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Fishing Reports ] AC Plug ] Jig Techniques ] Removing a Hook ] J-Plug ] Panfish ] Worm Rigs ]

A Knot Tip:
Don't make a poor knot - when you lose a fish
and reel in the line with a curly-cue shape on the end, it means the knot unraveled. This is usually due to tying it incorrectly. To make a knot
adequate for catching fish, make sure it gathers
and snugs-up smoothly, and looks neat and
evenly formed.

Source: Go Boating, August 2000

Texas Rig Tip:
You'll need: a hook, worm, and rod and reel.
Thread the line through the lead and tie with an improved clinch, palomor or Trilene knot. Insert
the hook into the head of the worm and thread
down 1/4 inch. Bring the hook point out of the
worm and pull the shaft of the hook through it
until the eye is at the head. Insert the hook
into the body, keeping the point inside the worm. Straighten the worm on the hook and make sure
the eye of the hook is just inside the worm head.


Fly-fishing Tip:
Keep this in mind if you're looking for a fishing guide: fish vary in their feeding habits and a
good guide will look in the stream bottom and
by the riverbanks to identify nymphs that are
about to hatch. This will help you to decide
which fly to use.

Source: Endless Vacation, July/August 2000

Fly-fishing tips:
The top ten global fly-fishing spots: If you're looking for Trout, go to Hampshire, England;
North & South Islands, New Zealand; Labrador, Canada; Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. If Salmon
or Steelhead are what you go for, visit The Alta, Norway; Kola Peninsula, Russia; British
Columbia, Canada. If you're looking for
Bonefish, Tarpon, or Permit, take a trip to
Turneffe Stoll, Belize; Rio Colorado, Costa Rica; Ascension Bay, Mexico.


Palomar Knot Tip:
First, double four to six inches of the tag end
back along the standing part, forming a loop.
Then put this loop through the eye of the hook
or the ring of the swivel. Next make an Overhand Knot. Now slip the hook, swivel, or lure through
the loop, holding the tag end and standing part
in your left hand. Pull slowly until the loop
clears the lure, hook, or swivel.


Hook Tip:
Hooks can dull fairly quickly after catching several fish or being snagged on the bottom. Hooks used for tough-mouthed species should be especially sharp. If you want to maximize your catch, make sure that you change your hooks often!

Source: Go Boating, August 2000

Reel Tip:
The drag system in your reel must work smoothly, or the fishing line will produce a jerking drag that could break the line or pull the hook out of the fish's mouth. Service your reel at least once per season - lubricate it, clean the drag system and rebuild it with new drag washers.

Source: Go Boating, August 2000

Spool Tip:
Fill your reel spool all the way. Although you won't always use the whole spool, it's best to keep as much line on your reel as possible. Some of the benefits include easier and smoother casts, a faster retrieve speed for the reel, and added insurance that you'll have sufficient line if you hook a huge fish.

Go Boating, August 2000

Tandem-Hook Rig Tip:

Here's any easy way to add a second
hook: First, insert the tag end through
the eye of the first hook and leave some
line for tying the second one. Then make
a Double Overhand Knot, which requires
you to pass the tag end through the loop
twice. Next, pull slightly on the tag end
until the knot forms a figure eight. Then
push on both ends to enlarge the figure
eight and pass the hook through both
loops. Tighten it slowly until the knot is
at the eye of the first hook. Now tie on
the second hook, using a basic connection
knot. Adjust the distance between the first
and second hooks so that it fits the bait
you are planning to use.


Night Fishing Tip:
If you are going night fishing for bass, here's
where to catch them: Night fishing is usually practiced in water that is at least 65 degrees.
Fish in places you caught fish earlier in the
year - bass don't usually move great distances.
As the summer goes on, bass tend to move
deeper at night and your fishing will be more productive within a 20-foot zone. Some places
to try include points with a deep-water access, shallow shorelines close to weedbeds in lakes, underwater roadbeds in reservoirs, gravel or rock bands where crawfish are abundant, or lighted
boat docks.


Cooking Tip (How To Fillet A Fish):
First, cut down behind the fish's gills to its backbone. Then cut down the backbone, and
stop before cutting through the skin at the tail.
Flip the fish over skin side down and cut between the meat and skin. Flip over and repeat. Cut the
rib cage away from the rest of the fillet. Rinse
and cook.


Fishing Line Tip:
Fishing line left on the reel too long can oxidize and get brittle. Spots where your line has
gotten caught in other lines can develop nicks
and cuts. These won't be seen by you until a
fish pulls on the line strong enough to break it.

Source: Go Boating, August 2000

Spool Tip:
Although you won't always use the whole spool, it's best to keep it filled. Some of the benefits include easier and smoother casts, a faster retrieve speed for the reel, and added insurance that you'll have sufficient line if you hook a huge fish.

Source: Go Boating, August 2000

Fishing Tip (Adjusting your drag):
Drags should be adjusted if too tight, and then tested by pulling on the line as it runs through the rod guides and the rod is bent. You can test the drag setting by attaching a spring scale to the end of your line, raising the rod tip, and noting at how many pounds of pressure the drag yields line and the spool revolves. Rule of thumb: set your drag at one-quarter to one-third the rated breaking strength of the line.







































Jig Fishing

Here's a terrific crash course on How-To fish with Jigs.  If you haven't fished with Jigs, then you need to give it a try.  It's a very productive way to fish from your Float Tube. 

