Friday, October 21, 2016

Glen Uhl-don't put fishing tackle away yet

Glen Uhl would probably fish in a bath tub if he thought the least little bit there might be fish in it.
That's why he carries a small rod and a bit of tackle around with him wherever he goes.
He's getting ready to head north for his hunting camp in the woods. Wife Wanda will go along. But deer isn't the only thing on his mind.
He's going to be waiting to see how people are doing on the pier at East Tawas fishing for white fish and these tasty piscatorial species are in yet.
Uhl and his wife usually can them, keeping them to eat at other times of the year. But he insists they are good about anyway you choose to cook them.
Over the past few years Uhl and I each have lost longtime fishing pals. Joe Zikewich, known locally as Ice Floe Joe and Uhl were practically inseparable especially on the water.
Wild Bill Bill Baker and I fished a fair amount of water together namely shore fishing for walleye with set lines in Port Huron along the St. Clair River.
Since both men have passed on, Uhl and I have gravitated toward being fishing pals. However, this past year we hardly got out due to circumstances beyond anyone's control.
His wife has been ill and my wife if going through life with Parkinson's disease. We both have a responsibility to caring for our spouses that far exceeds anything else.
We look forward to the year ahead and the chance to fish a bit.
Glen Uhl speaking about whitefish fishing at OCSFA meeting.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Travel is great but good to be home

Just back from a three week trip to southern California to attend a relatives wedding and catch up with friends we haven't seen in years.
We used to live in Inglewood and Glendale after my discharge from the Navy. Since moving back east we have kept in contact with many people we used to pal around with. Most were in our wedding party.
While California is nice and boasts sunshine and warm weather without humidity most of the time, there is nothing like getting home.
Going in your fridge when you want something, sleeping your own bed, watching what you want to, going in and out in your own vehicle are some of the things I miss.
Practically anywhere we were around Pasadena mountains were in the background. So was traffic. It's horrendous to say the lease.
Doing south from Yosemite, we began encountering traffic around Bakersfield. Further south as we got into a portion of Highway 5 known as "The Grapevine" (named for a small town of that name) it became worse.
"This is the primary north/south route for trucking," brother-in-law Jim Heermans said. There was every imaginable size truck entering the Grapevine, a curving part of the freeway that leaves 18-wheelers climbing in what used to be known as granny gear, a very low gear.
Among the twists and turns came the downhills that had to be handed carefully both by trucks and private vehicles due to the possibility of overheating brakes.
I prefer driving in the right lane because I don't normally drive fast. Jim prefers the left land and gave me many reasons why this was the best choice.
Along the decent into Los Angles County we had to be aware of lane changes that were at times confusing to someone that wasn't familiar with them like me.
"Get over," Jim would admonish. "Okay now we're going to have to be in the left lane," and so it went.
Once we reached to outskirts of Pasadena and were on surface streets I found a wide spot, pulled over and let him drive the rest of the way.
While we complain of traffic around here it's not near the amount in southern California. On the Grapevine headed north was bumper to bumper traffic creeping along.
"Those people are returning home from work. They make this time every day," Jim said. We're glad we don't have to drive it daily as a part of living.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Learn from the experienced like charter captains

Brandon Stanton calls Saginaw Bay his home water. He's really comfortable on the Bay and prefers big water fishing to fishing other water.
This Sunday's 21st Century Newspaper  column is about chartering with Stanton and some of his ideas about how to fish the Bay.
Charter boat skipper are a great source for learning how to fish for different species, in all sorts of weather, and how to utilize your tackle box in ways you haven't thought of.
Many skippers are only too happy to share their knowledge and experience while waiting for fish to strike.
And trolling isn't the only way to fish. Sometimes casting lure or jigging fish is the most productive way to go.
Many anglers don't like trolling because they feel it's boring riding in a boat and waiting for a strike. But that's the time many of us take advantage of the waiting time and ask "how to" questions.
From setting lines to what rods and line to use, there is always something to learn. So the action begins, you have a strike and a fish is hooked good. What do you do next to help make a successful catch?
The next move you make as you reach for that rod that's thumping away has to be the right one. And right up to fighting that fish and netting it, are all great teaching opportunities.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Walleye 101, higher education for anglers

