Gone Fishin: How to Deck Out Your Boat for a Successful Fishing Trip

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There are lots of ways to have an enjoyable fishing experience. Sitting by the side of the lake with your basic rod and reel and some worms can make for a great day. However, there’s really nothing quite like the feel of being out on the water for an afternoon of smooth sailing on your pontoon boat. You can relax with friends or family, get some sun, have a picnic lunch and, of course, do some angling. Having the latest and greatest boating accessories and equipment can make things even better. Read the tips below to learn how to deck out your boat for a successful fishing trip.

Choose Your Vessel

First and foremost, you and your companions need a quality boat to carry you along the lake. You may already have a pontoon boat you’re proud of and happy with. Even so, dedicated fishing aficionados tend to upgrade their vessel every six years or so. If you’re in the market for a new boat, be sure to research your options for getting the best deal on a quality boat. Investing some extra time now will ensure the best experience on the water later.

Equip Yourselves

Next, you and your fishing comrades will need to have the best rod and reel to suit your needs. In this case, “the best” doesn’t always mean the most expensive. Consider the type of fish you’re angling for, the age of each angler, your overall budget and the reviews of other consumers. This is an area in which satisfaction depends upon personal preference, but you can at get a general idea of what brands and types of equipment are well-loved on the market these days.

Ensure Safety

Safety is essential to having a wonderful fishing trip. This encompasses many aspects. Read up on the latest boating regulations in your area. Make sure to have the proper life vests and other safety equipment aboard your boat so you’re prepared in case of accident or malfunction. Also, don’t forget the safety of your actual boat. Deck equipment like ladders, navigation lights and corner caps ensure measures are taken to prevent accidents before they can occur. When buying boating accessories, always choose reputable companies like Pontoon Stuff for your purchases. Don’t risk receiving inferior products when it comes to safety measures.

There are so many other ways you can enhance your fishing trip. Adding fum tech gadgets like fish finders and the like is fun, but decking out your boat with the essentials in fishing equipment, safety measures and a good quality boat itself will have you on your way to a successful day on the lake.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakley Facebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

Tips For Walleye Fishing

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Tips For Walleye Fishing The backbone to becoming a good fisher of walleye fish needs not only the physical skill of fisheries but also the knowledge on the fish. Being able to understand your fish will not only help you in making a big catch but also in understanding the characteristics of your fish. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xNJXM21y18 … Continue reading Tips For Walleye Fishing

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The Art of Fishing and How to Get Your Kids to Love It

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Image Source: Pixabay

By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog
The ability to fish is one of the most important tools in a survivalist’s arsenal. It pretty much guarantees that as long as they have access to clean water, they’ll be able to feed and hydrate themselves sustainably. Fish is a clean, tasty and nutritious food source and the act of fishing itself is a noble and therapeutic endeavour that rewards skill, wits, planning and patience.

It’s a really important skill to pass on to your kids too. Many fathers, sons, mothers and daughters have bonded throughout the centuries over the planning of the trip, celebrating the catch and preparing, cooking and eating the fish together as a family. It’s a great experience for any family, but the survivalist it’s doubly important because you’re imparting a skill that will ensure their health and wellbeing in difficult circumstances, giving you peace of mind and pride in their accomplishments.

But in today’s world of social media and video games, kids are finding it harder than ever to muster the focus required to fish. Here are some helpful tips to get them used to appreciating and enjoying the art of fishing.

Start Young

Kids are never too young to learn the value of nutrition and where their food comes from (more on that in a moment). You might think that your child lacks the patience or maturity to take an interest in fishing but the truth is that you can start laying the foundations for an appreciation of nature at a very early age. Taking them for walks in the woods and getting them used to the sights, sounds and textures of trees, dirt and water will predispose them for a love and understanding of nature so that they’re just itching with anticipation when the time comes to get in the water.

Many children lose interest in activities if they do poorly at the start so before they even get near the water, so make a game of practicing their side-arm cast in advance of their first fishing trip so that they’ll be gratified when their preparation pays off.

Kit Them Out

Your kids need to understand the importance of having the right equipment so it’s important not only to get them the right stuff but involve them in the process. Talk them through the different rods, fishing reels, lines and bait; their virtues and shortcomings. There are many starter kits on the market that vary wildly in quality. If they’re rushing for the kit that features their favorite superhero or Disney princess, just let them know that the kit contained within is likely poorly made and disposable and that they deserve better.

For Goodness’ Sake

Make sure your kids know the value of this activity for them. So few kids these days know where their food comes from and they might even struggle to see the correlation between the fish you catch in the lake and the fish they see on the plate. Be sure to sell them on the nutritional benefits of fish and the benefit that fishing will have on their lives.

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Measure Distance Using Compass

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Your compass is a measuring tool that can be adapted to a variety of needs. As shown here, it can be used to measure more than just direction.

You can use your magnetic compass to determine the width of a stream or small body of water without having to get wet. This quick and easy method of determining distance using a compass may just come in handy. In any case, it is always a good trick you can use to amaze your fellow survivors.

Here is how it is done.

1. Standing at the edge of the water, sight an object directly across from you on the far bank. Take a compass reading on this object and mark the spot where you are standing.

2. Walk along the stream until the compass reading to the same object across the stream changes by 45-degrees and mark this spot also.

3. Now measure the distance between the two marks you set. This will be equal to the distance between the first mark and the object you sighted across the stream.

For example:

Say you are standing next to a stream and directly across from you on the opposite bank is a large tree. Take out your compass and sight the tree. 

Let’s pretend the compass reads 300-degrees (Azimuth type compass) or S30W (Quadrant type compass). Mark this spot and then walk either downstream or upstream until the compass sighting on the same tree reads 45-degrees in either direction from your first reading (either 255-degrees or 345-degrees on an azimuth type compass, S15E or N15W on a quadrant type compass). 

Mark this position also. The width of the stream is equal to the distance between your two marks on the ground. If you have practiced pacing (and every survivor should) you can count the number of paces between the two marks and calculate the width of the stream.

The best survivalists are skilled in using whatever materials at hand in novel ways that give him an edge over his environment. “Thinking out of the box” is a trademark of the true survivor.

~Urban Man~

Bowfishing for Survival

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Outdoor Life

Planning to bug out along the waterways, rivers, or coastal areas?

Great! You’re in the right hands.

In this post, I’ll teach you a new skill (and an effective way of gathering food while out there) – bowfishing for survival.

Also referred to as archery fishing, this practice involves using your bow to catch the fish. And you can easily do it in shallow water or from your little boat- making it one of the most flexible adventures on planet Earth.

Sounds interesting, right?

You’ll discover even more exciting details as you read our full bowfishing guide which I’ll walk you through in a few moments…

 

WAIT…if you think that archery fishing isn’t practical or you can’t do it, just think of the Indians who reside by the Amazon River and rely on bowfishing to catch their daily bread.

 

Bowfishing for Survival – How To Catch Fish With Your Bow:

 

Arm Yourself With the Right Bowfishing Equipment

via bowhunting.com

Just like any other job, bowfishing requires you to equip yourself with the right equipment.

If you’re a serious hunter, I believe that you have most of these tools, so you’ll just need to pack them into your backpack and head to the waters.

If you don’t have them, don’t worry. You can get them anytime you want…they’re readily available on the market at reasonable prices.

These equipment include:

– A bow: yes, this is bowfishing, and you’ll need a bow to make it work. But which bow should you use? I’d suggest that you go for the compound or recurve bows. Clearly, these will give you the best results.

Both bows share a number of aspects and will offer sufficient drive force to send an arrow right into the heart of the fish…plus they consume less space in your boat.

– You’ll need a set of arrows in your bowfishing endeavors. But don’t make the mistake of picking just any other type of arrow. The perfect set should comprise of arrow made using light wood or fiberglass material. They should also have a sharp pointer that easily pierces through the fish.

– Hey, you’ll also need some bowfishing reel…and I mean the best bowfishing reel, not any reel.

(Optional, depending on the fishing situation) bowfishing gear includes gloves, rubber hip waders, and sunglasses with polarized lenses.

 

I assume you’ve the above “tools of work” with you right now, right?

Let the fun begin!!

 

#1. Pick a suitable water body

Choose a water body that will enable you to catch fish and give you the desired results easily. If you prefer a shallow after body, be sure to fish around your target fish- particularly close to the grasses and weeds that provide cover. And, of course, make sure the environment is clean so that you can see beneath the water surface.

Typically, you should be within a range of 3-4.6 meters (10-15feet) from the fish you wish to bow down. Ensure you don’t cast a shadow over the fish as this might spook and frustrate your bowfishing efforts.

Also, consider approaching your target from the upwind location.

 

#2. AIM your Target fish

Get ready for the most important step of bowfishing- aiming your target.

How exactly do I do that?”

Are you wondering already?

Well, all you have to do is point your bow at the target fish and shoot it…nothing new

But there’s one trick you need to learn to correctly shoot that fish you’re targeting:

That is, how to point your bow at the fish you wish to catch. See, the light traveling from one medium to next (air to water in this case) results in refractions. Thus, you’ll see the refracted image (the apparent fish) of the fish you’re targeting more clearly on the water surface.

And if you point at the apparent fish, your arrow might go high, and you’ll perfectly miss your target!

Many bow fishers have learned this lesson the hard way, and if you ask them, they’ll all give you this piece of advice:

Point your bow as low as possible!

 

#3. Don’t Forget this Important Bowfishing RULE:

via bowsite.comMake a closer observation of your target fish:

If it appears about 3m (10 feet) away and 30cm (1foot) underneath the water surface, then you MUST point your bow 10cm (4 inches) low.

What if the fish appears in a different location? For instance, let’s say the fish appears about 6m (20 feet) away and 60cm (2feet) underneath the water surface. In such scenario, it means the location has doubled…

and you’ll have to double the 10cm as well. In other words, you’ll have to point 20cm (8inches) low.

It’s that simple!

If you utilize this 10-4 rule in all your bowfishing practices, I can guarantee you that you’ll bag more fish than you can imagine.

 

#4. Time To Make That Shot!

Congrats! You’re on the last step to catching your target fish with your bow.

But there’s a real problem here:

You have to hit your target such that it dies right away…and that means that you’ve to target the first half part of the body of the fish. Needless to explain, this section contains many vital organs such as the brain, meaning you’ll kill it on the spot.

We all know that fish can swim really FAST in water. So, you don’t have much time between pointing and shooting. I believe that your archery experience has taught you speed and accuracy which you’ll need to apply here.

What if you’re targeting the bigger fish- like alligator?

You’ll need to shoot them at least twice so that you can strike them down.

After a lucky shot, pull in the line quickly. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to catch fishes at a single stroke with bowfishing!

 

Wrap UP

I told you bowfishing isn’t that hard! After reading through the above guide, I believe you can catch some fish with only your bow and arrows.

This is a fun-filled practice that does take you no time to perfect it. With the right archery equipment and our expert guide above, you’ll be awed by how easy it is to catch fish!

 

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Hunting vs Buying Meat: The Traditional Hunter in the Modern World

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This article was originally published by J. Townsend  on harvestingnature.com

This whole thought process was derived from a conversation about the sustainability of hunting in modern times. Many people feel that hunting for food has outlived its use in modern America. Well, with the recent changes in our eating habits, as in searching out fast food instead of fresh food, hunting had been surpassed. There is still an emerging group which believe we should kick the fast food and revert to the traditional “Farm to Table” way of eating. I agree with much of this philosophy and wish to take it a step further. I am here to represent those who feel that a family can sustain a portion of their diet with game meat. I know many of you see this and think you would have to spend your every day hunting and fishing in order for that to work. Simply not true.

In thousands of rural areas (and some non-rural areas) there are people who either are supplementing their diets partially or fully with game meat. I have to admit that when I was younger there were many things that I though you could only shoot or catch to obtain. It wasn’t until I got to college when I realized that you could buy catfish from the store. I had believed, due to my outdoor upbringing, that if you wanted catfish, you went to the river/lake/pond to catch it.

I have also heard the argument that many people could not live a lifestyle where you sustain yourself on wild game. They say that they prefer to not see where their food originates. They cannot stand to eat food with bones in it or eyes staring at them. My only advice to these people is that they trust too much in the grocery store to get their food. Those same people have not seen the cramped dirty feed lots or the packed chutes of a slaughter-house. They could not handle the sights and many would revert to vegetarianism. Me, I prefer to get my meat from the wild.

I offer up hunting and fishing as an alternative to the dependency upon store-bought meat to those people who don’t mind processing your own animals or eating a fish that looks up at you from the grill. Simply put, hunting and fishing is a healthier and more economical way of providing the necessary proteins that you need for your diet versus going to the store and buying a package of ground what-ya-ma-call-it.  I don’t wish to deceive anyone, it is certainly a lot more challenging to track and kill and animal then it is to go to the super market. But where is the independence in that?

In the end, the total cost of hunting and fishing enough meat for a family of three will be substantially lower than the cost of buying a somewhat equal product at the store. You can sustain yourself by simply securing a selected amount of five different game animals (Deer, Elk, Turkey, Rabbit, and Wild Pig) and three different fish (Tuna, Catfish, and Trout). The animals you choose to hunt can be changed to suit your specific region. Let’s break it down.

The USDA recommends the average person (children, women, and men) consume 5 – 7 ounces of protein a day broken down into 2-3 servings. So we will use is 6 ounces of protein a day for the average person. This gives us 2184 ounces of protein consumption for the entire year. Converting this to pounds will make it easier for our calculations. The average human should consume 136.5 lbs of protein a year.

Here is an average breakdown of the yield from my selected game animals.

Quantity 

Animal

Live  Weight

Edible  Yield

1

Deer (Buck)

165lbs

58lbs

1

Elk

400lbs

197lbs

2

Turkey

20lbs each

22lbs

12

Rabbit

3lbs each

18lbs

1

Wild Pig

150lbs

90lbs

2

Yellow Tail Tuna

30lbs each

30lbs

4

Trout

2lbs each

5lbs

10

Catfish

5lbs each

15lbs

Total = 435lbs of meat

435lbs of meat is enough to sustain three individuals for a period of about a year. As an alternative, if the choice to hunt an elk is not reasonable then you could exclude this from the equation. You would then have 85% of your total protein consumption for two people from game meat. The other 15% would include the consumption of other sources of protein such as eggs, nuts, and beans or the addition of another fish or game animal.  There is certainly room to play around with the figures. This model serves merely as a base line for the sake of debate.

Deer and Elk would take the place of beef in your diet. Turkey and Rabbit would replace chicken. Wild Pork will substitute store-bought pork and hand caught fish would replace that fresh/frozen purchased or canned. Average prices for the store purchased meats will be combined with the total yields of wild game and fish.

 

Quantity  

Animal

Edible  Yield

Total Game Yield

1

Deer (Buck)

58lbs

255lbs

1

Elk

197lbs

Store Bought Beef (Average price $4.71/pound) x 255lbs = $1201.00

 

Quantity 

Animal

Edible  Yield

Total Game Yield

2

Turkey

22lbs

40lbs

12

Rabbit

18lbs

Store Bought Poultry (Average price $1.37/pound) x 40lbs = $54.80

 

Quantity  

Animal

Edible  Yield

Total  Game Yield

1

Wild Pig

90lbs

90lbs

Store Bought Pork (Average price $3.15/pound) x 90lbs = $283.50

Quantity 

Animal

Edible  Yield

Total  Game Yield

2

Yellow Tail Tuna

30lbs

50lbs

4

Trout

5lbs

10

Catfish

15lbs

Store Bought Yellow Tail Tuna (Average price $18.00/pound) x 30lbs =  $540.00

Store Bought Trout (Average price $6.50/pound) x 5lbs =  $32.50

Store Bought Catfish (Average price $3.99/pound) x 15lbs =  $59.85

  Total: $ 632.35

 

Total Store Bought Meat for one year for a household of three = $2171.65

I know, you are thinking to yourself, that’s not that too bad for three people. Here is how we will figure the benefit of landing your own meat. This example works for me here in California. For others it may be cheaper or more expensive depending on where you live. There will still be a substantial difference in the totals.

The total for all the necessary licenses and tags for the state of California equals $164.53. The cost of a deep-sea fishing expedition out of San Diego is $46.00. California hosts a random drawing for the Elk tags so I chose Washington for my Elk meat because the state allows an open purchase. In Washington, a Non-Resident Elk Tag is $497.00 and a Resident Elk Tag is $50.00. So that gives us a Grand Total of $260.00 or $707.00depending on how you play your cards. That is a savings of $1688.00/year on average.

There are really only two variables present in the equation. If you do not have the necessary equipment then you would have to purchase such equipment prior to hunting or fishing. This would be an upfront cost which would diminish over time as you acquired the equipment. The second would be your success rate. This model is based upon a 100% success rate. Each year you would be hunting for your food for the following year. If you failed to meet the quota for a specific season then you could modify your plan to encompass other game animals or supplement the remainder of your diet with other sources of protein depending on the time of the year.

The health benefits are certainly present. Game meat has been proven to be leaner and more beneficial to your body than domesticated livestock. The condition from which wild game is harvested is much cleaner, environmentally safer, and healthier than its domesticated counterparts. As an added bonus, the general worry about injected hormones, toxins, steroids, and additives are eliminated. What you harvest is safe for your body. Now your food is as organic and local as it gets. Not to mention, the pursuit of game requires some level of active participation which forces you to live a more involved lifestyle as you pursue your food.

So, in the end, it is more sustainable, healthier, and more economical to hunt and fish for your meat versus purchasing them from the store. What are you waiting for? Grab you pack and get outside!

