Archive for January, 2011

Operation Catch Fish

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Here in the United States, we fish for many reasons: relaxation, competition, to share time with family and friends, or simply to become closer to our environment by actively participating in it.

For the members of our Armed Forces in Iraq, motivations for fishing certainly include all of same reasons, but perhaps a few more: to let their guard down if only for a short time, to connect with a passion enjoyed back home, to create an experience that is easily shared with loved ones and to truly find the “relaxation” in R&R.

In the Spring of 2010, Okuma was approached by Operation Catch Fish, a program put together by Joe Mercurio, host of the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series. In conjunction with Armed Forces Entertainment and the Bagdad Anglers Club, Operation Catch Fish III was headed to Bagdad to put on a weeklong series of base visits, casting competitions and clinics, culminating in the Bagdad Fishing Derby held at Camp Victory in a lake formerly reserved for use only by Saddam and his guests.

The goals of Operation Catch Fish are simple: boost troop morale, create a fun event to serve as a momentary diversion and to offer a gift to every service member met as a symbol, however small, of our appreciation and support for the sacrifices they make every day.

Joining a group of sponsors that included Mustad, Costa, Reactor Sport Watches, Yamaha, Skeeter, Bullet Weights and Guy Harvey from the fishing community, Okuma donated 500 rod and reel combinations to the event that would stay with the troops.

We just received some photos back, and it’s with tremendous pride that we share them with you. It’s your support of Okuma Fishing Tackle that made this donation possible and we thank you with our deepest respect and gratitude.

The Love of the Game. Winter Tactics by Joel St. Germain

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Ever wonder what a tournament angler with over 50 career wins thinks about when not under the pressure of competitive fishing? For Okuma Pro-Staff member Joel St. Germain, it’s still fishing. Always looking to learn and to glean new information for sure, his approach shifts and focus widens, taking in many more of the simple pleasures fishing offers. We loved this article and wanted to pass it on. To judge a day simply by numbers of fish is to miss out on much of the available experience. Please enjoy!

Everyone says they love to go fishing, right? For most of us, there’s not much we’d rather do than launch boat and spend a day or part of a day with our friends, chunkin’ and windin’.

But there’s another breed, another level, of fisherman. These are the folks who go fishing whenever they can, and I mean whenever. The only reason these people look at the weather report is to just make sure it’s physically possible to launch the boat. Wind, rain, cold, ice – these are just variables, not obstacles to going fishing.

Joel St. Germain with winter bass

There's a solitude and peace to winter bass fishing. And the rewards ain't to bad either!

I can tell you, I have had some of my best days fishing in the winter. Being from New England, we’re used to bad weather. In New England, the winters are bone-chilling cold. By late November, most of the days are in the 20’s overnight, with daytime highs in the 40’s. We get a lot of wind, and the wind chill factor brings it down to the teens some days.

As a result, around here, tournaments end in late October. After that, the weather is just too unpredictable. On the other hand, for me I’m just settling into my next season and keeping my Okuma gear in my hands! I’m a firm believer the time I spend on the water in the winter will really help me hone my skills. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

My favorite style of fishing is for deep smallmouth that pile up on humps and points in 30 feet of water. When we do this, I throw a drop shot or spoon. Both work, and both will catch fish after fish even when the water is in the low 40’s.

Many people ask….How do you catch them when the air is in the 20’s and 30’s and the water is around 42 or 44 degrees? I’m a firm believer… the key is finding the bait. You have to find the schools of white or yellow perch. The fish won’t be too far away. The water down at 30 feet is cold, probably even colder than the surface, but it’s always cold down there. Even in the summer, the water down there is in the mid-60’s, so for the fish, it’s not a huge change.

You have to fish slowly too. I spent many hours over the years working on mastering the art of spoon jigging, working it in small, tiny hops. Most guys yank on it like they’re jigging Cod. You have to just move it in tiny twitches, letting it flutter down. The fish usually grab it on the drop. Sharp hooks are a key too. You need to have the best hooks you can for this kind of fishing.

When fishing with a close friend “Jim”, we always have our rituals – we tell stories of the year past, talk about what trails we’re going to be fishing in the upcoming year, and exchange holiday greetings to pass on to each others families.

