Keep up with all things, outdoors, with Big Billy Kinder...
I may lose a few friends over this one. It’s a hot topic with many folks. Fences. High fences, low fences no fences. Hunting within the confines of a fenced area. Is it ethical? Depends on who you visit with. Many hard core public land d.i.y. hunters will tell you, "Absolutely not! True free range is the ONLY pursuit that’s fair and ethical." The deer farmer will tell you that there is no disgrace in hunting an animal behind an 8-foot fence. The low fence guy, well he’s proud of the fact that his herd can slip over to the neighbor and back again as they please. I have hunted on occasion all three areas, but not before some careful thought and reasoning.
Back in 2010 I suffered an injury that would keep me on crutches and a walker for a year and a half. 7 surgeries and 42 skin graphs. Locked up in the house, with the exception of hospital and doctor visits for well over a year. I didn’t care who thought what of me when I finally had an opportunity to climb back in a stand, even though it was on a high fence place. I had a ton of medical apparatus in tow, but made it up the ladder and into the blind on that cold December morning. The fine, tall 8 point that I put down that day hangs on my wall, and I am as proud of him as any spot and stalk, low fence/no fence big country critter that I’ve ever hunted. Even though I had a clear medical reason for hunting behind a fence, I still needed more before feeling totally comfortable with it.
God gave me the answer, as He always does, in the book of Genesis. He was speaking to Noah, and laying out how things would be after the great flood. God told Noah in Chapter 9, Vs 2-3,
2 “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; and into your hand are they delivered.”
3 “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”
Notice the Lord never said “except those behind a fence” or “no fish from a small farm pond” or under any other conditions. That is good enough for me. If its okay with God, then its good with me.
Ethics do come in to play. He also gave us a conscience, and when He placed us above the animals, fowl and fish, as he showed Noah when he cared for the critters 2 X 2 on the ark, we are to care for them. America has been the worldwide leader in that conservation effort for the past 100 years. It is that God given ability to think, that allows us to make our own decisions. Problem is, after we have sorted it out and decided what is ethical hunting for ourselves, we often want to frown upon other methods and the folks that take part in them. Example: We've all heard the age-old arguments between bow hunters and rifle hunters.
Figure it out for yourself. Is it legal? Will it bother me to harvest an animal on fenced property, be it 300 acres or 300,000? Do I believe that God exists? Do I believe what He said in his word?
Once you work it out, get out. Go and be in the woods. If you have to stop and unlock the gate on the way in, more power to you! If you pack your way into the National Forest for a day and a half, excellent! Ya’ll grill your backstraps up side by side. They're gonna taste the same cause God Himself made them each and said put them on the dinner table.
By Billy Kinder
DSC Life Member
Owner - Kinder Productions, Inc.
Host - Kinder Outdoors-SiriusXM
Radio Stations & Podcasts Across the U.S.
July 28, 2022
I see people with house dogs do it all of the time. It’s 98 degrees and they have ol’ Rusty on his leash because it’s time to “go poo-poo for mama”. So, Rusty leaps from his plush doggie bed in 72 degree air conditioned comfort and is bouncing up and down by the door waiting for the leash, an opening and the wide open spaces of the local park! When he first enters freedom’s bliss, he looks like a calf in a rodeo. Run fast, hit the end of the rope, bounce back, repeat. Just a few short minutes into the trip, ol’ Rusty has slowed down considerably. His tongue is hanging out about 8 inches long and he’s panting like the chug-a-lug of a Model T. He might even be involved in more of a drag than a walk by now, but he must continue on until mama leans down with her rubber glove and does the dirty work. Back home once again, Rusty foregoes the cozy doggie bed and stretches out belly down on the cool tile of the kitchen or bathroom.
Overheating and dehydration is serious business with our dogs, and as bad as it is in the dreaded August heat, I believe winter may be even hard on them from a dehydration perspective.