The Lost Ways is a survival book that shows you how to survive using only methods that were tested and proven by our forefathers for centuries. The best way to survive the next major crisis is to look back at how people did things 150 years ago. This book is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread—like people did when there was no food—to building a traditional backyard smokehouse. Watch the video below:

 

Source : harvestingnature.com

 

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How To get Started With Fishing

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Although most of our readers live in the big city, I always recommend spending time outdoors and learning a survival skill or two.  Even if nothing happens, you’ll have a relaxing time, and learn to find food for the family in the outdoors.  Last month, we featured getting started with hunting.  This month, we take a look at fishing as a hobby. How To get Started With Fishing Written by Lisa Summertime is finally here; it’s now time to go […]

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Do You Need That to Survive: Fishing Tackle and Pole

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Do you need to carry fishing tackle and pole in your survival kit? If you are skilled enough, you can make your own tackle, and a pole can be virtually anything on which you can attach a line. However, why go through all the trouble of making your own when you can carry a small […]

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Fly Fishing Tips

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Fly fishing is an enjoyable activity. Besides, I sincerely believe it’s a good skill to have for preppers and survivalists. While it’s definitely not as cool as learning how to shoot with a rifle but it’s pretty practical. Fly fishing can provide a stable source of food and it’s comparatively easier compared to hunting.

With years of experience in fly fishing as well as the tips and advises other expert fly fishers shared with me, I can share a few efficient fly fishing tips with you.

Know the common fly fishing terminology.

This by itself wouldn’t help you learn or improve your fly fishing skills (though it has tons of indirect benefits). First of all, fly fishing like any other things has special terms that the community tends to refer. Just take SHTF (Shit Hit The Fan) for example, it’s a common term survivalists use to illustrate a catastrophic situation. Knowing these terms help you understand the subject better (in this case it’s fly fishing) and allow you to communicate with people of the same interest.

 

So here are some common terminology to understand. The end section of the rod where you hold on is the butt. The round elongated metal things that stick out are guides. rear-most guides, (one or two which is a function of the weight of the rod,) are stripping guides. The remaining guide are called snake guides – the highest one is referred as tip top.

 

The reel is fit on the rod at the reel seat. The reel is hung down under the rod. One of the feet which is on the reel slides into an opening in the reel seat. There will be a piece of metal which slides over the other foot of the reel and attaches the reel on the rod butt. It may come from the top of the reel seat, which is known as down-locking, or come up from the base of the reel seat, which is called up-locking.

Know where the fish are.

In the recent fly fishing expert roundup I did, one of the common tips these expert preach is to know where the fish are. This is something you will get better over time. I have some tips for you though.

 

Areas around a stream that meet these 3 conditions will tend to have the most fish. They are shelter, food and low current. It could be around some big rocks where the stream current is low giving the fish a place to rest and feed. The rocks also act as shelters which provide protection.

 

Note: Fish tend to hang around low current areas as they don’t need to expend huge amount of energy.

 

These days, finding fish is a lot easier though. You can use a fish finder device which basically detects where the fish are using ultrasound technology.

Know and Learn about your reel.

Learn how to disassemble, take it apart, change the spools or cassettes quickly, easily and comfortably. Ensure that inside of each spool, including spares, is marked as to what each line is.

 

Also, it’s important to know where the drag adjustment is and how to adjust it to suit specific situations. Setting the right drag adjustment for your fishing reel is crucial as it will prevent the line from breaking.

 

There are no hard and fast rules here. The optimal drag adjustment will be different across different waters and fishes you are after.

String the Line to your rod properly.

This is one of the common mistakes I see many beginners make. They are either careless or don’t know how they should attach the line to their rod properly.

 

Here is how you should do it. Once you attach the reel, you should pull off some line. Fold the fly line over with the rod butt on the ground with the handle of the reel facing upwards. Move along the rod and run the folded line through each guide. Check to ensure that you haven’t missed any.

Note: The tiny metal loop very close to the butt is not a guide, it’s just to hook your fly when you are not fishing.

Learn to tie some basic knots.

 

You don’t need to learn all the different kinds of knots to be good at fly fishing. Master some basics one like the Surgeons, clinch and improved clinch knots are good enough to get you started.

 

There are many Youtube Videos out there that will guide you step-by-step. It’s important to practice tying these knots if you want to be somewhat good at it.

Figure out which kind of grip you will use.

We personally advice and prefer to teach our students, to hand the crank of the reel by the left hand, but if you are left-handed use your right hand.

 

When casting the line, the hand you use doesn’t really matter but when it comes to playing and landing a fish you want to use your strongest hand to increase your odds. Since it’s obvious you wouldn’t want to switch hands in the midst of the process, it’s best to do everything right from the start.

Be appropriately dressed.

There are a few important things to note when it comes to dressing. First of all, you don’t want to wear attires with bright colors simply because it’s easily visible above the water. It’s advisable to pick colors that are similar to the surroundings which acts like a camouflage.

 

Secondly, you just have to be comfortable. Don’t pick attires that looks great but restrict movements. Some examples I can think of right now are tight shirts and jeans that prevents your hands and legs from moving freely.

 

Also, make sure you wear a pair of polarized sunglasses especially if you are fly fishing on sunny seasons. Polarized sunglasses enable you to look at the trouts and fishes below the water clearly.

Conclusion

Hopefully the tips shared above will help you become a better and more efficient fly fisherman. If you are really interested in learning more about fly fishing, here are some more resources that are completely free to get started.

 

Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Centre (by far the most comprehensive A-Z fly fishing resource I have ever seen).

 

50 Experts Share Their 3 Fly Fishing Tips (Great insights from 50 experts in regards to the 3 things they wish they knew when they first got started).

Author Bio: Hi guys, I am John, an avid outdoorsmen that blogs over at epicwilderness.com. I am by no means an expert but I will be sharing all the useful tips I learnt along the way with you.

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How to Build Your Own Survival Fishing Kit

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How to Build Your Own Survival Fishing Kit   There is no getting around it. Fish are your best source of protein in a survival situation. There is simply nothing else you can put on the menu that will satisfy your protein needs that comes as easy as fish. That said, having a survival fishing …

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Hands Off Fishing Techniques

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Hands Off Fishing Techniques There are no two ways about it. Fishing is the best way to get protein in a survival situation, period. Even chasing small game can be an endeavor that proves unsuccessful. Knowing how to setup snares and traps will increase your odds but I still say look to the water for …

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Preppers and Survivalists Must Be Hunters and Gatherers

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woods_hunting_deer

empty_grocery_shelvesIt just isn’t realistic to think all of our prepping supplies will hold out forever. My family, friends, and I may have devised the best survival plan there is, even better than most of the selection of “you can make it” books at the big box book store.  But, as time dwells on, the supplies will dwindle. Maybe our Bug In survival scheme has enough food stocked for the millennium.  Good for us.  Tell me again how long that is?  Not unlike the Lord’s return if you believe in that survival book, we know not when the end comes.  So, how do you plan for it?  

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Likewise, my loved ones and I had the forethought and the financial commitment to branch out to secure a designated Bug Out backup survival location.  This comes complete with a farmhouse, water well, and rural power.  A backup generator with a 1000 gallon fuel tank surely ought to last long enough until stability returns.  Well, we hope so anyway.

At the Bug Out, our panty is chocked full of long term foods, a mix of food types, and tastes.  With the available water we can mix up just about any variety of menu concoctions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a few snacks thrown in.  We are among the lucky ones to have provisioned so well for the long haul.  

Time Bears On

We’re six months into the SHTF and doubt is starting to creep in.  The food stocks have gone past the first three rows in the cabinets, and now variety selections are waning.  Everybody is getting tired of canned meats, and if they eat another helping of tuna, they may start to grow gills.  Everybody’s eyes are not green with envy, but green from all the green beans and green peas.  Sure we are fine, but we all want something more, something different.  

Our Bug In residence is only two blocks away from a wooded area, and open sage fields teeming with natural life, both plant and animal.   The Bug Out escape house is near a huge forested area.   So far, neither area seems to have been approached by anybody else in the immediate area.  Scouting hikes provides good Intel that nobody seems to be using these available resources.  It’s time to take advantage of this situation.  

Hunting Becomes Necessity

squirrel_hunting_meatThis section is not so much about how to hunt, but more emphasis on the why we should.  Apart from whatever food supplies we laid by in store, we should be mixing in available game meat to supplement our diets.  Actually this should be done from the get go.  This makes our pantry supplies extend further well into a longer period of unrest or instability, or no new food supplies at the usual outlets.  We have to learn to supply some of our own food resources. The argument here too is for the value of this supplemental food source.  I am not a nutritionist, but everything I read about food recommends that protein is a good thing.  In a SHTF survival situation, adding meat to a diet would seem to be a very wise move.  

Read Also: Fallkniven Professional Hunting Knife 

What will you hunt?  If you have never hunted before and nobody in the group if there is one has never hunted, then you need to start to learn how now.  Books, videos, hunting television, seminars, and other participation activities can bring you up to speed fairly quickly.  I highly recommend a good library of hunting books, and everything to do related to the subject.  

Now, if you are an experienced hunter already, then you know what to do.  Generally this activity is initiated by on the ground scouting to inventory what game might be available to harvest.  This can be done by simple stealth hikes into prospective hunting areas.  Maintain as secret and as low a profile as you can.  Once you fire a gun to hunt, then you have given notice of your presence.  Archery is also an option to consider.   

Scouting can also be accomplished to a certain degree by observing via optics from a distance away.  You must have good binoculars and or a spotting scope to do this part well.  You are looking for obvious signs of game movement, tracks, deer rubs, and other game sign.  Visual confirmation of game in the areas is a really good start.  

hog_hunting_survivalWhat game might you expect to find?  Naturally this essentially depends on where you are in the country.  The United States is very blessed with a long list of wild game species available for pursuit via hunting.  The short list is white-tailed and mule deer, elk, antelope, goats, sheep, big bears, big cats, wild hogs and wild turkey.  Small game could be rabbits, squirrel, raccoon, and such.  Upland game will include all kinds of bird species from quail, dove, woodcock, pheasant, grouse, and the list goes on.  If water is around, you may find waterfowl in ducks and geese.  Find out what is normally available where you live and where your Bug Out site is located.  Your state wildlife agency will have a web site and likely pamphlets for this information.    

For hunting you will likely already have the necessary firearms including a decent, accurate, scoped rifle, one of at least .30 caliber, but a .223 or others can be used with the correct hunting type ammo.  Small game can be hunted with a rimfire rifle or handgun.  A shotgun will be useful for birds, waterfowl and small game.  Have a variety of shotshells on hand besides self-defense type loads. Certainly, you can add all types of hunting gear and accessories including hunting clothing, camouflage, knives, game bags, and everything else to help you secure the game meat you need.

Sport Fishing for Sustenance

fishing_survival_nutritionWhen we highlight hunting, we do not mean to slight or ignore the freshwater or saltwater fishing opportunities where you might reside during a SHTF.  As you have prepared for hunting, also prepare for fishing.  Fish are a high priority, good quality food to add to the menu. As with game animals, research what fishing opps are available to you and which types of fish can be caught.  I won’t list all the possibilities here, because the variety is so regional.  You should know your area well enough to know about fishing lakes, rivers, streams, and even small rural farm ponds, any water source that might hold edible fish.  Take the same advice on fishing as with hunting, if you do not know how.

Stock up on basic fishing tackle, rods, reels, line, lures, tackle supplies, hooks, weights, etc.  Have the whole shooting match on hand.  Again, a good book on general fishing will describe what to buy, and how to use it.  You may find also like hunting that fishing is a good recreational activity as well.  You’ll need that as well to support mental health during trying times.  

Gathering

survival_garden_forage_foodThis is my own weakness beyond knowing how to grow a garden.  By all means make plans and provisions for growing a garden of any size.  As you know Mother Nature also provides many sources of plant life that can be eaten raw, added to salads, or cooked. Again a good regional resource book will be valuable for finding greens, flowers, seeds, legumes, mushrooms, wild fruits, and other plant-vegetable life that is indigenous to your area.  This resource will be valuable so you’ll know what to gather and how to process it for food.  

Related: Tree Bark as an Emergency Food

So, obviously this was a quick treatise just skimming the bare essentials of food harvesting skills you will need to acquire and practice.  Ideally, you have stored up enough food stuffs to grind it out over a long period of time.  However, it is just smart to learn to supplement these supplies with fresh foods found in your local habitats.  Learn now what these resources are in your area, how to harvest or gather them as supplemental food sources.  

Photos Courtesy of: 

John Woods
OakleyOriginals

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Survival Gear Review: Best Glide Survival Fishing Kit

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Best Glide Fishing Kit

It better be an emergency if you use this thing, because this is not your Daddy’s tackle box.  best_glide_emergency_survival-fishing-kitAll 3 versions of the Best Glide Survival Fishing Kits (Standard, Basic, Compact) are pretty sparse but that is why they are called emergency fishing kits.  If you are building your own Bug Out Bag, I think you could do better with a few hours at the local fishing store creating a small tackle box for you and your family.  But, if you are lazy or just want a cheap insurance policy to throw in your emergency kit, the Best Glide kits will cover your basics.

By Murphy

I would not stake my life on this product but for the size and the weight, it is worth having with you if you don’t have any other options.  Out of the 3 choices, I personally like the Standard version (which you can buy on Amazon for around $20).  Take a look, we tried to fish with the standard version using just a stick, no luck catching a fish but we only tried for about an hour before giving up.  In a survival situation, you might be there a while.  Watch the video below, see what you think.  Like I said, I built my own but I am old school.

Video – Best Glide Emergency Fishing Kit

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Fish Snares – Yo-yos, Gill Nets and Trotlines

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Everyone has heard the saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.” This saying takes on more significance when you put that man in a SHTF scenario. If the world as we know it endures catastrophe and people are scrambling to feed their families, then the food animals in your region will likely be hunted out fast. Both hunted and foraged food will become scarce fairly quickly. Thankfully, since fish reproduce rapidly, there will likely continue to be high quality protein available in larger lakes, rivers, and our oceans. So, becoming proficient at using fish snares is a skill that could mean the difference between starvation and survival.

There are many different ways to catch fish. Fishing with a rod and reel is fun, but time consuming. Just like snares on land can be more productive than hunting, “fish snares” can do the fishing for you while you are doing other things. In this post we cover three different types of automatic fishing solutions: fishing yo-yos, gill nets and trotlines.

Fishing Yoyo

I had never heard of a fishing yo-yo until I was reading the Grid Down Reality Bites book series. Yo-yos are a very low cost way of fishing multiple spots, using a variety of different baits set at different depths. Each automatic fishing reel is made of galvanized steel so it will not rust. They have a spring loaded action that automatically sets the hook and reels in the line when the fish takes the bait. After catching the fish it allows the fish to pull on the line and continues to reel them in. This keeps the fish fresh and alive until you have a chance to retrieve them.

Fish Yoyo

These little mechanical fishing devices can be attached to tree branches, boat docks, the side of a boat, floats, buoys or any way that will suspend the reel a couple of inches above the water. Since they are light and small you can pack a dozen in a bug out bag easily.

Fish Yoyo on Amazon

Gill Net Fishing

What is a gill net? It’s really nothing more than a net wall, weighted at the bottom, with floats pulling the top of the net taut. Each end is attached to buoys or to the shoreline of small waterways. Fishing with a gill net is incredibly effective when they are set up properly. Unfortunately gill nets do not have a very good reputation, especially in the oceans where endangered turtles, dolphins and sharks are often snagged along with the fish the nets are intended to catch. Often very large nets are left unattended, ending up as ocean trash that kills fish needlessly. Many states ban them completely. But used as a survival gill net in a SHTF situation, you can efficiently harvest fish for food.

Gill net Drawing
Image from Michigan Sea Grant

The weight and bulk of the gill net varies depending on the length of the net and the size of the flotation devices. But you can save space for a bug out bag item by removing the floats and tying wood chunks to the top like the Native Americans did.

best glide adventurer survival gill net

Trotline Fishing

What is a trotline? It is really nothing more than a long line with a bunch of hooks on it. Obviously the construction of the line is a little more complicated. There are trotline clips with swivels on them to allow the hooks to move around a little. Then there are trotline brads attached to the main line so that the clips stay spaced properly.

Trotline Parts Pic

If you know how to run a trotline you can catch different types of fish. If you let it rest on the bottom you will catch bottom-feeding fish. Known as a catfishing trotline, these can catch a lot of large fish if left out over night. The best trotline bait for bottom feeders tends to be smelly. Use cut up fish, liver, or commercial catfish baits.

If you add floats to the line or pull the line tight between two solid structures you can raise the line off the bottom and catch a whole different type of fish.

Once you have seen a trotline, you know how to make a trotline for yourself. But unless you want to do something special you might as well buy one that is already put together. They typically come with a trotline winder and a plastic bag to keep the trotline hooks from getting caught on things. This makes it convenient to add to a bug out bag.

magic bait big catch 150 feet trotline white

If you are interested in a crab trotline, click over to Crabbing HQ for more information.

Be Careful With Fish Snares

Just like land snares there are laws and restrictions in every state and country for fish snaring. In a SHTF situation, you do what you have to do to survive. But until then, find out what laws apply in your area while you experiment and practice your snaring skills.

 

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The post Fish Snares – Yo-yos, Gill Nets and Trotlines appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

Camping: Fishing Button

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I first saw this Fishing Button on a Doomsday Prepper video from Scott Hunt, but I have also seen it in many other places online. After making some modifications of my own, I decided to make a couple to stick in my bug out bags. It is smaller and lighter than the other PVC fishing pole […]

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13 Tips To Catch More Fish

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13 Tips To Catch More Fish Fishing is fun no matter what. Whether you’re casting a fly rod for trout in the mountains, flipping and pitching for bucket mouth bass, or soaking a night crawler for farm pond bluegills. However, it’s more fun when you’re catching fish – and the more and bigger the better, right? …

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KastKing Fishing Rod Rack: Fishing Rod Holder Review

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Nothing kills good fishing gear quicker than having it laying around in a pile somewhere in your garage. The KastKing Rod Holder protects your investment and safely stores your favorite fishing rods. […]

The post KastKing Fishing Rod Rack: Fishing Rod Holder Review appeared first on Monster Fish and Game: Fishing and Hunting tips, tricks and techniques.

