Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Sportfisherman's view of "The Night Before Christmas"

A Sportfisherman’s view of
"The Night Before Christmas"
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the bay,
all the fish were real happy cause the fishermen were away.
The rods were all hung in the garage with care, 
in hopes that the bluefish soon would be there.
All the fishermen were nestled, all snug in their beds, 
while visions of rockfish swam in their heads.
All the boats in their slips were tied very tight,
and settled at dock for a long winter’s night.
When out on the river there arose such a clatter, 
I ran to the pier to see what was the matter.
When what to my wandering eyes should appear, 
but one giant splash the biggest this year!!!
The Grand Dad of rockfish I saw in the night, 
I just had to know how hard could he fight?
I jumped off the pier and ran through the sod,
grabbed a net, tackle box, and my favorite rod.
Dashed back to the pier threw open my box, 
tried so many lures put my stomach in knots.
Tried Tonys then Bucktails from big ones to small,
put on Rebels and Bombers he would not bite at all.
When down in my box I saw something squirm,
I reached down and grabbed a Killer Ice Worm!
It barely hit water my line got real tight,
I set the hook and then on with the fight.
The rod bent double the drag steady bellowed,
fought it three hours my muscles were jello’d.
Finally landed, I looked at the prize,
but just couldn’t keep it you have to realize,
Fishing’s a sport we enjoy on the bay,
so catch and release is the only way.
As I released the fish, believe it you might,
he said to the group,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Freshwater Lure of the Month: Rebel Pop-R's December Freshwater Lure of the Month
Rebel Pop-R
"America's Number 1 Popping Lure!"

Often called the “Secret Bait of the Pro’s”, the Rebel Pop-R has been around for nearly three decades.  It is one of the most highly imitated lure of all time – but never duplicated.  Still today it remains the standard by which all other topwater plugs are judged.  It’s popularity is largely due to it’s versatility.  It can be fished shallow, around weed lines, and over submerged cover.

Twenty or so years ago, when Zell Roland was in his fishing prime, he launched the Rebel Pop-R into the national spotlight after he won the Super Invitational in Chattanooga on the Tennessee River.  Zell is one of the most highly respected professional fishermen of all time, and the Rebel Pop-R is one of his favorite lures.  Following this tournament, the lure was put on sale for the general public and stores across the country couldn’t keep them on their shelves.

 A 6 1/2 - 7 foot medium action rod with a limber tip is the best for these top water lures. A rod of this design compensates for the natural reaction of anglers to “set the hook” when they get a top water strike. The limber tip of the rod allows the bass time to eat the lure before the angler over reacts. The medium action soft tip performs even better with a heavy 12 –15 lb test monofilament line.        

The secret to correctly getting the Pop-R to create the “pop” and “chug” sound and the “spitting water” effect is all in the action of the wrist as you move the rod tip. Some anglers actually sand the lure down smooth the give it a slight “walk the dog” action of side to side motion as it is chugged along.     

  Experiment with time that you pause between pops and pauses until you find what's right. The fish will soon let you know what they like. In warmwater shorten the time between the pops, and as the water cools down in the fall seen, take longer pauses between pops in order to produce better results.

December Saltwater Lure of the Month: The Bomber Badonk-A-Donk's December Saltwater Lure of the Month
The Bomber Badonk-A-Donk

Fishermen often come up with crazy names for their baits.  Sometimes the name comes from thorough brainstorming sessions.  Other times, it just happens!  Lures and baits out there have names like the “Near Nuthin, the Heddon’s Zaragossa and the Zara Spook.  But there is one lure out there with such a unique name that I had to dig deeper after reading about the rave reviews in Sport Fishing Magazine: the Badonk-A-Donk.  Why the heck is it called that?
It turns out the word “badonkadonk” is a slang term for the behind of a woman – often a curvaceous booty.  What does that have to do with fishing?  Well, since this particular lure wiggles from side to side across the water, it kind of resembled the sashay of a badonkadonk! Kim Norton, the Pradco Saltwater Division Manager came up with the name.  They then capitalized the “A” in the middle of the word because it is a Pradco trademark that they use in other lures, such as the model A, Flat A, and Long A.
Saltwater fishermen rave about the Badonk-A-Donk lure because of the weight forward design, which makes it cast like a bullet, which is a big bonus when trying to stay off spooky fish.  The key is to use your imagination with this one – make it live up to the name! Make it move fluidly with a “walk the dog” action or “slow dancing” method. 
Tips: To maximize action and lifelike attributes it is beneficial to utilize a loop knot (bowline) when utilizing topwater baits like the Badonk-A-Donk. Ensure that the loop knot is properly tied to not interfere with the first treble hook. Anglers unknowingly tie the loop knot too large, resulting in fouled baits when walking the dog. The breaking strength of the loop knot, coupled with a quality drag system provides the best shot at the fish of a lifetime when throwing topwater baits.

For more crazy names, check out:

Bill Cochran's Outdoors: Lure makers use imagination when it comes to naming products

Monday, November 21, 2011

FE NovemberSaltwater Lure of the Month: Sea Striker's Got-Cha Lures November Saltwater Lure of the Month
Sea Striker's Got-Cha Lure

Sea Striker’s Got-Cha Lure is a must when it comes to fishing for Spanish mackerel. This particular lure is designed for blue fish, trout, stripers, Spanish mackerel, lady fish, jacks, and many others. They are particularly effective when you throw them off a pier, bridge, or jetty.  The Got-Cha lures have proven effective from the Florida Keys to the great lakes (for Musky) and all along the eastern seaboard.

