Bucket List Trip: Gulf Red Snapper

Deep sea fishing is vastly different from your average freshwater fishing excursion. Ask any angler and they will attest to the fact that everyone who loves to fish needs to go deep sea fishing at least once in their lives.

There are many reasons to love offshore fishing on the open ocean. The fish are bigger, they fight much harder and you never know what might be on the end of your line when you begin to reel. The vastness of the ocean can be intimidating and there is also the dreaded possibility of getting seasick, but serious anglers brave the elements because deep sea fishing is the ultimate outdoor adventure.

Offshore fishing is a totally different experience altogether from anything you’ll ever find on a river or lake, and some might prefer to stick to freshwater angling. Regardless of where your favorite fishing location is, one thing is certain: deep sea fishing absolutely must be on each angler’s bucket list.

I recently went on a trip that was one of the best fishing adventures I’ve ever experienced. My close friend and fishing buddy, Frank Tomberlin, and I have organized an annual deep sea fishing trip for the past five years and it’s our goal to continue this yearly tradition as long as we can. We refer to it simply as “the fishing trip.”

This year, we had a group of six guys who were each as excited as the other to be heading out on an offshore adventure. We all hoped that this year would be remembered as one of those great fishing stories we will be proud to tell our grandchildren about many years from now.

We were joined by my brother, Josh, who went on his first deep sea fishing trip a couple years ago. Josh loves fishing more than any other person I know. I joked with him before our trip that year that deep sea fishing would essentially “ruin” him from wanting to do any kind of freshwater trips later on. As luck would have it, he turned out to be the first one to reel in a fish on that trip and, after landing a decent-sized amberjack, he immediately turned to me, smiled and said, “I’m ruined.”

Cole was another member of our party and had been fishing on the ocean several years ago. Opey and Nick were the only two members of the trip who had never experienced offshore fishing. Both were absolutely stoked to be going on their first ever deep sea fishing trip and I was all the more excited just to accompany them on their maiden voyage.

We arrived just before 5:30 a.m. at the harbor in Destin, Florida. It was June 2—the coveted opening day of “Snapper Season” in the Gulf of Mexico.

The boats around the docks were buzzing with anticipation as deckhands rushed back and forth to prepare their vessels and men gathered around, smoked cigarettes and sipped coffee while sharing a few fishing stories before we boarded the boats.

There was a bit of tension amid all the laughs and chatter near the boat. The tickets to the 10-hour trip were sold with no guarantee as to where each angler would be fishing on the boat. Everyone stood on the dock next and patiently waited for permission to board the vessel. Each spot was offered on a “first-come, first-served” basis and some of the fishermen were already eyeing the few highly sought-after spaces near the stern.

One determined angler decided to seize the opportunity to claim his spot before everyone else. He carefully walked around the roped barrier onto the boat as those nearby looked on with disdain at someone willing to blatantly break the rules. The man made his way over to the corner of the boat where the starboard side meets the stern. He began to tie a rag onto the rail in an effort to reserve the space before a calm, but firm voice broke the silence.

“That’s my spot,” said an older, rather rotund gentlemen who was sitting on a cooler adjacent to the boat’s entrance. He sat facing the marina with the boat’s stern directly behind him, patiently waiting for the captain’s signal to come aboard.

“First-come, first-serve, ain’t it,” said the man still attempting to mark the spot with the tattered rag.

The older man’s demeanor indicated that he did not intend to relinquish the space to a newcomer who insisted on unfairly marking the spot, or anyone else within earshot. He stayed seated and turned his head only slightly, his eyes barely looking over his shoulder toward the man.

“That’s my spot. That’s where I fish every day,” he replied more loudly, with his gaze fixed on the hands holding the half-tied rag.

The fellow who had encroached upon the boat and tried to steal the spot slowly untied the rag and sheepishly looked around at other men in the crowd snickering at the short altercation.


We soon boarded our boat, the Gulf Breeze, which is owned by Olin Marler Fishing Charters. This would turn out to be one of the most professional fishing charters I’ve ever used and one that I highly recommend to anyone.

The waters off the coast of Destin are teeming with aquatic wildlife and many other species of animals that thrive in one of the most picturesque beaches in the Gulf of Mexico.

We were on what is known as a “party boat” or a “head boat” that is larger than most other sportfishing vessels and can hold dozens of fishermen for one single trip. For anyone looking to try their hand at deep sea fishing, I would recommend seeking out a party boat as it is much cheaper than a private charter and you can choose the length of time you’re out at sea, ranging from a quick five-hour trip to a two-day adventure at sea.

We claimed our seats along the port side and the boat crept away from the dock as the sun began to peek over the horizon. We left the “no-wake zone” and throttled into high-gear out of Destin’s harbor in a long convoy of fishing boats speeding to their chosen destinations in the muggy morning hours.

The salty air was mingled with exhaust fumes from the boat and the occasional cigarette, but the scent of fish soon became more apparent as the deckhands busied themselves at the stern, cutting bait for the day’s trip.

Our group was busy sharing laughs and pointing out the occasional dolphin, sea turtle, or other sight we passed on our way. We were sprayed with a few drops of water as our boat plowed through the swells and charged onward into the morning. Everyone soaked in the beauty of the sunrise shimmering through the clouds and eagerly awaited our arrival at the fishing spots our captain steered toward.

Nervous excitement grew each minute along the two-hour ride as we motored more than 30 miles offshore into the Gulf of Mexico. The high-rise condominiums and other structures that dotted the shoreline soon faded into the glowing horizon and we were completely surrounded by an endless emerald-green and blue desert that stretched as far as the eye could see.

As we drew near to our destination, the deckhands began to rush around the boats, preparing everyone’s’ rods. Bait buckets filled with sliced mackerel hung from every space along the railing, swinging back and forth with the gentle rolling of the sea.

Once the captain slowed down near our fishing spot, the lead deckhand called everyone to the boat’s stern. We all gathered around the two large coolers where the crew had been cutting bait and tying hooks all morning.

The lead deckhand gave a short speech on proper use of the bait and tackle, which would prove to be exceptionally helpful to anyone on their first deep sea fishing trip. He also announced some of the strange customs to which sailors strictly adhere to while at sea.

“If you have any bananas on this boat, throw them overboard right now,” the deckhand sharply insisted a no-nonsense expression. “You may laugh, but bananas are associated with death at sea, and we will not allow anyone to have them on this boat.”

