Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

Caples Lake Ice Fishing Mack

With much of the country mired in a recent deep freeze, even parts of California are feeling the effects.In the high country of the Sierras, ice fishing is a possibility at Caples Lake in Alpine County.

From the Caples Lake Resort:

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This pretty 17-inch Mackinaw was caught by Kirkwood resident Josh Otto, jigging a silver Kastmaster in 10 feet of water at Caples Lake Resort.

The ice is 6 to  8 inches thick, and ice skaters and fishermen have been on the lake for about two weeks. Come out and enjoy the sun, scenery, and ice at Caples Lake Resort, located just 1 mile east of Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

Drew & John

Caples Lake Resort


Sac River Guide Steelhead and Bass Trips



Our friends at Sac River Guide provided this update:


Hope you are all ready for some great fun on the water . We are kicking off 2015 fishing the Trinity River for steelhead. Fishing is fantastic and now is the time to get into some nice size steelies.
 We fish every day, so grab that jacket and let’s get fishing.

We have already started fishing Lake Shasta for bass fishing.  We have plenty of water and the bass fishing is great!  This will push us right along into the trout and salmon shortly,  so get ready to reel in one after the other with some action on beautiful Lake Shasta!

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 Call us or email us today. We take bookings year round , so no matter how soon you want to fish or if you planning to visit us this Spring, let us help you get the date reserved.

Vendor Applications For Alaska Outdoors Show



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The 2015 Mat-Su Outdoorsman Show is now accepting vendor applications for its 10th Annual Show, happening March 27-29, 2015 at the Curtis Menard Sports Complex in Wasilla, Alaska.

As the first outdoor sports show of the year in Alaska, the show annually attracts 5,000-6,000 customers who shop and talk with 100 vendors over the three day event. Thousands of customers with pent-up anticipation from a long Alaska winter come to this show each spring eager to buy, learn about, and talk about outdoor equipment and services.

Visit our website or call us now to reserve you space at Alaska’s first yearly trade show for outdoor gear and service dealers. Call Tony at (907) 376-6474; or email at


Motorist Hits Mountain Lion

Photo by CDFW

Photo by CDFW

I’ve spent the past week in the Bay Area, and news broke of a sad accident in my hometown of San Bruno. A driver on Interstate 280 ran over and killed a mountain lion (Warning: the photos of the cat can be considered disturbing).

From CBS 5 in San Francisco:

A car struck and killed a mountain lion Friday morning on southbound Interstate 280 in San Bruno, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The incident was reported shortly after 8 a.m. near the Sneath Lane exit.
The driver didn’t stop and was most likely unaware anything had been hit, according to CHP spokesman Vu Williams, who said that this type of incident is very uncommon.


I once was driving on Highway 152 near Pacheco Pass late at night and struck a deer. Neither one of us had much of a chance to react. I can understand how these things happen.





A Look Back With A Look Ahead

Urban Huntress 1


Happy 2015, California Sportsman readers!

The end of 2014 provided us with much-needed rain with the hopes more precipitation will help our farmers, flood our rice fields and our waterfowl habitat and refill our reservoirs so they can be full of trout and bass for Californians to fish for and boat to.

We hope to bring our readers more how-to tips, great tales of fishing and hunting adventures and compelling profiles of everyone from average Joes and Janes to celebrities and athletes. We wanted to share one last look at 2014 from our Urban Huntress columnist, Brittany Boddington. Her look back at an exciting 2014 is part of our January issue:



By Brittany Boddington

LOS ANGELES—It’s time to welcome a new year full of new and exciting adventures, but first let’s not forget the highlights from 2014!

Here is the rundown on some of my most memorable hunts and my hunting equipment must-haves:


First up was my DIY mule deer hunt in Montana, my first real do-it-yourself outing – and a good lesson on cold-weather gear. I was lucky to get a nice four-point muley on my friend’s chunk of private land, but this Los Angeleno was completely unprepared for hunting at 12 degrees below zero.

On one morning we set out looking for elk on public land and it must have been around minus 18. As we crossed a wooded area my feet literlaly started to freeze – I always have cold feet, but this was a whole new level. They went numb, then felt painful and eventually reached feeling-brittle status. I stopped and told my cameraman what was going on; he immediately started building a fire. It may sound wimpy that I had to stop to warm my feet, but they were actually frozen solid with a mild case of frostnip, or prefrostbite.  I have never been in a climate that cold before, so I did not know the warning signs.


That brings up the first item on my list of favorite new things from 2014: Schnee’s Extreme Pac Boots ( saved my feet. Luckily, the Schnee’s store in Bozeman, Mont., was close to where I was hunting, so I gave up an afternoon afield with frozen feet in favor of driving to town and getting a new pair of boots.

These boots are made to withstand extreme cold, and they have great grip for side-hilling.

The next favorite item on my list is the Healthy Traveler Clinic in Pasadena, east of Los Angeles ( If you are heading overseas, it is worth the drive. They had all the vaccines I needed – and some I had not even thought of! The doctor on staff is knowledgeable and had even read books by my dad, Craig Boddington. I got vaccinated for diphtheria, yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis, and tetanus, and I picked up a mosquito net and got some great repellant.

This place is a one-stop shop for prehunt vaccinations if you happen to be in Southern California.


This was all in preparation for my trip to Mozambique, in southeast Africa, for a swamp buffalo hunt. This was one of the coolest things I’ve done in my life! Yes, the idea of wading through leech- and crocodile-infested waters to get into massive herds of Cape buffalo sounds miserable – and it was at certain points – but it was completely worth every moment.

We took amphibious vehicles as far as we could, but they make a lot of noise, so eventually we had to get out and trudge through the swamp to get to the buffalo.

The dry areas were a breeze, but the wet ones were nasty. The mud sucks your feet down, and the suction holds them tight to the bottom of the black, mucky water. There were obvious signs of buffalo, hippo, elephant and crocodile activity at each crossing, and the sawgrass rips at your face and hands as you struggle through. To add to the intensity was the dense vegetation on either side of the water, so thick that a hippo or buffalo could easily hide just a meter or two away. My feet kept getting stuck in the mud and I tripped over and over as I tried desperately to keep my .416 Blazer and my pack over my head and out of the water. I was unsuccessful of that.

The Blazer got a little muddy and the pack was pretty much soaked, but it didn’t matter. Just as we got to the edge of the sawgrass and spotted a herd of buffalo, it started to rain. There was literally nothing taller than a blade of short green grass between us and a herd of over 1,500 buffalo, so we were forced to crawl over 400 yards to get close enough to spot a bull through the rain.

Luckily, I had my next favorite item of 2014: kneepads! It sounds silly even to me, but these pads saved my knees. Crawling on dried, uneven and cracked swamp ground for over 400 meters would have completely stripped the flesh from my knees – I know because the apprentice guide with us forgot his kneepads, and the blood stains were obvious through his pant legs by the end of the day.

I had never used kneepads before on a hunt, but my dad suggested that I pick some up before heading to the swamps, and it was great advice. I got a simple pair of volleyball-style pads – cheap, easy and efficient! They are never leaving my pack again.




The next item on my list came in very handy on my hunt in New Zealand. Pursuing Himalayan tahr and chamois on public land, we set up a spike camp in subfreezing conditions. To keep my hands warm, I had brought a pair of Cabela’s heated gloves (, which were a little bulkier than what I was used to, but I figured they might come in, er, handy.

The first time I used them was directly after shooting my tahr. We skinned the animal, and as I washed off my hands, I suddenly realized my error: the water was ice cold. As the sun started to set, my hands began to get very cold. Then I remembered to turn on the battery pack on my gloves. Instantly, the little wires throughout the pair started to heat up and stayed warm for the whole hike back to camp. And unlike the batteries in my camera and cell phone, the batteries didn’t seem affected by the cold. They’re now a must-have for cold-weather hunts!


My year also included a memorable visit with actor R. Lee Ermey. You know him more as “The Gunny” from his iconic role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the 1987 film, Full Metal Jacket. But I discovered a lot more about Ermey in an interview at his Palmdale home for a cover story in California Sportsman’s sister magazine, Western Shooting Journal. Ermey was quite the character!

