January 4, 2016


It's been warm so far this year, but now is the point you should start planning for one of my favorite times of the year – Ice Fishing Season. Our lakes will soon be frozen and folks will be bundled up and setting traps on the hard water. Whether you’ve never stepped foot on a frozen lake or you’re an old-school expert – here are 3 exciting reasons to get started this year. Get excited!

1) It doesn’t have to be expensive

Ice fishing can be done on the cheap! These are a few essentials you’ll need, but they are an investment that you’ll get years of enjoyment from.
          5 Ice Traps ($50 for all 5  from a surplus store) – Most lakes allow 5 traps per  person!
          Bait Bucket ($5 at an outdoors store) – Pickup a cushioned seat for the top of  your pail!
          Manual Auger ($5 at an outdoors store) – Drill fast through that ice to the fish!

2) You don’t have to be an expert

Warning: There should be no fear or hesitation! Fly fishing requires accurate placement of expensive flies and carefully reading the water. The only rule of ice fishing is that you drop a shiner down a hole and wait patiently for a flag. Admittedly, that sounds awfully simple, but those are the basics. A little research helps though. It’s great to know the depth of the water you’re fishing. Use a “sounder”, a heavy sinker, and gauge the water’s depth. Early on in the season, fish for trout near the banks, in 5-8 feet of water. At the tail end of winter, venture deeper. Learn and adapt to the particular conditions. If traps at a deeper water level are working -adjust the rest. If a certain area of the lake is counter productive, adjust everything.

Check your traps occasionally. It’s important to make sure your bait is still on the hook and still alive. To keep your shiners alive longer, thread the hook in the center of the fish and right below the spine. If done properly, the bait should remain alive for the majority of the afternoon. Also, pay attention to the tension on your traps. If you’re noticing that your bait is consistently missing without a flag being set off – try loosening (unscrewing) the tension bolt.  If it’s too tight, you may actually have a fish on! For tips on where and how  to ice fish, check out the Maine’s IceShanty.com Forum. It’s full of great information and help.

3) It’s exciting

Have fun! Plan ahead and make it an event. Buy a few groceries, bring a game or simply a few friends. The more the merrier. If you’re lucky enough to have a shack or a pop-up shelter, you’ll be able to congregate out of the wind and cold.

Lunch – Bring a small stove and heat up soup or chili, etc. Warms the soul and the  body!
Drinks  – Pass time with a thermos of spiked cocoa or a 12 pack of craft beer.
Jigging – bring an ice fishing pole and work a jig. It gets you involved!
Games – Draw out circles, like a dartboard, in the snow and have a competition to  see who can come closest to the bullseye with an empty can.  Make your own fun!
Bring Layers – If you’re warm, you have more fun. If you’re having more fun,  you will stay longer and catch more fish. It’s simple.
Check for FLAGS – Consistently check for a raised flag. Once one goes off, you very well could be chasing flags and hauling in fish all day. Be safe and enjoy the upcoming winter, folks!

January 1, 2016


Okay, so I ice fish often, and the first excuse I hear from friends and coworkers as to why they haven’t experienced the joys of being on the hard ice is that it’s “too cold.” My responses range from “Well, obviously, it’s winter!” to “Well, you’re just not drinking enough.”

In all reality, there truly are a lot of ways to keep your friends, guests and coworkers warm while on the ice. Whether they are first-timers or seasoned veterans, it truly is important to keep the comfort level high. I’ve done a lot of things to stay warm, but the most important is dressing appropriately in moisture-wicking layers. Otherwise, I’ve had a wood fire directly on the ice, warmed myself by a portable heater, sparked a wood stove on the lake, and used those eight-hour hand warmer packets. I’ve also resorted to whiskey. Here are 13 other ways to stay warm:

Front-side propane tanks will help provide an adequate level of warmth. If you can’t find such a heating method, I’m sure you’ll find a way to “Get-R-Done”.

When the air is too cold, make sure you go home and leave your shack until it begins sinking through the ice. This is your sign it’s warm enough to return to ice fishing.

Keep it small. The smaller the structure, the easier it is to heat – whether it’s a small heater or the hot air from your inflated fishing stories.

If you’re not lucky enough to find a used spsaceship, you should form a structure that looks like one. Everyone knows that a shack without a 90-degree angle stays warmer.

Have a friend pull you around the lake on his snowsled. Hopefully, you’ll absorb some of the warm fumes. If nothing else, you’ll find a better spot to fish.

Clear roofing panels will help let in sunshine, but the optional pirate flag will also help draw in the UV light. Fact.

Let in that sunshine with lots of windows! Patriotic images help, but you could also put your shack on skis and large rubber tires to give it clearance from the frigid ice.

Woodstoves will keep you toasty on the ice, you’ll almost want to prop open your door!

Keep your doors zipped up. Make sure you have what you need and stay inside. Even your body heat will help to quickly warm a small shack in a blizzard.

Place your shack where the sun is shining. It seems simple, but if you’re fishing along the wrong shore, the sun won’t work in your favor.

Anyone can burn wood on the ice, but splitting your wood on the ice will warm you twice.

Pretend you’re a real outdoorsman for an afternoon, throw on some layers and sit on a bucket (like your forefathers used to do).

A pop-up ice shack with a black roof will pull in the sunlight and help keep your shack the center of the party.

December 15, 2015


In summer months, you’re a beach-goer, but colder months leave you wishing for sunshine, waiting for warmth and longing for that feeling of silky sand between your toes. I know your type. Luckily I have a winter recommendation to help hold you over and bide your time until early May arrives. Reid State Park in Georgetown has a fairly private mile-long beach to walk along and beautiful views along the way. It’s truly the perfect afternoon get-a-way in December when you’re missing the warm-weather crowds of Old Orchard. You’ll more than likely have the place nearly to yourself, even on a Sunday. Throw on a jacket and bring the camera, but leave the sandals at home.

