Saturday, December 12, 2009

Spool those reels up

With ice season fast approaching here in New England, there is one item that often gets over looked. The ice fishing line that is on our fishing reels should be removed and replaced with fresh new line. Ice takes the toll on fishing line as the ice easily nicks and damages the line as we fight the fish to the hole. In reality, one should replace their ice fishing line a couple of time during the season and this will allow you to get a majority of your fish onto the ice instead of breaking them off. There are many lines out there to choose from, and try and get some of the line that is specifically made for fishing through the ice. By changing out your line now you will be set once we get into full gear out on the ice searching for our quarry.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Get the Ice Gear Ready

As fall fades away to winter, the open water season is coming towards an end but not quite yet. For those that are still venturing onto the open waters, there are still fish to be caught. Sure it is getting a little harder to get out there and the weather is getting cooler, but a little preparation will go a long ways in these cooler fall days. Panfish are a great choice of fish to chase as they can be found fairly easily and give a great fight. Many fishers target panfish in the winter months and why not enjoy today catching them as well. This time of year will also allow you to use your ice fishing gear and that is another point at getting ready for the ice season ahead. Take advantage of these fall days of fishing as many other fishers out there are missing out as they are waiting for the ice.
BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fishing November 9 2009

When the heat comes to New England especially when we are into November, with the air temps at 70 degrees, how can you not want to hit the water and search for a few fish? Got the kayak ready and loaded a couple of things into the truck and headed for a close pond for a couple of hours of fishing.

This time of year it is time to start getting into the mode for ice fishing and breaking out the ice fishing rod/reel combo and the Vexilar flasher to do some vertical jigging. The air temps were around 70, with this comes a fairly stiff breeze to deal with and the waters vacated of any sign of human life and this gives me the solitude of having the lake to myself.

With a couple of hours, panfish were the targets for this outing and searching for sunfish and crappies is always exciting at this lake. These fish are not the biggest compared to other waters, but being close to home, the numbers are definitely there. There is one deep hole in this lake that I fish mainly when fishing here and usually never fails in catching some fish.

Luckily the area that I wanted to fish was protected to a point from the shoreline trees and the wind wasn’t too tough to fish today. Once getting to the area I turn on the flasher and start paddling around and looking for fish on the screen. Doesn’t take long before they are located and lowering the anchor so that I can work this area without getting blown away.

Today’s bait choice was to be a pink/purple colored T.H.E. Jig with a couple of small split shot above it to get down deeper a little more quickly. Water depths were in the 18 foot range and the most active fish were suspended at around 15 feet. The suspending fish were much more active then the lookers that would come off of the bottom.

Didn’t take long and the first crappie came to the surface and so did many more after that. A few sunfish were caught as well but they were on the small side. The last couple of seasons have noticed that the crappies on this lake have been a small side with average sizes of 9 inches are the most common.

By watching the flasher this allows me to see how the fish are relating to my bait presentation and also lets me know when the fish were ready to bite. By fishing vertically just like we do in the winter months, this practice gets us ready for the ice season ahead. This was the first trip in the kayak this fall with many more to come and today there was 17 crappies, 2 sunfish and a perch caught.

This abnormal warm weather makes it very hard not to take advantage of wetting a line and hopefully there will be many more days like this as well. I am very ready for the ice season ahead and can’t wait to walk and fish on hard water once again.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fishing October 27

This week weather wise here in New England is going to be a roller coaster ride to say the least. Monday was a beautiful day with near 60 for air temps, Tuesday and Wednesday a storm system moving through and cooler and windy temps. Thursday and Friday back to beautiful fall weather to finish the week off.

I had one day to fish this week and Tuesday was the day with cool temps, lurking storm center lurking overhead and light winds to start and picked up in the late morning. Air temps to start were 36 degrees and steam rising off of the water is always something that I enjoy seeing while out fishing.

The big boat has been put away for the winter and this trip marks the excursions out in the kayak to some of the smaller lakes and ponds. This time of year I generally start switching over to panfish and fishing with my ice gear in the kayak, but wanted to give a smallmouth lake a try today as well as some of the big crappies that swim in the lake.

This lake has been drawn down 6-8 feet already and kind of makes the lake quite a bit smaller when they do that. My objective today was to fish deep water and look for suspending fish there. Concentrated in water depths from 25 to 30 feet of water and as long as the winds hold off should be able to hover in these depths.

I usually fish with my Vexilar and hang the transducer over the side and then using my ice fishing gear, vertical jig for the fish that I seek. This lake has a good mixture of fish with crappies, perch, large and smallmouth bass swimming in some decent sizes as well. When vertical fishing for these species I generally use the Salmo Chubby Darter and bring along a selection of various colors.

First area I started in 28 feet of water and had fish marked on the flasher fairly quickly but more lookers than any takers. I am finding over the seasons that if the fish are locked to the bottom, they will generally come up and look, but don't like to commit. I hovered around this area for a little while before paddling off to the next spot.

In the open water fishing that I have done here, I generally stay on one side of the lake and wanted to make sure today that I would get to the other side to try. So that was where I was headed. While paddling there I would keep my eyes on the flasher and watch for suspending fish as these generally are more aggressive fish.

Arrived where I wanted to hit and wasn't long and a fish came flying off of the bottom and slammed the bait. Fight was on and you never know what you are going to bring up but to my surprise the first fish was a nice 14" crappie. These crappies are not as long as they should be but some have thick backs to make up for that. Worked around this area for a while but couldn't seem to find another crappie.

Moved out a little deeper and then another flash came flying up to take a look at my bait and slam, another fish on the hook. Couldn't tell what this one was either and when the fish surfaced a nice 2 pound largemouth was thrashing on the waters surface. Was feeling pretty good now and figured that as long as the wind wasn't blowing to much yet I was going to work this area over.

I moved over to some irregular bottom features and the screen lit up like a Christmas tree and the fishing rod loaded right up for a strong battle. While fighting this fish you could definitely tell that this one was going to be a smallmouth and it did not want to come up or give up the fight. Was a lot of fun catching this 2.5 pound smallie on my ice gear and this gets me pumped up for the coming ice season.

The wind was starting to pick up and fished a little longer around this area and caught another small largemouth bass. Moved back across the lake to try and get out of the ever building wind but wasn't able to find any activity in this location.

Pulled the plug before noon and for the 2-2.5 hours out there, wasn't a bad day with a crappie, smallmouth and 2 largemouth bass. All in all felt good to be on the water again and if I can find another day that the winds are laid down, I want to go back out there and try and find more of these fish.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Monday, October 19, 2009

Going Deep for Fish

The fall season is upon us and the fish are into their feeding frenzy fattening themselves for the long winter ahead. One way to locate these fish in the deeper waters is to vertical jig a bait while you are watching your electronics. By using a electronic flasher you are able to watch your bait below you and also this gives you an idea as to what the fish are doing down there in relation to your bait. By taking the boat and moving around different locations and structure, you can key in on the fish and see what they are doing down there. This type of fishing is the same thing that we do when we are ice fishing so why not apply this to your open water fishing as well. Electronic graphs are a little tougher to watch your baits but the flashers are instantaneous and real time. Take advantage of this fall time fishing and you never know, you could catch that trophy of a lifetime.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall Fishing Heating Up

Fall is definitely in the air and also when one looks out across the horizon, the changing of leaves and the brilliant colors reminds us that the cold months are ahead. But we don’t look at that right now and try and enjoy what we have today as those days will be long an we can’t wait for spring to get here.

Fall time fishing here in New England isn’t so much about the fish that we catch, but also the scenery that is laid out in front of us. Many of the northern states go through this same change of seasons but here in New England, it is something that we all look forward to.

