Tagged in: fishing

Top 10 apps for men by Gear Guide for Men

Top 10 Apps for Men

I’m just going to jump right into this because this post might get a bit lengthy. I compiled a list of 10 apps that every guy could probably use at least once! And no, sorry, but “Hitch’s guide to landing your dream woman” app didn’t make the cut, so you’re on your own. However these top 10 apps for men should help you get through the rest of life just fine!

  1. SAS Survival Guide/Lite: There is a free version for those who want just the basics for survival. This is based off the bestselling book that has sold millions of copies. It really is simple and easy to access the elite training techniques.  What guy doesn’t want to have over 400 pages of world-class survival skills in his pocket?! It’s got some pretty cool videos and pictures of animal tracks, knots, edible, medicinal and poisonous plants, sea creatures and snakes! Morse code signaling device comes included too! If you’re serious about surviving practically anything life can throw at you then this is a must have app!
  2. Fishidy: Any guy, whether amateur or pro-angler could use this app! It’s extremely easy to use and provides immediate access to some of the best fishing information a guy could want. This app combines with the full-featured Fishidy website to provide the most advanced, location-based fishing app that gives them ways to find fish faster on thousands of the most popular waterways across the U.S. It even has fishing tips and the maps are incredibly detailed.
  3. Fishing knots lite: Well once you find a good spot you’re going to need to get hooked up and land a fish! You’ll need the right knot! This app is very easy to use and understand, which is helpful for understanding how to tie a good knot. Each knot gives the information needed for load, line, hooks, lures, baits swivels and more. The best part of this app is that once installed it doesn’t need internet access to run and operate which is great for those of us who find themselves in the great outdoors!
  4. Alltrails: Speaking of finding yourself in the great outdoors…this app will get you there and back! This app is pretty incredible! It actually one the #1 outdoors app on iPhone. Carry access to 50,000 trails across North America in your pocket! What’s great is that the app is curated by the over 3.5 million people who’ve downloaded it. So you can easily find the best trail to hike, bike, run, all sortable by length, rating, and difficulty level! Plus is provides information on dog-friendly, wheelchair-friendly, and even kid-friendly.
  5. Pocket Universe: This app can truly make your jaw drop by transporting you to galaxies far, far away! The app gives you access to over 80,000 stars with beautiful textures! The visuals aren’t the only thing that impresses! Use the built-in compass and your phone’s camera as well with this app to provide the names and information right at your fingertips! Don’t just explore earth with this app, travel into space! (This may or may not have been included based on cool factor alone)
  6. Car Care 101: Let’s face it guys, you should know at least something about cars. Know you don’t necessarily need to know how to do everything under a hood (that can be pretty dangerous for you and your car!). It’s fairly simple to use and the videos are quite helpful. This saves a ton of time staring at an engine block scratching your head or searching YouTube videos for hours.
  7. iHandy Carpenter: This was voted #1 Father’s Day app by CNN, and for good reason. You get 5 quality and handy tools in one app. You get a plumb bob, a surface level, a bubble level, steel protractor, and steel ruler! Be sure to calibrate the plumb bob, surface and bubble level before serious usage, plus they can be used as an inclinometer/clinometer by reading the angles. The app is really helpful and easy to use providing directions on how to use each tool!
  8. Photo measures: Throw out the poorly drawn sketches on napkins of your master bed room that you’re trying to have your contractor understand! This app is great to use your phone’s own photos and place the measurement lines and number right into the picture. This is really helpful to ensure things fit into your spaces for decorating and constructing. Simple and easy to use with a functioning zoom to add in even more measurements.
  9. Handy Man DIY: Tackle almost any project with this app! There are incredibly detailed how to videos and instructions. Remove the guess work out of shopping with prebuilt material lists for common household projects or build your own list! The pricing estimator helps to figure out if your project is within budget too! There are literally too many awesome DIY features in this app to list!
  10. Packing Pro: This award winning app gives you control over one of the most worrisome tasks in life…packing. Never again will you forget to bring that jacket you needed on a trip or any other essential item. For those of us who travel and constantly on the go, things slip our minds and when you’re away from home, those mistakes can be costly. The astonishing amount of extras that go into this app that are beyond the basic packing list are incredible. I mean seriously? Built-in Expert assistance?! Wow.

Some of these apps are free and some are not, but believe me, they each hold a real value for having in your phone. If you have any other apps that you think should go on the list of Top 10 apps for men, leave a comment.

