I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

Getting Around:

If you are looking for something in particular, use the Labels below, the Blog Archive, or the search box at the top to find what you need. When using the search box, simple search terms will get the best results. One word is often better than three. Searching for "Pflueger" will give you more results than "Pflueger baitcasting reel." Use these three features to your advantage.

Labels are relevant tags or keywords. Click on a label to view other related posts organized by date. For example, clicking on the label spinnerbaits will take you to all the other posts with the tag spinnerbaits and the label largemouth bass denotes any fishing report where I caught a bass. Labels are listed below, first by frequency and then in alphabetical order. Labels are also tagged below each individual post. When viewing by Label, 20 results are listed per page. Click "Older Posts" to see more posts with that Label. In addition, some entries may also have a list of related posts at the bottom you might also find useful.

Anyone can comment, so go ahead and post. I'd like to hear what you think. There is a "Post a Comment" link below every single entry. Comments are still moderated for approval. Anything inappropriate will be rejected. This also helps cut down on spam.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

• For New Visitors

First I'd like to thank you for visiting. I hope you keep coming back to read more. I wrote this post to help you find your way around my blog. There is a lot to sort through and it can become overwhelming for some. Blogging is still something very new and you might want to start getting familiar with this medium. In addition to learning your way around my blog, you should also read the story behind what got me started. While the primary topic on this blog pertains to fishing, my mission is different. Read the first post so there is no confusion.

Revised 5-10-2010

Let's start at the top.
At the very top of the page on the left, you'll see a search box. If you don't see it, reload the page. That bar at the top is built in to Google's Blogger Templates. Type in a search word or phrase to find any post with that particular search term. Go ahead, try searching for something (Frogs, Senko, Spinnerbait, etc). If you came here looking for Kevin VanDam's Line & Lure conditioner and ended up on the front page instead, type KVD into the search box and that post should be in the results. If multiple items are listed, scroll down the page to find what you're looking for. Results should be listed by post title only. Click on the title to view the post in its entirety. Try not to use search phrases that are too specific. For example, typing "Shimano Curado braking weights" will likely get you nowhere, whereas "Shimano Curado" might bring up the right result.

I tried to write an intro that helps explain how to get around my blog. It describes several of the sections I will explain in this blog entry. To the right of "Getting Around," you will see two other sections. The first is a list of upcoming posts I am working on at the moment. Chances are, you will see those topics discussed within the next month or two. If you have something you'd like me to write about, be sure to let me know. Below that list are links to my status blog and my new forum. I have also included links to my profile at Myspace, GetReeled, Facebook, and Twitter.

Visitors from other countries may now translate the page they land on using the Google Translate widget. I put this widget at the top for easy access. I get visitors from all over the world, so hopefully they find this widget useful.

I can also keep track of what posts are getting hits and list them in the popular posts section at the top for other visitors to read. On the far right, I have listed the most visited posts. Although this often changes from week to week, the trends usually hold steady. Below that list, there is a small image for StatCounter, a service which logs how many visitors I get as well as the link that brought them to me. Statcounter lets me know who is visiting, where they are from, and what they were searching for. If I know you searched for one thing and ended up somewhere else, I know there's a problem and I can fix it by including your phrase in the appropriate post or perhaps by linking to the right information from the entry you landed on. The image below the popular posts is from a ranking site called TopFishingSites. Click on the TopFishingSites banner to write a review of my blog if you have some spare time. I'd really appreciate it. I also added my site on FishHoo under Media and Blogs. You are welcome to write a review there as well. Whether or not either will make a difference is certainly a matter of speculation in my mind. Google also has a Google Chat tool which allows me to anonymously talk with anyone who wishes to IM me should I be online using Google Talk. If I'm available to chat, you will see blue text which reads "Chat with BassDem" with the status "Available" below. The first thing you type may not show up as soon as I enter the conversation, so don't get discouraged and continue typing. If I'm on, I'll respond.

Let's talk about the big column on the left. It's simple. This is where you'll find my blog posts. I list three to five topics on the front page, but I sometimes cut that back down to two posts if I've been writing longer entries. Makes the blog layout look cleaner. Each post starts off with the post title in large letters. Next to each post title, the time and date it was posted also shows up.

