Other Outdoor Tips


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It is no secret that I love the outdoors.  Camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking, hunting, etc are all passions of mine. 

This page is my “Misc Page”, where I put tips I have written from deer hunting to casting a bait reel. 

This section is a continuous work in progress....

Fishing Tips

I am not a professional fisherman, but I have fished a lot.  My advice is for the common fisherman and all of the tips I am giving comes from personal experiences.

“I can’t afford to go fishing….”

Why don’t the youth fish like they used to?  Why are fishing licenses sales going down?  Well, the above statement is what I hear all the time by today’s youth.

The big sporting stores and pro-fisherman are teaching kids that you must have a large and fast boat, electronics, tons of baits, most than one reel and rod combo, and tons of other gear.  No wonder some people think they can’t afford to fish!  

Sure, the pro-fisherman does have an advantage when he treats his rod and reel combos like golf clubs…and each shot requires a different club.  But, many of us don’t have that luxury (or the energy).

The key is, get out there and fish.  If you enjoy it and find the means…fine…go all out.  But ONE lightweight, sensitive, 6- to 7-foot fiberglass rod with a medium action tip with a spinning real and 8 pound test line will work for most fishing applications and lures.  In fact, that is what I typically use and I fish a lot and catch a lot of fish.  

You can find fish without the gismos and be smarter for it.  You don’t have to be the fastest boat on the lake.  And, out-fishing the “big rig” guys is a lot of fun! 

The key is…get out there!!

Tips on Landing a Fish

1)  Remember, the harder you fight, the harder the fish fights. Once you pull him from the cover, let up and let the fish tire out before bringing him to the boat.

2)  "Horsing" a big fish to the boat usually means losing it. Don't try to "horse" a fish out that's buried in weeds or other heavy cover.  It's wiser to move toward the fish with the boat.

3)  Long rods are an asset when playing a big fish. They give you more control over the fish (in my opinion).

4)  Even professional fisherman lose some fish. Learn from your mistakes, but don't let them ruin your fishing.

5)  Whatever you do when landing the bass, DO NOT grab the line, especially on a big fish.

6)  Do not reel the fish all the way to the tip of your rod.  Raise the rod to bring the fish to the boat.

Setting The Drag On Your Reel

Your reel's drag allows line slippage. It's a precaution against a big fish or obstacle breaking your line.

Before you start fishing, always check the drag system. Do this even if you have checked the drag the day before.  Check it again each time before fishing as sometimes the drag will be frozen. If not corrected, it can cost you a fish.

So, what do you set the drag at??

What I do is this…

First of all, I adjust the drag according to what I am fishing and where.  A good rule of thumb I use is to set the drag to not exceed half that of the pound test of your line.  It is not an exact science, but you need to develop a feel for it.  Using a fish weighing scale at the end of your line is a good way of testing yourself. 

If you have a big fish on or is gets caught in the weeds, don’t “horse it in” by holding the line and bypassing the drag.  If you do this…while even have the drag set?  Keep you line tight…and work the fish out.

Casting a Baitcaster Reel

Baitcasting reels have improved greatly over the years, but they can still be difficult for some people to learn how to use when it comes to casting.  I don’t use a baitcaster much myself, but here are some tips I have for people learning to cast them.

Tips on casting a baitcaster:

1)     Practice practice practice

2)     Use a reel, pole, and line rated for the same.  If you rod is a light rod (made for light lines) and use a reel with heavy line in it…it will be harder to master.

3)     Starter with heavier lures.  Baitcasters are not meant for light lures.

4)     For each lure, when you add it to your line and “push the button”, the lure show slowly fall to the ground.  When the lure hits the ground, the spool should not turn more that half a turn.  If it does, tighten it a little more.

5)     Start with “more brakes”.  Your reel is 1-10.  Start with 8, and if you don’t backlash much…go a little lower.  Don’t go below 5 unless you start mastering it.

6)     If you line is tight, don’t push your release button!

7)     Use your thumb to guide your line and stop it at the end of a cast.  Cast with one hand on the “trigger” under the rod.

8)     I found out that after you cast, if you hold your reel with the handle pointing up (side ways), the line comes out better.

9)     Even the pros will “birdnest”.  Just be patient and take it out.

Bait casting does have benefits, but is not for everyone as it takes a while to learn.

For TIPS on Morel Mushrooms, Click HERE