Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I've been on the go pretty hard so I wanted to bring everyone up to speed on what I've been up to!

I had chance to go to Detroit a couple weeks ago to visit my friend Mike Babcock, coach of the Redwings. It was cool to catch a game and watch him do his thing. Next I spent a week on Lake Okeechobee shooting Ultimate Match Fishing out of Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina. Great matches and great fishing!

I've finally gotten official score on my woodland caribou. We had hoped it was a new archery world record, but he ended up being #2.

Finally, I spent the morning after Christmas hunting Geese with my nephew Joey.

January is shaping up to be very busy too, as I'm heading to New Mexico and Arizona to video hunts and then to Brazil for peacock bass and another episode of Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Dual Purpose

Over the weekend, I had a chance to take my nephew Joey hunting during the Ohio Youth Gun Season. The weather was cool, but very windy which is never good for deer movement. We ended up only seeing a couple of button bucks, but still had a great time together. I get people all the time trying to commend me for taking my children, relatives, and others fishing and hunting. Yes, it is my goal to give them a taste of the outdoors and hopefully they'll develop as hunters and anglers as they get older. But truthfully, my other reason for doing it kinda selfish.... I like going just as much as they do and if I can kill two birds with one rock....

Joey is ready for action!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Great Idea?

"Hey, I've got a great idea,"  I told my producer, Jim Kramer, last week. My idea was to hook up with my long time friend and Lake Erie expert Mike Traumbly and head up to the big pond for some late fall largemouth fishing. Mike has always told me stories about certain canals along the Michigan shoreline that load up with wintering largemouth bass. Sounds great right? It was great! All except for the daytime high temperature of 38 degrees coupled with 20-30 mph winds and, oh yeah, snow flurries...

It has been a long time since I have been so cold, but it was definitely worth it! We caught about 30 bass in the 2 to 4 pound range and action was fairly steady. The best bait for the bigger fish was my go-to 3/8 oz. Arkie Jig in black and blue with a black/blue crawfish trailer tail. The key was to fish the sea walls very slowly, just crawling the bait across the bottom in the 45 degree water. Surprisingly enough, the strikes were very aggressive for such cold conditions.

The other bait that worked very well for Mike was casting a Blade Bait into the center of the canal when we would start to mark the fish on the Humminbird Graph. The Blade Bait didn't produce fish as big, but definitely accounted for good numbers.

Chalk up one episode for next years Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shooting with a Camera

I've been hunting near Lewisburg, Kentucky for the past several days with Drop Tine Outfitters trying to get a nice whitetail on camera for the Scent Loks High Places Show. Saw lots of deer, but no bucks big enough to shoot. One morning was very foggy as you can see in the picture. I plan to hit it a couple more days before Kentucky's rifle season opens on Saturday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Treat

It is very rare when one of my blogs my blogs has nothing to do with fishing, hunting or the business thereof, but a guy has to have a little fun! Last night we went to our friends house in Terrace Park, Ohio for Trick or Treat with the kids. The live in a beautiful neighborhood where the folks really get into Halloween. When you live on a farm at the end of a dead end street, you don't get very many trick or treaters.... like zero and the houses are so far apart that the kids would have to hike several miles to fill a ziplock baggie with candy. Terrace Park on the other hand is a target rich environment!

The girls looked real cute in their costumes and a good time was had by all. I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story.... Oh, yeah it is nice to be home for a change!

Little Red Riding Hood

Dorothy and Toto

Trying to steal candy from Red

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I guess just about every guy who has a little girl ends up taking one of those father-daughter trips when they reach their early teens. It's great time to bond before she gets a little older and get too cool to hang with her daddy. My bet is that most of those trips are to the beach, maybe an art gallery, symphony or heaven forbid and extended shopping trip to the Mall of America in Minnesota! Oh yeah, my buddy had to do that and it darn near broke him.

