Griffin's Guide to Hunting and Fishing Your source for daily hunting, fishing and outdoors content Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:00:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fishing: State of the Industry Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:00:59 +0000 A good friend of mine is a captain who spent his high school years in San Diego. He came to San Diego from Kokomo, Indiana, where he was already an avid angler. He would “pinhead” on the sportfishing boats (kind of like an unpaid intern to learn how to be a deckhand) and soak up knowledge from the crew and older anglers.

One particular angler that he learned from was an old commercial fisherman who took him under his wing. My friend would offer to buy him coffee, bring him lunch, whatever it took to gain favor and learn from this man. This angling mentor told my friend, “If you want to honor me, just teach someone else what I’m teaching you.” My friend has taught me much of what I know about fishing here in Southern California, and in turn I do what I can to teach others.

What we all understand is that by teaching others you ensure the future of our sport.  The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) recently commissioned a study, and the results show that the state of our sport is healthier than ever. Read the top ten findings of the study in this post from the Take Me Fishing blog.

RBFF_familyThe lure of recreational fishing remains strong, according to the 2014 Special Report on Fishing, recently released by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation. According to the report, there were 4.1 million newcomers to fishing in 2013, an increase from the 3.5 million average new anglers per year between 2007 and 2012. Additionally, women, children and Hispanics showed increases in participation.

“We’re happy to see new, diverse and young audiences take up fishing at historic rates,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “These numbers reinforce our initiatives to engage and retain first-time and Hispanic anglers, and validate our overall efforts to increase fishing license and boat registration sales, which contribute to state fish and wildlife conservation efforts.”

Photos: KW Big Fish (top); Take Me Fishing (above)

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2014′s Best Bows for Women Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:51:37 +0000 The term “sportsman” is quickly becoming a thing of the past. And outdoors-gear companies are just as swiftly catching on to the fact that women are hunting in ever greater numbers.

For three years, Realtree has rounded up the best bows on the market that are designed for female hunters. This year’s roundup is heartening: No more traditional bows with a touch of pink on them to mark them as “made for women.” No more cheap, lightweight models that aren’t worth considering. In their 2014 roundup, Will Brantley writes about what a difference a few years makes:

You don’t have to use that stuff anymore. Over the past few years, the Realtree Ladies’ Bow Test has provided a window into the evolution of top hunting bows for women. Although there have been some great bows in the test every year, our test panel has also reviewed more than a few clunkers. The worst never made it into the published test.
Not this year. Any of the four bows reviewed for 2014 would have won the test hands down in 2012. For two days, our test team shot bows, took notes, erased notes, shot some more and spent long moments in pondering silence, staring at cams and risers. To say these bows were evaluated carefully and objectively is an understatement.

Although there are other good women’s bows on the market, these four are all brand new for 2014, and sold by Realtree-licensed partners. Those are the requirements for the test. Here are the results.

Check out the full story to find out which bows made the cut.

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Fishing Live Frogs for Big Walleyes [VIDEO] Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:00:34 +0000 Certain baits can be hard to find at times, but when you have them it’s almost a guarantee of catching fish. Here in Southern California, we refer to live squid as the “candy bait.” It catches everything.

Another one that comes to mind is octopus. If you happen to snag one by accident, it is deadly for several species of gamefish.

I’m always curious to find out what the candy bait is for other fisheries. When I came across the following article, I thought they were going to talk about soft body frog topwater lures. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they weren’t. Read the article from NAFC and check out the video to learn how to fish live frogs for big walleyes.

Devils Lake, North Dakota-based guide Jason Feldner lets the frog out of the bag on a sleeper, old-school technique for catching walleyes in the fall.

Typically following the first frost of the year, frogs will start migrating from wooded areas toward water, where they’ll burrow into the mud for the winter. Soft-bottomed bays are typically a good area to look, but anywhere frogs enter the water can be key

Photo: NAFC; Video credit: James Edlund

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8 Common Deer Hunting Myths, Busted Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:39:31 +0000 Check out these deer hunting myths to find out what’s fact or fiction.

Have you fallen victim to these myths? We hope you don’t believe any of these but you’d better take a look just in case!

1) Rubber Boots Prevent Scent Detection

This myth is probably one of the most common. Rubber boots are a popular item for deer hunters since most believe the rubber keeps the deer from smelling your footprints. The truth is that a deer is far more likely to smell your head or hands than your footprints.

2) Buck Scrapes Improve Hunting

The truth is, buck scrape hunting as a strategy is useless at best. Scrapes carry no information that is useful to skilled hunters. In fact, scrapes have nothing to do with breeding and are used by both genders. Scouting scrapes doesn’t mean you’ll land a larger buck.

3) Don’t Urinate Near Your Stand<

Urine naturally attracts other animals. It is a source of information and can even be used to attract deer near your hunting stand in certain circumstances. You might even end up attracting other kinds of wildlife that are curious about this different scent.

