Freshwater Fish Finders

Not all fish finders work well in all types of fishing. If you like to fish in freshwater then you should look for a fishfinder that will work best for freshwater fishing.

In general single frequency fish finders are adequate for freshwater fishing. Single frequency models work well in most lakes, rivers and in shallow coastal fishing and they are generally less expensive. Single frequency fish finders have less depth penetration than dual frequency models, but for freshwater that is generally acceptable. Most freshwater fishing is not in deep water so being able to see to depths of 1000 feet or more is not needed. The single frequency fish finders will often have a larger cone angle which will let you see a broader area at a more shallow depth.

If you happen to fish in the Great Lakes or other very deep lakes or rivers then a dual frequency fishfinder will serve you better. The dual frequency settings will allow you greater visibility at deeper depth and overall deeper depth penetration.

Another aspect of freshwater fishing to consider when choosing a fishfinder is what type of craft you use for fishing. Many people use kayaks, float tubes, canoes or small boats when fishing in freshwater. If you use one of these smaller crafts you should consider a portable fishfinder. Both Eagle and Humminbird make portable models that are both affordable and an excellent choice for shallow freshwater.

For very shallow water, two to ten feet, one of the best choices is the Humminbird Fishin Buddy line. These fishfinders are portable and also have side viewing capability which allows you to see fish off to the side of your boat. Plus you can adjust the shaft on these models to see at different depths. There are several different models in this line and they are all inexpensive. If you prefer fixed mounted models, the Fishin Buddy line can also be mounted to your craft using the included bracket.

The Eagle portable fish finders are also a good option for people who fish from small crafts or from multiple boats. These portable units generally have suction cup mounting systems and are quite versatile. In general the Eagle portable fish finders are also extremely affordable and definitely offer a good value for your dollar.

If you are selecting a fishfinder for freshwater fishing, consider the water depth and type of craft you usually use. Unless you are fishing in truly deep water, like the Great Lakes, you can often get great results from some of the more inexpensive models. If you are in the market for your first fishfinder then you may want to start with a simpler model and trade up to the more advanced models as you gain experience with finding fish easily.

Source by Beth Pasquale

The Best Fishing Places In The World!

If you enjoy a spot of fishing but are bored with your current spots, why not think about going somewhere really special? You may as well treat yourself to the best that the world has to offer, because you work so hard all year round! Let’s have a look at some of the places you should be dreaming about. Who knows, you may even get to see a few of them very soon!

Newfoundland – Canada

Apparently you can catch the most delicious fish on the planet in Newfoundland. I’m not sure if it is something in the water, but they just seem so much tastier here. Flowers river is the best spot if you are after some special mackerel and yellowtail. Over twenty varieties of fish can be caught within one square mile. Newfoundland is rightfully the best fishing spot on the planet – right now!

Victoria – Australia

It may seem like a long way to come, but ‘down under’ is where it is at for fishing. If you enjoy a bit of sport fishing off the boat, you should really pack your backs for Victoria. There are over 7 species of sharks available all from the same area. It has something to do with the plentiful bait fish and the really deep water combining to attract these denizens of the deep.

Puget Sound, DC, United States

Come to the heart of the Olympic mountains if you want to see how fishing was supposed to be enjoyed. As well as the breathtaking scenery you can catch some brilliant bass and excellent eels in the spectacular lake waters.

Cape Town – South Africa

One of the most exiting fishing destinations you could ever wish to visit. You will be fishing for massive tuna whilst gasping in awe at the sight of killer whales and beautiful dolphins. You can even go cage diving with the majestic great white sharks. The beaches provide a welcome backdrop for the days you just want to kick back and relax.

Montauk Point, NY, United States

North America features heavily in this fishy festival of far off places. That is because the variety of waters is second to none. In Montauk point you can test your silky skills whilst fishing off a mesmerizing glacial cliff. The mighty striped bass will be more than happy to keep you company on your NY visit.

Cabo San Lucas – Mexico

One of the most famous and beautiful sea fishing spots in the western hemisphere. The sport fishing here is so good that they hold world record competitions almost every week. If sailfish and marlin float your boat, you should head down this way- pronto amigo!

Florida Keys – United States

Although it can be fairly expensive, you should give this picturesque setting at least on trip before you die. The shark and barracuda sport fishing will stay in your memory long after the suntan has faded. Just remember to take loads of photographs because the doubters will never believe the one that got away!

Source by Melissa Mao

Lake Erie Walleye Fishing

Lake Erie is known as a Walleye fishing paradise, and thousands of anglers visit this area every year looking for trophy fish and enjoying the sport.

Walleye in Lake Erie give the best fishing during the early spring and then again in the fall months, but these fish are available year round if you are willing to look. In the early spring months, the reefs are a great place to locate Walleye, especially the females getting ready for the spawn, because of the deep water.

During early spring and the fall months it is recommended to slowly troll around the reefs. This will allow you to cover more area, and increases the odds of catching a Walleye. These reefs offer great Walleye fishing opportunities even through the spring into early summer, and then again in the fall. During the fall months the Walleye are coming into Lake Erie from the Central Basin, and this offers a great chance to catch trophy Walleye.

Spring Walleye fishing on Lake Erie can also be very productive in the Western Basin of the lake. During the spring more than eighty percent of the population of Walleye in the lake are usually hanging out in this area because of spawning activity. Catching trophy Walleye during this time in this area is common, with many being over ten pounds. Use minnows with jigs or cast some blade baits and you can catch a large number of males on the reefs, where they are waiting for the females to spawn. If you are looking for large female Walleye in this area, you should troll in the deer water around the reefs.

The lake also offers great summer time Walleye fishing. Larger Walleye, including many of the larger females, will move off into the Central Basin. The Walleye that stay in the Western Basin will usually form large schools, and these can be a mile or longer long and wide. This is considered the best time of year to fish just for the sport and the flesh of the fish.

It is common to limit out daily during the summertime on this lake.

Fishing for Walleye on this great lake during the late summer and fall months means changing your strategy if you're looking for trophy fish. The Western Basin of the lake once again has very large female Walleye, some over two and a half feet long and weighing ten pounds or more. Bait fish and jigging, as well as bottom bouncers, can work wonders in getting the Walleye interested if they are slow to respond.

Source by Andrew Martinsen

Lipless Rattle Baits For Early Spring Bass – Another Bass Fishing Trick!

If you are looking for another bass fishing trick for early spring bass fishing try using a lipless rattle bait. Yep, that's right. Lipless rattle baits in early spring can be very productive and can often times out produce most other lures under certain conditions.

As warmer spring weather approaches and the water temperature begin to rise, largemouth bass will begin their crusade towards the waterfall flats, coves, and channels in search of food and spawning grounds. This is the perfect time of year to intercept these crushing bass with a lipless rattle bait.

There are many liberal rattle baits available on the market today. I would recommend going to your favorite tackle store and picking out a few different sizes and colors to add to your tackle box, and experiment with them to see which one works best. These types of lures are designed to sink until you begin your retreat. Once you begin your recovery these lures will run at a constant depth unless you stop your retirement to let the bait flutter down into holes in weeds or down the sides of wood cover. The rattle in these lures is more than just a gimmick designed to catch more fisherman than fish. The rattle allergs fish more than silent crank baits do, so the fish may begin zeroing in on the noise of an approaching lure even before it is visible to the fish.

Also, the lipless rattle bait has no diving bill, however, the slanted nose on the lure will deflect it over snags. These hits make these types of lures very versatile for covering both shallow and deep water. Try casting a lipless rattle bait into a shallow weed bed during early spring and let the lure sink down into the weeds. Then rip the lure out of the weeds, pause, and repeat. This tactic can produce some violent reaction strikes and can be deadly on early spring bass. If you have not tested lipless rattle baits on early spring bass than you are missing out on another bass fishing trick that you can use to put more bass in the boat or on the stringer.

Source by Gregory Jackson

Crawfish and Their Behavior

The imitation soft plastic crawfish or hard plastic crawfish crankbait can be one of the most powerful baits you can throw, depending on the time of the year and how it’s presented. Many anglers today use these imitations and do not really understand why they are using them and quite possibly how to use them properly. Imitations come in all shapes, sizes, materials and colors. We will take a look at the selection process and determine when the best time to throw imitations would be as well as explain why and how you should use them. Once you understand the mating and molting rituals of crawfish, you will definitely have the upper hand when using these imitation baits.

