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Early Season Tactics for River Ducks

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There's nothing like the sights and sounds of a big marsh on a cold, autumn morning. Singles, pairs and even huge flocks of mallards, pintails and other puddle ducks cartwheel out of the leaden sky and drop into the decoys scattered among the cattails. With soaring duck numbers, limits often come quickly.

Unfortunately, not all of us have access to such places, particularly here in the Atlantic flyway. High-dollar leases, duck clubs and prime chunks of real estate are affordable to a select few. And the few available public hunting areas are often jammed with waterfowlers looking for--and rarely finding--their own piece of seclusion. So what's a duck hunter to do? Simple--take to the rivers and streams. Even smaller streams may be loaded with birds at some time during the fall flight. These areas offer plenty of room and are available for the asking.  more...

 





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Our Top 5 Jig Tactics For Big Bass

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Finess Jigs

 

To the untrained eye, there may be little difference between baits popular 25 years ago and today's models. Jigs are conservative lures, in terms of design changes. Some might say the jig is the perfect bait. But in the fine points, those points that put more bass in the boat, jig modifications have enabled skillful anglers to keep the jig the number-one lure in many repertories.   more...


 





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A dose on the nose is a tonic for the sailing soul

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"If, as the saying goes, gentlemen never sail to weather, how do these well-bred sailors ever get to an upwind destination? I suppose they don’t—they just change the destination to one that is reach-able.
You don’t have to be a gentleman, of course, to prefer the breeze on the beam rather than on the nose. Not for nothing do we call the upwind point of sailing beating. Beating as in taking a beating: An in-the-face assault by wind, spray and solid water endured while resisting gravity in a tilting vessel pounding into waves with impacts so concussive they threaten to remove tooth fillings, all the while making demoralizingly slow progress toward a destination.

It is no wonder there are cruising sailors who have devoted their voyaging lives to avoiding windward sailing, some managing to get around the world without ever sheeting in for a beat. Even long-distance racing sailors eschew beating, knowing it is more profitable (not to mention less miserable) to sail fast some degrees wide of a true beating angle and wait for the virtually inevitable wind shift to efficiently get to a distant mark.   more...

 



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How Much Does It Cost to Escape the "Rat Race?"

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What does it cost to go cruising? This is like asking someone what it cost to live in California or Seattle. It's different for everyone, and everyone will have a different answer. It really all depends. Do you cruise on a small boat or a large one? Do you have all the bells & whistles? Can you repair anything that goes wrong on your boat or do you need to hire help? What are your eating and drinking habits?   more...

 

 

 






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Spacious and easy to sail, the new 350 is pure Catalina

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Catalina Yachts has always had a knack for knowing what the general sailing public wants and once again it has produced a winner. Not too big, not too expensive, with lots of space, the Catalina 350 should provoke a lot of interest in Northwest sailors.   more...

 

 

 

 





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In Praise of Port-a-Potties

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"Alyssa? Do you want to go with me to dump the port-a-pottie?" I ask my youngest daughter with an abounding desire to share this signal moment. We have just come in from a day sail. The lower chamber of the pottie is half full. I have just removed it from the head and am about to go topside with it. It is to be the first time I am to enjoy the ease of disposal that the neat little unit provides.
      "What will we be doing?" the nine year-old demands to know.
      "Dumping the pottie in a discharge basin over on 'A' dock."
      "Where's 'A' dock?"
      "It's the dock Grampa's boat is on."
      "No? I don't think I want to watch that.   more...

 

 

 



Other  

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Salmon run should be in full swing for a few more weeks

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SCOTTVILLE -- Even though we'd been on the river for four hours with nothing to show for it, Joe Kruszynski wasn't concerned. The fish had been biting between 9 and 11 a.m., he said.

Things were about to change, he insisted.

They didn't until 10 when Kruszynski's bobber went down and he was fast into a big king salmon. But after a lengthy tussle, Kruszynski hauled in a fish that was hooked right below the pectoral fin.

Rats.

An hour later, our luck finally changed. Kruszynski boated a 16-pound salmon. What had been looking like a skunking started to turn.    more...

 





ODNR's stand on shoreline land ownership explained

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PORT CLINTON -- Much confusion exists across Ottawa County regarding House Bill 218, said Dave Mackey, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Office of Coastal Management.

And he said some shoreline landowners feel his agency is being disingenuous about the ordinary high water mark, used as the state's public-private land boundary.

"It comes as a big shock to them when we say, 'You really don't own that. Your deed says you own out to that point, but the public trust extends out to this point. You're going to have to get a submerged land lease for that,'" Mackey said.

The ODNR high water policy is under attack in Columbus, where legislative hearings are under way for House Bill 218. That measure would shift the current Lake Erie mark, 573.4 feet above sea level, to 568.1 feet, a historic low water level. That can translate to hundreds of linear feet in shallow areas, such as in Sandusky Bay, that would transfer to private ownership.    more...

