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  • A Case for Quality Hooks - As the saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The same logic can be applied to fishing tackle. Many of us won't hesitate to buy quality reels, rods, line or lures, but for some reason hooks often seem to get the short-end of our spending stick. Perhaps it's their simplicity or small-size that results in anglers avoiding investing the cash for quality hooks, but they're one of the most important pieces of fishing gear you'll own.
  • A Case for Quality Nets - To me there's nothing wrong with keeping the occasional fish for the table; however, most of my fish I release. Catch and release has been a mainstream practice for the past few decades. Most anglers are familiar with the basics of how to play, handle, and release a fish to ensure the best chances of post-release recovery. One tool that will keep catch-and-release procedures safe for you and the fish is a quality net.
  • Adjusting Boat Control - Efficiency is a very key element in muskie fishing. The lower the density of a fish species, the more you need to optimize your time on the water. Adjusting boat position on structures as patterns emerge can really save time, increasing water coverage of the effective zone and ultimately resulting in more strikes.
  • Anchors Away! - From the basic "cement-in-a-bucket" to the tried-and-true fluke or grapnel, anchors come in a wide variety of shapes and styles. No matter what size boat you skim across your favourite lake in, having an anchor on board assures safe boating, while also permitting the angler to have a controlled and drift-free fishing excursion.
  • Artificial Intelligence - Is it possible for man to create something smarter, possibly superior to humankind itself? In Stanley Kubricks 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL, a fabrication of bits and bytes, overran its makers. Alright, fair enough, thats a science fiction reference, not breaking news on CNN.
  • Boat Cleaning 101 - A fishing boat covets a great deal of pride and joy for its owner. Not only does it hold the greatest investment in this sport we enjoy, but it also becomes our floating office each time we step in and push away from the dock.
  • Boat Winterization Saves Headaches Next Spring - I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but it's that time again. The leaves are starting to change colour, there is frost in the air, and snow in the weather forecast. It's time to start thinking about winterizing you boat. With a little time and effort you can keep your boat from becoming a maintenance nightmare next spring.
  • Breaking the Boat Out for Spring - How many of you take the time to properly prepare your boat for the upcoming season? There's no better place to invest your anxious energy than boat and trailer tune-ups and tinkering. Here's a list of some things you should do before you hit the water this season.
  • Bucktail Spinnerbait Restoration, Repair and Modification - Musky tackle takes a beating and I have yet to meet one angler who pampers their equipment. The fact is, baits wear down and eventually need maintenance to get them back into trophy-catching shape. This article will focus on repairing bucktail spinnerbaits, looking at: tying bucktail, replacing blades, hooks and wire bodies, and painting components. Let's start with the most complex, how-to tie bucktail.
  • Buying a Baitcaster - One of the most revolutionary products to hit the fishing scene has to be the baitcasting reel. Different in so many aspects from the spinning reel, anglers were now able to use heavier line and cast bigger lures, all without the associated problems that earlier reels contained. But where do you start in your search for a baitcast reel?
  • Choosing a Stick For Ice Fishing - With winter about to make it's appearance across Ontario, ice anglers are beginning to feel the excitement as open water lakes slowly begin their frosty transformation. Although it may be a month or two away, getting your equipment together now will save you frustration and headaches further on down the line. One of the most important aspects of hard water fishing is the rod itself.
  • Choosing The Right Fishing Line - The strongest, and most fragile link you have between yourself and a fish is undoubtedly your fishing line. Choosing an inferior product in order to save a few bucks, or picking the wrong style for the type of fishing you do, can lead to heartbreak when out on the water. So what are the best lines to choose and when should you use them? The following will hopefully explain the subtleties of the common "fishing line."
  • Choosing the Right Trolling Motor - Choosing the Right Trolling Motor Trolling motors have long revolutionized the sport of fishing. Anglers in-the-know can now have total control over their craft at all times, allowing them to fish precise areas and spots that seemed only a dream in the past. With this added control comes one definite plus - more fish in the boat. Jump on the trolling motor bandwagon, and figure out which one is the right pick for you and your boat.
  • Creepy Crawlies - The Ultimate Overlooked Baits for Icefishing - The first time I heard about using maggots for icefishing was in a story about how some hard-core ice anglers have been known to keep maggots in their mouths while fishing, to keep the bait warm and alive. While that may be a little too serious for some ice fishermen, maggots, as well as waxworms, mealworms and other such critters, what I affectionately refer to as "creepy crawlies," are an effective yet often overlooked bait for icefishing.
