|Check out these tips for keeping your boat’s engines gunk-free and ready to go when the weather warms again next spring.|
from The Fishing Wire
Serious boaters know that proper care and maintenance of their rigs are the cornerstones of trouble-free boating. Whether you are an avid angler, watersports enthusiast or family cruiser, you want your boat to start up easily, run great and get great fuel efficiency every time you venture out on the water.
Taking care of your boat is even more important when you’re storing it for an extended period of time. This holds true whether you’re storing your rig for the offseason or just not going to be using it for a while.
The first and most important step is to use a high-performance fuel additive to stabilize your fuel and protect the entire fuel system from the build up of gum, varnish and corrosion over time. Techron Marine Fuel System Treatment was scientifically formulated by the fuel experts at Chevron to provide the highest level of protection during extended storage, while also fighting the corrosive effects of the harsh marine environment.
More than 98% of gasoline sold in the United States contains ethanol, which attracts water into your boat’s fuel system. During offseason storage — or any period of infrequent operation — this water accelerates fuel oxidation, the formation of gum and varnish and can lead to corrosion in the fuel system. It left too long, this corrosion, varnish and gum can cause permanent damage to your boat’s fuel system.
Some boaters attempt to prevent this by draining their fuel system in preparation for storage. This is often impractical, and it also wastes money and gasoline. Most importantly, it can actually create problems. Draining the tank exposes the metal components inside to condensation, which may accelerate fuel system corrosion. It can also cause internal components in your fuel system to dry and crack over time, leading to potential hazards and leaks.
In addition, there will usually be some fuel left in the tank after draining, and it will be subject to oxidation. This can create gum and varnish that can restrict fuel injectors, gum up carburetors, and even clog the system badly enough to cause a fuel pump failure.Stabilize A Full Tank
Instead of draining the tank, add Techron Marine to a nearly empty fuel tank and then fill it up nearly to the top with quality gasoline. Leave just a little room for expansion. Then, run the engine for a few minutes to allow the treatment to circulate throughout the system. It only takes one ounce of Techron Marine to treat 10 gallons of fuel, so follow instructions and make sure you are dosing the fuel properly.
Techron Marine has been scientifically engineered to keep fuel fresh for up to 24 months. Head-to-head laboratory tests have shown that Techron is also a top performer when it comes to engine and fuel system cleaning and corrosion protection in the harshest environments — especially in salt water. Because of this, Techron Marine is an ideal additive for use with every fill up, not just during storage. Used regularly, Techron Marine can help keep a boat’s fuel system and engine running clean, strong and at peak efficiency. It works in all types of gasoline-powered boats including two-stroke, four-stroke, carbureted, port- or electronic fuel-injected and direct injected engines.
This versatility to stabilize fuel for extended storage and also protect boat fuel systems all season long contributed to Techron Marine winning a 2019 Top Product Award from leading trade journal
Boating Industry magazine.
Visit www.TechronClean.com to learn more.
|What to do if you hook yourself|
|By Alex McCrickard, Virginia DWR|
from The Fishing Wire
Have you ever had to end a great fishing trip early due to accidentally hooking yourself?
Safety should never be overlooked when spending time on the water fishing. Without a doubt, it’s essential to make sure you are dressing for the weather, checking river flows or lake conditions, keeping an eye on the radar and forecast, wearing a life jacket if you are on a boat, and staying hydrated. However, one of the more common accidental injuries that an angler can encounter is being hooked with a fly, lure, or hook. It’s essential to know when the injury can be handled on the water and when it’s time to go to the emergency room.
I have spent a considerable amount of time teaching novice fly anglers in my years as a fly fishing guide on Wyoming’s Upper North Platte River. From experience, I will say that one of the less enjoyable aspects of being a guide is getting impaled with your client’s fly as they are learning how to cast for the first time. I have been accidentally hooked many times, including having flies embedded in my leg, arm, back, and even nose. I am lucky and have never had to take a trip to the emergency room with any of these injuries. The technique outlined below can help you remove an impaled hook while on the water.Photo by Lynda Richardson/DWR
The technique for removing an impaled hook is actually quite simple. Start by cutting off a two- to three-foot long section of heavy monofilament, 15 or 20 lb. test line. If you’re fly fishing, 0x tippet will work fine.
