Friday, February 17, 2017

A Week Off

Ardent Tournament APEX Reel
Last week's trip to Anaheim was long and really didn't do my weekend well for fishing.  I did get a few things done around the house however no fishing.  One of the things I have been dealing with is helping my friend Mike Grant's son David, on getting ready for the upcoming fishing season, one where he has joined the High School Fishing League and was looking for advice on rods and reels.  I have been talking to him a lot lately and been pushing his need to get a real man's casting rod and reel for pitching those worms and heavy plugs for bass.  Besides they also make a great walleye trolling rig that tends not to tire one out so fast.  He has already bought a spinning outfit yet I have been pushing him  hard to join the ranks of the professionals and be a real fisherman so I checked out my collection to see what I had extra.  Sure enough, I had one of these laying around that I picked up on a fabulous sale a few years back.  It's really a pretty good reel and matched up with a 6"6" medium heavy fast tipped graphite rod, this should last him a lifetime.  Now the only issue is me teaching him the nuances of setting the right tension for the lure, the right spool brake needed in combination with his ability to "thumb" the spool when casting.  This takes practice as lighter baits or lighter line can be problematic!  I know, as there have been many a reel that had to have the line cut off and replaced. Casting a reel like this can be easy with the right line, lure, rod, settings, and feel yet if one of those isn't exactly in the plan, here comes the bird's nest. These newer reels really help by adding sophisticated centrifugal brakes to help slow everything down in a logical matter yet about the minute you get cocky, away goes the spool and one starts over again.  Bottom line is once a guy get's the hang of it, it becomes second nature and under the right conditions, you can look like a pro! I use these for casting heavier rattling crankbaits on the river for Smallies and heavy plastics for largemouth.  As stated earlier, they work perfect for long line trolling walleyes with shad raps or fishing catfish on the bottom in the River.  I already have about 6 of these rigs so it will be good to see this reel get some real workout!

Sonar Chart Live Function for Lowrance HDS Units
There has been some interesting events that have happened this week.  One of the more exciting things was the much anticipated software release of the Lowrance operating system, version 4.5. These are applicable to my HDS Gen 3 units that are currently in my boat and really adds some great features.  The one I am looking forward to is the Navionic's SonarChart Live, which allows the ability to make real life depth maps of a specific areas under your boat.  Like the picture to the right, one can see the contour lines being drawn as the boat goes over a specific area. This function should be very useful when I go to Canada, especially some of the points that I like to fish, it will be interesting to look at the areas that we fish and try to look for other like areas.  It would also be nice for mapping the River for smallies.  There were some other interesting updates like a lot of them in the past, they enhance some of the features shown on the screen.  There is a lot of work to do before one get's proficient at running this new software however one has to start somewhere. Apparently Lowrance have improved their StructureScan 3D however I have not tried very hard to learn how to use it, time always seems too short to spend time on the water learning a systems verses time fishing.  It is probably a useful tool and this year I am going to try to understand it more.  Maybe this weekend I can get out and try to catch some panfish, something I haven't done yet this year.  Next Friday is the Perch extravaganza which should be the last wheel house event of the year.

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