Are You Considering joining a New “Hunting Club or Lease” this year?

 

Are You Considering joining a New “Hunting Club or Lease” this year?

By Darren Shepard

Joining a “hunting club” is not as easy as it sounds. There are so many considerations one must examine before committing the multiple resources, time and money required to have a successful experience.

It has been over five years since I was a member of a hunting club and my last experience was less than a pleasant one.  I have been fortunate to hunt a tract of private land for many years and will continue to do so moving forward. However, with my changing family needs and time constraints, an opportunity to join a new hunting club presented itself with a neighbor’s invitation. I decided after long consideration, to commit to the club and dedicate a 3-year window for the project.

 My goal is to point out a few things I had to consider that may be of benefit to you as well.

  • Set Your Goals and Expectation: Speaking with club members, reviewing the club’s records, understanding the established deer management plan and club rules is a step you must take before committing. You may want to take a 160 Inch whitetail, but if the clubs largest buck harvested in the last five years has been a 120-inch buck, you may be setting yourself up for failure.  Also, what are all of the hunting options at the “club”? Is it just for whitetail deer? Can you hunt spring turkeys, small game or does a dove field exists? You must determine what type of club you want to join and how you may want to use the resources in compliance with the “club rules.”

 

 In addition, if you have a family, can they hunt?   How long is the lease the “club” has with the property owner?  Plus, how do you want to hunt, use the facilities or is there a camp?  What is your overall goal of enjoying the experience and what resources do you have to contribute to the “club”?  These are several key questions and writing a list of your questions is a solid step towards a successful hunting club experience.

 

  • Location, Location, Location: A friend once told me, I’d rather have the right 50 acres to hunt in Northern Illinois than 500 acres in the wrong area of South Georgia. I agree! However, at this point in my life, I don’t have the time to drive to Illinois during deer season often. With my specific goals, as well as those for my family, this particular lease is 50 minutes from my home.  A family that hunts together stays together in my mind, so location for time together is paramount in my decision.

 

I may not take a 160-inch whitetail, but with the location, our family can spend a lot of time there on a year-round basis, keep hunting together and share many experiences.

 

  • Members and Relationships: I was fortunate to have been invited by a neighbor to join this club, and this greatly assists with learning more about the property quickly, enhances introductions to other members and the “management” team for the club.

 

 An important key is understanding the rules and objectives of the club.   If you agree with their objectives, can contribute to the overall plan, and honor the rules, then joining the club may be a great idea.  Over time, you will be able to contribute other thoughts and ideas as a part of being a “team player” within the club. If in the beginning, you have any doubts about their “plan” or members, it is better for you to just politely decline and find another option. Starting off without a clear understanding and agreement will just lead to a disaster for everyone involved.

 

Also, the number of members is key. A club that has 25 members on a leased tract of land that contains 150 acres is going to be a major headache. Frankly, I have used the 100 acres per hunter as a general guide. No real science, but combined with deer population estimates from the state for the area, historical data and club records, this enables me to be comfortable in most cases with this “number.” In this case, our club has 900 acres with eight members with mutually agreed common rules and goals.

 

  • Resources: Set your budget and stick to it. Beyond the annual “dues,” insurance and other items, you will need to create a list of additional things you may need for hear one as well as items to purchase over several seasons.   For example, ladder stands, an ATV if you have limited access to areas, or a camper.  Beyond just “joining” there will be “work” weekends for camp clean up, putting up stands, feeders, and food pl Keep all of these issues in mind when dedicating your time and money. If you become a club member, then be a member that contributes and helps work with the “team.” Time with members working on established common goals will build great relationships and is a big part of the club experience.

 

Just a few points to consider if you are looking at a “hunting club” this coming fall,  but hopefully, these points will provide a little “food for thought.”

 We have joined the club this year with a dedicated limited budget and plan.  The goal is to share additional features about this project moving forward including repairing an old camper and many other projects related to becoming a new hunting club member.   More to come soon, but if you have not found your “club” yet, get busy!  Turkey season is almost here and deer season is closer than you think!

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

From Mild to Wild: The Top Three Whitewater Rivers in the U.S.

 

From Mild to Wild: The Top Three Whitewater Rivers in the U.S.