Next, thread the monofilament between the shank of the hook and your skin, situating the loop of monofilament at the bend of the hook. Make sure you have at least 12” of monofilament on either side of the hook. With your thumb, press down on the shank of the hook until the shank is parallel to your skin. Once you have pushed down, quickly jerk the monofilament with your other hand in a motion parallel to the shank to remove the embedded hook. It’s a simple push-and-pull technique that is highly effective. I have performed this on myself many times, but it can certainly be beneficial to have a family member or friend assist you in the process, especially if you hooked yourself in the back or arm.The tips below can help you in the process as well as decipher when it’s essential to seek medical attention:
This technique is not recommended with treble hooks.
Treble hooks on lures pose an entirely different situation and it’s best to seek medical attention if deeply impaled by two out of three treble hooks.
Consider pinching the barbs on your hooks before fishing, especially for beginners. A barbless hook is a lot easier to remove than a barbed hook.
Trust your gut—if you think you need medical attention, then it’s best to go to the emergency room. If you are hooked deeply in the neck or face, it is best to seek medical attention.
Larger and heavier hooks, especially saltwater hooks that are deeply impaled, might also require a trip to the emergency room.
Always wear a hat and polarized sunglasses when fishing on the water. Not only will sunglasses protect your eyes, but they also cut down against the glare and help you spot fish in the water.
Spread out and give yourself ample casting space when fishing together with friends and family.
Carry a first aid kit in your car when wade fishing or in your boat so you are ready when a situation arises.
See more strategies for removing embedded hooks, complete with diagrams.
|By Darcy Mount, Colorado Parks and Wildlife|
from The Fishing Wire
Important tips to avoid lonely nights on the sofa, or being the star of a viral video, as boating season begins.
Never use a busy boat ramp to “teach” others to back a trailer.
There are two things you should not learn from a spouse or significant other . . . canoeing and trailer backing. I know there are many other examples but these are my observations from my career as a park ranger and manager.Want to see couples fight? Hang around at the boat ramp. It won’t be long until an argument erupts as someone is trying to get a boat on or off a trailer. Or as couples are paddling in or out from shore.
With boating season upon us, it’s a good time for me to share some things I have seen in hopes you might avoid similar public displays of disaffection and perhaps ruin your day at the lake.
Busy boat ramp. This is where you see the most fights, domestic violence, tears, anxiety, damage to boats, trailers, docks, trucks, etc. Of course, these incidents always seem to occur on a busy boat ramp with lots of witnesses.It seems that in many cases the person most comfortable backing the trailer is also the person most comfortable driving the boat. I’ve observed this play out in many ways.
A couple in a boat motors up to the dock and ties up. The boat captain gets out and heads to the parking lot to retrieve the truck and trailer, backs it into the water, gets out of the truck, gets on the boat and loads it onto the trailer, hops back in the truck and drives away. This is normally easy to do, unless the ramp is crowded and people are waiting to load. Then stress levels can rise causing tension as traffic on the ramp backs up. Squabbles can occur.
The person most comfortable driving both the boat and the truck decides it’s time to teach the passenger to back up the truck and trailer. This is generally done by yelling or eventually screaming from the boat, which is still afloat behind the ramp. As tension builds, the novice trying to back the trailer down the ramp gets frustrated as the trailer jackknifes and you may hear the words “I told you I couldn’t do it” being yelled or eventually screamed at the teacher on the boat. (I use the word “teacher” loosely.)
This situation can escalate and the boat driver/teacher may get yelled at by others bobbing in the water, waiting to load. This can happen because the “teacher” is distracted by the fish-taililng trailer on the ramp and lets the boat drift toward the other boats in the queue. The truck driver may experience a flight response and get out of the truck, walking away and telling the teacher to do it himself. Or the driver may even beg other people to back the trailer in for them. These people may be total strangers, which then causes more yelling from the teacher on the boat. It should be obvious, but you should never use a busy boat ramp to “teach” another to back a trailer into the water. The results are not pretty.
This is the reverse of scenario 2 with the novice trying to guide a bobbing boat onto a trailer as impatient strangers stare and even offer unsolicited advice as the “teacher” shouts instructions from behind the wheel of the truck. Either way, all the yelling is a surefire buzzkill guaranteed to ensure you boat alone in the future. (And probably sleep alone on the couch for a few nights.).
Soaking Your Partner
This occurs a couple ways and both can result in frayed tempers.The partner backing the trailer down the ramp can get soaked, and the truck stuck and in need of a tow, if the driver ends up too far onto the ramp and the truck sinks in deep water. This happens if the ramp is long and the water level is low and the ramp suddenly drops off and the truck ends up in deep water. If they back in far enough, they will find out trucks do not float as they watch it slowly sink under water. That is a guaranteed fight.