How To Field Dress A Pheasant In Under Two Minutes

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pheasant_clean_how_to

When calamity strikes and grocery stores become barren, it will be imperative for people to produce their own food. Many individuals who have never hunted will be forced to learn quickly. In my own experience, I’ve found field dressing, not shooting, to be the most challenging part of the hunt. Among those who have never hunted, the prospect of cleaning a bird is probably intimidating.

By D-Ray a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Thankfully a YouTube user, Shawn Woods, has an informative video on how to clean a pheasant in under two minutes.  Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or a novice, this video is impressive. Novice hunters will learn how to expertly field dress and more seasoned hunters can appreciate a speed run.

A Breakdown of the Process

To begin, it is important to understand you are working with six components for removal: head, tail, two wings, and two feet. First, let’s take a look at the legs of your pheasant. The lower, scaled half of pheasant legs connects to the feathered top at a joint. In a circular motion, cut just below this joint and snap the leg of the pheasant back. At this point, the leg should be hanging on by a few tendons. Cut any excess tendons and remove the lower portion of the leg.

Related: Compound Bow Choice For Archery Deer Hunting 

Next, you’ll want to focus on the wings. Pheasant wings are separated by a joint dividing primary and secondary feathers. Grab pheasant_feathers_cleanthe primary section of the wing and bend back sharply breaking the joint. Once the joint is broken, pull back to reveal any connecting tendons. In a similar fashion to the legs, cut these connections to remove the primary  section from the secondary. With the primary section off, you can leave the secondary section to wait for later. This will addressed during the skinning process.

Now for the good part. Grab the base of the pheasants neck and cut. Without too much effort, this will come right off. Remove the pheasant head and use this opening to peel back skin and feathers. With the exception of the remaining secondary feathers, removing this skin should not be too difficult. For the most part, this should be a quick process.

To conclude, cut the pheasant tail at the base and remove. Next, make a small cut along the lower breast portion; this will create clean_pheasant_process_easya hole underneath the breast to allow for access to intestines, heart, gizzard, liver, and other organs. Insert two fingers into this hole, get dirty, and pull out the pheasant guts. In a couple of tries, you should have a pheasant largely removed of all organs.

At the end of this process, Shawn Woods produced a cleaned Pheasant in 1:44 seconds. Perhaps the most impressive part of his process is meat retained. Very little was wasted in this process. Although he did not mention it, pheasant liver and gizzard can be consumed as well. In a survival scenario, you will want to hold on to these for consumption.

What the Video Missed 

While I was impressed with this video, I must throw in a few caveats. You should not emulate the haphazard process of organ removal used in this video. Take a bit of time to carefully remove intestines and other internal organs. Rupturing these inside the pheasant is messy, unhygienic, and smells god-awful. Nobody wants to clean pheasant meat that has been covered in bird feces.

Also Read: Survival Shotgun Selection

A less important note: when removing the legs, don’t sever the tendons outright. Take a bit more time to pull them out of the cooked_pheasant_how_tobird. While this process will make the cleaning more time consuming, it will expedite your cooking process. Speaking of which, the skinning process used in this video could have been a bit more thorough. Rather than frantically pulling at feathers, a slower approach on skinning yields a cleaner, more hygienic bird.

It’s also important to mention that a thorough cleaning process involves looking for shot embedded in the meat. You don’t want to start digging into your pheasant meat to chew down on a mouth full of metal. The bird in this video seemed to be killed in a pretty clean fashion. This isn’t always the case. From time to time, you will kill a pheasant that is, at points, too mangled by shot to be consumed. In these instances, you will be forced to toss ruined meat.

Wrapping It All Up

As this video demonstrates, cleaning a pheasant isn’t an overly difficult or time consuming practice. If you remember to cut your six components and take time to skin, you will produce a cleaned pheasant ready to cook. Also, if you’ve never been hunting, I recommend you go. Bird hunting is a great deal of fun and a valuable skill in survival scenarios.  If you need an excuse to take a few days off and shoot a shotgun, bird hunting is the perfect activity. I challenge you to find an unhappy hunter after a trip out to the woods. The old adage ‘a bad day of fishing beats a good day at work’, is also applicable to hunting.

For the seasoned hunters out there, what is your process? While I think a two minute clean is a little hasty, I was still impressed with the speed clean. Let me know what you think in the comments. Also, feel free to share your hunting experiences.

Photos and Video Courtesy of:
Shawn Woods 
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Lukasz Lukasik

 

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Fishing for Pike and Walleye

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Fishing for Pike and Walleye Josh “7 P’s of Survival” On this episode of the 7 P’s Of Survival radio show we are doing an after action report. Learn all about my two week fishing trip to Lac Sairs, Quebec and it’s tributaries. Over the past two weeks I have been fishing for pike and walleye with … Continue reading Fishing for Pike and Walleye

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All Things Fishing!

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All Things Fishing! Josh “The 7P’s of Survival” This week on the 7 P’s of Survival Radio show we will be talking all things fishing with Brook Pauley a member of the BASS and FLW fishing tours and also the owner of Rocky Brook Sinkers. We will spend time talking about his sinker line, his … Continue reading All Things Fishing!

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8 Do-It-Yourself Fishing Gear Mods

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8 Do-It-Yourself Fishing Gear Mods I love fishing, I love how relaxing it is and then at a moments notice you can go from chilling to full on adrenaline rush when you catch a fish. This is the opening paragraph from the article.. “Disclaimer: By using some of these tricks, you may no longer be …

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Hunting, Fishing, Trapping kits on 7P’s of Survival

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Hunting, Fishing, Trapping kits Josh “The 7P’s of Survival” This week we will discuss my favorite budget friendly items to build your own outdoor sportsmen’s kit. This kit is similar to my long-term self-reliance kit. I spoke about it a few months ago but it’s much more budget friendly, adaptable, basic and generally a good … Continue reading Hunting, Fishing, Trapping kits on 7P’s of Survival

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Purify Water Using Chemical Treatments

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Water purification tablets are a great back up form of water treatment. They are excellent Bug Out Bags and survival kits because they are light weight and inexpensive. Water purification tablets are also great to store in your vehicle or your bug out location to disinfect water on demand.  If the water supply I am drawing from is extremely shady I combine both a filter and the tablets to ensure my safety. Also, be aware that water purification tablets have a shelf life. Check the expiration dates on your tablets and replace any that are expired.

Water purification can come in tablet or droplet form. The tablet form is better because it is a lighter weight that droplets and easy to use when in a stressful situation.

Two water born pathogens that commonly found in untreated water- Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

Cryptosporidium is a genus of apicomplexan protozoans that can cause gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea in humans. According to the CDC it is one of the most frequent causes of waterborne disease among humans in the United States. In a disaster situation where government maintained services are effected, it is highly likely that this protozoa parasite will find its way into our water supply.

Giardia attached to the wall of the small intestines. Giardia is also an infectious protozoa and it is a big deal in emergency preparedness because it can have such a dramatic effect on your health. The symptoms of Giardia, may begin to appear 2 days after infection, include violent diarrhea, excess gas, stomach or abdominal cramps, upset stomach, and nausea. 

The typical infection within an individual can be slight, resolve without treatment in about 2–6 weeks, although sometimes longer and sometimes the infection is more severe requiring immediate medical attention. 

There are three main types of water purification tablets on the market (Chlorine (NaDCC), Iodine and Chlorine Dioxide) . Not all are equal as each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Choose the purification tablet that works the best with your situation and location.



Chlorine Dioxide Tablets (Potable Aqua, Katadyn and Aquamira Brands). Even though the word “chlorine” is in the name, chlorine dioxide is neither iodine nor chlorine. It uses a highly active form of oxygen to purify water so it leaves absolutely zero taste. As a nice bonus the action of chlorine dioxide causes a lot of sediment to drop out of suspension (fall to the bottom) leaving the container of water more clear and further improving flavor. Chlorine dioxide tablets are a good choice for those allergic to iodine, with thyroid problems, or on lithium. Always follow product usage instructions.

Chlorine NaDCC Tablets (Potable Aqua, Oasis Plus, Aquatabsand Rothco’s Military “Chlor-Floc“ Brands). NaDCC, also known as sodium dichloroisocyanurate or sodium troclosene, is a form of chlorine used for disinfection. NaDCC tablets are different and improved over the older chlorine based (halazone) tablets. When added to water, NaDCC releases hydrochloric acid which reacts through oxidization with microorganisms and kills them. Many tablets advertise no chlorine after taste. Unopened NaDCC tablets have a shelf life of 3-5 years, if opened they should be discarded after 3 months. Always follow product usage instructions. 

Iodine Tablets (Potable Aqua,Coleman, and Coghlans brands). Iodine Tablets use iodine to purify contaminated water. Most iodine purification tablets tend to leave a funny taste to the water and some discoloration, however vitamin C or ascorbic acid can be added after the treatment time to improve the taste and remove the color. This often comes in the form of two bottles with two separate tablets. Iodine water treatment has been proven to be somewhat effective against Giardia and not effective against Crytosporidium.  Always follow product usage instructions. 
[Source:www.swordofsurvival.com]

Fishing Without Fishing Gear

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Fishing Without Fishing Gear See how to catch fish without fishing gear in this pretty cool article from thereadystore.com. Fish have all you need to survive, caloric wise. They are full to the brim with omega 3 fatty acids and nutrients your body needs and probably the best of all, fish can be eaten raw …

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5 Ways The Native Americans ‘Read Nature’ To Survive

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5 Ways The Native Americans 'Read Nature' To Survive (No. 2 Might Be The Most Important One)

Artist: Frank McCarthy

 

For most of us, finding out the day’s weather is as easy as turning on our television or checking the forecast on our smartphones, but the native people of North America had to rely on what they were taught.

They simply read the signs of nature – a skill we should practice more.

Learning to read the signs of nature, which are often right in front of us, can help us track animals for food, find safe sources of food and water, and even predict the weather.

In fact, most indigenous children were able to survive on their own at a very young age because they were taught the signs to look for almost as soon as they could talk.

Unfortunately, many of these skills have become forgotten by most in our society over the last few centuries, but you can still pick up these important survival skills and learn directly from nature.

1. Following the Weather

No matter what part of the country you are living in, bad weather can sneak up on you. Indigenous people were always aware of their surroundings, knowing that dangerous animals, enemies or storms could be just around the corner.

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By paying attention to nature’s signs, native people knew that one can almost feel bad weather before it starts. Before a big storm, the wind generally picks up, making the leaves on trees twist and showing you their lighter-colored underside. Look into the distance and see if you can see rain further out. Take a deep breath. Native people find that you can smell rain in the distance, even if mountains prevent you from seeing it. Birds will fly lower to the ground and begin to gather in the trees, even though it is still mid-day. Crickets will stop chirping. Fish sometimes come to the surface and even leap out of the water. If wildlife around you suddenly disappear or if you spot seagulls farther inland than normal, a storm is surely on its way.

2. Finding Water5 Ways The Native Americans 'Read Nature' To Survive (No. 2 Might Be The Most Important One)

Over the centuries, native people relied on the same water sources year after year. But for non-nomadic tribes, or when traveling, finding water was a skill no one could afford not to learn! To find water, native people learned to look for green-leafed trees, such as aspens or cottonwoods. The presence of birds, dragonflies or other animals usually means that there is water somewhere nearby. Native people learned to watch for animal trails, such as deer paths, and to follow them downhill. Since animals need water as well, you can bet that a trail will eventually lead to a watering hole. Also, if animals were drinking it, the water was most likely safe to drink. Canyons that face north are more likely to have watering holes, even in the summer, as the sun does not penetrate that far inside the canyon. Natives knew that a dry river bed might still have water. They would look for green plants clinging to the edges and dig right next to them. Chances are that water was just a few inches below the surface.

3. Knowing Which Wild Plants Were Safe for Eating

This is another skill that native people passed down to one another, and it varies greatly depending on where you are. While indigenous people knew that cattails were quite edible, there were not many in the deserts or dry valley areas. Non-nomadic tribes, such as the Ojibwa, raised crops on family plots, but nomadic tribes learned over the centuries which plants were safe to eat and when to harvest them. Native people learned to watch the animals for reliable food sources. Squirrels, blue jays, crows and other animals sometimes hide food — such as acorns — for later consumption. If food was scarce, these were dug up and eaten. Many tribes knew that when birds, deer or other animals were eating berries, these were generally safe for humans as well. Many wild berries, such as blackberries, grow near the forest edges. Plantain is found almost everywhere in the U.S. and can be eaten raw or cooked. Dandelions are another edible plant. (But don’t ever consume mushrooms unless you are 100 percent certain you know what you are choosing, as many are poisonous.) The indigenous people looked to the trees to find nuts or fruit. Native people learned to avoid plants that smelled like almonds, or any plant that has thorns.

4. Finding their Way Home

5 Ways The Native Americans 'Read Nature' To Survive (No. 2 Might Be The Most Important One)

Artist: Alfred Jacob Miller

Ever wonder how the native people of this land never seemed to get lost? Even when a single young man would walk out into the woods to hunt, they never seemed to have trouble finding their way back. How did they do this? Again, indigenous people were always aware of their surroundings. They knew a marker (such as a mountain or a particular growth of trees) that would help to guide them back. Also, without a compass, they still knew the four directions.

New ‘Survival Herb Bank’ Gives You Access to God’s Amazing Medicine Chest

Even without sunlight, they would know that the north end of a gorse bush, for example, had the thickest tufts of “flowers.” They also knew that trees tend to grow longer or grow more branches on the side that faces south. Before they even left camp, indigenous people knew what direction their camp lay in relation to their journey, so finding their way back was pretty easy.

5. Finding Meat

Native people ate quite a bit of meat when they could find it. Since animals tend to migrate or move about to find their own food, meat choices for indigenous people varied, depending on the season. Fishing was always a good source of food. Nets, not poles, were the preferred method of fishing, although spears were also sometimes used in deeper water.

Many women made traps near water sources or along known animal trails. Birds, such as ducks and geese, were often caught using traps, bolas or slings. Even small children learned to use slings or slingshots to kill rabbits, raccoons and squirrels.

For most of us, skills such as these would take a lifetime of learning, or at least several years of classes, plus practice. However, for the native people of North America, reading the signs of nature was as normal as putting on moccasins in the morning.

What skills would you add to this story? Share your thoughts in the section below:  

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

Lost In The Woods: 5 Tricks For Finding Your Way … Without A Compass

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Lost In The Woods: 5 Tricks For Finding Your Way ... Without A Compass

Image source: Pixabay.com

After numerous fishing, hunting and backpacking trips, I’ve found myself lost more times than I’d like to admit. Over time I learned the hard way and spent a good amount of effort learning some basic techniques for those occasions when I simply assumed I wouldn’t need a compass.

We all know a compass points north. At least to magnetic north, which is close enough to true north to help you get where you want to go. But if you don’t have a compass, there are a few other ways to make sure you stay on course:

1. Know that the sun rises in the east. Or at least very close to true east. Figure out where the sun is rising and the opposite is west. If the sun is rising to your right then straight ahead is north. You should be able to figure out south and west from there. The same rules apply as the sun sets in the west, but if you’re still lost you’ll probably want to make camp rather than wondering around after sunset.

2. Know that the North Star is in the north. It’s actually true north. If it’s not cloudy, then you’ll find it at the tail end of the Little Dipper. Lay a stick on the ground with a couple of small sticks to make an arrow so you can wake up in the morning and remember the direction. The sun rising to your right in the east also will confirm that your arrow is correct.

Get The Essential Secrets Of The Most Savvy Survivalists In The World!

3. Drive a stick into the ground about 12 inches high. Assuming it’s sunny, it will cast a shadow. Put a small pebble at the end of the shadow. Wait about 15 to 30 minutes and the shadow will have moved. Put another pebble at the end of the shadow. Now draw a line through the two pebbles. You now have an east/west line. Look at which side the shadow is pointing over that east/west line. It will be pointing in a northerly direction given the sun favors the south side of the sky. Draw a line through the east/west line at a 90-degree angle and you’ve got your coordinates: north, south, east and west.

4. Make your own compass. You’ll need a needle, a piece of wool or silk, a leaf and a puddle of water. Rub the needle with the wool or silk about 100 times and the needle will actually acquire a magnetic charge. You also can (carefully) rub the needle through your hair. Place the leaf delicately on the pool of water and place the needle on top. If there is no wind, the needle should align with magnetic north. The thicker end of the needle (the side with the eye) will favor the northern direction. You also can use shadows (shadows tend to favor north) to determine which way your needle is pointing. From there, you can figure out your coordinates.

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5. Look for moss on (certain) trees. There are a lot of skeptics about this technique, but it can work if you find the right tree. Look for a solitary tree that is openly exposed to the sun. Moss likes shade, and the northern side of a tree is typically in shade most of the day. If the tree is deep in a forest, it will be a far less reliable source to base direction on, as shade is more common there and the appearance of any green or moldy growth could surround the trunk.

One Last Thing

Knowing which way is north, south, east or west has little value if you have no idea what lies in any direction. Before you depart for that casual walk in the wilderness, take some time to understand the general location of key landmarks like a road, river, lake or highway. If you know there’s a road to the north and a river to the south, you’ll at least have a chance of finding your way back when you arrive at that landmark.

What survival advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

Field Reload Kit With Brass Shotgun Ammo

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“Urban Man: Here is another great video from a friend of mine.”
Warning: For educational purposes only. Use these techniques at your own risk.