Flip Reel by Squiddies: Reinventing Hand Line Fishing

The level of excitement that I have for reviewing this product is higher than a kid on christmas morning! A little bit of background on why I’m so excited. As some of you have read in my other posts like, How to pick the right fishing rod, I did not grow up fishing (saltwater or freshwater). When I was first presented with a hand-line fishing reel I thought it was a joke actually. I was informed this was in fact a way to catch fish, I felt pretty dumb.  I was told it was a Cuban Yo-Yo and it looked like this:

cuban yo-yo used for handline fishing

Jumping into the world of angling head first I grabbed this and took a swing at it…literally since that’s how to cast these primal yo-yo’s.  It was made from a hard plastic and was rough after years of use sometimes snagging the line. It did it’s job though by holding the line for me to spool manually as I fought fish after fish on the Florida Bay in the Florida Keys.  There isn’t much out there that compares to fighting a fish hand in hand. Yes battling a monster trophy fish on rod and reel can be exciting but the pure, unfiltered power you get to feel by hand-lining a fish is something that every angler should experience.

Squiddies has brought hand-line fishing back to life and improved it with the Flip Reel.  It took into consideration the open flaw of the Yo-Yo by allowing it to be collapsable.  They improved the grip so you can more easily handle the reel without slipping.  The built in storage for the hook and sinker mean less hassle when storing. And a built in line cutter is just an added bonus.

Flip reel by squiddies a modern handling fishing reel

storage features of the flip reel by squiddies for handline fishing

hook, line and sinker that comes with flip reel by squiddies

The flip reel comes with a hook, line and sinker already so you’re ready to grab some bait and catch some fish! They’re made from a sturdy rubber like material which helps it collapse but maintain its shape as well as float. The reel comes preloaded with 165ft. of 17lb. line.  The best part of all is they’re only $19.99! I mean how can you not want to get a Flip Reel for yourself! They also sell different type of sinkers and hooks and a lure ready to clip onto your Flip Reel! The only thing you have to decide is whether to get one in blue, green, orange, yellow or all of the above! I’ve already got 2 of these bad boys which are perfect for catching snapper under the bridges of the florida keys right from my kayak! Already caught a few catfish in my lake from my backyard too!

 

how to pick the right fishing rod

How to pick the right fishing rod: Length, Power, and Action

Growing up with little to no fishing experience and catching the fishing bug later in life, all of this information has come in handy when selecting the right fishing rod for me! Thanks to our friends over at fix.com and writer Mike Cork, here is an article to show you how to pick the right fishing rod.

Having the proper equipment is as important in fishing as it is in any sport. With a wide range of bait options and techniques, rod manufacturers have developed rods to cast specific baits farther and more accurately. They’ve also balanced these capabilities with other factors to give the angler an advantage over a hooked bass. A truly effective fisherman or woman can now pick the perfect tool. The correct rod for a given situation allows anglers to cast baits accurately, work baits properly, detect more strikes, and set the hook to land a fish.

Lure Choice

Selecting the perfect bass fishing rod starts with lure choice. A hammer can drive a screw, but is it the most effective tool? Using a flipping rod to fish with crank baits would be just as difficult. While you could cast a crankbait with a flipping rod, the distance, accuracy, and ability to land bass may suffer. Knowing the different parts of a rod – and how they affect casting and fighting a bass – is the first step in selecting the proper rod for the job at hand.

When selecting a baitcasting or spinning rod, there are three things to consider: power, action, and length. The right combination of power and action allows longer and more precise casts with a given lure or technique. Add in the proper length and the combination provides effective control over a hooked bass. All three elements will also prevent angler fatigue.

Rod Selection - All About Rod Power
Source: Fix.com

 

Power

Power is the amount of pressure an angler has to apply to make a rod bend. Heavier action rods require more pressure to bend, while light action rods bend much easier.1 Rod manufacturers categorize rods as light, medium, or heavy. In some cases, there are in-between levels such as medium/light or medium/heavy. Higher-end rod companies categorize rods with a number system to describe the power rating, usually one through five (one means light action and five means heavy action).

