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 Hooked Something Huge While Night Fishing Under Bridges

Fishing Forum Fishing Fort Lauderdale Topshotfishing Happy Day Todat Sail/Shark


Fort Lauderdale Fishing with Top Shot Sportfishing Charter Boat and Capt. Zsak

The Sam and Lorraine Evans and their son, Ben, were having a family vacation celebrating Ben graduating from college. They decided to make fishing a part of their celebration, so they chartered the Top Shot Sportfishing charter boat team to do some deep-sea charter boat sport fishing in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

We started out the morning catching live bait, and headed towards the sea bouy in Fort Lauderdale in 120 ft. of water, 1.8 miles from shore. We put out small jigs and caught eight Bullet Bonitos. Next, we hooked the baits up to a wire rig with a single #6 hook and slow trolled the baits, which is another good live-bait method.
The first strike we had ate the bait fish in half and got away. This happened a second time where only the head came back and the bait was ripped in half. We continued slow trolling the Bullet Bonito in 150 feet of water south of Fort Lauderdale. A Shark fin popped up behind the right rigger bait – he ate the bait, and we had this five-foot Shark on for a few minutes, but he got away. We re-rigged and went back to fishing – this happened a second time only the Shark fin was bigger. A seven foot Hammerhead Shark ate the live bait, and the fight was on. First thing we did was clear the lines and then started backing down on the Shark. When you have a big fish with light tackle, it is always best to get as much line back on the reel and help out the angler. After about twenty minutes of fighting, the Shark popped up very close to the boat. Mark, our mate, grabbed the leader line making this an official caught fish. The Shark was not done fighting, though, and sounded for another forty-five minutes. The Shark came up a second time, pictures were taken, and the Shark was released to fight another day.
Next, we decided to try some trolling and put out four surface baits, which were Ballyhoos, and one deep plainer line. I worked the area back and forth looking for signs of life, whether live bait, birds or rip currents, but did not find any, so we decided to go back to live Bullet Bonito slow-trolling fishing. Marc cleared out the trolling spread and put the live baits back out. I started pulling the baits up the reef line, and a nice twenty pound Kingfish ate the bait and jumped out of the water, shook his head and got away. I continued working up to the north of Fort Lauderdale with a second opportunity on a Kingfish, and this time we caught him. We next decided to troll the Ballyhoo over the reef. After an hour, we finally got a bite on the left Ballyhoo rigger bait, and ended up catching a Sailfish. After a great fight, we got the Sailfish in the boat, removed the hooks, took a couple of quick photos, and released the Sailfish.
It was now time to head back to the dock. The anglers retired into the a/c salon and enjoyed the relaxing trip back to the dock at Bahia Bar Yachting Center, 801 Seabreeze Blvd. Fort Lauderdale 33316.

For a successful and adventurous deep sea fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale FL for Sailfish, Shark, Bonito, Mackerel, Swordfish, Snapper, Wahoo, Tuna, Mahi Mahi and Grouper, contact Captain Zsak. – 954-309-7457 or email us at tzsak@bellsouth.net Website: www.topshotfishing.com.



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DIY Seedling Greenhouse Ideas

DIY Seedling Greenhouse Ideas


Want to be the BEST prepared
for the WORST to come? Click here to sign up NOW! We'll even throw in a FREE survival tool! (just pay s&h)

Want to be the BEST prepared
for the WORST to come? Click here to sign up NOW! We'll even throw in a FREE survival tool! (just pay s&h)

Keep reading to know what’s in store for your seedlings this spring even before the snow melts away.

I’m going to show you some simple do-it-yourself greenhouses for your seedlings by using everyday items that can be found around your house. These concepts are very easy to do and will not cost you a fortune. Developing these seedlings in a covered dome to simulate a greenhouse effect is advantageous to their growth. These seeds also need pampering to get them up and growing. And this practice is a good way to give your seeds an awesome start. These survival seed playing cards are your go-to-guide for your survival needs. Check out these ideas below and choose the appropriate one for you. 

1. Egg Carton Greenhouse

Egg Carton Greenhouse | DIY Seedling Greenhouses Ideas For Your Garden This Spring draft

Fill up the egg cartons with potting soil before planting your seeds. As to how deep the seeds will be planted will depend on its size. The bigger the seed, the deeper it goes.

2. Plastic Bottle Greenhouse

Another do-it-yourself greenhouse for your starter plants is by using empty plastic bottles. So don’t just throw them away. You can upcycle them and turn them into awesome seedling greenhouses. Check out the tutorial here. 

3. CD Spindle Case Greenhouse

Who doesn’t have one of these CD spindle cases laying around the house? They make perfect greenhouses for your seedlings! You have two options, either use it as is by placing small potted plants in the case or remove the column in the middle to accommodate larger pots with seedlings. It’s that easy! 

4. Clear Storage Tote Greenhouse

Do you desire to add more plants to your winter or fall garden but you’re experiencing cold nights and warm days in your area? A transportable clear plastic container can be used to store your seedlings inside small canisters or boxes would be a great way to start. Keep them indoors during the night but don’t forget to give them their share of sunshine during the day.

5. Mason Jar Greenhouse

Mason Jar Greenhouse | DIY Seedling Greenhouses Ideas For Your Garden This Spring draft

Old mason jars can make an awesome greenhouse for your seedlings. You just have to make sure there is adequate airflow so the plant can survive.

6. Plastic Wrapped Greenhouse

This homemade mini greenhouse is a good addition to your garden. It is easy to make and very inexpensive. Also, this type of seedling greenhouses is an effective solution if you have problematic seeds. Find out more about this project here.

7. Clear Plastic Greenhouse

All you need is a clear food plastic container with a lid and some tissue paper or cardboard and you can create with this mini greenhouse for your seedlings. Check out the full tutorial here.

