Sunday, February 19, 2017

Like an elevator weather goes up and down

So far this winter, there can't be too many complaints about our weather around SE Michigan. Cross country skiers will have to go north of Standish to find any decent skiing, and ice anglers probably a bit further.
But those that detest shoveling snow or getting the snow blower out don't have a lot of squawk about. How about living in southern California this past week?
This part of the country has been inundated with rain, turning streets into rivers with sinkholes, and dried up rivers overflowing banks and dams.
Consider California hasn't seen any rain to speak of for several years, it looks like they will get that much and more in a couple of days. What they need is a nice shower over a week or more. These downpours created more problems in the form of mudslides, stranded motorists and many citizens needing to be relocated.
Around here we get our paybacks too. The weather folks say the next week will be above normal temperatures.
But down the road when we think we've ducked winter for a year, the next big snowfall will change all of that thinking.
Mother Nature doesn't give a whit about those spring flowers poking their pretty, colorful heads up through cold, wet soil.
Ww could experience freezing cold days along with heavy snow even in early spring just when the garden is calling us to till the soil in preparation to plant some seeds.
I think local anglers have given up on ice fishing and are putting their efforts in to getting boats and equipment ready for open water.
Kayak friends are chomping at the bit to slide their yaks into local lakes to try out those new square bill crank baits Santa left for them in their stockings.
But like all good things, patience is key. It's going to take a bit more time for local lakes to unlock what ice is left making waters fishable for another year.
If you haven't given in on not ice fishing anymore this year, better pack it up. There definitely is no such thing as safe ice.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Why kayak tournament fish for bass


Why not, indeed. First, you have the opportunity to meet people with similar interests and it's not necessarily competition.
However, it is about fishing water for bass, pike, panfish or anything else you care to hook into. 
-It's about adhering strictly to safety when on the water. That means wearing your PFD, carrying a first aid kit, mirror or while for signaling, and some sort of direction finder to get you back to the launch.
-It's about what others take on the water for fishing. Some roll up with an entire Bass Pro loaded into their boats. There are rods for this and that, line for this kind of weather, doubles on baits in case one gets lots and so forth.
-You learn how to secure everything in the event you roll over or "turtle." As you plan to lay your equipment out remember everything needs to be somehow secured to the boat or made to float.
-You'll see some boats outfitted with enough electronics to land a 757 at Metro Airport in zero visibility. Others sport no electronics, rather depending on lake area maps and satellite views.
-What baits to use when and where? Some go without saying: dark barks on overcast days and lighter colors on sunny days. It actually comes down to what your are comfortable with.
-Which rod do you use? The one you are the most comfortable. I throw bait casters and spinning but prefer spinning gear on a yak. It probably has something to do with sitting so close to the water.
-Clothing is always an issue. In the summer, wear something on your feet. Crocks, tennis shoes or other water shoes protect your feet in the event you need to get out of your boat for whatever reason. Around the ramp, foot coverings are essential due to rocks, discarded cans broken bottles and the like. In the boat, I sometimes slip my crocks off for a bit. But I keep that cockpit picked up with no loose plugs or hooks lying about.
-Finally, you're sure to have more questions than answers if you are a beginner. Check out Michigan Kayak Trail or Michigan Kayak Fishing on Facebook. Google kayak fishing or for specific questions about equipment head for You Tube.
With launch day about six weeks off now is a good time to do your homework, ask questions and be prepared for that first trip.
Spring on Otsego Lake. Note the Frogg Togg pants, crocks, long sleeve shirt and PFD. By Beukema

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Thin ice anglers thinking of launching the kayaks

