Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wang Anchor Stake Out Poles

Everyone seems to have a different take on anchoring systems and stake-out poles for kayaks. My number one anchor is not really an anchor at all, but a stake out pole. It's far more convenient than a traditional anchor, absolutely stops the kayak in place, and does not drag or come out in high current conditions.
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing an excellent new stake-out pole for kayaks and boats, the Wang Anchor. With the hilarious 'Hang Out With Your Wang Out' slogan to go along with it's catchy brand name, the Wang is definitely making a name for itself.
Made of fiberglass that is relatively rigid, the Wang has a pointed end for staking out in mud or

QuikSlide Stringer System

Storing fish on a kayak is always a challenge, and anyone who has used a stringer knows that stringers often rust or are just plain troublesome to use. I can relate several horror stories where I had "stringer malfunctions" either getting fish on the stringer, having a stringer decide to leave my kayak unintentionally, or finding my stringer rotted or rusted when I needed it. At ICAST 2009 I came across an interesting booth run by the folks at Innovative Products who truly have an innovative product, the QuikSlide Stringer system.

Norton Brass Rattler Fish Grip

There's a new "redfish wrench" in town that is ideal for kayak fishing, the Fish Grip from the folks at Norton Brass Rattler. Made of high impact plastic, the Fish Grip has a vice-like action for clamping and controlling fish and rounded tips to keep from harming fish before a release. Don't underestimate the power of this grip - once engaged it is not coming off, and please don't test it on a finger (of course I did and had to drill a clot out of my nail).
Perhaps the most important feature is that since it is made of plastic the Fish Grip floats - no additional floats are necessary to keep it from going down once it hits the water. There are no parts to rust, it comes with a wrist bungee strap, and it's available in orange, blue, green, and glow-in-the-dark pearl.
Beyond floatability th Fish Grip has a fantastic price point at $14.95 both at local stores and online. At that price and the noted features this is an obvious winner for the kayak angler.
For more information on the Fish Grip visit

Bluestorm Inflatable PFDs

The founders of Marine Technologies International (MTI) have a new brand focused on high-end personal protective marine safety equipment called Bluestorm, and they have some products ideal for the kayak angler. The name Bluestorm was chosen because a clear blue sky calm and controllable situation on the water can quickly turn into a storm, by weather or unintended accident, and the Bluestorm products use the latest technologies, fabrics, and quality workmanship to deliver safe comfortable products that work.

Penn Conquer Reel

There's no question kayak fishing is very tough on reels. With the kayak low in the water and the angler fishing down at water level reels take a lot more abuse than they do in boats. Add in the occasional oops when a reel gets dunked in the water and you have the perfect storm for "reel" problems.
For fall 2009 Penn Reels has introduced the Conquer, a new line of reels that are ideal for kayak anglers. Like the Slammer series the Conquer reels have sealed drags and the tough Penn quality and reliability we have come to expect from Penn reels, but the Conquer brings much more to the table.
To start with it's a 10+1 shielded stainless steel bearing super smooth reel with a one piece machined aluminum gear box. It has a Superline Spool designed to accommodate braid with no backing and a friction trip ramp that prevents premature bail trip when casting.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dorset fishermen discover albino lobster

A rare albino lobster that could be more than 30-years-old has been caught in a lobster-pot off the Dorset coast. The two Bridport fishermen who found the crustacean near Portland Bill handed it to Weymouth Sea Life Park. Albinism is caused by a lack of melanin in the skin, which means there is a lack of colour pigment. Fiona Smith, from the park, said: "There have only been one or two other albino lobsters found around the UK in the last 20 years or so."

Without camouflage she added, it was "incredible" this one had not been eaten by a predator such as a shark. Ms Smith also explained that the size of a lobster determines its age. At 40cm (15.7in) long, including its claws, she said this animal was "pretty big".
"[It] could easily be more than 30 years old," she said.
Lobsters can grow up to 75cm (29.5in) long and live for up to 50 years.
They shed their hard shells as they outgrow them. It will not be known if Santa Claws' condition is temporary until it next moults.

How to Tie Fly Fishing Knots

Learning how to tie fly fishing knots can lead you to the perfect catch or keep you casting. Before heading to the nearest river to cast a few flies, anglers need to know how to tie knots. Several different styles exist.

