ZT1000 Yoshikawa Spinning Reel Review: 10 Ball Bearings, Folding Handle, for only $11

Had fun with this little ZT1000 spinning reel, courtesy of Gearbest, in the Eastern Sierra backcountry this last week. Threw spoons and dry flies/bobber combo with it to catch wild brook, brown, and rainbow trout. Such a blast! It's a smooth review with a nice folding handle for easy transportation when hiking. A little big for my backpack collapsible fishing rod, but still worked well. Check out the video review of it above. You can purchase it online here.

Lazy Bag Review: Lamzac Clone

Got to try out one of the "Lazy Bags", basically a Lamzac style camping or hiking chill out inflatable chair, courtesy of GearBest. Unroll it, toss it in the air to catch some wind, and boom, you have a ridiculous looking but super comfortable bed to chill out on. Check out this quick video of it if you are interested. It's pretty much a novelty item but perfect for the beach, light camping, etc:

Riverside Bass Fishing

It's become something of a tradition - an annual pilgrimage of sorts to a favorite fishing hole in Riverside County, Southern California, for largemouth bass each year, with float tubes. A good friend and I finally got out onto the water a little while back. The conditions were much tougher this year than other years, but we still managed to land several chunky largemouth, including one pushing 18-20". I'll let the pictures and video do the talking. 

Lower Owens Volunteer Opportunity

Lower Owens Volunteer Opportunity

The Owens River is one of California's most beloved trout fisheries, and has slowly experieinced a comeback with recent changes to water releases. The lower portion is currently choked with thick reeds and tules, making access very difficult, for anglers, birdwatchers, hikers and just about everyone else.
Fortunately, the Inyo County Water Department has just received a $500,000 grant to clean up the river and improve access. If you would like to help out, read on:

"Inyo County is a grant finalist for a $500,000 CA Natural Resources Agency grant to develop the first designated water trail for kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, in the Western U.S.! The 6.3 mile trail near Lone Pine winds through one of the most scenic sections of the rewatered Lower Owens River--with numerous green meadows, willow trees, and spectacular views of the Alabama Hills, Mt. Whitney and the Inyo Mountains.
Resources’ grant staff will be out to appraise the project on June 21st. We want to get the Resources staff on the water to experience this amazing stretch of river, and to demonstrate that volunteer stewardship can help build and maintain the Owens River Water Trail. To accomplish these objectives, there are two work weekends to open up a sample section of trail. Trail building weekends are June 11-12 and June 18-19.
Building water trail is almost as fun as using it. It's a full-immersion, unforgettable experience. Participants can say that they were instrumental at helping to establish the first river paddle trail in California and the west. Water trail work is done in teams working in and near the water and includes scouting channel course, cutting and removing bulrush, cattails, and logs from the river channel. Come out and join us for this truly unique experience."

Contact information for project: Larry Freilich from the Inyo County Water Dept  (email at lfreilich@inyocounty.us or info@ovcweb.org)

Special thanks to Owens Valley Committee for the news.

ELE Explorer PRO Action Camera Review

Remember the ELE Explorer action camera I reviewed a few months back (review here)? It was one of my favorites of this year so far, but had a few issues with image colors in high-contrast scenes. ELE has since released a new camera, the ELE Explorer Pro, and I just got my hands on it courtesy of GearBest. Take a look at the full video with sample footage and read the review below for this hot camera:

New Look

Hunting the River King as been updated! The format will still be adjusted a bit, but I think this look will be the new one for now. Thanks for reading

I have also launched a separate website, Gadgets & Gear Guru. You will find a host of affordable items, from smart lamps to minimalist running shoes and more at this new site. Check it out here: http://gadgetgearguru.blogspot.com
Eastern Sierra Fishing Trip for Opening Weekend

Eastern Sierra Fishing Trip for Opening Weekend

Fished the beautiful Eastern Sierras over opener weekend at the end of April. I landed a few nice brown and rainbow trout on ultralite gear, and safety released them all. 
Hiked to several creeks, and explored a few others but had quite a few trails blocked by snow. With temperatures down to the 20s at night, it was important to dress warmly! Enjoy the photos:
And yes, I spotted the locked-up Haiwee Reservoir(s) from the 395. Sad Haiwee is still closed to fishing. 

New Fishing Reel Review Videos

Picked up a couple of new fishing reels recently and finally compiled my thoughts on 'em. First is the SeaKnight CM3000 reel (http://goo.gl/DXs7db), which I'm using for bass and carp fishing. I have it spooled with 8lb monofilament line for now, but I'll be putting heavier line on it soon.  It comes with two spools, so I can swap lines easily. I initially bought it for $17, it's now closer to $20 but still a steal.

The second is a interesting JS3000 Ming Bu reel (http://goo.gl/uojjh0). It has a useful folding reel handle and I've been using it for light fishing, both saltwater and freshwater. Works great for me so far. This one was an absolute bargain at $7, but it's since gone up in price as well, closer to $15-$17.

Found a Antique Fishing Lure at Puddingstone!

After a helpful discussion on the FishingNetwork forums, I have determined exactly what the classic lure I found at Puddingstone Reservoir is! It is a Spinno Minno Lure, produced in the 1950s and 1960s by Pecos River Tackle Co./Uniline Bait Co. The design is unique and close inspection reveals that it was most likely one of their earlier generations of the Spinno (based on the spinner hinge design). Check out this great collectable lure website for more information on the Spinno Minno Lure:

The GoPro Killer: GitUp2 Action Camera

Remember the GitUp1 action camera I reviewed several months back? I recently got to try out the latest upgrade to the GitUp series, with the GitUp2 courtesy of GearBest. Wow! I am happy to report that it blew away my expectations and has taken the premium features seen in many more expensive action cameras, and packaged it all into a very affordable package. 

