Category Archive for: Fishing

Ancient Fishing Techniques

Just like hunting, fishing has been around since the dawn of our species. Today we’re going to look at some of the ancient fishing techniques that you could try for yourself, whether you’re an expert fisherman or a hobbyist and you’d like to see how things were for our ancestors.

Fishing techniques varied all around the globe. In many parts, fish was the primary source of food, but different ethnic groups used different fishing techniques more akin to their environment, which are wildly different from today’s most common pole-and-line method.

Spearfishing dates back as far as 16.000 years ago. The use of spears and tridents has been described in many historical journals and the earliest records show it was present in Europe and India as well.

With the emergence of archery, some native South Americans took the bow and arrow to the waters. This technique, though, required a great deal of skill and accuracy.

One of the weirdest techniques from ancient times is kite fishing. Originating from the Polynesian islands, the natives would construct kites using nothing but local materials and attach baits that would float right beneath the surface as the kite flew over the unreachable reefs, tethered to the fisherman, who was at a distance.

Another centuries-old technique is trampling. In medieval Scotland, fishermen used to walk the riverbed in estuaries barefoot, rummaging the sand for flounder, a group of flatfish. Once they found them, they trapped them with their feet and impaled them with a trident. This tradition persevered well into the 21st century, up until 2010 when it was outlawed due to conservation efforts.

What’s most important is that none of these techniques were harmful to the environment. Nowadays, industrial fishing tends to have a very negative impact on marine life. Bycatching is also very detrimental to some marine species since fishing trawlers do not discriminate and pick up everything that finds its way in the net. We should all try and take care of the earth as much as possible. It’s the only planet we have and we’ve been living off of its resources since time immemorial. Let’s do the small things that make a big difference. Don’t drive to the fishery or the hunting grounds, reduce waste, upgrade to an environmentally-friendly water heater system; all of those things do wonders for reducing our carbon footprint and will let us enjoy our favorite activities for far longer in the future.

Hunting: The Ancient Primal Instinct

As old as the “fight or flight” instinct, the innate impulse to hunt just seems to be written in a man’s DNA, or many of them at least.  While in modern days, hunting is usually accredited to sport, it hasn’t always been that way.

In ancient times, hunting was done out of necessity.  It was often hunt or be hunted.  Hunting was carried out as a means for survival, in order to eat and to avoid being the hunted also.

Although times have changed, this gut born instinct to hunt still lives in the hearts and souls of many men.  It is as primal as life itself.

Why hunt?  Not only is hunting done for fun and sport, but many do eat the kill.  Many freezers are full of game like elk, deer and even bear.  Hunters often share their kill with friends, neighbors and even the needy.

There are other great reasons to hunt as well.  It is a huge stress releaser.  When a guy goes out to hunt, he can leave his worries (and his laptop) behind.  He is at peace and is one with nature for probably the first time since the last time he hunted.  It’s a good time to bond with hunting partners that are often friends or maybe even a son or two.

Men have always had the need to make their mark.  Some do it by way of sports like football or soccer but others do it as marksmen.  It is challenging to kill an animal.  It requires skill and usually demands physical abilities such as walking through the wilderness, stalking the animal and so on.  It is a huge accomplishment to have a successful hunt and that is great for a man’s ego.

Hunting is an excellent cure for depression.  Getting out and getting exercise cleanses the soul.  Being in nature stimulates the endorphins.  It’s a time that is appropriate to take out pent up aggression too.  Don’t like your boss?  Well, you can’t shoot him but…you can shoot an elk in his behalf.

Eight out of ten women polled said that their husbands generally return from a hunt in much better spirits than they were when they left.  Many state that they look forward to their husbands going because they feel it does them good psychologically.  Of those who did not feel a hunt was positive for their spouse, one stated that her husband is never happy about returning home is the only reason she feels it is negative.

Personally, when I hunt, the actual hunt is only a small part of the process.  It’s the anticipation of going that pumps me up for months before I really go.  The early morning coffee with my hunting buddies is one of my treasured times not to mention the campfires in the evenings.  I love the hunting part and I can’t explain the satisfaction I get from shooting a trophy buck or a big black bear but that’s just the icing on the cake for me.  Why do I love it all so much?  I guess it’s just in my genes.

