Hot Summer Bass Tactics!

Hot Summer Tactics To say this has been a hot summer is an understatement. With countless scorching days along with little rain, this bass season has truly been a grind for many anglers. Low water levels, high water temperatures and nothing but sunny days means tough, hard to predict fishing right? Well, not really. Are bass easy to predict? Yes. Are they less than agreeable? Kinda. Don’t cuss me out just yet. At this point of the season there are a few key variables that make for a seemingly difficult equation to solve for the best of anglers. Really, the variables or unknowns are where and when do these ghost-like fish show up? Feeding windows become dramatically shortened and strike zones shrink which can make for a pretty frustrating day on the water. Smallmouth will suspend at various depths in relation to the thermolcline (a steep temperature gradient marked by a layer above and below which the water is at different temperatures) and where the forage they are targeting are located. Their green cousins, largemouth bass, can be found on deep weedlines, under trees, docks or buried beneath undercut banks. Now, we are talking about mid-day, but what about dusk periods? What about cloudy days with a falling barometer? Put that stuff on the backburner for a moment. These are the dog days of summer so just focus on the things you can control. As smallmouth “suspend” does that mean they aren’t oriented to the bottom? No – not at all. One great tactic right now is dragging on bottom. This is a great option because you can cover... read more

Product Review: Muskie Metal Lures Flexible Bucktail

Date: 7/20/2016 Product type: Flexible inline spinner Manufacturer: Muskie Metal Lures Reviewer: Exist To Fish         Introduction: Muskie metal lures are a very unique product tin a saturated buck tail market. This is a bucktail that flexes! Built around stainless steel wire instead of a solid heavy gauge wire.     (Flexible Double 10) Specifications Type Flexible inline spinner Length 10.5 “ Weight 3.1 oz Material Stainless steel flexible wire Hooks 7/0 brass treble Colors Many combinations available Origin USA MSRP 24.99 USD     Quality/Construction: This is a product that will stand up year after year. double #10 Colorado blades, Double Magnum Flashabou skirts that have been cemented onto the body and triple cable tied with military grade ties, brass weights and solid metal beads, Wolverine triple split rings and a single Mustad 7/0 treble hook.  All lures are built using a stainless steel flexible wire to make this one of the most durable bucktails on the market today. Quality Ratings for (Flexible Double 10) Finish(1-5) Level of Detail(1-5) Hardware(1-5) Craftsmanship(1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest ) 4 4 5 4 17 20 8.5     Performance: The blades pop instantly! No stall in the figure 8 and the bait never requires retuning. It simply returns to its original shape fish after fish. Performance Ratings (Flexible Double 10) Castability(1-5) Ease of Use(1-5) Quality of Action (1-5) Position at Rest (1-5) Durability (1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest ) 5 5 5 5 5 25 25 10   Features/Design: Flexible allows for fewer tangles during casts. No concerns about the bait bending after a fish is caught. The flexible wire allows the... read more

Product Review: Tuck N Tackle

Date: 7/5/2016 Product type: Two Piece Rod Transportation System Manufacturer: Tuck N Tackle Reviewer: Exist To Fish         Introduction: Rod transport has never been so safe, snug and efficient. Protect the tips of your rod, while preventing your line from knotting. Tuck N Tackle utilizes tension to give anglers a smart solution that takes seconds to secure.     (Two Piece Rod Transportation System) Specifications Type Fish Rod transportation Length 1×2” Weight Very Lightweight Material Plastic Hooks NA Colors Black Origin USA MSRP 14.99 USD       Quality/Construction: Tuck N Tackle is designed to cover the tips of the rod during transport to protect against them from damage. Once the tips get damaged, the rod will rarely function the same. Tuck N Tackle is the only product designed to use  line tension to maintain proper system alignment, keeping the line free from detrimental contact. Other products put unwanted stress on the line which can lead to damage. Due to the amount of tension that the Tuck N Tackle is built to allow, the line avoids the risk of loosening. A loose line results in knotting or bunching at the reel point. Quality Ratings for (Two Piece Rod Transportation System) Finish(1-5) Level of Detail(1-5) Hardware(1-5) Craftsmanship(1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest ) 4 4 4 4 16 20 8     Performance: Tuck N Tackle allows you to transport your two-piece fishing rod at half length without removing your tackle. The best part is the simplicity. The cap and clip use the tension of the fishing line to hold the system securely in place. Tuck N Tackle is... read more

