Author Archives: mimin

Ladies – Let’s Go Fishing

vI’m not one to go out of the way to go fishing however, every gal/lady should learn what it’s all about. Biggest reason is guys LOVE fishing. Second reason is men complain we, gals, don’t like it. Third and most important reason – women get jealous if their man goes fishing and other women are on the boat paying attention to their man. Work around? Take a class with/through Ladies Let’s Go Fishing (LLGF)! It’s the best of both worlds. Most classes are ladies only; except one or two male instructors. There’s no yelling and no name calling. No one tells you you’re stupid. There is no stupid question. Just ask my friend Rebecca who took this class with me…

Captain George Mittler taught us about bait and trolling speeds. He commented that you want the bait to be constantly swimming with a natural presentation. Trolling speed is important when it comes to sea weather conditions. On a flat day you’ll troll about eight knots to keep that bait swimming or just skimming along on the surface. In a 2 – 3 foot sea you’ll possibly drop down to six knots. If you go any faster than that your bait is going to be flying. If it’s 4 – 6 foot seas, you’re going to be low and may be going only 3-4 knots. With that, Rebecca asked if that live bait is dead. Everybody erupted into laughter and she not only made our day but she helped soften the learning.

The week before class begins, Betty Baum (owner of LLGF) sends you a wealth of information for review. This includes: agenda, fishing terminology, knots, information regarding the Friday Party Master Chef Potluck Appetizer Contest, directions for the event and recommended lodging, silent auction, optional fishing for Sunday, and cancellation policy. Basically everything you’ll need to know before class starts.

The event kicked off on Thursday night with an appetizer contest and silent auction. Appetizers included: mini meatza pies, mock oyster dip, chicken, salsas, stuffed cucumber, and a watermelon boat with little gummy fishes; at the Stuart FL event. Buckets filled with fishing gear, fishing trips, clothing, rods, and jewelry were just a few items in the silent auction. It’s a great way to network with classmates.

Friday morning at 8:00am class begins with an introduction to fishing. Captain George clarifies a fishing pole is really called a fishing rod. Companies make fishing lures for fisherman. If they catch fish with them, that’s a bonus. The best place to buy your rod and bait is from a local tackle store. You get knowledge of what’s biting and the right type of bait to use. A great way to learn what works best with fish for bait is to open the guts of fish you catch and look into their stomach. For example, if you see squid or shrimp, then you know they’re going deep at night. Cobia loves crab and shrimp.

“You have to learn what to fish with as well as the how-to,” says Jodi Girourd. “There’s three different kinds of reels: bait caster, conventional and spinner. The waters are tantamount to the way you catch a fish because you need to know the waters and how to read them.”

A bait caster reel is a conventional type of reel for casting lures or bait in both salt and fresh water. On the conventional reel, the biggest mistake we make is to tighten the drag. To control the drag on a conventional reel use your thumb. For a spinner, use your hand. For example, if the fish wants to take off, release your thumb off the conventional reel or your hand off the bale on the spinner. According to Captain Melinda Buckley, the moment you drop your tip you’re dropping the tension on the line. That’s why you lose fish. Without tension the hook keeps rocking in the fish’s mouth and falls out. So keep your tip up and wind down.

Additionally you’ll learn how to: back up a trailer, gaff, and fish in-shore, conserve habitation, and de-hook fish. Plus, how-to put a line on a reel, put the reel on your rod, and how-to dress for fishing success.

On day two, you get to take what you learned and use your new skills on a boat. So if you’re still undecided if this class is right for you, Jodie would tell you to start small at the beginning and give it a chance. One bite at a time. LLGF takes the stress out offishing and puts the fun back into it. Plus, the girls are supportive of each other. They’re all trying to do the same thing.

At the Stuart class, everyone who went out on the party boat all caught a fish. They caught red snapper, king fish, mutton snappers and Toro (orange) snappers. Here’s what some of the ladies had to say. “Don’t get a bird’s nest,” says Denise. “All these years I’ve been fishing I thought you didn’t want the fish to see the hook so I’d been covering it over all these years. This trip I didn’t cover it and caught two snappers.” Dorothy learned how to throw a net, catch bait and met a lot of nice people. Gail said she loved the casting of the nets and fly fishing skills she learned in the class. Mary commented that though LLGF didn’t catch the kingfish or 18lb mutton snapper, everybody in the ladies group on the party boat did catch a fish. They used the top dorsal fin of a humbled 8 – 9 ft. squid sliced real thin and cut into strips as bait that was a new experience. Then they used the grunts they caught as live bait and started to really catch fish. All in all, everyone had a blast.

