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Social media is having a profound impact on society these days. The fishing world is no exception. One of the joys of fishing is that on any given day, anyone can be the hero fishing. Social media takes that joy to the next level. Now, through the power of smartphones and social media, hero status extends beyond your immediate circle of friends. Now you can reach a vast audience at a simple touch of a button.

But that’s true only if you have a great grip-and-grin picture with your catch. Read this article from Kayak Angler so you can win the internet with your next great catch.

grin_texoma1) SMILE!

When you’re holding up a great fish, why wouldn’t you want to show off your pearly whites and let people know that you’re proud with a smile. If you want to show off your tough-guy look, do that when you’re lifting your kayak onto your roof with one hand, or letting your mustache paddle for you, not when you’re holding up a trophy.

The only other acceptable facial expressions for a Grip and Grin are the overly-excited scream (see above), the smirk that says, “yea, I’m badass,” the rod handle in the teeth move, or the faceless ninja look from wearing a Buff.

2) Extend Those Arms

While other fishermen will know exactly what you’re doing, non-fishers will think you’ve just caught the new world record if you hold your fish out from your body. Holding the fish closer to the camera makes the fish look bigger than you, therefore, a more respectable fish than the one you actually caught. Just make sure your hands aren’t closer to the camera than the fish, then your fish will look smaller and you’ll look like you have giant hands. (See above)

The only time not holding your arms out will actually help you, is if the fish is longer than you are wide, creating the illusion that the fish is so big you can’t hold it any other way. Extra points if the fish is actually too heavy for you to lift any other way.

Photos: Kayak Angler (top); Fish Texoma (above)

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Southern California winter… this is year 2 of an El Niño year, so while we’re typically waiting until Mother’s Day for the water to hit 60 degrees, signaling the beginning of summer fishing, this year we are over 60 degrees over our entire coast in February. Meanwhile, a large portion of the country is reeling under massive snowstorms. Hopefully, you all are safe and warmer fishing days aren’t too far away.

In the meantime, I want to be mindful of what you all are going through. I’m sure cabin fever is reaching dangerous levels for you. Here’s a good article from The Itinerant Angler offering 10 tips on getting your fish on in cold weather.

20070304200149_iceinguidessmallLots of fisheries shut down altogether in the winter, but down South we’re usually lucky enough to be able to keep going out. That doesn’t mean it’s not cold, though! Even though our water may remain wet, weather conditions can still make life unpleasant. Here are some tips and tricks for staying out when everyone else has hung it up for the season:

#1 – Prevent ice in the guides.

Ice is extremely bad for fly line. Technically, frozen water has all the characteristics of a mineral, including the abrasiveness of multiple tiny blades. If at all possible avoid shooting line with ice in the guides. You can do this by practicing a “fixed line” technique (often Czech nymphing styles work best), or by eliminating ice altogether. One good option is Pam cooking spray. Carry a small can with you and spray down your guides before the rod ever gets wet: the oil molecules will prevent the water droplets from adhering to the guides, meaning they will fall off before they freeze. Be sure to re-apply every hour or so, and at the end of the day, simply wash your rod sections in warm water and mild dish soap. It’s also a good idea to wash the line in the same sink, then wipe it with a clean cloth to avoid gunking up.

Photos: The Itinerant Angler

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One of the allures of fishing in the ocean is you never know what you’ll catch. While the 80/20 rule says that 80% of the fish on a boat are going to be caught by 20% of fishermen, that leaves enough room for anyone on any given day to catch the big fish of the trip. And so it was recently for 16-year-old Brooklyn teenager Kai Rizzuto.

Kai was fishing off the coast of Kona, Hawaii, when his line went off to start what would be 30 minutes he’ll never forget. By the time that half hour ticked off the clock, young Kai had accomplished what many anglers only dream of ever achieving… a grander blue marlin! Read the details of his amazing encounter in this article from the Daily Mail.

grander_boatThe young man and the sea…

During a moment that would have made famed marlin hunter Ernest Hemingway jealous, a Brooklyn teenager hauled in the year’s biggest blue marlin off the coast of Kona, Hawaii.

The fish 16-year-old Kai Rizzuto caught weighs 1,058lbs and measures 11 feet from tip to tail.

Rizzuto, the grandson of sport fishing writer Jim Rizzuto, snagged the rare ‘grander’ blue marlin earlier this week and the moment was captured on video.

The teen was finally able to get the marlin aboard the 45-foot Monterey fishing boat he was on after a struggle that lasted for about a half an hour, HawaiiNewsNow reported.

The so-called grander, which get its name because it weighs more than 1,000lbs, died during the fight.

Rizzuto said: ‘I’ll tell you it was the hardest 30 minutes I’ve ever fought a fish.

‘When I saw that fish at the end of line I was just thinking, don’t break off. Do not break off.’

When the fish was finally hauled in, it barely fit on the boat.

It took all five people aboard the boat to secure the fish for measurements.

Photo & video credits: Ihi Nui Sportfishing

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There are a lot of benefits to kayak angling. Owning a kayak is much less expensive than owning a boat. Fishing from a kayak is much stealthier than rolling up in a noisy boat. And if you get skunked while kayak fishing, at least you got a bit of exercise doing it.

A skill you should have prior to getting on a kayak is knowing how to get back onboard from the water if you happened to fall off. Another good thing to know is how not to fall off in the first place.