If you are in need of a getaway and some stress relief, why not go hunting?  Even if you don’t kill anything, the time with other hunters and with Mother Nature herself might just do you good.  Hunting is good for the soul.  The desire to hunt is primal and the benefits are immense.

Getting Your Fly On: What States are Best For Fly Fishing?

Fly Fishing not only takes a good bit of skill and determination, it takes knowing where to cast a line too.  What states are best for fly fishing?  Read on to get the top spots.

It’s pretty much a given that Florida wins out when it comes to the best state for saltwater fly fishing, in the United States at least.  The Everglades, Panhandle and even inland at places like Disney Lakes are all loaded with largemouth bass and redfish too.

Some of the best fly fishing ever can be found in Colorado.  One of the most popular spots to fish is the South Platte River with more that fifteen public accesses.  There you will find Cutbows, Suckers, Bass, Salmon and Rainbow Brown fish in abundance.  You can also just pull over beside the road if you happen to be traveling down the Scenic Byway of the San Juan Skyway in Southwestern Colorado.  Small towns such as Ouray, Placerville and Ridgway are home to some of the best obscure fly fishing around.  Here you can go it alone or enlist the help of a fly fishing outfitter for an even better chance at a successful fish.

New York has its fair share of great fly fishing holes too.  The Catskills is one of my favorite, for the fish and for the sheer beauty of the Beaverkill, Neversink and the Willowemoc.  Long Island South is a coveted spot and don’t forget the Adirondacks and of course the Great Lakes where salmon are plentiful.

Pennsylvania is another fantastic fly fishing state in the East.  Penn Creek and Spring Creek are notorious for brown trout.  Elk Creek and Walnut Creek boast steelhead and salmon too.

Montana is not only one of the most gorgeous states, it is home to fabulous fly fishing.  Yellowstone is overflowing and Beaverhead too.  In my opinion, Montana ties Colorado for the best fly fishing state if you’re going for trout.

Alaska is certainly another excellent state to fly fish in.  Although the season doesn’t last long, only a few short months, it’s for sure worth casting in during that time.  There are salmon, rainbows, northern pike and steelhead, just to name a few.  Of course you will be competing with the Grizzlies for the fish so do take precautions so you don’t become dinner instead.

Some states have great fly fishing that you might not think would like North Carolina, Idaho, California and even Maine.  The truth of the matter is that fly fishing can be enjoyed in most every state.  What fly fishing spot is the best?  That is a subject of great debate.  The best thing to do is to get on out there, get your fly on,  and find out which is your personal favorite.

Knowledge Is Key When it Comes To Big Game

Got Game?  If you are into hunting for the big ones, the more you know about the species you are hunting for, the more likely you are to have a successful hunt.  That’s a proven fact.  So, how do you go about getting this information?

The first thing you will want to do is to narrow down where and what you want to hunt.  Maybe you just know you want to hunt in Alaska but are not sure what you want to hunt for.  Or, perhaps you want to hunt black bear…somewhere.  If you at least know one or the other, what OR where, you can start there.

As far as hunting big game in the United States goes, you have a lot of options.  Black bear, brown bear, grizzly bear, elk, alligator, bison, moose, antelope and boar are a few of the many species you have to choose from.  What you want to hunt will help determine where you want to hunt and vice versa.

Alaska, Colorado, Montana, Florida and practically every state has big game hunting.  They also have seasons in which you are allowed to hunt each specie and rules and regulations that include a hunting license application and possibly a safety class as well so do your homework so you don’t miss out.

Watching hunting shows on television is a great way to learn more about the game you are wanting to hunt for.  You will learn tips from experienced hunters that would otherwise most likely take you many hunts to learn on your own.  Hunting show hosts are also good about plugging equipment and products they feel help in the hunt like specific brands of eronus scents and scent-block as well.

There are many excellent big game hunting websites too.  You can learn much from personal blogs written by hunters.  Many not only give helpful hints about the hunt but about spots to hunt in as well.