Most common is the disaster that can occur when one partner forgets to put the plug in the boat and it fills with water as the boat floats off the trailer.
A temper fit by the other partner can be avoided if you are lucky enough to quickly steer it back on the trailer and insert the plug.But often couples find themselves too far out from shore before they realize the boat is taking on water. This requires a boat tow and quite a bit of stress and in some extreme cases having to abandon your sinking boat.
Boat and Ramp Repairs
This occurs often in the spring when we are so excited to get back in the water we forget to make sure the engine runs. You may see people parked in the parking lot trying to make repairs while their partner and friends in the truck wait not-so-patiently. Worse case is you float off your trailer to realize it will not start and need to be pulled back onto your trailer.
Enjoyable Boating Adventures
If you follow these tips, you will have much more enjoyable boating adventures. And you won’t be the star of a viral video. I would like to say what happened at the boat ramp stays at the boat ramp. But if you search YouTube, you’ll discover that is far from the case.Written by Darcy Mount. Darcy is the Eleven Mile State Park Manager.
If you have general questions about Colorado Parks and Wildlife, email Darcy at AskARanger@state.co.us. Darcy may answer it in a future column.
|Buy Fishing Line Based on Diameter, Not Lb. Test, Advises Sunline|
from The Fishing Wire
Making enough line to go around the world nearly 34 times each year, Sunline has the largest stand-alone line factory on the planet. Despite making so much line every year, quality and accuracy are guiding principles for production of every spool of line that Sunline makes.
Sunline manufactures their lines to strict diameter tolerances that require a specific diameter range for each lb test. These diameter specifications are held across the globe for any line we offer.
Japanese laws require line companies selling line in the Japanese domestic market to label lines with a specific lb test based on pre-determined diameter ranges. This policy ensures lines rated at a specific lb test will break at that lb test for true accuracy.
The true measure of a line or fiber is the denier rating. Denier is a unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers. It is the mass in grams per 9000 meters of the fiber. This provides a true measure of the strength of a line or fiber and allows the strength of different materials to be compared regardless of the diameter. One fiber may have a higher breaking strength because it is larger in diameter, but that does not mean it is stronger, only thicker in diameter. Denier allows fibers to be tested and compared regardless of diameter for a true comparison.
Companies selling line in Europe are also held to a similar standard for diameters with the EFTTA Line Charter. The charter is a pledge by over 35-line manufacturers stating they will only manufacture lines that meet agreed upon standards.
A few of those include:
To print on their products clear and accurate descriptions in terms of diameters and breaking strength that are easy to understand, truthful and respectful of consumer protection laws and the standards of the industry, in compliance of the ISO 2062 Standards.
To run quality controls in sufficient quantities and sufficiently often to ensure that products labels are always accurate.
Not to use any other labeling in terms of breaking strength that is not scientifically demonstrated or agreed by the industry so as to avoid any confusion among consumers leading to unfair competition.
So, what about the US? There are no such guidelines or charters in the US market regulating diameters. Line companies can produce a line and label it with any lb test they want. What better way to make a line seem stronger than it really is than to make a larger line and label it with a lower lb test. This will make the line seem much stronger than it really is. An angler thinks the line is strong but doesn’t realize they are fishing with a much larger line size.
If an angler were to catch a record fish using one of these inflated lines, the record would not be upheld when they submitted the record catching line for testing.
In some cases, an angler thinking he is buying 12lb line is actually buying 22lb line with a 12lb label on it.
This can obviously impact the status of record fish caught with inflated line sizes. Other ways inflated lines impact anglers are in the performance of their lures. Many lures swim or run better with lighter line. If you are buying line you think is 12lb which will allow a lure to perform at its best, but the line is much larger it can impact the performance of the lure.
Crankbaits and jerkbaits run deeper with smaller diameter lines allowing them to reach maximum depth. Similarly, anglers that troll a lot purchase lines based on the diameter knowing it will impact the diving depths of their crankbaits when trolled.
The Precision Trolling Data shows the impact that a larger diameter can have on the diving depth of a crankbait.