Although there are arguably many stunning locations for fans to explore – from Nenana River in Alaska to Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania – there are always three rivers that rate the highest when it comes to experiencing the most thrilling whitewater rafting in the United States.

Although there are arguably many stunning locations for fans to explore – from Nenana River in Alaska to Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania – there are always three rivers that rate the highest when it comes to experiencing the most thrilling whitewater rafting in the United States.

Boating down the Colorado River below Havasu Creek in Grand Canyon National Park. NPS photo by Mark Lellouch.

Whitewater rafting is a truly amazing adventure. Whether a beginner or a true experienced rafter, there are guides to be utilized and trips to take that will provide you with everything from the most scenic areas to the most adrenaline-filled thrills.

Number one remains the Colorado River in Arizona. Talk about a challenge to the nth degree. The water on the Colorado River can be more than challenging, but the views are worth all the hard work. Here, people see the Grand Canyon from a whole different point of view as they travel down the winding, heart-pumping river to their final destination.

One of the principal rivers of the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico, the Colorado River measures 1,450-miles-long and drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states. The best, most amazing vantage points are given to whitewater enthusiasts here, but it is also not for the faint of heart. When it comes to the 2017 whitewater rafting season in Arizona, people can enjoy everything from half-day trips to week long excursions. You can also experience spectacular rafting in the Upper Salt River Canyon. Here, you can paddle through an incredible 2000-foot deep canyon as you go up against rapids such as, “Maytag,” “Overboard,” and “Mescal Falls.” The high Sonoran Desert scenery and fun-filled whitewater rafting makes the Colorado River in Arizona the place to create awesome memories.

Whitewater lovers also cheer loud and clear for the Gauley River in West Virginia. Continuously seen by paddlers as one of the top ranked rivers in the entire world, Gauley’s technical rapids, inaccessibility and scenic quality capture the imagination. Dropping more than 650 feet in 24 miles, the Gauley River features over 100 rapids.

A dam-controlled watershed ensures optimum flows, making this a world class rafting experience. When summer water flows on the Gauley River, intermediate to advanced rafters love the challenges they find. While inhaling that clean mountain air, they go up against the Gauley River’s rafting flows at their very peak. With thirty-five miles of heavy duty challenges, rafters are thrilled with this river as it winds through gorges and valleys – the likes of which cannot be seen anywhere else on the planet.

Coming in third is Rogue River in Oregon. Traveling from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, the scenery on the Rogue River is nothing short of spectacular. Multiple areas, such as Rainie Falls, Blossom Bar and Upper and Lower Black Bar Falls, provide challenging rapids for the experienced rafter. For the rafter just starting out, Rogue River also supplies calmer areas, such as the Argo rapids located between Hog Creek and Grave Creek.

It is not a surprise that the Rogue River is one of the most famous in the American West. River rafting trips can be taken through this incredibly scenic area that flows directly through the heart of a wilderness inundated with everything imaginable: deer, black bear, cougars, osprey, river otters and more. It is also the perfect place to spot that bald eagle soaring up above. Not only are the rapids exciting and the scenery gorgeous, but there are also superb hiking trails, placid pools, towering cliffs, and historic homesteads that all come together to create absolute magic.

From mild to wild, these are most definitely the top three whitewater rivers in the U.S. to explore, experience and enjoy!

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Catch More Bass in the Grass

 

Catch More Bass in the Grass

Fishing for bass in shallow, grassy lakes can be either incredibly productive or incredibly frustrating.  While most anglers associate aquatic vegetation with prime bass habitat, pinpointing specific locations to focus efforts can be quite the challenge in lakes with vast expanses of submerged grass.  In these types of scenarios, Identifying subtle environmental cues can make the difference between hitting paydirt and coming up empty.

One consideration often ignored by bass fishermen on grass lakes is the importance of stealth.  In shallow water, sound can be a more significant factor, and using a quiet approach can be absolutely critical.  Rather than grinding through vegetation using a trolling motor, anglers are better served by allowing wind and current to move the boat whenever possible, using the trolling motor to make directional or boat positioning adjustments.  Planning a course based on wind or current direction before entering a grass flat is advisable.