Rod Selection - All About Action
Source: Fix.com

 

Action

The action describes how and where the rod blank flexes when a force is applied. Or, the action is how easily and how far from the tip a rod will bend. Actions are similar among most rod manufacturers. However, the terms rod manufacturers use to rate these actions can get confusing. Many companies use the same three categories as they do for power ratings: light, medium, or heavy. Other manufacturers use variations of speed to describe action: moderate fast, fast, extra fast. Variations of “fast” better describe how quickly the rod stops bending and transfers power to the blank of the rod. An extra fast (or heavy) action rod will bend three to four inches before transferring power to the blank, which is considered quick. A moderate fast (or light action) will bend nearly a third of the way down the rod blank, which is considered slow.

Action balances the power of the rod for casting and fighting bass. The rod’s action influences how it casts, how sensitive the tip is, and the rate at which it transfers the hook set to the bait at the end of the line. A lighter, slower action will cast lighter baits while a heavier, faster action better suits heavier baits. The action is also useful when fighting a fish once it’s hooked. If you use baits with treble hooks, a lighter action will give when a fish makes a surge, which prevents the hooks from pulling free. However, a lighter or slower action also makes it more difficult to set the hook when a fish strikes. Typically with treble-hooked baits, an angler wants to lean into a strike rather than set the hook. A heavy action allows an angler to drive a hook into a fish’s mouth. Heavy or fast actions better suit baits with single hooks, including a spinnerbait, jig, or Texas rig soft plastics where a strong hook set is required.

To explain how the different power and tip actions improve casting baits and landing fish, let’s compare two bass fishing rods specific to techniques: first, a rod used for fishing crank baits and second, a rod used for fishing spinnerbaits. Both baits have different aerodynamics for casting, and different hooks used to land a bass.

Crank Baits

For crank baits with treble hooks, an angler needs a variation of a medium power and action rod. This lighter action will flex more, which allows for better hook ups when a fish strikes and prevents a fish from pulling loose after it’s hooked. Treble hooks have shallow throats, leaving very little space for the hook to penetrate the jaw of a fish. Treble hooks are designed to grab the skin inside the mouth of a fish. Most crank baits have at least two treble hooks (three hooks on each treble). This gives the angler six chances to get a hook stuck in the fish’s mouth. The medium power and action rod will bend, allowing a bass more time to take a lure deeper into its mouth during a strike. This action also bends when a bass surges or jumps, which again prevents the hooks from tearing free.

A lighter action rod also aids in casting by loading (flexing). When an angler pulls forward to cast, the weight of the lure will flex the rod’s tip. This action builds energy in the flex, called load. The load is then released when the rod comes forward and stops when the bait releases, which allows for a longer cast. Action needs to be balanced with lure weight. A light lure will not flex the rod tip to help casting unless it’s a light action. However, it is possible to overload the rod when casting. And a lure that is too heavy for the rod’s action will prevent the rod from using the load properly. For heavier crank baits, select a heavier action. A good rule is to use the lightest action possible to effectively cast the bait.

Spinner Baits

When fishing with spinnerbaits, use at least a medium/heavy power rod because of the larger single hook. When a bass strikes, a strong hook set is necessary to drive the large single point hook through the jaw of a fish. This may require quite a bit of force. Since spinnerbait’s subpar aerodynamics negatively affect casting distance, you need to balance action with a variety of factors. The size of the bait is the most controllable element. Similar to the crank bait rod, a lighter action will allow for more load and longer distance casts. However, spinnerbaits can get heavy and if the action is too light, the rod may become overloaded, which decreases accuracy. A medium/heavy rod with a fast action provides a great balance for most spinnerbaits up to half an ounce. When fishing baits greater than half an ounce, an extra fast action will provide better casting.

Rod Selection - Which Rod to Choose, When
Source: Fix.com

Length

The subject of rod length can lead to debate among anglers. Gary Dobyns, owner of Dobyns Rods, designs a slew of bass fishing rods. “A rod’s length should only be limited to an angler’s ability to use it,” says Dobyns, who would use a 9-foot fishing rod if bass tournaments allowed it. He says longer rods pick up more line on a hook set, which can help if an angler is caught out of position for a good swing. Longer rods can also make up for some of anglers’ errors. “A longer rod is also better at balancing applied pressure against the surges and jumps of a hooked fish,” he says.

In a nutshell, the longer the rod, the more control an angler has over a fish.

