadheads is the world’s number-one manufacturer of expandable broadheads. Rage also manufactures quivers and accessories.  A FeraDyne Outdoors brand, Rage is headquartered at 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; call 866-387-9307; or visit www.ragebroadheads.com.

Mister Twister® BUZZ Bug

  • Unique Retrieve Vibration Provides Effective “Victim Action”
  • New Lure Draws Attention from Bass Pro’s

 Posted by Forrest Fisher, Managing Editor

For STO 01202017, FISHING, Picture 1of1There is a new Swim Craw BUZZing with action.

Add the Mister Twister® BUZZ Bug to your bass fishing arsenal.  The new Mister Twister® 4″ BUZZ Bug is a versatile swim craw that provides maximum action and vibration making it an excellent choice for tempting wary bass.

The BUZZ Bug’s tough, thick body makes it ideal for punching and flipping with extra-wide gap hooks.  The lure features extra-long craws that extend beyond skirted lure length to provide a consistent swimming action on a steady retrieve or when fished fast.

It can also be Carolina-rigged and works well Texas-rigged on a weightless Mister Twister® Keeper™ Hook for a free-falling action that imitates a wounded crawfish.

“The BUZZ Bug has quickly become one of my go-to baits,” says Bassmaster Elite Series Pro, Clent Davis.  “Whether it’s swimming it through grass or pulling it behind a jig in 20 feet of water, I know it’s going to get the job done!”

The new 4″ BUZZ Bug from Mister Twister® is available in 19 fish-catching colors, including four laminate colors, selected by Pro Team members.

See more about the new Mister Twister® BUZZ Bug at mistertwister.com/buzz-bug.

Wireless Earbuds for Active Outdoorsmen

  •  Sound Connection for Tournament Anglers, Hunters, Outdoorsmen

for-sto-12202016-products-picture-1of1By Forrest Fisher

You’re in your ground blind, you’re up 25 feet in your climbing tree stand, you’re kayaking in south Florida – you’re an active outdoors person.

Wherever you are, you know you might be watching the football game with your buddies, but you realize that your new earbuds will bring the game in just fine and you can still be out where you would rather be.

Certain things are of high importance when open and closed seasons are part of the weekend choice.

What’s more essential is that those earbuds are wireless and have a direct link via Bluetooth® to your smartphone and the sound source of your choosing.  You can put your phone ringer on mute and your phone calls on hold!

These high-performance wireless earbuds from Re-fuel by DigiPower are designed to keep up with you, no matter where you are or what you are doing.  Hunt, fish, hike, camp, take a run, hit the gym, kayak – but stay connected to the audio source of your choice.

Wireless connectivity eliminates those catchy long wires that can trip up with your bowstring or tangle up during other outdoor activity.  The unit is designed with military-grade sweat-resistant materials, securing shark fin ear tips and a long-lasting rechargeable battery – you never need to stop before the end of your activity to recharge, the unit has 120 hours of standby time.  Priced under $50.

Check ‘em out:  https://re-fuel.com/high-performance-sports-wireless-earbuds.html

Crossbow Hunting – Sweeping the Nation

  • What You Need to Know – Which Bow for You?
  • Bolt Selection Factors, Hunting Tactics
  •   Shooting for Fun
Shooting the new Ravin crossbow, this big buck passed by Joe Byers who used a Rage Hypodermic Crossbow Head to take the deer - the buck scored 163.25, the biggest of Joe’s life. Photo from Joe Byers post in Timeline Photos.
Shooting the new Ravin crossbow, this big buck passed by Joe Byers who used a Rage Hypodermic Crossbow Head to take the deer – the buck scored 163.25, the biggest of Joe’s life. Photo from Joe Byers post in Timeline Photos.

By Forrest Fisher

If you like to hit the bullseye on your target, you like to shoot arrows, except you’re getting older and you’re having problems drawing your compound bow, you might be like quite a few baby boomers who are missing the hunting season because they’re developing physical issues. Maybe the trend sweeping the country is for you too.  Indeed, maybe you should get a crossbow, except you don’t know where to start and what to do.

With this new book from Joe Byers, The ULITIMATE GUIDE to CROSSBOW HUNTING, all the questions you might have are satisfied with juicy details for understanding.  This includes how to select a crossbow, the bolts (the term used for the short arrows used with a crossbow), target tips and hunting tips, optical scopes for zeroing-in on your target and much more, including hunting advice for different types of big game and small game on several continents.

Byers shares which bolts he has tested and how they performed.  You’ll be surprised at the details of proper bolt selection to achieve optimum performance.  You’ll learn about crossbow triggers, string stabilizers, trigger options and more.

Details on cocking ropes, rail lubricants, foot stirrups and bolt quivers are explained so that you learn about varying distinction factors that will work best for you and still meet your budget.

for-sto-12162016-hunting-and-people-places-picture-2of2I enjoyed reading how Byers felt about the many myths and misconceptions that have resulted with the increased use crossbows for hunting.   Byers addresses crossbows and game animal populations, hunting season length and the use of crossbows during archery season.  Much more on other myths with explanations will help everyone know more about the issues.  Byers provided answers that made me consider and to understand things about crossbows that I did not realize – like the good news and bad news about using a crossbow for hunting or for simple recreational fun.

Byers shares the experience of his success and failure, the results provide an exciting book that will help generate a complete understanding about the thrill of accurate shooting when combined with the adventure of hunting or shooting for fun.

His new book can help you or a loved one get in on the excitement of using a crossbow and will help answer the questions you have not yet learned to ask about the crossbow.

Lastly, it will make a great gift for the upcoming holidays.

Available on line at www.theultimateguidetoCBH.com.

Gamma – What? Gamma – Who?

  • Better Fishing Line through SCIENCE
  • Increased Angler Touch and Feel
  • Affordable High Performance 

for-sto-12142016-fishing-picture-1of2By David Gray

When your fishing has spanned three or more decades plus, you have likely:

  1. Learned a lot
  2. Tried a bunch of different brands
  3. Seen a lot of lofty marketing claims about fishing product.

So when I heard the name Gamma fishing line, my thought was that it was a catchy name, but would the brand be worth trying?  I saw information that said Gamma line is molecularly altered for more performance and I assumed it was just marketing hype – what does that mean?

I did not try Gamma for a number of years and that was a considerable fishing strategy error on my part.

Anglers move from brand to brand of fishing line.  Like me, you probably saw line on sale and gave that brand a try, or a friend told you his brand and you tried it yourself.

I did too.   Over the course of years I tried lots of lines. Some of my “go-to” line brands were Trilene XL, Stren, Trilene XT, Big Game, Maxima, and Bass Pro Shops Excel which I continue to use.

Then I met Dale Black, owner of Gamma Line at an outdoor show.  Dale is an angler.  He is a business manager too, but most important, Dale knows fishing and he knows line.  He gave- not just a sales pitch, but an angler’s explanation of why Gamma line delivers increased fishing performance.  Why it’s a better line.  When I see and hear that sort of fact-presented passion, I am all ears.

for-sto-12142016-fishing-picture-2of2As fluorocarbon is the fussiest of line materials, I decided to start with Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon.  If it fished as Dale said, I would try other Gamma line.  Let me share all my issues about fluorocarbon with the qualifier that not any one line brand is best for all anglers.

Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon provided considerable improvement for my fishing in these areas:

  • Did not jump off my spinning reels – it had less memory issues
  • Excellent knot strength for someone that is not a good knot tyer
  • Strength did not decline in colder water
  • Life of the line on my reels lasted my complete season

I next tried Gamma Fluorocarbon Transparent Leader and Gamma Touch Super Fluorocarbon with continued excellent results.  Thumbs up for Gamma Fluorocarbon Line, it does deliver superior fishing performance.

Review Gamma and let us know how you like it.  Find out more or click Buy Now at    www.gammafishing.com.


Outdoor Pictures – Hunting With a Camera

  • Advice from Tony Bynum
  • Eye Contact, Image and Action
  • Photo Gear

By Forrest Fisher


There are those incredible moments in your lifetime when you meet someone and his work, and quickly realize that even after spending a lifetime in the outdoors, there is yet another resource that you need to know so much more about.  Outdoor photography with Tony Bynum is like that.

His photography has amazed many of us in magazines, newspapers, national ad’s, art galleries and many other places.  A scientist and conservationist, Tony provides the unique resource of experience in the wilds interconnecting with educators, legislators, government representatives and many of us hunters and fishermen.

This humble professional outdoor photographer simply wants to share more about the outdoors with everyone so they can enjoy it as much as he has.

Tony Bynum is a professional outdoor photographer, a father, explorer and an unassuming person that shares his findings at conservation and outdoor media events round the country and world.  Tony is vice-president of the Professional Outdoor Media Association of America (POMA – the largest outdoor media association in the United States) for-sto-11292016-hunting-picture-2of2and his input with others there and through the web will allow many to learn more about how to find those great moments for pictures in the outdoors.

His travel experience around the world is shared in his photographs.  To learn more about better outdoor photography for FREE, Tony is providing this link for others to enjoy his new E-book “Wildlife Photography Essentials,” your experience will be unforgettable.


Read Tony Bynum’s Free New E-book:

“Wildlife Photography Essentials”

The Great Divine


By Forrest Fisher

Talented and inspirational author, K.J. Houtman, continues to provide the outdoor world thought-provoking appreciation with a common connection. This heartwarming, outdoors lady identifies ways we see our Creator in nature. On this Thanksgiving Day 2016, enjoy her wonderful poem above.

For more from K. J. Houtman, including an entire chapter book series of adventurous outdoor tales for kids, see Fish On Kids Books at www.fishonkidsbooks.com or at Amazon starting with Book #1 A Whirlwind Opener. There are six books in the series.

Houtman’s newest book (adult non-fiction) is the life story on outdoorsman Jim Zumbo (now available on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/Zumbo-K-J-Houtman/dp/0991111656/). Check out this link:  http://www.fishonkidsbooks.com/zumbo.html.


HOT Panfish Lure for All Seasons

-Effortless Flash and Vibration

-Thin-Wire Hook, Power-Gap (More hookups)

-Sizes: 1/16 oz and 1/8 oz, Pre-Rigged TriggerX® Curl Tail Body 

–Long, Micro-Thin Tail Swims with a Light and Subtle Vibration



By Forrest Fisher

Guys that know me know I don’t mess around with praise for no good reason, so be aware- this lure deserves special praise.

Anglers everywhere are always looking for a new, better bait that works when others just do not seem to produce.  Enter the VMC® Company who continues to produce new, game-changing tackle to help anglers catch fish after fish after fish, especially with this new lure.  With the introduction of the new VMC Curl Tail Spin Jig, the lure to start out your friends who are new to fishing has just arrived. The lure is simply irresistible to fish.  It works for crappies, bass, bluegills, walleye and many other species.  It is a dinner ticket for anything with gills and anglers that try this new lure will agree in short order.

VMC® Curl Tail Spinnerbait

VMC’s new Curl Tail Spinnerbait is NOT just another flashy finesse offering for anglers, it is one of the most effective baits for bass and panfish, and offers the added benefit of being weedless.

The Curl Tail Spinnerbait features a Colorado blade on a paperclip-style arm swinging from the eyelet of a special ball-head-type jig pre-rigged with a Trigger-X Curl Tail grub body.  Featuring a long and curled micro-thin tail, the grub undulates back and forth with very little forward movement, offering a light and subtle vibration as it swims to the speed of the angler retrieve.

The Curl Tail Spinnerbait’s jig is armed with a Power Gap hook, providing a 5 percent wider gap than traditional jig hooks.  The feature allows for a better hookup ratio.  A ball bearing swivel connects the blade to the arm attachment, allowing for maximum rotation and flash.

For shallow and deep fishing, the lure is available in 1/16-ounce and 1/8-ounce sizes.  Curl Tail Spinnerbaits are offered in for-sto-11212016-picture-2of2five color patterns: Black Chartreuse Glow, Crappie Minnow, Green Orange Glow, Pink Chartreuse Glow, Pearl White and Red Pearl Glow.

To watch a video of live, fish-catching action, click on this exciting link with VMC pro-staff angler, Chris Gillman: https://youtu.be/otzCahN3o3Y.

Cost? Under $3. Visit this link to see available colors and other details: http://blog.rapala.com/vmc/vmc-unleashes-the-new-winding-and-curl-tail-spin-jigs/.

Lure Fishing Made Simple

  • How-To, Where-To, When-To
  • Size, Color, Action  
  • Develop Target Logic for Success


By Forrest Fisher

It’s hard to impress me about new fishing products, I’m an old guy who has seen quite a bit and likes to hang on to his wallet.  BUT, I was dutifully impressed by LiveTarget Lures about one year ago when on vacation and fishing in Florida.  I visited a tackle shop in Port Charlotte called “Fishin Frank’s” and was amazed by the array of lures, colors and selection criteria that the storeowner had on display in his store. This was a no-nonsense fishing shop and there was, literally, a wall full of LiveTarget Lures to view.  He went through his dissertation on why and wherefore he had this display, I liked his effort, so I bought one.  I was sold from then on, but for more than one reason.  The lures work and there is help from this lure-maker for the angler.

Of course, every angler just starting out is a bit more perplexed about lures than I was in that small tackle store. How can lures possibly work better than live bait? Can they work at all?  Lots of questions. Maybe, actually, anglers are even more than completely confused after they enter a large fishing warehouse store.  What to buy?  What color?  What size?  How to use it?  Where to use it?  So much to choose from and many more questions too.

The full-wall lure selection of LiveTarget Lures at Fish’n Frank’s in Port Charlotte, Florida, was impressive and I soon began to understand the whole philosophy idea behind the “Target” concept of this lure company that helped me to catch more fish. Forrest Fisher Photo
The full-wall lure selection of LiveTarget Lures at Fish’n Frank’s in Port Charlotte, Florida, was impressive and I soon began to understand the whole philosophy idea behind the “Target” concept of this lure company that helped me to catch more fish. Forrest Fisher Photo

Then the helpful salesman joins you because he can see that honest face and those wide eyes, and since you are agreeable, you listen up and feel better. Ah, yes, you’re going to get out there and be good at this.  Very cool, you’re up for the task and you’re excited too.

A day or two later, there you are with a sack full of new lures with your new rods and reels on your favorite fishing waterway.  All good except for one thing, you are less than encouraged to catch a fish because you’re still not sure about a lot of things.  You lack that one ingredient that all successful fishermen have, you lack confidence.  After all, this fishing is a new thing for you.  Enter LiveTarget Lures.

LiveTarget includes written instructions!  Yep, that salesman was great, but he told you so much in so little time, that not everything sank in.  The written instructions included with every LiveTarget lure are like a short story.  You can S-L-O-W D-O-W-N and read it at your own pace, you can remember it easier now.  If you forget it, you can read it again and again.  Pretty soon, it becomes a habit.  The LiveTarget folks tell us newbies what to do, why it will work, where to use it and what to do after the lure hits the water.  So don’t be scared away.

For advanced anglers who may not admit they need to be reading the instructions from lure companies, they may never find out that with LiveTarget instructions, there are valid tips for newbies and veterans of the fishing ranks that will enhance your success on the fishing front.


If the written instructions are not enough, or maybe some words are confusing to you, head back to the LiveTarget website and link up the live video that visually illustrates how the lure you are using works in the water. You can pull this in with your smartphone wherever you are.

Simple, straightforward, honest.  It’s hard to beat honest help!  The next question to answer is easy, what fish do you to catch – what do you want to target?  Head for this link and let the website help you figure it out: http://livetargetlures.com/.

Screen Tent for Winter Beach Protection

-CLAM 1660 Mag Screen Tent

-Big, Safe, Light, Portable, Inexpensive

-SPF-50 and UV Protection

The CLAM 1660 Mag Tent Screen is big, safe, light, portable, inexpensive and it provide SPF-50 sun protection and UV protection too.
The CLAM 1660 Mag Tent Screen is big, safe, light, portable, inexpensive and it provide SPF-50 sun protection and UV protection too.

By Forrest Fisher

Ever noticed that it seems to take an outdoorsman or an outdoor group to come up with the best of the best ideas for outdoor use?  It’s so true.

That’s why one of the Screen Tents (Quick-Set Escape Shelters) by CLAM seems to hit the nail on the head for protection from flying bug critters all year long.  No matter where you live, there are pesky insects of some kind.  With winter coming up and the snow birds heading south to Florida, there is an especially useful place to share one of these shelters, ON THE BEACH.  Florida beaches in winter are famous for the “no see-ums,” those tiny bugs that bite, and one of these units is great for protection from the bugs and the sun on either watery sunshine coast in Florida.

There are convenient grommet locations for stake hold downs with the CLAM 1660 Mag Tent Screen.
There are convenient grommet locations for stake hold downs with the CLAM 1660 Mag Tent Screen.

My wife and I spread out two nice cozy (big) blankets on the sand and then pop up our 1660 Mag Tent Screen right on top of them.  We’re finished in under a minute, literally, and both of us are pushing 70 years of totem pole marking.  It’s that easy and maybe the best thing when you have grandkids and family along, these units are big and they’re tall too.  Room and protection for everyone.

Our unit is 12 feet by 12 feet wide and is 7-1/2 feet high!  It has the no-see-um screen windows all the way around and the roof and fabric are SPF-50 for sun protection.  The side and roof panels also provide UV protection, something many of us have become more aware of these days.  With the 6 stakes and tie-down ropes that come with the unit, you will enjoy a wonderful day in the sun free from bugs and flying sand.

The whole thing comes in a convenient carry bag that is light (34 pounds).  We use a 2-wheel carry cart to move our shelter, chairs and our carefully stocked Yeti cooler to the beach and back from the vehicle.  The same vehicle we use to beat the snow back during the memory of our brutal New York winters.

Hence, we drive down to Florida and love our stay there during the winter time, you can too, with one of these Mag Tent Screen units from CLAM.  Fun times, no bugs, no sand, no sunburn, and also important – no snow!  Love those Florida beaches in winter!

For more info, check on-line at the CLAM website (http://www.clamoutdoors.com/pages/quickset ) or through Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Clam-Corporation-9281-Quick-Set-140-Inch/dp/B00E3LF7FK), where you can also find free shipping with PRIME.

New Hobie Kayak’s: No Paddles, but Have Forward and Reverse!

-Mechanism is Lightweight, Innovative

-Paddling with Legs: Good for Healthy Body Circulation

-Perfect for the Weekend Fisherman or Recreational Boater


By Forrest Fisher

My first introduction to Hobie Kayak’s was five years ago and resulted in just one simple word of expression – that word was “WOW!”  In our first use, my granddaughter and I could reach more than 10 miles per hour in a kayak!  That was without trying very hard, we were both thrilled and feeling “strong.”

Of course, with a little effort and a little wax, I think a much higher speed can be attained, but kayak paddling is not about speed.  It is more about joining nature on the waterways, communicating with fishable water where no other types of boats might be able to go, it is about developing unimaginable capacity understanding nature, about exploring, finding new adventure and all the while, keeping safe on board a very durable watercraft.  Safe, even when lakes and rivers and seas can turn voraciously mean!

The paddling with your legs idea is distinctly innovative.  I like the whole idea because it is easier than paddling with a hand-held paddle.  The Hobie Kayak units have steering too.  Since I’m a fisherman, this allows me to waste less time getting there and it also means getting there with more energy than other kayakers in other brand kayak craft.  Of course, the Hobie Kayaks are still provided with a conventional paddle too, so if you are a workout buff, you can have the best of both worlds.

