Monday, October 13, 2014

Three keys to better hunting and fishing

If you're like a lot of people you're struggling to sit in your treestand right now.  While there's a part of you that waits all year for a chance to hunt, there's a whole nother part that can't tear away from the incredible fishing that's happening right now as the fall feeding frenzy sweeps across the country.  Whether you're after bass, pike, trout, or panfish; it's safe to say that the best fishing you've seen all year is underway (or about to be).  But lucky for you, there are things you can do while you're in your favorite tree that will not only make you a better hunter, but that will improve your fishing trips as well.

To begin with, you need to be sharp and remain still.  Keeping your movements to a minimum will reduce noise and the chances of being seen.  A great way to do that is to have a smartphone and two apps:  Weather Underground and Fishidy.  Weather Underground is essential for several reasons.  It has doppler radar that will show you if a storm is tracking in your precise location, so you can be sure that you're safety isn't in question (that's always a great place to start).  WU also pulls data from millions of weather stations all over the globe, so you can be sure to get predictions for the week that are as close as possible to where you're planning to be.  I can't tell you how many times I've had people tell me "weather I hadn't anticipated ruined my trip".  This app will absolutely reduce that risk.

Fishidy is what's going to keep you engaged all day long.  With thousands of bodies of water to research and a community of anglers that grows every day, there's an unlimited amount of information at your fingertips.  Let's say you just found out that your cousin is getting married in Michigan next summer and you're gonna be there for a week and want to fish Lake St. Claire while you're there.  You can see hotspots, depths and contour lines, vegetation, places to launch, and detailed information from users on fish they've caught and what they caught them on (pictures included).  You can also subscribe to allow you to receive notification of future updates posted to that specific body of water.  This is a great way to research your trips.  Don't want to share your catches with everyone?  That's ok too.  You can adjust your settings so that you're trophies are visible to only you.

Fishidy is also a great way to take a closer look at places you're very familiar with.  Lakes and rivers are often changing, and there are many times when you'll catch a fish someplace where you didn't think you would.  Maybe it's a certain depth, or a transition area that you didn't notice before.  Now you can go and find other areas like that one and have some new places to check the next time you go out.  Imagine how closely you can examine a body of water while you're sitting uninterrupted in a tree for 12 hours.  It's hard to find the time to do that under normal circumstances, and even when have the time it's difficult to force yourself to do it.

Now I know that some people are saying "no way my battery will last that long".  You're right.  No cell phone battery will let you look at something with screen resolution that high for 12 hours.  But Snowlizard has a case called that SLXtreme that will protect your phone and charge it.  The case is completely submersible, and has a strap attachment (below) that will not only make it float if you drop it in water but it also acts as a pad so you can wear it around your neck without it being uncomfortable when you need to be instantly hands free.  But the real advantage to this case is the battery power.  When your cell phone is about to die, simply press the button on the back of the case and it will charge your battery back to full while you use it.  The four lights on the back will tell you how much power the case has to give (4 lights equals a fully charged case).  My SLXtreme has fully charged my iPhone 5 twice on one full charge, more than enough battery life to keep me doing research all day.  And if that's not enough, there's even a solar panel on the back of the case that will charge it in the sun.  The SLXtreme is available to smart phones as well as tablets, so you're covered no matter what you decide to use.


The last thing you need is to be sure to be warm and dry.  I wear my Stormr Stealth gear and it gives me everything I need from a camo suit.  I'm warm and dry, the Real Tree Max4 blends into any background regardless if I'm hunting trophy whitetails or geese, it's also dead quite so I can draw my bow without fear of being heard like other noisier jackets.

So there you have it.  You're a hunting and fishing, weatherproof ninja ready to take on the outdoor world and staying one step ahead of the competition.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Jim Root: 2014 Year in Review

Can't believe it's that time already...

2014 Year in Review.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Reel Weather visit NYPENN Girl Scouts of America Amahami Festival.

Never let anyone tell you that our future is in jeopardy when referencing our youth.