Trolling data, https://www.precisiontrollingdata.com/
Fiddle Your Way to Fresh Bait Earthworms
|Fishing for food to avoid going to the store? Try fiddling up some live worms, suggests Arkansas GFC.|
from The Fishing Wire
LITTLE ROCK – Going fishing doesn’t have to mean expensive equipment. It simply takes a hook, some fishing line and some sort of bait. You could dig around in the refrigerator for food-type baits, or make the bait-gathering duty an adventure in itself by gathering worms from the wild.
Earthworms are excellent live bait for catfish, bream, bass and even an occasional crappie. And handling a nightcrawler or two will definitely prevent you from getting your hands near your face before washing them.
One technique to stock up on some nightcrawlers is to break out a fiddle. “Earthworm fiddling,” “worm charming,” and “worm grunting” all refer to an interesting practice some anglers have been using for centuries to get earthworms to come to the surface and show themselves.
Simply take a stick that has notches cut along its length and push it into the ground. Then rub another stick along its length to create vibrations.
Kids who got stuck with “sticks” in music class when all the cool instruments were already handed out will know exactly what sound this makes. The vibrations will bring the worms to the surface to dance, where you can be ready to pick them up and place them in your bait bucket. OK, the worms aren’t dancing. They’re actually moving out of the ground to avoid predators.
The famed geneticist Charles Darwin theorized, “If the ground is beaten or otherwise made to tremble, worms will believe that they are pursued by a mole and leave their burrows.”
A study conducted by Vanderbilt University biological sciences professor Ken Catania in 2008 confirmed Darwin’s theory. The study, held in northern Florida, where the practice of worm grunting was extremely popular, recorded the sounds of real moles digging versus worm grunters and compared their effects on the earthworms habit of springing from the ground when in danger.
Northern Florida has taken the grunting and fiddling practice to a new level. The town of Sopchoppy has even adopted the practice as its calling card, hosting the annual Worm Gruntin’ Festival where young earthworm harvesters compete to see who can coax the most earthworms from the ground with various techniques. It doesn’t have to be two sticks making the vibrations, either.
An old broom handle driven into the ground rubbed with a hand saw can produce the low vibrations needed. Two lengths of rebar also can be used to charm up some nightcrawlers for bait. Whatever you use, be sure to keep an eye on the ground for several feet around the fiddling tools and be ready to grab the worms before they can burrow back into the ground.
Naturally, you want to do this fiddling where worms are likely to be. Extremely hard ground or sandy soil is not likely to have worms. Try under trees or in areas where the ground is fertile with lots of deteriorating vegetation. Watering the lawn heavily ahead of time can help. Rake a spot so the ground is bare, then go to fiddling. It may take some effort to figure out your technique, but it will keep you stocked with bait throughout your fishing adventures.
See What You’re Looking at With Aqua-Vu Underwater Cameras
|Three ways underwater study will help you find and catch more fish.|
Crosslake, MN – For most anglers, watching the fish is something that happens only in the mind’s eye. You picture what your lure looks like, and how it moves underwater. You visualize what the weedbed or brushpile looks like and you wonder what types of fish might be inhabiting it. You imagine what it looks like when a bass first sees your lure and moves in for the strike.But unless you’re scuba diving or looking through the lens of an underwater camera, you don’t really know what’s happening below the surface.
For anglers truly interested in learning about fish behavior from an underwater perspective, an Aqua-Vu camera provides rare and incredible opportunities to observe, marvel and ultimately, catch more fish. No matter if you’re an ice angler, lure troller or a shallow water bass angler, an underwater camera can revolutionize your subsurface understanding.
Pole-Cam Perspectives Bass and crappie anglers have joined the ranks of underwater scholars, probing into and examining hard-to-reach areas beneath boat docks, inside brushpiles and under matted vegetation with a camera. Reaching out to inaccessible areas with his Aqua-Vu HD10i camera connected to a telescopic push pole, Major League Fishing pro Ott DeFoe likes to peek below boat docks. A special XD Pole Cam Adaptor makes connecting to any telescopic pole an easy five-second process.
“The pole-cam set up lets me look for big bass living in remote locations and under hard-to-reach shallow cover, like docks, without spooking them,” notes DeFoe, a longtime advocate of underwater study.“The Aqua-Vu also allows me to find concentrations of bass during pre-tournament scouting, without having to catch them before competition begins. That’s a huge asset in a tournament, and it works in clear as well as stained water, when all you need to see is the presence of fish a few feet from the lens.”
