Monday, April 23, 2012
First you must go to the region where they are found. The most popular place to fish for them is in their native home, South America in the South American jungle. They have long been a favorite to go after in the Amazon River. However, if that’s not your style, they have been introduced into a lot of other beautiful locations. Today they can be found in Florida, Texas, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Panama, Guam, and the Dominican Republic.
Once you’re fishing in the right water you want to make sure you have the right tackle. If you’re going after the butterfly peacock bass, which is the smaller of the two species, you should use light tackle or medium weight tackle because the record fish is only 12 lbs. 9 oz., however you’ll want to use some good strong fluorocarbon line or braided line because of the way they fight. They strike hard and run and are generally a challenge to bring to the boat. Good strong line is required so they don’t snap it off. As with other fish of this size, using a light weight fishing rod and reel makes the fight more intense and exciting. If you want to learn more about different weights and types of fishing rods, click here.
A good big lure to use for peacock bass is a silver spoon or silver Kastmaster. They love to attack this shiny lures.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is Kona Hawaii. Summer time in these waters is when the exciting marlin fishing occurs. The warm water and the currents bring the fish in from all over. It was in May of 1982 that the record marlin was caught in these waters.
Another great place to go is Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The waters off the coast fill with fish this time of year. There are many species here from bonito to marlin. There are lots of wahoo in the region as well. The record was caught in July of 2005. Whether you stay in Cabo or Puerto Vallarta the water is wonderful in this region.
The Gulf of Mexico is another great place to go deep sea fishing in the summer. The fish is almost always biting. Some go very deep to avoid the heat. There are many species of grouper that are fun to catch in this region. The record for the grouper was caught here in May of 2002.
Up north in the Gulf of Alaska, the fishing is wonderful in the summer. When the water and the weather warm up the fish start biting. This is the best time to catch halibut, black bass, and of course salmon. If you’re interested in reading more about deep sea fishing, click here.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Fishing for bonito is a lot of fun, but usually they are caught when trolling for other species. Bonito are found both in the Atlantic and the Pacific. The pacific bonito is smaller, with the all tackle world record weighting in at 14 lbs. 2 oz. The Atlantic bonito record is 18 lbs. 4 oz. Even though the bonito is related to the tuna, it is best known as a sport fish rather than for food. If you’re interested in reading more about fishing for other types of fish, click here.
The pacific bonito are found in pockets from chili to the Gulf of Alaska. They are most abundant from Baja California to Point Conception, California. The Atlantic bonito is found from Nova Scotia to Argentina. In North America the Atlantic bonito’s largest populations are found between southern New England and New Jersey. They are rare in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Bonito are easiest to catch at sunrise and dusk when they feed heavily. They tend to be close to the top water feeding on shrimp, squid, and other smaller bait fish. The fish seem to prefer anchovies and sardines where available. Top poppers and other top water lures that imitate these fish are very effective.
Atlantic bonito spawns in June and July. They reach their sexual maturity when they are about 16 inches long. They will move close to the shore and lay their eggs in the warm water. Pacific bonitos spawn in the spring when the water warms up. If the coastal waters are late getting warm because of a long winter they may not show up. Fishing maps will help you locate the best areas. Click here if you would like to read more bout using fishing maps.
Monday, April 16, 2012
One of the reasons bonefish are such a challenge is that you can stalk them and hunt them. They like to spend their days in the shallow waters like sand flats, mudflats, and mangrove lagoons. The adults travel in small schools of 5-10 fish. They can move slowly when they are feeding or looking for food, but when spooked or hooked they will run with amazing speed. They can go from 0 to 100 in an instant. This is why you need lots of line on your reel and have the drag set fairly tight.
Mainly anglers go after bonefish with a fly rod. When they are searching for food they stir up the sand or mud and then eat with their heads down and their tails sticking up out of the water. These tailing fish are easy to spot making sight fishing fun.
When walking through the sand flats you can come upon 5 or 6 tailing bonefish you can cast your fly past them and strip it in front of their noses. They casts are usually long distance so practice your long cast with a 10 weight fly rod. Once their hooked they will run hard. The amazing thing is that they may run at you or away from you or any other direction. They run so fast when they run away the reel just screams. To read more about fly fishing click here.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The Colorado Rivers and streams after all the trout spawning is finished, fly fishing really begins to pick up. Colorado is blessed with many medium sized to small sized rivers and streams that are just amazing for trout fishing. If you’re interested in reading more about trout fishing click here.
Fishing for trout on a fly rod is almost the greatest thing in the world. Down on the Arkansas River, between canon city and Buena Vista, there is a caddis hatch that begins towards the end of April in the Buena Vista area and then slowly works its way downstream to canon city. The hatch will generally make it to canon about around then end of May. During this month fly fishing is exceptional in the area where the hatch is occurring. Caddis is signaled to hatch out of their aquatic larval stage into their flying adult stage by temperature.
