Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Connecticut Trout Parks

Trout Park? What's a Trout Park?Is it some kind of strange fish carnival? No, actually a Trout Park is a pond or stream that will be stocked weekly with trout from the state’s fish hatcheries.

11 water bodies in Connecticut have been designated as Trout Parks. Trout Parks are located in easily accessible areas to enhance trout fishing opportunities for young anglers and novice anglers as well as for those with mobility challenges. The frequent stockings, generally between Opening Day and Memorial Day, will greatly increase an angler’s chances of catching a fish, making it a more attractive "fishing hole", particularly to children and families.

Although the Trout Parks will have more fish in them, their daily creel limit (the number of trout an angler can keep) has been reduced from five to two fish per day in order to spread the catch among a greater number of anglers.

So round up the family, get over to one of the Trout Parks and start fishing!


BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rain brings food

Are we water logged yet here in New England? After the last three days of solid rain, New England is once again saturated and water levels coming up very quickly again. The downside to all of this rain is that it is keeping folks in the house and off of the waters. The upside to this is it is creating a feeding smorgasbord for the fish in our favorite lake. What this means is that if you fish a lake that has a stream or runoff coming into the lake, that is where you should concentrate your efforts for locating fish after rains like we have had. What happens is the extra flowing water coming in is bringing along with it extra food morsels from the ground being washed. worms, bugs and small creatures of sorts fall victim to the flowing waters, but as these waters dump into the lake, fish know this and are sitting and waiting for dinner. If you are able to get on the lake in the next few days, definitely search out areas that have some of this water flowing into the lake as you maybe surprised in what you find there.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Time to Collect

As we are getting into the fall mode here in New England, many activities start coming around between apple picking, hay rides, Halloween and of course searching for those colored leaves. The New England landscape is changing each day and one thing Kids really like to do is search for colorful leaves as they are falling. Taking Kids for walks is a great family time get together and also getting out and getting some fresh air. This gets them away from those video games, and TV screens and to venture out and search for those miraculous leaves for their ever changing colors and different shapes. Winter will be here soon so why not enjoy one of the best seasons of the year, fall.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Vermont's Critter Curriculum Website

We would like to encourage you all to explore the library of content we have for you.

Kids, we have lots of information to help you research Vermont's animals for your research projects, we have fact sheets, photos, illustrations, and some interesting ideas to help you finish your project. We even have cool printable materials, including a special animal tracks guide for you; just print it and head on out to see what you can identify. Check up on us often, as we are constantly trying to get you more stuff.

Teachers, Get your students thinking about the environment, peek at several of the lesson plan ideas that we have posted, created by participants in the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department's Teachers Course at Buck Lake. Make sure you check back in periodically as we update our site as new ideas arrive.


BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Friday, September 26, 2008

LifeJacket’s a Must

Now that we have entered into the fall season and here in New England we have been experiencing some very cool weather, this is cooling our favorite lakes and ponds very quickly. When going out onto your favorite waters, make sure that you are wearing your lifejacket at this time of year, the lifejacket will definitely aid in saving your life. The waters temps are dropping fast and with that hypothermia sets in as well and once this happens, it makes it very difficult for you to be able to get to shore if you happen to fall in. In Massachusetts from September 15 until middle of May, you are required by law to wear your lifejacket at all times in small craft like a canoe or kayak. Fall can be one of the best seasons to be on the water but by taking some caution while you are out there, you will be able to enjoy another trip again next time.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, September 25, 2008

12th Massachusetts Outdoor Expo for Families, Sturbridge

September 28--12th Massachusetts Outdoor Expo for Families, Sturbridge

Families, friends, Scouts and other youth groups should mark their calendar and join the fun at the 12th annual Massachusetts Outdoor Expo (Big MOE) from 9AM - 4:30 PM held at the Hamilton Rod and Gun Club grounds, off New Boston Road, in Sturbridge. The Big MOE, sponsored by Facts About Wildlife and Nature Society (FAWNS), is a free, family oriented event celebrating Outdoor Skills, Nature, Art & Animals. This all day family event is free thanks to co-sponsors including MassWildlife, Hamilton Rod and Gun Club, The Weatherby Foundation. A number of sportsmens clubs, locally based outdoor related businesses, and other conservation groups sponsor a variety of skills stations, craft tables and other exhibits relating to wildlife and the outdoors. The "Big MOE" is the perfect opportunity to introduce young and old to outdoor skills and activities.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Prime Fall Time Fishing