From the parking lot, you can walk out to Griffith Head, a rocky headland that offers revealing views of the entire beach. As the waves crash onto shore and the tide releases into the depths of the ocean, you’ll have a prime spot to take in the picturesque park landscape.

This area is easily accessible and simple to find, plus it’s less than an hour from Portland! Follow these easy directions.

November 10, 2015


When it snows, Mainers love flocking to the mountains. We simply like to escape, whether it be a weekend in front of the cabin fire or skiing down the steep blue squares and black diamond’s of our favorite hills. But when it snows and you’re in the mood for staying local, you should head slightly north to Pemaquid Point Lighthuse. Maybe you’ve visited in the summer months and experienced its uniqueness. But in winter, Pemaquid is one of my favorite coastal spots for the beauty the snow lends to the landscape surrounding the Keeper’s house and the light itself. Get directions to the lighthouse.


  1. The light was commissioned in 1827 by John Quincy Adams.
  2. The first floor houses a fishermen’s museum that is FREE with your $2 dollar park admission (May-Oct).
  3. For $1,200/week you can rent the second floor apartment! Talk about a one-of-a-kind view!
  4. The tower is built of stone and stands 38 feet tall.
  5. If you’d like to check the conditions before you head out – see this webcam of the light!
The colors of summer and the scraped paint from a time of hard work and warmer weather.

Lightkeeper’s house with the light in the background.

Nautical signs dot the surrounding area. A true fishermen’s paradise.

Faded and scratched, a throwback to busier day’s on the bustling coast.

Local dining and proper seafood fare at Robinson’s Wharf.

Boats line the harbor in town. I don’t know the guy, but I’d wager that he didn’t do it.

The scenic onset of winter has arrived. Stay warm and always keep exploring our great state!

October 21, 2015


With Maine’s moose hunt nearing an end, I want to share some of my favorite moose memories and photos. Growing up in northern Maine provided me with certain privileges that city friends can’t imagine, like seeing moose on a daily basis. Most friends in southern Maine or Boston only dream of spotting a moose. Before I left for college, our family home was surrounded by potato and broccoli fields. Fall’s frost would bring large groups of moose to the field to slowly graze on leftover, frozen broccoli stems.  I distinctly remember watching for hours from the patio door as steam rolled from the mouths of over 20 moose as they geared up for a long winter. I’ve watched moose swim across a quarter-mile river bend and recall that, as winter fell, I’d find the discarded racks of moose in the woods on my snowmobile. If you’re lucky you’d find a matching set from the same moose. Growing up in northern Maine was truly a treasure. And irreplaceable.

Summers are meant for exploring rivers by canoe and soaking up the sun. These adventures bring you into the heart of Maine’s countryside, where the landscape feels untouched by modern man. Here is the place where moose seem unfazed by human presence, staring at you with unfrightened, inquisitive eyes. The feeling is usually mutual, unless it’s 4 a.m. and you wake up inside your two-man tent to the thrashing of hooves as two moose stomp past. Unzipping your tent and finding hoof prints within feet of your tent makes you feel lucky and it’s a better wake-up call than coffee or any form of caffeine. 

No matter where you grew up or the adventures you’ve endured, outlasted or barely recall, some of my fondest memories are wrapped up in the thick woods of Maine. If you grew up as I did, you love recalling those moments that you enjoyed the unadulterated beauty of nature in its purest form. If you’ve been on explorations like I have, you can appreciate the natural surroundings of our state. If you’ve never experienced any of this, you need to follow a few careful words: Get out, explore and respect nature.

August 3, 2015


Odds are you have Instagram downloaded on your smartphone. Chances are your feed is filled with photos from friends and family. Let’s liven that up! I’m giving you the down low on the Top 10 Maine Instagram Accounts that you should be following. If you’re reading this, odds are you like outdoor photography, nature and Maine adventures. These Instagram accounts will provide you with daily Maine photos – from the coast to the mountains – all tastefully taken with very creative angles and fresh perspectives. Some of these folks brave the coldest Maine mornings to capture the best sunrises you’ve seen! Heck, now you don’t even have to be up and get out of bed to enjoy a sunrise – let someone else get bundled up, you just need to check your phone! Let’s count them down from #10 to #1 (being my favorite). Here we go…

Some of the best night sky images I’ve seen taken across our state.

Beautifully captures ocean views that make you feel like you’re right there, too.
Most Mainers and snow enthusiasts have heard of Seth, but perhaps you haven’t followed his outdoor adventures on Instagram. Here’s your chance.

Colleen loves her ocean photography and her 1,500 followers agree. I love seeing her sunrise photography pop up in my feed while I’m still brushing my teeth.
Mark is a professional photographer who works for a large Maine magazine and travels the state. Luckily for you, he shares his daily adventures so we all get to take part.
Jon is a new account I’ve started checking in on lately. With some incredible lenses he’s able to capture things our naked eye most certainly miss in daily life. Check out his gallery!
Lauren captures photos from angles you probably never thought to hold a camera. She’s innovative and worth a follow.
My #3 pick is a lady who spends her days close to the ocean and even closer to lobster. If you’re a fan of the coast, you’ll be a fan of her!
Susan is my #2 pick for the array of photos she captures and the skill in which she does so. All stunning – I don’t think she’s taken a bad photo… ever.

Coming in at #1 is one of my favorite photographers who captures beautiful light and landscapes across the Pine Tree State. Give this guy a follow, please!