Simple Ways to Improve your Dog’s Lifestyle & Health

No joy can match the joy of owning a pet and especially if it is a dog. Dogs are considered the most trustworthy, honest, and lovable pets. They are so sensitive, candid, loyal, helpful, intelligent, protective, playful, best companion.

Dogs are man’s best stress buster. It is said when it comes to their life span, they have a life span of almost 10-13 years. It is so disheartening to even think that they would not be around you for the rest of your life and you cannot do anything about that. Unfortunately, it’s not in your hand. But, at least you can do much to improve their lifestyle and health so that they live a happy and beautiful life as long as you have them.

Keeping your dogs healthy and activeEarlier, dogs tend to live for less than ten years because the majority of them suffered from various diseases like cancer, lack of proper diet, vaccination issues, etc. People were not aware of a different kind of vaccination available to prevent infections, and would only visit veterinary when the disease cannot be treated at home or when they are in severe condition.

Even now, people are not aware of the food items that should not be fed to them. Some of them are onions, grapes, raisins, or chocolate chips.

Even in some houses, they get only table scraps as their food. But, they have their food requirements as humans do. They are prone to various diseases like arthritis, mange, canine distemper, etc. if they are not appropriately vaccinated. Dogs are different from humans, and you need to understand their language, body walks, etc. Here are some ways to improve your dog’s lifestyle and health:

  • Understand their body language

Dogs cannot speak like humans. But they have feelings too. They feel happy, sad, irritated. When dogs turn their heads or body away, blink quickly, lick their lips, yawn continuously they exhibit the sign of discomfort.

You should figure out the reason behind this behavior. However, it takes time to understand their behavior, but it will help them a lot in living a happy and healthy life as it helps in avoiding stress, anxiety.

  • Give and spend more time with them

It is one of the most important factors that you devote your time to them. Even if you give them your undivided 15 minutes that will make them a lot happier. Everybody needs attention from their loved ones, so do they. Also if you are narrating bed stories or playing fetch with them, try to give them your attention and get involved in them.

  • Engage them in some activities

Engaging them in different mental and physical activities provide the dogs the chance to learn and think on their own. These activities help in building impulses control, patience, and confidence in them. It includes treasure hunts or makes them guess which hand is holding the treat. It also helps in stimulating physical training.

For more such engaging blogs on your puppies and their behavioral activities on a regular basis, bookmark Puppy Smarts and stay updated.

  • Explore nature

dog and owner enjoying outdoorsAs humans, would you like to be in the same house for months or following the same routine with no fun? No, right! The dogs also need to explore the surroundings around them. They have some natural instincts that must be exercised by them like chasing, digging, herding, smelling, etc. This will help them in overcoming boredom and will also help them stay fit. The dogs get information about the world by taking in new scents so, you should let them play and smell whenever they want to.

  • Examine Dog’s Collar

You should always check which collar or harness suits your dog well to their comfort and safety. Make sure that the collar or harness is not too tight or too loose for their comfort.

  • Always Pet

Who does not like to get caress or stroke? Well, dogs love to get petted. Dogs when to want petting to continue, they generally nuzzle you, paw at you, or push his body into your hands.  Petting helps in releasing happy hormones, transfers bacteria to his fur in small amounts, lowers blood pressure, and helps in maintaining a good and happy life.

  • Pause while petting

You must pause while petting your dog; this will give them the consent to take rest if they want to. This gives them a sense of control and supports them to acquire your attentiveness also.

  • Proper diet

The dogs need to be fed a proper diet in a suitable amount and quality. The dogs are harsh on their bodies. The physical activities they do put pressure on the joints and results in injuries. They can also suffer from arthritis and inflammation and joint problems. To avoid this, grains, processed foods, and unhealthy protein sources must be avoided.

  • A regular visit to veterinary

The dogs need to get to the veterinary on a regular basis. Dogs are prone to ear infection, skin infection, dental problems which can cause serious effects on them. If your dog regularly scratches at his ear, shakes his head, or is facing dental problems, then you need to take him to the veterinarian.