This past year I’ve had some fun memories fishing with Jim. For me, last year I caught my biggest smallmouth ever on December 20th and on the same day caught almost 50 fish in a half day, literally one after the other. At times, we had doubles and triples. Some were small, some were big, and some were just yellow perch. But it was fishing, and laughing, and a break from work, family, and responsibilities.

We learn a lot doing this, but there’s more to it than just putting in “time on the water.” For me, I just enjoy the fishing, with no pressure to find fish for a tournament, or put together a pattern. All too soon another tournament year will begin and I’ll be fishing my way back to the Bassmasters classic, looking for one more bite to seal a solid finish.

But for now, I’m just fishing… this is the way I like to think of it…..

“We are one day closer to spring!”

Peace
Joel

Why We’re So Excited About Citrix

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Citrix is more than a new line of reels and rods. Citrix is a representation of a new direction in fishing tackle: a higher level of performance, brought within reach of more anglers than ever before. From a company 100% driven to create, construct and deliver equipment so good it becomes part of your motivation to go fishing… suffice it to say, we’re just a little bit excited.

Citrix low-profile baitcast reels lead an all-new extended family of baitcasters. The same ergonomic body design is found in the Alumina, Calera and Tormenta low-profiles also. As a group, these reels offer the largest selection of casting reels Okuma has ever offered in both right hand AND left hand retrieve. Citrix and family serve every casting preference, where ultra-premium Serrano and Cayenne bait cast reels are only available in right hand at this time.

Citrix low profile bait cast reel

Featuring a monster drop down gear case and 7.3:1 gear ratio, Citrix leads an all-new family of Okuma low-profile baitcast reels that includes the Alumina, Calera and Tormenta. (click image to enlarge)

Citrix low-profiles begin with Okuma’s ALC or AlumiLite Frame Construction, featuring a rigid die cast aluminum frame and machined and anodized Hi-Rise spool cut from A6061-T6 aircraft aluminum. This powerful center of strength prepares Citrix for the most demanding freshwater and inshore salt water fisheries. The drive system, including precision spool shaft, pinion shaft and machine cut brass gears come together in Citrix’s massive drop down gear box. Critical components are sized to their maximum within the housing, adding strength and greater surface area for long-wearing durability.

El Salto lake bass fishing with Citrix baitcast reel.

Citrix's 7.3:1 gear ratio comes in handy when trying to extract El Salto lake pigs from the timber.

The gear system is a point of separation that makes Citrix low-profile bait cast reels unique in the Okuma lineup. Available models include two options in gear ratios. The first is a blazing fast 7.3:1 that’s available in both right and left hand retrieve. Picking up nearly 32-inches of line with every turn of the handle, this incredible speed pushes the limit of what’s available in the market today. Whether burning rip baits across a flat or extracting fish forcefully from heavy cover, the high-speed Citrix is a bass angler’s ally. Steelhead fishermen who drift fish or cast floats, where time between casts is time lost forever, will appreciate Citrix’s speed between presentations as well as its’ ability to keep pace with the fastest running fish. Top competitive products offering this gear ratio are priced at $179.99, $219.99, $299.99 and even $399.99. At an MSRP of $119.99, Citrix provides the avid recreational and aspiring tournament angler unhindered access to the latest professional performance features.

Citrix is the only Okuma low-profile to feature an externally adjustable centrifugal cast control system. (click image to enlarge)

At 5.4:1, the low-speed Citrix, available in right hand retrieve, offers the most powerful gearing in the Okuma low-profile selection. Working even the slowest moving crank bait and spinner bait presentations with precision and accuracy, the standard speed Citrix does battle with steady, consistent pressure and a relentless attitude.

In either high-speed or standard gear ratios, Citrix casting reels are fluid performers. Featuring 8 bearings (7 ball-bearings plus one roller bearing), both casting and retrieves are set free from the feel of the internal mechanics, allowing anglers to focus on the presentation at all times.

