Friday, February 29, 2008

Fish Moving

As our winter ice season is getting towards the end and the days are starting to warm, late ice is right around the corner. What this means is that the fish’s activity is going to start picking up as their feeding habits are going to start increasing with the longer days of light. As well the fish are going to be getting into a mode for the upcoming spawn that will be happening and this will increase their appetites as well which means hungry fish look for bait. Many of our locations that we have been catching fish in are in deep water up to 20 feet and as the spring approaches this may change to a shallower bite. With the snow melting away from the ice and the sun’s rays getting through, the weed growth will start once again and start supplying that fresh oxygen that the fish haven’t had much of lately. But adding shallower water to your hole drilling, this may increase your odds of catching fish and the sunfish especially will be moving up soon. These are great areas to take your kids to as they won’t have to deal with the deep water and having a lot of line down the hole. Putting kids onto active fish is the best way to get them hooked on fishing and this makes for a great day on the ice. Spring is around the corner and open water follows as well, but the best times for ice fishing are still coming so be prepared and enjoy these waning days of this winters ice season.
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Thursday, February 28, 2008

You get what you pay for

The fishing industry has flooded the market with so many different items for the angler in their pursuit of catching fish. A portion of it is to catch the eye of the angler as opposed to actually catching fish. But it always comes down to one thing and that is you get what you pay for and this is about the quality of that product that you use for fishing. In particular this is very true when it comes to fishing rods and reels. There is such a wide selection of the items that it can and will boggle the anglers mind as to which is the best suited for them. It comes down to what the angler can afford and with that, buy the best quality product that you can within those boundaries. If you do any amount of time on the water, you will be rewarded with many years of use of these items if you buy the better quality of items. They work more smoothly and are built much better than the lower grade products, and this will give you a very reliable item. Stay within your means at all times but research and purchase the best items that you can and you will be much happier in the long run.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Introduce Kids to the OutDoors

The studies are showing that activities in the outdoors are on the decline and this is in part from that parents are either to busy or not wanting to participate in outdoor activities. With the winter season in full swing and as well that it will be winding down soon, now is the time to get your kids out and do some ice fishing. I have been fortunate the last while that my young son wanted to try ice fishing and now he loves it and wants to go all the time. Introducing kids into the outdoors cannot be forced down their throats either and needs to be something that they want to do and ask to do. Ask them if they want to go out and do these activities, but do not force them into it as that may back fire as well and will you never be able to get them out there again. By getting them out into the outdoors this will pull them away from watching TV and also playing video games. More and more kids are falling into these traps and instead should be concentrating these efforts into learning and exploring the outdoors.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fishing Febuary 24, 2008




With the snow storm that moved in Friday into Saturday morning this made for some very interesting adventures out onto the ice. My son wanted to head out with me once again and I think that I may have a fishing buddy that will possibly be going on every adventure going forward. We arrived at the lake with bluebird skies, not much wind to talk about, temps a little above freezing and the whole lake to ourselves. Of course since it had been warmer earlier in the week, this had soften the shoreline access and with the new 10-12 inches of fresh snow on the ice, we had to walk around part of the lake, with my son in tow, to be able to get onto the lake. Since there were no wind and moderate temps we were able to get away from bringing the fish house along. We enjoy sitting on the ice much more and enjoy the outdoor experience instead of sitting inside. We arrived at the first spot and got setup and wasn’t long and David had the first crappie lying on the ice and I think that I was just as excited as he was when that first one came through the hole. When he is able to get a fish through the hole, this really reassures him that he can do this and enjoy himself doing it. Wasn’t long and we were off drilling more holes and searching for fish but every move took work between the two of us to get setup in all of the new snow. We were working water depths from 16–20 feet of water and there wasn’t any particular depth that they were really concentrated on. Of course he had caught the biggest fish of the day once again at 12 inches in length and was caught on T.H.E. Jig. The baits that we used were the Loby Baits Polli and also T.H.E. Jig. The fish were caught suspended off of the bottom typically around 5-9 feet off of the bottom as anything that was marked near the bottom was very inactive. The bite was a very tough one and we were only able to catch 6 fish through the holes but they were all nice fish at that. I am really enjoying taking my son out onto the waters and so glad to see him enjoying himself so much. It was his idea to go out with me fishing as I have learned over time not to force them into doing things like this. I know that I will always look forward to our next trip together as I had enjoyed similar trips with my father and grandfather when I was his age. To be able to instill the outdoors into our kids when they are this young, this will ensure that we have a generation that will carry on the true spirit of the outdoors into future generations.



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Monday, February 25, 2008

Latest video from Feb 24 2008

video

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Fishing Febuary 19, 2008




Here in New England at least in Massachusetts, our school systems take two weeks off during the winter months, one in February and the other in April. My son wanted to go out and try ice fishing once and this was the perfect opportunity at getting him acclimated to the ice and fishing through a hole. He does very well in the summer months but never showed much interest for going out in the winter until now.