In the region of water were the hatch is going to occur, the cool morning begins with wet fly caddis larva. The fish go crazy for these and in the Arkansas River this means 10-16 inch fish. As the day warms up you switch up to a caddis emerger pattern which the fish are expecting and will go crazy over. Then, when the temperature reaches a perfect level the caddis hatch and completely engulf the river. Using a dry fly elk hair caddis pattern will keep them busy. However, for some there are too many caddis. You must present your fly just perfectly to the fish. You can see the fish gorging themselves on the caddis as the bug sits on top of the water waiting momentarily for their wings to dry enough for flight. If you want to learn more about fly fishing click here.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Fishing in the Chesapeake Bay along the estuaries of the James River, the York River and Rappahannock River are some of the greatest cod fishing in the area. As the fish move in and out of the bay they pass through this area and feed on the food that is brought down from the rivers into the bay. To read more about deep sea fishing click here.
The North Fork Shenandoah is a great river to fish. It is peaceful and pretty, fast in some spots and slow in other places. It is a great river to fly fish, especially in the fall and spring. Fly fishing is wonderful here. If you want to learn more about fly fishing click here.
Virginia’s largest body of water is the John H. Kerr reservoir. This lake was formed by damming the Roanoke River. This big body of water is home to some great fishing for several species including bass, crappie, and catfish. If you want to read more about bass fishing click here.
Smith Mountain Lake is another large reservoir on the Roanoke. There are several rivers that feed into the lake, including the black water river. There are many species living in this lake and the fishing is wonderful. The lake has many coves and fingers where fish thrive
Claytor Lake was formed by damming up the New River which flows through the southwest part of the state. Claytor is smaller than some of the other bodies of water, but there are lots of fish and very pretty country. The lake has lots of cover on the bottom to support a good population of bait fish and therefore a good population of game fish.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The American shad is a wonderful fish to catch because they love to run and fight hard. They are also known for their strong jumping antics. They are found up and down the east and west coast of North America. They have never caught on for sport fishing in Canada, but are very popular in the US. Here are some of the best spots to go fishing for the American shad.
One of the greatest rivers to fish during the spawning season is the Delaware River. The shad stage in the estuaries and eat while they get accustomed to the low salinity levels. Once they are used to the water they shoot up the river to their spawning grounds. During this time shiny spoons may catch their attention, but they are off their feed until they have finished spawning. On their way back down the river they start eating again. This is perfect setting for fly fishing using some of the bigger bugs. They are hungry and need to regain their strength so they will be eating as large of bug as they can swallow. To read more about fly fishing click here.
Another great east coast shad fishery is the St. Johns River in Florida. Because the water is warm almost year ‘round Spawning begins in late November. This gives you an opportunity to fish for shad for many months by starting on the St. Johns and working your way along the coast in the spring. If you want to read more about Florida fishing click here.
On the west coast, the Sacramento River in California has a great run of shad. They will also stage for a week or so in the estuary before moving upstream. As they return they will begin to feed. Fish eggs and small crank baits work well for catching these hungry fish.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
Amberjacks are a group of fish that include pompano, greater amberjack, Atlantic horse mackerel, yellowtail, and Almaco jack. They are hard fighting and fun to catch as well as great to eat. They are found in many places where the water is warm, but here are a few of the best spots to go fishing for jacks.
One of the greatest places to fish for amberjacks is off the coast of Florida. They love the warm water as well as the plentiful food. The best places to find them are around oil rigs. Bait fish tend to hang around the rigs and so naturally the jacks are there as well. If you want to find out more about fishing for amberjacks as well as other species in Florida click here.
Kona, Hawaii, is another place to fish for large amberjacks. There have been many large jacks caught in these waters, the same wasters where you find the big marlins. Many of the greater amberjacks will tip the scales at over a hundred pounds. In these waters using squid for bait seems to be very effective. To learn more about deep sea fishing for amberjack in the Pacific Ocean click here.
Off the coast of California, there are many yellow fins. They like to spend the spring and summer feeding along the coast from about Monterey all the way down to Mexico. When the summer ends these fish leave for the warmer winter grounds, but during the summer they are plentiful to catch. They travel in schools so once you get into them you’ll catch a few, they are not large, the larger ones will go about 30 – 40 lbs., but they fight hard. Using lighter weight tackle also makes catching them very exciting. Click here to learn about the differences in fishing rods.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
The beautiful state of California has so many amazing streams, rivers, and lakes that are great for fly fishing. There are so many mountain rivers that have been deemed for hydro-electric power that in turn create marvelous tail waters for fly fishing. Here are a few great places and some helpful hints for California fly fishing.
Most of the lakes can be fly fished close to the shore. It is possible to stand on the bank and cast out or use a pair of chest waders and wade into the lake a few yards and cast out further. Using a belly boat is another great way to fly fish the lakes. The great thing about belly boats is they are easy to put into the lake and easy to take out. All that is required is a fairly shallow or gently sloping bank. You can step into a belly boat and simply walk into the lake. When it is deep enough your feet don’t touch the bottom, you float and cast for trout. If you’re interested in reading more about fishing for trout click here.
In most of the lake a five weight fishing rod works perfectly. They also work perfectly in a belly boat. To read more about fly fishing rods click here.