There are plastic imitations starting in the ½” range all the way up to 6″. Some have multiple legs and pinchers, while many are very authentic and they can differ greatly between models and brands. As a matter of fact, there are companies that have taken actual crawfish and made molds of the creature and reproduced an exact replica in soft plastic. Some of the most popular brands of plastic crawfish are: Gambler Worms, Magic Worms, Zoom, Nichols, Mad Man, Strike King, Tiki Sticks, Storm, Culprit, Lake Fork, Berkley and Gary Yamamoto just to name a few. My personal choice is the Gambler Crawdaddy in the 4″ model. I have tried many different types and brands and the Crawdaddy consistently produces the most strikes for me, When it comes to hard crankbaits (molded hard plastic or wood) there are many companies out there making crawfish patterns as well. A few that come to mind would be Rapala, Storm, Bomber, Yo-Zuri, Mann’s, Rebel, Smithwick, Rat-L-Trap, Cotton Cordell, Berkley and Daiwa.

I think to truly understand when the best time to use a crawfish type bait, you must first understand why bass eat them and when they find this type of forage the most appetizing. Crawfish are located just about everywhere: from flooded areas to agricultural fields to muddy ditches and of course ponds, lakes and reservoirs. There is not a state in the contiguous 48 that doesn’t have millions of crawfish swimming around and providing a nice feast for the local bass populations. The more knowledge you possess about crawfish, the higher catch rate you’ll enjoy after practice and proper usage. I think it’s time we go back to science class and educate everyone about this awesome little beasty. Like any creature on our planet, crawfish are bound and determined to eat, mate and protect themselves from predators. You must understand how this process works to maximize your catch, while using imitation lures.

Late March through May is the first major period of crawfish activity. Now, this may change one month forward or reverse depending on what State you live in and other details such as water temperature and conditions. Crawfish usually start to come out when the water reaches 50 degrees. This is the time in which they are in the wide-open areas looking for receptive females for mating purposes. Most importantly, this is the first time that the males are out walking around on the rocks, exposing themselves to feeding bass. When the crawfish walk on the rocks, they make a clicking noise, which is intended to attract females, but it will also attract bass. Keep in mind rocks are the #1 place that crawfish get picked off by bass. Look for rocks that are fairly clean and free of foreign debris, as crawfish do not have the ability to clean off the rock like a bass can using its tail to sweep a spawning bed nice and clean. Crawfish rely of currents and wave action to sweep the rocks clean for them. Crawfish are also very light sensitive. If the water is shallow, your chances of catching bass are much better in low-light conditions such as early morning or late evening. If the crawfish are walking around on rocks in 30 feet of water, you can fish for them about any time of the day.

After the mating process takes place, the females will disappear back into their little holes and caves to fertilize their eggs with the sperm that has been deposited on them by the males. The male crawfish will then molt and their calcified sexual organs will fall off. (Ouch!) When this happens, the males will try and hide. This is the time that many anglers think that bass will gorge themselves with crawfish. This is true to an extent, but not for the reasons you might assume! After the molt, the males start to retreat and are less accessible to the predator bass. The crawfish will spend most of their time in their caves and holes trying to find enough to eat without coming out into open water. They will however come out of hiding during low light conditions and when this happens, the chance of getting picked off by fish is much greater. During the molt process, the color of the crawfish will change dramatically. They will usually go from a camouflage brown/olive color to a bright red or orange color. This color change will make them much more visible to hungry fish cruising along and this explains why the bass tend to feast on crawfish during this stage.

Depending on the water temperatures, the females will begin to hatch their eggs, usually in about 30 days. The hatchlings will stay attached to the female and depending on the crawfish species, the hatchlings will molt every 2 to 7 days. They will then fall off their mother after the third molt and will be approximately ½” long. The females will then molt and go into a low light feeding process and stay in their caves and crevices as much as possible. The little crawfish will molt several times and crawl around in the cracks and crevices and feed as much as possible until fall. During this period, the small crawfish are more susceptible to bottom feeders rather than bass. When fall arrives and you are throwing craw pattern crankbaits, be sure to revisit the same rocks you fished earlier during the year. Often ignored by most anglers, the fall mating season or cycle is the most intense. Fish your fall craw imitations the same way you fish your spring craws and you will produce dramatic results.


I think the best way to fish either hard plastic or soft plastic imitations is to work them parallel to rocky banks. Try different depths and always remember to bounce, hop, jig, bump and run your bait over rocks as this is the area the bass will be keying in on looking for crawfish. In other words, always keep contact with the rock structures! If you are using a soft plastic craw with a bullet type weight, be sure to tap and clack that weight against the rocks, as this will definitely imitate the clicking sounds that the crawfish makes. When using plastic or wood crankbaits, use models that contain a rattle device, as this is an excellent imitation as well. If you are very serious about “matching the hatch”, try my method. I will go down to the shoreline the day before I am going to fish a body of water and dip a crawfish trap in the water. Wait a while until you catch several crawfish. You can then study these creatures and when you get home, you are able to take your soft plastics and match the colors of the present live crawfish. This might require that you purchase a few jars of soft plastic paint or several colors or fingernail polish, and touch up the claw tips and various parts to get an exact match. It you have any further questions, please contact me at

Source by G. Wayne Byrd

Chesapeake Bay Rockfish – Catching Maryland Striped Bass on Live Bait

The Chesapeake Bay rockfish, also known as Maryland striped bass, is the most sought-after fish on Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. This article focuses on the technique of using spot fish for live bait to catch Chesapeake Bay rockfish. This technique is also known as live-lining.

Live-lining for Chesapeake Bay rockfish is the most popular method of fishing on the Chesapeake Bay during the summer months right on through October. Most Chesapeake Bay rockfish range between 18 and 28 inches in length during this time period, and anglers in Maryland are allowed to keep up to two per person as long as the rockfish fall within that range of length.

In order to be successful at live-lining for Chesapeake Bay rockfish, an angler must first catch the bait, in this case, spot fish. Spot fish are about the size of an adult human hand, very seldom more than nine inches in length. They are known for having a dark spot on each side behind the gill. Although there are many who catch spot fish using traps, the most popular method is fishing with a hook and line. The best way to fish for spot fish is with a sensitive rod and spinning reel, using a standard two-hook bottom rig with small hooks, plastic standoffs and a 2-4 ounce lead sinker. The most effective bait for catching spot fish are bloodworms, although you can also use artificial bloodworm alternatives (Fishbites is a popular brand), peeler crab, squid, shrimp, and cut chicken. With the line in the water, hold the sinker on the bottom, and occasionally jig the line while leaving the sinker on the bottom. This type of fishing involves a lot of patience as spot fish do like to nibble. Spot fish are used most often in the tribaries of the Chesapeake Bay, such as the Honga and Patuxent rivers, on hard, shelly bottom.

Once a significant quantity of spot fish has been eaten and stored in a live well, it is time to go after those Chesapeake Bay rockfish! It's usually best to have at least five spot fish in the tank for every rockfish that you are trying to catch. For instance, if there are three people on your boat, the limit for Chesapeake Bay rockfish is six fish. In this case, it's best to have at least 30 spot fish on board. You will lose some spot while trying to catch these rockfish, so it's always best to have too many as opposed to not enough.

The best way to liveline for Chesapeake Bay rockfish is with a sensitive rod and a spinning reel. Shakespeare UglyStiks and Penn 550SSg spinning reels or Shimano Baitrunners make a good combination here. Use monofilament line that is about 20-lb test. Small treble hooks (# 6 or smaller) are most effective. Mustad makes a very good treble hook. Attach the hook to the line, and you may want to use one or two egg sinkers depending on the strength of the current.

Insert one tine of the treble hook into the back of the spot fish, just below the dorsal fin. Then, release the bail and watch the spot fish swim away. Leave the bail open and let the line run through your fingers, but keep some tension on it so that the spot struggles while trying to get away. While struggling for freedom, the spot will look as if it is wounded. This is all a Chesapeake Bay rockfish needs to see before it goes after its first meal. If a Chesapeake Bay rockfish does connect, you will feel a sharp pull and the line will free-spool. In the event this happens, let the line run. At this point, the rockfish is trying to get the spot into its mouth. Any tension applied at this point will simply pull the spot out of the rockfish's mouth. Let the line run for about five seconds. Then, once the free-spooling slows down or stops, close the bail and slowly raise your rod. Then, reel in your catch.

