Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Warm weather can launch day be far off?

   Like many of you, when the outside temperatures get warm as they are today, and the sun shines, I cart thinking of launch day and all that needs to be done to get off on a good foot-eh, make that paddle.
   Another thing the weather brings out in me is the urge to begin camping. I know it's still too early to set a tent up; although some camp right through the winter, the idea is definitely there.
   Henry Goodman from Berkley wrote a nice letter in response to a column I wrote on camping and moving up from a tent to a pop-up.
   Suffice it to say that Goodman contends setting up and taking down a pop-up is a lot of work. Since owning two, he's moved to a travel trailer then on to a fifth wheel which he currently owns.
   Still on the lookout for the next best thing to camp in, he's an avid attendee of the camper shows and continues to follow the ads for RV's.
   He offers some good advice. "Carry a small pocket tape measure with you an check the thickness of mattresses. Lay down on the bed to be sure it's comfortable," he advises.
   We'll definitely check bedding out at the Marvac Detroit Camper and RV Show Feb. 8-12 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
   I'll be the guy with the tape measure.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lake "X" fallback lake for ice school

   Mark Martin has plan B in effect. That's just in case there isn't ice for his Ice Fishing Vacation School next month. For information visit www.markmartins.net.
   For years the fishing on the Bay has been iffy at best for the ice school. Until this year, if ice wasn't good for the class, it had to be cancelled.
   "This year I've got plan B. I found Lake X," Martin said. In the event conditions won't be good enough on Saginaw Bay, all registered anglers will be notified of the change and given information as to the new lake.
   "I've checked it out and all of the services we need; hotels, restaurants, bait shop and most important, good lake access are all in place," Martin said.
   This Sunday's column has more information on the school along with the dates and a partial schedule as to the way the event will be presented.
   If you want to learn more about ice fishing, the Ice Fishing Vacation School may be a good bet. But you'll have to get your reservation in soon as space is limited.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Coyotes in the neighborhood?

   Funny how very little distance is all the difference in the world. On our side of the road we haven't heard a coyote nor seen one.
   But directly across the road, a couple of my neighbors have seen coyotes and hear them loudly barking at night.
   It concerns me what with having a small Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for a pet, we're cautious when we let her out in the evening.
   Our yard isn't fenced. Rather we have a cable buried which gives off a beep when the dog gets close to the boundary. Fat chance that would have of keeping coyotes out.
   I know coyotes have to eat but their killing seems so senseless. House pets that are found deceased presumable due to a coyote attack are left for dead almost as if the killing is out of pure fun or joy.
   So far, I haven't learned of any attacks in our area brought on by these predators. When we do have snow, indications seem to be that the rabbit population is still healthy despite the presence of these animals.
   Be careful and cautious when letting pets out. Keep them close to home and if need be, tether them on a short line.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cqamper show heading into town, Feb. 8-12

   Campers have come a long way since tents were the only choice and sleeping on the ground was part of the experience.
   Now you can tow them, drive them or erect them depending on your choice and mode of camping. In fact many traditionalists disdain the use of the word camping for what folks use like motorhomes with all the conveniences of home, travel trailers and fifth wheels.
   "We're going camping next week," means many things depending on who you are. We still use a tent but have moved up to cots to sleep on.
   Cooking is still done over the Coleman stove but by using propane these days rather than the traditional white gas used for years.
   Propane has made lanterns and heaters almost a modern necessity replacing funnels and gas that used to be standard.
   Whatever your preference for camping, you are sure to see it or something like it at the camper show next month.
   Now what size hitch do I need for this new trailer?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ice, Iffy!

   At last week's Ultimate Fishing Show Detroit, show organizers made sure there was plenty of ice fishing gear even for the most finicky appetite. The trouble is where is the ice?
   Mitch McLaren of Auburn Hills reports anglers are fishing from docks in marinas along Lake Huron. "They punch a hole through the ice then drop their line in," he said. "They've been getting some decent perch," he added.
   At least they have found some action not too far from home. A couple weeks back I went to Lake Gogebic to find spotty action on the walleyes. That's a long drive even for ice.
   My advice would be to stay off area lakes. It just hasn't been cold enough to make good ice. Stay safe!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Local Shiver may not be too cold

   This Saturday, Jan. 14, Kip Lowrie of Woodland Rivers guide service will host "Shiver on the River," at Yates Park along the Clinton River.
   "The idea is to get some people out and fish for steelhead," Lowrie told me. "We'll have some coffee and donuts at the park," he added.
   Lowrie reports that the water is running fast but not terribly high. "I'm talking to you from the river right now," he said last weekend when he returned me call.
   Because fishing is a bit slower, this may be a good time for you to get over to Yates Park and get your questions about steelie fishing answered.
   What rod and reel, and line set up works the best. Which baits are productive and so forth. Festivities begin at 9a.m. and will conclude in the early part of the afternoon.
   Now to find those waders!