  • De-Mystifying Fly Fishing - I remember the first time I saw someone fly fishing. I think I was five years old. My father, my sister and I had back packed to a remote alpine lake. My trusty Zebco with the closed face push button casting reel, cork bobber and jar of Puatzkes, among my gear I couldnt live without. Positioned on a log vigilently eyeing my bobber for movement, a one-man raft paddled past, and in no time the occupant was making wild movements with the longest fishing pole ever.
  • De-winterizing Your Boat - De-winterizing Your Boat Waking up your boat after a long hibernation is an anticipated chore we all eagerly await. There's no better feeling come spring than hearing the engine smoothly purr for the first time - ready to breathe life into another full season on the water.
  • Does Size Really Matter? - No matter what kind of fish an angler targets, deciding on the appropriate size of bait or lure to toss can often be a difficult decision. Whether it is fishing for largemouth bass, walleye, musky, or even perch, the question always comes up: "What size lure should I use?"
  • End Weighting Means Control - Control wins in NASCAR. The ability to draft and trade paint while jockeying for position. The dominance of one team over another. Control is an underlying force that breeds success in everything we do, fishing included. We see it in skilled fly anglers as they strip line and precariously place poppers in the pads. In seasoned jiggers, as they deftly tick lead across rocks and timber without snagging, yet remain able to decipher the slight nip of a walleye.
  • Essential Boating Tools - Boating demands a certain amount of gear for both safety reasons, but also to be ready for emergency repairs. To ensure you're well prepared for the season, here are some essential boating tools and gear you should own.
  • Figuring Out the World of Ice Augers - With the hard water finally arriving across Ontario, anglers everywhere are converging on its frozen surface to drill their way through to the fish below. Without the use of an auger, however, this simple task would be virtually impossible to perform. In today's high-tech world of ice fishing, augers come in every shape and size imaginable, leaving many fisherpersons utterly confused and bewildered.
  • Fillet Knife Facts! - There's nothing more satisfying to an angler than enjoying a home-cooked meal of fresh caught fish. The aromas, the taste, and that prerequisite feeling of fullness should be icing on the cake to an otherwise productive day spent on the water. Now, actually catching those fish is always a hit and miss possibility. Using the right tools to prepare your catch, however, should essentially be a no-brainer.
  • Fishing Rod Totes and Carrying Systems - A common trait among anglers is the enthusiasm we share when it comes to buying rods. Rods for spinning, baitcasting and trolling applications. Rods for jigs, topwaters, cranks and worms. If truth were known, we really have more rods than we can shake a stick at!
  • Five Tips for Buying Boat Insurance - Buying boat insurance can be challenging for any boater. That's because unlike auto insurance, boat insurance policies are not standardized-coverage can vary widely for the same boat depending on who sold the policy and how informed a buyer you are. But the smart boater can make the right insurance choices with these "Top Five Tips for Buying Boat Insurance".
  • Flicker - The two original sizes of the lure (the 5cm and 7cm) have helped anglers all over the country catch walleyes as well as many other species; they are simply great baits. This past year, Berkley released two new sizes in the line, the 4cm and the 6cm.
  • From The Truck to The Fishing Hole and Back - Cold-Weather Safety and Comfort Gear For Late Fall Fishing. Some fishing gets better and better the later and later fall goes on. I'm not talking about the trips where you might pack an extra sweater or rain suit in the weeks after Labour Day. To me, late fall means trailering your boat on roads that may be snow-covered or icy, really cold weather and sometimes, really rough water.
  • Gear and Gadgets - Having the right tools, and knowing how to use them, are the greatest assets a person can have in order to become a more proficient angler. Fishing has become more specialized over the years, and following the trends and learning to adapt are key to putting more fish in the boat.
  • Gear Ratios, Thrust, and Drift Socks - The more we know and understand about our fishing equipment, the better prepared we are when it comes time to rely on it. This insight also allows us to make informed decisions on what will make the best fit for purchasing products.
  • Gearing Up for the Ice - Anyone who is considering or has already taken up the sport of ice fishing has wrestled with the idea of purchasing three of the more pricey must-haves.
