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Month: February 2014

A Rocking Classic

A Rocking Classic

Andy Whitcomb 2/25/2014 The epic, 3-day 2014 Bassmaster Classic fishing tournament completed this weekend in Alabama. This “Super Bowl” of bass fishing was a battle of 56 anglers competing for the prestigious title.  Simply qualifying to compete in this event is a huge success. I […]

Cod, or Fish Piccata

Cod, or Fish Piccata

Tom Keer 2/25/2014 March and April are good months to head offshore and catch bottom fish like cod, haddock, and wolfish.  These three fish are found in cold saltwater in depths of a few hundred feet.  For those wishing to catch them too, look to […]

4 of the Strangest-Looking Fishing Rigs

4 of the Strangest-Looking Fishing Rigs

There are some fishing rigs and lures that might appear just plain odd to the average observer. With multiple hooks, strange configurations or unusual colors, it’s not uncommon for people to look at these rigs and start scratching their heads while thinking, “how in the heck do these things actually catch fish anyway?” Just remember not to judge a rig or lure based on appearance alone. There can be a difference between “angler baits” that look attractive in the package at the store and strange-looking rigs or lures that have been proven to catch fish when used in the right situations.

Here are four fishing rigs that top the list when it comes to strange-looking, but effective:

 

  1. Alabama Rig. The Alabama rig is a multi-armed, umbrella-shaped metal rig that gives an angler the opportunity to fish with up to five lures at once without the use of a leader. With the Alabama rig, you can land up to five fish on a single cast. There are both freshwater and saltwater versions of this rig. The freshwater version is used for largemouth bass, while saltwater versions are either used for inshore species such as redfish and trout or for offshore species like mackerel and mahi mahi (also known as dolphinfish).

  2. Butterfly Jig. The butterfly jig was developed in Japan during the 1990’s by anglers fishing for saltwater species such as bluefin tuna. This jigging system has been said to beat natural bait in certain situations when the bite is tough or the fish don’t seem all that interested. There is a spiral darting action produced by the butterfly jig that often triggers a reaction strike from a number of saltwater species such as snapper, grouper and amberjack.

  3. Sabiki Rig. A sabiki rig is a set of small hooks with simple pieces of metallic film attached and connected to one individual dropper line that is used to catch baitfish. The individual dropper line is then tied to a longer leader with a weight tied to the end. The size or type of sabiki rig used will depend on water conditions and the species being targeted.

  4. Wacky Rig. When a soft plastic stick bait or bass worm is rigged sideways on a hook so that the ends wave and flow to create maximum movement, this is referred to as fishing with a wacky rig or “wacky style.” Fishing with a wacky rig used to be reserved for those areas with little to no cover since the hook is exposed; however, these days there are special weedless wacky rig hooks on the market that can be used when fishing with this technique.

What types of unusual-looking rigs or materials have you used to catch fish? Share your funky rig stories by commenting on this post or by starting a new thread in the TakeMeFishing.org community forum. If you want to get more practice with different rigs, don’t forget to visit the saltwater fishing rigs page.


Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.

Chris Lane on Fishing with His Kids

Chris Lane on Fishing with His Kids

Andy Whitcomb 2/21/2014 As I mentioned in my earlier earlier blog the “Super Bowl” of fishing is taking place this week. I’m here in attendance and I see families everywhere! Some experienced anglers, some brand new to fishing. But everyone here is getting a chance […]

Taking Stock of Fish… Stocks

Taking Stock of Fish… Stocks

Tom Keer 2/21/2014 Just last week I saw a report that shows a dramatic decline in the striped bass. For those new to fishing, you may not know the history with the striped bass population. Back in the 1980’s it was a big deal to […]

The Classic Clash

The Classic Clash

In an attempt to communicate the scope, grand spectacle, and popularity of the Bassmaster Classic, it is frequently referred to as the “Super Bowl” of fishing tournaments. This grand 3-day fishing fest will take place in Alabama on Lake Guntersville, February 21-23. By winning one of the 2013 Bassmaster tournaments or placing high enough consistently, a select group of professional anglers achieves their  goal to compete in the yearly main event. There are some explanations required with this analogy though.

1. There are 56 opponents, not just two. But only 25 will survive to fish the final, third day.

2. Each angler competes against the others but this is almost secondary to the real battle: the struggle to land bass.  No one cheers for the bass to win; the audience wants to see plenty of big fish caught (and released.)

3. There is no field, but sometimes there is grass.  This time the tournament takes place on Lake Guntersville, which is known for massive stretches of this giant bass holding aquatic vegetation.

4. This year’s Super Bowl was played outdoors. Every Classic is played outdoors. Last year’s event on Grand Lake in Oklahoma, the temperature at the first boat launch was 22 degrees. Fortunately, the forecast for this year’s event is calling for highs in the 50s and 60s.

5. There is an arena, but it is 80 miles from the lake. For the stage weigh-in, fish are transported, photographed, and then returned to the lake, unharmed. Because of the cool water temperatures, highly efficient live-wells, and extreme care in handling, no fish were lost at last year’s event which had a similar transportation distance.

6. There are several “home teams.” Elite anglers like Chris Lane, Randy Howell, and Gerald Swindle might consider Lake Guntersville to be their “home lake” and have a great deal of experience here. However, historically, a home lake advantage rarely results in hoisting the trophy.   Also of note, last year’s champion, Cliff Pace, will not be able to defend his title due to an unfortunate accident when he fell out of a deer stand and broke his leg.

7. Thousands of fans attend this contest too. If you include all of the event’s venues, estimates will place the figure at over 100,000 fans. Many will even launch their spectator boats and join the competitors on the “field.” As bassing blogger Jay Kumar asked, “Are there any other sports where you have to plan around the crowd being on the playing field?”

I plan to be among the 100,000 attendees and will try to post a few times.

Will I see you there?


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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.   

Things to Know About Weighing a Potential Record Fish

Things to Know About Weighing a Potential Record Fish

Debbie Hanson 2/17/2014 Ever notice how precise anglers are when referring to the weight of a catch? You might hear one of us say something like, “Excuse me, my bass was 6.27 pounds, not 6 pounds!” I’ll bet a dollar to a hole in a […]

Just What I Need, a New Boat

Just What I Need, a New Boat

Tom Keer 2/12/2014 My non-fishing friends (which are few and far between I might add), shake their heads when they look at my side yard. They’ll see my Maritime Skiff center console that I use for fishing. I bought it new 20 years ago, and […]

Show Your Fishing and Boating Spirit

Show Your Fishing and Boating Spirit

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4 Educational Fishing Resources for Women

4 Educational Fishing Resources for Women

Debbie Hanson 2/10/2014 Some ladies might be lucky enough to have a family member or significant other who is willing to show them the ropes when it comes to fishing. Others might have to work a little harder to find helpful resources or people that […]