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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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
August 13, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Trolling, trolling, trolling… Walleye!

Trolling, for those unfamiliar, is a type of fishing  you do without casting. Drop the lure or bait over the side or back of the boat, let out line, and drive the boat, which then pulls the lures creating the look of baitfish.  Though perhaps not the most exciting method of fishing, trolling works well when trying to locate fish on a large body of water.  And Lake Erie is enormous. Considered by many to…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
June 18, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

“Propellers Need Not Apply”

Local Allegheny River angler Joe Stefanacci learned I was new to the area and was kind enough to offer a boat ride.  While our kids were in school one afternoon, I took him up on it. “How many props do you go through each year?” I asked, looking at all the big rocks in the clear river. “None,” he said, grinning. “It’s a jet boat.” When I hear the word “jet,” I think of screaming…

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