This may be because of the infection which if ignored, may take up the form of cancer, heart disease, gum disease, tooth decay, pain, etc. This is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

So, owning a dog is not an easy task. You have to be very attentive and caring while taking care of them. You have to be supportive, loving, and protective for them too. Dog owners must have faced a lot of such problems, but all you need is to take good care of them.

Playing with them, paying attention to them, slowing down during walks also helps in improving your dog life. Dogs are just like babies and the most amazing best friend of humans. So, like their friends or owners, it is your responsibility to take good care of them and improve their lifestyle and health.

The Gratifying Merits of Having a Personal Chef

Getting a personal chef is usually associated with celebrities, business people, and top-paying executives. For one, it is true that it can be costly to hire a personal chef. Imagine the price you pay for eating at a five-star restaurant. Now, when you bring that chef to your home, you can only imagine the costs involved in the entire transaction. But, as you will see below, hiring a personal chef has a lot of perks that anyone can only dream of.

Before considering to hire one, ask yourself the following questions first:

Budget worries when hiring a chefQuestion No. 1: Do I have the budget for it?

As mentioned, hiring a personal chef has its share of costs. If it was cheap to hire one, why isn’t everyone hiring one, right? There is a reason why having one is associated with celebrities, business people, and top-paying executives. The cost factor is in the picture. So, ask yourself first if you have the budget for hiring one. If you barely make ends meet, you need to be practical and think of what’s important, first and foremost.

Question No. 2: Am I passionate about food?

If you can get by with pizza and burger dinners, then why hire a personal chef for? However, if you are a real foodie by heart, then hiring one can be considered. If you are only deciding on hiring one because your family and friends are doing it, it is not a good motivation for you to go for one. It is because you might take it for granted, and you will not enjoy the meals as your other foodie friends would. So, ask yourself if you are genuinely passionate about food. If you are and you have the passion for it, consider hiring one. However, if you are by motivated by other people skip hiring a personal chef.

Let’s say you are now considering to hire a personal chef. However, you haven’t fully decided yet because you still have questions that you want answers for. If you are still in the decision-making process, here are some of the advantages of hiring a personal chef. These pointers might help you make the right decision for what you need:

1. Having a personal chef motivates you to eat healthily.

Back in university or when you are busy, you may get by with pizza, burgers, or noodles for dinner. However, as you grow older, you cannot merely thrive on these foods if you want to enjoy a healthy life. If you have a personal chef, you are motivated to eat healthy because your meals are planned in the most healthful way possible, based on your personal preferences. So, there seems to be no more room for junk or fast food, since you always have healthy meals served for you.

Someone from YourPersonalChef.NYC does not only prepare your food, but he/she also prepares your meal plan. Therefore, you can tell the chef of your preferences, what you are allergic to, and what your goals are in hiring one. If you have always dreaded the taste of vegetables, hiring a personal chef may be your road to finally enjoying veggies.

Rihanna maintains her weight from her own personal chef2. Having a personal chef allows you to lose weight.

Since you will be telling your chef about what your goals are, your meal plan will be based on your weight goals, too. So, if you want to lose five pounds at the end of the month, your meal plan will be geared towards achieving that goal. The good thing about having a personal chef is your preferences are put into the picture; therefore, you are not forced to eat “diet meals” that you don’t like. Diet delivery plans are usually inflexible, so you are forced to eat bland dishes with ingredients that you hate. When you have a personal chef, though, your likes and dislikes are considered. So, if you are not a big fan of green, leafy vegetables, the chef may creatively incorporate them in dishes without you tasting them. Since chefs are professionally trained for this, you get the experience the best of what they can offer.

3. Having a personal chef encourages you to enjoy a variety of foods.

When you do all the cooking all the time, you may go with familiar foods that you are comfortable with preparing and eating. However, going with the same foods over and over again may make you miss out on essential nutrients found in other foods. Having a personal chef allows you to enjoy a diverse variety of foods that you may have never had the chance to eat before. For example, you may hate bitter gourd, but when proper preparations are applied, and it is cooked well, you may end up enjoying its taste, too. Bitter gourd is excellent for people with diabetes, but not too many people go for it because of its flavor. However, there are ways to prepare it that will shield the taste, so you also get to enjoy it and its benefits.