Many folks hit the road and head north in search of their favorite place to enjoy the fall foliage or also many head into the woods in search of their favorite quarry. But there is a group that doesn’t so much do any of those things but instead makes their trek to their favorite pond or lake.

These folks know something that maybe the others are not aware of as in the fish know what is coming ahead in the coming months. Water temperatures are falling as each night passes with cooling air temperatures and windy cooler days as well. This triggers something off in the fish in our favorite lakes and ponds and for those that are willing to dress a little warmer and head to the waters, they will be very well rewarded.

Many fishers have hung up their fishing rods and are getting around to putting the boats away for the long winter ahead. But, these folks may be missing out on some of the best fishing of the season and you only need to adapt to the conditions a little differently. The fish knows this as well and they are going through these changes also and why not take advantage of this while we can.

Ice here in New England is still quite a ways away so that leaves plenty of empty lakes and ponds to those brave fishers that are willing to head out there. Many days are still fairly warm so it won’t feel like winter is coming but the fish have other things on their minds that may play into the fishers advantage.

A fish’s metabolism slows way down once the waters cool off and they know this as they go through this year after year. But some fishers may not know is that these fish need to feed and they need to feed big time to fatten themselves for those months of cold that they may not do much moving around in search of food.

So where should a fisher start to look? More times than not heading towards the shorelines will be a productive venture and these are going to be some of the warmer waters especially on those sunnier days. Later in the day can be more productive as well as opposed to the early morning trips that most are use to in the summer months.

What we find the most productive until the water gets very cool is that fishing with faster moving baits are more productive. Minnows are schooling up at this time of year and this is what fish are concentrating on and these schools don’t just lie around, they are constantly on the move and so are the bigger predator fish. By using faster moving baits we are able to cover vast amounts of water as well and search and find those actively feeding fish that are hunger and ready to grab anything that goes by.

Heading to shallower waters, fishing with faster moving baits and covering vast amounts of water on a given trip, will provide the fisher a great day on the water. In the fall they can be biting one day like crazy and then the next they are not but fall also throws many weather variations compared to any other season and this needs to be remembered.

If you are a fisher that fishes year round, there is nothing better than pulling up to the landing and there is not another soul to be seen. This gives you a feeling that the lake is yours and only yours and those fish are all waiting there for you to catch. Take advantage of the fall fishing season as the fish are hungry and the scenery couldn’t be any better.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fishing September 28 2009

Days like this weather wise don’t come that often when we get this late into September, light and variable winds, air temps going to the mid 70’s and high sunshine all around. Not many more trips will be had till ice season for fishing north but made probably the last run up to New Hampshire till ice covers the lakes.

I wanted to fish a lake that I frequent quite a bit and had a little surprise upon arriving at the landing. They had lowered the lake around 6 feet for repairs to the dam and this made it impossible to launch a bass boat there. Pulled out and headed south to another lake in search of finding the smallmouth and largemouth that swim there.

One thing about fishing this time of year is that arriving at the landing, there is usually only a couple of trailers compared to the summer months. Lakes especially during the week are void of any activity and this is allowing you to go to any location to fish that you want.

This particular lake after a long idle ride from the landing to the lake, decisions are always tough in where to start. Water temps were anywhere from 60 to a little under 64 and the clarity is definitely getting clearer as the waters cool. With the wind picking up and blowing into the left side of the lake, I figured that I would concentrate on the windy side to see if the fish are searching for baitfish.

Areas of concentration were going to be deep shorelines as well as long deep points and working these with crankbaits. This time of year I am looking for active feeding fish and crankbaits allow me to cover a lot of water looking for actively biting fish. Starting on a point and then working down a deep shoreline wasn’t producing anything until I hit a little shallower water and a 15 inch largemouth nailed the deep diving crankbait.

Continued to do this same thing on similar shorelines with no success and moved into an arm that comes off of the main lake. The front side is somewhat deep but as you go further back into this arm it gets shallower to the 5 foot depth. Switched over to a rattle trap style bait and fan casted and caught another 13 inch largemouth bass.

Moved back out into the main lake and back to the deep shorelines and points and hit one area that was a little shallower and caught a very small smallmouth. Since seeing that the fish that were caught were coming from shallower water worked a small shallow finger with a wacky rigged BearPaw Hippie Stick to no avail.

Moved around the main lake to similar areas and just couldn’t coax anything into biting and decided to call it a day. Only three fish were caught with 2 on the deep diving crank and one on the rattle trap. Days like this are going to be far and few in between and the fall bite really hasn’t kicked in yet but shouldn’t be long.

Most water temps are still hanging in the low to mid 60’s and for fall fishing that is still a little warm. Once we get the waters to the low to mid 50’s this is when the fish really start putting on the feed bag especially once we get through the fall turnover. Any fast moving bait will catch these fish and take a look at their stomachs when you do as they are going to be very fat as well. Take advantage of these fall days while you have the lakes all to yourself, the fish will also be all yours.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall is Here

The fall season is upon us in full force and the waters are cooling very quickly even with the warming sunny days, but the nights are getting very cool. This in turn activates the fish to start moving towards their fall feeding spree and some good fishing will be in store soon. Of course there will be days that you might not get a bite but then the other days that you will catch a number of very nice fish. Fish start schooling this time of year and once they are found, work the area thoroughly as one fish caught may get the rest of the school very excited. Fast moving lures, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, rattle trap style baits as well as in-line spinners are great producers this time of year. The waters are void of activity now and many times out you will have the whole lake to yourself. If you are not a hunter, get out there and enjoy some of the best fishing of the season as you may have the best trip of your life.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fishing September 22 2009

Fall is here but this week seems like summer has come back for a brief encounter and allowing us New Englander’s a little longer summer season. Air temperatures were in the mid 70’s but the water temps are dropping fairly quickly with mid 60’s for the warmest temps. Winds were howling as a front is pushing through and making it tough to gain boat position no matter where I fished.

I went back to the previous lake in hopes of finding some more nice fish that swim in these waters. Since the last trip yielded some fish on the wacky rigged BearPaws Hippie Stick in the coon tail, decided to try that once again in a few other areas.

Started in the back of a couple of coves that has a good coontail beds on the backside. Fished these areas as best I could as the winds were howling into both coves and wasn’t able to locate any active fish. Moved back to a lily pad and coontail covered hump that produced a few fish last time to come up short handed.

I tried one last cove that had coontail in it as well and came up with the same results of nothing biting. Decided to abandon that technique and went to the deep running crankbait and followed the 10-12 foot depths out of this cove, as well as the channel between the two lakes with no fish responding to this technique as well.

Since the winds were howling and fish were not cooperating decided to call it a day and head on out. This particular lake is decent for me early in the season as well as late in the season. The middle section of the season is always a tough one and last weeks catch apparently gave me some false hope for this week. Things will improve as the temperatures drop and can only get better and this time of year will and can be full of surprises.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fishing September 14 2009

Fall is in the air but summer has come back for a few days before fall takes over. An angler needs to take advantage of these days as they are going to be far and few between as the days pass by. Waters are cooling, leaves are changing and the best time of the season is right ahead of us.

Today was going to find me fishing a lake that I tend to only fish in the spring and fall only. Summer on this particular lake is heavily used by pleasure boaters pulling skiers and tubers most days so we usually tend to frequent other lakes at this time. But now the days are quieter on these waters as those users tend to not frequent the same as the days of summer.

The conditions today were bright sunny skies and a brisk wind that was coming from all directions. Air temps were in the 70 degree range and water temps now are 67 degrees. Vegetation is still very green as the nights have not cooled enough yet to start the dying of the vegetation yet.