Shooting Does is Better Than Shooting Bucks

4) The Rut Begins When There Is A Full Moon

The moon does not affect deer movement at all actually. In fact, the opposite may be true. Deer tend to seek out more cover during nights with a full moon than a dark night.

5) Bucks Make Rubs To Determine Boundaries

The opposite is true. Does are the gender that mostly holds territories and boundaries, bucks do not limit themselves as much. Bucks travel around the territories to find the best mate. They only fight to determine who gets access to the does.

6) Gender Can Be Determined From Tracks

Dew claws are not a sign of gender difference. Determining gender from tracks is simply a wild guess by an inexperienced hunter.


7) Store Bought Products Can Help Mask Your Appearance and Scent

The truth is that products can help, but they cannot completely cover up your human appearance and smell. Stillness and silence are the best camouflage, and cannot be purchased at your local outdoors store.

8) Rattling Is Only Beneficial During Pre-Rut

Rattling is actually effective any time a deer has antlers. Bucks will fight or rattle as soon as they have hard antlers until those antlers are shed.

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Pro Tips for Catching White Marlin Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:00:37 +0000 If you’re a saltwater angler along the Atlantic seaboard, white marlin represent the pinnacle of pelagic species to catch.

To the untrained eye, fishing for white marlin looks like a lot of driving around the open ocean and hoping you get lucky. What these people don’t know is that there is a science and preparation behind what may look like driving around and blind luck.

Ocean City, Maryland, is the epicenter of white marlin fishing. Each year, Ocean City hosts a big-money open tournament fished by the top boats and crews from the entire East Coast and beyond.

Captain Jimmy Grant is one of the top captains; in this Fish Track article, he divulges his secrets for stalking white marlin.


The excitement of a white marlin bite makes the preparation and search worth every minute. To the outside observer, marlin fishing looks like a lot of driving around and staring at the ocean. Crews spend countless hours watching the baits, searching for birds, slicks or baitballs, and waiting for a sign.

But insiders know that every second of the day is filled with anticipation and excitement. By properly managing every step of the process, marlin pros can often turn a single white marlin bite into a double, triple or even a quad.

Capt. Jimmy Grant has made a career out of chasing white marlin from one end of the Atlantic to the other. Each summer the Ocean City, Maryland, native returns to the Mid-Atlantic to resume the hunt. “We have the best white marlin fishing in the world,” he says. “I hate to miss one minute.”

Photos: NOAA (top); Ocean City Blog (above)

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Fishing Wake Baits for Big Bass Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:00:06 +0000 When you first start fishing, your only objective is to catch a fish, any fish. As you start to learn what you’re doing and become proficient at some of the essential skills, you start to learn how to target specific fish. Once you become proficient at catching your target fish, you start setting bigger goals.

For many bass anglers, that goal is to catch a big, trophy bass. For many trophy bass anglers, the weapon of choice are big wake baits.

These lures can be very expensive, and losing one is heartbreaking. Save the heartaches and read this excellent Tactical Bassin’ article detailing everything you need to know about wake baits.

wake_pileClack, clack, clack, clack, KABOOM! You set the hook, the line stretches, the hooks dig in, and the surface of the lake erupts with an explosion of water, bass, and treble hooks. The battle is on and you’re praying your knots, hooks, and line hold up to the fight. Moments later you’re holding a huge largemouth, the large Topwater still hanging from her mouth.

If you’ve ever experienced the way a bass draws out of cover, tracks, and erupts on a Wakebait, you already have the sickness. Those bites are what makes us bass anglers get up at 3 AM, drink gas station coffee, eat pastries before sunrise, and launch our boats before any sane person would even consider shedding their sheets.

Photos: Wired2Fish (top); Tactical Bassin’ (above)

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How to Catch a 10-lb. Bass Sun, 14 Sep 2014 16:00:28 +0000 It’s a magical mark that only a handful of anglers can say they have accomplished: a double-digit bass.

Fresh or saltwater, a double-digit bass is a feat that many anglers may chase their whole lives and never successfully achieve. I know a handful of anglers who have done it. To a man, they will all tell you that to catch a ten-pounder, you can’t fish for them like you do to just catch any bass. To catch a trophy, you have a to fish for a trophy.

What does that mean? Well, today is your lucky day! In this article from Bass Resource, they lay out exactly what it takes to catch a 10-lb. bass.

big-bassEveryone wants to catch big bass, but fishing specifically for them requires dedication and careful planning.

Of course, a lot depends on your definition of a big bass. In some parts of the country, anything more than 4 pounds is big. While I share that same thought, I’m talking about catching really big bass – like more than 10 pounds.

To have a fair shot at 10-pounders, you have to fish where they live and where the annual growing season lasts long enough to get them to the magical number. That includes Florida, Texas and California, where the faster-growing Florida-strain largemouth bass live.

Although I prefer to use artificial lures for bass, shiners are tough to beat in Florida. I’ve fished tournaments there where the anglers around me were catching 8- to 12-pound fish on shiners while I was catching 1- to 2-pounders on lures.