Having a personal chef is excellent for your health; however, the top consideration here is cost. It can be costly to hire one, but if you can afford it, you will quickly realize that it is worth your every penny. In fact, hiring one can be the best decision you can make for the sake of your health.

Cooking Methods That Are a Waste of Time

If you are busy at work, for sure, you don’t want to do anything else when you step outside of the office. And when you add in the pressure and time needed for travel to and from work, then you only end up with a few hours in a day to do things that you like. Work stress is one of the biggest reasons why many people do not have the energy any longer to cook at home.

Home cooking need not be complicatedIt is understandable, though, given that you need to spend at least eight hours in the office (notwithstanding traffic). Eight hours is a lot of time for the grind, so there is nothing else that you want to do after work but to eat and sleep. This kind of lifestyle is very different from what is required by health professionals. Many would want everyone to spend some good time outdoors for their daily dose of Vitamin D. Many would want you to eat healthy, to maintain a regular fitness schedule, take customized vitamins, and to sleep at the right times. These are ideal, though, because these are impossible to achieve if you are doing graveyard and shifting schedules for work. Your internal clock gets mixed up, and it is you who would have to pay the price.

But, in fact, cooking is not that difficult as it seems to be. It is also not as complicated as it seems to be, because you have to go with the methods that work. There is no need to add extra methods that will only prolong your cooking, because some things may work even without these complicated steps. If you can shorten your cooking from one hour to thirty minutes, then you have shaved off a lot of time that you can use for other things. For example, instead of boiling potatoes for thirty minutes, you can instead steam them for ten minutes. It will produce the same results, just with the quarter of the time required.

Cooking at home can save your health and can also save you money. For one, you get to control what you put in your body; therefore, you know exactly all the ingredients that you are putting in every dish. Secondly, eating out is expensive, and so, if you eat at home, you save thousands of dollars accumulated in one year. To give you an idea, eating out for two for dinner in an average restaurant can cost you anywhere between $100 to $200. However, when you decide to do your grocery and to cook at home, your weekly bill for two can cost from $50 to $200 only. There is a big divide here, so if you want to save up, cooking and eating at home is the way to go.

But many people get scared of cooking because of this having a misconception that it is difficult to do. Many people say they “cannot cook,” but in reality, everyone can cook because it is incredibly easy to fry, steam, and boil. These are methods that you do not have to study in class; these come by naturally and you have to use some common sense to make it work.

There is no need to get scared with cooking. Here are cooking methods that are a terrible waste of time. Avoiding these can save you a lot of time and effort:

1. Preparing everything from scratch

It may sound astonishing to prepare everything from scratch. However, you also have to be realistic when it comes to your cooking. It may seem “cool” to make pasta from scratch, with even a pasta maker in tow that you have to roll by hand. However, it takes lots of practice, training, and hours for you to even get close to producing great pasta. If you are ready to spend two days in making pasta, then go for it.

However, if you are working and you have other things to think of, then be realistic and do not feel bad about buying ready-made pasta. Purchasing ready-made and boxed pasta may not sound legitimate, but it is the closest you can get to cooking your dish. Well, you still have to boil the pasta then prepare the sauce for it. So, in a way, you still get to cook your meal at home.

Do not let cooking scare youThe same goes with other ingredients that you need for your dish, including sauces and bases. It may sound amazing to prepare all these from scratch, but it takes a lot of time and effort for you to do that. You need to spend a lot of time and use a lot of utensils to make it happen. It may be called “cheating” to use ready-made sauces and bases, but you are just making the most of what is available in groceries. Make sure that you are purchasing organic and minimally processed sauces; not those laden with sodium and preservatives. Read the labels before buying, so you are sure of the quality of the products you are getting.

2. Using a lot of cooking methods for one dish

French cooking is especially notorious for the use of various methods for a single dish. Unless you are a die-hard French food fan, you can choose to cut corners with dishes that you prepare. Most French dishes would have you fry, steam, bake, and boil, and would have you use many ingredients and techniques just for one dish. For sure, you don’t want to spend the entire day in the kitchen preparing your meals.