For bird hunters, summer workouts are imperative. September brings teal for lots of folks across America and in places like Montana, there are huns and sharptails to chase. Field trials even start back up around Labor Day. You can’t afford to just take the summer off. Common sense plays a huge role. Take steps to get your dog work done in the best of the bad conditions.
Enjoy your dogs! You’ll be working together in the dove field, teal blind and upland pastures before you know it…Get ready!!
Quick tip…If you have a kennel setup that allows you to run a garden hose across the top, buy a long sprinkler hose. You know, the kind of flat water hose that has little holes in it from one end to the other? Zip tie it in place, sprinklers aimed down into the runs. Set it up on a watering timer for 5 minutes each of the hottest hours of the day. Not only does it give your dogs a beneficial cool down, but it helps keep urine washed down as well.
August 11, 2020
We've been locked up in our homes while making only the most necessary trips. We've Lysoled everything, a dozen times. We've watched the coronavirus news nonstop. Looks like we will be living this way for a while. A trip to the lake is wonderful therapy. An emotional band-aid. Even so, we can’t afford to let our guard down there either.
The Game and Fish folks in North Carolina have come up with a short list of recommendations for boaters. They are...
...maintain your distance at boat ramps and fuel docks
...avoid using boat ramp docks while other people are on them
...no beaching your boat right next to someone else
...no rafting up-keep your distance on the water
All good recommendations and I will add a couple of my own...
...if you are a shoreline fisherman, please don’t fish from the boat ramp docks-They are essential for boat passenger loading and unloading
...keep the hand sanitizer, bleach wipes and plastic gloves on the boat
...only boat with members of your household
...avoid all unnecessary contact with others
Spring turkey hunting carries new concerns this year as well. No long trips in the enclosed cab of a vehicle with members of a separate home but only with members of your home is not only a great idea, but possibly lifesaving.
Hunt solo, do your own calling. Don’t share calls, camo (especially face masks) or equipment. Common sense. (if solo hunting or boating be sure to leave an emergency plan with loved ones…where you are…time you should be back etc.) It’s a good year to skip the mouth calls and stick to your slates, boxes etc. Your hands back and forth to your mouth right now is not a good thing.
Once we have settled into that quiet cove or leaned up next to that tree in the turkey woods we can finally relax a little. Just be diligent.
April 16, 2020
It's surreal. The President of the United States steps up to the mic, surrounded by brilliant minds from science and medicine and reports the bad news. According to very reliable models, 100,000 to 240,000 of us won't be here just a month from now. Wow!! 30 days! You look at people differently as you drive down the road, run into and out of the grocery store trying to avoid others, briefly step out to gas up. Which of us will be here, who won’t? It’s not a movie.
We get caught up in ourselves, not only us Americans, I’m speaking of us humans. Many of us are spoiled to what we want-when we want it. In the blink of an eye, life has flipped to what will I use for toilet paper today-Humbling to say the least. Meat counters empty, empty store shelves where just days ago were everyday staples like paper towels, rice and baby wipes. We took the most menial day to day tasks and items for granted. How about that keypad at the checkout counter? Has it been sanitized lately? Has anyone stood here and sneezed over it recently? Yesterday? How long did they say this virus could live on plastic? What about the bags that I’m about to put my food in? How in the world can anyone find any peace?
This invisible killer is possibly every place I need to be. Guess what??? So is Jesus. Please don’t stop reading. This is also a life and death matter. THIS is more sure than the possibility of COVID-19 infection in your family. In case you have never heard it before, salvation through Christ is simply faith plus nothing. You can’t DO anything to earn eternal peace, but you CAN have that peace. It’s a free gift from God. The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in 1st Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4: “…Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried and that He was raised on the third day…” That’s it. The Gospel. Do you believe that? We are all sinners (Romans 3:10), and God wants none of us to suffer eternal punishment (2 Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9): “…not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
These times are very hard, but peace exists. Only in Jesus is true and lasting peace. This is what I believe and am happy to try and answer any questions that you might have. Just give me a holler. 817-360-8090.
