Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cold, nasty days good for cleaning tackle box; T.J. offers advice

It’s been too cold and weather too rotten for most sensible folks to fish recently, so it is a good time to sit by the fire and reread Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, or yes, clean and organize a tackle box.
Since my Almanac copy has been misplaced, it’s time for the tackle box,, or yes, tackle boxes.
Over the years, I’ve attempted to reduce  tackle and boxes. I used to maintain a Canada box, boat box, small boxes for vehicles, bass box and a general storage and backup box. Now. I’m down to a Florida, an Indiana, a car box, and a general storage box.
So it was with great interest I read my friend T. J. Stalling’s blog about tackle box reduction. T. J. is a 45-year tackle industry veteran. He is a marketing guru and  and “Crazy Ideas” guy at TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group (Home of Road Runner Lures and six hook brands including Tru-Turn, Daiichi, XPoint, Team Catfish, Mr. Crappie and StandOUT Hooks).
Most of us carry tackle we never use, so why carry or haul stuff around we don’t use.
It reminded me of years ago when I golfed in a league with an elderly friend George Kerr. George only carried three golf clubs: a putter, driver and a five iron. He hit the ball straight down the middle He could beat the socks off most younger guys.
Back to T’J’’s blog...
“Imagine the clutter of nearly 50-years of fishing in both salt and fresh waters. You would think there are eight tackle boxes in the boat. That is not the case.
“There are two bags, one for freshwater and one for salt. Total weight may be 25-pounds. A few “collections” reside incased in glass shadow boxes. These will never see water again.
“A list follows.
“Shad Assassins by Bass Assassin top the list. These are one of the most versatile baits ever made. I will change it up to Skippy Fish or Bang’s Vapor Shad too. We rig them with Daiichi CopperHead or Buttdragger Hooks. It is often the first bait we cast at sunrise.
“Creature style baits are next. Lizards crawfish, and frogs really work. Naturally, these being “fat” baits, the Daiichi CopperHead hooks are the winner. Bass of all varieties crush them. Culprit, Bass Assassins and more come to mind. Try these in cover or off deep points on a Carolina rig.
“There are times that nothing but a spinnerbait will do. Strike King’s Bleeding Bait series is an obvious favorite. Choose variations of white and or grey first.
“Road Runner heads a plenty. Selections include; original, barbed, pro-series, glow heads and Randy’s Rollin Runners. They all have a situation that fits.
The small plastics are a surprise. Colors include; white, black, pink, monkey milkshake, orange, and five variations of chartreuse. That adds up to about 10-colors. “The variations of each really add up to about 20. While the color spectrum is totally covered, choosing transparent or opaque is often the first decision. Brands include Southern Pro, Mid-South Tubes, Lake Fork Shads, Bobby Garland, and Bang-shads. Many of these plastics pull double-duty as drop-shot baits.
“Several hard-baits reside in the box. Strike King’s Diamond Shad and a few topwater lures.
“The “hook box” is jammed with everything you need for nearly every technique. You cannot catch fish without them, so the selection is broad.
“That is about it for fresh waters. This is proof enough you do not have to fill the boat with tackle. Just choose wisely.”