The one issue I had when I initially propelled a Hobie was position control.  If I was in a southern creek or river, a big fish might pull me under an overhanging tree or two – a place where I did not want to go.

Me and cottonmouth friends have distinctly different viewpoints on symbiotic embrace.  With a reverse gear now, we can back out under MirageDrive reverse propulsion using feet for power and hands on the rod and net for landing the fish without any potential greeting from an overhanging contradiction to my simple fun of catching fish.for-sto-10182016-new-products-picture-2of3

The Hobie bio-engineered MirageDrive propulsion system for kayaks was revolutionary when first introduced in 1997
and the company has been evolving improvements ever since.  Now comes the biggest evolution – so far, the patent-pending Hobie MirageDrive 180 forward-reverse propulsion system that will be integrated into all 2017 model year Mirage kayaks.  All Hobie users are excited about this.

Weighing in at under eight pounds, the MirageDrive 180 produces full power in both directions and offers unprecedented maneuverability. The user can pull one of two shift cables to direct propulsion 180 degrees almost instantly from forward to reverse and back again.

Imagine the possibilities: backing fish out of cover; safely fishing closer to obstructions; or fishing downstream while holding in current. Hands-free propulsion in any direction means better control to cast, present baits and to concentrate on landing bigger fish. And then pictures can be snapped or cold beverage enjoyed on the way back in without ever stopping.

There are two shifters, one marked in green for forward and a longer one in red for reverse, making them easy to identify.  Pulling the appropriate cable pivots both MirageDrive fins 180 degrees, reversing the direction of the power output.

Although the forward-reverse capability is the most noticeable improvement to this new generation of the time-tested MirageDrive, it’s not the only significant advancement.  The new fins are even more durable, with high strength nylon on the leading and trailing edges.  Adjusting fin resistance has also been improved via an easy-access knob.  The fin shape, altered to allow the fins to rotate from forward to reverse, provides the same efficient power as past models of ST Fins and ST Turbo fins respectively.

Can the MirageDrive 180 go shallow? Absolutely. Use partial pedal strokes to “flutter” the fins or push one crank arm forward so that both fins automatically fold up flat against the bottom of the hull.  This same wing-like action excels for dodging obstacles, shedding weeds and gliding through the water with minimal resistance. It also facilitates landing on the beach or at the boat ramp.  The MirageDrive 180 installs in seconds thanks to the Click and Go Mounting System, which also makes removing a snap.

The MirageDrive 180’s cranks adjust to comfortably fit the user’s height, from tall to child-size. Cleaning and maintenance is simple.  A quick rinse at the end of the day and an occasional spray with Hobie Multi-Lube is all it takes.

I recently fished with Hobie Fishing Product Manager, Morgan Promnitz, and can add that this hard worker is more than just a factory fixture, he knows how to catch big fish wherever he goes, and he goes to many places educating users and store owners, insuring the outreach efforts of Hobie are best utilized around the world.

Promnitz took the MirageDrive 180 to the remotely located, an area of dangerous ocean currents and demanding kayak skills near Cedros Island in Baja, Mexico.  He managed a crew that performed intensive testing on the new drive.  “The shifters really shine. I found myself using them constantly,” Promnitz says.

Promnitz fished nose-in to a breakwall for powerful grouper.  Every time he hooked up, he’d throw the MirageDrive 180 into reverse and back the fish out of the rocks.  He also used the shifters while taking photos of friends connected with big fish, to get just close enough, backing away if the fish ran.  Another functional new use for anglers was trolling in reverse with live bait in front of him, where he could watch every potential deflection of his rod tip.

“A bonito school came up chasing the live mackerel I had on for bait. I subtly guided it towards them to entice a bite. It was cool watching the action go down,” he says.

The uses of the shifters are endless.  The two shift cables are composed of braided Spectra line connected to high strength, snag-free nylon handles. They tuck into a Bungee® retainer when not needed.

The MirageDrive 180 will be standard with all 2017 model year Mirage kayaks, including the legendary Outback and award-winning Pro Anglers. 2017 model year kayaks are slated to begin shipping in October 2016.

The MirageDrive 180 is retrofitable to existing MirageDrive kayaks and is expected to be available as a stand-alone accessory by mid-year 2017.  The Hobie’s are lightweight, functional, safe, durable, handsome, and are backed up by a terrific warranty.  These are among just a few reasons why I like ‘em.


Chronicles in History

  • Freedom, Patriotism, America
  • The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, Your Family
  • American Government Today
Chronicles in History is written by Timothy M. Powers and published by Tate Publishing – an exciting book about the reality of American government today from an expert, just in time for the 2016 Presidential election. Visit: http://tmpowers.tateauthor.com/.

If you are a liberal, conservative, socialite, republican, tea party or a simple free spirit, left –center or right, this great country of America has allowed all of us to administer our personal objectives without taking tally from our hide, our job or our bank account. The Constitution and Bill of Rights provide for that freedom.

A new book author, Tim Powers, has documented his thoughts for the people of America to read and ask themselves a few responsible questions about today. Powers offers a common sense look at what has been happening in America and how it compares to different points in history.

Through the writings of Tim Powers, you will discover not only what true patriotism is, but just how deep the corruption of our government really runs. You will discover things that you thought were unimaginable and only possible in a blockbuster spy movie. Tim’s familiarity and knowledge of the absolute corruption that has gripped our nation is unmistakable, and after reading this book, you’ll find out that it is undeniable.

In a recent message to public viewers, Tim Powers provided a written slant on his own Patriot Thoughts:

“As I sit here after a long day at work, having just arrived home to look into the eyes of three of my precious little granddaughters, I can’t help but wonder what kind of life and choices they will have in their future to come based on the choices that I make today.

I ask myself if they will be as free as I am today, which is less free than my grandfather was.

Will they be imprisoned because they are Americans, become sex slaves to Muslim transplants, or even be killed? Will they pick up the mantle of Liberty and Freedom that I have tried to promote through my adult life and speak their minds for the cause? Or will they become indoctrinated SLAVES of the elite establishment and remain in their SAFE spaces? Will they have the courage to act against un-righteousness? The will to fight for what is just? Have the drive and intestinal fortitude that our Founders had? Will they sacrifice EVERYTHING to be free?

I have come to the conclusion that it is up to ME and those like me to make these things possible for them. Not unless these little children have experienced Freedom and know the meaning of it, can they keep America’s torch lit.

Our children and grandchildren are the future.

We the People have short-changed them long enough through our apathy. In this upcoming election, we MUST take a stand to preserve what makes America great! Our choices may not be very good, but they are very clear!

It is time to take the elitist establishment down once and for all and re-start America as she was founded. A government by the people and for the people. As for me, I want my granddaughters to one day be able to say that their grampy did everything that he could to restore the Constitutional Republic. How about you?

As always, stay safe and be aware of your surroundings!

Feel free to repost.” Check out the book also available in audio form, please visit http://tmpowers.tateauthor.com/.

No-Knot Line-Anchors: Tie-Down Security

-Small, Easy to Carry
-Inexpensive, Effective


While attending the fun-filled 2016 Annual Conference with the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers at Peek’N Peak Resort and Spa last week, I met several new outdoor friends including Ted Stender of Fallout Products. The useful and genuinely new innovations that this young man and his team have developed offer all of us an inspiring array for multiple uses for all of us that want to share our passion with others for fun in the outdoors.

If you’re erecting a tent, hunting blind, lean-to, volleyball net, protective utility tarp for your campsite firewood, a field hockey goal or a thousand other uses, the No-Knot Bite Spike™ is a unique anchoring stake that brings new, unfettered simplicity to the term “Tight Lines” and “Securely Fastened.”   The patent-pending Root-Hook, ground-grabbing design, the No-Knot guy line tie-down system will become bonded to my satchel-of-the-season for so many purposes. The rope-gripping head of the Bite Spike anchors the line from the intended hold-down structure securely to the ground. This is true even with small diameter tie-down lines, I tested it in heavy wind too.

noknotlineanchor2The device is available in several sizes, but here is one example of the smaller stake system details:

  • Unique Root-Hook anchoring design and No-Knot guy line tie-down (patent pending)
  • Length: 7 inches
  • Stem: .75 inch
  • Root-Hook: 1 inch
  • Stake Head: 3 inches
  • Stock Colors: Red, Orange, and Green
  • Custom Colors: Available with Quantity Orders

A 10-Pack of these life-saving Bite Spike™ stakes less than $7. Unreal. Check ‘em out at https://falloutinnovations.com/product/bite-spike/.

Archers will want to visit that same site in a few weeks, I saw a prelude of their new products. Gotta have ‘em.


A Yeti for Your Drink

Serve Yourself Comfort, Hot or Cold!
By Doug Howlett


Every year, companies develop and introduce new products that serve an entirely new purpose or make minor enhancements to an existing category of products. Few products ever redefine an entire market, but that is exactly what Austin, Texas-based Yeti has done with the cooler industry.

Until Yeti arose from the minds of two brothers, Roy and Ryan Seiders, coolers were pretty much one-inch thick or less molded plastic containers that held ice, food and drinks for part of a day before requiring more ice. There was little difference between one model to the next. They were made like many products today, arguably effective, but with an eye toward creating the most affordable product available to appeal to the consumer. This often resulted in cooler tops that bent or caved when sat upon, latches or handles that broke and coolers that needed to be replenished with ice daily or even multiple times a day in order to keep the storage compartment cool.

Yeti has changed that!

The Seiders brothers sought to design a cooler that was the best insulated storage device that money could buy. Virtually no expense was spared. Their products aren’t cheap, but then neither are the materials they are made with. They are thick, sturdy, and long-lasting, and made to be with you like your best pictures – for all time.

The results and data speak for themselves. A cooler that can hold ice for many days and keep items inside as cold as a refrigerator. For serious outdoorsman looking for a cooler as rugged, durable and well-suited for the adventures they pursue, Yeti comes with uncompromising quality.

My first Yeti experience came during a spring turkey hunt in Florida. It was only March, but the spring south Florida sun burned into the low 80s each day. Three mornings into the hunt, we opened the Yeti Roadie 20 that had been sitting in the guide’s truck since the start of our trip and some ice still remained. I was admittedly impressed. Yeti was still a fairly new company then, but since that time, has evolved as a virtual status system for the outdoorsman who wants only the best.

“We make things to work well, functional and simple,” says Ben O’Brien, Yeti hunting marketing manager. “The lid will be the strongest, the zipper will be best, the handles will be the sturdiest; there is a no compromise approach on quality at Yeti.” This approach has made the difference in forging an entirely new niche within the cooler business.

Product Line Expands

For a “Cooler Company,” it might seem strange that one of the hottest items they sold last Christmas, was a stainless steel travel cup.

Yeti’s Rambler Tumblers, available in both 20-ounce and 30-ounce versions, were the best-selling item Yeti sold during the holiday and continues to fly off shelves, especially the 30-ounce Yeti Tumbler. So how does a cup fit in the mix of product offerings by a cooler company?

yeti2“The Yeti Tumbler, when you think about it, is a natural extension of what we were already doing in a lot of ways with thermal vacuum insulation,” says O’Brien. “Thermal vacuum insulation is the best insulating property available. By combining that with a stainless-steel, kitchen-grade exterior, which is the perfect exterior because it doesn’t sweat, we built a Yeti-quality cup for any drink, hot or cold.”

Indeed, the Yeti Tumbler keeps coffee hot and iced drinks cold longer than any other travel cup available thanks to its double-wall vacuum insulation. It’s a tapered design is made to fit perfectly in most vehicle drink holders without sacrificing liquid-containing space. The thick plastic lid boasts a tight-fitting elastomer O-ring to maintain the insulating properties and provide a leak-preventing seal if toppled over, and is clear. This is great, so you can see how much drink is left in the cup. Because it doesn’t sweat, it is safe to set on any surface. It’s the perfect complement to any adventure or simple trip up the road.

For the person seeking Yeti-quality, but maybe not yet prepared to invest in a cooler-priced item, the 30-ounce Tumbler, at $39.99, is a much more manageable price-point to begin a personal Yeti collection.


“It’s a symbol of what Yeti is,” says O’Brien, as he theorizes when asked why it was among the most sought after items at Christmas. “Yeti has become sort of a status symbol in some ways, it epitomizes the outdoors and uncompromising quality”

The company continues to foster that approach to quality for more products as well. In addition to their well-known hard coolers, they now offer soft-sided coolers, the Rambler Tumblers, Rambler Bottles and most recently, even a Rambler Lowball Mug, which makes for the perfect camp cup. And you can continue to expect more.

“A lot of companies are starting to try and copy us now. Some had the tumblers, but not the coolers, while some had coolers, but not any type of drinkware,” says O’Brien. “But for a company to be built on a hard cooler, soft cooler and drinkware, that is uniquely Yeti.”

Fibreglass Fishing Rods Turn New Corner

St. Croix Legend® Glass – Modern Technology and Innovative Design Create a New Revision of Fiberglass Fishing Rod Blanks Made in the USA


Earlier in 2016 when I visited the St.Croix fishing rod manufacturing plant in Park Falls, Wisconsin, understanding the St. Croix manufacturing process of rod building took on a new appreciation level in my mind.

Every step is accounted for.

There is no room for error in the process.

There are quality checks along the way to verify bonded layer strength and flexibility to meet their innovative design standards.

Of course, over time, most anglers with integrity for definitive difference in perfection standards have identified St. Croix rods for flawlessness. For many, St. Croix marks the best fishing stick for them to use with their time on the water.

fiberglassrods2Now, the St. Croix Legend series of rods will bring yet another new dimension to a once old style type of rod blank with a new design of fibreglass rod blanks. Just when the entire world was switching to higher ultimate strength fishing rods made from high-tech materials for their sensitivity and light physical weight, the St. Croix NEW Legend® Glass series brings an adjustment to that desirable “old feel” and “rod bend” with new changes to fiberglass material design with pioneering advances in new build features. These premium 100% linear S-Glass rods utilize IPC® tooling technology, are extremely lightweight and make casting, retrieving and fighting fish a dream.

Developed exclusively by St. Croix, Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC®) tooling technology has rapidly become the engineering leader in rod making and was designed to eliminate all transitional points in the rod blank. IPC-engineered rods at St. Croix feature smoother actions, increased strength and greater sensitivity. In addition to IPC tooling, all Legend Glass rods feature Fuji® K Series Concept Tangle-free guides with Alconite rings and a Kigan hook-keeper. Three of the four models (LGC610MM, LGC72MM & LGC74MHM) utilize the Fuji® ECS reel seat while the LGC711HM features the Fuji® PSS-SD palming reel seat providing the comfort anglers seek while fishing deep diving crankbaits.

Legend Glass rods were designed and are handcrafted in Park Falls, Wisconsin. Legend Glass rods retail from $240 – $250 and come with a 15-year transferable warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service.


About St. Croix Rods:

St. Croix Rod is a family-owned and managed manufacturer of high-performance fishing rods headquartered in Park Falls, Wisconsin, with a 68-year heritage of USA manufacturing. Utilizing proprietary technologies, St. Croix controls every step of the rod-making process, from conception and design to manufacturing and inspection, in two company-owned facilities. The company offers a complete line of premium, American-made fly, spinning and casting rods under their Legend Elite,® Legend® Xtreme, Legend Tournament,® Avid Series,® Premier,® Wild River,® Tidemaster,® Imperial® and other trademarks through a global distribution network of full-service fishing tackle dealers.

The company’s mid-priced Triumph,® Mojo Bass/Musky/Inshore/Surf, Eyecon® and Rio Santo series rods are designed and engineered in Park Falls, Wisconsin and built in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Fresnillo, Mexico. Founded in 1948 to manufacture jointed bamboo fishing poles for a Minneapolis hardware store chain, St. Croix has grown to become the largest manufacturer of fishing rods in North America.

Plano Simplicity: A is for Access

A-Series Bag is Versatile, Affordable and Perfect!

  • Max storage, small footprint, fast access
  • 12 storage pockets, under $50

planosimplicity1About 25 years ago, when I was a bit younger and doing fishing video’s took way more effort than today, Ron Lindner said to me, “Hey Forrest, I like the way you keep your lures in those Plano storage boxes, sorted by type, then stowed in your backpack.” You know, it just made simple sense. Yet, at the time, nobody in the tackle business made one of those durable bags that could carry individual tackle boxes.

Today, Plano has brought all of us into a new dimension with simple storage for fishermen and outdoor folks. The new systems really mean just more fun for everyone. You know where everything is because you can see it and can find what you’re looking for and use it.

Their A-Series Tackle Bag doesn’t take a lot of space in your boat or truck, yet it van carry five fully loaded Plano 3600 storage boxes in the main compartment. While it at first looks like a camera bag, it’s that durable looking, access is easy and quick with two latch clip in the front of the bag. No zipper to break or slip from your fingers from ice during the cold season or sweat during the hottest days of summer. Click, click, you’re open and have access to your main boxes.

That’s not all, this bag as an interior lid storage system too, with four small slip pockets for holding useful “use-all-the-time” essentials on the interior of the flip open lid.

On the outside of the bag, there are 12 more pockets for secure storage, a few with slip pockets, some with zippered access for security, a few with Velcro closure.

Plano designed this A-Series with an acronym they want everyone to remember: A is for ACCESS. This is the new small bag with big storage for easy access. And, it looks really good too. It’s distinctive and striking in appearance, it’s innovative and it is made to last a long time.

I just went out and bought 10 more 3600 series utility boxes and will use the new A-Series bag for fishing, hunting, hardware, and many other items, depending on the day. It’s versatile and the best part is, I like it!

The 3600 boxes slip and out so easily. I can go everywhere in style with this A-series storage bag for outdoors folks. On the negative side, my wife wants to borrow it all the time for her goodies in other 3600 utility boxes. After 47 years together, we have a common bonding device!

Maybe the best part, even with all that well-designed ingenuity, it is affordable at under $50. Visit: http://www.planomolding.com/ to learn more.

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, July 1, 2016


Lake Ontario and Tributaries 

Some monster fish are being caught out there. Captain Dan Evans of Wilson reported a 32.5 pound salmon hauled in by Todd Garzarelli on Tuesday.  According to Evans with Lone Wolf Sportfishing, fishing for both salmon and trout has been good from 80 to 350 feet of water depending on wind direction.  He was finding 48 degree water 60 feet down, stacking spoons on either side of that temperature break.  Silver-green glo/black colors have been working best off copper rigs and downriggers.  Spin doctors and A-Tom-Mik flies have worked best off the divers.  White with green dot doctors and hammer flies are at the top of the list for him.

He also hit a milestone last weekend when Harry Camardella of Wilson caught the biggest steelie Evans has ever taken off his 32 foot Luhrs, a 20-pound steelhead.  With the LOC Derby starting July 1, don’t be surprised if we break the 20-pound mark for each one of the trout species and 35 for the king salmon division.


Over in Olcott, Capt. Bob Cinelli was using all spoons to take a mix of salmon and trout – including a nice 12 pound Atlantic. Riggers, divers, and coppers.  His best copper rigs were back 350 and 400 feet.  Fish seem to be laid out west of Wilson all the way down the lake.  His best fish catching depth was the 65 to 80 foot zone.