 

5 Important Fishing Safety Tips That You Should Remember While Out With Your Boat

ergFishing is a profession that several people take up especially those who live close to the coast or near water bodies. Fish forms the main part of the diet and oils extracted out of it is used for medicinal purposes.

Apart from having a professional aspect to fishing, people fish for leisure. It is an adventure in itself where you can tread along all by yourself along with your friends and family or can get along with professional fishing organizations that can help you have great time fishing along with professional help.

Fishing has several benefits where you can get away from the daily hustle and bustle and relax. It helps to relieve stress along with anxiety and thus making you feel refreshed. While you plan to go out fishing either alone or with friends, you need to keep several precautionary points in mind. These may help you whenever you plan to have a fun outing.

• Wear safety gear – Whenever you are out in the water on a boat, make sure to wear life jackets. Every member on the boat should be wearing one that would come to your rescue in case your boat topples over. You may or may not know how to swim, and it is then that the life jacket lets you stay afloat and not drown.

• Carry essentials – Essentials like drinking water, torch, first aid, radio, life buoy, etc. should be taken along and can be used whenever there is an emergency.

• Wearing the right clothing and accessories – While you plan for a fishing outing, try not to wear bright clothes. The bright colours may distract the fishes and stray away from your boat. Make sure that the exposed parts of the body are coated with sunscreen that can prevent damage from the sun. Wearing a hat and sunglasses too can keep your body calm and safe from the sun.

• Keep the boat light – If you plan for a fishing expedition with your family; make sure you have a boat that can carry several people. Try your best to not overload it and do not carry anything that isn’t essential. Try staying seated and make sure that the children aren’t overly excited.

• Keeping an eye on the weather – Do not tread too deep into the waters when you see there is a change in the weather. If the weather is getting windy or the sky is cloudy, make sure to come back ashore soon. Harsh weather conditions may affect your fishing trip and leave you stranded.

The author Cathy Smith finds fishing to be an amazing activity for leisure and adventure. She intends to let people know more about professionals who allow leisure fishing in Gold Coast and the ways it can be entertaining for those who enrol themselves.

 

Ideas for Family Fun With Fishing

ergWhen family fun is on the itinerary, you have many options. Fishing can be an inexpensive activity that appeals to people of all ages. To ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe time with the rods and bait, follow standard guidelines and practices.

Set the Right Tone

While serious anglers are all about quiet and concentration to land a big fish, kids just want to have fun. Therefore, when you set out for family fun with rods, bait, and a tackle box, set a tone of adventure and exploration. Youngsters will not be likely to want to sit on a pier for hours on end in silence while waiting for a nibble. Instead, they will probably want to splash in the water, hunt for rocks, skim stones, throw sticks in the water, watch butterflies, catch frogs, pick flowers, and play hide and seek. Save the serious fishing for an adults-only trip and focus this excursion on enjoyable adventure.

Prepare in Advance

Elaborate gear and tackle are not necessary, but make sure you have the items you need before you hit the water. Pack enough hooks, bait, line, and lures in the event that you lose some items. Have a cooler and ice on hand if you will take your catch home with you. Bring gloves, an extra change of clothes for everyone, hats, sunscreen, and a first-aid kit. Don’t forget snacks and drinks for everyone in your party, too!

Choosing Equipment

Tangled lines and complicated rods can be frustrating for young anglers.

– You can avoid many of these issues by choosing rods carefully. A spincast mechanism is the most basic design, which makes it ideal for beginners. To cast, simply press the button on the reel while propelling the line forward into the water.

– Barbless hooks will be the safest choice for youngsters. If you do choose to use barbed hooks, squeeze the barbs with pliers to eliminate them on the hooks. The absence of barbs will make it easier to disengage the hooks if they accidentally snag something or someone.