Generally, bass reside in areas with the cleanest water that offer a mix of aquatic vegetation.  Efforts are best focused in areas with a healthy mix of submerged vegetation like hydrilla or eelgrass.  Scanning for visual cues on the surface, like the present of hyacinth mats, for instance, is easy and is often a dead giveaway to a healthy mix of grasses.  In addition, the presence of other structure – such as pole timber or laydowns – increases the odds of bass being present.  When several of these features are present in an area with cleaner water relative to the rest of the lake, it’s time to slow down and work the area thoroughly.

The fact that transition areas hold fish is elementary to bass anglers, but on shallow water grass flats, these transitional zones may be quite subtle.  Even in water only three or four feet deep, it is wise to pay close attention to the graph, watching for subtle depth changes that may signal a shallow ditch or channel that bass use as highways.  Also, areas that transition from one type of subaquatic vegetation to another are worth fishing thoroughly, as bass often position themselves in seams where different grasses meet to ambush prey.

While a variety of soft plastics, swimbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, and bladed swim jigs can be effective in grassy areas, the most versatile bait is one that can be presented quickly as a moving bait when in search mode or fished slowly when a concentration of fish is located.  A creature bait like the Boar HogZ from Z-Man Fishing Products meets all of these criteria.

When pinned to a size 4/0 straight shank hook with a pegged tungsten weight, a bait like the Boar HogZ can be retrieved rapidly to create in a swimming motion through the middle and upper portions of the water column or flipped and pitched into cover and then dragged slowly across the bottom.  It’s textured, twin curly tails swim in a lifelike manner and emit fish-attracting vibrations at both fast and slow retrieve speeds, while it’s streamlined body shape slides through cover and penetrates even thick grass.  In addition, the naturally buoyant, 10X Tough ElaZtech construction of the Boar HogZ holds up better when pulled through heavy cover repeatedly and allows the tails to float up off the bottom at rest, mimicking the natural defensive posture of a crawfish, one of a bass’ favorite foods.

Understanding how bass position around different types of vegetation, utilizing a stealthy approach, and choosing a versatile bait that allows for both covering water quickly and slowing down to capitalize on concentrated fish are all critical to breaking down the bite on grass lakes.

Visit Z Man Fishing.com 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

Win a Carolina Skiff, support conservation

 

Win a Carolina Skiff, support conservation

By Craig Lamb

The CCA Florida STAR presented by Yamaha is a win-win proposition for saltwater anglers. For 101 days this summer they have the chance to win $500,000 in prizes, including three boats by Carolina Skiff, for catching tagged redfish. There are other prizes and categories too, making this a great excuse for going fishing in the coastal and offshore waters of Florida.

How you win the prizes is by entering STAR, which stands for State-wide Tournament Anglers Rodeo. It is a catch and photograph format tournament that begins on Memorial Day, May 27, and ends on Sept. 4. The tournament is open to members in good standing of the Coastal Conservation Association, or non-members can enter for $65. Entry fee for CCA members is $35. Click here to join CCA.

STAR was a huge success last year. The 157 tagged redfish release throughout Florida coastal waters, and the 13 additional divisions caught the attention of 5,000 registered anglers. The motivation was catching one of the first seven tagged redfish for the chance to win a new GMC Sierra, a boat, motor, and trailer package valued at over $40,000. 

Beyond that, the family-friendly tournament awarded a college scholarship and the chance to win other prizes. Those prizes can be won by entering catches in the additional divisions. Those are Open, Ladies, Fly, Kayak, Lionfish and Professional Guides division. Eligible species are Spotted Seatrout, Snook, Sheepshead, Non-tagged Redfish, Cobia, Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) & Kingfish.

The Tagged Redfish Division is by far one of the most popular for a huge reason. Click this link to find out the reasons why. Even more, reason to enter that division are the three Carolina Skiffs to be awarded.

Those are the all-new Carolina Skiff 21 Fish & Ski and two Carolina Skiff 16 JVX CC models.

The JVX Series is designed and rigged with fishing in mind. With the JVX, getting in the shallow creeks and rivers will not be an issue. The lightweight hull with the modified V-hull design gives you a boat that will carry more weight further and faster with less horsepower, while delivering outstanding performance.