The tail waters below the large California dams make some great waters to catch fish. The water brings in food and other items that have been sucked out of the lake and pushed through the turbines. When it exits and the water settles down it is perfect for fish. Tail waters usually fish best with wet flies like midges. Click here to read more about fly fishing in California and other parts of the country.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Alaska is home to some of the best fishing in the world. There are so many species and so much water it’s hard to decide where the best places are to go fishing. However, after careful consideration, here are five of the top fishing spots Alaska has to offer. Before you go you should check the local fishing regulations to make sure of the limits. Click here to see the importance.
One of the great places is Old Harbor Alaska, on Kodiak Island. All round Kodiak Island the water is teeming with fish. Between May 15th and June 15th the King Salmon is excellent. Fishing along the shoreline using herring, either whole fish or cut bait will cut many kings that are in the 40lb to 50lb range. After catching your share of kings you can go out off of the coast and catch black bass. These are best caught using jigs while deep sea fishing. If you’re interested in finding out more about deep sea fishing, click here.
Another great spot is in the heart of downtown Anchorage, on Ship Creek. This great river is full of salmon, mainly silvers. This piece of water is great because you can wade and catch fish without having to worry too much about bears. Because it is in the city it has a different flavor of Alaska fishing, but has benefits such as hotels and fine restaurants.
Skagway is a great spot to go fishing. The ocean in front of the town, as well as the stream running through the town, provides some great salmon fishing.
Juno, the state capital, is an island surrounded by great fishing waters. Here there are many charters waiting to take you out to catch any of the salmon species, depending on the month.
Ketchikan is also an excellent place to fish. Click here to read more about fishing on WFN.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
Fish farms are designed to raise the largest number of fish in the smallest area of water. The purpose of farming fish is to reduce the fishing pressure on the most popular species of fish. When the numbers of fish drop during the excessive pressure, fishing regulations respond by lowering the limits. This makes the prices rise and overall the consumer is unhappy. The problem with fish farming is the uneaten food and feces drop out of the pens and collect at the bottom of the ocean. Because the fish farms are located in coastal waters this pollutes beaches or shores. The waste even travels out into the ocean and effects deep sea fishing. It appears that the waste particles stay together in large plumes instead of dissipating throughout the ocean.
The ocean has its own natural way of handling waste that accumulates on the bottom. Certain species of fish and bacteria will eat the naturally occurring waste and recycle it into the ecosystem. However, these organisms aren’t able to keep up with the volume of waste created by the fish farms.
It has been suggested, after consulting pie charts and fishing maps, that if the number of fish in the farms was reduced and there was a resting period between crops, that the ocean could accommodate fish farms, in other words, moderation in all things.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
First lesson is to find the right places to look for the trout. In almost every stream trout will be in the slower water. They like to conserve energy whenever possible. One of their favorite places is along the seam where fast water meets slow water. The trout will sit on the slow water side and watch the food float by in the fast water. When they spy an inviting morsel they’ll dash into the fast water, biting quickly, and get back into the slower water. This makes for some great hard bites on a nymph or midge.
When the fly is drifting on the bottom the floating fly line will be drifting fast on the top of the water, which pulls the fly unnaturally. By mending the line, flipping it upstream from the fly, you’ll get a natural drift.
When the trout bites small fish hooks they have to be set carefully. It is very easy to pull the fly out of the fish’s mouth. Trout also have soft mouths so if you set the hook too hard all you’ll reel in are lips. The best way to set the fly is to let the fish set it. When the fish bites, pull back an inch or two, just enough so the fish thinks the fly is getting away. The fish will then hit it hard and run. You simply jerk back smoothly about five inches. This sets the little hook usually right in the lip.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Montana has been blessed with stunningly beautiful landscape that has been seasoned with trout filled water. These alluring waters are irresistible to anglers, especially those who are addicted to fly fishing. There are so many great places to wet a fly that it is hard to decide on just one. Here are a few of the best places to go trout fishing in Montana.
Going out of Yellowstone national park, the Yellowstone River boasts of beautiful trout. These big fish are almost always hungry which makes fly fishing incredible. Depending on the season and time of day nymph fishing or streamer fishing techniques are very effective. This stretch of river from the state line north through Livingstone generally fishes very well. In addition to good fishing, this part of the river flows through charming country.
Madison River is known as an amazing fly fishing river. The entire river is just absolutely remarkable. However, the tail waters of Earthquake Lake flowing down to the inlet of Ennis Lake seems to have been made with fly fishing in mind. This is midge country. The tiny little flies tied onto tiny #20 or #22 fish hooks seem to be fish magnets.
Madison River ends by merging in with Jefferson River and the Gallatin River. The largest of these three rivers forms the head waters of the Missouri river. At the contours of these rivers there is some very impressive habitat created that is home to many fish and some spectacular fly fishing , the combination of fast water and slow water along with the changing depths of water and even and island or two makes this entire area an anglers paradise. All of the different types of fly fishing may be used in this one area with great success.
Monday, March 12, 2012
The Williamson Live Squid lure is a great way to attract their attention. This nine inch squid imitator uses either 8/0 or 10/0 fish hooks. The rigged model is set up with 8/0 fish hook and 6 feet of 200# test line. It has life like swimming action as it’s pulled through the water.