– Worms, bread, and insects make the best bait for kids. Use a basic bobber and sinker to finish setting up the rod. Although artificial lures may be tempting, it’s more difficult to fish with them because anglers must repeatedly cast to ensure that they capture the attention of the fish.

Safety Guidelines

Take steps to ensure that everyone stays safe on a family fun outing.

Regardless of swimming skills, everyone in the party should wear a personal flotation device when around deep water. This includes time spent on a boat and near fast-moving or deep water. United States Coast Guard regulations require every passenger in a boat to have a personal flotation device. Even if your excursion just involves wading, take safety precautions. Know the depth of the water and the strength of any current.

Follow safety guidelines when angling, too. Teach children proper casting techniques to prevent accidents. Everyone should always take a good look behind them before casting to avoid lodging the hook into someone or something.
Never leave tackle lying open and scattered on the ground.

Follow suggestions and safety guidelines to ensure that family fun on the water is a positive experience.

 

Pier Fishing Tips for Beginners

dvPier fishing is not an overly technical term; it simply describes the act of fishing off a pier. Pier fishing is such a popular option because it’s so simple, all you need is a walkway that runs out into the water. You can do it with a rod and reel or even just a spool of line. All over the world, you’ll find people out on the coast and even along the shores of lakes out on piers, dropping their lines into the water. While there’s no great secret to getting started, there are a few things to know that will give you a leg up on reeling in the catch of the day.

One easy way to improve your experience is to pay attention to the environment. Part of this is for your own health, as pier fishing, especially in populated areas, often happens alongside commercial or industrial activity that can affect the water quality. Your local department of fish and wildlife or environmental quality office will be able to provide info on whether it’s safe to eat what’s caught in certain areas. Once you’re out there, pay attention to the other critters. They’re out there looking for fish too, and are probably a lot better at spotting schools than you. That doesn’t mean you should go casting at every wing-flap, of course. In fact, you rarely want to cast out from a pier. Nine times out of ten, the fish will be hanging around under the pillars of the walkway. Get a good weight and drop straight down, but if you see a spot below the pier with a gang of seals splashing around, elbow in! You should also pay attention to the time of day. Those experienced with pier fishing will tell you that sunrise/sunset are when your quarry is most active. The angle of the sun makes it harder for birds to spot things in the water, so this is the best time for fish to come out of their hiding spots. The tide can also have a big impact on the availability and location of different species.

Paying attention to the environment can help you get more fish, but paying attention to the people will help you enjoy the whole pier fishing experience. Strike up a conversation about the type of bait the folks around you are using or the best time of day to hook the desirable species. Unless you’re out there for commercial purposes or for subsistence (in which case you probably already know these tips), the experience is more about having fun. And while there’s no thrill quite like watching your rod tip jump as you reel in your prize, the vast majority of the time will be spent relaxing and waiting for that bite. So bring a good lawn chair, a bucket for your catch, and a cooler for your favorite cold beverage to share. And have fun.

What Are The Best Spots For A Fishing Trip

bThe Best Places For Fishing Vacations

Those who are planning a trip should not only have the right marine accessories, but should also select the right location, for location can be a huge factor in deciding how successful the trip was. Fortunately, there are several fantastic locations to choose from, fishermen can choose their locations based on their species of fish they wish to catch. For example, those who wish to catch blue marlin fish should consider heading to Bermuda, for the country is known to be one of the best places for fishing blue marlin fish species, that weight at least a thousand pounds.

The Mississippi marches run all the way to Louisiana and is the perfect place for those who wish to spend their vacations fly fishing. The marshes of Mississippi have plenty of red drum fish species which are perfect for fly fishermen. The marshes contain other fish species such as black drum and sea trout. Another ideal place to visit is Panama, the country is because it is a tourist friendly country with schools of tune species such as Zane Grey and Hannibal banks, there are several different fishing resorts for fishermen to rest in, while not fishing.