Live-lining is unlike most other methods of fishing. There is always the tendency to violently snatch or jerk the rod upon getting a hit from the fish in order to set the hook. However, when live-lining it's best to let the fish take the hook and swallow the spot fish down. Otherwise, you're more than likely to pull the bait out of its mouth. This is a habit that must be un-taught in order to be successful at live-lining.

Because Chesapeake Bay rockfish are apt to swallow the spot fish, the treble hook will almost always be found in the "guts" of the fish. In these instances, you can not remove the hook without causing serious injury to the fish, and leaving the hook in does not do any good either. Most fish that are eaten and released using this method will die. Just because these fish do not float on the surface does not mean that they do not die, as many just go to the bottom. This is why catch-and-release should not be practiced when live-lining. As soon as you catch your legal limit, go on and do something else, and let someone else have a turn.

Live-lining for Maryland rockfish is one of the most exciting methods of fishing. Due to the uniqueness of it, if you can master it, then you should be able to master any other type of fishing.

Source by David Schauber

Mississippi Crossbows

Use of the crossbow or xbow as it is sometimes referred to by archers under 35, has long been the subject of rules and regulations.

Pope Innocent I outlawed the use of the crossbow in Europe in 1139, saying, “The deadly art, hated of God, of the crossbow, is not to be used against Christians and Catholics, on pain of excommunication.”

Times change

In Mississippi, it has long been the standing policy of the MDWFP to allow crossbows to be legal for disabled hunters with a special permit as well as hunters 65 and older, to use during primitive weapon and deer gun seasons. The rule of thumb was that as long as they could not physically manipulate a standard longbow or compound bow, and could prove it with documentation from the VA or Social Security Administration, they were good to go for crossbows. Often the only avenue available to get their fought for crossbow was through mail order and internet catalogs as few local shops carried the ‘specialty’ items. Sporting goods shows and gun shows often only had toy crossbows that fired faux bolts or sucker-tipped plastic arrows.

Well, times have changed again

In 2009 full crossbow inclusion, to allow all properly licensed hunters to hunt with a crossbow everywhere in the state during regular seasons, failed to pass the state house. However, enough phone calls and letters from groups such as the Mississippi Crossbow Federation kept coming into Jackson to support the initiative.

On May 19, 2010, the five members of the MDWFP Commission voted to change the previous regulation to define crossbows as regular archery equipment and allow crossbows to be used by everyone in the early archery season on the 665,000 acres of the state’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). While not as sweeping as the 2009 proposed legislation, it was an important step towards allowing xbow users to take game statewide. By 2010 a General Crossbow License was made available to any hunter, resident or non, to allow them to use a crossbow to take deer during the primitive weapon and gun season for deer.

The $12.29 General Crossbow permit is valid only during those two seasons, and to use it the hunter must also have their Sportsman (or All Game Hunting/Freshwater Fishing) and Archery/Primitive Weapon permits. For out of state hunters the permit is only $10 higher.

The Magnolia State has embraced the crossbow with open arms, as witnessed by the aisle after aisle of the devices on display at the Bass Pro Shop in Pearl. In fact, most sporting goods stores in the state that I have been through have at least a couple crossbow models on the shelf to compare. According to Wayne King of the Mississippi Crossbow Federation, more than 2300 Magnolia state crossbow permit holders currently take to the woods.

While some bowhunters see the crossbow as cheating, xbow aficionados counter that when compared to a hunter taking white tail with a scoped rifle firing match grade Nosler partitions at 300-yards, the crossbow is still downright primitive. This argument is used as well when comparing the crossbow with breech-loading single shot rifles that are legal to use alongside muzzleloaders during primitive weapon season.

“To call a crossbow a cheater’s tool and a scoped composite stocked.45-70 a primitive weapon in the same state is confusing,” said Robert Martin, a crossbow advocate from Gautier. Martin is a disabled hunter who is unable to use a compound bow anymore and is now hooked on crossbows.

When the state legislature resumes in 2012, the Mississippi Crossbow Federation will continue to push for legislation that may finally allow all Mississippians to hunt deer and turkey with a crossbow in all open seasons from October 1 through January 31.

Source by Chris Eger

Looking At Some Boat Covers Facts

Choosing the right boat usually takes a great deal of time and patience, so it's wise to also spend time researching the many boat covers that can be used on your boat. The exciting news is that good they will extend the life of your boat. You can find them at several different prices, but be aware that price does not always indicate quality.

It is important to understand what differentiates high quality ones from cheaper imitations. Quality, not price, should be your priority. First, you must decide whether you want a custom boat cover or a universal one.

Custom ones are designed to fit the exact model and year of your boat. The advantage of the custom ones is that they will fit tightly. The particular size and shape of your boat are taken into consideration. This means that gapping is minimized and your boat is better protected.

Universal ones are designed to fit all boats within a given size range. They provide adequate protection and are significantly less expensive than custom covers. However, you may experience a loose fit or some gapping. If you choose to go with a universal boat cover, be sure to purchase one that is as close as possible to the actual size of your boat.

A high quality boat cover should have certain protective features. It should be UV and mildew resistant. UV light can cause many fabrics to break down, so UV resistance will help the cover last. Do not trust a manufacturer who claims that it is mildew-proof, as mildew is inevitable in the damp conditions experienced by a boat cover. However, mildew resistance will help to inhibit the growth of mold.

Check the seams and corners of it to make sure that they are well made and reinforced. Also, check the tie-down straps and buckles to make sure that they are well constructed and well attached. You want it to hold up against the inevitable abuse that it will take.

If you plan to put your boat on a trailer, look for a cover with special straps to tie the cover to the trailer. Special straps and hoods are also available to secure the cover around the bow of the boat and around an outboard motor. While not strictly necessary, these extra features help the cover to fully protect your boat.

Boat covers come in a variety of fabric types and colors. Lighter colors are generally a better choice as they will reflect light and minimize heat buildup underneath. Polyester and high polyester content blends are considered ideal fabrics due to their light weight, lack of stretchability and superior water resistance.

It is important to understand the basics about boat covers in order to make an intelligent decision about which one to purchase. A good boat cover is really an investment in protecting your boat.

To find a reputable dealer, check boating books or an online boat forum for recommendations. You can also look in the telephone book under "boating gear" or "boating supplies," but be sure to check out an unknown dealer carefully. Wherever you choose to buy your boat cover, remember that quality is the most important factor.

Source by Mike Ramidden

Future Rifle Scope Technology That's Here Today

The next generation rifle scope targeting technology will make real life shooting resemblance a video game and cause a revolutionary re-tooling of the industry. The size of a rifle scope, the optimal location on the gun, the way users position it for targeting in front of their eye, and its visual sensory field of view capabilities are all ready to leap frog ahead at affordable consumer prices.

As a technologist, sports shooter, and hunter I look at how the traditional rifle scope and its user interface has not changed in design to incorporate any of today's readily available technologies. Most shooters I know look at a scope the same way we looked at a camera in the 80's. Why should the body style change and why add an LCD display? An LCD is certainly not as sharp as looking directly through quality lenses from vendors like Nikon or Canon. In the sun you can hardly see what you are pointing at on a LCD screen. But today, every camera has one, even the most expensive ones used by professional videographers. In this writer's opinion, one day soon every rifle scope will also.

You may ask, "what consumer technologies do we have today that could enhance a rifle scope"? The first technologies that come to mind in automating are LCD displays, SD card storage, and wireless video transmission. Others include micro circuit board camera IR night vision and starlight night vision. These simply integrate technology with the scope's visual field. The manipulation of the image data for decision making is also possible. I am sure the military has this today, but why not Bass Pro Shop and Walmart at consumer prices?

Technology has added a visual monitor to just about everything over the last 20 years. Who would have thought in the 1980's that the telephone, camera, and even automobiles would have built in LCD screens for user operation interfaces. Everything from a plumber scope that examine the insides of your pipes to microscopes now come with video capture and LCD display monitors as a standard or optional interfaces. This year Google even released HUD eye glasses which project visual information on the glasses lens for viewing.