The Albright
One of the most popular fly fishing knots is the Albright and combines two lines of unequal diameter or different materials. First, loop the wider line and hold it between the thumb and index finger. Bring the smaller line through the loop. Leave approximately six to eight inches of extra line. Wrap the smaller line around the larger line, working away from you and moving left to right. As you make each wrap, hold each line in place. On the tenth wrap, come around and take the smaller line through the bigger loop. Pull the line lightly and push the wraps toward the closed loop, alternating between the end of the smaller larger part until the loops are against the tag end. Don't let the loops cross over one another. Then, pull it tight, secure the lines, and clip the line close to the knot.

Expert Fishing Tips

Everyone needs fishing tips. Fishing is so much more than a way to drown worms. But if you're just a novice fisherman, how do you navigate your way through the murky waters?

Pole Position

Instead of cranking the bail to close it after casting, close the bail by hand and pull the line tight before reeling in. This fishing tip brings the line into the bailer roller and it will spool properly.
Use pony tail holders to secure fishing rods during travel time. No more tangles or broken tips.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Guide to Ice Fishing

Ice fishing continues to grow in popularity. Nothing beats the thrill of drilling through a thick slab of ice, dropping a line, and catching a beauty of a fish. Beginning anglers need to make a small investment to get on the ice. Once the fishing bug bites, ice fishermen may opt for the latest and greatest equipment. Here's what you'll need to get started.

Ice Fishing Equipment
Ice auger. This piece of equipment is a necessity. Hand crank augers work fine. Mechanical augers are also on the market. Before purchasing an auger, remember that the larger the hole's diameter, more work is needed to drill through the ice. Although an ice scoop isn't a necessity for ice fishing, it will help clear away ice shavings. Metal scoops are preferable to the plastic varieties.
Rods. Graphite rods, especially ultra light models, are preferred for ice fishing. Look for a rod that measures 28 inches and has a fast-action tip. Medium-action rods measuring 28 to 30 inches work best when fishing for walleye or trout.

How to Get Started Saltwater Fly Fishing

Mention fly fishing to most people and they will immediately conjure up images of Tweed clad anglers walking grassy banks in search of Salmon and Trout.  But there is another, very different, side to fly fishing that has become very popular in recent years.  Saltwater fly fishing is probably the most sporting method of catching sea fish.  Although the flies used are intended to mimic small fish in most cases, rather than insects, the ethos is exactly the same.  The angler must tie an artificial lure from thread, fluff and feather, which will trick the fish into taking it.  Then he must present that lure to the fish, without the aid of any casting weight other than the line to which the lure is attached.  If he has done his job properly and manages to present his imitation in the most natural way, the saltwater fly fisherman will be rewarded with a level of sport never experienced with more traditional sea fishing tackle.  Most sea fish are hard fighting fish, but are usually hampered in their fight for freedom by heavy weights and powerful rods.  On fly tackle, even the smallest fish will give a very good account of itself.  Here, we are going to look at the basics of saltwater fly fishing, some of the species of fish you are likely to catch and the tackle you will need to get started. 

Halibut Roasted with Red Bell Peppers, Onions, and Russet Potatoes

The firm flesh of halibut makes it the perfect choice for this dish, but feel free to substitute salmon, cod, or any other thick fish. The bell peppers can be varied as well - exchange green for red or use a combination of red, green and yellow. You can also add rosemary, basil, or even mint to the gremolata, a classic Italian seasoning of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. Accompany the dish with greens, such as spinach or chard.

  • 2  russet potatoes (about 1 pound) , scrubbed, halved lengthwise and cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  large red bell pepper, quartered, seeded and cut into eight 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1  large white onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoon(s) coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoon(s) coarsely chopped lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon(s) dried oregano
  • 1 clove(s) garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 pound(s) halibut fillet (about 3/4 inch thick) , skin removed, cut into 4 pieces
  • Lemon wedges

Baked Cod with Chorizo and White Beans

This recipe follows the Spanish and Portuguese tradition of pairing mild white fish with full-flavored cured sausage — just a bit gives the whole dish a rich, smoky flavor. Make it a meal: Enjoy with steamed green beans and roasted potatoes tossed with thyme and coarse salt.

  • 1 teaspoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 ounce(s) Spanish chorizo, (see Shopping Tip) or turkey kielbasa, diced
  • 1 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 pint(s) grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup(s) dry white wine, divided
  • 1 can(s) great northern beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt, divided
  • 1 1/4 pound(s) Pacific cod, cut into 4 pieces (see Ingredient Note)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, chorizo (or kielbasa) and thyme and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup wine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down and the wine is almost evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in beans and 1/4 teaspoon salt and remove from the heat.
  • Sprinkle fish with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; place in the prepared baking dish. Top each piece of fish with equal amounts of the tomato mixture (about 1/2 cup per fillet). Pour the remaining 1/4 cup wine into the pan and cover the pan with foil. Bake until the fish is just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the fish with the sauce spooned over the top

Roasted Cod with Olives and Lemon

Make this flavorful roast cod tonight, and tomorrow use the leftovers for Codfish Cakes.