Fantastic Places For fishing In North And South America

Key West is located in Florida, close to Dry Tortugas and is the best place for a fishing trip because Key West is a fishing town, therefore, not only are there are several fantastic fishing grounds such as reefs, flats and blue water, fishermen can find a number of first rate guides for marine accessories, inshore fishing and offshore charters. Fishermen who are interested in catching marlin fish should consider heading to Malindi in Kenya, for the location is a habitat to six different species of marlin fish including the black marlin, striped marlin, blue marlin and shortbill spearfish, although it is recommended to bring some fishing rod holders along because most of these fish are large and the extra support maybe needed.
Fishermen who are interested in catching certain species of fish such as bonefish, tarpon and permit should consider visiting Belize. The country is well known for its attractive locations that contain hundreds of the bonefish, increasing one’s chances of success on fishing vacations. However, fishermen who prefer to stay in North America should visit Prince Edward Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. For the island has some of the largest species of tuna, it is not unusual to catch fish that are more than eight hundred pounds, so fishermen must ensure they have their fishing rod holders attached to their boats.

 

The Thrill of Fishing With Topwater Lures

vIt was a typical summer afternoon in Georgia, hot and humid. I had taken one of my buddies fishing at one of my coveted honey holes, a farm pond in my hometown of Moreland where I had fished since I was a kid. My friend was from the northwest and was just in town for the week, and I intended show him a good day of southern bass fishing. Unfortunately the fish were not cooperating. We had failed to make a single catch at all that day. Just when we were about to give up all hopes of a fish fry that night, I decided to tie on a Zara-Spook and make a last effort. I cast it out near a thick weed bed close to the center of the lake. After a few twitches the water around the lure exploded like a depth charge as it was engulfed by a six-pound large-mouth. After I had secured my prize on a stringer I decided to try my luck again near the same spot. Much to the surprise of both my buddy and myself there was a repeat performance by a fish that could have passed as the others twin. Guess we were having a fish fry after all!

On the same pond a year earlier I had caught two fish at once on a Bagley Chug-O-Lure, one on the front treble hook and one on the back. They weren’t trophy size by any means, maybe a pound each, but memorable nonetheless. And I realize that reflecting back on all the big and memorable fish that I’ve caught, the only ones that I can recall the exact details of the catch are the ones I’ve caught on topwater lures. There’s nothing like seeing a fish explode from the depths to attack a surface lure, or watching as a huge bucket mouth sticks his head out of the water as he sucks your lure into his mouth. There’s just something about not only feeling but also seeing this event as it happens. And over the years I think this is why the topwater lures in my box have become my favorite for fishing in just about any condition. Some of my favorite lures and techniques are listed in this article.

Buzz-baits

The buzz-bait is a fairly new lure design in that it’s only been around for about the last twenty years or so, but it is very effective. I have found that some anglers still haven’t added this lure to their arsenal or shy away from using it. I think that’s usually because they either haven’t given it a chance or haven’t taken the time to learn how to properly fish it. This is one of the most versatile lures I’ve found and is also an excellent fish locator, as you can cover a large area due to its high-speed of retrieve and long casting distances.

Buzz-baits are available in a variety of sizes and designs. Some have 2 bladed propellers, some three, and some have an added “cackling ” blade that clanks against the propeller during retrieve. My personal favorite is a plain two-blade propeller in a medium size with a plain white or Chartreuse skirt.

These lures are especially effective in shallow water close to the banks and around obstructions and vegetation, places where bass tend to congregate in the late afternoon and early morning however they can also get the attention of fish in deeper water and bring them to the surface. The design of the lure makes it fairly weed-less allowing you to fish in areas you might not be able to use other surface lures. Sometimes I will purposefully bounce the blade off a log or other obstruction during the retrieve, as this seems to drive even stubborn bass crazy, resulting in furious strikes.

For the beginning buzz-bait user it may take you a couple of try’s to perfect your technique, but don’t be discouraged. The rewards of learning the proper use of this lure will be great. You’ll have to begin your retrieve almost as soon as it hits the water and keep it on the surface of the water. To do this will require a quick retrieve and you’ll have to keep your rod tip high. As you get more used to the lure you’ll also learn to steer it around obstructions by moving your rod tip from side to side, this is useful in bouncing the blade off an obstruction as I discussed earlier.

