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Fishing for Tech Support – Using Modern Gadgets to Make Your Catch

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The great thing about fishing is that it’s a pretty simple pastime. If you have a rod and a stool, then you’re set. However, this is the 21st Century and taking advantage of the technology available is highly recommended.

 

Fishing Rods of the future

 

One of the best things about tech today are the many materials that things can be made of. The fishing rod has to deal with a lot of punishment, so it’s great to have one that’s built to withstand the rigour.

Sage understand this, which is why it designed its rods to be at the height of fishing technology. Its molding processes allow for a rod that is made from a carbon fibre material.

So, it’s lighter and stronger, but most experienced fishermen will know this. What’s interesting is the rods’ trademarked ‘Konnetic’ technology, which allows a fisher to set the hook much faster and land the fish with less effort.

This is the sort of technology that will probably see widespread use in a few years, which will in turn make it more affordable.

sage

Another use of technology to enhance the fishing experience is through the use of magnets. You can now use magnetic devices that hold your rod in place whilst you change a fly or even release the fish you just caught. It allows both hands to remain free while keeping the rod in place. It’s not fancy, but strangely remains a modern piece of kit to consider.

One of the most frustrating things about night fishing is the ability to juggle light sources.

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The 21st Century has it covered. You can now buy headgear that performs multiple functions, and which really aids in catching fish at times when the human eye just can’t cut it.

For example, there’s a piece of kit that provides low power lighting for most fishing tasks (like preventing bank disturbances). Sounds like plenty of other lights, right? Well, this one can also kick to high power, along with having a focus control for flood lighting. It also has a powerful spot beam for checking the angle of your lines.

Going one better, there’s also the option for night vision lighting.

 

It’s small tools like these that can enhance your catch ability, and there’s no reason why they can’t meld with your more traditional techniques to provided a well-rounded and enjoyable fishing experience.

This guest post was written by Halit Bozdogan on behalf of Ocean Tackle Store , a UK fishing business specializing in fishing tackle gear.

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Fishing alone?

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Over the past few years, kayak fishing has for the most part been a very social activity for me. I enjoy spending time out on the water with friends and family. Also, kayak fishing with others adds to the safety of any outing, especially during cold water conditions or on a river. There was a time a time when I would hesitate even going out at all by myself.

Kayak fishing is a social activity for me and it's always great to have someone around to help take a photo of your catch.

Growing up, I remember that bass fishing was usually a solitary affair for my father. He would make his way out to a remote spot and haul out some big ones. There’s no denying my growing observation that when I go fishing out fishing on my own, on average I tend to catch more and bigger fish.

Whether this is due to my being entirely focused on the task at hand instead of chatting about sports or current events, or because fish are more easily spooked by the commotion of multiple kayak anglers, I’m uncertain. No matter, I get more out of kayak fishing than just catching fish.

Kayak fishing alone has led to increased success, both in numbers and in size.

I will continue to fish with others every chance that I get. I enjoy sharing the sport of kayak fishing – both with those new to the sport to teach them and also with those more experienced for the knowledge that I gain. A few missed fish is worth the pleasure of good company. However, I now look forward to those times I fish alone for the promise of great catches!

Capsurz® cap retainer is a valuable part of my kayak fishing equipment.  I wear it on the bill of my cap as an unobtrusive adornment that I can quickly pull down to comforably secure my cap during high wind conditions.

Fishing Product Review| Capsurz Cap Retainer

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Last Friday evening held the threat of local thunderstorms. However, the calm, warm, and rain-free afternoon leading up to it offered tempting relief to the exceptionally cold, windy, and record wet Spring we’ve had this year in Western New York. I quickly made my way to my favorite Finger Lake and the water was still in the only slightly perceptible gentle westerly breeze.

Everything about the way the water looked and the feel to the air told me I would catch a good fish as I paddled a half mile across the 90 ft deep lake where the previous weekend I had caught some very nice smallmouth bass. As soon as my had touched the cork handle of my jigging rod, it was as if someone had turned on an enormous fan as I was hit in the face with a sustained straight-line +20 mph wind coming from the south east.

Kayak fishing and paddling in these conditions is challenging enough while keeping in a good position to cast as you are drifting in the wind, but trying to keep my cap – a vital piece of warm gear in the much cooler conditions – would make the task near impossible.

Capsurz® cap retainer is a valuable part of my kayak fishing equipment. I wear it on the bill of my cap as an unobtrusive adornment that I can quickly pull down to comforably secure my cap during high winds.

I instinctively reached to the bill of my cap and within seconds – thanks to Capsurz, I had one less thing to worry about in my increasingly concerning predicament as ominous clouds moved over and the sound of distant thunder became not-so-distant. I have worn a Capsurz cap retainer every day on the water, and off, since last December. You might have read recent articles where I’ve mentioned this product before, but it’s time to give it a proper review.