Started the day fishing the same technique as the last trip out and that was to target shoreline lily pads with the frog bait. Tried a numerous amount of pad fields and there wasn’t anything that was willing to showing itself. Fished the windy pads as well as the calm water pads but for this lake these fish haven’t moved into the shallow locations yet.

Time had come to start covering some water to locate some fish and started throwing the crankbait on deep water shorelines. That didn’t seem to do the trick as well and covered a few areas that have produced many times in the past to no avail.

In the middle of the back part of this lake, there is a lily pad field in the middle of the bay and started working that. Didn’t realize but behind the pads there is a shallow gravel hump that is lined all around with coontail. Casting the crankbait through the coontail wasn’t doing much as I was snagging the weeds.

As I ripped the crank out of the last weeds a bass pounded the bait and it dug its way into and around the coontail but lost the battle. This largemouth was a nice chunky 18” clean and beautiful fish and was caught, photo’d and released to swim another day. Worked around this hump with the crank but wasn’t able to find another fish for this bait.

Since there was a ring of coontail in water depths from 3 out to 6 feet of water figured that these weeds may be worth throwing some plastics into them. So using a Bearpaw Hippie stick and wacky rigging it, this allowed me to work the weeds and find any fish that may be lying in them. Wasn’t long and the first largemouth was caught and a very feisty 13.5” at that with another 13” a few casts later.

Worked around this weedbed a couple of times with this bait combination but wasn’t able to find any other willing fish to bite. So decided to try one last location and fish the area between the two main lakes. Keeping the boat in 12 feet of water and casting towards shore with a crankbait, wasn’t long and the rod was bending with another 18" largemouth that was refusing to come to the boat but finally lost the battle.

This is really my time of the year to fish from now till November as the fish generally keep getting bigger and the fishing pressure getting less. The landings are becoming void of boats, waters void of tubers and solitude is coming back over the lakes and ponds and time on the waters are going to those that are willing to take on the conditions that mother nature throws at us.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fall Brings Fish to Shore

The fall season is upon us now and this is cooling the waters that we fish. In turn, the fish are going to start their trends of heavy feeding as they prepare themselves for the winter season ahead. In this preparation, fish start migrating towards the shorelines looking for prey. Fall time has many creatures heading to the shorelines, frogs in particular. Frogs start their migration back to the shallow mud bottom lakes and ponds for their yearly hibernation. Fish know that these tasty morsels are on their way to do this. The fish will start positioning themselves in prime locations to intercept the frogs and other prey as they enter the waters. Fishing this time of the year should involve some topwater frog baits or any sort of topwater lure to seek out these waiting fish.
BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fishing September 9 2009

Fall is definitely in the air the last few days with temps at night getting down into the 40’s and air temps staying in the 60’s. This in turn is going to start dropping the water temps very quickly and that is going to start the fall migration for the fish to start heading towards the shorelines once again.

With the waters cooling off the migration of frogs will start heading for the shorelines in preparation for their hibernation in the shallow mud. In turn the fish know about this and start preparing themselves in getting into the prime locations to intercept the tasty little morsels.

That was going to be the theme for this trip. I headed to a small local pond that has good sized fish and see if I can get this pattern to work. About half of the shoreline has some vegetation in the form of lily pads and the lure of choice was to be the Bearpaw LOAD Frog. This is a frog imitation plastic bait that is rigged on a 4/0 hook and casted into and through the pads or any sort of vegetation long the shoreline.

Started working the pads and wasn’t long and the first fish hit but missed on the blowup. One thing about these types of baits that the hookup rates are about 50/50 as the fish either misses the bait all together or you set the hook too soon. Hooksets have to have a hesitation to make sure that the fish has the bait in its mouth.

Moved down to the corner of the pond and there is a small creek that comes in here and there is a path in the lily pads to work through. Made the cast and as it was worked back a small fish swiped and missed the bait. Within a few cranks of the handle another fish attacked the bait and this one definitely wasn’t getting away. The fight was one of the better ones that I have had this season and when it was finally over a very nice 4 pound largemouth was lipped, photographed and released.

The winds were definitely picking up big time and making it tough to work certain shorelines. I moved to the side of the lake that was a little calmer and right away had a fish blowup and missed and snagged the bait on the pads. This end of the lake doesn’t have as many pad fields so I skipped portions of the shoreline. The end of the lake has a small weed flat and a small largemouth was caught there.

This was the case a couple of more times and couldn’t find any big sized fish as these were in the 12 inch class. On a point a little better largemouth was caught but was still only 13-14 inches long. All in all it wasn’t a bad few hours of water time with 4 bass caught with one big fish.

We are going into the prime time to be fishing as the waters are cooling; bait is migrating and looking for warm water and bigger fish are moving towards the shorelines again. Fall time on the lakes also is great for anglers as many boaters are pulling their boats out, some are hunting and the lakes are getting void of traffic and pressure. Bundle up and get out there and catch a few fish as many bigger fish will be caught this time of year.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bass Fishing Deep Shores and Shallow Bays


Fishing September 5 2009

Labor Day weekend brings family events and many go camping as this marks the end of summer to many. Many barbecues’s and get tog ether’s are going on and when the weather cooperates, that only makes the weekend that much better. Many take to the lakes in search of their favorite quarry and we were no different.

Spending the day in New Hampshire on the water is something that we always look forward to and can’t wait to hit the water. It has been a few weeks since last visiting this particular lake and thoughts of where to look for the fish begin to happen.

The last time there we had one location that was giving up a number of fish so decided to start there and hopefully pick up where we had left off. Worked the area over and couldn’t find a fish no matter what was used and pulled the plug on that area and moved on to the next.

Water temps are definitely on their way down and was around 72 degrees in most locations that we tried. Plastic baits just weren’t doing the trick so had to go back and give the crank bait a try once again.

We did pick up a decent smallmouth bass with the crank bait in 10 feet of water and also one other small largemouth bass that threw the bait before reaching the boat. All in all we had a very tough day today and not sure if the active fish were shallower as we were fishing mainly deeper water.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fishing September 1 2009

Fall is definitely in the air here in New England and the days temps still getting into the 70’s but the evening temps are dropping into the 40’s. Leaves are starting to change a little around the lakes and the best time of the year is still to come.

Decided to head up to New Hampshire and try a lake that I have only been on a few times and never have much luck catching numbers of fish there. This lake has numbers of big largemouth and smallmouth bass swimming in its waters and wanted to give it another try.

Arrived at the landing and a cool 46 degree morning greeted me with steam rising off of the water. Launched the boat and noticed the water temps were around 63 degrees which is very cool for this time of the year. Air temps were forecasted for mid 70’s with little to light winds which were perfect for exploring the lakes depths.

After the long idle trip through the river and channel, finally made it out to the main lake and seen a boat on the area that I wanted to try first. So found a flat coming off of the shoreline and grabbed the rattle trap and also a crank bait to start covering water in search of fish.

I fished this flat without any fish showing themselves until I got to the end of the flat where a small underwater point went out into the lake. The point tip was covered with rock and dropped off into 15 feet of water and casted the deep diving crank out and slam a smallmouth was on and didn’t want to come to the boat.

Just as I was about to lip the fish it jumped and freed itself from the hooks and now I was excited to start catching some fish. Worked this area more with the crank and some plastics but couldn’t find anymore fish. I followed the adjoining shoreline and this shoreline dropped right off into the main lake. Casting the crank to shore and bringing it back to the boat, another fish hit the crank and felt like a very nice one until it freed itself without getting a glimpse at it.

