Outdoors Trivia

View from the Marina
By Barb Hansen
June 2011

You can tell a lot about a person by the name on their boat. For example, a couple of years ago I strongly advised a certain literary celebrity, Juliet Capulet, to never date a guy with a boat named Sir Osis of the River, Beeracuda, or Blew Too Much.

Now I'm looking at the popular boat name lists from BoatU.S. and it occurs to me the names don't just tell us about the psychological condition of the boat owners, they also speak to us about the psychological condition of the nation's economy.

Indeed, they are a proxy for the mood of the country and point to a change in direction for the economy and perhaps the stock market, too. Up or down. I call it call it the Boat Name Mood Meter (BNMM)

So what is the BNMM telling us? I think it's telling us that the economy is recovering.

The first thing I do is delete the names on the top 10 list that are on the list every year. Those recurring names don't tell us anything. So, goodbye Seas the Day, AquaHolic, The Black Pearl, La Belle Vita.

Last year's list reverberated with a bad attitude. That top ten list had boat names like Lazy Daze, Bail Out, On the Rocks.

Now, compare them with the names on the new list: Andiamo (Let's go), Mojo, Island Time, Second Wind, No Worries, Serenity, Blue Moon.

Don't you see what's happening? Boat owners are tossing out the negative and accentuating the positive. They are feeling better. Much better. You should, too.

So is it time to buy stocks or bonds or what?

Well, I don't know about that, but I do know that it's time to invest in time on the water. Being on the water is the great escape. It's the rhythmic flap of wind on a sail, the harmonic charm of a well-tuned cruising engine, the excitement on a boat when a big fish is landed, the soothing feeling you get watching a colorful sunrise or a sunset.

Time on the boat doesn't make problems go away but it does gives us the mental fortitude and the right attitude to deal with matters back on land.

You may have read that Tiger Woods is selling his 155-footer, Privacy, and replacing it with a smaller vessel. He calls it Solitude. The Tiger Woods case may not be the best example but it helps to illustrate that even when times are tough boaters don't give up on boating entirely.

Some sail. Some cruise. Some fish. Some paddle into remote backcountry areas where few have gone before. Some seek solitude. Some socialize. Some go fast from here to there. Some go slow to nowhere. Heck, some never leave the dock. But on the water, they feel good.

So is it time? Oh, yeah. Memorial day signals the start of a new summer. Fishing and Boating Week is June 4-12. Father's Day is June 19.

The stars are aligned. It's time to be on the water. You can check the Dow when you get back in. Meanwhile, it's nice to know that the Boat Name Mood Meter is trending sharply up. You know what to do.

Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts, yacht charters, and Florida Sailing & Cruising School, a liveaboard yacht school. Contact her at info@swfyachts.com, phone 1-800-262-7939 or visit http://www.swfyachts.com/

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Wrangler Rugged Wear® Fishing and Hunting Tips

April 2009


GREENSBORO, N.C. (April 16, 2009)

Woo's nail-rigged plastic worms

Bassmaster Classic champion Woo Daves of the Wrangler Rugged Wear Outdoor Advisory Team has devised a new way to rig plastic worms when the bite is slow. Daves inserts a small nail into the head of the plastic worm to give it front-end weight. He then buries a J-bend hook into the plastic about two inches from the tail. "Cast it out and let it free fall on slack line," says Daves. "If you feel tension, set the hook."

Fish the sun and moon
Fish when the fish want to bite. How do you know when that is? Ron Schara, host of TV’s popular series, “Backroads with Ron and Raven,” and member of the Wrangler Rugged Wear Outdoor Advisory Team, says there are four times during the day when fish almost always feed, even if only for a short time: sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset. When two coincide, get ready for magic.

 Take two fishing
Experts tell us to retrieve more slowly when the water is cold.  “Slow it to a crawl across the bottom?” we asked. “No, that’s too fast,” says Wrangler Rugged Wear pro angler Dean Capra of Minnesota, where ice out water tends to be, well, ice cold. Capra fishes scented baits, especially in icy water. He casts his lure, allows it to sink to the bottom, then doesn’t move it at all for nearly two minutes. He just leaves it there, doing nothing. “Let the scent do its work,” says Capra. “If a fish doesn’t hit it after two minutes, reel it in and cast it to a new spot. Then wait two more.”

