Basic Training: Fishing Tips

In the June/July 2008 issue of OL we gave you 101 simple skills to be a master woodsman. This week … Continued

Jiggerpole Bass Jiggerpoling is an old-time method for catching big bass. To do it, you need a long pole- a 14-foot cane pole is ideal. Run heavy line along the length of the pole and secure it at regular intervals with tape. Leave a foot of line beyond the tip and tie on a topwater, like a Heddon Dowagiac or Creek Chub Pikie. The idea is to make it appear as if a small fish is chasing an even smaller fish on the surface. This is done by tapping the pole tip on the water ahead of the lure as you pull the lure around. Strikes come suddenly. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Removing Line Twist Anglers fishing with spinning rods often experience line-twist problems in their reels.When this happens, remove your lure, release 100 feet of line and drag the line behind your boat while idling. After you have moved a short distance, retie and you should be good to go. Easy On The Eyes Is your eyesight getting bad? Use a seamstress’ needle threader to more easily get your fishing line through a lure or hook-eye. Banana Crickets Savvy bream anglers add a piece of banana peel and slices of the fruit to their cricket cages. This is said to impart a flavor and aroma to the bait that bluegills find irresistible. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Upright a Canoe If you’ve overturned your canoe and another craft is nearby, this method can be used to upright your canoe. Step 1: Transfer all gear from the overturned canoe to the rescue boat and maneuver the overturned craft so it sits at a 90-degree angle to the rescue craft. Step 2: The paddler or paddlers of the overturned canoe should swim to the end of the canoe farthest from the rescue boat and push down on the end of the craft to help break the suction. This allows the rescuer to lift the opposite end of the canoe up onto the gunwales of his boat. At this point, the paddlers of the overturned canoe should swim to the rescue boat and hold on. Step 3: The rescuer then slides the overturned canoe upside-down across the gunwales amidships until it is centered. The canoe is then rolled upright, slid back into the water and pushed to where the passengers can carefully reboard. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Cricket Trap A loaf of fresh-baked bread makes a great cricket trap that works while you sleep. Slice the loaf in half lengthwise, hollow out the middle and then secure the two halves back together with some string. Use a knife or your finger to punch a cricket-size hole from the outside to the inside on each end of the loaf and each side. Place the bread in a grassy area in the afternoon, and when you retrieve it the next morning, it should contain several crickets to use for fish bait. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Bait Snagger Lay a fuzzy flannel or wool blanket in a field or drape it over a bush, then walk through the field, driving grasshoppers and other insects toward the blanket. The bugs’ feet get caught in the fabric, which will hold the insects until you can gather them and use them as fishing bait. Frog Sack Catching frogs for bait? Keep them alive in a wet sock until you need them. Tie off the end of the sock with a piece of string. Grunt Worms Old-timers used a technique called “grunting” or “fiddling” to gather worms for bait. Start by cutting a wooden stake about 36 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Drive the stake into the ground in moist, loamy soil. Next, rub an ax head, a piece of steel or the side of a handsaw blade back and forth across the top of the stake to make the wood vibrate. In a good spot, the vibrations will cause worms to start popping up out of the ground. Usually you’ll be able to collect 10 to 20 worms in each location. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Signal Flag for Icefishing A very simple but ingenious contrivance enables a single icefisherman to tend fishing lines dropped in several icefishing holes. Fasten a small signal flag at the end of a light rod 1 to 2 feet long; a piece of any brightly colored material will do. The rod is bound with twine at a right angle to a second stick, with the majority of the rod, including the end to which the flag is tied, to one side, and merely a few inches of the rod to the other. To this short end, the line and baited hook are fastened. The contraption is then placed across the ice hole, with the ends of the larger stick lying some inches upon the ice at either side, and the line is dropped into the hole. When a fish is hooked, its struggles raise the flag, signaling the angler. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Eggshell Chum If panfishing has slowed over the course of the day, try chumming with eggshells you’ve saved after making breakfast. Crush the shells and sprinkle them overboard. Fragments drifting down through the water attract baitfish as well as bluegills, crappies and yellow perch. Get Chummy With Catfish Where legal, use chum to attract more catfish to your fishing holes. Place a gallon of wheat in a plastic container and cover it with water. Place in a sunny location outdoors, uncovered, for several days until the mixture sours. At least an hour before fishing, scatter several handfuls of the fermented mixture in different areas of the water. Lower your regular bait to the bottom with the grain, and prepare for action. Snip Your Bait’s Tail When using live minnows for bait, snip off the finny portion of the bait’s tail. It will then swim erratically, making it more attractive to hungry predators. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Cane Poles Done Right When fishing with cane poles, some anglers make the mistake of tying line only to the end of the cane. If the tip breaks, the fish is gone. Instead, run line along the whole length, starting just above where you’ll hold the pole. Tie the line here, then wrap a piece of electrical tape around the tie to secure it. Tape the line at several evenly spaced points along the pole, concluding with a piece of tape that secures the line at the tip of the pole. Leave a length of line beyond the tip that’s equal to the length of the pole. Once the line is rigged with terminal tackle, you can adjust the length as necessary by wrapping or unwrapping it at the tip. Tie it off with an overhand knot. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Curing Cane Poles Canes cut for fishing poles must be properly cured so they don’t develop a bend at the tip when drying. To do this, tie cord to one end of the pole and secure the loose end to a barn rafter or tree limb so the pole hangs perfectly vertical above the ground. Curing is complete when the pole takes on a tannish hue. Leak Repair A leaky canoe or boat often can be temporarily repaired by applying pine pitch to the hole or leaky seam. Pine pitch, the sticky gum found on pine trees, is extremely durable and waterproof. Paddling Awash Should you overturn a canoe in flat, relatively calm water and another boater is not nearby, you should be able to reach shore by “paddling awash.” Crawl back in your swamped canoe, sit on the bottom and paddle it to shore. This is much easier than trying to pull the canoe while swimming. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Get Unhooked Here’s a relatively painless way to remove a barbed hook if you’ve been accidentally punctured. Use it only for minor injuries. If a fishhook is lodged anywhere near the eye or an artery, do not attempt to remove it. Leave the hook in place and get to the nearest medical professional immediately. 1. Cut a 2-foot length of line or leader, preferably 12-pound-test or greater. 2. Loop the line around the inside bend of the hook and grasp securely. 3. While a buddy pushes downward on the eye of the hook, give a quick, firm jerk on the line away from the eye and parallel to the skin. 4. Note the look of amazement on your friends’ faces and continue fishing. Outdoor Life Online Editor

In the June/July 2008 issue of OL we gave you 101 simple skills to be a master woodsman. This week we are profiling the fishing tips. Get ’em here. And stay tuned for next week’s camping tips!