Friday, January 31, 2020

On To the Springfield Sportsmen's Show

My next stop on the winter seminar circuit is the Springfield Sportsmen's Show at the Big E in Springfield, MA. The show will be running Feb. 21, 22, and 23.  Check out the website here for more information.This is a massive show in a huge venue. It's got everything "outdoors" for the hunter, fisherman and general outdoor person.  It's also very family friendly, and usually draws a big, loyal crowd who return year after year.
I will be at the show doing seminars on Saturday, Feb. 22. As of right now, the seminar times are not set, but they should be posted on the website prior to the show's start.  I will be doing my carp fishing seminar titled Seasonal Strategies for Carp Fishing.  I'll also be doing this year's saltwater seminar titled Stripers, Blues and Albies: A Multi-Species Approach.  I did both seminars at the New England Fishing Expo at Boxborough, MA, last week, and both were very well  received.
Hope to see some of my followers at the show!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

New Fishing Seminar to Debut at New England Fishing Expo, Boxboro, MA

My latest saltwater seminar that I'll be running this winter at many of the big outdoor shows is called "Stripers, Blues and Albies, A Multi-Species Approach". I wanted to do a show this year that dealt with more than just stripers since many of today's saltwater fishermen are doing just that for whatever is the best bet. The seminar is in three segments and I will talk about some of the best strategies to target these "Big 3" species. I've got some great video footage of some wild blitzes and have all new photos that were taken in 2019. I think this will be a hit with the show goers.
My first stop in running this seminar will be at the New England Fishing Expo at the Boxboro Regency in Boxboro, MA. I'll be doing the seminar on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 5:00 PM in the Seminar Room. For those who don't know, this is the old Worcester Show, but it has been completely revamped as a pure fishing show.  I've been there in the last few years, and it keeps getting bigger and better! It also boast about the best line-up of  freshwater and saltwater seminar speakers of any show that I've ever been to.
Note that I will also be there on Sunday at 11 AM to present my newest carp fishing seminar titled "Seasonal Strategies for Carp".
Hope to see some of my followers this year at the New England Fishing Expo.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Loading Up

I've been tying up a storm in my basement.  I think bucktail
jigs will be hot tickets again this year, like always, for stripers.
This is a lure you can easily make yourself.
I'm already planning for next season. I've been loading up on what I think will be hot based on last year's fishing. Here's what I've been buying and making:
1. Bucktail jigs-  I caught a lot of stripers last year on bucktail jigs.  They became my go to lures most days in the fall.  They also are great for catch-and-release fishing.  I make all my own bucktail jigs.  I really like both the spire point jigs and flat head jigs. If you are looking for the molds for these, check out Do-It Molds. When I'm going with a big jig, the spire point in  1, 1 1/2 and 2 oz. sizes are the ticket.  When I'm fishing the bucktail jig off a float, I like the smaller flathead in a 3/8 or 1/2 oz size.  All my jigs have white heads, white bucktail and are tied with red thread.
2. Topwater plugs- I'm stocking up on Rebel Jumpin Minnows in a bone color.  These inexpensive spook type plugs were the hottest surface lures last year in Gansett Bay for stripers and bluefish in the summer and fall. I suggest changing out the hooks on these plugs to VMC 4X.
3. Cocahoes- I've ordered a bunch of these paddle tail lures in a glow/chartreuse tail color.  I like the Queen or 4 inch model.  Plain white and plain glow also work well. They were real hot along the oceanfront last year in both the spring and fall for stripers.  Again, great for catch-and-release when mounted on a single hook jighead.
4.  Big stuff for the Canal- I bought a bunch of 9 inch Sebile Magic Swimmers in a ghostescent color.  These has been the hottest plugs in the Canal for big fish in the last few years. You can get them now, but come July, good luck finding any.  I've also bought several Guppy pencil poppers, the topwater lure that proved to be my best last year.  They come in various sizes.  The best size will be determined by what your outfit can throw. I like the Jobo Junior in a pearl or Ghost mackerel color in a 3 oz. size.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Circle Hook Regulation Coming to MA in 2020. RI to Follow in 2021

In this case, my circle hook
did just what it was intended
to do as it hooked this small
keeper right in the lip. The fish
was released in good shape.
If you are a bait fisherman who fishes for striped bass in MA, inline circle hooks will be required in 2020. This reg was put into law to help reduce the mortality rate of stripers caught on bait since the use of circle hooks greatly reduces, though does not eliminate, a bad hook-up (swallowed hook or hook in the gills).
Here is a copy of the MA regulation:
Effective next year (2020), recreational anglers not fishing aboard for-hire vessels will be required to use inline circle hooks when fishing for striped bass with whole or cut natural baits. This will include fishing with whole or cut natural baits while in possession of striped bass as well. This circle hook mandate will not apply to natural baits attached to an artificial lure to be trolled, jigged, or casted and retrieved (e.g., tube and worm). Nor will the mandate apply to any natural bait affixed to a treble hook and fished using the snag and drop technique. A hook is considered to be an in-line circle hook only if it is manufactured so the barb of the hook is in-line with the shank and bend of the hook and is turned perpendicularly back to the shank to form a circular or oval shape.
The above law answers many of the questions I had and doesn't address some. Here are just a few of those questions and how I interpret this:
*How about offset circle hooks? No good
*Snagging pogies on a treble hook and letting them drop? That seems to be ok to do.
*Fishing with squid strips on a jig? ok
*Using a rigged eel with traditional hooks? not sure
*Use of eel skin plugs with a treble hook? ok
*Use of live eels? Need to use a circle hook.
*Fishing for blues, black sea bass or other fish with traditional bait hooks? not sure
So, you can see there are some gray areas here. We might see further clarification of this regulation in the coming months.