But no, my 14 year old baby girl made me proud when she announced that she would like to go out west on an antelope hunt.... I could handle that. Man, was I glad she didn't want to hunt kudu in Africa!

Our little get away took place last week in Montana with my good friend Jammin Krebs of Western Timberline Outfitters.  To say the least, he and his number one guide, Kyle, treated her like gold. Even though it was a rifle hunt, it was extremely challenging as the terrain was very open and the antelope were herding up in fairly large groups with lots of eyes to catch every movement.

She took her buck late in the second day of the hunt at 243 yards in a 30 mile per hour crosswind. That's a very tough shot even for an experienced hunter but she made a perfect shot on a beautiful mature antelope. I don't know what made me happier, the fact that she made a great shot or the fact that I didn't have to go to Macy's to see her smile!

Friday, October 21, 2011

New World Record?

When you travel to hunt and fish as much as I do, you learn to prepare for each trip the best you can, then take whatever comes in stride, good or bad! As most of you know, I have a tremendous passion for bow hunting, and over the past several years hosting various hunting shows on Outdoor Channel has provided me the opportunity to travel and hunt in places I could have only dreamed of growing up.

Last week I traveled to Newfoundland to hunt Woodland Caribou with River Run Outfitting for Scent Lok's High Places. I had been there this time last year and had lots if opportunities, but couldn't close the deal. I honestly left there very disappointed in myself. That being said, I traveled there this year with cautious optimism trying not to get my hopes too high. My realistic goal with to take a good representative Woodland (the smallest antlered of all caribou species), get a good TV show and move one step closer to taking all 29 North American big game species with a bow.

On the first day of the hunt I got very close to a nice bull but high winds kept me from taking the shot. We quickly located more caribou in the distance. In this group was the largest Woodland Caribou any of us had ever seen! We closed the gap to within 100 yards. Then to 50 where I took the shot, which did the job. I couldn't contain myself (you'll see in the show) when I finally put my hands on what unofficially will be...the new archery world record eclipsing the old record set back in 1966 by 20 inches!

Record or not he is an amazing creature and I was truly blessed to to have this opportunity. When I was growing up reading Outdoor Life and Sports Afield, I could only dream of incredible hunting adventures and world record animals, and now unbelievably, I may have lived the dream!

Packing him out

Friday, October 7, 2011

Perfect Shot

The past couple of days of whitetail hunting in Ohio have been amazing! Three days ago on our property near our home, my daughter Reanna took a beautiful eight point buck with her crossbow. It was so exciting for me to be right there and watch her make a perfect shot on her biggest deer ever!

As if that wasn't enough, I then headed out to Adams County to hunt with my friend Pat DeCastro of Kerry Automotive Group. He ran the camera for me as I took a big mature eight point. We estimated the buck to be around 5 1/2 years old! It will be hard to top this week, but I'm sure gonna try. I'm off to Newfoundland tomorrow to chase woodland caribou for another Scent Loks High Places episode.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Wow, I know fishing tournaments and producing fishing shows earlier in the year kept me hopping, but at least in most of the places I fish I have some type of communication with the outside world. Yeah, I know.... still no excuse for not blogging regularly. But in my defense, in these past several weeks I have hunted some pretty remote spots!
Two weeks ago, my camera man, Gerry, and I were packed into a remote tent camp in New Mexico where we chased bugling bull elk unsuccessfully for seven long days. We averaged over ten miles of hiking per day with the last day being over 17 miles on our GPS.
Last week, I had an incredible hunt for Scent Loks High Places in Utah with Ryan Foutz and Kurt Wood of Bighorn Basin Outfitters. We were bow hunting for Shiras Moose. Shiras are the smallest of all the moose species and only have huntable populations in Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Utah. It is a "once in a lifetime tag" in Utah, so I really felt fortunate just to get to hunt them. 