The STAR Youth Scholarship Division presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors offers New Tide member’s free entry into STAR and the opportunity to win one of twelve scholarships totaling $100,000.

Another fun division for STAR anglers, unique to Florida is the Conservation Division. This division is designed to reward anglers that provide the most catch data on all fish caught and released while fishing the tournament, no matter what species or size.

Here’s the win-win proposition for anglers entering STAR. All entries provide a significant amount of catch data. The conservation community uses the information to make science-based decisions that benefit habitat management, stock assessment and more, to make fishing better all around for Florida anglers.

The newest addition to Florida STAR is the Trash Division. Participants who gather trash while on the water and submit a photo entry of at least a 5-gallon bucket full of trash with the 2017 official measuring device in their entry will be eligible for a random drawing at the end of the 101 days of STAR for 1st thru 3rd place.

Participants must use a digital camera or a digital camera phone to photograph their tournament fish. Catch entries will be made via the STAR Smart device application or the STAR website.  It is not necessary to have a smart phone in order to participate.  A digital camera and the ability to enter your catch via the website will work just as well. To find a dealer click the Find a Dealer link here.

Visit Carolina Skiff Today. 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

Eat Well While Enjoying the Great Outdoors

 

Eat Well While Enjoying the Great Outdoors

 

The Great Outdoors is a stunning place to hike, explore, and commune with nature. It is also a haven where you can stop, take a breath, and inhale everything Mother Nature has to offer. However, the one thing many do not understand is that they can also ‘inhale’ come extremely good food, if only they had the right information and tips when it came to planning and preparing food for their backpacking trip. Even the backpacking fan knows that, other than water and some extremely comfortable shoes, food is something you have to have. It is a piece of the outdoor “gear” that must be taken into consideration before venturing outside, because your body needs that fuel to keep going in order to enjoy each and every step of your journey.

It is a fact that you can eat far more than oatmeal and granola bars out there. When it comes to nourishment, pack those food items that weigh the least but deliver the most calories. The market for these particular foods is growing each and every day, by the way. From pre-prepared soups (which are great for their water content) to freeze-dried and powdered foods that actually taste good and add minimal weight to your pack, stores like Whole Foods and others provide choices you never even imagined.

 

As you think about your outdoor menu, think about dumping the original container and cutting meals down into serving-size amounts that you can carry in sealable bags. Less bulk and less trash will be had.

 

If you take those fresh fruit and veggies along, make sure to eat those first to get rid of the weight as soon as possible.

 

Not to mention, always remember to pack just enough food to get you through your planned trip, plus an extra cold meal or two in case you run out of fuel. Packing too much can hurt the body.

 

Then comes the backpacking stove. “Stove” is a difficult word to deal with when thinking about what you need to carry. But a backpacking stove is perfect for those who want to enjoy a little flavor with their scenery.

 

The best method to use when cooking dried foods with your backpacking stove, is called boil-soak cooking. Not only is it extremely efficient for the backpacker, but it also allows you to conserve both fuel and water.

 

When using the boil-soak method, set up your backpacking stove on level ground in a location that’s insulated from the wind. Add the required amount of water to your cooking pot and light your stove. After putting the lid on the pot, bring the water to a rolling boil, then turn off the stove and insulate (a fleece jacket or pot cozy can be used) around the cooking pot to retain as much heat as possible. Leave it alone to rest at least 10 minutes (or as instructed on the meal pack). After that, simply lift the lid, stir in those beloved herbs and spices to make it taste absolutely delicious, and enjoy!

 

This method always prepares food the same way: with the lid on tight, the steam is absorbed into the food to help it cook, rather than dissipate away into the atmosphere. From soups to stews to pasta, you can practice before heading out on the trail and end up becoming a super backpacking chef.

 

There is also, of course, no-cooking backpacking for those who do not wish to carry the stove, or for those who have run out of fuel and the crackers and granola bars are long gone. Again, with the outdoor industry growing, there are more than a few dry foods on the market that supply a hearty meal for the backpacker. All you have to do is soak the food in cold water and enjoy. From rolled oats to couscous, there are definitely choices.

