Andy Whitcomb 9/28/2015 Sometimes I am asked, “Do you really need all these lures?”And my answer is always an emphatic, “maybe!” There is no one freshwater fishing lure that will do everything. In addition to variations in colors and actions, there is depth to consider. […]
Month: September 2015
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Smallmouth bass are celebrated for their power and fight. Even the small bronze fish surprise many anglers because they represent like much larger fish. And what better way to “kick it up a notch” than to catch smallmouth bass on a fly rod? However, I have been making some mistakes on the Allegheny River.
Bass Fly Fishing Techniques
The first two tips are from Lamar Underwood’s book, “1001 Fishing Tips” when fly fishing for saltwater “Silver King” tarpon but they can apply to fly fishing for smallmouth bass too, especially in slow, clear, shallow water.
Cast where the fish cannot see the fly land on the water. And while I’m at it, an awkward slap across the water by my floating fly line, thanks to the frequent fly-snatching brush at my back, can’t be helping either.
Work the fly away from the fish, rather than strip line to make it swim to the fish. Bass want the impression of a prey item trying to escape.
Minimize the “decision window.” In the slack water of river eddies, my fly offerings were getting many looks and follows but the fish were allowed to examine the fly too long. The reaction strike may have occurred more frequently if I had stripped the fly away faster or presented the fly to fish in faster moving water where the decision to hit or pass must be made more quickly.
Fly Fishing for Bass with Small Bait
Flies for smallmouth do not need to match a hatch as with a trout. Bite size flies representing minnows, crayfish, leeches, or grasshoppers should do the trick, providing you use a stealthy presentation. And when you do head out to battle smallmouth bass and lower hanging limbs with a fly rod, make sure you have your fishing license.
Have you had success with fly fishing for smallmouth bass?
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Fishing is full of surprises. For example despite my attempt to target fall bass with cooler water techniques, I’ll sometimes find other species tugging at the end of my line such as walleye, or even flathead catfish. As I travel, I continue to learn unexpected new freshwater fishing techniques for certain species from local anglers. Several times I’ve been told how to catch a fish and I’ve thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me. I don’t believe it.” And then saw it.
Freshwater Fishing Techniques That May Surprise You
The traditional lure for pike is something big and flashy like a spoon. However when the water is cold such as in early spring, a small white grub tail jig is a hot pike or even muskie lure. An angler in North Dakota shared that information and since then it has been a successful technique in Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, and Pennsylvania.
On an early trout fishing venture in Colorado, I asked a local angler about how to catch trout; which fly pattern I should use. He suggested one brand of a small inline spinner, BLACK, and thought he was joking. That lure earned a spot in my box of trout lures and accompanies me on every trout outing.
And most recently, I was targeting an odd species: bowfin. I’ve only caught a couple and have read that they are mostly caught while fishing for bass with lures like spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, or soft plastics worked near or in heavy vegetation. Several sources in western Pennsylvania insisted that nightcrawlers were the ticket, however until I watched some fishermen cast nightcrawlers on the bottom below a small low water dam, one of the best fishing techniques for catfish , land bowfin, I doubt I would have tried that method for that species.
Ask Locals for Freshwater Fishing Tips
When you travel, don’t forget to visit with the locals about their fishing techniques. You just might learn a new way to connect with a fish. And whatever state you are in, even the state of euphoria; don’t forget to have your fishing license.
Have you been surprised by any new freshwater fishing techniques? Share your experience with us.
Johana Reyes 9/14/2015 Este año el mes de la Herencia Hispana se celebrará de Septiembre 15 a Octubre 15. Es un tiempo para celebrar nuestra historia, cultura y costumbres de todas aquellas personas que viven en los Estados Unidos y son provenientes de España, México, […]
Debbie Hanson 9/13/2015 As one of the growing number of women who love boating and fishing, I’m always thinking about the most productive ways to spend my time so that I can be out on the water as often as possible while also balancing work […]
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Debbie Hanson 9/5/2015 While most states offer free fishing days during National Fishing and Boating Week, which takes place annually during first full week of June, don’t forget to check for additional free fishing days that are offered at other times throughout the year. Since […]