Granola Bars for the Boat — or the house!

Picture of home made granola bars.


Okay, this the perfect take-along for when the wife says to bring something healthy! 

Or not, really, because they don’t taste healthy….they taste incredibly delicious – like a cross between a candy bar and what one might think a granola bar could be, or even should be, if it was having a really good day (instead of a more-is-typical graaanola bar type day – you know… a dry and tasteless type of day). 

These are proof that granola bars don’t have to be boring, dry, and tasteless.  These are what every granola bar worth it’s oats and bits of dried fruit should strive to be!

Once you eat these not only will you be putting something in your body that will fuel it strong while you continue to fire cast after cast, but you be will be twisting your taste buds and brain into believing that healthful food can be delicious. 

These are proof.  Yes, indeedy!  Chewy and crunchy.  Crunchy and chewy. 

Mmmmm…..these are really good!

But don’t take my word for it….you’ve got to try these for yourself. 

 Picture of home made granola bar.


Butter a 9 x9 baking dish and set the oven to 350.


Spread the oats, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, almonds, and flax seed onto a sheet pan.  Park the pan in the oven for about 15 minutes – stirring things around periodically.  The goal here is to toast the ingredients, not burn them.  So keep an eye on things.


Meanwhile: combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and in a medium saucepan and place over med heat.  Bring to a bubbly simmer and cook for 1 minute. 


Remove the oat mixture from the oven when the time elapses  and reduce the heat to 300.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring with a big wooden spoon or spatula.  Sprinkle the dried fruit and salt in evenly as you stir. 


Empty mixture into the prepped baking dish and press down evenly with back of spatula.  Continue to work all around the top of the mixture with the top of spatula for a couple of minutes – being sure to really pack it together and into the pan pretty tightly.


Place in the oven for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.  Cut into desired sized pieces and store in a zip-lock bag or other air-tight container. 

Picture of assorted dried fruits. IMG_6467 Saucepan ingredients. Picture of sliced up diced fruit. Home made granola bars in baking pan.





2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup flax seed

1/2 cup raw honey (regular honey is fine)

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (light brown sugar is fine)

1 3/4 tablespoons unsalted butter – plus extra for greasing baking dish

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon each of vanilla and almond extract for different taste)

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (kosher salt is fine too)

6.5 ounces of dried fruit  (I like an assortment like blueberries, cherries, apricots, mangos or cranberries).  You want to dice these up pretty small.

granola bar nutrition label.

Filming Yourself Fishing

I’m sure many of you are better at this than I am! 

I’ve been playing around with this for a few years and it’s a difficult endeavor.  Casting and reeling and catching fish while the camera is rolling and, hopefully, capturing all the action is not an easy thing to accomplish, that’s for sure, especially when you, the one doing the casting and the reeling and the catching is also the one doing the filming

It can be done.  And it can be done well. 

Probably not by me, mind you, but by those of you out there who have better mastered the art of “self-filming” your great fishing moments.  I’ll keep trying.  It’s fun!  And, it’s rewarding to come back with something to show the world – hey I caught a big one!   Sure you did!  Hey, I can prove it, now, it’s all right here on film!  Modern technology is pretty amazing indeed.

The Go Pro camera– ah the Go Pro – what a perfect little deal for doing this!  Of course there are other cameras out there that are perfectly suitable for filming your fishing adventures as well.  Lots of others, actually, with more and more entering the market each year it seems.  But the Go Pro is the camera I started doing this “self-filming of my fishing trips” with, and it works well – very, very, well actually.  And I’m not the one to try to fix or cure a problem if I don’t have one!   The Go Pro camera is ultra-small, super light weight, and there are myriad high-quality mounts, brackets, attachments and various gizmos that you can use to help you film your own fishing trips. 

Pictures of Go Pro Hero 3 camera.

There are  head-strap mounts that are great for filming while your fishing – this is the only way to go when shore fishing.  There are also various types of mini-tripods and poles that you can use on whatever fishing vessel you use – whether that be a high-end bass boat or an old Jon boat.  Whatever you fish out of, with a little head scratching and brainstorming, you can most likely figure out a way to rig up one of these cameras on whatever  boat you use so that you can film your own fishing trip, where you’re the star.

And those little Go-Pro camera are tough! 

I use mine not only to film my fishing trips but also some of my hunting trips.  I’ve found them to be a very versatile and reliable camera system regardless of what I am trying to film  And the quality of the film is stellar (no always when I’m self-filming my trip because of my own issues with framing and keeping the thing steady! But, when proper photographic technique is used, the Go Pro’s get the job done and with high-quality results). 

