Mercury Outboards


Steve Comus' Blog

Want to get bigger performance from a little gun?
Smaller is better

In recent times there has been a resurgence in the sales and numbers of small, concealable handguns.

Although many purchasers of the small guns carry them concealed, a significant percentage of folks also get the little guns for home defense – never actually carry them around at all. Those guns tend to spend most of their time tucked away in a safe or somewhere else that is handy, yet out of the way.


FEDERAL INTRODUCES THE 9mm Micro HST ammo, designed specifically for small handguns with short barrels.

Regardless of the way the guns are kept or carried, small guns with short barrels often deliver less actual performance than the owners think they are getting. This can happen easily if the little gun shoots a cartridge that is loaded for guns with longer barrels.

All kinds of things affect delivered performance. For example, one kind of powder can deliver outstanding velocity through a longer barrel, but only mediocre velocity out of a short barrel.

Also, some bullets are designed to perform within parameters that are outside the performance delivered by the short-barreled guns. In other words, if a reduction in velocity due to the shortness of the barrel ends up being under the speed needed to make a particular bullet work right, then there is a problem – even though that same bullet and load in a handgun with a longer barrel might work very well.

Different companies have come up with various ways to address this phenomenon. Federal calls its ammo line that is designed specifically for short-barreled guns Micro HST.

Recently, Federal Premium Ammunition announced its expansion of the Micro HST lineup to include a 150-grain 9mm Luger load. The new 9mm Luger load is specifically designed for short-barreled, concealed-carry pistols. Shipments of this new product are now being delivered to dealers.

“To perform to their peak, subcompact firearms need the right ammunition,” Federal reports. “The line, introduced in 2015 with the 380 Micro HST, provides consistent expansion, optimum penetration and superior terminal performance with bullet weights and propellants optimized for the most efficient cycling and accuracy in subcompact handguns.”

There’s a few benefits and features to the new bullets:

— The new 9mm Luger load for micro-size concealed carry pistols offers a heavy bullet and lower velocity, which decreases felt recoil and noise.

— The expanded diameter and weight retention produce the desired penetration for personal defense situations, without over-penetrating.

— Bullet nose profile, nickel-plated case and Federal primer provide the ultimate in function and reliability in semi-automatic handguns.

— Clean-burning, low-flash propellants.

It is nice to see the industry responding to the needs and desires of the customer base – especially when it comes to marrying just the right ammo to a particular kind of firearm.

Years ago, about the only way to get some types of loads was to handload them yourself. Now they come right from the factory, ready to go.

Federal Premium is a brand of Vista Outdoor Inc., an outdoor sports and recreation company. For more information on Federal Premium, go to

* * *

Steve Comus is a nationally recognized hunting editor with Safari Club International and a former WON Guns and Hunting Editor. His column appears every other week in WON and he can be reached at

Jonathan Roldan's Blog

I’ve got work to do
Fishing has been a bit tough right now down here in Baja lately.

Some days there’s a lot of smiles. Other days…well, maybe not so much. The smiles are a little more forced.

There’s a lot of factors that go into a fishing day and any one of them can be the difference in a good day, a great day or a stinky day.

You can do something about some of them. Some other things are just the way they are. You roll with them.

Of course, there’s the natural factors like weather, wind, heat, current and bait.

There’s the mechanical factors like the boat, the equipment, or the technology.

Then, there’s the human factor. Oh my, that list is long.







Of course, there’s also plain-dumb-luck too!

Again, some things you can do something about. Some others…well…they just are what they are. But, it all comes to the table.

I had an interesting study in contrasts last week. I had two groups of fishermen. They all had some success, but overall fishing was scratchy. It was really a pull. Compared to previous years, it was rugged fishing with long days in the sunshine punctuated by the occasional bite.

The fish were there. Conditions seemed right. But, for whatever reason, the fish “lockjawed” on us. You’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. It happens.

The head of one group made it pretty clear he wasn’t happy.

As each day wore on, he got a little more sullen. A little less ebullient. There was less chest pounding. He was making less and less eye-contact with me.

He wasn’t saying anything directly to me, but the vibe was not good. Anyone who has ever been in the sportfishing business knows the feeling.

