Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Butler Fishing Show (February 11-12, 2012)

If you are in the area, check out the Butler Fishing Show on February 11th and 12th:

Below is the show flier (Click for larger view)

Monday, January 30, 2012

It Could Happen to You!

By John “Toast” Oast

Over the years I have tried to spread the word about paddling safety and water safety in general. With the loss of a paddler this week on the Susquehanna River, during the coldest time of year, I thought it was time to talk about the subject once again. I have personally had some very close calls on the water, and have even lost my cousin in a paddling accident. I implore you to PLEASE heed the words of wisdom about safety when on the water… especially during winter! And please don’t think I am just aiming this discussion towards paddlers. Anyone around the water in the winter is at risk.

For instance, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is instituting new PFD regulations for the coldest months of the year, but a PFD really means little when you fall into frigid water. First, often we fish in rocky waterways. We also are typically in a flowing water environment. And unconsciousness occurs quickly after immersion into cold water (Not to mention a common gasp reflex, which can often cause ingestion of water).

So, what do these factors mean? Well, if one falls into a rocky, shallow bottom waterway like the Susquehanna River, the opportunity for unconsciousness from a head injury is greatly increased. Obviously, unconsciousness is life threatening, especially if you are in water. Then there is the issue of flowing water. If one falls out of a vessel in moving water, before one can react the vessel will be out of reach. And cold water causes serious reactions upon immersion. Shortly after immersion a person will become unconscious. And as mentioned, the immediate shock of entering the water often creates a gasping reaction.

What can you do? Well, the best thing is to avoid the water during the winter. But, as we know, the lure of the water is great and it’s tough to get through the winter without at least looking for fish a couple times. If you are getting on the water, especially in a kayak or canoe, dry gear is not just recommended, IT’S NECESSARY! Invest in a dry suit or a combination of dry pants and dry top. Yes, it may be a little pricey, but you will be around to pay for it.

Remember the buddy system! Never go on the water alone in the winter. And, it’s a great idea to tell someone on shore where you are going, and when you plan to return. A good two-way radio is also a great accessory, in addition to a cell phone in a dry bag. Another important thing to remember is that water temperatures rise much slower than surrounding air temps. On those unseasonably warm winter days, the water will still be extremely cold.

So please, ALWAYS wear your PFD, and ALWAYS wear some form of dry gear. Oddly, I was talking to my friend, Rick Wolbert, earlier. I thought to myself, I regularly have people ask me where they can get a good deal on a boat, kayak, or new rod and reel, but rarely has anyone ever asked where to get a good deal on winter safety gear. I guess people just don’t think it can happen to them…

Well, it can!

John “Toast” Oast is an American Red Cross instructor, is the publisher of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine and a member of the Ocean Kayak Fishing Team. His kayak rigging videos have received close to a million views, and been linked to websites around the world. For more information, visit http://fishyaker.com/ and his Youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/fishyaker.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Monaghan Fishing Show this Weekend!

Just a reminder that the Monaghan Fishing Show is this weekend, and Susquehanna Fishing Magazine will have a booth. SFM contributors Juan Veruete and John "Toast" Oast will also be giving a seminar on kayak fishing on Sunday. Stop by and check out the show!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fly Tying Videos for Snowy Days

If you are looking for something to do on a snowy winter day, check out Jim Misiura's videos on Youtube. Jim, who goes by FlymanJim, is a new contributor for Susquehanna Fishing Magazine, and will be showing his tying skills at the SFM booth at the Greater Philadelphia Sportshow in February.


Here are just a few of his videos:

Monday, January 9, 2012

19th Annual Monaghan Fishing Show & Flea Market (Jan. 28-29)

If you are in the area on January 28th and 29th, swing by the 19th Annual Fishing Show & Flea Market at the Monaghan Twp. Volunteer Fire Department. Check out the flier for specifics.

Also, Susquehanna Fishing Magazine contributors John "Toast" Oast and Juan Veruete will be conducting a seminar, An Introduction to Kayak Fishing.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Evolution of Winter Wear for Kayak Fishing (SFM, Nov. 2011)

From the November 2011 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine:

By Jeff Little

I wore blue jeans and construction boots the first time I went kayak fishing in cold weather. Three hours into the 9 mile float trip, my legs were soaked and cold from the paddle shaft drippings alone. The boots got tossed a few weeks after the trip, because they got wet and started to give me foot funk. 12 years later, I’m wearing the best money can buy for kayak anglers. The evolution shows a gradual increase in what I will invest in for on the water comfort and safety.

The first upgrade from blue jeans was a move to a cheap pair of 3.5 mm neoprene waders with accompanying felt sole boots. I wore multiple pairs of wool socks, sweatpants and long johns underneath. I looked like a cross between Godzilla and the Michelin man. Despite all the bulky extra layers of insulation, I was still cold. This set up was acceptable through November, but in December, January and February I just toughed through it. I can’t say I fished to my potential in those early years of learning how to catch winter river smallmouth. Comfort does translate to angling success.

So I moved on to a thicker 5 mm neoprene wader with attached boot foot. I was actually warmer wearing fewer layers. One huge upgrade was the socks. I found SmartWool. One pair of these with a hand warmer tossed down in the bottom of a spacious boot kept my feet from going numb. When I was cramming three pair of socks on before, it constricted blood flow, leaving my toes first cold, then near frost bitten.

Somewhere in there, I experimented with paddler dry pants with gaskets at the ankle that never seemed to keep the water out. I even shaved my ankles to see if it was my hair letting the water seep in. I also used a pair of breathable waders instead of neoprene. They were OK for October and November, but just didn’t afford the insulation of neoprene.

The biggest leap forward came with the descriptive words “relief zipper”. I will never go back to not having this amazing feature. The Kokotat Whirlpool Bib with relief zipper that I wear now allows me to put down the rod, unzip, grab the other one, take care of business, zip up and get right back to fishing in less time than it takes to retie.

I can remember driving home from trips when I wore waders realizing that I had become dehydrated. I think that I developed an aversion to hydrating myself. Subliminally, I knew that it would lead to the 15 minute process of paddling to shore, taking off the life vest, removing my spray top, then pulling a bulky pair of waders down, then reversing the process. Things are better now.

Under the bibs, I wear a moisture wicking top and bottom, also made by Kototat called Outer Core. The thin layer wicks away perspiration that can later leave your skin cold. Top it off with a hooded spray top and PFD, and I’m warm and ready for a 33 degree rain and smallmouth hitting hair jigs!

Editor’s Note:
Another great option is to wear a combination of dry pants with integrated dry socks, like the Kokatat Tempest Pants, matched with a dry top.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January Issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine Now Online!

The January 2012 issue of Susquehanna Fishing Magazine is now onlne and available for free download via SusquehannaFishing.com:


January's issue includes:

This Month with a Susquehanna River Guide, by Lance Dunham
Defending the Outdoorsman, by Bill Milheim
Traveling Tips, by Rod Bates
Hints & Tips, by Allen Fowler, Bryan Wilhelm, and John "Toast" Oast
Cool Stuff, by Rick Wolbert and Bill Milheim