We decided to spend some time close to home so if he didn’t care for the ice fishing experience then we could get home fairly quickly. We went to the lake that I frequent quite regularly and had a good feeling that this lake would give him action to keep his interest peaked. After getting everything unloaded you could see the excitement in his face and also his step and as was pumped to get out and try this thing we call ice fishing.


We get out to the first spot and drill a couple of holes and then the explaining of equipment and things that he can touch and not touch especially when it comes to the auger blades. After getting the Vexilar going and explaining to him what he was seeing he actually seemed to understand that the green he was seeing was his bait and the red that was around it was the fish he was trying to catch.


I rigged him up with T.H.E. Jig as well as my lines and we proceeded to fish. The first location wasn’t showing any action and I decided to drill more holes a little ways away. As I finished drilling the holes I turned around and looked at David and he was fighting a fish that he had caught all on his own. The smile that he had on his face when that fish came out of the hole was priceless and one that I will be remembering for quite sometime.


Since now he was hooked on ice fishing he caught a few more from that hole and when the action slowed down he wanted me to drill more holes over there and that is what we did. He started getting the hang of setting the hook and also how to jiggle T.H.E. Jig to entice the fish into biting. The action started slowing some and so did his interest so he did like any other boy and ventured around a little on the ice.


Then the highlight of his day was to have a snack out there on the ice and this was a big moment for him as he thought he was so cool sitting there eating and fishing. We moved a few more times searching for some fish and as the afternoon wore on, so did the cold front that was coming through. The temps were dropping and the wind was picking up speed but he was a trooper and didn’t want to leave at all.


We were out there over 4 hours and he still wasn’t ready to go but the bite was getting none existent and you could see that his interest was waning. So he decided that it was time to go home and play in the backyard for a while, but he is definitely looking to shaping up to being his father’s son. He is hooked on ice fishing and wants to go again this weekend and I may now have a new buddy to take along with me fishing.


One thing that I have learned over the years is that you cannot push these kids into doing the things that we enjoy doing thinking they will as well. I want them to come to me and tell me that they want to go and try these things out so that way their interest is their doing and not me forcing them to do something that they don’t want to. I have found over the years that if you rush kids into these things they take a disliking to those activities and don’t want to do them at all as they grow older. I look forward to many more days on the ice with him and watch that excitement grow in him over the coming years.



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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Latest video from Feb 19 2008

Here is our latest video from fishing with my son on Feb 19 2008, enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxFueOshIn8
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If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fishing February 17, 2008




Always seem to pick the wrong day weather wise to go out fishing but when other things need to be done there is nothing that can be helped. We ventured back to the lake that we have been frequenting the past couple of weeks in search of the elusive bigger crappies that live in those waters.


Since it has been a little warmer and raining some as well, the ice conditions were not bad other than being very slippery on the surface. Of course there was another storm front approaching with rain for the evening. What we had to deal with was high winds up to 30 mph that didn’t allow us to setup any type of wind break so we had to sit in the wind. Thankfully the temps were somewhat mild and were bearable but made it tough to watch the line for those light biters.

We concentrated mostly in 20 FOW and found the crappies were suspending up to 5 feet off of the bottom. Apparently with the approaching storm, this has triggered the fish into biting and bigger fish than we normally catch. After catching a few fish we were right into the 13 inch crappies and were able to catch a number of these before the bite died off. There wasn’t any sunfish caught at all and usually there is always a mixture between the two species.


The bait that we were using was the Loby Baits Micro Flei in the pink color and we have been using this particular piece of plastic for the last couple of outings. This goes to show the durability that these baits are made from and why plastics are fantastic. This was the only bait that was used as they were keying very nicely onto it.


As the winds persisted the bite started to dramatically drop off and after drilling more than 20 holes they were reluctant to bite very aggressively. This particular lake the shoreline was finally frozen solid once again but with the coming warm temps and rain, this may hamper our opportunities of fishing here again. This lake turns the big fish on when late ice starts and now is the time to get out there and find these bigger fish.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)


VHS is an infectious disease of fish. There are several strains of VHS that affect fresh and salt water fishes. The strain of VHS that is currently present in the Great Lakes is a strain most closely related to one that is found on the Atlantic coast. VHS affects several different species of fish, including sportfish. Some of the affected species include: Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy), Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides), Freshwater Drum (Aplodinotus grunniens), Round Goby (Apollonia melanostomus), and Walleye (Sander viteus).

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Latest video from February 10, 2008

video

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www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:
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Monday, February 11, 2008

Fishing February 10, 2008




If you are not familiar with New England and the weather that we have here, all you need to do is to wait five minutes and it will change. With the news that a major cold front was going to be coming through in the afternoon we hit the lake in the morning looking for a good bite back on the pond that has some good slab crappies.

Upon arriving the sun was shining and there was a light breeze blowing but off in the distance you could see the cloud bank coming. After drilling a few holes it wasn’t long and the fish were biting and hitting the ice while using the Loby Baits pink Micro Flei we were able to locate and catch some good sized sunfish but average crappies.