Tools/Equipment:

1. Brass shot shells (size for weapon system being used, 12 gauge, etc.)
2. Shot
3. Pyrodex Rifle and shotgun powder (or preferred brand)
4. 209 shotgun primers
5. Large pistol primers
6. Wadding material
7. Over shot card material
8. Lighter and glue stick
9. Primer crimp tool or “C” clamp setup with deep well socket
10. Primer removal tool
11. Powder tamper tool
12. Powder and shot measuring tool
13. Container for brass shells
14. Container to store kit
15. 15/64 inch drill bit
16. 23/64 inch drill bit
17. Wad and over shot cutter tool
18. Drill
19. Flat piece metal stock
20. Rubber hammer or similar 
21. Flat piece of wood stock

Converting brass shell to accept the 209 primer:

1. First use the 15/64 drill bit and drill out the primer hole.
2. Using a 23/64 drill bit, drill a slight recess in the primer hole deep enough to allow the primer rim to seat flush with the bottom of the shell. See photo above.
3. Seat the 209 primer like you would a regular 12 gauge shell when reloading.

Note: Shotgun firing these types of reloads need to be cleaned more often than factory loaded ammo.

Reload 209 Shotgun Primers Using Field Expedient Methods

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Warning: For educational purposes only. Use these techniques at your own risk.
Tools used for field expedient reloading
Items needed to reload 209 primer
Removing 209 primer components
209 primer assembly

“Urban Man” My survival buddy sent me another post in a series of reloading shotgun ammo. This video shows how to reload the primer as well when you have no primer replacements.”


Suggested tools used:

1. Antique hand primer crimp tool
2. Wood dowel for powder, wad and shot compressing
3. Primer removal tool with socket base (5/8 inch socket)
4. Rubber hammer
5. Wad cutter tool (for what ever size shell you are loading)
6. Flat punch that fits inside primer cup to flatten out dimple
7. Flat piece of metal stock
8. Flat piece of wood
9. Strike anywhere matches
10. Powder and shot measuring cups
11. Wad material (paper, plastic, wool, etc)
12. Over shot card material (cardboard, playing cards, etc)
13. 5.5 mm socket (used to remove primer cup)
14. Pin or finishing nail used to pound out primer cup.
15. Lighter or similar flame source
16. Glue stick
17. Rifle and shotgun powder with container (I used Pyrodex RS)
18. Bird shot with container (I used #7 1/2 in the video) 


Note: Do not allow the ammo to get wet. Do not jar the ammo around by throwing into an ammo can or something of that nature. Protect the ammo until it is needed. It is best to shoot this ammo from a single shot or double barrel shotgun rather than a pump action. A pump action can be used if you load and fire one round at a time rather than using the pump action.

One drawback from reloading spent primers is the chance that the match head powder or what ever other ignition source was used may not ignite and you get a dude fire.

In the event the primer does not ignite, wait about 60 seconds with the end of the barrel pointed on target in the event there is a cook off. A cook off is when the powder could be smoldering but has not yet ignited. If it ignites and the end of the barrel is pointed toward someone, there may be a chance of an accidental shooting.

Always inspect the shells for damage and cracks. Do not reuse or shoot damaged ammo. Use safety glasses when loading your ammo and keep open flames away from your powder. 

Braid with No Leader: Do you Really Need a Leader when Fishing with Braided Line?

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Why would you fish Braided Line without a Leader? On 90% of my setups I use Braided Fishing line; very rarely do I use a Fluorocarbon or Mono Leader on my setup… […]

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Fielding Expedient Ammo Reloading

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“Urban Man~ Here is an interesting lesson from a survival buddy of mine.”

Caution: This lesson is for educational purposes only. Gun powder is dangerous. Firing damaged or incorrectly loaded ammo is dangerous as well.

There may be a time in ones life when it may become necessary to have to reload ammo in the field, especially in a wilderness survival situation or the collapse of society. 

We are comfortable in knowing that at the moment we have access to ready made store bought ammo. But, what if that luxury was some how taken away? What if there were no stores left or available to purchase our ammo?

In such as situation, ammo can still be available if one knew how to obtain what was needed to reload their own. Spent ammo shells, especially shotgun shells can be found laying around all over the desert. Primers can be reconditioned and reloaded. Black powder can be homemade. Lead shot can be made from scrape lead.

You really do not need fancy reloading equipment in order to reload ammo in an emergency or self reliant situation.

Learn now to start saving your spent ammo hulls and shells. Set them aside to be reloaded at a later date when the time is needed.

Here are the steps that were covered in the video to reload a 12 gauge shell: (if this is the first time a plastic shotgun shell is being used, cut the top crimp fingers off the shell where the crimp line meets the star crimp.)

1. Remove primer
2. Install a new primer
3. Measure powder and add to shell
4. Using dowel rod, gently compress the powder in the shell
5. Add correct amount of wading (plastic, paper, animal hair, leather, etc.)
6. Using dowel rod again, gently compress the wad into the shell
7. Add correct amount of shot. (insure that there is enough room at the opening of the shell to add the over-shot card)
8. Add over-shot card and compress gently with dowel rod
9. Add glue over top of shot card ensuring that the inside walls of the shell receive glue as well
10. Immediately add another shot card over the top of the first one and apply gentle pressure to allow glue to spread out

Note: Do not allow the ammo to get wet. Do not jar the ammo around by throwing into an ammo can or something of that nature. Protect the ammo until it is needed. It is best to shoot this ammo from a single shot or double barrel shotgun rather than a pump action. A pump action can be used if you load and fire one round at a time rather than using the pump action.

Always inspect the shells for damage and cracks. Do not reuse or shoot damaged ammo. Use safety glasses when loading your ammo and keep open flames away from your powder. 

Northern Pike Fishing Tips: How to Fish for Northen Pike and Catch Them

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Northern pike — often called water wolves, gators, dragons, or toothies — have a long, powerful body, big mouth full of sharp teeth, and an insatiable predatory appetite. These fish are are one of the most thrilling freshwater fish to pursue and catch. If you want to get in on the action and learn how to catch northern pike, this article outlines everything you need to know to get started.

The Basics – Getting to Know The Northern Pike:

Northern pike is a freshwater fish species like crappie that prefers cool water. They average 24 to 30 inches long and weigh between 3 and 7 pounds. In certain areas, particularly isolated lakes in the northern wilderness, pike can grow to over 50 inches long and weigh well over 40 pounds.

Pike are found in lakes and rivers all throughout North America, Europe, Russia, and some parts of Asia. In North America, pike populations extend from Alaska through Canada, into the lower 48 from Washington to Maine, and as far south as Colorado, Nebraska, and Missouri.

Unlike the common carp, Northern Pike are at the top of the food chain in their environment and have very few natural predators other than anglers. Pike are primarily ambush predators, eating just about anything that will fit in their mouths — baitfish, frogs, small birds, muskrat, mice, etc. They’ll even go after members of their own species — anglers often catch pike with wounds caused by the jaws of another pike.

If you want to consistently catch pike, the key is to trigger a predatory response with your lure or bait.  Below is a quick video by ProFishermanJones that walks through an effective predatory response simulation before catching a pike.

Pike have well developed lateral lines that start on the head and extend to the tail. Made up of a series of sense organs, pike use their lateral lines to detect low-frequency vibrations. They also use their sensitive inner ear to detect high-frequency vibrations. Both of these elements combined give pike significant predatory advantage when hunting prey, even in low light conditions.

Using lures that create a lot of movement and vibration in the water to will help you catch more pike.

Gearing Up For Your Fishing Trip:

Rod: Although pike can get very large, the majority of the fish you’ll catch will likely be in the 3- to 7-pound range. For that reason, many anglers use a typical bass fishing setup to catch pike. A 7-foot, medium-action rod paired with either a baitcasting or spinning reel is ideal. The reel should have a maximum drag of at least 15 pounds, and should be spooled with 15- to 20-pound braid. With this setup, you’ll be able to land just about any pike that hits your lure.

Reel: If you know there are trophy-sized pike in the water you’ll be fishing — fish in the 20- to 40-pound class — you may want to beef up your rig a bit. Upgrading to a medium-heavy action rod and increasing your line strength to 30-pound test will do the trick.

Line: Whether you choose a lighter or heavier setup, you’ll want a reel that allows you to cast long distances. Covering lots of water is key to successful pike fishing, so for most anglers, this means using a quality spinning reel with a large diameter spool that releases line effortlessly. A reel such as the Shimano Spirex would in the 2500 size would make a perfect pike fishing reel.

Net: Landing pike can be kind of tricky; a good boat net is essential. Any net in the ballpark of 20 by 23 inches will work well for scooping up a thrashing pike. Be sure to get a net with a long handle such as the Frabill Conservation Series to aid in landing the fish.

Pliers: Removing hooks from a pike’s mouth can be intimidating. Bring along a pair of long needle nose pliers like the Piscifun Fishing Pliers to remove the hook quickly and safely. If the hook is set very deep, you may need to use a set of jaw spreaders to remove the hook without losing a finger.

Terminal Tackle:

Pike Fishing With an Effective Wire Leader

Using a wire leader while fishing for Pike is extremely effective.

When you’re fishing for pike, most of your problems will take place at the end of your line. Pike have incredibly sharp teeth and are known to cut line like it’s nothing. To increase your chances of bringing fish to the boat and decrease the number of lures lost, wire leader material is highly recommended.

Some of the best wire leader material for pike fishing is made by American Fishing Wire. Their Surfstrand Micro Supreme is the perfect size — 90-pound test, but has a small diameter and is very flexible so it won’t interfere with the action of your lure.

When rigging up your lures or bait, you can attach a 3- to 4-foot length of 20 to 30 pound fluorocarbon to your mainline as a leader, then attach the wire leader to the fluorocarbon. But, if you like to keep things simple, you can skip the fluorocarbon and attach 12 to 14 inches of wire leader directly to your main line using a barrel swivel.

To attach your lure to the line, it’s common practice to tie a snap swivel to the end of the wire leader and attach the lure to the swivel. This makes switching lures much faster and easier, and also conserves wire.

Choosing the Best Bait and Lures for Northern Pike:

Pike can be caught on a wide variety of lures as well as live bait. Using artificial lures is arguably the most fun and engaging way to catch pike, but there are times when you need some meat to satisfy a pike’s hunger.

Live Bait for Pike:

Live minnows and other small bait fish are the go-to live bait for pike fishing. Try to match whatever food source is actively swimming around the water you’re fishing. Use a cast net to catch your own bait fish, or head to the local bait shop to buy some. Look for bait fish that are 4- to 6-inches long. Shiners are always a good choice for pike fishing and are usually readily available.

 Live Bait for Pike

Live Bait can be extremely effective for Pike Fishing.

Several different rigs can be used to fish for pike with live bait. The most common is a simple bobber rig consisting of a bobber, a length of fluorocarbon leader, a length of wire leader, and a 1/0 hook. Hook the minnow through its back and fish it suspended one or two feet above a bed of weeds.

When pike are in deeper water, rig your live bait on a 1/4 to 3/4 ounce jig head by hooking it through the lips. This rig can be bounced along the bottom with 2- to 3-foot lifts, letting the bait sit momentarily before lifting and retrieving. Pike will often take the bait on the fall, so be ready to set the hook at any moment.

Lures for Pike:

There are a ton of pike specific lures on the market but if you’re just starting out there are only three you need to worry about: the spoon, the inline spinner, and the soft plastic swimbait. These three lures in different color combinations will cover 99% of the pike fishing scenarios you encounter.

Spoons for Pike:

When you let a spoon fall and flutter on the retrieve, it imitates an injured baitfish. If you stick with pike fishing, you’ll no doubt end up with a hefty collection of spoons. Start stocking your tackle box with a small assortment of spoons weighing 1/4 to 1 ounce in silver and gold plus any local favorites. Be sure to get the classic Johnson Silver Minnow and any others that catch your eye.

Inline Spinners for Pike:

One of the best ways to cover lots of water when searching for pike is by casting and retrieving an inline spinner. The most important part of an inline spinner is the blade. On the retrieve, the blade spins and pulsates, sending vibrations in every direction. This action capitalizes on the pike’s sensitive lateral line which is exactly what you need to do to get a strike.

Some inline spinners are dressed with natural materials like bucktail, marabou, and feathers, while others feature rubber skirts like what you’d find on a spinnerbait for bass. Get a few varieties in basic colors like white, chartreuse, and yellow, along with some darker colors for low-light conditions and murky water.

Soft Plastic Swimbaits for Pike:

 Plastic Swimbaits for Pike

Plastic Swimbaits can be effective lures for Pike.

Soft plastic lures are highly versatile, adaptable, and can be customized to fit nearly any fishing scenario. For pike, minnow-style soft plastics in the 5- to 6-inch range are particularly deadly. There are thousands of swimbait styles, sizes, and colors available, but don’t let that intimidate you. Pick out a few different styles in the go-to pike colors — white, yellow, and chartreuse — and you’re set.

Check out the Owner Bullet Head jig hooks in the 3/4 ounce size for a good all purpose jig head for pike fishing. If you’re fishing heavily weeded areas, try rigging your swimbaits on something like a Gamakatsu Weighted Swimbait Hook, that allows for weedless rigging. Then, grab a few different colors of the Storm Wild Eye Swim Shad. The big fat paddle tail on the Yum Minnow vibrates and wiggles in a way pike simply can’t resist.

When fishing with swimbaits, the retrieve pattern you use is often more of a factor than the color or shape of the swimbait. Experiment. Try different retrieve speeds. Try short pauses and long pauses. Mix it up until you find what works. Once you start getting hits, stick with that lure and retrieve pattern until the fish dictate otherwise!

Scouting the Water and Fishing for Northern Pike:

Scouting the Waters for PikeWhen you get to a body of water, before you start blind-casting away, take some time to survey the water. Look for areas that look particularly “fishy.” Aerial maps and depth maps can be a real asset when it comes to scouting a lake for pike. Google Earth is another invaluable tool that can help you find promising fishing locations before you even get to the lake.

Bays, coves, and smaller inlets are some of the first places you’ll want to scope out on a lake for pike. Look for shallow, marshy areas that have lots of weeds and grass. Mark any places that have shoreline structure such as submerged logs, fallen trees, and undercut banks. Areas like this typically hold high numbers of bait fish and other prey.  Find the food, find the pike.

Another key place to look for pike, especially as summer heats up, are drop offs that give pike access to deeper water. Using either your depth finder or a depth map, try to find areas that quickly go from 1 or 2 feet of water to 8 or 10 feet of water. If you can find an area like this with weeds and vegetation, even better.  Typically you should be sticking to docks or boats and avoid kayak fishing or tandem kayak fishing when scouting for pike.

Presenting the Lure:

Once you’ve identified several areas that are bound to hold pike, it’s time to tie on your lure and start casting.

If you’re fishing heavily weeded areas, tie on either a weedless spoon like the Johnson Silver Minnow, or a soft plastic swimbait rigged weedless on a Gamakatsu Swimbait Hook. Most of the time, pike sit motionless in classic ambush fashion as they wait for prey to swim by. Cast your lure past a weedline, then slowly retrieve along the weeds. If a pike is there, he’ll rush out and slam your lure.

Luring PikeIn areas with lots of downed timber, submerged logs, or other sunken structure either along the shoreline or in the middle of a bay, an inline spinner is your best bet. Focus on covering lots of water, but don’t just make random casts; use fan-style casting to thoroughly and methodically cover the entire area. If you don’t get any hits, try to vary your retrieve, going either slower or faster, or by adding brief pauses. If you still aren’t getting any hits try changing lure colors or going somewhere else.

If you find a good drop off, tie on a soft plastic swimbait rigged on a standard 3/4 ounce jig head. When pike go deep, they might not be as aggressive as when they’re actively hunting in the shallows. For this reason, try using a slower lift-glide-pause retrieve, working the lure along the bottom. You’ll have to spend time experimenting with how high to lift, how far to glide, and how long to pause until you find what works. Keep in mind that you don’t have to use this slower retrieve the entire way back to the boat. Instead, you can cast out past where you know the good drop off is, do the lift-glide-pause retrieve in the prime area, then reel in steadily until your lure comes to another likely spot.

Setting the Hook:

When you do find a pike that’s willing to take your lure, it’s usually pretty obvious. Most of the time you’ll feel a solid tug at the end of your line. Give the rod a strong, upward hook set and start reeling.

But, sometimes the bite of a pike is more subtle. When bouncing soft plastic swimbaits rigged on jig heads, a pike will often take the bait when the jig falls back down to the bottom. In this instance, it may feel like just a little nibble, but don’t let that fool you. Lower your rod tip, reel in any slack and give a nice hard hook set.

Landing and Releasing a Pike:

Once you fight the pike and bring it boat-side, things can escalate quickly. Pike are known to thrash upon landing, which can be a dangerous situation if you aren’t prepared. Besides the gnashing teeth and the whipping tail, your lure is in there somewhere and could come flying out at any minute.

Take our advice and come prepared with a net. You’ll thank us later. If possible, a second set of hands can make a day of pike fishing much easier when it comes time to land your trophy. But, with good coordination and a long-handled net you should be able to land a pike by yourself.

To make landing a pike easier, be sure to play the fish long enough to tire it out. Then, when you bring it boat-side, be prepared with your rod in one hand and net in the other. Or, have your buddy ready with the net to scoop up the fish.

Once you get the fish on the deck of your boat, grab the fish’s head behind the eyes. If the fish is too big to hold the head, you can grab it by the gill plates. Then, with your needle nose pliers reach into the fish’s mouth to remove the hook. If the hook is deep, you can go in with your pliers through the gills to get it loose. Jaw spreaders can come in handy if the fish is reluctant to open it’s mouth, but be careful using jaw spreaders on smaller fish that you intend to release as they can cause permanent damage to the jaw. Snap a photo, then lower the fish into the water, giving it a minute to recover before setting it free.

Below is a great video on how to successfully land and release a pike by Matity’s GetFishing channel on youtube.

