Let’s Talk Paddleboard Fishing

Paddleboard fishing, it sounds a little crazy doesn’t it? But believe us, it can be done, and it happens a lot. From our limited experience with it, it’s actually quite fun!

It’s definitely a thing. There are people who have paddleboards that are completely outfitted for fishing. It is a great way to get out on the water and do some fishing. A lot of places offer stabilizers for your paddle board that act as large chairs, so you can lean back on them while you fish.

Fishing from a paddle board has a lot of benefits. It allows you to access remote coves and areas that you might not be able to with a boat. It also allows you to approach fish in a high concentrated area without scaring them. It gives you stealth. Also, it’s more economical and environmentally friendly because you don’t have to pay for gas and you aren’t emitting carbon.

Additionally, you can fit quite a bit of gear on paddle boards before you’re at risk of capsizing them. We’ve seen paddleboards fully outfitted with a cooler, rod holders, poles, and all the other equipment necessary to have a full day’s fishing excursion.

There are a few different places that you can find paddle boards if you’d like to give it a try. One we have come across pretty consistently is Paddlers Retreat. They do a great job of comparing prices and products. They even point you in the right direction if you choose to buy one. You can also rent one if you don’t know if you’d like it. There are plenty of options to get yourself on a paddleboard!

We’d definitely recommend paddleboard fishing to all of you adventurous anglers out there. it’s just a fun and exciting way to get out on the water and do some fishing. However, we are by no means an expert on paddleboard fishing. We’d like to hear your experiences about it. Have you tried it? What were the pros  and cons? Give us a shout in the comment section below and tell us what you think.

Also, feel free to leave us a comment if you have any comments, concerns or questions. We’d love to hear your feedback. We know there are plenty of talented and experienced fishermen out there, so feel free to share your experience with the rest of us! Until then, happy hunting!

Getting the Right Clothing for Fishing

Fly Fishing and the right waders or boots are neededWhen you pack your gear to head out on a fishing trip, you get your rod, your bait box, a seat, some dinner but do you remember to be wearing the right clothing? What is the right clothing depends a lot on where you are going and what type of fishing you are intending to do. But it’s a bit like working in construction and making sure you have the most comfortable work boots on your feet: the right gear makes all the difference.

Waders

So for instance, you are going fly fishing so one thing you will doubtless need is a pair of waders. This is because most of the time you are going to be standing in the water to be able to get enough room to back cast your line. Add to that the fact that fly fishing in a close-range sport where you will need to wade into the water and usually the temperature in the river will not be the same as the local indoor swimming pool!

Chest waders are recommended for fly fishing activities. Not only do they keep you dry all the way up, but also they often have special soles on the bottom of them, which are either felt or a special sticky rubber coating. This means you have a far better chance of not slipping on underwater rocks, which can be treacherous. Modern chest waders utilise breathable fabrics so they are comfortable as well as keeping you dry and many even have a handy storage pocket in the chest.

Waders can also keep you dry even when you aren’t in the water. Add a light rain jacket over the top with a hood and you are covered head to toe in waterproofing.

There are two main types of waders; stocking foot and boot foot. Stocking foot are the more popular and contain a neoprene boot over which a wading shoe is worn making it a bit like a hiking boot for under the water. Boot foot waders have built in rubber boots, tend to be warmer and more durable but don’t give any support around the ankle. They are often chosen by saltwater anglers when fishing on a beach.

Saltwater Fishing

The idea of saltwater fishing clothes used to be whatever was old and about ready for the rubbish bin but has evolved in specialist ranges. These include items such as pants that are made from lightweight, breathable materials and feature zip off legs that can easily be converted into shorts. Shirts are often of the same material and everything has plenty of pockets to stash other gear.

Some of the biggest makes in business have created ranges designed for fishing, such as GORE TEX. They offer insulated tops and bottoms so that if you are off somewhere cooler, you can be ready to face whatever the climate throws at you.