The Lake Ontario Counties Summer Salmon and Trout Derby is slated for July 1-31, 2016.  A total of $29,000 will be up for grabs during July around the lake, including a Grand Prize of $10,000 for the biggest salmon weighed in.  Four different species categories will be offering a $1,000 prize for the biggest fish in each.  In addition, a weekly prize of $1,000 will also be given out to the largest salmon and $250 each to the largest lake trout, brown trout and rainbow/steelhead.  And, if you are a member of the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association, you can win another $500 in cash just for entering the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member and witnessed by a LOTSA member.

For $10, become a member of a group that’s fighting for every fish in the lake.  Find out more on LOTSA at www.lotsa1.org. For information on the LOC Derby go to www.loc.org. Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Tri-State Charters will give a talk on fall salmon fishing at the next LOTSA meeting on July 14 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara starting at 7 pm.

Lower Niagara River

Lower river action continues to be slow for bass and walleye because of the moss situation, however, some spots in the river where the moss isn’t bad are near launch ramps at Fort Niagara.  Minnows or crayfish work best.  The Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding its annual bass contest on July 23.  To find out more information go to niagarariveranglers.com or call 807-6111 at Creek Road Bait and Tackle.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal 

Moss is still a problem in the upper river, too, but according to Scott McKee, president of the Niagara Musky Assn., the most is manageable for trollers and casters pursuing Mr. Toothy.

The 26th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby is set for July 6th through the 17th. With more than $20,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs, there should be plenty of anglers lining the banks of the canal from the Niagara River to Albion.  Categories include bass, sheepshead, northern pike, carp, catfish, bullhead and walleye.  To find out more information contact Steve Harrington at 772-7972 or visit the derby website at www.eriecanalderby.com.

In the Hooked on the Tonawanda’s tournament held June 25 and 26, some impressive catches came to the scales including a 22.4 pound carp reeled in by Matt Steffan of Williamsville; a 5-1/4 pound Northern pike hauled in by Dan Dolan of Grand Island; Matt Melendez of Buffalo caught the biggest bullhead, a 1.22 pound fish; Richard Jopp of Buffalo led the charge with a .43 pound perch; and Sean Franklin of Buffalo placed first with a three pound bass.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal

Wednesday June 29, 2016

Let’s start out with fishing derby news.

This Friday, July 1st, starts the LOC Summer Derby which runs through July 31st.  There is $29,000 in cash up for grabs with a $10,000 grand prize for the biggest salmon.  More information can be found at www.loc.org or by calling 888-733-5246.  Register at any of these Orleans County locations or on-line: Captain’s Cove Resort, 14339 Rt. 18, Waterport, NY, 14571, 585-682-3316, http://fishcaptainscove.com Narby’s Superette and Tackle, 1292 Oak Orchard Rd, Kent, NY, 14477, 585-682-4624, http://www.narbys.com/;  Orleans Outdoors, 1764 Oak Orchard Rd., Albion, NY, 14411, 585-682-4546, http://www.orleansoutdoor.com/.  

Then there is the 26th Annual Erie Canal Derby which runs from July 6th to the 17th this year.  In this event a boat, motor and trailer is the grand prize and in the youth division, a canal trail bike is available.  Great fishing abounds on the Erie Canal. Eligible waters are the Erie Canal from the Niagara River to the Route 98 Bridge, located in the heart of Albion. More than $8,000 in prizes is available. For more information check out their website at www.eriecanalderby.com.

Fishing on Lake Ontario has been good to exceptional over the past week.  Winds have been fairly kind to us and that has kept the fishing in closer to shore, mainly the 90 to 150 feet of water range.  Most anglers are reporting a good mix of fish, mainly Chinook salmon, Lake trout and Steelhead trout with some reporting some exceptional size fish in each category.  With the great weather predicted through the weekend and well into next week, fishing should continue to improve.

On Lake Alice, the Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Carp seem to be providing most of the action.  Reports have the bass mostly at legal size with few undersize fish being seen.

The Erie Canal from Middleport to Brockport is in the process of being de-watered for some emergency repairs in two locations, but the portion from Middleport to Albion should be reopened by the end of next week.

The 4th of July is when we celebrate the birth of our great nation and a great way to celebrate is to take a kid fishing, hiking or any other activity that helps our youth to enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer.

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

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, June 24, 2016

Lake Ontario, Niagara River
Free New York State Fishing Days This Weekend


Lake Ontario and tributaries 

New York State’s Free Fishing Weekend is set for this weekend, June 25-26.  There are plenty of events for the entire family to keep people busy – and happy – right here in Western New York!

In this day and age where nothing seems to be for free any more, the Empire State will offer up an opportunity to fish all around the state without purchasing a license.  You do have to follow the fishing regulations in the water you intend to fish however.

For salmon and trout, action has started to heat up a little bit out of Wilson and Olcott.  Boats have been heading out to 350 feet and beyond off Wilson for a mix of steelies and kings.  Action has been a bit closer off Olcott with some fish being taken in as close as 150 to 180 feet of water – when they can get out there.  Spoons are the primary enticement, but don’t rule out flasher-fly or flasher-cut bait, especially for bigger fish.  Target the top 60 feet according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker.  There are also fish in the 330 to 380 depth contour.

The Summer LOC Derby is set for July 1-31.  Go to www.loc.org for details. More cash is up for grabs.

The Olcott Lions Club will be hosting its annual kids fishing contest on Saturday, June 25 at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott from 8 a.m. to noon.  Get the kids out and enjoy the local fishing.

Lower Niagara River

Action in the Lower Niagara River has been plagued by moss, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish.  Capt. Dave Tripiciano organized an outing for young Shelby, a teenager with Muscular Dystrophy last Tuesday out of Youngstown.  Using the expertise of some local fishermen like Tim L., they managed to lift Shelby’s 350 pound wheelchair into the boat and drift for smallmouth around Fort Niagara.  They found an area that was pretty-much moss free and caught bass up to 4 pounds.  Shelby was granted this trip through an organization called Moment of Peace Adventures of Pennsylvania and, in addition to visiting Niagara Falls (and being the first physically-challenged person to utilize the facilities at the re-opened and revamped Terrapin Point), they had a great time.  Tim had been doing very well in that area on smallmouth the two days prior, too.  When he fished in the main river, though, it was a tough go with the moss. Shiners were the best bait, fished off three way rigs.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal 

In the Kelly’s Korner’s opening day bass contest, it was Dan Hudson of Tonawanda winning with the best two fish weight of 10.25 pounds.  Not far off the pace was Bob Hubler of Niagara Falls with a total of 10.07 pounds, but he had big fish that hit 5.75 pounds.  He was using a big chub in 40 feet of water to take his lunker catch off Wanaka, where many of the fish came from.  Bass are still available in the river, too, with the bass opener in Canada happening on Saturday, June 25.

There are numerous events that coincide with the New York State Free Fishing Days weekend and at the top of the list is the Tonawanda’s Fishing Tournament sponsored by Gateway Harbor, that will go the entire weekend.  Register for the event if you are an adult for a nominal fee.  Kids under 16 can register for a free youth division.  You are restricted as to where you can fish in the Canal, what amounts to about a one mile stretch between Tonawanda and North Tonawanda from the Niagara River to the City line.  You can register at area tackle shops or stop down to Gateway Harbor in North Tonawanda on Friday to register.  Species categories include bass (both largemouth and smallmouth), bullhead, channel catfish, carp, perch, northern pike and walleye.  The weigh station will be open 7 am to 6 pm on Saturday; 7 am to 3 pm on Sunday.  This is a transition year for the event as the local organizing committee hands the contest off to the Boys and Girls Club of the North Towns.  A new website location for an entry form can be found at www.bgcnt.net and the organization will be taking the lead role after this year.  After last year’s wash out, organizers are hoping for some decent weather to show off the Canal’s angling potential and help to showcase this natural resource.

Speaking of the canal, some local anglers were worried that the dewatering that was going to take place from Middleport to Brockport on Monday, June 27, was going to affect the Erie Canal Fishing Derby July 6-15.  It looks like after three days, the Canal will be opened up from Middleport to Albion; the remainder will be opened by the weekend.

A huge Family Fishing Day will also be taking place out of Broderick Park both Saturday and Sunday this weekend starting at 7 am each day, as well. This is their 8th Annual event.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York – June 22, 2016

Erie Canal Rebuild in Progress, Bass Bite is On at Lake Alice

Lake Alice (Waterport Reservoir) offers plenty of rod-buster largemouth bass like this fooled on a Senko Worm fished along weedbeds adjacent to a deep drop-off. Forrest Fisher Photo

To start off, the Erie Canal from Middleport to Brockport will be shut down starting June 27th to drain that portion of the canal.

There are two major repairs that need to be made; one at the culvert overpass at Culvert Road and the other is a culvert wall at Hulberton.  The repair at Culvert Road will be a temporary fix and the permanent fix will be done after the close of the canal season.  When the temporary fix is completed the section of canal between Middleport and Albion will be reopened and the section between Albion and Brockport will remain closed until the permanent repair is completed at Hulberton.

On Lake Alice, anglers are doing well on some nice Largemouth bass casting spinners along the weed beds.  Perch, Bluegills and Rock bass are being taken in 15 to 20 feet of water.

On Lake Ontario, the Spiney Water Fleas are just starting to show up, but not in any great numbers as of yet.  Anglers report show that fishing seems to be good between the 25 and 26 lines, with very good catches of both Steelhead and Salmon.

The Summer LOC Derby starts on July 1st and runs through the end of the month. 

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

Boating Fun, Precautions, Tips


Don’t Miss the Boat

National Fishing and Boating Week is held the first part of June every year, a time to create a better awareness for these popular outdoor pastimes.  Boating is a natural outdoor activity all across the country and here in the Greater Niagara Region of Western New York, it’s most appropriate because we are surrounded by water.

With two Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario), the Niagara River and the Erie Canal leading the way, boating is a perfect way to spend time outdoors with family and friends.  However, with the fun comes a fair amount of responsibility.  Boating education is extremely important – from how to operate your vessel to what to do in an emergency situation – and should all be part of your wheelhouse of knowledge before you start driving a boat around your local waters, no matter where you are.


While we can’t cover everything in one simple blog, we can certainly help point you in the right direction to help get you the education that you need. One way is through an organization called the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation based in Washington, D.C.  This is their mission statement: “The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating and thereby increase public awareness and appreciation of the need to protect, conserve and restore this nation’s aquatic natural resources.”

Yes, once you become a boater and/or a fisherman, you need to become a steward of these treasured natural resources and water is at the top of the list.  Boating and fishing truly do go hand in hand.  You may not need a boat to go fishing or you don’t have to fish if you have a boat, but combining the two can lead to spending so much more quality time with family and friends.  It can also lead you down the path for outdoor adventures that can last a lifetime.

Getting Started 

The RBFF is an excellent way to get started because there is so much information available on that particular website alone.  You can get into the information that you need before you even select a boat, determining what boat might best meet your needs.  From there you can get into boating basics, boating responsibly and places to boat – all key components for safety and responsibility when it comes to boats and boating.


In New York, a new boating education law was passed May 1, 2014 that requires any person born on or after May 1, 1996 to have a boating safety certificate to operate a motor boat.  Approved courses are offered regularly by New York State Parks, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadrons.  You must be at least 10 years of age to take the course.  You must be at least 14 years of age to operate a vessel.  That said, no matter what your age, if you have never operated a motor boat before, these courses are a good plan of attack to get yourself into the swing of things.

To find out more about boating in the state and to print out a copy of the New York State Boaters Guide, click over to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation at http://nysparks.com/recreation/boating/ and to find out when there will be a course in your area.

The link for classes is http://nysparks.com/recreation/boating/safety-courses.aspx?cnty=Niagara&sort=1.

In addition to the state parks, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary gives a vessel exam blitz that can help keep your boat current as far as safety requirements.  The next vessel exam in Western New York will take place June 25 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at Youngstown at the Fort Niagara launch ramps.  Contact John Roach at 716-751-2057 for more information.  He also has similar exams on July 9 at Wilson-Tuscarora State Park and August 6 at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott.

Invasive Species

New Law on Invasive Species.  As part of an aggressive effort to prevent invasive species from entering and damaging New York water bodies, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) adopted new regulations earlier that require boaters to remove all visible plant and animal materials from boats, trailers and associated equipment, and to drain boats prior to launching from DEC lands.

The regulations, which are currently in effect, pertain to all DEC boat launches, fishing access sites and other DEC lands where watercraft such as boats, kayak or canoes, can be launched into the water. You should visibly inspect the water craft and remove any mud, vegetation or other organisms that might be clinging to it. In addition, you should drain any water from the vessel, such as from the bilge, live well or other holding tanks that might be in the boat. Drying the boat is also recommended. Again, it’s all part of being a responsible boat owner who is a steward of our natural resources.

4th of July Safety Tips 

If you are out on a boat during the 4th of July holiday – a popular boating time – BoatUS has some safety tips to consider when on the water.  For starters, be cognizant of the boat’s carrying capacity – don’t overload the boat with people!  In addition, make sure that everyone on board has a personal flotation device or life jacket.  The greatest chance for an accident is at night after the fireworks when everyone is heading back to the launch ramp or marina at the same time.  Be careful out there!  It’s not a bad idea to show a little patience and take your time returning to the launch ramp or marina.

If you are going to be boating at night, make sure all the lights are in working order.  If you are a paddler with a kayak or canoe, steer clear of the main boating areas at night and make sure you have Coast Guard-approved navigation lights.  Assume that no one can see you, which could very well be the case.


Another important consideration is to boat when you are sober – especially at night.  You can face a Boating While Intoxicated charge and it’s an operator’s responsibility to keep everyone on board safe.  Drunk driving on the water will have a negative impact on your driver’s license, too.

Share the Day Plan

Finally, before you head out on the water with any kind of a vessel, make sure you remain consistent with some type of a plan to let other people know where you will be going, who will be going and when you expect to return.  Keep it simple and to the point.  Even if you are at the launch ramp, leave a little note on your windshield with the details of where you are going and when you expect to return.

It’s better to be safe!

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, June 17, 2016

Wind Direction Moved Fish Out to 450 Feet

Lake Ontario and tributaries 

Lake action is a little messed up right now with recent winds, however, fish are available if you want to go out there and chase some salmon and trout around.

The Reel Pleasure crew of Sal Macaluso and Captain Bob Fontaine recently took their maiden fishing voyage on the Andrea Raye this season for a four-hour jaunt and managed to hook six fish – they used a variety of tactics that included downriggers, dipsy divers and lead core lines. All had hits using spoons or flasher-fly combos at the magic depth, which was 50 feet down from the surface.  They were over 450 to 500 feet of water straight out of Olcott.  One steelhead was boated; a second was lost at the back of the boat.  Outdoor writer Will Elliott was the only person to bring a fish to the net.

Some brown trout are still available inside of 75 foot depths. With the bass opener this Saturday, June 18, 2016, 18 Mile Creek from Olcott Harbor to the dam could be a good spot.  Also Wilson Harbor.

Fishing should continue to improve as conditions settle back into a normal summer, just in time for the Summer Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby set for July 1-31.  Check out all of the details at www.loc.org.

For the youngsters, the Wilson Conservation Club will be holding its county-wide fishing derby from 8 am to noon on June 18.  Make sure you hit the measuring board by noon, too, at the clubhouse located on Route 425 in Wilson.  Awards will follow at 1 pm.

Lower Niagara River

Moss is still an issue and hindering any kind of fishing activity.  Ed Garcia with the Niagara River Anglers Association sends word that the club will be holding its annual bass contest on July 23.  Check them out on Facebook or at www.niagarariveranglers.com.

Upper Niagara River 

The state’s regular bass season opens up on Saturday, June 18 and if you’re looking to keep a few for the frying pan, they must be at least 12 inches long.  More and more, anglers are practicing catch and release on these fish.  Speaking of bass, Kelly’s Korners in Niagara Falls will be holding an opening day bass contest on June 18 and most of the fishermen and women will be hitting Lake Erie.  It’s your best two fish for the day.  Hours are from 5 am to 4 pm that day.  You must be signed up by June 17.  For more information call 716-283-2040.

Remember that bass season doesn’t open in Canadian waters until June 25.

Great Lakes muskellunge season opens on Saturday in New York, too, and catch and release is also being practiced more and more – especially with a 54 inch minimum size for the Great Lakes.  Take special care with this fish if you do catch one to ensure it will survive.

A bunch of kids contests coming up this weekend.  The City of Tonawanda offers up a kid’s derby at Niawanda Park in Tonawanda on Saturday, June 18 from 8 am to noon.  Get there early. On Sunday June 19 – Father’s Day – there will be a Kids fishing derby at Widewaters Marina in Lockport, hosted by the Lock-City Moose Lodge 617.  Registration is at 7:30 am; fishing from 8-11 am.  Call 716-417-4198 for more info.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!


Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal

Wednesday June 15, 2016

The New York State black bass season opens on Saturday, June 18, 2016, and spinner baits like this Lucky Strike lure from Bass Pro Shops will be among the most popular of artificial lure baits that anglers use to fool ‘ol mossback.

First congratulations to all of the winners in the 4th Annual Oak Orchard Open Tournament.

Although the weather shortened the fishing day, some great catches were brought to the weigh-in that showed the great abilities of all the entries.

It looks like after the storm tomorrow, summer will finally be upon us.

Temperatures will be in the 80’s by the end of the week with an almost perfect Sunday for Father’s Day.

After the storms and winds of the past weekend, Lake Ontario is still trying to settle out to what are more normal conditions.  Right now the picture is scattered, but the best area seems to be the 300 to 400 foot range, with fish coming deeper in the water column.

On Lake Alice fishing has slowed a bit with Bluegill still fairly active.

Of course this Saturday, June 18, 2016, is the opening day of Bass season, so there should be plenty of action along all our shorelines and even on the Erie Canal.  As one person put it, there should be foam on the water from all of the spinner baits being pulled through the waters this Saturday.

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

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, June 10, 2016

Lake Ontario, Niagara River
Cold Front Turn Fishery Topsy-Turvy

Bob George with his first ever muskie, 35 pounds, pushing 50 inches. Congrats! Frank Campbell, Niagara Guide Service (on right), has customers return year after year for good reason. Contact Captain Campbell at 716-284-8546.

Lake Ontario and tributaries 

Rough conditions and cool temperatures the past week has made it pretty rough on the fishermen.  On Monday, we only know of a couple charter captains who braved the waves and while conditions were uncomfortable, they did catch fish.  The most consistent fishing has been in 350 to 450 feet of water with a mix of steelhead and kings in the top 100 feet.

Spoons work best up high; flasher-fly combos work best down deep.  Cold water could be found down 50 feet, so patterns for this time of year are messed up according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker.

There have been some fishing in the 100 to 150 foot range, too. Some browns can be found inside of 40 feet off Olcott and Wilson.  Because of the cold water, some browns can also be caught off the piers.

In 18 Mile Creek in Olcott, the river water was in the mid-60s, so the bass are also starting to turn on all the way to Burt Dam.  Remember bass season doesn’t open until June 18, so if you are going to target bass, make sure you use artificial baits.

Panfish and pike are also available in both Olcott and Wilson Harbors.

Some kids fishing derbies are on the angling docket for the next couple of weeks, including the youth fishing derby sponsored by Faith Lutheran Church on the west side of 18 Mile Creek in Olcott Harbor, it will run from 8:00 a.m. to noon. For more info call Joe Thomas at 531-5815.