If you have the space, get a full-sized greenhouse delivered to you!

Check out this full tutorial video on how to make a DIY seedling starter greenhouse from with a chicken container!  

Upcycling old items and turning it into something more useful is a skill that will serve as good leverage. With a little bit of ingenuity, you can come up with things that will be beneficial to you like these seedling greenhouses. This is an effective way to protect your seedling so they can grow and flourish. Ideas such as these will make your gardening even better without spending a fortune.

Do you have any other DIY greenhouse ideas for your seedlings you would like to share? Add them in the comments below!

 

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5 Personality Types Who Love to Trek in South America

5 Personality Types Who Love to Trek in South America


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Ever wondered who takes an active vacation trekking in South America? The type of folks who will be your fellow adventurers on an active tour of Peru or Patagonia?

The answer might surprise you—because there is no one answer. We see an endless panoply of unique and interesting individuals, but they do share a few common traits: Openness, curiosity, enthusiasm, courage, and more than a little love of adventure.

Over the years, we’ve identified a few general personality types that many—not all, of course—of our guests tend to display. Take a look at our list and see if you can find yourself or someone you know in one of them. Let us know in the comments if you think we’ve hit the nail on the head with any of them, or know of a type we missed.

 

Aaron the Adventurer – Age 56

5 Personality Types Who Love to Trek in South America

Aaron is a bank VP by day, with a corner office overlooking a bustling cityscape. He’s a classic adventure personality, escaping the stress of his job with active weekends hiking, biking, and kayaking. Each year, he plans one extraordinary adventure to test his limits, to pit himself against Mother Nature and all she has to offer. Last year, Aaron spent 12 days hiking and kayaking the fiords of Norway.

This year, he’s trekking somewhere new—Patagonia and the infamous “W” trek in the Torres del Paine National Park, a four-day journey through snow-covered mountains and sheer granite cliffs, summiting at one of the most incredible and widely recognized mountain landscapes in the world. At a height of 900 meters (about 3,000 feet), the “Towers of Blue” are believed to be the world’s highest natural cliff faces.

Even that isn’t enough for intrepid Aaron. He’s going to strap on his crampons and shoulder his pick axe to ice climb Grey Glacier in Chile before exploring Argentina’s breathtaking Perito Moreno Glacier. He’s debating a third week to explore Northern Patagonia and the Ring of Fire, the volcanic belt in the Chilean Andes.

 

Culturally Curious Carl and Christine – Ages 48 and 47

5 Personality Types Who Love to Trek in South America

Carl, an architect, and Christine, a social worker, met 25 years ago on a cultural tour of China during their last year at university, and they’ve always shared a passion for cultural travel. They’ve recently made the last tuition payment for their daughter’s university education and decided to celebrate their new financial freedom with their first couples’ holiday in 13 years—a cultural exploration of Peru seemed like the perfect fit.

They’ll begin in Cuzco, in the heart of the Incan Empire, visiting the archaeological marvels at the “House of the Sun.” They’re excited to hike the Lares Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and watch the morning sun break through Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. They’ll even do some trekking through the Amazon rainforest.

What really speaks to their heart, though, is travelling through the farms and villages of the Andes, especially visiting the Quechua people near Lake Titicaca and experiencing their ancient culture, unchanged over the centuries.

 

Bucket-List Betsey – Age 61

5 Personality Types Who Love to Trek in South America

Betsey recently retired from her job as a public school administrator and is excited to begin checking items off her bucket list. She was widowed four years ago, but refuses to let her single state prevent her from taking part in the lifetime adventures she always dreamed about. She’s excited to visit the Galapagos Islands to snorkel with the gentle reef sharks, hang out with the marine iguanas, and visit a few giant tortoises.

One of the best parts for Betsey is being part of a congenial travel group—the thought of finding suitable travel companions on her own nearly derailed her plans. She’s excited for the opportunity to meet new people who share her passion for travel and unusual destinations. Spending a few days at a gorgeous seaside lodge and photographing a few friendly dolphins on her journey are just icing on the cake.

 

Zest-for-Life Zoey – Age 33

5 Personality Types Who Love to Trek in South America

Everyone knows a Zoey. Ours is a city planner in Chicago who lives for stolen weeks away from her cubicle. Single and fun-loving, Zoey loves nothing more than escaping the city and trying new things, preferably far away from the bustle of urban life. She takes a few short getaways during the year and saves for one exceptional adventure each year. Last year, she did the glaciers in Jasper and Banff, but this year, she’s looking for some fun in the sun.

Zoey and two friends are heading for Ecuador and some lifetime adventures—like cycling down Cotopaxi Volcano, hiking the Amazon rainforest, marveling at a cloud forest, and soaking in some amazing hot springs. They’ve got their cameras ready in case they spot the elusive spectacled bear in the grasslands around Quito. They plan to end their excursion with an Ecuadorian street food tour of that ancient mountain city, because what’s better than street food if you want to get to know a city?

 

Globe-Trotting Gabe and Grace and their children Ethan and Amelia – Ages 41, 39, 11, and 8

5 Personality Types Who Love to Trek in South America

Gabe and Grace own a commercial real estate company—the hours are long and the business tends to consume their lives. They love to unwind and reconnect as a family with international travel. Their last two trips were two-week DIY tours of Italy and France, but the planning process, arranging all the details, was so labor intensive, that quite honestly, the trips felt almost like work. This time, they want an interesting, exciting adventure vacation that the whole family could enjoy in a completely stress-free way.