First, let's start with the specification. The GitUp2 the high-quality Sony Ezmor IMX206 16MP image sensory + Novatek NTK96660 chipset, a significant upgrade from the GitUp 1. This allows it to take not only high quality video (with resolution up to 2K video resolution) but also photopgraphs in up to true 16MP quality. One of the weak points of the original GitUp was the very low-quality photographs (unless you extracted individual frames from each video); the GitUp2 has rectified that problem nicely.

(Continued below the jump!)

Why is Haiwee Reservoir Still Closed to Fishing?

Haiwee Reservoir

Have you ever spotted an awesome body of water from the road and wondered if you could fish it? On a recent road trip to Bishop, I encountered Haiwee Reservoir and could not help but think about just that. After considerable research, emails, and phone interviews, I have a tale for you!

North and South Haiwee Reservoirs may be seen just to the east of 395, before Olancha and after Fossil Falls. Two picturesque bodies of water, they represent a tantalizing target for anglers and a symbol of the historic conflict over water that has haunted this region for years. 

Do they have fish? Absolutely, according to the LA Times, the lakes hold rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, brown trout, Sacramento perch, bluegill, carp, and more. The lakes were even stocked by DFG for several years (Daily News Outdoor). Sadly, while once open to anglers, these lakes remain closed for the last 10 years. Fortunately, concerned locals are pressing for the right to once-again be allowed to enjoy these public lands (under BLM and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) regulations). 

Click below to keep reading

Bass Fishing at Puddingstone Reservoir

Fished Puddingstone Reservoir (Frank Bonelli Park) this week. 

Fishing was very slow, only landed one small largemouth bass. The water was very stained. Did find an old fishing lure, no idea on the identify.
 Check out the video of fishing at Puddingstone!

Hitting the Salt Again, California Harbor Fishing

Spent a few hours tossing jigs and bait into one of my favorite saltwater fishing harbors here in Southern California. The water visibilty was very poor, but we still managed to catch several nice fish. Caught two kelp (calico) bass and one opaleye, all released after a few photos. Great way to spend the afternoon!

Follow Hunting the River King on Instagram!

Have you checked out the Hunting the River King page on Instagram? There is plenty of freshwater and saltwater fishing photos, from California and beyond featured on it. Follow today!
Also, I've partnered with GearBest for select coupons on action cameras. You can find them on the Product Reviews page. As a Chinese company, shipping can be much longer, but the tradeoff is much better prices for action cameras.

Also, they will be hosting their 2nd Anniversary Sale, called the Epic GearBest Party, from March 22nd to 24th. If you are holding off on buying an action camera for a better deal, that might be the chance.

Catching Wild Rainbow Trout in Southern California

High above the urban sprawl of Los Angeles are tiny mountain creeks, holding wild rainbow trout.

They are few in number, small, and undeniably striking in a myriad of colors.

Despite drought, habitat destruction, harvest by uneducated humans, and a host of other challenges, they continue to survive in stream pockets and pools off the beaten path.

How much longer will these creeks continue to hold such beautiful finned treasures? 

For Southern California Oncorhynchus mykiss, catch and release fishing is the option for ethical anglers. 

Telescopic Cellphone Zoom Camera Lens Review

Grabbed this little telephoto zoom lens for my smartphone for a little over $6. It's been fun taking it on hiking and fishing trips. Recently took it to Hawaii and was able to focus in on a whale surfacing off the coast. There's no way my stock cell phone camera could have picked it up! Here is the video of the whale, and following it is a video review of the lens at a local SoCal creek.

Surf Fishing Maui Hawaii

Just got back from a great trip to the beautiful island of Maui. Snorkeling, hiking, and, of course, fishing! I relief heavily on the awesome fishing tips of iFish user Joloni (read his guide here) and my past experience fishing in Hawaii. Managed to land several small fish and one awesome barracuda! Check the video for the fishing from the whole trip!

Best Budget Bargain Action Camera: ELE Explorer Action Camera

Interested in a dirt-cheap action camera with usable 2.7k video footage? And even better 1080p footage? Stick with me for this latest review on a brand-new action camera, the ELE Explorer. I am a sucker for the latest action cameras, as I love to catch neat footage from fishing and hiking trips here in Southern California. The fantastic year-round weather (despite the current El Nino) offers excellent recreational opportunities and capturing this on a waterproof action camera to watch and share with others is a blast. Thus, when I was offered the chance to review a new camera, the ELE, I jumped at it! Recently, there has been a trend of cheaper and cheaper action cameras offering up to 4K video resolution (see my review of the nice EKEN H9 camera here), and the ELE is no exception. Let's take a look at it!

More after the jump

Fish Hunter 3D Portable Sonar Fish Finder Review

Recently there has been an explosion of portable sonar fish finder devices. As a kid angler, I could only dream of getting my own boat and mounting a sonar to it. It seemed like an eternity till this dream could ever be realized. Now, you can purchase all sorts of portable fish finders, including several exciting models that sync with your phone via Bluetooth or WiFi. Many of these can be casted or trolled, allowing anglers to learn precious information on bottom contour and fish locations. 

One of the more powerful portable options is the Fish Hunter 3D. This device is jam packed with fish catching tools, all packed into a ball-shaped sonar roughly the size of a baseball. Courtesy of the guys behind Fish Hunter, I've been using one on recent fishing trips and wanted to share my thoughts on it. I hope this review is useful for anyone considering such a portable fish finder!