Defiance Bait Tank Installation

After his Seattle Boat Show tuna seminar, Defiance Marine Pro-staffer Tommy “Cornfed” Donlin stuck his big ‘ol head into my boat which was on display at the show.

“Where are you gonna put your live bait Nelly?”

“How about this transom fishbox? I should be able to make it flow…”

Cornfed shook his head “You put anchovies in that square box and they’re gonna die before you get to the grounds. You’ve got to have a circular flow to keep them swimming, healthy and the tank has to be round so they can’t hit corners and injure themselves.”

Donlin is a well-known pain in the neck but I knew he was right and heck, there are a number of reasons beyond live anchovy fishing for tuna to install a live well. Shrimping, crabbing, live bait fishing for lingcod and even halibut are great reasons to install a tank. Also, let’s not forget the prospect of jigging herring and putting up your own trays of bait or even fishing them fresh!

Defiance Marine’s DNA is saturated with blue water angling and a quality bait tank is as vital to the tuna fisherman as the downrigger is to the salmon angler. Fortunately, Defiance is recognized as the finest bait tank available and not all that hard for the do-it-yourselfer to install!

First off you’ll need to get organized and get your parts list together including a sheet of one-inch Starboard for the mount. Tank water supply is 1″ and required an 1500GPH livewell pump. The drain is 1 1/2″ and you’ll need a shutoff or seacock valve. Thanks to Harbor Marine at the Port of Everett, it’s a one-stop shop!

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This is the very definition of a “measure twice, cut once” project and it’s vital to make a cardboard template of the tank footprint for an accurate installation.

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Once you’ve got your template, lay it on the deck in your desired location and take a good look around, above and most importantly, UNDER the location!

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The best way to look under your chosen location is to pull up the deck floor which, you’ll have to do anyway to run the electrical and plumbing. On my Weldcraft, I had to plan around a deck support but that will add to the strength of the mount.

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With the deck floor section out of the boat, it’s template time and a jigsaw drill to position the deck plate that will allow access for the plumbing to the tank.

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With the hole cut in the template and the deck floor, we need to trim the template to now fit INSIDE the tank as that’s how it’s going to mount to your deck.

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Lay the template on the Starboard and start making a whole pile of white plastic dust! Make sure you’ve got a fairly accurate fit to the inside of the tank bottom!

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Once you’ve cut the Starboard to fit, it’s time to drill and tap 1/4″ x 20 (threads per inch) hardware into the perimeter of the tank. Four or five will do the trick!

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Time to take all your work back to the boat, cut that nice 1 1/2″ drain hole above the waterline, finish it with a SS hose barb through hull. Add the livewell pump to your water pickup, run the hoses forward and through the deck plate.

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Being careful not to kink the hoses, lay the floor plate back down and fasten it back in place.

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To lay flat on the deck, the Starboard mounting board’s center hole has to be larger than the mount ring of the deck plate. Use the existing deck floor bolt pattern to hold down the deck plate and you’ll have to get one-inch longer hardware to reach!

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Lay the tank down to make the plumbing & electrical connections and you’re almost there! Again, take care that excess hose does not kink!

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Stand the tank up, pop in your perimeter hardware and launch the boat! Test the system for leaks and you now have a 50 gallon bait tank installed!!!

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Removing the tank takes all of five minutes and the only way you’ll know it was there is the plastic deck plate and a wet ring where the tank was…

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I didn’t go into great detail on the transom plumbing aspect because each boat is different and let’s just say that climbing into the transom was not pretty…

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This summer with all the North of Falcon “noise” going on, we’re going to have to be a bit more versatile to get our days on the water. My Defiance Marine bait tank is a HUGE step in that direction!

Give them a call and whatever you do, DON”T tell them TOMMY DONLIN sent you!!!

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

 

Spring Trout Tips

Ryan Brooks with an opening day rainbow -Jason Brooks

Ryan Brooks with an opening day rainbow -Jason Brooks

Spring trout fishing brings back a lot of memories for most of us as this is where we learned to fish. Getting up an hour before the sunrise and heading to our local lake to fish for the planter rainbows, filling our stringers and having fried trout for dinner. Today this tradition is still going strong and creating memories for generations of anglers. To increase your catching here are a few reminders and pointers.