If you plan on keeping your catch, drop it in your live well or put it on ice. Many anglers catch pike purely for sport and release all fish caught, but many others enjoy eating pike. The common complaint about pike as table fare is that they are very bony. But, with proper fillet technique you can end up with perfectly boneless fillets and a large amount of meat!

Three Final Tips to Help You Catch More Northern Pike:

To conclude our discourse on how to catch northern pike, we’d like to leave you with three tips to make your pike fishing efforts more fruitful.

  • Keep moving. Finding the fish is half the battle, and similar to fly fishing – casting to the same area twice is often wasted effort when searching for pike.
  • Keep casting. Try to work every potential pike holding location for all it’s worth. There is some endurance required to successfully catch pike. If you’re lure isn’t in the water, you can’t catch fish.
  • If you miss a strike, keep working the lure. Sometimes a pike will “play” with your lure. It might hit it, spit it, and keep chasing it. If you feel a bite, but miss setting the hook, keep working your lure and you might be rewarded with a second or third chance to seal the deal.
  • Know your Pike Seasons.  Pike fishing in the winter may give you a slightly different results but can be just as effective if you know where to fish.  Make sure you are setup with the right ice auger to drill in your preferred fishing location.

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5 Fishing Techniques to Ensure Your Survival

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5 Fishing Techniques to Ensure Your Survival Fish are a nearly perfect source of nutrition and in a long-term (or even a short-term) survival situation, they are not that difficult to obtain. First of all, dispel all notions that this article might have some cuddly or eco-conscious feel to it. While I can respect, and …

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Crappie Fishing Tips: How to Catch White & Black Crappie with Lures, Bait, Rigs, and Jigs

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All throughout North America, crappie provide year-round fishing opportunities for anglers who love to catch as much as they love to eat. Lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and ponds are home to these slabby sunfish, and the good news is that where you find one, you often find many. We’ve put a bow on our top crappie fishing tips outlining how to catch crappie so you can catch your limit every season.

Let us start off by saying that this is a monster article.  It was designed to be a complete guide to Crappie fishing all in one location.

Meet the Crappie Species: Black vs. White

Crappie are a native species to North America, existing in healthy numbers throughout nearly all of the lower 48 states.  They also reside in parts of southern Canada.  They are known in different parts of the country by different names.

Here are some of the names you may hear them go by:  Black/White Crappie, Speckeled/Bachelor perch, calico/strawberry/oswego bass, papermouth, dirty sunfish, sacalait (sa-ca-lay from your friends in Louisiana), Moonfish, Barfish.

Fisherman with a Black Crappie

A Fisherman on a Lake With a Black Crappie.

There are two typical varieties of crappie: white crappie and black crappie. Both can be found living in the same waters, often schooled up together.  They can both be caught using the same lures, bait, and tactics. Black and white crappie share the same general body shape, but differ slightly in coloration and markings:

  • Black Crappie: Primarily silver/slightly gold with black speckled markings all over, and they have 7 or 8 spines on their dorsal fin.
  • White Crappie: Mostly silver, but have only faint vertical bar markings on their sides, and only 6 spines on their dorsal fin.

Crappie can grow up to 20″ long and weigh 5 pounds, but the average size is around 1/4 – 1/2 pound and 8 to 12 inches long. Crappie over 1 pound are considered a prized catch.

Mature crappie feed primarily on aquatic insects, baitfish, worms, and small crayfish.

Looking for Crappie:  Where can you find them?

One of the most critical steps in catching crappie is finding them. Crappie move around throughout the year as the spawning season comes and goes and as water temperatures fluctuate.  They also have some key habitat requirements that remain constant.

Crappie Tend to Love Structures:  Underwater structures like weed beds, rock piles, fallen sunken trees, and dock pilings are places where crappie spend most of their time.  They either hovering above, around, or under their favorite areas. For crappie, structure provides safety from predatory birds and larger fish like northern pike.  It also offers a reliable source of food such as smaller bait fish that seek out structure for similar reasons.

Crappie also like Deeper Waters:  Unless it’s spawning season, crappie favor deeper water, generally 10 to 15 feet deep. Deep water maintains a more consistent temperature than shallow water, which in turn means more stable living conditions.

While crappie prefer deeper water, they don’t go straight to the bottom, which can make locating a school of fish somewhat challenging. Rather, they hang suspended at various depths in the water column. Fishing tactics and strategy come into play here, and most anglers use electronic fish finders to make finding schools of crappie easier.

The Different Types of Rod Choices for Catching Crappie:

You don’t need fancy or expensive gear to catch crappie. Since crappie aren’t the largest or toughest fighting fish you’ll encounter, just about any fishing rod setup will work.  You’ll want to avoid fly fishing rods and stick to Carbon Fiber or bamboo, and usually keep the weight on the lighter side.  Here’s an overview of the rods best suited for crappie fishing.

Telescopic Crappie Poles:  If you like the idea of the classic cane pole, but want the advantage of modern materials, a graphite or fiberglass telescopic crappie pole may be just what you need.

For many crappie fishing techniques, very long rods are required to fish effectively. The idea is that the further you get your bait or lure away from the boat, the better your chances are of hooking a fish before scaring the entire school away. Modern crappie poles come in lengths from 8 feet all the way up to 20 feet. Telescopic crappie poles, like the B’n’M Black Widow, collapse to a relatively small size, making them easy to transport and store when not in use.

Telescopic crappie poles are a good option if you plan on doing a lot of bank fishing, especially in heavy brush. They can also be used effectively from a boat for spider rigging, which we’ll cover later. One of the main advantages of a long crappie pole is that they often have a very sensitive tip that helps you detect the most subtle crappie bites.

The PLUSINNO Spinning rod and Reel Combo is a great choice for beginning crappie fishermen just starting out.  If you already have a reel you can save a few bucks and check out the Shimano FXS 2 Piece Spinning Rod. This is also a great choice if you are looking for an ultralight option that comes in a variety of different lengths.

Ultralight Spinning Rods:  Of all the rod types for crappie fishing, you’ll have the most options in terms of selection and configuration when you go with an ultralight spinning rod.

Ultralight spinning rods for crappie come in a wide range of lengths from less than 5 feet to over 16 feet. The length of the rod should be determined based on the fishing tactics and methods you plan on using.

Shorter rods in the 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 foot range are best suited for vertical jigging from a boat. Vertical jigging is usually done with the aid of a fish finder, with the fish you see on the screen located within a small circumference under and around your boat. Using a shorter rod allows you to keep your lure where the fish are without question.

Mid-length rods in the 6 to 7 1/2 foot range are perfect for cast and retrieve fishing with jigs and other lures. The longer rod length helps you make longer, more accurate casts.  This is helpful when you want to skip your bait under a dock or an overhanging tree.

Longer spinning rods in the 10 to 16-foot range are the go-to choice for trolling baits and lures when spider rigging. The long length keeps the bait and lures away from the boat and propellers, and helps you cover a broader sweep of water when trolling. Long rods can also pull double duty for fishing slip-float rigs and dipping jigs into places with tight cover.

Most crappie anglers prefer rods with highly sensitive, soft action tips and sturdy butt sections. The soft tip helps you detect the delicate bites crappie are known for, and the sturdy butt section gives you adequate power if you need to horse a crappie out of heavy cover.

Some crappie anglers prefer rods with faster action tips, especially when vertically jigging in deep water. The faster (stiffer) tip helps you impart action to your jig when it’s down 20 feet or more.

For more details on Rod Length, check out the great video below:

Three of the Best Reels for Fishing Crappie:

Most ultralight or lightweight spinning reels intended for freshwater use will work just fine for crappie fishing. Since you’ll be using lighter line that’s prone to annoying coiling, choosing a reel with a larger diameter spool is beneficial.  It will reduce line memory and help you cast further. To cover a wide range of crappie fishing scenarios and techniques, a good starting place is to select the smallest or second to smallest reel size of a given model.

1. For Shorter Rods:  The Pfluger Purist 1325 reel

2. For Mid Length Rods:  The Shimano Sedona 1000 reel

3. For Long, Trolling & Slip Float Rods:  The Abu Garcia Cardinal STX10 reel

Choosing the Right Line:  Line Selection for Crappie

Most crappie fishing is done with very lightweight line, between 2-6 pound test. However, some crappie anglers who primarily use cane poles and telescopic rods prefer using heavier line.  Some anglers choose up to 20-pound test, especially when fishing in heavy brush along the bank.

The standard line type for crappie fishing has always been monofilament, but lately, anglers have started using braided line. Braided line has little or no stretch, which helps when vertical jigging in deep water. Braided line also has less memory than monofilament, and has a smaller diameter; both of which help achieve greater casting distance.

There is one problem you may encounter when using braided line for crappie is that since it has little or no stretch.  That problem is that you have to be very gentle when setting the hook so it doesn’t break the line. Monofilament is much more forgiving and shock absorbent, which works in your favor when setting the hook in a crappie’s soft mouth. Monofilament is also easier to break when you get hung up on structure, keeping you from losing your entire rig when you get snagged.

The Best Lures and Bait for Catching Crappie:

Crappie can be caught using both bait and artificial lures.  What you use largely depends on the time of year and conditions, but also depends on your personal preference for how you like to fish.

Lures can be highly effective in catching crappie but you shouldn’t ever completely pass on live bait either.  Both are extremely effective and have their benefits over the other.

Bait is usually cheaper than picking a top dollar lure but lures will be something you can use over and over, year after year.  We will dive into the best lures and types of bait in further detail below.

Jigs: The Best Lures for Crappie Fishing

Black Crappie Caught Using a Jig

A Black Crappie Caught using a Jig.

By far the most popular and effective lures used to catch crappie are jigs. Jigs are very versatile, highly adaptable to any fishing condition, and crappie are usually eager to take them when fished properly.

Some jigs are sold as pre-made lures, but for the most part, jigs are more of an interchangeable lure system than a specific lure. The base of every jig is a jig head hook, which is simply a hook with a weighted head.  Typically the eye of the hook is positioned 90 degrees to the hook shank. On the jig head, you fix a plastic jig body of your choosing. You can mix and match jig heads and jig bodies until you find the right combination that the crappie want to eat.

Here are our favorite Jigs:

Spinnerbait:  These little guys are essentially a jig with a spinner blade attached. Spinnerbaits for crappie are similar to those used for bass fishing, just a lot smaller. The spinner’s small metal blade, either gold or silver, flashes and vibrates in the water attracting crappie wherever you cast.

If you’re not sure which spinner bait to use, grab a Yakima Bait Wordens Rooster Tail. The brown body and golden spinner will definitely get the attention of a nearby slab.

Self Made Jigs: If you like to customize, making your own jig will appeal to you because there are endless choices and matchmaking you can choose from.  This will help test what works best for crappie in your area.  There are two parts you need to buy when you make your own.  The Jig head and the Jig Body.

Part #1 – The Jig Head: Jig heads come in a wide range of sizes/colors and are used to catch a multitude of fish species. For crappie fishing, you’ll want to use some of the smallest sizes available: 1/8 oz, 1/16 oz, 1/32 oz, and 1/64 oz.  The Strike King Mr. Crappie jig heads are very high quality and are the perfect size and colors for catching crappie.

Part #2 – The Jig Body: Jig bodies come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.  They are usually plastic and fixed on a jig head hook.  The primary choices for body grubs are curly-tails and tubes.  Sometimes spinnerbaits are used as well, but they are generally their own complete lure.

Curly-Tail Grubs are a popular jig body style made of soft plastic and fixed on a jig head hook. With a ribbed body and a curved or corkscrew tail, curly-tail grubs swim through the water with incredible action.  They provide an excellent imitation of minnows and other bait fish.

You’ll want to have a good selection of curly-tail jigs, and the Mister Twister brand makes some of the best. Check out this multi pack to jump start your collection.

Tubes are another style of jig body that you fix to a jig head hook. They have a smooth body and a skirted rubber tail that pulsates when pulled through the water.

The Southern Pro Crappie Tube kit that gives you a huge variety of color combinations along with some lead head jig hooks to get you started.

The Best Live Bait Choices for Crappie:

While crappie can often be caught with lures, sometimes you need a little more “meat” to get the bites you seek.

Using bait is great if you’re just getting started and aren’t yet versed in the ways of lure fishing.

Live Minnows: Live minnows are by far the most widely used bait for crappie. At most bait and tackle shops, you’ll find live minnows in multiple sizes. To catch crappie, you want the smallest minnows they have, ideally between 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. If you’re up for it, minnows can be caught in the lake you’re fishing using either a minnow trap or a cast net.

Grubs: Although not as widely available as live minnows, larval insects — mealworms, wax worms, and other grub-like creatures — can be used to catch crappie. These baits are commonly used when ice fishing for crappie.

Man Made Soft Baits: If you don’t want to go through the trouble of either catching or buying live minnows or grubs, there are a broad selection of soft baits available for purchase. These smelly little pellets and dough are shelf-stable, sold in jars, and come in many different colors and scents. Berkeley’s Powerbait Crappie Nibbles are readily available and great if you don’t want to fuss with live bait.

Crappie Fishing Tactics: How to Fish For Crappie

Now that we’ve covered the tackle, lures, and bait you’ll need to catch crappie, it’s time to dig into the tactics and methods that will actually get crappie on your line!

The majority of crappie anglers fish from boats or other watercraft. But, if you don’t have a boat, don’t worry: most of these tactics can be used on a dock, from the bank or while wading.

Vertical Jigging:  What is it and how can I do it?

When crappie are holding tight to cover like brush piles and stumps, vertical jigging can be very effective no matter how deep the crappie are.

Setting Up a Vertical Jig Rig:  The basic vertical jig rig consists of your jig of choice tied to the end of your line. Simple as that. Some crappie anglers tie two or more jigs to their line, one below the other. Others use “umbrella rigs” that hold anywhere from two to six jigs. But there’s no need to over complicate things when you’re just starting out; stick with one jig so you can focus on fishing.

Vertical jigging can be done with nearly all rod lengths. Some anglers like short rods in the 5 to 6-foot range, some like long rods in the 10 to 12-foot range. Use what you have to start and you’ll do just fine.

How to Vertical Jig for Crappie: There’s no real casting in vertical jigging. Simply hang your rod over the side of the boat or bank, and let your jig drop down into the water. When you first start, you can let it sink all the way to the bottom. If you’re using a fish finder and you know the depth of the fish or at least the structure, let your jig sink to that depth.

With your jig hanging in the water directly below your rod tip, animate the jig by lightly bouncing the rod tip up and down a few times, then let it sit. Reel in some line, bounce the jig, and let it sit. Continue until you get a bite, and if you don’t, drop your jig down and try again. There’s no right way to do vertical jigging; the key is to experiment with different actions, bounce patterns, retrieve rates, and depths until you get a bite. Once you get a bite, try to repeat the routine that got you the bite. Keep fishing in that manner until the fish stop biting, at which point you should start experimenting again until you get more bites, or move to a different location.

Below is a great video by “TexasFishingOnline” that walks through how to propely jig for crappie.

Sticking with Traditional Bobber Fishing:

The most iconic method of fishing for any species is by use of the humble bobber. Bobber fishing can be incredibly effective on crappie, and is a tactic every angler should be well familiar with.  Bobbers can be used with both jigs and lures as well as bait. The basic rig is the same for both.

Setting Up a Bobber Rig: The basic bobber rig can be used on any type of rod, and setting it up is easy.

Take the end of your fishing line and slide a cork up or fix a plastic bobber to your line anywhere from 1 foot to 3 feet from the end. If using a weighted jig, tie it onto the end of your line with your favorite fishing knot, and you’re good to go.

If using a live minnow, attach a small split shot about 8 to 12 inches from the end of your line.  Then tie on a small, light-wire crappie hook. Hook the minnow through the lips or just behind the top dorsal fin.

One of the nice things about fishing with a bobber is that it’s very easy to adjust the depth of your lure or bait.  This helps to know exactly how deep you’re fishing. That said, bobber fishing is best used in water that isn’t too deep.  When your bobber get’s too high up your line it can be quite cumbersome to cast and your rig will be prone to frequent tangles.

Below is another great video by “The Fishin Pastor” that walks through Bobber fishing from a fishing kayak.  This same technique can be done from a tandem kayak with a partner as well.

Fishing Deeper: The Slip Float

For those times when you want to fish deep, and want to know exactly how deep you’re fishing, the slip float rig saves the day. The slip float rig is just like bobber fishing, except instead of the bobber being fixed to one point of your line, it slides up your line until it hits a stopper. Adjusting your lure depth is as simple as moving the stopper up or down your line.

How To Set Up the Slip Float Rig: To build a slip float rig you’ll need:

  • Slip float
  • Tube bobber stopper
  • Plastic bead
  • Small barrel swivel
  • Leader material – monofilament or fluorocarbon
  • Light wire crappie hook or jig head

Slide the tube bobber stopper up the line to the approximate depth you’d like to fish. Slip the yarn off the tube and tighten it to the line.

Slide the plastic bead on the line followed by the slip float. Next, tie the barrel swivel onto the end of the line.

Tie a 2 to 2 1/2 foot length of leader onto the other end of the barrel swivel. Tie your hook or jig head to the end of the leader and you’re all set.

Fishing a Slip Float Rig: The main benefit of a slip float rig is that it allows you to accurately fish any depth and change it on the fly. The key to effective slip float fishing is to constantly change depths until you find crappie. Once you find crappie, keep fishing that depth until you stop getting bites, at which point you should move spots or try other depths.

Crappie tend to hold at similar depths across an entire lake, so if you find fish at 15 feet in one spot, chances are they’ll be close to 15 feet in all other spots.

The Cast and Retrieve Technique:

The cast and retrieve technique is probably the most active and involved method for catching crappie. It’s fairly simple in essence: cast your lure near structure, let it sink, then slowly retrieve.