Warm weather, loss of snow along with some open water on inland lakes have made kayak anglers 4think about launch time.
From discussions about what clothing to wear for a winter yak outing to what baits might attract a bass, many have opinions of these subjects.
There have been lots of posts on Ice Book from "newbies" wondering what a good beginners boat might be that is stable but not too hard on the wallet.
New boats are followed closely by what rods, reels and lures most takers use. In that mix, pfd's are mentioned as to comfort, storage pockets and which type will keep you afloat should you find yourself in the water.
Over the past few days, beginners are wondering where they can fish locally for a variety of species.
One thing that sets kayak anglers apart from other fishermen is their willingness to share information. That includes the bait they use, how they present it, where they fish (although not necessarily the exact holes!), and general tips that include tackle organization and securing things you may normally not think of to the boat if not in use.
The posting of tournament trails for the year are appearing on most kayak trails. It looks as though this year will have trails suited for anyone insofar as travel and expense goes.
So, if you are looking for great information and friendly folks willing to help answer practically any question you have check out the following sites on Face Book:
-Michigan Kayak Trail (MKT) is primarily devoted to tournaments and standings. However, they do welcome questions.
-Michigan Kayak Fishing (MKF) is the page that talks about kayak fishing itself, lots of how to's and mods.
Other trails include KBF or Kayak Bass Fishing, KATS and several that are out-of-state. KATS originated in Texas and was brought here in large part thanks to the efforts of Jeff Sherwood, Joe Colgrove and Summit Sports.
You will soon learn that fishing championships requires a certain number of points. These point can be gotten on the Michigan trails and others.
New to tournament fishing? We all were. It's fun, lots of camaraderie, and not a do die event similar to others. After all, it's first and foremost supposed to fun, a family event, and finally, a learning experience.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Happy paddling
Roger Beukema taking a break on one of Michigan's northern lakes. By Beukema
y information and if more family orientated. Before you invest money on a rod and reel, boat or anything associated with kayak fishing, check this page out. You'll find pro and con replies for everything from anchor rope to Zarra Spook topwater bates.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ice definitely not safe in southeast Michigan

Longtime fishing buddy and Waterford resident Glen Uhl prowls many of Oakland County lakes year round.
For Uhl, ice fishing is something to be looked forward to. Cass Lake and it's surrounding waters like Gerundegut Bay are areas he likes to fish.
Sunday he headed out from Dodge Park. Along the way he encountered a long angler. The two talked for a moment.
As Uhl headed out, the other man followed him onto Gerundegut Bay. Uhl warned the stranger to be careful as both sides of the bay didn't have good ice.
The two cut holes and began fishing. "A short time later, the old guy caught a ice bluegill. A little while later he loaded his stuff and began walking to shore," Uhl said, continuing to fish.
Several minutes went by when Uhl heard a commotion. Looking around, he saw this man had fallen through the ice.
"I headed over there with an auger for something he could grab onto. About the time I got there he got out of the water.
"I heard some more shouting behind me. When I turned around, three other guys were running toward us to help. One of them went through in deep water. He was pulled out with a rope one of his buddies was carrying," Uhl said.
"I'll see you Wednesday morning. We'll do some work and improvements to your fishing sled in my shop," Uhl said.
Fine with me so long as we weren't venturing out onto the ice. For those of you thinking of ice fishing, keep thinking about it, preferably from your recliner. Stay off the ice.
Bay City resident Don Luenberger with Shiver on the River winning walleye. By Beukema

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bamboo and fishing have more in common than rods


Mention bamboo to fly fishers and thoughts of a handcrafted rod immediately come to mind.
Now comes BOODYWEAR for men, women and children with fabric made of bamboo textiles.
I’ve worn the well-fitting boxer style briefs that are designed to give men maximum support while being lightweight and dry.
As a rule I never wear T-shirts but I made an exception and tried the Boody “T.” This too was lightweight and very comfortable to the point I forgot I had it on under another shirt.
Because it’s getting near time to get ice fishing gear together I’m going through my socks to see what might work better this year.
Boody socks are thick, stay in place, are warm and best of all, seams seem to disappear. With all of my socks I feel the seam that runs along the ball of the foot.
The seams in these socks make for a smooth fit. I wore them all day yesterday in a pair of Dockers loafers.
I never had to pull them or make any other adjustment. Check BOODYWEAR products out at boodywear.com.
Get ready to give that BOODYWEAR clothing a test along with those winter duds that have been hanging in the basement since last ice season.
Mark Martin's Ice Fishing Vacation School will hold a session on Saginaw bay February 5-8 out of Linwood Beach Marina.
If the slow action of winter is getting you down, a trip to the Bay may be just the ticket to left the spirits.techniques from a Fishing Hall of Fame member and tournament walleye professional.
Mark Martin lives in Michigan so he understands and is familiar with our many lakes, especially large bodies of water like Saginaw Bay.
A typical Martin ice fishing school begins with registration. Students are given a schedule of each days events along with a gift bag with many of the latest lures and other useful equipment.
Once registration is complete, Martin, along with several of his pro staff that have accumulated years of knowledge as tournament anglers speak about some of the finer points of ice fishing.
Persons new to the sport won't feel overwhelmed with knowledge because these seminars always begin with the basics; what line to use, how to rig it, should you use snaps or swivels, and what about leaders? All of these questions and more get covered.
You'll want to bring your personal equipment in for this meeting if nothing more than have experienced people look it over to be sure your set up is as good as it can be to help make you successful.
For information and registration call Scott Szafranski of Linwood Beach Marina, (989) 697--4415.