April 1, 2020
I hear that song about My Favorite Things around Christmas time each year. Some ol’ boy named Richard Rodgers wrote it back in the 50’s, then Julie Andrews made it famous in “The Sound of Music”, which I am proud to say I’ve never seen. I have, though, turned the volume up on the radio and listened to the lyrics of the song. That part about crisp apple strudel always conjures up a picture for me. I’m not a Broadway guy. Not much of a movie guy. I probably can’t name 5 show tunes with any confidence and that they actually came out of a show. In fact, I’m having trouble getting to two right now. But, ”My Favorite Things” kinda got me to thinking. We all have favorite things or situations that we cling to a little too much or dwell on while we should be thinking of more productive efforts. But what the heck, it’s okay to idle away a few minutes here and there I guess. You’re doing it right now, so, in no particular order...
The thump that you feel in the cork handle of a good crappie rod. The force with which a crappie sucks in a small jig is actually strong enough from 18-20 feet deep to send a vibration up the line to the rod tip and then to your hand that triggers a reaction in the brain, to send the thump back down the line and set the hook in ol spec’s mouth. All of this takes place in about 1 second. The thump is absolutely one of my favorite things.
Good dogs on point and birds that hold tight. It is amazing to watch what God put into a bird dog. The indwelling drive to hunt game birds. I’ve watched ‘em for years running at ¾ speed through dusty, windy, dry, rainy, thick cover. Meadowlarks, sparrows and chee-chee birds of all sorts popping up and flitting away as the dog runs, but he gives them none of his attention...none! Not even a glance, but 1 single molecule of scent from a quail, pheasant or grouse makes the dog flip back-end over front and land with a hard stop! Head and tail high, smoking the pipe. The dog breaths scent in with his nose, exhaling with his mouth which in turn makes his cheeks puff out and back in...giving the impression of a pipe smoker. Many times, a covey of bobwhite quail will hold tight on a snowy morning, so will early season young birds that have never met a birddog before. Walking up to that view will always be a favorite.
A big bass jig swimming from that shallow little pocket that you threw it in to. You know it didn’t come to life and start swimming on its own. No, a bass has that jig in her mouth and she’s headed for deeper water with her prey much like a dog will seek out a private spot to enjoy a treat. You “catch up” to her with your reel, then set the hook like your name is Klein, Brauer or Evers! Oh, what a feeling and favorite.
Any fish on a topwater bait. Matters not if its sunfish on a little popper delivered by your fly rod or a big 6 inch walking-bait targeting bass. When the lightning fast explosion occurs, that very second is on my favorites list. You want to see it again and again, the feeling never grows old! You could do this all day, but the sun climbs higher and the topwater bite dies off. Special moments reserved mostly for short periods of time and then left to bounce around in your mind while you should be listening to the preacher.
Pre sunrise in the pasture or on the lake. The temperature drops another degree or two as if the night is tightening its grip on your world not wanting to let go. The first birds of the morning, outside of chuck willows will or an old owl, start to make their presence known. Faint light begins to creep into your surroundings like water seeping into a marsh. The sun’s not officially up yet but is steadily working on it and is precisely on time, the same today as it was on that first morning when God put it in motion. The world is waking up around you. Barely visible are a couple of deer. How did they get there! I’ve been watching so closely, every second! It’s like they grew straight up out of the ground. Unseen turkeys lightly yelp from the roost and get more vocal as they fly down. In the stillness of pre-dawn you clearly hear the flapping of their wings and they depart the tree limb for breakfast. The slow gentle ride across quiet water to a favorite fishing hole with red and green lights leading the way. Trying not to spill your coffee as you go, you have just enough light to see “feeding rings” on top of the water, raising your expectations and thinking about that trusty old “Pop R” that you tied on last night.
