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