Walking The Dog

The walking the dog technique has been around for a long time but it still works like a charm. I still use the original Zara-Spook for this method but there are also a lot of other lures made now of a similar design. The size of this lure seems to appeal to the large fish but you’ll also still catch plenty of smaller ones.

To use this technique with a Zara-Spook or similar lure, you simply twitch the rod tip to one side on the retrieve, which will cause the lure to jerk from side to side. This motion seems to be one that really attracts the fish, probably because it resembles the actions of a wounded minnow.

Another advantage to the full size Spook type lure is that you can cast it a country mile. But it’s also available in smaller sizes depending on your preference and fishing conditions.

Topwater Worm Rig

This worm rig simply consists of a soft plastic worm rigged weed-less with no weight. You probably want to use light spinning tackle with this rig because of its lightweight, which makes it difficult to cast.

Any type worm can be used with this rig but some will float better than others. A lot of anglers use the old-fashioned long straight worm that doesn’t have a curly tail as they offer a unique action when fished in this way and tend to float well. The method of retrieve is up to you, jerking motion, or straight retrieve, slow, or fast. Experiment for yourself and find what works in the given situation.

Rigged properly this is one of the most weed-less lure configurations around making it great for casting into dense lily pads and weed beds. It’s also great for close to shore fishing like around bulrush and other vegetation. Bass can’t seem to resist this rig, even finicky or spawning fish will strike at this lure if you can get it close enough to them. If bass are on bed I’ve found this is sometimes the only lure they’ll pay attention to. If you do spot a big bass on bed, or hanging out in the shallows, don’t be afraid to cast this lure in the same area more than once because sometimes it takes a few times to really get their attention.

Poppers

Poppers have been around for a long time also and come in a lot of different styles, but they’re all fundamentally the same. The main feature is a concave mouth on the front of the lure that catches water and causes the popping sound. This is a fairly straightforward lure to use, you simply retrieve the lure with a jerking motion that makes the lure pop. I usually allow the lure to sit for a few seconds after it first hits the water. This allows time for any fish that may have been momentarily spooked by the cast to come back and investigate it. Sometimes you’ll even get strikes while the lure is just sitting there. I usually try allowing enough time for the ripples caused by the splash to clear.

The speed of retrieve is up to you and you may want to vary it to see what works best on a particular day. One old trick I’ve used is to remove the rear treble hook and replace it with a trailer of some kind, like a curly tail or minnow type jig attached with a short leader. The larger noisier poppers are sometimes good to use on a windy day when you’ll need to cause a little more commotion to overcome the waves.

In closing I hope everyone can have as many memorable experiences using topwater lures as I’ve had and continue to have. Try all these methods if you haven’t already and don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment with these techniques to make them your own. I can’t wait to get back on the lake myself and experience the next memorable catch!

 

Tips for Walleye Fishing in Spring

bSpring is considered one of the best times for walleye fishing. Walleye is known by many names including pickerel, yellow pike, colored pike, and walleyed pike, depending on the location. The fish can be found in the shallow waters of rivers and lakes. Although the early spring weather can change unpredictably and cause walleyed pikes to move a little, the weather changes have more of an effect on fishermen or fisherwomen.

Find Them

One of the most common saying in the properties market is that the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. This saying also applies to walleyed pike fishing in early spring. Although you can toss the line and hope that the fish will bite, you stand a greater chance of catching some walleyed pike if you locate them first. Walleyed pikes are attracted to shallow, rocky areas with water moving through them or nearby. Early spring is spawning time for walleyed pikes and the best place for them to spawn is in shallow waters. Other places where you are likely to find walleyed pikes are sunken rocky islands.

Choose the Right Tackle

Although spring is the best time for catching trophy walleyed pikes, you do not need to use heavy equipment to catch one. Lake and river waters are usually clearest during spring, especially early spring. Walleyes are timid fish, so do not make them wary by using equipment that is easy for them to see. Use a light line and jig that can maintain contact with the bottom.

Minnows are King

Walleyes are enticed by minnows during the early spring, therefore, consider using minnows as bait. Alternatively, use lures such as crank baits that resemble minnows. One of the advantages of using minnows is that they can be fished below a bobber.