That wraps up my list of favorites from 2014, but I would love to hear about some of your favorite gear and hunts from this past year. Feel free to share tips and stories around the Campfire on the Global Sportsman’s Network ( This is the spot to watch all kinds of hunting videos, and to social network with other hunters.


Lake Jennings Kid’s Day Jan. 3

Photo courtesy of Lake Jennings

Photo courtesy of Lake Jennings

Here’s Francine Thompson of Lake Jennings with an update on the San Diego-area fishery’s New Year’s events:

Hello from your Lake Jennings!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and has their resolution list ready for the New Year. Lake Jennings is closed this coming Friday, January 2 open Saturday, January 3 for Kid’s Day. Every child up to the age of 15 can fish for free this Saturday and those up to the age of 10 can catch a nice trout from the Kid’s Pond. There will be prizes for the kids along with a hot dog lunch at noon as we sort out the winners and give away some great prizes. The fishing starts at 6:00 am sharp and the Kid’s Day event will end at 2:00 pm. Lunch and weigh-ins will start at noon in Hermit Cove #1. This is going to be a great weekend of fishing for all and everyone is welcome to fish on Kid’s Day, but the focus and prizes will be for the kids. If you know someone who just needs a kick start into fishing bring them out, and the team will get them set up.

Lakeside Sagebrush and Manzanita 4-H have volunteered their services once again and Lakeside Optimist will run the Kid’s Pond. Plus, if you don’t have a rod and reel the Optimist will lend you one and do all they can to ensure a catch. Not only will the Lakeside Optimist lend them some gear for the Kid’s Pond, but they have provided rod and

reel combos for prize giveaways Kid’s Day. A thank you also goes out to Barnacle Bill’s, East County Bait & Tackle, Lakeside Bait & Tackle, and Turner’s Outdoorsman for their continued support and the great prizes they all provided for Kid’s Day. Find out which shop is in your neighborhood and check out the great fishing gear they carry.

Thank you all for helping to teach kids the benefit of fishing and the great outdoors. Every kid should have a smile on their face, and I look forward to seeing you all here this Saturday.

The bass bite has been awesome even though I’m not seeing anything in the 2 digits but there are still quite a few being caught around 30-40 feet.

Panfish have also been hitting great, especially towards the end of the day with most of them over a pound. I do see a cat here and there coming out of the lake as well.

Lake Jennings will stock twice this week totaling 3,800 pounds of Nebraska Tailwalker and Sierra Bow trout. There are and will be more tagged trout placed into the lake so if you catch one with a Turner’s Outdoorsman tag or a blue tag, bring the tagged trout to the Bait & Tackle shop to redeem your prize. The winner of this month “Largest Trout,” sponsored by Turner’s Outdoorsman will also be decided this week and announced in next weeks “Fishermen’s News.” The “Largest Trout” caught each month is sponsored by your local Turner’s Outdoorsman and for this month of December the prize is a very nice Daiwa Trout Rod and Reel combo with fresh Izorline. If you are in El Cajon be sure to check out the new Turner’s Outdoorsman and let them know how much we appreciate their support.

The “Largest Trout” each month will go on every month through April. Drop by the Bait & Tackle shop here at Lake Jennings for more details.

The Lake Jennings Campground has availability for the upcoming months so pack up, come on out and get an early start to fishing. It doesn’t get any better than staying outdoors and fishing, and the campground has some really nice

sites to choose from. Plus, every Saturday afternoon there is Arts & Crafts and every Saturday evening S’mores with storytelling and a campfire for all registered campers and their friends.

Check out the Trout Stocking Schedule online with the Fishermen’s News or sign up to receive the weekly

“Fishermen’s News” by email. This is a great way to stay up to date on what’s working and what’s not; we want youto catch fish! For more updates and/or to post comments, visit and “Like Us” on Facebook or go to and search “Lake Jennings Recreation.” You can also visit the Lake Jennings website and/or check out the Lake Jennings Bulletins at the Lake and Campground.