“One other rule we observe is no whistling,” he stated. “You’re liable to whistle up a storm and if the captain hears anyone whistling, he’s likely to come down from his cabin and throw you overboard.”

Before we were dismissed to return to our designated spots, we were given some words of motivation.

“Guys, we are coming a little farther out than we usually do so we can fish some really good, deep water,” he said. “We’re going to be fishing in some water that is much deeper than we usually go to, but we need everyone to keep their lines tight so we don’t get tangled. If we get tangled up too much, we’re going to have to take it back closer to shore, but we want to stay out here as long as we can and fish this deep water.”

We made our way back to our spaces, stumbling to and fro and gripping the railing for balance as the sea effortlessly tossed the massive boat over the small waves.

Everyone baited their hooks with slices of freshly-cut mackerel and prepared to drop their lines into the water. The captain’s solemn voice came over the boat’s loudspeaker with an air of bridled anticipation to be starting another opening day of Snapper Season.

He reiterated what the deckhand had said earlier and his speech was what one might expect from a man who had spent the majority of his life on the open ocean. His last words before we started fishing certainly caught the attention of my brother and I, and was something that we quietly considered to be a good omen.

“Y’all be particular and keep your lines tight,” he stated.

My brother and I looked at one another as we both recalled the old familiar saying that was commonly used by our great-grandfather.

“Be particular” was an old-fashioned way of saying “pay attention and don’t screw up.”

The boat’s motor soon grew quiet as she came to a stop. A short “beep” sounded on the loudspeaker, indicating that it was time for everyone to drop their lines and begin fishing. Splashes could be heard in quick succession around the boat as our heavy sinkers plunged the baited hooks into the water and down below the surface.

Not long after our bait had hit bottom, someone nearby yelled “fish on!”

Fishing in such depths is somewhat grueling compared to freshwater excursions due to the amount one must reel to reign in their catch, and also the fact that many fish can weigh much more than what most anglers are used to catching in lakes and rivers.

I took my Penn Senator reel and soon began to find a “sweet spot” in which I would get more bites than others near me on the boat. Our rods were rigged with two circle hooks and a 22-ounce sinker in what is considered to be a “drop-shot” rig in the bass fishing world.

After dropping my bait in and waiting for what seemed like and eternity for it to reach the bottom, I would wind the slack up just enough to keep the bait off the bottom. I found that more fish would bite my hooks if they were close to the bottom rather than a dozen feet from the ocean floor.

The deckhands instructed those aboard the Gulf Breeze to reel in several feet of line once we reached the bottom to ensure that our lure was suspended above the bottom and visible to any fish swimming down below.

Beginner’s luck was alive and well on our boat that day as both Opey and Nick landed one beautiful grouper each that we were able to keep. We were all continually reeling in fish and relishing the small competition between one another to catch more and bigger fish than our companions.

We soon filled our stringers with plenty of different snapper species. Everyone in our group quickly caught their limit of two red snapper (which is highly sought-after and widely considered to be one of the tastiest fish in the ocean). We also caught more than enough vermilion snapper, also known as beeliners or mingos, as well as white snapper.

Everyone aboard the Gulf Breeze caught a variety of different fish species that day. One of my favorite things about deep sea fishing is the mystery of what you might catch. One minute you could be reeling in a two-pound vermilion snapper and the next minute you might hook into a huge grouper or mackerel.

Fighting saltwater fish is also one of the things considered by anglers to be the most exciting part of deep sea fishing. Many of the fish you’ll catch in the ocean will fight much, much harder than almost anything you will find in freshwater. Lots of anglers aboard our boat that day could be seen wincing in pain and rubbing their arms during the latter half of the trip as their arms had been tested to the limits by dozens of feisty fish.

Our captain would stay in one spot until the deckhands determined that the fish were either not biting well enough, or had mostly ended up in our coolers aboard the Gulf Breeze. A short “beep” would again sound, indicating that it was time to reel in and head to another spot. We all relished the time spent riding to a new fishing spot as there was virtually no gulf breeze—ironically—to be found that day.

Later in the afternoon, we heard the final “beep” sound and the captain announced that we were headed back to shore. However, we were not leaving because our allotted 10 hours was coming to a close, but because every person aboard the boat had caught a limit on red snapper and also a number of other species.

The trip had been a resounding success.

After riding back for a couple of hours to return to Destin’s harbor, we returned to find the docks bustling with jet-skis, yachts, and pontoon boats packed with happy beach-goers. Everyone aboard the board took turns swapping stories about the day’s many catches and talked about how we all planned to return again, very soon.

We reached the marina and were relieved to plant our feet on solid ground once again. A crowd began to assemble around the dock where our deckhands were unloading the huge stringers of fish and hanging them on the pegs at the marina to show off our hard-earned payload.

Children squealed and pointed to the large grouper and mackerel hanging atop the boards while men stood in front of the Gulf Breeze’s stern holding a heavy stringer and sporting smiles as wide as the ocean horizon.

Our group watched as the crew quickly cleaned and bagged our fish in neat filets for us to take home. The trip was a resounding success and was more than enough fun for us to begin discussing when we would return for another round of deep sea fishing next year.

We all agreed that there was no good reason to wait an entire year before our next trip. A consensus was soon reached that we would have to return for another trip before the end of summer.

Take trip yourself and you’ll undoubtedly agree that deep sea fishing is a must-add item on every outdoorsman’s bucket list.

The Golden Rule of Fishing

“When, I wonder, are folks going to learn that it is a dangerous thing to attempt to lay down hard and fast rules about fishing?”

—John Alden Knight


I was recently reading through many quotes from very influential and powerful men about the subject of fishing. I read about how some of the most well-known ancient philosophers, rulers, and inventors approached the pastime of fishing.

Here are just a few that I came across:

“If you wish to be happy for eight days, kill your pig and eat it. If you wish to be happy for a lifetime, learn to fish.” —Chinese Proverb

“After all these years, I still feel like I’m a boy when I’m on a stream or lake.” —Jimmy Carter

“Fishing seems to be the favorite form of loafing.” —Ed Howe

“‘Tis not all of fishing to fish.” —Izaak Walton

“If a man fishes hard, what is he going to do easy?” —Roy Blount, Jr.

“Adapt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson


There is a big difference in fishing as a pastime and fishing as a sport. Fishing as a means of providing food for one’s family or for fun is vastly different than a highly competitive fishing tournament.