 

A feisty rainbow makes it fun -Jason Brooks

A feisty rainbow makes it fun -Jason Brooks

1. Know where the fish are

By first checking the fish plantings for your local lakes at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/ you will have a better idea of how many and when the trout were planted. The “when” is the most important as it takes a few weeks for the fish to acclimate to the lake after being raised in holding ponds at the hatchery. Trout typically stay near the surface when recently planted and as the days go by they slowly make their way to a more comfortable thermocline and adjust to finding the food sources the lake offers. If the lake was recently planted, fish near the surface, if it’s been over a month deeper.

 

Pro-Cure jars of single salmon eggs with UV are a great trout bait -Jason Brooks

Pro-Cure jars of single salmon eggs with UV are a great trout bait -Jason Brooks

2. Baits

It seems Powerbait by Berkley has almost “dummied” the angler as that’s all we use. But it wasn’t too long ago that we used salmon eggs and did just as well. Since the trout are near the surface after planting try using a slip float and go back to salmon eggs, as Powerbait floats and is hard to fish under a bobber. Pro-Cure makes jars of salmon eggs with added scent as well as being UV enhanced, I don’t know any other salmon egg on the market that does the same thing right out of the jar! Also try nightcrawlers, small pieces of prawns or cooked salad shrimp. I always douse my baits with scents to give them that extra advantage.

 

The Super Duper by Luhr Jensen is one of the author's favorite trout lures -Jason Brooks

The Super Duper by Luhr Jensen is one of the author’s favorite trout lures -Jason Brooks

3. Trolling lures

Speed is key when trolling. Slow is the name of the game for spring fishing, no matter if it’s for rainbows or kokanee. The slower you can troll and still keep your gear near the surface the more fish you will catch. My top lures are gold or silver 1 ¼” Super Duper’s by Luhr Jensen, black ¼ ounce Roostertail’s by Yakima Bait Company, and Double Whammy Wedding Ring Spinners by Mack’s Lure. In fact the Wedding Ring has probably caught more trout than any other lure when tipped with a piece of nightcrawler.

 

The whooly bugger, Mack's Smile Blade Fly, and Chironomids are productive flies for trout -Jason Brooks

The whooly bugger, Mack’s Smile Blade Fly, and Chironomids are productive flies for trout -Jason Brooks

4. Fly Fishing

Casting and slowly stripping in a fly or trolling them; using flies in the right water conditions and the right time of day is a lot of fun and very effective. This time of year it’s a wet fly game unless you get a really warm day and just at dusk and start to see fish rising. My main flies are the Mack’s Lure Smile Blade Fly (a whooly bugger with a small smile blade at the eye of the hook), Carey Specials, and Chironomid’s.

 

Adding scents attract fish and also cover any unwanted smells you put onto your baits or lures -Jason Brooks

Adding scents attract fish and also cover any unwanted smells you put onto your baits or lures -Jason Brooks

5. Scents

When bait fishing, trolling lures, or even fly fishing and I am planning on keeping the trout for the frying pan or smoker I always use extra scents. The main reason why I put on scents is to attract more fish to my hook. Especially when bait fishing as it will draw in a lot more fish and increases your catch rate. For trolling it creates a scent trail and I will often do a figure eight pattern with my boat as the fish will be attracted to the area of the lake I just trolled through. The other reason to use scents is to help mask any other scents you put onto your gear. You just touched a lot of stuff while getting your boat in the water and it can repeal fish away from your hook if they smell it. Pro-Cure’s Super Gel’s stick to your bait or lure and cover any unwanted scents.

Storm Introduces Self-Tuning Crank Bait

All I can say is…Finally!

Storm’s new Arashi crank bait could definitely be a game changer. The Arashi comes with a self-tuning eye that eliminates the need to gently bend the eye to the right or left to achieve the proper action. If you’ve ever done this you know how finite the bend needs to be to get some plugs to run true. With the new Arashi plug all the fine tuning has been eliminated.

A friend in the industry tells me that they’ve tested the same technology on deep diving bluewater plugs and they are achieving speeds of up to 15 miles per hour without any rollover. That’s a game changer my friends!

Here’s a look at the self tuning eye of the new Arashi plug.

Crank baits are an essential item in any smallmouth anglers arsenal here in the Northwest and with any luck we’ll start seeing some steelhead and salmon colors in theses plugs soon. For backtrolling in heavy and fast current for both salmon and steelhead the new Arashi plug could be just the ticket.

There’s a complete color chart for the Arashi crank baits on the Storm website…Arashi Crank Baits.

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a couple of these to test out on fall kings and coho here real soon!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

 

 

Beau Mac Floats, More Options Then Ever

I have been a big fan of Beau Mac Floats for years. For me, I’m sold on the quality and the variety of floats now offered by Beau Mac.