Photos: Ariel Biley for Jackall Lures (top); Bass Resource (above)

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Going After One of the Most Dangerous Fish in the Ocean Sat, 13 Sep 2014 16:00:01 +0000 Wahoo (aka “ono” in Hawaii) are big, aggressive fish with scary teeth. They’re a tropical water fish. They’re also one of the fastest fish in the water, able to reach bursts of speed up to 60 mph. At that rate of speed, they can launch themselves out of the water when chasing their prey.

Because of their airborne ability, fishing for them can be an extremely dangerous affair. Despite the danger, many anglers try for them, because they are also one of the best fish in the sea to eat.

If you’re brave enough to fish for them, here are some tips and techniques from Sport Fishing magazine to help you have a successful trip.

wahoo-fishing-05Two universal truths about wahoo make the pelagic species so popular: raw speed and pack mentality. Those two characteristics also make ’hoos a prime candidate for high-speed trolling. Capable of speeds up to 60 mph, wahoo have little trouble attacking lures trolled at 15 knots. Additionally, fast trolling speeds allow anglers to cover large swaths of water.

But what if you don’t want to pay the gas bill to speed-troll all day, or you don’t have the proper gear to handle it? High-speed trolling is just one effective way to catch wahoo, but it’s not the only way. I spoke with five accomplished captains, probing them to reveal their own proven tactics.

When Capt. James Robinson, of Wound Up Charters, targets wahoo along the Bermuda coast, he favors trolling live baits such as frigate mackerel and robins (scad). Large wahoo are attracted to bait schools that hang on the up-current sides of the steep island and offshore banks.

Photos: Sport Fishing

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Hunt/Fish Alaska: Getting There is Half the Fun Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:32:27 +0000 Wounded Warriors Kevin McMahon (left) and David Guzman pause for a photo before fishing in Alaska.

Wounded Warriors Kevin McMahon (left) and David Guzman pause for a photo before fishing in Alaska.

It’s day five of Nissan’s Project Titan Wounded Warrior Project and the enthusiasm of the vets and public support for them has been fantastic. The day began with the roar of an aircraft engine as Dave Guzman and Kevin McMahon squeezed into the back seat of Casey Long’s Cessna. Soon we were skimming along the surface of Lake Lucile like some speedy skipping stone and then off for a quick silver salmon safari before the events of the day began.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” said McMahon.  “I’m loving it.”

Weather for the trip was marginal as rain fell and dense cloud cover kept us close to the deck. In fact, Long signaled that the river for silvers was fogged in, but he knew of another nearby lake for northern pike. The skilled pilot dropped the craft on the water with aNisssan AK 4 059 landing as soft as a pillow and we were soon casting from the pontoons and small boats stored along the shore.

This was Lake Alexander with fly-in access only. The pike in the small body of water were so aggressive that they have completely eliminated the salmon that used to spawn there. “Game and Fish is netting pike and encouraging the public to catch them all,” Long said.

Guzman was the first to hook up and brought in a small pike while standing on the pontoon of the plane. Aaron Rock, social media director for the Wounded Warrior Project, caught the fish of the day with a 10 -pound pike that was destined for the dinner table.

We had to be back at the lodge by 11:00 a.m. so the fishing was brief, but the adventure high. Casey Long, of Airventures Alaska, donated his services for the trip and the vets were indeed grateful.

The morning’s events were awe-inspiring from the air, yet the afternoon held a quest for a small lake deep in the mountains. Just getting there would be an adventure.

Mike Flowers and a member of the Alaska Four Wheeling Club offered their services to guide the vets to the remote spot and to give the new Titan truck a thorough testing.

Five other members of the club would help transport crew members who filmed the event for a video to be released next month when the project is complete. Nisssan AK 4 076

Nisssan AK 4 138I rode in Mike’sFlower’s super-high 1984 Chevy Suburban (, a rig as functional as it’s awesome appearance.  “We’ll use this truck to hunt moose next week. It allows me to cross a river where other vehicles can’t,” he said.

Several of the other four-wheel rigs had snorkels, which allows them to cross rivers and streams with water up to the windows.

The ride up the mountain was like riding a bull for 8,000 seconds as we went over boulders, drove through mud holes, and squeezed between trees. I wondered if the mildly modified Nissan Titan could keep up with these giant rigs, yet it towed its trailer and arrived at the lake first in line.

The exact details of the project will be released soon, but I can add that there was a fish dinner at the end.

You can follow the events of Project Titan on Facebook at the Wounded Warrior Project and Nissan Trucks pages.

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Fishin’ and Truckin’ with Wounded Warriors [VIDEO] Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:20:35 +0000 I’m in Alaska this week with the Nissan Corporation and their project to treat two wounded warriors to the trip of a lifetime, where they’ll drive one of the coolest trucks ever.

Dave Guzman and Kevin McMahon are having the times of their lives to assist with Project Titan and to bring attention to the Wounded Warrior Project. We’re ready to fly to a remote lake to fish and I’ll be coming back with lots of pictures to share. Here’s a quick video overview of the project and there’s lots more to come.

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