The climate of where you are going fishing will be your ultimate guide as to what to wear, and don’t forget to keep an eye on the weather forecast to make sure you pack for whatever the weather throws at you!

Fresh Catch to Fish Sticks

The fishing trip is over – now what do you do with all that fish?  Once you are done gutting and cleaning and you have your nice fish fillets, consider doing homemade fish sticks to liven things up.  In my experience, firm white fish like cod or tilapia generally work the best because anything more delicate will fall apart.  Growing up, my mother used to purchase the processed fish sticks from the grocery freezer, and they were awful, but with your fresh catch and some tasty breading I’m sure they will be wonderful!

Breading

For breading, you can buy bread crumbs at the grocery store (regular or Panko) or you can make your own by quickly pulsing in a food processor.  Other additions you can make to your bread crumbs are parmesan, coconut, cornmeal, or curry powder.  Experiment with what flavors you enjoy, and if you are adding something like coconut to mix make sure to chop it to the right consistency.

Bake or Fry

Now it is up to you whether you want to bake or fry your fish sticks.  If you choose to bake, dip the fish stick in egg white and then coat in your bread crumb mixture and bake at 425 until golden brown on both sides, flipping halfway through.  If you choose to fry your fish sticks, you will need extra hot oil and you will also need to make sure your breading mixture is heavy on the flour.  If you are health conscious, I would definitely recommend baking over frying, since frying tends to add many more calories due to the oil.

Dipping Sauce

Don’t forget about your dipping sauce!  These can make or break your fish sticks overall.  Plain old ketchup is always a favorite, as is a basic tartar sauce.  You could also mix up a special dipping sauce, like the mayonnaise, yogurt and Dijon mustard in this recipe from Giada de Laurentiis.

Fishing and Firearms

Let’s face it we live in an unpredictable world and when out in nature or on the water it’s comforting to have the added protection and peace of mind a firearm brings. Bringing a firearm on a fishing trip has its own unique set of challenges. Firearms and water don’t mix very well. So what can a person do while out on the water to protect themselves and yet still protect their firearm. Here are a few helpful hints for protecting a firearm while fishing.

The most important thing to do is keep your firearm dry. There are many ways that this can be accomplished. The first is to buy a portable watertight case for your firearm. When looking for a portable case make sure that the case is watertight and that it floats. The last thing you want to do is have your firearm case sink to the bottom of the lake and have to go on a swimming adventure to try to retrieve it. If you are going to be fishing with young children it might be a good idea to make sure that the case has a lock to protect the children. Speaking of protecting your children when your gun is at home it is always a good idea to keep it in a safe and a great place to find gun safe reviews is at http://www.gunsafecritic.com.

Another way you can keep your firearm dry on a fishing trip is to store it in a floating portable cooler. You could buy a small portable cooler just for your gun or what many people like to do is put the gun in a gallon sized zip locked baggie and then place that baggie in a cooler, that way you can use the cooler for ice and drinks and keep your firearm close by and dry.

Lastly you may choose to keep your gun on you and in a holster. This is a good option in less you accidentally fall in the water. To make sure you don’t lose your gun if you fall in the water make sure your holster fits the gun snugly and has a released strap that holds the gun in the holster.

If the worst should happen and your firearm accidentally falls in the water here are some firearm tips. First, retrieved your gun as quickly as possible. You want to get the gun out of the water and drying as fast as possible to avoid any damage the water may cause. Second, remove the ammunition and triple check to make sure the gun is unloaded. Then using a soft cloth or towel wipe the gun down as thoroughly as possible.

If the gun gets wet, it is important that the gun be disassembled, cleaned and oiled as soon as possible. Make sure that when you disassemble the gun that all the water is removed and that every part is thoroughly cleaned and thoroughly oiled. This may take some time but will be well worth it in the long run. In him or her

Our Guided Fishing Trip

Why would I choose to pay for a guide on a fishing trip? I’ve been asked that question many times. My answer is always the same: The difference between a good fishing trip and a great fishing trip. It adds more adventure and the crew can take you places that you wouldn’t normally go. (We went near bears so the guide had to carry a firearm which he kept locked up in a gun safe.)

