Skip Your Way to Unparalleled Catch Rates

LIVETARGET unveils the amazingly versatile Skip Shad, with Injection Core Technology 

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON(November 26, 2018) – Flat-sided baitfish represent critical components of the forage bases of many fisheries. In freshwater, shad, alewives, and even young-of-the-year sunfish and crappies are favorite targets, from trout and salmon to walleyes, bass and stripers. In saltwater environments, threadfin herring, and sardines are well-established prey items for a staggering variety of inshore and offshore species, and are frequently used by anglers as chum or live baits due to their innate bite-triggering features. 

The prevalence of such baitfish around the globe, and their importance to the fish that we pursue with rod and reel, led the master lurecrafters at LIVETARGET to engineer a truly unique soft plastic jerkbait, the Skip Shad, to help anglers put more fish in the boat – wherever those fish happen to swim.

The innovative Skip Shad will elevate your soft plastics game to the next level. Manufactured using LIVETARGET’s exclusive, patent-pending Injected Core Technology (ICT), the Skip Shad features an authentic, vibrant color patter within the core, which is fully encapsulated and protected by a clear, soft polymer shell. Matching anatomical features are aligned on both the interior and the exterior portions of the Skip Shad, producing unique three-dimensional textures that are both robust and ultra-realistic. By carefully controlling the density of both the interior core and the outer shell during the molding process, the Skip Shad achieves a perfectly-balanced, strike triggering action – right out of the package.

Injected Core Technology not only gives the Skip Shad its unique appearance, but it also makes this soft plastic jerkbait extremely versatile to rig and present in both freshwater and saltwater environments. It can be fished on a weighted or un-weighted weedless Texas Rig, or along the bottom on a Carolina Rig. The smallest size Skip Shad is an incredibly tantalizing dropshot bait. It can be rigged to crawl nose-down along the bottom on a stand-up jig, or even used as a trailer to elevate a conventional jig-and-plastic presentation to the next plateau of realism. And, as the name implies, the Skip Shad is also a tremendous option for skipping under docks and overhangs; its flat sides help it to skip farther back underneath overhead cover, to areas where true trophies wait in ambush – places that other lures simply cannot reach. 

The precision-tuned balance of the Skip Shad is revealed as it falls through the water column. When simply dressed on a hook, the Skip Shad has a remarkably slow descent, with its flat body within the horizontal plane as it falls, perfectly mimicking the action of an injured shad or sardine. The Skip Shad doesn’t tumble or spiral, it simply drifts tantalizingly downward with just a gentle shimmy along its length until it comes to rest on the bottom – or is consumed by a nearby predator fish. 

The LIVETARGET Skip Shad will be available in three lengths and weights: 3 ½ (4 per pack); 4 ¼” (4 per pack); 5 ¼” (3 per pack). Six color patterns (134 Silver/Pearl, 951 Silver/Smoke, 934 Silver/Brown, 952 Silver/Green, 201 Silver/Blue and 207 Silver/Purple) make it easy to select the perfect Skip Shad to match your regional forage base and target species in freshwater or salt. The Skip Shad has an MSRP of $9.99. 

ABOUT LIVETARGET

Since its launch in 2008, LIVETARGET has grown into a full family of life-like fishing lures that Match-the-Hatch™ to specific game fish forage, with an expansive library of lure styles and colors for both fresh and saltwater fishing. The lures feature industry-leading designs in realism and workmanship that closely mimic nature’s different prey species. Headquartered in Ontario, Canada, LIVETARGET won ICAST Best of Show awards in the hard and soft lure categories in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018. 

I Shot a Deer: Now What? On the Trail

After sitting in the cold for hours, you finally get to draw back your bow.  You stare through your peep sight and down the sight, focusing your sight pin on a single hair on the deer’s body.  You ignore the coat rack on top of his head, and you take a deep breath while gently squeezing your release, sending the arrow hurling towards your target.  Schwack, thump, your arrow has hit its mark.

Carefully watch the deer as it runs off into the distance.  If you are hunting over an open field or some other type of open terrain, follow him with your binoculars for as long as you can.  Listen to hear any sounds of breaking sticks or wrestling of leaves: anything that might sound like a crashing animal that might give you a clue later to his final resting place. 

Your heart is racing and your blood is pumping through your body like never before.  You are beginning to uncontrollably shake a little as your body gets a full shot of adrenaline.  Despite the freezing temperature outside, your body is now warm from the excitement of the shot.   Quietly, you cheer and pump your fist to celebrate from your perch.  Your body is experiencing a natural high from all the excitement. You check your watch, note the time, and wait to climb out of your stand, for if you don’t and the deer is still nearby, you will spook him.

Finally, after a 30 minute wait, which seemed like an eternity, you can climb down out of the tree and the process of blood trailing begins.  That ever-slow process by which you’re carefully following every single drop of blood on the ground, leaves, trees, rocks, and anything else it ends up on, until it leads you to the animal that you just shot.  Once on the ground, make sure that you nock another arrow; you just never know when you might need to shoot again. 