 

As far as snack foods are concerned, everything from pretzels to some hard sausages and cheeses will keep for several days on that exciting hike. In addition, peanut butter is a great backpacking supply. Just take it out of the jar, put it in a baggie, cut one corner off so you can squeeze the peanut butter on your bread, and then re-store in another baggie. And never forget breakfast, while on your hike. If you need extra warmth, make sure to take along a few flow-through coffee and tea bags, instant coffee packets or hot chocolate to really enjoy that sunrise.

 

Just make sure that your stomach never has to pay for your great day. When heading out on that trail, be safe, have fun, and learn that you can definitely have great meals while also having a great time.

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Yamaha Marine Receives 2017 Silver Star of Excellence

 

Yamaha Marine Receives 2017 Silver Star of Excellence

From American Technical Education Association and the National Technical Honor Society® for Contributions to Technical Education
RECOGNIZED FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE MOTORCYCLE AND MARINE SERVICE PROGRAM AT THE TENNESSEE COLLEGE OF APPLIED TECHNOLOGY (TCAT) CHATTANOOGA

Yamaha Marine Group announced today that it was awarded the 2017 Silver Star of Excellence from the American Technical Education Association and the National Technical Honor Society®.  Yamaha was recognized for its contribution to the Motorcycle and Marine Service Program at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Chattanooga.

The Silver Star of Excellence is awarded to a business in recognition of specific contributions to technical education such as donations of equipment, facilities, training, financial assistance and support such as internships, apprenticeships, and advisory committee members.

Left to right: James King – Vice Chancellor, TCAT System; Jimmy Jones – Master Instructor, TCAT, Chattanooga Sate Community College; Ed Grun, Senior Instructor, TCAT, Chattanooga State Community College; Joe Maniscalco, Division Manager, Yamaha Marine Service; Parks Chastain, Department Manager, Yamaha Marine Technical Training; Jim Barrott, Director, TCAT, Chattanooga State Community College

“Yamaha Marine started its relationship with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in 2002, and its support has grown each year. In addition to significant product and equipment donations in the last few years, the company has provided full dealership access to Yamaha training materials for technicians in training in an effort to help them become more profitable assets for potential employers,” said Sandra Krebsbach, Executive Director, American Technical Education Association. “As a TCAT technical school program sponsor, Yamaha also has generously provided staff for advisory board meetings and Skills USA®State Competition Judges, going far above and beyond to support student learning program standards and the success of marine industry training overall.”

“Yamaha Marine is committed to helping dealers recruit new technicians by preparing students for a fulfilling and high-demand career in marine service,” said Joe Maniscalco, Division Manager, Yamaha Marine Service.  “We are gratified to support the Motorcycle and Marine Service Technology Program at TCAT Chattanooga for many years and are honored to receive the Silver Star of Excellence award as we both pursue shared goals for the industry.”

In addition to the award, Yamaha was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society® Educator Industry Hall of Fame at the ATEA National Conference on Technical Education on March 15, 2017.

Yamaha Marine products are marketed throughout the United States and around the world. Yamaha Marine Group, based in Kennesaw, Ga., supports its 2,000 U.S. dealers and boat builders with marketing, training, and parts for Yamaha’s full line of products and strives to be the industry leader in reliability, technology, and customer service. Yamaha Marine is the only outboard brand to have earned NMMA®’s CSI Customer Satisfaction Index award every year since its inception. Visit www.yamahaoutboards.com.

Original Source: Yamaha Outboards.com

Whitetail Hunting in Illinois is About Making Memories in the Heartland

 

Whitetail Hunting in Illinois is About Making Memories in the Heartland

 

Whitetail hunting is the most popular area of the hunting universe in this day and age. When it comes to the great state of Illinois, there is one guide that is all about making your trip not only a success, but one of the most memorable experiences you can possibly have. And seeing that most of the dates sell out quite quickly, now is the time to research, review and then reserve your 2017 incredible whitetail hunt.

www.heartlandlodge.com

If you are looking to have a whitetail deer hunting trip with a premier outfitter,Harpole’s Heartland Lodge is the place for you. Specializing in archery deer hunts, along with gun hunts, Heartland is the original deer hunting outfitter and lodge in Pike County – and they can absolutely boast the fact that trophy whitetail hunts have been their specialty for the last 21 years…and counting.

