Fishing & Infrared Thermometers

Infrared thermometers aren’t just tools that you can use for automobile or HVAC diagnostics. More companies are now making these thermometers to fit a wider range of needs, including those of game fishermen. The temperature of the water can affect fish activity, and an infrared thermometer made especially for fishing can help you read the water temperature with greater efficacy.

The Benefits of an IR Thermometer for Game Fishing

Water temperature can affect a catch, even if it is a slight change. In some cases, a warmer water temperature means less oxygen for the fish, which increases their mortality rate if they’re caught and then placed back into the water. In addition, certain fish just have an “ideal” water temperature in which they’re more likely to bite. A quality infrared thermometer can help you estimate the water’s conditions.

What To Look For in an Infrared Thermometer

Game fishermen have different needs from the average IR thermometer user. Accuracy should be on everyone’s list of top features, but even more so for fishermen. Catfish, for instance, are most active when the water is 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius); Rainbow Trout are most active at 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius). Placing your hand in the water gives you only an idea of the temperature, but an IR thermometer gives you a thorough calculation.

Another important feature to look at is the distance-spot ratio. You need a thermometer that will give you an accurate measurement, even if you’re holding it from several inches  away. One of the downsides of cheaply-made IR thermometers is that they lose accuracy if they’re not held at a precise distance. Lastly, you’ll want to look for a thermometer that is easy to carry and can fit into or fasten onto your fishing vest or clothing. The last thing you want is to lose an expensive thermometer in the water.

One of the best infrared thermometers to consider is the Kintrex IRT0401 IR thermometer. Out of various infrared thermometers, the Kintrex seems to provide the most accuracy and portability (it can easily fit inside the breast pocket of a fishing vest because it’s only a little larger than a thumb drive). While the distance ratio is only 1:1, the thermometer is waterproof and delivers results within a second. Another thermometer worth looking into is the NorCross Marine Waterproof Infrared Thermometer. It’s readings are quicker than the Kintrex’s and it provides a larger distance-spot ratio (5:1); however, it’s accuracy is off by plus or minus 4 degrees. On the other hand, the NorCross is both waterproof and it floats.

Getting a quality IR thermometer is important if you know that it is a tool you will use often. You need a thermometer that delivers accurate and consistent results, and that is highly portable for those livewells.


Bonding with Bass Lures

Bonding with Bass Lures

There’s beauty in quiet moments enjoyed on the water. You cast brightly colored bass lures into the mist rising off the glass-like surface of a lake, enjoying the stillness that exists in the moments just after dawn. You watch the ripples radiate from where your lure breaks the surface and you admire the way your line cuts the water with knife-like precision. It’s easy to feel as if you’re the only person in the world in this moment and while those who don’t understand you refer to this as merely “spending time on that damn boat,” as you draw your rod behind you, preparing for the next cast, you are tucked safely within the ancient ritual we know as fishing – honoring the magic inherent in this act.

While you may feel alone in this moment, there’s often someone else along in the boat – quietly enjoying their own thoughts and treating the early-morning ritual with the same reverence that you do. It doesn’t matter if it’s your father, brother, sister, son or friend – the simple truth is that the people you invite into your fishing boat are family once they step over the gunnel and whether you treat bass fishing with reverence or irreverently, the bond between fishing partners is sacred.

Passing the Rod

One of the elegant truths about fishing is revealed silently in the moment when an adult hooks a fish and passes his or her rod to their child. It doesn’t matter how many of your favorite bass lures your child has cast into the trees and lost, the promise of their smile when (if!) they land the fish is enough to risk losing the catch of the day.

Often this practice of passing the rod was learned from your fishing mentor – whether it was your father, an uncle or a family friend – and passing the rod to a child in your boat or helping them change bass lures every other cast is a way to pass the torch to the next generation.