Natural Geographic publications and videos are another fantastic way to learn about the animal you wish to hunt.  Learn the creature’s habits as well as his likes and dislikes.  Where and when do they sleep and feed?  What spooks them?  What lures them?  Answer these questions and you are well on your way to a successful big game hunt.

Word of mouth can’t be beat.  Learn from those who have gone before you.  Not only can you get this firsthand information from televised hunting shows, but right down at the local diner as well.  Spend time rubbing shoulders with those who share your passion and listen to their hunting tales.  The “big one that got away” might just be yours for the taking.

Learning all you can about the spot and species you wish to hunt is the key to a successful big game hunt.  Knowing what to hunt, where, when and how are all things you will gain knowledge on by watching informative shows, searching out great hunting websites and listening to those who tell their tales.  Knowledge coupled with great products, skill and a bit of luck will help you

Close to the Catch

Whether you already like to fish from a Kayak or it’s your first time, you have come to the right place. All you need are a few pointers and you are ready for a great adventure. If you are still in doubt, check out some great photos online and you will be convinced. Below you will learn about types of kayaking and how to get the perfect bait for the perfect fish. Once you dip that paddle in crystal blue waters, you will be hooked (pun intended).

Types

Coastal/Ocean: You can join a group of anglers on a boat that carries some 20 odd kayaks at once. For a bit of extra luxury, there are staterooms for hire. The kayaks are stacked on racks and loaded by the crew. I might be describing an 88-foot craft in San Diego, California that specializes in bass, halibut, and yellowtail. Cold drinks are plentiful through the day. The sun is spectacular on the water and the catch is always good. Participants relax as their kayaks drift with the wind. They say there is nothing like it in the world of fishing.

River: There you are, alone with your paddle, sitting… and waiting. When the white water appears, a kayak will do its job perfectly. The best are designed for rough water and fast flow. Anglers are watching for the fish that hide in ambush along the way. Maneuverability is a major issue here. You need to be able to run across flows and spin into an eddy both for good fishing and safety. You don’t want your kayak to just track straight as an arrow. River boats have a rocker or banana shape in the front making them nimble, while an upswept bow helps force the nose of the boat on top of standing waves. Thus you can turn quickly and follow the best line through the water.

Tips

  • Get the right fishing kayak and paddling gear out of the box and learn how to secure it. River and ocean fishing demand different items.
  • Select the appropriate width and length of your kayak for optimum performance. Standing and sitting should be comfortable and easy. These boats come with raised seats and pull-in ropes. You can elect a sit-on-top feature. Some fishermen like more stability and weight than others who prefer speed.
  • Opt for an adjustable seat that can be removed for camping.
  • Storage is a plus in the stern or bow hatch.
  • To maximize ergonomics, there are back rests, ventilated seats, leg lifters, and foam knee supports.

Kayaking takes some know-how. Consult the experts and garner advice for the area in which you will be fishing. It is a wonderful recreational sport for the whole family. There are specialty magazines loaded with photos that will pump up your interest fast. You need different gear for coastal and river fishing as you may be surf launching, catching larger fish, and facing a variety of conditions. Wherever you live, there is no doubt a suitable locale nearby. In no time you will become a regular.

Hunting License: Knowing the Ropes Can Save Time and Frustration

Hunting License

If you want to go hunting, you are going to need a license.  Hunters like to gripe about having to do so but when you know the ropes of how much one is going to cost, where to get it and when, it’s not that bad and besides, the regulations are in order for public safety and proceeds help to keep lands maintained.

Hunting guidelines can be vague as in unwritten laws or they can be strictly enforced as state laws.  Each state’s regulations vary as does their charge and their timing so you will want to get your plan together and check the area you wish to hunt in and the season as well.  There are websites that make it easy to find out which state does what and when like http://www.huntinfo.org/.

How do you go about getting a hunting license?  You will need to fill out paperwork during the time span allotted by the state you wish to hunt in and it will go by what you are hunting for and what you are hunting with.  If you are hunting duck and other migratory birds, you will need to fill out federal paperwork too.  You will also most likely need to take a hunting safety course.  All but one of the fifty states require a course but the states vary as far as the ages they allow one to attend the course.  Some only offer them for adults while others let children as young as twelve years of age join.