 

Harpole’s is rated the absolute best in all areas you can think of when it comes to having a hunting trip that is nothing short of spectacular. Even the outfitter staff deserves and receives an A+ across the board, offering you a truly dedicated and full-time whitetail manager, full-time assistant whitetail manager, support staff and guides who work year-round in order to ensure that your hunt is off-the-charts.

 

Beginning in the winter, Harpole’s staff scouts bucks that survived the fall hunting season and are looking for new tree stand locations. The staff then moves on to late winter and early spring which is filled with tasks, from walking the woods looking for whitetail sheds to over-seeding the clover food plots. Early spring is spent planting new food plots, while summer is spent maintaining the plots, glassing and videotaping deer that come into the fields, and checking trail cam photos. When the late summer months arrive, planting the brassica food plots and new clover plots take over the daily work, so that when fall once again appears, every single step of the process has been done. All that’s left is to guide you to the perfect spot so you can have the best hunt imaginable.

 

Harpole’s diehard crew also makes archery hunting available. This is a passion absolutely shared by the entire whitetail staff who shoot their bows year-round, always practicing and always looking forward to when that next archery “party” arrives.

 

Pike County Illinois deer hunting has become legendary, and Harpole’s Heartland Lodge is the reason for the unbridled thrills that whitetail hunters experience when they utilize Heartland as their chosen guides. It doesn’t hurt that you are talking about one of the most stunning areas in the country. Located in the middle of incredible Illinois deer hunting country, centered between the Mississippi and Illinois River drainages, Heartland has always provided large whitetail bucks the perfect habitat. They understand the four key ingredients to having a quality deer herd: genetics, food, habitat, and a good age structure. By understanding this, they have been able to produce huge bucks and quality whitetail deer hunting for over two decades. And with their strict management program in place to preserve growth, Heartland continues to be at the top of the list for hunters who are searching for whitetail bucks not found anywhere else.

 

Harpole’s Heartland Lodge also provides first-class accommodations. Even though hunters may not think this is as important as the hunt itself, having a good night’s sleep and a great meal are just as important as the aim you bring with you. And at Heartland, receiving a comfortable bed after a long day’s hunt is the perfect way to “cap” off the day.

 

Various archery and gun hunting packages are available to one and all, but booking needs to begin as soon as possible, seeing as that Heartland’s customers continue to be repeat customers who will make sure they snag one of the pristine packages. Packages run from the Four-Night, Three-Day November Packages to Five-Night, Four-Day December Packages; Four-Night, Three-Day Muzzleloader Packages to Seven-Night, Six-Day Archery-Muzzleloader Combo Packages; Four-Night, Three-Day Firearm Doe Hunts, and the list goes on!

 

Harpole’s also rolls out the red carpet every year and welcomes both seasoned veterans and those who are just learning how to deer hunt. With deer hunting tips and strategies from Heartland’s professional and talented guides, everyone is sure to have an incredible time.

 

Memories are ready to be made, so head to www.heartlandlodge.com today to view everything from private rooms to luxury suites, and make your reservation. The only difficult part will be waiting for the months to go by so you can get to that beautiful Illinois country and bag that champion whitetail you’ve been dreaming about.

www.heartlandlodge.com

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Skeeter SX210

 

Skeeter SX210

By Craig Lamb

After buying a bay boat, why spend more time and money getting it rigged out for your needs?

With the Skeeter SX210, you get a boat already factory rigged with the standard accessories and features serious anglers want in a bay boat. Best of all, you get the extras, dependability, and durability that make it a Skeeter for an affordable price.

Affordable doesn’t mean any corners were cut. That’s not the Skeeter way. The SX210 even looks bigger than its size. The spacious interior provides plenty of room to move around, cast baits to surface feeders, and set rigs for trolling.

The SX210 has an overall length of 21’ 6” with a wide beam spanning 98”. Interior depth at the console is 18.5”, providing plenty of depth needed for functionality and safety. The SX210 weighs 2,300 pounds with a draft of 10” for shallow water accessibility and is powered by the most dependable saltwater outboard available. You can choose between the Yamaha F150, VF150, F175 or F200.