I’ve always loved fishing and have been wetting a line from the time I was old enough to hold a rod by myself. I grew up wondering why my grandfather, who was an avid angler, never joined in on the many fishing tournaments that took place on our favorite lakes. In my eyes, he was one of the best anglers in the world and knew where all the great spots were, but I never knew him to participate in a fishing tournament.

One day, I asked him why he didn’t. We were in his boat on Wedowee, a lake that we often ventured to.

“I don’t like for anyone to tell me when I can start, or stop fishing,” he replied, as he continued to cast toward the bank.

I thought his answer was a bit silly, but as I grow older, I feel the exact same way about competitive fishing. It just isn’t something I’m interested in and probably will never be. I enjoy reading and watching other anglers compete in tournaments, but I simply don’t feel inclined to join in on the action.

For me, fishing is rewarding to those who embrace an adventurous spirit. Fishing draws me to feel closer to nature in a spiritual sense and each trip I take, however short or long, is a winning experience. I don’t want to relate my own sense of happiness or accomplishment to another angler’s day on the water.

I think John Alden Knight was on to something when he made the statement at the beginning of this blog post. Competitive fishing creates an undesirable sense of urgency and pressure that many anglers, like myself, are seeking to escape from when we are on the water.

“Jack” Knight (1890-1966) was a banker, but was famous for being an avid angler who helped develop the solunar tables and many fly-fishing lures that are still popular to this day. He was an early proponent of catch and release fishing.

“One nice thing about fishing—you can always put ‘em back,” he said.

Call me old-fashioned, but speeding around the lake in a high-powered bass boat and casting like my life depended on it during the allotted time period to fish simply doesn’t appeal to me. Not to discourage those who wish to compete in fishing tournaments and competitions, of course.

Maybe one day I’ll get into the craze of fishing tournaments, but I’m having plenty of fun playing by my own rules (within the legal parameters), which is the really great thing about fishing.

Maybe the Golden Rule of fishing is that there doesn’t have to be any rules at all.


Pearls of Fishing Wisdom: When the Dogwoods Bloom

The most valuable piece of fishing tackle can’t be purchased at your local bait shop or ordered from an online retailer. It’s something that is freely given to those who seek it and it won’t ever rust or need to be replaced.

I’m talking about the wisdom passed down by old timers to young anglers who share the same enduring passion for fishing. There are plenty of sayings and bits of knowledge that seasoned anglers have accumulated over time and are eager to share it with those willing to listen.

My grandfather always had a saying that he liked to use when winter was tapering off in February and there was a hint of springtime in the air.

“When the dogwoods bloom, the crappie are biting.”

There are some variations of this old saying, but it certainly holds true for fishermen in the South who take to the water every March in search of slabs.

I grew up fishing in R.L. Harris Reservoir, fondly known by the locals as “Wedowee.” My grandfather and my dad had me out on the boat drowning worms as soon as I was old enough to even hold a fishing rod. Each year, I looked forward to spring break at school because I knew that I would spend the majority of that week on Wedowee reeling in crappie.

I remember one spring break when I was about 10 years old and my dad and grandfather took me and my two brothers fishing every single day that week, Monday through Saturday. We never got tired of it.

For anyone wondering when the best time to catch crappie is, they can always refer to the old saying about dogwoods blooming. I’m a
firm believer that the crappie bite is best when the pink dogwoods are in full bloom. This usually happens in mid-March and you can bank on there being an abundance of crappie that start their spawning rituals.

When the daylight hours start to lengthen and the temperatures begin to rise, crappie begin the earliest stages of spawning. Typically, water temperatures of at least 57 degrees will kick off the annual crappie spawn. You can usually find crappie in shallow water less than 10 feet deep, and where you find one, you can always find more—lots more.

For anyone who has experienced a crappie fishing trip at the peak of the spawn, they will attest to there being nothing like it. Anglers can sometimes catch fish on every single cast when they get into a school of crappie.

The main thing to look for is cover. Crappie will hold to cover in huge schools of dozens and dozens of fish. Crappie are creatures of habit and you’ll almost always find them spawning in the same places each year.

I still remember the best spots that my grandfather and I would go to when we were on a mission to catch a mess of crappie. Every now and then, we would catch one weighing in excess of 2 pounds. Those are what crappie anglers fondly refer to as “slabs.”

The best bait to use (in my opinion) is the Road Runner by Blakemore. There are many different sizes and variations of these magical lures, which leaves it up to the fisherman to find the right size, style, and color combination.

Without a doubt, the best time to catch a limit of these tasty fish is when the dogwoods come into bloom. Keep that bit of information in your back pocket and put it to the test. Once you’ve realized that it rings true, be sure to share it with the younger generations.

We will have more articles on crappie fishing in the near future, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some of the best fishing quotes I’ve heard.

“For the true angler, fishing produces a deep unspoken joy, bron of longing for that which is quiet and peaceful, and fostered by an inbred love of communing with nature.”
—Thaddeus Norris

“One thing becomes clearer as one gets older and one’s fishing experience increases, and that is the paramount importance of one’s fishing companions.”
—John Ashley-Cooper

“The gods do not deduct from a man’s allotted span the hours spent in fishing.”
—Babylonian Proverb

“All veteran anglers have their tricks of the trade…usually you have to fish a long time to pick them up.”
—Wheeler Johnson

“Unless you have a ritual for getting your tackle box ready, no one with regard you as a serious fisherman.”
—John W. Randolph

“A fish wouldn’t get caught if it kept its mouth shut.”
—Fisherman’s Saying

“There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a gentleness of spirit and a pure serenity of mind.”
—Washington Irving

True Wilderness Freedom: Sleeping Under the Stars

“A great many people, and more all the time, live their entire lives without ever once sleeping out under the stars.” —Alan S. Kesselheim

The narrow, winding roads leading into Johns Mountain WMA near Rome, Georgia take you into a little-known trout fishing haven nestled among the rolling, wooded hills. This small northwest Georgia stream is regularly stocked with plenty of rainbow trout that school up in pools, making Johns Creek one of the most sought after fishing spots for trout anglers.

I joined my brother, Josh, and our friend, Heath, for a camping trip to Johns Mountain where we hoped to kick back and relax at camp, then rise early to see how many rainbow trout we could catch the next morning. It was June and the Georgia heat was stifling.