On June 18, the Wilson Conservation Club will be holding its annual county-wide fishing derby for the kids from 8:00 a.m. to noon.  Measure your fish by noon at the club located on Route 425 in Wilson.  Awards will be held at 1:00 p.m.  Call 930-7500 for more info.

On June 19, there will be a kids fishing derby at Widewaters Marina in Lockport, hosted by the Lock-City Moose Lodge 617. Registration at 7:30 am; fishing from 8:00 -11:00 a.m.  Call 417-4198 for more info.

Don’t forget about the kid’s derby at the Town of Newfane Marina on June 25, which also happens to occur on our New York State Free Fishing Weekend.

Lower Niagara River

Fishing has really slowed down the past week. Not because the fish aren’t there, but because the dreaded moss has finally arrived in larger quantities to take some of the joys out of fishing in this productive stretch of water.  There are actually a few steelhead still hanging around, but it’s anyone’s guess how long that will be.  Bass is a better option for getting a fish to hit, but the moss really limits how much time you can keep your lures in the water.

Remember that the Catch and Release season is in effect in the Niagara River until June 18 and only artificial lures can be used up until then.  Tube jigs, swim baits and jerk baits are all good options for this time of year.

Upper Niagara River 

Nothing was on fire the week with the cold front weather.  Musky anglers can’t wait for the June 18 opening, next Saturday, and neither can the bass guys, since opening day for bass in New York occurs the same day.

Speaking of bass, Kelly’s Korners in Niagara Falls will be holding an opening day bass contest on June 18 and most of the fishermen and women will be hitting Lake Erie.  It’s your best two fish for the day.  Hours are from 5:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. that day.  You must be signed up by June 17.  Best two fish total weight wins the prize money. For more information call 716-283-2040.

Northern pike, perch and other panfish can also be caught throughout the upper river and even into the Erie Canal.

There will be a kids fishing derby at Widewaters Marina in Lockport on June 19, hosted by the Lock-City Moose Lodge 617.  Registration begins at 7:30 am; fishing from 8:00 -11:00 a.m.  Call 716-417-4198 for more info.

Speaking of the Canal, the “Hooked on the Tonawanda’s” giant Fish Derby is set once again for June 25-26, the same weekend as the free New York State fishing days. Check out www.bgcnt.org for details.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal


This Dreamweaver Lure color was the Hot Lure when fished with a white fly way back in 2014 and many anglers have enjoyed good success with this color this year too.

June 8, 2016.  

A series of cold fronts moving through our area coupled with strong northwest winds have put a damper on Lake Ontario fishing for today.

The forecast for later this week looks much more favorable which is great, because this weekend starts with the Condor Derby on Friday followed by the 4th Annual Oak Orchard Open Tournament on Saturday and Sunday.  Normally a Northwest wind helps set up our portion of the lake for some great fishing, but I guess we will just have to wait and see what the fishing gods bring us.

Before the nasty northwest winds picked up fishing was good with a mixed bag of species in each catch.  It seemed like the 95 to 150 feet of water range was holding a good number of fish but some fishermen were doing well as far out as 200 feet of water.

Most fish were being taken in the top 80 feet of water but as always some were deeper.

On Lake Alice, the reservoir on the Oak Orchard Creek near Waterport, New York, fishing has slowed slightly, but catches of Bluegill, Crappie and Bass are still being taken.  Just a reminder that Bass season opens the 3rd Saturday of this month so for now it’s still catch and release.

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

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, June 3, 2016

Lake Ontario, Niagara River
Warm Weather Causing Changes!


Lake Ontario and tributaries

Action in the lake has been good for a mix of salmon and steelhead out of both Wilson and Olcott.  Writer Paul Liikala of Ohio was out fishing with Capt. Bob Cinelli out of Olcott earlier this week and they limited out on kings and steelies, with two salmon in the 20 pound class.

Reports coming in show fish in the 250 to 350 foot range in the top 100 feet of water.  Some salmon are down 80 to 100 according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker; steelies in the top 30 feet – but that was before the east blow on Wednesday.  Don’t know what that will do to the lake.  There were some cold water upwellings and some trollers found 39 degree water just 40 feet down in some spots.

Smallmouth bass have been hitting in the creeks and harbors. Remember you must use artificials. Anything goes for pike, though, and Wilson has been a good spot.

A few perch and panfish in both Wilson and Olcott. More perch are being reported off Golden Hill State Park.

A few browns have been caught off the piers on spoons.

National Fishing and Boating Week kicks off on June 4 and continues through June 12 as the country celebrates these popular outdoor pastimes.  Helping to initiate local angling activities is the 25th Annual Kids Fishing Derby at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge east of Lockport.  Registration begins at 7:30 am.  The actual contest is from 8 am to 11 am.  There will be three different age categories. The event will be held at Ringneck Overlook on Oak Orchard Road.  Call 585-948-5445 for more info.

The Town of Newfane Marina will host a kids contest on June 25, too. For the adults, the Oak Orchard Open fishing contest will be held Out of Point Breeze in Orleans County June 10-12.  To find out more information call 585-589-3103.

If you would like to learn more about fishing for king salmon in the summer, Capt. Roger Young with Papa Smurf Charters out of Wilson will be the featured speaker at the next Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. meeting June 9 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara starting at 7 pm.

Lower Niagara River

Fishing changed considerable over the weekend with the unseasonably hot weather.  Water temperatures shot from the 50’s into the upper 60’s and trout were tough to come by, getting chased out into the lake.  Bass have started to turn on even more with artificial baits like tubes and swim baits good options for smallmouth.  Silver bass are still around, too.

The dreaded moss is starting to show up on the scene a bit more, creating problems for both drifters and casters.

Some good news on the stocking front the past week as plants of 33,000 bonus Coho salmon and 8,000-plus brown trout were put into the river.

On the boating ends of things, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will be hosting a Vessel Exam at the Lewiston Launch Ramp from 10 am to 2 pm on June 4. Call John Roach at 751-2057 for more info.

Upper Niagara River 

Upper river action for bass and panfish is available from the head of the river to Niagara Falls.  Remember bass must be artificial baits only, catch and release until June 18.

Other youth contests coming up include the kid’s derby at Niawanda Park in Tonawanda on June 18 and a kid’s event at Widewaters Marina in Lockport on June 19. It will be held from 7:30 am (registration) until noon. Fishing will be from 8-1 am. Call Phyllis at 417-4198 for more info.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal

June 1, 2016

After above-normal temperatures this past holiday weekend, temperatures are returning to a more seasonal levels and with some much needed rain in the forecast.  Fishing conditions should be great.

On Lake Alice, fishing has been very good.  Largemouth bass are in close, Bluegill and Crappie are spread out and some Walleye are being taken at night.

On the Erie Canal, Channel cats are being caught in the 3 to 5 pound class and fishing in the wide waters area is becoming very productive.

Lake Ontario is really turning on with mature salmon in the mix along with good size Steelhead and all the other species being taken. It’s summer in our cold water fishery.  The 200 to 250 feet of water area seems to be the most productive right now.  Junk lines are doing well with most bites coming in the top 40 feet of water, but then there is the occasional bite a bit deeper.

June 10th will be the kick off of the “King of the Oak” series on Lake Ontario with the Condor derby.  The “King of the Oak” series is a best 3 fish series and there are 4 events throughout the summer.

June 11th and 12th is the 4th annual Lake Ontario Oak Orchard Open Tournament.  The 5-Salmon and 5-Trout structure is unique to the tournaments on Lake Ontario and offers some great challenges.

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

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, May 27, 2016

Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Niagara River, Chautauqua Lake, Finger Lakes

Captain Vince Pierleoni and Team Thrillseeker outsmarted the bruiser King Salmon to finish in the money in the professional division of the Pro-Am Tournament on Lake Ontario last.

Weather Helps Fishing Action! 

We finally saw some west wind blow some fish into local waters, but it wasn’t easy fishing for the Pro-Am tournament last weekend for sure.  According to Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Team Thrillseeker (who placed in the money yet again for the Professional Division), transition time in the lake is rapidly approaching with the super warm weather arriving this weekend.

Combine that with four straight days of calm weather before the recent winds at mid-week – there are some quality king salmon around, but there is no set pattern for a consistent bite.  You can find fish (kings, lakers and steelhead) in 80 to 300 feet of water, from 20 to 100 feet down.

It’s been a mix of techniques and baits working. One approach that has worked better for bigger kings has been a flasher with cut bait.  N&D is one brand type that keeps surfacing around fishing circles as a good brand according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors.  One interesting note is that the fish have been moving around with the more favorable west and southwest winds.  Last Saturday, tournament teams out of Wilson and Olcott all headed west in pursuit of salmon.

Capt. Jim Gordon of Olcott, who was not fishing in the tournament, headed straight out of his home port of Olcott to take a dozen nice kings for customers just a mile or two straight north.  No one did that good in the tournament that day.  In the 32nd annual Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament held May 20 to 22 out of Wilson and Olcott, it was the Shark Tank team led by Capt. Greg Gehrig of Oswego leading the way with an impressive score of 599 points in the Classic Division and 391 in the Trophy Division – based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound – to win the tournament.  They also won the ITO flies big fish for the contest with a 24 pound king salmon.  For their efforts, they won more than $29,000.  Second place was Capt. Rich Hajecki and his Yankee Troller team out of Rochester.  They were just 10 points behind the winners in the Classic or 12 fish category.  They won $8,000.  Third place in Trophy was Dirty Goose led by Capt. Casey Prisco with 341 points.  Fourth place was Team Thrillseeker led by Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane with 338.  Third place Classic Division team was Thrillseeker with 505 points.  Fourth was Free Spirit with 498 points led by Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Waterford, PA.

Rochester anglers are happy with yellow perch taken from a marina waterway.

In the Amateur Open on Day One it was Abe DeBadts of Rochester and his Fishin’ Physician Assistant team with a score of 88.49 points.  Winner of Day 2 was Greg Wiacek of Lockport and his Fisherman’s Daughter team with a score of 72.52 points.  For Day Three, it was Mean Machine and Kyle Hovak of North Tonawanda taking the day with a score of 80.10 points.  However it wasn’t enough to win the Amateur Open Cup for the best two days of fishing combined.  That was reserved for Anonymous led by John Muehl of Maryland, NY, who scored 150 points over two days.

Next contest is the Oak Orchard Open set for June 10-12 out of Point Breeze.

The 1st Annual Reelin’ for a Cure is set for August 19 out of Niagara County, an event that will get the ladies out fishing on Lake Ontario and competing for fun prizes while at the same time raising funds for cancer research.

For more info call Stephanie Pierleoni at 716-481-6388.

Lower Niagara River

The first signs of the dreaded moss have started to show up to the dismay of anglers. You can still fish without much of a problem, but be forewarned – it will be here before we know it.

Trout are still available in the river – steelhead and lake trout – and smallmouth bass are starting to turn on now, too.

Shiners and Kwikfish top the list for trout; Kwikfish, tubes, shiners and swim baits will all trick smallies into hitting.  Best areas have been around Fort Niagara, Peggy’s Eddy and the clay banks for bass; Devil’s Hole for the trout and the occasional bass.  You can still pick some of these fish up from shore, too.  Spinners are taking some nice fish.

Upper Niagara River 

The shoreline bite can be good for walleye at night or under low-light conditions as post-spawn fish move in to feed.  Worms work best.  Panfish action has been good around marinas and around Grand Island bays, channels and tributaries.

A couple fishing contests to mark down on your calendar, including a kids fishing contest at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge on June 4 at the Ringneck Overlook starting at 8 am; the City of Tonawanda kids fishing contest at Niawanda Park with registration at the bandshell along River Road on June 18 starting around 7:30 am; and a Teach Me To Fish program at the East Aurora Fish and Game Club on June 4.

Lake Erie and Tributaries 

Perch action seems to be picking back up again according to Capt. Joe Fonzi of Thumbs Up Charters.  He had customers out this week, including Salvador, James and Raymond LaChase of Rochester, and they did well between Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus Creek in 56 feet of water.  The key is finding the fish and staying on them.

The walleye bite has been best at night with stickbaits along the shoreline, but that could be changing this week according to Fonzi, who is anticipating those post-spawn fish to turn on any day.

Bass action around Buffalo Harbor has been decent with shiners, drop shot rigs and tubes.

In the Annual Southtowns Walleye Association In-Club Perch Tournament last Saturday, Ben Slawatucki won the five-fish contest with a weight of 6.98 pounds.  Jim Dolly Sr. was runner-up with 6.81 pounds.  There were nearly 170 anglers in the fun contest that requires the weight of your 5 biggest fish in the tally.  These perch are all post-spawn now

Chautauqua Lake 

Smallmouth bass are hitting three-inch tubes in a pumpkinseed color around Warner’s Bar in 12 to 24 feet of water.  You can also pick up some nice bass by moving into the weed pockets with a black and blue pig and jig according to Craig Robbins of Jamestown.

There is also a top water bite in the mornings and evenings off the Mayville Flats, Rock Island and the point off Lakewood Bar. You can also hit the dicks in Dewittville Bay and along the condos with buzz baits or spinnerbaits in white and chartreuse.

This is opening weekend for inland musky (not Great Lakes) and you can find success throwing over-sized jerk baits and bucktails over weed beds in places like around Wee Wan Chu Cottages and trolling in the southern basin of the lake in Ashville Bay in 10 to 14 feet of water.

Finger Lakes 

Seneca Lake – This Finger Lake will see a busy weekend because of the National Lake Trout Derby that will run through Memorial Day.  Not too many people have been sharing information going into this popular contest, but going into this week lake trout were being taken in 90 to 150 feet of water on spoons, flasher-fly combos and jigs tipped with plastics or live bait.

Atlantic salmon can be found near the surface with stickbaits, spoons or streamers. Good luck! Good to www.laketroutderby.org for information.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

New York’s 1000 Islands – St. Lawrence River Summer Vacation Treat – Part 2 of 2

Where to EAT!

Appetizer platters are usually not colorful and also tasty, this one was both, to be found at the Channelside Restaurant.

The St. Lawrence River carries the fresh water from the five Great Lakes to the saltwater of the Atlantic Ocean, creating a unique fishery.  The Thousand Islands Region of New York State has a long history as a premier vacation destination, including a long, storied history with angling.

This is the river that Arthur Lawton caught his impressive 69 lb-15 oz muskellunge back in 1957, a record that still stands today in the Empire State.  On the weekend my wife (Sandy) and I visited, it was the opener of walleye and northern pike season.

However, this area is also more laid back than many tourist destinations as far as the fish guide community.  When I contacted Allen Benas, the head guy with 1000 Islands Fishing Charters, he didn’t have his boat in and he couldn’t find anyone else that did either.

Boldt Castle is one place that visitors must see, it is mesmerizing with story tales and history.

That’s not to say there isn’t good fishing available this time of year, there is.  For walleye, some of the best action is around the horn near Henderson Harbor and around the mouth of the nearby Black River.  With the Lake Ontario Counties, the Annual Trout and Salmon Derby is going on, anyone targeting walleye can try their luck there if they want the best chance to win.  The leader going into the final day of Derby action was an 11 pound, 14 ounce ‘eye caught off the Black River on opening day.  Check out www.loc.org to see the final leaderboard.

In addition to the fishing that these hotspots have to offer, don’t forget about the many boat tours that are available.  If you’ve never been to Boldt Castle located on Heart Island, you owe it to yourself to take the tour and delve into this tragic love story.  While this may be the most popular of all, Clayton Island Tours is now also offering Rock Island Lighthouse tours, and you have the option of being in a glass bottom boat to take in the river life beneath the surface of the water.  To find out more, log on to www.claytonislandtours.com.

Local wineries are making a name for themselves too.  This time around, we visited the Thousand Islands Winery (www.thousandislandswinery.com).  If you like dry whites (to go with your seafood of course), you’ll want to sample their Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or semi-dry Riesling, these were “all-approving” to our palate.  There are many other things to sample here too.  Their operation is in the shadow of the 1000 Islands International Bridge.

An important part of all my getaways – short or long – is the food.  Anyone who knows me knows that I like to use dining establishments as important waypoints and landmarks so that folks know where I am at all times!  This time around was no different, starting with The Clipper Inn at Clayton.

This is a fine dining establishment that I’ve never had the pleasure to sample, but it is a restaurant that has been in the Simpson family for 35 years.  The Simpson Family is native to the 1000 Islands area and goes back even farther.  Mary was our waitress and she gave excellent recommendations, starting with our Seafood Pate appetizer and on to our entrees.  My salad was slathered with, of course, 1000 Island dressing.  I had a king crab and Delmonico steak combo that was to die for.  Sandy had a Boston cod dinner that was exquisite.  As is usually the case when the food is this good, I ate way too much.  If you are in the area, this restaurant comes highly recommended.  Check out www.clipperinn.com, remember that you will need reservations.

Our Saturday evening dinner was also exemplary, with the icing on the cake being on the water as the name suggests, at Channelside.  The view is mesmerizing and the food is very good.  We started things out with some Channelside Chips that are reminiscent of nachos, but with a personalized touch and unique flavor. We also had Bang Bang Shrimp, that was a great treat.  My plate for supper was a perch dinner , and then a Haddock fish fry for Sandy.  Both of us left begging for more, if we only could have finished both!  The flavor was special.  Check out the menu, visit www.thechannelside.com.  Our waitress was Lori, also a great server.  The service can make or break a meal no matter how good the food is.

This is the tasty Musky Breakfast Platter from Koffee Kove Restaurant

Breakfasts were at the Koffee Kove Restaurant, where owner Laurie runs a tight ship with more good eats.  While muskellunge fishing was out of season, the Musky Breakfast wasn’t.  Give it a try.  The Everything Omelet was their version of a tasty garbage plate that was also very appealing if you have a hearty appetite in the morning.  They’ve been around for 44 years, so they must be doing something right.

Sandy and I love exploring new restaurants as we can find our way around town. And let’s not forget the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel either, more good food to chew on if you want to stay close to your lodging.

No stop would be complete without a visit to the 1000 Islands River Rat Cheese shop.  Their aged cheddars are scrumptious and there’s always something new that ends up in our cooler for the trip home.  The fresh cheese curds are to die for (at least if I listened to my doctor)!  To see the wide selection of products go visit www.riverratcheese.net.

This is only the tip of the iceberg (lettuce – with Thousands Islands dressing of course), when it comes to what the area has to offer.  You can find many more offerings at the Chamber of Commerce website at www.1000islands-clayton.com.

This area is also part of Jefferson County, featuring other locations like Sackets Harbor, Henderson Harbor, Watertown and Alexandria Bay.  Ask for a travel guide at www.visit1000islands.com or call 1-800-847-5263.

I can think of thousands of reasons to spend more time there!

Fins & Feathers Day

Let’s call the fourth Saturday in May what it really is.

Maries River Smallmouths – Jefferson City native Randy Boeller drove all the way back home from Houston, Texas, to catch this hefty smallmouth from the Maries River.

To my knowledge, the fourth Saturday in May is the only date on the calendar when Missouri anglers and hunters all have something to rejoice about.  That’s because the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend is opening day for squirrel hunting and for catch-and-keep fishing for black bass south of the Missouri River.