So, instead of using a lot of cooking methods for one dish, choose to prepare simple yet healthy and delicious meals. There are thousands of recipes available online and in cooking books, so do not be afraid to try. Simple-to-prepare meals do not mean that they are not yummy or worthy of trying. In fact, the simpler the dish is, the better it is for your health since you get to enjoy the full flavor of the meal to its fullest.

Preparing everything from scratch and using a lot of cooking methods for one dish are cooking methods that are a waste of time. You don’t have to do these waste-of-time techniques, especially if you are busy and don’t have much time to cook.

Jig Heads – The Most Versatile Artificial Lure

Fishing with a jig head is simply a time-tested, effective way to catch a variety of species. A jig head’s versatility allows this lure to be used in a variety of different ways to catch anything from trout in a stream to striped bass in the ocean. Whether you tip a jig head with bait, soft plastic or some skirt, jig head’s should be part of every anglers tackle box.

First, everyone should understand exactly what a jig head is. A jig head is a weighted hook. Near the eye of the hook (the eye is where the line is attached) a ball of weight has molded to the hook and painted. Often, eyespots are painted on as well to give the appearance of a head at the top of the hook. Jig heads come in various hook sizes, weights, and colors for all of the different fishing conditions one may encounter. Also, many jig heads now have a small barb near the head to help keep bait and lures in place.

I am sure we all understand that a weighted hook (a jig head) is not going to catch fish on its own, and that’s not what a jig head is designed for. A jig head is designed to be tipped with something else. Bait is the number one choice for most anglers and is easily the most effective way to catch fish. A jig head can also be tipped with soft plastic bait imitations. The soft plastics lures can last longer and cost you less in the long run than adding fresh bait to your jig after each fish. Finally, you could get a skirt to your jig head. Skirts are frilly plastic that can imitate anything from a squid to a shrimp and in general just look like food.

Properly tipping your jig head is essential to catching fish. A jig head is designed to give action to your bait or lure, so proper placement is a must. Let’s use a baitfish as an example of how to appropriately tip your jig head. First, you want to insert the hook point into the mouth of the fish and run the hook down the fish’s mouth. Then push the hook point through the back of the fish near the dorsal fin. Finally, push the entire baitfish up to the head of the jig. If your jig head has a barb near the top, make sure that you push the baitfish onto the barb. This same process would be repeated with any bait or artificial lure, simply slide the head of the bait of lure towards the head of the jig and the hook point through the back.

Now that your jig head is adequately tipped, it is time to fish it. Jig heads were designed to be jigged. Jigging is simply lifting and lowering your lure. Simply drop or cast your line out. Let the line go out until it hits the bottom of the body of water you are fishing. If you drop your line straight of the edge of a boat, lift the jig head off the bottom a couple of feet and then let it fall back to the base. Repeat this until you hook something. If you cast your jig head out lift it off the bottom and retrieve some line, let the jig head fall back to the bottom and keep lifting, recovering and dropping your jig head until you need to recast. You can jig in the middle of the water column, but unless you know that there are active fish in the water column fishing, the bottom will yield more fish.

Jig heads have been in most fishermen’s tackle for many decades and with good reason. Jig heads help to present a realistic bait to a fish, are easy to use, and are incredibly useful. Next time you plan on going out on the water make sure you are equipped with a good supply of jig heads.

Travel to the “Big D”- The City of Dallas

Texas offers you a perfect blend of valor and swagger. Everything is bigger and grander in Texas. Dallas being one of the most populated towns of Texas keeps this tradition alive in itself. Dallas is home to several museums, art collections, book depository and terrific meal at the local steakhouses in the city.

As per the population, Dallas ranks third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. The majority of the crowd can be found in the Dallas County which is the county seat. The city has the history that precedes thousands of years back. It has a blend of varies cultures that came and left a lasting impression on the face of Dallas.

Starting with the Caddo people inhabiting and then the arrival of Spanish colonies and then the claim of France over the area. Towards the end of the 19th century, Dallas was booming with business and trading centers due to the construction of railroads. It attracted a lot of workers from Texas and Midwest.

Inside Dallas Fortworth AirportArchitecture

Being one of the largest city of Texas, the ‘Big D’ city has a skyline of several buildings towering to a height of 700 feet. The high rise and LED-lined architecture capture the heart of everyone visiting. Thought the architectural history of Dallas dates back to the late 19th century and early 20th Century the most iconic and notable pieces of architecture of the city came in the eras of modernist and postmodernists.