I was very surprised at the high-desert terrain in which the Shiras live. At over 8,000 feet it was a drastic contrast to other Moose hunts I have been on. The moose were in full rut and on day two, we called in two rut crazed bulls to within 40 yards! The cover was so thick it was difficult to get good video or a clear shot, until they got within 20 yards. My heart was pounding out of my chest as those bulls pushed each other around and raked the brush, grunting the whole time. I finally got a clear shot at the biggest of the two and made it count!

I feel extremely fortunate to have now taken the Canada, Alaska-Yukon and Shiras Moose with my bow. For me it was a major hunting goal fulfilled and a trip I'll never forget. 

Alaska-Yukon Moose "2009"

Canada Moose "2008"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Woods and Water

All weekend, I have been in Imlay City, Michigan at the Woods and Water Outdoor Weekend Expo. I was there for doing seminars and signing autographs for STIHL. My truck and boat were part of their display as well. It was a great outdoor event and crowds were estimated at over 20,000 for the three days.

Tomorrow, I head to New Mexico for an archery elk hunt for the High Places show. It has been years since I have drawn a good elk tag and I am really excited about this opportunity!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blue Cat!

Forty pound blue catfish

I had the opportunity to travel to Evansville, Indiana to shoot my 13th and final 2011 episode of Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors. This time though, I was not chasing bass, but monster blue catfish with Captain Paul Willett of Camo Fish Guide Service. I was amazed by the various techniques he utilized to help us get a great show on a very tough day, where the temperatures topped 100 degrees and almost no current was flowing on the Ohio River. We capped the day with a true giant blue cat!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Deer Hunting in Kentucky

Over the past weekend, I hunted in Kentucky with Drop Tine Outfitters It was opening the opening weekend for Kentucky's archery whitetail season. Kentucky is one of the few states that opens early enough for you to take a buck in velvet.

Most deer shed their velvet from their antlers by the second week.of September. While the 100 degree temperatures made the hunting very tough, I did get to see something pretty cool at the farmhouse we were staying in. A beautiful big spider had made its web in the corner of the front porch. It almost did not look real its colors were so awesome! Anybody know what kind of spider this is?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Northwest Territories

I would like to apologize for not blogging over the past two weeks, but my  Northwest Territories archery mountain caribou hunt for Scent-Loks High Places kept me far away from all communication! The hunt was extremely difficult physically as all mountain backpack hunts are. I had several opportunities, but I just couldn't close the deal. My hunting partner and camera man, John Furness, however, took a beautiful bull with a  bow, and I got to capture it all on video!

Northwest Territories mountain caribou

That part of Canada is one of the most beautiful places I've been, and Arctic Red River Outfitters was one of the best I've ever worked with.

As soon as I got home, my youngest daughter Gracelyn informed me that the bass were really biting on our pond and we were going fishing! We caught several small bass and had a great time. I think her photo says it all..... It sure is nice to be home!

Fishing with my daughter Gracelyn

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lake Waynoka

I had a chance to take my nephew, Joey, fishing this week on the lake where I learned to fish, "Lake Waynoka" where my mom and dad live. We had a great time and even caught a few nice bass. The one thing that is always consistent at the lake is my mom's meals.... Awesome!

Joey's first Bass of the evening at Lake Waynoka

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I would first like to apologize for not blogging the past couple of weeks and I am sure there were those of you who thought I must have slit my wrists after my disastrous finish in the FLW Tournament on Pickwick. Not true... I'm still alive and kickin'! In actuality, I have been on a two week long hunt in Africa with very limited access to internet. We videotaped the hunt for an episode of Scent Lok's High Places and the whole experience was incredible!

I will admit that I was very nervous about the nearly 16 hour flight from JFK to Johannesburg, South Africa. I normally get very anxious on flights over four hours... I made it through okay though, and without the aid of sleeping pills!

