Monday, March 30, 2015

Sunny Monday is welcome

Despite the wind and cold weather over the weekend, today feels warmer and more like spring even with the winds still blowing making it for a chilly start for the week.
Ice is prevalent around the lakes here in Oakland County. East and North on the Great Lakes ice break up is under way.
I know it's last ice but stay off. You not only put yourself at risk, you risk the lives of those that come to your aid.
No fish is worth a life or the rescue efforts that go into first finding you, then getting you off the ice and home safe.
I haven't made it into the garage for a cleaning and organizing trip yet. With no heat out there it's a little like stepping into a freezer/cooler in a restaurant or butcher shop.
For me, ice out is going to be time for the first launch of the season for my fishing kayak. If it were today I wouldn't be ready to go.
Too much stuff laying all around with nothing in it's right place. I'm envious of those that have garages you can eat off the floor, look around briefly and find that rod, bait or tool you need with very little searching.
It's time to get rid of more stuff or bite the bullet, put the time in and get it straightened out once and for all.
At this stage of life I've learned how important it is to put things back where they belong. My dad was fond of saying, "You've got it in your hand, go put it away." Great advice.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

AIM Weekend Walleye Series headed for Detroit River

AIM (Anglers Insight Marketing) will bring it's 2015 AIM Weekend Walleye Series to the Detroit River April 19.
This is a team event consisting of two anglers per boat. If you have wondered how you would fish against pros and other anglers this is the event to enter.
"The great thing about this series is it doesn't time away from family life," AIM National Tournament Director Denny Fox said.
Fox comes out of a background of tournament fishing and boat sales. "I grew up on Saginaw Bay then moved to Wisconsin fishing Lake Michigan and Green Bay. I was all set to moved into the PWT when that trail closed," he said.
If matching talent with experienced anglers bothers or intimidates you, keep in mind they all had to begin someplace.
At one time they were new to tournament fishing, the particular water you will be fishing that you may not be used to and the pressures associated with tournament fishing.
I've been fortunate to have participated in several tournaments as a co-angler and understand the frustration that comes with being on rough water all day working against rain and cold weather only to come up empty handed.
It takes a really good mental attitude to stay focused and in the moment, paying constant attention to all that is going on around you.
Tournament fishing may not be for everyone but this activity could be the one that eventually grows on you.
Who knows. One day you may see your name on the Freshwater Hall of Fame list of inductees. Good luck!
Pro walleye angler and Hall of Fame Member, Mark Martin with a Detroit River walleye. Even Martin began as a newbie when he first began fishing tournaments. By Beukema

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fishing kayaks are affordable; makes lakes more accessible

Last Sunday's column in The Oakland Press talked about some of the advantages of a sit-on-top fishing kayak.
One of my big reasons is cost. Looking at a nice walleye or bass boat on top of a trailer in the garage would bother me.
Every time I walked by it I would be thinking I'm not getting my money out of it. Lets be honest. Many of us say if we had more time we would golf every day. In this case the comment is to fish every day.
No matter how much you like either sport, I think one would get sick of it in a hurry if you went every day. Besides there is the cost of gasoline in the tow vehicle, wear and tear in general and other hidden costs.
Looking at a big monthly payment on a trailer would bug me. On the other hand, a kayak hanging on the wall, probably paid for wouldn't cause much consternation other than wishing I was out using it but not overly concerned because I wasn't getting my money out of it.
Far be it from me to tell anybody how to spend their money. I've missed the boat and had some ill-thought purchases.
But owning a kayak hasn't been one of them. If I decide got use it tomorrow, hypothetically, it's a simple matter of sliding onto the roof of my pickup cap, cinching it down, tossing my tackle, rods and pfd in the back and I'm ready.
At the launch it's off the truck and to the water's edge where everything is loaded. Park the truck, put the pfd on and I'm off. Retrieval is just the exact opposite. In a few minutes I'm fishing.
And I don't feel guilty about not busting my hump to pay for the boat. If you are moving up from shore fishing, before taking a loan out the equivalent of the national debt think about purchasing a fishing kayak.

Grandson Josh Checkal admiring a bass caught out of a kayak. By Beukema

Monday, March 2, 2015

Springtime is getting close

Maybe I'm putting the cart ahead of the horse. But give me one day with warmer weather-even if it's in the 20's-and my thoughts go to cleaning the garage, slowly sorting through fishing tackle and just in general, staying outside longer, even if it is in the garage.
I have two kayaks that have been swinging from the garage rafters where they have been stored since last fall.
The trouble is they are just at the right height to chuck stuff into when I don't know where to put it. I think everything contained in both boats is related to kayak fishing but I won't know until I lower them or climb up so I can look inside.
Not the best way to operate but like many of you, I still fight the organization battle. And with me, it is a never ending battle.
I'm not going to tell you to get the yaks out, find the pfd's and getting ready for soft water. Not today, but if we get many more of these so called "nice days," I may cave in.
Soon, we'll all have enough to do and not enough time to get it done. Yard and garden work, those projects that need attending to on the house and gradually getting the warmer clothes to the front of the closet, putting the heavier winter stuff in the back.
But here in Michigan, one thing is for sure. Just when you think it's going to be nice weather and smooth sailing for awhile, bang, here comes another snowstorm.
Now where did I put my heavy coat and gloves?