Everyone says, “It’s fishing, not catching” until they are the party that’s not catching. Believe me!

The level of “jolliness” was slipping away.

Unfortunately, it was rubbing off on his group as well. It’s toxic. How the leader goes so goes the troops. Naturally.

And that’s too bad because as often happens, as the enthusiasm wanes, the energy level wilted right along with it.

They weren’t trying as hard. They were mailing it in. Like the 2nd half of a game…down by 20 and just wanting to take the ball and get off the field.

At the end of trips, before anglers head home, I like to chat with them and assess things. It’s always better when things go right and the sun stayed out and the fish bite.

Getting high-fived at the end is great.

It’s so much harder to face a group, knowing that you did everything you could to make it work, but there are things that couldn’t be controlled. Simply put, sometimes the fish just don’t cooperate.

So facing a group or leader that had a bad outing is like taking that long walk to the principle’s office. And you know it’s not gonna be good.

The head of the first group and his guys said, it was “OK.” Just OK. I heard comments about the weather…the bait…the currents…the wind…

It’s what I expected. They shook my hand climbed in the vans back to the airport and off they went. I doubt I’ll be seeing them again. No one’s fault. We just didn’t shine down here as far as fishing was concerned.

Then there was the head of the other group. And his guys.

Again, a very experienced angler.

He and his gang fished the same waters as the other group. Used the same gear. More or less had the same results. Some good. Some bad.

Like the other group, it was their first “Baja adventure.” You just never want first-timers to have a bad time.

Obviously, we want everyone to have a good time. Surely, we want everyone to also come back. Returning happy clientele is what makes or breaks any business. No matter what you do.

It was my turn to say adios to them as well.

With some trepidation, I started out apologizing for the crummy fishing.

“I’m really sorry the fishing wasn’t…”

The head of the group stopped me right there.

What followed was one of the most refreshing comments I’ve heard in more than 30 years in the fishing industry.

He said, “That’s not your fault. We had a great time and can’t wait to come back.”

“Uh…really?” I said with some skepticism. “You’re joking right?”

He went on to say with a grin, “The fish were there. Everything looked good. You did everything you could and more. Your captains busted their rears working. We’ve fished all over and sometimes fishing is just…well…it’s fishing.” And he laughed and slapped me on the back.

“When the fish don’t bite, it simply means that ‘I’m not good enough.’”

That caught me by surprise! “You’re not good enough?”

“All fish eat. All fish hunt. As a sportfisherman, my task and challenge is to find a way to get them to bite. If they don’t bite, then I have work to do. There’s something else I need to learn. There’s something else I need to improve.”

“Maybe it was my bait presentation. Maybe it was the color of my line. Maybe we trolled when I should have drifted. Maybe it was just luck and I should have worn my lucky green shirt instead of my lucky red shirt.”

He added, “To me, putting that right combination together is what makes it fun. That’s why I want to come back to fish here again and solve that puzzle. That’s why my whole group wants to come back. We learn. We get better. We learn from each other and we learn from the fish! “

“We have work to do before we come back! And we’ll be back. And the fish I missed this time will only be that much bigger next time. But, I will also be that much smarter!”

Every now and then…even the principal surprises you.

Merit McCrea's Blog

Options: local big game
Western Outdoor News had a charter aboard the Options, running from Pierpoint Landing, next to the aquarium in Long Beach. We pulled into the parking lot at around 4:30 in the afternoon for our 5:30 p.m. departure. There we were met by WON staffer Ben Babbitt. With him already was Avet rep Rick Ozaki, an angler who had fished with me in Santa Barbara back in the day. Bob Ota of Johnny's Sport Shop in Pasadena was there too, a friend and customer of Wendy Tochihara and Izorline.

BOB OTA OF Johnny's Sport Shop in Pasadena rails a big fish on the bow with Jiro Spagnolini standing by.

Ben had swag from Costa and Flambeau, including glasses kits and waterproof tackle boxes. We spent a few moments relaxing and chatting before heading down to the Options. As we unpacked our rods and gear both Keith Meehan of Delillo Chevrolet and Ken Leverich of Trade Winds Marine arrived.