If you have any questions or for more information check out the links below or call at 619.390.1623 and we would be happy to assist.


Merry Christmas, With A California Twist

Christmas in California is always a strange time. Isn’t it supposed to be snowing on Dec. 25? The forecasted Christmas Eve high in L.A.? A Buffalo (wing)-ish 72. Take that, Duluth!


So what better way to wish you Happy Holidays, California Sportsman-style, with a story about fishing on the beach… in winter. Think anyone is planning on surf casting from the Jersey shore today? Merry Christmas, Secaucus 🙂

This story appears in the December issue of California Sportsman:


Surf perch 1



By Tim E. Hovey

You have to love California. A few weeks back, during a slight Southland October heat wave, I decided to head to the local beach to see if the surf perch were still biting. The current elevated water temperature was hovering around the high 60s, and shorts and a T-shirt were the attire for the day. I’m not sure what the air temperature was, but I know it wasn’t snowing.

As a lifelong Californian, I sometimes forget what winter is. I do have family on the East Coast, and whenever I see their winter weather featured on the evening news, I just shake my head.

For the last several years, California winters have been mild; at times it has just seemed like an extended fall. Some may miss the sometimes abrupt seasonal changes; I don’t.

As a sportsman, I look to hunt and fish here whenever the weather allows. And when the typical winter weather rolls in, I look for cooler temperatures to clear out the beaches of swimmers, surfers and overall crowds. I absolutely love surf fishing during the winter, when the beach is deserted and you feel like you have the place all to yourself.

UNFORTUNATELY, THIS FALL the mild weather did little to dissuade the beach crowds, and the warmer water temperatures filled the ocean with those looking to enjoy the unusually warm weather. In my opinion, there’s enough beach for everyone.

Earlier this fall, I took my daughter Alyssa to the beach to try our luck. The summer bite was amazing, and we both hoped that the larger fish we usually see in the winter were hungry. We rigged up, found an open spot on the beach and started fishing.

I watched Alyssa cast with the exuberance she always uses when casting at the beach. She engaged her reel and waited for a bite. Over the years, I’ve watched Alyssa become a fairly accomplished angler. She has the patience of a veteran and owns one of the fastest hook sets I’ve ever seen.

She slowly reeled in some slack and then dropped the rod tip slightly. She whipped the rod back quickly and started reeling. The bend in her rod indicated she had hooked something solid. The rod tip bounced, she took several steps towards the water and the fish started fighting.

I reeled in my rig and walked over for a closer look. Whatever she’d hooked, it was definitely putting up a fight on her light spinning gear.

A minute later, she pulled up the massive surf perch on dry land. A small family nearby clapped at her accomplishment. She grabbed the fish by the tail and smiled in triumph. It was by far her largest surf perch.

I took some photos, and if you had to guess which month we were fishing by what she was wearing in the picture, you’d likely guess wrong. The unseasonably warm weather had it feeling like summer, and we weren’t complaining.

We spent the afternoon catching and releasing several large-sized surf perch as the tide shifted. It was an enjoyable fishing session with my daughter. In winters past, the colder water usually chases me off the beach after an hour. I’ve always waded barefoot, and, during the colder months, I pay for being casual. This season, that hasn’t been the case.

Alyssa and I spent a few hours walking the beach, catching fish and enjoying the day. Off the coast, I spotted a couple of whale spouts in the flat channel, and dolphin pods cruised and surfaced just beyond the breakers. It indeed was an amazing day.


surf perch 4

AS MY LIFE gets busier with work, family and a diverse number of hobbies, I tend to look for convenient opportunities to get outdoors; thus, I go whenever I can. Shore fishing in California is an excellent way to get a quick fishing session in with minimal effort. The areas we frequent are yards away from where we park; during times when I can get away, a pair of rigged rods and a bucket of tackle never leave my truck.

The rig of choice for these quick trips is a standard Carolina rig baited with a Berkeley Gulp! 2-inch camo sand worm. A few casts made in the right area with this rig will let you know if the fish are biting or if you need to move on down the beach. I use both baitcasting and spinning gear, and I love my little baitcasters and feel I fish better with them. But I keep spinning tackle with me as well, especially since my daughters are comfortable with the spinning gear.