Many anglers enjoy fishing throughout the summer months and one can’t blame them as the weather is so much more tolerable as opposed to either the spring or fall. But to those that put their boats and equipment away after the Labor Day weekend holiday; these anglers are the ones that are missing the best part of the year for catching quality fish.

As the temperatures are getting cooler with everyday that passes, this will take the temperature of the lake down with it as well. Taking the waters from around 80 degrees down into the low 60’s, this is like a trigger that is being pulled as the fish know that it is time to put the feed bag on and start putting some weight on them before the long winter ahead.

Many fish go into somewhat of a dormant stage in the northern part of the country throughout the winter months. So for them to be able to handle those long northern winters they need to put on more weight so that they will be able to draw from that as each day of the cold season passes. So to put on this extra weight that they will need, these fish are eating and chasing everything in sight.

Continue with the article:

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Brake for Moose: It Could Save Your Life

New Hampshire is famous for its moose, but having these massive mammals in abundance can also lead to dangerous and costly moose-vehicle collisions. Each year, there are roughly 250 moose-related accidents in the Granite State, many resulting in injuries or death to drivers and passengers. N.H. Fish and Game wildlife officials and law enforcement officers urge drivers to use caution when on the roads, especially at dusk and dawn, for your safety and that of the moose. Here is some important information to keep in mind when driving in New Hampshire:

New Hampshire's moose herd is approximately 6,000 strong.

The average moose weighs 1,000 lbs.

Moose are hard to see at night. They are 6 feet tall at the shoulder and your headlights will often only reveal their legs, which are the same color as the pavement. Their height also means that if you hit one, the bulk of a moose will fall on your windshield and roof.

Don't count on seeing "eye shine." Moose eyes do reflect light, but your headlights won't reach that high.

From April to November, moose are very active and the highest numbers of moose-vehicle collisions occur. In spring, yearlings have just been separated from their mothers and are apt to show up anywhere at anytime. In fall, moose are on the move because it's their mating season.

Moose are attracted to salt licks caused by winter road management, so it is not surprising to see them on or very near the road.


BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Monday, September 22, 2008

Vermont's Seventh Annual Dead Creek Wildlife Day Is Oct. 4

If you enjoy wildlife then make plans to attend the seventh annual Dead Creek Wildlife Day in Addison, Vermont on Saturday, October 4.

Activities at Dead Creek Wildlife Day are especially for people who enjoy hunting, fishing, birdwatching, or learning about Vermont's diverse wildlife. The event will be held at Vermont Fish & Wildlifes Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on Route 17 west of Route 22A.

Early risers can begin the day with bird banding demonstrations at 7:00 a.m. Two large tents at the Dead Creek WMA headquarters will open at 9:30 a.m. and feature wildlife-related exhibits and kids craft activities such as decoy carving, face painting and building bluebird boxes.

The day's main activities run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and include nature walks, illustrated talks, live wildlife presentations, hunting dog demonstrations, fishing and hunting tips, and much more. All events are free, and a free shuttle bus will provide regular access to nearby field events throughout the day.

The festival is hosted by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, VermontDepartment of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, Inc., Otter Creek Audubon Society, Addison County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, and Addison County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information and a schedule of events, call Vermont Fish & Wildlife at (802) 241-3700 or visit the web site: www.vtfishandwildlife.com and click on the Dead Creek Wildlife Day icon.



BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fall Fishing

Fall is one of those seasons that seems to get forgotten in the fishing community. Many sportsmen are dual outdoor activities and when fall comes around, they concentrate their efforts more in the woods than on the water. But for those that stick with the water aspect of the fall time, these anglers are the ones that are going to reap the rewards. Fall fishing is probably one of the best times to catch that trophy of a lifetime and there maybe a number of them caught at that. The fish are feeding heavily to get ready for the long winter ahead and at the same time become very aggressive as well. Fast moving baits are a charm at this time of year as they allow you to cover vast amounts of water in a short period of time. Once you locate an area that has a school of fish using that area, then you can slow down a little and fish it more precisely if that is the case. Fishing in the fall I find is the best as more times than not you will have the whole lake to yourself and what other time of the open water season do you get that.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Friday, September 19, 2008

Illegal Koi Spotted in Pickerel Pond, Maine

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists have retrieved a non-native koi/carp from Pickerel Pond in Limerick and have received reports that there may be at least one other in this particular body of water.

This illegal koi was retrieved from Pickerel Pond in Limerick by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife fisheries biologists. The illegal introduction of species to Maine's waters has the potential to cause devastating harm to native fish, aquatic plants and water quality.

Koi, which is the Japanese term for carp, is an invasive species that can survive and reproduce in Maine’s waters and cause devastating harm to the state’s native fish species, aquatic plant life, and the quality of water.

Based on public reports, it is believed the koi was introduced into Pickerel Pond earlier this summer, but it is not known how it got there. IF&W was alerted to the koi by Limerick Town Selectman Dean Lepage and resident Ilene Dashner, and these reports prompted a quick response from fisheries biologists who hope their efforts will reduce the risk of the koi taking over the pond.

Rest of the story:

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lake Champlain Northern Pike Regulation Survey

Northern pike are one of the most popular sport fish sought by Vermont resident anglers in the open water and ice fishing seasons.The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department would like to hear your opinion on the current status of northern pike regulations on Lake Champlain.If you have an interest in Lake Champlain’s northern pike regulations, we would appreciate your input. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey.A final summary of survey results will be posted on the department’s website in early 2009.Thank you for your time and interest in Vermont’s fisheries resources.

Click here for the form to fill out in this survey:

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fall Time for Kids Fishing

Fall is one of those prime times that make a fun day to have the kids out on the water chasing a few fish. The pleasure boaters have left to put their boats away for the year and this leaves our favorite waters void of much activity. Fall is also the time of year that kids may catch a trophy of their lifetime as the fish are on a feeding binge getting ready for the long winter ahead. Picking a nice sunny day makes for an enjoyable time to be out on the water with the kids and also is much more comfortable for them as well. You may have to search a little to find the active fish but once they are found there usually is good numbers of them as the fish are in the schooling mode this time of year. Why not take the kids out on the water and enjoy a pleasant day basking in the sun, talking while enjoying each others company and catching some good fish.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Submit Vermont Deer Pictures

Contribute Your Trail Cam & Other Photos:

People have been sending in photographs of whitetail bucks that they have been taking with trail cameras, etc. We have set up an on-line photo gallery where we are posting photographs that we have had sent to us of bucks from around Vermont. If you have any photographs of 2008 bucks that you would like to share, send them by email to fwinformation@state.vt.us. We are not asking that you give away any of your secret "hot-spots", however, it would be helpful and appreciated if you would identify the Town in which the photo was taken and the Date that the picture was taken.

We greatly appreciate your help and support. We hope that this will be fun for all.


BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fishing, wind and rain

September 14 2008

The fall weather has taken over and here in New England and we have also been feeling some of the effects of the hurricanes that are crossing this country. The rains have been falling and winds have been blowing, but at least the temps are very mild. Today’s weather was on/off rain, with strong westerly winds and the water temps are hovering right around 68-69 degrees. Went back to the lake that I had previously fished a few days ago and what a change compared to then. The bite was very tough and I concentrated again in the thickest weeds that I could find. Was switching between fishing a Carolina rigged BearPaws Freedom Fry and also a Texas rigged BearPaws B-Bug. Fished these baits as slow as I could through the weeds and the bites were far and few between. The bites that I did get were solid but missed every one of them and figured that they were picking up the tails of the baits and that was not allowing a good hook set. Tried a number of weed flats and only had a couple of areas that had any type of activity at all. It has been a long time since I have fished in the rain and it reminded me of the days of tournament fishing when you had to be out there no matter the weather. Today there is a lot of wind and blue skies and warm temps comes along with that but starting tomorrow another major cold front coming through once again and this must mean that fall is here. Definitely going to have to start throwing a crankbait or spinnerbait now and cover as much water as I possibly can. Fishing is only going to get better and as the hunting seasons start, the lakes are going to be void of boats and the lakes will be back to those diehard anglers that utilize the best season of the year.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mapleton Maine Youth Catches Record-Setting Artic Charr

