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Month: June 2013

Lessons Learned on the Ladies Summer Snook Fishing Trip

Lessons Learned on the Ladies Summer Snook Fishing Trip

Debbie Hanson 6/28/2013 The first day of summer had arrived, and along with it, some of the best inshore snook fishing to be experienced in Southwest Florida. Snook are most active during the warm summer months, so this was the ideal time to introduce one […]

Tips on Fish Cleaning and Handling

Tips on Fish Cleaning and Handling

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP Sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter with interesting blogs about fishing and boating. Get fishing tips and tricks and read personal stories from anglers who live and breathe fishing and boating. Learn new fishing skills, boating resources, fishing etiquette, conservation and more. Please […]

Go with the Flow

Go with the Flow

I’m a pond and small lake guy. That’s just where I gained the majority of my fishing experiences and thus, where I am most confident. Recently, I moved to the edge of the Appalachian Mountains.  Many of the fishing opportunities are streams, creeks, or rivers.  Water here moves. I’m used to reacting to swirls. But now, it is ALL swirls.

Standing on the bank of the Allegheny River, according to my rough calculations, in 7 seconds, the volume of a typical farm pond just rolled by. Now the river fish did not float downstream in the current, but technically, I am now casting into new water.

When fishing moving water, there are some things to keep in mind.

1) Fish have to be efficient. To conserve energy, they use eddies, pockets, and slack areas to rest. These places can be found below boulders, dams, or where tributaries join the flow.

2) If there is a hatch, the fish are going to take advantage of this opportunity. Pay attention to what is flying, swimming around you and adjust what you cast accordingly.

3) Things happen quickly with flowing water.  There is no buffer as with lakes. Rivers can rise within minutes because somewhere, perhaps miles upstream, it rained.  Key fish holding locations and water clarity can change in a short time.

4) When rigging, such as minnows or other live bait, allow for an upstream/downstream alignment, rather than sideways.

5) Further, obtaining movement will be easier; that crank bait is really going to dig and put on a show with much greater wobble because of the current, so you will not have to be as forceful with your retrieve.

6) Wear polarized glasses.  Even when sight fishing in shallow, clear water, the flow can play tricks with your vision. The shadow of a fish may be more evident than the actual fish.  Plus, it is embarrassing to sneak up breathlessly, then spend a half hour methodically and carefully casting to what turns out to be just the dark edge of a rock.


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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”…  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie.”  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.

Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well…

And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.   

Tips for Fishing with your Kids from Angler David Walker

Tips for Fishing with your Kids from Angler David Walker

Stephanie Vatalaro 6/20/2013 Team Evinrude Angler David Walker stopped by to share some insights on fishing with his kids. Q: Who taught you how to fish?A: My dad liked to fish, so he would take me when I was really young. He was the one […]

Saltwater Dropper Rigs

Saltwater Dropper Rigs

Tom Keer 6/19/2013 Dropper rigs are standard operating procedures for trout bums, but they are relatively uncommon in the salt. That fact always surprises me, particularly because there are so many different types of bait in the water at all times. That point was illustrated […]

“Propellers Need Not Apply”

“Propellers Need Not Apply”

Local Allegheny River angler Joe Stefanacci learned I was new to the area and was kind enough to offer a boat ride. While our kids were in school one afternoon, I took him up on it.

“How many props do you go through each year?” I asked, looking at all the big rocks in the clear river.

“None,” he said, grinning. “It’s a jet boat.”

JetBoatBackE

When I hear the word “jet,” I think of screaming airplanes, rockets, and a need for ear projection. However, this was not the case. His outboard sounded, and looked like a standard outboard above water, making me wonder how many other boats I’ve seen on the river also were jet boats.

“It is basically a big water pump.”

Though the engine has less horsepower than when fitted with a propeller, we easily reached smallmouth bass shallow river haunts among submerged rocks, logs, and boulders. No nail biting. No gripping the gunnels. No colorful language.

Access is a large part of a successful fishing trip and this was like having 4-wheel drive and plenty of height clearance. We glided up a skinny-water tributary and then he cut the motor, just using a trolling motor occasionally to correct our drift.

It took us a while to find them but on this afternoon, but a 50-yard boulder laden stretch was smallmouth city. While Joe landed another, this time a sturdy two-pounder, I noticed how difficult it would be to try to reach this spot from shore or by a boat with a larger motor.

JoeSmallieE

Back at the ramp, I watched a couple launch a boat with a propeller-fitted outboard. And I noticed their fingernails were exceedingly short…


Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”…  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie.”  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.

Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well…

And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.   

Launch Ramp Etiquette

Launch Ramp Etiquette

Tom Keer 6/11/2013 Boating is fun. Fishing is fun. And the combination is outstanding. There is one hurdle that we need to clear before we turn the bow towards our favorite hot spot and that is the boat ramp. And with that being said, some […]

Father’s Day Suggestions

Father’s Day Suggestions

Andy Whitcomb 6/11/2013 I don’t know about you, but it is tough to buy gifts for my Dad. Chances are, he already has one or he does not need anything else cluttering up the tool bench. For me, my Dad introduced me to the wonders […]

Bluegill Bonanza

Bluegill Bonanza

There are sunfish that grow larger and there are sunfish with “gills” that streak bluer. No one follows around the bluegill stocking trucks, yet the prolific bluegills have their followers.

The bluegill is often overlooked and underappreciated by many anglers. Some of this is because you have to downsize your gear. They have tiny mouths and so you have to use a small lure or bait hook.

Bluegill do not need supplemental stocking because they are hardier than trout, capable of not only tolerating, but thriving in conditions with relatively high temperatures and lower oxygen. Plus, they can spawn multiple times a year.

Often found in large, loose groups, these fish can be harvested in large numbers. Pennsylvania has a limit of 50 per day with no size limit, while Oklahoma has no limit, period.

Well known as great table fare, these fried micro fillets are addictive. I’ve even learned of some anglers who like to remove the head and insides of small bluegill and simply fry them whole.

This time of year, bluegills can be found rather shallow, feeding on small insects near the surface. If you are not into flyfishing, flies still can be casted using a “casting bubble” and light spinning tackle. It works like a bobber except the line slides through the “bubble” up to the leader swivel or stopper to prevent fish detection.

But be advised: even though these are relatively small fish, you may catch so many that your arm will be tired the next day. In addition, your face may be sore from several straight hours of smiling.


Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”…  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie.”  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.

Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well…

And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.