Digital cameras were a destructive technology for the traditional camera industry. Digital storage revolutionized the film industry, changed the fabricated shapes of cameras, and blurred the difference in a video camera and still camera. The same is close to coming for the old fashion rifle scope. Changes to the way a scope is used for targeting could even change the fabricated shapes of guns. Circuit board cameras can provide high definition video, IR night vision, starlight vision, and thermal imaging. Targeting with a traditional scope has a human error opportunity called parallax which takes skill to overcome. This is a targeting problem caused when the eye is not positioned optimally in the scope's line of sight. Products like Digital Crosshairs NL scope attachment for day / night shooting eliminates this when attached properly to the scope. With this new device the human eye is no longer required to even be positioned behind the scope of eye piece for targeting, the crosshairs are mounted on a picatinny rail mounted LCD. A newly announced add-on to this product will enable the shooter to also transmit the scope of field of view up to 600 meters wirelessly to a remote viewer. This welcomed a lot of excuse when displayed at the Gastonia North Carolina 2013 Sniper's Conference in October. A frequent comment from SWAT team members was that this device showed the commanders what the shooter was viewing so the final decision to shoot could have been made by the command based on live visual information using wireless video transmission, not a verbal description of what the shooter was viewing. Digital Crosshairs NL makes it easy to enhance an existing scope to include an LCD display and IR night vision.

Other new technology enabled rifle scopes include the DigieScope DV-Scope which has a built in 2 inch LCD display for targeting and the Pulsar Digisight N750 that features a OLED screen for viewing and a built in variable power laser IR illuminator. It has a 4.5x magnification and a push button digital zoom which magnifies what you see by 1.5 times.

The scope industry like the camera industry will resist changing and a lot of die-hard shooters will insist that their traditional scope is better. Early resistances to destructive technologies that change a norm usually meet resistance. Would a serious shooter even want a scope that resembled a Gameboy ? Would a serious photographer consider a digital camera ten years ago? Everything changes and the rifle scope will also. Low cost electronic components from China like IR circuit board cameras, small LCDs, and new polymer battery technologies will make these inovations cheap to implement and provide a quality competitive with the multi thousand dollar high end scopes technology of today.

Source by William H. Johns

Best Rod and Reel Combo of the 2008 Season

The Saros 1000F spinning reel and the Cumara medium extra fast rod makes an excellent shaky combo. This year, both these Shimano products are combined to give smooth, strong and feather light Bass fishing action that feels perfect for the task at hand.

For a shaky combo the Saros1000F is hard to beat in a spinning reel. It has plenty of 6lb Fluorocarbon line capacity which is a major part of the shaky rig too. Casting is made easy, reeling is a pleasure and fighting a feisty Smallmouth Bass is a blast with it. A good strong and reliable drag is a must when a scrappy Smallie is on the end of our line and with the Saros 1000F it looks effortless.

Shimanos Cumara medium extra fast spinning rod is ideal. It feels like it is an extension of my arm. Comfort and durability and an all day delight just about sums up the feel of these fine rods. Either the 6'8 "or the 7'2" has been used, but for me, the 7'2 "shines with that extra length of hinged tip elasticity for the prolonged shaking. excellent fit for the Saros reel and they compliment each other.

Trust me, go to your nearest tackle shop and put a Shimano Saros 1000F and Cumara medium extra fast combo in your hands and tell me it does not feel good. Now fill it with Seaguar 6lb fluorocarbon and you are good to go!

Have a great 2009 bass fishing season.

Source by Nic Di Gravio

Popper Fishing For Whiting in Australia

Whiting are another popular fish targeted in Australia, they are reasonably plentiful in the summer months. They were until the last few years recognized as a bottom feeding fish that's diet was primarily worms, yabbies, prawns and shrimp. They call sand banks home due to the food source that lives in these areas.

Light fishing gear is all that is required to catch a feed of these fiery little battlers as they are an amazing little fighter with a few jumps thrown in for good measure. They are referred to as the poor man's bonefish because they hold some similarities to a highly watched after sportfish known as a bonefish.

Basically a standard rig of a sinker, a swivel and a long shank hook is all that is required. Worm baits are severely ever refused with yabbies and prawns running a close second. These fish travel in large schools and when they are in the mood it's not difficult to catch multiple figures.

There has been a massive upsurge in interest in these fish over the last 2 or 3 years, as it has been discovered that these fish will willingly take surface lures. A professional fishing guide on the south coast of Australia was looking for a snag less way of fishing for bread as his clients were having trouble with snagging the bottom too often.

So he had his clients use surface lures, to their surprise that they started catching a whiting here and there and thought nothing of it, then one day he thought lets go and specifically target whiting and see how we go, and you guessed it the whiting captures Dramatically increased.

This spawned a whole new method and now thousands of angles purposely target whiting on surface lures. The lure is worked quickly across the surface almost as if you are trying to pull it away from the fish, but this seems to fire up the whiting even more as he clumsily swipes at the lure until they ever get hooked or lose interest.

The fish thinks the lure is a prawn or bait fish scouting across the surface fleeing for its life. Pound for pound they are a hard fighting fish and on light gear they are a handy. A couple of hours popping for whiting is a great way to spend a sunny summer afternoon, with the reward being a feed of arguably one of Australia's finest table fish.

Source by Mark Goverd

Fishing Lures For Bass

Bass fishing lures are one of the most important items when it comes to catch fish. Now this does not mean you have to get all the latest motorized fancy lures in the market, but instead it means you should know your fish and get the lure that does the work! It does not matter if you catch largemouth or smallmouth fish; if you do not know how to lure them you'll be lost.

In today's market you will find an immunity variety of bass fishing lures from simple plastic lures with many forms to the more complicated ones, such as crank baits and buzz baits.

Some Types of Fishing Lures for Bass

Here is a compilation of some of the common names you'll encounter on your quest to find the best lure:

Crankbaits – These work petty fine on all types of water bodies, these lures look like crawfish or baitfish.

Spinnerbaits – These baits cover a wider area, so it can help you have success in your fishing day easier.

Plastic worms. This is a classic bait, used for many years by fishermen all around the globe. They vary both in length and in color. They are ready to pick up and use.

Topwater plugs – You can get pretty creative with this type of lures. They stay on top of the water and attract fishes to it. Seeing the fish right before falling into the bait is pretty exciting!

These are just some of the most common types of lures, there are others like for example the bucktail jig, and the jig and pig.

Source by Lee Berke

Nothing Better Than Maine Ice Fishing

In Maine, ice fishing is a standard winter activity. Every winter, you'll find dedicated fisherman hauling their equipment out on the ice of lakes and ponds, drilling holes in the ice, and setting up for the duration, hoping to catch fresh fish. Locals and tourists alike ice fish, and you'd be amazed to find out that some of the big fish are eaten in the winter.

Like any other form of hunting or fishing, there are rules and regulations you need to know about if you're planning to ice fish in Maine. Look up the regulations you need according to the county you are planning on fishing in. Each pond and lake may have slightly different rules, so make sure you understand the rules for your choice of destinations.

For the most part, ice fishing season is open from January 1 to March 31. There are some exceptions that open as soon as the ice is thick enough. Find out what your limits are for the fish you want to catch. If you're using an ice fishing shell, there are regulations about that, too. Maine sponsors two days each winter where you can ice fish for free … this way you can try out ice fishing to see if you like it without spending the money for a fishing license.

If you've never been ice fishing in Maine, you may want to start out with a guide. Your guide will help you find a safe patch of ice, and help you get set up so you can successfully catch your fish. This may be the best introduction to Maine ice fishing.

There are a couple different ways you can approach ice fishing. The first is where you get an auger and drill your own hole, set up your equipment, and set a spell, waiting for the fish. This can be done with or without a shelter. The second way is to utilize holes dug by other fishermen the day or two before. You'll need to be able to break the thin layer of ice that has formed before you can dip your hook. Some fishermen who use this technique only wait ten to twenty minutes before moving on to another hole if they do not catch anything.

If you're into competition, there are several Maine ice fishing tournaments every year. You can enter the tournament either as an individual, or as a family. You must fish in certain areas only at designated times. Different fish species have different limits, both for number of fish and weight.

For those not directly involved in the Maine Ice Fishing tournament, there are other activities that may find amusing; if not to participate in, at least to watch. Some of these activities may include Nordic walking, the Polar ice dip where participants don a swimming suit and jump in the icy water, a children's fishing tournament and a snowshoe race.

Source by Blake Allen

Fishing Trailer Boats – The Joy Of Fishing

Fishing has and always will be one of the most relaxing activities a person can treat themselves to. People enjoy going fishing because it not only lets them spend some peaceful time but also takes them away from the hustle bustle of the city that they live in … it takes them closer to nature and lets them have a hobby that is also quite rewarding and teachers you a skill. Many people like to go fishing alone but quite a few also want to teach the skill to their children and like for their family to come along when they go fishing.