This helpful article from Kayak Angler gives you some tips on how to avoid falling off a kayak.

fall_sponson1) Keep it Straight

The surest way to find yourself in the water is to try and fight the fish off the side of your kayak. When that fish runs, you’re going in the drink. Kayak’s are most vulnerable when being pulled from the sides, so instead of giving the fish the upper hand, keep your rod pointed straight at your bow. This will make the fish have to turn your kayak around in order to keep running, which not only keeps you upright, but also tires out that trophy faster.

2) Center is Smarter

I’ve seen many anglers fall by looking over the side of their boat and I’ll admit, I even did it once or twice when I was starting out. Looking down into the bottom for structure is a cool view, but it’s also a fast way for you lose your balance. Keep your head centered in the kayak, whether you’re sitting or standing and you won’t be able to go over the sides. The general rule is: where your head goes, your body follows, so make sure to keep your head inside the boat at all times. If you need to look down below, get a fishfinder, or if your buddy owes you money, tell him to look for you.

3) No Showboating

It may make for a cool photo, but turning around to throw up a thumbs up while your buddy snaps the picture is not a good idea. The only photo you’ll get to see if you half in the water as your fish gets away and you’re left with nothing, but broken pride. That’s also a good way to break your rod, an arm, or something worse, like your street cred.

Photos: Kayak Angler (top); Sponson Guy (above)

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By Eric Nestor

This homemade tin can heater is the perfect way to keep warm on the ice or in the deep snow.

These homemade tin can air heaters are the perfect way to stay warm in an ice fishing shack, a cabin or any time you may find yourself in a tough situation where you need to stay warm.

All you need is an old tin can, some wax that can even be scrounged from old candles and cardboard. As shown in the video, they actually burn like miniature campfires and they burn long and hot, throwing a lot of heat off for the user.

They can even be used to cook on. Use caution indoors or anywhere fire may be a concern.

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By Ryan Lisson

What are some good methods to prepare for hiking if you’re a beginner?

At face value, it doesn’t seem like it would take a lot of effort to prepare for hiking. It’s basically just walking outside, right?

Yes and no. True, hiking can be as simple as taking a stroll through your neighborhood park. But it can also be as detailed and involved as a multi-day backpacking trip through a wilderness area.

Since you’re here, let’s assume you just want to learn the basics. Here are some great ways you can prepare for hiking if you’re a relative greenhorn or are just getting back into it.

How to Physically Prepare for Hiking

There are several key exercises that will help ease the transition from couch potato to hiking trail beast. Start performing these exercises now so that you’ll be ready to venture out in spring weather!

Squats – Your quadriceps and hamstrings are obviously the movers and shakers when hiking, so strengthen them by doing weighted squats. Fill your backpack with various weights, increasing in 10-pound increments, and squat down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Push back up and repeat.

Core – Doing any kind of core work (crunches, sit-ups, planks) helps to stabilize your body. If you suddenly lose balance on the trail, a strong core could make the difference between taking a nasty spill and recovering quickly.

Pushups – This classic exercise strengthens your chest and triceps, but it also stabilizes your core. Being able to control your torso helps while hoisting your backpack and navigating tricky trails.

physical-preparation

Lunges – Practice lunging uphill and downhill if possible, but even if you only have your living room, lunge away to strengthen your legs for climbing rocky trails. Try walking lunges instead of static lunges to work your hips well.

Step-ups and Step-downs – Step up onto a chair or bench, alternating legs, with a backpack on. Start with body weight, and then increase weight by adding weight plates or gear in 10-pound increments. Then step down onto the following side. Turn and complete several more reps.

Calves – Calf raises will strengthen your calves, but balance is also very important while hiking. Stand on a pillow on one leg, and try to stay in that position for a minute. When this becomes easy, close your eyes while balancing. This strengthens your leg’s stabilizer muscles and can help prevent rolling your ankle.

Strategies to Prepare for Hiking

Endurance – Short distance hikes are obviously the best way to get your body used to the specific demands of hiking. Initially, set a goal to get outside once a week and take a short walk. Carry a backpack with you if you are able to. Increase your endurance gradually by adding additional days or increasing the mileage.

Layers – Especially important while hiking for winter camping, ensure you are layering your clothes to prevent sweating too much. Eventually you’ll cool off and you could face hypothermia.

Boots – Make sure you break in your new hiking boots by wearing them on your short walks. If you show up at the trailhead with new boots and go tromping for miles, I guarantee blisters are in your immediate future.

Variation – Mix up your routes often so you can adapt to new conditions. If possible, locate some hills nearby to climb as part of your training. Find a trail with lots of turns and variability to keep your body moving in different ways.

variation

Eliminate excuses – Try to do shorter walks (e.g., before or after work) near your home so you have no excuse to not go out. Once a week, however, find a forest or wilderness area to go explore on your weekly longer hike. A sense of adventure will keep you interested for the next week.

Nutrition – Make sure you always bring adequate water, and some snacks if it’s a longer hike. You need to stay hydrated and fueled to keep your body moving.

Stretch – Before venturing out, warm up your body a bit by doing some jumping jacks or one of the exercises mentioned above, to prime your muscles. During and after your hike, take stretch breaks to keep your legs and back limber and allow the lactic acid to be flushed out.

Armed with these tactics, you’ll be in full-on beast mode on the trail this summer.

Happy hiking!