The city is a proud presenter of the Reunion Tower, the JFK Memorial, Dallas City Hall, and Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The Comerica Bank Tower, Fountain Place, Renaissance Tower are some examples of the post-modernist era skyscrapers. One also gets to witness the Gothic Revival style structures in the form of Kirby Building and Davis and Wilson’s building showcasing the neoclassical style.

Besides its grand architectural history, the Big D is also noted for the Cowboys and their Cheerleaders who have contributed to the popular culture of the city. One can find the city streets with people adoring cowboy hats and snakeskin boots as their night out attire. Such is the culture and Dallas vibe and swag.

Must Visit Places in Dallas

●     Sixth Floor Museum

The city of Dallas has the unfortunate distinction of being the land where President John F Kennedy was assassinated. In spite of such a reputation, Dallas has used this as an opportunity to dig into this event that altered the world events.

The museum is dedicated to showing the reconstructed footage of the event, audio clips and the accounts of the eyewitness. It exhibits the JFK’s time, his life and the legacy that he lived with and then left behind. It gives the raising view of the window from where Lee Harvey Oswald fired and is sure to give you goosebumps.

●     Pioneer Plaza

To witness the largest bronze monument on the face of the earth, head to the Pioneer Plaza. The Plaza is a collection of 40 bronze longhorns that seem to be larger than life. The collection is placed in a manner that it looks like a cattle drive. One can feel the persuasive power of the entire picture.

●     Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

For all those who love Nature and wish to dwell amidst the plants and flowers, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is the destination to reach. Spread across 66 acres, there are theme gardens such as Sunken Garden and the Woman’s Garden displaying varied plants and flowers.

It is located near the shores of the White Rock Lake and gets overwhelmed with the crowd during the spring wildflower season, so much so that the streets around have to be closed down.

●     Perot Museum of Nature & Science

With most of its exhibits being interactive it allows visitors to design their own bird, command robots, travels through the solar system and much more. Since its opening in 2012, the Perot Museum of Nature & Science is beautiful both on the inside as well as outside. It is a creation of the award-winning architect Thom Mayne. The indoors offers six floors of wondrous adventure.

Nasher Sculpture Center●     Nasher Sculpture Center

Nasher Sculpture Center is among one of the greatest private sculpture collections in the world. It houses the works of Calder, de Kooning, Rodin, Serra, and Miro. The glass and steel installations reflect the modern day art. The divine sculpture garden situated there is one of the best in the country.

How to Reach Dallas?

Dallas has the second busiest airport of Texas and is the sixth busiest in the world. The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. It is a hub for major airlines flying from America. There are also charters departing and arriving in Dallas. One can use these accessible and comfortable charters and fly around in the city with convenience. These private charters will take your travel experience a notch higher on luxury, comfort, and safety.

Travel around Dallas

To travel around the city of Dallas, it is best advised that one makes the use of the local transport. There are buses that DART operates. The tickets of these can be bought from the board buses and vending machines installed at the rail shops. One can also find the Dallas Streetcar to explore the city. These streetcars run from the downtown to the southwest.

There is also a Trinity Railway Express trains which run between Dallas Union Station and Fort Worth. One can also get a shuttle bus that connects to the airport from the Center Port. The use of cars and motorcycles is not recommended due to heavy and bad traffic in the daytime.

Summing Up

If you want to experience the rich architectural history and the local street fun and frolic one of the criteria for selecting the travel destination, the Dallas is the answer. Dallas has all the potential to impress its visitors with so much in its lap to offer.

It has a fine collection of art and multiple cultural institutions for art lovers. Those who enjoy live performance shall also be equally entertained by the talented artists of the city. For those who want to stroll and relax or unwind, this place is perfect for them as well.


Fishing Lures and Baits Intended for Sea Trout

Sea trout fishing is a favorite recreation along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. The spotted sea trout or speckled trout (Cynoscion nebulosus) is found along the entire Gulf Coast, and north on the Atlantic to Massachusetts, though it is rare north of the Chesapeake Bay. The gray trout or weakfish (Cynoscion regalis) is found along most of the Atlantic, from Maine to Northern Florida. Both fish have similar feeding habits. Following are three of the best sea trout fishing lures and baits.