I look for several things when I am looking for a quality float. First and foremost is durability. I don’t like fishing floats that can’t take a little abuse and stay intact over the course of a tough day of fishing.

When you take a lot of buddies fishing your float’s get abused because, well, that’s what your buddies do to your gear. This wouldn’t happen if they were simply cast into the water. It’s the amount of time my floats spend in trees, banged against rocks and the shoreline that tends to beat’em up a bit. And no, I’m not talking about me…

Another key point that I like about Beau Mac floats is the color or the color contrast that they have. The vibrant colors at the top end of their floats not only make it possible for you to see your float, but it’s also an indicator as to how deep your float should be floating on top of the water. This indicates that you have your float weighted properly.

With so many styles of floats and weight ratings on floats how do I decide which float to use and when? One thing is for certain, not all floats are created equal. Several floats may perhaps be marked 5/8ths oz. but they actually perform completely different when rigged exactly the same in your presentation.

Let’s take a look at some of the floats Beau Mac now offers and I’ll identify some practical applications for each type or style of float.

One of the more popular styles of float and one of my favorites for my go-to technique of float-doggin with a stick lead is an in-line sliding float. For a majority of the season, for both salmon and steelhead, I match a 5/8 ounce float with my stick lead which weighs on average about .42 ounce.

As a comparison this is very close in weight to a four bead slinky. Keep in mind that with this presentation we are dragging the weight. That is why you have a float that is rated much higher then the weight you are actually matching to the float.  At times for summer steelhead I have cut the stick lead in half and then I’ll match it with a smaller 3/8 ounce float. Beau Mac’s In-Line Slider float has a wide range of weights starting at 1/4 ounce going up in 1/4 oz. increments to 1 oz.

The new Beau Mac wood floats are an extremely nice float too. If you’re looking for durability, this is the one. The wood is extremely tough and it does not crack easily. The brass inserts on both the top and bottom prevent line from cutting into the float. The brass inserts also ensure that the float slides extremely well.

My ideal conditions for this float application is fishing any presentation vertically. The wood float works very well for jigs, but it also is well suited for fishing bait suspended. The torpedo design makes for a float that goes down on a fish take with little to no resistance and the weight of the float aids in cast-ability when fishing small jigs.

As with all floats match your float, jig and in-line weight so that the float rides correctly in the water. With a 5/8 ounce float fishing a 3/8 oz. jig you should use a 1/4 ounce Beau Mac in-line sinker to get the proper presentation.

Even though this is a 5/8 ounce float it’s not what I will use for float dogging. It’s labeled 5/8 ounce as is the foam 5/8 ounce that I use. However, the difference in buoyancy is just enough that the wood float will not stay up where I like them to be in the water column while dragging weight.

The new Beau Mac clear floats are a very good choice for multiple steelhead fishing applications. One thing to keep in mind is that these floats are marked in grams (gms). Here is a simple conversion to memorize: 20g = 0.70oz, 25g = 0.88oz, 30g = 1.05oz.

The clear floats come in several sizes. I have had great success using the 25 gram float for float doggin and the 20 gram is great for fishing jigs. I will definitely use the 30 gram for fall salmon, fishing bait suspended under a float.

These clear floats are a great choice for low clear conditions or even moderately clear conditions anytime. They are extremely tough and I haven’t had any issues with the floats separating and filling with water. I think if you check these out you’ll also be impressed with the retail price.

Beau Mac also offers a great selection in their torpedo float design. There are several sizes and weights to choose from. I have used the torpedo floats for both float doggin and fishing jigs. I find the in-line slider to be a much more durable float for float doggin and really like the torpedo design for jigs or fishing bait suspended. The narrow taper allows for even the lightest biters to take your offering without feeling the resistance of the float. They are also extremely easy to retrieve as they do not create a lot of drag on the water. The shorter  and more round taper style is also a good choice on lakes for trout or spiny-ray fisheries.

Beau Mac offers the complete system for float fishing. You have a couple of options when it comes to Beau Mac bobber stops. The dacron thread stoppers work great on braid and they also work well as a line marker on your plug rods for knowing the distance of line you have out. Simply measure an equal distance of line on your reels for your plug rods and slide on and secure a bobber stop. You can even use multiple colors perhaps marking with a bright green stopper at 30 feet and a bright pink at 40 feet.