I plan my fishing trips out far in advance. I arrange time off work and save up my money to afford all of the supplies I need. I spend a lot of time researching; which river do I want to take a boat out on, where are the fish biting and at what time of year, where will I stay and how far will I travel? I look forward to my yearly fishing trips with a lot of excitement and I want them to be fantastic. Hiring a local guide ensures this.

Last summer was one of the best trips I’ve had. I managed to talk a few friends into going along. The guide was local to the area and promised to show us some of his “secret’ watering holes where the fish were plenty. Because he was local, as we made our way to the boat he was full of fascinating stories about the local area and wildlife. As we sailed down the river, he pointed out sites onshore and told us legends and tales about fishermen and hunters that had been in the area.

One story in particular was about a bear that was roaming around the woods, foraging for food and scaring campers. Our guide logically assumed it was in fact more than one bear. He had a loaded firearm holstered on his hip in case we would run across bears and need the protection.

We sailed down the river past other boats, waving to fellow anglers. It seemed we were lost, but I trusted our guide as he maneuvered the boat around bends and turns until we at last stopped in a clearing. The river widened here, forming an inlet that was as large as a lake. Had we not stopped in the center and continued onwards, we would have continued down the river as it narrowed again on its journey.

The water was still, nearly clear enough to see down into the depths where the fish swam. The banks were wooded, trees enclosing us on all sides. We were alone, no other boats in site. This was one of the Guide’s secret spots.

It was a great day for fishing. Our spot on the river was tranquil and quiet, and the fish were eager to bite that day. I ended my trip with over a dozen bass – all quite large – to take home for later meals. What a feast my friends and I had that first night.

 

Do you really need a fish finder?

Alright fishermen, we know this is a touchy subject for some, but we’re going to dive right into it. Let’s hope we don’t get hooked or caught in any nets on the way down…

What is a fish finder?

First, let’s get this straight so we’re all on the same page. A fish finder is an electronic device that utilizes Sonar technology to discover fish in the water below and around your position. It sends out sound waves, which bounce off of whatever is in the water below. After they bounce off of objects below the surface, the sound waves travel back to the transducer.

Based on the time it takes for the waves to come back, and the size of the waves that come back at specific times, the fish finder can then give you a picture of what is under the water. Think about it:

If there is the bottom of the lake 50 meters below, and nothing at all obstructing it (fish, logs, weeds), the picture on your finder will just show a fairly flat bottom, with a 50 meter reading. The sound waves bounce off the bottom at the same time and are returned uninterrupted to the transducer.

Now, if there is small hill 40 meters down and the bottom is still 50 meters down, you will see a flat bottom interrupted by a small hill, 10 meters higher than the bottom. The finder knows this because the sound waves will have come back sooner and in a different pattern than the rest of the bottom.

As you can probably see by now, in many cases these devices will be able to spot a fish, because the radio waves will have hit something and bounced back much sooner than the other waves that travel to the bottom of the body of water. What you’ll get usually to tell if it’s a fish on some of the nicer models, is a nice arc. An arc typically identifies a fish, because of the way they move through the water and the way the waves interact with them. If you see an arc, you’re usually in luck.

Now, they’re not perfect. Sometimes they won’t pick up fish, or they will pick up debris that looks like a fish. It depends on the quality of the make, the features of it, and sometimes just the luck of the draw (if a fish swims just outside of your range, you won’t pick it up, for example).

