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Keeping it Simple

By Mark Romanack

Gary Melvin, left and Tim Link recently joined the Fishing 411 crew in
filming an episode on Big Kaby Lake and Pine Portage Lodge. Located in
Ontario’s Algoma Country near Wawa, Ontario, this fishery
 is one of the finest walleye destinations in all of Ontario.
Sometimes the best fishing advice is to keep things simple. Recently on a “fly-in” fishing adventure to Big Kaby Lake and Pine Portage Lodge I was reminded that simple presentations often provide the most bites and the maximum amount of fishing pleasure.

Big Kaby Lake is by Ontario standards a shallow lake. The average depth is just 14 feet and Big Kaby is dotted with countless islands, back bays that support weed beds and a seemingly endless supply of 18-22 inch walleye.

Backtrolling 1/4 ounce Bait Rigs Odd’ ball jigs tipped with live minnows proved to be all the fishing savvy we needed to boat walleye after walleye after walleye. My guests Gary Melvin and Tim Link kept asking me what color jig would produce best. In all honesty that detail didn’t matter much. Regardless of the jig color, our group caught walleye almost at will.

Mark's Mailbag - Tadpole Resettable Diving Weights

Mark's Mailbag are occasional posts to the blog in response to questions people submit on the Fishing 411 website.  Mark personally responds to the question and when relevant, we repost his answer here.  If you have a question you would like to ask Mark, please visit us at fishing411.net/contact.
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On June 8th, Mark replied to Travis concerning a question about Precision Trolling Data.  The following email exchange was prompted by Mark's original reply to Travis and discusses Offshore Tackle Tadpole Resettable Diving Weights.  The information is so good, we are sharing the email exchanges with the rest of our fans.


On June 8, Mark wrote: 

Travis, Your investment in the Precision Trolling Data app is indeed a good investment. Literally hundreds of lures and trolling devices have been tested and the respective diving depths documented using scuba diving methods to test, confirm and document every data point. Your first concern about trolling speed is a common one. Actually when trolling floating/diving style crankbaits trolling speed has little or no influence on how deep the lure actually runs. Most anglers mistakenly think that as they speed up the lure dives deeper because they can feel the bait working harder. Actually the bait is working harder and trying to dive deeper, but at the same time increased friction on the fishing line negates any additional depth. That stated we test our floating/diving crankbaits at about 2.0 to 2.5 MPH which is an average trolling speed.

A Good Fishing Trip is a Safe One: What You Need to Know About PFDs and Safety Gear

By Mark Romanack
Published in Algoma Country

The author takes inflatable life vests on every fishing trip. These vests are so
lightweight you hardly know you’re wearing a PFD.
It's an unfortunate but indisputable fact... fishermen are notorious for not wearing a PFD (personal flotation device) while fishing. When authorities ask anglers why they are not wearing their PFD, the most common reply is that most flotation vests are bulky and uncomfortable to wear. It's true that many PFD's are uncomfortable. Traditional Foam Type III flotation vests are long on function but short on comfort.

Anglers who own this style of traditional life vest often wear them while the boat is on plane and take them off to fish. This sets up a potentially disastrous situation.

According to both the US and Canadian Coast Guard, most drownings involving fishermen are the result of a person not wearing a personal flotation device or PFD for short. Mustang Survival is one of the leading manufacturers of PFD's and on their web page it states, "the best PFD is the one a person wears".  ...Read More

Safety on the Water

By Mark Romanack

Captain Jake is wearing a Mustang inflatable life
jacket. Inflatable life vests are lightweight,
comfortable to wear and they are the best insurance
you can have against drowning when
fishing from a boat.
According to both the US and Canadian Coast Guard, most drownings involving fishermen are the result of a person not wearing a personal flotation device or PFD for short. Mustang Survival one of the leading manufacturers of PFD’s and on their web page it states, “the best PFD is the one a person wears”.

It’s an unfortunate but indisputable fact... fishermen are notorious for not wearing a PFD while fishing. When authorities ask anglers why they are not wearing their PFD, the most common reply is that most flotation vests are bulky and uncomfortable to wear. It’s true that many PFD’s are uncomfortable. Traditional foam Type III flotation vests are long on function but short on comfort.