If it’s raining, snowing, or precipitating in any way, you should climb down immediately, as the rain and the snow make it difficult to find the blood, for it gets washed away fairly quickly. 

Before you take a single step down the trail, you need to determine where you shot the deer on its body.  The first clue of where a deer was hit, is its initial reaction to the arrow.  If the deer was shot through the heart and lungs, its back legs will typically buck up in the air, much like a bull does when it leaves the chute at a rodeo.  If the deer gets shot in the stomach area, it will run away hunched over.  A deer that gets shot in the spine will drop immediately to the ground and will require a second shot to kill it.

If you are not sure of where you shot the deer, a second indicator of where a deer was hit begins with an arrow examination.  If the arrow has little-to-no blood on only one side of the shaft and one or two fletching’s, or has meat or hair on it, it is likely a meat hit.  If there is no blood, you probably shot the deer in “no man’s land” and the deer will likely heal and live.  Any vital cavity hit will completely cover the arrow in blood.  An arrow covered with bright, red, frothy blood that bubbles signifies a lung hit.  Dark red blood is from the liver or stomach area and will stink.  A leg hit produces thin watery blood.

You are going to have to wait longer to track a liver or stomach-hit deer.  Patiently wait three to four hours before following the deer.  If an animal was shot in the gut, wait at least 12 hours.  This will give the animal the chance to bed several times and die.  It is typically more profitable to wait too long to track, rather than not long enough.

Once the blood trail has been located, do not leave it to randomly search the woods.  Always stick with the blood trail moving cautiously and slowly.  You never want to jump an injured deer, as they can run a long way on adrenaline.  Constantly scan your periphery for the deer.  I have had a lot of deer run a curl pattern on me. 

Attempting to find deer in dense terrain is nearly impossible without a blood trail.  Even if you think you know where the deer went down, just stay on the trail.  As you follow your trail, it is often helpful to use neon colored survey tape to make the blood trail.  This will give a reference point to look back to if you lose the trail at any point.  As you are trailing the deer, stop every ten yards and use your binoculars to look ahead.  When looking out ahead of a blood trail, look at the tree stumps, compost piles, hay bales, and such, as deer will often curl up next to these items.  I have even had one crawl into a thicket and die there. Patience is your best friend when you are trailing deer. 

You do not want to spook the deer if he has not died yet.  If you go more than 150 yards and do not find him, stop, back out, and wait four more hours.  Deer will head to water when they are injured.  If you shoot a deer near a creek or a river, expect the deer to head in that direction. 

Blood trailing is best done with the help of only one other person.  Any more than that will make too much noise and could spook the deer.  If it is dark, make sure you have a high-quality blood trailing flashlight.  You should only ever add additional people after several hours of searching and when you are going to do a grid search. 

Sometimes, you may even be down crawling on your hands and knees.  It is when you find your dead animal that you can truly appreciate the power and magnitude of the weapon that you hold in your hand.  It is also the moment you realize how majestic the animal is that is laying front of you.  It will definitely cause you to pause for moment and thank the Lord above. 

Merry Christmas

From all of us here at Chasin’ Whitetails Media to all of you at home we wish to extend you a Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and happy New Year.

It is our hope that 2019 finds you outdoors chasing after your dreams. Hopefully one of our featured series; Life Afowl, The Roadside Angler, Introducin’ the Outdoors, The Fortified Female, The Heartbeat or Hunt Fish Forage Farm has inspired you to make the most of the great outdoors?

We look forward to taking it up a notch in 2019 and would love to have you along for the ride.

Enjoy the holidays!!!

Eyes in the Dark

Aqua-Vu®debuts remarkable AutoClear Technology in latest generation HDi Underwater Cameras

Crosslake, MN(November 13, 2018) – “It was so murky down there, I could barely see my hand in front of my face,” observed underwater explorer Kim Stricker.

Submersed in chilly, coffee-colored water, Stricker was recently filming a segment for the Outdoor Channel’s popular series, Hook ‘n Lookwhen something remarkable happened. As he’d done hundreds of times before, the ace angler had donned scuba gear to explore the depths, this time attempting to swim with bass in a highly stained natural lake. “We knew this was a bass wintering location, but I wanted to take the plunge and show folks what the bottom looked like, how the fish were positioned, and any other important detail. 

“But as I descended into just 17 feet of water, it was already getting pretty dark,” Stricker recalls. “At 20 feet, where most of the bass were holding, you couldn’t see anything at all. It gets a little creepy in those sorts of conditions, especially when you’re down there by yourself.” 

Back aboard his boat, Stricker couldn’t believe what occurred next. 

“Out of curiosity, I turned on my underwater camera to see if it would give me a better look. Incredibly, the monitor showed an almost crystal-clear environment. We saw colorful bluegills swimming by. We could make out the reddish-tan color of the silt bottom and all the subtle dips and holes, plus little clumps of vegetation. One of the bass we saw was laying so still on the bottom that we could see algae falling away from the its belly as it woke up and started to swim. 

“The difference in clarity between what I saw through my scuba mask and the lens of the HD7i Procamera absolutely blew me away,” said Stricker. “The image on the screen looked almost like aquarium water, as if I was looking at an entirely different lake.”