  • Gearing Up for the Season - We know some of you have already been wetting a line and catching some walleyes this year; weve seen the Facebook posts and the Tweets Dont rub it in. Fact is, some of us are still in the preparation stages for the upcoming season (and a few are even still shoveling snow!). Hours have been spent checking rods and reels, changing crankbait hooks, and taking inventory on everything from spinner blades to jigs
  • Get Glowing This Ice Season - Glow baits are not new to fishing and color patterns have improved these baits in recent years. I concentrated on using new-generation glow baits the last two ice seasons and have noticed an increase in my overall catch. Fish see these baits easier and I'm convinced the glow features of small baits have helped me coax negative or neutral mood fish to bite.
  • Getting ready - The boat has been buffed to a glossy shine, and new accessories added to enhance this years angling experience. If you havent been fishing and you arent getting prepared, then GET WITH IT!
  • Great Ice Fishing Gadgets - Every year dozens of new ice fishing products hit the walls of tackle shops. Yet when it comes to getting gear for the hard-water season, you don't only have to shop in fishing stores. In fact, many of the staple pieces of gear I use for safety and comfort reasons I bought at camping and outdoor shops. Here are just a few of my personal favourites.
  • Hobie Kayak Fishing Opening Doors For Anglers - Anglers spend huge amounts of money each year on fishing. They are not only shelling out cash for bait, tackle, electronics and the newest cutting edge equipment. Add in running, maintaining and upgrading their boats and motors can have quite the price tag. Whats an easy alternative? A kayak!
  • I Tried Fluorocarbon Leaders - About this time last year, I decided to really start experimenting with fluorocarbon leaders. I wanted to see how well the stuff held up, and if there really were any noticeable advantages. I picked up a few spools from different manufacturers, and started tying them and fishing them right away. Once muskie season opens, that's all I fish for. But from ice-in until the end of June, I used my new leaders for everything from lakers to crappie, from four to eighty pound test.
  • Ice Fishing Equipment Overview - Cold hands and feet, dead minnows, and no fish landed - these are just a few things that can go wrong if you're not prepared for your next ice fishing outing. Ice fishing is a lot like home repairs, if you don't have the right equipment to do the job, things can quickly get ugly and, in some cases, dangerous. This article is an overview to ice fishing equipment and gear, along with some tips to stay comfortable this winter season.
  • Ice More Fish by Understanding Sonar - Whether you're a beginner, a sonar savant, or somewhere in between, the following operation tips will help you catch more fish and avoid some common mistakes.
  • Ice Safety Essentials: Myths and Self-Rescue Information - Tragically, every year over 30 Canadians die in ice related incidents. When ice fishing this year, make sure you're prepared with the following information on common ice myths and self-rescue methods. Remember, ice is never 100% safe, so exercise caution at all times.
  • In the Market for a Fishfinder? - With so many options and technical lingo, choosing the perfect fishfinder can become a bit bewildering. The game of fishing has embraced technology full-steam, turning the art of finding and catching fish into a modern-day science.
  • Keep Your Catch Fresh When Working the Ice - Ice holds many wonders for those willing to auger through its outer crust. For some it is the lure of frantically running to an upright flag, unaware of the size of fish that tripped it below. Others find solace in the peace and serenity that a portable hut provides them on a snowy winters day. But if you're like me, the greatest treasure the ice conceals is the bountiful and tasty fish that swim beneath it, ready to be buttered and pan fried after a long day spent angling.
  • Learning to Use a Baitcaster - Chucking spinnerbaits for Musky using a 12-foot Carp rod and baitrunner spinning reel with my buddy John Anderson on the Ottawa River may also have worked, but my attempts at executing figure eights at boat side left much to the imagination.
  • Live-Bait and Hook-Selection Primer - Since the inception of angling, live bait has been a hands-down winner. No matter what lure or fly you tie on your line, duplicating nature is a formidable task. Although an artificial lure might resemble and even act like the true prey of fish, the texture, taste, and movement of real food can seldom be beat.
  • Local Lure Manufacturers - I was one of many anglers wandering the isles at The Valley Fishing and Outdoors Show in Carp, Ontario in early April. I enjoy going to shows to check out the latest tackle in anticipation for the upcoming season. What really caught my eye this year were some of the Ontario-made, hand-poured plastic baits available. There was an array of baits in many of the booths. Tubes, worms, shads, craws and many others were available in various colour combinations and sizes.