Rod Material

Today’s fishing rods are made from two materials: graphite and fiberglass. Graphite is the lightest and most sensitive of the two. However, fiberglass still has applications in the fishing industry. When using baits that require a rod with a medium or lighter action, fiberglass provides the necessary parabolic bend (meaning the bend of the rod is similar throughout the length).2 Graphite is stronger, more sensitive, and more expensive than fiberglass. A graphite rod, due to its lighter weight and greater sensitivity, is the better choice in most cases.

Line guides

Line guides are nearly as important as the rod’s blank. Quality guides enable anglers to detect strikes transmitted through the fishing line to the rod blank. Line guides range in quality from good to great. The price of each quality level varies tremendously. Micro and standard line guides are the two basic sizes for freshwater casting rods. Micro guides are very small line guides normally used on fly-fishing equipment. In recent years, micro guides have made their way to the casting rod industry, claiming an overall lighter, more sensitive rod. Manufacturers claim anglers can cast further with these guides. A rod with micro guides requires more guides on the blank, so is typically more expensive. Guide size is a matter of opinion. Choose the size that works best for you. Since proper guide placement is vital, examine the rod before purchasing to ensure the guides line up.

Reel Seats

Reel seats are very basic and there aren’t many options. Many anglers prefer a reel seat that allows them to feel the blank with their finger when holding the rod and reel (a cutout on the bottom of the reel seat exposes the rod’s blank). Determining the best reel seat is purely angler preference. Some reel seats are wider than others; trigger placement will vary, along with seat nut size. Hold a variety of rods to find the reel seat that is most comfortable for you. If a rod isn’t comfortable to hold, the perfect combination of length, power, and action is irrelevant. Pay attention to the shape of the grip on spinning rods (some spinning rods don’t have grips). Always test out a reel on the rod you’d like to purchase to see how the combination feels.

Rod Handles

There are a variety of rod handle types available: cork, EVA foam, or a combination of the two. Some anglers prefer the feel of cork to EVA foam. Both are very light and easy to grip. Proper handle length depends on the type of casting. Longer handles help with heavy baits and long casts because they allow an angler to use two hands to generate a lot of load and forward force when casting. For short casts with lighter baits, short handles allow for one-handed or roll casting to targets without getting in the way. Handles also come in split grip, pistol grip, and full grip so an angler can adjust to the type of casting. Full grip handles are best for casting heavy baits or for long distances where two hands are required. For lighter baits or close target casting, choose a split grip or pistol grip. The lack of material in the split grip or pistol grip can reduce the overall weight of the rod. With less material on the handle, manufacturers advertise a split grip handle as more sensitive.

Purchasing the correct rod can be an overwhelming process. But if you stick to these general guidelines, you’ll be in great shape. With the perfect rod, the catch of a lifetime is just a cast away.

 

darkfin glove

Darkfin Glove: The Ultimate Water Glove!

Almost every water sport has some type of glove meant to enhance your performance in some way.  But all of them get blown out of the water (pun intended?) by the Darkfin Webbed Power Gloves.  Most gloves are made from a woven type of material which can get heavy when wet or maybe its a water resistant material but it ends up lacking dexterity. The darkfin glove handles those issues and then some! Another benefit is that you don’t just pick based on the old small, medium, large scale! There are 12 total sizes to choose from because let’s face it hands are not just small medium and large.

Darkfin gloves

I tested these out on a little kayaking trip over the 4th of July weekend to see for myself.  After all, these are said to not only help you underwater but help you with almost any water sport. Now I didn’t get into any class III rapids on the intracoastal but the extra grip and fit helped me handle my paddle much better than ever before. It was a bit warmer than a typical cut off fingers kayak glove but the performance was 10 times better. It was if the paddle was glued to my hands. I did jump in the water and test out the webbed feature on these gloves because it is the striking feature of the glove. It was able to really get me moving through the water even through the strong currents!

The glove is dipped in a company protected secret “rubber” to protect it and allow it to be so flexible for dexterity and durability. They claim to have been studying marine life propulsion and aquatic sports to create such a wonderful glove for over 20 years. I don’t know what they’ve really been studying, they could have been watching episodes of flipper and a squirrel on water skis for all I care, this glove is amazing!  The idea to make 12 sizes is a great way to ensure the proper fit which most glove companies don’t do. They call this a propulsion glove and it really does do the trick! But whether you’re a…

surfer:

Surfer using dark fin gloves

kayaker:

kayaker paddling with darkfin gloves

diver:

Scuba diver using darkfin gloves

or just a swimmer:

swimming with darkfin gloves

You can really improve your performance with these Darkfin Gloves!