2016 Alumacraft Competitor Sport LE FOR SALE!!!

  2016 Alumacraft Competitor 205 Sport LE, paired with a 2016 Evinrude 250 HO G2 outboard, Shorelander tandem axle surge brake trailer, two hummingbird 800 series graphs and a Minnkota Terrova 24V with US2 and Ipilot link installed.  BOAT IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR PICKUP UNTIL SEPT 30, 2016. TALONS ARE NOT INLCUDED Features included with this package are listed in detail below. Serious inquires regarding price,  please call 705-761-2510, or email chrishuskilson@gmail.com. Sale will be finalized through Leatherdale Marine and price does not include HST. Full Hull and Motor warranty included.  Package will have less than 100 hours of use.  Mint condition. Incredible rig. Boat can be viewed in Peterborough ON. will work with potential buyers to meet for test drive etc..     Product Review: 2016 Alumacraft Competitor 205 Sport LE     LIMITED EDITION Sport (LE) Mica Black Sonic Red Sport Windshield (SPT) VINYL COCKPIT ONLY (CV) BRP Engines Evinrude E250HPX G2 PRE-RIG, BRP G2 200HP (15′ NEMA) GROW BOATING INIT-BMCA No Kicker COVER, TRAVEL (COMPETITOR 205 SPT) MINNKOTA,TERROVA US2 112-60 IPLTLNK BRKT,MOUNT,MKA-32 ELC STR QRB WCVR HUMMINBIRD 859CI HD COMBO COMPLETE HUMMINBIRD 859CI HD DI COMPLETE ACCY, RADIO INFINITY 350 (CS/SPT) SHORELAND’R Trailers SHORELAND’R TRLR ALB40TABXLW-03 BLK   Length 20’ 8” 6.3 m Beam 96” 2.4 m Transom Width / Height 95”/25” 2.4 m/0.6 m Max. Horsepower 250 hp 186 kW Max. Depth 45” 1.1 m Max. Hull Thickness 0.200” 5.1 mm Freeboard Thickness 0.080” 2 mm Weight 1,616 lbs 733 kg Max. Capacity 8/2,450 lbs 8/1,111 Fuel Capacity 45 gal. 170 L Livewell Aft 33 gal. 125 L Livewell Bow 22 gal. 83 L Instruments speedometer,tachometer,voltmeter,fuel gauge,horn  ... read more

Cover All Depths: Breaking down water columns to locate Bass.

Cover All Depths: Breaking down water columns to locate Bass.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, patience is not the key to success during any outing on the water. Sitting and waiting for Bass to “turn on” will be a waste of your time and abilities. So, what do you do when you show up at the lake? Does it have to be so random? Should you be aimlessly searching, hoping to find active fish? Or should you essentially find the key depth that Bass are relating to and simply appeal to their instincts? The latter is the obvious answer, so let’s break it down. I believe your success is predicated on good preparation and clear, well thought out game planning that begins the night before you hit the water. Let’s say your plan at first light is to hit a shallow rocky point adjacent a steep break line that drops into a main lake channel or basin, and for arguments sake, your theory of the Bass being up on this shallower structure is correct. Then what? What happens when the Bass pull off this structure and begin the next phase of their day? Are you prepared to follow these predictable daily movements? Start by getting your arsenal in order. Hitting a good morning spot brings to mind one obvious presentation – topwaters such as poppers are high on my priority list. If poppers aren’t cutting the mustard, walk the dog style baits can be very effective. Storm Chug Bugs and the Lake Fork Magic Popper(1oz) can be strait retrieved in a pop and stop cadence... read more