Check out these standard features that put you into the action with the first trip.

  • Yamaha multifunction gauges
  • Horizontal rod storage
  • Removable windshield
  • Seastar® hydraulic steering
  • 25-gallon rear live well
  • Vertical rod holders (14)
  • Retractable boarding ladder

Shopping for a bay boat usually means also shopping for a trailer. Not with the SX210, which comes standard with a trailer equipped with these standard features.

  • I-Tube Aluminum Trailer with tandem axle
  • Swing-away tongue
  • Fulton® jack stand and winch
  • Tuff Coat fenders
  • Spare tire and carrier

Also standard is a Lowrance® HDS-9 Gen3 Touch with internal GPS, Structure Scan®, and temperature gauges. The dash-mounted unit is factory installed by skilled technicians for dependable, worry-free operation.

From stem to stern the SX210 is rigged and ready to make a long run to the bay or into shallow flats. For that task, the SX210 comes standard with 8-foot Pro-Series II Power Pole®, the best available shallow water anchoring system. An anchor box, front deck storage, bait wells and more round out the fishing features.

The SX210 is designed and made with Skeeter’s Torque Transfer Transom and Stringer System. This unique system transfers the vertical torque and energy from the engine to the stringer system in the bottom of the boat, virtually eliminating stress on the transom, deck and hull sides, while providing lift along the entire keel of the boat.

Learn more at skeeterboats.com. You can request a brochure or download a catalog, build your dream rig, and get Skeeter Team merchandise to wear to the shows.  Got a question? They’ve got answers at the Skeeter factory in Kilgore, Texas. Call (903) 984-0541, or find the nearest dealer here.

This document contains many of Skeeter’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only, and are not intended to be an endorsement.

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Former Classic® Winner Jones Has a New Competitor on the Water

 

Former Classic® Winner Jones Has a New Competitor on the Water

This Season Alton Jones Jr. Joins His Father to Fish the 2017 Bassmaster Classic® and the Elites

Never, in all of his previous 26 seasons of bass tournament competition, has Alton Jones been concerned with how many fish any other anglers may be catching, but that will change this year. That’s because the Yamaha Pro’s 24-year old son, Alton Jr., will be joining him on both the Bassmaster® Elite circuit and in the 2017 Bassmaster Classic® as he begins his own full-time professional career.

They will be the fifth father-son duo to compete against each other in a Classic,® but the first to do so in the Elite Series. Although they have been fishing together for years, they have never before actually competed against each other.

“He’s a better fisherman than I am, too,” admits Alton, Sr., winner of six B.A.S.S.® events during his career, including the 2008 Bassmaster Classic.® “He’s more versatile, and he understands the fish better than I do. He may not have as much experience as the other pros, but he’s still going to be a tough competitor.”

“Little Alton,” as many know him, graduated from Baylor University with a degree in marketing in 2014, all the while planning to start fishing professionally as soon as he graduated. He spent the next two seasons fishing the Bassmaster® Open Series just to qualify for the Elites and did so through his consistently high finishes in the Central Division this past year. By winning one of those events on the Red River in Louisiana, he also qualified for the Bassmaster Classic® to be held next month at Lake Conroe near Houston.

“Dad had me in the boat with him when I was still an infant,” laughs Alton Jr., now also a Yamaha Pro, “and later I traveled with my parents to each tournament and fished every practice day with him for years. I always thought becoming a bass pro sounded good, but it wasn’t until the 2008 Bassmaster® Elite season that I made up my mind.

“That year, I fished eight Elites as a co-angler and loved every minute. It was an incredible experience because I got to fish with a lot of the top bass pros, and afterward I knew without a doubt I wanted fishing to be my career. I was ready to start immediately, but my parents wouldn’t let me until I earned a college degree. That was a long four years, but I’ve already realized the benefits of having that degree, particularly a degree in marketing.”

