What Upgrades Should You Make for Your Fishing Boat?

Fishing isn’t about luck; it’s about strategy. Upgrading your fishing boat ensures success with every cast. Add these improvements to increase your odds.

Every fisher needs a dependable boat. Whether you prefer bowfishing, flounder gigging, or using a rod and reel, your boat could be the difference between a successful catch and a dead end. With so many options available, deciding between boating updates can feel exhausting.

Your enhancements will largely depend on the types of fishing you do. However, there are some upgrades you should make for your fishing boat regardless of your angling preferences. Reel in the big ones by making these helpful renovations.

Optimize Your Motor

If you’ve been fishing for a while, your boat has probably seen better days. Old engines require more effort to travel a short distance and are costly to maintain. Optimizing your motor will get you from point A to point B in record time.

Replace outdated outboard motors with newer models for maximum efficiency. Add an on-boat battery charger to ensure you always have enough power. For trolling motors, learn how to bond a portable generator for bowfishing to enhance performance and prevent electrical malfunctions.

Build a Live-Bait Tank

Every budding angler remembers using worms and minnows for bait. While some veterans believe that lure fishing is the mark of an expert, there are still several advantages to fishing with live bait. If this is how you choose to fish, you’ll need a live-bait tank to keep your options fresh.

There’s nothing worse than realizing you’re out of bait in the middle of a trip. Installing your own live-bait tank will help you avoid that problem. Crafty anglers can build their own tanks; however, there are plenty of 20+ gallon tanks on the market that will keep your bait alive.

Install an LED Light System

Another upgrade you should make for your fishing boat is adding an LED light system. This is especially helpful for night-fishers who need to illuminate dark waters. LED lights last longer and are more energy-efficient, making them the perfect addition to your setup.

Apply LED light strips to interior railings and steering areas to help your vision. These lights are low enough that they won’t disturb any potential catches. Gone are the days of juggling flashlights, rods, and bait!

You could also consider using radar technology or fish-finding software and upgrading your anchor to improve your experience. Customizing your boat to fit your needs will increase your odds and make you a more successful angler.

The Most Important Safety Rules for Going Off-Roading

Off-roading is a fun outdoor activity, but it can do some damage to your car if you’re not ready. Here are a few safety rules for going off-roading.

Off-roading is an exciting activity where you bring your car or dirt bike to unsurfaced roads consisting of dirt, mud, snow, and rocks. It’s fun to do with your friends or family on the weekend or even as part of a competition. However, there are some things to do before off-roading to ensure you and everyone you’re with remain safe. Read on to learn the most important safety rules for going off-roading.

Tell People Where You’re Going

Off-roading is thrilling because you can get away from the main roads and go out into the middle of nowhere! Unfortunately, when you go this far from civilization, you’re more likely to lose your cellular signal, and if anything happens, you have no form of communication. This possibility is why it is so critical to tell people where you’re going beforehand and how long you expect to be away. If any accidents happen, you’ll have to wait until someone comes to help you.

Bring Another Car With You

Along with letting people know where you are, you should bring another car with you. An extra car can tow you out if the mud traps your vehicle, and if it’s impossible to get free, you have a way to get home. Of course, sticking in the mud in the first place isn’t ideal, but you should prepare for the worst-case scenario. Otherwise, you’ll end up with no car, no cellular signal, and no assistance.

Find the Perfect Tires

You can go off-roading in your regular tires, but you may want to consider changing them for a better alternative. Standard tires aren’t the best for off-roading, and the drive can seriously mess them up. Instead, you should look for the best off-roading tires for your vehicle. With the proper tires, off-roading will be a fun and sustainable activity for your vehicle.

Wear a Seatbelt

You may not be on the main roads where the law can spot you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear your seatbelt. If anything, wearing your seatbelts while off-roading is even more critical. Without a well-paved road, your vehicle will experience a lot of bumps, big rocks, sharp turns, and other hazards that can mess up your car. Wearing your seatbelt keeps you safe, and if a hazard leads to your car flipping over, buckling in will be essential.

Prepare for off-roading with these safety rules to ensure you have an exciting and safe time the next time you go out. These safety rules don’t mean you will be safe, though, as you must still be careful when driving behind the wheel. The Texas roads can be reasonably safe, but when going off-road, you are venturing into the unknown. While you can still have fun, you should always focus on safety.