It’s no surprise that our Capybara Peru adventure fits the bill. Everything from logistics to meals are arranged for them so they are free to immerse themselves in unforgettable experiences like motorised canoe rides through the Amazon rainforest (with night-time excursions to spot the nocturnal caiman), shadowing macaw researchers, exploring the Incan ruins of Cuzco, kayaking Lake Titicaca (and learning a few dances from the Quechua people), and even taking a guided tour of Machu Picchu. That Gabe and Grace get a free afternoon in Cuzco while the Active Adventures staff entertains the kids is an almost unbelievable bonus.

They’re even planning to extend their trip for a few days to explore the history and culture of Lima—not to mention the gastronomic delights (Lima’s long been recognized at the food capital of South America).

 

Ready to Embark on an Adventure of Your Own?

Did you recognize yourself in any of our South America travel types? Or find inspiration for your next active adventure holiday?

Why not get in touch today to see how easy it is to arrange the perfect South American adventure trip for you, and even your family? And if you’re not quite ready to chat with a member of our team, sign up for our free email course. You’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know about the amazing experiences waiting for you in South America.

N.b. Characters are fictional and do not match those in images.

Celebrate Like A Kiwi – Hike New Zealand’s Milford Track this Christmas

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Fishing Forum
 Hooked Something Huge While Night Fishing Under Bridges

Fishing Forum Battling winds and tides, but catches are good!


After a few days of cold temperatures, high winds, and rough seas, causing me to cancel a couple of trips, Saturday, 1/20/18, was finally calm enough to get offshore. I fished in spots from 18 to 28 miles west of New Pass with Joe Hahn and his friends, Bob, Mike, David, and George. The guys used cut-bait and squid to catch and release a bluefish, twenty-some red grouper shorts to 18 inches, as well as five sharks, consisting of four blacktips and one sharpnose, all of which were around the 40-inch mark. We also had a huge shark (variety unknown) grab a piece of cut-bait, run, and break off, exploding the water around us. As for dinner, the guys boxed eighteen keeper lane snapper.

Monday morning, 1/22, I fished 22 miles west of New Pass with Frank Dwyer and his son-in-law, Ryan. The guys used cut-bait and squid to catch and release twenty-six red grouper shorts, and to cull ten keeper lane snapper to 13 inches, along with a half-dozen 13 to 14-inch grunts.

Tuesday morning, 1/23, I headed out in a light drizzle with Drew VanWerden and his two young sons. Seas were calm, and we headed out 22 miles, but the rain persisted, at one point turning into a heavy shower. We had enough wet-weather gear to keep us dry, and the boys didn’t mind fishing in the rain and in the fog that followed. They used squid and cut-bait to catch and release a 17-inch cobia, twenty-one red grouper shorts to 18 inches, and lots of grunts to 12 inches. The lane snapper were biting well, and the guys caught twenty-seven keeper lanes to 13-inches.

Winds picked up ahead of another cool front moving into the area, and that produced some choppy sea conditions on Wednesday, 1/24. But, long-time customers and hardy father-son anglers Larry and Chris Baumgartner weren’t intimidated! They fished 22 miles west of New Pass with me in a stiff 20-to-25 knot wind most of the morning, and used squid and cut-bait to catch a variety of fish. They lost one big grouper that swam to the bottom and cut the line, and they released red grouper shorts, an 18-inch gag grouper, and a 14-inch scamp grouper. They also caught five mangrove snapper, three of which were keepers ranging 13 inches to 15 inches. They caught over twenty grunts, and boxed a few of the largest of those, along with four porgies in the 13-to-14-inch range.

Frequent customer Mike Connealy and his son, Clint, had to trade their offshore plans for some inshore, catch-and-release fishing on a very windy Friday morning, 1/26. There were small craft advisories offshore, and even the bay presented some challenges in a relentless wind of about 25 knots. The guys used live shrimp to catch and release thirteen sheepshead to 13 inches, two crevalle jacks that were each about 12 inches, and a 15-inch black drum.

Winds persisted through the weekend. I fished inshore in southern Estero Bay on Sunday, 1/28, with Stan and Jean Dzedzy and their son and daughter-in-law, Dave and Debbie. The family used live shrimp to catch three keeper sand bream, a 15-inch drum, a 17-inch drum, and a 17-inch pompano. They released fifteen sheepshead shorts and two mangrove snapper shorts. The photo shown is of Dave Dzedzy with a 17-inch pompano, caught on shrimp on his inshore trip 1/28/18.

Monday, 1/29, I awoke to light rain and fog, with another cold front expected to arrive over-night and into Tuesday. Seas were choppy first thing in the morning, and it remained misty after the fog lifted, but seas calmed a little by mid-morning. I began fishing at the near-shore reefs with Lee Larsens and his friends, Carey, Jerry, and Rick, but there was very little action there. So, as seas calmed down a bit, we ventured out further to about fifteen miles offshore. Fishing was tough everywhere, and I can’t recall the last time I saw such slow action at several of my typically productive spots. The guys used squid and cut-bait to catch and release two whitings, a few blue runners, one red grouper short, and a few grunts.

With small craft advisories issued for Tuesday, 1/30, and predictions for seas of four-to-six feet, I canceled my planned offshore trip, which had already been rescheduled from the previous week’s rough weather!

By Thursday, 2/1, seas were finally calm enough to get out about 23 miles west of New Pass, where I fished with frequent customers, Ron Musick, Richard Arnett, and Eddie Alfonso. There were tons of little bait fish everywhere, and lots of undersized fish biting, but the guys were able to box some food-fish, consisting of three keeper lane snapper, a 13-inch mangrove snapper, two porgies, and a few nice-sized grunts. They released twenty-plus red grouper shorts and four mangrove snapper shorts. Everything bit on squid and cut-bait.

Friday morning, 2/2, seas were calm when I fished a catch-and-release trip 19 miles west of New Pass with William Connors, Mike Connors, and friends Dan, Mark, and Pat. The guys used squid and cut bait to catch and release twenty-four red grouper shorts, a mess of grunts, and mangrove snapper to 16 inches. The photo shown is of Mike Connors with a 16-inch mangrove snapper, caught on squid on his offshore trip 2/2/18.