Unable to explain the discrepancy, Stricker called Aqua-Vu vice president and product designer, Tom Maschhoff. 

“We built the newest generation of high-definition Aqua-Vu cameras with specialized firmware that essentially auto-adjusts the underwater image,” Maschhoff explained. “What the angler sees is a super-refined or clarified underwater video image, altered as light and clarity conditions change.”

The science of light, says Maschhoff, demonstrates that water absorbs different colors based on depth. Colors with the longest wavelengths, such as red, disappear first, followed by orange, yellow, blue and green, as depth increases and light fades. “By auto-filtering specific colors— based on water conditions— we’re able to project a clean, clear video image—even in stained water.” 

Maschhoff adds that Aqua-Vu HDi series cameras also feature refined low-light sensors that preserve a bright, clear picture, even as light fades by depth, and during low-light periods. AutoClear Technology, Aqua-Vu’s term for the new, groundbreaking video software, allows underwater camera users to observe the depths of even relatively dirty-water lakes in impressive color and clarity.

“People are always asking us how well an Aqua-Vu will work on their home lake, which may have limited clarity. We think anglers and underwater explorers will be pleasantly surprised with what these new cameras can show them.”

Pre-loaded on all Aqua-Vu HD10i Pro, HD10i, HD7i Pro and HD7i high-definition underwater viewing systems, the special visibility enhancement technology will also be available as a physical add-on accessory for existing Aqua-Vu systems later this winter.

But the bigger question remains: Did Stricker catch fish? (For full details, tune into Hook ‘n Look in March 2019—episode 11— to see for yourself.)

“The camera showed us the bass were hunkered tight to bottom, unwilling to chase fast-moving lures. Once we figured that out, we caught a bunch of good fish on a small jig and swimbait, crawled slowly along bottom, barely hopping it. When the jig touched down, it created a puffof silt. The bass would simply nose down into the little mushroom cloud and inhale it. // 

About Aqua-Vu

The Original Underwater Viewing System, Aqua-Vu is manufactured by Outdoors Insight, Inc., and has led the underwater camera category in design, innovation and quality since 1997. They were also the first with on-screen displays of water temp, depth and camera direction, LCD monitor, IR and LED light systems, DVRs and now Digital Zoom. The Central Minnesota based company builds other popular outdoors products as well, such as the iBall Trailer Hitch Camera (iballhitchcam.com) and Odor Check Moisture and Odor Control System (odorcheck.com). For more information on Aqua-Vu, visit www.aquavu.com.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Aqua-Vu/358020667757?fref=ts

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialAquaVu

Keeping Tabs on Migratory Sportfish

Seaguar continues its support of Gray FishTrag Research roosterfish study

New York, NY(November 14, 2018) – There has never been a more critical time to learn about the marine fisheries that we rely upon for sport and commerce. Such research faces significant headwinds, as many of the target pelagic species frequently migrate hundreds, if not thousands, of miles during the course of their lives, and public resources to support detailed population studies are limited. Nevertheless, anglers and scientists have forged a unique partnership – Gray FishTag Research – in an effort to gather high-quality data on marine fish population dynamics, migration patterns, growth rates, habitat preferences, and more. 

Seaguar, the originators of fluorocarbon fishing line, is proud to support the efforts of Gray FishTag Research to study and protect sustainable marine fisheries around the world. 

Gray FishTag Research is a non-profit organization, leading an international and fully interactive fish tagging program powered by the world’s largest network of fishing professionals, consisting of approximately 10,000 charter boat captains and mates. Tags are deployed on fish that are caught and subsequently released; data are collected when a tagged fish is recaptured, or from pop-off satellite tags that record data electronically and then “pop off” the tagged fish after a predetermined about of time. Fish tagging and recovery data is made available, free of charge, to any interested parties through the Gray FishTag Research website. 

Seaguar sponsors a unique Roosterfish study off the coast of Costa Rica in memory of long-time Seaguar sales manager, John DeVries. Tagged roosterfish are fitted with pop-off satellite tags, and data collected from the tags after popping off the roosterfish yields detailed information about the tagged fish’s movements, both horizontal and vertical, during the time that the tag remained attached. Recently, Gray FishTag Research announced the recovery of not one, but two pop-off satellite tags that were deployed during a Seaguar-supported tagging expedition:

  • The first PSAT tag, on a fish named “Las Gatos”, was deployed on April 28, 2018 and popped-off 58 days later. Not only was data transmitted by the tag after pop-off, but the tag itself was actually recovered, found by a local angler who recognized the importance of his discovery and returned the tag to Gray FishTag Research for more detailed analysis. 
  • The second PSAT tag, on a fish named “Nicaragua”, was deployed on June 9, 2018 and popped-off 17 days later, off of the southern coast of Nicaragua. This fish traveled an amazing and noteworthy distance of at least 228 miles during the 17 days that the PSAT tag remained attached to the fish. 
  • Seaguar also supports the work of Gray FishTag Research to enhance our understanding of swordfish movements and population dynamics through a fish tagging and recovery study. Recently, a tagged swordfish that entered the study in late 2017 was recovered, nearly eight months and 500 miles later!
  • On December 16, 2017 a swordfish was tagged by angler Anthony DiMare while fishing with Captain Nick Stanczyk aboard the Broad Minded charter boat out of Islamorada, Florida. The swordfish was estimated to be 47 inches in length and had an approximate weight of 50 lbs. On August 11, 2018, a full 238 days later, that swordfish was recaptured by NOAA observer McKenzie O’Connor while aboard PLL Vessel Ellen Jean. The recapture location was approximately 475 miles away from the tagging location. The measured length of the recaptured fish was 55 inches, and it now weighed 96 lbs.