Mold Craft makes a lure called CastaHoo that is set up with a 1 ½ oz. 9/0 jig head and a soft plastic body that have great swimming action. This lure can be fished deep with a large sinker to get it down to the depths where the grouper are. It is made from several bright colors to attract their attention.
The new Whirligig by Shimano is a great lure to use for grouper fishing. It is designed to swim in a circular motion like a wounded bait fish. It comes in several colors and sizes so it can imitate many species of bait fish.
The Wobble Deal lure by Atom is a great grouper lure that can be fished in many different ways. It can be trolled or jigged, but fishing at 600 feet depths you will most likely jig it. It has a great wobble action that attracts the groupers attention.
Atom also makes the Vi-Ke jig. This is a great all around lure that works well with grouper as well as many other species. It has a highly polished nickel finish that creates a flash in the water that makes fish want to strike it. It is made with a red tail that helps it attract fish. It comes in many sizes from 8 oz. to 24 oz. The big 24 oz. model will sink down to the baited depths.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
When the winter weather finally leaves and spring moves in to warm up the water, walleye begin to wander away from their deep winter retreats and move into spawning mode. As the water temperature approaches 42° to 52° the spawning season begins. Here are some of the better rigs to try during this difficult season.
For the most part, walleye are not interested in eating during the 2 or 3 weeks during the spawn or the 2 or 3 weeks after the spawn, however, a few males will occasionally nibble on a few things here and there. With this behavior in mind, the best tackle to use is ultra-light fishing gear. Load up your fishing reels with 2lb. test monofilament line. Attach the reels to graphite fishing rods. Thiswill help you feel exceptionally light nibbles. Care must be taken when setting the hook during these gentle strikes or you will pull the hook out of their mouths and far enough they won’t go after it again. When you feel alight nibble pull the line about an inch and wait. When you feel it bite again, pull it another inch or inch and a half and wait. The third time you should feel a good strong strike and you can set the hook.
A good bait to use are live minnows on #2 long shank fish hooks. They seem to like live baits during spawn. If they are slow biting try adding a couple of bright red beads and if they still won’t work, try chartreuse beads. If they’re being stubborn ultimately try a jig.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Fishing has always been both art and science. One of the best demonstrations of this is creating your own fishing lures. To conceive, design, and fabricate effective fishing lure requires knowledge of both the art and science. Here are some of the essentials for constructing your own lures.
It doesn’t matter if you’re deep-sea fishing or bass fishing; the first thing you must know is what attracts a fish. Science shows that fish are attracted by sight, sound, smell, and vibrations. The most common lures try to attract fish by appealing to their sense of sight. There are several ways to visually stimulate a fish. These include shape, color, and texture.
It seems every type of fish has certain colors that will attract its attention. Some fish like yellow, other fish, like trout, like florescent orange and bright red. Bass seem to like bright colors like the bright colors of yellow, green and chartreuse. All fish seem to be attracted to a shiny flash of light no matter if it’s silver, gold, or brass.
Once the science part of the fish has been thought through, then the art portion of the lure becomes critical. The art segment includes materials and design. Should the lure be plastic, wood, or metal? There is nothing more impressive than a handcrafted basal wood lure shaped like a shad or minnow and then perfectly painted. Metal lures can be cut, filed, and polished before they are painted. The design of the metal lures can vary from fish-like to spoon-like to just a piece of metal like the Kastmaster.
Other important part of designing a lure is the type and placement of the fish hooks. Some designs use single hooks, others prefer treble hooks. Generally, lures incorporate one to three treble hooks for a great hook-up.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The Poudre canyon starts at a spot called Ted’s place and goes west to the top which is Cameron pass. The Cache La Poudre River flows all through the canyon. At the mouth of the canyon the water is deeper and slower. It is full of rainbow trout and a few browns. The wet fly fishing is wonderful year around.
As you move up the canyon fishing on the lower half is great the scenery is beautiful. Most of the year the river is gentle and wade able. Most of the shoreline is open enough that you don’t have to worryabout snags.
From the town of rustic to the top is the best fishing. Most of the fly fishing is done with barbless fish hooks. Small nymphs will catch huge rainbows, but be sure to check the fishing regulations for size limits. Above the fish hatchery a few miles is Joe Wright reservoir. This fairly large body of water is great to belly boat in and fish for trout as well as the few remaining graylings.
A good steep hike above Joe Wright is Zimmerman Lake. This great little lake used to be stocked with graylings but is now stocked with a cutthroat subspecies called a greenback. These are great to fish for and at sundown will go crazy for dries.
At the top of the pass is CameronLake. Thislake was drained a few years ago and has been repaired and re-stocked. It has great fly fishing along the shore, but is even better in a belly boat.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Last year there were many new fishing products introduced. Some of the products sound like good ideas, but don’t really work out well. But, there were several that do work out and some really well. Here are the top five best fishing products of 2011.
Paco Sport fishing came out with their new Grand Slam 170 out rigging kit and Grand Slam out rigging top mounts. It has twist and lock collars that provide 12 different lock in posti9ons. The 15 foot telescoping outriggers have an easy ¼ turn for convenience.