Friday, February 7, 2014

Kentucky hunters take 20 bears during expanded December season

Kentucky in a few years has gone from a state where seeing a bear was rare, to its first hunting season, to an expanded season with hunters taking 20 bruins.
The growth of the bear population and the research and management of the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources has made the hunting season possible.
The 2013 bear season that concluded this past December introduced an expanded bear hunting zone as well as an archery and crossbow season.
Both the firearm and archery/crossbow bear seasons received a 10-bear quota for the 2013 seasons for a total of 20 bears. Both quotas were filled.
Hunters can now hunt bears in 16 Kentucky counties, up from four counties in 2012.
“We are very excited that hunters met the 10 bear quota both during the new archery and crossbow season as well as the firearm season,” said Steven Dobey, bear biologist for the KDFWR. “It was gratifying to see our hunters get out there and be productive.”
Hunters harvested eight male and two female bears during the firearms bear season. They took six males and four females during the archery and crossbow bear season. No hunters harvested a bear during the bear quota hunt with dogs that ran for five days in late December after the conclusion of the firearm and archery and crossbow bear seasons.
“We had bears harvested in six counties; three of those were outside the original bear zone,” Dobey explained. 
Letcher County accounted for seven bears harvested, the most of any county in the 16-county bear zone. Hunters took three bears each in Harlan, Leslie and Perry counties and two bears in both Pike and Wayne counties. All bears were taken on private land.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Indiana DNR seeks regulation input

Hoosiers have until the end of February to provide input on proposed regulations, and they also can suggest future regulations.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources  Division of Fish & Wildlife wants to hear ideas on fishing, hunting,  trapping and other fish and wildlife related regulations in Indiana, including special permits/
  Until Feb. 28, the public can use a convenient online form to contribute ideas and provide input on issues the DNR has identified for consideration, according to information provided by the DNR.
  The form is at, at the “Got INput?” box near the middle of the page.
  “Got INput?” allows the public to comment on ideas put forward by the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife as well as requests for rule changes from citizen petitions.
  The program also allows members of the public to propose their own ideas on any fishing, hunting or trapping topic.
  “This is an opportunity for people to let us know what changes they would like us to consider,” said Gregg McCollam, assistant director of the Division of Fish & Wildlife. “This process also allows us to get much-needed feedback on issues that the division is in interested in moving forward.”

Monday, February 3, 2014

Jim Mansfield kept detailed records of his more than 100,000 panfish catches

Pat McDaniel down at Orlando, Fl, recently documented the catching of his 200,000th fish. It was a black crappie taken while fishing out of Lake Fairview Marina.
According to a story in the Orlando Sentinel, McDaniel meticulously keeps records of all his fish, plus the amount of time he fishes. He spent 558,640 minutes pursuing those 200,000 fish.
McDaniel credits his wife, Carole with his latest angling milestone. He made no mention of what Carole thinks about the time he spends fishing, but it must be OK with her. They remain married.
The McDaniel story brings to mind Jim Mansfield, who was probably the best pan fisherman I have ever known. He also was a detailed record keep; maybe even more than the Florida angler.
Jim grew up in Southern Indiana where he played basketball as a teen at Otwell High School. At about six-foot-four, he was one of the tallest centers back in those days He also spent much of his free time fishing.
Jim, who later operated an interesting  combination store in Tell City, IN, just a few blocks from the Ohio River. The store was half bait and tackle shop, and half music store. His wife, Catherine also was a key part of his fishing. She and his son often staffed the store while Jim headed out fishing, usually to Patoka Lake.
Over the years before he passed away in 2004, Jim documented well over 100,000 pan fish, primarily crappie and bluegill. I can’t recall the numbers, but he might have been closer to 200,000 than 100,000.
Not only did he keep track of each fish, he recorded the water temperature on the trip, the weather, date, time and bait used. Think he also recorded the trip in relationship with the moon. He was a believer in increased fish activity just before and after a full moon, and just before a strong front moves through.
At one point, Jim wanted me to help him with a book utilizing his pan fish data. However, I knew I was too lazy to complete such a detailed project.
I’m confident most people can fish better than me. Besides just not being very good, I spend far too much time jotting down notes and wrestling my camera when I’m supposed to be fishing. But, fishing with Jim was fun, informative and frustrating.
Jim would land 10 fish to my one. He could detect the slightest movement of a bobber as being caused by a fish. I’d never even see or feel such a bite.
Over the years, Jim developed several combination long rods and reels for catching pan fish, and especially for crappie. I’m fortunate to still have one today. Although it has a broken tip, It still catches crappie for the old outdoor writer. It serves to recall memories of a great fisherman and good friend.