This year’s squirrel season runs from May 28 through Feb. 15, 2017.  You can fish for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass year-round, and you can keep these three black bass species all year anywhere north of the Missouri River and in impoundments statewide.  Though in most streams south of the Missouri River, you may not legally keep black bass until the season opens.  This is designed to give bass protection during their spawning season and during the part of the year when Ozark streams are at very low levels and bass are concentrated in small pools.

Note that I said “most” streams south of the Missouri River.  The area where black bass fishing is restricted excludes what is commonly known as “swamp east Missouri,” the low area that is part of the Upper Mississippi Embayment.  This includes all of Dunklin, Pemiscot, New Madrid, Mississippi and Scott counties, most of Butler and Stoddard counties and tiny bits of Ripley and Cape Girardeau counties.  The actual boundaries are much more precise than this, being demarcated by highways as described in the Conservation Department’s Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations.  The booklet is available wherever fishing permits are sold or online at http://on.mo.gov/1LwnqRA.

There’s no trick to finding places to hunt squirrels.  Anyplace with trees is sure to have bushy tails.  If you don’t own such land or know anyone who does, there are literally hundreds of conservation areas that are crawling with squirrels.  The Conservation Department makes it easy to find an area near you with its online Conservation Area Atlas. The database is searchable by county, activity or type of facilities.

What might be slightly more complicated is finding the right kind of squirrel.  To me, the “right” kind are fox squirrels, which are about twice the size of gray squirrels, and consequently are more likely to add up to more than one serving apiece.

In principle, finding fox squirrels is easy.  They inhabit open woodlands and areas where wooded acres are surrounded by open ground, especially agricultural land.  This means southwestern and northern Missouri for the most part.  However, you can find fox squirrels throughout the state where forest borders on pasture or row crops.

Black Powder Squirrels – A small-caliber muzzleloader is a good tool for hunting squirrels in the summer, when foliage dictates close shots.

Most of the bass you catch in Ozark streams will be smallmouths, those bronze-backed masters of the aerobatic hook-toss.  In a few streams, however, smallmouths have been fighting a losing battle against an invasion of spotted bass.

I’m not normally one to intervene in a fair fight, but in this case I think anglers have legitimate cause to take sides.  For one thing, the spotted bass’s fighting ability pales in comparison to that of a smallmouth.  Add to that the fact that spots are significantly smaller, on average than smallies, and you’ve got a no-brainer.

To let anglers weigh in on the smallmouth-spotted bass battle, the Conservation Department has removed the minimum length limit for spots on all or parts of the Big, Bourbeuse, Courtois, Meramec rivers and on Huzzah, Blue Springs, Dry Fork and Mineral Fork creeks.  Taking home a limit of six spotted bass of various sizes lets anglers enjoy fish on the table without reducing the supply of hard-fighting smallmouths.

More restrictive length and creel limits apply to smallmouths on various other streams where the Conservation Department is trying to build trophy smallmouth fisheries.  Before heading out, be sure to check the section of the Fishing Regulation Guide for regulations specific to the area you plan to fish.

Stream bassing in Missouri isn’t all about the Ozarks.  Several streams in Northern Missouri have good smallmouth bass populations mixed in with the dominant bucketmouths.  The South Fabius (pronounced (Fabby”) River, which runs through Knox, Lewis and Marion counties north of St. Louis.  This Mississippi River tributary is virtually unknown outside of Northeastern Missouri, but it is notable enough to be included in the Conservation Department’s “Padder’s Guide to Missouri.”

Plenty of other northern Missouri streams also have excellent black bass fishing.  North of the Missouri River there are the North Fabius, Grand, Chariton, Salt and Platte, and in the south you have fine Ozark Border streams, including the Lamine, Moreau and Maries rivers.

Oil up your shotgun and fishing reel.  The fun is about to start!

Fins & Feathers Day

Let’s call the fourth Saturday in May what it really is.

Maries River Smallmouths – Jefferson City native Randy Boeller drove all the way back home from Houston, Texas, to catch this hefty smallmouth from the Maries River.

To my knowledge, the fourth Saturday in May is the only date on the calendar when Missouri anglers and hunters all have something to rejoice about.  That’s because the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend is opening day for squirrel hunting and for catch-and-keep fishing for black bass south of the Missouri River.

This year’s squirrel season runs from May 28 through Feb. 15, 2017.  You can fish for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass year-round, and you can keep these three black bass species all year anywhere north of the Missouri River and in impoundments statewide.  Though in most streams south of the Missouri River, you may not legally keep black bass until the season opens.  This is designed to give bass protection during their spawning season and during the part of the year when Ozark streams are at very low levels and bass are concentrated in small pools.

Note that I said “most” streams south of the Missouri River.  The area where black bass fishing is restricted excludes what is commonly known as “swamp east Missouri,” the low area that is part of the Upper Mississippi Embayment.  This includes all of Dunklin, Pemiscot, New Madrid, Mississippi and Scott counties, most of Butler and Stoddard counties and tiny bits of Ripley and Cape Girardeau counties.  The actual boundaries are much more precise than this, being demarcated by highways as described in the Conservation Department’s Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations.  The booklet is available wherever fishing permits are sold or online at http://on.mo.gov/1LwnqRA.

There’s no trick to finding places to hunt squirrels.  Anyplace with trees is sure to have bushy tails.  If you don’t own such land or know anyone who does, there are literally hundreds of conservation areas that are crawling with squirrels.  The Conservation Department makes it easy to find an area near you with its online Conservation Area Atlas. The database is searchable by county, activity or type of facilities.

What might be slightly more complicated is finding the right kind of squirrel.  To me, the “right” kind are fox squirrels, which are about twice the size of gray squirrels, and consequently are more likely to add up to more than one serving apiece.

In principle, finding fox squirrels is easy.  They inhabit open woodlands and areas where wooded acres are surrounded by open ground, especially agricultural land.  This means southwestern and northern Missouri for the most part.  However, you can find fox squirrels throughout the state where forest borders on pasture or row crops.

Black Powder Squirrels – A small-caliber muzzleloader is a good tool for hunting squirrels in the summer, when foliage dictates close shots.

Most of the bass you catch in Ozark streams will be smallmouths, those bronze-backed masters of the aerobatic hook-toss.  In a few streams, however, smallmouths have been fighting a losing battle against an invasion of spotted bass.

I’m not normally one to intervene in a fair fight, but in this case I think anglers have legitimate cause to take sides.  For one thing, the spotted bass’s fighting ability pales in comparison to that of a smallmouth.  Add to that the fact that spots are significantly smaller, on average than smallies, and you’ve got a no-brainer.

To let anglers weigh in on the smallmouth-spotted bass battle, the Conservation Department has removed the minimum length limit for spots on all or parts of the Big, Bourbeuse, Courtois, Meramec rivers and on Huzzah, Blue Springs, Dry Fork and Mineral Fork creeks.  Taking home a limit of six spotted bass of various sizes lets anglers enjoy fish on the table without reducing the supply of hard-fighting smallmouths.

More restrictive length and creel limits apply to smallmouths on various other streams where the Conservation Department is trying to build trophy smallmouth fisheries.  Before heading out, be sure to check the section of the Fishing Regulation Guide for regulations specific to the area you plan to fish.

Stream bassing in Missouri isn’t all about the Ozarks.  Several streams in Northern Missouri have good smallmouth bass populations mixed in with the dominant bucketmouths.  The South Fabius (pronounced (Fabby”) River, which runs through Knox, Lewis and Marion counties north of St. Louis.  This Mississippi River tributary is virtually unknown outside of Northeastern Missouri, but it is notable enough to be included in the Conservation Department’s “Padder’s Guide to Missouri.”

Plenty of other northern Missouri streams also have excellent black bass fishing.  North of the Missouri River there are the North Fabius, Grand, Chariton, Salt and Platte, and in the south you have fine Ozark Border streams, including the Lamine, Moreau and Maries rivers.

Oil up your shotgun and fishing reel.  The fun is about to start!

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, May 20, 2016

Lake Ontario and tributaries

Marty Polovick of Lockport, New York, won the Grand Prize in the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby that was held May 6-15, reeling in a 26 pound, four-ounce king salmon to take the $15,000 top prize.

Tournament Week Kicks off into High Gear 

Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament Week is upon us, with the main event starting on Friday out of Wilson and Olcott.  A total of 50 teams will be competing for some great cash prizes based on a unique scoring system.  East wind continues to be a problem, but action finally turned on for some decent spring salmon fishing on Tuesday for many of the boats.  Exact details are sparse because of the tournament, but many boats were catching fish between Wilson and the Niagara Bar, as well as east of Olcott.  Decent kings, too, in the 20 pound class. A 31 pound king was caught off St. Catharine’s last weekend as the catch was flying around social media circles.

In the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Charity Fishing Outing last Wednesday, a total of 24 boats hit the waters around Olcott.  The captain guiding the crew to the biggest fish was Capt. Mark Vilardo with Kingfisher.  His 19 pound, 3 ounce king took the top prize with numerous in the 18 pound class on other boats.  It was a fun time had by all as the local fishery was showcased.

Look for a mixed bag this weekend at the tournament weigh in at Krull Park at 2 pm each day.  Check out www.lakeontarioproam.net for details.  Marty Polovick of Lockport won the Grand Prize in the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby held May 6-15, reeling in a 26 pound, four ounce king salmon to take the $15,000 top prize.  He also earned an extra $500 for big fish of the day and a check for $1,000 by catching the largest salmon by a Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. member.  On the final weekend of the derby, the crew of Doug Parker of Lockport; Matt Dunn of Newfane; and Matt’s father, Marc Dunn of Lockport along with Polovick used an 8-inch Dreamweaver Spindoctor rigged with a white John King Baithead and a piece of Crowes Cut Bait (aka N&D Bait) to take the winning fish.  They put their downrigger on the bottom in 100 feet of water.

The lucky Laker Taker was Patrick Barber of Niagara Falls while fishing with his brother Richard (also from Niagara Falls) on Friday the 13th.  They were trolling the Niagara Bar off the mouth of the Niagara River in 25 feet of water on the bottom when the 27 pound, 8 ounce fork tail hit their chartreuse holographic Kwikfish rigged with Hammerhead cowbells on the rigger.  Big brown trout came from Oswego when Ryan Massey of Oriskany Falls reeled in a 16 pound, 2 ounce fish east of the harbor.  First place walleye was weighed in by Tim Farmer of Dexter, an 11 pound, 14 ounce fish from Chaumont Bay.

Lower Niagara River

Devil’s Hole is the place to be for a mixed bag of fish, but with the closure of the gorge early in the week because of the transmission line removal, it forced guides down river to try and target other areas and other fish species.  Kwikfish and minnows are the best baits to use.  Mitch Grant of Virginia was showing off some of his new Rapid Fishing Solutions gear while fishing with Capt. Bruce Blakelock on Tuesday.  They reeled in some nice smallmouth bass on tubes and swim baits.  It won’t be long before the hard baits will be working on the smallies, as those water temps were just starting to hit 50 degrees.  We told you about the green can area working for the Killer-B’s at the mouth of the river on lake trout.  During the derby they reeled in over 100 lake trout.

Upper Niagara River 

KIDS FISHING CLINIC: There will be a Teach Me to Fish Clinic at Bison City Rod and Gun Club in Buffalo on Sunday, May 22 starting at 2 pm.  Get there a little early for registration.  Fish the harbors, inlets and creeks for a mixed bag of panfish and bass around Grand Island and along River Road.  The Erie Canal is open for fishing now, too.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

New York’s 1000 Islands – St. Lawrence River – Part 1 of 2


Summer Vacation Treat – Fishing, Touring, Eating.  Part 1 of 2

The Thousand Islands Region of New York State has a long history as a premier vacation destination combining the picturesque and subtle setting of the area with the tradition of sheer outdoor enjoyment.

The St. Lawrence River carries the fresh water from the five Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.  While the past may conjure up a mystique of monster muskellunge and a bonanza of bass, and other fish species, it is what the present offers that has wonderfully enhanced a recent visit to Clayton, New York, this spring, at the amazing Thousand Islands Harbor Hotel.

The new 1000 Island Harbor Hotel is radiant in the sunset and offers great views, great rooms and great food.

The new 1000 Island Harbor Hotel (www.1000islandsharborhotel.com) is outstanding, offering 105 deluxe guest rooms and suites to visitors to the area. The facility was designed in such a way that a majority of the rooms face toward the majestic St. Lawrence River.

My favorite aspect of the hotel is the Riverside Patio that allows for a great meal and is a perfect place for a perfect sunset.  Open air, gas-fire pits, burned brightly in the fresh air as we relaxed and sampled some great food options.  Throughout this Hart Hotel complex, there were pictures of “the good old days” that reminded guests about those times gone by, but not forgotten.

The Clayton area is one area that remembers their roots very well, a lesson we can all learn from.  All visitors have an opportunity to learn about the rich history the area offers.

Here, I am struggling with safely releasing the fish from the new YoZuri lure, all went well and we released the fish to fight again.

One of our side-trips was an afternoon casting and observing some of the new Yo-Zuri hard crankbaits at nearby Lucky Star Lake in Chaumont, New York.  The lake is just a short drive from historic Clayton.  The lake provides a 2,000 acre wildlife territory that offers both hunting and fishing for customers.  Angling action takes place on a 100-acre lake that’s loaded with bass, pike, crappie and other panfish.

We were greeted by “Bird,” a friendly black lab who lives for retrieving.  While her specialty is rocks and dropping them on your feet (steel-toed shoes are advised), this time around it was sticks.  The first one was over 8 feet long and difficult to throw.  We broke off a smaller piece and started the process of throwing to Bird.  My wife Sandy and I alternated stick-tossing with casting the new lures.  My better half did great reeling in largemouth bass that kept her busy.  I was keeping Bird busy, or maybe it was the other way around!  Either way, we had a great time outdoors that left Sandy saying, “When can we go fishing again?”

This wonderful dog is DzBirddz, 8-foot throw sticks were the norm for this lovable dog.

Lucky Star (www.luckystarranch.com) was recently acquired by Otis Technologies  (www.otistec.com).  Doreen and Jody Garrett were wonderful hosts.  This was a company that was started by Doreen when she was just 16 years old.  For those of you not familiar with Otis, it’s main focus is on modern, high-tech, firearms cleaning. Otis offers a low cost, lightweight and efficient gun cleaning system that you can carry into the field on your belt loop should you encounter a mishap.  That’s what happened when Doreen was hunting with her father years ago.

The company, based out of Lyons Falls, New York, has many more outdoor products with the newest focus on hearing protection, including one example they call the “Ear Shield.”  The Otis Sound-Reduction Chamber Technology does not require any batteries and it does everything you need to protect your ears.  I think they would be great around the house, too, for my wife – when she is mowing the lawn or using the chain saw.

A second form of hearing protection was called Flugz.  These are form-fitted ear plugs that you preform and shape to fit yourself, easily and efficiently, to personalize the reasonably-priced plugs to your own ears.  Check these things out because there is something there that will work for you…and your wife.

Please check out part 2 of 2 on this series next week, to learn more about fishing the St. Lawrence and musky, walleye and bass.  I’ve also included information on the unique and tasty wineries of the area, historic castle places to visit and where to enjoy some of the best food.

In the meantime, you can find out more offering from the Clayton Chamber of Commerce website at www.1000islands-clayton.com.  This area is also part of Jefferson County, featuring other locations like Sackets Harbor, Henderson Harbor, Watertown and Alexandria Bay.  Ask for a travel guide at www.visit1000islands.com or by calling 1-800-847-5263.  I can think of thousands of reasons to spend more time there!


The Loon Capital of the USA

Town of Mercer, Iron County, Wisconsin

Mercer, Wisconsin, is the Loon Capital of the world and observing a pair of these beautiful water birds will leave you with indelible composition of chorus and ballad interchange, as if the birds were asking you a question and helping you answer.

No matter how far you have to drive or fly to reach Iron County in Wisconsin, the ride down Highway 51 will allow your mind to embrace nature.  You may also want to keep your camera shutter ready.

Pulling off to the side of the lone north-south road, fresh air, serenity, wildlife and endless wonders of nature share in the peace to be found here.  Whitetail deer, wild turkey, bald eagles, wrens, warblers, porcupines and one of my all-time favorite birds, the rose-breasted grosbeak may offer a view.  The ride to Mercer, Wisconsin, can be a memory-making interval in your life.  It is an unforgettable place to visit.

Above all that, there are Loons in abundance.  There is only one word that seems appropriate for these water birds, that word is “beautiful.”

Just moments after sunrise, the view from my room window at the Great Northern Hotel in Mercer, Wisconsin, is breathtaking. Forrest Fisher Photo

looncapital3Loons are striking in their breeding plumage.  Their iridescent-sheen reflects with the sun, their prominent black and white checkered back, deep red eyes, glossy black bill and the natural philosophical expression of their black head are accentuated by white necklace color pattern that circles their muscular neck.  They are very special and distinct to watch.

When I arrived in Mercer and checked in at the Great Northern Hotel, I only needed to see the waterfront view from my room window to know that I was going to love this place.

There they were, the Loons, two of them, a pair of love birds, swimming neck to neck with each other, constantly looking over to one another and checking in during a ritual of obvious private discussion.  Of course, maybe they were talking with me and I just didn’t know it.  I felt they were discussing my presence near to their nest which had two eggs in it.


Both male and female Loons have the same appearance in color and marking, except the male is usually larger in a mating pair.  They are both equal in beauty and song tone.  Beautiful sounds of nature and wild freedom that echo in the distance and are especially pronounced in the early morning.  Their song seems to carry farther with a fog slowly rising off the morning sunrise moments, occasionally sounding like an intimate conversation between the birds.

looncapital5There was a dock right outside my room at the hotel, right on the shore of San Domingo  Lake.  I tied on a small snap, added a small lure – a random choice, and headed to the water.  I wasn’t sure if I just wanted to just sit down and listen to more of what the Loons wanted to share, or cast my lure.  The feeling was serene and comforting.  It was peacefully magnificent.

After a few minutes, I instinctively reached down to the bail of the lightweight, open-face reel and flipped it open.  The cast gently sent the lure out about 40 feet from the dock –not anywhere near the Loons who seemed quite interested in my every move.

My polarized sunglasses revealed a weed bed not far down from the surface near the point of my lure entry, so I cranked quickly, rod tip high, and after the lure moved only about five feet, it slammed to a jolting stop.  Then the line started moving quickly to the right.  No, this was not a snag!  About the same time, my drag started singing that happy chirping song when it is being tested to protect the line from breaking.  Then the drag started screaming and wailing in perfect angler sheet music.

A few minutes later, a nice 18-inch largemouth bass slid into my open hand.  So perfect a fish.  So perfect a day.  When I reached down, the water was so cold.  I unhooked the fish and released it to live another day.  I grabbed the pocket thermometer in my jacket found the lake to be 42 degrees!

How was it possible that a fish would even think about swimming to catch a lure at that temperature?  Ours is not to ask why or how when success is our friend, so I quickly followed up with another cast.

In six casts, I hooked and landed two more fish of about the same size.  It was an amazing learning moment!  Water too cold, lure swimming very fast, wobbling, making sonic underwater noise and wham!  OK, writing that down in the frozen chapters of stored fishing secrets.  Maybe that’s why the Loons kept looking in my direction too.  Was it the underwater sound of the lure?  Either way, it seemed we had a conversation going on.

In the next three casts, I hooked three more fish and didn’t try very hard to land them.  They tossed the lure and went free.  Tournament release!  The Loons kept watching.