A new fishing multi-tool was brought out by Berkley. This handle tool has a hook sharpener with a V-groove jig-eye plainer, and crankbait tuner among many other tools. The needle-nose pliers are spring loaded so if you’re trout fishing you can remove a hook without missing a beat.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Down in these deep waters there are lots of shellfish for the halibut to eat. There are clams and crab to provide the majority of their diet. For the robust fishing enthusiast, this means using live bait on sharp fish hooks. In the deep dark water halibut hunt by smell and sound. Some artificial lures work, but in these deep waters, live bait works best.
The best bait is fresh herring, salmon bellies, or geocuck clams. It's best to use fresh herring as it is tougher which will stay on the hook better & longer. Another halibut fishing tip is that if you must use frozen herring, soak it in salt-water brine overnight to help stiffen it up. Halibut smell their food so use fresh or freshly frozen over freezer burnt, brown bait - give 'em the fresh good stuff!
If you must use artificial lures when you’re deep-sea fishing<, there are literally thousand options to choose from. Octopus-resembling rubber lures seem to dominate the market, as do the Dart, Zzinger and Stinger and hoochie skirts. There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to what will work so change it up and if something is working, stick with it! Always attach some sort of bait or use a liquid bait scent to smear over the lures - remember, halibut smell their food!
And if none of this works, you can always stay in the cabin and play online fishing games.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Salmon tart is an easy juicy meal. Begin with a package of frozen Phyllo dough from the freezer section of your local grocery store. Thaw out a sheet of Phyllo dough, unroll it and place it to the side. Take three four oz. salmon steaks and rub them well with olive oil. In a saucepan mix one cup of whipping cream, 1 potato cut into julienne strips, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 tsp. garlic powder and 1 tsp. onion powder and ½ frozen peas. Cook over medium heat, stirring often till boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cut Phyllo dough into strips 6 inches wide and 12 inches long. In the middle of ½ of the dough place the filet and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Cover a filet with cream sauce and fold over the dough into a pocket. Seal the edges of the dough by moistening the edges with lemon juice and press them together. Using a pastry brush coat the outside of the tart with olive oil and place it on a baking sheet. Do this with the remaining filets. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 8 minutes, plate and serve. These are great to eat while watching the 2012 Bassmasters classic.
They can be made ahead of time and make a great cold lunch while trout fishing or bass fishing. An option to the cream sauce recipe is to add ½ frozen green beans cut into ½ inch pieces, 2 Tbsp. dried basil, 2 Tbsp. dried oregano, and 2 Tbsp. of dried coriander to give it a creamy Italian flavor.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
In most parts of the US and Canada there are plenty of walleye. When the lakes freeze over in winter the walleye fishing doesn’t stop, it just changes. Ice fishing for walleye is great fun and usually simple. Here are a few of the best rigs to use.
Another good rig to use is Patterson’s Red Tail Walleye Flasher jig. This rig has a bright color with a big eye and a bright red blade that hangs below. Jigging with this lure will attract attention in the cold water.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
When you’re out fishing and you finally get a strike, one of the most important things to do is set the hook. However, depending on what species you’re catching depends upon how you set the hook.
We have all watched the Bassmasters classic with the angler gets a strike and quickly pulls back extremely hard and the rod and line set the hook. This works great when bass fishing because they are predators; they strike hard, so you must set the hook quickly and with great power. The reason we use great force to set the hook is that bass have very hard mouths. Walleye, musky, pike, and pickerel are some of the more popular predators that require a hard fast setting of the hook.
If you’re trout fishing and you get a bite, you must be careful when you set the hook. If you’re fishing with salmon eggs on a #12 hook, the fish will come up to the egg and try to suck out the inside and leave the shell on the hook. If you pull hard and fast when you feel a strike you’ll pull the egg away so far the fish won’t go after it.
When you feel a trout bite the egg you should move the egg about an inch. The fish will hit it again. Move the egg another inch or two and then wait. Generally on the third strike they will hit it hard enough you can pull back in a slow, smooth steady motion to set the hook. Even on the third strike if you set the hook like you would for a bass you’ll rip off his lips.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The western mountains of Montana offer some remarkable fly fishing. In these lakes and streams trout fishing is more of a religion than a sport. Montana is known for the best kind of fly fishing there is, fishing with dry flies.
The head waters of the Missouri river, near three forks, are an example of some astonishing fly fishing waters. Here the Gallatin River and Madison River and the Jefferson River all merge together to form the Missouri river. All four of these separate rivers are incredible fly fishing rivers, but the area where they all merge is just mind blowing. There are small islands and sand bars. There is a bridge that goes across the area that offers protection and shade for fish to bide their time. These rivers offer wonderful trout fishing for browns, rainbows, and cutthroats. There it is possible to catch a 20 inch fish on #20 fish hooks.
The Yellowstone River, coming out of Yellowstone National Park, all the way up to Livingstone, has some marvelous fly fishing. This piece of water fishes well with dry flies in the summer right before sunset. Streamers work well on the hot summer days. There are many hatches that come off of this water during this time of year. It is also pretty along the river.
