Tom Keer 3/28/2013 Our first indication that the striped bass are in the rivers is when the shadbush begins to blossom. Its namesake, the American and Hickory shad enter the rivers at that time as well, and the bluefish aren’t far behind, either. Keep an […]
Month: March 2013
Kirk Deeter 3/28/2013 This is the season that most dry-fly anglers look forward to most. The warming days of spring allow us to get out there on our favorite rivers, and what’s better, many of the most prolific insect hatches—the phenomena that trigger trout to […]
It is about time to start coloring those Easter eggs. And with spring and warmer water, there might be some coloring in your tackle box as well.
Choosing the right lure color is critical for success on the water. Brando Palaniuk, who came in second at the 2013 Bassmaster Classic even pays close attention to the “shade of color.” Lure companies provide a huge selection of color ranges as anglers attempt to allow for such factors as water clarity, sunlight, depth, and vegetation type.
Still, some anglers feel the need to tweak their lure colors. As I interviewed Todd Faircloth, Bassmaster Elite Pro, who just won the Sabine River Challenge, he was using an orange highlighter to lighten the tips of the claws of his crayfish lures. If you are looking for something other than a highlighter color, there are several markers, coatings, and “dips,” you can try if you are into “Do It Yourself” lure coloring projects
Some new lures change colors by themselves. I have tried Tightlines UV soft plastic lures that look normal in natural light but in deep waters reflect the UV light that penetrates deepest making the lure almost glow.
I have also experimented with Smartbaits’ hard and soft plastic lures that change color depending on the temperature. My kids had fun at the bathroom sink with this science experiment! In warm air, they are one color, but as the lure sinks to cooler water, these lures change to give a dramatic new presentation.
And to top it off, I sometimes use Yo-zuri crankbaits with a patented color change technology. The lure can change color depending on the angle it is viewed. As the lure goes by a fish, it almost seems to pulse or blush in panic.
Do you alter the colors of your lures? Have you tried any of these lures that change colors by themselves?
Debbie Hanson 3/20/2013 Anglers must be particularly concerned about the harmful effects of too much sun exposure. And I recently learned the hard way that even when you think you are taking the right precautions, the slightest little mistake can literally get you burned. As […]
Spring is not far away. There will soon be flowers in the yard, I’ll be sneezing, and there will be a “bird’s nest” in my baitcaster reels. As Bill Dance says in his latest Bass Pro Shops commercial, “Don’t do that.” Here are a few tips for preventing a tangle:
Practice. Even with the high-tech, magnetic braking system baitcaster reels, it takes a well-practiced thumb to avoid a bird’s nest. Bassmaster Elite angler Rick Clunn shared, “Yes, even pros get backlashes.”
“Don’t ‘load’ the rod.” In a recent seminar, Bassmaster Elite pro angler Tommy Biffle warned that the added flip of a bent fishing pole during a hard cast could send the inner spool rotating at an unexpected, uncontrollable rate.
Rather than attempt to readjust a baitcaster setting with every different weighted lure, if you have the means (and the understanding spouse) dedicate a different baitcaster rod reel combo to each lure type.
When spooling a spinning reel with new line, lay the spool flat and wind on several feet of line, then open the bail. If the line uncoils like the foam snakes out of a fake peanut can gag toy, take the line off and try again with the new line spool flipped over.
Don’t over fill the spool with line. Loading the reel too close to the spool lip is asking for trouble.
Pay attention. A spinning reel should feel smooth. If there is a little tic or flap sound or feel while retrieving, look down and catch that potential pileup early. If the drag is slightly loose, pull on the line and even if the loop is down in the spool, it may slip free. Another tact is to cast it out, casting further this time and then winding back between two fingers to feel any possible remaining line issues.
Superlines don’t have “memory.” That is, they do not recall that they were once tightly wound around a spool and thus will straighten flat when casted. Once I started throwing Fireline my kinks almost disappeared. However, if you do get a small kink with braided line, pinch it hard and roll it between your fingers and it will loosen.
Andy Whitcomb 3/12/2013 For students, Spring Break is rapidly approaching. For some this means heading to the mountains, others, perhaps a trek south to Florida or Texas. These few days are associated long road trips and wild parties; however, I am not the only one […]
Debbie Hanson 3/7/2013 Lees Ferry, Arizona, and Delaware River, New York/Pennsylvania Whether you’re on spring break, or you just want to break away — and you’re thinking a little fly fishing adventure might be the trick to shake off the last effects of winter — […]
I recently did a straw pole study with a couple dozen of my friends. I asked them to name three states with great trout and bass fishing. Not one mentioned Tennessee, which shocked me, ‘cause in my opinion, it ranks at the top. I called my good friend Byron Begley at Little River Outfitters located in Townsend, TN to share my story.
“You know, there are over 800 miles of fishable trout streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park alone,” he said. “And that’s not even accounting for the rest of the state. The park is a tremendous 500,000 acres. There are wonderful mountain streams with great populations of rainbow trout, brook trout, and brown trout. It’s an amazing resource that gets even better in the waters just outside of the park.
“The rivers at the lower elevations offer some excellent smallmouth bass fishing. While the fish may be small, they make up for their size in fight and in numbers. They’re a hoot, particularly on a fly rod.” Smallmouth bass in the 5-and 6-pound range can be caught in the lowland rivers such as Little River, Little Pigeon River and Abrams Creek.
The only native trout is the brookie, and you’ll find them at elevations upwards of 2,000 feet. Probably the most abundant are the rainbows and they’re spread throughout the area. Brown trout are the most sought after species, and in Tennessee you’ll find them in the larger streams with deeper pools and undercut banks.
“The Tennessee River that was part of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s projects in the 1930’s and 1940’s is another phenomenal resource,” Begley said. “In addition to power generation, the dams built created lakes and tailwaters. The tailwaters have created an unbelievably fertile river system. You’ll find trout, large and smallmouth bass, freshwater stripers, and panfish throughout the watershed. And there is a wide-range of water types, too. You’ll find lakes, freestone streams, and lowland rivers, all chock-a-block with fish. Tennessee is a fisherman’s paradise.”
Because of the states’ southern proximity, fishing kicks off in March and gets increasingly better until the summer. At that point, some anglers will focus on ponds and lakes for bass and panfish.
Anglers hike into the backcountry in the higher elevations of the Smokies and Cherokee National Forest and catch trout even during the warmest months of the year. The high elevation brook trout streams fish well during the summer.
Fly fishermen in particular head to the bottom-release tailwaters where they’ll find cooler water temperatures and active fish. There are plenty of campgrounds, hotels and motels, and great restaurants. If you’re unfamiliar with the waters, check out the Take Me Fishing map specific to Tennessee or stop at a local fishing shop and guide to steer you in the right direction.