Just a quick hitting entry on something I just learned today. Any big-time bass fisherman right now (and I would bet a large sum of money that you old-timers knew about this long before 2012) has to have heard about the Alabama Rig and the magic it is working when you can find where the bait fish are. Well as you might have read on other blogs and news stories, B.A.S.S. has now effectively banned the use of this rig in all of its Bassmaster Elite competitions (and only the Elite Series) via a "one-lure" rule. To read more about it, check out the Bassmaster website. So what do you think, is this the right thing to do from a sportsmanship standpoint?
With my hotel room in Pikeville, KY being my studio and the Go Pro being my camera, I finally got around to making the last video for this series on scent control. During the previous 2 parts I talked about what I do to eliminate my body scent and keeping my clothes and equipment scent-free. In this final part, I talk about some of the things I pay attention to when it comes to hitting the woods to actually hunt. I apologize in advance for the bad camera work (held it in my hand the whole time and didn't pay enough attention to where it was pointing) as well as the less-than-stellar audio from the Go Pro's mic, but hopefully everyone enjoys it and sees some new ways of looking at things.
Even a cramped storage closet and bad lighting couldn't stop me from getting the second part of my scent control video blog series out to you guys. I pretty much covered everything I do when it comes to clothing and equipment and hope that it gives some new ideas and tips to everyone. Watch it and leave a comment, you know you want to!
As hunters, one of the most important things we have to take into account is our scent. Whether it is just making sure to only hunt certain stands in a certain wind or getting very in-depth in eliminating your scent like me, we all have our ways of making sure our quarry can't smell us (or smell us as good as they could). What was originally going to be one article has transformed into a 3-part video blog series, mainly thanks to me accidentally hitting the back button while typing it up and losing all my hard work. First up is my take on fighting body odor and I have a few things I need to point out. One, I touch on wearing sweat wicking clothing in it, but I'll be going more in depth into that segment of my scent control regiment in the next part of this series. Second, what I forgot to say is that I use the unscented wash to have no outside scent at all and that, before a hunt, the soap I'll use is the bacteria and scent killing ones you see at your local hunting stores; just wanted to clarify that for any of you that might not know what I was talking about or understood why I do the things I spoke about. So give it a watch and be on the lookout for the other ones in the coming weeks.
With archery seasons (and gun in the lowcountry of SC) for whitetails, mulies and elk starting up in August and September across much of the country, I thought I'd start a multifaceted topic about some of the techniques the Inside Out team uses when it comes to scouting, particular when it comes to Odocoileus virginianus. Each post will be short and sweet, trying to hit the core of each particular "practice" and if you the readers want more in-depth information or a detailed look at a certain thing we do, just leave us a comment so we can give you what you want. With all that being said, let's dive right into what I think is a key principle to our whole process when it comes to scouting for any hunting season really: When and where.
While some people focus on just pre-season scouting or putting miles on their boots after the season is out, we look at it as a year round affair. We are looking for last season's rubs and just new areas (along with our regular spots) that look like good deer territory while small game hunting in January and February. Then comes the weeks leading up to and the entire turkey season, during which we continue to check out both old and new areas, looking for last year's sign while chasing a wiry ol' Tom; maybe even stumbling upon a shed antler or two. Then comes what I think is the "fun" part: Summer. We are out there in the heat of June, July and early August checking out creek crossings, trails, fields (where applicable), hardwood ridges, etc. getting an idea of the deer activity in those areas. We look for any changes to habitat, become acquainted with the terrain in new spots and pick out, as well as set up, potential stand sites. Then we like to give all the areas we have been in a month long break before the season starts, hopefully allowing mother nature to get back into her normal, non-human interfering routine and to wash away any of our residual scent. Then it's time to hit the woods in our camo, weapon in hand, to try and put some meat or a trophy on the ground. With that comes scouting while walking to and from stand sites or during midday hours when we have to get our legs moving. And it's not just wood scouting that occurs during the season. We'll change tactics not only based on what we are seeing while in stand or walking around, but also on what we are seeing while driving or what is being heard throughout the hunting community.
It's a full-court press on understanding our quarry that leads us to take this approach and I have to say that it works. These practices have lead to more deer encounters during the season and my two largest bucks on the wall have come directly from in-season scouting the day of or day before they were harvested. So if you take anything from all this, remember that scouting shouldn't be just a one time thing, and definitely not just in one place. Get out there and explore year round, the results might just surprise you!
During my past weekend's surf fishing trip, we did not have much success. The fish were just not biting very well. We did catch one blue fish that was of average size and quite tasty! I'd like to dedicate this post to explaining the rig that we use.
One of the most common surf fishing rigs is the Double Drop Rig (DD for the sake of simplicity in this post). The DD rig is quite simple, there are three snap swivels, two of which are for hooks and the last being for a sinker. These DD rigs can be found at Bass Pro shops here. They are available in wire or mono configurations. I've usually found it is good to use the wire as it gives you some added strength against many of the toothy saltwater fish that you are likely to catch while surf fishing.
The tackle that you need for the rig are some 2/0 hooks and a 5oz pyramid sinker that works in almost all situations. Wow, that is a huge sinker! I've experimented with smaller and this size seems to give you the best cast-ability as well as staying in place in moderate currents and waves. For extremely wavy conditions or when currents are unusually strong you can try one of these break away sinkers.
I usually use cut mullet when rigging these DD rigs. Any of these products can be found at your local beach fishing retailer. Wal-Mart and Bass Pro in Myrtle Beach always have everything I need. Depending on the location, sometimes your local family owned tackle shop will have the gear you need; however, it has been my experiences that they are sometimes a bit more pricey. On the flip-side, they are usually more conveniently located to your fishing spots.
Also, your local tackle shop will probably have a few tips for you when surf fishing. Ask the clerk if they have heard what folks are catching. Usually if the blue fish are running everyone is catching blue fish and they may have some advice as to the time of day and tide (high vs. low) that the fish are biting the best.
Watch your local weather station to determine when high and low tides are and you can plan your fishing trip around those times to maximize your chances of success.
So I alluded to using hair jigs in my fishing trip recap the other week and never really explained how I have grown up fishing with them. The jig itself is probably one of the most effective fishing lures ever used and can catch anything that swims; it is all about matching your color to the conditions and how you fish it. Today the focus is just on using tiny hair jigs for crappie fishing, so sit back and take a minute to learn one way of putting "slabs" in the frying pan.
Sometimes the great ideas that we have just need something to bring them to the forefront. The Inside Out team will be putting our talents to work and sharing our knowledge and love of the outdoors with anyone who wants to listen.
Curran's Outdoor Adventures
GoBlog (Get Outdoors)
Grants Blog (Growing Deer TV)
Hunt Like Your Hungry
inFOCUS (Campbell Cameras)
inMotion (Heartland Bowhunter)
Make It Happen Outdoors
Taking a Walk on the Wild Side
The Rivah Blog
The Will to Hunt
Wired to Hunt