The Challenge

The only challenge people have faced so far is that generally the boats made for fishing are quite small and are made for the task of fishing only, no other comforts to shade yourself from the sun or to really enjoy and this makes the process quite a solo act. That is why most of the people looking for some comfort for themselves or the family members who come along while enjoy fishing turn fishing trailer boots. These boats are made in a way that offers more space than a regular fishing boat and allow for more storage as well as a cabin where people can just sit and relax.

Many people own larger boats that they can take out when they go fishing however, these boats need some mode of transportation form home to the sea and the costs of transportation, the difficulty in getting the right trailer for the boat, and the complications of mooring it … add up and make people prefer not to take their own boat out but to just rent one. Sometimes people do not take out their own boats simply because they can not find the right trailer to carry them and getting the wrong one could mean damage to the boat, will anything happen on the way. With the trailer fishing boats, they do not have to forego the fun of fishing in their own boat with their loved ones without the worry of transporting it or mooring it … etc. they can just attack the boat to their vehicle and head out to have a good time.

Are there any other benefits?

There are many benefits to getting a trailer fishing boat:

  • You save a lot on the trailer renting prices each time you want to go fishing.
  • You do not have to wait to get the right trailer for your boat; you can just head out any time you want to go fishing as your boat is ready to be transported anytime.
  • You do not have to pay the mooring costs for your boat as you can take it back with you.
  • It is easy to have the family come along to have a good time because you know how much space you have and that lets you plan out a fun family time together at your leisure … not at the mercy of availability.
  • Since you can take your own trailer fishing boat out, you can create memories with your loved ones that will last for years to come … a great legacy to leave behind, a great culture to create for your family.
  • You can go fishing all by yourself anytime you feel like it and relax when you need to without any worries as well.

There are many people who stop themselves from getting a good fishing boat because of the possible hassles with transportation and the charges around mooring the boat, with the option to get a trailer fishing boat, all these hassles evaporate and all that is left is you and your trailer boat … and the open sea for you to explore.

Source by Palak D Singhal

Bass Fishing – The Carolina Rig

Most of my years of fishing for bass, I have been devoted to the Texas Rig. I had little understanding of the need for the Carolina Rig. Until lately…

New fishing situations and conditions I have encountered have shown me the value of this setup.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that one value of the Carolina Rig is more action from the bait. Since the bait is not quickly dropping to the bottom, it tends be more lively.

It is great for situations where the bass aren’t taking other baits because of weeds and visibility. Pulling one of these rigs over a bed of grass can be extremely rewarding.

It can be fished in any depth of water, but it seems most people use it in 8′ of water or less off islands, humps, coves adjacent to deep water.

The difference between the Texas Rig and the Carolina Rig is where the sinker is. In a Texas Rig, the sinker is a slip sinker that rides freely on the line with nothing else between the rod and the bait. In a Carolina Rig, there is a swivel or something else to allow a leader between the weight and the bait.

Both are used with plastic baits. The hook is usually embedded into the body of the plastic, making it virtually weedless. This is what drove me to love plastics, particularly worms.

The typical setup is to pass the line through a slip sinker then tie it to a swivel. Sinker weights can vary; usually a light sinker (3/8 to 1/2 ounce) for a shorter leaders, and heavier sinkers (1/2 ounce or more) for longer leaders.

Next, tie your leader onto the other end of the swivel. If you are new to this you might want to start with a shorter leader until you get used to casting it. Usually anglers use a leader of 1 1/2′ to 3′. If you are fishing deeper, you will probably want to go longer; maybe even as much as 6 or 7′.

Now tie the leader onto your hook. A size 2 or 3 worm hook is best, particularly one with a twist in it to aid in hookset. Once you have the hooked tied on, run the hook tip through the end of the head of the plastic and push it in about a quarter of an inch. Now run the hook tip out of the plastic bait and push the bait up the hook towards the eye. Now you can bury the tip of the hook into the bait near the abdomen or egg sac.

Some people push it on through and snug the hook tip near the body (on the backside). This allows for better hook set, but results in more snags. I like to push it through just before it breaks out of the back where I can feel that it will pop through easily. If you do this, be sure to set the hook hard to penetrate the plastic.

Presentation will vary. Let the lunkers tell you what they want. Try swimming it, pumping it, jiggling it, move it up and down, back and forth sideways, or drag it slowly through the weeds by starting at the 10 o’clock position and slowly pulling it up the 12 o’clock position then letting it falling while reeling in the slack. A very slow and steady retrieve can be deadly at times.

Sometimes you will feel a bump or a hard strike, but more often a pull, or something might just feel different (heavy, mushy), or you may feel nothing at all when you should. Watch the slack. Keep contact with the bait. If slack comes in the line for no reason, or you feel the weights dragging across something when you didn’t move the link, set the hook. Set the hook, set the hook, set the hook. It’s free.

Which plastics are best? Probably all of them at different times. A short plastic, like the french fry might be a good place to start. I recommend lively baits that float and have a garlic scent. You should do well with worms, lizards, crawfish or anything else that you have confidence in.

Many people love the Carolina Rig in the wind. Probably because it’s easier to keep the slack tight and it gives more action to the bait. They are also great in the heat of the day road beds.

Have fun with them.

Source by Bobby Ivie

Muskie Fishing Tips – Jigging Fall Muskies

Most anglers think big when hunting lunker muskie, but if you want to catch more muskie think smaller baits and tackle. I caught my biggest muskellunge while fishing walleye with a plastic worm in September. More often than can be considered coincidental people catch a lunge while fishing other species. Most anglers look to heavy tackle, large baits and trolling as the way to catch muskies. Personally I became bored or just tired of trolling all the time.

Now one of my most successful tactics used specifically in the fall is used for fishing large walleye and at the same time muskellunge. I use medium size tackle and large walleye baits especially jigs. Fishing weed lines, drop offs and shoals as you would for walleyes will also attract as many lunge as walleyes. The first time I realized this I did have some success for large walleyes and had just caught and released a nice 7 pounder that was followed to the boat by a large muskie.

The only change I made was to make sure I was using wire leads and good strong swivels. Using 6 inch plastics worked just fine and the result was a fun great day of fishing. In all the two of us caught and released 9 walleyes from 5 to 8 pounds plus 5 muskie all in the 15 to 20 pound range. Although not the lunker; that most anglers look for. But it proved to me that these preditors can be done on lighter tackle and smaller baits.

Conventional thinking tells us that in the fall; the remaining muskellunge, are large, therefore bigger is better. However, my experience is that smaller baits are often the perfect morsel for that elusive luncker.

Equipment And Presentation

When I say smaller baits I am referring to large or oversized walleyes jigs. As mentioned this approach evolved on a body of water with a large population of large walleye. Now using the idea that big baits means big fish or walleye. I began tossing 5 to 6 inch plastic shad-bodied jigs along weed lines. I landed a number of big walleye, but to my surprise, the muskie were also going for the same bait. The big plastic jigs became an important part of my muskie fishing arsenal. All large plastics work just fine.

Color seems less important than creating a real flash. Two-toned baits, mainly dark and light combinations, create more flash when drawn through the water. Adding some metal flake also ads that extra flash. Just experiment and you will find a combination that will work for you and get that strike you want.

I generally use ball-head or stand-up-head jigs with medium gauge wire hooks. It's surprising how well a single hook can handle even a large fish. Often you will hook the fish in the gristly flesh in the corner of the mouth. Jigs also make landing and releasing muskie easier; there are then no large treble hooks floating around to damage the fish or you. Deeply hooked fish can be released by clipping off the hook with pliers.

Single strand wire leaders seem to work best especially along weed beds. I use a hay-wire-twist to attach the wire to the jig head at one end and a small swivel at the other. Watch for kinks in the wire, but these leaders are more weedless than the standard models because of the snaps and swivels.

I prefer a medium action 6-foot spinning rod and a reel spooled with 12 to 14 pound test monofilament. A medium-heavy bait-casting outfit also does the trick, in both cases make sure the drag is working properly.

Even if you prefer the conventional approach, keep a lighter outfit close at hand for when muskie follow, but do not hit, or they strike short. Using lighter tackle and a jig is also a good approach when there are two of you fishing muskie. One angler throws conventioinal baits, and the other throwing jigs. Then you are always ready to react to follows and misses.