Two-lane blacktops and worn dirt roads, especially those that you’ve never travelled before. Wonder and excitement, looking at new country and looking deeply for the flash of a white tail or a summer herd of elk. Snow topped high places in June. Ripe Montana choke cherries growing wild along a public right of way or wild West Texas sand plums in a pasture, ready for picking and making jelly. An old dry goods/grocery store from a bygone era that somehow manages enough business from area farm families and wide-eyed adventurers to keep the lights on. A winding Ozark farm to market road that leads toward the farm, not the market. As it leads you across the creek for the 3rd time, you catch a glimpse of a flock of eastern turkeys running up into the thick southern woods.
A crackling fire. The fireplace on a chilly winter’s evening, reading old Gene Hill stories for the 15th time. Maybe it’s a hot bed of coals with fresh logs popping on top, circled by satisfied hunters after a day in the field. Some facing the fire with glowing faces and cold hands extended, palms out, others warming their backsides with hands stretched backwards. Someone’s telling a story. You’ve heard it before and know the ending well, but the moment is so agreeable that you in quiet eagerness give it your full attention. The story is good, but so is the thick blanket of quiet that follows that laughter.
Smells...fresh gunpowder in the air on a clear blue morning, fish on your hands, spring flowers in the turkey haunts, smoke from the last pipe that exists in deer camp.
Time, places, experiences, tools of the trade, some people, well-mannered dogs. What was that?? Sounds. Peach pie in summer and my old Ruger Red Label 20 gauge. Just a few of my favorite things.
February 6, 2020
Has common sense completely evaporated?
To assume that the more than 17 million conceal carry permit holders in the U.S. and the millions more gun owners that don’t have a permit are a threat to society and should be restricted in our freedom to come and go as we please is simply fuel for a bigger agenda. It’s an agenda that seeks great power. Power that those pushing gun confiscation know isn’t possible if solid citizens are armed. That is why we have a 2nd Amendment.
“A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined…”
~President George Washington to Congress in 1790
Common sense tells us, and President Washington knew, that it is the undisciplined criminal and not the gun owner that murders people.
“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
~Thomas Jefferson quoting criminologist Cesare Beccaria, Commonplace Book.
Walmart announced this week that they would prefer you be an unarmed person when you enter their stores. They didn’t make that decision for your safety in my opinion, but to appease anti-gun politicians and media. The official word from CEO Doug McMillon was “…we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where open carry is permitted-unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.” Walmart says that once the existing inventory of pistol and short barreled rifle ammo is sold, they will stock no more. Walmart has also decided that folks in Alaska don’t need a handgun. That’s the same decision they made for me at my local Wally World and the other 49 states back in the 90’s. I understand that Walmart leadership had to say something. I get it. Walmart has been in the news a lot lately because nut cases have chosen to murder there. But, these decisions were made based on image, not sound logic.
It would thrill me to hear a major CEO in our nation stand up on his/her hind legs and quote Jefferson or Washington or maybe Benjamin Franklin when he said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.” (Historical Review of Pennsylvania 1759) How great would it be to hear a bigwig state that America is made up, for the most part, by hard-working, tax-paying citizens that are our greatest resource in economy, charity and safety. That the armed citizen is welcome here openly armed or concealed. To punish the millions of folks that do the right thing day after day because of the actions of a murderer is insane. If a big boss would encourage true freedom, he/she would have the safest shop in town.
Rattlesnakes hang out near deer feeders because they know the meek little mouse likes corn too and doesn’t carry a 44 mag. Is this a good game plan for such a strong, honest and armed nation? Leave the 44 behind, make it known through the media that XYZ company doesn’t allow personal protection, then show up at XYZ with your loved ones? Not according to smart guys like Franklin, Washington and Jefferson. Walmart’s decision this week wasn’t earth shattering. They didn’t say NO FIREARMS may be carried in our stores. But it was a sip of lukewarm coffee. No good. And it’s pushed me to rethink things a bit.