  • 3 small lemons, thinly sliced
  • 8 sprig(s) fresh thyme
  • 20  pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 18 small red potatoes
  • 6  (about 1 1/2 pounds) cod fillets
  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) Freshly ground pepper


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place lemon slices in a single layer on a large roasting or baking pan. Lay thyme sprigs over lemons and sprinkle with olives.
  • Halve each potato, place in a large bowl, and fill with water to cover. Microwave until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and scatter around edge of pan.
  • Place fillets on lemon and drizzle olive oil over fish and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven, reduce temperature to 325 degrees F, and roast until fish is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Serve fish with potatoes and olives.

Wasabi Salmon Burgers

Bring out the flavors of salmon with a Japanese-inspired infusion of ginger, sesame oil and wasabi. If you serve these patties on whole-wheat buns, consider reduced-fat mayonnaise and sliced cucumbers as condiments. Or skip the buns and set the patties atop a vinegary salad of greens, carrots, radishes and sprouts.

  • 2 tablespoon(s) reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) wasabi powder (see Note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) honey
  • 1 pound(s) salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip)
  • 2  scallions, finely chopped
  • 1  egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoon(s) minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon(s) toasted sesame oil


  • Whisk soy sauce, wasabi powder and honey in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.
  • With a large chef's knife, chop salmon using quick, even, straight-up-and-down motions (do not rock the knife through the fish or it will turn mushy). Continue chopping, rotating the knife, until you have a mass of roughly 1/4-inch pieces. Transfer to a large bowl. Add scallions, egg, ginger and oil; stir to combine. Form the mixture into 4 patties. The mixture will be moist and loose, but holds together nicely once the first side is cooked.
  • Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the patties and cook for 4 minutes. Turn and continue to cook until firm and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Spoon the reserved wasabi glaze evenly over the burgers and cook for 15 seconds more. Serve immediately.

Year Round Spinnerbait Techniques For You

Spinnerbaits are not just a tool for the spring and fall. Spinnerbaits can be deadly, if the right ones are fished in a variety of situations weather it be the East Coast or the West. The trick is to be able to distinguish which is the right one for the right situation? Spinnerbaits can fished in so many different ways, all of which, produce BIG BASS from north to south, east to west. They can be fished through the water column top to bottom. They are really a versatile bait if you know the little tricks it takes to fish them effectively. They can be fished many ways by varying the retrieve, weight of the bait, blade size, the trailer and colors. You have a bait here that can work a water column and catch fish from one to twenty-five feet, and because it is so versatile, you can fish it fast, slow, and in all seasons of the year. The first time I discovered this, I was amazed at how many fish I had must have missed in my youth, by not knowing how to fish a spinnerbait here in the Northeast.

The Best Bass Fishing Crankbaits

Big lipped, floating and diving crankbaits make it possible for anglers to search a wide area at different depths to find large and smallmouth bass. The average depth you will reach is about 6 to 9 feet with most crankbaits. But crankbaits with large lips may dive up to 20 feet.

The stop-and-go retrieve is the most effective when searching for bass. Crank the lure down with a very fast retrieve and then stop allowing it to float up. Keep repeating this to cover a wide area of water and different depths. Once you catch that first bass, fishn that depth with a nice steady retrieve for bast results.

Crankbaits with small lips and slim long bodies give you an action like live baitfish, and are very effective for shallow water fishing. Trolling or casting them above weeds or over shoals is effective. They can even mimic surface lures in calm water tease the fish with light twiching movement and slow retrieves creating surface commotion.

The Best Bass Fishing Lure

So what, exactly, is the all time best bass fishing lure?  This is the most asked, and most unanswered question in all the bass fishing community. Well, let‘s see if we can find an answer to this all time favorite question.

If you walk into a bait shop you can easily be overwhelmed by all the different lures available, so which one do you pick. Let me tell you that almost all the lures on that wall WILL catch fish. However, some will be more efficient, and some will work in one fishing scenario, but won=t in another scenario.

Crankbaits are amazing bass fishing lures, but they have many flaws which make them NOT the best bass fishing lure.