Vary the speed of your retrieve when jigging up muskie. I have had luck in late fall, by using violent rip-jigging motion. It's tiring, but effective. Experiment and you will find something that works for you.

When battling a muskellunge on light tackle, be careful not to fight it to exhaustion, thenby increasing the chance of delayed death if you plan on catch and release. Ideally, you should release a fish by simply grasping the single hook with a pair of needle nosed pliers, while it's in the water at the side of the boat. Cut off the hook if the fish is hooked poorly. Muskie fisheries are a fragile resource, so do your best to release that muskie no worse for wear. Now next season that muskie will be ready to fight another day and make that day a great day for another angler.

Source by Jack Phillips

Tips for Fishing an Unfamiliar Lake

When approaching a new lake, it's always a good idea to have a plan. Maps and lake reports are handy, but they are not always accurate and may not be the only thing you need. Sometimes you need that keen eye of an experienced angler to see the opportunities or just learn what that keen-eyed angler is looking for and duplicate it.

Sometimes you may get lucky and find someone on the docks willing to give up some secrets. Older anglers are usually more than happy to pass on some of their tips, favorite tricks and spots.

I always use a system of collected information. Here are a few tips to help your overall success on a new lake.

o As I have said before, keep it simple. The most basic fishing techniques work the same on most lakes, they have done so in the past for a reason. If it works on one lake, chances are it will on others.

o Structure! Structure! Structure! Keep an eye out for docks, standing timer, weeds and lily pads. Anything that creates shelter and camouflage for the fish is a good spot. Bass, especially large-mouth, are ambush hunters.

o Confidence can be a great fishing tool to have in your tackle box also. If you go out to the lake with the mindset that you're not going to catch a fish, your chances of catching a fish are going to be greatly diminish. Throw that lure like you're a pro on the largest tour of your life and before you know it, you'll be catching fish like a pro.

o The shallows near a drop off or channel are always a good place to catch fish. The Bass species, which includes the Sunfish and Bluegill, like to have that abrupt transition.

o If you're trying to catch a specific species find out what kind of habitat they require and look for it on the lake.

o The time of year has a lot to do with how the fish will bite. Two things make a major impact on what the fish are doing and how they will react: cold water and warm water. Cold water; slow your reel-in speed, Warm water; speed it up a bit.

o Do not just throw your favorite lure because you like how fish strike it, or it happens to be your favorite color. Check the condition of the water. Is it clear or muddy? Is it cold or warm? Is the level rising or falling? Believe me, water conditions matter.

o As always, the local tackle shop is a great place for information. However, sometimes it's hard to get good advice right before a big tournament. The person running the shop may fall into a rut and answer everyone the same, "Well so-and-so creek can be good this time of the year." Egypt "The fish have really been biting on this (Insert product here), which is on sale today." Knowing when to ask the local tackle shop also comes with experience.

Water clarity is something else that will be a factor in going to a new lake. If you can not see what is under the surface, it's pretty hard to determine what to throw. If the water is muddy, throw out a nice dark color (I'm not a favorite of black or blue though, others are). Bladed Spinners are always a good way to "feel-out" the water. Something weed-less or snag-free well works in "testing out the waters" also.

My fishing buddy likes to go to a different lake each time time go fishing, which can be a bit difficult when you're strapped for time or cash. However, experience comes from doing and the more lakes and ponds you can throw your lures into, the better.

Well I do hope I have helped someone and just remember, on those rainy or bad days, do some research, 'cause like the old saying goes,' Knowledge is Power '.

And as always, keep happy thoughts and good fishin 'to you.

Source by Chris Curley

How to Put an Army IRR Packet Together

Packet requirements, what you need to include in your IRR packet:

1. IRR packet checklist, based on Figure B-59 of USAR Pamphlet 600-5.

2. DA Form 4561, Request for Reserve Component Assignment or Attachment. Completely filled and signed by the Soldier and the Commander.

3. Your statement/justification letter and backing documentation. This is based on the reasons listed in AR 140-10.

4. Chain of Command Recommendation.

5. Cogent Personal Reason. If the specific reason isn’t listed in AR 140-10, it requires an exception to policy by your OFTS.

6. Counseling Statement (DA Form 4856). This is from the commander to the Soldier and is face to face. Are you in receipt of a bonus? This counseling statement must warn you about bonus termination or recoupment.

7. Counseling Statement (DA Form 4856). From the Soldier’s servicing career counselor to the Soldier; it’s also face to face.

Valid reasons for transferring from the Troop Program Unit (TPU) to the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR):

As a TPU Soldier, you can forward an IRR transfer packet up the chain of command. There’s no guarantee for that packet’s approval, or for your transfer to the IRR.

If you want to improve your TPU to IRR transfer chances, refer to the valid reasons listed in AR 140 -10, Chapter 4, Paragraph 9. If you have enough documentations, and facts, to support one or more of these reasons, include them in your IRR packet. This’ll help you make your case for transferring to the IRR.

Employment Conflict:

Let’s say that your employer all of a sudden can’t release you from the work schedule so that you can drill… as your absence would cause an adverse impact on your employer’s operation. Before, this wasn’t an issue. Your employer released you for a weekend, and was able to continue his operation. When they couldn’t release you, you were able to reschedule.

Now? Your employer needs you, on the days you need to drill, in order for the company to continue on with its mission. Conditions had changed since you started working with this employer.

Or, you’re in a company that restructures and eliminates your job. They move you to another part of the company. In this new job, you’re on call to go to different parts of the country, and your schedule is random. You’re not able to do rescheduled training. Your employer can’t spare you for any reserve drill without negatively impacting company operations.

These are just two examples, of which there are many, on how your employment could evolve into something that makes it hard for you to meet TPU requirements.

In your Soldier’s Statement of Justification letter, provide an objective picture of how your employment schedule makes it impractical for you to continue with the TPU. Include statements from your employer to back this justification.

Change of address:

You accept a new job within your company. It’ll pay you more, it’s something that you love doing, and it represents a move up in your civilian career. The catch? You have to go somewhere that’s two days away from the nearest Army Reserve center. Your employer isn’t able to spare you enough time to get to, and return from, the nearest Army Reserve unit.

In this scenario, you’re a TPU Soldier that can’t drill with any Army Reserve unit.

Or, you get a promotion that sends you overseas. Your job location is a long flight away from the nearest Army Reserve Center.

For something like this, you’d be able to submit a packet to transfer to the IRR. In your statement of soldier justification, include employment orders, employment promotion documentations, new job description, an objective picture that details your new job location, your new residence, etc.

Cogent personal reasons:

This is sort of a “catch all” to cover other reasons not specifically covered in AR 140-10.

What you think is a very good reason to transfer may not be what the Army thinks it is. You also have to see this from your unit’s perspective.

You’re asking them to release you, when they need you at the unit during drills and summer training. They don’t have a guarantee that they’ll get a replacement Soldier. You have to convince them to “sign off” on your IRR packet.

Let’s say that you’re “burned out” from doing drills. You just want to “sit around” in the IRR until the “burnt out” phase ends. In your unit’s eyes, this is a subjective reason. They could work with you to where you wouldn’t need to submit an IRR transfer packet.

In this example, your soldier justification letter needs to provide an accurate, objective, picture of how your Army reserve duties contribute to you being burned out. You’ll need letters from your medical professionals to help bolster your justifications.

Whatever the personal reason that you choose, make sure that you could provide an objective picture. Make sure that you could provide factual information from subject matter experts involved with your situation.

You also want to prove that there’s no other way to “solve” your current issue other than to transfer to the IRR. Before you do this, you have to exhaust the means to resolve this with resources that your unit could reference you to.

You completed the TPU portion of your contract, now you’re ready to transfer to the IRR:

As of this writing, everybody that joins the military, for the first time, signed an eight year contract. When a first time enlister signs a 6 year Army Reserve contract, they’re not just signing up for 6 years. When those 6 years are over, that Soldier has an additional 2 years of commitment. They can request transfer to the IRR after their TPU commitment.

This concept applies even if the TPU part of the contract was 3, 4, or 5 years.

Once the TPU portion of the contract is over, they can request transfer to the IRR. They have to continue drilling with the unit until they receive their IRR orders.

Surviving son or daughter:

You’re in the reserves, and pursuing your civilian career. Two years later, your last remaining sibling passes on. You’re now your parents’ only surviving child. This is an unfortunate event, but one that gives you an opportunity to transfer from the TPU to the IRR.

