Provides information of Fishes

Month: September 2017

5 Ways to Take Advantage of Year-Round Cod Fishing Season

5 Ways to Take Advantage of Year-Round Cod Fishing Season

Our Pilgrim ancestors named my home turf Cape Cod for good reason.  Catching Atlantic cod didn’t require a whole lot of effort and cod fishing season was year-round.  We love fishing for cod because their white, flaky meat is delicious tablefare.  Here are 5 ways […]

Strongest Fishing Knot for Beginners: Palomar Knot in 4 Steps

Strongest Fishing Knot for Beginners: Palomar Knot in 4 Steps

What’s the strongest fishing knot you can tie? If you are learning how to catch fish and you’ve asked yourself this question, you’re not alone. Many anglers inquire about this very topic when learning how to fish. To be more specific, this question frequently comes […]

Shad Lures: All You Need to Know to Become an Expert

Shad Lures: All You Need to Know to Become an Expert

There are several species of shad but threadfin and gizzard shad are the most dominant and a significant food source for sport fish in many lakes and rivers in the U.S.  Because of this and the difficulty to keep alive and use as bait, there are many types of shad lures.

Shad fishing lures are silver, gray, or bluish and usually resemble by including a black dot behind the eye in the design colors, which is present on both shad species.  To actually distinguish between the species, the lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw of the threadfin and rarely exceeds 6 inches. Gizzard shad frequently reach over 12 inches and thus can outgrow being a good forage size for many sport fish.

This pattern of a shad fishing lure can be found on swimbaits, crankbaits, topwater, soft plastics, spinnerbaits, and spoons.  Large schools of shad are always moving not only to different areas of the lake but also to different depths.  By having a wide range of shad bait in the tacklebox, anglers have a variety of presentations ready for the following hungry sportfish such as largemouth bass and striped bass at any depth and location.

A good way to learn how to fish shad lures, is to observe a surface feeding frenzy. Birds may be one of the first indicators of where to point your boat.  Shad that twitch nervously and break off from the main school may not last long. Pay attention to the size of the shad because the feeding fish may only be focused on a certain length of prey. Select a similarly sized shad lure, cast near the activity, try to make it look anxious, and hold on! And don’t forget, it is also quite common to use shad lures as alligator gar bait. 

With the cooler temperatures of fall, shad tend to move up feeder creeks and bass are starting to bulk up for winter. As long as your fishing license is up to date, this can be a great time to catch a whopper and shad fishing lures are a terrific place to start.

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.   

Hot Chicago River Fishing places to go

Hot Chicago River Fishing places to go

Credit www.fishing-headquarters.com A lot of the 2.7 million people who live in Chicago enjoy freshwater fishing.  They never need to ask where to fish as there are over a dozen great spots clustered around the southwestern corner of Lake Michigan.  These hardcore anglers catch a […]

A Few Spots to Help You Know Where to Go Fishing in Bay Area

A Few Spots to Help You Know Where to Go Fishing in Bay Area

Making a decision about where to go fishing in the bay area can take you a bit of time since there are quite a few top-notch bay area fishing spots. Don’t worry though; you can easily narrow down your options depending on the type of […]

Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing & Its Place in History

Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing & Its Place in History

Chesapeake Bay is a giant cove located along the Atlantic Coast of Virginia and Maryland. According to a Maryland government site, this historically important fishing area ranges from 4 to 30 miles wide, giving you many options for where to fish. Chesapeake Bay sport fishing is influenced by the freshwater it receives from watershed areas in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia.

When fishing Chesapeake Bay, remember it is a massive estuary, where freshwater from rivers such as the Susquehanna, James, and Potomac mix with the ocean, created a wide range of Chesapeake Bay fishing spots and opportunities.  With brackish water fishing, you may get to experience both freshwater and saltwater worlds in one location depending on time of year and the species you wish to target.

