Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December Recipe - Smoked BBQ Turkey

It's been awhile since I have shared a recipe with you, but after this past weekends trial run of BBQ'ing a Turkey i just had to share the results.

With milder then average temps BBQing this years Turkey was a no brainer, all it took was a little preparation and some snow removal.. here is a step by step guide on how to BBQ the perfect Turkey

Step 1 - It's all about the brine

if you skip this step you might as well stop now, brining a turkey ensures it stays flavourful and moist giving even novice Chefs a chance at immortality.

My brine consists of equal parts 2 parts Apple Juice to 1 part water. I then throw in 1 cup of salt, a few Bay leaves, a few sprigs of Thyme and 2 tsp each of mince garlic and ginger.. then a hand full of peppercorns to top it off.

Place the bird in breast side down and and refrigerate for 24hrs (you can go for less, but I wouldn't)

Tip: All in all you should be looking at 2 quarts of liquid for a 10-13lb bird. I do a test run by putting the Turkey in an empty pot and covering it with water 4-5 cups at a time, once covered I know how much I need.

On the day of the cook your turkey should come out of the brine for a couple hours prior to hitting the grill. This will allow the excess moisture to run off and ensure a crispy skin.

Step 2 - Fire Up the Grill

Time to fire up the grill. You have two options here.. low and slow (225 for 6+ hours) or the faster version at 350 for about 3 hours.. I chose fast for this cook.

Once the BBQ has hit temp and stayed their for 15 minutes or more you are ready to add the wood chunks or chips. I prefer Chucks, simply because Im lazy and there is no need to soak them, they burn longer then chips and I find it much easier to determine the right about needed to get that smoke kiss (3-4 2 inch chunks)

Step 3 - The Rub down & Stuff

A basic salt and pepper rub will do the trick, but since Im BBQ'ing this Turkey I decided to use a BBQ rub, meaning it contains paprika salt, sugar and a mix of spices. Watch the sugar level on your rubs as the more sugar they have the quicker the skin will char up. 

Apply some serious pressure and make sure you get this rub to stick to the bird.

Tip: I like to give my Turkey its rub down prior to doing the injections. Too much pressure on the bird while rubbing it down can push the marinade out.. so rub first then inject

For a BBQ'ed Turkey I opted to stuff the cavity with aromatics over a traditionl bread stuffing, This turkey was jam packed with onion, apple and thyme. Slice each in quarters and stuff in as much as you can

Step 4 - Prepare the Injection & Basting Sauce

Just like the brining stage, this is a very important step to adding flavour and moisture to your Turkey. I keep it pretty simple by melting 3/4 cup of un salted butter and toss in a handful of bay leaves and thyme. I let this mixture soft boil for a good 10 minutes to get the flavour of the herbs into the butter. Let it cool and then begin the injection process.

Tip: for added flavour you can add various liquids to your injection, apple juice and beer are my two fav add-ons.

When give your bird it's shots of liquid gold, be generous, cover as much of the breast as you can, and be sure to give the thighs and legs some love as well.

Step 5 - Get it on the Grill 

As mentioned above there is two ways you can do this, for the purposes of this recipe I went with a higher temp (350) and shorter cook time (3hrs). No matter if you are going slow and low and fast and high, the key to a good cook is to leave the bird alone and let the BBQ/Smoker do it's thing

I don't touch the Turkey for the first 1.5 hours of the cook, this mean lid down and no basting at this time. Once it hits the 1.5 hours I will take a peek, adjust the birds position if needed and give it its first baste using the left over butter mix from the injection.

For the last 1.5 hours of the cook I will baste the Turkey every 45 minutes (so two more times) prior to taking it off the grill.

Checking the temp at 2.5 hrs, this will let you know if you are on track or if the brid will need more time. You are looking for an internal temp of 165 in the breast and thighs and slightly higher on the legs. use an instant read at this time, as your probe may be off a bit during longer cooks,

Step 6 - Let it rest

Once off the grill I allow the bird to rest for 30-45 minutes prior to cutting. This allows the juices to redistribute and keeps your Turkey super moist.

