Friday, October 20, 2017

North American tackle distributor Big Rock Sports will no longer pursue an acquisition of one of its key competitors, legacy distributor Maurice Sporting Goods.

The restoration projects described in the plan address natural resource injuries resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, focusing on oysters and wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats.
Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of Louisiana, Shell Oil, Building Conservation Trust (CCA's National Habitat Program) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), began construction on a new artificial reef, located in the St. John Parish portion of Lake Pontchartrain on October 18.

This program is designed to help understand the Hā'ena Community-Based Subsistence Fishery Area (CBSFA) and rules, and how Department of Land and Natural Resources and Hui Maka'āinana o Makana are working towards co-management.
The commercial harvest of blueline tilefish in South Atlantic federal waters will reopen for eight days on October 24, 2017.

In response to Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Army National Guard ordered 500 units of ThrowRaft's TD2401 to address immediate and ongoing rescue equipment needs.

Scout Boats, the leading independent marine manufacturer, unveiled multiple new innovations aboard its LXF fleet, along with two new models to the line-up during its annual dealer meeting in Charleston, S.C.

To combat the cooler weather forecasts, Huk has built a line of hoodies designed specifically for those chilly days on the water.

The Union Sportsmen's Alliance (USA) and World Trophy Adventures (WTA) recently teamed up to provide USA members with better access to quality hunting and fishing destinations, while raising funds to support the USA's conservation mission.

Kistler Rods is looking for talented, loyal, and dedicated bass fishermen to join the 2018 team.

Rob Keck, Bass Pro Shops' director of conservation, and his guests provide listeners with the latest information about hunting, fishing and wildlife conservation.
Capt. Dan Welsch, proprietor of Dumper Dan Sportfishing Charters of Sheboygan, invites listeners to join the Wisconsin Lakeshore Business Association and says the Wisconsin DNR will stock Skamania rainbows, along with more Chinook and coho salmon, in 2018.

Now thru March 30, 2018, ice anglers will have the opportunity to gear up with the most advanced ice fishing sonar model ever developed AND get a free high-definition map of their favorite lake while they're at it.

The Reel Animals Boat Show & Fishing Expo Nov. 17-19 draws anglers and families from all over the Florida, and one of the first questions many out-of-town guests ask is "Where can we stay on the water?"

Under current salmon fishing regulations on the North Fork Toutle and Green rivers, WDFW projects that not enough coho or chinook will reach the hatchery to meet egg take goals. Closing the salmon fishing season in these two rivers will increase the number of hatchery fish available for broodstock and help ensure future hatchery returns.
Changes to bag and size limits for fish in certain bodies of water and adding the rusty patched bumble bee to the list of state endangered species were among the rule changes approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday, Oct. 18, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
As part of the Get Out and Fish! community fishing program, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is stocking our community fishing sites this month with adult-sized channel catfish.
The Board of Trustees of the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust will hold its fourth quarterly meeting on November 9, 2017, at the 4-H Conference Center, 892 Four H Rd., Columbiana, Ala.

Get your fix of fishing, hunting and outdoor fun on Destination Adventure this weekend starting Saturday at 5:30AM/ET.

Phoenix, Arizona's Justin Patti, won the event in wire-to-wire fashion with a total weight of 36.30 pounds.
The Alabama Bass Trail is pleased to announce the 2017 Tournament Series generated an estimated economic impact on the Alabama economy of $3,113,066.04.
Competitors in the Bassmaster Opens in 2018 will not be permitted to use a jet drive engine or tunnel hull boat, according to the tournament rules for next year posted on the B.A.S.S. website.

On October 5, twenty-four conservation organizations, including the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging Congress to take action on wildfire funding and forest management policy reforms.

Guatemala Sailfish by Kayak

Anglers fish "Billfish Capital of the World" in Old Town Predator PDL kayaks

Old Town, ME – Angler David Hadden's eyes light up when asked about kayak fishing Guatemala's Pacific Coast, what many consider "The Billfish Capital of the World."

If big game fishing in world-renowned billfish waters wasn't enough, Old Town's David Hadden and Sport Fishing editor Doug Olander took it one step further, hauling Old Town Predator PDL kayaks some 40 miles offshore, "mothership fishing" from one of Casa Vieja's charter boats under the expert direction of Captain Chris Sheeder.

"It was a life-changing experience," says Hadden. "For anglers, it's the zenith of the sport. You get out there in the blue with big fish and it's heaven. The first day Captain Chris took us right to a ledge, we dropped the kayaks in the water, and within 30 minutes we were doubled up."

Although Hadden's no stranger to big fish like tarpon and tuna, his first Pacific Sailfish pushed the limits of what he'd accomplished from an Old Town Predator PDL kayak.

"I fought that first sail like I'd fight any big fish from a kayak, and it took me all of twenty minutes. The first couple runs a sailfish makes are part sleigh ride, part acrobatics display, but after five to eight minutes, the combination of warm water temperature and lactic acid buildup run down the fish. Captain Chris pushed me to lock down the reel and get it done. With a single swipe of the tail they can go 10 feet in any direction, but you don't want to completely exhaust the fish."

Drag tightened and a quick fight routine dialed in, sailfish releases from the Old Town Predator PDL jibed well with Casa de Vieja's catch and release conservation program.