As we neared the creek, we noticed a small campsite that was absolutely perfect. We pulled in and began unloading our gear to set up camp. The smooth, flat ground was situated just a few yards from a steep hill that overlooked Johns Creek. Only a handful of other trucks passed by our secluded campsite that night. We were all excited to finally be on a camping trip—myself included as this was the first time I had gone camping in years.

Camping was a way of life for me and my two brothers growing up in rural Georgia. During the summer months when we were free of having to attend school, we camped literally every night that it wasn’t raining from May until September. Our mother would make us come in early Sunday morning and shower to wash off the smokey smell before we went to church.

My two brothers and I absolutely loved camping. We practically grew up outside and we were blessed to have a father and grandfather that encouraged us to enjoy our time in the great outdoors. We shared everything with each other sitting by the campfire year after year. If I know my brothers well enough, I know they, too, feel right at home sitting next to a campfire listening to the sounds of the night.

Fast forward 20 years later and my brother and I are as excited as we were during our childhood to be setting up camp, building a fire, and getting ready to cook dinner over the open flame.

As our camp began to take shape, Josh and I both noticed that we had left out a key item from our camping gear….the tent poles.

“Oh well, we’ll just sleep under the stars,” said Josh. “It’ll probably be better since it’s going to be 90 degrees tonight anyway.”

We turned our focus to the night’s meal that Heath was busy preparing. I’m quite sure that Heath missed his calling as one of the world’s true culinary geniuses. We enjoyed what I can honestly say was the best meal I’ve ever eaten next to a fire that night. To find out more about that recipe and how to prepare the legendary Heathro’s Hobo Dinners, click here.

We finished our meal and sat around the fire for a bit, trading stories about our own outdoor adventures and trying to quell our excitement for fishing the following morning. When we finally did retire for the night to the spot where our tent would have been placed, we quickly realized that there was just as much heat in the midnight air as there was sitting next to the fire.

At this point, I realized how thankful I was to have forgotten the tent poles. As I lay there on the ground, I heard the creek gently rippling over the rocks nearby. There was a slight breeze blowing and I gazed up through the limbs overhead into the stars above. So many people forget how beautiful and relaxing it is to look up at the night sky before falling asleep.

As a child, my father always mentioned how he and his two brothers “slept under the stars” anytime they went camping. I always wondered why he insisted on letting us know that he often neglected the use of a tent when he camped. I felt like he was simply bragging about being a little tougher than we were (I’ll admit that I always felt more secure within the confines of a thin layer of nylon).

As I grew older, I realized that he was merely encouraging us to take a slightly more rugged route. Not because it was harder, but because it was a great way to truly connect to nature.

Many people wouldn’t dare to camp without the comfort of a tent. After all, there are plenty of critters, bugs, rain, and even the possibility of being a little too close to unwanted guests like bears or coyotes.

After our camping trip to Johns Mountain, I think I’ll be sleeping under the stars much more often when I go camping. Breathing in the fresh mountain air was soothing for me and I became lost staring into the sea of diamond-like stars strewn across the expanse of outer space.

Sleeping under the stars gives one a sense of peaceful connectivity with the natural world. Instead of shutting the out the wilderness by zipping a flap shut, you can really come to appreciate being a part of the wide-open beauty of nature. There is a peculiar sense of belonging to the outdoors that you won’t experience inside a tent.

So, the next time you plan to go camping, check the weather and see if it’s going to be a clear night. Leave the tent at home and sleep under the stars and you’ll realize that there is more freedom out there than you think.

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.” —John Muir

When is the Best Time to Fish?

Years ago, I had the luxury of fishing just about anytime I wanted. As a college student, most of my spare time was spent in the woods or on the water. The only problem I ran into was finding someone to go fishing with from time to time.

One day, after doing some work on my grandfather’s farm, I decided I would plan a fishing trip in the next few days. I sat at the kitchen table while my grandfather was busy cutting a cantaloupe. He and I shared an affinity for fruit of any and all kinds, and snacking on fresh fruit was a regular pastime we enjoyed together. My grandfather, or Papa, as I knew him, always said that a person’s good health and vitality can often be attributed to whether or not they were a “fruit eater.”

I thumbed through the local newspaper until I found the weather forecast which indicated there was a storm on the way that would bring frigid weather and possibly snow. I also checked the astro table predictions for the upcoming days, which indicates the best days to hunt or fish based on lunar phases and when wildlife can be expected to feed or be moving.

It turned out that Friday was expected to be one of the best days of the entire month for hunting and fishing, according to the astro tables. The storm was expected to hit the east Alabama area that same day. Faced with the decision to go through with my plans and hit the water, or pass up an opportunity and wait for more favorable weather, I decided to see what my grandfather had to say about the idea of fishing in a winter storm. I asked if he wanted to join me on my trip.

“No,” he laughed. “That’s way too cold for me.”

Temperatures weren’t expected to reach more than 30 degrees on Friday, but Thursday was predicted to be warmer. I would only have about three hours to fish on Thursday after my classes, but I was free to fish all day on Friday, as was my older brother, Josh.

“I bet I could catch some fish if I went out there Friday, but I’d have to bundle up,” I said, curious to know whether my grandfather would make the trip if he were in my shoes.

I explained how the astro tables predicted a great day to fish, but the storm looming on Friday was preparing to ruin anyone’s hopes of getting on the water. Torn between fishing on Thursday or Friday, I asked my Papa what day he might choose to go.

“When do you think the best time to fish is?”

He gazed downward as he sliced the cantaloupe and smiled.

“Son, I’ve been fishing a long time and I’ve found that the best time to go fishing is whenever you can,” he said, looking up at me with an encouraging grin.

I laughed, realizing that his answer was just what I was hoping to hear, but in a much different way. I’ll never forget him telling me that and the wisdom he was trying to pass on to me with that simple statement.

Sometimes, we outdoorsmen spend so much time and energy going over the little things related to planning a hunting or fishing trip and we often miss the bigger purpose of enjoying and being grateful for our ability to go fishing or hunting. That concept meant more to me than ever a few years later when he was unable to leave the house, his body wracked with pain as be battled cancer.

Josh and I got up early on Friday and got our boat and fishing gear ready to go. Papa sat at his kitchen table, sipping coffee and smiling as we hurried around in preparation for a full day of fishing. I like to think he was smiling because he was proud to see that his grandsons were both crazy enough and determined enough to brave tough conditions in pursuit of catching some fish.

On the drive to Wedowee, Josh and I laughed and joked nervously about the fact that we were about to put our boat in the water on a day that most people wouldn’t dare to so much as step outside.