Anglers can fish the Got-cha lures in several different ways.  You can cast them straight out with the current, letting out some slack in your line so it sinks.  You may also cast against the tide, so the Got-cha starts sinking and coming back towards you immediately.  When using this technique, it is recommended that you cast out diagonally as opposed to straight out.  Once you feel the bait touch the bottom, start jigging it up so it does not snag.  Make sure to jig with your rod tip down.  The stripers and trout are hanging out near the bottom, and this is best way to go down and get them (yes you will catch some snags, but you will also catch more fish!). 

When fishing off the bridge, work the shadows (the area where the lights shining down reach the shadow of the bridge itself).  The area directly below the bridge is more shallow than the water in front, so be careful of snags! Some fishermen allow for the Got-Cha plug to just go straight to the bottom during a slacking tide and just bounce it up and down.  A longer rod is recommended for this maneuver.

If fishing from a boat, Got-cha plugs are good for jigging trout, stripers, and blues.  Let them sink towards the bottom, and then jig them back up.

FE November Freshwater Lure of the Month: Luhr Jensen's Nip-I-Diddee

November Freshwater Lure of the Month: 
Luhr Jensen's Nip-I-Diddee

One of the most popular topwater baits on the market are the propeller baits, better known as prop baits.  These baits come in two variations.  The first variation has a single propeller on the rear in front of the back treble hook.  This style spits out water to one side, or both, which then allows it to sit with the back propeller end slightly lower in the water than the head.  The second variation of prop baits has a prop on both ends of the lure, and makes twice as much commotion on the surface.  Both styles run fairly straight due to the propeller.  It is recommended with both styles to work with a continual retrieve, or jerk it through the water to create as much commotion as wanted in an irregular pattern across the water

The single prop lures tend to be better imitations of shad than the double prop styles. The double prop baits (like the Nip-I-Diddee) have been around since the 1950's.  The Cripple Killer and the Devil's Horse have been widely marketed since the early to mid 1950's.  Both of these lures (as were most other pop baits) used to be made out of wood. Today's lures are primarily made from hard plastic.  The Nip-I-Diddee has a low-resin, sugar pine body that is meant to continue the consistency of the old wood lures.

A light action rod and 6.3:1 gear ratio reel works best with the Nip-I-Diddee.  This lure is deadly for bass, pike, walleye, pickerel, channel bass, weak fish, and many other species.  Fish cruising slowly along weed beds, shore line, and lily pads will note the lure as it rides high preventing snagging while it's twin propellers flash, gurgle, and splash, enticing the big ones to strike.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October Freshwater Fly of the Month: Bivisible Badger October Freshwater Fly of the Month
Bivisible Badger

This month's Fly of the Month was chosen after reading through's piece compiled by Deanna Birkholm about the nostalgia that comes from older fly tying patterns.  The bivisible is a classic fly that was introduced by Edward Hewitt in 1926 in his book, "Telling on the Trout". It has remained a standard attractor fly through the years either mimicing a skating caddis or a midge cluster. 

The Bivisible was developed to use two contrasting colors. The darker colors are more readily visible to the trout while the contrast of the light against dark colors allowed the flyfishermen to see the fly on the water more easily. The use of palmering the hackle over the body is a old technique going back perhaps to the 1700's. Mr. Hewitt presented the first Bivisible as a Brown Hackle body with a White hackle wisp at the head. This pattern has been recognized as the Brown Bivisible.
 Others used different combinations of hackles. Mr. Charles Merrill of Detroit, MI is credited with the Badger Bivisible sometime in the 1930's and Hank Wilson, a guide on the White River in Arkansas is credited with the Bulbous Bivisible in the late 1970's.

In his A Trout and Salmon Fisherman for Seventy-Five Years, 1948. Mr. Hewitt, in mentioning a few flies that are the most taking, includes:

"The Brown Bivisible with the white wisp at its head, which I myself introduced, although palmer flies somewhat similar had been in use for many years in England. The white wisp enables the angler to see the fly readily, hence the name I gave it - Bivisible because I can see it and the trout can see it. The fly in various sizes is certainly the most universally useful fly we have, and is perhaps more fished now than any other dry fly. Palmer flies are made in various colors and are called Bivisibles in tackle stores, but this is incorrect. The true Bivisible is brown, with a white wisp of feather at its head."

October Saltwater Lure of the Month: Bomber A-Salt HD4's Saltwater Lure of the Month:
Bomber A-Salt HD4

Bomber fishing lures has been producing some of the most innovative fishing lures since the early 1940's.  Their lures are true and proven fish catchers.  The company was founded just after World War II by two fishing buddies Ike Walker and C.S. Turbeville, who were searching for a more durable set of baits to fish with.  It didn't take long for their sturdy line of lures to take off, and their little company quickly became one of the most popular lure brands in the country.  They created classics like the Model A and the Long A, and have continued to innovate.  Soon enough, the Bomber brand was being recognized as the company that built some of the most trustworthy lures in the tackle market.

The founders have always been into creating newer and stronger lures, and as the looked to expand their selection, they came up with the Bomber Saltwater Grade collection.  This set of lures truly took them to the next level in the tackle industry.  They have developed specialized tools for a savage environment, with stronger  and sharper hooks, super-duty components, bulletproof construction, and bodies that have truer running characteristics, this new line of lures is the toughest to ever hit the market.  They have created over 200 different options built especially for the ocean.

The Bomber A-Salt HD4 included as this month's Saltwater Lure of the Month is one of their best yet.  They combined a "best-in-class" 350,000-modulus polycarbonate body set that boasts a tensile strength of 70MPA (or 10,200 lbs) and a puncture resistance factor of 1,200 lbs of hydraulic force - designed to withstand the crushing power that toothy saltwater game fish can deliver.  The casting system is designed to provide longer and more accurate casts when conditions call for pinpoint placement.

Enjoy the lure and happy fishing!