Visual Ice Fishing Mike Hehner, photographer, angler and producer for Minnesota based Lindner Media Productions has been a longtime fan of real-time underwater viewing with an Aqua-Vu camera. “I’ve spent the last few ice fishing seasons watching how bass and other fish behave in their natural habitat,” says Hehner. “What you learn is that every individual fish exhibits unique behavioral responses to lures or livebait.
“While ice fishing, I like to train the lens of my micro Revolution 5.0 Pro camera on a live minnow. Hit the record button and just start capturing footage. I can watch the video on the screen, live, or view it on my computer later on.
“Most people would be amazed to see what’s really happening down there—even during those periods when you’re not getting strikes. I’ve seen huge schools of bass move past the bait without even stopping to sniff. Other fish stalk and examine the minnow for many minutes at a time. Some bass lightly mouth the bait or nudge it, as if to taste or test it for palatability. Other times, they’ll nip the splitshot but totally ignore the minnow. I’ve also seen days when bass absolutely crush an artificial rattlebait over and over but completely ignore the livebait.
Trolling Goes Interactive A great way to add spice to the otherwise mundane task of trolling lures around the lake, sight trolling allows anglers to watch fish react in real time, right on the Aqua-Vu display. “The XD Live-Strike system connects the camera to your fishing line, letting you watch fish react to and bite lures, live,” says Dr. Jason Halfen, owner of the Technological Angler.
“What makes sight trolling with an Aqua-Vu such an amazing experience is the ability to see fish strike right on the screen, as it happens. With other Go-Pro type cameras, you don’t get to see what unfolds on the water until you’re done fishing.”Halfen and other anglers who’ve tried sight-trolling have seen some remarkable fish behaviors unfold on the screen. “You can’t believe how many fish—trout, salmon or walleyes—might be following your lure at once,” he observes. “Or the fact that a single muskie might follow your lure for 5 minutes or more before biting. You learn that a rapid acceleration in lure speed or a sudden interruption in its forward momentum, perhaps by contacting structure with the lure, can prompt an immediate violent response from fish.”
“After watching the fish for the past few years,” adds Hehner, “I realize how many times underwater study has revealed fish in spots I wouldn’t have otherwise found them. It’s also helped me make key adjustments to my presentation—a different way to hook my bait, lure size or a new color—that resulted in more bites and more fish on the line.“You never get bored watching the underwater show. You see something different, something new and exciting, every time you go out there and drop the Aqua-Vu. You learn and you absolutely catch more fish.”
View Online Version About Aqua-Vu The Original Underwater Viewing System, Aqua-Vu® is manufactured by Outdoors Insight, Inc., and has led the underwater camera category in design, innovation and quality since 1997. The Central Minnesota based company builds other popular outdoors products, such as the iBall Trailer Hitch Camera (iballhitchcam.com). For more information on Aqua-Vu, visit www.aquavu.com.
Specialized Kayak Gear that Can Improve Your Fishing, from Hobie
|Hobie pro anglers tour their tournament boats|
from The Fishing Wire
OCEANSIDE, Calif. – Think of it like a downsized bass boat that happens to afford stealth-access to untouched fishing spots. If you’re an angler the likes of Kristine Fischer, it also serves as your mobile fishing office. For Hobie kayak pro Fischer and countless expert ‘yakers, outfitting their fishing rides distills down to space management and accessibility; i.e., How fast can I find and grab that particular hot bait?
Just like the desk in your cubicle (dread the thought), every little gadget, doodad and device—from your computer screen, mouse and iPhone all the way down to your favorite pencil—must lie within arm’s reach at all times. Preferably, you can snatch it without getting up or falling out of your chair.
“That’s one of the first things you notice and appreciate about a boat like my Hobie Pro Angler 14,” notes Fischer. “Every element of its design has been intelligently positioned to maximize space and allow for optimal convenience. But the kayak’s also been engineered to allow for customization, if you want. Hobie understands that every angler wants to trick their ride with different gear—electronics, rod holders, tackle storage and other essentials.
”Hobie Associate Product Manager of Fishing Accessories, Howie Strech is quick to spotlight the kayak company’s H-Rail system, which serves both as a convenient kayak handle and as a robust mounting base for an array of accessories along either side of the boat.
“Adjustability is everything in kayak fishing, and the H-Rail lets you quickly attach, remove and adjust all the essential ‘yak accessories,” says Strech.“The 12-sided H-Rail accepts a 1” or 1-1/2” RAM ball, to which most anglers mount sonar units, a GoPro or an Aqua-Vu underwater camera. You can also attach horizontal rod racks and rod holders, as well as cup holders and tackle bins, and the Universal H-Rail Mounting Plate allows you to adapt nearly any mounting base and accessory on the market.