When I rig up my rods with a top shot of mono for float doggin, I will always run my bobber stops on the monofilament. This is where the rubber stoppers come in and work very well. You only need to remember a couple things when choosing which stopper to use. The dacron stops don’t work well on mono, so use the rubber stops if your using monofilament or flourocarbon. The rubber stops don’t work well on braid, so use the dacron stops on braid.

There ya go…..Hopefully some of this info helps you decide on which style of float to use specific to the application or technique you are trying to master.

Beau Mac is a great local tackle company that’s been around for decades and best of all they make gear specific to our fishing needs here in the Pacific Northwest. Their floats work for me and I’m sure you’ll find them to your satisfaction too.

See ya on the water!

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
Theoutdoorline.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Sinkers’n Cut Plug Herring

All that dad and I brought with us blackmouth fishing on Puget Sound today were our mooching rods, some sinkers, and a couple dozen fresh herring from Narrows Marina.

Reports of rock solid winter blackmouth fishing in Area 10 have been trickling in to the Outdoor Line for the last couple of weeks and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I knew that if fishing was that good I could get’em to bite a cut plug herring served up old-school style.

Yesterday I bolted on my new Lowrance HDS 7 Touch to the sled and hollered at dad to make a couple of lunchs…we were going mooching.

State of the art electronics make a world of difference when you’re mooching for salmon. I know this first hand, as the Lowrance gear I have on my charter boat in Alaska has put a lot, and I mean a lot of fish in the boat. You can spend a lot of time straining empty water or you can fish the high percentage areas that are full of bait and fish.

Part of using a good sonar is understanding what you’re looking at though. There’s a salmon center stage in the photo below and another one on the right side of the screen, right on the bottom, chowing down on bait. I was licking my chops when I saw this.

Dad and I dropped our baits into this mess and were immediately rewarded with a double header. A double header on mooched cut plug herring…we were laughing!

Dad was fishing with an orange kidney sinker, a standard in Southeast Alaska, and I was using a green 4 ouncer. His rod went cold immediately after the first hookup while my green weight just kept getting bit.

We gave it a while just to make sure it was the lead and sho’nuf, it was his orange lead. For some reason these fish weren’t digging the orange, so I switched dad over to a green 4 ouncer and he was on a fish almost immediately.

By the time we went thru two dozen herring we had landed three nice keeper blackmouth, released half a dozen shakers, and missed quite a few more bites. Dad even took home a nice, fat sole to fry up for dinner tonight.

How did we find these blackmouth? Basically, I would putter around on the kicker motor until we found a large school of bait and then we would stop and work our baits up and down close to the bottom around the bait. This is when having great electronics gives you the ultimate edge.

One key point to mooching is to always keep some line angle and keep working your baits. We were constantly dropping our baits to the bottom and reeling them back up 15 to 20 feet, right in the blackmouth zone. The bites came both on the drop and reeling up. The Lamiglas Salmon Moocher rods that I use telegraph everything. You can detect a bite from even the smallest shaker.

I tied up some 7 foot leaders with 15 pound Maxima Ultragreen and two 3/0 fine wire Mustad hooks that are soooo perfect for mooching. Flourocarbon would also work great for this. In the winter I would keep it light and keep it limber though. Frozen herring will work, but fresh herring from Narrows Marina is da bomb and it works a LOT better.

Blackmouth fishing has been outstanding on Puget Sound this winter and one would expect Area 9 to be quite productive when it opens up on January 16th.

There’s a lot more productive ways to catch blackmouth, but anytime I can get them mooching I’m a happy man. If you’ve got a spot that you suspect has some blackmouth I recommend you give this technique a try. I know you’ll like it!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Cured Tiger Prawns for Steelhead

How many different colors can you make your Tiger Prawn? I guess the question should be, “How many different colors of Nectar does Pautzke’s actually produce”?

If you said 5, then you are on the right track. With that, we will stick with the basics just to make sense of it all. If I start mixing and matching colors, there is no limit as to how lengthy this article could end up. With 5 Nectar colors to choose from, you could actually create what I refer to as the Tiger Prawn Rainbow…

Now to say that Pautzke’s Nectar will add some color to your Tiger Prawn, is an understatement. The colors are very vibrant and basically jump off the page at you. Nectar not only adds tremendous color to your Prawn, but also additional bite stimulants that you get just as a result of how the Nectar is produced. You are essentially soaking your Prawn in Egg Juice, which adds additional scents and attractants, Oh and by the way, did I mention COLOR…

Another question to ponder, Are you using Tiger Prawn for Salmon and Steelhead? If not, then How Come? Ok, I guess that is actually two questions.