Step 7 - Carve and Enjoy

No words needed.. time to eat

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Why Jig fisherman choose Dobyns rods.. and you should too

Over the past 2 seasons I have dedicated a good portion of my time on and off the water to improving my skills as a jig fisherman. It is something I came to late in life, and I still have a lot to learn. A major part of this learning includes finding the best jig for the job, and even more importantly the best jig rod. I could sit here today and go over the rods and jigs I use and explain to you what I love them, but why would you want to hear from me a self professed novice? So instead I went out and rounded up three anglers that make a living fishing with and designing jigs, and one guy who just happens to own the single day weight record at the Bass Master Classic (yeah.. Paul Mueller)

 So if you're like me and are looking to learn as much as you can about jig fishing and jig rods, or if you're an avid pro just looking for the next jig or jig rod for your already stacked arsenal...you best keep reading because these 4 sticks sure know what makes the perfect jig rod

Rich hails from Minneapolis Minnesota and when he is not at home being a husband and father, you can often find him perusing his other passions.. tournament fishing, writing and of course helping design jigs as one of the co-founders of BassTEK Tungsten Jigs. Believe me when I tell you, this is one man who knows what he wants and needs in a jig rod.. Here is why he chooses Dobyns.

When Jig fishing Rich often relies on 2 main techniques or types of jigs… flipping jigs and Football jigs. Both of these he throws with a Dobyns DX745c giving him the perfect combination of feel, and power that both these techniques require. 

The DX745c is touted as a heavy jig rod, and excels at throwing jigs weighing in at  3/8oz all the way to 1-1/2oz draggers. Being that it is a DX series rod its light weight body is an anglers best friend and will help take some of the stress and pressure off your back and shoulders, that often comes with fishing larger jigs.

If flipping and skipping docks is your thing, Rich recommends dropping down to a DX705c, the slightly shorter length gives him better accuracy in the close quarters often attributed to dock fishing, while still maintaining the power needed to drive home hook sets even at those awkward angles you  find yourself in while fishing docks, pontoons and overhanging trees.

When it comes to jigs, Rich throws BassTEK tungsten, a company he helped co-found back in 2013 after finding himself unsatisfied by many of the jigs being offered by other companies.  BassTEK currently offers three types of skirted tungsten jig including a Flipping Jig, a Bitsy Flipping jig, as well as a football jig. By making all their jigs from tungsten, BassTEK is able to provide anglers with greater sensitivity on the bottom and in the fishes mouth. Tungsten also allows them to give their jigs a smaller profile while keeping the weight required to get down deep and be pulled and or dragged over and through various types of structure, I personally have thrown all three, and I'm a big fan of what BassTEK is doing.

I would also be remiss if I did not mention their Jig Sling, which is hands down the best trailer keeper on the market today.

If you want to learn more about Rich or BassTEK jigs be sure to check out his work on RichLindgren.com and give his Facebook page a like HERE

Brendan Knaggs created the Perfect Jig way back in 2007 to immediate success. Not one to sit still the Perfect Jig continues to introduce new and improved version of their already classic baits. I have had the privilege or working a few sportsman shows with Brendan and after getting to personally pick his brain on jig fishing I knew he was a must include in this article.. Here is why Brendan Knaggs of the Perfect Jig chooses Dobyns..

The rods i use for flipping consists of around 8 rods in total, including four 684c, two o705's and two 746. The 684c  is Perfect for close combat flipping, this includes  docks, tress and other places where fish are sitting tight to cover and accuracy is must. A shorter rod allows you to hit your target and be precise and accurate each and every flip

The DX705 is an all around good jig rod and a bit stiffer than the 684c. I use this rod for my swim jig rod. Has a great feel and a softer tip that allows me to feel bites quicker.

For heavy flipping, heavy slop and deep weed i use the DX746c. This rod handles jigs up to 2oz  allowing me to fish all my heavy jigs in heavy cover , something that other jigs rods may not allow. With a stiff backbone, it is my go to for deeper jig fishing as i can snap this rod with ease shaking weeds and debris off. This rod has a nice sensitive tip for those times when feeling a tick, is really key, especially down deep.

Ever year, trying to come up with new and exciting jigs can be a challenge. This year The Perfect jig is bring out three new styles of jigs and one really custom design. Football head and a punch jig will be added to line up for the 2015 season along with our NEW one of kind, custom mold, our Elite Jig!! This jig is a new and improved arky jig with a twist. We have added a special chunk lock system to the jig allowing anglers to save money on buying chunk and not having them ripped off or sliding down every flip. This jig will be released at the 2015 Toronto spring Fishing show in Feb 13-16th at the International center.

Perfect Jig products can be seen at www.theperfectjig.ca and we are also on facebook, twitter and Instagram under The Perfect jig. Give them a follow and stay tuned for their all new 2015 offerings

Mark Hiser is the owner of Ganns Performance Tackle a company he purchased from his good friend John Gann about 8 years ago. Along with his wife Jana, (who without her help and support the company simply would not exist) the two spend their evenings hand tying jigs every night just to keep up with demand and to ensure the Ganns high standards of quality are always met… Here is why Mark Hiser chooses Dobyns

“So, I love to fish jigs, that is how I met John in the first place. For most part my style of jig fishing,  is all about depth and water clarity, these two scenarios combined is how I choose the rod and line combo I want.”