Offshoring fishing for sea troutGot-Cha Jigheads and Grubs, Top Lures for Sea Trout Fishing

Jigs for trout in saltwater (which are composed of a 3 or 4-inch curly tail grub, and a 1/4- to 1/2-ounce grub head, both by Got-Cha) are among the best baits for inshore fishing for sea trout, red drum, flounder, and bluefish. On bright, sunny days and in clear water, a root beer, smoke, or green colored grub with a white, orange, or yellow grub jighead will work very well. In stained water with lower visibility, white, chartreuse, or electric chicken grubs on chartreuse, pink, or redheads are better, as they are easier to see in the off-color water.

To fish Got-Cha grubs for sea trout, you need to cast out, targeting mainly deeper areas, such as holes and cuts, and bring them back with a jigging technique. Allow the grubs to sink, and then raise the rod tip up, and reel the slack, and repeat, so that reeling is constant and rod twitches occur every two or three seconds. The weight of the head should be adjusted according to water depth. Grub heads of at least 3/8 ounce are best for waters more than six feet in depth.

Saltwater Jerkbaits for Sea Trout Fishing Inshore

JerkbaitsJerkbaits, like Saltwater Assassin flukes, are great for speckled sea trout and weakfish. Dully colored or dark baits are best when water is clear, and brightly colored flukes are more productive in stained water.

In deeper areas, try using a jighead, and fish them like Got-Cha grubs. In the shallows, they may be caught without weight, and tugged and jerked across the surface, making them resemble struggling baitfish such as mullet, a common prey for big trout. The best times to fish the shallows with these baits are the early morning hours and the late afternoon within a few hours of sunset. Try to locate trout busting baitfish, and cast into the areas where fish are feeding.

MirrOlure, One of the Best Lures for Inshore Sea Trout Fishing

Using MirrOlureThe MirrOLure series III, a hard-bodied plastic bait is dynamite for trout in medium depth waters and the surf on calmer days. To fish this lure, steadily, and slowly reel the bait after casting it out. Work the same waters several times, as it can take a few casts for fish to locate the swimming baitfish imitation. In the shallows, a floating MirrOLure can work wonders, especially in backwater areas in the early morning and late afternoon. For deep holes, try the sinking twitch bait MirrOLure.

The above lures are all some of the best for inshore sea trout fishing. If heading out for a day on the water on the Atlantic or Gulf Coast, be sure to have some of these prime baits on board.

Minimizing Costs When Fly Tying

Tying your own flies can be quite a money saver. However, as many beginners have found, and old-timers know through experience, the supplies for tying flies can be very cost prohibitive. Still, there are ways to minimize the cost without sacrificing quality.

Begin saving money by buying hooks in bulk. Buying five packs of 20 hooks will nearly always be more expensive than purchasing a single pack of 100 hooks. It will be cheaper still, per hook, to get a pack of 500.

Resist the urge to buy assortment packs of hooks, too. They may be a little less expensive, but will usually include hook sizes you will seldom if ever use.

A thread doesn’t need to be made explicitly for fly-fishing. An excellent stout thread used in sewing is often just as good, and it costs much less since it isn’t a ‘specialty product.’

Clear varnishes and such can be replaced with clear fingernail polish. The polish is inexpensive compared to the type specifically made for fly tying, it is waterproof, and it exhibits the same traits as the ones you buy just for tying flies.

The fur and feathers is a major expense. A three-ounce, one square inch of fur can cost far more than it is worth, and can kill your pocketbook. Paying a few dollars for a half dozen to a dozen feathers is also crazy.

You can save there too, though. It is very common to find feathers when you are out fishing or even picnicking out in the woods. Collect the feathers for use in the fly tying. If you know someone who has chickens, have them save you feathers from their birds. If you know duck, goose, or pheasant hunters, express to them that you’d love to have the feathers. Most of these people will be happy to give you the feathers, which they would otherwise just throw away anyway.