If you have sat through any of my shrimp Curing Seminars, Coon Shrimp, Tiger Prawn etc. then you have heard me talk about the versatility of these baits and just how much you can do with them.

The first thing I like to remind folks is that fish, absolutely love them. They are a very natural smelling and looking bait that fish very well raw with a little salt and sugar.

Now we are going back into the Bait Lab to take our beloved Tiger Prawn to the next level. For me at different times of the year, adding color to my Tiger Prawn is great way of creating multiple baits and giving me multiple options from just one simple bait.

I can also create two different baits using just one color of Nectar. If I soak my Tiger Prawn, for example in Blue Nectar, it will turn my Prawn, very, very Blue. An option that I like to use more than not, is simply this. Some of the Prawn are soaked with the shells peeled off and some are soaked with the shell left intact.

For the Prawn that are soaked in the Nectar with the shells removed, you will notice the color penetrates the Prawn completely and makes all of the Prawn Meat a very bold color based on the color you have selected.

For the Prawn that I soak with the shells In-Tact, the Nectar color of choice penetrates the Prawn Meat around the edges, leaving the center of the Prawn almost a natural color or just slightly colored by the Nectar. For me this creates a bait with “Color Contrast” which at times, may be just the difference needed to stimulate a bite.

Now, past practice for many is to chunk cut your Prawn and use it while side drifting, drift fishing and or even tip a jig with it every now and again.

For me, as I have mentioned before, chunk cutting is ok, however I like to change it up a bit and fish bait that has a little more natural action. I find that by simply cutting your prawn length-ways, down the center of the back, you end up with a very nice thin Prawn Fillet. This will fish very well when side drifting or drift fishing, it will also fish very well under a float. The thinness of the fillet allows the bait to tumble and role and in some respects float naturally, to more so resemble natural bait then just a chunk of meat tumbling along.

How about to tip a jig? Have you ever strip-cut your Prawn.

Once you have mastered the skill of cutting your Prawn Baits into nice even Prawn Fillets, the next step is to cut them once again, length-wise, to create a nice long strip of Prawn that resembles a very small worm. We know that pink worms and actually multiple colors of worms have become very popular for fishing Steelhead and Coho. Why not create your own colored mini-worm that has great scent properties, and when tipped on a jig actually has the added bonus of action. You cannot get that by simply putting a chunk of Prawn on your jig hook.

Using Pautzke’s Nectar is a great means of adding tremendous color and scent to your Tiger Prawn. To get your Prawn to fish the very best that they can, you still need to add a little more to create the ideal cure.

A basic recipe I like to use is simply this:

One Bottle of Pautzke’s Nectar (any color)
1/4 cup Non-Iodized Sea Salt
1/2 cup Sugar, (White or Natural)

That’s all there is to it, really it is just that simple. If you are curing Tiger Prawn for Salmon a 1/4 cup of Salt and just a 1/4 cup of sugar will do just fine. For Steelhead, I like to sweeten them up a bit and will add the extra sugar, as much as a 1/2 cup. This can actually cure up to about 25 Tiger Prawn, in the 51 to 60 count size.

I will generally soak Tiger Prawn for about 24 hrs. in my colored cure mixture and then they are ready to fish. The Pautzke’s Nectar adds the color and bite enhancements and the salt and sugars add the sweetness and durability I can depend on that makes these little baits fish so good.

I will fish them right out of the soaking container the first trip out and cut as I go. If I have some left over and plan to fish within the next week or two, I can take the Tiger Prawn out of the cure and place them into a tupperware container and store them in my bait fridge. Just for test purposes I have had Tiger Prawn cured in this exact recipe last in my bait fridge for up to four months and still fish very well.

Which color of Nectar you choose is entirely up to you. I will however let you in on one additional secret. If you do select the Red or Yellow Nectar, you will also be adding UV to your Tiger Prawn, which may just be the difference you are looking for, when fishing low light or off colored water conditions.

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Do you have “The NAK” for fishing

I’m often asked which scents I use. And, while there are many options available, most of the time, I use three: Pautzke Nectar, anise and krill. These scents, when combined and mixed properly, make a difference. Nectar, Anise, Krill or “NAK”, as I call it, is the additive I rely on for Northwest salmon and steelhead fishing.

Let me explain how to use these scents to your benefit. Nectar is only found in the Pautzke line up. For those who are not familiar with this product, you’re missing out. Nectar is created when the factory is cooking Balls O’ Fire salmon eggs. In essence, it’s the run-off of all that egg juice, salts, sugar and additives, which are drained into large vats and bottled.