Gray FishTag Research is an essential tool for promoting the sustainability of marine game fish and increasing public resource awareness. All fish species in every ocean are being monitored, including billfish, sharks, general offshore and inshore fish species. The program collects information in real-time by providing a direct connection between anglers and the scientific community, in every part of the world.  

Seaguar is proud to continue our support of Gray FishTag Research as it yields unique and invaluable data about our most important marine fisheries. The dedicated anglers who capture, tag, and release fish as part of the study, and the diligent scientists who process, analyze, and report tagged fish data, are the perfect embodiment of Seaguar’s motto; just like our lines and leaders, these professionals are Always the Best!

Improve Your Game With Top-Quality Shooting Glasses

New Howard LeightTMby Honeywell UVEXTMeyewear models deliver safety, performance, comfort and style on the range and in the field

Whether headed to the range for a morning of plinking or to a vast autumn sunflower field for some wicked wingshooting, you want to bring your “A” game. That means having the right gear to support a solid performance, so make sure quality eyewear is included with your cartridges and shotshells.

Howard Leight by Honeywell offers a complete line of high-quality UVEX safety eyewear for shooters, including four new designs that deliver safety, performance, comfort and style with multiple lens tint options to optimize vision and performance in any shooting environment.

New UVEX HypershockTM,AcadiaTM,A1500and A700 Sharp-Shootermodels feature durable, lightweight frames with well-contoured temples that fit comfortably under your shooting muffs and tough, scratch-resistant lenses that meet or exceed rigid American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 787+ high-velocity impact standards.

UvextremeTMPlus anti-fog coating performs under the most extreme conditions, providing superior, long-lasting fog-free vision, while Hardcoat Coating provides long-lasting 2X scratch-resistance from scuffing and scratching.

UVEX Hypershock

These are glasses designed for the grind. “UVEX Hypershock eyewear delivers the ultimate combination of high-performance protection and aggressive sport-inspired styling,” says Howard Leight by Honeywell Product Manager Tony Han. The lightweight, wrap-around frame design offers high impact protection, with streamlined padded temples and a molded nosepiece making for a secure, comfortable fit. Six new Hypershock models offer a full range of lens tints and Uvextreme Plus or anti-fog lens coating. A seventh new Hypershock model is offered with the new UVEX Hydroshield™ Anti-Fog Coating.

“Hydroshield AF provides excellent scratch resistance, while helping to keep lenses fog free up to 90X longer than many other popular anti-fog products,” says Han. “It also offers 99.9-percent protection from harmful UVA and UVB ultraviolet radiation.” This exceptional performance is confirmed by independent lab tests comparing other UVEX anti-fog coated safety glasses using stringent European EN166/168 standards.

Hydroshield Anti-Fog Coating is permanently bonded to the lens, which means it needs no reapplication or maintenance. It features dual-action (hydrophilic and hydrophobic) properties, which means moisture is first absorbed by the lens, and once water droplets form, they are repelled to the sides of the lens.

UVEX Hypershock Features

Wrap-around, matte black frame

Integrated hinge mechanisms with dual cam action

Increased coverage, side protection and superior peripheral vision

Superior, long-lasting, fog-free vision

Scratch-resistant hardcoat lens

Ideal for indoor/outdoor environments including hot, humid conditions

Meets ANSI Z87.1-2015 impact standard

99.9 percent UVA/UVB protection

100 percent dielectric, meaning you can wear them in environments where accidental exposure to electrical charge is possible

MSRP: $14.99 (except Model R-02230 with Hydroshield Anti-Fog Coating, MSRP: $18.99)

UVEX Hypershock Models and Lens Tints

R-02220: Clear Lens; Uvextreme Plus and Anti-Fog Coating; UPC – 033552022206

R-02221: Amber Lens; Uvextreme Plus and Anti-Fog Coating; UPC – 033552022213

R-02222: SCT-Reflect 50 Lens; Hardcoat Coating; UPC – 033552022220

R-02223: Gray Lens; Uvextreme Plus and Anti-Fog Coating; UPC – 033552022237

R-02224: Red Mirror Lens; Hardcoat Coating; UPC – 033552022244

R-02225: Blue Mirror Lens; Hardcoat Coating; UPC – 033552022251

R-02230: Clear Lens; New Hydroshield Anti-Fog Coating; UPC – 033552022305

UVEX Acadia

“UVEX Acadia™ is a bold, sport-inspired line that delivers superior comfort and high-performance protection,” Han says. “The lightweight, 3/4 frame provides increased coverage and is engineered to fit a wide range of work and play demands.” New Acadia models are available in 6 different lens tints with Uvextreme Plus or anti-fog lens coating. These sporty, lightweight performers feature soft, molded temple inserts and premium, integrated hinges.