Winds picked up on Saturday, 2/3, and we were back to choppy seas offshore, with a small craft advisory issued. So, Roman Jahnke and his dad, Tom, who were treating Roman’s son, Roarke, to a fishing trip for his tenth birthday, traded offshore plans for some inshore fishing on the flats of southern Estero Bay. The family used live shrimp to catch five keeper black drum to 16 inches, and they released ten sheepshead shorts, a crevalle jack, and two stingray that were each about three pounds.

You can view our fishing action videos at http://fishbustercharters.com/fishing videos.html



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Building A Bug Out Bag

Building A Bug Out Bag


Want to be the BEST prepared
for the WORST to come? Click here to sign up NOW! We'll even throw in a FREE survival tool! (just pay s&h)

Want to be the BEST prepared
for the WORST to come? Click here to sign up NOW! We'll even throw in a FREE survival tool! (just pay s&h)

A 72-hour bug out bag or “Go Bag” isn’t just for end-of-the-world scenarios. A bug out bag is handy to have around in case of other emergencies such as power outages, car breakdowns, natural disasters, and other instances where you might be without services for a few days.

A Better Bug Out Bag For Greater Chances Of Survival

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, wildfires, or ice storms, this type of bag will help keep you and your family safe at home or during an evacuation. If you keep the most necessary items in one central place (the bug out bag), it will be easier to get your hands on them when you need them.

A Brief History

What is a bug out bag? “Bug out” is British military slang for “leaving quickly under fire.” The origin of a bug out bag is with the military—a survival kit for use when you need to exit an area quickly. Aviators during World War II had bug out bags or “bail out bags” to take with them when skydiving out over enemy territory.

Bug Out Bag Or Survival Kit

A bug out bag is different than a survival kit in that it is meant to give you the items you need for the first 72 hours of survival. Bug out bags are more focused on lightweight, emergency, and short-term supplies as opposed to long-term solutions. Choosing a military style bag or backpack has become a very popular choice due to its durability. But it may not be the best option…

Choosing A Bug Out Bag

You’ll want the bag to blend in with its surroundings. If you have to travel through an urban area, a blue or black nylon backpack is a good choice. For traveling through the wilderness, a camouflage pattern is ideal. The key is for the bag to not stick out like a sore thumb. As a side note, your bug out bag doesn’t have to be an actual “bag.” It can be a Rubbermaid container or another type of box that fits in your trunk. It could even be a large purse. The size and type of bug out container depends on whether you will need to be carrying it and walking (in which case a backpack is a better choice) or if you can drive to your alternate location.

Bug Out Bags For The Family

If you have more than one person to pack a bug out bag for, consider packing a smaller bag for each member of the family so that everyone has his or her supplies. This will also help you organize your supplies.

Bug Out Bag For Your Vehicle

Transportation is something that could occupy an entire article in and of itself, but there are a few brief considerations to think about regarding vehicles when planning for bugging out:

  • If possible, try to acquire and maintain a vehicle manufactured before 1981. These vehicles have fewer electronics that are likely to be affected in the event of an EMP attack.
  • A diesel engine is preferable.
  • It should have enough room for the people and cargo you need to transport when “bugging out.”

At your safe location, it’s a good idea to have a bicycle and cart for transportation that doesn’t require fuel.

There are 3 rules that one has to remember when building a bug out bag. Let’s start with the first one…

Rule 1: The Right Supplies

Rule 1: The Right Supplies | Building A Better Bug Out Bag

Your bug out bag is only as good as the supplies you put in it and the skills you have to use them…Here are a few suggestions for stocking your 72-hour bug out bag. But take this with a grain of salt… you need to customize this kit for your area, your needs, and your family. Here’s a list of the supplies that you can put in your bug out bag:

First Aid Supplies

  • Adhesive bandages
  • Ace bandages
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Gauze pads
  • Tourniquet
  • Aspirin & Ibuprofen
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • 30 days of prescription medications
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Pepto Bismol

Clothing (per person)

  • Three pairs of wool socks
  • Three pairs of underwear
  • Two pairs of pants
  • Two t-shirts
  • One long-sleeved undershirt
  • Jacket
  • long underwear (thermals)
  • something a little more risque?

Food and Water

  • Water bottles Water (two liters per person)
  • Electrolyte tabs or salt
  • Iodine tabs and cheesecloth Protein and nut bars Dehydrated fruits and meats MREs

Tools

  • Compass (practice so that you know how to use it before you need it)
  • Local maps
  • Small tool kit (screwdriver, pliers etc)
  • Hatchet
  • Collapsible shovel
  • Knife
  • Knife sharpener
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Small pan for heating water

Shelter

  • Tent or tarp
  • Rope (to hang the tarp)
  • Foam pad (to prevent hypothermia)
  • Space blanket or emergency blanket (one per person)
  • Sleeping bag

Miscellaneous

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Ziploc bags
  • Trash bags
  • Duct tape

Rule 2: The Plan

Rule 2: The Plan | Building A Better Bug Out Bag

Something almost nobody thinks to include in a bug out bag is a written plan. When disaster strikes, you’ll be distracted. The plan should include:

  • A list of what to take
  • Directions for getting to the alternate location
  • An alternate meeting place, should that be necessary
  • It’s possible that you could be injured or incapacitated and somebody else in your family or group will have to lead the group to safety.

In the event of a catastrophic failure of all systems, if you’ve written out your plan, you’ll be better able to safely and confidently get from point A to point B without forgetting anything.

No products found.