Bottled salmon egg juice is your friend. It comes in five colors. However, for fall salmon red is my favorite. I also invest in krill, the liquid form (Liquid Krill) and powder form (Fire Power).
To create “NAK” for steelhead the first thing I do is pour a small amount of Nectar out of the bottle to make room for the krill and anise. (Only pour a little out, keeping the level to the top of the label). Then pour half a bottle of Liquid Krill and one heaping tablespoon of Fire Power.

With Nectar and krill mixed in, it’s time to add anise. I purchase 100% pure anise and add 10-15 drops. That’s it: simple and effective. With this mixture it’s best to pour some in a small container and dip your baits in it every few casts.

For salmon it’s important to add a half-teaspoon of sodium sulfite. However, when fishing an area where salmon respond better to a higher percentage of sulfites I add a full teaspoon.

Normally, I carry three bottles of NAK: one of the basic mixture (the steelhead version), one with a half teaspoon of sodium sulfite and one with a full teaspoon. It’s best to let the fish tell me what they want.

To dress up my eggs by giving them extra scent and milking ability I cut pieces of roe and place them in a separate tray adding a shot of NAK on some of them. Traditionally, I won’t do a whole skein if I think there is a chance that the fish may not respond. Once I add it, the skein has the scent/additives and if it doesn’t work I’m stuck fishing eggs that the fish don’t want.

One other tip; don’t be afraid to give your sand-shrimp a quick squirt. You’ll be surprised with the results. Give NAK a try. You’ll be glad you put in the extra effort.

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

 

The Secret To The Sound

Add Green To Your Diet!
By Chris Shaffer | 08/05/2012
Those of us fortunate to know Pautzke pro staffer and Outdoor Line co-host Duane Inglin on a personal level know nothing excites him more than being in “The Bait Lab” which has taken over a portion of his garage.

Knowing this, it was no surprise the Inglin arrived almost 30 minutes late to pick me up at the new Sea-Tac car rental facility two weeks ago.

“Sorry Shaf, I was doing some mixing. We are running herring in the morning and this bait is going to be awesome,” he told me, while opening the cooler and lifting a Ziploc bag filled with what looked like antifreeze.

I’m accustomed to seeing Inglin show me wild color combinations and wasn’t surprised to see this, even though we didn’t sell a green Nectar or Fire Brine. It’d been a year since we last made green Kokanee Fuel and I figured Inglin again had his measuring cups and Tupperware out. His drive to remain a leading Mixologist continues to burn.

“Do you see this green?” he asked me. “You like that, huh?”

Inglin had made the green herring and anchovies to be drug in the Puget Sound the following morning when we met Inglin’s co-host and saltwater guru Tom Nelson. The herring and anchovies were brought to imitate candlefish, the salmon’s main food source right now in The Sound, Nelson said.

“I don’t care what you are running in regards to hardware, it’s never going to be as effective as bait,” Nelson told me.

While lures remain common having a good looking bait is tough to beat.

“Anchovy are a soft belly bait and they like to blow out so a lot of guys don’t run them, but we brine them up with the Pautzke’s Fire Brine, which does a real nice job at firming them up, plus it has the UV properties, which is real important when you get those baits down,” Inglin added. “We’ve also done the same with red label herring.”

Inglin later revealed he mixed chartreuse and blue Fire Brine to achieve the perfect green.

“The key to successful bait trolling is having a tough and dependable herring down there and Fire Brine does that,” noted Nelson.

 

It proved to be our recipe to success that day.

And, it could be yours, too.

Editor’s Note: Co-hosts Duane Inglin and Tom Nelson can be heard on The Outdoor Line Saturday mornings on ESPN Radio 710 in Seattle. This week, Inglin’s newest Fire Blog will explain how to make your own green herring/anchovy.

Scent: The Key To Successful Crabbing!

One of the greatest things about living near coastal waters is enjoying the world-renowned delicacy that is dungeness crab. However, the tasty crustacean is highly sought-after and those anglers that fish the best bait are, more often than not, the ones who will be enjoying a crab dinner!

Successful crabbing begins with fishing the best available bait in the correct combination.

With any type of bait fishing, establishing a long-lasting scent trail quickly and dependably is a key to success. The bait’s natural lipids, also known as “fats” or “oils” is the most significant element to forming a scent trail as water cannot mix with any type of oil. This resistance to mixing -and therefore diluting- makes oily baits the most desirable and effective for most if not all types of fishing.