I rested my rod.  In this unmatchable and unique “Land of the Loons,” a trip to that land of special memories, that place where we never stop sharing fun with time and learning from the mentors we continue to meet, sometimes from the view at the dock.  I smiled again.

On some days, life is extraordinary, especially when Loons become part of the regular day in Mercer, Wisconsin.

Sarah Palermo, proprietor of The Wampum Shop, offers hundreds of various Loon collector replicas from small to large, in a quaint shop located in downtown Mercer.

LightFORCE Defies the Dark

LightFORCE bar lighting converts your ATV or UTV to a 24-hour workhorse.

LightFORCE is a Night Force to Uncover New Adventures

ATV’s and UTV’s have become commonplace in hunting camps and on farms and ranches across the country.  The small vehicles that go anywhere are ideal for getting hunters to remote places and moving game back to camp without the back-breaking work.  As often as you may use your favorite 4-wheeler, it’s probably limited to day duty, wasting away half of the thrill-generating go-power for lack of adequate light.

Enter LightFORCE with their incredible new light bars and ultra-powerful, wide-light, illumination beams.  Most headlights on ATV’s are designed like car lights as if you’d be cruising down the highway at 50 miles per hour, instead of close-in illumination that floods an area to do important work.  Field dressing a deer by headlight is worse than doing it in the dark because of the harsh shadows and powerful beams a headlamp produces.  Light bars produce just the opposite effect so that you can safely do essential work after sunset, like unloading your rifle or crossbow, examining a sudden track in the snow, looking for lost items, or evaluating hazards in the trail ahead.  Heck, you can search for morel mushrooms with a light bar! Imagine that, your daytime just found more time.

LightFORCE illumination is designed for safety, action functionality and performance.

Make Your ATV/UTV Shine

LightFORCE LEDs have changed the ATV and UTV market by allowing riders to reap the benefits of super-bright, super-versatile and super-tough LightFORCE light bars.  These are built to take the rugged travel an ATV can deliver.  Every bar in the LightFORCE LED Bar Series is extruded from aluminum and finished with a protective anodized surface-penetrating coating resistant to rain, snow, and ultraviolet light (UV) that will tolerate the harshest conditions.  The LightFORCE products are rugged and impact resistant, further featuring a hard-coated polycarbonate lens for maximum durability with a waterproof rating that meets and exceeds the IP69K standard.  The Ingress Protection (IP) rating system is an internationally recognized scale that relates to proven protection against environmental factors such as liquids and solids.  The numbers “6” and “9” are part of a higher detail definition that the units are dust tight and waterproof, even under high pressure spray.  Durable and safe for adventure outdoor use.

They also feature high-lumen light output with European LED’s tuned within their internal reflectors to produce unparalleled illumination capability.

With multiple mounting options available and complete with a waterproof Deutsch connector — including full wiring harness — the LightFORCE LED light bars deliver powerful performance in a complete package.

Available LightFORCE Options:

Dual and Single Row LED Bars

  • 6” single and dual row
  • 10” single and dual row
  • 20” single and dual row
  • 30” single and dual row

LightFORCE Product Specifications:

  • Input voltage range: 10-36V DC
  • Input cable length: 450mm (17.72”)
  • Operating temperature: -40°C to 63°C
  • Warranty: 3 Years
The LightFORCE hand-held spotlight model has tremendous range, perfect for night scouting purposes, safety around the camp and for general use.

Pick a Spot and Have it Both Ways

Just as light bars are ideal for illuminating close-in terrain, LightFORCE spot lights can spear the darkness like a missile with spot ranges out to 2,000 meters, that’s more than a mile.

Light bars need to be mounted for durability, yet LightFORCE spotlights like the 7-inch Enforcer, a 50-watt handheld unit, offer the ultimate in versatility and convenience.  For users who want more flexibility and agility from their portable lights and want it all wrapped up in a convenient kit, this is the solution.

This kit includes the new generation Cordless Enforcer, complete with a long-lasting, rechargeable Ni-Mh (Nickel-Metal Hydride) battery that is safe, an AC charger and heavy duty waterproof kit bag, complete with rugged YKK zip and a tough exterior ABS base.  To top it off, there’s a red filter to make this a coyote catching machine.

The scope-mounted LightFORCE spotlight model offers advantage for safety and predator hunting.

Whether you need a beam of light for added vision or to shoot predators, the beam will probably shine farther than you can shoot.  Enforcer is the top of the LightFORCE portable range and will give you all the light power you will ever need.  Check out all the LightFORCE illuminating products at www.lightforceusa.com.

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, May 13, 2016

Lake Ontario and tributaries

The Yankee Troller team led by Capt. Rich Hajecki lead the field of nearly 50 competitor boats to take the 2016 Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament last Saturday. Many of the fish landed were fooled using a 150-foot diver pulling a Familiar Bite Whip Flash/Meat combo off 6-Mile Creek west of Wilson Harbor, New York.

An East wind is the nemesis of Lake Ontario salmon and trout fishermen, and we’ve had a bunch of it the last couple of weeks.  Despite the less than ideal conditions, it was the Yankee Troller team led by Capt. Rich Hajecki leading a field of nearly 50 boats to take the annual Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament last Saturday – the WHI.  The one day event target’s salmon only and the team scored the tournament limit of six salmon – all kings – and averaged nearly 18 pounds per fish. Pretty impressive!!  There wasn’t anyone close to them.  The team fished from 6 mile to 4 mile in 100 to 225′ of water.  In practice they had some bites on Dreamweaver spoons, but during the event it was all Familiar Bite Meat.

Their best set-up was a 150-foot diver pulling a Familiar Bite Whip Flash/Meat combo.  They also had a similar combo going on a rigger.

The LOC Derby is going on right now and the current Grand Prize leader is Tracy Lindsey of Seneca Falls with a 25 pound, 4 ounce salmon weighed in at Wilson.  The first place lake trout 24 pounds, 1 ounce caught by Brent Burgess of Portland, NY while fishing out of Wilson.  All these fish were caught on Saturday, so the fishing turned on for big fish. Seeking out active fish hasn’t been easy with the east wind.

Wednesday morning, Capt. Kurt Driscoll found some kings in tight around Wilson in 40 to 60 feet of water, all in the top 30 feet, where his deepest rigger was set. He was trolling hot, too – down speed was 3.4 mph using spoons in black-white-green-gold.

The LOC Derby continues until Sunday at 1 pm, May 15.  Awards will be held at Captain Jack’s on Sodus Bay starting at 4 pm.  Check out the leaderboard at www.loc.org.

Don’t forget that Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo 3 fish- one fish contest is set for May 19. Register by 7 am the morning of the event in either Wilson or Olcott — In Olcott it’s the Slippery Sinker and the Boat Doctors; in Wilson at Bootleggers Cove Marina or the Gas Shack.

The Lake Ontario Pro-Am tournament is set for May 20-22 and the deadline to sign up for everyone is May 16 at 5 pm. Find out everything on the website at www.lakeontarioproam.net.

It’s a celebration of our fishing resources, for sure, an event started up by the late Skip Hartman of Olcott in conjunction with Lowrance Electronics – 32 years ago!

Remember to save those salmon heads from clipped fish.

Lower Niagara River

The big news is that the Devil’s Hole area in Lower Niagara River will be CLOSED on Monday, Tuesday and possibly Wednesday according to National Grid officials.  The culprit is the removal of some old transmission lines and numerous precautions are being taken – including closing boat traffic, Artpark Trail No. 7 and even the Robert Moses Parkway from traffic.  It might be for only 90 minutes per day, but it’s anyone’s guess how long it will really take.  That’s starting Monday, May 16.

Trout are still hanging on as the warm water fish are becoming a bit more active.  Kwikfish are working on lake trout; steelhead prefer shiners. Filming a TV show on the lower river recently with Mid-West Outdoors, we managed to catch seven different species of fish.  The number one species we caught were numerous silver bass in the Wagon Wheel area just south of the launch ramp on swim baits.  While drifting for bass, Bob George with Buck Knives had the surprise of his life – a 50 inch musky!

Check out the Facebook page for Niagara USA Fishing and Outdoors to see a video of it. Because it’s not in season, it was released immediately.  It still provided a nice thrill.  He was using a Strike King Rodent soft plastic bait.  John Antone of Sanborn was fishing with Capt. Steve Drabczyk recently and he managed to catch five different species.  Egg sacs and shiners worked best but the key was using a 7 foot leader.

Some big smallmouth bass in the six pound class were caught last week in the river and at the river mouth during the annual media event utilizing tubes and swim baits.  The key was fishing the baits slow.

Speaking of Television shows, if you want to see Niagara County in a positive light, check out Fishing University next weekend on the Outdoor Channel.  It will air on Friday, May 20th at 12:30 pm, Sat., May 21st at 4:30 pm and Sun., May 22nd at 9:30 am Eastern.  It’s another way to promote our great fishing, as well as the area!

Thanks to Jennifer Pauly and the Lower River Chamber who took the lead on this effort last fall.  The Niagara River Anglers Association will hold their next meeting on Monday, May 16, starting at 7PM at the Jetport Restaurant, 7100 Porter Rd., Niagara Falls.  If you wanna know more about this fishing resource in Western New York, attendance is free.

Upper Niagara River 

Not too many reports to share, but this should be a good time to target panfish around Grand Island and along River Road.  Use minnows if you are targeting perch or crappies.  Bass anglers must still use artificial baits in the river.  Northern pike and walleye seasons are now open, too.

The Erie Canal is open for business and offers some good fishing options this time of year.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Protect your Pet – Homemade Flea and Tick Spray

It’s hiking season, camping season, turkey hunting season – it is TICK SEASON too!

These ”black-legged ticks” (Ixodes scapularis) are known to transmit Lyme disease are often carried by mice and other hosts. Photo from Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, University of Iowa

With folks all over the country heading to the comforts of the woodland country in spring, people and pets often complain of flu-like symptoms, aching joints, painful laziness and a host of other issues a few weeks after returning home. Dogs and cats too, can get a nasty disease known as that has recently Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is contracted from a microscopic bacteria transferred to pets and people from the bite of an infected black-legged tick (also known as deer tick).  The largest majority of these ticks are carried about by mice and other rodents, not deer, though deer can also carry them too.   The thing to know about today is that May and June are the two months each year when the nymph stage of these ticks transfer from mice to other hosts.  They feed for about 24 hours (burrow in and suck blood) and this is when they deposit any possible disease infection they may carry – like Lyme disease.

The nymph stage ticks are nearly invisible – smaller than the head of a straight pin, and their bite is nearly painless.  If you have a high pain threshold, you might not even detect it.  The tick nymphs will transfer to dogs, pets and people from many places, but the most common is high standing grass or bushes, like when you’re hiking in fields or trimming your front bushes.

The nymph critters await their host in a sort of open-leg position and have sensors that await the touch of a possible passing host (your leg, your dog, etc.), then attach like sticky bubblegum to dry paper.  Then they climb to soft skin areas and burrow in.  These areas can be anywhere, but are often the groin, armpits, back or the nape of your neck.

protectpet2For people, there is one prevention aid that is lab proven to deter the pests, that is the use of Permethrin (https://sawyer.com/products/permethrin-premium-insect-repellent/) to spray your clothes (not your skin).  Spray the open exterior ends of your pants, shirts, exterior of socks and the exterior of your shoes.  Let dry.  Ticks hate the stuff and will fall off if they should attempt to find your leg.  This protection is good for seven washes.  Needless to say, wearing shorts and hiking in high grass is not recommended.  Sorry.  Wear light colored clothing to allow easy visual detection of the dark colored ticks that may opt to attach on your clothes.

For dogs and pets, there is a simple and effective tick and flea formula that is currently on a Facebook page by Cindy Diane (https://www.facebook.com/cinlight2) that uses a combination of the home cupboard ingredients to control the tick and flea pests on pets, though I use it on myself everyday too.  Ingredients: 8 oz apple cider vinegar, 4 oz warm water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda and you’ll need a spray bottle.  Mix dry ingredients first, then slowly add to wet as the vinegar and baking soda will react slightly.  Put into spray bottle and spray pets down.  Be careful not to get in pets eyes and ears.  There are additional insights on washing the pets and using this formula, to see them, visit Cindi Diane at the link above.

It’s turkey season, it’s hiking season, it’s camping season, it is tall grass growing season.  It is TICK SEASON too.


Lyme disease is a life-long disease if not detected early and identifying this disease is complicated.  If you are bitten by a tick and can recover the tick, save it for pathology.  Then get to a doctor for clinical evaluation and request doxycycline immediately.  Also request a blood test and insist that it be sent to IGeneX Lab in California (http://www.igenex.com/files/should_know.pdf).  There is an extra cost for this test and the cost is not covered by many insurance companies.  Get whatever the usual tests that your doctor recommends and then also request the IGeneX test.  Do yourself a favor and pay for it.  The option is not worth the difference!

In my recent experience with Lyme patients, this lab is the one lab that can identify if Lyme is actually present in your system – then you can be properly treated.  There are other blood tests that claim they also work, but they are not as reliable from what current Lyme patients have shared with me in interviews directly.

Remember too, ticks carry may other nasty disease pathogens. The best cure is prevention.

Stay aware, stay protected, stay safe!

Outdoor Adventure in SW Florida is Memorable

The colorful Roseatte Spoonbill is plentiful in Southwest Florida

A little Florida sunshine is a perfect way to recharge your internal batteries.  One of our favorite spots continues to be Southwest Florida, home to the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel (www.fortmyers-sanibel.com).


Ever since we were exposed to this outdoor playground through the adventure antics of Dr. Marion Ford and the writings of Randy Wayne White, the area has always presented itself with a certain mystique. While there are plenty of the normal tourist-focused areas that seem to dominate with the snowbirds from January to April, the region never ceases to amaze us as we make that extra effort to see where the back roads will take us and what hidden treasures are available to be revealed for the first time.


The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island is always at or near the top of our list, the largest mangrove wilderness in the country.  The bird life that inhabits the sanctuary is simply amazing.  This time around, it was the Reddish Egret that was in the spotlight, part of a new telemetry study to learn more about the habits of these rare birds.  As luck would have it, one of the special winged wonders took up residence in front of a group of camera clickers, also allowing birders to check off another feathered friend from a bird bucket list of sorts.  The Darling NWR is also part of a larger complex (also named after Darling) that encompasses the Caloosahatchee, Matlacha Pass, Pine Island, and Island Bay National Wildlife Refuges – a large complex of nearly 8,000 acres.  The majority of the lands (and waters) in these refuges are nesting and roosting islands for the plethora of bird life that either migrate through or call this important habitat home. Check out http://www.fws.gov/refuge/JN_Ding_Darling/About_the_Complex.html.

Adventure – Fishing

One morning we meet with local charter captain Ryan Kane of Southern Instinct (www.southerninstinct.com; 239-896-2341.  No one can appreciate what he does more than me as a fellow sportfishing promoter and ambassador of the area’s natural resources.  Kane really gets it and he’ll do whatever it takes to make each and every outing a memorable experience.

As we met at the Port Sanibel Marina, the outlook wasn’t the best.  Strong winds from the southwest from one direction; freshwater being funneled down the Caloosahatchee River from Lake Okeechobee creating unsettled conditions near the mouth of the river, an estuary of sorts.  This isn’t Kane’s first rodeo, though, he opted to stay in from the Gulf of Mexico waters because of the winds.  Other local charters braved the winds to try and hit the Causeway Reef, an artificial structure that came from the old causeway that connected the mainland to Sanibel, before the winds peaked.  It was holding some nice sheepshead in the four to five pound range – some excellent eaters for the frying pan.  There was a question whether the tradeoff was worth it.  While the captains might think so, the passengers might not.  We went back to the basics and to Kane’s roots.

“This is Shell Creek where my grandfather took me and my brother to fish when we were little kids,” reflected Kane, who’s been guiding full time for six years now.  This is his favorite sheepshead spot and he still fishes it regularly with customers when conditions limit the areas he can target.  “It’s all about figuring out what people want and what would make the best experience overall.  I specialize in families, especially families with children since I have three of my own.  I’ll do just about anything to make each and every experience a memorable one.”

Captain Ryan Kane with a saltwater Sheepshead, loves to take families with children fishing.

No sooner had we started fishing a cut when a large manatee floated alongside his 24-foot Pro-Line that he’s converted into a fishing machine.  My wife Sandy was mesmerized and before it was all over she was petting the soft snout of the marine mammal that some people refer to as a sea cow.  That was the experience that she will remember for the rest of her life … and will keep her coming back for more.  It didn’t hurt that she also reeled in the biggest redfish for the day, allowing her to state: “I could get used to doing this.”

Ryan looked at me with a big smile. “I think that’s what every guy wants to hear from his wife!”  After catching four or five species of fish, we headed out into San Carlos Bay where we found a shoreline island with mangroves and a weed bed. “This looks perfect for redfish – it has everything they would be looking for in this kind of a wind,” said Kane.

Tossing a red jig tipped with a shrimp for bait, he almost immediately hit a fish.  However, it wasn’t a redfish.  It turned out to be our biggest sheepshead for the day.  The next 10 fish were redfish and we had a blast reeling in the magnificent fighters.  We ended up with seven different species for the day including a pile of mangrove snappers, ladyfish, pufferfish, catfish and even a sting ray reeled in by the novice Sandy.  All around us was incredible bird life and the picturesque scenery of places like Sanibel and Captiva islands.  Life is good.

Kane is expanding his business to include a bigger 36 foot boat, a Contender that he will be able to use off-shore as well as inshore when the conditions allow for it.  Families will be more comfortable and the added advantage of having a head on the boat will be worth its weight in gold.

Side Trips

In keeping with the dolphin theme of Florida (even if you are a Buffalo Bills fan), the Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery in Cape Coral is a new attraction that is really picking up a head of steam (www.wickeddolphinrum.com) not just in Southwest Florida and around the state but around the country.  Billed as Florida’s only true rum distillery made with all local products, this relatively new business that started up in 2012 from a Long Island family (yes, a New York connection) is already award-winning.  We received a private tour from head distiller Dan Termini and he gave us the complete low-down on the sourcing of all the ingredients, the cooking process, the fermentation and the distillation that takes place.  The end result is one great tasting product.  At the top of the list for us was a Coconut Rum that’s become a local favorite.  Don’t rule out the Florida Spiced Rum or the Rumshine.  They make a total of 11 different products currently.  They estimate that some 22,000 people will tour the facility in 2016.  And it’s all natural.

Dan Termini, head distiller of Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery, offers an educational tour for more than 20,000 visitors every year.

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Fort Myers – If you’ve never been to a classy dinner theatre before (or even if you have), the Broadway Palm does it right night after night with top quality performances (we saw Show Boat), tasty buffet dinner and more.  Check out www.broadwaypalm.com for a list of what’s coming up and what options are available should you be in the area. You won’t be disappointed.


Tip Top Isles Resort and Marina – This is a nice place we stumbled across with some assistance from the tourism office. Resident manager Mark Sturgeon was extremely accommodating and there were quite a few positives that jumped out at us.  One was the fact that they offered pontoon boat rentals at a reasonable price. They had a fleet of seven when we were there.  Room rates were also very reasonable considering it was peak tourist season.  Sturgeon was really high on an off-season special that included a single room for three nights and two half-day boat rentals for two people for less than $300.  Check out www.tiptopisles.com.  It’s conveniently located to Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island, as well as many other local attractions.