Mapleton – The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife confirms that an 11-year-old young man from Mapleton has caught a record-setting Arctic Charr, breaking a 35-year-old record.

Carter McLaughlin, 11, of Mapleton, caught the charr on Aug. 20 at Pushineer Pond in T15 R9. According to IF&W Assistant Fisheries Biologist Frank Frost, who measured the fish, the record-setter was 25.4 inches in total length and weighed 5.24 pounds.

The previous record weighed 4 pounds, 4 ounces and was 22-3/8-inches long. It was caught by Merton Wyman of Belgrade on Basin Pond on May 5, 1973.

What makes this fish a “truly incredible catch” is its overall size and weight as well as the fact that it was caught in one of Maine’s 12 native charr waters, according to Peter Bourque, a supervisor in IF&W’s Fisheries Division. The previous record (1973) was taken from a then-newly introduced population of Arctic Charr, which also are known by the name “blueback trout.” New introductions tend to seek out new niches where they will often grow beyond normal sizes, Bourque said.

According to IF&W records, the fish that was caught in 1973 was one of 27 adult “bluebacks” stocked in Basin Pond in 1969. The 27 adult fish originally came from Wadleigh Pond in Piscataquis County and were part of a fishery research project to perpetuate the blueback trout in waters other than those in which they occurred naturally.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fishing, years gone by

Many of us anglers these days can look back from the days we were kids and smile from all of the memories that we have. Those days may not be able to be relived, but these days are the days that we will never forget as we grow older. From the many days of fishing with our school buddies to those many excursions with dad and gramps to the water.

There were many trips that our buddies would show up on their bikes with the fishing rod strapped to the bikes frame and the tackle box in their hand. Of course the closest lake was around five miles away but at those times we really didn’t care how far it was as we were going fishing.

After peddling for what seemed like an eternity, we could see the lake in the distance and knew that there were going to be fish caught when we got to our secret spot. This was our best place to fish and you always hoped that nobody beat you there. This place consisted of a culvert that went under the highway and the sunfish that lived in there were very nice sized fish.

The key to fishing here was to aim the cast to go into the culvert, but you had to cast as far as you could possibly cast. With the hook baited and the bobber set to the magic depth, you would eye up your target and get the angle just right and launch that cast as deep into that culvert as possible. As soon as the bobber hits the water, down it goes and the battle is on to get that trophy bluegill out of their deep dark homes.

The two of you would look at each other and start laughing hysterically at the size of these fish and how we were catching them. We weren’t in any type of backwater type of lake with the tranquility of the breeze blowing or the birds chirping. We were fishing next to a major road with cars zooming by us not more than ten feet behind the guard rail. As the afternoon would wear on you know that you had to be home for dinner and would strap everything back onto our bikes and off we would go back home after a very fun filled day.

Then the weekend would come and it was time to go visit grandma and grandpa for a couple of days. They really enjoyed having fresh fish for a meal and grandpa had a great spot that would give us plenty of opportunities at catching a few meals. Run out to the garden with a bucket in hand and a digging fork to dig up a bunch of worms for the days fishing trip. After digging up a few dozen worms, load the rest of the gear in the truck and head for this honey hole.

This was one of those areas that you hoped that someone doesn’t beat you there as it is another shoreline fishing spot. This area was a channel that came off of the main lake and wasn’t to deep but also had some weed growth in it as well. Staking out our spot we would get all setup and get ready for a fun filled day of catching fish.

Gramps would help you get your fishing rod and bait setup and would tell you to cast over to that spot over there. The bobber would hit the water and as soon as it would standup, down it would go. There was cast after cast that would play out the exact same way over and over again. The bucket was filling up very quickly between gramps, dad and me as the fish were biting like they were having their last meal.