This weekend I had the absolute privilege of attending the NYPENN Girl Scouts of America's Amahami Festival as a presenter on weather, fishing, and environmental stewardship.  Despite the cooler weather and early rain showers, over 200 people turned out to participate, making it the largest attended in the history of Amahami.  Being that this was my first time ever attending an event with the Girl Scouts, I had no idea what to expect.  Thankfully I had the help of fellow anglers John Malzahn and his son Michael, Dan Drake, and Dominic Sergi.  Together, these guys all did an amazing job of helping me bring Reel Weather to Deposit NY.

Who loves Weather Underground?

We began with one group of about 15 young girls.  To start we spoke about the importance of taking care of our environment, keeping our lakes, rivers, and forests free from pollution.  Then I talked about the most basic ways that weather impacts fishing, and why that's valuable, while showing my personal weather station.  I then moved to our lure selection for the day, which consisted of wacky hooks from Lazer Trokar, and Gary Yamamoto Senkos, with a demonstration on how to use this application and why it works.  After that we broke into four groups, and Dominic, Dan, John, Michael, and myself spread out across the lake to apply what we had just learned.

In no time the girls were catching fish, and all across the lake you could hear the sound of them screaming for joy.  For many, these are the first fish they've ever caught, and the first wild fish they've ever seen.  They're learning how to touch them properly, how to release them, how old they are, and why it's important to practice catch and release.  For example, a largemouth bass in NY that weighs over 5 pounds will get people's attention.  It's what's considered by those who fish a lot to be a "good fish".  That fish would be over 10 years old.  Being that bass aren't generally considered to be a delicacy, there are more reasons to keep them alive than to harvest them.

When we got back to our station and said farewell to our first group, we learned we had three more groups waiting.  By 2 we had over 50 kids fishing on the shore at once, having spent all day with over 150 young girls.  These wonderful kids were the most respective, attentive, and polite I'd ever worked with.  They were all environmentally conscious before we even began, and it was so refreshing to see and hear so many kids understand the importance of protecting our resources.  It was a testament to the NYPENN Girl Scouts of America, and to the parents of those kids, who are largely responsible for having raised such wonderful girls.  By all accounts, we were a huge hit there, and I hope that they invite us back.  Thanks again to all my friends for helping, and to Trokar, Dobyns, Fishidy, and Weather Underground.



Friday, September 19, 2014

Day 2 of Bassmaster Elite Series AOY Tourney at Escanaba cancelled.

Looks like that wind I warned people about in my Fantasy Fishing post earlier this week came a day early, postponing things for a day.  So what impact will that have on the event, and what of the days to come?
The small craft advisory that was initially posted this morning will be lifted late afternoon/early evening Saturday.  For those of you who aren't sure what a Small Craft Advisory is, here's the definition and advisory itself as stated at Weather Underground:
...Small Craft Advisory remains in effect from 8 am this morning to 3 PM EDT Saturday...
A Small Craft Advisory remains in effect from 8 am this morning to 3 PM EDT Saturday.
* Wind and waves during the small craft advisory: expect sustained winds of up to 25 knots from the south...with gusts up to 33 knots. The largest expected significant waves will be 8 feet with a maximum wave height of up to 11 feet possible.
* Timing: the maximum winds are expected around 4 PM EDT Friday with the largest waves expected around 11 PM EDT Friday.
Please see the latest marine forecasts for more detailed information.
Precautionary/preparedness actions...
A Small Craft Advisory means that wind speeds of 22 to 33 knots are expected to produce hazardous wave conditions to small craft. Inexperienced mariners...especially those operating smaller vessels should avoid navigating in these conditions.
​That certainly puts things into perspective, doesn't it?
If anglers aren't allowed back out until Sunday, expect a much tougher bite as temperatures are forecasted to plummet with lows approaching the 30s and high of only 57.  That's quite different from the weather they've been fishing in.  I think it's safe to say that you'll still see a couple guys with 20, but that cold snap makes me skeptical of anyone bagging 25.

For updated Marine forecasts at Escanaba you can go here, and be sure to visit for wave forecasts and marine information.