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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Anglers welcome The Bait Shop in Waterford


Finally, we have a bait shop in the area. "The Bait Shop" opened it's doors a week ago and already area anglers are finding their way to this much welcome business.
Located at Airport and Hatchery Roads, it seems about centrally located with all of the inland lakes in the area.
"We are specializing in fishing gear," owner Mark Malevich said. "It's family orientated. One of my goals is to get kids and families involved in fishing," he said.
He'll carry a couple of ice augers and a few ice shacks along with (this time of year) ice fishing rods, line, lures along with mouses, spikes, wax worms and minnows.
"We've got all new minnow tanks and the equipment to keep them fresh," he said. Malevich is no stranger to fishing or working in a bait shop.
"I used to work for KD Outdoors and have fished tournaments for several years," he said. "People pulling boats will like this location because they can pull in and drive around the building without having to park down the street or needing to back up."

Bamboo clothing review:
Mention bamboo to fly fishers and thoughts of a handcrafted rod immediately come to mind.
Now comes Boody Body wear for men, women and children with fabric made of bamboo textiles.
I’ve worn the well-fitting boxer style briefs that are designed to give men maximum support while being lightweight and dry.
These days bamboo isn't used just in flooring or to feed Pandas. Now comes clothing made of bamboo.
As a rule I never wear T-shirts but I made an exception and tried the Boody “T.” The shirt was so lightweight and comfortable I forgot I had it on.
Because it’s getting near time to get ice fishing gear together I’m going through my socks to see what might work better this year.
Boody socks are thick, stay in place, are warm and best of all, seams seem to disappear. With all of my socks I can feel the seam that runs along the ball of the foot.
The seams in these socks make for a smooth fit. I wore them all day yesterday in a pair of Dockers loafers.
The socks stayed in place all day. Check Boody products out at boodybodywear.com . Booty clothing is available at Meijer.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fresh snow and cold weather make for winter sports

These next few weeks are tough for me. A recent "major surgery" has left me inactive. I'm not to lift anything heavier than a half gallon of milk. Any activity is frowned upon. Hopefully the healing process has begun and by the time we get enough ice to fish from it, I'll be good to go.
Planning on future posts has kept the mind active. Those that have read this blog before know of my interest in kayak fishing. I'll have more to say about it in future posts. There is new equipment to talk about and some websites to suggest to help you get questions answered about this ever popular sport.
Because I'm limited as far as activity I've not done much with my ice fishing gear. And with Christmas coming up my plate is getting kind of full.
My wife of 53 years was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease a couple of years ago. So far, just her balance is affected. However, as we go along other things begin to show like anxiety. So much so that she will hardly leave the house.
But I'll share more as we go along. Right now I'm trying to keep the house clean, cook, do laundry, and help my wife Pat however I can.
One thing that has been a constant comfort for the both of us is our Cavalier, King Charles Spaniel, Molly. This breed doesn't have a mean bone in their bodies. She is always on one of our laps or lying close by. It's a good feeling to know she is around and wants only for a good scratch around the ears and something in her bowl twice a day.
I will write more about my life as we go forward. I'm still figuring out how often my posts will occur and what days you should look for them.
For me, this is another chapter in life. Unfortunately I'm of the older generation that grew up prior to the gadget or computer age. Therefore I'm a bit limited with computers. I'll try and learn more and make this space as interesting and welcoming as possible.
As always, your comments and suggestions are most welcome.
Merry Christmas
New cross country skiers hit the trail at Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon, MI. Visit cross-country-ski.com for more information about equipment, trail conditions and lessons. Photo by Beukema