Black Crappie Fishing with Cast & Retreive

Getting Set Up for Cast and Retrieve Fishing: Casting is best done with a mid-length rod, in the 6 1/2 to 7-foot range. For cast and retrieve, many crappie anglers prefer rods with highly sensitive tips to feel the lure pulsing through the water as well as the full impact of the “thud” when a crappie hits the lure.

Jigs and spinners are the most common lures used for cast and retrieve fishing, but plugs and small crank baits can be used when the conditions are right.

Rigging up for cast and retrieve fishing is easy: just tie on your lure of choice and you’re ready to cast.

Fishing Cast and Retrieve: When deciding where to cast, look for structure. The trick is to cast close to the structure without getting snagged, because, with cast and retrieve, you don’t have a float to protect you from hang-ups.

Once you’ve found structure, your next goal is to discover how deep the crappie are suspended. This will take a bit of trial and error.

Start by casting your lure and letting it sink all the way to the bottom. Try to get a count (one Mississippi, two Mississippi) to find out how long it takes your lure to reach the bottom. Slowly reel in your lure, feeling for any bites. Then, start casting and letting your lure sink to different depths before retrieving until you get a bite. When you get a bite, cast to that same depth and keep catching fish.

The Spider Rigging Technique:

This special setup is something you might only see crappie anglers do. And when it comes to finding crappie, especially on big bodies of water, spider rigging is by far the most efficient, effective, and productive tactic out there.

What is Spider Rigging? Spider rigging is a slow trolling method, where a number of long rods (usually 8) are splayed out 180 degrees.  Usually you fix the rods to the front of a boat using rod holders. The boat looks like a spider with all the rods sticking out, hence the name.

Crappie anglers set each rod at a different depth and with different baits and lures. They troll along, thoroughly covering the water in search of schools of fish. Then, when they get a hit on a rod, they take note of the depth and bait or lure used, and start switching the other rods to match that setup.

How to Set Up Spider Rigging: First of all, you need a boat with a trolling motor, a bunch of rods, and a bunch of rod holders at the front of the boat.

Serious spider rig fishermen gravitate towards the longer spectrum of lightweight spinning rods, from 14 to 16 feet in length. Longer rods keep the baits and lures out away from the boat so that the fish find the lures before they see the boat. Long rods also keep the lines out of the boat propellers and help the anglers cover a much broader swath of water.

All manner of baits and lures are used when spider rigging. Using eight rods means you have the opportunity to try eight different lures all at once if you’d like. Most fishermen, however, limit their lure selection to 2 or 3 different varieties and instead focus their efforts on experimenting with depth.

When spider rigging, your boat setup and the control you have over your boat is often more of a factor than the rods and lures you use. A variable speed trolling motor is practically mandatory when spider rigging as the speed of your drift is one of the most important factors.

Fishing with Spider Rigging: Once you have your boat under control, your rods rigged up with different lures dropped at various depths, it’s time to troll. Most spider riggers use fish finders and other electronics to help them find fish quicker.

While trolling along, you’ll be watching your rod tips, looking for any signs of a bite. When you see a tip twitch, grab it and set the hook! Once you key into to where the crappie are and what they want to eat, you can change the rigs on your rod to what’s working and start filling up your live well.

Below is a great video from Fle-Fly Lures on how to properly spider rig.

How to Catch Crappie in Every Season:

Crappie are a year-round fish, but their behavior and patterns vary throughout the year. To catch crappie all year long, you need to change and adapt your tactics just as the crappie change their behavior.

Below we’ve laid out a guide based on the different times of year and the best options to crappie fish in our opinion.  Your mileage may vary depending on the environment around where you plan to fish.

Spring Crappie Fishing: The Best Time of Year

Spring time is perhaps the best time of year to fish for crappie. The main event of spring is the spawn, with the pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn periods all bringing about different crappie behavior as well as fishing tactics.

As soon as the water starts to warm up, crappie start moving into shallow water for pre-spawn staging. These fish can be caught using vertical jigging near shallow water cover in bays and mouths of creeks. Since crappie prefer deeper water, try bouncing your jig off the bottom, as crappie will likely head to the deepest water, even in the shallows.

Once the spawn is in full swing, crappie will be in very shallow water guarding their nests, snapping at anything that comes close. Try casting small curly tail grubs on light jigheads or small spinnerbaits to the bank, then slowly retrieving over the nests.

After the spawn is over, crappie will be worn out from reproducing and are often tough to catch. Give the fish a chance to rest and head back out in a few weeks for better action.

Summer Crappie Tips: Not Quite Spring or Fall

The heat of summer sends crappie swimming for deeper waters, generally 8 to 20 feet deep. In larger lakes, crappie tend to spread out, making them hard to locate, but with a good fish finder and spider rigging set up, you’d be surprised by how many fish you can catch.

In the summer months, look for crappie near submerged structures like fallen trees and brush piles in deeper water. Many man-made lakes and reservoirs often feature artificial fish structures, which can also be very productive fish holding spots in the summer. Once you locate a school of fish with your spider rigging, anchor up and still fish or do some cast and retrieve fishing.

Fall Crappie Fishing: Our Second Favorite Time of Year

In the fall, baitfish move into shallow water, with crappie close behind. Cooler water temperatures boost crappie appetite, making fall perhaps the second best time to fish after spring.

Find crappie holding over structure in shallower water.  You can catch them with spider rigging, or by cast and retrieve fishing with small curly-tail grubs, tubes, and spinners. Live minnows under bobbers are also particularly effective in fall.

Winter Crappie Fishing: Less Popular But still an Option

Crappie tend to stay deep during the winter months, but bouts of warm days may bring them into the shallows. The best strategy for catching quality crappie in the winter is to use your fishfinder and focus on the deepest waters in the lake. In the winter, fish will often be tightly huddled together, so even though it might take a bit more effort to find them, the rewards will be worth it.

When you do find those schools of deep water winter crappie, the best advice is to fish slowly and pay close attention to the bite. The bites in winter can be very subtle, and if you look away you might miss it. Slip float rigs are great for winter as they present your lure at a consistent depth with relatively slow action. When you finally connect with a fish, send your lure straight back to the same spot as there are likely many other crappie willing to bite.

Crappie Fishing Tips:  Parting Thoughts & Insider Advice to Catch More Crappie:

To help you make the most of your time out on the lake tracking down crappie, here are a few insider tips to help you be more successful in your crappie fishing pursuits.

  • Be careful with your hook set. Crappie are known as “papermouths” because the tissue in their mouth and lips is very thin. A strong, bass-style hook set will easily rip the hook out of the crabbie’s mouth. Try to set the hook firm but soft.
  • Keep a tight line. After you hook a crappie, keep the line tight and reel in steadily. A loose line will give the fish the advantage and it can easily shake the hook.
  • Change depth before changing lures. Crappie are very depth sensitive, so before you go and tie on ten different lures, make sure you’re thoroughly covering every possible depth within an area.
  • Check local regulations before using multiple rods. Some areas prohibit the use of multiple rods. You don’t want to get busted for fishing eight rods off the bow of your boat when only one is allowed!
  • Use light wire hooks and light line when fishing heavy structure. This may seem counter-intuitive, but using light hooks and line in structure has advantages.  If you get hung up, you can easily straighten the hook to get it free, or worst case, break the line. This can save you from losing lot’s of gear over the course of a season!

The post Crappie Fishing Tips: How to Catch White & Black Crappie with Lures, Bait, Rigs, and Jigs appeared first on Wilderness Today.

Survival Fishing

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Survival Fishing: How To Catch Fish When You’re Desperate

Written by: Adam Torkildson, 

reelinfishFishing is a terrific sport and pastime. It’s a great excuse to get out of the house for a weekend and relax on a summer afternoon. Many a fisherman has found the sport to be incredibly rewarding and even life changing. It’s also an excellent source of food when you’re facing an emergency situation. Knowing how to catch fish when you’re in a crisis could save your life one day.

Before we look at this survival tactic, it’s vital to acknowledge that some forms of survival fishing are illegal under normal circumstances due to preservation laws. These practices should not be pursued as a hobby. In a life or death situation, however, the authorities are more likely to overlook your methods and accept that you had to break the rules in order to stay alive.

Don’t get caught in a crisis unprepared if you can possibly help it. But when you need food and have no other way to get it, here are six survival fishing methods that could come in very handy.

 

Pack Your Supplies

  • The best way to catch fish in an emergency is to have your necessary fishing supplies already on hand. That includes an assortment of hooks, swivels, lines, and weights in your emergency preparedness kit. You should take these with you wherever you go. That way, if you find yourself stranded, you’ll have the supplies you need to catch fish with ease.

 

Create a Multi-Line Trap

  • To increase your odds of catching fish without a pole, try attaching multiple fishing lines with baited hooks to an array of low-lying branches over a body of water. Once you have multiple fishing traps set, you’re more likely to catch at least one fish in a day, which should be enough to sustain you for at least 24 hours. Again, please remember that this is illegal in many states, but if it saves your life, it’s worth a try.

 

Scout Out Fishing Locations

  • No matter what method you’re using to catch fish, you’re not likely to snag a meal if you’re fishing in the wrong places. Fish tend to prefer the cover of grass, weeds, lily pads, logs, and other hiding places along the water’s edge. You’ll have better luck if you set your sights on these areas rather than the middle of a stream or lake.

 

Drift Nets

  • Please note that this method of fishing is also currently illegal. If you use drift nets under any circumstance other than a true emergency, the punishment can be a heavy fine and even jail time. You can catch multiple fish at a time with this method, however, which could sustain you long enough for rescuers to find you.

 

Know Which Natural Bait Is Effective

Most people don’t carry worms in their emergency survival kit, but you can find natural bait just about wherever you are. Below are some of the best natural bait to look for when you have to catch fish.

  • Minnows
  • Leaches
  • Small fish
  • Crickets
  • Maggots
  • Grasshoppers
  • Crawdads
  • Worms
  • Beetles

 

Your ability to find natural bait will depend on your location and terrain. For example, grasshoppers are more likely to be found in dry, tall grasses, and worms are commonly located in wet, muddy places.

Remember that your bait must be alive if it’s going to attract fish, so take care when you’re trying to catch the little critters.

 

Balloon Fishing

  • Along with your hooks, lines, and sinkers, you might carry a package of balloons in your emergency pack. They can be inflated slightly to use as floats for your multiple fishing lines if there are no overhanging branches for you to use. When a fish bites the bait, it won’t be able to pull the balloon underwater. As long as you attach the balloon with a second line to a secure place on shore, the fish won’t be able to swim away, and you’ll now be alerted that a fish has been caught when the balloon begins bobbing on the surface of the water.

 

Each of these fishing methods is of course unorthodox for a normal fishing trip, but when you’re desperate to eat, you’ll be grateful that you came prepared.

 

The post Survival Fishing appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Prepper insurance ideas!

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Prepper insurance ideas! Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” This topic is something that I have seen a lot in discussion lately, a lot of us prep, store food, store weapons, medical supplies and the like. But the question is do we have prepper insurance? What I mean by this is do we have backups for … Continue reading Prepper insurance ideas!

The post Prepper insurance ideas! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

The Benefits of Fishing with Polarized Sunglasses

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First, what do polarized lenses do, and then we will discuss the benefits to anglers.

When light is reflected from a smooth surface such as water it is what is referred to as “horizontally polarized”, which simply means instead of being scattered in all directions, it is more focused in a horizontal direction, which causes intense and sometimes dangerous glare.

Polarized lenses block this type of glare or reflected light. When wearing polarized lenses, even on cloudy days you will notice the haze or halo is reduced or eliminated as well.

Polarized lenses will however, make it difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to see displays created by Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD’s) and LED displays on certain devices. The lenses may also make it more difficult to see your cell phone or GPS screen.

Maybe Your Fishing Skills Are Not the Reason For Your Bad Luck Could It Be Your Sunglasses?

Glare off the water will produce eye strain, which can lead to headaches. Fishing should not be painful, and so when it becomes a chore, your catch of the day may very well end up on someone else’s hook. If you wear polarized lenses you will notice a reduction in eye strain, and thus, less headaches caused by this strain.

Even when the sun is not shining, there will be glare off the water, and this glare will prevent you from seeing below the surface of the water. Being able to see under the surface is important for a number of reasons. You want to see the fish for one thing, and then any object such as a sunken log or branch that may snag the boat or your line. Dangers do lurk just below the surface and you need to be able to see them before disaster strikes.

Sight fishing is a technique used by many anglers, and it works well when bass fishing. Bass like hiding out in pockets of vegetation, and if you cannot see the pockets, because of the glare off the water, then you don’t know where to drop your line (s). 

It wasn’t too many years ago that polarized lenses were considered a luxury. However, today you can buy polarize lenses relatively cheap, but you do get what you pay for, so shop carefully. You can buy fishing glasses specifically for anglers, but as long as the lenses are polarized any quality pair of glasses would suffice. You can’t assume all lenses are polarized so look for this designation.

You want the glasses to fit properly so they stay on your head, do not pinch the nose, or cause irritation on the sides of the head or the ear. Cheap glasses will fit poorly, so you may have to step up slightly from the bargain bin pairs on sale. This is not to say you have to spend a fortune on glasses however, and it may be worth your while to have more than one pair. Have a pair for the boat, car, and survival kit.

Take advantage of any equipment, skill, or knowledge that will help you become a better angler, because someday you may have to survival fish to stay alive. Again have a pair in your survival kit along with quality tackle for survival fishing.

The post The Benefits of Fishing with Polarized Sunglasses appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

Top 5 Reasons Why People Do Not Catch Fish

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Top 5 Reasons Why People Do Not Catch Fish Fishing is one of the most popular leisure sports in the US, but most people don’t really have a good idea of what actually goes on out there on our lakes, rivers and any other body of water you can think of. This is especially important …

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The post Top 5 Reasons Why People Do Not Catch Fish appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Make Your Food Stretch And Cut the Waste

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How To Make Your Food Stretch And Cut the Waste There is no denying that food is getting more and more expensive, especially if you want to eat anything resembling healthy food. Meat alone has seen price hikes by well over 60% in the last 4-5 years and people are feeling the strain in their …

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Outrageous: Student Goes Fishing, Leaves Knife In Car, And Gets Arrested?

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Outrageous: Student Goes Fishing, Leaves Knife In Car, And Gets Arrested?

Sam Serrato. Image source: Fox5

Zero tolerance run amok almost destroyed the lives of two high school students in Escondido, California. Brandon Cappelletti, 18, and Sam Serrato, 16, faced expulsion from school and criminal charges because security guards found knives used for fishing and other chores in their vehicles.

“Sometimes I can’t sleep and I wake up in the middle of the night,” Serrato, a junior, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “If I end up getting expelled, I’d have to go to a community college. It’s not what I really want to do. My whole life would change.”

Security guards found a pocketknife with a blade more than two and a half inches long – the maximum allowed length under state law — in the glove compartment of his SUV while it was in the parking lot at San Pasqual High School. The knife didn’t even belong to Serrato; it belonged to his dad, who had put it there after purchasing it weeks earlier.

For that transgression, Serrato could have faced up to a year in jail and expulsion from school, which would have made him ineligible to play football. Serrato is an honor student who is hoping for a football scholarship to a four-year school.

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Cappelletti almost saw his dream of serving in the Marine Corps disappear. The branch’s high standards make even a misdemeanor a disqualification for service. Cappelletti had left three knives in his pickup truck following a fishing trip in January and forgot about them; the knives were used for cutting fishing line and fileting the fish. Like Serrato, he never actually took a knife into the school.

State Law Mandates Zero Tolerance

Outrageous: Student Goes Fishing, Leaves Knife In Car, And Gets Arrested?

Stock photo. Image source: Pixabay.com

The two ran afoul of a California state law that makes it a misdemeanor to bring a knife with a blade longer than two and a half inches on school property. Security guards found the weapons while searching for drugs with drug-sniffing dogs, although the guards found no drugs.

School officials tried to expel the two, but that provoked a backlash which prompted a large crowd to fill a school board meeting. Even some school officials turned out to support the two.

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“I’m willing to stick my neck out for these kids because they are the kind we want representing us in society,” football coach Tony Corley told a reporter. “They made an honest mistake. They will learn from it and I hope their lives won’t change because of an innocent mistake.”

Officials apparently listened, and on February 13, The Union-Tribune reported that no criminal charges would be filed and the two will be able to return to school. That will enable Cappelletti to report to Marine boot camp this summer.

“Following the review, and based on the totality of the circumstances, the Escondido Police Department has decided to not submit the cases to the District Attorney’s Office, or to the Juvenile Diversion Program,” Lt. Ed Varso of the Escondido Police Department said in a statement. “No charges will be pursued in the case.”

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How to Catch Big Largemouth Bass: A Beginner’s Guide

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Catching Big BassWant to know a fun fact about bass? They’re the only animal which grows in size between the time they’re caught and the time the fisherman describes them to his friends!

Just like every compound bow hunter wants to take down that first huge doe, every fisherman wants to hook the biggest bass possible.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a relative beginner just learning to fish, or a seasoned veteran that’s used augers in some some of the coldest ice fishing plots on the globe, you can still reel in a big catch.

Our guide below was created to show all bass fishing beginners how to catch big bass – and, we promise, that’s no “fish story.”

Table Of Contents:

The Basics:

There are three main areas you’ll want to focus on:

  • What Equipment to Use
  • Where to Find Big Bass
  • How to Hook and Reel Them

What Equipment to Use:

If you’re just starting out, there’s good news. You don’t need to spend a lot of money buying anything new or high-end. In fact, the rule of thumb here is to use the equipment you’re already comfortable with. Most – if not all – of your existing equipment will work just fine while you’re learning.

If you’re comfortable with spinning gear, stick with that instead of switching over to bait casters. If you find you enjoy bass fishing, you can always upgrade your equipment later. Right now, whatever equipment you have will probably work while you’re learning.