We pulled into the boat dock parking lot and instantly noticed that it was completely empty. We were the only nuts crazy enough to go fishing with a snowstorm moving into the area. Before I could get the words out, Josh said exactly what I was thinking.

“We’ve got the whole lake to ourselves!”

As we put the boat in, I drove the truck and trailer to a parking spot and started to walk down the hill to the dock. I noticed a snowflake fall right in front of my face right before Josh yelled out from the dock below.

“Fishing in the snow, baby!” he yelled, his voice echoing across the empty lake. I replied with my best Ric Flair “Wooo!” that broke the silence hanging over the lake. If anyone living in the nearby houses were watching and listening to us, they surely had to think we were a special breed of idiots.

I climbed into the boat and felt like I was grabbing solid ice as my hands gripped the side of the aluminum vessel. We both grimaced as Josh ramped up the 25 horsepower Evinrude motor to full speed as we tore out to our first destination.

We arrived, shivering as we picked up our fishing rods. Both of us were not laughing as much as we had been now that the snow was coming down more heavily.

It was unusually peaceful being on the water during the snowfall. The lake was usually bustling with other boats, but that day was eerily quiet to the point that you could almost hear the snowflakes gently landing on the surface of the water.

We found some success on our first few casts with the tried and true Roadrunner jigs we often used. Josh and I were fishing on a large flat that stretched underwater several hundred yards in the middle of the lake. The flat was bordered by a steep drop off on one side and was a spot that Papa had just showed us a few weeks before when we caught dozens of crappie using dropshot rigs.

After about thirty minutes without a bite, I picked up a rod that had a Texas rigged dark red worm on it. The lure setup was unique because I had used the same dark red colored bullet sinker and a red hook. I had tied the lure combination on the night before, curious to see if using the same color sinker, hook, and worm might be effective.

It turned out to be our secret weapon that day.

I caught a nice bass and immediately hooked another, bigger bass on my next cast.

“What are you using?!” Josh said.

I showed him the lure I had on and shortly after, we were both reeling in bass one after another. These were big, healthy spotted bass that were hungry and fiesty.

We both couldn’t believe how many fish we were catching. After all, we were using a bait that was normally employed in relatively shallow water during warmer weather. We were waylaying the bass in just over 20 feet of water as the snow began to accumulate on the bare surfaces of our boat and the surrounding land.

We lost count of how many fish we were catching.

After the bite slowed down, we noticed another boat in the distance—the only one we had seen all day. The angler waved to us, and we slowly made our way over to him. Just like us, he was probably eager to meet another nut who was crazy enough to fish in such weather.

As we approached his boat, we exchanged the usual pleasantries that are customary for fishermen.

“Having any luck?” we asked.

“No,” he replied. “I caught two fish since I’ve been here. Just been playing around with a new waterproof camera I bought that lets you see under the water. What about y’all?”

“We’re doing pretty good,” Josh said as he looked over to me with a giant grin on his face.

“Y’all can have these two fish I got if you want them,” the man said. “I don’t want to fool with cleaning just a couple of fish.”

“Sure! We’ll take ‘em!” we said.

The man slowly maneuvered his boat over to ours and opened his livewell, taking out a decent-sized crappie and handing it to me. I took the fish and reached for the Igloo cooler that sat in the middle of our boat. I pulled the lid open and the man’s eyes nearly popped out of his head.

“Good Lord!” the man blurted out, his eyes fixed on our cooler that was literally filled to the brim with bass and crappie. “Where did you catch those at?!”

I couldn’t resist the urge to use one of my grandfather’s old jokes I had heard him say at a boat dock more than a few times.

“Caught most of them right in the mouth!” I said emphatically with a semi-straight face. The man was still so flabbergasted at the pile of fish in front of him that he was unphased by my humor. His eyes were still bulging as if he’d seen a cooler full of hundred-dollar bills.

I quickly realized that we didn’t have room for his two crappie in our full-sized cooler.

“Uhh, I don’t think we can fit anymore fish in here,” I said as Josh burst out laughing.

We chatted with the man a little longer before he insisted that we exchange phone numbers and meet up again on the lake. He undoubtedly mistook us for angling gurus who could fill a cooler slap full of fish at will—even during a snowstorm.

The drive home was slow as we carefully navigated the winding country roads back to Temple, Georgia. It was dark, but we both couldn’t wait to show off our catch to everyone, especially Papa. His reaction was similar to the man on the lake.

We got back to our grandfather’s house and walked in to find him lounging on his couch watching television.

“Want to see our fish?” we said as soon as we walked through the door.

“Ah, y’all didn’t catch any fish out there today in that mess,” he said in a way that was half intrigued and half suspecting that we were playing a joke on him.

He quickly realized that we weren’t joking when we struggled to lift the weighted cooler out of the boat and onto the ground. Josh opened the cooler’s lid and we both stepped back, admiring our massive catch.

“Man alive!” he exclaimed as he stepped in for a closer look. “How much ice do y’all have in there?!”

“None!” we laughed. “It’s slap full of fish!”

We all counted the fish as we pulled them one by one from the overloaded cooler. A successful fishing trip was usually capped off by a photo of us with our fish laid out on the ground, but my grandfather discouraged us from taking any pictures this time.

“Boys, y’all must not have kept count today because y’all kept way more than your limit,” he laughed, partially reprimanding us for the lapse in judgement. “If the game warden had stopped you, y’all would’a got a bunch of tickets!”

In our fishing frenzy, we had completely forgotten to keep count of our catches. My grandfather and father had unbending ethical standards in everything we did in the outdoors. Breaking the rules was never an option, and my grandfather, though he was highly impressed with our huge catch, didn’t want us to capture any photos because any angler would take one look and clearly recognize that we had gone well over our limit of fish.

Now, you’re probably starting to suspect that this whole story is slightly exaggerated, but Josh and I can attest that it’s completely accurate. I suppose it makes the story better since we don’t have photographic evidence, so it adds a bit of mystique to the tale. Let’s just say the total number was close to triple-digits.

The moral of the story is this: we almost never even went on that fishing trip because we knew that the conditions would be pretty rough. Frigid temperatures, icy water, and snow accumulations would make just about anyone assume that a day fishing on the water would be anything but successful.

Instead of following the crowd and staying home, hoping for another chance to fish with better weather, Josh and I took the trip and it ended up being one that we’ll both never forget. I’m sure that fellow we met on the lake probably remembers us and our cooler to this day.