Anglers who own this style of traditional life vest often wear them while the boat is on plane and take them off to fish. This sets up a potentially disastrous situation.

INFLATABLE PFD’S
A better option are the newer inflatable PFD’s that are designed to be low profile, lightweight and comfortable to wear. How an inflatable actually inflates depends on the technology designed into these PFD’s.

Mark's Mailbag - A 411 Fan's Thank You

Mark's Mailbag are occasional posts to the blog in response to questions people submit on the Fishing 411 website.  Mark personally responds to the question and when relevant, we repost his answer here.  If you have a question you would like to ask Mark, please visit us at fishing411.net/contact.
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On July 9th, James writes:  Hello Mark and every one, I just wanted to say thank you for all that you do for the fishing industry and for all of us who simply can not get enough fishing in our lives. So thank You and God Bless you all. James

Mark Replies:  James, What a wonderful message. Thank you. The work we do is  a labor of love, but it certainly is work none-the-less. Having folks out there like you who appreciate what we do, makes the whole process rewarding and meaningful. Thanks again James for watching Fishing 411 and more importantly for taking a little time to contact us directly. I’m going to share this one on our web page if you don’t mind, because it’s folks like you that keep the Fishing 411 team always striving for better programming. I thank you and my staff thanks you as well.

Best fishes,

Mark Romanack
Fishing 411 TV, 411 Productions

Up Hill or Down Hill - “Which is the best direction to troll?

By Mark Romanack

In calm conditions like this it’s pretty easy to troll in any direction.
When the wind picks up however, it’s often easier to troll with the wind.
When I’m on the water trolling for walleye, trout, salmon or another species, I marvel at how often other boats seemingly breaking all the rules of common sense. Nowhere in the “trollers manual” does it state we must always troll downwind or upwind, but there are for sure times when doing so not only makes the most sense, it can make your time on the water a lot more productive and enjoyable.

Fishing “uphill”, into the waves or “downhill”, with the the wind is one of those topics anglers are constantly debating. Understanding the dynamics of trolling can make it easier to decide which is the best course of action.

Electric Motor Auto-Pilots

By Mark Romanack

Thanks to technology that allows NMEA 2000 and
touch screen sonar to be networked, it’s possible
now to control an electric motor using the touch
screen on a sonar unit.
A lot of cool new fishing products have hit the market in recent years. Among my favorites are the
latest generation of auto-pilot electric motors. For those of you who haven’t experienced one of these “trolling smart” electric motors, I can only say that once you go “auto-pilot” you will likely never use a traditional push-pull cable style motor again.

KEY ADVANTAGES OF AUTO-PILOT TECHNOLOGY
Auto-pilot electric motors provide anglers some important advantages. The ability to keep the boat moving on a particular course and desired speed tops that list.

Operating an auto-pilot electric motor is a simple three step process. First the angler needs to deploy the electric motor and determine the direction of travel at which he or she wants the boat to move.  Next the desired trolling speed needs to be set using the rheostat style speed controls. Once the boat is moving in the desired direction and speed, simply engage the auto-pilot button to lock the electric motor onto that compass heading.

The Mighty STX 2050

By Mark Romanack

The Starcraft exclusive Power-Trac hull allows the STX 2050 to handle
 rough water and also deliver amazing performance.
Google the phrase “multi-species fishing boats” and chances are you’ll see a photograph of the Starcraft STX 2050 front and center. The flag ship in the Starcraft line up of fishing boats, the STX 2050 is aluminum boat designed to handle waters large and small. Large enough to be sea worthy on the big pond, yet small enough to be easily trailered to any fishing destination, this icon is at home on any water.

Just a few of the species I have personally caught while fishing from the versatile STX hull include walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, musky, northern pike, lake trout, brook trout, king salmon, coho salmon, atlantic salmon, steelhead, crappie, channel catfish, bluegill and yellow perch! A catch record like that is a pretty good endorsement of the STX 2050, but it gets better.