You do want the lightest weight rod and reel you can afford. Casting lines all day long can quickly become tiring. A lightweight rod lets you toss baits while minimizing fatigue. Bigger isn’t always better. Besides, you want to fight with the bass a bit when he bites on your line – and that fight is half the fun!

You can learn a lot by using a lightweight rod in order to hook a one-pound bass. This will help you become familiar with how a bass fights, move and otherwise reacts on a hook. Gaining experience hooking the smaller-sized bass will help you when you start hooking the larger ones.

Pay some attention to the manufacturer of your gear. A trusted, big-name brand is often a better choice. They’ll typically offer better customer service and return policies.

Don’t worry much about buying the top-of-the-line equipment, however. Only buy whatever you can comfortably afford. Most big brands have mid-range gear which won’t break your budget.

Where to Find Big Bass:

Are you ready to think like a fish? Bass fishing is a lot like hide and seek. If you know where the bass like to hide, you can easily find them. Check out these types of locations:

  • Boat docks where Fishing Kayaks are stored
  • Areas where rocks become sand
  • Areas where weeds become hydrilla

Seasons matter, too. Bass spawn in the spring. They build their nests pretty close to shore. If you’re lucky, you might be able to even sight-fish a female guarding her nest. With the right bait, you can pester and then hook an egg-stuffed largemouth. In this case, you do want to release the bass so she can return to her nest and compete spawning.

Of course, bass are in the waters all year long. Their behaviors change based on seasonal factors such as weather, temperature and feeding patterns. You can use these behavior patterns to your advantage.

Beginners probably want to avoid larger bodies of water such as big lakes. Small ponds are a better practice ground. In a small pond:

  • Potential hiding spots are easier to spot
  • Sight fishing is generally easier
  • Choppy waters are often less of a concern
  • You won’t need communication devices if you are on two separate boats

Big mouth bass aren’t big by chance. They’re big because they’re managed to avoid being eaten by humans, large fish and other predators. Any large bass (generally over five pounds) will have finely developed survival instincts. You’re going to have to out-smart them.

Bass have a pecking order. This means the biggest bass get the best spots in the lake. For a bass, the best spot is the one with the most cover.

Casting into deep cover does have downsides. Namely, you’re going to lose some equipment now and again and these spots are usually not all that accessible by kayak, twin/tandem kayak or canoe fishers.

Usually you need at least a skiff or a boat that will allow you to get more leverage during your fishing attempts.

Throwing into weeds, low branches and other fauna increases the chances of snagged lines and lost lures. This is just a part of bass fishing. The good news is the reward can outweigh the risk. By throwing into these covered areas, you increase your changes of hooking the biggest bass.

How to Hook and Reel Largemouth Bass:

Terminal tackle is the equipment between pole and angler. Two important pieces here are the line and the hook. While the variety of options available for both can be overwhelming, picking the right equipment is actually pretty simple.

You’ll want to lightest line possible. This doesn’t mean you’ll want the lightest line on the market. Rather, you’ll want the lightest line which won’t break under the stress of a big bass.

Line breakage is a common problem among beginners, so be aware. You’ll probably end up experimenting with line strength as you learn.

You’ll also want your hooks to be sharp. Many people buy a hook sharpener which they keep in their tackle box. Remember: The sharper the hook, the easier the fishing.

Types of Bait:

Crankbaits

Crankbaits are another popular part of bait. You’ll probably want both a shallow and a deep diver. Many bass fishers select at least two colors for each. We recommend covering all your bases with:

  • Natural-looking baitfish
  • Shocker bright

With crankbait, you want to vary the reeling speed while also raising and lowering the pole. Your specific approach will depend on the type of water. Bass in calm water will typically respond to a steady retrieve, while bass in choppy waters seem to prefer a more irregular retrieve.

Spinnerbaits

These are suitable for basically all conditions. Spinnerbaits have a lot of variety, so we recommend selecting a few natural types and a few shocking types. Many fishers find success with gold bladed spinnerbait.

You’ll want titanium spinnerbait because those big bass will likely break anything weaker. When reeling the lure in, keep it just below the surface of the water. When a bass takes your lure, you have to act quickly. Bass will spit out a lure once they realize it’s not actual food.

Plastic Worms

Bass love worms and plastic worms are a clean, easy alternative to real ones. Natural colors are a popular choice. Also, most people prefer a wide worm. After casting, you’ll want to try for irregular, distressed movements. Hopefully, this will fool the fish.

Fishing with worms – both real and plastic – requires patience. But you’ll likely want to bring worms along, even if you don’t think you’ll use them. On some days, it seems bass won’t bite at anything except worms. Since they don’t take up much space, it’s usually better to bring some plastic worms along just in case you need them.

Once the bass bites the worm, avoid taking any immediate action. Only strike when the bass starts to swim away. Fishing with worms takes practice but when worms work, they tend to work really well.

General Tips and Tricks for Catching the Big Bass:

Of course, there’s no one way to catch a fish. Finding the most effective lure for the waters is part of the fun found in fishing. Never be afraid to experiment with different lures and retrieval styles. Here are some general tips:

Casting over and over in the same area is often an effective strategy. If you have a strong suspicion bass are nearby, try casting frequently. Sometimes the bass will become bothered by the lures and attack them.

You’ll want to make your lures “swim” as naturally as possible. When the lures look real, bass are likely to follow. Bringing life to a lure can be frustrating at first but you’ll get it with practice. Done correctly, you can really attract the big bass.

Lure colors can help attract bass. Brightly colored lures tend to work well in muddy waters. Natural colors are often an effective choice for clear water. Bring a variety of lures so you can change tactics throughout the day as necessary.

Bumping lures is another options, but be careful. If you purposefully bump a lure against underwater objects the lure can become stuck and lost. If you’re going to practice bumping, use lures you don’t mind potentially losing.

You Can Catch Big Bass!

There’s one important rule to always remember: Have fun! Many beginning bass fishers become so involved in doing everything correctly that they become stressed and overwhelmed.

There is a lot of equipment and concepts to understand at first. But as long as you remember to enjoy the process, you’ll learn quickly. Before you know it, you’ll hook bass five pounds and larger. And that’s something worth bragging about!

The post How to Catch Big Largemouth Bass: A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on Wilderness Today.

Think Outside The Shack: Designing A Homemade Ice-Fishing Shelter

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Think Outside The Shack: Design A Homemade Ice-Fishing Shelter

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If you live far enough north that lakes or rivers freeze over winter, it makes sense to fish all winter long when the bounty is available through the ice. While you can go out on the ice without a shelter and fish on a fair day, you will get more fishing days in and be more comfortable while doing it if you have an ice-fishing shelter.

It’s true that you can purchase many ice huts and tents intended for ice-fishing, but for real flexibility you should consider designing a custom shelter that precisely meets your needs.

In reality, you can use almost anything as an ice-fishing shelter if it keeps you warm and meets local building codes. Innovative sportsmen have used recycled trailers, sheds, plastic outbuildings, large crates, and their own construction to create a variety of shelters that do the trick. You don’t need to overthink your ice-fishing shelter. Look around at local classifieds or in your own backyard to find a structure or trailer that you can repurpose. If you can use some repurposed materials, you can quickly and easily construct something that will keep you very comfortable.

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There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding what will work best for you:

Warmth

You will want to have room in the walls of your shelter to add some kind of insulation, maybe foam, and to properly insulate any doors or openings. Most ice-fishing shelters also have a stove or other heat source; if you have room in yours, you may want to consider installing a chimney and stove to keep the shelter toasty and provide you with a cooking surface. Wood stoves are common, since propane can create more hazards if not properly ventilated. However, either stove type will need to be used with caution.  Locate your heat source away from your exit, in case of fire.

Size

There are many tiny fishing houses out there, and indeed there is some appeal to the solitude of fishing alone in the peace and stillness of winter. Still, most shelters will accommodate at least one guest. Fold-up benches and tables are nice if you can build them in to your shelter. When you’re alone, you can just fold them away.

Cost

If you’re building your shelter, the sky is the limit with how much you can spend on materials, with everything from expensive finishings to gadgetry available on the market. At the lowest end of the cost spectrum, vinyl on a PVC frame will keep you from the wind, but it won’t keep you very warm. For something middle-of-the-road, try plywood sheets, 2x4s, foam insulation and shrink wrap: snug and cheap.

Portability

Think Outside The Shack: Design A Homemade Ice-Fishing Shelter

Image source: ofwoodsandwords.com

How will you move your shelter on to the ice? If you are repurposing a trailer, you’re ahead of the game because you’ve got wheels. This gives you a lot of flexibility, since you can easily tow your shelter from place to place to find fish or try a new lake. If your structure doesn’t have wheels, you can build a skid for it, or else mount it with wheels or skis to move it around the ice.  You can even construct a shelter with very light materials and move it from place to place; this is much more labor-intensive, but might be more affordable if you have the materials on hand. No matter what, you will need to consider what will fit in your vehicle and plan accordingly; as a last resort, you can build on the ice, but make sure you pick a good spot, because you’ll be stuck there.

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You can even construct a shelter with very light materials and move it from place to place; this is much more labor-intensive, but might be more affordable if you have the materials on hand. No matter what, you will need to consider what will fit in your vehicle and plan accordingly; as a last resort, you can build on the ice, but make sure you pick a good spot, because you’ll be stuck there.

Fishing Holes and Fittings

Don’t neglect to consider the logistics of how you are going to fish in your shelter. You’re not just going out on the ice to sit comfortably with a book! Depending on the size of your floor, you may have 1 – 10 holes cut into it and through the ice. Ensure that you have secure covers for these holes to make sure no one steps through them when you’re not fishing.

Other matters to plan for include shelves for drying wet gear, hooks for storing rods when not in use, coolers for fish, and possibly even a cleaning station. Some anglers install entertainment in their ice-fishing huts, such as televisions or games tables; don’t do it at the cost of your fishing.

Once you’ve got something practical and workable, don’t be afraid to add a little flair. There is real creativity out on the ice, with everything from whale-shaped ice shelters to geodesic domes to mural painting expressing the wit and personality of the designer. You may even catch more fish!

No matter what, an alert angler is better at noticing his catches, so it’s worth the effort to make a place where you won’t be fighting the cold.

What advice would you add on making an ice-fishing shelter? Share your tips in the section below:

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How To Turn A Tomato Cage Into The Ultimate Fish-Catcher

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How To Turn A Tomato Cage Into The Ultimate Fish-Catcher It goes without saying that learning to make different types of traps will increase your chances of short term and long term survival. One of the best traps is a funnel trap. Funnel traps can be made out of plastic bottles too. These plastic bottle …

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What are the Best Augers for Ice Fishing? Hand & Power Auger Reviews for 2016:

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Best Ice Augers For FishingBreak out your parkas and your winter fishing gear – the days of leisurely kayak fishing on a lake by yourself or your favorite fishing partner are over for the season.  Don’t fret though, fly fishing season will be back soon enough later in the year.

The good news is that this opens up lots of opportunity for one of our favorite types of fishing – Ice fishing!  While leaning to ice fish is an aquired taste that not every fishing enthusiast will dive into, we feel that there’s loads of fishing opportunity out there for the taking.

As with any type of fall/spring/summer conditions, you want to make sure you have the most appropriate type of gear for your expedition and ice fishing is no different.  Today we talk about our favorite Augers in 2016.

Outside of a communication device to use in the event of an emergency, there is no piece of equipment more critical for the ice fisherman than an ice auger.

You travel a good ways to go out on the ice, and you want to put the hole in quickly with a reliable piece of gear that won’t give out on you in the middle of drilling.

You have a lot of choices given the apparent simplicity of a piece of equipment designed for drilling holes.

How do you choose an ice auger for fishing? It all comes down to three choices: human powered versus horsepowered, fuel choice, and blade size.   Below we list our top 5 in a comparison chart for your review and get even more detailed in our featured reviews afterwards.

Let’s drill down and see what’s what.

Our Comparison Chart:

Image: User Reviews: Type: Rating: Price:
Eskimo Mako 43cc with 10-Inch Quantum Ice Auger Power $$$
ION 40V Max Electric Ice Auger, 8 Inch, with Reverse Power $$$$
Eskimo High Compression 40cc Propane with 10-Inch Quantum Ice Auger Power $$$
Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger, 5-Inch Manual/Hand $
Strikemaster Ice Fishing Mora Hand Auger, 8-Inch Manual/Hand $

How to Choose an Ice Auger for Ice Fishing:

The first thing to decide when purchasing an ice auger is whether to pick a manual auger or a powered model. The selection comes down to how many holes you plan to drill, the speed with which you want to drill them, and the thickness of the ice.

Should you choose a Hand Auger?

 Why wouldn’t you want to just select a powered auger? Weight. If you’re fishing in a remote location or one that’s not particularly easy to get into, a hand auger is a good choice.

It’s a third as heavy as a powered auger. Plus, if you’re fishing early in the season when the ice is not so thick, and if you’re not drilling more than a few holes, a hand auger will do the job. It’ll certainly warm you up.

Another reason to select a hand auger is the price. You can find a great hand auger that’ll set you back less than $75. A good powered auger easily cost you three times as much. If you’re on a budget, go with the hand auger until you can afford a powered model.

The hand auger is also a good choice if you are an occasional ice fisherman (is there such a beast?). There’s no reason to spend the money on a powered auger if you’re going out once a winter.

Note, too, that if you’re fishing for large species and need that 10” hole, the hand auger is not the right choice for your situation.

Should you choose a Power Auger?

For many ice fishermen, powered augers have completely replaced the hand auger. They have become extremely reliable and, if you fish a lot on hard water and weight/portability is not an issue, the powered auger is the only way to go.

There are four power sources for powered augers: two-stroke, four-stroke, propane, or battery.

Two-stroke engines have been used to run power augers for years. They run on a mixture of gas and oil, a reliable choice and, until recently, the only real choice available.

For speed they’re unbeatable But with new technologies and designs, the two-stroke is seeing some competition because it’s higher maintenance and can be more difficult to start than other choices.

Four-stroke engines require much less maintenance and are much easier to operate than a two-stroke. The newest four-strokers cut the ice as well as a two-stroke, and some run on propane as well.

Cutting the ice is cleaner with a four-stroke, just as fast, and they don’t produce the kind of smoke you get with a two-stroke. The downside is they’re more expensive than other options.

The propane-driven ice auger has become extremely popular the last couple of years. It’s lower maintenance, easy to clean, and quieter than the two- or four-stroke engines. Propane-driven models are easy to start and have a lot of power.

Electric ice augers are convenient and, with the new lithium batteries, are quiet and efficient. If you’re drilling in a wheel-house, you won’t find a cleaner source of power. The silence with which they operate is a huge factor at first ice.

Auger Blade Types & Choices:

Ice augers come in a variety of sizes, with the 8” and 10” being the ones most commonly used. Blade size choice comes down to the size of the fish species you’re after. The larger hole is going to give you better performance in the long run.

Making sure your blades are sharp is critical when you’re heading into a new fishing season. The regularity with which you change blades is all about how many holes you drill – no surprise there, right?

You can sharpen or replace your blades, and there are sharpening jigs available, though it’s inexpensive to have a pro do it for you. It’s easy to change an auger blade, easy enough that you can do it at home or in the field.

Can I add accessories to my Auger?

We’d be remiss if we didn’t say something about accessories for your auger. The number one accessory? An auger blade extension.

The last thing you want to have happen is be out fishing in March when the ice is the thickest and discover you don’t have enough length to complete the hole. Good luck finding an extension when that happens.

No, you’ll want to have an extension on hand before you hit the heavy ice.

The other thing you’ll want to consider is getting a cover for the power head if you’re using a powered auger. Cold weather makes plastic brittle, so a cover will protect the plastic components. It will also protect the exhaust.

The Top 5 Recommended Ice Augers for Ice Fishing:

Eskimo Mako Quantum 43cc Power Ice Fishing Auger:

Eskimo Quantum 43cc Power Ice Fishing AugerThis Eskimo Mako comes with a 10-inch auger that’s 42-inches long. With a 30:1 gear ratio, it’ s going to cut through any ice you’re facing this winter without breaking a sweat.

It runs on a high-performance, 8000 RPM Viper engine and is easy to operate. It features a fingertip throttle control and foam-grip handlebars. The dual Quantum blades are replaceable.

The Mako starts right up in cold weather. It’s not going to win a speed contest, but it’s slow, steady, and persistent.

The 42-inch auger cuts through the thick ice so well you’ll be tempted to drill more just for the heck of it. It’s easy to keep upright, too, and runs very smoothly.

As with any gas powered auger it takes a few holes to break in, but it is a workhorse that will serve you extremely well for years to come.

ION 40V Max Electric Ice Auger, 8 Inch, with Reverse:

Ion 40V Max Electric AugerBehold the electric ice auger! Ion’s 40V Max Electric is a surprisingly high-performance beast, featuring an 8-inch auger that’s 34 inches long.

A 12-inch extension is included, bringing the auger length to 46 inches. At a measly 21 pounds, the Ion is lightweight and easy to carry. It’s easy to operate, too, thanks to the wide-spaced handlebar design and large trigger. A battery charger is included.

It really can drill holes as well as a gas auger, too. You will need to keep the battery warm on extremely cold days when you aren’t using it – keep it in the shack or in your pockets and it will be fine.

The lithium ion battery lasts a long time, much longer than you’d think. You should be able to drill 30 to 40 two-foot-deep holes on a single battery charge (Ion specs it at 40 holes.) This electric auger has a reverse feature, too, which is a plus.


Eskimo High Compression 40cc Propane with 10-Inch Quantum Ice Auger:

Eskimo High Compression 40ccWith a high-compression, 40cc, 4-stroke engine, and a 10-inch auger that’s 42 inches long, you are going to be the envy of every other fisherman on the ice with this Eskimo.

It features an auto-prime fuel system, too, so you simply flip the switch to ON and start drilling. The beauty of the Eskimo High-Compression Propane auger is that it is both lightweight and powerful.