Then there is that time when the bobber goes down and when you set the hook it doesn’t feel like a sunfish that is on the line. The fish is fighting and your mind is wondering as to what you have on the hook. Now gramps, dad and everyone else that is fishing there is watching you. Gramps is telling you how to fight this fish as we don’t want to lose it whatever it is.

As it comes to shore the bobber is getting closer but no one has seen the fish yet. A few feet away you are pulling the line in and there it is, the biggest dogfish that you have ever seen. What a great fight this fish gave you and there was no way that you were going to touch this fish as it was the ugliest thing that you have ever seen.

As the afternoon wore on, catching all of these fish seemed to get a little boring after a while and I would start searching for other creatures that were living there. This is when I came across a little painted turtle and asked Dad if I could keep this little guy. Went and got another bucket and filled it with water and now I had a new little friend. We had our fair share of fish and looking at our catch, we knew that it was going to be a long night of filleting fish and many meals were going to be frozen and also a fish fry was in store.

There are many memories that have been made over the years and many more that are still to be made. But these memories that are from my childhood seem to be the best by far since at those times things were so simple and there wasn’t much for complexity at those times as well.

Those early days of spending time with gramps are missed very much these days. Being the first grandchild of four, there was a much stronger bond between him and I and being we had such similar interests, we got along so well together and spent many days fishing and walking in the woods. These days of memories are never to be lost but they are very missed from time to time when grandpa comes to mind and I can relive those many trips together through all of my memories.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fishing September 10 2008

Finally back on the water and really didn’t know what to expect for a bite as the previous day a major front had passed through and dropped the temps by 20 degrees. Weather was bluebird skies with a good breeze from the NW and temps were in the mid 60’s with water temps down to around 67 degrees. I wasn’t sure if the fall pattern had started yet but with the cold front that had gone through, decided to fish deep in the weeds. The area I concentrated on is the mouth of a creek arm and has a big flat in the front of it that ranges from 5 to 8 feet of water. There is milfoil and grass mixed all around this flat and has always seemed to hold fish from previous outings here. Started out on the front of the arm in 8 feet of water and surprisingly started getting a few bites right away. But, they were grabbing at the tail of the bait because I could feel them pick it up and when I went to set the hook, they either ripped the bait in half or I just missed the hook-set all together. I was fishing a Carolina rig with a BearPaws Freedom Fry in the largemouth bass color. The fish were definitely active and I was amazed as I figured that it was going to be a tough bite for the day. Finally was able to start catching a couple of bass but they were only 12-13 inches long. Then the wind shifted from the NW to the NE and that definitely made a difference in the fish biting more frequently. Every few casts I was either catching a bass or getting and missing a bite but they definitely had turned on. Then a solid hit picked up my bait and as I reeled in the slack and went to set the hook, all I heard was a pop. I stood there looking dumbfounded as I didn’t know what just happened and I looked at my rod because I thought that I had broken it. Rod looked fine but the line broke right at the reel and that created that sound. I stood there dazed and then looked in the water to see if I could see my line as there was going to be quite a few yards dragging behind this fish. I used the rod and stuck that into the water trying to see if I could snag the tail end of the broken line but unfortunately was unable to find that line anymore. Kept working the area and picking up a couple more of the same 13 inch bass and then the wind shifted back to the NW and that seemed to shut the bite down all together. Moved around to another couple of areas that weren’t productive at all and decided to call it a day. This probably was one of my most productive days on this lake and I had figured before I even got there that it was going to be a tough bite. Goes to show you that no matter how much time you spend on the water, nature always throws a loop into your thinking. The technique that was the most productive was working the Carolina rig through the thickest weeds in the area. Cast out and work the bait slowly through the weeds back to the boat and all the way back to the boat as there were bites right next to the boat as well. Fall is definitely in the air and once these fish start moving on their feeding binge, then it will be time to break out the crankbait and start covering water.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fall is in the Air