The same is true of hunters. Most ‘bucktail’ doesn’t come from the tail, and it isn’t necessarily from a buck. Deer hunters are a great free resource for hair. Bear, sheep, goat, and antelope hunters are the same. Unless they have a specific use in mind for the fur, it is going to be discarded. Few will have a problem with giving you a lot of what is going into the garbage anyway. This can save a tremendous amount of money that would otherwise be spent to buy sometimes-common supplies.

Even zoos seldom have a problem with you collecting fur or feathers. They will toss them out in the trash, too. Just contact the curator and express your interest.

One source of cheap fur that is often ignored is your pets. Many dogs routinely need a haircut, and that is perfectly good fur to use when tying flies. Even in the case of cats or shorter haired dogs, removing a small amount of fur isn’t going to do any harm at all, and it costs nothing.

If you have the chance to save money, take it. You can minimize the cost of fly tying and find ways to make fly tying less expensive. At the same time, you can really expand the amounts, colors, and types of material you have to work with. Just use your imagination.

What To Do When You Caught a Shark

If you’ve done much saltwater fishing, chances are you’ve caught your share of sharks, whether on purpose or accidentally while angling for other species. Either way, once you haul in the toothy fish, you must decide what to do with your catch and how to accomplish the task.

Unless you plan to eat your shark, it should be released quickly. Even though sharks are much feared and often viewed as mindless killing machines, just waiting to sink their teeth into unsuspecting swimmers, nothing could be further from the truth.

Of the many species of sharks around the globe, only a handful are implicated in attacks on humans. Considering the number of people entering the oceans each year, shark attacks are infrequent.

Dried shark meat is a delicacy in IcelandSharks are an essential part of the ecosystem, serving as garbage disposals. They also help keep other species in check, ensuring healthy fish populations. The sleek, sturdy creatures usually live in harmony with man, with attacks being a case of mistaken identity. You’d be amazed by aerial views of many crowded beaches. Large numbers of sharks are frequently seen swimming among the bathers, and the humans are almost always blissfully unaware of their presence.

To release a hooked shark, wrap a towel tightly around its head. Have one person hold the shark firmly while you clip the hook’s shaft with a pair of cutting pliers. Then, if possible, retrieve the hook’s point, using a pair of long-handled pliers or a unique hook-releasing tool. Return the shark to the water as soon as possible.

If you have a taste for some fresh shark meat, kill the animal quickly. Stun it with a sharp blow to the head, then cut through the spinal cord with a sharp fillet knife. Not only will this immobilize the fish, but it will also make it impossible for the shark to feel any pain before it dies.

Most anglers prefer to slice the shark crossways to make steaks, but I like to slice fillets lengthwise down the shark’s body. No matter which method you use, you’ll have to remove the tough, sandpaper-like skin. Make the pieces of meat about one-inch thick.

Once you have your steaks or fillets, rinse them thoroughly and keep them chilled until cooking. You might want to place them in Italian dressing or your favorite marinade for a couple of hours.

Unless you tenderize the cuts, they will most likely have the consistency or rubber. Shark flesh contains tough fibers that need to be broken down before cooking. Using a heavy metal meat mallet, pound the steaks or chops on both sides, then add your favorite seasoning. Dredge the meat in flour, then fry in hot oil. You can also grill the meat, basting it with olive oil.

When cooked properly, a shark is tender and delicious. It doesn’t have a “fishy” taste. In fact, it’s more like a combination of mild fish, pork chop, and chicken. Because sharks caught in some areas contain dangerous levels of mercury, you need to check with the local game and fish before consuming any shark meat.

Why Channel Catfish is Worth the Catch

I believe channel catfish are indeed the best to catch. Bullhead catfish are bottom feeders, meaning they eat a lot of vegetation on the bottom of lakes. The channel catfish prefer fresh fish as a good meal. Bullhead catfish taste real muddy due to eating whatever they can eat as a quick snack giving them whats called a mudline in the fillets. This can be soaked out with a little extra preparation time but when you can catch channel catfish why bother.

