It was twelve or so years ago, when I suggested to my hunting partner Larry Myhre that we should come up with some type of turkey fan that would help us sneak up on Gobblers. He thought it was a good idea, but said it sounded like work and he was looking for less.
That next spring, I took one of my turkey fans that I had spread out and dried into the field with me, didn’t have much luck with it and abandoned the idea.
Since then, I’ve used then every spring and have fooled more long beards with them than I had every thought possible.
Several years ago, my Outdoor Adventures radio co-host Simon Fuller was operating the camera as I called in a group of young birds using a combination of my calls and the fan. They five of them came into my decoys feeling brave with all of the birds fanned out as they approached my jake and hen decoys.
As they surrounded my jake decoy, I made the raspy call of an old gobbler, raised the fan and all five of the birds about dirtied themselves as they did their best to get away from my fan.
On the same hunt, using my fan and calling, I called a hen a long ways and when she came within sight of my decoys lost interest and started to move away. However, when I brought my fan back up, she came within arm’s reach of me and refused to leave, I think she fell in love with my turkey fan. I finally had to chase her away as she was messing up my turkey hunting.
Later that day as we were heading back towards town with my Honda Pioneer, we spooked a big Tom that took off running across a pasture. Down the road a ways, we spotted two gobblers and a hen bout a 1/2 mile away, in order for the birds to hear and see the fan, we crawled through the pasture, with my fan out in front of us, up to the fence line and started calling. I watched the birds with my binoculars and each time I called, they would gobble but not leave the hen.
Simon had the camera zeroed in on them as I brought the fan up high and worked it from side to side, hoping to get the birds attention, but to no avail. Suddenly I saw the gobbler, the bird we had spooked as we came in, on the other side of the gobblers and hen and each time I raised the fan, he would head in our direction.
He ran right past the other birds and came in our direction and each time the fan came up would strut and gobble, coming closer all the time.
When I said “the birds coming in”, Simon who was still locked on the two gobblers and hen disagreed with me and wasn’t sure what I was talking about. By this time the bird was out a 100 yards or so when I told Simon “can you hold this fan up as I can’t shoot and run it at the same time” that he looked my way and spotted the gobbler out in front of me. [Read more…]
It’s said that a definition of a fisherman is a jerk on one end of a line waiting for a jerk on the other end.
You know there’s some truth to that statement! If you don’t jerk or set the hook properly, you’re going to do a whole lot of jerking, not much catching and then feel like a jerk when you miss the fish.
It’s happened to all of us, you feel a tug or a little extra weight on the end of your line and you instantly jerk back, which at times works out well!
There can be quite a bit of difference when and how to set the hook and a lot of it depends on what you’re fishing for, what action rod you’re using and what type line you have on your reel.
Let’s look at it from the fish’s point of view? The fish is just lying on or near the bottom when along comes a tasty looking morsel, in this case a jig with a minnow. He glides up to it, looks it over, decides it’s just what he’s looking for, flares his gills, sucking the bait in only to have it jerked out of the side of his mouth.
What’s wrong with this picture? Well to begin with the best place to hook a fish is in the top of the fish’s mouth, the boney part of its mouth, not in the side where there‘s very little bone and a whole lot of soft skin.
So when you set the hook it’s best to pull straight up, because you have a better chance that your hook will penetrate the top of the mouth. If you pull to the side, you’re more apt to pull the hook away from the fish or hook him in the soft tissue in the side of the mouth where it can easily pull out.
If you’re using a live bait rig or jig and feel a fish pick up your bait, your best bet for a good hook set is to reel up the slack line eliminating any bow in your line. Once you feel the weight of the fish on your line bring the rod tip straight up not side ways, forcing the hook into the top of the fish’s mouth.
By reeling up the slack line, you’re removing the bow in your line, shortening the distance between the end of your rod and the hook, allowing you to drive your hook home with less effort.
This is especially important if you’re using monofilament line because mono has a tremendous amount of stretch. In order to set the hook using mono, not only do you have to use enough force to penetrate the hard, bony top of the fish’s mouth, you also have to pull hard enough to make up for the stretch in the line.