Product Review: LFT Magic Shad

Date: 11/3/15 Product type: LFT “Magic Shad” Manufacturer: Lake Fork Trophy Lures Reviewer: Jamie Wilson         I, for one, love fishing soft plastics. Tubes, stickworms, grubs and paddle tails all have their time and place and so do shad/minnow/baitfish bodied plastics known as fluke style baits. The subtle realistic action can turn heads during the toughest of bites in the colder months and cold fronts alike. They can also be used in the dog days of summer and in a variety of situations as well, which makes this style of bait a well-rounded choice. The LFT “Magic Shad” is salt and garlic impregnated with a unique spade shaped tail that creates a great fluttering, vibrating action even on the fall. Seven staple color choices, along with durability, will make for many good days on the water ahead.       (Lake Fork Trophy Lures “Magic Shad”) Specifications Type Soft plastic shad/minnow body Length 5” Weight N/A Material Plastic (Garlic and salt impregnated) Hooks N/A Colors 7 colors in this line Origin Texas, United States MSRP $5.49 U.S funds (8/pack)     The LFT “Magic Shad” stands eye to eye with the top fluke style baits on the market. The detail, craftsmanship and color choices are true selling features, along with quality plastic of course. These are top shelf, top flight all the way.   Quality Ratings for (Lake Fork Trophy Lures “Magic Shad”)  Finish(1-5) Level of Detail(1-5) Hardware(1-5) Craftsmanship(1-5) Total Possible Rating (10 being highest ) N/A 5 N/A 5 10 10 10   The LFT “Magic Shad” gets top performance marks from me. Being a salt impregnated plastic,... read more

Bottom Bouncing for Lake Trout

Bottom Bouncing Lakers   When talking to people about fishing I get excited and passionate like most of us do! But when I talk to people about lake trout, watch out, my excitement is thru the roof! I can’t help but to be fascinated by this specie, I become a totally different person when I get in the lake trout mode, almost like a hockey player gets during game 7 of the Stanley cup playoffs, determination. For those who know me, this isn’t new to them, but for those who are reading this and thinking, is this guy nuts, I have to say yes I am! I wrote an article on downrigging basics a while back and I had a hard time writing that article without talking about lake trout because it’s what I do so I am super pumped to share with you one of the biggest success I have had fishing for big Larry’s! For those of you who don’t know, Larry is what we call Lake Trout!   If I told you to bounce bottom for lakers, you would probably say, sure no problem, but if I told you to bounce bottom for lakers using your downriggers, you would say, no way dude! Settle down, I am here to tell you that there is a safe and successful way to do it without breaking or losing expensive gear! Step 1, the set up. Whether you are using electric or manual downriggers, this method works with both. Make sure you have some good steel downrigger cable spooled on your downrigger, I use 250 pound steel cable. Next,... read more

Product Review: Beaver’s Baits Regular Baby Beaver

Date: 6/15/2016 Product type: Beaver Imitation Manufacturer: Beaver’s Baits Reviewer: Exist To Fish         Introduction: Ok folks.. At first glance this may seem like a novelty bait. But we are here to tell you that these are absolute BIG MUSKIE MAGNETS!   Each bait is hand crafted to absolute perfection. Not only are you getting a one of a kind bait but a product that will last and catch a lot of fish     (Regular Baby Beaver) Specifications Type Baby Beaver Imitation (muskies) Length 12” Weight 6oz Material Rubber and Hair Hooks 8/0 Mustad Treble Colors 5 Standard (custom colors available) Origin USA MSRP $44.99 USD     Quality/Construction: The Baby beaver comes in two sizes, The Baby Beaver is 12″ long and weighs 3.5 ounces (dry weight) and uses 6/0 hooks.  The Baby Beaver XL is 14.5″ long and weighs 6 ounces (dry weight) and uses 8/0 hooks. Both sizes are available in 5 standard color patterns.  The Baby Beaver is constructed of plastic with .051 wire molded into each body piece. Each body piece is hand tied with deer hair and connected together with split rings. The rubber tail is molded onto the hook and is attached to the bait with a split ring making it replaceable. The blade attachment (sold separately) clips onto the front eyelet of the bait, turning the Baby Beaver into a buck tail with a little attitude…it can be easily removed to go back to the natural swimming action of the Bait. Also available separately, are replacement rubber tails. At some point a little more detail in the head and... read more