UVEX Acadia Features

Black, ¾ frame

Superior, long-lasting, fog-free vision 

Scratch-resistant hard coat lens 

99.9 percent UVA/UVB protection 

Integrated hinge provides customized fit and temple control 

Soft, molded inserts along temple provide comfortable and secure fit

MSRP: $15.99

UVEX Acadia Models and Lens Tints

R-02214: Clear Lens; Uvextreme Plus and Anti-Fog Coating; UPC – 033552022145

R-02215: Amber Lens; Uvextreme Plus and Anti-Fog Coating; UPC – 033552022152 

R-02216: SCT-Reflect 50 Lens; Hardcoat Coating; UPC – 033552022169

R-02217: Gray Lens; Uvextreme Plus and Anti-Fog Coating; UPC – 033552022176

R-02218: Blue Mirror Lens; Hardcoat Coating; UPC – 033552022183

R-02219: Red Mirror Lens; Hardcoat Coating; UPC – 033552022190

UVEX A1500 

“UVEX A1500 eyewear combines function, performance and style in a lightweight, adjustment-free frame,” says Han. This full-frame design has a sleek look, with a molded nosepiece and flexible temples. The UVEX A1500 is a favored addition to any shooter’s gear bag. 

UVEX A1500 Features

Gray frame

Full-frame sport-inspired design

Ideal for indoor and outdoor applications

Scratch-resistant hardcoat lens

Meets ANSI Z87+ impact standards and certified to requirements of the CSA Z94.3 standard

MSRP: $14.99

UVEX 1500 Models and Lens Tints

R-02226: Clear lens; Hardcoat Coating; UPC – 033552022268

R-02227: Amber Lens; Hardcoat Coating; UPC – 033552022275

R-02228: SCT-Reflect 50 Lens; Hardcoat Coating; UPC – 033552022282

UVEX A700 Sharp-Shooter

This latest addition to the Sharp-Shooter family has a completely clear, slim, wrap-around frame supporting distortion-free polycarbonate lenses. It’s a sporty, economical option designed for faithful service in the field. 

UVEX A700 Sharp-Shooter Features

Rubber temple pads for a secure fit

99.9 percent UV protection

9-base polycarbonate lens delivers 180-degree field of distortion-free vision

Meets ANSI Z87+ and CSA Z94.3 standards

MSRP: $5.89

UVEX A700 Sharp-Shooter

R-02233: Clear Frame and Lens; UPC – 033552022336

All UVEX styles that offer replacement lenses come with a Lifetime Frame Guarantee. If the frame breaks, UVEX will replace it at no cost.

Get ready to improve your game. To see the full lineup of Howard Leight by Honeywell UVEX shooting glasses and safety eyewear, visit https://www.uvex.us. Or, for more information about UVEX eyewear, call Customer Care at 800-430-5490.

ABOUT HOWARD LEIGHT BY HONEYWELL

Howard Leight safety products empower individuals and families across the globe to enjoy more and worry less. Our industry-leading hearing and eye protection help people to more safely enjoy the events and activities they love. Our broad selection of comfortable and stylish protective eyewear delivers safety without compromise. Many models meet ANSI high-impact standards and offer UVA/UVB protection. Building on over 30 years of innovation, we’re continually developing new designs, materials and technologies to enhance comfort and protection for industry trade professionals, recreational and competitive shooters, DIY homeowners, and all fans of live music and sporting events. Whatever your passion, trust Howard Leight to block out the noise so you can listen to what’s important, while staying safely focused on the big moments that matter. Learn more at howardleight.com.

How to Keep Your Hands in the Game

Fish Monkey Cold Weather Series gloves ensure peak fishing performance

Destin, FL(November 6 2018) – Barely a thought goes toward your hands and their role in catching fish. That is, until something goes awry: a hook stuck in your palm, line-burn on your thumb, gill-raker gash on your knuckles, frostbite; even that badge of honor known as bass thumbcan become an annoyance. Then, all of a sudden, your hands become pretty darn important. 

Cold, bitter weather poses its own set of predicaments, any of which can turn functioning fingers into frozen, petrified phalanges. Fact is, fishing involves a lot of fairly-refined metacarpal exercise. Tying knots, sharpening and extracting hooks, turning the reel handle, driving the boat and a hundred other seemingly trivial tasks can seem nearly insurmountable when your two essential appendages succumb to the conditions. 

Two years ago, after recognizing a conspicuous absence of fishing-centric gloves, die-hard angler Tim Mossberg founded Fish Monkey Gloves. “From the start, the driving force behind Fish Monkey has been to outfit anglers with perfectly-fitting gloves that enhance, rather than detract from fishing performance,” exclaims Mossberg. “We currently offer anglers nineteen different glove styles, all engineered and tailored to protect against the elements and move with the natural articulation of hands and fingers.