Once in South Africa, we hunted with professional hunter, Ricus de Villiers of White Lion Safari. He and his wife, Nelia, were incredible hosts and the lodge, food, and hunting were exceptional. I took a beautiful nyala with my bow after many failed stalks and topped the trip off with a 25 yard bow shot on an enormous cape buffalo after a very scary two hour stalk!

Bull nyala

Cape buffalo with a bow

I had fulfilled a huge hunting goal of mine with that animal. One other thing which made the trip even more memorable was the fact that my camera man, Gerry Addison, also got to hunt, harvesting a black wildebeest, gemsbok and a beautiful kudu. I can definately see why people who hunt Africa cannot wait to go back!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Part of life is about firsts, and today is one tremendous one for me. I'm headed to Kimberly, South Africa to shoot an episode of Scent Lok's High Places. My biggest concern is not about getting stomped by a cape buffalo, but surviving the 15 plus hour flight from JFK to Johannesburg!

Even though I fly a lot, I have always had anxiety issues on flights longer than 4 hours. My longest time on a plane to date is about six hours. Though a lot of experienced overseas travelers have suggested sleeping pills or tranquilizers to get me through, I just can't go that route. It is mind over matter right? Gotta be mentally tough.... right? Well, we'll see. I'm sure I'll be just fine. I'm not sure if I'll be able to blog from camp, but if I'm able I'll keep you posted. Hopefully with some photos as well....

Friday, July 22, 2011


Well my 2011 FLW season is officially in the history books!  My two day total on Pickwick weighed a whopping 20 pounds 4 ounces landed me solidly in 84th place, smashing all hopes of qualifying for the FLW Championship. Ouch!

 I am writing this blog on my phone as I drive up I-65 North towards home.  
Yeah, I know I should not be emailing while driving, but its all good as I have been sitting in stopped traffic for over one hour now! Please Lord..... I just want this week to be over!

Give-Away:  Brandon Adams!  I will send to you a Stihl shirt and hat if you send your snail address to    Keep watching, everyone, for the next give-away.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pickwick Day One

Well I can tell you first hand it no fun getting pounded on the first day of a tournament! Pickwick did its job, putting out lots of great limits of bass, but I had to struggle to catch a limit weighing 9 pounds. Tomorrow has got to get much better for me or I'll be headed home tomorrow with no paycheck. I will do my best to keep that from happening, I promise you!
Shown below:  

Kevin, a winner of a Stihl hat, 
with a fish he caught while wearing it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Slim Pickings at Pickwick?

Today was my final day of practice for the FLW on Pickwick Lake. This weeks practice was like banging my head against a wall at times. Many of the key main river spots are getting hammered by our competitors. You would never think a lake this big would fish so small! Hoping for an early starting number....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Today was my third practice day for the FLW on Pickwick Lake in north Alabama. Aside from very hot temperatures and less than stellar fishing, I found something very interesting today:

A giant cactus of some kind growing out of a rock bluff above the high water line. I didn't even realize they grew wild as far north as the Tennessee/Alabama line. I took close up as well hoping someone could identify it and tell me if it is rare in these parts.

I know I'm supposed to be concentrating on fishing, but things like this spark my interest on an otherwise slow day!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Long Day of Practice

Put in 12 hours pounding the ledges on Pickwick today. Found several schools of fish. I think some of the key spots will get pretty crowded during the tournament. We have three more practice days.  I'll need all of them I'm sure!

Give-Away:  I have another Stihl ball cap and shirt to give away.  Drawing on Thursday of this coming week!   The winner will be chosen from followers or subscribers in a random drawing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Behind the Scenes

Since I only had a couple days home after UMF before heading to the FLW event on Pickwick Lake in Alabama, I hastily got some production work done for Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors. I had five new episodes shot that needed what we call "sit down interviews". 

Basically, I tell the story of each fishing episode so the show flows smoothly. That is another very time consuming aspect of TV production that people don't see. With my producer, Jim Kramer, who is a breeze to work with and with my son, Ryan, who wants to go into video production handling the light reflector disc, we had all five interviews done on less than four hours. Starting early to get good morning light helped me as well since the temperatures were fairly cool! Now, I'm off to Alabama for my final regular season FLW event of the year.