The Purpose of Fish Finders

There are 2 purposes:

  1. To find the fish you want to catch and then get help catching it
  2. To find areas of the body of water that are prime for fishing

For the ‘hardcore’ fisherman and enthusiast who is very traditional and all about doing everything manually, the first option is looked down upon in many cases. It’s almost like cheating. Plus, you may never get good at figuring out fishing yourself, because you’ll always be looking at and relying on your machine.

However, the second option is utilized even by some people you might otherwise see as hardcore.

You see, there are certain places where fish congregate, and if you know what the bottom of the water looks like, you’re more likely to find fish, even if the finder doesn’t show you fish arcs or pictures.

For example, if you’re cruising along and suddenly you see the bottom of the lake change from flat to an area like a big hole or a large log or bit of debris that creates a dark place that fish can ‘hide’ and migrate to to feel safe, you know you’ve likely found a lot of fish. There are other factors, of course, but rather than hoping that where you drop your line is where the fish are, you can increase your chances by going to where you know fish typically live.

Neither method is fool proof, and the real die hards will still call you out for using one, but it is becoming much more common to see people using these devices, because in many cases they will assist you in fishing, and if you ask us, the point of fishing isn’t to be frustrated, but to be the best at catching fish. If you get a little help from a nifty invention, why not harness it and be thankful for man’s ingenuity?

If you want to learn more about fish finders, check out our favorite resource: www.ajbaitandtackle.com

Reader Tips: A Note on Fishing Trips

My family has been going to Canada on fishing trips since the 1940’s. We go to a place called Gummison’s Camp in Ontario. We absolutely love it there. It’s a family road trip and we stop to see various sites along the way that we have made sort of a tradition. It is truly a three-four generation family trip: my grandparents, my parents, myself and my cousins and their kids.

We don’t just fish. Even though we consider it a fishing trip, some of the most fun things we do don’t include fishing at all. We enjoy rock climbing (with the right shoes, anyway; that’s a story for another day), cliff diving, hiking, camping, canoeing, and tons of other outdoor activities. It’s a great time to bond with the family and nature.

The fun thing is that I always catch more fish than anybody else. I don’t know why. I am not an experiences fisherman or anything. Truthfully, we usually come back empty handed. Even though we take the time to make a big deal out of the fishing trip, we certainly don’t “clean house,” per say. I am usually the only person who catches any, and it’s usually only one or two fish at most. This is basically because I choose the brightest lure I can find and let it tag along the boat all day. It’s pure luck. Nonetheless, we truly enjoy the experience, as it isn’t about how much fish we catch, but more about the time we spend with our family and friends.

By the end of the two weeks that we usually spend there, we are all about ready to go home. Spending all day out on the lake or rock climbing can be extremely taxing. However, once we get back home we almost immediately miss it until the next year. I have been four times so far, and once I have kids I figured I would carry on the tradition, and I’ll bring them as well. I mean, we’ve been doing it this long right? And I think it is good for people, especially kids to get away from technology for a while. And in rural Canada, it’s incredibly hard to find cell phone service, there is no wifi, and it’s good for people to be liberated from technology.

I would encourage anybody to shoot for the same sort of trip, they are a ton of fun. However, before you embark on a trip like this you really need to make sure you have all the right gear. This means, you want to make sure you have a proper fishing pole, great boots, a solid and convenient tent, proper cooking gear, among various other gear depending on your preference.

Additionally, where you’re out there roughing it in the wild. It is important to keep track of time and keep a schedule. I would recommend you bring a resilient watch. Having a good watch helps you keep track of your cooking, helps you time your fishing excursions, also, if you decide to do a quick dive, it would be beneficial to have a good watch.

A Closer Look at Bass Lures

I have been fishing on Lake Cumberland for more years than I can remember and have had a lot of success catching striped bass. Throughout the years I have tried many different types of fishing lures to see what will be the most effective way to lure bass in. I have included a brief description of what I have found to work the best for me and I hope you have much luck as well.

