Why Should I Take My Kids Fishing?

Goodness, let me count the reasons!

Fishing together builds new ways of relating between parents and children!

People Only Save What They Value

If we don’t teach our children to care about nature, they won’t protect it!   There’s a lot of truth to the song,

“Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” *

Get a Future Fishing Partner 

Folks who take the time to train kids to enjoy the pleasures of fishing earn life-long fishing companions.  This isn’t a very shabby outcome, believe me!

My father had the right intentions, but he used lousy techniques.  He killed the joy of fishing by lining us up on a pier and droning on for more than an hour about the dangers of fishing.

When we made a mistake, we weren’t allowed to forget it.  My father never could understand why we were unwilling fishing partners!

It’s an Opportunity to Relate Differently

While out fishing, you may learn new things about your kids — the way they look at things, what worries them, etc.

When we took our kids fishing, they surprised us by talking about their lives away from us (school), their likes and dislikes … and a thousand other things.

There’s something about being in a natural environment that brings out soulful discussions.

Keep the Preaching to a Minimum 

There is something very satisfying about seeing a child’s face light up when they catch their first fish — even if it is a tiny perch!

A successful fishing trip is actually a juggling act! The trick is to teach youngsters the safety they need to know while engaging them in the fun of fishing.

This isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds!  Most of us are so used to talking to our kids as … well, kids … that we forget that they will eventually be adults.  This is a great time to practice talking to them as adults.  Kids hear the difference and appreciate the change!

Getting Started

After teaching kids how to bait their hook and cast, talk about the effects of weather and winds on fishing.  Show what you know … your kids can learn a few things about you, too!

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*  From the song, Big Yellow Taxi, by Joni Mitchell

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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Published in: on June 17, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments Off on Why Should I Take My Kids Fishing?  
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A Few FishingTips on Catch-and-Release

Catch-and-Release programs have been around for years.  The idea behind it is that we be mindful of the limits of our resources.  Keep the fish you can eat and return the rest to the wild.

Catch-&-Release requires some preparation. Here are some tips!

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What Dry Hands You Have!

Think about the slimy feel of a fish, fresh from the water.  That membrane on the fish’s body protects his skin from infection and disease.

If you handle the fish with dry hands, you can send the fish into shock because of the reaction between the germs on your hands and the fish’s skin.

“When even a small portion of the slime coating is removed, the fish will bleed electrolytes from its body into the surrounding water.” *

Have You Fixed Your Hook?

As I mentioned in a previous article (How Sharp is Your Fishing Hook?), bend down the barb on your fish hooks.                        

Planning on catch-and-release? It is important to use pliers to mash down the barb. That part of the hook is what keeps your fish from sneaking away.

This process makes the hook kinder to the fish … and it is easier to unhook the fish and put it back in the water.

Another option is to use barbless hooks.  Check it out at your sporting goods store.

3 More Tips

  • Return the fish to water as quickly as possible.
  • Don’t toss the fish back.  The fish is already disoriented enough without the shock of hitting the water without warning.
  • Release the fish gently by hand.   Place the fish in the water facing upstream, holding it under water.  It will move out of your grasp as soon as he is able.

Catch-and-Release is becoming a more popular option all the time.  With a little advance planning, you can become a master at the technique!

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* from “The Slime Coat is one of the Fish’s Main Defenses Against Infection and Disease,” on the website Fish Slime Coat

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‘The Prize’ is used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Graphics

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com
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Published in: on June 13, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments Off on A Few FishingTips on Catch-and-Release  
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How Tides and the Moon Affect Fishing

Have You Thought About …?

Fish are cold-blooded  and don’t need energy from food to keep their body temperature at a certain level.  In other words, their metabolism is very slow.

A fish can go without food for days or weeks.  If they are not hungry, why do fish try to snag your lure?

Fish bite your bait for more reasons than because your lure looks tempting!

The Effect of Tides on Fish

Tides in estuaries and bays create movement in the bait shrimp and other foods that larger fish eat.  

When the tide goes out, the it drags these bait fish and food from the shallower areas and into deeper waters.  These foods and baits are concentrated in a smaller volume of water, thus offering more food per cubic foot.  Eventually, fish take notice and respond by chasing all this free-floating food.

Many anglers prefer the incoming tide because this bounty of water pulls food  from their burrowing spots.  Again, predator fish take notice and start looking for a tasty morsel.

The Moon and Tides

The moon and sun create the wave action we call tides.  The phase of the moon has an interesting connection to tidal action.

Spring Tides – have nothing to do with the season of spring.  They occur every 28 days during the full moon.  At this time, tides are at their highest.

