Tom Keer 3/29/2017 If you haven’t been fishing this season then it’s time to buy a fishing license. Want to know how to get a fishing license? Head to your local tackle shop, town hall, or get one online. Here are the pros and cons on […]
Month: March 2017
Debbie Hanson 3/28/2017 Illegal fishing can lead to diminished fish populations and can take a serious toll on our aquatic eco-systems. While state agencies and fisheries policy makers focus on how to stop illegal fishing activities, , it remains a challenge. As an ethical angler, […]
There are three main types of fishing reels, with many choices within each design. In theory at least, any fishing reel can catch any fish; it is just that some reels are more proficient in certain areas. To help decide how to choose a fishing reel, consider what you like to catch and how you like to catch ‘em.
For example, it is a good idea for young or novice anglers to start with a push-button, closed-face, spin-cast reel. This type of fishing reel is a great confidence builder because it is so simple and provides a lot of control. Although there are large, rugged versions available for sizeable catfish, many closed-face reel users target smaller species such as sunfish. Until the introduction of “super lines,” some Bassmaster elite tournament anglers used this type of fishing reel for better control to make certain casts like skipping under docks.
As fishing skill increases, the next reel to choose is a spinning reel. For making accurate casts, there is a little less control with this fishing reel and it requires more hand, finger use to operate but it is versatile and very user-friendly. Spinning reels range from ultra light versions for ice fishing to heavy saltwater models to battle whoppers from the deep.
The baitcaster is the third main type of fishing reel. Many bass anglers find it perfectly suited for the techniques of “flipping” or “pitching,” which are relatively close casts, usually with a heavy jig. With a great deal of practice, baitcasters are fun for long casts with other lures too. However, with every cast of this reel you risk the dreaded “bird’s nest.” Even professional bass anglers need to adjust the reel with every lure switch and must have a well-trained thumb to slow the spool at the end of a cast.
For the best all-around fishing gear, I recommend a medium spinning reel. It can cast a wide range of lures or bait without adjustment and handle just about anything that swims. When shopping, consider the number of ball bearings of the reel. A little extra cost usually means a smoother, longer-lasting reel. But make sure you brought enough for that renewed fishing license. Priorities!
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Debbie Hanson 3/21/2017 What is this talk of breaking ice with boat hulls? While it may sound a bit extreme to boaters in the Deep South, boaters who live in the Mid-Atlantic or Midwest will certainly attest to the fact that snow and ice can […]
Some parts of the country may still be shoveling snow off sidewalks but by the calendar at least, anglers should be getting ready for early spring fishing. There is a steady warming of the water and this alters the behavior of fish. Several species of fish spawn in early spring and become concentrated in certain areas and depths. With a little research and close direct observation, anglers can learn about the opportunities and how to fish this time of year.
5 Early Spring Fishing Tips
Trout. State stocking programs usually enhance stream fishing prospects with a significant dose of early spring trout. Pennsylvania also has a Youth Mentor Day which allows young anglers to fish the week before “opening day,” and has now added more “trophy” fish to select steams. One early spring fishing tip is to go after fish raised in hatcheries. These fish are hungry and easy to fool with small lures, at least for the first week or two. In catch and release areas however, trout begin to learn the tricks of anglers and become a wary challenge.
Pike. Soon after ice out, shallow, weedy areas draw pike to spawn. While en route or leaving these zones, pike will do their “pike thing” and smash spinnerbaits, jigs, and spoons. Wire leaders will help prevent the line being cut by sharp impressive teeth.
Crappie. In early spring, crappie head up coves and congregate tightly around submerged brush. Another early spring fishing tip is to use a tiny crappie jig a couple of feet below a small, twitching bobber that will hold a jig above snags and in the zone of strikes.
Walleye. This time of year, walleye enter the mouths of smaller tributaries to spawn. In reservoirs, anglers should concentrate their efforts around the riprap of the dam in evenings. Large lipped diving plugs, swimbait jigs, or underspin lures are favorites.
Bass. Although many anglers prefer not to bother bass on a nest, the sight of an enormous female bass may be just too tempting to pass up. However, actually catching one may be frustrating. The lure, perhaps a light-colored creature bait or sunfish imitation may get completely ignored, or just mouthed to remove from the nest. If you hook one, take a quick photo and immediately release to help future generations.
As the country begins to turn greener and flowers appear, fish are becoming more active. Early spring fishing can be very exciting. What are your favorite early spring fish to catch? And that fishing license is up to date, right?
Debbie Hanson 3/14/2017 Photo Credit Arizona Game & Fish Department If you want to take full advantage of the best Arizona fishing destinations, you’ll have to consider a few important things. First, which freshwater species do you enjoy fishing for? Second, do you want to […]
Are you planning to do some fishing in spring? Spring means warmer water and an increase in bass metabolism. Depending on your part of the country, bass behavior and location will be affected by the current stage of spawning related phase. Because of these anglers should bring a variety of spring bass fishing lures to be prepared for this flurry of shallow water activity.
Here are some of the best spring bass lures:
Spinnerbaits. With warmer water temperatures, bass start chasing things more and the fluttering pulse of a spinnerbait often draws aggressive strikes. The vibration of the blade(s) attracts bass even in murky water caused by heavy spring rain events. With a single hook arranged up, this lure also is relatively snag free when casting along shallow, weedy shores.
Swimbaits. This is another lure that usually has a single, upturned hook to reduce getting hung up. It is a quieter, more natural presentation that may continue to fool fish even in areas with high fishing pressure. Sizes and shapes vary greatly but a 3” paddle tail lure is a great place to start.
Shallow crankbaits. One of the best spring bass lures is a square-billed crankbait. There are many colors, sizes, and designs but for spring I prefer a small or medium lure with a tight wobble that runs only a couple of feet deep. Experiment with different retrieval rates and rhythms. You can twitch it as a topwater lure or gamble a little by letting it run deeper and crash into structure such as stumps and rocks.
Spring is a period where bass have “awakened” from a cold water sulk but because of spawning phases, predictably may be unpredictable. However, the best spring bass fishing lures are designed for shallower water. Bass have moved shallow not just because of spawning, but because the shore also serves as an ambush point for also awakening prey items such as insects, frogs, and crayfish. And as new spring vegetation begins to emerge, don’t forget to renew your fishing license.
Lauren Seidl 3/9/2017 Kayak fishing is a sport that’s grown in popularity over the past few years due to a kayak’s quiet ability to weave in and out of tricky spots. If you’ve never fished from a kayak, there are a few skills you should […]