In the northwest corner of the state the Kootenay River dips down from Canada and brings some remarkable fly fishing. The tail waters below the Libby dam and downstream from Jennings has great nymphing. Using a drift boat or just wading through this water is pretty and the fishing so great that you’ll never want to leave. On down the river below Kooteenai Falls the river calms down and becomes a great fly fishing destination.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The female trout is the one who builds the nest. They like to find shallow gravel riffles in the stream where they live. If the fish live in a lake they will be looking to leave the lake and go up a single clear water stream that enters into their lake. They begin to make this move as the water gets warmer.
This is time of year where lake fishing is most productive around the inlets. In pre-spawn conditions moving around the inlet which is where the warmer water occurs, eating food that has floated into the lake. A great way to catch the fish is to cast into the stream and allow the bait or fly to drift along the natural flow. The fish generally can’t resist and will bite quick and hard. Fly fishing in these areas can be very productive this time of year.
The trout will build her nest using her tail to move the gravel around. The nest, called a redd, will be 4-12 inches deep and 10-15 inches in diameter. They will start looking around for the right kind of loose gravel in the pre-spawn season.
The trout that live in streams, the pre-spawn season is when they move from the areas where they normally live into the shallow areas of the stream where they will build their nest. Using light weight fishing rods and salmon eggs can prove to be very productive in these shallow areas.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Ice fishing can be one of the more dangerous types of fishing, simply because it takes place on the frozen surfaces of a body of water. Many discussion of where ice fishing safety occurs each year among those who venture out on the ice. Here are a few suggestions to make sure your fishing on safe ice.
Most experienced angers agree that you need at least 6 inches of ice covering the water before you go out on it. If you live in the northern latitudes this may occur in October and stay until March. However, even in the northern latitudes there can be dangerous ice in early winter as well as early spring.
One of the ways to tell if the ice is thick enough is to look at the color. Good thick ice has a light color and thin ice has a dark color. If the ice is colored evenly and is lightly colored, white or clear, then it should be safe. If you look out on the ice and its dark or has light and dark areas, it may not be safe. This is when it is best to watch bass fishing on TV at the Bassmasters classic.
If there is moving water on top of the ice that is a sign it maybe to thin. Also if the ice is rough and full of ridges it may be too thin. You can also use binoculars to see if there are holes where other ice anglers have drilled.
Other areas you should try to stay away from are inlets and outlets. Moving water under the ice may keep the ice from getting thick. A good set of fishing maps will show you were the rivers flow through the lakes. You should also avoid dams, docks, and rocks that rise above the surface of the water. All of these items can change the temperature of the ice and heat it up on a sunny day.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Smelt are great tasting little fish enjoyed by game fish as well as humans. There are many species of smelt found both in the Atlantic and the Pacific. They like the cooler waters of the north.
The Atlantic smelt are the biggest of the smelt species growing to 18 inches and about 1.5 lbs. They taste good pickled, smoked, cured, or fried and even raw. Fishing for smelt can be a challenge because they eat small organisms like plankton, small crustaceans, and fish larva.
If you want to catch smelt and use them as bait for bass fishing the best method is using a net. Because smelt travel in schools they are easy to just scoop up with a long handle net. But if you aren’t lucky enough to find a school close to the top of the water, here is another way. On a fishing line, tie three or four large swim baits about four inches apart. Go out a couple hundred yards from the shore and then with your back to the shore cast out the swim bait out over a large net. Then reel in the swim baits several times. The smelt will think that fish are going into shore to spawn and will follow the swim baits. When they get over the net, lift it up and you’ll have your smelt.
If you are trying to catch bigger smelt to eat use smaller smelt swim baits and fish eggs. This bait will draw them to either be caught on a hook or on a net. It is best to check local fishing regulations to see what the requirements are for using nets.
If you find yourself doing more boating than fishing remember you can always play fishing games. If the fishing is really slow there is nothing like playing free fishing games to liven things up while watching the Bassmaster classic.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
In the sport of fly fishing there are many levels of participation. The entry level of fishing is using fly fishing rods and reels. The next level is having a box of flies and knowing how to decide which one to use. The top level involves learning how to tie your own flies. Here are helpful hints on how to tie flies.
Tying flies, like everything else requires the right equipment. The basic fly tying equipment includes a vice, a thread feeder and scissors. The vice should have a full rotating arm so you can work at the fly from every angle.
The thread feeder is very simple. It holds a spool of thread and feeds it out though a tube so you can control exactly where the thread is laid out. This sounds simple and it is, but it’s extremely important. Most people begin with the thread feeder and then change the spool every time you change color. After you’ve tied flies for a while you’ll learn there are about 4 or 5 primary colors that you will use constantly. It is much easier to buy the extra thread feeders so you have one for each color.
There are hundreds of different materials that may be used to tie a fly. These many be natural or synthetic materials but what ever material you use, you should just buy the material necessary for the specific fly you're going to tie.
