Giant Sturgeon of British Columbia

Northwest of the United States is an outdoorsman’s paradise filled with trails, streams, mountains, waterfalls and other awe-inspiring natural wonders. Eagles fly overhead in the blue sky, and foxes forage the rocky river banks for sustenance. British Columbia is a breathtaking sight to behold, and a late summer trip is a great idea to explore the Canadian providence.

In August 2015, I decided to trek to our northern neighbors and try my luck at fishing for River Sturgeon on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. So, I booked with a first class operation called Cascade Fishing Adventures, and I flew into the busy metropolis of Vancouver. As I drove my rental car through the treacherous traffic of the metropolis, the Trans-Canada highway eventually opened up to rolling green mountains.

Eventually, after two hours on the road, I made my way to Chilliwack and checked into the Coast Hotel. With a rumble in my stomach, I grabbed some poutine and few Canadian beers. The french fries with brown gravy and cheesed curds topped with braised beef was culinary delight. Also, the air was cleaner in the countryside of Canada and the temperature slightly milder than the humidity of Georgia that I am accustomed too. With my meal consumed, I decide to go to sleep immediately because tomorrow, the river awaited me.

I awoke in the early morning to a rainy day with wind. Luckily, I packed my rain gear and the charter came with waders on the boat. My Captain, Clayton Jones, was waiting for me in the hotel parking lot with hit aluminum jet boat with a 300hp inboard V8 engine. It was a site to behold, the boat and the captain with his long beard.

We loaded up after our introductory pleasantries and headed to the boat ramp that was backdropped by some beautiful mountain ranges. As we kicked off the morning, the water was choppy like a rough Pacific Ocean in a storm. Clayton told me that the game plan was to go fishing for bait. We rigged some ultra light spinning rods with some worms and caught plenty of the silvery bullet-shaped baitfish. They were called Pacific herring and are a delicacy to river sturgeons on the Fraser River.

Our next stop was up river near an underwater brushy structure. The water churned roughly as I casted out my hand built glass rod with braided line. A fish was hooked after the first cast, and my heart pumped with adrenaline. Yet, the fight was short lived because the sturgeon was a smaller three foot one. The little guy was unique almost prehistoric with it spines. After a few more casts, we moved on upriver to a new spot. There were no bites, and the weather become nastier as the river water splashed over the stern. My breath was showing in the colder air, the cold rain sting like icy bees on my skin, and the aluminum boat fought against the chop of the unforgiving Frasier River. Would my chance at a larger river sturgeon run out?

The weather broke before I did, and we stopped for lunch. The deli sandwich with fruit juice was a nice treat after the sky punished me with its miserable cold rain. An eagle soared quietly overhead as I took a bite of my ham and cheese sub. I thought to myself this is true tranquility.

My stomach full of lunch and my resolve strengthen, we decided to hit one more hole with Clayton’s special weapon. Clayton rigged his “ sturgeon cocktail”, and it comprised of a dead rotting lamprey tied with several worms to a barbless hook.  But before I even could cast, a red fox cautiously approached the bank looking for food or water. The elegance of the creature was very hypnotic, almost therapeutic as it swiftly moved through the rocky bank searching for nourishment. After that moment of reflection, I casted my bait to the targeted area in the river. The rod begin to bounce slightly as the fish darted around.

Sturgeons are bottom feeders and love to nibble on their food. It took a few minutes but the rod’s line begin to tighten and the fish was on. I set the hook and the fight was a go. The fish went down to the brush immediately. With the the heavier gear and some elbow grease, I pulled the stubborn fish from the brush. The fight continued for several minutes and my back grew weary. Would the fish give up, or would I?

Eventually, the fish broke the surface of the mighty river. It was grey with white spines and long in length like a huge log. It was a nice 6 foot Fraser River Sturgeon. We slowly made our way to a stoney island sandbar for a quick photo and release. The smooth river stones supported me as I made way to the fish. The mountain ranges, the rolling river and prehistoric fish with a spiny exterior transported me to a time before the modern era.

The gentle giant laid still as I posed quickly with photogenic backdrop of the British Columbia wilderness. The next step of this adventure was the best, and it was the revive. We gently move the fish to get water flowing through it gils and after a brief moment it slowly swam away back to the depths of the churning Fraser River.

For more information on Sturgeon Fishing on the Fraser River, please check out Cascade River Adventures. It is best to go with the guide to make sure you follow the appropriate laws and methods to catch and release these gentle giants.


Babe’s Fishers of the Future


FLW Pro Angler Jason Mullinax’s wife, Babe Mullinax is looking to enrich our next generation with the sport of fishing.