The Equipment You Need To Start Tying Your Own Flies

Are you interested in tying your own flies but unsure where to begin? Let us help with our guide on the essential equipment every fly-tying workshop needs!

If you love to fly fish but get your flies from a fly fishing outfitter, you should consider making your flies yourself! In our guide, we’ll explain why you should start tying and get you started with the equipment you need to tie your own flies.

Why You Should Tie Your Own Flies

What’s the benefit of making your own flies in the first place? Well, if you ask any angler who ties their own flies, they’ll tell you that it may be a hassle at first, but the reward is definitely worth the effort.

Making your own flies allows for customization, so you can experiment and tinker to find the ideal fly for your favorite fishing spot. Once you catch fish using a fly crafted with your two hands, the satisfaction is double what you’d feel with a store-bought fly!

Pro Tip: Tying your own flies also saves you money long-term over buying new flies from fly fishing outfitters.

Essential Fly-Tying Equipment:

Ready to get tying? First, there’s some equipment you’ll need to start tying your own flies!

Vise

The first and most essential tool for your fly-tying hobby is a vise. The vise holds the hook of your fly in place while you’re tying and constructing it—you can’t make your own fly without one!

Your first decision will be to choose between a rotary and stationary vise. Both vises have their advantages, so it’ll come down to your individual preferences.

Bobbins

A bobbin supports the thread while the angler wraps the fly and gives them better aim and control of the line. Some intricate and high-quality (and high-priced) bobbins are available for experienced fly-tyers. For a beginner, it’s best to go with a simple and minimalist bobbin.

Thread

Speaking of thread, you won’t be able to make a fly without some! Anglers use many thread types, so you’ll want an assortment of sizes, colors, and strengths for your new fly-tying workshop.

Hackle Pliers

Flies often feature feathers or some other long, delicate material to attract fish. These airy and light materials can be difficult to secure with bare hands, which is where hackle pliers come in!

After creating a few flies for yourself, you may be able to make one without using hackle pliers—but for beginners, we recommend using pliers.

Whip Finisher

A fly isn’t finished until it’s neatly wrapped and the thread is tied. The final knot of a fly is difficult, especially for those new to fly-tying. This is where the whip finisher comes in hand.

A whip finisher keeps the thread and materials in place while tying, making the finishing knot and step of fly-tying a breeze for even new fly-tyers.

Top Reasons People Carry a Concealed Weapon While Hiking

The more prepared you are for your time outdoors, the better your hike. Learn the top reasons to carry a concealed firearm when hiking or backpacking.

Concealed carry helps keep you and your hiking party safe. Whether you’re in a remote area or somewhere more populated, a firearm can offer you protection and peace of mind. Learn the top reasons people carry a concealed weapon while hiking.

1. Protection From Wild or Violent Animals

One of the best reasons to carry a firearm while you hike or backpack is to fend off wild or violent animals. Fighting a wild animal with your bare hands isn’t a reliable option for securing your safety. Sometimes, just the loud sound of your firearm is enough to frighten a wild animal and prompt them to run away.

Even if you’re not facing a wild animal, encountering a violent domesticated pet is still dangerous. Every year, there are millions of dog bites from aggressive dogs in the US, and some of those cases prove fatal. Hopefully, you’ll never have to defend yourself from an aggressive animal, but if you do, a gun will help.

2. Protection From Human Aggressors

The next reason to carry a concealed weapon while hiking is to protect yourself from human aggressors. Whether you’re in a remote area or on a popular trail, stay aware of the people around you. While most people you encounter will be genuine outdoor enthusiasts such as yourself, some bad actors take advantage of trail conditions to attack people.

To increase your safety, hike in pairs and let a third party know about your plans. Also, stay visually alert and listen to your surroundings. If you wear earbuds, keep one out so that you can still hear clearly.

Learn to feel comfortable carrying a gun so that you can keep your weapon concealed from potential attackers. If someone chooses to attack you, you can defend yourself with your firearm.

3. Emergency Signaling

If you get lost or stranded in the wilderness, you’ll need all the help you can get to return to safety. Many times, you can’t rely on your cell phone in a remote area. You’ll need to signal for help.

