Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
November 18, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

Constant Contact: 5 Great Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

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One of the most effective ways to catch fish is to use natural bait. And one of the best ways to release fish caught with bait is to keep in constant contact with that bait. Undetected hits can lead to deep hook removals, thus reducing the chances of watching fish swim away unharmed to catch another day. Here are the 5 tips for Catch and Release Fishing with bait: Choose the right hook shape and…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
November 11, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

Hare Today

HairAndFeatherLuresE

Not only is fall a great time to go fishing, but many people also get decked out in camouflage this time of year to go hunting. Some outdoor adventurers, like contributor Tom Keer, may even work in both activities during a brisk fall day. If you don’t hunt, but think you might finally get to learn to tie your own flies this winter, you might want to shoot the breeze with your hunting neighbor. It…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
October 28, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

Take It or Leaf It

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Over the years, I’ve had many “issues” disrupt fishing plans. Family issues, automotive issues, boat issues, weather issues, bait issues. Recently, even leaves have conspired against a wholesome, therapeutic fishing trip. The fall colors here in Western Pennsylvania have been a spectacular show, but now along with monitoring the weather, I am watching for reports of the leaves that rain and wind may knock into the streams in large doses. Despite warnings, we recently took…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
September 3, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

Need More Structure in Your Life?

BluegillOnPlane

Fishing is one of the life’s greatest stress releases. And one of the best ways to catch a fish is to cast near aquatic structure. Sometimes this structure is visible above water such as stumps or boulders. Other times, it is located with the aid of electronic depth finders.  Or maybe you find structure the old fashioned way, by accidentally snagging it. Many Oklahoma lakes mark submerged brush piles with buoys to help curb this.…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
August 26, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

“What‘s Your Favorite Color?”

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New crayons were one of my favorite back to school supplies. But, I’ll venture to say that even the mega pack of colored pencils doesn’t have the range of colors of fishing lures. This common child conversation starter is difficult for me to answer, perhaps because I fish. It wasn’t that long ago that lures were packaged as simply “purple” or “silver and black.”  However due to the innovative nature of anglers and lure manufacturers,…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
August 19, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

Urban Catfish

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Catfish are one of the most popular sport fish.  Anyone with a chunk of bait on the bottom has a chance to experience the strength of these brutes. For several consecutive weekends in the in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area anglers have competed for fish with whiskers. Recently the First Annual Field & Stream Catfish Classic was won by Team “Nite Shift.” They beat 35 boats with teams of two as well as shoreline competitors.  However, winning…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
August 12, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

“Does Not Play Well With Others”

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Soft plastics come in a staggering selection of colors, scents, shapes, and sizes. They also vary in composition. I have several dozen packages in my tackle bags. In an attempt to increase angling efficiency and make some more luggage room for a much needed vacation, I consolidated some of these packages into a “river” bag, and a “lake” bag. A few weeks later, I discovered that some soft plastics had seemingly melted together, and I…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
August 6, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

Whatever It Takes

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I love to take my daughter fishing. But she only likes to go… sometimes. She has both spincast and spinning reels, which she can cast accurately. Already, she is confident landing and handling several fish species.  And she loves to be near water. But, fishing is just not her thing. Yet. So, when she does decide to go fishing with us, I do what I can to keep it fun for her: If she wants…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
July 29, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

Garden Harvest

This time of year, most gardens are producing plenty of vegetables and flowers. Though gardens require work to maintain, the tasty results are well worth the trouble. Whether the garden is a small urban raised bed or a larger rural roto-tilled plot, insects will find and feast on the garden too.  Some of the insects are pests that can be great bait. Collecting these in a coffee can with a hole-punched lid not only helps…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
July 23, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

UCAST

I don’t know if he fishes but last week, I followed the approximate path of Lebron James’ moving truck and drove 1066 miles to attend  ICAST in Orlando, Florida. It is the “world’s largest sport fishing trade show.”  The 11,000 plus attendees were “industry only,” so I felt fortunate to peek at some of the new, innovative recreational fishing products that will start appearing in stores. There was some overlap from companies that exhibited at…

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