Thursday, February 25, 2010

Night Time Fun

One thing I really enjoyed a lot as a young kid was night fishing for bass off of a dock. As I was growing, I guess it was more important to get some shut eye instead of fishing. Now that I am taking up fishing in much more serious manner, it has once again, become one of my favorite things to do. The reason I enjoy night fishing so much is because it always turns out to be very exciting and productive. That was especially true this past summer.

When you fish during the day, bass can see all your moves and as a fisherman you need to be as natural as possible and be quiet and stealthy. This means we need to be invisible by using a trolling motor or an anchor instead of stirring up the water. Bass can see the action of your lures and the colours that you have chosen.

At night bass feel secure under the cover of darkness. Night fishing hides our mistakes and makes it easier to trick them with our devious ways. At night they don’t see but they are willing to accept baits even if they don’t look or feel natural. Their color vision goes down at night and you need to make the strongest presentation to them. The best color at night is black because it’s presents the darkest, most contrasting effect, and a silhouette so to speak. Another factor to watch out for at night is the current moon phase.

Even when the stars and moon are out there is still enough light to see what you are doing. After you have done it long enough, you will realize that when you reel your lure in and you raise your rod tip up and hold it up to the sky, you can see how far your bait is hanging off the end of your rod, and whether or not you are all tangled up. Believe me that has happened many times.

This past summer all the above factors worked out quite nicely for me on Rice Lake. The first case was at the beginning of August of 2009, less than 2 days after the full moon (96% Waning Gibbous).

The second case was in early October of 2009, less than 2 days before the full moon (97% Waxing Gibbous). Both of these smallmouth bass were caught using a Jitterbug surface lure. There is something about fishing in the dead calm of night and listening to the distinctive gurgling sounds the Jitterbug makes as it paddles across the surface, just waiting for a splash and explosion from an unsuspecting fish. My best luck has been around midnight at this time of year. By that time of night the water has settled down and is completely calm and the fish have started to feed. On both occasions I remember feeling a thump and you felt weight on the end of the line and you crank back and set the hook and enjoy the fight and memory of a lifetime.

Night fishing for bass will be something I continue to do for many years to come.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How To Find True North Without A Compass

If you are ever lost in the woods, knowing where True North is will help you out a great deal. Even if you have a compass, it will point to magnetic north, which depending on your location in the world, can vary a great deal from true north. So what do you do? For our purpose, we will use the Northern Hemisphere.

If the moon isn't visible, you can use the stars for direction. The stars have been helping explorers navigate for centuries. In the Northern Hemisphere, the North Star, or Polaris, guides you towards True North.

You can find Polaris by first locating the Big Dipper and Little Dipper constellations. Draw an imaginary line through the two stars that make up the end of the pot (the outermost stars of the cup of the Big Dipper, opposite the handle) to the last and brightest star in the handle of the Little Dipper.

You may also find the neighboring M-shaped constellation Cassiopeia. It is always opposite the Big Dipper. The North Star is located midway between the central star of Cassiopeia and the Big Dipper.

This direction is true north, and if you can find a landmark in the distance at this point, you can use it to guide yourself.

Uni Knot: The Only Knot You Need To Know

The Uni Knot system enables you to learn just one simple knot and adapt it to virtually any need. It is a versatile knot which can be used for: tying a hook, attaching a swivel, attaching line to your reel and even joining two lines together. The Uni Knot works well with braided lines as well as with monofilament, and it's by far the best way to tie high strength and small diameter braided lines. It's also a great knot to use when fishing in the dark since it's very easy to tie.


1) Pass the line through the eye of hook and double back parrellel to the standing line. Form a loop by laying the tag end over the double line.
2) Make 5-6 turns with the tag end around the the double line and through the loop.
3) Moisten the line and pull the tag end tight to snug up the turns.
4) Slide the knot down against the eye and trim the end.

From my experience I have never had any breaks using this knot. The strength of the Uni Knot isn't compromised when the line is pulled with a jerk or twitch, rather than with steady pressure. Some knots, which test at more than 90% on a steady pull, will break at 50 or 60% if subjected to severe and sudden jolts, which may happen when a big fish surges boatside.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

March 2010 Moon Phases


The moon rises and sets at specific times, according to what phase it is in.

The new moon rises and sets at approximately the same time as the sun.

The first quarter moon rises at mid-morning and sets at midnight. So it's at its height around dusk, not in the middle of the night.

The full moon rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. The full moon is the only moon that will be overhead in the middle of the night.

The last quarter moon rises around midnight and sets around mid-morning. So unless you're a late-owl, you've probably never even seen this moon.

With the end of February fast approaching, I have posted the New and Full moon phases for all you avid anglers so you can plan any outings you may have in store for your favourite body of water.

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 2010 Full Moon Phase

Full Moon in February falls on the 28th.

For those fishermen and hunters who enjoy fishing and hunting at sunrise and sunset here are the absolute best dates to be on the water at your favorite spot.

These are the Major or Minor Solunar Periods that fall near the times of Sunrise or Sunset during a Full or New Moon.

It has been documented that when this condition exists fish will bite on anything they see or smell. Limits are almost guaranteed provided there are fish in the vicinity.

It’s no secret that fish and game tend to feed during dawn and dusk (sunrise and sunset). What amplifies the activity is the effect of a moonrise or moonset plus the specific monthly periods of New (dark) and Full (light) Moons.

When the times coincide with a moon-rise or a moon-set the action can be spectacular. Finally, a change in the local weather coinciding with the periods will further enhance the activity.

KVD Wins The 2010 Bassmaster Classic

The 2009 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan added another accolade to his career Sunday, winning the 40th Bassmaster Classic on Lay Lake, also his 3rd title. With a three-day total of 51 lbs 6 oz's, KVD held off Jeff Kriet of Ardmore, Oklahoma who finished second with 46 lbs 6 oz's and third-place finisher Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, who had 44 lbs 3 oz's. VanDam caught every bass he weighed on a ½ ounce Strike King Red Eye Shad in plain gold along with a new color, gold Sexy Shad. He used a Quantum Signature cranking setup, consisting of a 7 foot medium action KVD Tour cranking rod with a Signature KVD Tour reel and 17 and 20 pound test fluorocarbon, a larger size that helped slow down the bait, important in the shallow water.