With incredible available freespool, Citrix addresses the needs of casters with Okuma’s most desirable Velocity Control System: a patented, externally adjustable centrifugal cast control system. All other Okuma baitcast reels feature an internally-adjustable centrifugal system or an externally-adjustable magnetic cast control system (or a combination of both). Citrix is the only bait cast reel in the Okuma lineup to feature the centrifugal system with external adjustment. With total control available on-the-fly through the external dial, spool velocity is easily and quickly managed under ever-changing conditions and changes to casting weights.

Brandon with a toad on El Salto lake Mexico.

Brandon Cotton pulls a quality fish on a Citrix/C3 combo.

Lightweight and corrosion proof graphite side plates seal Citrix’s internal components with outstanding ergonomics that comfortably work with the hand. The smooth and powerful oversized disk drag system is dialed-in through the aluminum star that’s micro-click adjustable for precise drag settings. The handle is stamped from aluminum for strength. Cut slightly longer than traditional cranking handles, the increased throw is more natural, incredibly comfortable and provides for increased leverage when cranking big baits and fighting large fish. Outfitted with knobs suitable for adult hands, the ergonomics incorporated are well appreciated over a long day on the water.

Ready for braided superlines, Citrix’s Zirconium line guide insert is impervious to braid’s abrasive effects.

Citrix low-profile casting reels are a performance-driven package on all levels of speed, handling, performance, comfort and durability. To advance angler experience completely and in total, Citrix rods were developed as the ultimate compliment to the reels.

With strikingly beautiful design elements, Citrix rods are the lightest, most responsive rods we've ever constructed. (click image to enlarge)

Put simply, Citrix rods are the lightest, most responsive rods we’ve ever constructed. And if that’s not enough, they’re also the hottest looking sticks on the water. To deliver the total package, every feature was scrutinized and optimized to deliver total performance.

Citrix rods are constructed of Okuma IM8 graphite to deliver the desired fast actions and incredible strength with minimal weight. The guides feature ALPS ultra-light stainless steel frames for strength with braid-ready Zirconium inserts.

The handle assembly continues Citrix weight loss program while also retaining a total commitment to strength. The rear split grip features comfortable and supremely light EVA grips. The fore grip has been completely eliminated, again to reduce weight, but also to allow for direct finger contact with the rod blank to maximize sensitivity.

The rear of the reel seat is Pac Bay’s MINIMA design. The reel hood, however, operates on custom built machined aluminum and two tone anodized seat threads. Custom made in Okuma facilities, the reel seat threads are the single area where some weight was retained as a function of superior strength. Going even lighter was an option, but the ultimate fishing rod should also include ultimate security of the reel mounted upon it.

Independently of one another, Citrix rods and Citrix casting reels clearly and recognizably advance angler performance on the water. In combination, the pair will raise your performance and excite your senses with every cast and every fish.

Okuma Goes “Into the Blue”

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Makaira and Cedros products have been building small, dedicated fan bases in some of the premiere sport fishing locations in the world.  Secret no more, it’s time to go mainstream.  Showcasing the advanced designs and performance of Makaira and Cedros families of product, it’s our pleasure to have sponsored Into the Blue television for 2011.

For us, it all comes down to the hosts.  Captains Scott Walker and Steve Roger are each incredible anglers with experience second to none, and even more importantly perhaps, they like to have a good time on the water.

There are a lot anglers out there with premium skills, but to be able to deliver a first rate experience while keeping it fun and enjoying the comaraderie… that’s worth watching.  Of course, rich HD filming on some of the earth’s most beautiful waters doesn’t hurt either.

Based out of the Florida Keys, the show is spoiled with world-class fisheries immediately available at a moment’s notice.  And if you’ve ever wondered just how good the fishing is there… it’s all you’ve heard and more.

Into the Blue airs on the Versus network Saturdays at 1pm est, 10am pst.  If you miss the Saturday air time, catch it on Tuesday at 10:30am est (7:30am pst), Wednesdays at 3pm est (12pm pst) and Thursdays at 11:30am est (8:30am pst).

We’ve asked them to put Makaira, Cedros spinning, Cedros lever drags and Cedros Coastal rods through a torture test captured on film… and from the looks of the recently received photos taken during filming, they’re doing a heck of a job!

Here’s just a quick sneak peak of what the season has to offer.  Catch up with missed episodes at:  http://www.intotheblue.tv/