”Hobie kayak pro Kristine Fischer utilizes every square inch of her boat through immaculate rigging and customizing.Fischer calls out one particularly valuable accessory adaptation. “I use a paddle holder connected via 1-inch RAM ball to secure my landing net,” explains the Hobie Bass Open champ. “Instead of holding a paddle, I use it to keep my net resting up in the front of my kayak where it’s out of my way but easy to reach.
”Also connected to the H-Rail of Fischer’s Pro Angler is a second RAM mount for her Lowrance HDS 9 sonar. “One kayak-specific tweak is a Point-1 GPS module, which shows me the exact on-screen position of waypoints relative to the nose of my kayak,” says Fischer. “This assures that every cast I make is right on target.
”The versatile Hobie H-Crate Storage System family affords countless storage possibilities.Another often-overlooked tech-tool that accompanies both Fischer and Strech on every outing is an Aqua-Vu micro underwater camera. “I can mount the Aqua-Vu directly to the H-Rail with a Pro Snake mount or use a RAM Camera Mount designed for a GoPro,” adds Fischer. “The Micro Revolution camera even has a built-in cable reel so I can instantly drop the optics into the fish zone and see what’s happening. When I’m done, I can reel the camera back up as quick and easy as retrieving a lure. The camera is an awesome tool for tournament prefishing, too.
”On the East Coast, pro kayak angler John Hostalka has taken the initiative of DIY-rigging his own GoPro mount. “My Hobie Mirage Outback is so full of extras that I haven’t had to do much accessorizing,” admits Hostalka, who casts for the wide variety of species in Chesapeake Bay.
“But for taking video, I needed a mount that allowed me to easily spin the camera any direction with one hand. Based on something I saw Brandon Barton using, I made a mount modification to my Scotty rod holder base that also let me remove the pole and camera for taking quick underwater release shots. It’s a pretty slick set-up that I can even adjust while fighting a fish.
”Another increasingly important piece of on-board electronics used by anglers is a Power-Pole Micro. The downsized Power-Pole rides astern and pins the kayak in place in up to 8-feet of water, which is especially handy for achieving perfect positioning in windy conditions.“Everything is powered by a single Dakota Lithium 23-amp battery, which is half the weight of a comparable sealed lead acid battery. Also keeps me juiced up for up to sixteen hours straight—either a really full day on the water or two or three normal days of fishing. The battery can fit into either the front hatch or right under my seat, secured in place with zip ties.”
“The storage space in these boats will blow you away,” adds Fischer, who admits to carrying a load of tackle, and up to 14 rods a day. “I can carry 12 rods—2 per slot, 6 per side—in the built-in rod racks on my Pro Angler. I like that they’re horizontal so I can sneak under bridges and trees without worrying about snapping tips.
”Strech notes Hobie’s ultra-versatile H-Crate, which fits perfectly in the space directly behind the seat. “The H-Crate Storage System is made for personalization,” suggests Strech. “Its integrated rod holders carry four combos, but can accommodate up to 10 or more with additional rod holders installed to the crate’s grid walls. The H-Crate also has four sections of H-Rail that serve as carry handles and accommodate extra accessories such as a tackle bin or Hobie’s new feature-rich Mini Bin. Inside, you’ve easily got enough space to pack around ten standard 3700-size tackle boxes.
”Fischer, of course, loads her H-Crate with tackle and then some. Between her seat and the H-Crate lies a Cal Coast Battle Box, which organizes terminal tackle such as tungsten bullet weights and worm hooks. Under her comfortable, adjustable seat, Fischer stashes two additional totes filled with Ned rig baits and other soft plastics. Attached to the back of the seat is a zippered Vantage Seat Accessory Bag loaded with fluorocarbon leader and other fishing line.
Beneath the hidden hatch at her feet lies a Hobie Rectangular Gear Bucket filled with the most important plastics or lures for the day’s fishing; pliers and other tools fit neatly into a cargo pocket built-into the underside of the hatch lid itself. The kayak is also armed with extra rubber mesh pockets alongside the seat, which Fischer uses for more tools and a Cal Coast Donkey Leash lanyard equipped with a multitool. Up front, the spacious bow hatch is equipped with a liner that contains more lure totes, camera monopods, safety flags, a hand paddle and an extra life-vest. Providing extra traction, comfort and sound-dampening advantages, Fischer finishes her ‘yak with Hobie EVA Deck Pads, giving it a cool, customized look.