Rule 3: The Execution

Make sure that you’ve practiced using the items in your bug out bag. A compass is useless if you don’t know how to use it—and using one is harder than it looks! Practice starting a fire without matches. Check your food and medical items in your bag to make sure they have not expired and rotate them out as needed (practice FIFO- First in First Out). Otherwise, leave the bag alone.

A Word On Premade Kits…

You can buy premade bug out bags that come with supplies. But keep in mind it may not have the items that you want or need, so your best bet is to build your own from scratch. Or use the premade kit as a springboard to create your personalized “ultimate” bug out bag.

Watch this video posted by SensiblePrepper on a DIY Walmart Premium Bug Out Bag:

Do not “borrow” items from the bag for non-emergency situations. If you do, you might forget to put the items back, and in the case of an emergency, you’ll be stuck without something vital that you need. While a bug out bag won’t prepare you for every scenario, it will help you get to the place where you have prepared for every eventuality.

What do you put in YOUR bug out bag?  Have something “weird” or uncommon? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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WINNER! Stan Jacobson, Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Top 10 Guest Photos 2017


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Hello and Happy New Year! There are certain things that you come to depend on, events that happen consistently and predictably. We like to think our annual photography competition is one of these events! Every year the team here at Active HQ gather around a big screen in the staff lunch area to let the competition entry images soak in – we let ourselves be inspired. Fresh from our own adventures over the festive season, it’s easy to let the mind wander… “what it must be like to gaze up at the Paine Massif in Patagonia, or how nice it would be to escape to Siberia Valley and walk across the early morning dew accompanied only by the waking birds”.

Once the lucky winner is chosen, one of our team get the enviable task of letting them know they’ve just won a 2 for 1 deal on any of our Active Adventures – that’s here in New Zealand, Nepal, Europe and throughout South America. If you’re coming on an adventure with us in 2018 be sure to take your camera, because you may be the next winner!

It’s usually hard to pick a #1, but we have to say that this year there was a clear winner (read on below to find out who that was…) in fact their photos were SO good, we had a hard time trying to decide which ones to leave out of our top 10!

See the 2013 Top 10 // See the 2014 Top 10 // See the 2015 Top 10 // See the 2016 Top 10

Here’s our top 10 for 2017, in no particular order:

1. Terri Donati, Ultimate South Island Adventure ‘Rimu‘ trip

Terri Donati, Ultimate South Island Adventure 'Rimu' trip
The view from Braemar Station, over Lake Pukaki towards Aoraki Mt Cook in the background. Ahhh… What a classic! This is a view that we never tire of, which is why it’s part of our perennial favourite ‘Rimu’ trip, and a location that always surpasses our guests’ expectations.

2. Patrick Nguyen, Patagonia Hiking Adventure ‘Condor‘ trip

Patrick Nguyen, Patagonia Hiking Adventure 'Condor' trip
The ‘Condor’ trip in Southern Patagonia really does lend itself to stunning photography… For a short season between November and March the weather settles enough to allow intrepid hikers, like Patrick, the chance to measure themselves against glaciers, towering peaks and rolling tundra.

3. WINNER! Stan Jacobson, Annapurna Sanctuary Trek ‘AST‘ trip

WINNER! Stan Jacobson, Annapurna Sanctuary Trek 'AST' trip
“I pointed at my camera. Then I pointed at her and when I raised my eyebrows beckoning if it was OK to take a photo, she broke into this wonderful smile!”. Stan has been a finalist in our annual photography competition in 2014 and again in 2016. All of his photos are truly amazing. Congratulations Stan! Well deserved.

4. Dianne Czarnecki, Ultimate Peru Adventure ‘Jaguar‘ trip

Dianne Czarnecki, Ultimate Peru Adventure 'Jaguar' trip
Diane has captured the sense of elation at reaching Machu Picchu – a great achievement in anyone’s eyes. She and her fellow group members hiked the Classic Inca Trail, a 4 day hike reaching an altitude of 12,100 ft, as part of their 14-day ‘Jaguar’ trip. This photo has great colour and has already been a popular choice with the team at Active.

5. Jack Taylor, Mont Blanc Circuit ‘Tour du Mont Blanc‘ trip

Jack Taylor, Mont Blanc Circuit 'Tour du Mont Blanc' trip
You may have heard of Jack before, he’s been a guest on a few Active Adventures trips, along with various members of his family. His latest adventure was the circumnavigation of Mont Blanc, on which he carried a video camera the whole time and produced an excellent film. Somehow, he also managed to take some incredible photos, like this one of Aiguille du midi.

6. Danny Rigg, Ultimate North Island Adventure ‘Kauri‘ trip

Danny Rigg, Ultimate North Island Adventure 'Kauri' trip
Wide brimmed hats, singlets and shorts pretty much sums up the Far North of New Zealand. This is a quintessential shot of our ‘Kauri’ group hiking towards Cape Brett on a glorious summer day.

7. Pirko Hamer, Galapagos Land and Sea Adventure ‘Tortuga‘ trip

Pirko Hamer, Galapagos Land and Sea Adventure 'Tortuga' trip
It comes as no surprise that the ‘Tortuga’ trip nearly always features in the annual photo competition, with a wildlife shot. This photo of a heron by Pirko is composed beautifully with the dark blue horizon, the luscious green and the stark grey of the bird and rocks.

8. Steven Edwards, Everest Base Camp Trek ‘EBC‘ trip

Steven Edwards, Everest Base Camp Trek 'EBC' trip
“Gone for the season” was the caption on this photo by Steven, who hiked to Everest Base Camp with us in November. And it’s reassuring to hear from Steven, that this trek was not only “successful, but enjoyable too”! A great photo and a great bucket list achievement – well done!