  • Local Lure Manufacturers - Part Two - Last year I wrote an article for this newsletter on local lure makers. Since penning that piece, I've continued to look for even more great bait makers residing close to my home town. Here's the scoop on three Ottawa-area lure makers you might want to consider contacting to fill a void in your tackle box for the upcoming season.
  • Making Your Own Wire Leaders - The transition between open- and hard-water fishing can be a painful wait for anglers. We sharpen hooks, tie flies, and organize our tackle boxes. Why not add making wire leaders to your list of things to do. In this article I discuss how to make single-strand wire leaders. Although leaders are nothing more than a section of wire with loops holding snaps and swivels, it is the forming of the loops that is crucial.
  • Mantus Anchors - The Mantus Boat Anchor is a high-performance, new generation boat anchor and yacht anchor. The best holding power anchor.
  • Min Kota's I-Pilot Magic Revealed - The convergence of technologies such as digital compasses, GPS, Sonar and chart plotters has been attempted by many marine companies over the years with mixed results.
  • Multi-Task Fishing Outfits (all about fishing rods) - Don't worry, this article has nothing to do with updating your boat wardrobe or shopping for fishing clothes! 'Outfits,' just refers to rod and reel combos. And in this case, each is worth carrying or investing in, because they're useful and really versatile, no matter where you fish or what you fish for. If you're into golf, these are the utility wedges. If you're a handyman, they're the multi-tools. What they lack in single-use perfection, they make up for in adaptability.
  • Polarized Glasses - Talk about a no no; its like going muskie fishing without long-nose pliers and quality hook cutters if you dont have emdont go! Quality polarized glasses are an absolute must for any good muskie or pike fisher.
  • Prepare Your Fishing Gear for the Winter - As an angler, one of the things I least look forward to is preparing my fishing rods and tackle for storage over the long winter to come. Last year I put my gear in the basement and basically forgot about it. I guess I was hoping there would be one more fishing trip, unfortunately I had no such luck.
  • Putting The Boat to Bed - As the days grow shorter and the chills begin to take hold, the sad task of preparing the boat for its yearly hibernation has once again arrived. Winterizing your pride and joy is a necessary step to protect your investment while in deep freeze, and will also see it running in tip-top shape once the season resumes.
  • Slip Bobbers At Slush Time - Inside the shack, waves of heat unfurled from our iron stove's belly full of hardwood. I looked like a half-peeled banana, sitting in my sweatshirt after shucking off the top half of my one-piece survival suit. Outside, the lake's skin heaved, buckled and popped under the New Year's first major cold snap. Dead center in a ten-inch hole below my feet, the light balsa float had suddenly shaken to life
  • Sock it to the Fish - Weather conditions are a fact of life for those that choose to wet a line. From pounding rain to sauna-like heat and everything in between we stoically stare down Mother Nature when there are fish waiting to be caught. But give us wind and we curse its existence all while blowing mercilessly amongst the waves with each gust it rains down on us.
  • Spinnerbaits: The Swiss Army Knife Of Lures - There aren't many pieces of water in Ontario that don't have either smallmouth or pike in them. In a lot of cases, largemouth, walleyes and muskies are also available. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a single family of lures to cast and troll for all of the above? What if it solidly hooked the biters, came through all kinds of cover cleanly and was safe and easy for releasing fish?
  • Spinning Reel Maintenance - Reel maintenance is often overlooked by anglers and negligence leads to damaged gear that can fail under pressure. This article is an overview of spinning reel maintenance. To get the details on reel upkeep, I contacted Steve Gribbon, owner of Reel to Reel Plus, a fishing reel and rod repair company in Stittsville, Ontario.
  • Spoons An Absolute Must For All Anglers. - If there is one all around lure that an angler could get away with using throughout the entire year and it would give them an excellent shot at landing a fish, it would be a spoon. Pike, walleye, salmon, bass and all trout take spoons either by casting, trolling or jigging them.
  • Spring Cleaning Your Fishing Equipment - As we bid farewell to winter and look to beckon in spring, anglers everywhere begin to ready their equipment for the upcoming season. When it comes to importance, the tools you use to catch fish can make or break your day when out on the water. With this thought in mind, I've devised this simple checklist for getting your gear ready and in top condition for the most optimum performance and security.