“People tell me I have the most organized kayak they’ve ever seen,” she laughs. “I’m not so sure about that. But it does always amaze me how much tackle, accessories and electronics I’m able to fit on this rig. When the bite is on and time is short, sure is nice to having everything I need right at arm’s reach.”
About Hobie Since 1950, Hobie has been in the business of shaping a unique lifestyle based around fun, water and quality products. From their headquarters in Oceanside, California, Hobie Cat Company manufactures, distributes and markets an impressive collection of watercraft worldwide. These include an ever-expanding line of recreation and racing sailboats, pedal-driven and paddle sit-on-top recreation and fishing kayaks, inflatable kayaks and fishing boats, plus a complementary array of parts and accessories.
I have learned a lot from my Garmin Panoptix I installed last November.
This system is a sonar that shows a live picture of what is underwater on the screen, much like shining a spotlight at night shows what is in its beam. And it shows movement as it happens, not as a line on the screen like older units.
One of my first surprises was how many fish are down there. I see schools of crappie and hybrids and clouds of baitfish suspended over deeper water this time of year. And I can see fish moving along the bottom, probably catfish and carp.
Fish hovering around stumps, rocks and brush, or holding right on a drop off, are probably bass.
And there are lots of them. But seeing them does not mean they will hit my bait.
Time after time I see my bait move through them and they ignore it. Even worse is when I watch my jig fall on the cast or hop it and see a fish come up to it and follow it back down but never hit it. That does make me change colors, size and baits more often.
When I see fish in brush or on other cover, it makes me make more casts to it. The first tournament I used my Panoptix I saw what looked like fish in a brush pile in front of a dock. Normally i would hit a brush pile two or three times with a bait then move on. But seeing fish in that one made me make multiple casts and I caught a keeper on about my tenth cast!
I have always heard bass move tight to cover in muddy water. In November and December, Jackson was very clear and I could see bass holding just over rocks and other cover, and they would slowly move around it. But after the rain Jackson muddied up and now I see bright dots indication bass right against the rocks or down in the brush. And they don’t move, they just sit there.
I know a bait cast out and sinking will swing back toward the boat, and to get it to go straight to the bottom I “feed” line to it as it falls. That is important when trying to get you bait to the bottom under docks and down to brush.Watching my bait swing back toward the boat as it falls amazes me. A half ounce jig with a twin curly tail trailer cast on 14-pound fluorocarbon line makes an arch back toward me no matter how much line I feed to it. It moves back toward me about a foot for every five it falls, so if I cast to a brush pile 20 feet deep I have to cast at least four feet past it to get my bait to hit it.
Another confirmation of fish behavior is the reaction of fish as my boat gets near them. Fish holding over rocks and brush will slowly sink down into it as my boat approaches. In clear water it is very noticeable. Bass over cover 20 feet deep started sinking down into it when my boat got within 30 feet of them.
I saw this happen many times when i moved in to try to jig a spoon or use drop shot. N ow, after seeing it happen, I will try to make very long casts in clear water!
I am just exploring lakes with my Panoptix and hope to learn a lot more in the coming months.
BoatUS Guide to Winterizing Your Boat
|Boaters across much of the country are getting ready to put their boats to bed for a long winter’s nap, but not every boat owner knows all the secrets of winterizing a recreational boat. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) shares some quick tips to ensure safe storage until next season.|
1. Despite mild winters, California, Florida and Texas have the most engine winterizing claims. Boaters in northern climates know to winterize but all it takes is one deep freeze in a normally balmy state to cause major damage to your boat. Unless you’re in an area that never freezes (like Key West or Hawaii) you probably need to winterize.
2. Water expands almost 10% by volume. That expansion means that any water left in your engine, potable water system, or refrigeration system can do some major damage over the winter. Even an engine block can crack open during cold weather. The key is making sure all water gets drained out or replaced by antifreeze.
3. Batteries are happier at home. If you live where you never boat in winter, remove your batteries, bring them to the garage or basement and use a trickle charger to keep them topped off to protect them and extend their life.4. It’s easier to prevent mold than to stop it. Without some air circulation, your boat’s interior can build up condensation, which can lead to a moldy mess next spring. Solar-powered vents and boat covers that lets air circulate can help keep mold at bay.