This morning I woke to a very crisp and bright morning as we can tell that fall is right around the corner. Major front came through yesterday and has dropped the temps by 20 degrees and going to be a cool day in store for us. While making coffee this morning, I was looking out the back window and there was a flock of turkey's of at least 20 plus birds. I seem to always get mesmerized watching wildlife utilizing my backyard and never seem to get enough. The plan today is to hit the water in search of fish but not quite sure if the fall patterns are starting to form yet or not. I know that going out there this is going to be a tough day for fishing with that major front blowing through and bluebird skies today. But that will not stop us from at least trying and seeing if we can put a fish in the boat or not. Hope everyone enjoys their day today and hopefully I will have something to report tomorrow as any day that I can get on the water, will always be a good day.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Vermont Youth "Fish Tale" Photo Contest 2008

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reminding youths and their families to pack their cameras and storytelling skills along with their fishing poles, tackle boxes, and bait this summer.

The Department is conducting a Youth 'Fish Tale' Photostory Contest during the 2008 fishing season. The Fish & Wildlife Department is looking for photos and accompanying "Fish Tales" describing the fishing adventures of young anglers enjoying our great fishing opportunities. The contest is open to youth anglers, 17 and under, fishing in Vermont's lakes, ponds, rivers, and brooks.

For more information on this and also entering click here:

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Monday, September 8, 2008

Weather on the Change

Now that Hurricane Hanna has made her exit Sunday morning, the winds have definitely picked up from her exiting. The skies are sunny and very enjoyable weather the next couple of days. But this week is going to be a roller coaster as changes are happening and it will seem as if they are changing every other day. The next day or so will be fairly stable but then a major change with storms passing through that will drop the temperatures dramatically. This definitely is going to be a factor if you are going to be out searching for fish. We are going to be heading out right after the coming cold front and should be some of the toughest fishing conditions of this early fall season. I know that I always look forward to a challenge and will be trying many different things as well. Will be concentrating heavily in deep weeds as if the fishes activity level is none existent, this is where they should be. Fall is approaching very fast and that means one thing, the dinner bell has been rung and the fish are on the hunt. Now is the start to any of the best times of the year to catch fish and there will be some big ones caught as well.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Approaching Hurricane Hanna

With hurricane Hanna approaching the New England area, we wonder what the fish and wildlife are going to be doing out there. This morning while lying in bed with the windows open, the rain was falling and the birds and insects were very prominent with their voices in the early morning. Now I as sit here typing, the patio doors are open and there is a deathly silence out there and no activity at all. It is very overcast and light winds but no rain falling yet as it gets darker by the minute. The wildlife knows that there is something coming and it always amazes me of the signs that they tell with the ever changing weather. Today maybe a tough day for fishing as well but I won't know that. Being aware of your surroundings is very important part of life as the wildlife is in the outdoors at all times and they know what they need to do to get through to tomorrow. Why not listen to what they are telling you and plan your outdoor adventures from that. We are waiting for the presence of hurricane Hanna to grace us with her presence and hopefully she will exit during the night and leave us with a nice day tomorrow and allow us to venture out onto a body of water.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Friday, September 5, 2008