If you are hunting large game, you will only be able to kill a certain amount, one per tag that you are issued.  Oftentimes the licenses are given out by a lottery system for big game or for extended seasons such as for deer.  Some states only allow tag hunting and others use it along with regular licensing.

Another thing that varies is the cost.  Most states charge additional fees to those from other states.  How the states spend the monies differs too.

The best way to go about your next hunting trip is to plan early.  Check out magazines, hunting shows, online sites and of course, listen to your hunting buddies’ stories.  Chose what you want to hunt and where.  Then, write for information from that state in regard to the particular game or look it up online.  You can have the information ready so you can fill out the forms right away when they become available.  You will also want to be sure you have saved up and have the funds to pay for it because it will be due upon request of the license.

Another thing to be thinking about is where you are going to lodge or if you are going to camp.  You will want to make reservations, if needed, when you get your license and not wait to the last minute as you might find yourself with a hunting license but no place to stay.  Along with checking online, you can also look in local papers for spots that may not be nationally advertised.  If you know someone in the area you plan to hunt in, ask for behind the scenes information…it is priceless.

Having a plan and being in the know is imperative for a good hunting experience and that begins with the license itself.  When you know what to expect and when to apply, you have got a handle on a good start.  Now for the fun part, you can get down to the hunt.

Extreme Camping: Living Life on the Edge

Hunting & Fishing

Camping is a great way to get away from it all and relax…but for those of us who like to live life on the edge, relaxing is the last thing we want to do on vacation.  We are not only into living life on the edge but we want to jump off too.  Forget roasting marshmallows by the campfire, we want extreme camping.

If you’re up for an adrenaline pumping high time, try adventure camping in the mountains.  There’s always lots to do like hiking, rock climbing, rafting and dodging snakes and bears.  Some of the most rugged and highest mountains you will find in the United States are the Rockies.

With elevations reaching over 14,000 feet, the Rocky Mountains extend from New Mexico through the southwest all the way up into British Columbia.  Even in the summertime, the weather itself can be extreme with snow and freezing temperatures.  When the snow melts, the rivers swell and rush often causing flooding and dangerous currents.  It is advised to do your homework on the weather because you will need to be prepared.  Between avalanches, bolstering currents and freezing temperatures, many a man has lost his life in this rough terrain.

You can go it alone or, you can enlist the guidance of a professional.  In fact, there are new endurance camping outfitters that can boost your trip by giving you inside information and pointing you in the right direction but don’t worry, they are not going to babysit you.  In fact, quite the contrary.  The programs are designed to challenge even the best but to do so wisely and with knowledge of the terrain, weather and the sport.

One such outfitter is in Estes Park, Colorado that offers extreme cliff camping.  It is exclusively available through Kent Mountain Adventure Centre.  There you can hike up a 50-metre vertical ascent to pitch your tent on the edge, literally, with the wind and the bears.

Not only will you want to take appropriate clothing wherever you do your extreme camping, you will want to take a tent and sleeping bag that is made for the weather and terrain you will be in.  Also, emergency gear is in order to bring as well.  Of course you will want to also pack whatever entertainment you want like rock climbing gear, snowshoes or maybe even fly fishing equipment.

California’s Yosemite National Park is another fun spot to go for extreme mountain camping.  There are some really great places to hike and awesome rocks to climb not to mention fantastic fishing too.  You can find organized teams to go along with so that you don’t get into trouble, like the one Good Morning America joined, the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute.

Extreme Camping in the mountains is both adventurous and dangerous.  Maybe that’s what us thrill seekers like best about it.  Why do we do it?  Perhaps that was best answered by three time Primal Quest competitor, Kimberly Dunkin.  When asked why she puts herself through torture and takes such risks and even calls it fun she simply answers, “Because I can.”

Words of wisdom to my fellow extreme mountain campers, “Why just go to the edge when you can camp out there?  Be wise, my friends and…enjoy!”