The type of fish that most shore anglers target is the barred surf perch. This fish is a very robust species and lives in a seriously rough environment, where almost everything is looking to prey upon whatever’s swimming in the vicinity.

Almost without fail, I’ll catch a perch with an extensive wound that has healed up just about every time I fish the shore. Leopard sharks and large predatory fish like halibut readily feed on surf perch in this turbulent environment.

Years ago, I hooked a large halibut in the surf; just before I landed the fish, it coughed up a 10-inch surf perch.

Besides being tough, this species also has another strategy for surviving in the surf zone. Barred surf perch are live-bearers, meaning they give birth to live young. In a world where rough conditions are the norm and predators abound, entering the world being able to maneuver and evade the second you’re born is a huge advantage to survival. During the summer, it’s not unusual to catch a female that is just bursting with juvenile fish.

Within days of being born, these small fish are chasing the same lures the larger fish chase. During these periods the bite is literally wide open, but quality fish are tough to catch due to the high number of young in the water.



WINTER SURF FISHING is one of my favorite ways to spend a day. The Southern California weather conditions can vary from chilly to downright summer-like, and, if the fish are biting, it can be as wide open as the summer bite.

The convenience of this type of fishing is what really draws me to the beach. I’m never without a rod and tackle during the winter, and I make as many trips to the shore as I can during the season.

And being at a place where I essentially learned to fish when I was a boy connects me to that carefree time. Sharing that with my daughters, so many years later, brings me a peace that goes beyond words.

Through life’s ups and downs, if I need to get away and recharge, the beach is where I go.





Girls With Guns Heading To TV

Norissa Harman (left) and Jenifer Adams of Girls With Guns.

Norissa Harman (left) and Jenifer Adams of Girls With Guns.


Last year we profiled the Red Bluff duo of Jenifer Adams and Norissa Harman, who started an outdoors clothing company aimed at women, Girls With Guns. 

Adams and Harman told me they were filming a new TV show, Universal Huntress. We’ll have a story on the ladies’ new venture in an upcoming issue of California Sportsman. But Norissa and Jen sent us a press release about their new show:

RED BLUFF, CA – December 18, 2014:

Let’s Ride – Universal Huntress TV, brought to you by Remington®,follows the small-town country girls behind iconic outdoor fashion line Girls with Guns Clothing® as they travel around the globe on the journey of a lifetime.

UHTV follows Jen Adams & Norissa Harman, the fierce and fashionable duo behind Girls with Guns Clothing [GWG], an everyday outdoor lifestyle apparel company. Their roots are planted deep in the heart of Northern California, where they started GWG in their garage six years ago. Now, they’ve taken those roots to the far edges of the earth, and you can find GWG in retail locations worldwide.
After teaming up with outdoor lifestyle moguls Remington Arms®, Mossy Oak®, and Swarovski Optiks®, these
country girls are ready to ride off into an African sunset…or take a leap of faith from 10,000 feet. Get ready, the
hunting world gets a 30-minute fashion makeover every Monday night at 8 p.m. PST on the Sportsman Channel!
Sisterly love meets heart-pounding excitement as each week, the girls take on new species, new terrain, and new
personal challenges, forcing them to test their physical and emotional limits. While Norissa is the careful and
cautious planner, Jen fearlessly jumps into whatever wild idea cameraman Emaneul ‘Kappie’ Kapp throws their
way! UHTV isn’t just about hunting the Big 5 or the Dangerous 7 though; along the way, the girls sample exotic
cuisine, befriend the locals, and learn that the greatest adventures come when you step outside of your comfort
Joining them on their journey are Emaneul Kapp, the South African-turned-Georgian who films and produces
Universal Huntress TV, his beautiful fiancée Chantelle Enslin, the editor of  hunting publication ‘Universal Hunter Magazine’, Nashville recording artist and Team GWG pro staffer Morgan Mills, Marius ‘Big Daddy’ Kotze, the owner of the girls’ South African home away from home, Rhinoland Safaris, as well as guest appearances by Jen & Norissa’s avid hunter husbands, Jon O’Hara & Brian Harman, and many others.
The Universal Huntress TV theme song, ‘Let’s Ride’, written and produced by Morgan Mills, featuring country star
Colt Ford, will be available to download via iTunes and other digital music download apps by December 19, 2014.
Universal Huntress TV is produced for Sportsman Channel by Universal Sportsman. 




