Welcome to our new website - OutdoorFishingFun.com
Free Family Wisdom from Old Grandpa Jack – Gone Fishing

This site is directed especially toward parents, whether one or both, even single moms, and it's great for kids too.  My foremost goal is to help you strengthen your family and have fun doing it.  While not directed specifically toward home schoolers, it should be of special interest to them.

This site is not for expert fishermen, or even to help novices to become expert, but to help families have fun outdoors with fishing as a vehicle.

I plan to write daily blogs, each with a tip of the day, and a free weekly newsletter for subscribers.  We'll be talking mostly about family values with tips for binding the family together.  We welcome your questions and comments as feedback, and I'll try to address as many of them as I can in my daily blogs.  I love fishing, but for me, it's a means to an end.  More than anything, it's a good reason or an excuse to get outdoors and have fun.  If you may find that a little confusing, it may be because I hope to peak your interests, even if you don't like fishing, or if you don't know if you'll like fishing, or even if you think you may not like the outdoors.  That's a very wide range to cover, but I'll do my best.  I'll be talking quite a bit about fishing, but primarily as a means to having outdoor family fun.

Here are some of the topics we'll be covering:

How to get started fishing
How about fishing tackle
Where & when to fish
Who needs a license
How about getting a little more advanced
How to cook fish
What to eat with fish
Some really great recipes
That's a lot about fishing when fishing isn't the
end all and be all, but there's really lots more
The beauty of the outdoors
Let's get some great pictures – sunrise, sunset,
scenery, mountains, waterfalls, wild life,
birds, game, trees, wild flowers
How about hiking
What the outdoors can do for your health
What else is outdoors
How about your pets
Let's share



Cactus and Fishing

Cactus and fishing have one thing in common: Arizona. The State Flower of Arizona is saguaro cactus blossom, and it can be admired while fishing.

If you’re like most people, you think of Arizona as dry weather, deserts, and, of course, the Grand Canyon. The surprise to many folks is that there is also fishing in Arizona. An excellent spot for fly fishing is Lake Pleasant, which is 30 minutes from Phoenix. This is the reason why I bought a house and had it remodeled by Kerrisdale Roofing so that I could have a place to settle in that's near the lake.

The fish in the lakes in Arizona are spread out. This occurs because of the different dry levels in the lakes. Plus, being spread out makes it easier to catch the fish. The majority of the fish in the lakes are trout and bass.

Lake Pleasant is a 7,500 acre reservoir at the edge of the Hieroglyphic Mountains. The name rightly describes the ambiance. The bright orange blooms of the Echinocereus cactus add an unexpected splash of color to the surroundings. The Pleasant Harbor Marina has accommodations for your boat. You can relax while fishing, as well as explore the peaceful bays and caves. The water is pristine, and comes into Arizona from the Colorado River via the Central Arizona Canal.

Arizona is an experience of natural beauty and a natural rhythm of life on the water. The cacti line the shore. The colors of the blooms are specific to desert cacti. As you fish, you see countless number of birds and big horn sheep. Best of all are the beautiful sunsets, which close the curtain to a day well spent.


Possible Wildlife To Observe While Fishing

Fortunately, the relaxing time spent fishing will often provide some wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities. For the most part, fishermen are not too noisy. This allows Mother Nature’s critters to go about their daily lives without realizing that people are around. Keeping their eyes and ears open can definitely provide fisherman with some unanticipated glimpses of nature at its best.

The coastal islands off of Maine provide vital stopover points for migrating birds. Literally thousands of different types of birds can be spotted in the area of the Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge. Whether the birds are heading south for the winter or back north in the spring, flocks of birds of prey and songbirds can be seen.

Fishing in the area of Grand Valley, Ohio will not only provide bountiful catches of fresh fish for dinner but will also offer sightings of whitetail deer, bald eagles, geese, squirrels, and raccoons for your viewing pleasure.

While enjoying some of the best bass fishing in the country, fishermen that travel to Toledo Bend on the Texas-Louisiana border will also be privy to a variety of wildlife types. Whitetail deer and feral hogs can sometimes be spotted along the shore as they watch the bass boats float by. More delights that fishermen need to be watchful of are the agile swimming alligators in this area. Although these would most generally be seen in the back bayou areas of Toledo Bend, they can also ease out for a closer look. They have been known to occasionally enjoy a bass lure treat, much to the surprise of the angler.


Appreciating Nature While Fishing

What could be more relaxing than a day spent peacefully fishing in beautiful surroundings? If that sounds like your idea of heaven, check out these areas that might fit the bill for your next fishing vacation.

For sheer spectacle, try one of many lakes in Montana on either side of the Continental Divide. On the eastern side, most of the best lakes for fishing are in the reservoirs created by dams. The western side has numerous natural lakes perfect for both cold-water species like trout and warm-water species like bass. These scenic lakes are surrounded by thick forests and towering mountains. For the best fishing, choose smaller, remote lakes like Holland or Ashley Lakes, where tourists enjoying water sports are less likely to go.

The eleven Finger Lakes of central and western New York offer both cold and warm-water fishing. Formed by glaciers, these beautiful and unique lakes vary widely in size and depth. Species of cold-water fish available in almost all of the Finger Lakes include brown, rainbow, and lake trout. There are Atlantic salmon in Skaneateles, Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka, and Hemlock Lakes. Warm-water fish include smallmouth and largemouth black bass, walleye, yellow perch, northern pike and chain pickerel, available in various lakes. Panfish can be found in all the Finger Lakes.

Sunny southern California has many lakes where the fishing is good, and most have boat rentals available. Mount Baldy Trout Pools is a private fishery in Inland Valley where no license is required for the rainbow trout stocked there. Gregory Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains is a peaceful and quiet spot to fish for trout and crappie. Jess Ranch Lakes in the high desert of Apple Valley is a pristine private area with two lakes. No license is required.


Watching for Rare Birds While Fishing

Birdwatching is a national pastime and a hobby for many. Most birds found on lakes and all types of water are attracted to fishermen, as they find food where the fish is located. Very rare birds also will flock to lakes, rivers, and streams for food. Birdwatchers will seek out these places to record seeing the very rare birds.

Perpetua Bank in the Pacific Northwest is a place where some of these rare birds can be found. The great-winged petrel, Bulwer's petrel, and Craveri's murrelet are some of the very rare birds. Some species of puffins are also very rare. Fishing is one of the top professions in this area, and birds can be seen following a group of boats doing all types of fishing. A surprising sighting of a very rare bird should be recorded and reported to the Audubon Society or the American Birding Association. This can be done by a fisherman, as well. States such as California, Alaska, Florida, Oregon, Maine, Texas, and Michigan are places in which these very rare birds are sought. Many times, the birding expeditions are done in water behind fishing boats. In the Balearic Islands overseas, a fisherman spotted a blue-cheeked bee eater, a very rare bird. Africa and South America also are places in which very rare birds fly around fishermen.

There is a book entitled "The Atlas of Rare Birds" by Dominic Couzens that is an excellent resource for finding information. In the United Kingdom, there is a website called AnglersNet that sometimes lists rare birds seen by fishermen. On the Internet, movies can be seen about rare birds. Some unfortunate instances involve very rare birds, such as the white breasted kingfisher, found in fishermen's nets.


Trout Fishing Bait

The type of bait used when fishing for trout will depend on whether you are fly fishing or fishing off a creek bank. When shore fishing insects or worms are the favorite baits used by fishermen. Flies and lures are successful alternatives that many fishermen use also.

Brook Trout will bite on just about any type of bait you throw at them. Of all the trout species, the brook trout is the easiest to catch. Brown Trout are a lot more difficult to catch. These fish only bite on specific types of bait like mayflies, or caddis. A large brown trout likes to feed on crayfish and other smaller fish. Most brown trout feed only at night and stay in one area rather than chase after food like other trout species.

Spinners that imitate minnows are good trout bait, but must be tied directly to the fishing line. Some baits that are popular with trout are salmon eggs and powerbait. Putting these baits on pre-tied gang hooks can be very effective trout fishing methods.

When using gang hooks, live worms are the best bait and should catch you your limit of fish in no time at all. This is one of the best methods for catching trout. When using live worms as bait make sure the worms are threaded on the hook at least twice and that they cover the entire hook. Trout like to pick at worms, crush them, and bite at them again.