When you write your Soldier justification letter, include documentation proving that you’re now the last/sole surviving child for your parents.

Dependency or hardship makes it impractical to participate in TPU:

Let’s say your family situation changes, and you have to provide extra care and supports to one of your family members. This family member is someone on your dependents list. You don’t have an alternative care plan… nobody else could afford to give up a lot of their time, and sacrifice their employment, to help you out.

This dependent family member needs your presence. Without you, this family member’s welfare is negatively impacted.

Two examples of this category is an “assisted living” situation and a “direct support provider” situation. In these scenarios, a family member is unable to care for him or herself. The family member requires a soldier’s attention, supervision, and direct support to do basic functions.

Statements from doctors, social workers, case managers, and other related people should be included in this packet. Their statement should focus on the nature of the dependency hardship, and on the need for you to be consistently available.


If you’re pregnant, you may be able to transfer to the IRR. You have to be MOS qualified, and you can’t be within 3 months of your ETS.

Non selection for retention:

This impacts TPU Soldiers that have received their “official notification of eligibility to retire with pay at 60” letter. This is the “20 year letter.” By regulation, these Soldiers are subjected to a Qualitative Retention Board.

Prior to this board’s convening, the impacted Soldier receives a “pre board” packet. The Soldier is given a couple of options. If the board removes the Soldier from the TPU, which control group would the Soldier like to transfer to?

The Soldier could elect to be transferred to the retired reserves, or to the IRR. Should the qualitative review board decide to remove the Soldier from the TPU, orders will be generated transferring the Soldier to the control group that the Soldier selected.

This is also applicable to TPU Soldiers subjected to the actions of other types of retention boards. In this situation, a Soldier may have the option to transfer to the IRR.

Enrollment into a non-scholarship ROTC:

A “non-scholarship” ROTC program is one that offers the student a chance to participate in an ROTC program without financial benefits. These students don’t get a monthly stipend. These students pay for their own tuition, fees, and other expenses.

Soldiers that get accepted into this type of ROTC program can submit an IRR packet.

Merchant Marine Academy:

If you get accepted into the Merchant Marine Academy, you can submit an IRR transfer packet.

Army Regulation 140-10:

For details on each of these categories, and how to apply under them, read Army regulation 140 -10, Assignments, Attachments, Details, and Transfers.

Counseling statements from the commanding officer and servicing career counselor:

Did you get a bonus for enlisting into your current TPU contract? If your IRR transfer gets approved, you could lose the remainder of your bonus. Depending on your bonus stipulation, you could end up having to pay back the part of your bonus that you received.

If you’re receiving a bonus, you need to be informed of this fact when you submit your IRR packet.

This counseling statement should also inform you of your IRR responsibilities. The commanding officer will include any information that’s important to you. This includes the fact that you must continue to drill with the unit until you receive transfer orders to the IRR.

The career counselor will inform you of opportunities that are available to you in the IRR, including opportunities to reclassify and transfer back to the TPU when personal conditions favor such a move.

IRR transfer packet tips:

1. Are you on your initial contract, with IRR time following your TPU time? By regulation, you’re not supposed to submit your IRR packet until your TPU obligation is complete. You can submit your IRR transfer packet the day after your “TPU ETS” date.

2. After you submit your IRR packet, you have to drill with your unit until you receive orders transferring you to the IRR.

Don’t simply go by what somebody at your unit says. Some Soldiers have stopped drilling after they “completed” their “TPU years,” because they thought they were automatically in the IRR. This wasn’t true, they had to report back to drill.

3. Follow up on your packet. If HRC doesn’t get your packet, they might extend your TPU status to the end of your military service obligation. In this case, you’ll have to drill until your 8 years is up.

4. If you have unresolved medical issues, you have to have these issues resolved before you can transfer to the IRR.

5. IRR Soldiers still have obligations and point requirements to make. However, you could consider the active standby reserves instead of the IRR if you want to “get away” from the TPU temporarily.

In the IRR, you have to get at least 50 points a retirement year.

In the active standby reserves, there’s no requirement for you to get at least 50 points. You maintain your military affiliation, but you’re generally not required to maintain a good year. The active standby reserves is what most people assume the IRR is.

Additional References:

1. AR 140-10; provides details on the above categories as justification for IRR transfer.

2. AR G1 Policy Letters.

3. USAR Pamphlet 600-5.

Source by Travis Hill

A Mighty Wind's Blowin '- A Guide To Windy Weather Fishing

How many times have you heard? "I'll fish in the middle of summer or the dead of winter, but I hate fishing when it's windy." I'm not a big fan of it either though, if you can put up with making sure everything is secure so it will not blow away, understanding what the wind does to the water and how the fish react to it can be extremely beneficial .

First off, there are a few things to discuss. Always make sure your trolling battery, or batteries, are fully charged. This is always a god idea, no matter what the conditions however, you will probably need all the power you can get while trolling the shores and trying to maintain stationary positions in the wind.

Anything light or lofty, like tackle boxes and fishing nets, should be secured or stowed low if you're fishing from a boat or dock. Losing your gear or trying to catch a flying bag of plastic worms can get you into some tight spots and might even cause you to lose a fish or worse, take a dive into the drink.

Losing your gear or having to paddle back to the launch is never a fun experience to encounter. Trust me, I've been there. By the way, it's also a good idea to keep at least one paddle in the boat, just in case.

A great new piece of equipment to add to your gear is the drift sock. Specifically designed for windy conditions, the drift sock is used to slowly troll or maintain a spot without using a trolling motor or anchor, which decreases battery usage and cuts down on noise created by the troller or the splash of and anchor.

The "sock" is usually made of heavy gauge nylon and attaches to the boat with a rope like an anchor. You just drop the "sock" into the water on the windward side of the boat, as the wind pushes the boat, the sock drags in the water causing the boat to slow considering and, in some cases, to even stop.
Very handy on those windy days and can be used to drift fish.

One fortunate aspect of fishing during windy conditions is that your favorite fishing spot will probably be less crowded. That is if your favorite spot gets crowded. Another good aspect is that fish can generally be more predictable.

Wind creates waves, which in turn breaks up the surface of the water. This is primary to understanding what the fish are going to do. Wind also cause currents to break up the sediment and food; This causes the bait fish to follow the drifting bands of food and cover located in these light currents on the top of the water.

And where you find bait fish, you find bass.

The waves and debris also break up the patterns of light shining through the water, which can cause bass to become more active due to optimal feeding conditions. Fish are also less spooked on windy days because of the noise at the surface (chops and splashes) as well as possibly being pre-occupied with searching for prey.

For the most part, fish face into the current and will be more apt to strike prey swimming at them rather than chasing the prey. Casting into the wind and returning with the current can produce a number of strikes, especially if you can find multiple locations with the same characteristics.

Remember to note the conditions in which you catch a fish in order to reproduce your actions in other locations. Fish will position themselves and react in the same manner all over the lake. I try to keep a journal. Some anglers bring a small note pad with them to document catches and the conditions in which they fished.

It does not matter if you're fishing from the shore or from a boat, knowing what to look for on a windy day can produce some cool results. Just remember to cast into the wind and retrieve with the current. Try to position yourself downwind along the shore and pull your lure along those lines of transition, most often, bass will be hiding in ambush and will strike hard.

Lures that create a vibration and flash are optimal for windy days as well as muddy conditions. Wind will also cause mud lines to appear at the shoreline, structured areas or along wind induced currents. Big bass love transitional lines in the water. (Shadow lines, Mud lines, Weed lines and Sharp drop offs) Get two or three of these and a windy day together and were talkin 'results.

As far as bait is concerned, spinner-baits or rattle-type baits work the best, due to the noise and vibration they produce, especially if the water is muddy. Bright, noisy, vibrating baits usually work the best in muddy water. I say usually because you never know exactly what the fish are going to do. However, fish will generally act the same under certain conditions.

In muddy water, dark color crank baits and jigs work very well. If you use a spinner, go with chartreuse or white. There are now glow in the dark blades available on the market today. For obvious reasons, neon or glow in the dark blades and lures will produce desired effects in muddy water.

Top water, splashing baits do quite well also. I like to use two-inch, lipped minnows and poppers to bring the big ones to the surface. The splashing and popping creates the noises associated with dying or jumping bait fish. Ripping, top-water buzz-baits can be very handy on noisy, windy days also. I have not seen many anglers catch fish with buzz-baits as much as other lures, but that's because I have not seen many buzz-baits used.