Friday, January 6, 2012

No snow? Make your own

   That's what the folks at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks are planning on doing. Huron Meadows Metropark located near Brighton will be the first park in southern Michigan to make snow for its cross-country ski trail system.
   Not only will casual skiers enjoy the man-made white stuff, but the plan is to have enough snow made for the annual REI Frosty Freestyle Cross Country Ski Race Jan. 14 and 15 even if the weather isn't helpful. Anew trail named Bucks Run will be developed with the help of a snow gun. The trail will have room for side-side classic and skate style skiing up to 1.5 kilometers long. The trail will be open, ski conditions permitting, Saturdays and Sundays, 10a.m.-6p.m. and Mon-Fri, noon-8p.m. The trail closes on Thursday for maintenance.
   Park employees are using a PoleCat snowgun to make enough snow to develop a new trail named Bucks Run with side-by-side classic and skate-style ski trails up to 1.5 kilometers long. The trail will be open, weather and ski conditions permitting, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm; and Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 8 pm. The trail will be closed Thursdays for trail maintenance.  To help offset the expense of the snow-making equipment, a fee of $5 per skier will be charged to ski Bucks Run.

   With sufficient snow, Huron Meadows Metropark offers 9 miles of trails groomed for classic-style skiing and 7 miles of trails groomed for skate-style skiing. These trails, when open, can be skied daily during the park hours of 7 am to 8 pm.
 Classic and skate-style skis, boots and poles are available to rent when the trails are open for $10, with the equipment due back to the ski center one hour before the trails close.  Rentals are available weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekdays noon to 7 p.m., snow and trail conditions permitting.  The weekday rentals are offered on a trial basis, and will continue if there is sufficient interest in weekday skiing.  .
 Huron Meadows Metropark is located off US 23, exit 55. For more information on Huron Meadows Metropark current snow/trail conditions, go to www.metroparks.com or call 734-426-8211 or 810-231-4084. Skiers are advised to check for current snow/trail conditions before visiting the park.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ultimat Fishing Show due in Novi

   This Sunday's column has to do with the 2012 version of the Ultimate Fishing Show-Detroit, which will actually by at the Suburban Collection in Novi, Jan. 12-15. For more information visit http://www.ultimatefishingshow.com/.
   You may think that because this is a yearly event, there isn't much new. But I've learned over the years there is always a little something to help you fish better, whether it be new equipment or a technique.
   To improve you need to educate yourself. And you can do that at this show by attending seminars on subjects of interest to you.
   By listening to the virtual gold mine of knowledge that comes out of these seminars you learn. Then by asking questions you find out what has changed over the previous year.
   For instance, you may think that a certain rod and flex are the best for cranking. It may turn out to be something different; something brand-new just developed over the previous year.
   So, break up your winter and head for the show. You're sure to learn something. I'll be there with my fishing kayak talking fishing out of a kayak. Stop by and say hello.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Lake Gogebic yields jumbo perch

   Before you drive 570 miles both north and west to get to this large, inland lake, it was only one perch and came after several hours of fishing.
   The perch was well over two pounds and have great color. It probably measured 15-inches and was quite healthy.
   Several walleye were caught just not the right size. The good thing about the fishing was evidence of a good, young walleye population. The bad thing of course was we didn't get into anything to put into the frying pan.
   Even the pike bite was stingy. Dialed in became the watchword of the days we spent on the ice. But dialed in completely we weren't.
   Some fished in weed beds, alongside of weed bets, and right at drop offs. A little more time punching holes and moving around may have yielded better catches.
   However, there were fish there as evidenced when they entered the cone of out sonar and underwater camera.
                                         L-R Tim Long with large perch and Mark Martin holding walleye.
 But that's fishing. If you go or are interested in a fishing and snowmobile trip-there's plenty of snow-call Tim or Sarah Long at the Timbers Resort, (906)-575-3542 or www.thetimbersresort.com.