It is rare that you find a product that does exactly what it says it will do. Capsurz cap retainer is just that. Capsurz cap retainer is advertised as a conveniently handy and comfortable accessory cord that will keep your cap on your head in winds up to 75 mph. It also comes in several styles – mine has a dry fly for an accent.

I have worn Capsurz in extremely windy conditions while ice fishing, kayak fishing, and hiking. I have tested it out in winds up to 60 mph. When needed, it took only seconds to pull down around my chin, is very comfortable, and it has never once failed. It has adorned the brim of several of my caps over the past few months as a stylish accent or largely unnoticed while not in use. At $5 including shipping, the Capsurz cap retainer is a bargain and now a permanent part of my must-have assortment of kayak fishing gear.

CAPSURZ® helped to make recent fishing trips in poor weather conditions successful ones.

As for my fishing trip last Friday the 13th, the rain came and I had to take cover under the protection of some trees overhanging the water and became thoroughly drenched, but my cap, secured by Capsurz, kept my head warm and my eyeglasses dry under its brim. The wind soon subsided and the torrent turned to gentle rain. My effort and discomfort was rewarded while trolling back to the boat launch when I caught my personal best Lake Trout…

Kayaks in the snow

How To Winterize Your Fishing Kayak

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For those of us living in temperate northern climates, fishing kayaks should be given special consideration when storing them for the winter.  In particular, sit on top kayaks have features that might make them more susceptible to damage from freezing.  Here are some tips and things to consider when you are winterizing your fishing kayak.

Kayaks in the snow

My desire to fish right up to the arrival of Old Man Winter led to my sit on top fishing kayak getting caught out in a rain that quickly turned to snow. Luckily the next day there was a brief thaw that allowed me to get my kayak properly prepared and stored away and ready for its cold season slumber.

Kayaks are waterproof, so people tend to think that they can take whatever mother nature dishes out while they are stored outdoors.  Not so.  Freezing temps makes plastic very brittle and any water collected in tight spaces will freeze and could actually cause cracks.

Sit on top kayaks, particularly those set up for kayak fishing, are much more susceptible to damage from freezing because there are extra spaces and compartments in which water can collect and freeze, and often additional equipment and features that can also be damaged.

Ideally, you should store your kayaks someplace indoors in a drier and warmer location like a shed, basement or garage.  Not everybody has the ability to do this, so here are some steps you can take to protect your kayaks when stored outside for the winter.

-Remove all fishing equipment and electronics.  The constant cooling and warming early and late winter combined with moisture in the air can wreak havoc on metal parts and electronics that are susceptible to corrosion.

-Never leave batteries stored uncharged for long periods of time in freezing weather.

-If possible, remove transducer cables prior to cold weather because wire insulation can become brittle and crack when moved around.  Also, rodents like to chew on wiring.

-Store your kayak up on an elevated  rack or flat surface.  Even when cold, your kayak can still deform if left long-term stored on an uneven surface.  I’ve known friends who have stored their kayaks on the ground only to discover that their kayak had been sitting in a block of ice or had become the home for some rodent or other animal.

-Store your kayak upside-down goes for sit on top kayaks too.  You might think that water would run right out through the scuppers, but what happens more often than not (see photo above…) is that snow collects in the wells, then freezes and blocks the scuppers preventing water from draining out.  Also, flush mount rod holders can fill up with water, freeze, and crack the plastic.

-I recommend removing the scupper plugs from sit on tops even when they are stored upside down for the winter.  With they plugs in, it makes a nice collecting area for water which can freeze, expand, and cause cracks.

-Be careful moving kayaks and opening hatches in freezing weather.  Plastic becomes much more brittle and can snap much easier.  Even the slightest amount of water condensing and freezing around hatch seals can cause problems.  I once learned the hard way when I unthinkingly forced open a hatch late winter when it was still freezing temps and tore a foam-rubber seal.

-Remove all fabric and padding from your kayak such as seats, PFDs, and cushions and store them indoors.  Rodents love to chew on cloth and foam padding and use them for building nests.

-If you take the above precautions, you may not really need to cover your kayak with a waterproof, but it might be something to consider if you live in a place where their is still plenty of sunshine during the winter, in which case you might want to cover your kayak to prevent damage from ultra-violet radiation. I’m not a big fan of putting covers on my kayaks because I’ve found that they can cause as much damage as you are trying to prevent when they collapse under the weight of water or cause abrasions due to flapping in the wind.  Other alternatives might be to store your kayak in a shaded area or to apply a UV protection product such as spray-on 303 Protectant.  Because I know live in an area with fewer sunny days that Seattle Washington, I have not used this product, but friends who kayak fish in sunnier climates say it works great and gives your stuff protection from solar radiation at SPF 40.