The easiest way to begin is to buy a pattern for directions. These flies are tried and true, and a good pattern has easy to follow directions. After your proficient at tying these flies you can move into the next level. The next level involves taking a fly you bought and take it apart to see the colors. After dissecting the fly, retie it using your own materials. After some practice you’ll be able to tie a fly and watch the Bassmasters classic at the same time.
Monday, January 30, 2012
One of the problems with the Alabama rig is the number of fish hooks, which is zero. The rig itself is merely a shell of structure that allows every angler to set up the rig the way they desire. Because of this, a rig may have 1-20 hooks depending upon the angler. It is possible that fishing regulations could be written to control the number of hooks without making it totally illegal.
The number of hooks allowed could vary for different species. Bass fishing and trout fishing are very different so the regulation on the number of hooks can also be different.
Tennessee has a regulation that was originally designed for the umbrella lure, a lure that came out a few years ago designed for trolling. These lures could also have many hooks. Tennessee, after considering the lure decided to allow it, but regulating the number of hooks that an angler can place on the lure.
The same type of regulation can be made for the Alabama rig. Since the rig can hold five commercial lures, it could allow each lure to have only one hook. That could be a single hook, or one treble hook depending on how restrictive the state wants to be.
The over all concept of the Alabama rig is great. A school of fish instead of just a single fish is a great concept. It should not be illegal but maybe the number of hooks should just be regulated out of fairness and the concern about fowl hooking fish.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
During the cold winter months where there is too much snow and cold weather to do very much, most people just stay inside and keep warm. However, if you are an avid angler you wont be sitting in front of the TV but you’ll be out on the ice doing what austere anglers do, ice fishing. Here are few tips to make ice fishing fun.
Fishing through a hole in the ice limits your scope and range. To give yourself a little wiggle room, when you first arrive on the ice, use your power ice auger to drill 10 or 12 holes spread out over several yards. This will allow you to move around and fish different areas. However, in some areas, fishing regulations limit the number of holes you can have so be sure and read the fishing regulations before you drill your holes.
Carry your gear from the car to the ice is a lot of work. It is easier to pull a sled to carry your gear. A sled is easy to fashion using a sheet of plywood, rope, and a couple of fir strips. Attach the fir strips to the bottom of the plywood using screws to act like two inch runners. Two runners are plenty. Then drill two holes in the front of the plywood making a harness with rope.
Now you’re ready to carry all of your gear out with you. Your gear should include a power ice auger, 2 or 3 fishing rods, and reels, a tackle box of bait and lures and jibs, a lawn chair, a gas stove and fuel, water, a coffee cup, and coffee pot, coffee grounds, hot choc mix, snacks, extra socks and gloves, and your smart phone so you can watch bassmasters classic and wish you were warm.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
If you can’t get down to the warm waters of the bassmaster classic then the next best thing is to go ice fishing for walleye. Winter walleye fishing can be fun and challenging. Here are few essentials that will help make your fishing a productive experience.
The three most important things for walleye in fishing, just like for real estate, are location, location, location. Fishing for walleye in an under water structure that has drastic contour changes is the best. The structure should provide a change of at least 20 feet and preferable 30-40 feet. These are usually sunken islands or large stair steps near the shore. A good set of fishing maps will help you locate these structures under the ice.
The type of structure usually doesn’t make any difference until late winter. In the late winter or early spring the walleyes’ start looking for spawning ground. When this happens stay away from the muddy weedy structure and fish the rocks and pebbles.
Walleye will form aging areas in these distinct parts of the structure. At the tip of the structure the hungry fish will be looking for a meal of bait fish. These fish are the most active. Then there will be walleye in the middle of the structure that are getting ready to move up into feeding position. Then there are the fish at the bottom. These fish have already eaten and are sitting still conserving energy. They will not usually bite.
One you have identified the structure, if local fishing regulations permit drill 5 or 6 holes in the ice so you can access different parts of the structure. This will allow you to use one or two fishing rods to see where the fish are biting best. If you fish one hole for 10-15 minutes and don’t have a bite, move to another hole.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
When most people think of fly fishing, they picture a man on a river casting dry flies to a rising river. But the reality is only a small portion of fly fishing uses dry flies. The majority of fly fishing is done using wet flies. Here are some suggestions on fishing with wet flies.
Wet flies are ties that try to imitate aquatic bugs. Depending on your location and the time of year, these bugs may be very small or quite large. Whatever size they are you need your fly tied to the same size fish hooks. The goal is to present the fish a bug they are used to eating.
One of the best ways to use wet flies is to use a weighted fly line. This is a fly line that is filled with weight for the last few feet so the line sinks to the bottom of the water. Then use a split shot weight to hold the leader and tippet on the bottom.
When you cast out your fishing cast, wait for the line and fly to sink to the bottom before you strip in the line. As you strip in the line use various speeds as well as directions. Change directions of the line by holding the tip of the rod to the far left and then to the far right.