Below the title, a rating system is provided so that you can recommend each post to others. By recommending a post, you give it a shot at ending up in the Most Popular Posts section I'll discuss in a moment. The rating system was previously based on stars from 1 to 5, but because visitors chose to abuse the system out of political spite, I changed the rating system to a thumbs up only setting. Please try to rate the post based on the content and not the product. The rating system is provided by a third party called Outbrain. It disappoints me when I see 200 hits a day, yet nobody bothered to rate what they've read, so I encourage you to click the Recommend link and participate a little. For what it's worth, Outbrain does not support the Opera web browser. If the widget does not load using another browser, please reload the page. Sometimes the Outbrain site times out.

While reading a post, you'll see words that are green in color and underlined. Those are frequently links and quite often, direct you to other posts I've written. I have cross-linked posts so that for example, if one post on Cross Lake mentions a specific lure, I can provide a link to my post on that lure. I am hoping it adds to your experience here. When you see this icon , move your mouse over the link or the icon (also referred to as "hovering") to see a visual preview of the site the link goes to or the spot I fished on Google Maps. Below each post there might be a few more links to related posts or articles elsewhere worth reading. You can add my post to Digg if you're a Digg member, bookmark the post, or email it to a friend. You'll also see a link to add your comments. Just click the comments link and you'll be given a place to type in what you have to say in a popup window. Go ahead. Anyone can post. I do moderate comments, so once it's approved, it will appear. I check on new comments often, so be patient and it will appear. If you ask a question in a comment, I usually respond right away. The white envelope icon is a link to email the post to someone else. So if you like a certain post and think someone else would like to read it, click this link and Blogger can send it to them via email.

Labels are tags that help categorize each individual post. The labels for each particular post are visible at the bottom. Click on one of those tags to see other posts about that topic.

Should you decide to post a comment, you also have the choice to subscribe to receive email notifications for subsequent comment responses. That's a really helpful feature if you want to follow along to see what others have to say, including myself.

The next column over starts off with the Blog Archive. Posts are archived by year and month. Click on a triangle to expand the list some more. Only the current month with active posts is expanded by default. If you landed on a post that was written in August of 2008, for example, the blog archive list is open to display posts written during that month.

If you want to read posts on specific topics, have a look at the Labels list in same column. When I write each post, I tag them with certain key words. When I wrote my post on Senkos, I tagged it with the words senko, plastics, reviews, and lures. Check out tips or techniques. I have the tag list organized by frequency first and then in alphabetical order on down the page.

Below Labels listed by frequency and alphabetical order, I have what is called a Blogroll listing. Blogger has an add-on which allows me to list certain blogs along with their most recent post. This list shows the name of the blog, the name of the most recent post, and then how long ago that post was made. All of the blogs in this list have an outdoors-related theme. I encourage you to visit those sites. Many of them have treated me with respect and courtesy.

Next on the list is the Moon Phase widget. The moon phase is not something I personally use, but many anglers base their fishing trips on it. I used to have the Moon Phase gadget from Google Gadgets, but it stopped displaying properly, so I removed it. I have included links to moon phase calendars from In-Fisherman and PrimeTimes through ESPN, as well as fishing times from FLW Outdoors.

At the bottom of the column, I added the Followers widget, a feature unique to Blogger/Google which allows anyone with a Google or Blogger account to follow the blog one more way. Yes, the blogging world is a complex one. Followers and subscribers are what drives us to be better and write more. I put the Followers widget here because it might interfere with the Outbrain widget if placed elsewhere on the page. Site designs can be finicky, especially when javascript is involved.

The last item in this column lists products I am currently trying out. Reviews for these products may not appear on the blog for months. Wouldn't you rather read a product review based on dedicated time on the water and not from someone who had one good day of fishing two days after they bought the product? I want to give my readers more than what they would find on some product review page at TackleWarehouse, Cabela's, or BPS. Most reviews are either extremely favorable or go in the opposite direction and criticize the product to death, but these reviews are rarely comprehensive.

Now let's go down the far right hand column.