Hiking with Lifestraw drinking water out of a puddle

LifeStraw is a Life Saver!

Let’s face it water is essential to living, the human body can last for a month of more without food, but can’t last more than a week without water! Our bodies are made up of over 60% water and we need it to function.  Many of Gear Guide for Men‘s readers find themselves away from city water that’s been treated and often are surrounded by non-drinkable water supply. I remember myself going camping growing up and having to cart in the fresh water supply we need for the few days we would be in the woods or having to boil water in order to make it clean. Those days are gone thanks to the LifeStraw.

LifeStraw product review

The LifeStraw is basically a big straw that you stick right into any water source; a bottle, a river or even a puddle and it converts the bacteria filled water into clean drinkable water.  It does this by using advanced hollow fiber membrane technology to filter out 99.9% of waterborne bacteria including E. Coli and Salmonella. Plus 99.9% of waterborne protozoa, including Giardia and Cryptosporidium. The LifeStraw doesn’t use any chemicals to treat the water either, so there is no after taste and its BPA free!

This is an incredible tool to have whether you’re going camping, hiking, fishing, or even building an apocalypse bomb shelter and want to be able to drink water into the future! Each LifeStraw can filter up to a 1000 liters of water. So keep that in mind if you’re trying to stock up for life off the grid! You can grab them here for about $20 which isn’t bad considering how great and vital this little straw can be!

This only weighs 2 ounces and is easy to carry with you at 9 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. It meets US drinking water standards so you can trust that when you stick it into that puddle or stream you can be sure you’re getting fresh, clean, great tasting drinking water. With no moving parts to break and ease of use for everyone this is the perfect fresh water system for the outdoor enthusiast!

Daiwa mini system mini reel fishing rod and reel combo for travel with hard case review

Daiwa MiniSpin Travel Fishing Rod

For a short time I worked in outside sales and drove around so much I had to downsize from a Full size pick up truck with a V8 to a cross over SUV with a 4 cylinder engine. Needless to say this mean my “gear” didn’t fit in my new vehicle. Living in South Florida and getting the itch to do some fishing, I almost always had a fishing rod with me. My new vehicle meant things had to change.

Change can be scary. I had never owned a travel fishing rod, but after being caught too many times without one I had to get one. I chose the Daiwa Mini System Minispin fishing rod and reel because I liked the case it came in and had a pretty good reputation. Now this isn’t a rod to be fighting the big fish with, but if you’re looking to hook up with some decent size light fish then this is perfect!

Here is what you get when you buy a Daiwa MiniSpin: A hard case to travel with, which is important when hiking or basically any travel that could bang up your luggage.  The reel is ultralight and smooth, with ball bearings and multi-disc drag as well. The term ultralight just in case you were wondering is intended really to be for the size fish you’re going after. It has a 5:1 to 1 retrieve ratio. The rod itself comes in 5 pieces and is built to handle 2-6 lb test line and lures from 1/16 oz. to 1/4 oz weights.

It fits right under my car seat and is an easy grab for me to put together and throw a line in when I’m stalking some bass in the canals near my house. The size of the case is 14 x 7.8 x 2.5 and doesn’t weigh much for those considering packing issues in your hiking pack or airline luggage. I’ve used it to catch a few 1-2lb large mouth bass here in South Florida and it does the trick. Actually makes the fight a little bit more exciting if you ask me! Sometimes I have a tough time deciding between using my standard rods or this when I’m at home.

winter fishing tips and tactics

Winter Fishing Tips and Tactics

Many of us don’t like to let a little cold weather stop of us from enjoying the great outdoors. Who doesn’t love fishing year round?! Well we present to you some of the best Winter Fishing Tips and Tactics presented by Fix.com.

Fishing through the winter months can be very rewarding for a number of reasons. Cold temperatures keep fair-weather anglers home and hunting seasons lead many anglers to trade lakes for the woods. Winter is also the time of year when most freshwater species group up. The result: more fish for cold-weather anglers. During the coolest months of the year, preparation, research, and the proper tackle can make for memorable fishing trips.

Pick the Perfect Spot

The first step in a successful fishing trip, no matter what species is being targeted, is to know where to go. The internet has a wealth of useful tools to guide anglers to fishing meccas. Department of Natural Resources or Wildlife and Fisheries websites are great resources for information about local lakes, and will detail what types of fish they have to offer, what times of the year provide the best angling for certain species, and any creel limits.

