Thursday, 24 November 2011

A Natural High

People often ask me what is the number one reason I love to fish as much as I do?
And, my answers are quite simple.

1/ I was born to fish, period. It was in my parents DNA and transferred to me upon inception.

 How else could you explain the fact I get up from a warm bed at three o`clock in the morning to ensure I am already on the water for that special daybreak topwater bass bite?

Or hold onto an ice cold reel handle with frozen fingers waiting for the next "tick" signalling my next walleye bite?

There was only one word possible in the english language to describe who and what I am, and that is "extreme", hence the show title, Extreme Angler TV.
2/ The number two reason is the pure "rush" I get from setting hook, fighting and landing a bigger than average fish puts me on cloud nine, period.
 And, its not even the catch that drives me to make thousands upon thousands of casts, pitches & flips a day, its the "hunt" that makes me stay on the water longer than most.
 Get up earlier than most.
 Stay focused and concentrate on "my job" a little harder than most.

The catch is only a bonus. Land it, take a few photos, release it.
I have too much respect for my prey to purposely injure or harvest any large fish in any way.
Everyone has there own reasons for why they fish. For food, for pleasure, for relaxation and for the very lucky, blessed ones like I, for a living and career.

Because it was what we we`re meant to do!

We might have had other jobs along the way, but in our heart of hearts, we knew, the fishing game is where we belonged and made the sacrifices, took the risks and for some of us, reaped the rewards of making our living by chasing and catching these little finned creatures who swim!

Its not rocket science, or major heart surgery, its fishing!

And for some of us, thats all we ever wanted to do since birth and that is....GO FISHING!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Dedicated to Crappie

What is the appeal of Crappie...big slab crappie?
Is it the excitement of catching a bunch of big `ole slabs during that big dollar crappie tournament?
Is it the challenge of locating the bigger than average crappie?

Is it the basic instinct of us humans to hunt and harvest our next meal?
Could it be that you don`t even need a boat to catch a mess of good tasting crappie if the conditions and locations are right.
I think the popularity of crappie fishing takes us all back to the beginning of our angling memories that could include fishing with friends or family with a basic pole, very in-expensive reel, old line and suspending a little minnow below a bobber.
Simple, yet very effective even by todays high tech standards used by the crappie pros across the US in competitive crappie tournaments.
For me personally, I enjoy crappie fishing both a bunch of reasons.
Its usually a laid-back atmosphere, using basic equipment and terminal tackle like slip floats, tiny sinkers, light wire hooks or small artificial baits of all shapes and colors.
Furthermore, its usually with a good buddy or two, sharing more than a few laughs while reeling in those surface slapping slabs to the boat.
Some times, all it takes is a phone call from a friend telling me the big fat slabs are on the feed bag on so and so lake, which gets me fired up big time and almost makes me forget about Bass!
That rush or natural high, as I call it, is very addictive.
One you catch it, it usually never leaves!
I get asked alot, by many folks which is my favorite crappie to catch?
The dark, purple and gold slabs from across Canada or the mighty giant white slabs that inhabit many lakes across the U.S.
My answer is simple, I`ll fish for either, or anytime.
Chasing or hunting down the big black slabs across Ontario is usually a challenge involving a little more effort after the usual springtime spawn when they are quite easy to locate and catch.
Suspended fish in open water requires a bit more homework with gps electronics and mapping systems.

Fishing for those huge white monsters across the US is awesome. Something every angler should consider adding to their fishing bucket list. The states of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee & most recently Indiana have some of the biggest white crappie I have ever seen in my life!
I have been blessed to have the opportunity to fish with some real good crappie anglers while filming shows for Extreme Angler TV and they have opened my eyes big time to the wide variety of presentations and techniques used to both locate and catch more and bigger crappie on a consistant basis.
The dedication these anglers have, chasing down big slabs is only matched by the pros on the BASS & FLW bass tours. Yes, it is that serious across the US Mid and southwest when you mention crappie.
And many of these same anglers fish for and guide for crappie fulltime, so you know they HAVE to find fish or they don`t get paid, its that easy. To witness first hand the dedication and sacrifice these guys make to fish for these little, tasty fish is surreal.
With winter slowly creeping into Ontario, my thoughts and preparations are focused on heading back to the good old U.S. and hook up with some good ole`e boys like Tim, Jackie, Rusty, Billy, Luke & Kyle to hunt down some big fat slabs for camera and a good old fashioned fish fry with Mr. Crappie as our host.
When your planning your road trips next season, don`t forget about those big fat slabs, ganged up and waiting for you.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Extreme Monster Contest Details Posted

The details on how to enter the "Extreme Monster of a Contest" have now been posted on the Official Extreme Angler TV facebook fan page...check it out and ENTER TODAY!