The sheer variety of crankbaits is incredible. You can get some that dive deep, dive shallow, have a wide wobble, have a narrow wobble, have rattles, have no rattles, have a lip, or have no lip, AND each type come in a million different colors. These will all work, but all in different situations which I will discuss in a future article. Unless you are an extreme die hard fisherman or get payed to do it, you cant have every type imaginable.

Winter Trout Fly Fishing

It is winter time now. One step on the frozen porch steps first thing in the morning removes any doubt of that fact. Winter time brings on many thoughts, holidays, dark afternoons, football on TV and for me some of the best trout fly fishing there is. That’s right - trout fishing - winter steelhead fly fishing has been around a long time and gets more popular every season.

But the truth of the matter is, trout fly fishing can be excellent: the crowds are down to non-existent, the scenery and wildlife are plentiful, and it makes those long days of early spring with non-stop rain and overflowing rivers more tolerable.

When to go
Winter fly fishing demands a little timing and planning on your part. One nice thing is, the weekends aren’t crowded so you really don’t need to ask the boss for time off to really get some peace and solitude.
But other planning does need to be done. The first thing is checking your local regulations. Many, many places now offer year round trout fly fishing. A good portion of this is probably catch and release but that only helps in further reducing the crowds. Some areas allow only lakes to be fished year round, some only allow rivers, but most places will allow something to be fished year round.

Winter fly fishing tips

What Is It About Winter That Calls You Back To The Water?
Is it the Lack of crowds? Is it the masses headed to the Hills to ski or maybe you just need to get out because, well you like to fish?

Winter Fly Fishing in the Rockies can be an experience all to itself if you need a day out on the water. Winter fly-fishing in Colorado is much different from Fall and Spring fishing, the people are gone, the scenery is awesome, and the pace is relaxing. Due the winter weather it can change minute to minute so be mindful of your area and always be prepared for that nasty storm at any time.

Sea Spider

Sea Spider

Sea spiders are also known with the names Pantopoda or pycnogonids. Sea spiders are the marine arthropods, which belong to class Pycnogonida. Sea spiders can be found world wide. They are found especially in Arctic, Antarctic Oceans and Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas. There are around 1300 species of sea spiders. There sizes varies from 1mm to 90 cm. The large spiders are found in the deep waters, while the smaller ones are found in the shallow depths. The large sea spiders are found in the Antarctic waters.

Sea spiders have small body and long legs. They generally have eight walking legs (four pairs), while some species also have five and six pairs. Sea spiders are very small in size that each of their muscle contains only one cell surrounded by connective tissue. The front part of the spider contains proboscis, by which they suck the nutrients from soft-bodied invertebrates. Their proboscis has a limited lateral and dorsoventral movement.Their digestive track has diverticula extending into the legs.

Sea Dragons

Sea dragons, like sea horses , are a type of pipe fish.

Sea dragons , unlike sea horses do not have a gripping (prehensile) tail. They do have extra parts that look like sea weed which help them to hold onto seagrass. This also helps them to hide in the seagrass beds where they like to live. To help with their camouflage the sea dragons rock back and forth to imitate seagrass being moved by the ocean currents.

The sea dragons body is hard, almost like armour. This hard outer surface, called a 'hide' is made of bony rings. The hide makes the sea dragons body very ridged it can't move quickly and is easily caught.

Sea dragons like to eat tiny mysid shrimp known as 'sea-lice', plankton and small deep sea fish. They don't have any teeth so they eat by taking in small amounts of water containing their prey.

Sea dragons have a courting ritual that takes place before they mate. During this time the male goes through rapid colour changes when passing close to the female. The male sea dragon carries the eggs. This is known as 'paternal brooding'. The female lays about 200 bright pink eggs in the males 'brood patch' which is on the underside of the tail.

The brood patch is made up of tiny egg cupped shaped suction cups that hold the eggs. Once hatched the young can leave their fathers tail and look after themselves. They eat tiny zooplankton until they are big enough to eat mysid shrimp.

Sea dragons are pipe fish that look similar to sea horses. They have seaweed looking parts on their head and body that allow them to hide in sea grass and sea weed. They have a variety of colours including yellow, pink and orange. The juveniles are pinker in colour.

Sea dragons are unique to the southern waters of WA and South Australia. They can be found in areas that have seagrass, seaweed beds and around reefs. As the number of sea grass beds are decreasing the sea dragon has less places to live. They usually swim in shallow areas but have been seen in depths of 50 metres.