Neap Tides – occur during the dark of the moon and have the lowest tidal action.

Is the Best Fishing During a Full Moon?

It seems logical, doesn’t it?  Well, very little is logical with fishing  (you knew that already, right?).

Full moons don’t occur in a vacuum; there other parts to the weather scene.  When a full moon rolls around, you also seem to see that bad weather and a falling barometer have joined the group.  Things can be dicey.

More info about   this important factor:   Barometric Pressure and Fishing.  Click on the words.

Barometer Readings

  • Slowly Rising Barometer = improving or good weather and good fishing.
  • Steady Barometer Reading Over Several Days =  poor fishing
  • Low Barometric Pressure = poor fishing
  • Barometric Pressure is Falling Rapidly = watch fishing shows on TV instead!

What does all this mean?  You will find some of the best fishing when the barometric pressure is rising.  At times, the pressure starts to rise during rain.  Overcast, rainy days are often some of the best times to fish!

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‘Easy Pickings’ used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics

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  This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on June 9, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments Off on How Tides and the Moon Affect Fishing  
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How Noise Affects Fishing!

Yesterday, the subject was:  Things You Need to Know to Catch Fish!  Today, let’s take a look at noise and fishing.  Fish respond to noises in surprising ways!

A Quirk of Fishing That Works

Experienced anglers sometimes “stone a pool” while fishing.  It seems that tossing a few pebbles into a stream with salmon can get them interested in looking for lunch!

Fresh water anglers sometimes try this same trick and attract panfish and perch.  If fish aren’t cooperating, toss a  few rocks and see what happens!

Even those with great knowledge of the habits of fish say that they learn new things all the time!

Sonic Lures 

Anglers of the bass persuasion like to use sonic lures; they attract bass by their popping  noise.

Often, the bass will strike at the sound, even when they cannot see the lure.  Champion bass anglers warn that it has to be the “right” sound.  Maybe that is why I haven’t joined their ranks yet.

Other Tips from Champion Anglers

Over the years, I’ve figured out that there is a difference between tournament winners and the rest of us.  They sometimes do strange things to muffle their noises while fishing.

For example, some experts have carpeting in the floor of their boats – to cut noise.  Other tournament winners swear by replacing nylon bearings in their oarlocks.

Still others are very careful about their personal noise; they would never consider dragging their tackle box across the bottom of their boat or tapping against the edge of their boat.

Good News About the Fish’s Sense of Taste 

Generally, fish don’t have a great sense of taste.  Thus, if it looks like a yummy piece of chum and it smells like it … when it enters their mouths, they can’t tell if it is the real thing.

Frightening Fish 

Fish are a nervous group, and they don’t handle fear very well.  They are particularly anxious about fast-moving, dark shadows.  If it looks too much like a predator moving in for a quick snack, most fish will vacate the neighborhood  in a hurry!

Fish in shallow waters, such as trout, are so nervous about dark shadows, the shadow of your rod can frighten the critters away!   Be careful of your shadow while fishing on shore.

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Come Again:  More Fishing Tips … Soon

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‘About to Strike’ used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Rear Window Graphics

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on June 7, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments (2)  
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Things You Need to Know to Catch Fish!

Catching fish requires some knowledge — of fish and their habitat.  The more you know, the more fish you will haul home!

In no particular order, these are some of the facts great anglers say are important!

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Getting a Lot of Fish Action Requires You to Know Some Fishing Basics!

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The Senses of Fish

No doubt about it, fish can see, hear and smell.  If you can see the fish, they can see you!  This is no time to wear your hot pink polka dot shirt; mustard, blue and beige are better color choices.

Fish may not hear soft talking, but they do feel the vibrations of a boat motor.  Folks who insist on shouting to others — are alerting the fish, as well as their friends.

Fish are a lot like bloodhounds — they follow the scent of a favored food until they find it.  That is why tossing chum into the water is so effective; fish rush to the stinky fare.

Remember, odors carry better over water than on land!  Thus, smoking or handling kerosene, oil or gasoline is a dead give-away to fish.

Also, be careful with suntan lotion or insect repellent — remove the odors of these items from your hands before casting.

What Fish Like

Have you ever wondered why there are so many colors of plastic worms and lures?  Fish like colors and motion — however, they must seem natural.

On bright days, leave the chrome and nickel lures in your box.  You want to dazzle the fish; but fish are frightened when the light is too bright.

On bright days, it is better to stay with black, copper or brass colored lures.

Fishing in turbid (muddy) waters?  Yellow just might be the best color for the situation.