Here is the link to the fan page

You could also WIN some awesome prizes like a St.Croix Rod, Ardent Reel, Strike King lures, Fishouflage swag and much, much more to be added to the overall contest prize package!!


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Extreme Monster of a Contest

Putting the final touches on a "Extreme Monster of a Contest" for one lucky Extreme Angler TV follower on this blog site.
Without letting the cat out of the bag, I can say this, the winner of this contest will be one very, very happy angler and feel like Christmas came early in terms of prize pack goodies and some interesting bonuses that could help them catch a few more and bigger fish in the future.

Step One- Enter this contest requires you to join this blog site and FOLLOW this blog & SHARE this link on your WALL on Face Book. Its that easy.

Stay tuned for additional instructions on a few additional steps that could potentially lead YOU to the WINNERS circle!

Good luck to all.


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Rod & Reel Care For Winter Sleep

We`ll it really is that time of year around these parts, except for some last open days of dragging tubes, drop shotting and jigging spoons for late season smallmouth or walleyes on my favorite cottage country lakes, to begin the winter rod & reel care procedure so my sticks and reels are ready come mid January when I begin my southern road trips to warmer climates and begin filming episodes for Extreme Angler TV Season Eleven.
Caring for your rods & reels is paramount to having equipment you can rely on when you need it most (every time you use them!).
This time of year, I`ll remove the casting reels from my cast rods and loosen off the drag systems completely and remove the side plates of my Ardent reels and begin a process of applying several reel care products to ensure my reels are in tip top shape come the new season, when I need them to perform at the highest level I push them to every season.

With a combination/cocktail of Ardent Reel care products such as Reel Butter-Bearing lube, Reel Oil & Reel Kleen, each reel gets the spa treatment prior to the short winter nap they receive.

Once proceedure is complete with the casting reels, the next step is starting on my Ardent S2500 & S2000 spinning reels, first by removing them from my St.Croix Legend Xtreme rods and give each reel the same spa treatment as the casting rods received.

Once those steps are completed, I`ll begin the cleaning process of my special St.Croix rods using the Ardent Rod Kleen, making sure each rod is checked for any damages or minor abrasions that might need any additional attention, before they get a minor spa treatment, cleaned up and stored properly on my customized suspended ceiling rod rack which holds each rod seperately and safely from any potential accidents.
Once my rods & reels are cared for properly, I will start sorting thru the jungle of mixed up tackle bags that have grown to have a life of there own, which resemble that of a "barrel of monkeys", the kids game I used to play with as a kid, and now doing the similar thing with my tangled treble hooks and baits.
This process usually takes up a lot more time than I planned, but it is well worth the effort when it comes time to start packing baits for the next road trips come early winter. I would rather do it now, then in mid winter in a sub zero garage, hovering over a propane heater.
All/any hooks that have any rust spots, bent tips or barbs, whatsoever, get tossed into the trash. No time to waste on sub par equipment.
I`ll use Q-Tip`s with some of the Ardent Rod Kleen and wipe away and built up grime or grease from the summer storage bag on all my hard baits, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, jerkbaits & topwaters.

Any soft plastic baits that still resemble the original ones out of the package, get sorted back into my plastic storage bags or Plano tackle storage system boxes.
Spare line gets the once-looked-after and is stored in another large storage bin and kept in the garage over winter and I simply check each spool in the springtime before re-spooling any reel for damaged or line that might have broken down.

My raingear, jackets, caps, pro team jerseys and summerwear is properly put onto hangers and hung vertically as to not collect any mold or mildew over the winter months.
Any dirty stuff, gets a wash & dry treatment prior to winter storage.

And thats it for now.
Time to prepare and schedule my winter road trips to warmer, open water climates where I can break out the shorts, T`s and sandels and once again cast for some big ole` fish who wants to eat my bait!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Rage Grub Smallies

Had a blast on the most recent road trip filming big fat smallmouth bass in crystal clear water conditions in the Highlands of Ontario.
Took a little extra time due to the longer drive to and from the lake on this trip, but man, was it worth it!
Due to the success of two of my latest road trips chasing smallmouth bass with both Football jigs and rage craws and then again with hair jigs, I decided to "change-it-up" a little and look for some football sized brown bass with the new Strike King Rage Tail grub and mushroom head jig.

Headed to number of locations that featured small pea gravel and rock mixed with sand and leading to deeper water and/or weeds and decided to focus my attention to the fact alot of these northern bass we`re schooling up in both deep and shallow locations and putting on the chew big time in preparation for winter.
It was a good choice since my first location produced fish number one, a big fat brown bass that nailed the grub as I was slowly swimming it over some gravel on a slow tapering location. The jig and grub we`re totally engulfed in the fish`s yap, which told me one of two things. One, that these fish we`re indeed on the chew and #2, that he probably had some buddies with him since he ate it so fast and so hard!
To make a long story somewhat shorter, I was correct on both counts. These smallies we`re bunched up in small schools and bashing schools of minnow right before my eyes in six to ten feet of water on the gravel-rock locations.
I stayed back from the location and made slightly longer casts, as not to spook the fish, and swam the grub directly over the same locations I could see the lighter gravel spots on the rocks. Each time my grub entered one of those areas, a fish either ate my grub or tried to eat my grub!

What these fish lacked in overall fighting ability due to the cold water temps, they sure made up for in sheer size and bulldogged hard in tight circles beside the boat.
I stuck it out on location number one until the bite slowed down then searched for similar areas with the same characteristics which included rock, pea gravel, close to deeper water and sometimes weed mixed with gravel and rocks, all deadly locations for smallies.

Actually visited one similar area a little to quickly and as I was putting the trolling motor down, saw four real big smallmouth swim away from me off into the deeper water. I know I would have caught at least a couple of these fish if I was not in such a hurry to be on the spot, so I left the area for a short while and came back approx. one-half hour later and on cast number one, nailed a huge brown bass that hit the grub so hard, I thought it might be a muskie on the shoal instead of bass. But, once hooked, this big brown beast did everything it possibly could to break free, but also found itself resting in the bottom of my trusty Lucky Strike Basket net.

Boxed a few fish in the livewell before heading to another similar location.
Took some photos of the big gals and released them all to live and fight another day.
My tackle choices for the day included my St.Croix Legend Xtreme six foot three inch medium action spinning rod, Ardent Fishouflage spinning reel, ten pound fluorocarbon line, one-quarter ounce jig head and four inch Strike King Rage tail grub.

That was it, didn`t need any specialized equipment like sonar, side imaging, bla, bla, bla, found these fish the good old fashioned way, by trial and error and instincts that told me where these fish SHOULD be at this time of year.
Sure, there are many options for locating and fishing for deep schooling fish this time of year, but, I get a whole lot more enjoyment from seeing schools of big fat bass cruising the shallower water and attacking my bait like it was a real baitfish.
Until next time, fish hard, fish extreme.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Touchdown with the Football Jig

What a day we had today filming a show for season 10 of Extreme Angler TV.
Weather man actually kept his promise of NO RAIN and low winds so, called my buddy Jay to rig up some rods and meet me at my place in the a.m., we`re going fishing for smallies...big smallies!

The early a.m. was met with fog, but slick water conditions in the 46 degree range.
Not another boat in sight!!
Here we we`re at a very very popular cottage country destination in the north eastern range of the Kawartha Lakes District, and not another boat or angler in sight, incredible.
Made us feel as "extreme" as it gets.

Putted out to the first spot of the day, on a rock bluff with an inside weed line approx 10 feet from shore with thick green millfoil and cabbage weed mix tapering off to deep water basin.
Not five casts in with my Strike King Tour Grade Football jig and baby rage craw trailer in summer craw tones, I felt the familar sponge weight on my St.Croix Legend Xtreme casting rod and 20-lbs fluorocarbon, set hook and was met with 5+ lbs of brute force of brown bass.

Despite the cold temps, these fish fought very hard and didn`t want to come into the boat no matter how much I pulled.

Stuck the fish into the livewell for safe keeping a few photos before being released and got right back on the trolling motor and on the weedline-rock bluff edge and made 3 more pitches before the same, sensation was felt, bamm, hookset and smallie #2 was flopping on the deck of my boat.
A nice 3+ pounder this time.
Checked my bait for any rips or tears, it was still perfect so started again on the bluff edge.
I wasn`t making long casts on the weed edge, but rather short underhand pitches approx 20+ feet ahead of the boat and watched as the bait fell to the bottom in case any of the fish struck the bait on the fall.
They NEVER ate it on the fall all day, rather, each fish picked up the bait as it lay on bottom and was felt when we went to lift the bait off bottom.
We worked our way up and around the rock bluff, inside weedline with 3 more smallies in the 3-4 pound range until the bite slowed down and decided to move on and find similar locations on this lake which has many rock bluffs and shoals with weed surrounding the deeper edges, perfect conditions and locations for big smallies on the feed in fall.
We hit some bonus largemouth and walleye on some of the deeper edges, but our goal was to continue locating the bigger brown bass.
After approx 2 hours of scouting several different locations, we found yet another sharp dropping rock bluff with even thicker, healthy green weeds forming an awesome inside weed edge.

Not a dozen casts in, Jay hits a big smallie that fought like it was July and then I hit another brute brown bass not 10 feet ahead of his, this spot had more and bigger bass grouped up even thicker....what a bonus!
When all was said and done, we boated over 90% of the bites we had, took some photos of the better fish and released them to live and fight another day.