Babe will be conducting an enrichment class for kindergarteners at Kennesaw Elementary. When asked to head this project, administration requested for her to teach these children about something that she is passionate about, that when passed on to these kids, would enrich their lives into the future.

It was a no brainer to her, she wanted to give them the gift of fishing.

The class will require 15 kid casters and a kiddie pool. The total cost of the class’s needs is estimated at $300.

If you deem this an endeavor that you may be interested in joining, Babe and Jason would be ever so grateful. There is a GOFUNDME link below to support our next generation of anglers.

Babe’s Fishers of the Future

Man Can Cook Series: Beer Battered Fish

Enjoy my latest entry on Man Can Cook about Beer Battered Fish. Directions below.


  • 8 (4 ounce) fillets cod
  • salt 2 teaspoons
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons
  • Cajun Seasoning 2 tablespoons
  • paprika 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer


  1. Heat oil to 350 degrees F . Rinse and dry fish.
  2. Combine flour, cajun seasoning, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Stir egg into dry ingredients. Slowly mix beer into flour to get a pancake thickness.
  3. Dip fish into the batter, covering it. Then add fish to the oil and flip over halfway cooking. It takes 3-5 minutes.

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!

Man Can Cook Series: Coconut Fried Fish

Below is the second in a series of Man Can Cook videos, and it is on coconut fried fish. Enjoy!



  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut, more as needed
  • 10 grouper filets
  • Vegetable or Peanut Oil


  1. Heat your fryer grease to 350 degrees F.
  2. Make you wash by adding one egg and pineapple juice. Beat eggs and mix juice.
  3. Clean your fish with water and pat dry.
  4. Cover fish with pineapple wash.
  5. Cover fish generously with coconut dry batter.
  6. Lay the fish in the fryer.
  7. Cook them for 3-5 minutes or until they float.

Man Can Cook Series: Pan Seared Wahoo Steaks

Below is the first in a series of Man Can Cook videos, and it is on pan seared wahoo steaks. Enjoy!

* 4 wahoo steaks
* 1/2 cup Olive Oil
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice

* 2 tablespoons paprika
* 1 tablespoon lime juice
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper season
* 1 pinch of crushed chili pepper flakes
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper
* Pat of butter

1. Make you marinade, mix olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lime juice and  cayenne pepper in a bowl.
2. Clean your wahoo with water and pat dry.
3. Cover fish with marinade.
4. Add pat of butter and heat cast iron
5. Lay the fish in the skillet, add pepper flakes to fish steaks.
6. Cook them for 15-20 minutes flipping halfway.

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.

A Little Snookie at Night: Dock Fishing for Snook

The summer months in South Florida can bring extreme heat out on the water fishing. One way to beat the heat and enjoy fishing is to go night snook fishing. After a July work trip in Orlando, I drove on down to Stuart, Florida for a little night snook fishing with Captain Mark.


I napped most of my day dreaming of fishing for night snook, and then drove to Sandsprit park to meet up with the captain right at dusk. As soon as the sun went down, we were in the St. Lucie River ready to night fish for the snook. The area that we targeted was full of docks. We slowly trolled to the docks that were illuminated by the docks lights. 50 yards out, dark objects were swimming in the light. It was several snook darting in the night to the dock lights chasing bait fish. I threw my plastic paddletail fishing lure and immediately hooked up on a snook. This one of over 50 snook, I caught that night fishing under the docks.

My dock snook fishing rig was a medium light action rod with 10 pound fluro line, but as we tired of the smaller snook, we turned toward the bridge and upgraded my snook rig. This setup was a heavy rod with 30 pound line. After I casted my pinfish under the bridge, I realize that I snagged something. In my mind, I thought it was a piling or bottom. Yet, it began to move and it was a big Stuart snook. As I fought the the snook, it tried to run around the bridge’s pillar. Captain Mark maneuver the boat with great skill in the night to keep the snook from breaking of my fishing gear.

After a ten minute fight, the fish was boated. We grabbed a quick photo and headed back in at daybreak. To learn more about Stuart, Florida, please click here.

Rainbow Trout in Johns Mountain

Nestled among the mountains near Rome, Georgia is one of the state’s best kept secrets for a plentiful rainbow trout fishing experience. This is a continuation of the Man Can Outdoors trip to Johns Mountains blog series.

A quick 45 minute drive north of Rome, GA takes you to a secluded WMA with limited cell service and plenty of scenery from rolling green hills to lush forest. Johns Mountain WMA has plenty of activities from hiking, hunting, camping, fishing and lots more. A winding road follows beside Johns Creek in the WMA allowing for easy access to rainbow trout.