Fog lights are yellow because they are easier to see (than white) in murky, foggy or dark conditions.  This holds true for fish; they come toward lures they can see in darker waters.

An attractive, noticeable color is nice, but realistic action is what brings the fish in for a bite.

In fresh water, fish like slower moving lures; while saltwater lures need to move rapidly to catch a fish’s eye!

Come Back Tomorrow:  More Things You Need to Know to Catch Fish!

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‘Surface Strike’ used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Graphics

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

How Sharp is Your Fishing Hook?

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Fishing Hooks Get Dull Quickly -- from Scraping Against Rocks, Dragging Along the Bottom of the Waterway, Etc.

In a phrase:  Probably not sharp enough!

When You Open a New Box of Hooks

When I was a kid, a new box of hooks meant something:  every shiny hook was razor-sharp and ready to go!   I don’t find that necessarily true today.

I’ve even had a sales clerk tell me (with a straight face) that the new hook “is ready for you to apply the sharpness you want for your situation.”  (This is fancy double-talk for:  Here are the hooks, you make them usable.)

Whatever ….

Into catch-and-release? It is important to use pliers to mash down the barb. That part of the hook is what keeps your fish from sneaking away.

If your hook is dull, you are going to lose fish. Also, it’s easy to drag your hook over a rock and grind away the edge.

Look at this photo. Although it is hard to see, there is an area between the point and the barb that should be beveled. Also, the point AND barb should be sharp.

Fortunately there is a way to correct this problem. Most sporting goods stores sell a hook sharpener.

I found a site with instructions and photos. Go to http://fishing.about.com/od/basicfishinginstruction/ss/Sharpen_Hooks.htm for info on sharpening hooks.

It seems that any quality file will work — the author (above) even suggests taking an emery board fishing for emergency repairs.

Hook Tips

Expect to sharpen all hooks, even new ones.

Vary the coarseness of the grit for different hooks:

  •  coarse grit for large trebles,
  • medium grit for average-sized hooks and
  • small hooks need a finer grit.

Expect to change your hooks often.  With use, hooks get brittle and fail just when you need them to snag and keep the fish.

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‘The Prize’ used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Graphics

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Saturday:  Another Joke

Sunday:  Come See a Variety of Army Graphics!

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Upcoming Attractions: When Humans Try to Domesticate the Javelina

Plus

Hunting Javelina and Wild Hogs

This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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A Different Spin on Fishing — Via Kayak!

As a member of LinkReferral, I have the opportunity to read about and review a variety of  websites and blogs.

Today, I found an interesting one that I’d like to mention to my readers:   Learn About Kayak Fishing,  Fishing Kayaks, Kayak Accessories & Gear

It’s pretty easy to figure out what they are all about!

A Kayaker Riding the Rapids

Why This Kayak Fishing Site? 

In a phrase, I like their style!  

My husband and I don’t watch TV  … so every once in a while, we miss a fun commercial.    If you scroll down to:  “Does Your Girlfriend Like Fishing,” you can get a laugh too. 

Site of Practical Info 

If you’ve ever thought about a kayak, but didn’t know what to ask, here’s a site with buyer’s info.  One example:  “Select your Kayak by the Places You Fish.”

A Look at Their Fave Blogs

Near the bottom, I took a look at their favorite blogs and websites.  I’ve lived in this area for 40+ years and did not know about:   Texas City Dike Fishing

I know about the Texas City Dike (having fished and launched from the site for years), but didn’t know there was a place to keep up on the things going on there.

You never know what is available on the web!

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Next Time: Hold Your Nose, We’ll be Learning about Javelinas

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments Off on A Different Spin on Fishing — Via Kayak!  
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Learning to Fish in Saltwater

Because we live near Galveston, TX, we learned to fish in salt water before we experienced fresh water fishing.  In fact, I remember my first experience in fresh water was pretty boring.

Recalling a Peggy Lee song, I sighed, “Is that All There Is?

Dipping Your Line in the Ocean 

Eventually, I did learn to enjoy the charm of the slower pace of fishing in fresh water … but

Going to Battle with the Fishes off a Jetty!

that’s another story!

Today, let’s talk about putting your line out in the bay or ocean.

Fishing with a Bobber

If you already fish for crappie and catfish, you are familiar with using a bobber, weight and hook to fish in fresh water.

In saltwater, just about everything you use is larger.  Instead of a bobber, you use a popping cork.  The easiest way to get started is to buy a popping cork assembly:  leader, weight with snap swivel.  The only things you will need to add are hook and bait.

