Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
February 3, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

Great Reasons to Take a Solo Fishing Trip

SoloTimeE

I love taking kids fishing. To put them on fish and watch them light up when they get a hit is one of my greatest thrills.  But to increase the odds of a successful outing, I have to do my “homework” by fishing alone ahead of time. If the weather is questionable or there have been some seasonal changes since our last trip, I’ll venture out on my own and try to learn as much…

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Posted by: Tom Keer
January 8, 2014

Tom Keer

Cold Winter, Hot Boats

There are a few things that make me depressed this time of year. The first is a harbor that is frozen solid. When that happens I know the water temps must be 28 degrees or colder ‘cause that’s when saltwater turns to ice o. Ramps are slippery and even if I could break through the ice to launch for a morning of cod fishing or duck hunting, I wouldn’t be able to get my rig…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
January 6, 2014

Andy Whitcomb

Water and Wildlife

OtterSightingE

Water attracts not only boaters and anglers, but wildlife as well.  Among my sightings last year were an otter munching on crayfish, a family of black bears, and a fawn swimming in the Allegheny River. Experiences like this certainly make an outing memorable, whether the fish are biting or not. Depending on your location this winter, open water may be at a premium and can concentrate wildlife.  Plus, there is generally less boating and fishing…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
November 26, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

What kind of a bottom do you like?

SoftBottomE

  There is a paradox of strategy with many B.A.S.S. tournament anglers. When they fish rivers, anglers often compete for backwater areas without current. When the tournament is held in lakes/reservoirs, they can’t wait until there is current to turn on the bite. From above, the Allegheny River may look the same but in about a mile I can find areas that are dominant in silt, gravel, rocks, or boulders. Current moves the fine silt…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
October 15, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Maybe Get Back -4 Tips for Backing up a Boat Trailer

Backing a boat trailer can be intimidating, especially at a crowded boat ramp.  Sometimes the trailer seems to have a mind of its own. With cooler temperatures and hunting seasons, there may be fewer people at the lake so this might be a good time to practice. Here are a few tips: 1) Slow and steady. “Haste makes… the tire fall off the side of the ramp.” There is a little bit of lag time…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
September 25, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Bow Fishing

September 28 is National Hunting and Fishing Day.  Fishing shares some similarities with hunting. Both require stealth, scouting, and good aim. Bowfishing is a type of fishing that still requires a fishing license but it is very similar to hunting. However bowfishing is only for harvesting “rough” fish, rather than “sport” fish. Definitions vary from state to state so check your state regulations carefully. In Oklahoma, “rough” includes gar, but in Pennsylvania, gar are protected.…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
September 17, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Don’t Put Up the Kayak Yet.

Since late May in Pennsylvania, cars/trucks frequently have been sighted toting kayaks or at least roof racks. They are handy for gaining access to shallow, rocky, or weedy locations where other boats may struggle.  However, with flowing water a kayak requires overcoming some logistical hurdles. Two vehicles are almost always required; one at the “put in”, and the other at a predetermined destination.  Another option is to “borrow” the wife’s “antique” milk crate, slide part…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
September 10, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Four! No, that’s a Five-Pounder!

Golf can serve as a way to relax, have fun, and help manage stress. It can be played alone, but more often it seems, a golf outing is a social event, perhaps where business networking takes place. However, more people fish than golf and tennis combined. Maybe fishing outings should be the new corporate retreat activity? Here are a few reasons why fishing is better than golf: With golf, you take turns and have to…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
September 3, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Log On.

Take Me Fishing blogger Tom Keer recently reported on the pelagic bite. (“Pelagic” means, “go start the boat; you can’t catch those from shore.) Unlike inshore fishing, where structure and weeds are a fishing gold mine… No place is more starved for fish structure than the pelagic ocean. It is wide open and featureless. Just. Water. What direction should you point the boat? Where should you start fishing? Well, birds are a great visual of…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
August 22, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Raise the Rafters

Have you ever built a raft? And I don’t mean just inflated something manufactured, but actually lashed together various hopefully buoyant objects?  Perhaps you were influenced by reading Mark Twain’s, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and yearned for adventure. This summer, Soggy Shorts Outfitters of Emlenton, Pennsylvania organized a raft race. Safety precautions were taken, life vests were on all rafts, and a rescue boat monitored the event.  With a maximum of four people per…

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