Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Musky T Shirts

The muskellunge or musky is one of North America's most renowned game fish. The species ranges from the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes basin, to areas of Canada in the north and west.

These top level fish hide among aquatic plants, submerged logs or other cover, waiting to ambush their prey. Muskies eat perch, suckers, catfish, minnows, sunfishes and other fish. Large individuals have been known to consume amphibians, waterfowl, and rodents.

The musky is one of the most popular species of fish seen on t shirts. The species has a cult following and is widely regarded as one of North America's top gamefish.

Musky are not only elusive, but cunning and difficult to land. Their keen eyesight warrants using light line but their teeth can easily slice thru mono leaders. If an angler is lucky enough to set the hook and not be cut off, muskies often leap and shake the hook.

For anglers that have caught one or more muskies, this shirt makes a great gift to remember the occasion by.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Types of Rainbow Trout

Although most anglers are familiar with North America's iconic rainbow trout, there are actually several variations of this colorful fish.

Rainbow trout are named for the bands of coloration along their sides. The body of the rainbow trout is typically dark on top with silver flanks and lighter undersides. Male rainbows have red stripes, especially during the spawning phase while females are less colorful.

In 1963, the “West Virginia Centennial Golden Trout” was released. The variation was a developed from an unusually colored specimen which appeared in a West Virginia trout hatchery. Later breeding produced a palomino trout. Several other states in the Mid Atlantic region now produce and stock golden or palomino rainbow trout in ponds and streams.

Golden rainbow trout should not to be confused with the true golden trout (Oncorhynchus aguabonita), which is found only in California.

A third form of rainbow trout is the steelhead. These special forms of rainbow trout leave coastal streams and rivers as juveniles to live in saltwater environments. Like their close relatives, the salmon, steelhead eventually return to freshwater to spawn. Steelhead typically live after spawning, unlike Pacific salmon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Freshwater Fishing After Floods

floodwaters pour over a dam
Floods can disrupt fishing for days or weeks. Eventually, high water levels subside enough for anglers to fish again. During these periods, anglers often gain valuable knowledge about lake structure and fish behavior.

In creeks and streams, anglers can look for areas where logs, rocks, and other debris are piled up by floodwaters. These structures can create large eddies where fish are likely to congregate.

In man-made lakes and reservoirs that are fed by streams or creeks, floodwaters can cause major structural changes. After major floods, anglers may find logs, brush, or other debris along the shoreline, partially submerged or sunken on the bottom. Where creeks enter these bodies of water, deltas are often formed by gravel, sand, mud, or other materials.

Immediately after flooding, fishing may be impossible, but as each day passes, fishing opportunities tend to improve. Forage is often abundant, especially along shorelines. During floods, insects, minnows, and other small prey take refuge in shoreline vegetation.

As floodwaters recede, forage species are forced back into the lake where hungry fish are waiting. Some lakes experience insect hatches following high water levels, which also helps trigger fish to feed heavily.

Scouting a lake for the signs of fish is usually a good first step following periods of high water. Territory to be investigated include areas near dam spillways (if regulations allow), shoreline vegetation, protruding stumps, mats of floating debris, and other obstructions. Lure designs are critical when snags are abundant.

When scouting deeper parts of lakes, fishfinders may help locate logs, debris, or other structure that was deposited during a flood. Fishfinders are also useful for detecting suspended fish that may be taking refuge in clearer portions of the lake.

Depending on local variations, fishing after a flood may improve or be unproductive for days or weeks afterward. In either case, a trip following a flood can provide important information for future fishing.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What are Kokanee Salmon?

Kokanee salmon are a land-locked relative of Pacific sockeye salmon. Rather than migrating upstream from the ocean, though, Kokanee salmon grow to maturity in freshwater lakes. Eventually, they migrate into coldwater streams to spawn.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Proper Catch and Release Techniques for Largemouth Bass

The following list of tips from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission should help reduce mortality when releasing largemouth bass back into the wild.

To minimize stress on the fish, a catch-and-release angler should land the fish quickly and handle it as little as possible, including removing the hook from the fish’s mouth while it is still in the water, if practical.  Limited handling helps reduce the loss of slime coat, the fish’s main defense against infection and disease.

Anglers should always wet their hands before touching fish and return the fish quickly to the water or immediately place it in the livewell. When using a landing net, a knotless nylon or rubber coated net is preferred over a knotted nylon net.

Anglers participating in fishing tournaments can minimize fish mortality by maintaining healthy oxygen and water quality in their livewells.

A few ways to do this are:

Knowing the capacity of the livewell and not exceeding a ratio of more than 1 pound of bass per gallon of water;

Running a recirculating pump continuously if more than 5 pounds of bass are in the livewell;

Using aerators or oxygen-injection systems to keep the water’s oxygen level above 5 ppm; and

Keeping livewell water about 5 degrees below the reservoir temperature by adding block ice.

N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recommends that tournament participants fill their weigh-in bags with livewell water, not reservoir or river water, before putting in their catch. They should put only five fish in a bag, fewer if the fish exceed 4 pounds each, and finally they should limit the amount of time that fish are held in bags.

"Keeping largemouth bass in weigh-in bags for longer than 2 minutes will significantly increase post-release mortality," Brian McRae, the Piedmont Region fisheries supervisor for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Fishing tournament organizers can do their part to help keep fish alive by providing holding tanks during the weigh-in with water 5 degrees below the reservoir or river temperature and with oxygen levels above 5 ppm.

"Fishing tournament organizers and participants should adopt best handling practices at all events," McRae said. "Using staggered times to weigh-in, release boats, and recovery stations with oxygen and recirculating water are all important considerations when planning a tournament."

Other options for tournament directors who enjoy summer fishing tournaments yet want to minimize mortality associated with higher water temperatures are reducing the number of competitive fishing hours or holding "paper tournaments" without weigh-ins.

More information on keeping bass alive, including the B.A.S.S.-produced publication, “Keeping Bass Alive: A Guidebook for Tournament Bass Anglers and Organizers,” is available on the Commission’s website, www.ncwildlife.org/fishing.

source: N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission