Although you may covet a tackle box stuffed with lures, these essential baits will fool (almost) every fish that swims. Clear out your tackle box this spring and cast these super six baits.
1) Heddon Zara Spook
Quick History: This topwater bait was developed in 1939 (although it has a wooden forefather called the Zarragossa). Its side-to-side action inspired the phrase “walk the dog,” which is how most describe the technique of twitching it across the water. Thousands of lures are now built to imitate this action.
Texas angler Edgar Artecona caught this 116.2-pound wahoo near Venice, Louisiana last weekend. Pending official verification, the wahoo should become the state’s fourth largest on record.
Artecona set out Sunday with Capt. Will Wall of Pelagic Charters, according to Louisiana Sportsman. They chose a spot near the mouth of the Southwest Pass where Artecona found the wahoo in 250 feet of water. He landed the big fish around noon after a 20 minute struggle. At one point, Artecona’s reel completely spooled and he had to trade up.
“There’s a point in time when you have to put the little stuff up and go to the bigger gear,” the captain told Louisiana Sportsman. “I learned that the hard way yesterday, but I’m quite pleased at the outcome.
He’s convinced that the ocean’s cartilaginous fishes are right up there with gorillas and elephants in terms of their ability to inspire awe. But despite this charisma, Wildlife Conservation Society President and CEO Dr. Cristián Samper said that sharks and their kin face a dire reality.
To this point, the Outdoor Hub reports Samper’s harsh response to new findings released Jan. 22 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which indicates that things aren’t so rosy for the world’s sharks, rays, skates and chimeras.
Recreational fishermen have long viewed Goliath grouper with utter disdain—kind of like that grade school teacher's pet that annoyed the crap out of other students, but hid behind unflinching protection. Why such contempt? Well, it's basically a double whammy—recreationals cannot harvest Goliaths, yet Goliaths help themselves to loads of grouper and snapper currently available for recreational take.
Snook anglers who adjust to seasonal forage changes will have a good opportunity to boat more of Florida's premier inshore gamefish.
As temperatures decline, any remnants of the massive schools of pilchards and threadfin herring that kept the snook fed during the warm season will flee to the state's southern extremes. Throughout the rest of the linesider's range, the fish will turn more of their attention to shrimp and crabs, so this should help snook seekers plan their attack.
Question: "I’ve been told soft crayfish are excellent fish bait. Is this true? Can you tell me where, when, and how to catch them, and the best method of fishing with them?" —Kim parrott, via outdoorlife.com
My Answer: As with most things fishing, you’re not likely to ever find two anglers who will agree on the effectiveness of soft-shell crayfish over hard-shell crayfish. Each has its proponents.
First, a bit of biology. Crayfish (aka crawfish, crawdads, crawls, ditch lobsters, and mud bugs) are common in streams and lakes throughout the country and live a rather short life—usually less than two years. They have a hard exoskeleton, which is great for protection but must be shed in order for the crayfish to grow.