Plastic Worms: Plastic worms are a common lure used by many fishermen and are great for catching bass. They are probably the most versatile of all synthetic fishing lures since they are used to catch a wide variety of fish. Plastic worms come in almost any size needed from a small three inch worm to a monstrous 11inch worm. Along with different styles there are many different colors available and some fishermen will even swear that certain colors will catch certain types of fish.

Crankbaits: Crankbaits are similar in appearance to crawfish and baitfish which both happen to be a favorite snack for striped bass. Much like plastic worms crankbaits come in many colors, shapes and sizes.

Spinnerbaits: Spinnerbaits are great for catching large bass in big areas of water quickly. These are great to use in Lake Cumberland since it is rather large. Spinnerbait looks a lot like baitfish, which we know bass love and they come in many different colors, sizes and blade configurations.

Jig and Pig: Jig and Pig lures are often used in bass fishing competitions and are very successful for catching fish. They look a lot like another favorite bass snack (crawfish) and appear to be an easy snack that cannot be ignored.

Bucktail Jig: Bucktail jigs are the most effective and simple lures available. They are not only great for bass fishing, but for most any fish.

Tail Spinners: Tail Spinners are great for deep parts of the lake where some bass reside when the water is cold. They are great for cold water since bass are not all that interested in chasing after the bait and Tail Spinners assist with an easy catch.

Spoons: There are two different types of spoon lures used for bass fishing: Jigging spoons and Weedless spoons. Jigging spoons will definitely help you catch a lot of bass in clear areas. Weedless spoons will help to catch bass in grassy areas and will create movement that attracts the bass to strike for a snack.

Getting the Most out of Fishing with Your Kids

Lake Cumberland is a great place to take your family on fishing trips. I came here to learn to fish with my own family when I was a child and I now bring my own kids. I have taught each of my own children how to fish on Lake Cumberland and have listed some of the tips that have helped them to be great little fishers.

Avoid flimsy kid rod and reels: The rods and reels available are cute and seem like they are perfect for kids, but in reality they are not really the best option if your child would really like to catch a fish. They are too flimsy and usually break under the strain of reeling a fish in. A small adult size rod and reel is a perfect option for kids of any size.

Use small hooks for big catches: Hook size will determine what size of fish you catch, so the smaller the hook, the bigger the fish that you will catch. Avoid larger than size 10 (hooks run backwards in size). Fish have a hard time inhaling the bait if the hook is too big and will most likely just nibble at the bait.

Use a lighter line: For kids a 6-pound test line should do the job. A lighter line is great for smaller fish like catfish or muskies, which are also great fish for kids to catch on their own.

Sinkers: Do not forget your sinkers and even bring some extra just to make sure you have enough in case some get lost in the water. Be careful not to make it too heavy because the fish will try to snag the bait and leave rather than get caught. This is a great job for kids that want to help set up their rod and reel.

Bobbers: There are two main types of bobbers that can be used for lake fishing, round and slip bobbers. Slip bobbers are ideal for kids since it actually decreases the amount of line needed therefore less line will need to be reeled in when a fish is caught. This is also a great job for a kiddo to be in charge of. They can be the one in charge of tying on the bobbers for everyone fishing.

Worms and other forms of bait: You can really use any bait that you want, but some things to keep on mind are what you are fishing for and how big your hook is. It is a good idea to keep the bait as close to the size of your child’s hook as possible so that the fish do not try to take the bait and run. You can use rubber worms, but live bait is the best way to help your child catch a few fish. There are many different types of live bait that you can use: worms, moths or crickets are great for fishing on Lake Cumberland.

Family Boating

I began taking trips with my family when I was about four to Lake Cumberland in Kentucky every summer. We love the outdoors. It just makes us feel healthier. When we spend time outdoors, it makes us old folks look and feel younger; sometimes I swear I can see the bags under my eyes get smaller. I have been fishing there ever since and love to pass on the knowledge I have gained over the years. I figured I would whip up a little something to help families enjoy their time on Lake Cumberland with their kids. Fishing and boating with your family is a great way to make great memories, get outdoors and even a great way for your kids to learn.