Continued to the next point with a smaller largemouth getting caught and then it was time to move. I worked a number of similar looking shorelines without any strikes. Decided to make the run to the other end of the lake and see if I could find some fish down there. I worked a number of islands and also the front face of the dam without any strikes as well.

Was about to leave the area and noticed a shoreline there that was steep and figured try that with the crank bait. After a few casts to the shoreline, wham, big fish hit and the battle was on. Was waiting for the fish to jump as I thought it was probably a smallmouth but it kept digging down. After winning the battle a nice 3 pound largemouth came up and really made my day.

Worked a few other areas as well as previous areas and wasn’t able to find anymore fish. As my trip back to the landing is a long idling one, this whole back area is a swampy shallow bay and decided to give the shallow water a try.

Fishing with a wacky rigged BearPaws Hippie Stick, a small smallmouth grabbed the bait from a fallen tree. Continued down the shoreline and also working some boggy areas, there wasn’t anything wanting to bite. As I left the boggy area and headed back over to the shoreline, a scrappy 12 inch largemouth grabbed the bait.

All in all it wasn’t a bad day with 5 bass into the boat as this was probably the most that I have caught in this lake on a fishing trip. There were two patterns that had formed, first were finding steep dropping shorelines that continued into the water. Positioning the boat 20 yards off shore and casting deep diving cranks to the shore and reeling them back was very productive.

The other pattern was fishing shallow waters with a wacky rigged plastic with fallen timber and rocks along the shoreline. The waters were warming compared to the morning temps and made for a great day to be on the water. New Hampshire has so many good waters to fish that make it tough to decide where you want to fish.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vermont's Controlled Waterfowl Hunt Application Deadline is Sept. 21

Applications are available for controlled waterfowl hunting permits to be used at two Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department wildlife management areas. Interested hunters must apply by Monday, September 21, 2009.

Hunting under controlled conditions for ducks at Mud Creek in Alburgh and geese at Dead Creek in Addison has been popular since the early 1970's. Permit applications for these two areas are available from Vermont Fish & Wildlife offices in Essex Junction, Waterbury, Addison, Barre, St. Johnsbury, Springfield and Rutland. The applications are also available on Fish & Wildlife's website

Applications must be filled out correctly and postmarked no later than September 21, 2009. A public drawing to award hunting permits will be held Friday, September 25 at 12:00 Noon at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area headquarters off Route 17 in Addison. Attendance is not required. Successful applicants will be notified before the start of the hunting season.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fall Patterns to Emerge

Summer is starting to fade away and fall will probably come in with a bang this year. This transition can make or break a fishing trip of success and adjusting to the dropping water temps, will put the odds into your favor. As the waters start to cool, fish will engage into a feeding bonanza to fatten themselves up for the long winter ahead. Baits that work well for bass are crankbaits and spinnerbaits fished along the shallows and weed flats. Covering water is a good strategy in locating active feeding fish. Once an area is found that has fish, keep working that area as generally there are more fish there that can be caught. Fish in the fall group up in search of bait and once this school is triggered into biting, cast after cast could produce a fish.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fishing Report August 15 2009

Summer dog days are here and we headed to New Hampshire to try a little deep water bass fishing again. Conditions called for 90 degree air temps, little to light winds and high bright sunny skies. Was very warm right away and water temps have climbed to near 80 degrees for surface readings.

A lot of boat traffic to deal with at this time of year especially when the weather is as warm as it is. But the fish are still there and willing to bite if you put the right lure and presentation in front of them. Started on a couple of shallow areas working plastic baits and these areas were definitely void of fish even though there wasn’t any traffic around.

Moved to the backside of a cove that comes out of the main lake depths to a rock shoal on the inside of it. Working water depths in the 10-12 foot range with deep diving crank baits, it didn’t take long to get the first largemouth into the boat. Casting to some shallower water and working the crank back through deeper water seemed to be the ticket especially if there was some weed growth.

Continued working this water depth contour around the cove back out towards the main lake and connected on a couple of more small large and smallmouth bass. Other anglers in the boat were throwing plastics and were unable to connect with any fish at this time. The sun was getting high and we needed to break for lunch and refreshments.

I headed back out a little later by myself and decided to run to the other end of the lake and fish the face of a large shallow flat. This corner of the lake has a big flat that averages around 4 feet deep and positioned the boat in 11 feet of water. There are numerous weeds growing in this area and decided to fish the area with Carolina rigged plastics.

Didn’t take long and was getting bite after bite with a mixture of large and smallmouth bass. Was casting into 8 feet of water and with some, not a lot of weed growth and definitely found an area that has a good concentration of fish. Worked the area for a while and when the bite finally died off, 7 fish were boated.

Made a run back to the main lake and started fishing amongst the boats and tubers. This area has a ridge that runs across the middle of the lake, north side is a large flat of 6 to 8 feet of water with lots of weeds, and south side drops off into the deepest water in the lake. I positioned the boat again in the 11 foot depth of water and casting up onto the flat in 8 feet with more heavy weeds growing there.

Wasn’t long and started locating fish once again and these were a little nicer sized fish. We fish this area a lot in the past but this year they weren’t using it at all but seem now that the water temps have come up, they are there. Few shallower anglers were reporting little success but the deeper anglers were having a little better day. With these hot sunny bright days, this is driving the fish deeper to escape the blinding effects of the suns rays. Don’t let this weather get the best of you and adjust your fishing and try going deeper to locate fish.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Friday, August 14, 2009

Angling Summer Dog Days

We anglers always can’t wait until summer finally gets here because we keep telling our selves “then the fishing is going to get better”. Pending on which part of the country you reside, this particular spring into summer has been far from normal by any means.

Most places spring came in and never left with the cool air temperatures and many extra days of rain as well. The lakes and rivers water temperatures are far below normal as well with New England waters in mid July and barely over the 70 degree mark, which is almost 10 degrees off.

Fishing this season seemed to be focused around spring like conditions for a much longer time this fishing season. But now we are finally getting to the point that the fish have moved into their summer haunts and it seems like that may have happened over night. That is fine with this angler as now the deeper fish are finally there and time to search them out.

This time of year, many anglers dread because the fish are not as easily found as they are in the spring or fall. The air and water temps are rising and those conditions do make it harder for some anglers to locate fish. The bigger fish leave the shoreline shallows as the water is getting to warm and head off shore looking for cooler and more comfortable waters.

This time of year with fish seeking refuge off shore, this has anglers perplexed as to how are we going to locate and also catch these fish. If the waters are deeper than 5 feet or so, some anglers will still avoid looking for fish there, as they will still catch some fish shallow, but the bigger fish are out deeper.

This time of year the electronics in your boat come into play much more than they do in other times of the year. Finding the deep weed line is fairly critical as these are ambush locations that fish use fairly regular in their search for food. By watching the graphs that we have we are able to follow these weed lines and anywhere that it makes an abrupt turn or nook, these are key areas that the bigger fish in the area will occupy.

Also, if you can find areas in the weed line that have rock or wood there as well, these are fish magnets that will attract fish every year. Always look for something that is a little different and that is what is going to keep fish biting your baits. Don’t be afraid to venture out into deeper water as there are many areas that the fish haven’t seen bait and are willing to bite whatever comes by.

If you have an underwater camera, this is a great tool to have out there as well. This will allow you to take a look down there and see what are there and also what the fish are relating to. Having underwater eyes is fun to watch but is something that will definitely teach you as well as now you are in the fishes world and can see what they are doing.