The Outbrain rating results are listed at the top of this column. The top three rated posts are displayed. Unlike the popular posts at the top of the page which were obtained by visit statistics, these posts have been rated by visitors as posts they enjoyed. A post does not get added into that list until a minimum of two visitors have chosen to rate it. The post date is also taken into consideration when determining popularity. That's something Outbrain prefers to do. I wish they didn't take that into account, but that's the way their rating system works. That's why it's so important that my visitors take the time to rate what I've written. Again, Outbrain does not support the Opera browser. If the widget does not load, please reload the page.

One of the more recent additions to my blog is the Snapshots feature from snap.com. When you see an icon next to a link, hover your mouse over the link or the icon to see a visual preview of the spot I fished using Google Maps or a preview of the web page that the link goes to. I hope this adds to the visitor experience on my blog. I don't mind sharing a few of the spots I fish. We all like to learn about the local lakes and a honey hole is only part of the equation when trying to catch bass.

I signed up on Twitter to interact with readers and provide minor updates pertaining to my blog or fishing reports. Sometimes there are changes which are so small, they do not deserve a post on my Status Updates blog. It's much easier to post an update like that on Twitter. Besides, everyone is going on there now. If I wanted to, I could post updates live on the water while fishing. I find that useful. If you use twitter, be sure to follow me and I'll try to return the favor.

When visitors make comments on my posts, that comment gets added to a separate RSS feed called the Comments Feed. I have that feed listed next. The seven most recent comments are displayed. You may subscribe to this feed and follow along. A subscription link has been provided to make that really easy for you.

If I make a major edit to a post, I'll let you know in this next section. I run a separate blog on this account where I publish status updates for this blog. Any changes or updates I make will be listed here. I do this a lot with reviews that are still works in progress. To give you an example, fishing line usually does amazing at first, but after using it for a few months, you have more to say about its performance. Keep your eyes on this section if you are following one of my reviews. Any new additions to the blog will also be listed here. The addition of Snapshots and the removal of the moon phase gadget, for example, was discussed on that blog.

If you're new to blogging, let me let you in on a little secret. You can subscribe to blogs. You can get subscriptions via email or through a site that can manage all the blogs you visit. If you already have Yahoo, Google, AOL, or MSN, you can add blogs to your watch list. Sites like Technorati are designed specifically for keeping track of blogs. A feed is what these sites keep track of. I publish my feed through Feedburner, now part of Google. If you click on the Subscribe link, you'll see a huge list of feed aggregators. If you're really interested in reading blogs, sign up on one of those sites and make life a little easier. You'll notice that the number of readers subscribed to my feed is listed in a yellow box. I want that number to go higher, so subscribe already! If you want to follow me using Blogger, you can do that too. This section also shows my most recent visitors from BlogCatalog, a blogging community with thousands of other bloggers. BC has driven a lot of traffic my way, so if you are a fellow blogger, I recommend signing up with that site. It will get you more publicity, especially from fellow fishing bloggers.

After that, I list some fishing links and other blogs I've taken a liking to or blogs that have added my page to their own list of links.

I also have my Google Blogger profile displayed here. I only want to give you a little bit of info about me. You don't need to know much. I want you to decide to visit because you like my posts, not because of who I am or what I believe. I also make it very clear what kind of behavior is acceptable.

Next up are a few of pictures of my three largest bass. It's always good to have proof that I can catch quality fish, I suppose. I'm limited in terms of what I can catch around here, although some area lakes hold some nice fish. It takes a while to break through a personal best. Right now, I am trying to beat 7.5lbs. It's doable, but it takes time and a lot of hooksets to find good fish.

The disclaimer at the bottom is just pointing out that my writing is covered by a Creative Commons copyright license. I also put a Google search field here to save you the trouble of going back to the top of the page to perform a search.

Any problems? Questions? Ask me here by posting a comment to this particular blog entry or head on over to the forum.


Jon Dice said...

Nice blog! I will add to my favorites!

Diane said...

I am not a bass fisherman per say, I will catch anything that wants to bite my hook. But I am interested in anything that has to do with fishing. Do you ever Ice Fish?? I love to ice fish, great tasting fish come out of cold water. Anyways I will be checking in to see what you have to say about fishing. Thanks

BassFishingDem said...

The lakes down here don't ice over. I did have the opportunity to ice fish when I lived up north, but I didn't have anyone to teach me how to go about it. Thanks for visiting. Hope you enjoy what I have to share here.