Perhaps the most common distress signal is the signal fire. If you build a proper signal fire, you can attract attention from miles away. But in addition to this popular option, you can use your weapon to create an auditory signal.

Fire three spaced-out shots to signal distress. By spacing the shots five seconds apart, you help other people around your area identify the sound as a distress signal and identify the location it’s coming from.

Tips for Setting Up the Ultimate Campsite

When it comes to setting up the ultimate campsite, there are a few routes you can take. These tried-and-true methods will guarantee a fun and safe experience.

Camping isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re planning on roughing it in the wild, you need a certain level of resilience. Picking up some necessary survival skills will set you up for a fun and exciting outdoor experience.

First, you need to know how to make your camping ground work for you. Setting up the ultimate campsite will save you from having a horrible adventure. Those new to the world of camping can use these tips to start on the right foot.

Get Off the Ground

There’s nothing wrong with sleeping on the ground. However, you’ll feel more at ease if you’re able to elevate your campsite. You can use a variety of tools and resources to get off the ground and create a more comfortable arrangement.

Bring an extra layer of sleeping material, like a cot or foam padding, so you don’t have to sleep in the dirt. If you want to get really fancy, invest in a truck camper and rest on your roof. Either way, make the most of your camping trip by setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep.

Build the Perfect Campfire

It’s not a real camping trip if you don’t maintain a fire. However, newcomers might not have the experience necessary to build the perfect campfire. You need this feature to stay warm, cook food, and keep the critters away.

Be sure to keep your fire a safe distance away from your campsite; you should also keep factors like wind and rain in mind so you don’t lose your hard work. Your tinder should be dead and dry, so collect plenty of sticks, twigs, grass, and leaves to keep your fire going.

Create a Stellar Kitchen

No campground is complete without an amazing kitchen. If you want to set up the ultimate campsite, you need a place to refuel. After a long day of hitting the trails and exploring the terrain, you’ll want an area to make all your favorite meals.

Bring a portable grill to cook lean meats and high-fiber veggies that provide plenty of nourishment. And assemble your meals downwind to avoid attracting predators. You should also hang your trash and food scraps from a tree away from your site so you don’t invite any unwanted guests.

If you do it right, camping could become your new favorite pastime. Use these tips to prepare for your adventure, and you’ll always have a good experience.

Seadrift, TX. Sight Casting/Wading Report

This past week has been some ups and downs. Good sight casting conditions turned ugly as SE winds came out of nowhere. But, I don’t want to talk bad about it because it brought some much needed water back into the bay. We did manage to find shelter in some back marsh ponds and creeks, even managed a sight casting a couple nice flounder sneaking down the edges. The wade fishing scene is starting to improve with the rise in water. Starting off early in the pre-dawn hours we made a couple stops on some shell where we managed a mixed bite of keeper size trout, some big reef redfish, and a couple solid summertime trout.

Most of our trout wading came on soft plastics in a variety of colors from chicken of the c to strawberry wine, mostly in the Down South Lures models. The reef redfish couldn’t resist the topwaters, as that was the safest thing to throw being they were up against the edge of the reef. We had a few other trouty blow ups, but only one really wanted it.

As the water leveled off the later part of the week, we noticed some of the reds were already starting to make their move. We saw most of our fish at the ends of creeks that dumped onto a shallow sand flat or pond. This is where most of the bait was stacked up so it makes perfect sense. Funny how they know these water level changes and how to adjust. All our fish were released in great shape and I would like to thank all the clients for putting forth this effort to help the bays recover.

On a side note, we do have August 10&11th open if anybody is interested in sight casting. The winds look like they are really going to cooperate.

Captain Nathan Beabout

(210) 452-9680

N&M Sportsman’s Adventures

www.nmsportsmansadventures.com

AB Kennels

www.abkennels.com

AB Kennels/M2 Breeding; Port Lavaca, TX.

Hi folks, my name is Nathan Beabout. My wife Margaret and I own and operate AB Kennels/M2 Breeding.

It doesn’t seem all that long ago, 2007, that I became a fishing/hunting guide here on the Middle Texas Coast based out of Seadrift, Texas, and live just north of Port Lavaca. I quickly learned the ins and outs for a successful day on the water. I am still obsessed with the saltwater, and for the first few years you couldn’t hardly pull me off it.