2016 Kawarthas Northumberland Muskie Opener

2016 Kawarthas Northumberland Muskie Opener: Originally Posted here by our friends at Kawartha’s Northumberland The second Saturday in June just can’t arrive soon enough for me! This is the kick off to the much anticipated Muskie season here in the Kawartha’s Northumberland region of Ontario. Each season starts off differently depending on the spring weather conditions leading in to the weekend. Our spring in 2016 has been a relatively cool one and as such the water temperate has remained in the mid-60s Fahrenheit (not quite 20° Celsius). Water levels started out quite high but tapered down considerably to the point where we are experiencing mid-summer levels by early June. The week leading in to the opener yielded stable warm weather which in turn dramatically increased water temperature in a short period of time. Not something I was hoping to have occur but at least the weather was stable. I knew going into the weekend that I would be facing some less than ideal conditions. Bluebird skies and little to no wind always equates to difficult Muskie fishing for me. I decided to mix things up this year and kick the season off on a Lake in the Havelock area. This is water that I have not fished in many years. I was confident, however, that it would be a good place to start, in an effort to gauge the mood of the fish this year. We arrived at the launch at 6:00 A.M. and were raring to go! Our first stop yielded a spirited follow from a 36-inch fish. Showing great interest in my bait but quickly changing direction... read more

Downrigging 101

Downrigging 101 When fishing a big body of water, you often feel intimidated and somewhat afraid, don’t feel bad, those were my emotions too! The mistake most people do is look at a map of the whole lake and start planning the spots you want to hit, there is nothing wrong with that at all, in fact that’s what we should all do, but in reality, most of us try to do too much at once. Instead of looking at the whole lake, cut it into pieces, just like a pie! Concentrate on a certain area, learn it, fish it and master it! Downrigging can be scary for some, and for others, they call it “the lazy man fishing” I call it “Strategic Fishing”! Why is downrigging so fun? I’m glad you asked! All thru the summer I spend time trolling Lake Simcoe in search of big lake trout, but what I am also doing is using this time to find unmarked shoals, humps and potential jigging areas for summer and winter. As much as we think the lakes are well mapped and we can see every shoal or hump from a smartphone sitting on the couch eating pie, you can always find unmarked areas, trust me, I have found a few in my days and they still produce fish to this day! As much as we like to think we know the lakes like the back of our hand, there will always be that one spot that you found that no one knows about, or at least no one else talks about, in that case, it’s still your... read more

The Jig is up! Selecting The Correct Jig for Walleye Fishing

The jig is up! Selecting the correct jig for walleye fishing.   It’s no secret that jig fishing is an effective method of catching walleye, but there is more to it than just tying on a jig and throwing it into the water. The jig has become a staple in every walleye anglers toolbox, and for good reason, there are few lures with the versatility of a jig. Whether you are vertical jigging a minnow on top of a school of fish, or ripping jigs through the weeds, there are subtleties that can turn a good day on the water into a great one !   Size: The size of your jig is important to consider. You want to select a jig that is heavy enough to get your bait down to the fish, but no so heavy that it is cumbersome to fish with. For most vertical jigging applications a ¼ or 3/8 oz jig is ideal. However, if you are fishing in heavy wind or swift current you may want to choose a heavier head, ½ to 1oz, to keep it down and maintain good bottom contact and feel with your rod.     Shape: the shape of your jig is not always the first factor considered by anglers, but a bit of thought into this can save you some frustration, and put more fish in the boat. Fishing deep rock piles can be deadly for walleye, and few baits work as good as a jig. The problem with jigging rocks for walleye is snags, it happens to everyone, whether they care to admit it or not. But... read more

Drop Shot Crappie!

Fishing during the month of May here in the Ontario Kawartha’s Northumberland region is truly an exciting time of year for any angler.  The trees are finally starting to show their leaves, birds are returning from their southern seasonal residence and the lakes and rivers seem to be buzzing with fish activity.  This particular trip was no different. Aside from the nasty approaching cold front we were seemingly caught directly in the middle of. Let’s take a trip back to the previous weekend… A weekend that yielded beautiful warm weather, moderate winds and great company from a couple of very old friends.   We had planned to target Pike during this trip but upon launching the boat I quickly discovered that I had forgotten to load my two carry on tackle bags. The bags that literally contained ALL of my Pike fishing arsenal.  We made due with what we happened to have tied on and landed half a dozen nice Pike before deciding to venture to the other end of the lake to check “the spot” in hopes that the Crappie had moved in.     Now.. Most of you have caught crappies.. And in most cases they are in numbers in shallow back bays this time of year. A pile of cookie cutter fish in the 10-12″ range with the occasional 13+ incher. Always a great time! This particular lake is different. The fish behave the same for the most part. Suspend in the basin during the ice season, stage prior to spawn and move shallow when the time is right. But they are not in the big schools that we... read more

Product Review: Kamooki Smartcraw

Date: 5/13/16 Product type: Lipless Crankbait Manufacturer: Kamooki Lures ltd. Reviewer: Jamie Wilson         We all have our top five favorite baits, or go-to presentations that we have come to count on throughout the season that will get minor tweaks and adjustments to suit our needs. Generally, we have abundance of sizes, weights, colors and techniques in our back pockets that we deem useful that can actually convolute the situation and overwhelm us. As an angler that has been around the block a few times I look for baits that can be presented in a variety of ways without the having to re-rig constantly to ultimately deduce a “pattern”. Imagine one rod/reel/line combo with a multitude of possibilities at the end of your line. Can a single bait type achieve this? Well, this one can. Kamooki Lures Ltd. has created both the “Smartfish” and “Smartcraw” to cover just about every possible baitfish imitation and presentation an angler might consider. Let’s take a closer look at where the “Smartcraw” fits into our repertoire shall we?       (Kamooki Smartcraw) Specifications Type Lipless crankbait/rattlebait Length 3” Weight ½ oz Material Hooks Premium black nickel VMC treble Colors 6 colors Origin Alberta, Canada MSRP $12.99 Canadian funds   The Kamooki Smartcraw is incredibly innovative and beyond unique, but as far as quality is concerned I can’t speak highly enough about it. So much thought was put into creating this fine crankbait as it has become, in my opinion, the gold standard in modern hardbait manufacturing. The finish and level of detail are what you would come to expect from... read more

Crappie on The Fly?

  Crappie on the Fly   Spring in the Kawartha’s Northumberland region is a magical time of year for anglers. After packing away the ice fishing gear, multispecies anglers like myself are constantly watching conditions to anticipate their next bite. As the ice disappears and the water starts to warm it is as though the entire lake comes back to life within those first few warm days of spring. At the same time the nearby great lakes tributaries begin to rumble as the spring steelhead migration begins. It truly is an exciting time to be a fisherman! With the abundance of long awaited angling opportunities, I find myself facing decisions about how I will make the most of my time on the water. Do I throw the boat in  and invade the shallows in search of slab crappies? Maybe the pike are on a hot jerkbait bite?! And I hear the steelhead are smashing nymphs… the choices!!! It was one of those warm sunny days of spring that I decided to go out in pursuit of crappie. My partner and I slowly and quietly drifted my boat into the shallow bay where I suspected to find our targeted species. We were not disappointed as we could see their ghostly silhouettes sitting among the mats of thick weeds and dead leaves from last fall. We had a typical panfish float style setup. Nothing too fancy, just a little tube rigged under a light bobber. We cast amongst the vegetation and watched as our floats sat still. We tried changing colours, depths, weights and anything we could to think of to dial... read more

Outdoor Therapy

Outdoor Therapy     The outdoors means so many different things to so many different people. Sure I like to hunt and fish but I also rely on the outdoors to provide me with means to recharge and reboot the internal hard drive. Sometimes in life, you need these moments more than others. The great outdoors and Mother Nature is always there to provide me with my “outdoor therapy.” On one such occasion when I was starting to feel worn down and not myself, needing a little break from the rigors of work. It was time to get outside and play. But what should I do?! Go explore a new lake, hike to a new destination, drive down a dirt road to find a campfire spot, fish some rivers, or rent a canoe for the weekend and paddle to an island to sleep under the stars. I though the last option was just what my soul needed to satisfy my sense of adventure. It was a beautiful day near the end of September. The bugs were just starting to taper off, and the forecast for the weekend was looking perfect. My girlfriend and I packed up all of our gear and our faithful huskies into the car. I was already starting to feel myself again just from packing up the vehicle knowing that our next destination is out of the city limits. This was going to be a great adventure surrounded by the sights and sounds of wildlife and fish and the smells of the trees and campfire. Looking through the back roads map book, we picked a new... read more
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