Provides information of Fishes

Month: November 2013

Unexpected Reasons to be Thankful for Fishing

Unexpected Reasons to be Thankful for Fishing

Debbie Hanson 11/26/2013 There are many obvious reasons to be thankful for fishing. Fishing gets you outdoors into the fresh air, encourages you to learn new angling skills, and gives you a feeling of accomplishment when you land a lunker. Although, if you think about […]

Steer with a Homemade Drogue

Steer with a Homemade Drogue

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 […]

What kind of a bottom do you like?

What kind of a bottom do you like?

There is a paradox of strategy with many B.A.S.S. tournament anglers. When they fish rivers, anglers often compete for backwater areas without current. When the tournament is held in lakes/reservoirs, they can’t wait until there is current to turn on the bite.

Soft Bottom

SoftBottomE.jpg

From above, the Allegheny River may look the same but in about a mile I can find areas that are dominant in silt, gravel, rocks, or boulders. Current moves the fine silt particles downstream and deposits them in slower, protected areas. Because of the nutrients carried with it, in general, the more silt, the more productive the fishery. Vegetation often is an indicator of these silty, soft bottom areas.

However, excessive silt from runoff interferes with spawning, complicates oxygen levels, and coats sensitive gills. And there are seasonal movements to consider. Bass and pike love soft bottom vegetation areas until stressed with excessively warm water in summer. Catfish and carp are more tolerant of silty conditions and less visually dependant for feeding.

If you drop bait on a soft bottom and it may just disappear in the muck. Instead, try rigging it so that your bait will suspend. Use a floating jig head or dropshot to help improve your presentation. Ever drive down a dusty rural road? Dragging a soft bottom with a Carolina rig rubber worm rig can stir up too much of a smoke screen to get a hit, so it is better to suspend your bait.

A hard bottom, even though it may have fewer nutrients, means an uneven surface, unlike that of a “flat” of settled silt. With a variation in sizes of rocks, there are places for crayfish and minnows to hide. There also may be higher oxygen content and greater visibility for more sight oriented fish.

Hard bottom

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“Who wouldn’t want a hard bottom?” asks Bassmaster Elite Tommy Biffle. “I’m always hunting me a rock somewhere.” In fact he has even developed a pivoting jig for his beloved hard bottom areas.

How do you know if the bottom is hard or soft? With practice, an angler can tell by feel of the lure, what is down there. If you are in a boat in less than 8 feet of water, stick the rod tip down and see what you feel. Does it bubble, or release a noxious, anaerobic gas? Your success in that area will depend on time of year and what you are trying to catch.

Sometimes that sweet spot is a transitional area or edge.Next time you are really catching the fish, check the composition of the bottom substrate.When you need to move to a different location, look for a similar mix of rocks, gravel, and silt and you just may find them again.


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.   

Visit a Fish Hatchery

Visit a Fish Hatchery

Andy Whitcomb 11/22/2013 Fish hatcheries are an important part of the management of fisheries. They increase the fishing opportunities for anglers all over the country. Hatcheries can assist as a fisheries management tool such as where natural reproduction may not be able to keep up […]

At the Pond When I Was Fishing

At the Pond When I Was Fishing

Stephanie Vatalaro 11/21/2013 Don’t tell him I told you, but he didn’t catch a big fish. And Daddy didn’t kookd it for Dinner. But what he did get? Was far better than that. If you know me, you’ll know I love to garden. I’ve roped […]

No Leaky Boots

No Leaky Boots

Discovering wader leaks is an inevitable part of fishing and hunting. But, you don’t need to suffer through a day of wet socks and pants when you can fix your boots on the spot. Assemble a patch kit of standard household items and toss it in your fishing bag or vest. You’ll make immediate repairs that will get you back in business in an hour-if not in minutes.

Patch Kit Materials and Purpose

 

  1. Small pouch or zip-lock bag for patch kit storage.

  2. Tube of Aquaseal for glue.

  3. Bottle of Cotol-240 to speed up dry time.

  4. Alcohol swabs for cleaning the area to be patched.

  5. Small bristle brush for spreading Aquaseal.

  6. Women’s nylons are great, flexible patch materials.

  7. Knife or straight-edge razor blade for cutting a patch or nylon.

  8. Rubber glove to keep fingers from sticking.

  9. Lighter for melting neoprene.

  10. Masking tape for holding a cut together.

Neoprene waders are the easiest to fix because rubber melts.