Abalones cling to life as recovery plan forms

Long before Southern California baby boomers started plucking abalones from jetties for dinner, Native Americans used plate-sized, iridescent shells of the once-common mollusks for trading across the Southwest.
Abalones were a staple of coastal life for centuries — a nearshore fishery once topped 5.4 million pounds — until they were all but wiped out by disease, overharvest, predatory otters, poaching and habitat destruction.

By 1997, state officials had shut down all abalone fisheries south of San Francisco in hopes of saving the species. Today there’s just one small recreational fishery for free divers harvesting red abalone on the North Coast, along with several commercial operations — including one in Carlsbad — that farm nonprotected varieties for seafood.

While white abalones are on the road to extinction, there’s evidence of successful reproduction in a few black abalone colonies on the Channel Islands in recent years, giving researchers hope that they eventually can be restored in parts of the region. Optimism is fueled by research that suggests some of the remaining “black abs” are resistant to a type of bacteria that nearly wiped them out starting in the 1980s.

The National Marine Fisheries Service recently formed a task force to save the black abalone, which was listed as federally endangered in 2009. A recovery plan is expected in about two years, though scientists said it’s complicated by poaching in the United States, limited harvest enforcement in Mexico and the potential that climate change will speed the spread of disease in the population.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Saltwater Fishing Tips & Tricks

Catch-and-Release Fishing

Many anglers choose to release the fish they catch. However, sometimes fish are so injured by the catch that their odds of surviving back in the water are poor. Here are some tips to improve a fish's chances of living to fight another day:

  • Keep the fight short by using heavier tackle.
  • Use a circle hook or crush the barb on a J-hook to avoid injuring the fish.
  • Never keep a fish out of the water longer than you can hold your breath.
  • The slime that covers a fish protects it from infection, so use wet hands or gloves when you handle the fish.
  • A dehooker lets you remove the hook without touching the fish.
  • Never dangle a fish by its jaw, and always support its body with your hands.
  • When releasing a deep-sea bottomfish, use a venting tool to relieve the air from the fish's air bladder.

Using good catch-and-release practices will help ensure the fish survives after being released

Using good catch-and-release practices will help ensure the fish survives after being released.
Keeping a Fishing Log

With so many factors affecting whether or not fish bite, recording details about the conditions after each trip will help you recognize patterns in fish behavior. Note the moon phase, tide phase, cloud cover, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, air and water temperature, and precipitation. Also record what baits worked, how the fish responded and the most productive locations.

At the beginning of each fishing season, review your notes from previous years to look for conditions or tackle that were productive. Getting in the habit of keeping a fishing journal will get you in the habit of catching more fish.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

When To Fish

Time of Day/Season Sequencer/Turnover/Temp by Species 

Spring/Early Morning
Fish aren't biting. The water is cold and doesn't heat up because the sun is low and the rays bounce off the water. But don't go home yet, because winter is over and fish are hungry and spawning. Best to wait until a week or so after thaw, as spring turnover takes time for the water temperature to even out to 39.2 degrees.

Spring/Late Morning-Early Afternoon
Fish are biting off and on. The water begins to warm up because rays begin to penetrate the water. Remember to fish the downwind shoreline, as the winds will push the warmer surface water along with surface food into that area

 Spring/Afternoon-Early Evening
Fish are eating a lot because their metabolism and digestion are cranked. Water is warm because the sun is directly overhead.

Summer/Early Morning-Late Afternoon
Fishing is excellent from before sunup to just before mid-morning. At this time of year there is abundant food and cover for fish, so finding hungry fish can be a challenge.

Summer/Late Morning-Early Afternoon
Fishing is poor for most of the day. Fish move to deep water to cool off.

Summer/Afternoon-Early Evening
Fishing is excellent from early sundown until dark as the waters cool and fish rise up from the depths.

Fall/Early Morning
Fish aren't biting much from sunup to early morning. The water is cool because the sun is too low to penetrate the water.

Fall/Late Morning-Noon
Fish are biting off and on in warmer, shallow water. The water is generally cool due to the season.

Fall/Afternoon-Early Evening
Fishing is excellent. Sun is directly overhead for several hours and the water gets more comfortable near the surface. This makes for seasonally good fishing because fish are putting on weight for the winter. Look for bait schools where bigger fish are more likely to be.

Seasonal Lake Turnover
Turnover refers to the exchange of surface and bottom water in a lake or pond. This annual recycling program happens twice a year. There's spring turnover and fall turnover and summer stagnation in between. From spring to fall, warmer water goes from the top of the lake to the bottom and cooler water moves from the bottom to the top.

An understanding of turnover, combined with knowledge of what kind of water a particular fish likes, can make you a real fishing genius. As always, good luck.