At the helm was Capt. Wes Flesch and John, deckhand Jiro Spagnolini was organizing the gear. That evening we headed for Catalina Island and squidding. By early morining the crew had filled both tanks with the juice. We were set.

A little nighttime dropper looping was uneventful. A move or two later brought us to a beautiful cove a few calicos caught and released on lead-head and squid and our first biggame hookup.

Wendy Tochihara's Phenix-Avet combo was bowed at the island, bit nearly straight up and down, the big fish headed shoreward. But she would never see it. Later we would see why.

Then it was skipper Wes who was bit big, resulting in some quiet excitement as we tried to keep hooting and hollering down so as not to alert any nearby marine mammals who would come ruin our action and steal fish off our lines. It was a beautiful mid-30s seabass.

Meanwhile Tochihara was bit again. Her fish headed for the horizon, then settled down, worked her up the starboard rail, around the bow and settled in on the port bow. Some minutes later the first gaff was in an a second called for.

Wes and Jiro drug the big fish down the port side and loaded over the rail. It was a tanker, and would end up weighing in at 42 pounds, likely around 44 when first boated. Wendy was stoked, her biggest croaker ever. It's just amazing how big some of the croakers caught have gotten in recent years.

The calico bite was actually pretty good and Ben was on them steady. He was testing a new grip material by Winn Grip. He said it was super comfortable and provided extra grip when his hands were slimed by bait.

PERSONAL BESTS ARE a specialty aboard the Options. Here is Izorline's Wendy Tochihara and Capt. Wes Flesch with her newly updated PB.

But those two big seabass made the calico seem like a nuisance, and others tried to avoid them. Don't toss too far back there towards the rocks, a calico will get you for sure. Ultimately the inevitable happened and a big knothead sea lion came to steal the show. It was over, and we moved on.

The move brought us to another great picnic spot. Every cove had a host of big critters, including several mondo soupfin sharks. Many of these were on for a few runs, only to ultimately get a tooth caught on the line and bite through. We fished heavy, 40-pound was the minimum and a 50-pound fluoro leader on 65- or 80-pound braid was better.

We would get to fish at each stop for a limited time, until a sea lion would show up and shut it all down. A nice halibut was hooked, only to be grabbed by a lion, who ultimately took the fish and spent 15 minutes Frisbeeing the flatfish around a couple hundred yards off the bow, eating it's entrails and leaving the rest to sink.

Bat rays made good sport, and some were huge, up to 100 pounds. There was a lot of life in shallow. At one point a sea lion pushed a ball of big opaleye right up against the hull and picked one off. Then we left.

Even a few smaller yellowtail came to visit in the short water, and several were boated.

But we were a day early, and the next morning the Options would be met by yellowtail on the squid grounds and land 20 of the large 20- to 30-pound models. They went on to land a halibut. Later, the afternoon found them tight to the beach in the midst of a seabass frenzy. It was full limits for crew and anglers, 9 croaker including two 50-pound tankers, making for a Catalina Island trifecta, yellowtail, halibut and seabass!

* * *

Merit McCrea is saltwater editor for Western Outdoor News. A veteran Southern California partyboat captain, he also works as a marine research scientist with the Love Lab at the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute. He can be reached at:

Cousins Surf Fishing Round-Up

Corbina spotted off surf line
The perch bite was solid early in the week, reported Hook, Line and Sinker in Santa Barbara. Barred perch ranging to 1¾ pounds have been showing on many beaches. Jalama, Gaviota, Refugio, Goleta, East Beach and Carpinteria have been kicking out fish. Big Hammer surf grubs and Gulp! Sandworms and Peeler Crabs have been good bait choices. The calico bass have been active on the reef beaches taking 4-inch Big Hammers in the Pacific ’chovy color. There have been lots of halibut in and around the harbor, the trick has been finding a legal one.

MALIBU — The good perch bite north of Mugu petered out with an influx of dirty water, reported Wylie’s. The last Uptown Derby was held on Sunday and the group didn’t break the 1-pound mark. A few croaker and corbina were also reported to go with the small perch. A few halibut including a legal, were reported taken off Will Rogers on Lucky Craft. Kayak and surfboard anglers are also reporting more and more halibut in the surf line. The leopard shark bite is picking up off the old Charthouse.