Try exploring some deeper waters and you may surprise yourself in what you find and catch there. While you are reeling fish in you will see boat after boat going down the same shoreline not catching much and much smaller fish. You can then tell yourself, “that use to be me and now I am fishing for fish that are more than likely untouched and more willing to bite”.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Cold Fronts

Summer's heat comes in and hangs around for quite sometime until a refreshing cold front pushes through. Cold fronts give humans a much needed break from hot, steamy summer weather but it also has an affect on fish in our lakes. Fish in the summer are out in their deeper haunts and actively feeding until a cold front comes through. What they do then is move into the weeds and waits out the conditions until they improve and then go back out about their business. An angler can still catch these fish but needs to slow down their presentation as well as down sizing the baits they use. By slowing down and go smaller, these cold front fish can still be caught and a day on the water will still productive.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fishing July 18 2009

Cool temps and very cool nights are making it tough to think that summer is even here in New England. But the waters are open and inviting and the fish are still out there swimming around searching for food, so wetting a line is always a good way to spend the day in the outdoors with your kid.

We went out early in search of bass and whatever was willing to bite. My goal was to catch as many bass as I could and my son’s goal was to catch whatever wanted to bite. First stop was in front of a dam face to see if any fish were using the feed trough that was there in front. Fishing a wacky rigged BearPaw Hippie stick in black/blue color, first cast to the front of the dam a 1.5 pound largemouth bass was into the boat.

Is nice having a location like this that you know that you can pull up on and catch a fish from it almost every time. Tried a little longer but that was the only fish there. Left the area and headed for a big cove that is deep on the outside and comes up on the inside onto a rock shoal.

I was fishing the area with a medium running crankbait in depths of 8 to 12 feet of water. My son was fishing a shiner and bobber and starting catching some nice perch that made him very happy. Wasn’t long and the crankbait started putting numbers of bass into the boat but they were all cookie cutter size around 1.5 pounds each.

Fishing this cove area yielded 5 largemouth bass to the crankbait but couldn’t find anything of great size. Ran around to a couple of other areas and they weren’t producing either. Settled into the mouth of a long shallow cove and worked the Carolina rig and picked up a couple of similar sized bass on this bait. My son switches over to rattle trap bait and caught a huge perch as well as a pickerel.

That area seemed to die so we went back to the first cove and caught another bass there but still no size. My son wanted to end fishing and go play on the beach so dropped him off and grabbed another partner to try the other end of the lake. It was early afternoon at this point and high hot sun was out with little wind happening.

We decided to work an area that was a big flat of 4-8 foot depth of water. First cast with the rattle trap bait yielded the same size bass as earlier in the day. Between working the rattle trap and a Carolina rig, was able to put a couple of bass into the boat but size was still average at that.

The two of us worked areas that we have never fished trying to find a honey hole that would give us something with size to it. My partner was fishing a small minnow imitating swimbait and was catching bigger perch on that. Then he wedges this bait into some rocks and we went over to get it out of the rock and as we got there the line took off and broke the line just as fast. Would have been nice to see what that fish was but that is why they call it fishing and not catching.

Caught a couple more of the clone bass before we decided to call it a day and there were 13 bass caught as well as a number of perch and a pickerel. Not bad between two different partners and going from heavy mist cool damp morning to a hot calm sunny afternoon.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fish Transitioning into Summer Patterns

Summer is in full swing these days and the fish are starting to get into their usual summer haunts. It has taken quite sometime this year to finally get to this point, but I think we are finally there. If you are a deep water angler these fish have moved there and start trying some of your favorite spots. Weedlines adjacent to deep water is a good place to start as the bigger fish are using these areas as ambush spots. Baits of choice are crankbaits and this is allowing you to cover vast amounts of water searching for active fish. Once these fish are found you can slow down your presentation and baits and work these areas more thoroughly. Deep water can yield some big fish and give it a try if you haven't already.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fishing July 10 2009

Fishing is finally getting into the summer patterns that we generally find in July but usually not this late into the season. They have been taking longer in their transitions from the shallows of the shorelines out to their deeper summer haunts. Searching around more is the name of the game and covering water looking for active fish is what is going to put them into the boat.

We headed back to New Hampshire in search of large and smallmouth bass to see if we could put a pattern together. Since the deeper water of past hadn’t been producing to well, started working the shallower areas with weed. Since I wanted to cover as much water as possible, decided to throw rattle trap bait and didn’t take long to connect with the first largemouth of the day.

This fish came from 5 feet of water and in and around lily pads. Water temps are still hovering in the upper 60’s which is unheard of for this time of year. Covered a lot of water after this fish and took quite sometime to find the next one. The next fish came on crank bait fished on a flat edge in 8 feet of water.

The fish were coming far and few in between and headed off to pick up my partner for a couple of hours on the water. There is a dam down near where I picked up my partner and went over there. I fished a wacky rig BearPaws Hippie Stick in black/blue color. Cast the bait right in front of the dam and a fish picked it up immediately and was a chunky 1.5 pound largemouth.

Fished the shoreline area all around this cove and there wasn’t any action to keep us there. So moved off to another bigger cove and was fishing deeper water again in the 12 foot range. I was fishing this cove with a Carolina rig and also a deeper diving crankbait. In this cove the fish were a lot more active and caught 6 largemouths throughout this cove with only one of them coming on the Carolina rig and the rest on the crankbait.

The way that I have been fishing this particular lake lately is mainly with crankbaits and this is allowing me to cover water quickly searching for active fish. If the waters are less than 5 feet deep, then I will fish it with rattle trap type bait. Once the water gets deeper than that then I switch over to a medium diving crankbait. With these two baits they are allowing me to cover vast amounts of water and also getting the active fish to bite.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

All Young Hunters May Participate in Vermont Youth Hunts

Nonresident young hunters may now participate in Vermont’s special youth hunt weekends for deer and turkey. Vermont’s legislative statute governing youth deer and turkey hunts was amended to include nonresidents as well as residents, effective July 1, 2009.

“Vermont’s three special youth hunting weekends are helping to ensure that young hunters get the quality training and experiences they need for lifelong participation,” said Fish & Wildlife Hunter Education Coordinator Chris Saunders. “We wanted to help make it possible for both resident and nonresident families to enjoy a Vermont hunting experience.”

Anyone under 16 years of age who has successfully completed a hunter safety course and purchased the required licenses may obtain free youth deer hunting or youth turkey hunting tags to participate in Vermont’s special youth hunts for deer and turkey.

More information:

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fishing Report July 9 2009

With the summer season in full swing and kids are finally out of school, my little guy is into fishing big time and lately wanting to go every day. It is becoming a big decision with all of the fishing options that we have, but he is making the decisions and this trip out was to go shore fishing at our pickerel lake.

To fish this lake we fish it from shore and he likes to use live bait to catch the fish that swim there. There are a few favorite spots that we frequent and the decision making to pick which one is totally up to him. One area we have is right off of the roadway and makes it very easy to get started. The other is a good hike through the woods and there are 2 accessible areas there that he likes to fish.

So starting on the road accessible area, didn’t take long to get the rods set up and placed the baits out there. Wasn’t long and the fish started biting and had a variety of fish as well. Started off with a nice 2 pound largemouth bass followed up by some nice perch. He also wanted to try his hand at some sunfish fishing and fishing with T.H.E. Jig, didn’t take to much work and he was reeling in numbers of decent sunfish.

He hasn’t grasped the theory that you don’t leave the fish that are biting to go and try another area, but until he gets that, we were off to the woods locations. These areas don’t seem to produce as well for the bigger predator fish, but he was having a grand time catching numbers of sunfish.

All in all this was a very productive day for him and this always makes him wanting to come back for more another day. Weather conditions were very warm with air temps near 80 with a very light breeze to contend with. We are very fortunate to have access to some of these areas to fish and this is allowing me to be able to teach him the rights and wrongs of fishing in a more relaxed setting.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Free Clinic on Crow Hunting Offered -- August 8, 2009, in Holderness, N.H.