Ditch the Boat

Many people choose to fish for walleyes from the shore during early spring. Since walleyes are usually found in shallow waters during spring, it provides anglers with an opportunity to use low-tech approaches to catching the walleyes.

Fish at Night

Since many people fish for walleyes in shallow waters during spring, the fish are usually under a lot of pressure during the season. This is the reason why some anglers choose to fish for walleyes at night. The fish are often under less pressure at night and may be more easily enticed to bite. Once you locate the walleyes, use a bobber and minnow to target them. If you have not located them, use a crank bait to fish. Troll the lure along the rocky shoreline and avoid making unnecessary noises.

Female pickerels – as walleye are frequently called in English speaking Canada – usually grow faster and larger than males. They can live for up to 26 years, but are considered fully-grown at one year. You can observe their spawning behavior while angling. Male pickerels usually discharge a white fluid during spring to fertilize eggs laid by female pickerels. Female pickerels are usually larger during spring because of the extra weight of eggs they are about to lay. Male pickerels weigh less and are usually slimmer than the females.

Fishing for pickerels is easiest in early spring. They are found in fresh waters in many countries around the world including the U.S., Japan, and Canada. Pickerels are resilient and can thrive in saltwater when necessary.

Spring provides the best opportunity for angling enthusiasts to fish for pickerels. Walleyed pike fishing involves locating the fish, using the right type of hook and line and knowing the best time to fish.

Jet Ski Fishing For Bass With The Right Rod

bsYour jet ski fishing rack should include standard lightweight rods, sensitive, lightweight rods, and graphite rods that are sensitive.

1. Graphite Rods: you can say that graphite rods are really lightweight – some say even lighter than any rod that you will ever hold in your hands. Other than that, they are also extremely sensitive. Their lengths range from 6.5 up to 7.5 feet. Obviously, they are made of graphite, which makes them tough and durable too. You get a medium light tip and medium action when using them.

They are perfect for fishing in the really deep water. Since they are very sensitive, you can almost immediately get the feel when a fish bites. Since it is lightweight, you won’t easily fatigue from holding it upright.

Use a 6.5-foot rod when fishing in water that has a depth of about 20 feet. If the water is shallower than that, then use the 7.5-foot rod. Some people have argued that fiberglass is better than graphite.

However, experience tells that graphite rods are more sensitive than fiberglass.

2. Lightweight Rods: lightweight rods that have pretty good sensitivity work great if you are using top water lures and crank baits. A good example of this is a fiberglass rod that has a medium action tip. Of course, you can always employ one that has a light action tip if you prefer that sort of action -it all depends on the weight of your lure.

Fiberglass rods will make the bass inhale the hook, which will help prevent it from getting dislodged. If you are using heavier types of bait, then get a 7-foot rod, which is better in case you intend to cast at a distance and in wide open spaces. However, if there are obstacles along the way or if you prefer to cast with a certain degree of accuracy then get a 6-foot rod.

Note that if your lure is 314 ounces, then you should use a medium tip. If your bait weighs 1/8th of an ounce, then you’re better off with a lightweight rod with a light tip.

3. 6.5 to 7-foot lightweight rod: This is the type of rod that you should use in case you are supposed to use for spinner baits and buzz baits – for fishing jet ski. You should get one that has a medium soft tip and medium action. Get the longer variant to cover more distance when you cast and get the shorter one for better accuracy and covering shorter distances.

Ultra-Light Rods, Spinning Rods, and Bait Casting Rods

Bait casting rods are the ones that have guides on their tops. They are designed in such a way that the rod blank holds the reel. Spinning rods, on the other hand, have the rod blank holding the reel below. That means that you can find the guides on the underside.

Both spinning rod and bait casting rod blanks can be made out of graphite and fiberglass. Some manufacturers make ultra-light rods that use a combination of both. Note that an ultra-light rod will be 4 to 5 feet in length – the best for jetski fishing. The usual baitcasting and spinning rods have an average length of 7 feet.

Use ultra-lights for lighter lures and lighter lines. It’s interesting that these can be used to make more accurate casts over long distances. If you want some added challenges to catching smaller breeds of bass, then these are the rods you should be getting.

I hope that these tips will help you with a making a decision next time you will pack your jet ski fishing rack.