5. Waxing the hull now makes spring clean-up much easier. The grunge of sitting all winter at a boatyard comes off a lot quicker if you apply a coat of wax before you put your boat to bed.
6. There are two types of antifreeze. Ethylene glycol – the kind in your boat’s cooling system works fine for engines, but it’s very toxic. Propylene glycol is safe for potable water systems and is also fine to use for the raw side of engine cooling systems – check the label. Make sure antifreeze is rated to protect down to the lowest possible expected temperatures.
7. Add fuel stabilizer before you fill your tank. That helps mix the stabilizer so it protects all of the gas. Running your engine for a few minutes after mixing it up will get some stabilized gas in the engine’s fuel system, protecting it over the winter.8. If enough water enters your fuel tank, gas with ethanol can phase separate over the long winter storage period. For boats with portable gas tanks, try to use up fuel now. Any remainder can be used (if unmixed with two-stroke oil) in your vehicle. If your boat has a built-in gas tank, fill the tank almost to the top, leaving a little room for expansion. This will minimize condensation on tank walls, stopping phase separation in its tracks. Never plug a fuel tank vent.
9. Write down what you did or had your shop do. That way, next spring you won’t wonder if the lower unit lube was changed or the spark plugs replaced.
10. Take home any removable electronics, small outboards and even alcohol. The dark days of winter are when boats are most frequently broken in to. Not every thief is a professional – some may just want to raid your boat’s liquor cabinet.
11. Remove all food. Not only might it spoil, but it can attract rodents and other pests, leaving you with a nasty spring surprise.
12. Using a heater as alternative to winterizing is a really bad idea. Not only can the power go out during a big winter storm leaving the boat unprotected, the heater, extension cord or connections can (and do) overheat and cause a fire.
13. In addition to snowstorms knocking-out power to heated indoor boat storage facilities, do-it-yourselfers sometimes make mistakes when winterizing. Either way, for boaters who live in northern states, protecting yourself with ice and freeze coverage insurance may be a smart option. It’s often very affordable, but there’s a deadline to purchase, typically by the end of October.
For more information on how to properly store a boat over the winter, including how to cover a boat, winterize plumbing, store ashore or in the water, and to get a free downloadable BoatUS Boater’s Guide to Winterizing checklist, go to BoatUS.com/seaworthy/winter.
|Darn the Luck of a broken fishing rod!|
| Gary Giudice |
from The Fishing Wire
Oops! Darn the bad luck. So you broke your favorite fishing rod. Now what?
Depending on what’s broken, you have options to fix it. Some options are good, some not so much. A simple broken tip is one thing but slamming a rod in a car door is entirely another.
If a tip is broken with very little of the rod involved you are in luck. Most tackle shops and even box stores sell top guides and rod tip repair kits. It is possible you might be able to use the original guide that’s dangling on the line.
To remove the original guide, take a cigarette lighter, slowly heat it up and slip it off the damaged tip. You might have to use a pair of pliers to avoid burning your fingers.
To replace it first inspect the end of the rod and make sure it is a clean break without splinters running down the shaft of the rod. Make sure the repair kit guide is the right size then glue it on using the included glue. Typically it is melted with a lighter. If you are using the original guide and opt not to buy a repair kit, a high temp glue stick will work.
If too much of the tip is broken off or by chance you break it mid-way it’s a much bigger problem. It is important to note that even a small repair can significantly change the action. To fix a mid break you can take a section of an old scrap rod and make an internal slice, cut a section that fits inside both sides of the break on the rod you are repairing; slip both sides over the break and glue in place, but this rarely works well even when professionally done.
Sometimes it’s best to just scrap the broken rod for parts and be done with it, which is extremely painful for our favorite or premium rods.
The best way to avoid fixing a rod is to prevent breaking it in the first place. Most all rods are broken going to and from your favorite fishing area and not while fishing. The best solution to prevent damage is to transport it properly.
Even if you break a rod on a monster fish chances are it was damaged before the first cast. The old adage “That fish was so big it broke my rod!” doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.Rod protection during travel is easy when using a Rod Vault ST (https://denveroutfitters.com/rod-vault-st/). Designed to fit on most vehicles’ roof racks; rods are stored, locked up and protected from banging around and slamming car doors. They will be also be ready and rigged upon arrival at the water and back home again. Many anglers just leave rods in the Rod Vault ST all the time rigged and ready to fish at a moments notice.
Don’t be that guy that is always breaking rods and blaming it on someone or something else. With proper care fishing rods should last a lifetime.