Monday, July 11, 2011

UMF Winner

UMF Championship Belt

Today we crowned our 2011 Ultimate Match Fishing Champion! One Pro Angler is now $50,000 richer. As usual, production of the the final match took much longer than the preliminary matches. We didn't wrap the shoot and the season till 8 PM!  

I'm heading home tonight, so I can get an extra day with my family before I head to the FLW Tournament on Pickwick Lake in Alabama this weekend. My GPS shows me arriving home at around 4 AM tomorrow morning. Long, long day!

Over the Top

My co-host Fish Fishburne is over the top as he displays the UMF Championship Belt!

Friday, July 8, 2011

UMF Third Quarter Complete

We completed our third quarter final UMF match today on Mullett Lake. The new Evinrude powered Rangers are performing flawlessly and the weather and fishing continue to be great! Our crew is doing an outstanding job even though the production days are long. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Shooting Aerial Footage of UMF

We were able to do lots of running and aerial footage from a helicopter before our Ultimate Match Fishing this morning.  It was a perfect, crystal clear morning. The footage looks fantastic. Oh yeah, the match was pretty awesome too. I love Mullet Lake and the Indian River, Michigan area!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

All Stars

Today was the our first Ultimate Match Fishing quarter final match on Mullett Lake in Indian River, Michigan.  The lake lived up to its reputation as a stellar smallmouth fishery, with several big smallies caught by each angler. I wont say which anglers made it to the championship round, but I will say it is an All-Star lineup that you won't want to miss when it airs on Outdoor Channel! 

Our new UMF boat graphics and our mystery anglers

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Crankin' It

Wow, what a day! Lake El Salto continues to live up to its reputation.  The wind blew today and the crankbait bite was on. Most of my fish came on a chartreuse shad Lucky Craft Flat CB D-12. My best five today probably would have weighed 35 pounds! Many thanks to Billy Chapman and everyone at Anglers Inn for another incredible trip. Make sure to watch for this episode of Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors on the Outdoor Channel!

Another Lake El Salto Giant!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Anglers Inn

Another great day at Anglers Inn on Lake El Salto in Mexico. Today, I had the opportunity to fish with the American Modern Insurance "Reel Big Catch" contest winner Mike Teague. We had a great time and El Salto continues to live up to its reputation with lots of bass between five and nine pounds being taken by our group daily! Most of the big fish are comming on crankbait in the timber, as the fish are suspended about ten feet down in the branches near the deeper creek channels.

American Modern Insurance's "Reel Big Catch" 
Contest Winner Mike Teague with a nice El Salt Bass!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Today, I fished and videoed on Lake El Salto.  Fishing was incredible as usual with lots six to nine pound fish being caught by our group. Tomorrow, I get to fish with our Reel Big Catch contest winner, Mike League of Alaska. Mike and his dad won this all expense paid trip for two from American Modern Insurance Group. Can't wait till tomorrow!

My El Salto guide, Martin

Mike Hopkins entertaining our group at dinner

Only a few days until new episodes air on Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors - July 2nd!  Some lucky people out there have Stihl hats and t-shirts on the way.  I'll send out another set to follower Basspastor when I receive mailing information at  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Boca Grande

Yesterday afternoon we traveled south from Longboat Key to Boca Grande to video another day of tarpon fishing with our friends Jason and Rob from Odyssey Expositions and Captain Mark Liberman, one of the best tarpon guides in Boca

Captain Mark Liberman

It was tough day, but I did catch a great 140 lb Tarpon on light tackle (40 lb test and spinning gear). The fight took nearly two hours as the big fish took us two miles out into the Gulf. I'll need a special extended episode to air this on Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors!

Boca Grand Pass Lighthouse
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