I plan to be a smarter shopper in the future. I will spend a little more time in this evil and dangerous world considering where I will spend my hard earned pay. Where I will spend time with my family and friends. I will worship, shop, work and play in areas where the world’s largest army, the armed U.S. Citizen is welcomed. I haven’t made this decision because of anger at folks like Dick’s Sporting Goods or AMC theatres or Chuck E Cheese or Jack in the Box. It’s America, and those folks can choose who to invite over, just as I can choose where to eat, watch a movie, or eat a meal. It’s just good common sense. Take your family to safe environments, and American citizens well-armed are safe. It’s so simple to web search retailer rules on personal protection.
Retailers with anti 2nd Amendment rules assume every day that the vast majority of us would never harm another. In assuming that we are all pretty safe folks, they, in wrong thinking, decide that only the rattlesnake poised by the deer feeder should be armed. Where is the common sense in that?
September 4, 2019
Her name is spelled Xayden. It's pronounced Zayden. Don’t ask me. All I know is that she’s 3, adorable, a pain in the butt at times, more fun than a pickup bed full of monkeys, and she’s my granddaughter. We find very little common ground inside the house. I have no interest in those two pups she’s glued to on TV, and I hear that dreaded Mickey Mouse song in my head at night. Let me be clear, I do not give a solitary hoot where "Toodles" is. Yes, I play along with the stuffed animal parade, the endless desire for me to put down the latest copy of Bassmaster magazine and pick up a story book...again. I’m kinda shocked that by now we haven’t erased the words from the pages with our eyeballs simply by reading and re-reading. There is constantly a miniscule bug on the floor, under her chest of drawers, in total darkness where Pappaw has to lay face down on the floor with a flashlight to see. It is uncanny how she spots these things, but none get past her! Walking through the pasture with enough visual happening around us to overwhelm and amaze, she spots a dung beetle in a dark shady spot. God given gift of insecta-vision!
And THERE is my common ground with my Xady lady. We are hunters! It is outdoors where we enjoy our best playtime together! My heart grows younger out there, and she grows up faster. We meet in the middle with a butterfly net, a five gallon bucket and a feverish hunt for bugs to drop in the bucket. Mayflies were her quarry of choice earlier this spring, and she was very good at catching all of them that were at about 32 inches or lower. The natural course of things has moved us from mayfly season to her favorite...The roly poly. It's part of her big 5. I assure you that you’ve never seen a grown man grinning with an 8 pound bass in his hand any happier or more excited than Xady with a poly. When the weather warmed a bit more and the poly parade started in the cool mornings, she was ready. Yes, sadly some polys made the ultimate sacrifice during their time in poly compound. Over-handling, I believe the cause. Even tho death came calling for some of the weaker little insect versions of the armadillo, they still counted towards her tally. Near 20 on that particular safari. It was a tremendously successful outing.
Trips to the ranch are a big deal. She knows that the first stop for supplies is Buccee’s. Corn for the deer, hogs, birds, coons and coconut fudge for us. Once we pass through the ranch gate, it’s out of the car seat and riding shotgun with her head hanging out the window like a fella’s favorite hound. While I hoist the corn for distribution, she hunts. Everything is a wonder! Like the rock that she picked up and asked me about. I explained that it was actually a world record cow patty...true Boone and Crockett material... a dandy. “Don’t eat it.” I teach her these important things, and without her even trying or knowing, she reminds me that the blessing of time in the field, the boat, a conservation area, BLM, National Park or old deer feeder is very very special.
How callused and spoiled am I? Would I be happy for a couple of hours in the floor of the boat with a box of night crawlers? No, but to see her pure joy in that reminds and refreshes my roots with critters and the places they wander. Poly safari in the front yard, poop safari in the pasture…a precious little one’s squeal of pure joy as a night crawler slithers thru her fingers. Safari is a journey, an expedition, a mindset that anticipates with great eagerness what lies ahead. It’s the stop for fudge along the way, the ride through the pasture, the moment when the turtle first lumbers into sight. It’s sunrise in Cordoba when more doves than you ever imagined start lifting from the roost, or sunset on top of Going to the Sun Road.