Keep them involved: Kids love to feel like they are included and even more so when what they are doing is considered a “grown up” job. Keep them involved in your boating and fishing trip by giving them age friendly tasks and by allowing them to participate as much as possible. Allow them to be in charge of the bait or to be the official bobber liner, anything that you feel will keep them engaged in the experience.

Keep them busy: Kids are busy little bees and are always on the go. To ensure that the boating and fishing trip is fun for the whole family you can plan extra activities for your journey to a good fishing spot as well as once you finally get there. You can easily keep kids entertained with a game of fishing trivia, “wildlife eye spy” and even boat or fishing safety trivia while on the boat ride. Once you arrive at your final location kids will surely love some fun water activities. Lake Cumberland is a great place to snorkel, go tubing and most importantly fishing.

Teach them how to fish: Finally the main reason for your boating trip has come…the fishing! It is important to teach your kids how to not only fish safely, but how to stay safe on the boat and in the water while doing it. Try to keep teaching your kids how to fish safely as fun and exciting as possibly. Teach them about all of the fishing gear they will be using, about the environment they are fishing in along with all the important safety tips too.

Make it a group activity: Most kids love to be around other kids and the same goes for many parents. Make is a group event and invite other families along on your fishing trip. You can create a bit of fun competition and see which family can catch the most fish or bait a hook fastest.

Tackle Box Basics

I have been fishing for many years on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky and have pretty much gotten my fishing gear and tackle box needs down to a science.  I see many fishermen and women that are ill prepared and that are often missing the most basic of fishing essentials, so to help out my fellow fishing enthusiast I have created a simple list of tackle box basics. Feel free to add or remove any items that may not meet your fishing needs.

Bring extra fishing line: Your line will probably get caught or break at some point during your trip, so having extra is a very good idea. The type of line depends on the type of fish/conditions you are contending with. Line color is important too and should be taken into account depending on the water you are fishing in.

Extra hooks: Bring extra hooks in case you lose or break what you have. Most fisher’s like French or j hooks. Pack a variety of size’s ranging from smallest of 32 largest of 19/0 as well.

Bobbers: Bobbers or floaters help you know when you are getting bites and when to reel in the line. Most fisher’s like round plastic bobbers, but that limits the depth of the line that can be cast. If you need to fish deeper waters the slip bobber is great although it does take longer to rig on the line.

Sinkers: Sinkers are used to weigh your line down since bait and a hook are not heavy enough to get the line as deep as needed. Most sinkers are made of lead, but some states are beginning to outlaw them due to environmental reasons.

Plastic worms: Live bait is better, but it is not a bad idea to have some plastic worms on hand in your tackle box especially if you are fishing for bass. Some fisher’s swear that certain colors of the plastic worms can attract certain fish. Whether this is an actual fact remains to be seen, but if a specific color is working for you, might as well stick with it.

Fishing lures: Lures are really just what their name suggests. They are used to lure fish by mimicking their movements in the water, thus enticing the fish to take the bait. There are many different types of lures such as spinners, spoons, minnow imitations and top water lures among many others.

Needle nose pliers: Pliers are good to have on hand to remove hooks out of fish as well as the occasional and inevitable hook out of yourself.

Small first aid kit: Fingers crossed you that you do not have any major medical emergencies while fishing, but it is likely to get a few scrapes and cuts. Toss in Band-Aids, triple antibiotic ointment, small bandages, waterproof medical tape, gauze and small scissors to be safe.

Sunscreen: Most fisher’s make a day of a trip and will spend nearly the entire day out in the sun, so take caution and apply a high level sunscreen several times a day.

Line cutter: There will be times that your line will get snagged or tangled leaving you with no choice but to cut it. Add some nail clippers of a small knife to quickly and easily cut your line.