If you think about it, passing your rod to your son or daughter is a way to keep the memory of your fishing mentor alive and it’s a way to reach across the years into the future – understanding that what you’re wordlessly teaching your child will be repeated in another fishing boat when he or she passes their rod to your grandchildren.

Fishing Truths Unlocked with Bass Fishing

Fishermen are renowned for their ability to “stretch the truth” – recalling the events of their fishing escapades and the size of their catch via a flexible relationship with facts. I’m convinced that one of the reasons so many fishermen tell great stories is that when you are on the water you allow yourself to be more present than you are during your daily routine. You are focused on selecting the right bass lures, using the correct rod, measuring the wind, analyzing the water temperature, water conditions and you’re on the lookout for nearby cover. As a result every one of your senses is heightened and you’re allowed to live life in high-relief in a way that you might not be able to anywhere else. It’s why we hunger for time on the water, why we organize and reorganize our bass lures and tackle, and it’s why the fishing stories we tell are larger than life – because when we’re fishing … it feels that way.

I’m convinced that this is one reason why fishing with family is such a powerful bonding experience. There are few activities where you can make such enduring memories so easily and when you invite someone into your boat (whether you’re making an effort to get to know your new brother in law or you’re preparing to spend a day with one of your children) you are offering that person a gift that will last a lifetime.

Yearly Maintenance: Preparing your Tackle Box and Bass Lures

Yearly Maintenance: Preparing your Tackle Box and Bass Lures

Fishing season is right around the corner which means that it’s a great time to organize your best bass lures, clean and check your tackle and start visualizing the next big fish on the end of your line. If you’re in a northern climate it can be easy to settle into winter depression as you dig out from the latest snowstorm. Preparing for opening day of the 2014 fishing season will provide a welcome distraction from the cold weather and it’s a great weekend project.

Organize Your Tackle Box

A great place to start is with your tackle box. Clean and inspect your bass fishing lures and if any are starting to rust you can save yourself some money by polishing the hooks lightly with some steel wool. If you have any lures that are looking worse for the wear this is a great time to identify those and order replacements.

As you scan your tackle box make note of the range of bass lures you have available. Browse this website to see if you’re missing any high-performers and if you are, consider adding one or two to your collection so that you’re prepared for any water and weather conditions during the 2014 season.

Consider Upgrading Your Tackle Box 

As you organize your bass lures it’s possible that you’ll want to upgrade your storage solution, investing in a new, larger tackle box which offers storage flexibility. recently reviewed the 7771 Guide Series Tackle System which offers anglers plenty of storage space and the flexibility to take small, plastic trays filled with bass lures on targeted fishing excursions.

Clean and Oil your Reel

While it’s always a good idea to clean your reels before putting them away for the winter, this is something that we don’t always remember to at the end of the season. In the early days of 2014 consider catching up on this important maintenance. Inspect your reels, strip them of old line, take them apart and clean them. You can carefully use an air spray can that is commonly used for cleaning computer keyboards. Spray the reel in short blasts to remove dirt and dust that may have accumulated in your reel before lightly oiling the moving parts. Wipe away any excess fluid with a clean cloth, cover your reel and store it in a dry place until fishing season begins.

Order New Fishing Line

Upgrading your bass lures is just the start – it’s a wise decision to replace your line at the start of every fishing season. There’s nothing worse than hooking a big bass and then losing him because of frayed or damaged fishing line. The frustration of losing a prize catch can be compounded by the fact that you can lose a number of expensive bass lures this way. Investing in new fishing line for your reels each season is a way of protecting the money you’ve spent on tackle and if you order fishing line during the winter it’s likely that you can save a few bucks since it isn’t peak fishing season and it might be on sale.

Cleaning and organizing your tackle is a great way to prepare for opening day of the 2014 bass fishing season. While it’s easy to put off this annual maintenance to the days leading up to your first fishing outing, cleaning your best bass fishing lures and stocking up on new gear this winter will allow you to look forward to the upcoming fishing season with the knowledge that you’re prepared for your first day on the water.