Once duck season rolled around, I knew I needed a trusted dog. With help from an older guide who had been in the game for many years, I learned to train my first hunting partner. From then on and each dog I have hunted over, I have more fun watching them work then the actually shooting part. When my wife became pregnant with our first child, we decided our family would benefit from her being a stay at home mom.

Continue reading “AB Kennels/M2 Breeding; Port Lavaca, TX.”

Best Places To Paddleboard in the United States

Paddleboarding is a joy to many, assuming you show up to the right place. Look on to learn about the best places to paddleboard in the United States!

The US is a big place, meaning it has ample opportunity for you to explore on your paddleboard. While some places are certainly better than others, we have compiled some of the best places to paddleboard in the US. Look below to get some ideas for your next vacation getaway!

Arizona’s Black Canyon

Pass through desert mountains where huge horned sheep graze and arrive at Black Canyon with hot springs and wild camping. There, you can explore the Colorado River’s clean waters on your paddle board. This somewhat long stretch of the Black Canyon Trail, running across Arizona and Nevada from Willow Beach to the Hoover Dam, doesn’t require a canoeing or camping permission. That is, if you start from Willow Beach. This is a great area to soak up some sun or have fun in a canyon trip through some of Americas most beautiful river canyons.

Glacier Bay, Alaska

Glacier Bay, an Alaskan biosphere reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located west of Juneau and is only accessible by boat or a 30-minute flight from Juneau. It provides a variety of paddling conditions, from tranquil lakes where you can fish or do yoga on your board to tough coves that serve as arctic surfing and windsurfing spots. Glacier Bay gives ample opportunity to view wildlife, from bald eagles to arctic moose. Bring your binoculars if you decide to go!

Ladybird Lake, Texas

Visit Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, Texas, and enjoy live music while paddling beneath the well-known bat colony. Since motorized boats are not permitted on the water, the lake’s longest water path from Red Bud Beach to Festival Beach is completely undisturbed, making it perfect for a calming getaway. Getting into the water is simple from anyplace close to the lake thanks to eight official access sites and many more unofficial ones. Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, so as you paddle, you should anticipate hearing music coming from someplace on land, making this a memorable experience.

We hope you have enjoyed our recap of the best places to paddleboard in the US. While it can be hard to choose a destination, picking the right paddleboard is your first big decision. Make sure you bring the proper gear for your paddle boarding trip before getting on the water!

5 Common Causes of Wildland Fires To Avoid

Fires in the great outdoors are common and have many causes. People should take extreme caution to avoid these five causes as much as possible.

Nature is a beautiful thing to experience and impacts humanity in many ways. And just as nature affects us, we also affect it and cause harm. Wildfires are common occurrences in the natural world, with multiple factors that cause them to break out, both natural and human. People should do everything they can to avoid starting wildfires to help preserve nature and keep people safe.

Lightning

Lightning is a common natural cause of wildland fires. A lightning bolt is about 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit; when it strikes the ground, it burns any nearby objects. When lighting sets a patch of earth ablaze, that fire spreads with extreme heat and begins to take the land in a blazing sweep.

While lightning is a natural phenomenon, people can put away or cover fire-prone objects such as machines or metal wiring before a thunderstorm. Doing so can decrease the chance of lightning striking and causing a fire.

Hot Coals

Lots of people have BBQs in Texas, especially during the summer, and at some point, a person may dispose of the hot coals too quickly. A fire may start if the ashes from the coals make contact with the leaves in a tree or a pile of papers. Hot coals are especially dangerous in places such as parks where plenty of trees and bushes may catch fire. Make sure your coals are completely cool and don’t have any glowing red bits before you dispose of them.

Malfunctioning Machines

Our machines are susceptible to malfunctioning and short circuits, potentially producing wildfires. Factories and plants located in grasslands and forested areas may be at risk of a wildfire if they don’t have proper safety measures such as sprinklers and fire extinguishers. If dried leaves are present around burning machines, this may cause a type of wildland fire called a surface fire that burns along the surface of the ground.

Arson

Unfortunately, arson is another cause of wildland fires. When a person burns a house or building, the fire could spread to other buildings or parts of nature and cause a wildland fire. Arson occurs more often than you may think. Thankfully, we can prevent the fire from spreading with the proper safety protocols.