I prefer not to use them myself, for personal reasons. But try them out, who knows, you might have great results with them.

Line diameter should also be considered depending on the style of casting you use. You might not need to change if you flip or pitch cast or if you use a heavier lure however, if you use an overhand cast or you go with lighter crank baits, you might consider switching to a smaller diameter line to cut down on the amount of drag, which will shorten your casting distance.

Another factor to take into consideration is that the wind can often cause the water temperature to change. Currents caused by the wind will often bring the cooler water up from below, which in turn, changes the temperature at the surface. Depending on the season, this can cause fish to react differently.

One last tip is to try to ignore the conditions and just fish. If you become familiar with the way fish respond to certain conditions, the rest comes naturally. As I always say, find what works for you and go with that. So remember to secure your gear on windy days or leave it behind and until next time, good fishin 'to ya.

Source by Chris Curley

Sea Perch Fishing 101

Surf Perch fishing is fun activity that can be enjoyed by everyone. Perch are widely distributed along the west coasts of Mexico and United States. They are abundant and great tasting. Two of the most common species of surf perch are the red tail and striped perch. Red tail perch are the largest of the sea perch family and can grow up to 20 inches in length and weigh up to 5 pounds. Striped surf perch are smaller in size and weigh up to 3 pounds. Perch fishing are usually done close to shore and does not need heavy fishing gear to be productive.

Fresh water fishing rods are more than adequate for sea perch fishing. Some anglers prefer to use a 7 foot light spinning rod for light surf fish. I like to use a 9 foot medium power with a fast tip action rod as my go to sea perch rod. I find that the longer rod length is more suited at keeping my line over the waves when the surf conditions are strong. My favorite line strength is between 6-8 lb monofilament, it is light enough to let me cast further and also sensitive enough to let me feel the fish bites. When picking your fishing reel, it should be corrosion proof and has smooth drag. The spool should have large line capacity for at least 250 yards.

Surf perch are not finicky about food. They will feed on anything that is available near shore. Shrimp, blood worms, sand crabs and squid are excellent live bait for sea perch. Artificial bait such as worms, curly tails and small jigs are also very effective. There are a few types of live bait rigs that you can use for perch fishing. There are many types of live bait rigs for perch fishing. The Carolina and fireball rig are two of the most popular rigs used by surfcasters. The Carolina rigs are very simple to put together and you can do it yourself. The fireball rigs are a bit more complicated make yourself, however, they can be purchased at the tackle store pre-assembled.

Best time to fish for sea perch and other surf fish is one hour before and after high and low tides. The best locations to find perch are near troughs, riptides and rock structures. The best time to spot troughs and riptides is during low tide. Look for deep water holes along the beach. You can mark the spots with spikes or record the locations with your GPS to help you find them later during high tide.

Source by Huey B

Sand-Bar Smallmouth Bass

The best course of action or the most obvious area to fish sometimes isn’t clear and you should consider your alternatives. The following paragraphs should help clue you in to some areas of a lake that are being overlooked.

One of my favorite times to fish is in the fall for lunker smallmouth bass. A great lake for fall smallmouth is Kagawong Lake on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, now fishing sand bars will work well on most lakes and rivers. Now the north east end of the lake has a large sand bar area just south and to the west it drops off to much deeper water.

Sand bars are common in most lakes and rivers, but for the best results the ones adjacent to deep water produce great action. In most lakes, sand bars form along shorelines and areas facing prevailing winds, that is what you have on this lake. The sand bar runs for about 3 miles along the shore and runs out about half a mile till it drops off to much deeper water.

Sand bars are forgotten pieces of shallow structure on which large smallmouth bass gather. In the fall big lunker bass turn from sullen sulkers into voracious predetors stiking out at anything that comes into their range. The pressing urge to store energy for the long winter sends them on feading frenzies into shallow water areas they do not usually frequent during the day. They can not wait for the right light or time of day to make their move.

Fall smallmouth bass like to hold and feed over a hard smooth bottom that provides an unobstucted view of the surrounding area. They use the scattered cover on these sand bars because it attracts schools of baitfish and small panfish, which they prey on. I have very often seen small groups of large smallmouth bass roving in 3 to 6 feet of open water between small patches of vegetation. Smallmouth are particularly vulnerable to angling in these open areas because they can detect your lures and bait from long distances and attack viciously. When there are two or more bass present, the largest very often will strike first with the others in close pursuite right up to the boat. A second lure worked just behind that first strike will very often give you that double-header.

For those of you familiar with the latest on Smallmouth Bass Fishing tips now have at least a understanding that some areas of a lake are forgotten. But there’s more to come.

These aggressive smallmouth can be fished fairly quickly with mid to shallow running lures. I have even had great luck fishing them with small jigs and live bait while drifting slowly along the sand bar, of course this is only appropriate with a good wind speed and direction to keep you on the sand bar. A spinnerbait is a good choice for working in and around the sparse cover on the sand bar and you are less likely to get foulded up. I like the 1/8 ounce size with 6 even 8 pound test line, because small spinnerbaits outfish the larger heavier sizes in the fall.

The spinnerbait color is important on some days. I have had good luck in stained water with a chartreuse Colorado blade, jig and twister tail. When smallmouth bass are aggressive this combination is deadly. When the bass are less energetic, lures that blend in with their surroundings seem more acceptable. When smallies are after crayfish in clear water, a copper blade and a brown to brownish-orange grub has a definite edge. Silver blades with smoke coloured grubs are good when the bass are feeding on minnows. Take a good variety of baits and lures to cover all conditions.

Varying the retrieve of these baits will produce more action, a steady retrieve back to the boat and then a lift and drop action on the next retrieve may produce better results. Other lures that work well on sand bar smallmouth are medium to small crankbaits, especially long narrow minnow imatators, and spinners. At the more heavily fished areas, a subtle twister-tail or tube jig can pay great dividends.

Most anglers often overlook sand bars and beeches because they see them as sterile structures without the usual rocky profile associated with smallmouth bass. Next fall, find yourself a nice sand bar with some vegetation or other sparce cover and you could have schools of lunker smallmouth bass all to yourself. Just get out there, enjoy nature and go fishing.

Now might be a good time to remember the main points covered above. Keep them in mind the next time your out there in the fall fishing for those smallies and you will you remember what’s important about this Smallmouth Bass Fishing tip.

Source by Jack Phillips

Best Time to Fish – When is the Best Time to Be Fishing?

As anglers, especially anglers who want to catch more and larger fish, there is an understanding that some times are better for fishing than others. The problem can be that we are not exactly sure how this all works. Although there are many theories out there that try to explain why one time is better than another for fishing, one of the simplest (and easiest) ways to determine the best time to fish is by paying attention to Mother Nature.

So, what the heck do I mean by 'paying attention to Mother Nature'? Well, it's really fairly simple. When I use the phrase Mother Nature I'm referring specifically to the weather and moon. These two forces of Nature have a dramatic impact on the best time to fish, and if you want to know the best time to be fishing these two forces of nature need to be paid attention to.

The bottom line on the weather and moon is that you can get as detailed and involved in these subjects as you would like. In my experience, the basics are more than enough to help you make sure that you're on the water at the most opportune times for fishing. So, what the heck are the basics? Well, there is a bit more than can be explained in a single article, but I'll give you the basics.

Let's start with the weather. When I refer to the word 'weather', I'm referring mainly to frontal systems. When a frontal system passes through the area that you are going to be fishing, the barometric pressure either rises or falls. When the pressure moves one way or the other fish can detect this change through their lateral lines. Depending on whether the pressure is rising or falling (generally rising is good, falling is bad) the fish will feed accordingly.

The moon is also a big factor in whether or not fish are feeding. Depending on what phase the moon is in, fish will also be more or less active which means they will be biting or not biting. The moon plays a major role in the best time to fish. For example, fishing is much better during a new moon phase than it is during a waning crescent. The bottom line is that the moon is a determining factor in the best time to be fishing.

Your goal as an angler needs to be to plan your fishing trips around these two forces of Mother Nature as much as you can. In a perfect world you want to be fishing when both of these factors are in your favor. When this happens you have one of those epic days fishing that you remember for many years. The bottom line is if you want to know the best time to fish, learn the simple rules that revolve around the weather, moon, and fishing.

Source by Trevor Kugler