In all, there is one fishing question that I’ll always answer the same way from now on…

“When is the best time to fish?”

The best time to fish is whenever you can.

Man Can Holiday Gift Guide for 2018

The holiday season is upon us and that means you’re either looking for the perfect gift for your outdoorsman, or you’re a hunter and angler hoping to provide a subtle hint to friends and family members by sharing this list of the the best outdoor gifts for the 2018 season.

We’ve compiled this list and categorized items by cost, selecting the absolute best gift ideas available this season. Tracking down the ideal gift for your outdoor adventurer can often be tough as most they are highly selective when it comes to their gear.

Don’t worry. We’ll make sure your outdoorsman is just as excited to find their gift under a tree as they will be to carry it with them into a tree, or on the water.

1. Magazine Subscription – This gift idea is often overlooked, but is guaranteed to be something that continues to put a smile on your outdoorsman’s face each month for a year or even two if you want. Most outdoor magazines are surprisingly affordable and make great stocking stuffer ideas. One of our favorites is Game & Fish magazine, which produces state-specific editions for anywhere in the country. The best news? A one-year subscription costs less than $10.

2. Wild Game Cookbook – We at Man Can Outdoors are just as enthusiastic about preparing our catches and kills in a tasty cuisine as we are for the preparation, thrill of the chase and the harvest. Get that special someone on your list a wild game cookbook and they might just invite you over for dinner later on.

Check out some of our Man Can Cook articles and videos and you’ll see that the best way to cap off a successful hunt is to prepare a delicious meal. Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast by Hank Shaw is a must-have for any outdoorsman’s bookshelf.

3. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter – Having fresh water is essential and can come through as a lifesaver in some situations in the great outdoors. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is a sleek, easy-to-use water filtration system that is easily one of the most important items on our list. The LifeStraw removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and even exceeds EPA water filter standards. This item is perfect for the hardcore adventurer or the casual outdoorsman.

4. Goal Zero Solar Charger – Getting to some of the best hunting or fishing spots sometimes requires us to go off the grid. A solar charger is a great way to keep your gadgets charged. From keeping a daily log on your laptop to making sure your phone is charged so you can capture that perfect photo right when you need it, a solar charger is a handy tool for any modern outdoorsman. Goal Zero makes some of the most reliable chargers on the market.


5. Gerber Controller Filet Knife – No angler’s arsenal is complete without a proper filet knife. The Gerber Controller is an 8-inch workhorse a workhorse among filet knives. The HydroTread Grip™ helps you keep a hold on things despite slime and wetness while cleaning your catch. The knife’s custom-fit sheath comes with a built-in sharpener that makes it ready to cut at a moment’s notice.

6. Bubba Blade Fishing Pliers – A high-quality set of fishing pliers is invaluable for serious anglers. The Bubba Blade Fishing Pliers features everything you need for safety and control and is able to cut, crimp and pull any and everything. These pliers come with a lanyard and sheath for quick and easy access.

7. The Browning Jackson Carry-On Travel Pack – To the average person, the many nooks and crannies in a quality outdoor backpack might never be utilized, but serious hunters and anglers can visualize just how they will fit every piece of gear inside those compartments. Having a good backpack is essential to moving with speed and efficiency.

Packing everything into a compact, waterproof backpack will keep your gear dry and allow for quick, easy access. The Browning Jackson Carry-On Travel Pack is an ideal choice for any adventurer.

8. Wild River Tackle Tek Frontier Tackle Bag – This compact tackle bag is easy to take anywhere and serves as an angler’s one-stop fishing shop. With a bright, LED light system mounted on the handle, you’ll never have to fumble around with a flashlight in hand while you tie on baits or unhook your catch. With waterproof pockets and plenty of compartment space, this tackle bag is our top choice for the 2018 season.

9. SHIMANO Curado DC – Our list of the best gear items of 2018 would not be complete without the year’s hottest fishing reel, the SHIMANO Curado DC. This reel features the best in anti-backlash technology, Shimano’s new Digital Control braking system which utilizes a microcomputer to monitor spool speed 1,000 times every second. This reel is ideal for anglers of all experience levels and is available at many fishing retail stores and websites.

10. GoPro Hero7 – Capture your catch and harvest with the latest in compact camera technology with professional 4K HD video quality. The GoPro Hero7 is waterproof and voice-controlled, making it easy to use in a variety of outdoor situations. With live-streaming capabilities, this compact camera is perfect for capturing all of your outdoor adventure footage and photos.

An Outdoor State of Mind

We’ve all heard the saying “get your mind right” at some point in our lives. Lately, I’ve been devoting every waking hour to the hustle and bustle of work and also trying to be the best husband and father to my two young children that I can. Every day seems like a non-stop whirlwind of tasks and rushing to meet deadlines.

I finally had a few hours this past weekend to slip into the woods and do some hunting. It wasn’t until I got in the treestand that I realized just how badly I needed to take some time to really slow down and enjoy the little things that I had been in too much of a hurry to notice.

Sometimes we forget that just being in the great outdoors can be the best therapy we can get. I sat and watched squirrels chase each other, spiraling up and down a large oak tree. I noticed the many different hues of the leaves as they rustled with the wind and the sunlight glistening off a spiderweb near the trail where I had walked in.

I thought about what it must have been like for hunters hundreds of years ago before the world seemed to move at 100 miles per hour every day and night.

I recently read an article about Cherokee hunting traditions and how they approached hunting. To the Cherokee, hunting was a serious matter that was vital to their survival. While most of us today get so caught up in chasing trophy animals, we sometimes forget that our true purpose in the outdoors is connected to an instinctual need to harvest animals in order to survive and feed our families.

Historians say that most Cherokee hunters would abstain from intimate relations with their wives for four days prior to embarking on a hunting trip. They did this in an effort to purify themselves and to please the spirits.

Cherokee hunters worshipped two “gods” with one representing the sun and fire and the other being the river or water god. Hunters would go through a specific ritual process during the four days before the hunt which consisted of dipping in water at sundown while singing an ancient chant and other rituals that involved fire and prayers.

During the hunt, it is said that the Cherokee hunters would pray to the wind, rivers, and mountains for success. After killing an animal, the hunters would ask for the gods’ forgiveness for taking the animal’s life while also giving thanks for a successful harvest.