Just as when quarry workers used to use the power of freezing water to cleave large blocks of stone, your kayak doesn’t have a chance should water collect and freeze in a tight space such as a scupper hole.  Quarry workers would drill holes in rock then fill them with water over the winter.  The water would freeze and expand and actually split the rock along carefully measured lines of drilled holes.  In this manner, they were able to use the power of nature to make very symmetrical blocks of stone.  Imagine what it could do to your kayak’s brittle plastic!

If you have any tips for storing your kayak over the winter, you are welcome to share them with us here on Fishgator.

Yes, I actually duck taped my HTC Droid Eris to a fishing rod in the creation of this article...

Review of Free Fishing Apps for Android

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Otterbox Defender Case for HTC HD2
Thus far in my journey as a developing kayak angler, I’ve relied upon the Gestalt approach of fishing where I’ve tried to gain an overall sense of what technique is needed for any particular fishing situation.  This is just a fancy way of saying that I fish a lot and use what I think works best based upon my past experiences.  While I believe that all good anglers develop this extra sense, I’ve also observed that many top-notch anglers take good notes and use their data to develop a more scientific approach to catching fish.  This is something I’ve failed to do.

Yes, I actually duck taped my HTC Droid Eris to a fishing rod in the creation of this article...

It’s a bit early to begin considering New Years resolutions, but as this season winds down with the increasingly frigid water, I can help but begin thinking about next season and the things I intend to do.  I’ve never been one for writing things down on paper, but I am a bit of a technophile and have taken note of some really cool free apps available for my HTC Droid Eris smartphone using Verizon Wireless service.  I downloaded a few of these FREE ad supported applications and spent some time tinkering around with them.  Here is my initial review.

FISHIN’ BUDDY LITE

Fishin' Buddy Lite is straightforward and simple to use. It is somewhat bare-bones, but automatically adds local weather info at the time of each catch.

Fishing Buddy Light was the simplest and most easy to use of all the apps that I evaluated.  It loaded quickly, and worked smoothly.  It allows for limited, but pertinent data entry via text notes, photos with your Droid smartphone built-in camera, and audio recording, but not video.  One nice feature is that it automatically adds the local weather information based upon the gps coordinates ant the time of each catch – great information to have.  Even the most technologically challenged Android user would not have a problem navigating and operating this program.  One disappointing feature absent from the Lite version of this app is that although it uses your current gps location, it does not allow you to store or review that information for later purposes – a critical bit of fishing knowledge and you would not be able to use this program to navigate back to specific spots.  The full featured version of Fishin’ Buddy can be purchased for $2.95.  Though I have not evalutated it, you can get it and read about it more from HERE.

CREELCARD

Creelcard allows users to create customized data entry fields for species, lures, and other data. It also marks the locations of catches using gps for later reference.

This full-version free ad supported app has a lot of customizable features and is for more technologically inclined anglers.  It wasn’t particularly difficult to use, but it would definitely required North American users or anyone outside of the the United Kingdom to create their own custom fields of data for species and lures.  One of the major drawbacks of this app is that it has UK species and baits built-in to the program with no way to remove them.  So, most anglers would have to overlook those.  Creelcard does have a gps feature that stores and maps the location of each catch, but unlike Fishin’ Buddy Lite, weather data entry must be done manually.  This might not be the liability that it seems at first glance.  Local weather stations often do not accurately reflect the true conditions that we experience at local spots out on the water.  Manual entry of weather data allows you to record what is actually going on.  One really cool feature is that you can plan fishing events and trips using Google Calendar directly from a menu on Creelcard. I tried it out and it worked great.  Creelcard goes beyond just recording a few notes about your fishing trip and catches.  It could serve as a complete fishing trip planner, as long as you can put up with its British idiosyncrasies.

THE FISHERMAN’S LOG LITE

Despite its cool graphics, The Fisherman's Log Lite was cumbersome to use with all of its drop-down menus.

The Fisherman’s Log Lite was appealing at first with it’s great graphics, but I found it a bit cumbersome for practical use.  For example, the start page of the app has a long list of many different species of fish represented by cool icons, but most of them are not species that most anglers target and you have to wade through them to get to ones that are, like largemouth bass.  You are able to add your own species list, but then that kind of makes the need for much of the program’s feature irrelevant.  Once you select the species, you are able to enter basic information such as weight and length and you can take a photo of the fish.  Again, you are stuck with a long drop-down list of possible baits to go through to select the one you used, although you are allowed to add custom lures to the list.  Weather and map location of your catch are automatically recorded when you submit the fish to your “Livewell”. This brings up another shortfall of the program in my opinion. The previous two apps organized catches by trip.  The Fisherman’s Log Lite organizes catches as individual records, making it somewhat impractical.  Overall, The Fisherman’s Log Lite had all of the basic features, but I can’t see myself using it as a serious way to record fishing data.  This app might be of interest to anglers who want to use a basic program for casual catch, photo, and release memory and bragging purposes.