My choices for different situations:

Shallow (bank to 15 feet deep), clay or gravel, limited cover, Casting Jig ( Ganns Hummer Jig) - Dobyns DX 703C, 10-12lb Seaguar Tatsu Fouro. Typically here in the west, this will be light 1/4-3/8oz jigs, perhaps some clear water, so longer presentations. the 703 has a great tip for this, but is still quick enough into the backbone to drive a good hookset and control the fish. I control the rate of fall of the jig with different trailer choices, I have caught many good fish with a 1/4oz Draggin jig and a five inch double tail trailer. The slower descent of this bait combo in the spring results in crushing strikes at times!!!

From 20 feet on down to around 40 feet I go with the DX 744CFH, 12-15lb Tatsu. I typically use the Hummer Jig in 1/2 or 3/4 for casting onto flats and pulling them off the deep edge. Again, clearer water usually, but this combo works great for muddy water and cover too! Muddy water usually means shallower fish, rising water and cover, this rod will do all that and more.

Football Jigs (Ganns Draggin Jig) are the winter staple here, and for these I always have my DX784C ML, sometimes with 15-20lb Tatsu, or Braid with a flouro topshot when it is really deep ( 40-60 foot range), and I am around rocks. This rod is simply amazing, it has the tip for sensitivity and forgiveness with the fish at the boat, the backbone for the the hook sets and the length to take up a lot of line on longer casts and at these depths. The DX784C ML is also the rod I throw Swim Jigs with, Coupled with 12-15lb flouro in open water and Braid when around weed beds, reeds or tules. The tip will throw the lighter baits, and still do the work when around this type of cover.

As far as new baits are concerned, I have introduced a new line-up of small profile spinner baits " The Mirage series", these are designed for ultra clear water, or to represent the profile of smaller bait fish, available in Ind/Willow or Double willow design with translucent styled skirts for a harder to pinpoint bait. Also introducing the same small profile spinner bait in the "Stryker" series that is outfitted with double Indiana, or Colorado/Indiana style blades. Designed to be used in shallow water when some added vibration is in order, tied with opaque colored skirts for more presence in the water.

I have a new swim jig in the works as we speak, it will also be using the Gamakatsu line of hooks as all our baits do, head sizes will be 1/4-3/8oz, Hand tied, and like all our baits, have our wire bait keeper for holding the trailer in the position you put it at"

Mark continues to operate under the name GANNs  because he continues to use some of Johns original designs and It just seemed like the right thing. When he finally calls it quits (what do fisherman do when they retire?) he will probably change the company. Lets hope this isn’t any time soon

For those of you who may have been under a rock this past year  and do not know the ever growing legend of Paul Mueller. You know the virtually unknown walk-on angler who went from 47th place on Day 1 of the 2014 Bass Master Classic to breaking a single day record on day 2, and then finally coming within ounces to taking home the title by the end of Day 3. What you may not know, and I  can tell you from personal experience is that the stories of Paul's friendly on and off the water demeanour and professional attitude are real and not just part of the legend.

So recently when I reached out to some members of the Dobyns team in support of this article Paul was one of the first people to respond and offer his support. In typical Paul fashion a simple "call me" was followed by "what can I do to help". And although the original plan for this article was to focus mainly on Anglers that also own or work for jig companies, how could I pass up his generous offer

Bass Master Elite anglers are not known for giving up their secrets, but below Paul spills the beans on why he believes Dobyns makes some of the best jig rods on the market today...

 "The  DX764SF is my all around favourite multi-purpose spinning rod for light finesse jigs and hair jigs. It is an exceptional finesse swimbait, tube, and even light texas rig rod but is my rod of choice when fishing small finesse jigs such as the Punisher hair jig. Because of it’s extra length, it provides a unique balance between tip and backbone. It has plenty of backbone to drive a hook home on a long cast when fishing in deep water. The extra length enables you to pick up more line on a hook sets, resulting in better hook to landing ratios with your catch. I really enjoy how soft the tip is on that rod. It allows me to feather a jig over and through heavy cover and the blank on the champion extreme detects even the lightest of strikes”.