Pre-dawn when it’s just light enough to see that yes, that’s the big boy I’ve hunted for three years. In a wink he’s gone, but safari still has had its full effect on your heart. Thank you Lord! There is a 3 year old inside of you. Turn her loose, send her on safari near and far. And if you net a poly that’s 3/8ths inches or more, call ol' Roy at Truelife Taxidermy.
May 24, 2019
Contact: Billy Kinder
Kinder Productions, Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 2019-DALLAS, TX—On Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 4pm (ET) a small family business made in America will see its ten years of sweat and tears prove graduated as its product, outdoor talk radio show Big Billy Kinder Outdoors, joins the satellite signal of SiriusXM. From humble beginnings on one radio station in Dallas/Fort Worth, BBKO Radio will become a part of the Salem family of programming on Family Talk SiriusXM 131. Dallas Safari Club (DSC), with a mission to educate youth and the general public about conservation in the outdoors comes on as the Title Sponsor. “We are thrilled to be a part of Big Billy Kinder Outdoors expanding to SiriusXM. Billy has been a strong and leading voice for the outdoors for a decade, and DSC is proud to see that expanding to inform and engage new audiences.” Corey Mason, Executive Director-DSC. After thirty years of being a voice on the airwaves in DFW, Billy will now share his on air talent along with his life-long passion and experience in the great outdoors hunting and fishing with an ever-growing audience. Big Billy Kinder Outdoors currently airs on WBAP-820AM (Flagship), 14 other North Texas radio stations and over 116 radio stations in 28 states distributed by the Salem Radio Network. Our show pros include outdoor icons such as Larry Weishuhn, Gary Klein, Tom Dokken, Kelly Jordan, Wally Marshall-“Mr. Crappie” & MORE. Celebrity guests such as T. Boone Pickens, General Chuck Yeager, Nolan Ryan, Jim Shockey, Jason Robertson, Jim Zumbo and others frequent the camp-house to discuss, not their business, but their PASSION…the great outdoors. Listeners can tune in to any of the local radio stations, SiriusXM-Channel 131 OR 24/7 to enjoy the podcasts. Podcasts can be enjoyed from iTunes, the bbkoradio.com website or other podcast providers. SiriusXM’s recent acquisition of Pandora, created the world’s largest audio entertainment company and the potential for even more growth is in the future. This new partnership between DSC and Big Billy Kinder Outdoors will ensure that the important message of conserving wildlife and wild places, protecting rights to hunt and fish and educating our next generations in our outdoor heritage will reach even more ears and hearts. BBKO Radio is a great way to enjoy a long day in the blind (with earphones of course) or a long day on the water. “When we’re not in the great outdoors, we’re thinkin’ about it.”
More information is available regarding the show online, www.KinderOutdoors.com
If you have questions, or to schedule an interview, call Billy Kinder (817) 360-8090
Summer is beginning to wind down but of course that takes a while here in Texas. We’ll more than likely be sweating still as we sit in the Friday night lights of October. It was only 104 yesterday and 103 the day before which felt “fallish” in the early mornings compared with last week. We saw 110 every day last week with 111, 112 and 113 thrown in the mix during a broiler of a week long stretch. Morning lows were 87-89 and humid. I did take advantage of those frigid early morning hours to visit the local fishing hole. Sand bass for ceviche were my target, but I can’t resist sitting over a deep July brush pile and snatching a few crappie for supper. That’s what I was doing on July 5th when visitors dropped by.
It was a local fire and rescue boat. They saw the BBKO Radio logo on the boat and paused long enough to say hello, and one fireman told me that he enjoyed the show each week. It was a short visit, but hit me like a truck when I casually asked if everyone had made it off the water safely the day before, July 4th. They solemnly replied “no, that’s why we’re here now”. The reality of what lied beneath me, somewhere in this popular ski/fish/water toy lake was heavy. They were searching with sonar for a 19 year old man that had been tossed from a sailboat on the evening of July 3rd. There were others on the boat that was blown over when a sudden and harsh storm kicked up that evening. The others, thankfully, made it back to the boat that night, but not this young man. What a tremendous loss. WHAT A TREMENDOUS LOSS!!!!
