Posted by: Andy
October 12, 2012

Andy

Bridge Night.

BoatRaceArkE

Recently, I learned that October 20th is National Bridge Day. Fortunately, this is recognition of the potential fish structure and not the dull couple’s card game.  A bridge is not just a means to get to a fishing location; if it spans water, a bridge may actually BE the destination. Keith Sutton, author of The Crappie Handbook, notes that bridges make great crappie structures, especially the concrete piers when the water is cool. “The piers…

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Posted by: Tom K.
October 11, 2012

Tom K.

5 Tips for Cleaning Up Your Boat

The end of the boating season always brings about mixed emotions.  Knowing that we’re going to haul our boats and get them ready for storage means we’re not heading out on the water any time soon, and that just stinks.  There is also the routine maintenance that goes into winterizing engines, removing electronics, and fixing any of the hatches, railings, or canvas that experienced, well, heavy use.  Every cloud has a silver lining, and handling…

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Posted by: Tom K.
June 21, 2012

Tom K.

Small Mistakes, Big Costs

Make sure your drainage issues are resolved before you leave your boat.

I was at a boat ramp the other day and saw a boat off the trailer sitting directly on the ramp.  Probably the only thing grimmer than seeing a boat that should be in the water perched on the ramp, has to be the sound of fiberglass hitting concrete.  Ouch. In preparation for the launch, the owner unhooked the tow strap and chain, and proceeded to back down the ramp.  He had a buddy behind…

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Posted by: Andy
June 5, 2012

Andy

From Russia, With Ballast

ZebraE

During a recent fishing trip, my crappie jig snagged a small, striped shell. I placed it in an empty water bottle and sent a photo to Dr. Jim Long at Oklahoma State University to confirm my suspicions. “This is significant,” he stated as he verified it as a zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha). Native to the Caspian Sea, this tiny critter hitchhiked in the ballast of a ship. Well, not this particular mussel, but its ancestors…

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Posted by: Tom K.
May 24, 2012

Tom K.

Why We Love Boating and Fishing Communities

A Halloween mooring ball.

One of the best parts of boating and fishing is that we get to hang out in boating and fishing communities.  They’re places where even the most everyday item has something to do with our favorite pastimes on the water. Out here in Massachusetts for example, we’re not surrounded by the mundane.  We are immersed in our favorite activities from start to finish. Everywhere we turn we are reminded that there is more to life…

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Posted by: Andy
May 15, 2012

Andy

Boating Reason #131: Snakes

ReasonToBoatSnakeE

There are many reasons to enjoy boating. Laird Durham, a freelance writer and avid boater, has assembled his Top 10 Reasons, and there are many others.   Fishing, of course, is a major reason.  Access to all depths and locations of a body of water is a huge plus for fishing from a boat.  For some, so is avoiding contact with snakes. Unless it is steelhead season and very cold, many fishermen, like my fishing companion…

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Posted by: Tom K.
April 5, 2012

Tom K.

Safety First

Safe Boating

Many boaters have already logged significant hours on the water.  For me up here in New England?  I’m just getting ready.  The initial arrival of migrating striped bass combined with unseasonably warm temperatures has motivated me to get my boat out of the mothballs.  Part of my checklist is reviewing all of my U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) safety requirements.  I’ve got PFD’s for every passenger I intend to bring onboard, a whistle, a visual distress…

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Posted by: Tom K.
January 26, 2012

Tom K.

Just a little bit more

Jon boats....an old favorite

There is something deep in our angling soul that motivates us to try and reach water that we traditionally have not been able to reach.  If we’re wearing waders we sometimes pull them up as high as they go and walk on tip-toes to get closer to where we believe the fish are holding.  Some times we get wet, other times we stay dry, some of us do it once in a while, others of…

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Posted by: Tom K.
January 5, 2012

Tom K.

Wooden Boats

For some reason, well maintained wooden boats turn heads.

One hot summer’s day I putted around the harbor in my fiberglass skiff. It was an absolutely perfect day, with a high cloud ceiling, low pressure, and low humidity. There was a perfect amount of wind, and everyone, it seemed, was on the water. Fishermen were catching ‘em up, sailors were coming about, kayakers were paddling in the shallows, and pleasure boaters were taking a cruise. There was a long line of boaters waiting to…

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Posted by: Tom K.
December 29, 2011

Tom K.

Working with the Wind

Flags in the storm.

Every boater and angler has a relationship with the wind. Sometimes it’s a love-hate relationship. A sailor, for instance, leaps for joy when there’s a stiff wind. It’s what we wait for, that tell-tale snap when a boat comes about and a canvas sail snaps to attention. It’s the time when a spin fisherman working with a tail wind achieves unparalleled casting distances as the wind carries a spinner or jerk bait to new reaches.…

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