For deep water football jig fishing you can't beat the DX745c. It is also an exceptional jig rod for skipping docks with larger jigs and is a great pitching stick for a variety of applications. Plenty of backbone in this rod but enough tip to work a jig properly. The sensitivity and balance of this rod is what separates it from others. This is as powerful and sensitive as it comes and is a must for any serious jig fisherman"

"Whenever I am fishing a big jig, 3/4 oz. and up and especially when I am fishing super thick cover, the 736c is my rod of choice. It has the power of a flipping stick but measuring in at 7’3”, it makes for a very comfortable pitching stick. This rod's extra fast extra heavy action is excellent for solid hooksets and driving a heavy gauge jig hook home. The extra power in this rod enables me to get a fish’s head up, turn him and keep him coming, moving him away from thick cover. When there’s heavy cover or big fish are in the equation, this is the rod"

Be sure to follow Paul's exploits in 2015 as he competes in a full schedule of Elite Series events. You can also stay in touch via his Facebook or get schooled by his many YouTube videos

So there you have it, four fisherman who live and breath jig fishing, all of whom entrust Dobyns to make the rods that allow them to perfect their technique or dare I say art form. Anglers so demanding about the quality of their baits that when they couldn't find the right jig, they went out and made their own., and If these guys choose Dobyns why don't you?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2014 a Fisherman's Christmas List

If you are wracking your brain about what to buy that fishing crazy member of your family this holiday season. I'm here to help. As always I have complied a list of some of the items that will be on almost all anglers list this holiday season.. more importantly their on mine (non to subtle hint for the wife)

The Big Spender: Daiwa Zillion TWS casting reel 

Daiwa's all new Zillion TWS is on top of my Christmas list this season. Yes I have put my rods away in preparation of another long winter, but its never too early to gear up for 2015. 

The Daiwa Zillion TWS brings many of the features of its very popular little brother (Tatula) to the Porsche of the Daiwa family.  Its T-Wing Casting System  allows line to flow freely through the wide upper section during casting and free spool, but when engaged narrow channel of the T-wing pops up for  even distribution across the width of the spool. You can look forward to increased casting performance and a smooth retrieve. 
Diawa is all about light weight and big performance, the Zillion TWS comes to play.. Hard, featuring a Aluminum frame with Zaion side cover combining to form an extremely rigid, lightweight shell, while inside its brass gears and cut-away 90mm swept handle deliver up some serious winding power.
In the past many anglers have shied away from the Zillion series based solely on price point. I think that will change once they realize this newest edition to the Zillion line comes in under the $300 mark

A Frog for your stocking

Frog baits make for great stocking stuffers, and this year the most sought after frog on my list is the Sebile Action First Pivot Frog.. yeah say that 5 times fast. Ignoring the odd name choice the Sebile AFPF is a unique addition to a industry overloaded with imitators. I love to see companies stepping out side the box and offering up anglers something brand new.. even if it just ends up on my shelf after the first few uses.

Sebile pimps this frog out as the most efficient hook-up delivering frog on the market today. The use of a free floating "gravity hook" allows the hook move from side to side making sure any fish you hook stays that way (watch for a frog pond review of this bait in 2015)

Tackle Warehouse Rod Quiver

Christmas is a great time to asked your loved ones for items that are easy for them to pick-out.. they won't always know what hooks you use, your favourite line weight, or even the colour your want your soft plastics to be, but what they can buy you is apparel and accessories, and this year I'm asking for a TW Rod Quiver.

As a shoreline angler who spends a good deal of time fishing from my car trunk, this storage bag from TW will allow me to load for for shoreline treks all while carrying 5-6 rod combos and enough gear to fish my secret roadside spots..this is the equivalent to your wife's overnight cosmetic bag.. it holds just enough to get the job done and make you feel good about yourself.

genius idea from the TW crew

Glacier Glove - Ultra Lite Angler Mitt

I fish year round, so I'm always in the market for a new pair of light weight gloves that I can use on those cooler spring and fall days, as well as in the dead of winter. Recently while on a trip to Gander Mountain I came across these gloves from Glacier, that offer you 3 ways to fight the elements.

First they can be worm as a mitt fully enclosing your fingers in warmth, which is great for lugging gear on and off the ice as well or while driving ling distances down the lake on those cold mornings. Once you start fishing you can slip off the mitt portion of the glove and get those fingers moving, we all know how important it is to feel everything and these thin mitts allow you to do just that.

Lastly, you can unleash that trigger finger to get the ultimate feel.. bare skin. I wore this mitts for awhile and compared them to the other offerings available.. no contests.. i really hope to see these mitts under my tree come Christmas morning.

I know this list seems short and sweet, but hey for the fisherman who has everything these few items might just hit the spot, and if they don't.. there is always Bass Pro Shop gift cards!.. happy hunting and happy holidays