As the morning wore on so did the weather and this really was the story of the day. Once the cloud bank arrived overhead the winds started picking up and it started to sprinkle. Thankfully I had brought my Otter fish house as the rain became fairly hard and consistent. The rain continued for about half an hour and let up and so did the wind.

Then there was a noise coming from the adjoining woods and as I set my house back up the gail force winds hit and with all of the snow it was a white out conditions and there were times that I had to do all I could to keep my house from moving across the ice from the force of the wind. This went on for about half an hour and once that blew over the sun came out and the winds died down and it was like nothing had happened.

Usually don’t get weather like this extreme from one to another but here in New England this is fairly common throughout the year. The fish were still biting but had slowed a little so we switched over to T.H.E. Jig and worked those finicky fish into biting. Most of our fish came from 18-20 FOW and were suspending 2-5 feet off of the bottom. Towards the end we were fishing one hole that had numerous fish activity in it and when they would bite we missed them but they all felt heavy. Not sure but this may have been that school of 13 inch plus crappies that we were looking for but unfortunately were not caught.

The shoreline at this lake has firmed up over the last couple of days but still unable to walk on it and we had to walk around a part of the lake to get on. Monday we are looking at 10 degrees and high winds and this will definitely help in keeping the ice there and firming the shoreline up that we may head out there again on our next outing to search for these crappies.

A video recap is following in a day


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Friday, February 8, 2008

Ice softening

If you are an angler in the New England area you probably already know that the ice conditions out there are getting fair as each day passes. We were on a lake last weekend and had to walk around part of the lake to be able to get on as the shoreline had open water where we wanted to get on. We are going to go and check this lake once again here in a couple of hours and see what it looks like if we can get out there again this weekend. We have been having fairly mild temps and a lot of rain as well and now the last day or so the snow has come in and has covered everything over again. This weekend especially could be problematic for getting on some of our lakes and caution needs to be taken at all times. Play it safe out there and if the lake that you want to go on looks iffy, go try another lake as there are plenty of waters around to get on safely. Enjoy the weekend and hope that everyone catches many fish.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Latest Video February 3 2008

Here is our latest trip put to video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQbO0yTHsNI

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fishing February 3 2008


With the warming temps and the rains that we have been receiving our ice is starting to take a toll and making things a little interesting. We decided to head to a pond that is known for having large crappies and this was going to be our focus for this trip. Upon arriving at the waters edge there is something going on as this shoreline that we get to first almost always has open water on the edges and is open once again. Have to walk around a part of the lake to get to a place that the ice is safe enough to set foot on.

Since this pond has some big crappies in the 13” and bigger class we decided to stay out in deeper water and search for suspending fish. After drilling a few holes we started catching a number of nicer sunfish on T.H.E. Jig and they were coming in fairly regularly. We had to down size to the smallest jig as the fish on the Vexilar would hover around T.H.E. Jig but at times showed no interest what so ever. Since the crappies weren’t coming in we forged on and drilled more holes in our search.


At this point we switched over to the Loby Baits micro flea in the pink color and the crappies started gobbling this bait up. We were catching more crappies than sunfish and that is what our quest was for this day but the size wasn’t what we were looking for and catching 10-11.5” fish fairly regularly. We decided to move out into deeper water and this is when we started connecting with bigger crappies. These fish were in 20 fow and were suspending anywhere from 17 feet up to 14 feet. These fish that were suspending were more aggressive than the ones that were lower towards the bottom. We were able to catch a bass as well and this fish came in and slammed the micro flea and gave the Austin rod another workout which it handled the fight very well.


All in all it was a good day out on this pond but we never did find those 13 inch plus fish that we were looking for. With the weather being warm and a light breeze all day the ice is getting worn and the top layer is definitely softening up here and we need to get some cold nights once again and freeze things over nicely. From the times that we have been to this pond we usually don’t catch numbers of fish but on this outing we caught a number of fish and the crappies were good fighters. We will be back again soon as the search for those slab crappies will continue.


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If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:
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Friday, February 1, 2008

Downsizing

As we move into February and the ice season is in full swing, the fishing is getting tougher with winter weather playing a major role. This time of year fish are still being caught but many anglers are having to have to work harder at catching their favorite species of fish. The anglers that are having better success are the ones that are employing the downsizing methods to their fishing strategy. By downsizing we are talking about micro baits that are used and there are days when these baits are the only thing that the fish want and are finicky to even bite these. By micro baits we are talking about jigs that are very small with examples of 1/60, 1/80 and even 1/100 oz sizes. These resemble micro organisms and at this time of year this is what the fish are feeding on. Micro plastics are another bait that is shining these days and between these two offerings, this should put more fish on the ice for you. These very small jigs may not be at your favorite tackle shop and there are a number of companies on the internet that sell these. Downsize and catch more fish this winter season and try something that most of the other anglers either don’t know about or don’t want to fish a bait that small.
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