Mossberg notes that seven distinct Fish Monkey glove styles—including the all-new Tundra EX— effectively defeat cold, wet weather conditions. 

“The Backcountry II Insulated Half Finger glove, for example, employs water- and wind-proof bonded neoprene for a dry, warm experience,” notes Mossberg. “We construct the Backcountry—like all Fish Monkey Gloves—with what we call a second-skinfit. By studying hand patterns, movement and ergonomics, we’re able to give anglers the ultimate in dexterity while maintaining sensitivity for fine-tuned tasks like detecting bites and tying knots.”

For Minnesota-based fishing guide, Brian “Bro” Brosdahl, the season flows uninterrupted from autumnal walleye angling right into first ice and the frozen water period. “Some of the best trophy walleye fishing occurs from October into early November,” says Bro. “But if you can’t keep your fingers warm on those days when chilly winds blow across 45-degree water, you might as well stay home.

“Two styles of Fish Monkey Gloves stay in my boat and on my hands, all through fall, right into winter. The Backcountry IIis a perfect match for wet, drizzly days; they safeguard my hands and keep three-fourths of my fingers covered, dry and warm. And they move with unheard-of agility, so jigging and detecting bites is almost as natural as it is with bare hands.

“One other little goodie about the Backcountry are these nice dual finger-pulls that allow you to remove the gloves instantly and without turning them inside-out.” 

Bro adds that for extra warmth while running between fishing spots, the Fish Monkey Wooly Half Finger Gloveis ideal. “Both the Backcountry II and Wooly feature soft, synthetic leather palms for extra hand protection and a superb grip, even when clutching wet steering wheels and fishing rods.”

It’s a sentiment shared by professional, elite-level bass angler, Timmy Horton. “On those cold tournament days, I wear the Wooly gloves all the time,” says Horton. “These gloves keep the core of my hands warm—and wick moisture away from the skin—so my fingertips remain fully functional while casting. 

“The faux-leather palm actually improves my grip on the fishing rod, especially if the handles get wet or it’s extra cold out. Because they’re Fish Monkeys, too, I don’t sacrifice any freedom of finger- or hand- movement. Really, they fit so well and feel so light on your hand, you forget they’re there.”

On into November and beyond, while running across the lake on the coldest days, Horton calls out a third MVP angling glove, the new Fish Monkey Tundra EX. “We’ve definitely needed this glove for extreme cold, particularly for driving the boat. The EX grips cold, wet steering wheels like glue. Keeps my hands warm and dry for those long runs, so they’re in tip-top shape when it’s time to fish the next spot.” 

Fish Monkey’s Mossberg sums up his company’s core competencies: “We realize anglers rely foremost on their hands to detect bites and land and safely release fish. We fish outdoors, where conditions run from hot, sunny and oppressive to bone-chilling cold. It’s our mission to keep your hands warm, dry, protected, comfortable and performing at their peak.” 

Look for Fish Monkey’s full line of angler-centric hand wear at your local retailer or visit www.fishmonkeygloves.comfor more information. Browse Fish Monkey’s 2019 Catalog at http://www.fishmonkeygloves.net/catalog/2019/.

Crappies on the Side

Tips for locating and catching crappies in the waning weeks of autumn

 

By David A. Brown

 

Fall is feeding time for predators of every flavor, and crappies are in full-on gorging mode; keenly aware of winter’s lurking. Knowing this, Seaguar and Raymarine pro Troy Peterson knows that finding the food means finding crappies. The fish are mostly suspended this time of year, but dialing in the likely bait-holding areas helps him narrow the search.

 

“We have a pretty big river system with the Wolf River (Wisconsin) and all the minnows, shiners and other baitfish are up in the rivers, scattered amid the timber, in some of the deep holes and behind dock posts,” Peterson said. “So we’re basically driving up and down the river, looking for giant schools of baitfish. They’re typically in the wood, whether it be brush or dock posts and the crappie are typically right behind them.”

 

Beyond the river scenario, Peterson says he employs a similar strategy for crappie on lakes where crappie will be pursuing pods of baitfish that are making a seasonal movement out of the weed beds. Expanding in size, these baitfish will be holding over deeper flats.

 

“It’s more of an afternoon bite,” Peterson says. “We’re just using the DownVision to look for weed edges, brushpiles and cribs (artificial habitat features comprising a rectangular log frame dressed with brush and other accents). Crappies like to sit over wooded structure, making it easier to drive across lakes and reservoirs and make a grid to find out which cribs the fish are sitting on.

 

As Peterson explains, local fishing clubs build these cribs to provide habitat in otherwise barren areas of the lakes. Typically weighted with cinder blocks, these fish attractors are dropped beyond the zone of natural cover. On many northern waters, a permit is required to introduce habitat, like cribs and brushpiles. Opposingly, on southern lakes and reservoirs, ardent anglers sink their own structure, refreshing productive brushpiles, as they erode over time. (There’s an Arkansas guide who has over 2,000 brushpiles marked on a single reservoir!)