  • Staying Warm when Cold Weather Fishing - In autumn and winter anglers should ensure they are properly dressed for cold weather conditions. I'm astounded, and slightly envious, of the anglers I see wearing jeans who are able to fish the entire day in cold temperatures. Although they tough it out, I'm confident they would be more comfortable if outfitted with proper clothing and were dressed in layers.
  • Storing Your Ice Fishing Gear - Keep a notebook handy to audit your gear as you store it. Jot down a list of tackle and equipment in need repair or replacement. Update the document during the off-season as you take care of these angling errands. Also record any maintenance you do so you won't be left guessing about tasks next year.
  • The Beauty of Tying Bucktails - Bucktail jigs are extremely effective, but underutilized, baits for many game fish. These jigs not only catch fish, but are easy to make. To begin making your own jigs, you will need to invest in proper tools and tying materials. Below are the tying basics to start saving a few dollars, and cashing in on bucktails.
  • The Fundamentals of Fluoro - As the old adage goes, the weakest link between you and a fish falls squarely on the shoulders of your line. With a market saturated with choices, including monofilament, copolymer, and braid, shedding some light on the latest to join the fraternity fluorocarbon will help you become a more informed, and successful angler.
  • The Skinny on Portable Ice Huts - The bitter wind blew furiously, pelting me with unforgiving force, while sapping my warmth and enthusiasm. I struggled to clench my ultra light rod, my grip loosening as my glove raised a white flag to the invisible enemy we all call cold. Then, the snow started to fall. Not tranquil flakes Norman Rockwell might depict, but the ferocious, mean-spirited kind that only the Grinch could conjure up to spoil a deserving child's Christmas.
  • Three Ice Fishing Jigs - When it comes to buying ice jigs, anglers are faced with dozens of choices, including: colours, brand names, hook and jig sizes. One of the most basic features of an ice fishing jig is its style. There are three main types of ice fishing jigs: horizontal, vertical and 45 degree angle models. Each should take up some space in your tackle box, here's a look at why and when you should use them.
  • Tip-Up Upkeep - One thing that's nice about a tip-up is they don't require a lot of maintenance. I think that's part of their appeal, that and they last a long time," says Eric Poster of HT Enterprises, Inc. Odds are if you're an ice angler you own tip-ups, and to many of us, they're a critical component to the hard-water season. Like fishing reels, underwater-style tip-ups require occasional maintenance.
  • Tips for Storing Your Ice Fishing Gear - It can be tough to focus on properly putting away your ice fishing gear with open-water fast approaching, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  • Tricks of the Trade for Trailers - Whether it is to pull a boat or transport an ATV, the majority of outdoor folk rely heavily on trailers to get their equipment from point A to B. Most of us know the reasoning behind ramp etiquette, as well as the importance of hitch strength and ball size. But what about the real nitty-gritty, the tricks of the trade that can only be gained through years of pulling on the road?
  • Trolling Motor Maintenance - The electric trolling motor is one of the greatest pieces of technology in sport fishing today. Although relatively low-maintenance in design, these motors do require attention now-and-then to ensure they're working properly. Neglect to perform regular checks and you'll find yourself temporarily without a motor and coughing up cash for repairs or a new model.
  • Trusting Tip Ups - In ice fishing a lot of the spotlight has recently focused on run-and-gun tactics with jigging rods. Yet in the shadow of this approach lurks a tried-and-true technique that fools hundreds of fish each season - tip-ups. Tip-ups are sometimes perceived as a secondary, or lesser, method for ice fishing. However, when properly used these presentations can be extremely successful, sometimes out-fishing jigging rods.
  • Vexilar Upkeep - Eager to move, the angler quickly packed his gear, grabbed the rope to his portable hut, and walked over to another hole several feet away. Upon arrival, he turned, looking back to see that his flasher and a rod had fallen out of the sled. "The walk was only a few yards, what were the odds?" he thought. Is this angler you?
  • What tackle to use? - Fishing weed lines involves brute force when fish decide to wrap you around the weed stalks and selecting the proper rod is paramount to getting the fish out. The problem for most is that selecting a good flipping stick is a daunting task and I can no longer count the amount of flipping sticks that have felt good in the store, but just cant cut it on the water.


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Pages Last Updated On: 9-Jan-2018