Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

  • October 8, 2012

    Best Gear for Camping on a Fishing Trip

    By John Merwin

    Camping plus hunting or fishing go together like peanut butter and jelly, or so I thought, this morning as we camped on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It rained last night. This morning the campground looked like a FEMA forest of blue tarps as campers sought refuge under cheap plastic.

    Except for us, of course, as we had a better way. There are lots of better ways when it comes to camping. Everybody, it seems, has their favorite gear and the tricks for using it. The above photo shows our set-up this morning. From within that, here are a few--to us, anyway--essential highlights.

  • August 7, 2012

    Does the Moon Affect Hunting and Fishing?

    By John Merwin

    By at least one definition, this month--August--is a “blue moon” month. The moon was full last week on the 1st and will be full again on the 31st. If two full moons occur within a calendar month, the second is sometimes called a blue moon. No, it’s not actually blue, and no, I don’t know why.

    But that brings me to moon phases and their effect on fishing. Some anglers study this obsessively and wouldn’t dream of fishing (or hunting) without first consulting the Solunar Tables. I don’t, at least not usually, because I think the best time to go fishing is whenever you’re able to go. Period.

    Then again, sometimes I pay attention. I know that the spring spawning activity of various freshwater bass and sunfish tends to peak around a full moon. And the moon, of course, affects the ocean tides. So when I’m going surfcasting, I’ll look for the dates of a new moon when tides will be highest and the nights will be darkest. The bright light of a full moon, on the other hand, has often seemed to kill my night-fishing luck despite the corollary high tides.

  • May 1, 2012

    Contest: Build a Custom Fly Box, Win a Fly Rod

    By Joe Cermele

    Want to add a classic fiberglass rod to your fly arsenal? Here's your chance to win a Cabela's 50th Anniversary Custom Glass Rod ($99). All you have to do is get creative and craft a homemade fly box out of any material you'd like. Watch the video and click here for details and to enter.

  • November 1, 2011

    Do You Treat Your Reel As Well As You Treat Your Gun?

    By John Merwin

    About a month ago, I wrote about the necessity of maintaining and servicing your fishing reels. Some readers noted doing a lousy job of tackle maintenance while at the same time taking meticulous care of their firearms.

    That brings up an obvious question: Why is this so? Or what’s the difference? Seems to me that if you’re going to make the effort to keep a prized rifle or shotgun in top shape, then you might lavish the same attention on a nice, quality reel--be it fly, spin or baitcasting.

    Guns and reels both perform better with appropriate care. But somehow guns are often seen as treasured heirlooms while various tackle items are usually not. Historically, it’s an attitude that goes back a long way, which I learned as the former director of a flyfishing museum and often went through boxes of old, usually neglected fishing stuff.

  • December 27, 2010

    How Your Dollars Get To Fish and Wildlife

    By John Merwin

    For all the grousing I hear about federal and state governments these days, there’s still a silver lining for state fish-and-wildlife budgets. Most states are in terrible financial shape these days. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the primary sources of state fish-and-wildlife funding are protected by law from political pillaging as budget officials seek to fill gaps elsewhere. Here’s how it works...

    You and I as sportsmen ultimately pay federal excise taxes on everything from rifles and ammunition to fishing rods and reels to recreational boating fuel. More correctly, the manufacturers pay the taxes and then include them in the purchase price that we pay.

    Importantly, those tax revenues are specifically dedicated to fish and wildlife. That is, dedicated by federal law. So that tax money—millions of dollars a year—can‘t be diverted to other programs such as highways or agriculture.

  • October 25, 2010

    Merwin: What Will Happen To Your Gear When You're Gone?

    By John Merwin

    As fall tends into winter, our local fishing is slowing down. I’m starting to put away some tackle (but not the steelhead gear) and vowing to get my stuff better organized. Famous last words. Getting organized somehow never happens the way it should.

    Thinking about that made me also think of this question: What’s the condition of your sporting estate? If you were to somehow keel over and depart this earth, would your family know the extent of your hunting and fishing gear and what it’s worth?

  • February 19, 2010

    Cermele: Your Worst Fishing Habits

    By Joe Cermele

    In fishing there are rules that apply to all species in all bodies of water. Know what's behind you before you cast. Never reel against the drag. Keep constant pressure on the fish. We seem to have no problem following most of these fishing commandments, but there are also many that slip through the cracks more often than not. They are the rules that should absolutely become habit, yet they are overlooked in the heat of the moment. Here are the three no-brainer rules that I disobey most.

  • December 8, 2009

    Cermele: Why Your Wife Will Go to Bass Pro This Christmas

    By Joe Cermele

    Thanksgiving is over. I know this because every commercial on TV is now Christmas-related. I don’t generally pay attention to these rants about sales and holiday cheer, but I noticed something interesting this year. Bass Pro Shops is running loads of commercials, and I’m not talking about just on Versus and the Outdoor Channel. I’m talking Bravo and Lifetime. Why? Because these commercials are targeted at wives who don't fish. Here’s why they’re genius.

  • January 21, 2009

    Merwin: States vs. Sportsmen

    By John Merwin

    We ran a post yesterday under Field Notes about how California's governor wants to tap into state fish-and- wildlife funds to rescue his general-fund budget. This is going to be coming up more often as state budgets feel the squeeze of a tight economy.