"Casa Vieja takes the 'The Billfish Capital of the World' designation seriously, protecting all billfish to fight another day. That was the beauty of Predator PDL kayaks; we could hold the bill with one hand and pedal and revive the fish after the fight. That might have been the most satisfying part," says Hadden.

And many successful releases there were. Hadden, Olander, and two other kayak anglers fished for three days, doubling up on countless occasions, with double-digit fish totals some days. "I was able to fight, land, and release every fish that bit. At the end of the three days, I went seven for seven. But I had to work for them. We pedaled up to 10 miles a day in 90-degree temperatures with high humidity while deploying baits, re-rigging, fighting fish… It was very physical and very rewarding. We always kept the mothership within range and Captain Chris and crew kept a close eye on us."

Along the way, Hadden and crew planted their flag in some new angling territories, including being the first anglers to fish sailfish from pedal-driven kayaks 40 miles off Guatemala's Pacific coast. And on the last day, they pioneered a unique play that merged charter boat outrigger teaser bait tactics with precise kayak angler boat control and bait placement.

Sailfish anglers will often use long outrigger poles when trolling to place baits high in the water column off both sides of the boat. When a sailfish is teased up on an outrigger bait—essentially used as a decoy—they'll quickly pull in the outrigger and line and use a rod to flip a bait to the fish.

"On Day 3, Captain Chris yells from the charter boat to me, 'Get right next to me!' So I pedaled to stay right with the moving boat, and sure enough, he yells 'Behind you! Behind you!' and a sailfish had emerged right behind the boat to the outrigger bait. At the last minute Captain Chris swings the outrigger off and tells me to swing the kayak in with my bait. As I came off the wake and into the spread, the fish surfaced right behind my bait! It was so close, but the fish didn't eat. Still, it was the coolest thing I've ever done."

Hadden eventually caught the lingering sailfish, but catching the fish on the fly in a seamless choreography is his future goal. "That moment when you're pedaling and then slip the kayak over the wake and into the spread right next to a high-rising sailfish is pretty magical. Those fish are fired up and ready to attack. I know Captain Chris and I could get the same scenario to work on the fly."

Familiar with the latest in kayak fishing tactics, techniques, and trends, Hadden believes he and Captain Chris were the first to attempt precise pedal-driven kayak boat and bait placement in tandem with a trolling charter boat on an outrigger-teased sailfish.


While Johnson Outdoors Watercraft manufactures numerous kayak models suitable for saltwater big game fishing, the Old Town Predator PDL has quickly become a favorite with anglers.

"It all comes down to the hands-free fishing experience the rugged and efficient Old Town PDL Drive provides. Especially with fighting any kind of big billfish species, having forward and reverse right at your feet is a huge asset for controlling the fish. Trolling and deploying baits is also made that much easier than having to work a paddle. Of course, the PDL Drive itself is built for saltwater use and the 10.3:1 gear ratio allows speeds up to 5.5 mph for reaching and returning from distant spots quickly and efficiently," says Hadden.

In terms of tackle, Hadden and company fished live blue runners on circle hooks with 80-pound Seaguar braid main line and an 80-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader.

"Live bait was definitely the way to go for multiple fish days. I paired Accurate reels with St. Croix Mojo Salt rods, which had plenty of backbone to put the wood to fish after I locked up the drag. I held the rod and line in my hands so I could feel the take and drop back. A couple guys were just free-trolling. My thing was having a rod that was sensitive to feel when the bait got nervous—the calm before the storm."


Logistically speaking, Hadden says the trip to Guatemala's Casa Vieja Lodge couldn't have been easier. "I flew from Portland, Maine to Atlanta, right into Guatemala City. The whole trip took about six hours. I was greeted at the airport by Casa Vieja staff and we were bused right to the gated lodge. Seamless, safe, and super professional."

Once to the lodge, Hadden and crew were met with first-class accommodations. "The lodge was as nice as anything in the Bahamas. Fine cuisine and a great beer, scotch, and rum selection. Five-star all around, but what really impressed me was their staff.

From the servers to the guides, I can't imagine a better operation. Every morning they came to your room with coffee, a really nice touch. And Casa Vieja guides are as good as they get. Captain Chris Sheeder is the best blue-water guide I've ever fished with. It was an honor to learn from one of a handful of anglers who've released 20,000 billfish."

To learn more about Guatemala's legendary billfish angling, visit

Want to win a brand new Predator PDL, St. Croix Legend Tournament Inshore rod, plus lots of other St. Croix and Old Town gear seen in the video?

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About Old Town:

JOHNSON OUTDOORS is a leading global outdoor recreation company that inspires more people to experience the awe of the great outdoors with innovative, top-quality products. The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft Recreation, Fishing, Diving and Camping.

JOHNSON OUTDOORS WATERCRAFT RECREATION includes Old Town canoes and kayaks, Ocean Kayak, Necky kayaks, Carlisle paddles and Extrasport personal flotation devices. Old Town canoes and kayaks have created genuine watercraft with innovative designs for over 100 years.

Visit Old Town canoes and kayaks at

Visit Johnson Outdoors at

Jim Edlund
Traditions Media, LLC
(612) 481-7396

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