I just googled it a few minutes ago and found coast guard approved life jackets at Wal-Mart for four bucks. I also found one of the new lightweight inflatable, automatic vests for $35. A four dollar life jacket could have made this an unfortunate boating accident that all would have survived. I don’t know the details behind this tragedy, but I do know that rescuers reported the teenager was not wearing a vest. He became the fourth, FOURTH, person to drown on this lake between Mother's Day and the 4th of July. That’s four deaths in fifty one days, and that’s just on this one lake.
My mind was controlled that day by the situation. I had a tremendous urge to help in some way, but knew that keeping my distance from Fire and Rescue, and the numerous Game Warden boats that I was now noticing was all I could do. It was mid-afternoon when I noticed the Warden boats making a secure circle around the Fire and Rescue boat. A huge buoy marker had been dispatched to mark the exact spot of this terrible job that had to be done. I saw divers go overboard in the deep water, and I prayed. I prayed for the rescuers that provide an incredible heart felt service to all of us every day. I prayed for heart broken parents and possible siblings that had, I’m sure been holding to a sliver of hope that he might be alive. I noticed as rescuers worked, that a seemingly unaware number of skiers, boaters and fishermen zoomed towards their pleasure without understanding the gravity of the situation. Only a few were protected from the depths with a life jacket.
I’m not preaching but I had to share the experience. God made YOU. He made you unique. He made you for a purpose. That’s big stuff. $4.00 is not. Summer is beginning to wind down but there’s still plenty of fishing, boating, sailing and skiing time. I hope this young man’s story weigh’s on you when you launch.
July 27, 2018
Outdoorsmen and women are in a holding pattern right now. It’s mid-February and one of those "tweener" periods for much of the country. The cold fronts that rotate with the South winds make the fishing very unpredictable. The weather is still harsh in a lot of areas; in others, it’s just not comfortable enough to sit in the boat fighting the wind and catching little. It’s a great time of year to check your gear and set-ups for the approaching Spring. When the calendar starts to round the curve from winter to spring, it’ll all ramp back up...and quickly. When it does, I like to BE ready, not GET ready.
I spend a lot of garage time on the chilly windy days re-spooling reels for various applications: fluorocarbon for drop-shotting, clear water, deep cranking and other low line visibility needs, braid for the flippin and pitchin gear, and mono for most murky southern waters that I spend a great deal of time on. It's also time to check the tackle bags and reload terminal tackle needs: various hooks, sinkers, beads, rattles, bobber or weight stops, swivels and snaps, split rings, weights etc.
Finally, it’s time to reload on the baits that worked so well last year in those spots that you’ll visit again this year. I always make sure that I have a variety of soft plastics in watermelon with red flake for the closest (making it the most fished) bass lake to my home, June bug soft plastics for Florida waters, and small bait fish themed swim baits for my smallmouth trips up north, hard baits that were lost to deep water structure, overhead obstructions and shallow areas that I couldn’t reach with the boat. Hard baits with multiple treble hooks are predestined for loss. Snagged and stuck in an area that leads to broken line and with today's prices, broken hearts and wallets. What extremes would you go to to retrieve that $20 Whopper Plopper? For me, crank baits and golf balls are the same...I’ve never retired one from old age.
Top-water baits, hard swim baits, spinning and chatter baits...the list of off-season chores is truly endless but all part of the excitement. The first steps to landing that giant starts in the "tweener" time out in the garage. So, pour another hot cup of coffee, start undoing that big pile of treble hooked baits that have worked themselves into one big deadly ball and practice your pitching technique in tight quarters 'til it’s finally time to hook up to the boat. The Lord tells us to “Be anxious for nothing…” but it sure is tough just weeks before the shallow water spawn and gobbling long-beards!
February 17, 2018