 



Environment  

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'It's crew versus crew, sailor against sailor'

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If you think the life of a yachtsman is no sweat, think again.

The Canadian and U.S. crews preparing for the start of today's Canada's Cup challenge series on Lake Ontario have been sweating bullets, trying to make it down to a weight limit, just as boxers and wrestlers do.

The crews of nine Canadians who will sail the defending champion Defiant and 10 Americans who will sail the challenger Heartbreaker stepped on the scales yesterday, each side needing to stay under a cumulative total of 1,675 1/2 pounds.   more...

 



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Beach cleanup continues

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TWO RIVERS — Waves of people find their way to the Lake Michigan shoreline every year during the beach season when, for about three weeks, the aquamarine waters appear as inviting as the Mediterranean.

While Lake Michigan’s cool temperatures have rebuffed many would-be swimmers, this year carload upon carload of visitors were turned away by bright red stop signs indicating dangerous levels of E. coli bacteria.   more...

 



Environment  

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CARGO SHIPS OPPOSE PROPOSED BALLAST RULES

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A proposed bill requiring ocean-going foreign vessels to dump their ballast water before they enter the Great Lakes is receiving strong criticism from shipping groups.

Helen Brohl of the Great Lakes Shipping Association agrees that the introduction of invasive species into the lakes from ballast water is a problem. Zebra mussels alone have caused about a billion dollars in damage since they got into the Great Lakes from foreign vessels in the 1980s. But Brohl says a bill proposed by a Michigan Congresswoman is too radical. She says requiring ships to dump virtually all their ballast water before entering the Great Lakes would put an end to international shipping in the area.   more...

 



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DRAWING THE LINE ON BEACHFRONT PROPERTIES

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Some homeowners on Great Lakes coasts are concerned about how state governments decide where the lake ends and private property begins. In one state, land owners are pushing legislation to protect their private property rights. But the bill worries recreation and environmental activists.  more...

 



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Defiant and Heartbreaker Each win one on Day Two

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Toronto, Canada - The second day of the Canada's Cup was a must win for team
Heartbreaker.  Defiant was holding a 2-0 lead at the beginning of day.  This
meant Heartbreaker needed to get a win to keep the Canada's Cup within
reach.

Race one was postponed initially due to a shifting seven knot breeze.  Once
the race got underway the teams started even but on opposite tacks. Defiant
would show superior boat speed and rounded the first mark 1min 12sec ahead
of Heartbreaker.  Heartbreaker gained downwind but couldn't seem to match
the upwind speed of Defiant and would eventually lose by 2min 55sec.

With Defiant up 3-0 it was a must win for team Heartbreaker.  The start
would be the most exciting of the regatta with  no initial dial up and both
teams starting very late.  Defiant had the initial lead but a "wicked"
tacking duel would ensue with Heartbreaker gaining each time and eventually
passing Defiant before the first mark.

The team would chase each other, Defiant trying to get on opposite tack and
Heartbreaker covering every chance they had.  Another tacking duel up the
last windward leg with Heartbreaker leading by 13 seconds at the final mark
and then holding on to win by 25 seconds.

Defiant has a 3-1 lead going into Day 3 but with the 4th race win
Heartbreaker may have found what it takes to win the Canada's Cup.  Stay
tuned to canadascup.org for live updates from the water in Toronto.   more...

 



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BILL BENNETT: WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN

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Bill, you recently won the Etchells Worlds with Vince Brun and Rick Merriman in San Diego. We know that you three are San Diego Homeboys, but how did you get hooked up with Vince for this effort?

BB
Vince and I started sailing together in the 80's. We've sailed J-24's, Stars, Melges 24's and Etchells together. We sailed the E-22 together for the first time at the 1997 SORC. When they decided to have the 2000 World Championship in San Diego, we talked about sailing together. When we were looking for a third person on the boat, Rick Merriman was my choice, and Vince agreed. (Rick is, by the way, one of those great sailors that almost every sailing community has, but that few outside the area know who he is - Ed)   more...

 



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The Return of Runt Rods

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Go to a short rod when precision casting is in order.

Rods have grown longer over the past few years. Nowadays, we don’t so much as blink at 7 to 71/2-foot casting and spinning sticks that have evolved for specialized techniques like ultra-deep crankbaiting, deep-jigging, deep-drifting, Carolina-rigging and such. Long rods throw a lure far. They move a lot of line when you set the hook—a good thing for baits way out there or down deep.

But I’m here to tell you that short rods are alive, well and enjoying a sort of cult revival among anglers who go after pressured fish. The simple reason is, in a word, accuracy. When you need a rod that will deftly send a lure into a small opening on the first try, go short.   more...

 





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