 

  1. Peel away the nylon fabric covering the neoprene with a knife or razor blade.
     

  2. Close the tear with a strip of masking tape on the inside of your boots.
     

  3. Brush away any debris.

  4. Carefully heat the neoprene around the cut with a lighter until it starts to melt.
     

  5. Spread the hot rubber with a coffee stirrer. Lay a bead in the cut as well as around the cut.
     

  6. Hold and let cool.
     

Breathable, Canvas or Rubber Waders typically require 24-hours to fix due to the cure-time for glue. But, if you use Aquaseal, a waterproof sealer, you can mix in an accelerant called Cotol-240 that reduces the required dry-time to an hour. Kill that time re-rigging, scouting, or eating lunch.

 

  1. Clean the area around the cut with an alcohol swap.

  2. Close the tear with a strip of masking tape on the inside of your boots.
     

  3. Cut a patch from a woman’s nylon stocking to cover the hole.

  4. Mix 1 part Cotol-240 accelerator with 3 to 4 parts Aquaseal with a coffee stirrer or brush.
     

  5. Spread mixture around the tear in your waders. Extend the glue 1/3 of an inch beyond the size of the patch.
     

  6. Place patch in the Cotol-240/Aquaseal mixture and lay flat.

  7. Apply a light additional coat of glue on top of the patch, and lay flat to dry.

For a quick fix

Loon Outdoors offers a Sun Set Super Patch or wader repair for about $8.50. Apply the product to the tear, expose to sun for 5-20 seconds, and go fishing. Comes in a ¼ ounce tube and works best on small tears or punctures. For more information on the patch.


Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.

Tubin’

Tubin’

Andy Whitcomb 11/19/2013 Okay, probably too cold for the kind of tubing with your friends and swimsuits. But the tube jig is still catching fish. The tube jig is a soft-plastic lure that has a hollow chamber. This allows the hard jig head to be […]

5 Kinds of Disappearing Fishing Tackle

5 Kinds of Disappearing Fishing Tackle

Debbie Hanson 11/18/2013 If you fish often enough, you’ve probably experienced the strange occurrence of fishing tackle that just plain disappears into thin air. Wasn’t it just a week or two ago that you stocked up on five packs of 4/0 hooks, three bags of […]

Fix Your Tip

Fix Your Tip

Accidents happen, but when you break your rod tip there is the chance you’re your fishing is going to suffer. Sometimes we slam ‘em in a car door, other times we trip and fall, and still other times they just break for whatever reason. Keep a few items in your gear bag at all times and you can fix your rod tip and be back in the action. And if you’ve been using other rods all season long, winter is a great time to fix them for next year.

The four simple items of a variety of replacement tip tops to fit our rods, a hot glue stick, a pair of pliers, and a lighter are all you need. A fifth item, a tip gauge provides accurate measurements to match your new tip top tube to the diameter of your broken tip section. They’re the right way to go for creating a precise fit, but tip gauges are not necessary for an on-the-water repair.

  1. Match a tip top to your broken tip. Tip tops range in size from 3.5-30. Measure one with a tip gauge or place different sized tip tops on the blank until you find a snug fit. Remove from the blank.

  2. Heat the glue stick. Hold your lighter on the glue stick for 7-10 seconds until the glue melts. Coat the blank completely making sure that all the graphite or fiberglass is covered.

  3. Slide on your tip top. Position the tip top slowly onto the tip. Push slowly so any air bubbles are forced out. Align with your guides and let it set for a minute or two.
     

Some pre-made kits are available and they range in price from about $5.00 to $150.00. Check for online sites that offer the kits as well as gauges, hot-melt glue, and a variety of tip tops. Or swing by your local tackle shop and assemble your own kit.


Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.

There’s Never an Excuse Not to Wear a Life Jacket

There’s Never an Excuse Not to Wear a Life Jacket

Stephanie Vatalaro 11/14/2013 It’s tempting not to wear a life jacket while fishing or boating, especially on nice days. You want to get some sun, or you think you’ll get too hot. But whether you’re going fishing or just enjoying a ride on the boat, […]