Another way to use a wet fly is to tie it with a bead head. The bead head is shiny and weighted, but will bounce up and sink. These flies act like non aquatic bugs that have fallen into the water and are struggling. Ants are a good example of this. When trout fishing take a bead head ant pattern and cast it towards the shore of a stream and let it float down the current.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Picture yourself in a boat on a reservoir with a fishing rod in one hand and the line in the other, when suddenly there is a quick sharp jerk, the nibble of a fish. At this crucial moment choices you make and the action you take will have a direct effect on the outcome of landing the fish or losing it. It will be the difference between fishing and catching.
This is the setup that fishing games try to emulate, the elation of the bite followed by the setting of the hook. If you have ever lost a fish due to faulty fish hook, here are some tips to prevent this from happening again.
Setting a hook is different depending upon what you are fishing for. If you're trout fishing the fish will bite gently. In fact, many time bites go undetected when fishing with salmon eggs because some trout just like to suck out the inside of the egg. When this happens you will feel a little quick tap the best thing to do is lightly move the line an inch and then wait. The next bite should be a little stronger but the response should be the same, move the line about an inch. The third bite should be a solid hard bite to which you respond by pulling back the line about 4 inches. This should set the hook and you'll feel the fight of the fish.
If you’re bass fishing, especially with a lure, the fish will strike at the lure. Most of the time when a bass strikes a lure they have their entire mouth around the lure. Best response is to continue reeling and just give a small sharp jerk on the rod tip. This should set at least one of the treble hooks into the basses mouth.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Deep sea fishing in the winter is extremely exciting because you never know for sure what you will catch or how big it will be. The thrill of the unknown also requires being prepared with an assortment of lures to meet different fishing demands.
The initial cruise out to the prime fishing areas can be long or short, depending on where you are fishing. Playing online fishing games or any kind of fishing games will help pass the time, but the sooner you get a line in the water, the happier you will be.
When using live bait be sure the fish hooks are very sharp. The marlin mouth is tough and sharp fish hooks ensure a strong hookup.
The world record permit was also caught off of the coast of Brazil in December of 2002. It weighed 60 lbs so if you are permit fishing in the flats this time of year, make sure you are using heavy tackle. If you’re using fly fishing tackle, it is very important that you have a 15 weight rod.
Winter fishing also requires the use of a fish finder. A good fish finder will help you locate big fish and show you not only the location but the proper depth to fish. A fish finder will also tell you if there is a school of fish or if there is only one or two. A good fish finder will also have fishing maps to show the location of under water structures where fish may be hiding. Black grouper like to hide in underwater structures and the world record black grouper was caught in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast during the month of January. Fish finders are not only useful, but they are fun to use as well.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Once an angler begins going fishing the next logical step is to tie flies. Fly tying involves several different skills because it is both an art and a science. For some angers tying their own fly is one of the greatest fishing games, wining the fishing contest using your own fly is the greatest of all fishing games. Here are some suggestions on how to get started tying your own flies.
First thing that must be determined is what type of fly you tie. This depends on what you needed last time you went fishing and what type of fly you think you’ll need the next time you go fishgig. After determining what type of fly you need you must acquire a pattern for the fly. If you are very artistic you may be able to create your own pattern. Some patterns are extremely simple. A San Juan worm is just a piece of red yarn tied to the hook. A salmon egg pattern is merely an orange pompom glued to a hook. As simple as these patterns are, they are extremely effective.
Once you have your pattern you must collect your materials and hooks. The size of hook will be determined by the size of the bug as it occurs where you are fishing. You should try to make flies as comparable as possible. Sometimes you will need two or three sizes of the same fly so you will have the exact size you need.
The next item necessary are vice and thread feeder. The vice holds the hook so you can work on it. A good vice will turn in all directions and then clamp solid so you can make every type of fly you can imagine. The thread feeder holds the spool of thread and allows you to bring it out on the hook and wrap it tightly.
The other two important tools are scissors and tweezers or hemostats. The scissors should be very small and fine with a very sharp blade. You will need them to cut the smallest piece of thread and material. The tweezers or hemostats also need to be small and fine, but with a fairly big handle.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Wintertime saltwater fishing can be very challenging. The seas in the northern region are rough and cold. But it can be fun if you are prepared and know what you are doing. Here are a few tips to make winter saltwater angling fun.
One of the best pieces of advice is to go someplace warm. Florida saltwater fishing in the winter is wonderful, as is fishing in the Bahamas. Winter fishing in the lower latitudes is always more enjoyable than fishing in the higher latitudes.
Another angling tip is to make sure the fish you are after will be in the water you are fishing in. In the winter, saltwater follow their food. The fish may head for warm southern waters or warmer deep water. Fishing in the north Atlantic in the winter is very cold, but cod and other fish do fine because they go very deep into the ocean where the water temperatures are warm enough to sustain them and their food.
Because the fish in the north are living in deeper water it is harder to use lures. It is much better to use live bait. The fish are able to hear and smell live bait and locate them in the deep dark water.
It is also a good idea to use a fish finder to help locate the fish you are after. A good fish finder will have fishing maps so you can look for the fish in the ground and valleys where they stay out of the strong water current. Then, once you’re in the right area, the fish finder will locate the fish you are after. A good fish finder will tell you the size of the fish as well as how many there are. Using a fish finder is very similar to playing fishing games.