Just in time for the fall crow hunting season, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is offering hunters a free workshop on Crow Hunting: The Forgotten Pastime on Saturday, August 8, 2009, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness, N.H. The seminar will be led by crow hunting enthusiast and hunter education instructor Pete Lester. Pre-registration is required. To sign up, call Tom Flynn or Josh Mackay at (603) 536-3954.

The crow-hunting workshop covers the basic pursuit of these challenging birds, from the use of a mouth call to high-tech electronic calling and decoying. Participants also will learn about crow behavior, crow-hunting safety issues, gaining permission to hunt/landowner relations, clothing choices, set-up location, shotgun and ammunition options, creature comforts for an enjoyable hunt and recipes for -- you guessed it -- eating crow. The session will include a shooting component using Owl Brook's remote-controlled target throwers to simulate field shooting conditions.

Crow hunting has a split season in New Hampshire. It typically opens August 15 and runs through November 30; in addition, there is a short spring season from March 16-31.

For directions to the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center, visit

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works in partnership with the public to conserve, manage and protect the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fishing Report July 6 2009

Since vacation week of rain was finely over, we had to return to New Hampshire to pick up the boat. Figured that since it was finally a beautiful day weather wise, why not spend the day on the lake searching for fish.

Conditions were very warm with air temps near 80 and no wind to start out the day but a light breeze came later in the morning. Water temperatures are still only reading in the upper 60’s which is very cold for this time of year. Generally this lake will be mid to upper 70’s by this time and this definitely has been the coolest spring into summer yet.

Figuring that the fish should be moving to their summer haunts, concentrated more on the deeper areas that have been productive in the past. No matter where we went and what lures we through at them, these fish were very reluctant to bite no matter what we did.

Finally caught one bass that was around a pound and a half and caught this on a Carolina rigged BearPaws hippie swim tail in the largemouth bass color pattern. There are many weeds throughout this lake and it is making it tough to located and pattern the fish this season but there are many nice fish there and we will definitely figure it out in time.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fishing July 3 2009

Summer here in New England just doesn’t seem to want to come around this year as the weather is reminiscent of Seattle’s weather with days and days of rain. Rained most of the holiday week and this kept any type of fishing to a minimum as we are also way below average on air temps as well.

Water temps are way down as well with 68 degrees for the highest that we could find for this dark stained water. This lake in New Hampshire that we are fishing had been void of weeds the last few years but they have definitely made their presence known once again this year.

Fishing has been fairly tough with not knowing if they are still in their shallow mode as we fished a number of deeper locations and the bite was very tough. Word was that nothing had been biting yet much this season but we really enjoy fishing this lake and were ready to give our hand at it a try.

Finally found a couple of fish on a rock ledge face fishing with a Carolina rigged BearPaw’s hippie swim tail in the largemouth bass color pattern. Working this combination slowly through the weeds and picked up a smallmouth and a largemouth bass. Fishing depths in the area were from 10 to 12 feet of water and little wind in this cove as well.

Moved to a few other spots with no luck and went to an area that we did fairly well in the winter months. Didn’t take long and caught two more largemouth bass on the same combination and fishing this in 6 to 8 feet of water right in the weeds. These four fish were the only ones caught but from talking with other anglers out there, we were fortunate to catch those.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Stay Warm and Dry

Fishing with kids in this wet and cool weather here in New England is really getting to be a challenge. Seems that we are now into July and summer in New England just doesn't want to come around and we are dealing with fall like conditions. This weather shouldn't stop you from getting out onto the waters but keeping your kids dry and warm will be key to a fun filled day. Warm clothing as well as a dry raincoat will definitely help in the cause. Staying out of the main lake winds will help as well as these will cool the kids down very quickly. Fish can still be caught but you may need to slow way down, find the warmest waters, and also look to the weeds. Don't let the weather hold you back from spending time on the water and creating memories for a lifetime.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Monday, July 6, 2009

Connecticut DEP Announces Saltwater Fishing License Now Required in Connecticut

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that a saltwater fishing license, now required by state law to fish in Long Island Sound, can be conveniently purchased online through the DEP Web site.

The licenses – $10 for residents and $15 for non residents – are available at DEP’s Sportsmen’s Licensing System at They can also be purchased at the offices of most town clerks and at many retail outlets and bait and tackle shops.

Lawmakers authorized the marine fishing license during the 2009 General Assembly Session. Funds generated by the new law, which was signed July 1 by Governor Rell, will be used for conservation and preservation programs in the state.

DEP Acting Commissioner Amey Marrella said, "The new saltwater fishing license will provide us with information we need to better manage our fisheries and coastal resources. The Connecticut program will also exempt residents from a federal program that would have required our anglers to register with and pay a fee to the federal government. It makes much more sense for us to gather information about our own anglers and to keep license fees in Connecticut."

The requirement for the marine fish license goes into effect immediately and DEP Environmental Conservation Police will begin checking for licenses immediately; however the DEP’s initial focus will be on public education and awareness.

Provisions of the new marine fishing license include:

A cost of $10 for residents and $15 for out-of-state visitors,
Required for anyone 16 years of age or older,
Free for anyone 65 years of age or older but must still be obtained annually
Reciprocal to marine fishing licenses issued by New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine provided that state offers the same privilege to holders of a Connecticut Marine Waters Fishing License.

Exceptions including:

People rowing a boat or operating the motor of a boat from which other persons are taking or attempting to take fish,
Anyone fishing as a passenger on a registered party, charter, or head boat registered in Connecticut that is operating solely in the marine district,
State residents participating in a fishing derby that the DEP Commissioner has authorized in writing as long as no fees are charged for the derby, it lasts one day or less, and it is sponsored by a nonprofit civic service organization (these organizations are limited to one derby in any calendar year.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fishing Live Bait

Fishing with kids is a great time and especially if the fish are biting as well. One thing that really seems to draw the fish to the kid's hooks is the use of live bait. Live bait is in the form of worms or minnows and these come in a variety of sizes. Worms can be dug in the back yard and with all of the rain; the night crawlers are around in numbers as well. Minnows can be bought at the local bait shop and they offer a variety of sizes. Fishing with live bait is generally done with a hook, sinker and bobber. Worms draw panfish, sunfish, crappies and perch while minnows will draw the bigger predator fish, perch, crappies, bass and pickerel. If you want to have a fun day get yourself some of this live bait and see what the kids will catch.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Getting Kids Fishing

Kids and fishing are two things that go hand in hand when talking about outdoor activities. Fishing is a fairly easy sport to introduce kids to and fairly inexpensive as well. One doesn't need any of that fancy equipment or even a boat as there are many shoreline opportunities that allow access to fishing areas. A plain hook and bobber with a worm can produce hours of entertainment as well as some artificial bait that work very well also. Most outlet stores have fishing packages that you can purchase that have all of the essential items that you would need to experience a day of fishing. Any size fish, big or small, will be a trophy in kids eyes so don't worry about finding those big fish. Biggest thing is getting a fishing rod into a kids hand and a fish on the hook and this will hook those kids to fishing for life.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NH Moose Lottery Drawing Takes Place Friday, June 19, 2009

The annual drawing to select the lucky hunters who will be offered a permit to hunt moose in New Hampshire this fall will be held on Friday, June 19, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, N.H. Fish and Game will issue 515 moose hunting permits this year. The public and interested media are invited to be on hand to watch the excitement as the names are drawn. Winners are selected through a computerized random drawing.