If you’re using one of the super lines like Fireline and Spider Wire, it’s a completely different story.
To get the inside scoop on these super lines and how to fish them different, I contacted Berkley, the manufacturers of both Fireline and Spider Wire.
According to the folks at Berkley, “you’re going to have to fish super lines differently than you will mono since super lines have no stretch.
If you fish Fireline or Spider Wire the same way you fish mono, you’re going to end up pulling the bait away from or tear it out of the fish’s mouth.”
For walleye fishing, they recommend a rod with a fast, limber tip as this takes the place of the stretch in the mono, giving you a little give when you set the hook.
When fishing for Bass, Pike and Muskie, you’re going to want to go to a moderate action rod which not only gives you a little give when you set the hook into these hard hitting, hard charging fish. The heavier rod will have enough backbone to drive the hook home and be able to bring them to the boat.
This is especially true in current as you need to be quick with your hook set, but not so quick that you rip the bait from the fish.”
If you’re fishing super lines in shallow water, it’s a good idea to go with a Medium Light rod. In medium depths a Medium rods will work well and when you’re fishing water deeper than 25”, he’d recommend using a Medium Heavy rod.
With super lines, you let the rod set the hook and that’s why a quicker tip rod works well.
The main thing you need to remember to become a more consistent catcher and not a jerker is to make sure that you reel up all the slack line once you feel a bite, that bring your rod tip straight up, driving the hook into the top of the fish’s mouth.
If you set your hook to the side, more times than not, you’ll pull the bait away from the fish or tear the hook through the soft tissue on the side of the fish’s mouth.
By keeping a tight line, you’re going to detect more bites and by setting the hook by bringing your rod straight up, you won’t believe how much your fish hooking ability will improve.
Two area Outdoor communicators will be inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Sioux Falls 50th Annual Sportsmen’s Show.
Gary Howey, Hartington, Neb., and Larry Myhre, Sioux City, Iowa, will be inducted at 3:30 p.m., March 11 on the Seminar Stage at the Sioux Falls Arena. Professional walleye angler and Fishing Hall of Famer Ted Takasaki will conduct the ceremony.
Howey, originally from Watertown, S.D., and a Viet Nam veteran, has been an outdoor communicator since 1980 when he began production of The Northeast Nebraska Outdoorsmen newspaper. He sold the Outdoorsmen magazine in 1995 when he created the Outdoorsmen Adventures television series, which airs throughout the year in seven upper Midwestern states.
He has written a syndicated Of the Outdoors column since 1980 for newspapers and magazines.
In 1990, he developed Outdoorsmen Productions, an outdoor-related promotional company.
In 2009, he produced the first of his Outdoor Adventures radio shows which he co-hosts. The show airs six days a week in southeast South Dakota, northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa.
A former hunting and fishing guide, Howey has given fishing seminars in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.
Over the years, Howey has won several local, states and national awards for his print, radio and television work. [Read more…]
A weed free food plot tucked into the woods somewhere is a beautiful sight. So how do you keep those pesky weeds out of your favorite spot? BioLogic’s new Weed Reaper Grass Control is designed to knock out all those unwanted annual and perennial grasses that are so common in food plots. Weeds rob your plot of essential nutrients, water, and root space. Given time and opportunity, weeds will quickly mature, produce seed, and overtake a well intended food plot. Weed Reaper herbicide is one of the greatest tools a GameKeeper can utilize to keep weeds under control and get the most out of your plantings. This new herbicide is designed to spray over clover, chicory, alfalfa, beans, peas, lablab and any other broadleaf or legume plot. Use these tips when spraying Weed Reaper for best results.
1) Understand What you’re Using
Read The Label-the information on the herbicide labels contain great info and will identify what weeds they control and what crops it is designed to protect.
2) Don’t Wait On the Weeds
Spray when grasses are young and thriving. If you wait to spray when they are tall and mature, the results will often be less than desirable. If weeds are already tall and maturing, mow first and return 7-10 days later to spray the new re-growth. [Read more…]