Improperly Built Campfires

It’s always important to practice campfire safety to ensure people remain safe while camping. Uncontrolled campfires are a common cause of wildland fires and are an immediate threat to forested areas. Learning proper campfire safety and having items like a pale of water will help you avoid dangerous fires that may put your life at risk.

There are many causes of wildland fires, and we should always be prepared for them. Practice safety and precaution as much as possible to prevent a fire from starting in your area.

Laguna Custom Rods

The popularity of high-end fishing rods has continued to evolve through the years. In the past, you were forced to choose mostly between mass-produced rods and custom-built rods. My Dad had a nice workbench where he built up custom rods on Fenwick blanks with decorative thread wraps. Now, the serious angler on the Gulf Coast has a number of great options. Today, we take a look at Laguna Custom Rods.

We were looking for new rods to be used primarily wade-fishing for trout. I am familiar with a number of professional guides who use Laguna so I decided to visit their shop in Katy to check them out.

Laguna Custom Rods
Laguna Custom Rods

Laguna Custom Rods is a cool shop founded by two hard-core professional tournament fishermen who wanted the best. The blanks are manufactured in a separate facility but the final production work is all done at this location. The showroom is through the front door with the shop on the right. You can see for yourself first-hand how the rods are assembled.

Continue reading “Laguna Custom Rods”

The Most Helpful Tips When Camping in an RV

The great outdoors is a blast for a weekend camping trip. Those looking to camp with an RV may want to brush up on these helpful tips before heading out.

Everybody loves a good camping trip. Setting up your tent and cooking over an open fire is a common treat. However, sometimes you want to try camping with a little more comfort and accessibility. Here are some of the most helpful tips when camping in an RV that you can utilize on your next big trip.

Check Out the Campsite

Recreational vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s a good idea to learn a little bit about where you’re camping before you try to drive your RV out there. You’ll want to ensure your RV can safely reach the campsite and double-check that you will have room to set up camp around the parking space. Accounting for the size of your vehicle and the dimensions of the camping spot is essential before you make any reservations.

Ensure You Have Enough Power

You don’t need to concern yourself with this too much if your campground of choice has adequate hookups for your RV, but a proper power supply is essential when you’re boondocking out in the wilderness. Knowing how to conserve battery power in your RV ensures you don’t strand yourself in the middle of the woods. Additionally, it always helps to have a backup battery source.

Arrive Before Nightfall

Getting to your destination before the sun goes down is a valuable piece of advice no matter what form of camping you choose, but it’s an especially helpful tip when camping in an RV. When you arrive after nightfall, you’ll probably be tired and ready for bed, but you’ll still need to set up camp. Trying to properly park your RV in the dark and take care of any necessary hookups without sunlight is a hassle you don’t want to deal with. Even if it means waking up an hour earlier to get on the road, it’s a good idea to reach your destination during daylight hours.

Wade Fishing Seadrift, TX. 7/24/22

This week we were met with the same S-SW winds and extreme low tides. This has changed our game plan up a bit. We would chase trout first couple wades in the morning before the sun broke the morning clouds. Then as the day quickly heated up and we lost the trout bite, we turned our attention to stalking shin deep grass flats. Rigging Down South Lures burner shad on the Laguna Rod we proceeded to inch quietly along looking for reds tailing and cruising the edge of sand pockets.

This is just as much fun as Sight Casting off the tower when done correctly. Walking without a sound you are able to get within feet of these reds and they have no idea. It’s just like stalking that monster buck through the brush. Once you’re in their wheelhouse it’s game on. We had some fish refuse or simply spook as soon as we made the cast. Others would jump on it, I think the trick is once you find them, just stand there and let them work into your range. Be patient and don’t rush towards them. Lots of fun this week and finally today the SE wind kicked in, by the time we got back to the dock this afternoon the water had come up a bit. Hopefully this week’s SE wind forecast will continue to bring in the water, I think it will change our trout bite for the better.

th?id=OVF.fbaQ73HJkU%2fA7CceP4LWhw&pid=Api9 Year Old’s First Time Wading; Chasing Reds in Seadrift, TX.

 

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Captain Nathan Beabout

(210) 452-9680

N&M Sportsman’s Adventures

www.nmsportsmansadventures.com

AB Kennels

www.abkennels.com