9. Lindsay Busch, Essence of the South Island ‘Tui‘ trip

Lindsay Busch, Essence of the South Island 'Tui' trip
Who knows what this early riser is pondering, as they gingerly step through the tussocks that are being warmed by the early morning sun. The Siberia Valley Wilderness experience offers a once in a lifetime opportunity, to truly escape the confines of development. It’s often the slightly unusual photographs like this one, that catch our eye.

10. Jenny Wada, Ultimate Dolomites Adventure ‘Dolomiti‘ trip

Jenny Wada, Ultimate Dolomites Adventure 'Dolomiti' trip
What a perspective! Jenny must have had her heart in her mouth as she peered down to the valley far below. Although completely safe, and anchored to the rock, Via Ferrata is not for the faint-hearted. In this case, in Jenny’s words it was “The Best Day Ever!”
5 Personality Types Who Love to Trek in South America

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Canning

Important Self-Sufficency Skills to Learn


Want to be the BEST prepared
for the WORST to come? Click here to sign up NOW! We'll even throw in a FREE survival tool! (just pay s&h)

Want to be the BEST prepared
for the WORST to come? Click here to sign up NOW! We'll even throw in a FREE survival tool! (just pay s&h)

Self-sufficiency is a must if you’re planning on homesteading. Becoming a full-fledged homesteader is a learning process. You must learn new skills and hone those you already have. Just like other major life decisions, the decision to homestead might be a shock to new preppers in the beginning. But using the wisdom and knowledge of others who have done it can help immensely.

Self Sufficiency Skills Every Prepper Should Learn

Keep in mind that learning these skills will take time, patience and perseverance, and not all of these skills are applicable to certain situations. Hopefully, though, you’ll be able to pick up some great ideas that will inspire you and get you started!

Fresh Find: Here’s How to Get Your Drinking Water Cleaner Than Ever Before

Click HERE for our Homesteading Quick Start Guide For Beginners

30 Homesteading Skills:

1. Canning all your garden produce.

Preserve fruits and vegetables from your homestead naturally so you can eat holistically all year long.

Canning | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginners

2. How to compost.

Don’t throw out all your recyclable odds and ends. Put them in a compost and make your garden thrive with compost tea.

Composting | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginners

Never rely again on grocery store bread with bleached flours or expensive healthy loaves. Bake your own at home!

How To Bake Bread | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginners

Take the time to heal yourself naturally with these home remedies!

Home Remedies | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginners

Make your own chemical-free detergent in either liquid or powder form.

Laundry Soap | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginners

The kiddos will love it. And if they eat it, it’s made from organic ingredients so it’s not a risk to their health.

Play Dough | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginner Homesteaders

Use your milk product to make your choice of fresh, delicious cheese.

Cheese | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginner Homesteaders

Correctly storing your compost will save your backyard from smelling like a dumpster.

DIY Compost Bin | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginner Homesteaders

9. Grow plants in your climate.

Every climate has a different time period for planting various seeds. Find the best one for your homestead.

Garden Hardiness Zones | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginner Homesteaders

Create a never-ending supply of seeds for your garden by learning how to correctly save and store seeds.

Saving Seeds | | 133 Homesteading Skills Every Homesteader Needs To Know

Just in case there is an accident on the homestead, you should always be prepared (especially if you live out in the boonies like I do).

First Aid Training and Instructions | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginner Homesteaders

12. Learn how to drive a tractor and a dirt bike.

This can greatly decrease the amount of time you spend walking back and forth from various chores on the homestead and is a great help when you need to carry heavy loads of supplies from one place to another.

Drive a Tractor | 133 Homesteading Skills Every Homesteader Needs To Know

13. Know how to ride a horse.

An alternative to the tractor and dirt bike (and much less of a gas hog) is the horse. Be sure you are conscious of weight limits for your breed if you are planning on using your horse to help carry supplies.

Click here to learn English Riding

Click here to learn Western Riding

How to Ride A Horse | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginner Homesteaders

Believe me when I say this will save you loads of time in the future. If you have to stop gardening to discipline a dog that’s using his digging skills in your garden and then replant the dissembled plants, you will waste more time than it takes to properly train him.

Train Your Dog | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginner Homesteaders

15. Learn how to tie various knots.

If you have a very stubborn dog or horse that you have to keep tied up to stay out of trouble or if you just want to hang a line for your laundry you will need to know a variety of knots.

How To Tie Rope knots | 133 Homesteading Skills Every Homesteader Needs To Know

Keep those pesky squirrels out of your cow’s feed or simply trap them for a little extra protein.

snare-traps

Life on the homestead means no guarantees that someone is nearby at any given time. Learn this self-reliant skill so you don’t lose a whole day of work due to a busted tire.

How To Change A Tire | 133 Homesteading Skills Every Homesteader Needs To Know

Preparation for emergencies is key, but in the event of injury in a natural disaster, you may have to forage for plants with healing properties. Be very cautious when using herbs you did not plant yourself and do not use them unless you’re 100% sure that you have the correct plant.

Forage For Wild Plants | 133 Homesteading Skills Every Homesteader Needs To Know

Many people in Ireland still make their own natural fire starters today. This saves time when needing instant warmth on those blistering cold winter days.

Firestarters | 133 Homesteading Skills Every Homesteader Needs To Know

No one should ever rely completely on one method or another. Learn how to start a fire in a variety of ways in case you are ever without matches.

Start A Fire | 133 Homesteading Skills Every Homesteader Needs To Know

Predators and threats on the homestead are inevitable. Don’t let lack of gun knowledge be the reason that your family doesn’t get the protection they need.

Gun Safety | 133 Homesteading Skills Every Homesteader Should Know

Part of knowing how to use a gun is learning to store it safely away from children and possible attackers. You’ll sleep more soundly at night knowing it’s in a safe place.

gun storage tips | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginners

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23. Know basic mechanic skills so you can fix your tractors and other vehicles.