Waking and walking up at the crack of dawn at the campsite next to the stocking section of Johns Creek, we were greeted with a couple of old timers already well into their limits of trout. The stream barely 20 feet wide was full of colorful rainbow trout from the hatchery. The variety of setups for the trout in our arsenal would make the morning interesting none the less, and each cast in the water was met with a bite or flash of interested fish.

35026225_10102325812854658_6475055410838503424_n.jpgMan Can Staffers Donny and Josh used the strategy of a split shot and a small size 6 hook with a Powerbait worm in a wacky worm rig. The setup proved fruitful as they landed their limits in just a couple of hours. A simple cast and steady reel in lead to several strikes and a stringer full of fish. The color of the bait and line size (4-6 pound Fluro) play a serious role in their success. Trout are very visual hunters and high water clarity helps them spot the line and bait.

My strategy of using a size 10 Joe’s Fly short striker lure proved just as productive. Several short bites from a regular lure would have been missed if it was not for the trailer hook on my lure to secure the shy rainbows. Brown, black and red all produced hits, while orange and green produce no bites. A steady retrieve with a split shot made my presentation flawless. My limit was made right in the timeframe with the Powerbait anglers in my party.


For more information on Johns Mountain WMA, please click here.

The Ned Rig: The Best Bass Lure You’ve Never Heard Of

Unless you’re a pro angler, you’ve probably never heard of the Ned rig. Most amateur anglers, like myself, stick to the basics for the most part.

I recently went fishing with Costa FLW Pro Jason Mullinax, who introduced me to the Ned rig. I was a bit apprehensive about using a new rig at first, but after getting a bit on the first cast, I quickly gained respect for the Ned rig.

As soon as I felt the fish bite, I quickly jerked the rod and attempted to set the hook.

“You don’t need to set the hook on the Ned rig,” said Jason. “Just let ‘em chew on it a minute then wind down to it. It’s an exposed hook, so it doesn’t take much force to hook the fish.”

The next cast, I again felt the familiar tug of a bass pulling on the lure. After testing my patience for a long ten seconds, I wound the line down as instructed and landed a decent-sized spotted bass. Needless to say, I was hooked on the Ned rig.

I recently read a great article on this little-known lure that was posted on In-Fisherman magazine’s website. You can read the article by clicking here.

The article detailed an interview with Ned Kehde, inventor of the Ned rig. Kehde describes himself as a finesse fisherman and describes how he was inspired to develop the perfect finesse lure—the Ned rig.

Photos by Jason Mullinax

At first glance, I thought the lure might be prone to snagging just about anything it comes in contact with, but the lure’s design allows it to bounce across the bottom with very little effort. I used a Picasso 1/8-oz. Tungsten Ned Head with a 3-inch Roboworm Ned worm in Aaron’s Magic color. You can order the same items on the Picasso Lures website by clicking here.

During our trip, I became acquainted with the Ned rig and Jason explained why it’s a great all-around lure.

I would describe the Ned rig as a do nothing worm,” said Jason. “It’s definitely a finesse lure that will use a stand-up head. It’s a super subtle finesse bait.”

He noted a few tips that helped me understand how to present the lure to fish holding to cover, or simply suspended near the bottom. I have always been a fan of the Texas rigged worm. The Ned rig could aptly be described as a polar opposite lure from the Texas rig.

“Right off the bat, you have to realize that it’s an exposed hook, so the hook set is totally different than a Texas,” said Jason. “There’s no need for a powerful hook set. You’re using a razor-sharp hook that will penetrate like a hypodermic needle.”

I soon got the hang of using the Ned rig and was reeling in bass at just about every location we hit that day on northwest Georgia’s Lake Allatoona.

“I think it excels on post frontal days—bluebird days when the fish are pinned to the bottom and kind of lethargic,” said Jason. “Anytime the fish are highly pressured or in the middle of a high pressure system when they are not in a chasing mood. A great time to use it is after the spawn.”

Jason noted that a fish doesn’t have to exert any energy to get a chance at biting the Ned rig. The lure bounces methodically across the bottom, presenting bass with what looks like an easy-pickings baitfish browsing the bottom.

The lure’s overall effectiveness is unwavering. The Ned rig can attract bites in almost any conditions and in a variety of structure—or lack thereof. If you’re on the fence about trying this lure, check out the numerous videos online featuring pro anglers praising the Ned rig’s versatility and productivity.

Give it a try by ordering your Ned rig gear from Picasso Lures here.

Picasso Ned
Photo credit: PIcasso Lures official website