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OUR LATEST POSTS

3

Knowledge is power. This adage is usually mentioned in military or business scenarios, but any angler will tell you that it applies in the fishing world, too.

Anglers these days can get a big knowledge edge with modern electronics. In the same way that smartphones have advanced rapidly with more features, more memory and better cameras, today’s boat electronics pack a more powerful punch than similar units from even just a couple of years ago.

A striking example of how much electronics have advanced is how they’ve changed the game for offshore anglers. Typically, anglers were guided by such old-school methods as glassing for bird activity, jumping fish, or porpoise schools. Those methods still work, but today’s savvy anglers can get an edge with the new-school boat electronics. Find out how in this article from BD Outdoors.

electronics_simOne of the best tools coastal and offshore anglers can use to catch more fish might be literally staring them in the face. That is, the chart plotter portion of their boat’s multifunction navigation system.

Many sport fishermen use their charts to navigate from Point A to Point B, and their echo sounder to find fish without benefitting from the true power of the two systems working together. And with today’s latest crop of advanced chart plotter/sounder combos and new-generation electronic charts, there are many ways savvy anglers can use this combined technology to get an edge over the fish and other fishermen.

Some strong examples of this latest technology can be found in the Lowrance and Simrad product line, together with new C-MAP MAX-N/MAX-N+ cartography developed exclusively for use with select MFDs in the Lowrance, Simrad and B&G family. Units like the Lowrance HDS Gen2 and Gen2 Touch family, Lowrance Elite 7 and Simrad NSS evo2 and NSO evo2 combine advanced charting/navigation features with powerful sounder capabilities, including HD Structure Scan and CHIRP (Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse)-enabled broadband sounding for detailed, almost photo-like detail of fish and bottom structure.

Photos: BD Outdoors

You may believe that hunting is 90% experience and 10% success. But once you read this post, you may want to bump the learning curve another five points.

With the holidays on the horizon, many families will gather around food-filled tables with lots of talk about hunting from Uncle Bob or Aunt Mary about their years of experience outdoors, as wide-eyed nieces and nephews try to hit their mouth with a fork. Unfortunately, many kids lack the family experience that is so important in building a foundation of hunting and conservation.

To this end, one of the best ideas ever brings the Honored American Veterans Afield and the United Sportsman’s Youth Foundation together for a day of pheasant hunting. As the picture above displays, the youngsters had a great time, yet that’s only half the story.

Hunting is 90% experience... maybe 95%.

Hunting is 90% experience… maybe 95%.

American Veterans Afield (HAVA) and United Sportsman’s Youth Foundation (USYF) jointly announce the successful expansion of their Veteran/Youth field day concept intended to mix current conflict Disabled Veterans with teenagers to educate each on the other’s attitudes about defending freedom in the contemporary era. Titled the 3rd Annual HAVA/USYF Field Day, the event expanded to 30 Vets and 30 kids in 2-man teams who competed together and learned from each other about their generation’s attitudes about war and military service. These teenagers were surprised to experience the depth of patriotism that the Vets exhibited, and the Vets were impressed with the teen’s curiosity about military life. On a day when shooting, bird hunting and great food were on the agenda, the prize went to each of the attendees as their perspective on 21st century national service was expanded dramatically.

24

Typically here in Southern California, the first topwater fish of the year are barracuda. It usually starts around Mother’s Day, when the water first hits 60 degrees. First come the bait schools of sardines, and the ‘cudas follow. During this El Niño year, we were already catching yellowtail in January and the barracuda became second-class citizens.

Barracuda are a warm-water species found in many parts of the world. For whatever reason, they get short shrift elsewhere too. A good example is the flat, sandy, near-shore areas in places like the Bahamas, Mexico, and Hawaii. Bonefish get all the hype in those spots. Local guides think their clients are missing out. See what they say in this article from Hatch Magazine.

cuda_saltyAs I stood on the bow of a Palometa Club panga which bobbed heartily in the chop running across Mexico’s Ascension Bay, stiff 9 weight doubled over and my arm aching from battling the barracuda that was leashed to the end of my line, I thought mostly about landing the monster that had been thrashing about at the end of the line threatening to unbutton the jam knot on the wire leader that held on my fly. We’d been at it for almost 20 minutes and the barracuda showed no signs of tiring. Having not gotten a great look at the fish before it emerged from the depths to attack the gaudy fly I had been stripping through the water at the fastest pace I could manage, I was eager to see the beast. Surely it had to be 20 pounds. Possibly 30.

Truth be told, I had missed the cuda was battling. It came upon the boat quickly, and by the time we fumbled the appropriate rod out its holder, the fish had passed. As I started to slide the rod back into its holder, my guide Antonio shouted, hurrying me to get a cast launched and the fly into the water. So I turned and raised the rod, ready to fire a cast at the no-longer-visible fish’s tail, or at least where I presumed it would be. “No, no! That way!”

Photos: Hatch Magazine (top); SoCal Salty (above)

26

I remember when the GoPro camera first came out. I was one of the first guys to get one and one of the first anglers to post underwater action shots. Now you can’t go on a boat without seeing at least a half dozen guys with one strapped to their head.