Again, you wouldn’t want to lose an entire day of work just because a switch needed to be flipped or a bolt needed tightening.

Auto Mechanic Skills | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginner Homesteaders

Make sure you have the proper licenses to hunt game and provide more protein for your family and keep your livestock’s predators at bay.

Hunting Safety | | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginner Homesteaders

It is only legal to hunt certain animals during specific seasons and the consequences for hunting game outside of its respective season can end in costly fines or the restriction/loss of your hunting license.

Hunting Safety | | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginner Homesteaders

Whether you butcher your own livestock or hunt wild game you will need a way to preserve the meat properly.

Diy Smoker | 133 Homesteading Skills For Beginner Homesteaders

Learn which techniques work best for different types of meat.

Smoke & Cure Meat | 133 Homesteading Skills for Beginner Homesteaders

28. Know how to milk a cow and goat.

You may think that one is exactly like the other, but I assure you it is not. Learn the basics of milking your livestock. Every cow and goat is different and so you will have to learn to adjust your techniques accordingly, but the basics remain the same.

How to Milk A Cow or Goat | 133 Homesteading Skills for Beginner Homesteaders

Fish is packed full of rich vitamins our bodies love. Hopefully, your nearest waterbed is also packed full of fish. Make sure you check any rules or legislation regarding catching different breeds of fish as they can be seasonal as well.

Learn How To Fish | 133 Homesteading Skills

30. Know how to clean and cook fish.

It can be tricky to clean a fish because of all the tiny bones. Learn the proper way to clean and cook fish so that you can avoid any sharp bones while eating your catch.
It is the independence from the supposed “conveniences” that makes homesteaders the ultimate preppers and survivalists. In any given SHTF scenario, they will be the ones who will have better chances of survival because they have been self-reliant all along.

Check out other self-sufficiency articles from our site:

Homesteading and Sustainability – How To Become Self Reliant

15 Canning Tips for Preppers | Self-sufficiency

Fortify Your Homestead with A Living Fence

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Fishing Forum
 Hooked Something Huge While Night Fishing Under Bridges

Fishing Forum Hooked Something Huge While Night Fishing Under Bridges


Video – https://www.youtube.com/…3MCI4ox00s&t=23s

In this episode me and my buddy started a trek to go after some massive fish that were running under a bridge in our local area. The night was a cold on but we toughed it out and made the most out of a rare, cold, epic Florida night. Hope you guys all enjoy! New video coming next week!

Hope everyone has an awesome day. Tight lines guys!



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Fishing Tips For Anyone Starting Out With The Sport

Fishing Tips For Anyone Starting Out With The Sport

Although there are a variety of hobbies, fishing can quickly become one of your most enjoyable ones. This hobby can be fun for the whole family, from grandkids to grandma. Being successful at fishing requires both the proper equipment as well as the knowledge of how to use it. If you are not sure where to begin, read on.

Try casting close to shore if your fishing trip takes you to a river or lake. This is because fish will find insects in these locations. So to increase your opportunities for success, try fishing along the bank. Don’t catch the weeds, though!

Grubs are a great bait for catching bass. These little insects will help you land some large fish. They are useful in catching small and largemouth bass. They work extremely well for catching fish in highland reservoirs that do not have much brush or other coverage.

Always know what the local regulations are about fishing when you head out on the water. You might not be able to use certain bait within some areas, while other laws might prohibit fishing in certain bodies of water. If you don’t know, have a talk with local government officials.

Plumper live bait is much more appealing to fish; it also is easier to place on your fishing hook. Allow the bait to fatten up overnight before your fishing trip. Put your worms into a container lined with newspaper and then place it in the refrigerator overnight. The cold and moisture will cause them to retract their bodies and appear larger.

Improved clinch knots are great for placing lures or hooks onto the line. Just like threading a needle, you will slip the tip of the line through the eye of the hook. Proceed by looping the line around itself 5 times before securing it by passing it through the eye again and into the first loop. To complete the knot, pull the end around the loop very tightly.

Always take a look at the weather forecast before heading out on a fishing trip. Because weather is unpredictable, make sure you check the forecast before going on your fishing trip. This is the best way to avoid dangerous situations or being stuck somewhere because the weather is too bad to drive home. So, it is a safe precaution to read a weather forecast prior to heading out on any fishing expedition.

Try avoiding windy areas when fly fishing. When you are fishing in the wind, it becomes very difficult to have an accurate cast. Dawn and dusk are the best times to fish as the wind is typically low. If you are having problems with the wind, try positioning yourself with the wind, rather than against it or at your side.

Small-mouth bass and walleye may be rather picky when it comes to bait. In addition to your normal live bait, include some leeches. Leeches can be kept alive overnight by putting them into a plastic or Styrofoam container that is ventilated and has water in the bottom.

Nice weather can change the quality and mood of your fishing trip drastically. Before fishing, check out the weather predictions. Check a week before your trip, and then check again the night before. If the weather isn’t going to be good, consider rescheduling your trip.

When you have hooked a big fish and it is trying to get away, do not panic. Don’t waste energy reeling in a fleeing fish. Sit back and let your reel’s drag do the work for you. When the fish is hooked, set your drag. Orient your rod at an angle of about 45 degrees relative to the water, and point your rod at the fish.

Never panic no matter how big the fish you’ve caught! Large fish can put up a fight; don’t reel them in immediately or you risk your rod breaking. Set your drag, then wait it out. When the fish exhausts itself, you can reel it in.

Children thrive on praise. Never ridicule their catch even if, by your standards, it is less than worthy of their efforts. While making a big catch may be easy for an adult, a young child may have a harder time of it.