August 31 2008

The Labor Day holiday weekend found us camping at our favorite place in New Hampshire. Unfortunately when we do go camping the boat has to stay home as I am unable to tow both a camper and a boat. So I decided to bring along the kayak and also my underwater camera and I wanted to take a look around some of my favorite spots and see what was down there. By taking this opportunity to try this, with no fishing going on, forced me to do something that I have wanted to do in quite some time. Went out to the first spot which is a point that has rocks on the end of it and there was definitely baitfish activity there but didn’t see any bass cruising around. The water clarity on this lake was allowing me to get to around 25 feet deep before it would get to murky to make anything out. Moved over to a ridge that is lined with rocks but after scouring the bottom for a while there no activity was found. Then moved to my best spot and right away this area was teaming with life with baitfish all over the place as well as bass but these bass were 6 inch or less. Moved to a deep underwater point and didn’t see any fish activity but did see some trees as well and stumps that lined the bottom in this area. Moved once again to a spot that I frequent quite a bit and once again I had seen plenty of baitfish as well and a nice smallmouth and largemouth bass swimming in the area. Started noticing a pattern forming as to fish location and the only areas that I had seen any activity whatsoever there had to be weeds around because any rock or barren bottom areas were void of life. Figured that I better start heading back in so I decided to stop at the mouth of the arm that we were camping on. As soon as I lowered the camera down, life was everywhere and so were the bass. As I floated this area a school of nice smallmouth bass swam by and I was rotating the camera to see them again as I wanted to see how many there were in this school. As the camera was rotating, I caught the tail end of the school but following them were three very nice largemouth bass and this had made my whole experience with my camera so worth its weight in gold. I haven’t used my camera much at all as I will start using it in the boat, but my wanting to fish always takes over and the camera gets put away. But by going out on this day and not bringing a fishing rod along, forced me to do something that I had wanted to do for a long time and I feel now that anytime that I go camping, there is a new pastime to explore on the waters that we camp. I felt I had an understanding of what was going on down below the waters surface, but until you actually see it with your eyes, this opens up a whole new world and also educates you in the relationship of what these fish do in our lakes and ponds. I know that I am looking forward to many more trips out with my camera as well taking it along on the ice this winter. Now I just need to start recording what I am seeing and this will allow me to put videos and stories together to educate other anglers as to what fish are doing with the habitat that they live in as many fishers don’t get to see this and it really is something to watch.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Come to the 12th Massachusetts Outdoor Expo for Families

Families, friends, Scouts (Boys and Girls) and other youth groups should mark their calendars for September 28, 2008 and join the fun at the 12th annual Massachusetts Outdoor Expo (Big MOE) held at the Hamilton Rod and Gun Club grounds in Sturbridge from 9AM - 4:30 PM. The Big MOE, sponsored by the Facts About Wildlife and Nature Society (FAWNS), is a free, family-oriented event celebrating outdoor skills, nature, art and wildlife. This all-day family event is free, thanks to co-sponsors MassWildlife, Hamilton Rod and Gun Club, The Weatherby Foundation and the Worcester County League of Sportsmen's Clubs. Sportsmen's clubs, locally based outdoor related businesses, and other conservation groups sponsor a variety of skills stations, craft tables and other exhibits relating to wildlife and the outdoors.The Big MOE is the perfect opportunity to introduce young and old to outdoor skills and activities.

New activities and information tables for 2008 include: Building Your Own Duck Call, Wood Carving & Burning, Tree Stand Safety, Traps & Trapping, Make a Simple Goose Decoy, Whitetails Unlimited and Jr. Shooting Clay Teams of Massachusetts Scholastic Clays.

As in the past, impressive live birds of prey, native snakes and turtles and a beekeeper's hive will be on display. There are opportunities to scale a rock climbing wall, paddle a kayak or canoe. Try your hand at tomahawk throwing, fishing, building a bird house, or testing marksmanship skills on the airgun, rifle, shotgun or archery target ranges under safe and expert supervision. At the Nature Crafts Tent, paint your face, create an animal bracelet, make a rainstick or a headband. Observe taxidermy and Jr. Olympic air gun demonstrations and visit a New England pioneer encampment. Offerings from MassWildlife include: modern wildlife management, forestry skills and fishing. There is something at the Big MOE for the whole family. Admission to all activities and parking are free.

The Big MOE is also in need of enthusiastic, outdoor oriented volunteers willing to assist at several skills stations or to host a skill station. Clubs and other conservation organizations wishing to host a skill station or assist others at an existing station are welcome. For more information visit the FAWNS website or contact Gary Zima, 508/389-6314.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Grandparents and Kids Fishing Day

September 7--Grandparents and Kids Family Fishing Day, Granby--MassWildilfe and the Granby Senior center are encouraging grandparents to bring their grandchildren to this family fishing day at Dufresne Pond from 9:00 – 1:00pm. Learn some of the basics of fishing from MassWildlife's Angler Education Program volunteers. No equipment is needed, but if you have your own, bring it along! Pre-registration is required. Contact Pat Sicard at 413-467-3239.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors