Author: Tony

Must Have Multi Day Adventure Gear

I am a huge fan of multi day fishing and hunting trips using as little gear as possible. Of course this entire depends on the location and time of year, but if you plan right you can have a fantastic weekend without having to carry military size backpacks.

At least twice a year I bring my sons on a weekend trip into the mountains and we have got it down to just a few fishing rods, sleeping bags and a few small luxuries. This allows us to hike further and to places that would be quite difficult to get to in just a weekend. In this article I want to highlight how little we actually bring with us on these trips.

1: Sleeping Bags

First off, no matter where you go on an overnight camping trip you will need a sleeping bag. At this stage we have about 4 or 5 different ones each, and they all differ in two areas: (a) water proof and (b) insulation thickness. Dependent on the time of year and weather forecast we bring a sleeping bag that will keep us warm and dry.

While it is better to have a sleeping bag that will be too warm than too cold, you do need to account for this resulting in a heavier bag to carry. Same with the water proof sleepers, these do weigh a bit more, but can make a huge difference if you get caught in a bit of night time rain.

2: Digital And Paper Maps

These days we all have our smart phones with maps down loaded and GPS built in. But you really do not want to rely on digital equipment in the wild. On one occasion I managed to slip while crossing a sream and my back pack fell into the water.

The phone was destroyed, but the printed map simply got a bit wet and could be dried at the camp fire. Unless you know the area like the back of your hand it will always be safer to have a printed map.

3: Fishing Equipment

pict3345Obviously you will need to eat, and one of the ways to make sure you don’t go hungry is to bring some fishing equipment. You will not want to bring your high end carbon fiber rod with a huge box of different tackle. The simpler and cheaper the rod the better, as it is likely to get quite a bit of battering on the hike.

I generally bring a selection of 5 to 10 different lures and I select them based on the time of year. You can see my guide to fishing lures in this article here (ADD LINK).

4: Hunting Rifle

Whether you are going hunting or not, I always recommend bringing a hunting rifle for protection. Unless you are certain that your intended hiking area does not have any dangerous predators this is really a must have.

It is too easy to stumble upon bears, wolves or various wild cats, and in those situations you do not want to be unarmed. It is also a great way to get some extra food, and if you are going for several days you can add to the adventure. Make sure you read my guide to this years’ hunting season for some info about hunting licenses.

5: Survival Kit

This is absolutely essential and should contain a few crucial things. You will need some water proof matches and maybe a flint stone, even if you plan on manually making fire. If you urgently need a fire to dry clothes and yourself, the last thing you want is to wait for heat.

I also pack some pain killers and medication for various stomach upsets. This will help if you get sick or hurt.

Bandages, disinfectant, etc. should be all in an emergency care kit, but make sure to regularly check the dates. You don’t want to pack a hospital’s supply cabinet, but most adventure stores will be able to show you different kits

Very important as well is a survival knife which you will need for preparing food and possibly gathering fire wood. There are tons of different knives available for sorts of prices, so you can just get one that suits your budget.

6: Radio Or Sat Phone

I used to bring a small radio, but have found that radios have become less reliable in certain parts of the country. Satellite phones have significantly come down in price and I now share one with a few friends. Fortunately I have never needed one, by my friend Tony did break his leg on a hike once and was glad to be able to call rescue services on a pretty reliable phone.

7: Optional Stuff

If I go on hunting trips I will bring along my hunting scope, as I am not that good a shot to be reliable without it. If it’s just a fishing trip then I usually leave it behind as it adds weight and is expensive to replace if it gets damaged. I would recommend you check out the rifle scopes at scopesandspotters.net.

One thing we do like to bring along is our spotting scope, as we have a keen interest in birds of prey. Being able to observe them up close is fascinating and you can get some pretty portable spotters that will allow you to get real close.

 

Other than that all you need is a sense of adventure and a willingness to adjust your plans as and when needed.

Welcome to SnakeheadPro.com!

Hi,

my name is Derek and I run this website to help people with their fishing and hunting trips. I am a particular fan of Snakehead fishing and with years of experience I have managed to figure out the best lures to use as well as the best times of day and year and some ideal places to target.

The information here is provided free of charge, but if you would like to avail of of my services as a fishing and hunting trip guide, just use the contact page and I can arrange for some information to be sent your way. I team up with many local experts, so no matter what your request is, I will be able to help out.

mfu0548Along with fishing tips and tricks you will also find a lot of valuable information for hunting trips. I rarely go on trips where I do not combine the two, but this does take quite a bit of different planning.

Any kind of adventure trip will require quite a bit of gear and that can be very different dependent on your trip. Obviously an overnight trip will require tents and sleeping bags as well as some essentials for cooking. I can help you with all the planning and I have a list of things I generally request people to bring along for guided tours that I do.

Fishing Trips

Some people think that the gear you need for fishing trips can be easier to manage than hunting, but I personally find the opposite to be true. Here is what you need:

  1. Don’t show up with a beginners fishing rod
  2. Invest in a semi decent rod and don’t penny pinch on the reel
  3. Get the right lure for the fish you are targeting (check out my lure section for this)
  4. Bring a nice spotting scope

This last one surprises people, but I always bring my spotting scope on fishing trips. You will find yourself doing a lot of waiting around, while you are in an extremely beautiful natural surrounding. There will be hundreds of birds and animals to observe and you will have a lot of fun watching them through a scope.

Hunting Trips

Here is what you have to do before you set out:

  1. Ensure your rifle is clean and has been recently serviced
  2. Ensure that your hunting options are properly zeroed
  3. Check you have up to date licenses
  4. Plan for the target and time of year

It is this last item that I can especially help with as I have the experience and local knowledge to make sure you get what you set out for.

What Will You Find On This Site?

We are delighted to welcome you on this website and hope that you find the information relevant and informative. Everything from fishing to hunting and outdoor adventures will be covered here.

The name of this site comes from the fact that the creator, Alan, is a big fan of snakehead fishing and has spent many years honing his skills and passing those on to friends and family, as well as by working with providers of organized hunting and fishing trips in Virginia.

file000816360629To help people better understand the skills needed and how to become better at fishing snakeheads, this site was born. So one of the questions always is: Why Snakeheads?

While the fish is native to Asia, it has appeared in many places around North America, and it is quite disruptive.

Because it is a predatory fish it can cause a lot of damage to other fish species especially in areas where predators in the water are not common. Their numbers can explode very quickly.

The good news is that they are a great food source and is quite a tasty fish at that. When I first heard of these fish making an appearance in the early 2000s I set out to find them and see for myself. At this stage there are many areas in the US where these fish can be caught and there are no designated restrictions on catching them.

At 18 inches long they are quite a large fresh water fish, so for anyone who likes fishing in rivers, lakes and ponds this should be a good reason to target them. Over the years I have trialed many different fishing styles and lures to figure out what works best, and on this site I share that info with you.

But fishing is not my only hobby. For many years, ever since I was a child I have gone on fishing and hunting trips often over several days that involve camping. I’m not much into sports or trophy hunting, and generally only hunt animals I would use as a source of food. On some occasions I have hunted bears, mainly to help out during a cull or when they got too close to my property.

I love nature and I love exploring it rather than what most people do by just watching TV shows about nature. Over the years I have built up an array of gear that works really well for different climate conditions, places and most importantly for multi day trips where weight can become an issue.

Make sure you check out our designated gear section for reviews on stuff I find essential which covers everything from fishing tackle and rods, hunting rifles, tents and survival essentials. If you like what you read, please share with your friends and drop us a note in the comments sections.

In the coming weeks you can expect more info on some deals we will be making for our readers to join on some adventure trips for the fall hunting and fishing season. These are trips with people I know and respect so we can guarantee that you will have a good time and learn a lot while you are at it.

2016 Hunting Season

Most states and counties split their hunting seasons into spring and autumn with many places having the largest restrictions on the spring time due to the presence of young offspring. Planning your hunting trip is essential as I have encountered many very disappointed people with last minute plans and no way to get a license or permit.

The first thing to do is figure out what kind of hunting you want to do. Trophy hunting permits are more expensive and difficult to get and will very much depend on whether there is a designated cull or not. For example, some Northern States have increased wolf hunting permits, even in spring as some of the wolf populations have grown drastically in recent years.

Bear hunting permits on the other hand are a lot more difficult to obtain, especially for out-of-staters. Locals will always find it easier to get a license, even if this is not an official rule. But if you plan to hunt for food and live locally, it is a lot more believable, than when someone from California makes the same claim in Montana. Are you really going to bring that food back to CA?

file0001705718820Next question is what type of animal do you want to hunt. Birds, small varmint, large mammals? The list goes on and only you can decide. You also need to take into account that animals would require some long trecks and possible multi day trips in order to encounter the right animal of the right gender and age.

Location is another big question. Hunting in autumn in southern States will have quite pleasant weather, while in northern States it will start to get quite cold. For some that is ideal and I personally like hunting and fishing when the first signs of frost appear. These are also the least favored areas, so licenses are easier to get and hunting grounds are not overrun either.

Putting all these pieces together will very much narrow down your selection, and I can help you out with finding the best locations. After that you need to go through the application process for a permit, which can take anything from a few days to several years.

This entirely depends on the supply and demand, where many States and Municipalities have a lottery system where it can take several years before you get a permit. But, we suggest you apply for several permits as many jurisdictions will allow you to defer a granted license. The important thing is that you get the license and then fully understand the restriction put in place.

This would generally involve meeting with a local expert, like myself, who will tell you exactly what you can hunt, where you can do so and how to best track the animals. We maintain a list of exerts that we have worked with over the years, and you can use the contact button or sign up to our email list to receive this kind of info.

It’s all in the planning and we strongly suggest you spend as much time planning as you do hunting. It will make sure you avoid fines and disappointment from start to finish.

When And How To Change Lures?

That’s a question that is regularly asked and which you are waiting for an answer. That said, there is no miracle combination and it will happen that fish swallow our lureswhole. However, with a few tricks, the fisherman can counteract the mood of the fish to multiply the number of catches.

We won’t have all the most beautiful lures on the market in our boxes, it is not enough the fishermen say today I fish with this one all day and I’ll catch all the fish I want. As is regularly pointed out: lures catch especially the sinner before the fish!

catfishsunset080210-42So far (if I take as example only the soft baits) with some references and a wide range of Jig Heads, the fisherman can compensate for a lot of situations. Although in this article some tracks will be “highlighted”, there are still lot of things to understand and improve!

Back to fishing, I think (without too much understanding) that we have all experienced at least a session between buddies where two fishermen equipped with the same lure and the same Jig end up with very different results. Namely one which multiplies the catches and the second in howling anger not getting exactly the same results. Luck, success or even just simply that the fish responded to a ‘stimulus’ all factor in here!

A “stimulus”, here is the answer! In these situations, you have to compare the two fishermen’s fishing action. Keys often differ by a simple detail that multiplies the reactions of predators. This detail can be linked to the presentation of the lure (linear, vertical, diagonal) or animation (grazing, aggressive, peeled…). Always is it that one of the two is right and the other wrong!

This example is meant to highlight the fact that you can fish with the lure of the day and the good presentation (I mean here the weight) without necessarily catching fish. Many fishermen have a tendency to try all the lures of the box to exclaim: “I’ve tried everything but they didn’t want any of them. In this kind of session, this same fisherman will have multiplied the presentations of the day (some ineffective other medium…) but will have mostly spent a lot of time with lures out of water as below. Added to this, a loss of confidence on these choices and the “we’ll see” after every change!

Without necessarily going into the details, as the season of simple rules can be applied according to the color of the water and the time. As well on the weights of heads sealed on the size, vibration or the hue of the lures.

 

For this I divide my season in three main parts:

– Summer

– Winter

– Fall and spring

 

Weight:

  • First: hot water, quick digestion of fish, and presence of predators across the body of water (more or less high concentration, it is said that 90% of the volume is populated in the summer). The idea is to multiply the shots to catch a maximum of fish in hunting (fishing line).
  • Second: cold water, slow digestion and fish concentrated in positions and points precise (they say that 10% of the volume is populated in the winter). The idea is to slow down the presentations since the fish do not go running behind your lures. A very slow linear or a vertical are then recommended.
  • Finally fall: two periods that I call a mixture of both in the sense that changes in temperatures and weather conditions vary enormously. Either fish recolonisent the mass of water (spring), or they decolonisent (winter approaches) to start to gather. According to moods, there are either inactive fish (fisheries slow winter type) of the euphorias (quick fisheries type was).

Basically, according to the time, the 3 ‘seasons’ and places caught (Lakes and rivers), my boxes are composed of different weights of Jig Heads. In winter, I fish more heavy and varied my presentations between 1 and 4 gr/m (ex: 7 m = 14gr for 2 gr/m) while the summer, I’m more on 1 gr/m ratios see less (4 m = 4 gr…)

These weights are based on the mood of predators and the time. That said there is nothing heavy fishing summer and light winter. The previous ratios are really “ratio types” to be applied through a simple example to follow in the next post.

Different Sizes Of Lures

Summer: Hot water, quick digestion and omnipresence of prey. I tend to use the shade with medium and strong vibrations on sizes between 3 and 4 “(to stay in versatility without distinction of species). The fish feel the vibrations and by food competition react very well on this type of presentation.

Winter: Cold water, slow digestion, concentrated fodder. I tend to use larger lures (minimum 4 “) with lower vibrations. Namely subtleties or shades with a smaller hammer. The idea is to solicit the appearance of predators by the size of the lures (big prey = lots of calories) while emitting little vibration (white in the water do not race…) = wounded and easy to hunt fish.

Spring/Autumn: Period still a little mixed or large and small lures may work; same with the vibrations.

That said I tend to fish on larger sizes of lures in the spring with less vibration than in autumn where I fish most small with strong vibrations.

 

Fisherman hooking bait in preparation

Dyed Decoys:

The hue of the lures often vary with water color. But in general the fisherman can go on the following ideas:

-Muddy water = clear tinted

-Clear water = dyed dark

That said, I try in the majority of cases to follow these rules. Winter, I do not hesitate (regardless of the color of water) to fish with warm shades. The idea is to attract the fish (like a bull with a red cape).

Find The Right Combination:

It is obvious that the previous lines reflect key principles that will allow to outsmart some fish in the majority of situations.

And that’s really where the fisherman must make a part of things. Capture 3 successive Zander doesn’t mean we found the ‘right mix ‘. If anything, change of color, the size of the lure or a variation of weight result in a vibration that would have allowed the capture of several other fish.

The previous outline allows only one thing: start the session “logically” which is the ‘good’ first hypotheses of fishing (leaded, tinted head weight, size and choice of the decoy). Really have the results be the key driver which will then bring the catch of the day!

Armed with these pieces of informatio, the fisherman can ask some questions:

– Shy lures, fish stung in edge of mouth:

– or inactive fish: increase in weight, vibration reduction

– problems synonymous with bad presentation: change color, diameter or fluorescence to improve catch

 

Finally, in case a change reduces the frequency of catches (wrong track) either we increase it (we’re going to the right combination) or we decrease it.

However, do not believe that high catches are generally synonymous with having made the best decision. It may be down to only catching the most active fish (one of 10…):

– If we fish slowly, do not hesitate to fish more quickly

– If it is sealed heavy don’t hesitate to lighten to fish more surface fish

– vice-versa…

 

In summary, you should never stay on a single lure and set up. If it happens to be right on the day, often without some modifications, we can miss out on a lot of other fish!