If the impoundment is run by the Corps of Engineers, a visit to their website provides lake levels and current flow predictions. Both conditions can affect safety and success. Very high lakes or ones experiencing overflow conditions will limit your chances, especially during cold-water months. Avoid a lake or river with high current or predictions for high current. Not only will the fishing be difficult, but elevated currents can also be dangerous and generate debris in the waterway. Look for lakes and rivers that are in normal winter condition and have a stable or natural current.

With a quick online search, it’s easy to find catching information as well. Most lake marinas have a website with up-to-date reports on which species are biting the best. Internet fishing forums are another good resource. Check out Ultimatebass.com for national information, or utilize regional websites such as TexasFishingForum.com. They can save you hours of fruitless effort.

Find the Right Time to Go

While many of us have to plan fishing around work schedules, the weather is another consideration. A look at the forecast can narrow down which days will be more productive. Keep in mind that, while the best fishing conditions may not be the most comfortable for anglers, some conditions are sure to improve catching odds. Weather fronts affect the activity level of all freshwater species. In general, fish are more active prior to a front and less active after it. Whenever possible, optimize your chances by planning fishing trips just prior to the passing of a cold front. Since, however, most anglers are limited to fishing on the weekends, regardless of the weather conditions, here are some tips for fishing post-front conditions.

Low barometric pressure always precedes a front. After the front passes through, the barometric pressure will be high, bringing winds from the north or northeast and preventing clouds from forming in the sky. This will create picturesque days but not always the most fruitful fishing conditions. The bright sun, however, can be used to anglers’ advantage. During winter months the sun’s global position is further south in the sky. This allows it to shine very strongly on northern banks. A northern bank also prevents the cold, north wind from hitting the water. Wind protection and bright sun mean the water will warm faster during the day in these areas. For this reason, concentrate efforts on these northern bank lines.

During the winter, the best fish-catching times are typically between 10 am and 4 pm. That’s not to say a couple won’t bite at daybreak and dusk – they will just be few and far between. Take the opportunity to sleep in and enjoy a more comfortable fishing experience with the warming day.

Winter Fishing Tips - Choosing the Best Location
Source: Fix.com

Gather Your Equipment

In general, winter fishing puts extra strain on fishing equipment. After determining where to go, make sure all your equipment is up to the task. To start, make sure the reels are in good working order. A reel bearing that was noisy or stiff under warmer conditions will completely fail in the cold. Old grease and oil will thicken, making reels difficult to use. To prevent frustration, clean and lubricate them. That way, when the perfect fish is hooked, you’ll be able to land it. If you’re not comfortable disassembling and cleaning reels, repair shops will perform this service for around $25 a reel – money well spent.

Cold winter conditions will make monofilament and fluorocarbon line difficult to manage. A line conditioner such as KVD Line and Lure, Reel Magic, Bass Pro, or Ardent will keep the line supple and prevent line twist, helping reduce backlashes and tangles. Use this same conditioner on rod guides to prevent water from freezing in them. Water from fishing line collects in the guides of a rod and, if it’s cold enough, will freeze and eventually stop the line from passing through the eyelet. Lastly, since it’s winter, there’s no need to worry about fish getting tangled in vegetation. Smaller diameter lines are just fine and will help prevent the effects of twist and stiffness.

Winter Fishing Tips - Use Gear to Stay Warm
Source: Fix.com

Choose the Best Bait

Lure choice in the winter months can be difficult; however, a few basic tips will greatly improve success. Live bait is the best choice, because it will react to the water naturally. Typically, anglers work artificial baits too quickly for the winter conditions. Both forage and predators are cold-blooded creatures and the cold water slows their metabolisms, making them move slowly. Bait that moves unnaturally quickly will turn fish away. Anglers trying to mimic these forage species should slow down their presentations to a methodically sluggish retrieve. Most anglers simply can’t fish slowly enough with artificial baits to accurately mimic the speed and movements of forage during winter temperatures. Live bait will be more enticing. Minnows or shiners are a great choice; so are live worms. However, they somewhat limit the species of freshwater fish that may bite.