 

TECH TACTICS

 

With Raymarine Axiom Pro 12 and 9 units on his dash and a 9 on the bow, Peterson lauds the crisp clarity of traditional 2D sonar and DownVision images. From a simple time-management perspective, this amazingly sharp detail allows him to immediately recognize what he’s seeing and respond accordingly.

 

“Raymarine’s signals are so clear that when you get fish suspending over deep water, you can almost count the minnows in the bait school versus a giant blob or who knows what.” Peterson says.

 

Also, Raymarine’s interaction with Navionics Auto Chart Live takes scouting to a new level. Particularly critical on previously unmapped waters, the ability to record and store what he graphs proves invaluable for open water pursuits, as well as ice fishing.

 

“This allows me to grid out a lake and create my own maps,” Peterson says. “I can find the deepest holes or the basin, I can find the sharp breaks, I can use SideVision to find and mark the cribs.

 

Marking weed edges, wood piles and rock structures before first ice provides key perspective that guides his decisions while he’s standing on the lake. Again, it’s time management, born of understanding.

 

 “When we’re ice fishing, we don’t have the ability to scan, we have to just go and drill holes and you have to be right on top of spots,” Peterson said. “That’s the beauty of using the Auto Charts Live feature.”

 

For optimal imaging, Peterson offers these tips:

 

“I’ve found that on certain types of water, you need to play with the settings a little more,” he says. “If you have murky water or really clear water, settings are a big deal. I’ll play with the contrast a lot to try and identify the types of species that are mixed in with the bait.

 

“We have walleye, pike and bass mixed in with these bait pods. Once you get good at it, you can determine the actual species of fish by the soundings you’re getting. Darkening up the contrast and increasing the gain a little bit will give you better definition.”

 

TARGET ACQUIRED

 

Once Peterson locates the crappie-friendly structure, he takes a simple, yet undeniably effective approach to tempting the fish. Inspired by old-school cane poling,  Peterson equips uses a telescoping 14- to 16-foot pole rigged with 8- to 10 Seaguar AbrazX fluorocarbon to deploy a minnow on a No. 2 long shank Tru-Turnhookwith a 1/4-ounce weight, all under a slip bobber.

 

“On the river system, crappies tuck behind brushpiles and vertical structure like dock posts and stumps, staying out of the current and just sucking in anything that gets eddied back into where they’re hiding.

 

“There’s nothing more effective than cane poling and dropping your bait directly on top of them without worrying about casting to them or feeding the line back. You want to get your bait as close to that vertical structure because eddies suck whatever they’re eating to the back side of that structure.”

 

As Peterson explains, the 1/4-ounce weight serves as an escort for his bait. Precision placement is the key ingredient, so he wants to know exactly where each bait goes.

 

“I want it to drop perfectly straight down; I don’t want any whip or resistance in that line,” Peterson says. “I want to be able to suck that bait as tight to the structure as I can, especially when I’m fishing really thick brushpiles. II see a pocket on the screen, it’s really important to drop down in there quickly and get the fish out.”

 

Now, if Peterson’s fishing more around docks in the river system, he switches to a tube or a craw tube presentation. Skipping or flipping works and he’ll match his jig head size to water flow.

 

“When the current is strong, you want to get your bait down there, so we may use a 1/16- or a 1/8-ounce head,” Peterson said. “But in average current, a 1/32- to 1/16 is what I use.”

 

Successful southern reservoir crappie masters will mark a brushpile, throw a marker, quickly back off, and make long casts with light jigs. 1/16thounce is a standard, shifting up with winds and down with a still surface.

 

One particularly effective combination is a Z-Man Finesse ShroomZ jighead with a Z-Man ElaZtech Finesse ShadZ or Trick ShotZ. The inherent buoyancy of ElaZtech slows the fall, while the material’s durability stands up to fish after fish.

 

If you prefer hardbaits, LIVETARGET’s lipless Golden Shiner Rattlebait is a proven crappie slayer. Cast over the brushpile, let the bait sink a couple seconds, and retrieve straight back to the boat. (A new, smaller Golden Shiner Rattlebait will be available soon, too.)

 

Crappies don’t leave the lakes, rivers and reservoirs in late fall. In fact, if you locate fish, there’ll likely be throngs of them. Look for wood structures on the edges of current and brushpiles positioned on points and breaks, and feed them live minnows, finesse jigs and miniature rattlebaits. You’ll be glad you did…

The Retrieve with Bags and Shadow

Chapter 3 – Building a Bond

As I mentioned in a previous article the foundation for your relationship with your future hunting dog starts the very first time that you pick up your puppy.

From that point on everything that you do with your puppy will become part of the training for your dog’s future behaviors. Making a concerted effort to build that bond early will allow, both you and your dog, to learn to trust one another. That level of trust will eventually lead to your dog becoming increasingly motivated to please you.

To be successful in the field you and your dog need to become teammates. And like any good team you are better off when you are working together. In order for your dog to choose to be on your team they must both trust and respect you. It is very important to realize that a dog’s brain is completely developed at sixteen weeks old. The first eight to ten weeks will afford you with the greatest opportunity to establish the groundwork for all your puppy’s training.