Hone Your Knife Sharpening Skills to Make a Good Day of Fishing Great

sdvThere’s a common saying among anglers that “even a bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work,” and it would be tough to find an angler that disagrees with the sentiment. After all, it’s hard to be too upset after spending a whole day out on the lake or ocean, or sitting on the shore, fishing and taking in the scenery. But reeling in an abundance of fish is what really makes for a great day of fishing, although with it comes one unpleasant task: cleaning the fish. Thankfully, even that task can be made less unpleasant when anglers have the right set of tools. That doesn’t mean anglers should run out to buy a new set of knives; all it takes is a periodic knife sharpening to make the job easier.

Using a blunt knife is the quickest way for fishermen to fail at filleting fish, and it is perhaps the reason why so many dislike the chore. It makes the process difficult and adds an element of danger to the job, as cutting through the bones and flesh of the fish with a dull knife can lead to a blade through the hand. In fact, many anglers who have had difficulty with the filleting process in the past probably didn’t have the proper blade for the job. But there’s more to knife sharpening than just buying a tool from the store, as even sharpeners that come with a guarantee often don’t get the knife sharp enough to slice through the skin, scales, and bones. This is because many anglers lack the know-how to properly use these tools. While the process seems like it would be straightforward, there are a few tricks to knife sharpening that could make the difference between a clean cut and, well, a cut to the hand.

A proper knife sharpening session actually consists of two elements: sharpening and honing. The sharpening step involves grinding the blade, removing metal, and creating a feathered edge, while the honing step involves straightening out that already-sharp blade. Think of it this way: regular use of the instrument wears that straight edge down over time, knocking it slightly out of alignment and contributing to its dullness. The honing process re-aligns the edge, recreating that clean, sharp cut the knife originally had. The honing process is also quite quick and easy, although it does require the use of honing steel or a good, tough stone. Many anglers are able to do it themselves following one of many simple online video tutorials, but there are also tons of professionals that can perform the job quickly and safely for those that don’t want to take any chances.

When a knife is properly sharpened and honed, it’s much easier and safer to fillet the fish without unnecessary pushing and pulling or accidental slip-ups. There’s no better way to end a great day on the water than with dinner from those freshly filleted fish.

Four Reasons You Should Head to a Fishing Pier Instead of a Night Club

sdvBored? Broke? Just tired of the same humdrum night out? Variety is the spice of life, and your life might just need a dash. Here are four reasons you should skip the nightclub and head to the local fishing pier this Saturday night.

Affordable Option

Visiting the pier is cheap! In most harbor towns it costs little to no money to visit the local fishing pier. Many just ask for a simple donation. When you weigh the price against the cost of a night out, factoring in cover charges, drink minimums, and the rising cost of craft beer, it seems like a no-brainer. Parlay that saved money into some fancy cheese or a delectable bottle of wine.

Romantic Date

A date on the fishing pier is undeniably romantic. The resonance of the tide, the salty sea air, the cry of the seagulls in the distance-hopefully the far, far distance-is a recipe for love. Pack that wine and fancy cheese into a stylish cooler or bag and make it a night your loved one won’t forget anytime soon. Keep that cheese away from those seagulls, though! That could be a recipe for disaster.

Unique Nightlife

When it comes to nightlife options, visiting the pier is a unique one. How many times have you waited in line to get into that Downton Abbey themed nightclub only to get in and find that all the guys are dressed as Matthew Crawley? Time to break out of your rut. Bring the tunes out to the fishing pier and make your own dance club. Or avoid the club vibe altogether and fish! Fishing may not be everyone’s forte but how impressed would your friends or your date be if you caught your dinner for the evening?

Environmentally Friendly

Visiting the pier promotes a good cause. If there is a small admission fee, that money goes toward the ongoing maintenance and beautification of the pier and surrounding area. Even if there is no fee, just visiting the pier brings awareness to a part of town that would have perhaps gone otherwise unnoticed. Everyone is bound to notice your flair for social activism, and who doesn’t love a good cause?

So, whether you’re looking to save some money, plan an inventive date, experience a unique night on the town, or help the environment, a night on the pier is the perfect option. Seriously, though, watch out for those seagulls.