With this set-up, you are ready to catch reds and trout.  Attach to your #6 or #8 treble hooks either live shrimp or small fish, in such a way as to keep the bait alive.

Setting the Hook  

As the angler, smoothly cast your line out on the water.  As soon as the cork lands, take up slack in the line and wait a few seconds.  As you give the line a quick jerk, the cork pops against the water.

Continue this process every couple of minutes until either you have pulled your line in (to check the status of your bait) or until the cork disappears under the water.

When the cork goes under, give a sharp jerk to the line:  this is ‘setting the hook.’  Immediately start reeling in your line.

Lots of folks think that once the fish is hooked, they have only to haul in their catch.  Because fish are often larger in bays and the ocean, bringing in a catch can take from a few seconds to hours.

Things can happen between the time the fish sets the hook and the time he is hauled out of the water.

Practice will help you avoid the pitfalls of last-minute losses (the fish wasn’t fully hooked & he got away; you pulled too hard and didn’t let him wear himself out before pulling him in & he broke the line; you didn’t have a net to bring the fish out of the water and he jumped away, etc.)

Next time:  Let’s talk about fishing for bottom feeding fish

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‘Ocean Angler’ used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Graphics

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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Published in: on May 13, 2011 at 8:25 am  Comments Off on Learning to Fish in Saltwater  
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Do You Know? Quick Outdoor Water Safety Tip

You are hiking in an unfamiliar area and are running low on water.  You find a meandering stream of water.

You put some sand and charcoal in a sock and allow the river water to seep through the sock — to remove the impurities.

Is it safe to drink now?

Assume all the Water You Find in the Outdoors is Contaminated

 

No.  It must be boiled — or chemically treated.

How long should it boil before you know the water is safe to drink?

Clean Water = Life!

Suspect water must be boiled or chemically treated.

The rule of thumb is:

Boil water for 1 minute plus 1 minute for each 1000 feet over sea level.

 

Thus, if you are 2000 ft. above sea level, you must boil the water for a total of 3 minutes: 1 minute for sea level and 1 minute for each 1000 ft. above sea level!

This is the absolute minimum.

 

If you have the fuel, boil longer.

This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

More than 1050 Rear Window Graphics in 28 Categories!

 

Published in: on March 7, 2011 at 12:05 am  Comments Off on Do You Know? Quick Outdoor Water Safety Tip  
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Take a Look at Snook Fishing Action!

Looking for some fierce action on the end of your fishing line?  Look to snook!

Snook are also known as Sergeant Fish or Robalo and hang out in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Snook Looks & Habitat

Snook are almost colorless, often with yellow fins and a black lateral line (along its back).  Long and lean, they resemble the northern pike.

Trolling for food in the western Atlantic Ocean, from South Carolina to Texas, snook like to stay in waters that are less than 70 feet deep.  Some of the largest snook have been caught off of the Florida coast (44 lbs.).

Water Salinity & Temperature

Although considered a warm saltwater specimen, snook easily transfer into fresh water; they prefer lagoons and estuaries.

The amount of salt in water is not a problem for the sergeant fish, but they are very sensitive to water temperature.

These fish only appear in warm waters … if water dips below 60 degrees (Fahrenheit), their systems go into shock and then they die.

Fishing for Snook

If water turns cold, look for the snook near power plant water discharge areas.   Otherwise, they like to hide in underground structures (rock piles, reefs, etc.), waiting for smaller fish to cross their path.

Mullet is a good bait fish; however, snook have a decided preference for live shrimp.  Only use enough weight (sinker or split-shot) on your line to get the bait to the bottom.

If you want to use a jig or lure, some favorites are:   some Mirrolures or the Red Tailed Hawk jig.

Biologists tell us that the snook are most active feeding from an hour before high tide through the first 3 hours of the falling tide.

Snook Spawning

Between April and October,  snook tend to spawn in the inlets and passes near open waters.

After a few weeks of life, the young robalo move into nearby estuaries – where they stay for the rest of their lives.  They do not roam over as large a territory as other fish.

Freshwater anglers sometimes report catching snook when they are fishing for largemouth bass.

The Snook’s Reputation

Most robalo are caught in the summer months.  They are a popular game fish for two reasons:  they are fierce fighters and they are taste great!

Once you set the hook in your snook, the race is on!   They don’t come in quietly, but put up a great fight.

Getting a snook to take your bait is just the first step.  It requires strength and patience to haul in a snook.

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‘Snookered’ used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Graphics

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

 

 

Published in: on March 1, 2011 at 12:52 am  Comments Off on Take a Look at Snook Fishing Action!  
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