Splash a lure? Take a drink!

Bodie McDowell, longtime outdoor writer and member of the Wrangler Rugged Wear Outdoor Advisory Team, recommends that after your big, fat top-water lure has splashed down, you take a drink.  Open a soft drink. Pour yourself a cup of coffee. If fish were spooked by the splash of your lure, then give them a chance to calm down and return to their hiding hole.  The bigger question, of course, is where to cast. Bodie recommends “fish edges," such as places where clear water meets dingy water, submerged grass meets sandy bottom, warm water meets cold water, smooth water meets rough water, deep water meets shallow water, or land meets water.

 Turkey hunting? Scout deer

Spring turkey season - before foliage reappears - is a prime time to scout for deer, reports whitetail hunting expert Mark Kayser of the Wrangler Rugged Wear Outdoor Advisory Team. With the trees bare, you can see more. Scrapes and rubs jump out at you like the boogieman on Halloween. Often, scrapes and rubs indicate new bedding areas. “Spend your turkey season wisely and it will pay off during deer season too,” says Kayser.


Two lure fishing

Sometimes bass will strike at your top-water lures, but for reasons only the bass know, you can't get a hookup. When that happens, Wrangler Rugged Wear pro Ron Tussel uses the two-rod, two-lure strategy. Tussel, host of the “Pennsylvania Sportsmen” TV series, keeps a second rod rigged with a plastic worm or jig at his side. When a bass misses his top-water, he immediately casts to the same spot with the soft plastic rig and very often gets a hookup from the same bass.  

Repairing soft plastics

Don't think just because you're a world bass champion that you don't have to do some lure improvising now and then. Woo Daves, 2000 Bassmaster Classic champion and a member of the Wrangler Rugged Wear Outdoor Advisory Team, says more than once during a multi-day tournament he has gone back to his room and repaired the soft plastic worms and jigs the fish were hitting that day. "I will heat a butter knife and actually mend the tears and holes of my used worms so I can fish with them again the next day," Daves says.


Feel the bottom with this "depth finder"

Call it a "poor man's depth finder" but this hardware store item can give you information that even expensive LCR depth finders can't, when fishing the salt flats. Larry Bozka, host of CoastalAnglers.com and member of the Wrangler Rugged Wear Outdoor Advisory Team, takes an 8-foot PVC pipe with him on his bay boat. When he wants to know what kind of bottom he's fishing, he simply lowers one end of the pipe to the bottom and listens. When you hear and feel something crunchy, you know you're over an oyster shell bottom. Whether they are live bivalves or crushed and broken remnants, you will know you're fishing habitat that holds crustaceans and baitfish. And where such forage exists, predators like redfish and speckled trout are likely to be in the area as well.

Connecting braid-to-fluorocarbon

Two of the best things to happen to sport fishing in recent years are braided fishing lines and fluorocarbon leaders. The problem comes when you connect them with a knot. The braided line is skinny and hard and will cut into the softer, thicker fluorocarbon leader. Wrangler Rugged Wear pro angler Dean Capra has a solution. He advises customers at Capra Sporting Goods in Blaine, Minn., to double the thinner braided line before tying it to the thicker fluorocarbon leader.

Good anglers ask, "Why?"

Ron Schara of the Wrangler Rugged Wear Outdoor Advisory Team is a pattern-fishing nut, moving around a lake frequently until a fish-catching pattern can be established. The host of TV's “Backroads with Ron and Raven” says, "If the fish don’t want to bite in one spot, there is no point in sticking around. Move. Once you find the fish in a certain area, ask yourself why you caught that fish in that particular spot. Then go and find more just like it. Odds are there will be fish waiting at the next spot too."   

Locating panfish strike zones

Often on large lakes, schools of pan fish like crappies and perch will suspend in the water column. In order to consistently take fish from the school, you have to make sure your bait returns to the same depth. Wrangler Rugged Wear pro Ron Tussel, host of the “Pennsylvania Sportsman” TV series, uses the countdown method.  Here's the drill. Every time you put bait in the water, let it fall freely. Keep track of the depth of the bait by counting one foot for every second. When you catch a fish, you'll know the depth of the school. As soon as you unhook one fish, put the bait in the water and count it down to the same depth. 


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