REDONDO BEACH — Anglers in the south bay are seeing good numbers of cruising corbina reported Just Fishing. The fish are timid with a few taking a properly presented fresh mussel. The sand crabs are showing on the beaches but are pea-size. The perch bite is good on Hermosa and Manhattan for small fish. The shark and ray bite is improving at Dockweiler. With little bait squid around, slabbed mackerel has been working best. The best bet for a legal halibut has been Torrance Beach.

SEAL BEACH — The halibut bite inside the breakwater has been improving, reported Big Fish. Anglers working the piers, channels, docks and jetties are reporting lots of small anchovies inside and, with it, good number of halibut from ranging from short to 30 inches. The bait congregations have been key and some of the best fishing has been at night. The grub bite for perch has been good at Bolsa Chica. The fish have been small ranging to ¾pounds. With lots of small sandcrabs on the beach, anglers are reporting increased numbers of corbina. The fish have been off the bite. After a stubborn fire, the Seal Beach Pier is closed shutting down a good spotfin croaker bite. The croaker are also showing off the beaches, jetties and in the bay.

COSTA MESA — Good numbers off corbina have been spotted in the surfline, reported Ketcham Bait and Tackle. Big numbers of small sandcrabs have drawn the fish into the breakers. With few bait-size crabs, bloodworms have been a good bait. Large schools of juvenile white seabass have been roaming outside the surfline off Newland. A handful of legals have been landed on smelt pattern 5-inch swimbaits. The recent closed grunion run has drawn more and more halibut into the surfline.

DANA POINT — Anglers working the rocky beaches are scoring some quality calico bass, reported Hogan’s Bait and Tackle. The recent grunion runs have drawn some 2- to 4-pound fish in to the shallows. Grunion pattern swimbaits or soft jerk baits have been working best. The mixed bag fishing has been improving off Doheny and in and around the harbor. Yellowfin and spotfin croaker, white seabass, sand bass, sargo and barred perch have all been bending rods. Fresh mussel and lugworms have been top baits. The sand patches below Cottons have been kicking out some legal halibut for those throwing Flash Minnows and X-Raps. Watch for the occasional legal seabass.

OCEANSIDE — The bloodworm bite for chunky spotfin has been outstanding, reported Pacific Coast Bait and Tackle. One shop regular reported 6 fish to 4 pounds in a two hour session. There have also been schools in the harbor and lagoons. A 10-pound, 12 ounce halibut joined the leader board in the Shimano Halibut Derby. With one week to go, an 11-pound, 5-ounce fish still leads. The halibut fishing has been good in the lagoons, harbor and on the beaches, There has just been few big fish. A small broomtail grouper was taken on a swimbait in Oceanside Harbor.

SOLANA BEACH — A handful of orangemouth corvina were reported taken off Ponto and the Del Mar rivermouth, reported Blue Water. The fish bit on the strong tides and full moon. Swimbaits and bloodworms accounted for the bites. Torrey Pines and Del Mar beaches are jugged with small sandcrabs and cruising corbina. Early fish are wary with low light providing the best chance. With lots of red crabs washing up on the beaches, keep that color in your arsenal of baits.

Compiled by Gundy Gunderson

Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament

Tesoro announces event rates
Book NOW, and be sure to use the code for best prices in November

The hotel is undergoing another refurbishing of its rooms

The Hotel Tesoro is again the official hotel of the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament and its location is central to all of the activities of the tournament with city and marina views. The hotel just released its new promotional price structure for the tourney, and we are told you cannot get these rates on any other site or booking agent except the Tesoro website when you use the booking code TUNA2016.

The Hotel Tesoro has been undergoing another round of updating its rooms with new furniture inside and out of the rooms, and refurbishing of its showers, full bath amenities and white robes. Check out the website at this link

Remember, the promo code is ….tuna2016


As for the tourney itself, all is ready to go for Nov. 2-6, 2016 and we have about 40 teams committed and that is quite high four this time of year. You can get more on the event, and how it works, and all the rules, and schedule at the official website below.

Page 1 of 640 First | Previous | Next | Last

Advertise with Western Outdoor News