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OUR LATEST POSTS

7

Bushnell has introduced a new portable, easy-to-use personal GPS device for anglers. GPS devices are nearly standard equipment for hunters and hikers, but it’s easy to get lost on the water, especially if an unexpected fog rolls in. The simple and affordable FishTrack provides anglers of all skill levels with a palm-sized tool to help them spend less time searching for fish and more time reeling them in.

 

2527[1]Built on the BackTrack platform, FishTrack allows anglers to store up to 25 distinct waypoints and provides simple distance and direction back to marked locations while the integrated digital compass provides universal latitude and longitude coordinates. In addition, FishTrack offers a host of valuable information including time, temperature, solunar information, weather conditions, and barometric pressure. This quick and informative video highlights the many features in this tiny device.

Photos: Bar Jack Fishing (top); Bushnell (above)

19

Project Healing Waters is a non-profit organization that was created to benefit veterans by providing emotional and physical rehabilitation to disabled veterans through the sport of fly fishing. It began in 2005 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as a means of helping returning service members from Iraq and Afghanistan. The program has spread now to almost every state in the union. It serves both veterans new to fly fishing as well as veterans who may have fly fished in the past but need to adapt to doing it given their disability.

Recently, veterans in Tennessee learned about the program via volunteer and Vietnam vet Bill Coyne.

PHW Volunteer, Bill Coyne

PHW Volunteer, Bill Coyne

Project Healing Waters volunteer Bill Coyne was guest speaker for the March meeting of Shelbyville/Bedford County Vietnam Era Veterans. The non-profit organization he represents provides physical and emotional rehabilitation to disabled veterans and active military members through fly fishing.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) was established in 2005 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC. There are currently 160 programs (chapters) in 48 states.

Coyne serves as regional director over all of the Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky chapters. He began as a volunteer with the project in Ft. Campbell approximately two years ago when he was a member of a Nashville fly fishing club.

Photos: Project Healing Waters (top); Shelbyville Times-Gazette (above)

27

“Match the hatch.” Even if you aren’t a fly fisherman, all anglers have heard this phrase. It refers to trying to match your artificial lure to whatever it is that the local fish are eating. For a saltwater angler like myself, if a squid spawn is happening, I’m going to throw something resembling squid. If anchovies are the predominant forage in the water, guess what?

For a fly fisherman, though, matching the hatch takes on a special meaning. Beyond saying that the fish are eating a certain kind of insect, time of year and location are going to dictate that you not only need to match that insect, you need to match that insect at a particular time in its life cycle. In order to match effectively, it helps to know some basic entomology for fly fishing.

Midge Larva

Midge Larva

First off, don’t get overwhelmed and think you need to learn every bug on the water and their latin name, species, and genus just to catch more fish. The real key with any fly fishing entomology lesson is to equip you with the knowledge you need to identify the family of bug, and the stage that bug is in. Once you know that, you then see if that bug is on the menu for trout in that stage and match your fly accordingly. It’s really rather simple when you have the basic knowledge.

Secondly, let’s remember the biological classification order and understand that for most fly patterns, we imitate the family or even the order of the insect, not every single species. This is especially true with a fly like the Adams Dry Fly as there is no such thing as an “adams” insect, it is meant to imitate a wide variety of mayflies (Ephemeroptera). That greatly reduces the amount of knowledge you’ll need in your head at any given time to understand the basic entomology for fly fishing.

Photos: The Catch and the Hatch

37

On second thought, putting shooting targets on trees wasn’t too bright.

This fellow is doing his best to improve his shooting technique, something we can all appreciate.

Most of us will also appreciate the response of the tree that the target is hanging on, which brings new meaning to “karma.”

Did you see that coming? Neither did the shooter, who was busy peering down his sights. And the camera man takes his share of the beating too.

First person perspectives are cool, but we’re wishing there was a panned back, alternative view of this.

Have you ever had this sort of mishap while training with your firearm? Will this make you think twice before hanging shooting targets on trees? Let us know in the comments below!

37

Even though I don’t do it much myself, I do pay attention to what’s going on in the bass-fishing world. When you’re into fishing as much as I am, it’s hard to ignore it when 80% (my guess) of published articles and fishing products revolve around catching bass. I would call myself a casual observer. Even to this casual observer though, I’ve noticed some huge fish getting taken as of late.

Fish behavior isn’t really that different when it comes to fresh vs. salt. Prior to a spawn, fish will congregate and feed aggressively. This behavior works for halibut (which I’ve been keeping a close eye on) and it works for largemouth bass. Either way, pre-spawn is a great time to fish. Here are some more reason to fish pre-spawn bass.

Gilbert-otay-bassIf you haven’t been under a rock, you’ve probably heard about a bunch of big bass from a bunch of different fisheries being caught right now. This isn’t anything new. It’s the folks that target early prespawn bass. Every year about the end of February to the first of May there seems to be a huge influx of giant bass and near record or record-breaking catches. The common denominator often presents as nothing more than the first wave of big females make themselves more susceptible to being caught by feeding and moving into more targeted zones.

This migration often has nothing to do with temperatures. It can have as much to do with length of days, sun, wind direction and sometimes even something simple like a warm rain causing warmer shallows.

This past month we’ve seen a new lake record on Grand Lake, a big 17 1/2-pound monster largemouth out of San Diego from Mike Gilbert, William Davis catching an 11 pounder on Pickwick on one day, only to go back out and catch the same 11-pounder the next day in a tournament. Tim Creighton busted a 12.14-pound largemouth on Guntersville just before the Everstart Series caught a bunch of ridiculous 25-pound plus limits. FLW Tour pro Andy Morgan fun fishing with Frank Flack on Chickamauga boated five that weighed 39.81 with two bass weighing more than 9 pounds. Throw in a 70-pound record striper from Alabama, and if that doesn’t convince one of the power of fishing the early prespawn period, nothing will.

Photos: Wired2Fish

36

To me, the yellowtail represents the best in Southern California fishing. This hard-fighting cousin of the amberjack can be caught year-round. Depending on location, time of year, and conditions on the water, they require the angler to be adept at a variety of fishing techniques in order to be successful. It’s also a great eating fish — hamachi anyone? Any time you catch one, it’s a win and gives you bragging rights for weeks.

San Diego’s International Yellowtail Derby celebrated this fish for a 28-year-run from the mid-40s to the early 70s. Recently, the derby was resurrected and has been an unqualified success. This year’s edition will run from May 4 to June 8 and is open to all comers. You can find the details here at InternationalYellowtailDerby.com

Miss Yellowtail Derby 1962

Miss Yellowtail Derby 1962

San Diego’s original Yellowtail Derby ran for 28 years, from 1946 to 1973. It was sponsored and produced by the San Diego Jaycees.

It was a multi-month event with qualifying periods and finals. Prizes ranged form cash to cars, trailers, trips and fishing gear. It built up to where every year more than 10,000 anglers competed and many from LA, Orange Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and often won.

In 2008, at the urging of Stephen Cushman, Chairman of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners, John Campbell took up the challenge and resurrected the Yellowtail Derby.

Mr. Campbell’s extensive experience in the fishing community made him an ideal candidate to resurrect the tradition of the Derby, including being the IGFA Representative for California 7 years, Sales Manager for South Coast Sportfishing Magazine, and originator of the fishing section of The Log Newspaper.

Photos: New Seaforth (top); International Yellowtail Derby (above)