With its high compression ratio, this auger eats ice like butter, and it’s a dependable piece of equipment.

It’s easy to pull start this beauty, too, and is available at a very good price. In practice, a single 1lb tank of propane should drill around 100 holes before changing. It will chew through the ice with no effort at all.

It has plenty of power for even the thickest ice, and with no gas fumes it is a perfect choice for indoor drilling.


Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger:

Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer HandYou’re going to be surprised at how quickly the Strike Master Lazer hand auger puts the hole in the ice. It features chrome-alloy stainless steel blades, powder coated paint to reduce ice build-up, and an ergonomically designed handle with soft rubber grips.

The handle adjusts from 48 to 57 inches, so it accommodates various ice thicknesses and fisherman heights. It’s a precision instrument that’s faster than you would expect it to be.

You’re not going to want to use any hand auger on holes that are bigger than 6 inches unless you are in excellent shape or have a helper on hand.

That said, the Lazer blades on this hand auger do a fantastic job – it is fully capable of enabling you to cut through 15” of ice in about a minute. It cuts smoothly, and makes a nice backup for your powered auger, too.

If you need something portable and you are fishing for sunfish or perch, this is a perfect hand auger.


Strikemaster Ice Fishing Mora Hand Auger:

Srike Master Mora HandIf you plan to hike in and fish, then this Strikemaster Mora hand auger is perfect for the job. It features high alloy carbon steel blades and powder coated paint to reduce ice build-up just like its big brother, the Lazer.

Soft rubber grips and ergonomically designed handle system make this hand auger a joy to use. The adjustable handle goes from 48” to 57”. Its two-piece design makes it easy to transport and store. Comes with a blade guard.

The Mora is an impressive ice auger that drills quickly and effectively. It’s worth purchasing the adaptor for use with a drill, but unless you plan on drilling a dozen or so holes you’ll likely find the auger alone does a fantastic job.

It takes very little effort to operate and does extremely well with 6” holes. The 8” version cuts through ice like butter, too, though it will give you a workout if the ice is fairly thick.

Wrap Up:

Ice fishing is one of the most exciting times of the year for any angling enthusiast and we feel it’s a great experience to try out as long as you have proper guidance and take proper care during your first expedition.

Seasoned Ice fishers know that this sport is more dangerous than traditional lake, river or stream fishing and as such, we always recommend that you tap into any resources that you have to get someone with a high level of experience in ice fishing before braving the cold on your own.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our breakdown of one of the most critical pieces of gear for any serious ice fisher.  If there’s a model we missed that you feel belongs in our list, please feel free to let us know by dropping a line in our comments section.

The post What are the Best Augers for Ice Fishing? Hand & Power Auger Reviews for 2016: appeared first on Wilderness Today.

How To Improvise A Fishing Rod

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Every serious fisherman knows the importance of owning the right fishing rod. Whether you’re fishing for sport or you’re simply trying to feed yourself, there’s no better way than doing it the old fashioned way. But in a SHTF situation (whether you’re lost in the wilderness or you’ve found yourself trapped in an end-of-days scenario) you might not have you trusted fishing rod on you. But you won’t necessarily need to. You’ll need nothing more than a knife; having a small tackle box with the right assortment of hooks and some spool of monofilament will make things easier. If you’re lucky enough to have these items on you, you’ll need to improvise the fishing pole only, which it’ll be more than enough to feed yourself in desperate times. If not, well, you’ll need to improvise the whole thing. The rest of the materials you can easily find in your surroundings. And here’s how to do it.

The pole

The first thing you’ll need to find is the pole; any 6 – 7 foot-long branch will do, as long as it’s no thicker than a human thumb. Once you’ve found the right one, you’ll have to break it off from the tree. Once this is achieved, you’ll need to break it again to the desired length. If it’s dry enough, you can snap it in half against your knee or against any hard surface; but if it’s not dry and it’s still rather flexible, you can try cutting it with the knife. Using dead branches is a bad idea because their durability is very low and break easily. You can test the tip by banding it to the point of snapping. If it snaps, fine; the more it does snap, the stronger the remaining pole gets. As soon as you got the pole to the desired length, use the knife to remove any remaining branches, leaves or shoots. Make it as smooth as possible in order to improve weight and handling.

 

The fishing line

If you happen to have some monofilament fishing like on you, your job gets much easier. If you don’t, sewing thread could get the job done as well. But in sewing thread isn’t an option either, you’ll need to get your hands dirty and look for thin green vines in ground cover or in the undergrowth found around various bushes. The greener the vine, the stronger it will be. If you find a vine that’s about 10 feet, look no further. Remove any tendrils by pulling carefully so you don’t damage the line. For safety, the line should be tied midway down the pole and wrapped as many times as possible towards the tip, where a simple overhand knot will suffice for holding it in place. This way, if the pole breaks, you can immediately catch the line with your hands.

The hooks and the bait

Some professional hooks will work extremely well, provided of course you brought some along. If not, you can always use paper clips, safety pins or soda can tabs. Another viable option is to carve your very own V-shaped hooks out of wood (green wood preferably). A one end you’ll need to carve a groove, in the hook-eye area. This will allow you to tie fishing line onto. As bait you can use pretty much any insect you can get your hands on. The easiest things to get are the earthworms, which can be found underground, under rocks, around moss and in other moist areas. Once you’ve baited the hook, you’re pretty much ready to go. From here on in it’s all about patience and skill.

When it comes to fishing is a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, fishing areas are very important. It’s absolutely necessary to procure the maximum amount of fish with as little resources as possible. So it’s not all about the gear that you have or that you’ve crafted. It’s just as important to know where, when and how to fish. If you’re fishing in stagnant waters, you’ll need to go after still pools. The stillness of the water will make the bait as visible as possible, thus increasing your chances of catching something fast. When it comes to running waters, the area behind exposed boulders would be the best location to catch anything, as fish have a tendency of gathering in such places. You might also want to consider bank fishing, as standing on the water’s edge can also be a very productive fishing method.

As you can see, improvising and entire fishing pole is a rather difficult task, but not impossible to achieve. As previously stated, having line and hooks on you will spare you a lot of trouble. But if not, you’ll just need to put some extra effort into it. Just follow all the steps and you’ll have your DIY fishing rod in no time.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post How To Improvise A Fishing Rod appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Fishing for Survival

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Most of us use fishing as a recreational activity. But fishing started out as a necessity for human beings rather than anything else. And what if a time comes when you’ll find yourself obligated to fish for no other purpose than to feed yourself or your family? There are plenty of survival scenarios that could happen and might force you to resort to fishing for survival. If the SHTF scenario finds you at home and prepared, with all the fishing gear you need at your disposal, good. That means one less thing to worry about. But what if you happen to find yourself stranded or you’re forced to leave your home without having enough time to pack your fishing gear too? There are water sources around and “plenty of fish in the sea” but nothing to catch them with. Well, you’re not doomed to starve, that’s for sure. There are plenty of primitive fishing techniques developed way before modern fishing that could very well be implemented today. Sure, fishing with the latest gear is preferable, but if that’s not an option, at least there are other ways that, although are unorthodox, at least they work.

 

D.I.Y. fishing spear

There is more than one way of improvising such a tool. If you’re aim is good enough and your hand is steady you can make a single point spear. Just find a branch or a piece of wood that’s long enough and simply attach to one end either a blade or a piece of bone that’s sharp enough to pierce flesh. A piece of durable plastic will do just as well. Simply carve enough space at one end of the branch (without breaking it) that’s wide enough to jam the point of the spear in. After you’re done, simply tie the end with a piece of rope or even duct tape and you have yourself a fishing spear. If you’re using a knife, know that exposure to water will deteriorate the quality of the metal in time, so you won’t be able to use it for much else. Another way of doing it is to simply carve the spear tip directly in the branch, by sharpening it with a blade or another sharp object at your disposal. But this won’t be a very durable result, especially if you miss a lot. Hitting the wooden tip on hard surfaces (rocks and sediments) will break it eventually.

But what if you’re a bad that can’t even harpoon a shark in a fish tank? No worries, this mean’s the multi-headed fishing spear is the right tool for you. Take a branch that’s durable enough and split one for about 6 inches long, as many times as you can. Sharpen the multi heads of the spear and tie them last 2 – 3 firmly with the rope, to prevent them from splitting further and eventually breaking. Now find a twig that’s strong enough to keep the “teeth” of the spear separated. You’ll not only hit your prey easily pierce it easily, but the shock from the hit will eject the twig, closing the “spear jaws”. That fish won’t know what hit him.

The multi-headed fishing spear

D.I.Y. fishing gear

Those of you who just can’t give up modern fishing or who simply find spear fishing too primitive can improvise their very own lures, lines and fish hooks. Hooks are easiest to make. If you have a soda can in hand, you can cut the tab a pair of pliers or strong scissors into a hook shape. Anything goes if you creative enough, from safety pins, nails or paper clips to thorns and bones. If you have a sharp knife on you and the patience to do it, you can make your very own toggle hook, used by our primitive ancestors. This is a 1 inch hook made from durable material (bone, sea shells or wood) that’s sharpened at both ends and curbed. It’s attached to the fishing line by its mid section and hidden bait. When the prey swallows the bait, the hook jams in its throat.

Bait shouldn’t be much of a problem, as there is plenty of natural bait around, even in urban environments. Fish tend to go for everything wiggling, so you’ll have no problem if you’ll be using grubs, ants, night crawlers, centipedes, millipedes, maggots, earthworms, caterpillars, beetles etc. If one type of bait doesn’t work, keep trying on until you find the right one. Considering you’ll be in survival situation, you might as well be fishing with multiple fishing lines. So trying out different types of bait and making a statistic shouldn’t be a long and lengthy process at all.

Fishing line is probably the biggest challenge you’ll have to face. Although it’s hard to improvise, it’s not impossible. It can be made out of clothing material (ripped or torn), wire, twisted tree bark, dental floss and pretty much everything else that’s thin enough to attach itself to the fishing pole and strong enough to pull a fish out of the water.

Improvised tab hook

D.I.Y. fishing nets

In some cases this method can be more efficient than the tradition line and hook method. You can use clothing material or pretty much any material that’s strong enough for the job. You can attach two pieces at the extremities and simply walk around with the improvised net submersed. This is very practical if you’re using it in a small lake or stream, but not if you find yourself at the ocean. You’ll have to start from the deepest spot and work your way with the net still immersed to the shallowest spot. When you get there, close the net and pick it up quickly.

Hand fishing

It’s probably the most primitive fishing method available. But still, it works. This activity goes by many names (hogging, graveling, noodling, fish tickling etc.) and it varies in technique from region to region. The easiest approach to hand fishing is to catch fish directly from their lairs or hideouts. Cat fish are easiest to catch due to their considerable size (which makes them easy to hold) and their slow response. Just find a fish lair and rich in and grab the fish out. It’s best if you can grab a direct hold of the gills and or on the inside of the mouth. Just make sure that whatever it is you’re grabbing doesn’t have teeth or spikes.

These are some of the easiest methods of fishing in a survival situation. There are more out there for you to discover. Many of them might not be legal in your state, but in a SHTF scenario, everything goes. So do not try them unless you don’t absolutely have to.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Fishing for Survival appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

How To Gut And Clean Your Fish

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If there’s one thing I always had some trouble with, that’s gutting and cleaning a fish.

Of all the skills I managed to master, this seems somehow the most elusive, probably because I’m not the biggest fan of cooking fish. I don’t mind catching and eating it, but what’s in between is what’s been giving me headaches.

That’s why I’m always looking for tips and tricks for making my job easier whenever hubby comes home triumphant from his fishing adventures (or the supermarket).

This is how I’ve stumbled upon this very cool infographic from Fix.com that I think you’ll appreciate as much as I did.
hook-to-cook-embed-small

Let me know how you deal with this in the comments section below: do you have a hands on approach or do you let your significant other do the dirty job?

Interested in the best self-sufficiency solution during a food crisis? CLICK HERE to learn more!

This article has been written by Brenda E. Walsh for Survivopedia.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Fly Fishing: Tips For Anglers Just Starting Out

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Fly Fishing

Due to its grace, beauty, and slower pace, many people find fly fishing to be a very calm, soothing, and relaxing, sport; even those who possess intense, type A, personalities.

On the other hand, it can also be very exciting when the fish are striking your fly on every cast and, it can be very frustrating when the fish are refusing your fly and yet, are taking others right beside it.

Also, it never, ever, fails that no matter how experienced a fly fisherman you are and, even when you know it is there, if there is a tree within casting distance, you will get caught in it!

Therefore, all fly fishermen are required to posses the patience of Job along with a deep appreciation for the challenge the sport presents as opposed to the number of fish that can be caught in a day.

Beyond that, there is a certain amount of knowledge that is also necessary such as knowing how to choose an appropriate fly fishing outfit for your intended purpose, how to cast a fly, how to read the water, and how to choose an appropriate fly pattern.

But, as long as you have the patience for it, and adopt the right attitude towards it, fly fishing can be one of the most magical and rewarding outdoor experiences you will ever have!

First you will require a certain amount of gear. For instance, you will need a fly rod, a fly reel, a fly line and a tapered leader along with an appropriate selection of flies.

Depending on your location, you may end up fishing from a single kayak or a tandem kayak.

But, when you look at fly rods, you will see that they are rated numerically according to their length and their line weight. So, how do you choose the correct one for you?

Well the first thing to be aware of is that because a fly has very little weight and a lot of wind resistance, it requires a weighted line to cast it and the more wind resistance a fly has, the heavier the line required to cast it.

Furthermore, line weights range from one weight to fourteen weight and, they feature numerous different types of specialty tapers such as Trout, Bass, Carp, Tarpon, ect.

A Discussion on Line Weights:

Line weights one through six are generally thought of as freshwater line weights while line weights six through fourteen are generally thought of as saltwater line weights.

In addition, freshwater line weights two through six are generally thought of a being equal to saltwater fly line weights six through ten such that a 2 weight.

Freshwater fly line is roughly equal to a six weight saltwater fly line and a six weight freshwater fly line is roughly equal to a ten weight saltwater fly line.

On the other hand, some freshwater fish such as Steelhead, Salmon, Largemouth Bass, Pike, and Muskie do require seven to ten weight outfits as well.

However, the main concept to keep in mind is that more delicate presentations are required when casting to skittish fish in clear water such as Trout, Bonefish, or Snook.

It’s worth noting that when fishing in more turbid water or in water with a surface broken by rapids or wind, then heavier line weights can be used.

Furthermore, the larger the fish species is, the heavier the line weight you will need because the fly rods designed for them are stiffer.

Choosing the right Rod:

Of course, once you have chosen a line weight, you will need to choose an appropriate fly rod along with a fly reel that has enough capacity to hold the line.

In most cases, you will want to choose a fly rod with the same numerical rating as your fly line and then choose an appropriate rod length.

For instance, fly rods generally range in length from 6 1/2 feet to 14 feet with the 9ft. 5wt. being the single most popular freshwater fly rod and 9ft. 9wt. being the single most popular saltwater fly rod sold.

But, for fishing on small, brushy, streams or in tight quarters, a shorter rod is often a better choice whereas, when fishing large rivers or in the surf, a longer Switch or Spey rod is often the best choice.

In addition, you should be aware that fly rods are generally available in three different actions consisting of slow, medium, and fast and that slow action rods are best for casting at close ranges.

They require less fly line (and thus less weight) to be extended beyond the tip of the rod to load whereas, fast action rods require more fly line to be extended beyond the tip of the rod in order to load.

As a result, they are best for casting over long distances and, medium actions are meant to bridge the gap between the two.

Choosing the right Reel:

Like your fly rod, fly reels are designed to carry different ranges of fly line weights and thus, fly reels for lighter line weights will have smaller diameters and whereas, fly reels for heavier line weights will have larger diameters.

Fly reels are also classified by both the size of their arbors (the spool in the center of the reel that the line winds around) and the materials that they are made from.

For instance, a fly reel may have either a standard, mid, or large arbor size and it may be made from either a molded composite material, cast aluminum, or machined aluminum and it will have either a Spring-and-Pawl or a Disk drag system.

As a general rule, molded composite is the least expensive and the least aesthetically pleasing whereas, machined aluminum is the most expensive and is the most aesthetically pleasing.

Also, Spring-and-Pawl drag systems are lighter but weaker than Disk Drag systems and thus, Spring-and-Pawl drag systems are good for small fish whereas, Disk Drag systems are best for larger fish because they have more stopping power.

Fly Selection:

Then, in addition to an appropriate fly rod, reel, line, and tapered leader, you will also need an appropriate selection of flies.

However, the type of flies you choose will depend upon the particular species of fish you intend to pursue as well as the location you are going to be perusing them in.

For instance, Trout flies differ greatly from Smallmouth Bass flies and both differ greatly from Bonefish or Tarpon flies.

Also, patterns for a specific species tend to vary from location to location.

That means when it comes to choosing flies, it is often best to contact a fly shop in the area where you intend to fish to inquire what types of flies you should purchase.

Wrap Up:

Regardless of whether you choose to fish freshwater or saltwater, the sport of fly fishing has grown to encompass all species of fish that will take a lure both on the surface and deep beneath it and thus, the fly fisherman is no longer limited to mountain streams and wily Trout.

Learning the ancient art of fly fishing somehow seems to provide you with a closer connection to your quarry than fishing with other types of gear and thus, a greater reward when you finally land that trophy of a lifetime.

The post A Beginner’s Guide to Fly Fishing: Tips For Anglers Just Starting Out appeared first on Wilderness Today.

Free Fire Friday (Gun Talk) 19 June 2015

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Host Johnny Kempen broadcasts live from the wilds of Alaska about all things gun related. Call in using +1 (213) 943-3444 when the show is live every Friday at 6pm Pacific/ 9pm Eastern to ask questions and participate in the show. Call in and participate!

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