Nothing tempts fish to strike faster than a fresh natural bait, particularly when water and weather conditions are not optimal for angling. These four species-specific rigs fit that description.
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Hot weather and still water, such is the bane of summer bass fishing. River systems get the occasional break from current flow, but tidal fisheries like Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin and the California Delta offer daily windows of opportunity you don't want to miss.
A lot goes in to timing a tidal bite, but a handful of key points will help you dial in your approach.
First, fish are generally most active on moving water, as the incoming and outgoing tides displace forage. Fish may feed on the incoming or outgoing, but each stage holds particular advantages. Rising tides bring cooler, more oxygenated water, which perk up the bass.
Falling water decreases habitat range and concentrates the baitfish and crawdads. These outgoing tides also pull the water through the natural filtration of shoreline grass. The result is cleaner water where baitfish gather. [ Read Full Post ]
Muskies aren't usually a fish for kids. They don't bite often, they fight hard and wildly, and they require heavy tackle. But against all odds, Julia Grace Ketner landed this big 'ski that could crush the Female Smallfry world record. [ Read Full Post ]
There's not a lot of daylight between "rare" and "extinct" but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to widen the gap with its recovery plan for the Alabama sturgeon. Considered one of the nation's rarest fish, the lumbering bottom skimmer earned a spot on the federal Endangered Species list in May 2000 after decades of over-fishing, habitat loss, and water quality degradation weighed a heavy toll on this ancient fish found only in the Mobile River Basin. [ Read Full Post ]
Muskies are widely known as the fish of 10,000 casts. It’s worth noting that vertical jigging is clearly omitted from that infamous pronouncement, which perhaps explains why an increasing number of anglers have turned to dropping down and jerking up muskies in the fall.
Jon Bondy, a veteran multi-species Ontario fishing guide, is sold on muskie jigging. Although he was reasonably successful at casting for the fish—often with bucktail spinners over weedy flats—Bondy says he simply wasn’t doing well enough. Today, jigging accounts for more than 90 percent of his fish. [ Read Full Post ]
A 28-pound, 9-ounce rainbow trout caught in Idaho—a fish that would crush the existing state record—will not qualify for the record books, the Spokesman-Review reported late last month.
The fish cannot be submitted due to differences between state and tribal fishing rules. Angler Tui Moliga is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe, and when he caught the monster rainbow, he was using hook and line style that is legal for tribal members but ineligible for state records. He caught the trout below the Dworshak Dam. [ Read Full Post ]
Sometimes matching the hatch isn’t always the most effective choice. Often, offering a different presentation near a pod of baitfish will more quickly catch a predator's attention.
Case in point, during the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, Nick LaDart and Brian Eaton of the University of Louisiana-Monroe found Chatuge Reservoir's abundance of blueback herring as much a challenge as an opportunity. While they certainly found bass relating to the big schools of forage, but lures resembling these baitfish presented a counterintuitive conundrum. [ Read Full Post ]
Foam poppers are deadly bass and panfish baits. For general duty, use an 8- to 8 ½-foot, 5-weight outfit with floating line and a one-piece tapered leader. Target grass edges, docks, gaps in lily pad fields, and pockets shaded by overhanging limbs. Vary your popper retrieves until you determine what triggers the fish. Slow retrieves with long pauses work best in hot or cold weather. During moderate conditions, daybreak and dusk bring active feeding periods, with panfish often blasting poppers the second they hit the water. [ Read Full Post ]