In his book, “The Blitz,” fly-fisherman Pete McDonald wrote, “the Midwest is called the country’s breadbasket, and if there’s a marine equivalent of that, it’s the Chesapeake Bay.” Chesapeake Bay sport fishing includes species such as redfish, black drum, speckled trout, bluefish, croaker, and American shad. However, perhaps the bay’s most prominent species is the striped bass. Thanks to better management and restoration projects the population of striped bass, which can exceed 40 pounds, seems to be rebounding. And McDonald shared that 80% of Atlantic Coast stripers come from the Chesapeake Bay, so this is water that needs protecting.

With an estimated 11,000 miles of shoreline, the choices of Chesapeake Bay fishing spots are vast. A good place to start is our places to fish map tool. It also provides locations of bait shops, boat ramps, and fishing license vendors. Once you have narrowed down your selection of location and species, obtain a copy of that state’s fishing regulations. It includes tips and will help with planning, both seasonally and with tides.  No matter what Chesapeake Bay sport fishing method you prefer (spinning light tackle, fly-fishing, charter boat, etc.), there is something for everyone. And what could be better than going fishing in Washington D.C.?  I’m heading to a Chesapeake Bay sport fishing spot in October.  Have you fished Chesapeake Bay?

4 of the Best Boating Lakes in the USA to Go This Year

4 of the Best Boating Lakes in the USA to Go This Year

It’s after Labor Day, but folks in the following communities aren’t even thinking about winterizing their boats! They live on some of the best boating lakes for good reason.  Our country offers many top lakes for boating but these four places to boat are truly […]

Look for These 5 Underrated Florida Freshwater Fish Species

Look for These 5 Underrated Florida Freshwater Fish Species

Debbie Hanson 9/12/2017 While the largemouth bass is most often in the Florida freshwater fish spotlight, you shouldn’t forget about a few other Sunshine State fish species that can be loads of fun to catch. Are you wondering which freshwater fish in Florida are underrated, […]

A Few Important Freshwater Fish Identification Tips

A Few Important Freshwater Fish Identification Tips

An important part of fishing is just knowing what types of freshwater fish you caught. Fish identification can be tricky depending on where you are fishing. In general, the bigger the body of water, the more diverse the fish community.  A farm pond may only have three or four species, whereas a river system could contain a hundred types of freshwater fish. Here are some tips for freshwater fish identification.

Fish color can be helpful but shouldn’t be the sole characteristic for freshwater fish species identification. Habitat factors such as water turbidity and vegetation type can affect the color of a species. Fish names also may be misleading as a green sunfish may have more distinct blue “gills” (operculum) than bluegill and a black crappie may not appear darker than a white crappie.

The most important approach for freshwater fish identification is the examination of the actual fish anatomy. Not all fish are built alike. Some fish have obvious distinguishing features such as the “whiskers” on any catfish. Also take note of other proportions such the length to height ratio and mouth and fin size and shape.  For example, a flathead catfish will have the lower lip protruding past the upper.

Many freshwater fish have more subtle distinguishing characteristics. Check our freswater fish identification guide tool to explore different types of freshwater fish species and “key out” the exact type of freshwater fish. For example, to determine if it is a white or black crappie, count the dorsal spines. The black crappie has 7 or 8 dorsal spines, while the white crappie usually only has 6. With practice, you may even be able to identify hybrids such as the walleye/sauger cross, the saugeye, which exhibits characteristics of both.

Learning your freshwater fish identification helps when sharing the admiration of each species with fellow anglers, and even recognizing protected or invasive species.  Plus, it is important when it comes to regulations. When you are renewing your fishing license, pick up a copy of the state fishing regulations. Although common names may vary regionally, pay attention to the names of the types of freshwater fish listed in that publication to help avoid any regulation issues and know where to fish for certain types of fish.

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.   

3 Types of Fish Habitat Restoration Efforts Improving Water

3 Types of Fish Habitat Restoration Efforts Improving Water

When it comes to fishing conservation, catch-and-release isn’t enough.  Responsible fishing includes catch and release, but it’s best combined with stream and environmental restoration.  Sometimes fish habitat restoration isn’t enough and fish rearing is required.  Here are 3 groups that work on fish habit restoration […]