Outrigger Motel – Located on Estero Blvd. on Fort Myers Beach, this accommodation has a little bit of everything.  It’s also a great place to witness a sunset, Southwest Florida style! Sunsets are a tradition there, with the main gathering place at the Tiki Bar located just off the beach.  If you like shells or shell collecting, this is a prime destination and we haven’t found any place better in the continental U.S.  The shells at the Outrigger this year were the best we’ve ever seen there!  And if there’s a critter inside the shell, you must toss it back!  The rooms are spacious, comfortable and they even have a built-in kitchen if you want to cook up your catch after fishing.  Check out www.outriggerfmb.com for all of the details and seasonal rates.

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Jake Romanack with a hefty King Salmon caught trolling with a Mag-Lip 3.5 on Niagara Bar near Fort Niagara, New York.

Lake Ontario and tributaries

Mark Romanack of Michigan reported that his son, Jake Romanack, and his friend, Jarod Higginbotham of Yakima Bait, fished the Niagara Bar Tuesday morning while filming an episode of Fishing 411 TV.

The much anticipated salmon bite has kicked into high gear.  The crew boated three kings over 20 pounds, plus three bonus Coho and countless lake trout.  The Yakima 3.5 Mag Lip plug stole the show producing all the big kings and Lakers.  The top colors included NFL, gold/orange flame and Pay Day.  Most of the fish came in 100 feet of water, east of the Red Can.

Riggers 50 to 60 feet down produced well as did 300-foot wire rigs fished with Off Shore boards.  A few Coho were in the top 20 feet of water.  That’s the best piece of information that we can give you with what is happening starting on Friday.  If you are looking for lake trout, they seem to be all over the place.

Bill Fekete of Ransomville was fishing with his son, Corey, every chance they got, have been doing well on Lakers.  Fire tiger pattern has been working the best – spoons or sticks.  Best depth was 50 down over 70 feet of water on the Niagara Bar for them.  Friday, May 6, kicks off the spring Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby – a 10 day contest that focuses much of the angling effort on the waters off Niagara County.

This is the spot on the lake that offers the best chance at winning the $15,000 Grand Prize for the biggest salmon.  There’s another $25,000 in other prizes, too, with divisions for salmon, brown trout, lake trout and walleye – the latter starting at one minute after midnight on May 7, the opening of walleye season in New York. Check out www.loc.org for details.

Also on May 7 is the start of the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament. Best six salmon for the day wins the big bucks, based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound. Less than two weeks after that one is the granddaddy of trout and salmon tournaments, the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament, held out of the ports of Wilson and Olcott May 20-22.  Deadline to register is May 16 at www.lakeontarioproam.net. With a bigger emphasis on the amateurs, each single day is an event with more than 100 percent return on your registration dollar for the Amateur Open and for the Pro Division.

The Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo Memorial one fish-three fish contest is May 19 this year, another fun event leading up to the Pro-Am. Sign up at the Boat Doctors or the Slippery Sinker in Olcott; Bootleggers Cove Marina or the Gas Shack in Wilson.

Lower Niagara River

Corey Fekete of Ransomville, New York, fishing with his dad (Bill) had a fun day catching lake trout and King Salmon this on Firetiger color spoons on Niagara Bar.

Plenty of excitement around town for the Smelt Festival on Friday, May 6. Things kick off at 5 pm at Lewiston Landing.  Trout fishing has been holding on, but it hasn’t been easy for sure.  Steelhead and lake trout are still available with minnows or egg sacs.  At the mouth of the river, the bass are just starting to turn on (catch and release only, no live bait) and Capt. Bruce Blakelock of Lewiston was guiding Mitch Grant and George Thomas of Virginia, co-owners of the Trailer Hook Pal.  They were in town for a media event that was going on all week and they had some new products to use.  Best baits were tubes and swim baits in a green pumpkin color.  The tubes were rigged with Tube Mate Spinners by Trailer Hook Pal, a new added enticement that really seemed to trigger the fish to hit.  They were just starting to turn on Tuesday and it will continue to improve as the waters continue to warm.  Several fish were over 5 pounds.

Upper Niagara River 

The head of the river at the Buffalo Harbor was really starting to turn on for bass fishing Tuesday. Buddy Prause, VP of Sales and Marketing for Yo-Zuri, was in town from the Florida office, along with three factory reps from Japan.  They were testing some new baits that really seemed to work wonders on the smallmouth, despite 43 degree water around the breakwalls.  All they used were hard baits – specifically the Hardcore Longbill Series in 90 mm Orange Tiger and Ayu, as well as the Hardcore Spin in several different colors.  The blade seemed to mimic the flash of the emerald shiner.  Prause caught is two personal best smallmouth on the trip and they were amazed at how good they worked in the cold water.  The bite was tough overall, too, and plastics did not seem to be as effective.  At least on this day.  May 7 is the opening of walleye, northern pike, pickerel and tiger musky seasons throughout the state. However, tiger musky is still closed on the Great Lakes until the regular musky season opener on June 18 this year.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303 | 1.877 FALLS US, f:  716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Niagara County Fishing Forecast

Lake Ontario, Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara River

Lake Ontario and tributaries

The first king salmon started showing up in slightly more reliable numbers as anglers prepare for May fishing contests.  However, sharing information as far as locations and details is a bit more difficult.  Remember that a study on king salmon will be starting up on May 1.  The primary focus is three year old kings with an adipose fin clip.  Be sure to save the head of any king with a clip and deposit them into the freezers located at Fort Niagara at the fish cleaning station; Bootleggers Cove and Wilson Boat Yard in Wilson, as well as at Wilson-Tuscarora State Park; in Olcott at the Town of Newfane Marina.  That said, the county Fisheries Board is looking to collect a bit more information including the total number of salmon caught during the month of May.  Pick up at copy of the form at the Town of Newfane Marina or email ncfdb1@gmail.com for a copy.  We need your help!

Trolling the shoreline for browns and Cohos with stickbaits is still an option and the lake trout bite continues to be very good out to 80 foot depths.  Spoons are the lure of choice.  A few trout are still up for grabs in area tributaries, but the warm water fish like bass are slowly turning on to replace the trout.  Derbies and tournaments are starting up for salmon and trout very soon, with the Spring LOC Derby kicking off on Friday, May 6.  There is a $15,000 Grand Prize for the biggest salmon and Niagara County is where you want to be based on previous winners.  Details at www.loc.org on weigh stations and registration outlets.

The Wilson Harbor Invitational Derby is set for May 7. Their website is www.wilsonharborinvitational.com.

The granddaddy of tournaments, the 31st Annual Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament is set for May 20-22 out of the ports of Olcott and Wilson. Website is www.lakeontarioproam.net.

Lower Niagara River

Trout are still cooperating for anglers drifting and casting in the lower river, but some trips produce more bass than steelhead or lakers. Minnows or small egg sacs are the top enticement for drifters and are also working for shoreline casters. Spinners are another top casting lure. Boaters have been taking trout in the Devil’s Hole area, but the lower river sections can also be productive if the winds cooperate out in the lake at the Bar. It’s been a little lumpy out there. For all you smelters, the smelt run is still going on but it seems to be on the downhill slide. Remember that the Lewiston Smelt Festival is set for May 6 at Lewiston Landing complete with a smelt fry courtesy of the Niagara River Anglers Assn. and the Lower River Chamber of Commerce.

Upper Niagara River

As the waters slowly start to warm, the perch and panfish action will continue to improve along the river shoreline and around Grand Island.  Bass fishing is all catch and release with no live bait so if you are targeting largemouth or smallmouth, keep that in mind.  Fishing for panfish, though, Emerald shiners are the bait of choice.  Buffalo Boat Harbor is seeing a fair amount of keeper perch being caught on shiners, too.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303 | 1.877 FALLS US, f:  716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Orleans County Fishing Report


Lake Ontario, Point Breeze, Oak Orchard River, Lake Alice 

Once we get thru the cold temperatures of last night, more spring like conditions will come into play.  I mean after all May 1st is this coming Sunday.  The Erie Canal opened today, just slightly early of their normal opening date.

On Lake Alice both Bluegills and Crappie have been fairly active along with bass.  Please remember that opening day of bass season is not until the 3rd Saturday in June, so for now it’s catch and immediately release.  Also on the tributaries within Orleans County Bullhead are still being taken by those who know their super-secret hideouts.

On Lake Ontario, the system seems to be fish for brown trout when the mud line is present and if it’s not go out for lake trout.  Over the past few days the surface temperature has dropped about 5 degrees with those wonderful northerly winds.

The story at the Niagara Bar is this weather pattern has kept the Kings from turning on yet, but that could change very quickly with some favorable winds.  The cooler temperatures also mean that we may be able to keep our pen fish a little longer so please give a helping hand with the feeding and cleaning of the pens.

As always, this summer is filled with some of the very best fishing derbies and tournaments you can find anywhere covering all of Lake Ontario.   Why not join in on all of the fun and the possibility of cashing in on some very impressive prizes.  From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA, and the rest of Orleans County, let’s make everyday a great fishing day right here in Orleans County.

Orleans County Tourism
14016 Route 31, West Albion, NY   14411

Moving Stuff – A Home and Woods Tool

The CLAM LG600 Hybrid Trailer is light, heavy duty, inexpensive


Need to transfer your deer harvest or 10 cubic feet of timber from the woods to your cabin or truck?  Need to move 600 pounds of topsoil or stone from your truck to that new garden or flower bed?

By hook and tow with a trailer, or by using the convenient hand-lift to push or pull the load, you can do just that with the new LG 600Hybrid from the Polar Trailer line by CLAM Outdoors.

The trailer easily converts from a hand cart with a sturdy, heavy-duty lifting handle, complete with a rigid, safe-support leg, to a tow-behind cart vehicle that can be hauled wherever needed, using a garden tractor or ATV.  That makes it perfect for the backyard lawn and garden, or the cabin and the woods.  It’s a two for one in more ways than one!

Weighing just 55 pounds, construction of this durable trailer is high-tech, using a rust- protected steel frame, a heavy duty polyethylene tub, all mounted on air-filled, soft riding, rubber tires and steel rims, and protected for long term use and reduced wear from wheel rotation friction by robust, weather-sealed ball bearings on a sturdy axle, you can get the payload where you want and unload.  The tub is rust free and ready for a garden hose rinse.


My wife loves this cart for the yard; I love it for the woods.  What could be better?  Another two for one!

It is sold with a 3-year warranty for under $200.  Polar products are available online and at these top retailers (1500 stores nationwide): Lowe’s Home Improvement, Home Depot, Amazon.com, Mills Fleet Farm, Blaine’s Farm & Fleet, Runnings, L & M Fleet Supply, Tractor Supply and Northern Tool & Equipment.

To locate a dealer near you, visit this link: http://www.clamoutdoors.com/pages/locate-a-dealer.

For additional information on other Clam Outdoors products, visit this link: http://www.clamoutdoors.com

A Versatile Tool for Outdoor Folks


For Gardeners, Hunters, Hikers, Fishermen and others too

Every so often, you find something among all the functional items out there for sportsmen that can really make a difference in your outdoor experience.  Last summer I found one of those items, it is the Real Avid Multi-Cutter.  I have used this cool tool while fishing, hunting, working in the yard and while working on my truck in an emergency to cut and replace a brake line.


The Multi-Cutter provides serious, portable cutting power in the field.  It will easily clip bird bones, help you field dress a deer (it will cut a ½ inch thick bone!), saws through branches when you’re setting up your tree stand, and work with you and for you in a hundred other uses.


The hefty cutting jaw is strong, plus there are other assorted useful sportsmen tools that fold out and then retract into a convenient carry package.  There is a limb saw, a claw point knife blade, a drop point knife blade and a versatile tree step starter.  Shotgun shooters can change their choke tube with an internal wrench that will fit all common shotgun sizes, along with a pin punch that will help you easily break down your firearm actions for regular or emergency field maintenance.  The tool has a rubber grip to stay firmly in the control of your hand hold.

When closed up and retracted, the tool is compact and will slide neatly into a durable nylon sheath with a belt loop.  It’s with me all the time these days.  Retail cost is under $40.  To see a video, visit http://www.realavid.com/multi-cutter-box.html.


Niagara River Fishing Report – April 21, 2016

John Van Hoff with a 20 pound Niagara Bar laker caught off Lewiston, New York.

Lower Niagara River

Mike Fox of Lewiston reported good numbers of smelt are still being caught in the river, but who knows for how long.  It’s been a much better run than last year.  The Lewiston smelt festival will be held May 6.  Trout action has been decent the past week.  They can be found from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar.  Minnows, egg sacs and wobbling baits like Kwikfish or Mag-Lips are all good baits to use, but it seems to change daily and you need to be flexible.  Steelhead and lake trout top the list; a few browns are also available.  Spoons and spinners top the list of lures from shore.  Warm water fish are starting to pick up.  Remember that the stairs at Whirlpool State Park are closed.

Upper Niagara River

Some keeper perch have been reported in Buffalo harbor area.  Trout should still be available off Unity Island and out of Broderick Park, as well as off Bird Island Pier when you can get out there.  Egg sacs, minnows and spoons or spinners will catch fish.  Use emerald shiners for perch or other panfish along traditional river sites.  Speaking of panfish, they should be turning on soon around Grand Island in the canals, bays and shallows.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303 | 1.877 FALLS US, f:  716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Lake Ontario and tributaries Fishing Forecast – Niagara County

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The spring weather has continued and more people have been taking advantage of some inshore trout fishing – browns and lake trout primarily, with an occasional Coho or Chinook also showing up.

For the browns, troll inside of 20 feet with stickbaits or spoons off boards. Look where the water is a little stained if you can find something off color.  Firetiger, rainbow, brown trout and natural colors are all working.  Fish off boards away from your boat.

Lake trout have been everywhere.  John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda was fishing just west of the river in 50 feet of water and couldn’t keep four lines in.  Their biggest Laker was 20 pounds. In front of Wilson it was the same story – Laker’s in 60 feet of water.  Some lake trout have been reported in water as deep as 80 and as shallow as 35 according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker.

In the streams, 18 Mile Creek was down to a trickle on Wednesday and some of the smaller streams could use a fresh slug of water.  We could get some rain on Thursday but we will be at the mercy of Mother Nature.  We are on the downhill slide of the winter trout run, but a few fish are still being reported.  The upswing is with warm water fish species like bass (catch and release), suckers and panfish.

The LOC Derby will be held May 6-15 and registrations are coming in hot and heavy now.  Go to www.loc.org for details or sign up at any Niagara County location.

The Lake Ontario Pro-Am Tournament, set for May 20-22 this year, has a live website now for registrations at www.lakeontarioproam.net.

The Wilson Harbor Invitational is May 7 this year. Website is www.wilsonharborinvitational.com.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303 | 1.877 FALLS US, f:  716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Marvelous Mill Creek, Missouri

More than 200 volunteers removed 7.5 tons of trash from the Mill Creek watershed during the Friends of Mill Creek’s annual spring road cleanup.

I am deeply proud of my home state’s conservation history.  Missourians were the first in the nation to realize that forests, fish and wildlife were too precious to trust to the partisan tug-of-war that goes on in state legislatures.  In response to chronic mismanagement of their wild resources, they set up a citizen-led system of conservation governance that remains a model for other states to aspire to.

Damming of Mill Creek resulted in collections of debris like this one and raised the water temperature in some parts of the stream to the point where it was no longer capable of supporting trout.

The only drawback with our system is that it can only maintain and enhance resources on the 1.6 million acres that the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) owns or manages.  If you add the 1.5 million acres of the Mark Twain National Forest and the relatively small holdings in state parks and national wildlife refuges, Missouri has something like 2.6 million acres under public stewardship.  That sounds like a lot, but it is only 6 percent of the state’s land area.  No matter how good a job government agencies do on their tiny sliver of land, efforts to maintain the state’s natural resources clearly are going to be won or lost on private land.

In spite of the wonderful conservation legacy we received from our forebears, conservation remains the job of everyday people who treasure the natural world and the physical and spiritual renewal they find outdoors.  And here I finally get to today’s subject, Mill Creek.

Historically, this small stream southwest of Rolla was a little piece of Eden.  The stream corridor is chockablock with springs.  In fact, if you look carefully, you discover that the entire valley is one big spring.  Almost every square foot has water seeping out of it.  Before European settlement much of the valley was what ecologists call a muck fen – land so boggy you couldn’t walk through it.  And meandering down through the middle was a cold, clear stream made to order for trout.

Casting in tight quarters can be challenging on Mill Creek, but the presence of true trophy fish makes it worth the trouble.

God neglected to include trout in Missouri’s native fauna, but humans corrected that oversight as early as the mid-1800s, stocking Mill Creek and other spring-fed streams near railroad lines with rainbow trout hauled in from the West Coast.  The descendants of those first trout continue to thrive in Mill Creek.  The creek also received brown trout stockings starting in the 1940s.

So far so good.  But not all human endeavors in the Mill Creek watershed have been so benign.  Early on, people began “improving” Mill Creek by draining its life-giving wetlands, building roads and towns and damming the creek itself.  This tended to make the once free-flowing creek more sluggish and increase its water temperature.  Still, the creek’s potential remained clear to see.  Eventually, farsighted individuals and groups who recognized how special the creek was coalesced to form the Friends of Mill Creek (FMC).

MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Nick Girondo stands in front of Wilkins Spring, which marks the upper limit of reliable trout fishing water on Mill Creek.

Formed in 1997, FMC is a volunteer, community-based organization that supports landowners in rehabilitating Mill Creek.  Members include landowners, government agencies and corporate sponsors.  At first glance, FMC might seem to be composed of people and groups with conflicting interests.  The organization’s genius lies in focusing on shared goals and values rather than differences.

One of the main ways FMC pursues its goals is the Mill Creek Stewardship Rangers.  This is a group of high-school students directed by the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA).  Each summer since 2003, GRCA hires students and a Crew Leaders to undertake rehabilitation projects along the creek, often on private land.  The Rangers are supported by Puslinch Township, the City of Cambridge, the Optimist Club of Puslinch, and local businesses and individuals who donate their time, money and expertise for the betterment of the creek.

MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Nick Girondo stands in front of Wilkins Spring, which marks the upper limit of reliable trout fishing water on Mill Creek

Past projects have ranged from trail maintenance and cattle fencing to removing ponds.  One project involved an in-stream pond that raised peak summer water temperatures in the creek by as much as 7° F, a very bad thing for a trout stream.  FMC created a new channel and turned the former pond was turned into a wetland.  They planted cedars along the banks of the new channel to provide shade, and seeded the area with native grasses.  The whole project took three years to complete, but the results were stunning.  Within a year, brown trout had returned to the creek downstream of the former pond and adult, juvenile, and young-of-the-year trout had populated the new channel.

More recently, several tons of pea gravel, donated by Dufferin Aggregates, has been deposited in a tributary of Mill Creek to create Brook Trout spawning habitat.  Additionally, workers have removed overhanging branches and woody debris blocking a section of the main stream and placed log structures to encourage the creek to find and follow its natural channel.  One of the coolest things I saw when I visited Mill Creek in early April was trout hides created by burying untreated railroad ties along bank edges at water level.  The result is recessed holes where lunker trout can lie just out of the current, waiting to ambush passing morsels.  These are also great spots to drift a dry fly.