Channel catfish in OklahomaFlakey, Hardy Meat

Channel catfish have flakey, hardy meat, which when cooked gives off a rich, hearty flavor when biting into the battered fillet. In my opinion, channel catfish taste much better than even cod when cooked right. Catch a bullhead catfish, as well as a channel catfish, prepare each one the same and I bet you the pick of the two will be channel catfish.

When I first caught a channel catfish and cooked the meat, I was in total taste bud heaven from the first bite. The flavor and texture of the meat, the richness of how the meat tasted was even better the walleye. Now, some walleye fisherman would argue, but it’s up there competing for the gold.

To prepare either bullhead catfish or channel catfish, I usually soak the fish fillets in buttermilk to give a little extra boost in taste, for about 3 hours before deep frying the fillets. I then mix 2 cups of cornmeal to a cup of flour, two eggs, a teaspoon of salt and a cup of beer, your favorite to set the batter. Mix in a large bowl until mixture is of a medium thickness.

Before dipping your fillets into the batter, airdry the fillets for about five minutes before battering them up. This allows the batter to stick to the fillets better thus keeping the batter from frying off the fillets while they cook.

Hushpuppies Done Right

Take your fillets and soak them like in a previous manner and set them aside. While they soak, take a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, some sweet corn from the can, anything you prefer and combine in a bowl. After your fillets have been soaked for three hours lay down some wax paper on your work surface and lay out the fillets in stips. Once laid out on the wax paper spoon out the mixture on the fillets spreading it out in a thin coating on the fillets.

Once done with spreading the mixture on the fillets, roll the fillets up lengthwise and add toothpicks to keep the fillets from spreading back out when deep fried. Once the toothpicks are placed every inch or so, cut the fillets into one-inch strips and dip into the batter. Deep fry and enjoy the best hushpuppies you have ever tasted!

Enjoying the Vibrance of Art in Greenville, SC

Saturday Market at GreenvilleAs one of the larger cities in South Carolina, Greenville has a vibrant downtown with a distinct cultural flavor. With its eclectic mix of museums, including the Greenville County Museum of Art, the Museum and Gallery at Heritage Green, and the Museum and Library of Confederate history, downtown Greenville offers all visitors a number of things to do to enjoy the riches of both art and history.

Greenville County Museum of Art

The Greenville County Museum of Art offers visitors a change to glimpse a variety of American art that represents a Southern perspective, with pieces ranging from the colonial period to the present. Artists represented in the permanent collections include Thomas Sully, Washington Allston, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns. Artistic movements include landscape, still life, Impressionism, and many more. They also host a number of exhibitions, which currently include “Ben Long: Paintings and Drawings” and “Andrew Wyeth: The Greenville Collection.”

The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. (they are open until 8 P.M. on Thursday evenings) and from 1 P.M. to 5 P.M. Admission is free, making this an ideal thing to do for those traveling on a budget. Those wishing to contact the museum may do so at the following information:

420 College Street
Greenville, SC 29601

Museum and Gallery at Heritage Green

Although a somewhat smaller museum than the Greenville, the Museum and Gallery at Heritage Green nevertheless offers a selection of the more than 400 Old Master paintings and a variety of other items that are available at the Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery. The M & G also features a variety of other items that make it an ideal thing to do for those wishing to immerse themselves in the art world. These include Middle Eastern antiquities, Russian coins, decorative art, and period furniture.

The Museum and Gallery at Heritage Green is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. Admission is $5 for adults, with lower rates for seniors and students (children under 12 are free.) Those who wish to contact them may do so at the information below:

25 Heritage Green Place
Greenville, SC 29601

Museum and Library of Confederate History

With its wide variety of artifacts and displays depicting the history of the American Civil War, the Museum and Library of Confederate History paints a poignant picture of one of the bloodiest periods in American history. Items on display include some arms, artifacts, and documents from the War period, which are housed in a number of rooms including the Main Gallery, the Heritage Room (where several uniforms and medical implements are on display,) and many more. The Library houses some volumes of great use to the researcher or Civil War enthusiast.

The museum’s hours vary by day, so it is best to call ahead when planning a visit. There is no admission fee, making this an ideal place to visit for the budget-conscious traveler. Those wishing to contact the Museum and Library of Confederate History may do so with the following information:

15 Boyce Avenue
Greenville, SC 29601