Next time you watch The Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch”, take a close look at what the professionals bait their pots with: A one-two punch of “broadcast” and “hanging” baits.

The Bering Sea crab fishermen use a combination of ground, frozen herring which quickly spreads a scent (the “broadcast” component) and a whole cod which gives the crab something to eat (the “hanging” component). The “broadcast” portion rings the dinner bell making your gear easier for the crabs to find. The “hanging” portion of the bait keeps the crab in our pots longer. Make no mistake, when there is no bait or scent, crabs will find a way out of your pots!

Lurking in the deepest part of most fishermen’s freezers is undoubtedly some old bait herring, sardines or even salmon eggs which is a bit on the freezer burnt side and no longer suitable for use as effective fishing bait.

Pro Cure to the rescue! The oils and semi-solids in Pro Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant can replace most if not all of what the freezer removed and then some! The trick to making an effective, long-lasting scent trail from old bait is maximizing it’s surface area… which is a fancy way of saying that we’re grinding it up! Grinding the bait serves the dual purpose of getting the oils from within the frozen bait out to the surface and giving the Pro Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant something porous to soak in to.

Get an old hand crank grinder or check out garage sales for an electric food processor and set up your bait “disassembly” station.

We’re turning our bait into a fine grind and adding Pro Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant to the mix, so we have to use something that will keep the mixture from washing away too quickly…

Commercial crabbing bait cups are closed at the bottom and have a vented lid. This configuration allows a controlled release of your broadcast bait and will not spill in your boat before deployment!

Grind your “freezer fodder” into the bait jugs, filling them half to 3/4 full of the ground bait. You want to leave space in the bait jug to allow water to mix within the cup and slowly release the scent trail.

By grinding herring, sardines or even unwanted salmon eggs, you bring fresh oils to the surface providing the best scent trail possible!

After the grinding you can add Pro Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant immediately to the jug, or wait until you are ready to drop the pot in your location of choice!

Pro Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant absorbs into the frozen, ground bait producing a very effective, long-lasting scent trail that will keep bringing crab to your gear long after other’s baits have washed out!

The crab bait “one-two punch” is Pro Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant soaked ground bait and a “hanging bait” of fish scraps or chicken parts which allow the crab a little something to grind on while they wait for you to pull the pot!

The “one-two punch” of a hanging bait (in this case a salmon head in a bait bag) and a bait cup containing Pro Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant soaked ground bait is the best way there is to ensure that you’ll never pull a “zero” pot again!

Here’s the “after” shot of the baited Stearns nesting crab pot above after a several hour soak in a very heavily fished crabbing area in Puget Sound.

Seven keeper male dungeness crab greet us as we open this pot! Pro Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant gives you the effective scent trail you need to keep crab coming to your gear… and then to your dinner table!

Taking the extra effort to prepare your bait a few minutes ahead of your crabbing trip is well worth it! When you consider the time and cost of simply running your boat out to the crab grounds, the cost of bait is small potatoes and the wrong place to try and save a buck. If you try a Pro Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant spiked bait mixture on your next crabbing trip, I’m willing to guess that you’ll have the same results I’ve enjoyed and several crab dinners that your friends and family will enjoy even more!

Tom Nelson

710  ESPN Seattle

www.TheOutdoorline.com

30 Degrees to Trout Success

30 degrees to “Trout Success”

Team Pautzke hit the road yet once again for another opportunity to get out and fish. This time we would meet up with some sales Reps from a local distributor on the East Coast.
Destination; the rolling mountains of West Virginia. This road trip took us through a number of small towns ie; Durin, Brandywine, Elkins, Franklin etc. Most of these towns are not even found on several maps.   
You cannot travel to W. Virginia and not inquire about moonshine, at least I couldn’t. “How easy is it to find authentic moonshine in West Virginia?” The first guy we had a conversation with at the Fat Boys Pork Palace diner, about Mountaineer Football, was jokingly asked about moonshine. We actually had it in our hands in less than 15 minutes.

It was a simple question, “you fella’s know where a guy might be able to find some authentic moonshine?” “It just may be closer than you boys think”, was the reply from the gentleman sitting in the stained T-shirt, two sizes too small. 

This is actually a photo of John Albrich, taking just a sip of the 110 proof moonshine. His tongue was numb for at least 2 hrs. Who knew that stuff was soooo, strong 

Our first morning out on the local stream was a bit of a challenge. Very similar to most of your trout fishing across the nation, these trout streams are occasionally stocked with Rainbows, Browns, Brook Trout and even a periodic Golden Trout. Most of the streams in W. Virginia receive a good amount of pressure. Trout fishing is a big deal there and a lot of folks do it.