Desperate For Rain, California Gets Pounded

Shasta Lake has a long ways to go before it even begins to return to normal levels despite heavy rains falling throughout California. (KELLY M. GROW/DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES)

Shasta Lake has a long ways to go before it even begins to return to normal levels despite heavy rains falling throughout California. (KELLY M. GROW/DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES)


I talked to my dad in San Bruno last night, and while he marveled when looking out his window and seeing his street flood (it didn’t rise any further than the curb, fortunately. “We need a lot more rain,” he said, adding though that a storm that’s pounded the state in both the north and south has had enough for the time being.

Just how much this particular storm – which is has

Here’s the San Jose Mercury News on some of the state’s dangerously low reservoirs:

The state’s two largest reservoirs, Shasta Lake near Redding, and Lake Oroville in Butte County, are projected to take in 510,000 acre-feet of water in storm runoff by Tuesday, with 370,000 going to Shasta and 140,000 flowing into Oroville, according to the state Department of Water Resources.

That’s a staggering amount of water — 166 billion gallons from a single storm, enough water for 2.5 million Californians for a year. It would fill half a million football fields one-foot deep — all captured by the reservoirs that form the linchpin of the federal and state water systems that serve millions of California residents from San Jose to San Diego and irrigate vast expanses of Central Valley farmland.

But will it fill them up?

Not even close.

After three years of drought, Shasta Lake on Wednesday night was just 26 percent full. Oroville was only 29 percent full. With the water from this storm, Shasta will be 34 percent full, Oroville 33 percent full. And that’s still below the historic average of where they normally are in mid-December.

Among Southern California’s biggest drought-related concern with this much heavy rain falling is mudslide risk in areas that were charred by summer wildfires. We hope everyone stays safe, and as all of us – like me – who have lived in both the Bay Area and Los Angeles and know our history of being rather lousy drivers in wet weather, stay safe out there, folks.

Lake Del Valle Update

An update from Livermore’s Lake Del Valle: 

Lake Del Valle stripers (PHOTO BY LAKE DEL VALLE)

Lake Del Valle stripers (PHOTO BY LAKE DEL VALLE)

Due to the water temp dropping to 53 degrees, the trout fishing has picked up along the East beach and out by the dam.  Most fishermen are having success with Berkley products such as (Power-Bait, Mice tails, power eggs & worm combo).  Lure fishermen are pulling larger trout with gold Kastmasters, Panther Martin spinners, drop-shotting artificial worms,  and the rare but successful fly fishermen are landing nice fish on BIG natural looking flies.  Although striper fishing slowed down, we’re seeing less shakers and more double-digit stripes.
Jim Peponis from San Jose was able to land a 18-pound and a 19-pound striper in the same week on a Yum flashmobb Alabama rig on his own boat in between the south end and the narrows, Congratulations Jim!  Other big stripers have been caught with swim baits, night crawlers, and cut baits like chovies or mackerel.  My preferred method of catching  larger striped bass hands down is slow working a wood 8-inch Lunker Punker  phantom trout made by Black Dog Bait Co.
It’s a must-have lure for any advanced large striper fisherman. Catfish are also on the bite after these two storms washed sediment into the lake sardines, mackerel, chicken livers, and anchovies are being productive.  My advice for people fishing for cats at this time of year is always have a bottle of any Pro-Cure scent, it helps to disperse a tasty oil trail that cats can’t refuse and will get you more bites which means more fish!  You can always come talk to Me or the staff on the boat rental docks for local and recent news on fishing this great California reservoir.  Good luck to all who seek their trophy!