In my articles I will often refer to “pressure on, pressure off” training. This term describes a very simple idea. As we go through the training you will learn to use the “pressure on, pressure off” technique. This technique is used in conjunction with many training tools and multiple training scenarios.

Let me give you a couple quick examples…

When you pick up your puppy she will often start to struggle and want you to put her down. It is very important that you do not give in. You will apply gradual pressure until she submits and settles into being held. Once she settles down, and remains calm for approximately five seconds, you can put her down and offer her praise. She’s earned it. You will want to do this “pressure on, pressure off” drill multiple times throughout the day.

A great way to expand upon this “pressure on, pressure off” drill is pairing it with a quick check of your puppy’s eyes, ears, feet and mouth. It will be a huge future benefit if your puppy becomes use to you, or the veterinarian, examining and checking them over.

While you are holding your puppy take ahold of his paw and gently rub it. Spread his toes, inspect the webbing and run your thumb over his nails. If he tries to pull away simple apply some pressure (hug him a bit firmer) until he relaxes. Once he’s relaxed go back to rubbing his paw and continue this with each of the four paws.

It is important that your dog gets used to being examined. There will be many times in the field where you will need to look at his feet to check for cuts, stones, burrs or briars. This will also help you immensely when you start trimming his nails. Get your puppy used to the idea that you’re going to be a “hands on” owner.

Note: Remember that anytime you examine his feet you should also take a minute to look in both ears, open his mouth to check his gums / teeth and examine his eyes.

Another excellent bond building daily routine that you should be doing with your young pup is walking her off the lead. I cannot stress enough the importance of doing this in a safe and secure area! The walk does not have to last a very long time, nor does it need to cover a long distance. A 100 yard walk, repeated three times a day, would be an excellent start.

In a safe area grab your leash and your whistle (I will discuss these items later in my series) and just let your puppy be a puppy. As you take a nice leisurely stroll allow her to sniff around and to naturally follow after you. If she stops to investigate something just keep walking slowly ahead. Eventually she will find herself alone and come running after you. The second that you see her headed your way give her the “COME” command and blow three short tweets on your whistle.

Note: The voice command “COME” along with three short whistles will be used to command your pup to come This will be used early and throughout the training process

P.S. – Congratulations! You just taught your first command.

When your pup approaches you if she should happen to sit on her own recognize it and say “SIT” along with one short tweet of the whistle

Note: The voice command “SIT” along with one short whistle will be used to command your pup to come This will be used early and throughout the training process

When either one of these commands are performed successfully (even if its accidental) make sure that you give immediate and over exaggerated praise.

As I mentioned earlier the first few weeks are very important in the development of your future hunting dog. There are some very important “Do’s and Don’ts” that we will go over in a future article. That said here are a few key ideas to keep in mind until that article hits the website.

DO…

  • Stay consistent with your daily routine and your expectations.
  • Keep your training sessions short.
  • Make training fun for your puppy.

 

DON’T…

  • Use heavy handed discipline.
  • Rush the training process. Sometimes you’ll have to go backwards to eventually move forward.
  • Continue training if you become frustrated.

 

Hopefully you now have some information that will get you and your puppy headed in the right direction to forming a lifelong bond. Thank you for taking the time to check out this Bag’s and Shadow article here on the Chasin’ Whitetails Media series Life Afowl.

Good luck and have fun.

Until next time…”Keep the retrieve alive!”

Waterfowler?

Some days it just all comes together. The weather does exactly what you had anticipated, the birds fly right at first light, you shoot straighter than you’ve ever shot before and the dog marks every bird that hits the water.

These are the days waterfowlers dream about. These are the days to be savored. This is the culmination of all of the hard work because, as every waterfowler will tell you, these kind of days are few and far between. This is the zenith that continues to bring the real waterfowlers back out day after day, season after season.

More often then not these true hunting addicts show up at the boat ramp and realize that someone misplaced the plug…again, that a damn squirrel chewed through the wires on the boat…again, that a hunting partner left his waders at home…again, or that the spot they had planned to hunt somehow iced up over night…again.

True waterfowlers understand that overcoming a S.N.A.F.U. is just part of the obsession.

The great news is that most waterfowlers don’t take no for an answer. They beg, borrow and….well let’s just say they do what it takes to get themselves on “the X”.

Waterfowlers are a dedicated lot. They are up early, appreciate horrible weather and thrive on gas station coffee. They scout constantly, study maps and drive countless miles to secure new hunting spots.They ponder over their decoy spreads, fidget with their calls and obsess over blind concealment. All in hopes of experiencing that “perfect hunt” just one more time.

The waterfowler community has its fair share of interesting and unique characters. There are often differences of opinion, terse conversations and and even long standing feuds. There are always more leases to line up, motors that need tuned up and blinds that need propped up.

This is the kind of people I chose to spend my time with. These are my people. Hopefully one day, when I’ve suffered a little more, I’ll earn the title of Waterfowler?