Flyfishing 101

New to flyfishing?  This is a must see site for you!  It's full of great info and with a bit of practice, you'll be fishing like a pro.


Once you get your catch home, what the heck do you do with it?  Here's some recipes that will give you some ideas... 



Equipment Description
Rod and Reel Look for a rod that is light with good action. It should be very flexible and able to spring back. Ultra-light rods work very well for trout fishing. A good reel is likely the most important piece of equipment. It should have an adjustable drag and should be designed to prevent backlashes. A good ultralight rod and reel will cost around $70.
Line Use premium line because it has low-visibility and resists tangles. Four-pound test is the heaviest line you will likely need and ultralight reels can use two-pound test.
Hooks Small hooks work the best. Avoid anything larger than a #16 or #18 treble hook or a #14 single hook. Some waters require the use of barbless hooks.
Flies and Lures Artificial flies and lures catch the most Trout. For small streams use 1/16 - oz lures, while larger lakes require 1/4 - oz lures. Fly size is dependent on the size of the water with #16-#24 being the most popular sizes. The smaller the fly the better off you are in the backcountry lakes. A fly/bubble combination works well, especially early in the morning or late at night. Productive flies include Black Gnats, Adams, Woolly Buggers, Callibaetis Hatch and Cut-Wing Duns.

Spinners probably account for more trout being caught than any other method of fishing. There are many different styles to choose from, they all work well. In low water conditions, use a smaller spinner (#1 or #2). In high water conditions, use the larger spinners (#3 or #4).

Floating minnows:
Floating artificial minnow lures work very well. As you reel the lure in, it has a tendency to dive towards the bottom. Slightly jerk your rod tip as you're reeling and these lures give the impression of an injured minnow struggling in the current. These lures account for some really large trout being caught.

Small flutter spoons work well, if the spoon is designed for shallow water. Spoons have a tendency to sink very quickly. Keep them off the bottom, or you will get hung up.

Bait Salmon Eggs, Night Crawlers and Crickets are favorite foods of trout.
Sinkers Split-shot and sliding egg sinkers provide the best weight for bait and artifical bait fishing.
Bubbles Clear plastic bubbles filled slightly with water allow for farther casting. Select small bubbles to avoid making too big of a splash. Fly and bubble fishing is very popular towards evening when the fish are striking.
Swivels Swivels help make fly and bubble fishing a success. Use small swivels to separate the bubble from the fly.
General Items Sunscreen, pliers and a hat help round out the fishing experience.  Also, don't forget an anchor for your Float Tube.  This is great help, especially when the wind kicks up.

Catfish Tricks

Bait is one of the most important factors in catching cats. Contrary to popular belief, catfish don't eat things just because they smell foul. In fact, the predator cats like the flathead, rarely eat non-live bait. I've known some guys that trap mice in live catch traps for flathead / bass baits. You never know what you'll get!

I've spent afternoons fly-fishing for shiners (6" and over) to use as catfish bait that evening. Hook the shiner (or other bait sized fish) through the top lip with a hook big enough for the size cat you want. Suspend the shiner on a float (or a jug) so that its about 5 feet or so off the bottom. Cats will hit from behind and the hook at the front of the fish gets in it the mouth with no line pull to spook the cat.

An old standby that catfishermen all know is that cats like chicken livers (also beef and pork). The problem with chicken liver is that it just doesn't stay on the hook real well. Try this:

bulletSoak your chicken livers for at least 24 hours in Strawberry-Banana Jello.

Yep. You saw right. Strawberry-Banana Jello. A county agent in Alabama came across with this secret for not only getting the livers to stay on the hook (the gelatin strengthens the tissue) but to get more fish. It seems the variation in taste excites the cats and they'll choose your bait over regular liver. Just put the livers in a jar, pour in the jello and in 24 hrs. you're ready to catch fish.

Another popular bait is the sponge bait, where the bait is absorbed by a sponge on the hook. I have usually found sponge baits to be good in some of the rougher waters with a good current. The bait is tough and the scent drifts well. Unfortunately, good sponge baits can be hard to come by and the companies seem to come and go quickly. The solution is to make your own. An excellent recipe is shown below.

Sponge Bait


bullet2 Beef or Pork Kidneys
bullet1 to 1 1/2 Lbs. Beef or Pork Liver
bullet1/2 pound fish (the minnows that were left over are OK or dinky brim, shad, etc.)
bullet1/4 pound shrimp (optional)
bullet3 oz. Anise Seeds
bullet3 Eggs
bulletDried Cheese (Romano or Parmesean)



In a blender (like my wife would let me use her blender for this...), puree the kidneys, liver, fish, shrimp, eggs and anise seeds. Pour into a jar large enough to hold about half again as much. Add dried cheese to thicken. Start with about three or four big spoonfuls, stir it in real good and wait about ten minutes. This lets the bait get absorbed by the cheese. You want to get a consistency that will have enough liquid to soak into the sponge with a ball of goo the sticks to the sponge and helps spread the scent. If you accidentally add too much cheese, add some milk.

Anytime any cheese goes bad, crumble it up and add it. The stronger the cheese the better.

This bait will, frankly, STINK BIG TIME !!   But it catches cats big time too.

If this doesn't work... just get some big, juicy Night Crawlers!


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Copyright, 2001 - Brent Gagermeier

Last Modified : 04/05/02 05:58 PM




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