Earlier this month, FMC held its annual spring road cleanup, an important tool for keeping ugly and potentially polluting debris out of Mill Creek.  This year’s event drew more than 200 volunteers who removed 7.5 tons of trash from 55 miles of roads in the Mill Creek watershed.

Several floods in recent years have created excellent trout holding habitat on Mill Creek.

Ongoing efforts like these resulted in MDC’s designating Mill Creek as one of only six Blue Ribbon Trout Streams in the state.  These areas are so designated because of their high potential for producing trophy-sized trout. Most of the fish you catch will be 7 to 10 inches, but this is one of the few places in Missouri where you can be sure that trout18 inches or larger are present.  It isn’t easy to fool these wild fish, but the thrill of having one rise to your fly is indescribable.  You can read about Blue Ribbon Trout Areas and regulations at on.mo.gov/1WDHqvB.

The Missouri Trout Hunters website (bit.ly/1K408F5) has this to say about fishing Mill Creek:

“Dry fly fishermen usually have a great time throwing highly visible patterns like Wulffs, Irresistibles, or Humpies.  And throwing big dries can be quite entertaining at times.  Often smaller fish will hit these larger flies so aggressively that they’ll pop straight up in the air.  For a lot of reasons, the fishing here can be a wonderful experience.”

I could go on forever about Mill Creek and FMC, but I think you get the idea. The best way to understand their significance is fish the creek.  To get there, take I-44 to the Doolittle exit west of Rolla and turn south on Highway T. Drive through Newburg and across Little Piney Creek, then turn right on Highway P and watch for the Mill Creek Recreation Area sign on the left.  Take Phelps County Road 7550 to a picnic area.

The fishing from here on upstream is pretty good, though you will find casting space tight in some areas.  If you drive on past the picnic area on CR 7550 you will come to Highway AA.  Turn left and AA will take you to a sign for Pitts Pond, which is fed by Wilkins Spring.  Parking is available on the left just after crossing a concrete slab bridge.  Yelton Spring is upstream from here.  MDC’s Bohigian Conservation Area has access points on both AA and the Forest.

The fishing begins at Yelton Spring and extends all the way down to Little Piney Creek, but the best fishing water is below Wilkins Spring, which dumps around 3 million gallons of water per day into the creek.  Fishing upstream of the bridge is occasionally impossible, as Yelton Spring tends to go dry in the summer.

Localized thunderstorms can swell Mill Creek to unfishable levels pretty quickly.  To save yourself a fruitless drive, check the U.S. Geological Service’s gauge at on.doi.gov/1YFsADa.  It will reveal whether rainfall has caused a spike in stream flow and let you judge how quickly the water level is falling.  Fishing reports are available at the Mill Creek Fishing Reports page.  If you go, return the favor by sharing your experience at bit.ly/20UALxc.

After you have seen Mill Creek, you might want to be part of its continuing improvement.  Visit FMC’s website – friendsofmillcreek.org/ – and find a way to contribute to their work.  There’s no better way to carry on Missouri’s proud tradition of citizen conservation.

Anti-Tick Tactics – Protect Yourself

This national Lyme disease map from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides an illustration of the approximate distribution of predicted Lyme disease risk in the United States. Note that Western New York is at high risk.

Warm weather is back. Hooray!  Break out the camo clothes and turkey calls, fishing rods and binoculars.  It’s time to enjoy the great outdoors again, but as you pursue outdoor fun, don’t forget that there are some less-than-desirable things pursuing you as well.  Foremost among those things are ticks, there are several types, but deer ticks- also known as black –legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis), have recently become known as the “bad boys.”  They’re very, very tiny, hard to see, and their bite is nearly painless.

For as long as I can recall – and I can recall more years than like – ticks have been a source of concern beyond the “ick” factor.  Back in the day, we worried about tularemia and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.  More recently, we have added Lyme disease, Lyme-like disease, Ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, borreliosis and probably a few others that haven’t crossed my radar yet.

Tick identification and relative size by stage in comparison. Courtesy of the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The good news is that many of us will not get any of these maladies.  The bad news is that the chances of getting them are NOT ZERO and the consequences are potentially life-changing.  You want to do everything you can to reduce your chances of getting any tick-borne disease.

The additional good news is that there are excellent and very effective means of avoiding ticks.

Your first line of defense is clothing.  Long-sleeved shirts and long pants make it harder for ticks to reach your skin.  The wide variety of lightweight fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin makes it much more pleasant to dress for tick defense than it used to be.  Choose light colors to make it easy to see ticks that hitch a ride before they find an opening in your defenses.  You can further enhance clothing’s protective value by tucking pants legs into boots or using rubber bands to hold cuffs snug against your ankles and wrists.

These clothing measures are most effective when combined with chemical repellants.  Far and away the most effective of these is permethrin.  This chemical is lethal to ticks on contact, and they know it.  Just drop a tick on permethrin-treated clothing and see how it scrambles to get off!

Permethrin-based repellants are amazingly effective and because they work on all mites too, they also provide protection against the dread chigger mite.  Permethrin has low toxicity to humans and is poorly absorbed by skin.  It’s odorless once it dries, however, it is a toxin.  So the recommended method of usage is by spraying on clothing.  This is the best of all possible approaches anyway.  Once sprayed on clothes, permethrin-based repellants remain effective even after several washings. It’s actually not the water and detergent that remove it, but rather abrasion.  So to retain tick repellency as long as possible, wash garments on gentle cycle and line-dry them, rather than running them through a clothes dryer.

Do be aware that cats are more sensitive to permethrin than dogs or other mammals.  If you have cats in your home, keep them away from areas where you are spraying clothing, and change clothes before inviting Fluffy up on your lap.

I buy my permethrin in bulk online and treat several changes of clothes at once.  I lay the garments out on the driveway and spray one side, let them dry for a few minutes and then turn all the shirts, pants and socks over and repeat the process.  I keep treated clothes separate from the rest of my wardrobe so I know which ones to wear to the woods.

The next-most-effective tick deterrent is DEET (N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide).  Experts aren’t sure how DEET works, but there’s no question that it does.  Like permethrin, it is supposed to be applied to clothing, not skin.  Unlike permethrin, DEET comes off in the wash. It melts plastic, which is another significant disadvantage, and it smells awful and continues to smell as long as it is effective.  You don’t want to get this stuff in your eyes, but it works.

If you want real protection, go with permethrin or DEET.

Of course, even with the best of protection, you are going to get bitten occasionally.  This doesn’t have to be a problem. Your biggest risk of infection comes when a tick has fed for a while and regurgitates some of its stomach contents into your skin. This is most likely to happen some time after it attaches to you, so early removal is very important.

It’s hard to see every place on your body, so it makes sense to do a tick check with a friend as soon as possible after outings. (Insert joke here.)  When you find a tick DO NOT use one of the old methods of removal, such as touching it with a hot pin or covering it with a turpentine-soaked cotton ball. These methods will almost certainly cause the tick to regurgitate, which is the last thing you want.


Instead, use the following procedure:

  • Use sharp, needle-style tweezers or your fingers covered with rubber gloves or a piece of tissue paper to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
  • Avoid squeezing the tick’s body.
  • Pull the tick slowly and steadily straight away from the skin until it pops free. This can take a few minutes.
  • Disinfect the bite area and tweezers/fingers with alcohol.

Then you have two choices, save the tick for medical analysis and review (place it in a tissue and insert in a pill bottle) or destroy the tick.  If you live in an area with high density to Lyme disease, save it and get the tick analyzed, and get to a doctor.  If not, it’s up to you.  I usually drop them in a jar of alcohol, a fire, etc.  They’re nasty critters and deserve it, or you can just flush it down the toilet, like my wife does.  If you are removing lots of ticks, it’s handy to use a piece of duct tape to corral them until you decide their fate.

Most tick bites are no big deal. However, you should keep an eye on them to be sure you don’t develop a bullseye rash at the bite site. If you do, get to a doctor for treatment.  Tick-borne diseases don’t mess around and you shouldn’t either.

It’s actually possible to have serious medical problems even if you don’t get one of the more dangerous tick-borne diseases from a bite.  Pay special attention to any tick bite on the head or neck. The proximity to the head and its sensitive neural tissue poses an increased risk of serious side effects from tick-borne diseases.

Besides the tick-borne diseases listed above, some people are particularly sensitive to the substances that ticks inject into bite victims, just as some people are extra sensitive to shellfish or peanuts.  For these unfortunate few, any tick bite is extremely unpleasant and some can be dangerous.  Tick toxicosis begins with reddening and swelling at the bite site.  If you get a reaction that goes beyond the usual slight redness at the bite site, seek medical help right away.  It’s not worth the risk of having it get worse.

Under no circumstances let fear of ticks keep you from enjoying the outdoors.  Be prepared by taking the proper precautions and enjoy the outdoors.

Niagara River – Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, April 15, 2016


Lower Niagara River – Trout action has been decent of late as the weather conditions finally settle down. A call from Mike Fox of Lewiston noted that he reported good numbers of smelt on Wednesday night and hopefully that will continue with the warmer weather finally arriving. While the Lewiston smelt festival will not be held until May 6, the early dippers can do well. Keep your fingers crossed! Trout can be found from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar. Minnows, egg sacs and wobbling baits like Kwikfish or Mag-Lips are all good baits to use, but it seems to change daily and you need to be flexible. Steelhead and lake trout top the list; a few browns are also available. Capt. Jeff Draper of Grand Island had the brown trout touch earlier this week using minnows to take double digit browns on the Niagara Bar – fish up to 10 pounds. Shore casters can use spinners, egg sacs or egg imitations fished under a float. Remember that the stairs at Whirlpool State Park are closed. The NYPA fish platform is open again, as is the shoreline access and the reservoir.

Upper Niagara River –Trout should still be available off Unity Island and out of Broderick Park, as well as off Bird Island Pier when you can get out there. Egg sacs, minnows and spoons or spinners will catch fish. Use emerald shiners for perch or other panfish. Oppenheim Park Pond in Wheatfield received 200 rainbow trout and 100 two year old browns last Friday; Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls received 1,720 brown trout and 200 two year old browns. Gill Creek, the outflow of the lake, also received 560 yearling browns. Those fish have been cooperating for anglers.

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation
10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303 | 1.877 FALLS US
f:  716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Lake Ontario – Niagara County Fishing Forecast for Friday, April 15, 2016


Lake Ontario and tributaries – Spring has finally arrived this week to the joy of both shore and boat fishermen. In the weather department, the bullhead contest in Wilson was a week off. This weekend will be more like May than April. Shoreline trollers are working the waters inside of 15-20 feet to take a mix of browns and Coho salmon with an occasional steelhead thrown in. Stickbaits in fire tiger, rainbow trout and black-silver or black-blue have all been working off boards. Some boaters have been using spoons to take some fish, as well.

Casting spoons or spinners off the piers is another way to take a trout or two. Fishing minnows under a bobber will also work. In the streams, fresh trout are still available, primarily steelhead. Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek is still producing, but so are some of the smaller streams like Keg. Fish a small jig under a float and tip it with some meat. Egg sacs will also work.

Over at the Oak, one surprise for a trout caster was a 15-plus pound walleye reeled in by Matt Bedient of Lockport. He caught the monster on a jig.

Walleye season is closed and he released the lunker immediately. Remember that come May 7 when the season opens. Walleye is a category in the LOCWalleye is a category in the LOC Derby. The LOC Derby will be May 6-15 and registrations are coming in hot and heavy now. Go to www.loc.org for details or sign up at any Niagara County location.

Richard Haun of Niagara Falls braved the cold temperatures to win the Wilson Bullhead Contest last weekend with two fish totaling 3.69 pounds. He as using nightcrawlers at Wilson Tuscarora State Park after dark. Second place was Terry Molinari of Appleton with 3.56 pounds. He was fishing near the cow bridge in Wilson with worms and shrimp at dusk and after dark. John Pittsley of Niagara Falls and Bob Shank of Wilson tied at 3.53 pounds but Pittsley won the tie-breaker with length of his two fish. Top youth angler was Zachary Heath with two fish totaling 2.21 pounds. Nearly 40 anglers competed in the contest.

The Lake Ontario Pro-Am Tournament, set for May 20-22 this year, has a live website now for registrations at www.lakeontarioproam.net.

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation
10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303 | 1.877 FALLS US
f:  716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Niagara River

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, April 8, 2016

1.Lake Ontario and tributaries – The topsy-turvy weather has put a damper on fishing action for sure. Cold temperatures and a few inches of snow at the very least kept many fishermen home instead of on the water the past week. Piers were ice covered again when they weren’t under water; high winds kept boaters from trolling the shoreline. Some action in the tributaries for trout in places like 18 Mile Creek and Burt Dam, but water was high and muddy. The better fishing was in the smaller streams like Keg Creek. It probably won’t warm up at all until next week. A few bullhead and catfish are being caught in Wilson, but it’s not easy fishing. Worms and dead minnows are producing a few fish. The Wilson Conservation Club will be running a bullhead contest this weekend starting April 8 at 5 pm and running through April 10 at 1 pm. Weigh in for your best two fish will be held on Sunday morning between 9 am and 1 pm at the Wilson Conservation Club, Route 425, Wilson. Register at the Slippery Sinker in Olcott (778-0713) or CMC Auto Repair in Wilson. We told you about the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. getting their pens ready to accept fish from the state on April 9th. Be at the Town of Newfane Marina at 9 am to help. They will also need help feeding the fish after they are put into the pens, which it was just announced that it would take place on April 13 at 1 pm. Check out the group’s website at LOTSA1.org for details on how you can help. Speaking of LOTSA, the group will be holding its monthly meeting on April 14 and keynote speaker will be Capt. Rich Hajecki with Crazy Yankee Sportfishing, one of the top tournament fishermen on the lake. The meeting will take place at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue (Route 78), Lockport starting at 7 pm.

2. Lower Niagara River – After the recent storms muddied the water up earlier in the week, things started getting clear by Tuesday. Wednesday was good for Capt. Frank Campbell with a couple customers from Georgia (Chip and Douglass Holloway) who were in town visiting Craig Avery of Lewiston. Using chartreuse colored Pautzke Fire Dye on minnows, they caught about a dozen steelies in three hours, the biggest tipping the scales at 13 pounds. However, we’ll have to wait and see what the 40-plus mile an hour winds will do on Wednesday afternoon and into the evening to the water conditions. Trout can be found from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar when it’s fishable, but the bigger numbers seemed to be down river. Minnows, egg sacs and wobbling baits like Kwikfish or Mag-Lips are all good baits to try when you can get back out there. Steelhead and lake trout top the list; a few browns are also available. Shore casters can use spinners, egg sacs or egg imitations fished under a float. Remember that the stairs at Whirlpool State Park are closed. And when we get wintery weather like this, the NYPA fish platform gets shut down, as does the shoreline access and the reservoir. It will re-open when it gets warmer. No reports on smelt by dippers yet.

3. Upper Niagara River – Stained water and winter conditions impacted fishing the past week. Trout should still be available off Unity Island and out of Broderick Park, as well as off Bird Island Pier when you can get out there. Egg sacs, minnows and spoons or spinners will catch fish. Use emerald shiners for perch or other panfish. On April 8, Oppenheim Park Pond in Wheatfield will receive 200 rainbow trout and 100 two year old browns at 10 am. That same day at 11 am, Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls received 1,720 brown trout and 200 two year old browns. Gill Creek, the outflow of the lake, will also receive 560 yearling browns. Get out there and take advantage of those trout!

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Director, Outdoor Promotions, Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation,10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303; p: 716.282.8992 x.303 | 1.877 FALLS US; f:  716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog



A former United States president, a noted bass fishing educator, and one of the most innovative designers of soft plastic lures will join the current 59 members when they are formally inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame in March. During their fall meeting, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Board of Directors honored former President George H.W. Bush, Billy Murray and Gary Yamamoto at the Hall’s annual induction dinner.  The event took place at the DoubleTree Hilton in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Thursday, March 3.

“While serving as both the Vice-President and as our President, George Bush took exceptional interest in fisheries, water access and conservation issues.  President Bush is also a pretty good angler himself according to fellow Hall member Ray Scott,” said BFHOF Board president Sammy Lee.  “Billy Murray has helped thousands of bass anglers find more fishing success through his involvement with the Bass Fishing Institute and his idea for a traveling “Hawg Trough”, and Gary Yamamoto continues to develop some of the best baits out there.  Yamamoto is an accomplished angler in his own right.”


Gary Yamamoto Yamamoto, founder of Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, is credited with numerous innovations in the design and manufacturing of soft plastic lures.  His Senko is one of the most important lure developments in recent years and his other creations, including the Hula Grub, are mainstays in anglers tackle boxes the world over.  A very successful professional angler in his own right, Yamamoto sponsors numerous pros in the United States, Europe and Japan, and is also publisher of Inside Line Magazine.


George H. W. BushThe 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush had a major and positive impact on sportfishing in general and bass fishing in particular during his term in office.  As Vice President, Bush played a key role in the passage of the Wallop-Breaux amendments to the Sport Fish Restoration Act, which generates more than $650 million per year for sportfish restoration, access and other fishing and boating projects.  In 2014 he received the inaugural Keep America Fishing Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong personal commitment to recreational fishing and conservation of America’s fisheries and wetlands.  During his term as President, Bush established the first national policy goal of “no net loss” of wetlands, he established 56 new wildlife refuges, restored 3 million acres of wetlands and signed the Clean Air Act reauthorization that required cleaner burning fuels. A personal friend of Ray Scott, Johnny Morris and other leaders in the sportfishing industry, Bush used the “bully pulpit” of his office to promote recreational fishing.


Billy Murray Billy is the twin brother of fishing legend Bobby Murray.  While his brother is best known for his tournament prowess, Billy was making a name for himself behind the scenes within the industry.   Murray has been all over the bass fishing world.  In 1975, Murray formed and organized the Bass Fishing Institute, a forerunner of today’s Bass University.  Murray traveled the country with a select group of anglers educating tens of thousands on bass fishing.  As part of that effort, Murray created a 30-feet long traveling aquarium commonly referred to as the “Hawg Trough.”   Those aquariums are still used today and are a common part of the fishing world.  Murray, an employee of PRADCO for almost three decades, also was instrumental in designing many of today’s popular lures.  In addition, he served as cameraman/producer for 10 years on the “Fishin’ Hole” show in its early years of becoming the longest running outdoor show on television. In the 1990s, Murray, along with his brother Bobby, starred in their own television show “The Guys,” that aired on ESPN.

About The Hall of Fame — The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization dedicated to all anglers, manufacturers, tackle dealers, media and other related companies who further the sport of bass fishing. In February 2013 the board of directors announced the completion of a decade-long, exhaustive quest to secure a permanent home with the selection of Cullman, Alabama as the future site of the Hall – and what will now be the International Bass Fishing Center. The IBFC site will be constructed as a joint project with the City of Cullman, Cullman County and the City of Good Hope – a project that includes an adjacent civic/convention center, all of which will be housed on the 110-acre parcel known as the Burrow property. The Hall will enjoy a dedicated 30 acres of the property, which will include ponds, gardens and an aquatic-education center. The entire project is estimated to cost in excess $17 million with structures that will encompass 101,000 square feet. Dependent on fundraising efforts, the BFHOF Board hopes to break ground in fall 2016. Support the BFHOF by becoming a member. Call 888.690.2277 for more information.