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Freshwater

Tackle Test 2014

Blanks groaned and drags screamed in our annual torture test of the year's best new rods and reels. Check out the hottest tackle of the year.

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Best 6 Baits

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.

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Freshwater Articles

Strange Brews

Catfishermen are the alchemists of angling, turning unusual concoctions of smelly...

Largemouth Bass Tips

This is the spot for all your largemouth bass tips! This is the spot for all your...

Best Lures for Bass

There are thousands of bass fishing lures on the market, but in most situations these...

Big, Ugly Record Fish

Everyone loves looking at big fish, truly oversize, gut-swollen monsters. And when...

On Thin Ice

A simple, homemade tool that could very well save your life

America's Best Crappie Lakes

Looking for crappies? Look no further than these 5 hot spots. Be sure to comment and add...

  • March 21, 2014

    Best Live Bait: How to Catch Your Own - 0

    Nothing catches fish like the real thing. Here's a simple guide to gathering your own and saving money in the process.

    When I was a kid, my weekly allowance wasn't nearly enough to support my fishing habit, so I spent countless hours wading a small creek near my home trying to dip-net minnows for crappie bait. I dug worms out of the garden for bullheads, and after a rain, I picked up nightcrawlers in the yard for bass. I also learned how to build a worm shocker, which sent an electrical current into the ground and drove the worms to the surface.

    Today, I doubt if you'll see many kids (or grown-ups) out looking for bait, but it can sure help cut down on the live-bait bill.  [ Read Full Post ]


  • March 20, 2014

    A Guide to Scented Baits for Trout Fishing - 0


    Photo by Luke Nilsson

    There's no shame in using scented baits for trout—but which do you choose? 

    [ Read Full Post ]


  • March 20, 2014

    Tactics for Fishing Early-Season Muskies - 0


    Photos by Steve Heiting

    My buddy Mike was not having a good time. Halfway through opening day of muskie season, we had yet to see a fish and were now trailering my boat toward a small lake I'd never even seen before but had been told by a friend was full of muskies. In Mike's thinking, this was totally against the day's plan.

    [ Read Full Post ]


  • March 19, 2014

    Editor's Journal: A Risky Wager - 0

    There’s something deeply elemental about the way a big pike smashes a topwater lure. The violence is especially jarring on a dead-calm evening in a windless bay.

    On Montana’s Swan Lake, in the honeyed light of a June sunset, pike were absolutely hammering my shad-pattern Poe’s Jackpot, driven to a predatory frenzy by the spastic splash and helpless twitch of the cedar plug. Fishing alone on my 16-foot boat, I missed two or three strikes before setting the hook on a 4-pounder that had made several head-shaking runs until I managed to bring it to hand. Because I wasn’t using a steel leader, I was careful to remove the lure with pliers. The pike finned away, whipped and brooding.

    I checked my braided line for nicks and frays, concluded that it was still fit for service, and made a long cast to a rocky point. It’s risky, deploying a pike lure without a tooth-proof leader, but I was willing to trade the metallic tether for more action.

    But I was nervous, because this was no ordinary lure. [ Read Full Post ]


  • March 19, 2014

    As New York Looks To Limit Landowner Liability, Access Could Get Easier - 0

    I have often wondered what the world was like before the days of the electronic media release.

    I suspect there was much of the same with one difference: The barrage of releases cluttered up actual mailboxes instead of those of the virtual variety.

    That said, there are times when one of those releases contains information I'm actually interested in. One such release made its way to my inbox from New York City (of all places).

    The release highlighted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's list of proposed projects designed to increase and improve public access. But the item that caught my eye might not be the one that you’d expect. [ Read Full Post ]


  • March 18, 2014

    Killer Lures: 6 Classic Baits That Will Always Catch Fish - 1


    Photos by Ralph Smith

    A select few baits have souls—personalities that defy their production. Why one chunk of plastic or wood outperforms the next is curious, to say the least. But these six specific lures have become favorites because they catch fish when nothing else can, to hell with explanation. Beneath the teeth marks and battle scars you can sense their desire to be in the water, looking to add to their legend. [ Read Full Post ]


  • March 18, 2014

    President Obama’s Budget is a Mixed Bag for Outdoorsmen - 0

    The president recently unveiled his new budget for 2015. For hunters and anglers, it’s a good-news-bad-news scenario. Some things make perfect sense while others will leave you scratching your head.

    Either way, the president’s budget is a starting place, when it comes to protecting access and investing in America’s public lands.

    The Good
    LWCF:
    The president has included full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. LWCF helps pay for fishing access sites, boat ramps, and protecting key habitat, using royalties that oil companies pay for offshore oil drilling. LWCF has given American hunters and anglers some premier spots for chasing big game. Places like the Tenderfoot Acquisition in Montana, the Silvio E. Conte National Wildlife Refuge in New England, and inholdings in the Tahoe National Forest in California. [ Read Full Post ]