The new thing now is drones. A lot of them use GoPros to capture the footage, but the bird’s-eye perspective offered with the use of drones is further extending the possibilities of fishing videos.

When it comes to the world of fishing, drones are impacting more than just videos. Scientists are now using drones to aid in the study of tuna. Read how they’re using this new tool to expand our knowledge of tuna in this article from On The Water.

bft_aerialA new grant will allow fisheries oceanographer Molly Lutcavage, director of the Large Pelagics Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Gloucester Marine Research Station, with postdoctoral fellow Angelia Vanderlaan and colleagues, to design, conduct and analyze the first autonomous aerial vehicle surveys of Atlantic bluefin tuna to provide fishery-independent regional estimates of their numbers.

Funded recently by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) one-year, $145,694 grant, she and her team will develop new analytical techniques next season to provide a more quantitative method of estimating the size and number of individuals within surface schools of the most important commercial tuna species in the Atlantic. At present these estimates are made subjectively by observers and/or spotter pilots.

Photos: Science Blogs (top); University of New Hampshire (above)

40

These five recipes for squirrel are guaranteed to get your mouth watering.

These squirrel recipes will have you heading off to the woods quick to bag some squirrels for dinner!

1. Baked Squirrel

4 cut up squirrels (use only hind legs and meaty back pieces)
1 chopped green pepper
2 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp. red wine
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c. vinegar
1 chopped onion
4 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. Adolph’s tenderizer
1 tsp. pepper
1 c. flour
Crisco and cooking oil

Mix vinegar and salt with water to cover squirrel. Soak 2 hours in solution. Remove pieces and shake on tenderizer and pepper. Roll in flour. Fry in Crisco until brown. Place pieces in baking dish. In another skillet saute onion and pepper in butter. Add wine and soup. Mix well. Pour over squirrel. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Cooks.com.

2. Country style squirrel

2 squirrels
Salt & pepper to taste
Flour
6 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 c. water

Cut squirrel into frying size pieces, salt and pepper then roll in flour until coated well. Put in skillet of hot oil and fry until golden. Remove squirrel and most the oil, then add water and bring to boil. Place squirrel back into the skillet, turn to low heat, cover and cook for approximately 1 hour.

Recipe courtesy of Cooks.com.

3. Oven Fried Squirrel

One squirrel
4 eggs
bread crumbs
Flour
Olive oil
Canola oil/ vegetable oil
Butter

Pat meat dry with paper towel to remove any moisture. Dip squirrel in egg. Combine bread crumbs with flour, dip egg-covered squirrel in mix. Cover bottom of skillet with olive oil and canola oil, add butter and brown meat well (about 20 min). Put squirrel in baking dish and pour contents of skillet over meat. Bake for one hour at 375°F.

4. Belgian Squirrel

3 large squirrels
1/2 cup butter
2 onions, sliced
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
18 pitted prunes
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup cold water

Clean squirrels. Burn away any fur that clings. Rinse the meat though several changes of water and pat dry. Cut squirrels into serving pieces.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add squirrel pieces and fry until browned on all sides, but do not cook through. Remove the squirrel pieces to a large Dutch oven or oven safe crock. Add onions to the butter in the skillet; cook and stir until tender and browned. Pour the onions and butter into the pot with the squirrel. Fill with enough water to almost cover the meat. Mix in the vinegar and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and place in the oven.

Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove the pot from the oven and add the prunes. Return to the oven and reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. Continue baking for another 45 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven. Mix the flour and cold water together in a cup. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and prunes to a serving dish. Set the pot on the stove and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and water and simmer, stirring constantly, until the gravy is thick enough to coat a metal spoon. Serve meat with a lot of gravy.

Recipe Courtesy of All Recipes.

5. Squirrel country sausage

4 ½ lbs. squirrel (approx. 15 fox squirrels)
1 Tbsp. sage
2 lbs. fresh seasoned pork sausage (with sage)
2 tsp. basil
1 onion
3 tsp. margarine
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. chili powder
4 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. thyme

De-bone the squirrel and chop in food processor. Mix together with fresh pork. Mince the onion and garlic.

Cook the onion until transparent and add the garlic and sauté slightly. Mix together meats, onion, garlic and herbs.

To test seasonings, form a small patty and fry in frying pan with butter. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

Form into small patties to cook or grill and use with your favorite sausage recipes. Great on pizza, with pancakes or scrambled in eggs.

Recipe courtesy of MDOC.

Squirrel can be a delightful little meal and will maybe make your yard a bit quieter.

Enjoy!

40

Here is an awesome backcountry hunting fire starting technique that is inexpensive, easy to make, lightweight, and surprisingly effective.

Since they carry all of their gear on their back, backcountry hunters need their equipment to be very portable and lightweight.

Here is a great idea for making a portable fire starter using items that you probably already have at your house.

I definitely have dryer lint, Vaseline and an empty egg carton lying around my house! Maybe this is something I’ll have to use myself this winter…