Friday, March 17, 2017

Safari Club Flint Chapter, thanks for the honor

This past Saturday I was the guest of the Flint Chapter of Safari Club International at the chapter's 35th annual wild game dinner and fundraiser.
The reason for my invitation was to be recognized as that chapter's "Media Person of The Year."
This recognition and award came about through the recommendation of chapter Education Director, Tim Pifher.
Tim is much more than a director. He's been involved in the outdoors for as long as I've known him-some 40 years-and especially when it comes from making outdoor activities accessible to all people regardless of their physical condition.
Tim knows of what he speaks. He was born with cerebral palsy which basically leaves him very little strength in his extremities along with other issues.
With all of the physical hurdles to get over, Tim has never wavered in his pursuit to get disabled people outdoors hunting, fishing, skiing, or doing whatever sport they enjoy.
We served together on the board of "Outdoors Forever," a all-volunteer group dedicated to accessibility. During those years, we fought and introduced legislation that was in favor of such things as fishing piers for wheelchairs, accessibility in the woods for deer hunters and modifications in the equipment used for these and other activities.
While I've continued to write about the disabled in the outdoors from time to time, Tim continues to speak at functions, work on legislation and educating the public.
Any awards for service to mankind should come to Tim Pifher. He's gone above and beyond working to improve these conditions and carry on the founder of ODF, the late Roger McCarville.
Thanks for thinking of me, Tim.
L-R Dennis Peters, Roger Beukema and John Kupiec, by Beukema

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sometimes smaller is jus right

My choice of equipment hasn't always been good. I always tend to go with smaller. Shorter rods, smaller baits, shorter kayak, less powerful gun for hunting and so forth. I try to minimize what I take with me.
I'll often fish with line too light for the bait i'm throwing, the place i'm fishing or the species I'm after.
What made me think of this was a recent post on the Facebook page of Michigan Kayak Fishing. Someone inquired as to how many rods and how much tackle people took on the water with them.
Keep in mind, space is very limited on a kayak. Most people convert a milk crate or some other similar sized container to store their bait trays, attach rod holders to and maybe put their lunch in.
Ive seen kayakers and talked with many that wouldn't go on the water with at least nine rods. Where they put them, I have idea. Having said that, I have seen yaks bristling like a shocked porcupine with so many rods sticking up around the aforementioned crate.
Some people carry all the tackle they own. One guy wrote he fished for years with one rod and zip lock bag with his lures and plastics.
Ive been all over the map carrying a large tackle bag loaded to almost being unable to close, and more rods than I could use in a day.
Lets face it. Once you get on the water you're only going to use a half-dozen baits is a day of fishing. Same for rods. Some argue they like to pre-rig rods with baits they intend to use so they don't waste time tying them on. They must be some serious anglers.
I use the time to change lures as a chance to stretch, perhaps change positions, grab a snack or drink of water and most import, enjoy the day. The fish will be there.
My equipment list is short. Two spinning rods and one bait casting, two Plano 3640 boxes, a small box for terminal tackle usually my vest and tools that I carry on a lanyard around my neck.
My kayak is smaller than most. It's a Wilderness Systems Ride 115 that is just a shade over ten-feet. Thinking I would be able to load and unload it easier by myself and because I fish many inland lakes I think I made the right choice.
In the past I've had several Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120's. They are a couple of feet longer and take a little heavier weather better than my Ride.
I do use a regular size paddle (for me) but I carry a 24-inch Assualt paddle for maneuvering while fishing.
What you carry with you in the field or on the water is a personal choice. But bigger isn't necessarily better.