Select artificial baits with hair and/or feathers. These provide more action in cold water than soft plastic baits, which get can stiff and lose the built-in action when water temperatures dip below 50 degrees. Hair and feathers don’t respond like this to cold water and, instead, maintain excellent action with little movement. Hair and feathers also move with water currents. Even when an angler imparts no action to the bait, it can still move very naturally, remain in the strike zone of the fish longer and mimic live prey.

If catching fish on lures is the goal, choose lures that will catch multiple species. Shad, herring, or yearling sunfish/perch will be the primary winter forage for all freshwater species, so match these forage species with lures. Most other forage species, crawfish, and other vertebrates will be hibernating and will emerge only after an extended warming trend. Soft plastic baits, including straight-tail worms, grubs, and tube baits, can be very effective. Choose colors that mimic the winter forage: anything white, silver, or transparent in color will work well, especially if they contain colored flakes. Hard baits such as crankbaits, spinners, and spoons can be very suitable on warmer days. Color choices for these baits should include chrome, silver, or gold.

In winter, it is important to use a reduced lure size. Cold temperatures drastically reduce a fish’s metabolism and the fish don’t need to feed as often. Smaller prey is easier to catch and digest. Presenting something small and slow best mimics the natural feeding habits at this time of year. Baits in the two- to four-inch range are perfect. If the goal is to catch the biggest fish in the area, use three- to four-inch baits, but if the goal is to catch the most fish possible, select baits in the two- to three-inch range.

Winter Fishing Tips - Choosing the Best Bait
Source: Fix.com

Stay Safe Winter Fishing

The most important tip for winter fishing is to be mindful of the weather and respect the conditions. Dress in layers, have a good game plan, and tell someone your timing and itinerary. If you should run into trouble, you’ll need help as soon as possible. Notifying a friend or family member of your location, expected travel route, and expected return time will help speed up the search process should something catastrophic occur.

With some planning and mindfulness of the conditions, you can have some of your most successful fishing adventures during winter months. Research your waterway, make sure your equipment is in good working order, and select multi-species lures or live bait, and you will be on your way to some of the best fishing our great country has to offer.

 

Source: http://www.fix.com/blog/winter-fishing-tips/

The fusion of performance and apparel™: Reel Fish Outfitters

The folks over at Reel Fish Outfitters were nice enough to send over a few of their products, in exchange for our honest opinion, knowing how much we are into life on the water! Down here in sunny South Florida gives us access to multiple ocean adventures; fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, spear fishing, lobster diving, surfing, boating, and of course sipping margaritas watching the sun set.

Reel Fish Outfitters is a company on a mission to produce Professional Fish Fighting Apparel™ like SUN TEK-5™ while showcasing the works of the Reel Fish artists. Their tag line is exactly what their mission is, The Fusion of Performance and Apparel™. One of the other great reasons why we support this company is that is a US Veteran owned company that also devotes time to volunteering and supporting all of those who served.

Let’s get into some of their great gear! Below are some of the cool products that we were sent!

Reel Fish Outfitters Koozie

Reel Fish Outfitters Koozie

Reel Fish Outfitters Koozie

Reel Fish Outfitters Koozie

Reel Fish Outfitters License Plate

Reel Fish Outfitters License Plate

Reel Fish Outfitters Vehicle Sticker

Reel Fish Outfitters Vehicle Sticker

Reel Fish Outfitters Neck Gaiter

First off in the hot florida sun, if your drink doesn’t have a koozie on it, then you better be chugging it! This koozie not only looks great but it’s collapsable and looks great! The license plate is a really cool way to show your support of your favorite hobby and/or brag about how great of an angler you are! The vehicle sticker decal just looks plain cool! Rather than make an attempt to model the neck gaiter myself, the professionals over at Reel Fish had a much better alternative to show off what they sent to me. It’s made of the great SUN TEK-5™ material which is moisture wicking, UPF 50+, antimicrobial, lightweight, and breathable…all of these things are extremely important when on the water all day in the intense sun! We can’t wait to test this bad boy out!

They’ve got plenty of other gear too! They’ve got hats, shorts sleeve shirts, long sleeve, and performance apparel shirts too! The performance gear is made with the same SUN TEK-5™ material as the neck gaiter and the designs are really cool. Be sure to check out the electric tuna design!

This company knows what fisherman and ocean lovers want and need to be comfortable on and off the water! Be sure to check them out and follow them:

twitter.com/reelfishCEO

facebook.com/pages/Reel-Fish-Outfitters