I like the Go Pro cameras because not only because of the quality of the media they produce and their reliability but also because they are part of a system of other components: head straps, poles, mini-tripods, brackets, clamp mounts, etc.  Whatever you need to rig up and mount your camera, Go Pro seems to have the job covered.  The quality and ease of use and integration of their products with all the other products seems very streamlined and easy to use.  I currently use the Go Pro Hero 3 with a head strap mount and a waterproof housing – as mentioned this setup is great for shore fishing. 

I also use the Gooseneck mount on my bass boat.  I have the base of it stuck on my windshield and my Go Pro Hero 3 in the waterproof housing goes right on the top.  For my kayak fishing, I have the camera in the waterproof housing and attached to the end of their 3-way mount, which is a flexible pole that sticks right in my fishing pole holder.  I can’t recommend this rig, however.  It’s just what I happen to have and it works…well kind of!  The three-way pole mount isn’t meant to fit in the rod holder of my kayak and I have to kind of wedge it in there to get it to stay and it’s not straight when it’s in there!  This year I will be going to a pole that is actually designed to mount onto the kayak itself. 

Go Pro Camera with various accessories.


I also sometimes use that Gooseneck mount on the front of my kayak – I’ve got a mount for the base of it stuck onto the front access storage lid of the ‘yak.  With all of these setup I usually use a Go Pro Smart Remote to trigger start and stop the camera when needed

This works super.  The only downside is that it does take some battery juice to run for extended periods.  I usually take two spare batteries with me which will suffice to film an ALL DAY fishing/filming trip!

Whatever camera you might decide to try I encourage you to do so – give self-filming a try and go out there and capture some of your own great fishing memories on film for the world to see! 

And – let us know how it goes!

Tight Lines!



Kayak Bass Fishing — Really?

What is it with kayak fishing?  I mean it is soooo peaceful and relaxing out there paddling around.  Catching fish too, of course. Big fish sometimes.  In fact, big fish a lot of the time!

It wasn’t that long ago – 4 years ago to be exact — that I suspected anyone caught fishing out of one of those things must be crazy and certainly not a serious fisherman.  I mean, the first thought that came to my mind back then was an image of someone spinning around, upside down half the time, in some white-water rapids, sporting a helmet and dodging car-sized rocks.  That image certainly didn’t make me think of bass fishing!

But all of that changed when a buddy had his “yak” sitting along a river bend one day and told me I should take it for a “spin” (I was hoping he meant for a ride and not really the sort of spin that I had in my mind!).  The first 5 minutes in his Wilderness Ride 135 kayak turned my thoughts on fishing out of a kayak 180 degrees!  Wow — what a a stable boat!  Wow — what an easy thing to paddle!  (and I spent half my time paddling it up a mild river current just to see).

My eye’s were opened that day on the great idea of using a kayak to catch bass!

smallmouth bass fishing out of kayak

Fast forward to today — five years later.   I’ve got three kayaks for bass fishing!  Okay, technically only one is mine and the other’s are for my wife and son respectively.

What have I learned about these modern plastic boats?  kayaks are super for sneaking up on bass.  Kayaks are super for catching bass in water so shallow a bass boat can’t even come close to getting into.  Kayaks are super for sneaking up on bass.  Kayaks are so light and so transportable.  Kayaks are super for sneaking up on bass.  Kayaks are very sea-worthy and appropriate models can be used from everything from bass fishing farm ponds to bass fishing Lake Michigan (no kidding).  And, kayaks are super for sneaking up on bass…!   Okay…you probably get the gist of this and I could go on!  Believe me.  Kayaks are serious bass fishing vessels and have big advantages over bigger boats.  Believe me, too, when I say bigger boats have their advantages over kayaks.  It just depends on the time and the place.  There are pros and cons to everything.

I don’t even know what got me talking about kayak fishing to be honest.  I just thought I’d share some basic thoughts and insight with you on these light-weight bass fishing crafts!

Kayks in back of truck.

picture of smallmouth bass being released.

end of road sign.

Make no mistake, though, I am not biased toward kayak bass fishing or using a larger boat. Use the craft that you have and that suits the conditions.  Just rest assured that modern kayaks — of which there are so many models to choose from these days, serve as reliable, safe, efficient, effective and relatively inexpensive bass fishing watercraft, of which one should take note of.  One doesn’t need a $50,000 bass boat with all the latest technology to catch bass — a kayak will do ya’!  No kidding.  Again…no biases here.  I have a fully loaded bass boat and love it.  But I also love my $800 yak!

Shallow water emergent weeds in the upper midwest.


Water-logged trail through woods.Just thought I’d pass the word on using kayaks for bass fishing for those that might be intrigued.  I’ll write much more about it in the future.

Good Fishing!


Watch Your Step!

The ice all across the midwest is getting thinner and thinner. Be careful if you go ice fishing! Take a friend, space apart while walking, look for at least 3 inches of clear solid ice and it's not a bad idea to wear an inflatable life vest!