I found the practice of Cherokee hunters to be especially interesting and it helped me realize that sometimes we don’t take hunting seriously enough. After reading this article about Cherokee hunting traditions, I resolved to put part of this mindset into practice and focus more on immersing myself into the hunt.

I put my phone settings to “silent” and tucked it away in my bag so I could sit and take in all that nature had to offer. I found that hunting is as much of a spiritual experience as it is a physical effort to obtain meat for one’s own wellbeing.

There is a sense of peace that comes from silently observing nature and all it has to offer. It has a mysterious healing power for our souls that is somewhat tough to describe to those who spend little time outdoors.

There have been many times that I’ve spent hours in a treestand with my focus on my phone’s screen instead of the world around me. I wonder how much of a more skilled outdoorsman I would be if I put my phone away and immersed myself in the outdoors.

If you’ve read this far, you probably can relate to what I’m talking about. I challenge you to find out just how much you can immerse yourself in nature the next time you go afield for a hunt. You may find that a good hunting trip doesn’t always have to end with a kill.

Fred Bear, a famous bowhunter, once said:

“Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.”

I didn’t see any deer that day, but the trip was a success in my opinion because it had brought me back down to Earth and reminded me that sometimes, the best state of mind is an outdoor state of mind.

5 Steps for a Productive Food Plot

With hunting season peeking around the corner, it is high time to begin preparing your land for late autumn success. A well-planned, well-planted food plot can be the difference in a memorable hunting season or a dismal disappointment.

Seasoned whitetail hunters know that it is essential to brave the late summer heat to take care of necessary duties in food plot preparation and other work around their hunting property.

Food plots do not always have to be a vast swath of green fields to be productive. Simply following your land’s natural contours and even planting small strips of crops can pay off in a major way.

1. Locate the Best Site

If you don’t already have a food plot on your land, look for one that deer will be attracted to. Deer are naturally skittish creatures and a square or rectangular food plot isn’t always appealing to them as they seek the most cover possible while moving through the woods.

Rounded food plots that follow the contours of woodlines and other features will offer optimal cover for deer and make them feel more comfortable to explore. One other important note is to try, if possible, to create your food plot as far as possible away from roads or trails in order to avoid tempting trespassers to venture onto your property.

Many veteran hunters will attest to the fact that a long, narrow food plot being the most productive strategies as opposed to planting a wide-open field. Deer will be more likely to use the plot if they can quickly dart into the cover of the nearby woods.

2. Prepare the Soil

There are many steps to take to prepare the soil for planting, but some hunters only have the means to throw down some fertilizer, plant their seeds, and hope for the best. A soil test can indicate needed minerals and fertilizer amounts, which will produce the best results when those seeds start to sprout.

If you can’t run a soil test, then simply use a pre-mixed fertilizer and also apply heavy amounts of lime to the soil. Lime is a key ingredient to creating a productive food plot.

Proper soil prep also includes the removal of larger rocks and other debris from the dirt in order to ensure your seeds can sprout and grow with nothing hindering their progress. Also be sure to kill off existing grasses or weeds well before planting.

3. Ensure Your Plot Has Optimal Cover

It is tempting to clear out as much obstructions around the edges of your plot as possible in order to spot incoming bucks from your stand. However, clearing away too much undergrowth may make your plot too open and will cause a buck to shy away from stepping out into the plot to feed.

If the edges of your food plot do not offer enough cover, think about planting wheat, sun-hemp, or some type of native tall grasses that will grow tall enough to create plenty of cover for a buck to be encouraged to venture into the plot during daylight hours.

4. Don’t Take the Cheap Route

Using cheap fertilizer or seeds will risk yielding a plot low in nutritional value. Purchase quality seeds and other items to use on your food plot and seek the advice of other hunters in both planting and preparation to ensure yielding a vibrant, lush crop that deer will find irresistible.

5. Wait Until the Time is Right

This one is perhaps the most important tip we can provide, yet it may not be something most hunters will have the patience to do.

Do NOT hunt over the food plot until the rut begins.

By waiting and allowing the deer to become comfortable stepping out into your food plot, you will capitalize on the element of surprise when you finally do climb into that stand overlooking the plot. Giving deer a few months to get used to regularly using the food plot during daylight hours is key.

It is tempting to hunt over the plot early in the season as you’re very likely to see deer in or around the edges of the plot. However, if you exercise patience and wait until the rut, it will certainly pay off in the long-run.

Bucks are not likely to use a food plot at all until after dark. Does, on the other hand, will begin to step into the plot during daylight hours and grow accustomed to feeding during the day. Does will stay close to the food plot throughout the hunting season as it will continually provide a place for them to safely feed.

Once the rut kicks in, where will the bucks know to find the does on your property?

Use these tips to start planting a food plot that will maximize your hunting efforts and produce the best results from your land. Remember, it may take a few years and some trial and error to gain knowledge and insight on just how to prepare and plant your specific food plot, so be patient and happy hunting!

Dog Days of Summer Bass Fishing Tips

As the month of August drags on, the heat across much of the United States can be stifling. All dedicated anglers have, at one time or another, found themselves wanting to satisfy the urge to wet a line, but the outside conditions are simply “too hot to fish.”

Some outdoorsmen and women brave the sweltering August sun in search of a bite from a hungry largemouth, but only those who are truly committed to bass fishing—or just plain crazy—are able to endure the heat.

For professional tournament anglers like Kenny Johnson, there’s no other option during practice or tournaments than to hit the water and take every possible measure to keep their cool both mentally and physically.

“Fishing in the middle of summer can be absolutely miserable, especially when there’s no breeze to help cool you off,” says Kenny. “When you’re fishing a tournament or practicing for one, you really don’t have more than two options, and that’s to either quit and go home, or to put your head down and fish.”

Kenny is a young angler who competes on the Costa FLW Series and Bassmaster tournament circuit. He has put in more than his fair share of hours on the water. Kenny began fishing tournaments with his father from a very young age and continued to compete through high school and into college where he founded the University of West Georgia Bass Club.

He now faces off against some of the best anglers in the country on a regular basis and is constantly working to improve his tactics and techniques. Kenny offers us three tips on how to catch bass during the dog days of summer.

1. Find Fish that are Active

“First, look for active fish and throw a crank to see if you can get one to react,” says Kenny. “If you can get those active fish to bite, you can bounce around from spot to spot and get your limit.”

Kenny says bass will likely hold in deep water where the temperatures are cooler than those on the surface. There are a number of different kinds of crankbaits that will be effective depending on the area you are fishing and the particular color combination that enhances bass to strike.