The weather was beautiful as was the country. The temperatures continued to climb and by midday was easily 75 degrees and climbing. We did manage a couple of nice Rainbows in the morning, but as the day wore on, so did the fishing.


We took a break for some lunch and didn’t even hesitate. The 20 minute drive back to the Fat Boys Pork Palace was a no-brainer.


After lunch we decided to go find a couple more streams to spend our afternoon to evening on. It was now 91 degrees and the fishing was not getting any better. The lack of snow this past winter in this part of the country has basically put this entire area in early drought like conditions. The streams are extremely low and clear and some of them have already gone completely dry. This is basically late summer conditions in mid-April.  

The trout fishing was difficult due to the conditions. Very low, very clear and extremely warm and these trout were easily spooked. To do it right you should be dressed in cameo. Your presentation needs to be extremely small. Most of the time, even a single Pautzke egg presented under a float, would force the fish to move from its comfort area. You could see decent numbers of fish in most of the holes. Many of these fish average one to two pounds. These fish had also seen a good amount of pressure the past couple days. With so many factors stacked against us, it was no surprise the trout were not such willing participants.

Day two started out completely different from the moment we hit the outside air at the hotel. You could feel the chill in the air. The chill was a welcomed pleasure. We had, according to our Team Pautzke W. Virginia fishing partners, a half hour drive to the first stop of the day. An hour and forty five minutes later we finally arrived at our destination. W. Virginia time and West Coast time are completely different in more ways than one. Time didn’t matter, what I was looking at when we climb out of the car had me excited about trout fishing. It was forty degrees, partially cloudy skies and water falls with deep pools. Much, deeper and much bigger water then what we had fished the day before.


It didn’t take long for Robert, our W. Virginian local, to hook up. Then Robert hooked another, then another and you get the picture. Robert and Shane had waders on and us Out-O’-Town boys did not. They were on the other side of the pool and had a nice little riffle drift along the gravel bar coming off of the deep pool from the falls. Albrich and I were on the other side at the top of the falls. No matter what depth we set our floats, or bounced bottom, type of bait, or location in the pool, nothing worked. Casting to catch the edge of that nice little seam on the other side still was never just quite right.


Finally, after about an hour, Chris Shaffer said, “I don’t care what you have to do, you guys need to get over there and fish with our guys”. We looked around and the best option we had was to jump a swift moving narrow gap in the large rock formation. No big deal, we make it we are into the fish baby. If we slip and fall we are in the drink. We would be swept over the slick rock formations, ultimately landing in the deep pools below the 10’ to 12’ falls. What could possibly go wrong?


Both Albrich and I were successful in jumping the gap. I’m not saying it was athletic and smooth for both of us, but we both made it. After I picked John up off the ground and we managed to stop the bleeding on his knee, we hiked the trail to get over on the gravel bar were our Team W. Virginia continued to have good success.


It didn’t take long. Pautzke eggs any color, Can O Corn any color, and of course Fire Bait, all worked. The key was presentation and obviously location. The location was a factor as these trout were responding aggressively to your bait as it would move through the drift at natural current speed. We had already proven they didn't want to pursue a bait that lazily was presented suspended in the pool. The type of presentation was also a key factor. We did not hook a single fish with bait suspended on an egg hook under a float. However we had great success in utilizing a Trout Magnet mini jig head. When I say mini I am talking 1/64th oz. You simply would slide two to three Pautzke trout eggs or pieces of corn on the hook and fish it in a horizontal position, 6 ft. under the float. The presentation closely matched a common steelhead technique used at home, ie; the beaded jig. This was the beaded jig on a much smaller scale with the added scent of eggs or corn.

The Color of eggs or corn really didn’t matter as they all worked. We did have the most success with Gold Label red eggs and dark red Can O Corn. The Fire Bait worked well also and again, it really didn’t matter which color. All you had to do was mold a small amount, not a huge glob, around the hook. Fire Bait is a floating trout bait but the weight of the jig head would actually keep it down and offer it at the correct depth.

By midday it had warmed to a balmy 61 degrees, definitely a far cry from 91 on the previous day.
The keys to success on day two; 30 degrees, bigger deeper water, trout feeling protected and comfortable in their environment to be in a feeding mode.


West Virginia does offer some great trout fishing opportunity. As is the case in most river and stream fisheries, conditions will always play a role in how successful your day on the water may be.     

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com