The first time I set eyes on Lance Valentine was seeing him seated in his boat, on a trailer in a field at the fairgrounds at Imlay City at a Woods N' Water show. That had to be tweet-plus years ago.
Since those days when the show was held in one cow shed and has now taken over the entire fairgrounds, Valentine too has moved out of the field and onto bigger things.
One thing that hasn't changed is his passion for teaching people how to fish. How to do anything connected to fishing.
In a sport where techniques, spots and even baits are held close to the vest, Valentine is one of the rare breed that is willing to share about anything he knows.
If you care on a early spring charter on the Detroit River with him and are not jigging up fish he'll probably tell you, "Move up here alongside me and try it."
I've sat in his boat and watched him tie night crawler harnesses. In a few minutes I was tying my own thanks to his instruction.
From a trailer in a field to an office, staff, and a large group of followers, Lance Valentine has come a long way.
Visit his website at
Lance Valentine in the gray pullover seeing to it that things are going smoothly with a group charter. Photo courtesy of Lance Valentine.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Too early to thing of ice fishing? Not to some folks.

Summer isn't over and gardens haven't been put to bed for another year. Yet the cold weather crowd is already making noise about ice fishing.
You know how it goes. First, it's they can't wait for colder weather and ice. Next they wonder out loud if it's too early to get the equipment out for a pre-season check.
It's much to early for me. However, because my garage has pretty much become my man cave, I'm out there quite a bit, changing this, adding equipment to this box, moving these baits from here to there and trying to figure out where things should be stored so they are accessible when needed without putting out a full-force search.
It seems like forever that I have been arranging, rearranging, shifting and getting rid of stuff I haven't used in years all in preparation to make taking a trip relatively easy.
Earlier this year I came into possession of a PWC trailer. Smaller than most boat trailers, it's perfect for hauling a kayak. With help from fellow kayaker Jeremy Crowe, we made adjustments to the rails so the boat sits on the trailer as though if grew there.
It's always been a chore for me to life my boat from the ground onto the rack of the truck. For awhile I has sliding it into the truck bed but about three feet stuck out the back. And I was worried about carrying rods, tackle and the rest in the bed without being able to close the tailgate.
Now everything fits nice with room left over. But not near enough room for ice fishing gear. That can wait a bit!
The way it's going to look in a few months. COLD! By Beukema

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Keep a first aid kit handy when outdoors

Last Saturday, fishing a kayak bass tournament on Central Lake near Jackson I got one of the hooks off a treble hook caught in one of my little fingers.
As soon as I saw how deep it was I knew it was either the ER or get another angler to help get it out.
Sometime ago a method was devised to remove hooks without cutting the shank then pushing the point through the skin.
The new method involves two people, a length of braid and  a push and pull. Russell Wilson from Central Michigan Kayak Fishing arrived to help.
"I don't have any pliers with me to cut the hook off the plug," he said. I didn't have any either. So Wilson began to slowly open the split ring and slide the treble off the plug.
Once the plug was removed, he had more room to work. He cut a length of braid and wrapped it around the hook's bend.
"Push down on the point or where it should be," he told me. As soon as I pushed on the point he yanked the line and out came the hook, pain-free.
I twas painful when I first got stuck and painful getting the treble off but the removal was painless.
I had my first aid kit with me. We squirted some antibiotic on the wound, covered it with a bandaid and I went fishing.
Check hook removal out on You -Tube. If you're ever in this situation, it's a good think to know.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

River Bassin comes to Michigan

Last Saturday, approximately 52 anglers in kayaks hit moving water in a 50 mile radius from Flint thanks to the efforts of Jeremy Crowe.
Crowe is an avid kayak angler. So is his finance, Shannon Williams. These two pre-fish tournament together, fish tournaments close to each other and travel out of state to fish river bass trails.
However, the two readily admit they have difficult figuring out where to fish lakes. But give them a river and chances are they will find some fish.
One big difference about fishing a river is the wearing of a pfd. If you ever had any doubt about not wearing one, don't let it be on a river.
Too many things can happen and most of them aren't good and most happen quickly on the river.
Reaching for a lure or rod caught in a tree can cause your yak to dump you.
Once in the moving water and especially near sweepers; those trees that hang close over the water with several limbs on top or barely underwater, can be the cause of your trouble.
Branches almost reach out and tangle you up in them. Once that occurs, the hydraulics of the river, the motion of the current, can pull you down in no time. No pfd is a good recipe for disaster.
Both Williams and Crowe can testify to finding themselves in the water several times. And both are devotees of wearing a pfd.
River and lake fishing or paddling is fun. But in no time it can turn into a serious situation when things start to go bad.
Who is the better angler, Williams or Crowe? Lets say Williams cashed a check Saturday.