Posted by: Tom K.
June 28, 2012

Tom K.

Conserving Areas Where We Boat and Fish

Anglers have something to smile about at the newly improved McDill Air Force Base

My wife has a saying that has become one of my favorites.  Presentation without demonstration is merely conversation. Someone may have said that before, but I heard it from her first, and she’s right.  That statement gets to the point.  Organizations like the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and Trout Unlimited among others are tireless champions of encouraging folks to get out and boat and fish, to purchase their fishing licenses, and to register their…

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Posted by: Tom K.
June 14, 2012

Tom K.

Father’s Day Fishermen

Nothing beats fishing with your dad

I recently read a survey which said that over 73% of anglers are taken fishing for the first time by their father.  To the men in the world who take their kids fishing I say Happy Father’s Day.  And I hope on Sunday you all will be fishing. For much of his short life, my dad was a soldier.  I wasn’t able to fish with him as much as I would have liked.  We spin…

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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: Andy
May 8, 2012

Andy

Huge Potential

Dink2012E

Bassmaster Elite Pro Gerald Swindle might call them “peanuts.” Pro Casey Ashley just calls them “babies.” But personally, “Dink” has always been in my vocabulary.  Whatever you call them, little fish are worth appreciating too. For example, from thousands of eggs, only a few bass, will survive and grow large enough to earn the title of “whopper.” Despite the lack of photographic evidence and the stories anglers may tell, small fish are sometimes caught.  Too…

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Posted by: Tom K.
May 3, 2012

Tom K.

Don’t Like Your Local River?

Why is Andy Bonzagni smiling....he's got great fishing close to home

Many of us are blessed to have outstanding fishing close to home.  In fact, many of us choose to live in areas that are near great fishing!  Others of us are required to live closer to work, and if a major metropolitan city is on your horizon then you may find a good amount of competition for space on the water. Take, for example, Concord, Massachusetts. It’s a significant American city for a lot of…

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Posted by: Tom K.
April 26, 2012

Tom K.

First Fish

Opening Day brings a lot of fun for anglers of all ages

Fishing in my adopted home state is open all year long.  I am thankful for this when the migratory saltwater fish pack their bags and head south; there are trout, bass, pickerel, and panfish to catch. I am also thankful for this when the mercury in the thermometer is consistently below freezing, and there is enough ice on the ponds and lakes we can dig some holes and add a few tip ups. If we’re…

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Posted by: Andy
April 17, 2012

Andy

Shall We Snag Now?

JimmyPaddlefishE

  The paddlefish is one of those rare fish that will never bite.  This bizarre shark-like fish only eats by filtering the water for microscopic plankton.  And plankton are very difficult to put on a hook. Thus, the only method to catch paddlefish is snagging, generally with a large weighted treble hook. In many states, the paddlefish is protected but in Oklahoma, snagging paddlefish is promoted.  According to the 2012 Oklahoma Fishing Guide, the population…

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Posted by: Andy
April 10, 2012

Andy

Crappie Management Tools

ForageCrappieE

Although crappie is a popular sport fish, they can be challenging to manage. For example if trophy largemouth bass is the goal, crappie is not recommended for stocking in ponds.  They are notorious for stunting. According to “The Crappie Fishing Handbook” by Keith Sutton, a female crappie can have 180,000 eggs. Because of their relatively large mouth, young crappies soon switch from a diet of invertebrates to small fish, and can out-compete bass for forage.…

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Posted by: Tom K.
March 29, 2012

Tom K.

The Things We Learn About Trout

Good browns are fun to catch.

With trout fishing in full swing I reached out to my friend Shannon Skelton for some not-so-common insights into trout.  Shannon owns a company called CFI – Global Fisheries Management (www.cfiglobal.com) that specializes in stream restoration and enhancement.  Rather than just stock trout and hope they take, Shannon re-engineers stream beds, stream ecology, baitfish, insect life, feeding, holding, and breeding grounds, you name it. He creates an environment that is like a Disney World for Trout. …

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Posted by: Tom K.
March 1, 2012

Tom K.

Spring Tributaries

Tributaries are often calm when the main stems are roaring.

One mid-April day a long time ago I went to one of my favorite trout streams to fish.  From the look of things I figured that the run-off was over and done with, and that meant the Quill Gordons and Hendricksons would be hatching.  When I arrived I found a blown out, coffee-colored river, with water raging high up against the banks. If it were a little slower I would have fished the banks.  River…

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