If you are targeting larger sized fish, it’s important to used larger sized bait. It’s fairly simple. A larger fish likes a larger bait and vice versa. To catch larger varieties of fish, like Pike or Muskie, consider using Blugill or Crappie bait.

Know where the fish are. When you are consistently going to a specific location, you should know where the bass are biting. Learn what time they seem to be most active during. Timing is extremely important when you are bass fishing.

There is no universal bait that all fish enjoy equally. To catch the fish you want, you will need to know how to use different bait, such as worms, jigs or grub. For instance, the best place to use jigs is in murky water. In this environment, their wobbling is far more likely to grab a fish’s attention. By contrast, it’s best to use plastic worms when the water is not murky, as they are clearly visible to fish without the fisherman jiggling them around.

A large fish isn’t always a trophy. When you go fishing and you catch fish that are much larger and older than others, it is probably a good idea if you return them to the water instead of trying to make them a meal. When a fish is huge, it’s likely that they’ve consumed many contaminants, which doesn’t make it the healthiest of meals.

When fishing in a boat, many people use an instrument called a depth finder. Depth finders help fishers to judge how deep the fish may be swimming according to temperature.

Fishing can be an exciting and relaxing hobby. You can expect to rapidly build up your fishing skills if you follow the suggestions that you have just read through. Schedule an outing with your friends or family members, and start fishing. Chances are good that you will create a memory to cherish for years.

Take A Look At These Fishing Tips!

Take A Look At These Fishing Tips!

 

People who fish are often fond of the taste of fish as well. The best and most delicious fish to eat is often the fish that you catch on your own. You’ll have to go out and catch a few fish if you want to have a nice, fresh fish dinner. But before you do that, you’ll need to get some great fishing advice. Below are some hints on catching fish.

Almost any fisherman can improve his chances by wearing camouflaged clothing. Fish aren’t colorblind. Bright colors can easily spook them. Neutral tones and earth colors are best to blend into your surroundings.

Be sure to wade carefully through water. If you need to go through a river when you are fishing, walk carefully and slowly. Many people do not realize it, but when you move through the water you are at risk of scaring the fish away with the noise. Take your time and be sure you don’t disturb the riverbed.

If you are fishing with a current, cast into the current and let it bring your bait to the desired area. This is more natural looking and increases your odds of catching something. Be careful not to allow a lot of slack line to go into the water.

The birds can be your best fishing partners. Whenever you notice birds swooping into a certain area, it is likely that lots of fish will be in that location. People aren’t the only ones who enjoy fishing–birds are more than willing to dive for their dinner. You may find your fishing success increases dramatically if you fish where the birds congregate.

Take a camera with you when you go fishing to help show off your catch when you choose to return it to the water. This way, you can return the fish to its home, but it will give you something to show everybody back home.

Grubs are a great bait for catching bass. Surprisingly, some small lures can catch enormous fish. They are often used as bait for smallmouth bass but may also catch largemouth bass as well. If you’re in a highland reservoir, they’re perfect.

Always know what the local regulations are about fishing when you head out on the water. There are certain areas that prohibit fishing all together, or there are some areas that might restrict certain bait. If you aren’t sure, talk to the local government office.

A good tip for any fisherman is to get the correct license for your fishing area. In the United States, you need a different fishing license for each state, and you can choose from either a day, or year-long license.

When your big fish is on the hook, swimming like mad to escape, keep your calm. Do not reel in your fish as it tries to swim away. Do your best to relax and let your rod and the drag do the work. Once the fish has been hooked, set your drag. Keep the fishing rod angled at about 45 degrees to the surface of the water, keeping it pointed towards your fish.

Did you know that each phase of the moon have an affect on fishing? Full moons tend to make the best time for night fishing since fish tend to be very active around this time. Just remember that moonlight will also increase your visibility; take the appropriate steps to counteract this.

While fishing with a buddy, it is important that you pull your line from the water whenever he or she snares a fish, and your partner should do likewise if you are catching a fish. Doing so prevents nasty snarls and tangles and makes bringing the fish in much easier.

To be certain your lure lands upon the water silently, you must practice the many techniques used by fishermen for casting. You will want to have as little noise as possible, otherwise, you run the risk of scaring the fish away. Using your wrist when you cast will aid you in this technique.

Temperature and time are crucial factors in catching fish. When it comes to bass, bigger fish usually are out at both dawn and dusk since this is when their bait fish are active. Just be sure that the water is above 50 degrees when you are fishing at these times.

Move around every now and then if you’re having trouble staying patient when fishing. This will enable you to have a fresh mind and you will also be able to enjoy the scenery, as well. You might even find your new favorite spot.

Keep your reel clean and lubricated. Keeping up with this maintenance is important for being able to accomplish the fundamentals of fishing–casting and reeling. A reel that is well lubricated will run smoother, reducing casting time and making the entire process easier. Maintaining your reel properly makes a big difference to your success.

Fishing from a boat can allow you to easily access good fishing spots. However, it also presents added danger. When fishing out of a boat, always think about safety first. Make sure all passengers wear life vests, keep oars on board, and keep tabs on the weather because storms can come up quickly.

Prior to cooking a fish, it is best to scale it. You could use a big spoon or buy a fish scaler. Hold the fish firmly on its side by grasping the head as you scrape. Make sure you are patient. This may take a while, especially when the fish scales are thin.

Make sure your hands are wet before touching a fish. Fish are protected with a slimy layer that helps them stay moist, however dry hands can remove this slime and hurt the fish. Not only will this help keep the fish healthy when released back into the water, it also maintains freshness in those you keep to eat.

Use these tips the next time you go fishing, so that you catch as many fish as you want. Even if your first fishing attempt isn’t a glowing success, don’t give up. It takes a little practice to become a great fisherman. The fish will keep coming back to you if you have the dedication.