Depending on how active the fish are, you will likely need to try a faster or slower retrieve to determine the bass’ level of activity.

2. Let it Soak

Should the bass not take interest in a crankbait, Kenny’s second most productive option is using Texas-rigged creature baits.

“I like to use a Strike King Rage Craw, or some kind of crawfish,” says Kenny. “You want to throw it out there and really let it soak, or in other words, work it slow.”

One of the most popular menu items for bass at any time of the year is crawfish. These will provide a protein-packed meal for hungry bass who will often take advantage of an unsuspecting crawfish wandering through its turf.

3. Break Out the Drop Shot

Popular almost year-round in some form or another is the Drop Shot Rig. These can be used with worms, flukes, lizards, and just about any other kind of soft plastic bait you can imagine.

Bass fishing pro Kevin VanDam is a strong advocate of the Drop Shot—especially during the dog days of summer. In deep, clear water, a Drop Shot is usually a moneymaker for tournament anglers.

“I like to use a shad-colored Roboworm on a Drop Shot when it’s really hot and the bass are down deep,” says Kenny.

There are a number of ways to rig a Drop Shot and it may be wise to try different variations in order to find out what attracts bass where you are fishing.

Kenny and his uncle, Greg Johnson, with some bass caught in Lake Okeechobee.

Top 5 Baits for Hot Summer Bites

Kenny says he has about five baits that he usually relies on during the hot summer months. These baits are listed in no particular order as some may provide a slight advantage in certain situations and weather patterns.


Kenny likes to throw a topwater popper when the days heat up in late summer. Topwater baits typically work best in early morning and late evening, and anglers may not have luck during the mid-day heat. He recommends varying the tempo of your retrieve with topwater lures as the fish may prefer a faster or slower meal.


As the sun climbs higher in the sky, the water temperatures will heat up. Just like humans, bass like to find the coolest place they can when the heat bears down on them. Many anglers will find success with deep water crankbaits in summer. If you can locate where the fish are, you can target them with a deep-diving crankbait for possible bites.


Pitching jigs around docks is also a great way to entice a sluggish largemouth to bite. Docks provide shade all day and bass will often lounge around underneath such cover during the heat of the day. Pitching a jig underneath the dock and slowly bouncing it on the bottom is on of the best go-to baits for pro anglers in summer tournaments.


Just like a jig, a Texas-Rig can turn out to be a moneymaker in summer heat. Many bass will be at or near the bottom of lakes which makes a Texas-Rigged worm a valuable option in the dog days of summer. Texas-Rig’s often resemble a baitfish that appears to be foraging along the bottom—which often looks like an easy meal for big bass. A Texas-Rig and Jig can be dragged over the same structure you bounced that crankbait off of to produce some bites.

Drop Shot

Last, but certainly not least, on our list of the best five baits is the Drop Shot. Many pro anglers have won major tournaments by sticking to a Drop Shot lure to catch those big bass that are taking refuge from the sweltering sun in deep water. Drop Shots can be rigged with a variety of different kinds of soft plastics, which makes this bait probably the most valuable of our five lures.

Kenny says that water temperature is key when you’re trying to put fish into the livewell or cooler during these hot summer days.

“Pay attention to water temps, because if you see lower water temps, you’ll find fish are more active when it’s really hot outside,” says Kenny.

On large reservoirs, Kenny says he always identifies when dams will be pulling currents.

“Find out when they are pulling currents at your lake because it will really turn the fishing on,” says Kenny. “It’s really hit or miss sometimes. But when they create that current, that will often dictate when bass start feeding and becoming more active. The fish will set up on drop offs, points and brush piles near where there is water current.”

Electronics is Your Best Tool

Overall, Kenny recommends sticking with deep water when you’re trying to get a bite in the hot summer sun. That means using whatever electronics you have to identify deepwater structure and those deep schools of bass.
“My Lowrance electronics are everything to me when I’m fishing deep,” says Kenny. “Look for deep water structure as that will turn out to really be the ticket. If you can find deep structure, you’ll almost always find bass. Once you find them, then you can start working on them with different lures to see what they’re wanting to bite.”

Use these tips to have better odds during the dog days of summer. Even though some anglers might prefer to stay indoors on those stifling summer days, those who are willing to tough it out and brave the heat can use these tips to their advantage.


This article is brought to you by The Outdoor Trip. Check out their website here to book your next hunting or fishing trip, or to read one of the many useful articles, and much more!

Passing It On

Recent data suggests that the number of hunters and anglers are declining steadily. As our society progresses toward a more digital, connected world, the number of outdoorsmen and women are dwindling. As lovers of all things outdoors, we are at a crucial time in history where it is up to each one of us to pass on the love and respect for the great outdoors to our youth.

I was fortunate to be practically raised in the woods and on the water by my father, grandfather and uncles. I was taught from a very early age to respect nature and treat it as if it were something I owned and would one day pass down to my children.

I was taught to never kill anything I did not intend to eat or use in some way. I was also taught to respect all wildlife and other hunters, anglers, and landowners. And I was taught to always leave a place better than you found it.

We, as outdoorsmen and women, hold these values in very high regard. Passing on the love for the outdoors—the exhilarating rush when you shoot your first deer, and the excitement you feel when you have a fish on the end of a line—are easily passed on to the next generation. But, a wholesome respect for the great outdoors is something that must be taught to newcomers.

Now, more than ever, we must take initiative to pass on our love for the outdoors in the right way. And to not only pass on our love for the outdoors to our children, but to other youth and friends who we can introduce into the awe-inspiring natural world that is also dwindling as mankind further encroaches upon the wild.

At Man Can Outdoors, we encourage you to do something this summer to help pass on our love for the great outdoors in the right way to someone. Take a child fishing, take your spouse on a mountain hike to a waterfall, take your friends on a river kayak trip. Do something in the great outdoors and use that opportunity to help instill the same love and respect for nature that was once instilled in us by someone we hold dear.

As our world continues to change, join us in the revival and rediscovery of modern man’s sense of outdoor adventure. In an age where men are accustomed to the frills of civilized life, we seek to encourage an exploration of the great outdoors. There is a primal urge that calls all of us out into the wild. Cast civilization aside and discover the vast oceans, rivers, and lakes, rugged mountains, wide-open plains, and dense hardwoods. While the world, and its closed-minded inhabitants tell you man can’t, we are here to tell you…Man Can.