Understanding his son’s desire to turn professional, as well as to add extra incentive to complete his college education, Alton, Sr. made a fully rigged bass boat available for Little Alton to use anytime he wanted to, as long as he maintained good grades. Little Alton took advantage of the opportunity, fishing numerous weekend tournaments throughout Texas during his time at Baylor. Those events, in which he won several boats and cash prizes, helped prepare him for the Opens, and ultimately, he believes, for this season’s Elites

Although both father and son visited Lake Conroe before the impoundment went off-limits, they did so separately. The discussions they’ve had about the Classic® lake, as well as about other lakes they’ll fish during the season, have only been about general overall strategies. The experienced father has not given his son any specific information.

“He really doesn’t want any information,” emphasizes Alton, Sr. “He is his own man on the water, and he’s very confident in his own abilities to locate and catch fish. He’s proven that many times over, and besides, our fishing styles are completely different. He doesn’t need my advice.

“When I started taking him fishing with me, I wanted him to grow to love fishing just so he and I could spend time together,” says the long-time Yamaha Pro. “When B.A.S.S.®changed their rules about tournament practice partners, it ended that opportunity for both of us. 

“Honestly, what I’m most excited about this upcoming Elite season is being on the road together and having more father-son time. Am I concerned about fishing against Little Alton? Of course not. Naturally, I’m his biggest fan.” Y

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Original Source Yamaha Outboards.com 

Dialing in Docks to Up Your Bass Game

 

Dialing in Docks to Up Your Bass Game

Virtually every angler on the water these days is well aware that boat docks hold bass throughout the year.  However, not all anglers approach dock fishing with the correct tackle and strategy to make the most of their time on the water.  Fine-tuning your approach by reaching all fish-holding zones and identifying patterns can definitely lead to higher catch rates and bigger fish.

For starters, selecting the right tackle for dock fishing is absolutely critical.  While many professional anglers are adept at skipping lures far under dock platforms using baitcasting gear, most fishermen will find this task much easier to accomplish with a medium-light power, fast action spinning rod paired with a reel spooled with thin braided line.  With the right spinning rod and reel, you can focus on the mechanics of making the perfect skip cast rather than worrying about controlling backlashes.

As far as lure selection goes, a compact jig-and-plastic combination is hands down the most versatile setup for fishing docks.  Small finesse jigs can imitate a variety of forage, from small crawfish or other invertebrates when dragged across the bottom, to juvenile bream or small baitfish when descending or retrieved through the water column.

An ideal jig-and-plastic pairing is a 3/16 ounce Z-Man ShroomZ Micro Finesse Jig paired with a 2.75” Finesse TRD stickbait trailer.  The flat, compact head of this mushroom-shaped jig coupled with its short silicone skirt allows it to be cast precisely into tight quarters or skip cast under dock platforms or skip cast with relative ease.  When paired with the Finesse TRD soft plastic, the combination has enough bulk to cast long distances, but sinks slowly and stands up off the bottom at rest due to the TRD’s buoyant ElaZtech construction.  In addition, the extreme durability of this soft plastic trailer allows it to be skip cast and bounced off dock pilings repeatedly without ripping or tearing.

While casting around the outskirts of a dock is simple, the best way to access hard-to-reach zones beneath the above-the-water superstructure is a well-executed skip cast. The key to a good skip cast is to generate as much lure speed at the point of line release, with the rod almost parallel to the water, so the lure travels across the surface with minimal drag. The more the lure spins and stays on its trailing edge, the longer the skip.  While dialing in the proper skip casting technique can take a little bit of work, any angler can make the technique look effortless with a little bit of practice!

In order to key in on how the fish are positioned around docks on a given day, it is critical to initially work the structure as thoroughly as possible, probing every inch of the surrounding area from shallow to deep, hitting both the outside and inside of the dock with precise, targeted casts.  When the bait hits the water, allow it to fall straight to the bottom on a slack line before making a couple of short twitches to hop the jig off the bottom.  Also pay close attention to the line as the jig slowly descends through the water column, as many bites come on the fall, indicating that the fish are suspended under the docks rather than near the bottom.

The most critical part of discerning a pattern to how fish are positioned around docks is making a mental note of the location and water depth of each bite, paying close attention to where the fish is stationed relative to the structure in particular.  Efforts should then be focused on similar areas around successive docks, and zones that do not produce bites should be ruled out.  Focusing your efforts in this manner will allow you to eliminate casts to unproductive areas and become more efficient with each dock fished.

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Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com