Radio personalities Peter St. James and Ken Cail will broadcast live from Fish and Game headquarters that morning from 6 - 10 a.m., with drawing results starting at 9 a.m. Tune in to radio station WTPL (107.7 FM), which can be heard from Nashua to the Lakes Region; or in the Upper Valley, the broadcast can be heard on 94.3 FM or 1400 AM. The station will also stream the audio on its website,

Lottery results will also be available online - official lists of winners and alternates will be posted on the Fish and Game website by 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 19, 2009. (Please be patient; the large spike in web traffic on lottery day sometimes causes download delays.)


BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Friday, June 12, 2009

Look to Weed Clumps

Spring is fading away and summer patterns are starting to set up for the fishes activities. The spawn has ended and either those fish are still resting from that or are moving out to their summer haunts. One location that you will find or where you can intercept them is the weed clumps first away from the shorelines. These may be in somewhat deeper water but offers these fish a place to either hide to recoup, or a place for them to take up an ambush location. Fishing these areas isn't difficult and a variety of plastic bait riggings will get the job done. Check out these clumps of weeds as it won't be long and the fish will be heading to their summer deeper haunts.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, June 11, 2009

After the Spawn

Many anglers have been catching fish in the shallow waters of the shorelines and have been doing fairly well at that. But now as spring is further along and fading into the past those shallow waters have warmed up considerably and these fish may be on the move.

Spring time fish are generally found along the shorelines doing their yearly spawning ritual and replenishing the lakes with new offspring for the years to come. After the spawn the females leave the shallows first and then the males will follow once the fry reach a certain size and don’t
need the male’s protection any longer.

When both of these fish have vacated the shallows, this is the time that anglers struggle for a while trying to locate fish. These fish are still in the generally same area but are relating to different types of things at this time. They leave the shallows and head for deeper water and this can entail anything from the first weed line to different water depths.

Since the water is warming nicely, they will start moving towards their summer haunts and these areas are where you need to focus your energy in search of fish. Flats out from the spawning areas are great resting places as well as feeding areas as the fish still need to eat to survive.

Working these flats is a great way to locate some fish and the flats that have clumps of weeds on them with open sandy areas around them are great attraction areas to fish. What we are looking for are areas that the weed growth has started but doesn’t grow into a big area of continuous weeds. Pods of weeds are great ambush places for these fish to sit and rest waiting for an unexpected meal to come by.

Plastic baits are a good choice to working these areas and a few different techniques work very well. A Texas rigged plastic bait, a weightless plastic bait and also the Carolina rig works very well in this situation. For the Texas rig any type of plastic worm or creature bait will work very well as well for the weightless baits. The Carolina rig works very well with creature style baits and also some finesse plastics as well.

The waters are still a little cool so working these baits somewhat slowly works very well and also the slow presentation is something that these fish may not have see that often. Many anglers fish to fast and are missing a lot of bites because of this, but don’t get the wrong idea, there are still times when burning these baits produces better than anything else.

If these flats aren’t producing that well then it may be time to move to the next deeper feature. This can be a drop off, ditch, hump, or just about anything in deeper water. These areas may not be quite their summer haunt areas yet but are the in between “season” places. To many times anglers don’t like to fish deeper water but by changing your tactics a little, these may turn into your favorite places to fish.

Underwater points are a great place to search for fish and finding the tip of these underwater points can be very productive. “Just had that happen recently as the flats weren’t producing very well and decided to look at a nearby underwater point. The water at the tip was 11-12 feet deep and by working a Carolina rig around this point, put a few fish in the boat in a short period of time”.

If I wouldn’t have tried that there would have been only one fish caught on that outing as I went back to the flat and tried again later and nothing was there willing to bite. By trying these different areas you will learn some new waters as well as some new ways to fish different baits.

In general my type of fishing is mainly deep water and struggle some in the shallow spring time areas. But once the spawn is over and they start moving out, then the fishing season really kicks into gear for me.

Next time that you head out and are not finding the fish in the shallow waters, move out some and look for something that is a little different. Each year these fish use different areas or relate to the same areas a little differently and by using your electronics as your underwater eyes and search around these spots, this will put a lot more line tugging days on your side.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fishing June 7 2009

Been a long time coming to get the boat out once again and was nice to be on the water searching for bass again. The fish are transitioning into their summer patterns and are moving away from the shorelines out to the weed lines or next contour drops. There is always going to be fish along the shorelines but the better quality fish are out further relating to structure or something a little different in a particular area.

The shallow water is filling in nicely with weed growth and this is giving the fish something to relate to and also creates ambush areas for feeding fish and hiding areas for bait fish. The first area that I went to is a creek mouth with a big flat on the front face of it. Water depth ranges anywhere from 3-4 feet down to around 10 feet.


BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fishing May 31 2009

It has been a while since we have been fishing and figured that we go back to a pond that has numerous pickerel as my son enjoys catching these. It was a beautiful day with light winds and nobody fishing so we decided to hike into the woods and try an area that we have never been to before.

Of course the ticks come along with venturing into the New England woods and didn’t take long to find the first one of them. Found a nice clearing along the shoreline that offered ample room to be able to cast our baits out into the lake. This area was a little slower than other areas but the fish did bite.

Rest of the report:

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

DES and NH Fish and Game Issue Advisory on Striped Bass and Bluefish Consumption

New Hampshire is One of Seven East Coast States Issuing Limits

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, in coordination with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and six other east coast states, has issued a fish consumption advisory for large bluefish and striped bass caught in New Hampshire coastal and estuarine waters.

According to state health officials, large bluefish and striped bass (larger than 25 inches) contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at levels of potential concern to the general public. This concern is especially true for pregnant women and young children. PCBs can affect the endocrine system and brain development, and have been shown to cause cancer in animal studies.

State health officials advised that striped bass and large bluefish caught in New Hampshire coastal and estuarine waters should not be eaten by pregnant women, women of childbearing age, nursing mothers and children under the age of six. The remainder of the general population should eat no more than one meal of such fish per month.

More information:

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Friday, May 29, 2009

Maine Family Free Fishing Days May 30-31

Weather forecasters are predicting a nice weekend, and what better way to spend it than to go fishing – or take your children fishing!

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is promoting Family Free Fishing Days this Saturday and Sunday, May 30-31 to encourage people to get out and experience Maine’s waterways.

This free fishing event is open to any person except those whose license has been revoked or suspended. All fishing regulations apply. For a complete list of fishing regulations, including limits and sizes, visit and click on “fishing.”

Fishing, whether on open water or on ice, is one of the most popular activities in Maine, drawing thousands upon thousands of residents and out-of-state visitors to the state’s nearly 6,000 lakes and ponds and almost 32,000 miles of rivers and streams.

Approximately 286,000 people annually purchase fishing licenses in Maine, and the sport has a $300 million impact on the state’s economy.

This weekend is the last of two free fishing weekends offered this year.

“Parents and grandparents, it seems, always are looking for ways to introduce youngsters to Maine’s outdoors, and Family Free Fishing Days is the perfect opportunity to do that. Why cast a line on a video game system when you can do the real thing this weekend? The anticipation of catching a fish, and the experience of seeing one at the end of a line, are experiences that will stay with you and your young ones.”

Want to continue the fishing experience throughout the year? Fishing licenses are available for purchase on IF&W’s Web site,, at any of the more than 285 MOSES licensing agents statewide, or at town offices and other locations.

They also are available at our main office at 284 State St., Augusta.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vermont Moose Hunting Application Deadline is June 2

The deadline to apply for a Vermont moose hunting permit is Tuesday, June 2.

The application must be postmarked no later than June 2, or delivered by 4:30 p.m. on that day to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department in Waterbury.

Applications are available on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website ( Under “Hunting and Trapping,” click on Lottery Applications. Applications also are available at license agents statewide.

Lottery applications are $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Winners of the permit lottery will purchase resident permits for $100 and nonresident permits for $350.

Hunting season dates for 2009 are October 17-22, or October 24 through November 1. A total of 1,230 hunting permits will be issued, and about 600 moose are expected to be taken.

“We are managing Vermont’s moose population to keep it in balance with available habitat,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont’s lead biologist on moose. “Carefully constructed hunting regulations enable us once again to enjoy having moose in Vermont on a sustainable basis, while their numbers are maintained at levels that fit habitat capacity and the needs of people.”

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Get ready for big fish

Spring has come and the fish are ending their spring time activities and will be heading out to their summer haunts. It is getting to be that time that you are going to start catching some very big fish once again and then the fun of fishing is really going to kick in. Many of you like to fish with lures and catching fish on these is a lot of fun. Topwater lures are a great way to catch fish and fishing these around shoreline objects and weeds can be very fun. Not to mention that when a fish attacks your bait and the water explodes around it is some of the most exciting ways to catch a fish. As the waters get warmer the fish are going to get a lot more active and want to chase your lures. Fishing is a great time to spend with your family and see if they want to go to the lake and try their hands at finding and catching these big fish.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fish are moving

Spring is the time that the fish are engaging in their spawning rituals and as they start wrapping these up, the females will be leaving the shallow areas for some much needed rest. The males will still be found near the shorelines for a while yet while they protect the young. But the females are moving out deeper for their much needed relaxation and you are still able to catch these fish. Post spawn fishing can be some of the toughest fishing but if you intercept their migration routes, can also be some fantastic fishing. These fish leave the shallows and move out to the next feature in a given lake, be it weed lines, deep drop-offs or nearby underwater humps. Fish these areas with slower moving baits and this may entice them into biting. Pay close attention to your electronics as any little different feature will hold some of these fish. Post spawn fishing can be a tough time to fish but determination will allow you to catch some of these fish.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Maine, “What Would You Do? An Outdoor Skills Quiz” available online for children, educators

Do you know what you should do if a see a bear nearby when you’re picking blueberries? Or if you see a turtle on its back along the side of a road?

These are two of the 12 questions posed in the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s newest booklet, “What Would You Do? An Outdoors Skills Quiz,” now available for parents and teachers to show their children or pupils before summer vacation begins. It’s also a fun activity for adults!

The quiz was written by IF&W Natural Sciences Educator Lisa Kane, who for more than 20 years has taught outdoors and wildlife conservation classes at school events, children’s programs, the Maine Wildlife Park and Swan Island. It was illustrated by Tom Merriam, an outdoors artist whose work also graces the Sportsman’s License Plate, and was designed by Deborah Turcotte, the Department’s spokeswoman.

“This appealingly illustrated online quiz gives kids of all ages a chance to see how they’d react in the common outdoor situations depicted,” said Kane. “Hopefully by taking the quiz, kids will learn what the right things are to do in certain situations when boating, camping, snowmobiling or interacting with wildlife.”

The booklet is simple to read and easy to use ­­– and is a great addition to any safety day programs currently being scheduled schools statewide in anticipation of summer vacation.

“A current state and national concern is how to get kids to recreate outside, and once they’re there to make sure they are acting safely and ethically,” Kane said. “Teachers might use the booklet as a stepping stone for kids to share some of their own outdoor adventures, either by writing a story or giving a talk. Teachers also might use the quiz prior to a field trip, to ensure kids know how to act appropriately and safely while visiting a state park, beach or other outdoor venue.”

To read and share the booklet from your home, school or work computer, visit

A printer-friendly version also is available online for teachers. The booklet can be printed on standard copy paper, and then the sheets are cut in half, with one stack placed on top of the other. Just staple and it’s ready to be used by your students! It’s available at

If you’d like to know more about the work being done at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the latest edition of its magazine, Maine Fish and Wildlife, now is online in an easy-to-use flip format. Inside this edition are videos on why Maine is a world-class fishing destination and how much of an economic impact outdoor activities have on Maine’s economy. You also can hear what a Great Blue Heron sounds like! It can be viewed at

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Friday, May 22, 2009

Connecticut Vacationers To Leave Firewood at Home this Memorial Day Weekend

With the start of the summer season this Memorial Day Weekend, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) are asking campers, vacationers and Connecticut citizens not to transport firewood to prevent the spread of Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) and other wood pests.

The Asian Longhorned Beetle is a serious pest that can kill hardwood trees that are common in Connecticut. This past August, federal agricultural officials confirmed the presence of ALB in nearby Worcester, Massachusetts and there is concern that it could spread into Connecticut. Approximately 64 square miles in Worcester and surrounding towns are regulated due to the ALB infestation. Infested trees are being removed and destroyed.

ALB has NOT been found in Connecticut to date. Due to the proximity of ALB infestations in New York City, Carteret, NJ, and Worcester, MA, Connecticut residents and visitors must be on the look out for this pest and take steps to prevent movement of wood that could carry insects to new locations in our state.


BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Endangered Piping Plover Nesting Season Underway on N.H. Beaches

Four pairs of piping plovers have returned to the New Hampshire seacoast this spring to nest and raise their young. These state-endangered and federally threatened migratory shorebirds have been nesting each year at locations on Hampton and Seabrook beaches since 1997, when they were first discovered by a jogger running on the beach.

"We have three nests established so far; two are at Seabrook Beach and one is at Hampton Beach State Park," said Samantha Niziolek, the 2009 piping plover monitor for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. Each of the nests has a protective fence around it, and is covered with netting to keep predators away and protect the birds and their eggs during incubation. "The fourth pair has mostly been seen in Seabrook, although nesting scrapes in the sand have also been found in Hampton," Niziolek said. "We're not sure where this pair will decide to nest; they are our mystery couple right now."

So far, things are going quite well; good weather and early nesting means the chicks will hatch early and be able to fly before the Fourth of July holiday. According to Niziolek, the nest at Hampton Beach State Park should be the first to hatch, with chicks expected right around Memorial Day weekend. The two nests in Seabrook are both expected to hatch soon after, during the week of June 4-13.


BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Free Fishing Class in Rindge, N.H., Starts June 4

With summer right around the corner, are you looking for a fun way to get outside with family and friends? Try fishing! If you don't know the first thing about rigging a rod and finding a place to fish, but want to give this economical and enjoyable pastime a try, get started by taking a free class offered by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's "Let's Go Fishing" Program and the Rindge Recreation Department in June. You'll get a jump on the summer season and discover a recreational activity that everyone in the family can enjoy. All for free!

The "Introduction to Fishing" class will be held on Thursday evenings in June, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Rindge Recreation Department, 283 Wellington Road, in Rindge. The class is open to anyone; however, we recommend that those age 16 and under be accompanied by an adult. Reserve your spot in the class by contacting the Rindge Recreation Department at (603) 899-6847. The class is free, and registration is first-come, first-served. All equipment and materials will be provided. You do not need to have a fishing license to participate.

The first three Thursdays (June, 4, 11 and 18, 2009) will be spent at the Rindge Recreation Department, where you will learn about equipment, safety, knot tying, fish identification, basic ecology and different casting techniques. On the fourth Thursday (June 25) we will head out to the local lake and put your newly learned skills to the test!

New Hampshire Fish and Game's "Let's Go Fishing" program has taught thousands of children and adults to be safe, ethical and successful anglers. Find out more at The program is federally funded through the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works to conserve, manage and protect the state's fish and wildlife and their habitats, as well as providing the public with opportunities to use and appreciate these resources. Visit

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors