Fishing Articles from Capt Jim Klopfer

Fishing Articles from Capt Jim Klopfer

This post is the list of fishing articles written by Capt Jim Klopfer. Capt Jim grew up fishing in the Chesapeake Bay area and has been a charter boat captain in Sarasota, Florida since 1991.These articles will be broken down into several categories. These include Sarasota fishing articles, Florida fishing articles, freshwater fishing articles, and miscellaneous fishing articles. Simply click on the article title to read the article.

fishing articles

Saltwater fishing articles

The fishing articles and this section all cover subjects that pertain to saltwater fishing. They mainly focus on fishing in the United States, however the tips and tactics will help anglers catch fish all over the world.

Surf Fishing for Striped Bass – Pro Tips!

This article covers the topic of surf fishing for striped bass. Striped bass are arguable the most popular inshore saltwater species from Maine down to the Carolinas. Surf fishing is a great sport, but it requires patience and some specialized gear.

Surf Fishing for Whiting – a Complete Guide

Whiting are a small, but plentiful fish found all along the US coastline from Texas to New England. They are easy to catch and good to eat; the perfect surf species!

Trolling in Saltwater

Trolling is a very effective saltwater fishing technique. It is quite efficient as it allows anglers to present multiple lures or baits at varying depths in search of fish. This results in anglers covering a lot more water in a shorter period of time. This article on trolling and saltwater will help anglers understand the specialized gear and tactics required in order to be successful.

Fishing for Triggerfish – Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

Triggerfish are a very popular saltwater species for anglers who like to bottom fish. In most cases, they are an incidental catch while targeting grouper, snapper, and other bottom dwellers. However, these tips will help anglers who target triggerfish to be more successful.

Black Drum Fishing – a Complete Guide

Black drum are a bit of and underrated game fish. They grow quite large and are available to anglers along the coast from Texas to the mid Atlantic. This article provides great information on catching the largest member of the drum family.

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Fall

Fall is an excellent time to go fishing in Florida! Falling water temperatures have the fish in a feeding mood and the seasonal crowds are gone. This article covers the species migrations and tactics that will help anglers catch more fish in autumn.

7 Useful Flounder Fishing Tips

This article on flounder fishing tips will help anglers catch more of these hard fighting in fantastic tasting members of the flat fish family. They are extremely popular all along their range, which is basically the entire East Coast from Texas to Maine.

Black Sea Bass Fishing

Black sea bass are a staple of charter boat captains all along the East Coast of the United States from Florida to Maine. While they do not grow large, 10 pounds is a very nice fish, they put up a great fight and are terrific eating. Basic bottom fishing techniques and tackle required for catching black sea bass are covered in this article.

Snapper Fishing – A Complete Guide

Snapper may be the most prized of all bottom fish targeted by anglers throughout the world. There are many different species, however most share quite a few habits. This article covers the baits, tackle, and locations needed to be more successful when pursuing these fantastic bottom species.

Fishing for Redfish, a Complete Guide

Redfish are perhaps the premier inshore saltwater species from North Carolina to Texas. They inhabit the inshore waters of the Gulf and ocean as well as the inshore bays and tidal creeks and rivers. The lures, baits, and techniques needed to full these widely game fish are covered in this comprehensive article on fishing for redfish.

What is the best Saltwater Fishing Reel under $100?

This article answers the question, “what is the best saltwater fishing reel for under $100”? Anglers will have to read the article to get the answer!

Saltwater Fishing with Shrimp

Shrimp are without a doubt the top live bait for anglers fishing and saltwater. They catch just about every saltwater species that swims. Live shrimp are readily available at every coastal bait shop. This article covers everything an angler will need to know to be an effective when fishing with live shrimp and saltwater.

7 Essential Surf Fishing Lures

Surf fishing is a very popular method of fishing used all along both coastlines. While live bait is effective, many anglers choose to cast artificial lures. This article will cover the seven essential surf fishing lures along with additional tips and tactics.

Top 14 Chesapeake Bay Game Fish

Chesapeake Bay as well known for its fantastic fishing. It offers anglers diversity and a wide variety of fish species to target. This article will cover the top 14 Chesapeake Bay game fish species along with locations and techniques to help anglers be more successful.

Inshore Saltwater Fishing, a Complete Guide

This very comprehensive article covers every aspect of inshore saltwater fishing. Tackle, live baits, artificial lures, seasons, locations, and techniques are all thoroughly covered. At the end is a section that covers each species individually as well.

What is the Best Pompano Fishing Lure?

This article talks about the best pompano fishing lure. The answer is simple; a jig. Jigs are extremely effective pompano fishing lures. This article covers the jig types along with the locations and techniques to produce pompano for anglers fishing the beach and inshore saltwater bays.

Fishing for False Albacore, Pro Tips and Techniques

False albacore are a tremendous saltwater game fish species. They are found in the nearshore coastal waters all along the eastern seaboard. Most false albacore are caught by anglers casting artificial lures into schools of feeding fish. This article covers the nuances and subtle techniques required to full these fussy game fish.

Best Cobia Fishing Tackle and Lures

This article covers the best cobia fishing tackle and lures. Cobia are are one of the largest coastal saltwater species, reaching weights of over 100 pounds. Specialized tactics and equipment are required in order to hook and subdue one of these trophy fish.

Best Speckled Trout Fishing Tackle

This article thoroughly covers the best speckled trout fishing tackle. Speckled trout, also known as spotted sea trout, are a very popular inshore saltwater species. They are found in most of the inshore bays from the mid Atlantic to Texas. There are a beautiful fish that are very good to eat.

Surf Fishing Tackle and Techniques

Surf fishing is a very popular technique employed by anglers fishing all along the coast. This article covers a specialized tackle in gear required to participate in the sport. Tips, techniques, and locations are also provided, helping anglers be more productive.

Best Jerkbait for Saltwater Fishing

Jerk baits are very effective fishing lures. This article is about the best jerk bait for saltwater fishing. Anglers will have to read the article to get the answer!

11 Valuable Tampa Bay Fishing Tips

Tampa Bay is a very productive Marine estuary. It offers anglers the opportunity to catch a wide variety of species using many different techniques. This article offers anglers 11 valuable Tampa Bay fishing tips.

Best 6 Topwater Plugs for Saltwater Fishing

Most anglers who cast artificial lures enjoy using top water plugs. Anytime a visual element can be added to fishing, it adds to the excitement. This article lists the top six top water lures for saltwater fishing along with many helpful tips and techniques to help anglers be more successful casting these lures.

Best 7 Saltwater Fishing Spoons

Spoons are simple, yet effective fishing lures that have been around a long time. A spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook in it. They cast a long way and are easy for novice anglers to use. This article list the top seven saltwater fishing spoons along with techniques used in order to be successful.

Best Sheepshead Fishing Tackle and Baits

Sheepshead are an odd looking member of the Porgy family. They feed on crustaceans and are found near all types of structure in the inshore bays as well as the open Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. They are notorious for being bait stealers that are difficult to hook. This article gives anglers inside information on how to be more successful catching these wily bottom feeders.

Tarpon Fishing Tackle and Gear, an Angler’s Guide

Tarpon are arguably the premier saltwater game fish species. They grow to weights of over 200 pounds and put up a tremendous fight when hooked, leaping high out of the water multiple times on most occasions. This article thoroughly covers the specialized gear and tackle required to catch these mighty game fish.

Best Redfish Fishing Tackle and lures

This post thoroughly covers the best redfish fishing tackle and lures. Redfish, also known as red drum, are an extremely popular inshore game fish species, particularly along the Gulf of Mexico coast. The professional tips provided in this article will help anglers be more productive when fishing for redfish.

Best 12 Spotted Sea Trout Fishing Lures

This article will list the best 12 spotted sea trout fishing lures. Spotted sea trout, also known as speckled trout, are a prolific inshore game fish species that are prized from Texaco to the Carolinas. They readily hit artificial lures, and this article will cover the best lures along with tactics and techniques.

Best Flounder and Fluke Fishing Tackle and Techniques

Flounder and fluke are very similar species, both being members of the flat fish family. They are prized by saltwater anglers for both their determined battle but mostly for their incredible fillets. This comprehensive article will thoroughly cover the best flounder and fluke fishing tackle and techniques.

Best Grouper Fishing Tackle and Lures

Grouper are arguably the most popular bottom fish in the southeast part of the United States. There are several varieties of grouper in most grow fairly large. They put up a very determined battle and are terrific eating. This article will cover the best grouper fishing tackle and lures.

Best False Albacore Fishing Tackle and Lures

This article will cover the best false albacore fishing tackle and lures. False albacore are hard fighting members of the to to family and are notorious for being fussy and difficult to catch. This article will help anglers be more successful when pursuing false albacore.

Best Live Baits for Saltwater Fishing in Florida

Many anglers visiting and fishing in Florida choose to do so using live bait. While artificial lures can be productive, sometimes it is hard to beat the real thing. This article will thoroughly cover the best live baits for saltwater fishing in Florida.

Best 7 Fishing Lures for Redfish

Most redfish are caught by anglers casting artificial lures. While there are many baits to choose from, this article by Capt. Jim will list the top seven redfish fishing lures along with tips and tactics that will help anglers enjoy more success.

Top 9 speckled trout fishing lures

This article will list the top nine speckled trout fishing lures. Speckled trout, also known as spotted sea trout, are an aggressive species that react favorably to anglers casting artificial lures. The top nine lures listed in this article will help anglers chasing speckled trout catch more fish.

Top 6 Spanish mackerel fishing lures

Spanish mackerel are a beautiful and hard fighting inshore saltwater species that are also fantastic eating. They are very aggressive and respond well to anglers casting artificial lures, especially fast-moving flashy ones. This article will list the top six Spanish mackerel fishing lures.

Jack Crevalle Fishing, a Complete Guide

Jack crevalle, or jacks for short, are the bar room brawlers of the inshore saltwater seen. There is nothing subtle about these wide-bodied hard fighting game fish. While they can be taken on live bait, many are caught by anglers casting artificial lures. This article on Jack crevalle fishing thoroughly covers all of the tackle and tactics that will help anglers be more productive.

Light Tackle Bottom Fishing Tips

Bottom fishing is one of the oldest angling tactics. It basically involves dropping a baited hook to the bottom and waiting for a bite. However, as in all fishing techniques, there are nuances and tricks which will help anglers be more successful. This article on bottom fishing will give anglers the information they need to do so.

6 Essential Saltwater Fishing Flies

Fly fishing is not only for freshwater anglers, it has really taken off and saltwater over the last decade or two. There are a myriad of fly patterns that will produce and saltwater. This article by Capt. Jim list the top six saltwater fishing flies.

How to Catch Saltwater Fish with Jigs

Jigs are one of the oldest and simplest artificial lures and existence. It is a basic design which has been fooling fish ever since man has been chasing them with fake baits. This article completely covers every aspect of saltwater fishing with jigs.

Spotted Sea Trout Fishing, Tips to Succeed

Spotted sea trout are arguably only second to redfish when it comes to popularity among inshore saltwater anglers along the Gulf Coast. They are abundant, aggressive, beautiful, and taste great! This article by Capt. Jim provides some great spotted sea trout fishing tips.

Fishing for Redfish and Speckled Trout

This article combines the two most popular inshore saltwater species from Texas to the Carolinas; redfish and speckled trout. While they inhabit many of the same areas and have some similar habits, there are differences as well. Both of these are covered well in this article by Capt. Jim on fishing for redfish and speckled trout.

Fishing for Bluefish, Tips and Techniques

Bluefish are well known to saltwater anglers, particularly those in the Northeast. They are second only and popularity to striped bass in many areas. Bluefish are extremely aggressive and hard fighting fish that will recklessly attack artificial lures as well as live baits. This article covers all aspects of fishing for bluefish.

Top 15 Sheepshead Fishing Tips

Sheepshead are a prolific and popular inshore saltwater species that are quite distinguishable and looks. They are a hard fighting and good eating member of the porgy family. This article will list the top 15 sheepshead fishing tips.

Best 6 Saltwater Fishing Lures

There are many artificial lures which anglers can use in order to be successful when saltwater fishing. In fact, the selection can be overwhelming. In an effort to simplify this for anglers, Capt. Jim wrote this article on the best six saltwater fishing lures.

Top 6 Spanish mackerel fishing lures

Spanish mackerel are a very aggressive saltwater game fish species. This aggressiveness makes them very susceptible to being full by flashy, fast-moving artificial lures. In fact, most anglers who target Spanish mackerel do so using these types of baits. This article list the top six Spanish mackerel fishing lures.

Florida fishing articles

largemouth bass fishing in Florida

Florida offers both resident and visiting anglers many different fishing opportunities. World-class fishing exists in both freshwater and saltwater from the smallest of pan fish to giant tarpon and billfish. These following articles by Capt. Jim Klopfer cover many of these fishing subjects.Rain

Surf Fishing in Florida

While many anglers enjoy fishing from boats in Florida, surf fishing can be very productive as well. The tactics are a bit different from the traditional surf casting that is done in the Northeast. This article on surf fishing in Florida covers all the tactics, rigs, and techniques needed to catch fish off of the Florida beaches.

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Summer

While it is certainly quite warm in Florida in the summer time, many anglers are surprised to learn that fishing can be outstanding. The best action takes place early and late in the day as well is at night. Anglers need to avoid the extreme heat in the middle of the day. This article on fishing Florida in the summer covers all of the seasonal migrations as well as the tactics needed to be successful this time of year.

Largemouth Bass Fishing in Florida

It would be easy to argue that largemouth bass reign supreme in the fishing world in Florida. The countless lakes and rivers offer anglers world-class largemouth bass fishing. Tactics used dad here are a bit different than those in other parts of the country in these are all covered in this article on largemouth bass fishing in Florida.

Best 14 Tampa Bay Fishing Spots

This post lists 14 Tampa Bay fishing spots. Tampa Bay is a large estuary that offers excellent fishing on a wide variety of species. Each spot list some of the species available as well as baits and tactics that are productive in that particular spot.

Fishing for Snook, a Complete Guide

Snook are the premier inshore game fish in Florida. They are the saltwater version of largemouth bass. Snook are an apex predator that are aggressive and structure oriented. They grow to 50 pounds and more. This article by Capt. Jim covers all the lures, seasonal migrations, baits, and techniques needed to be successful when fishing for snook.

Florida Offshore Fishing Tips

Offshore fishing is extremely popular in Florida. This article on offshore fishing tips will help anglers catch grouper, snapper, sailfish, wahoo, king mackerel, and more. Drifting, trolling, and bottom fishing are all covered in great detail.

Florida Pompano Fishing

Pompano have a bit of a cult following in the state of Florida. They do not grow very large, 3 pounds is a nice one, but they put up a terrific fight for their size. Pompano also are perhaps the finest eating fish that swims in this is a major reason for their popularity. This article on Florida pompano fishing covers the lures, baits, locations, and techniques that will result in success.

Florida Bluefish

Few anglers equate bluefish and Florida in the same sentence. However, Florida offers anglers the chance to catch bluefish and throughout the year. They are very common among angler surf fishing off of the states beaches. Bluefish are also plentiful at certain times of the year in the inshore waters. This article on catching Florida bluefish will give anglers all the information they need.

Freshwater Fly Fishing in Florida

This post by Capt. Jim thoroughly covers freshwater fly fishing in Florida. Panfish, especially large bluegill, are the most commonly targeted species with largemouth bass right behind. The shallow, weedy lakes of Florida offer the perfect environment in which to do some freshwater fly fishing.

Fly Fishing in Florida, Gulf Coast Tips

When fly fishing in Florida is mentioned, most anglers picture a flats skiff being quietly polled across a flat while the angler casts towards telling fish. This certainly occurs, especially in the very shallow water areas. However, there are other techniques that produce a lot of fish for anglers fly fishing in Florida.

Tarpon Fishing in Florida, an Anglers Guide

Tarpon did not earn their nickname the Silver King without merit. These incredible game fish grow to over 200 pounds. There are few opportunities anywhere in the world to sight cast to fish this large with fairly light tackle. This article on tarpon fishing in Florida will give anglers the information they need to get started in their pursuit of a trophy tarpon.

Jacksonville Florida Fishing Tips

This article lists some excellent Jacksonville Florida fishing tips. Jacksonville lies at the very northeast corner of the state and offers anglers excellent fishing both offshore and in the inshore backwaters and tidal creeks. It is far enough north that it actually experiences a mild winter in this article covers the seasonal migrations that are so important to understand.

Best Snook Fishing Tackle and Lures

The topic of this article is the best snook fishing tackle and lures. Snook are arguably the top inshore saltwater game fish in the state. They are highly prized and pursued by anglers and it is important to have the correct lures and tackle in order to catch them.

Florida King Mackerel Fishing, Tips and Techniques

King mackerel are found in the inshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean along the entire coast line of Florida. They do not come into the inshore bays. King mackerel grow large, with specimens pushing 80 pounds. This article on Florida king mackerel fishing thoroughly covers the trolling techniques that are so productive when pursuing this species.

Top 21 Florida Saltwater Game Fish

Florida has a long list of saltwater game fish species that are available to anglers. This article list the top 21 of these Florida saltwater game fish. Locations, techniques, and strategies are listed for each fish species along with some great pictures of top female Florida anglers.

What is the Best Bait for Shark Fishing?

Shark fishing is quite popular in Florida as it is in many other saltwater environments. This article covers the best bait for shark fishing in Florida. The answer is fairly obvious to most seasoned anglers, however there are techniques and nuances that will improve the odds when pursuing these large fish.

Fishing for Florida Panfish and Crappie

While largemouth bass get much of the press when it comes to freshwater fishing in Florida, crappie and panfish are actually targeted by more anglers. This article on fishing for Florida panfish and crappie will help anglers understand the techniques along with the best waters in order to catch a mess of hard fighting and tasty fish.

Top 25 Florida Game Fish

This fun post list the top 25 Florida game fish. It includes species that live and both freshwater and saltwater environments. In fact, a few thrive in both. Each species has some interesting facts along with techniques and some great images of top female Florida anglers.

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Winter

While winters are mild or in Florida than they are in other parts of the country, they still do arrive. As in every other location, fish behaviors change and successful anglers change their tactics with the season. This article on Florida saltwater fishing and winter will help anglers understand these changes and adapt in order to succeed.

Fishing for Ladyfish in Florida

Some anglers do not consider ladyfish to be a game fish species, but this is a mistake. Pound for pound, ladyfish put up is tough a bite as any other species. They are very aggressive and will hit artificial lures and flies along with live baits. They almost always leap clear up out of the water. This article on fishing for ladyfish in Florida will help anglers understand their habits.

Freshwater fishing articles

top freshwater game fish

Freshwater fishing is extremely popular throughout North America. Anglers have more opportunities to experience this, as no matter where they are in the country there is some body of water fairly close by that offer some type of freshwater fishing. The following article by Capt. Jim cover a wide variety of freshwater fishing topics for anglers to enjoy and learn from.

Spinner Fishing for Trout, a Complete Guide

This article thoroughly covers spinner fishing for trout. Spinners are very productive trout fishing lures. This article covers the lures and tactics needed to be successful.

26 Productive Trout Fishing Tips

This article list 26 productive trout fishing tips. There are several different species of trout available to anglers. However, many share the same feeding habits and characteristics. This article will definitely help anglers catch more trout!

Top 15 Pennsylvania Game Fish Species

This article lists the top 15 Pennsylvania game fish species. All of these fish are freshwater species, as Pennsylvania offers no access to saltwater fishing. Trout and bass are the top species, however there are quite a few others that Pennsylvania anglers can target.

Top 12 Michigan Game Fish Species

Michigan offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world. Anglers can chase trout, bass, pike, salmon, and other species in the smallest of streams up to the Great Lakes. This post list the top 12 Michigan game fish species and has tips, techniques, and locations for each species.

Top 15 Wisconsin Game Fish Species

Wisconsin has a ton of lakes and rivers and offers anglers a wide variety of fishing opportunities. Anglers can also venture out into Lake Michigan from the shores of Wisconsin. This article covers the top 15 game fish species and Wisconsin along with some useful tips.

Streamer Fishing for Trout – Pro Tips!

Streamers are effective flies for anglers fishing for trout. They often catch larger fish then do tiny drive flies or nymphs. This article on streamer fishing for trout thoroughly covers the streamers, tackle, techniques, and locations that will help anglers fishing with streamers for trout be more successful.

Trout Fishing Equipment – A Complete Guide

Different types of fishing require different types of tackle and equipment, and trout fishing is no exception. This complete guide to trout fishing equipment will help anglers understand the gear that they need to safely and effectively enjoy the sport.

Fly Fishing for Bass

Bass are perhaps the most popular freshwater species in North America. Many anglers chased them using artificial lures, however fly fishing is gaining in popularity. This article on fly fishing for bass will help anglers new to this aspect of bass fishing understand the tackle required along with the fundamental differences between fly fishing and other forms of casting.

10 Essential Spotted Bass Fishing Lures

This article lists the 10 essential spotted bass fishing lures. Spotted bass are growing in both popularity and numbers throughout the country. They mostly inhabit clear, deeper lakes and are often suspended out over structure. Different lures and tactics are needed in order to be successful pursuing them.

Largemouth Bass Fishing – Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

Largemouth bass are a hugely popular freshwater game fish. This comprehensive article on largemouth bass fishing thoroughly covers all aspects including tackle, lures, live baits, seasons, and techniques. It is an excellent article for anglers looking to get started fishing for largemouth bass.

Top 18 Minnesota Game Fish

This article list the top 18 Minnesota game fish species. Minnesota’s landlocked, therefore the species are all freshwater fish. However, Minnesota offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities from small streams to the Great Lakes. Trout and bass are top species, but pike, musky, walleye, and other species please anglers.

Bluegill Fishing- Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

Bluegill may be the most popular freshwater fish species in North America. They are small, yet very aggressive and put up an excellent fight on ultralight tackle. This article on bluegill fishing covers all the basics along with some advanced tips and tactics.

Best 11 Brook Trout Fishing Lures

Brook trout are the smallest of the three major trout species, but many anglers consider them the most satisfying to catch. Brooke trout can be challenging whether on fly or using artificial lures. This article covers the best 11 brook trout fishing lures that will catch these beautiful trout in every fishing situation and angler will encounter.

What is the Best Fishing Bait for Blue Catfish?

Blue catfish are growing in popularity throughout the country. They have been stocked in many large River and reservoir systems. They are an apex predator that grows very large. This article answers a question of the best bait to use when fishing for blue catfish.

What is the Best Fishing Bait for Channel Catfish

Channel catfish are the most widely distributed of the three major members of the catfish family. They are also smaller than blue catfish and flathead catfish. They have a varied diet, however there is one bait that is best for anglers fishing for channel catfish, and this article answers that question.

What is the best largemouth bass fishing lure?

There are many artificial lures that will fool largemouth bass. However, there is one artificial lure that is the best for catching largemouth bass. Anglers will have to read this article to find out what the best largemouth bass fishing lure is.

What is the best crappie fishing lure?

Crappie are a very popular freshwater species. They are the largest member of the panfish family. Live minnows are the top live bait, but there is also an artificial lure that is extremely effective on crappie. This article is all about the best crappie fishing lure.

9 Essential Smallmouth Bass Fishing Lures

This article list the nine essential smallmouth bass fishing lures. Smallmouth bass are a very popular freshwater species that readily hit artificial baits. These nine lures will catch smallmouth bass in every situation that an angler will encounter.

14 Essential Walleye Trolling Lures

More walleye are caught by anglers trolling than any other fishing technique. While live bait can be used when trolling, artificial lures allow anglers to cover more water. This article list the top 14 walleye trolling lures along with some excellent tips and tactics.

Top 6 Freshwater Fishing Lures

Fishing with artificial lures can be overwhelming, especially for novice anglers. The purpose of this article was to simplify lore selection down to a handful that will catch just about every freshwater fish species. Anglers will find this list of the top six freshwater fishing lures to be extremely helpful.

What is the Best Live Bait for Crappie Fishing?

There is one live bait that is by far the most effective when crappie fishing. Experience crappie fishermen already know the answer to this, but novice anglers will have to read the article to find out.

Top 5 Freshwater Fishing Spinners

Spinners are very effective and popular freshwater fishing lures. This article list the top five freshwater fishing spinners. These five lures will catch just about every freshwater species that swims and streams, rivers, and lakes. Tips and techniques are included as well.

Best Small Spinnerbait for Bass Fishing

This article covers the best small spinner bait for bass fishing. Anglers have been using spinner baits for decades to catch both largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. However, there are situations where a smaller spinner bait is a better choice.

Best Brook Trout Fishing tackle

This article thoroughly covers the best brook trout fishing tackle. Brook trout are small, but beautiful, and are usually found in pristine environments. Successful anglers chasing these fish will do well to keep the tackle very light.

Best Lake Trout Fishing Tackle and Gear

Lake trout are the largest of the trout species and require specialized tackle and gear in order to catch them. Most the lake trout are caught by anglers trolling. However, ice fishing is popular as well. This article covers all of the lake trout fishing tackle and gear an angler will need to pursue these hefty trout.

Best Musky Fishing Tackle

Musky are considered by many anglers to be the most challenging freshwater species. They did not earn their nickname “a fish of 10,000 casts” without merit. This article covers the best musky fishing tackle to help an angler get started in this pursuit.

Northern Pike Fishing Tips and Tackle

The topic of this article is northern pike fishing tips and tackle. Northern pike are a very popular game fish found in the cooler waters of the northern states and Canada. There are quite aggressive and will take a variety of artificial lures. Anglers will learn which Lors to use along with the appropriate tackle in this article.

Best Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tackle and lures

This article covers thoroughly the best smallmouth bass fishing tackle and lures. Smallmouth bass are a very popular freshwater game fish species that are found in cool, clear waters. Most smallmouth bass are caught by anglers casting lures using fairly light spinning tackle.

Rock Bass Fishing Tips and Tackle

Rock bass are underrated member of the pan fish family and are a game fish in their own right. Anglers that match the tackle to these fish will certainly enjoy catching them. This article on rock bass fishing tips and tackle will help them do so.

Panfish Fishing

Panfish are among the most popular and sought after species for anglers fishing across North America. This article on fishing for crappie, bluegill, and panfish will supply anglers with the tackle, lures, techniques, and fishing patterns that they will need an order to be successful when pursuing these species.

Walleye Fishing Tackle and lures

Walleye are among the most popular freshwater species targeted by anglers in the northern waters. While they put up a respectable fight, they are mostly prized for their snow white fillets. This article on walleye fishing tackle and lures will help anglers gear up on the equipment needed to experience success when chasing these delicious game fish species.

Top 13 Freshwater Fishing Plugs

This article list the top 13 freshwater fishing plugs. Plugs are hard bodied lures, usually made from plastic though some are carved from wood, that mostly mimic wounded bait fish. They are easy to cast and work well trolled. These 13 plugs will cover every fishing situation and angler will encounter.

Best 11 topwater plugs for freshwater fishing

Few anglers will deny that any time a fish can be caught on the surface, it adds to the excitement. This article list the top 11 top water plugs for freshwater fishing. These baits will fool game fish and just about every fishing situation where fish can be taken on the surface.

Top 11 Freshwater Fishing Spoons

Spoons are simple, yet effective lures that have been around for decades. A spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook in. Spoons wobble enticingly and put out a lot a vibration. This list of the top 11 freshwater fishing spoons are a must for every angler’s tackle box.

Largemouth Bass Fishing in Creeks

Small creeks are great fun to fish and are easy places for novice anglers to find fish as hiding spots are limited. This article on largemouth bass fishing in creeks will help anglers catch this most popular freshwater game fish in these small bodies of water.

Spinnerbait Fishing Tips and Techniques

Spinner baits are very productive freshwater fishing lures. They are easy to use for novice anglers as they have a lot of built in action. The blades put out a lot of flash and vibration while the skirt provides bulk and action. This article on spinner bait fishing tips and tactics will get angler started catching fish on these very productive baits.

Bass Fishing Tackle and Equipment

Bass fishing can be intimidating, especially for the novice angler. Choices are endless when it comes to rods, reels, lures, and other equipment. This comprehensive article on bass fishing tackle and equipment will simplify these choices and help anglers purchase and acquire the best equipment for their fishing situation.

Best Catfish Fishing Tackle and Gear

Catfish are growing in popularity throughout North America. Blue Fish have been stocked in many waters to provide anglers with the chance to catch a trophy fish. Some specialized equipment is needed when targeting catfish, especially larger ones. This article on the best catfish fishing tackle and gear will help anglers make the best choices when it comes to acquiring the equipment they need for catching catfish.

Best 13 Brown Trout Fishing Lures

Brown trout are a very popular trout species that will readily hit artificial lures. This article on the best 13 brown trout fishing lures gives anglers a comprehensive list of the best lures to use for these fish in both lakes and streams.

Freshwater Fishing Tackle and Lures, a Beginners Guide

This article on freshwater fishing tackle and lures is an excellent introduction for novice anglers especially to the vast array of tackle that will be required in order to get started fishing. While it can seem overwhelming, this article greatly simplifies what is needed to help anglers get started fishing.

Ice Fishing Tackle and Gear

Ice fishing is very popular in the colder areas of North America and all over the world. The tackle and equipment has evolved greatly over the last few decades. Anglers can fish safely and comfortably while experiencing some excellent fishing action. This article on ice fishing tackle and gear will layout all of the equipment options for anglers to help them to decide what they need in order to enjoy a day of ice fishing.

Top 10 Northern Pike Fishing Lures

This article on the top 10 northern pike fishing lures lists the most reliable and effective fishing lures for northern pike. Pike are a very aggressive species which will readily take lures. In fact, most northern pike are caught by anglers casting artificial lures in fairly shallow water, usually with weeds present.

Top 11 Musky Fishing Lures

This post list the top 11 musky lures. Most anglers fishing for musky do so using large flashy lures that put out a lot a vibration.

What is the best Northern Pike Fishing Lure

There are many lures that anglers can use to full northern pike. However, there is one bait that is the best northern pike fishing lure. Anglers will have to read this article to find the answer!

Best 13 Largemouth Bass Fishing Lures for Beginners

Beginner anglers can be overwhelmed when it comes to choosing artificial lures for largemouth bass fishing. The selection can be quite overwhelming. This article list of best 13 largemouth bass fishing lures for beginners to help simplify and demystify the process.

Best River Trout Fishing Lure

There are several different lure types which will catch trout in freshwater streams and rivers. However, there is one lure that is the best river trout fishing lure. Anglers will have to read this article to get the answer and find out all about this very productive bait.

What is the best live bait for freshwater fishing?

There are many productive live baits that anglers can choose to use when freshwater fishing. However, there is one live bait that is more productive than all the rest. Read this article to find out the answer along with some great tips and tactics.

Fly Fishing for Bluegill and Panfish

Many anglers associate fly fishing with trout, and for good reason. However this article on fly fishing for bluegill and panfish will hopefully encourage anglers to explore taking up the long rod for these feisty little panfish. Bluegill and panfish are more accessible along with being easier to catch and most instances. It is a great way to learn to fly fish!

Fishing with Spinners in Rivers and Streams

Spinners are excellent fishing lures, being particularly effective in rivers and streams. This article on fishing with spinners and rivers and streams gives anglers all the information they need on the top spinners along with tackle, locations, and techniques that will help them be more successful when using these lures and running water.

Top 13 Rainbow Trout Fishing Lures

Rainbow trout are one of the most recognizable game fish species on the planet. They are the most widely stocked trout species and North America. Anglers can catch them using flies, lures, and live bait. This article list the top 13 rainbow trout fishing lures that anglers can use to be more successful when pursuing this species.

What is the best live bait for smallmouth bass?

Smallmouth bass will take a variety of live baits. However, there is one particular bait that smallmouth bass prefer over all others. Veteran smallmouth bass anglers already know what this is, however novice anglers will have to read the article to find out. Experienced anglers may learn a tip or trick or two as well.

Best 9 Fishing Lures for Streams and Small Rivers

Smaller streams and rivers require a change in tactics in order to be successful. This article list the best nine fishing lures for rivers in small streams along with the techniques and tackle needed in order to be successful catching a variety of species.

Crappie Fishing Tackle and Lures, a Complete Guide

This article thoroughly covers crappie fishing tackle and lures. It will help anglers acquire the equipment needed as well as providing some great tips and techniques, helping anglers be more successful when targeting these tasty freshwater panfish.

Best 9 fishing lures for bluegill and panfish

Many bluegill and panfish are caught by anglers fishing with live bait. However, artificial lures can be very productive as well. This article list the best nine fishing lures for bluegill and panfish along with some excellent tips and techniques.

How to Catch Catfish, a Comprehensive Guide

This article on how to catch catfish will help anglers of all experience levels catch more of these hard fighting and great eating freshwater game fish!

Walleye Fishing, a Beginners Guide

Walleye are an extremely popular species in the Great Lakes region as well as Canada and the northern states. This article on walleye fishing is aimed at beginners, helping them understand the tackle and techniques needed in order to be successful.

Fishing for River Catfish, Tips and Techniques

Many anglers chasing catfish do so and rivers, it is a prime environment for them. This article thoroughly covers fishing for river catfish and provides some excellent tips and techniques which will help anglers experience a productive day chasing catfish.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing for Beginners

Smallmouth bass are a terrific freshwater game fish species! They are a bit of a mix between largemouth bass and trout. This article on smallmouth bass fishing will help anglers understand the difference while providing some excellent techniques to help them be more successful.

Best 7 River Smallmouth Fishing Lures

Many anglers chasing smallmouth bass do so and rivers, and most use artificial lures when doing so. This post lists the top seven River smallmouth bass fishing lures along with some great techniques that will help anglers catch more fish.

Fishing Franklin North Carolina

Franklin, North Carolina is a small town located in the very Western portion of North Carolina. It offer some excellent fishing in creeks, rivers and lakes for a wide variety of freshwater species. This article thoroughly covers fishing in Franklin, North Carolina.

Top 27 Freshwater Game Fish Species

This post list the top 27 freshwater game fish species. It has some excellent tips about tackle, techniques and locations while featuring some terrific female freshwater anglers.

Trout Fishing in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Blue Ridge, Georgia offers anglers some excellent trout fishing opportunities. The mountains in North Georgia offer some prime habitat, though most of the fish are stocked. This article on trout fishing in Blue Ridge, Georgia thoroughly covers the topic.

Manitoba and Alberta Fishing

There is no doubt the Canada offers anglers some world-class fishing opportunities. This article on Manitoba and Alberta fishing covers as many of these opportunities as possible.

River Fishing Tips and Techniques

Anglers fishing and rivers face some different challenges from those fishing in lakes. This article features some excellent river fishing tips and techniques to help anglers understand these differences and be more productive when fishing and moving water.

Fishing the North Shore of Minnesota

The north shore of Lake superior that borders Minnesota offers excellent fishing year-round for a variety of species. This article on fishing the North Shore of Minnesota covers as many of the fishing situations as possible along with some great tips and techniques.

Ice fishing articles

ice fishing for rainbow trout

Ice Fishing for Crappie, a Beginners Guide

This article on ice fishing for crappie will help beginner anglers been more successful when targeting this largest member of the panfish family through the ice. Crappy do feed well in the cold water, however a change of tactics is required.

Sarasota fishing articles

guide to inshore saltwater fishing

Sarasota is a resort town on the west coast of Florida, just south of Tampa Bay. Despite the amount of people there, Sarasota offers anglers a wide variety of fishing options. These articles cover many of the species, techniques, and locations to help anglers be more successful when fishing in Sarasota.

Fishing Sarasota Bay, Pro Tips!

This comprehensive article covers all aspects of fishing in Sarasota Bay and surrounding waters. Species, tackle, techniques, locations, and seasonal migrations are all covered in great detail.

Fishing Siesta Key

This article by Capt Jim covers the techniques and tackle needed to be successful when fishing on Siesta Key, Fl. Siesta Key is the second large key that is part of Sarasota and offers good fishing all year long.

Sarasota Fishing Calendar

Capt Jim’s Sarasota fishing calendar thoroughly covers the seasonal migrations that occur in Sarasota. The seasons do change and fish locations and behaviors change as well. Successful anglers understand these changes and adapt with them.

Sarasota Bottom Fishing

Bottom fishing is a basic, but very effective fishing technique. This article on Sarasota bottom fishing will help anglers understand the baits, rigs, and presentations need in order to be successful when bottom fishing in Sarasota.

Best 11 Sarasota Fishing Reefs

Sarasota County has an extensive artificial reef program that benefits anglers. This article lists the best 11 Sarasota fishing reefs along with techniques used on the reefs.

Sarasota Offshore Fishing

Many anglers enjoy the thrill of offshore fishing. These fish are often larger than those caught in the inshore bays. This article on Sarasota offshore fishing covers the spots, species, and techniques that anglers will need to know to catch more fish.

Sarasota Redfish

Redfish are a very popular inshore game fish. This article on Sarasota redfish covers the tackle, lures, baits, locations, seasonal migrations, and techniques that will help anglers catch more of these desirable game fish species.

Sarasota Chumming Techniques

Chumming is an extremely effective fishing technique that is mostly used in saltwater. This article on Sarasota chumming will help anglers catch the bait needed for chumming along with the specialized techniques used.

River Snook Fishing Charters

Snook migrate up into area creeks, rivers, and residential canals in the winter. They do so to keep warm as these areas are protected more than the open flats. This article on river snook fishing charters will help anglers decide if this is a trip for them.

Sarasota Bass Fishing

Largemouth bass are a very popular freshwater game fish. This article on Sarasota bass fishing covers the tackle, lures, baits, locations, seasonal migrations, and techniques that will help anglers catch more of these desirable game fish species.

Sarasota Snook Fishing

Snook are a very popular inshore game fish. This article on Sarasota snook fishing covers the tackle, lures, baits, locations, seasonal migrations, and techniques that will help anglers catch more of these desirable game fish species.

Sarasota False Albacore

False albcore are a very popular game fish found in the inshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This article on Sarasota false albacore covers the tackle, lures, baits, locations, seasonal migrations, and techniques that will help anglers catch more of these desirable game fish species.

Sarasota Fishing Forecast

This Sarasota fishing forecast lists the upcoming fishing opportunities in Sarasota, based on Capt Jim’s past experiences.

Sarasota Crappie Fishing

Crappie are a very popular freshwater game fish. This article on Sarasota crappie fishing covers the tackle, lures, baits, locations, seasonal migrations, and techniques that will help anglers catch more of these desirable game fish species.

Sarasota Sheepshead Fishing

Sheepshead are a very popular inshore game fish. This article on Sarasota sheepshead fishing covers the tackle, lures, baits, locations, seasonal migrations, and techniques that will help anglers catch more of these desirable game fish species.

Sarasota Mangrove Snapper Fishing

Mangrove snapper are a very popular game fish found both inshore and offshore. This article on Sarasota mangrove snapper fishing covers the tackle, lures, baits, locations, seasonal migrations, and techniques that will help anglers catch more of these desirable game fish species.

Sarasota Speckled Trout Fishing

Speckled trout are a very popular inshore game fish. This article on Sarasota speckled trout fishing covers the tackle, lures, baits, locations, seasonal migrations, and techniques that will help anglers catch more of these desirable game fish species.

Longboat Key Fishing Charters

Longboat Key is a premier destination on Florida. This article covers the options that anglers on Longboat Key fishing charters have.

Sarasota Freshwater Fishing

While saltwater fishing gets most of the attention, and for good reason, this article on Sarasota freshwater fishing covers the options that anglers have who prefer freshwater fishing.

Best 6 Sarasota Fishing Lures

There are many different artificial lures than anglers can use to catch fish. This article lists the top 6 Sarasota artificial lures that produce fish in this area.

Fly Fishing Sarasota Rivers

Fly fishing is quite popular in Sarasota. However, few take advantage of fly fishing in Sarasota rivers. This article gives anglers all the information needed to enjoy this fly fishing opportunity.

Best Sarasota Fishing Charter

This article describes Capt Jim Klopfer and the best Sarasota fishing charter. Capt Jim works hard to put his clients on fish in a fun, easygoing environment.

35 Best Sarasota Fishing Spots

This article lists the 35 best Sarasota fishing spots. These are the spots that Capt Jim fished daily on his Sarasota fishing charters. Species, techniques, and seasons are covered.

Sarasota Jig Fishing

Jigs are very effective saltwater fishing lures. This article on Sarasota jig fishing covers the different jigs that produce fish along with techniques and species.

Sarasota Trolling Techniques

Trolling is a very effective saltwater fishing technique. Anglers in Sarasota catch plenty of fish while trolling. This article on Sarasota trolling will help anglers be more productive using this technique.

Siesta Key Snook Fishing

Snook are a very popular inshore game fish. This article on Siesta Key snook fishing covers the tackle, lures, baits, locations, seasonal migrations, and techniques that will help anglers catch more of these desirable game fish species.

Best 7 Lido Key Fishing Spots

This post lists the best 7 lido Key fishing spots. Lido Key is located just west of downtown Sarasota and offers anglers a wide variety of fishing opportunities.

17 Best Bradenton Fishing Spots

This post lists the best 17 Bradenton fishing spots. Bradenton is located north and west of Sarasota and offers anglers a wide variety of fishing opportunities.

Fishing Charters in Sarasota

This article on Sarasota fishing charters thoroughly covers the options clients going out on a fishing charter in this area have.

Miscellaneous Fishing Articles

fishing for striped bass

Best 11 Spinnerbait Fishing Lures

Spinnerbaits are excellent fishing lures. While mostly used by freshwater anglers, they produce in saltwater as well. This article lists the best 11 spinnerbaits.

Best 5 Fishing Techniques

There are many different fishing techniques that anglers can use to catch fish. This article lists and covers the top 5 fishing techniques which are trolling, casting, drift fishing, bottom fishing, and fly fishing.

Fishing for Striped Bass, Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

This article covers striped bass fishing. Striped bass are a popular game fish species that thrive in both saltwater and freshwater environments. This article covers the tackle and techniques used to catch them.

Top 25 Carolina Game Fish

Both North and South Carolina are well known for fantastic fishing. They offer anglers diversity and a wide variety of fish species to target. This article will cover the top 25 Carolina game fish species along with locations and techniques to help anglers be more successful.

7 Essential Striped Bass Fishing Lures

This article lists the 7 essential striped bass fishing lures. Striped bass are found in both saltwater and large freshwater lakes. These lures will produce striped bass everywhere.

What is the Best Striped Bass Fishing Lure?

This article answers the question of what the best striped bass fishing lure is. Anglers will have to read it to find out!

What is the best fishing knot?

There are many different fishing knots that anglers can use. Read this article to learn what Capt Jim’s favorite fishing knot is.

What is the Best Scented Soft Plastic Fishing Lure

Soft plastic baits are extremely effective in a wide variety of situations. Adding scent only increases the effectiveness. Read to find out Capt Jim’s favorite scented soft plastic bait.

Best Striped Bass Fishing Tackle and Lures

This article thoroughly covers the top striped bass fishing tackle that anglers will need in order to be successful chasing striped bass.

Top 12 Texas Game Fish

Texas is well known for fantastic fishing. Texas offer anglers diversity and a wide variety of fish species to target. This article will cover the top 12 Texas game fish species along with locations and techniques to help anglers be more successful.

A Guide to Kayak Fishing for Beginners

Kayak fishing is very popular. They are portable and allow anglers access to waters that are less accessible to larger boats. Read this article to help anglers choose the best kayak.

In conclusion, this list of fishing articles by Capt Jim will give anglers some terrific information on fishing throughout North America.

Spinner Fishing for Trout

Spinner Fishing for Trout

The topic of this article is spinner fishing for trout. Spinners are very effective freshwater fishing lures, particularly in streams and rivers, which is where the majority of trout live.

spinner fishing for trout

Spinner fishing for trout is very productive. Spinners are very simple, yet effective trout fishing lures. They consist of a wire arm with a body that has a blade that rotates around it. A hook, often dressed, is on the tail. Spinners put out flash and vibration, which mimics a wounded bait fish. Rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout are the most popular trout species.

Spinner fishing for trout

There are several reasons for the productivity of spinners when fishing for trout. The majority of trout are caught in running water; creeks, streams, and rivers. Spinners are the most effective when used in these waters. The current provides action and movement while also resulting in the spinner blade rotating. All of this occurs with very little action by the angler.

best 13 brown trout fishing lures

Many lures act very erratically. This imitates wounded prey and attracts game fish. However, in many instances this action is too aggressive for trout. Trout normally prefer a more subtle presentation as opposed to excessive action. Spinners emit flash and vibration, but they do so in a much more subdued manner than many other lures. This is another reason that spinners are so effective when fishing for trout.

Spinner fishing techniques

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of spinner fishing for trout and other species is the ease with which it is done. Fishing with spinners is fairly easy and straight forward. That makes spinner fishing an excellent choice for novice anglers.

best trout tackle

In most situations, less is more when it comes to spinner fishing for trout. As mentioned earlier, the current from the stream will result in the spinner blade rotating. All that the angler needs to do is keep the line tight and allow the current to provide the action to the lure.

The best technique is to cast the spinner directly across the current, or slightly downstream. This will result in the line staying tight during the entire cast. Often times, the take occurs as the spinner reaches the end of the drift and ‘swings” in the current. The spinner will hold in that area for a few moments. This will often draw a strike. This is along the same lines as fly anglers “swinging a nymph”.

Read more about the best trout fishing lure

A slow, steady retrieve is almost always the most productive retrieve. As long as the blade is rotating and flashing, the lure is moving fast enough. This is true in lakes as well as flowing water. Anglers can add a twitch or pause occasionally if the bite is slow. However, it is best not to overdo this action.

trout fishing with streamers

One issue when fishing with spinners is that line twist can occur. The solution to this problem is to use a tiny swivel, often termed a “micro swivel”. THe swivel is tied to the running line. Then, a 2 leader that is 24″ to 30″ long connects the swivel to the lure. This will greatly reduce line twist when using spinners.

Spinner fishing for trout in lakes

While most anglers spinner fishing for trout will do so in moving water, lakes hold plenty of trout as well. Lakes provide one major challenge; trout are much more difficult to locate as there is so much more water in which to search. Also, anglers have the third dimension of where in the water column trout are feeding. Trout are much easier to locate in streams

rainbow trout fishing lures

Anglers fishing in lakes, especially smaller bodies of water, can successfully fish for trout with spinners from shore. Heavier spinners such as the Blue Fox or Panther Martin work well. The spinner can be fished at different depths by varying the time that the lure is allowed to fall through the water column. As in stream fishing, a slow steady retrieve is best.

Trolling is an extremely effective technique used by anglers spinner fishing for trout. This technique allows anglers to cover a lot of water as well as different depths all at one time. Multiple lines can be put out at varying depths. Trout often feed high in the water column, so trolling spinners at depths from 5 feet to 15 feed down is a good approach. Heavier spinners will get down deep enough on their own without any added weight.

Choosing the best spinner for trout fishing

While all spinners basically work the same, there are some differences that make one a better choice than others. Light spinners are best for small, shallow streams. Heavier spinners are better in larger rivers with deeper holes as well as for fishing in lakes. These are better for trolling as well.

trout fishing

Color is also a consideration when spinner fishing for trout. The same rules when it comes to fishing with artificial lures apply to anglers spinner fishing for trout. On bright, sunny days, lighter colors and silver blades are usually the best choice. Conversely, in low light conditions and cloudy days, gold blades and bright bodies are the most productive.

The top 4 spinners for trout fishing are;

  • Worden’s Original Rooster Tail spinner

  • Mepps Aglia spinner

  • Blue Fox Vibrax spinner

  • Panther Martin spinner

Anglers can read more about the best freshwater fishing spinners in this article by Capt Jim

The best spinners for trout fishing are the Worden’s Rooster tail spinner, Mepps Aglia spinner, Blue Fox spinner, and Panther Martin spinner. These 4 spinners will cover every situation that an anglers trout fishing with spinners will encounter.

Worden’s Original Rooster Tail spinner

rooster tail

The Worden’s Original Rooster Tail spinner is a terrific trout fishing lure. It is Capt Jim’s favorite trout fishing spinner. Rooster Tail spinners are very light. This makes them an excellent choice for anglers fishing in creeks and small streams. They will snag much less often than other heavier lures. However, they cast well on ultralight spinning gear.

Rooster Tail spinners come in several sizes and many different color combinations. The 1/16 ounce size is excellent for most stream trout fishing applications. Bright colored bodies with gold blades work well in a variety of situations. Anglers should have a few that are white with a silver blade as well. These lures are also available in single hook models, which are required in some “catch and release” waters.

Mepps Aglia spinner

mepps

Mepps is a well known and trusted brand when it comes to fishing spinners. They have been catching trout and other species for decades. The classic color combination is gold with the natural hair tail. Mepps spinners have earned a reputation for catching larger trout. Mepps spinners are an excellent all round choice for a variety of trout fishing situations.

Blue Fox Vibrax spinner

blue fox spinner

The Blue Fox Vibrax spinner has a loyal following among anglers spinner fishing for trout. It emits a unique vibration that calls in fish. These spinners are a bit heavier and a better choice for anglers fishing deeper streams and rivers as well as lakes. It is available in many sizes and colors. The size 1 blade weighs 1/8 ounce and is an excellent all round choice.

Panther Martin spinner

panther martin

Panther Martin spinners are the final spinner in this list of the best trout fishing spinners. They come in several different styles and many colors. The options are endless. Panther Martin spinners are also fairly dense and heavy, making them a better choice for deeper water. Panther Martin spinners are also available in single hook versions.

Best rod and reel when spinner fishing for trout

Ultralight spinning outfits are by far the best choice for anglers spinner fishing for trout. Many of the most effective spinners are quite light. This requires fairly light gear in order to cast them effectively. Conventional tackle is simply too heavy. Also, most trout are modest in size. Spin cast gear (closed face) can be used, but it has it’s limitations.

brook trout fishing lures

A 6” light action rod with a 1000 series reel is an excellent all around trout fishing rod and reel combination. A soft action rad is best for casting these lures as well as landing a nice trout on light line.

Anglers should use very light line when using spinners for trout. 2 pound test line will draw a lot of strikes, but might be a tad light for some anglers. 4 pound test will work fine in most situations. Flourocarbon line is expensive, but is a good investment. Monofilament will work fine as well. Braided line is too visible and the stretch is actually desired.

brook trout fishing lures

Spinner fishing will produce other species as well

While trout are perhaps the primary target for anglers fishing with spinners, many other species will take this lure as well. In slightly warmer trout streams, smallmouth bass are present in decent numbers. Cold water species including pike, walleye, panfish, and even musky will take a spinner meant for trout.

Smallmouth bass

smallmouth bass fishing

Smallmouth bass are the most commonly caught non-trout species caught by anglers spinner fishing for trout. This is due to the fact that they inhabit many of the same rivers and lakes and can tolerate fairly chilly water. Smallmouth will usually be found in areas of less current than will trout. They will readily take a spinner in both moving water and lakes.

Panfish

rock bass fishing tips and tackle

Surprisingly, some species of panfish thrive in waters that support trout. Rock bass in particular live in the streams that have trout species. These are a very aggressive fish that will take spinners and other lures. Yellow perch do well in some cold water streams. Crappie will be caught in some trout lakes as well. Even bluegill and bass will be found in these waters, although in lesser numbers. Panfish are more plentiful in the southern waters where trout are stocked in good numbers.

Northern pike

best northern pike fishing lure

Northern pike flourish in cold waters, just as trout do. Pike do not like fast moving water and are more often found in shallow, weedy lakes. Trout will occasionally be caught there as well. The challenge is landing a pike on very light line with no leader.

Walleye

walleye fishing tackle and lures

Walleye feed in cold water and are found in the same areas as trout. Anglers trolling for trout in particular will produce the odd walleye or two. Walleye will be found in larger rivers as well.

In conclusion, this article on spinner fishing for trout will help anglers have success using these effective lures.

 

 

 

 

 

Best 11 Spinnerbait Fishing Lures

Best 11 Spinnerbait Fishing Lures

This post will list the best 11 spinnerbait fishing lures. Spinnerbaits are versatile lures that will fool just about every species in both fresh and salt water. Here is the list of Capt Jim’s favorite spinnerbaits.

best 11 smallmouth bass fishing lures

The best 11 spinnerbait fishing lures are;

  • Johnson Beetle Spin
  • Mister Twister spinnerbait
  • Strike King Mini spinnerbait
  • Booyah Pond Magic spinnerbait
  • Strike King Premier spinerbait
  • Terminator Spinnerbaits
  • Booyah Super Shad spinnerbaits
  • Booyah Pikee spinnerbait
  • Z-Man spinnerbaits
  • Molix spinnerbaits
  • Strike King Redfish Magic spinnerbait

 

spinnerbait fishing for pike

Spinnerbait descriptions and characteristics

Spinnerbaits are odd looking lures in some ways. They consist of a wire arm that looks a bit like a safety pin. Many old-timers still refer to these lures as “safety pin lures”. A spinner blade or blades rides on the top arm. Most spinnerbaits use two blades; these are termed “tandem bladed spinnerbaits”.

A large single blade, usually a Colorado blade, works well in murky conditions. It puts out a steady vibration which attracts fish to the sound. Most tandem spinnerbaits use a combination of blades, usually a Colorado and a willow blade. However, the blade color, size, and style combinations are endless. In clearer water, this puts out a ton of flash with some vibration as well.

spinnerbait fishing

The hook rides on the lower arm. It is usually a molded in jig head, which provides weight for the spinnerbait to ride correctly. Rubber skirts are often used on the jig head. These undulate very naturally in the water. A grub body can be used as well. Some anglers even use both, adding a soft plastic “trailer” to the skirt.

Spinnerbait fishing tips

For the most part, spinnerbaits are used in fairly shallow water. Due to their design, spinnerbaits are fairly weedless. The wire arm tends to bounce of timber and rocks. Spinnerbaits also work through and over grass quite well without hanging up.

spinnerbait fishing tips

There are situations where smaller spinnerbaits are extremely effective. Anglers fishing for bluegill, crappie, and panfish use them often. Smaller bass and trout will certainly take them as well. Even large fish will hit a smaller spinnerbait when they are feeding on smaller bait fish.

Spinnerbaits can be worked in several ways. They can be “burned” on top, similar to a buzz bait. This will draw some ferocious strikes. In most cases, a steady retrieve with the bait working just above submerged vegetation or cover works best. Stopping the lure and allowing it to fall can be an effective tactic as well.

largemouth bass fishing in Florida

 

Anglers can also work spinnerbaits deeperr in the water column. This is known as “slow rolling”. It basically means simply reeling the spinnerbait, often a heavier model, slowly so that it works near the bottom. Bouncing it off the bottom can be very effective. This technique works well in cold water when game fish are deeper and less active.

Click to read more about spinnerbait fishing

Small or finesse spinnerbaits

panfish Beetle spin

There are situations where smaller spinnerbaits are extremely effective. Anglers fishing for bluegill, crappie, and panfish use them often. Smaller bass and trout will certainly take them as well. Even large fish will hit a smaller spinnerbait when they are feeding on smaller bait fish.

Johnson Beetlespin

The Johnson Beetlespin is an unassuming looking little spinnerbait. However, it is an extremely effective lure, especially for bluegill and panfish. The 1/16 ounce size works very well in most situations for panfish. Anglers chasing larger bluegill as well as crappie can bump it up to the 1/8 ounce size. Finally, the 1/4 ounce size is extremely effective for bass and ponds and streams.

Sarasota crappie fishing

Beetle spin spinnerbaits come in a wide variety of color patterns. Capt. Jim’s favorite is the simple silver blade with a black grub body with either a white or yellow stripe. Green would be his second favorite, followed by white. These lures look very simple in the package, but they really are incredibly effective fishing lures.

Florida panfish fishing

The beetle Spin bait Is as simple as they come. It has a single Colorado blade and a little grub body. As mentioned about, it works very well on panfish as well as bass. Anglers use them in small streams as well to fool smallmouth bass and rock bass. In most situation, a slow, steady presentation works best. Slower is almost always better. As long as the blade is rotating, it is moving fast enough.

beetle spin

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Beetlespin lures

Mister Twister spinnerbait

The Mister Twister spinnerbait is a terrific fishing lure for panfish, bass, walleye, and other species. The flash of the blade and the incredible action of the curly tail are irresistible to many fish. Like most spinner baits, especially when chasing panfish, the slower the retrieve the better. Chartreuse is by far Capt. Jim’s favorite color.

fishing for panfish with spinnerbaits

The Mister Twister spinnerbait is a very versatile bait. Anglers can change the color and size to match the quarry and conditions. 1/8 ounce is a good all round size for large panfish, small bass, trout, and smallmouth bass. Anglers can go up in size to catch larger fish including walleye and northern pike.

mister twister spinnerbait

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for spinnerbait/grub lures

Strike King Mini spinnerbait

The Strike King Mini spinnerbait is next on the list of best 11 spinnerbait fishing lures. It is an excellent choice when fishing smaller bodies of water such as ponds, streams, and smaller rivers. it works on saltwater species as well when fish are feeding on smaller bait fish. They really shine in situations where larger spinner baits land too loudly or are too large and flashy. Strike King Mini spinnerbaits work very well right after the shad spawn as well.

best soft plastic lure

Anglers can choose from a variety of colors when using this bait. However, keeping it simple is a great approach. The hammered single Colorado blade puts out excellent flash and vibration. Capt Jim’s two favorite color patters are all black and chartreuse and white.

 

 

best small spinnerbait for bass fishing

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Strike King Mini Spinnerbaits

Booyah Pond Magic spinnerbait

The Booyah Pond Magic is another medium sized spinnerbait designed to fish smaller bodies of water. This bait also works well when fish are finicky, such as post cold front conditions. It is a tandem bladed bait and is a bit larger than the lures listed above. While a tandem spinnerbait, it does put out less commotion, due to the smaller blades.

best 11 spinnerbait fishing lures

The thing that sets these spinnerbaits apart from others is that they come in some very enticing and unique color combinations that were specifically designed for fishing in small ponds and rivers. The crayfish pattern pictured below is particularly unique. It is extremely effective when fished in slower moving streams and small rivers. Smallmouth bass with hit it with gusto!

Booyah P:ond Magic

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Booyah Pond Magic spinnerbaits

Full sized spinnerbaits

There are many companies that manufacture quality spinnerbaits. It would be impossible to list them all and no slight is meant for those that are omitted. Most of these larger spinner baits are tandem bladed baits. They are offered and combinations of willow leaf, Colorado, and Indiana blades. The following is a list of larger spinnerbaits that are available in multiple sizes and colors for anglers to use.

bass fishing in Florida

Strike King Spinnerbaits

Strike King is a leader in the industry when it comes to spinnerbaits. The Strike King Mini spinnerbait has already been mentioned in the smaller spinnerbait section. There are several other Strike King spinner baits that anglers should consider using on a variety of species. The Premier Plus spinner bait by Strike King is an outstanding lure. It is a tandem bladed spinner bait. The baits are available in many blade size, style, and color combinations.

strike king premier

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Strike King Premier spinnerbaits

The Strike King Finesse KVD Spinnerbait is a bit smaller in size and profile. This is an excellent spinnerbait choice in very clear water, especially in the cooler months when bait tends to be smaller. It is a tandem bladed spinnerbait and also has a smaller profile skirt. Like all Strike King spinner baits, it is a stout lure made with quality components.

kvd spinnerbait

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for KVD spinnerbaits

spinnerbait fishing

Terminator spinnerbaits

The Terminator line of spinnerbaits is well-known in the fishing world to be an incredibly tough and durable fishing lure. It is made from quality components and has a frame that bounces back into shape. Terminator spinnerbaits use quality ball bearings swivels on the blades. The head of the jig was specifically designed to be especially weedless. Terminator spinner baits come in a variety of color combinations.

terminator

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Terminator spinnerbaits

Booyah spinnerbaits

Booyah spinnerbaits have taken the market by storm in a relatively short amount of time. They offer several different spinnerbait models that are both durable and effective. These super shad spinner bait is unique in that it comes with four willow leaf blades. This results in the lure mimicking a small school of fish, similar to the Alabama rigs, but much easier to cast.

fishing with spinnerbaits

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Booyah Super Shad spinnerbaits

Booyah offers a complete line of spinnerbait options for anglers. The choice is endless, single and tandem bladed baits with combinations of Colorado, Indiana, and willow leaf blades are available in a variety of sizes. The Booyah Pikee spinner bait is the best lure on the market for anglers who want to cast a spinner bait for pike or musky.

pikee

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Booyah Pikee spinnerbaits

Z-Man spinnerbaits

Z-Man is another company that offers quality spinnerbaits to anglers. They are all tandem bladed baits that are available in a combination of blades along with skirt color options. These baits are constructed with quality components and are both durable and effective.

best 11 spinnerbait fishing lures

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Z-Man spinnerbaits

Molix spinnerbaits

Molix spinnerbaits are premium lures that use high quality components. They are Kayla’s personal favorite baits. Discerning anglers who want to use the best may choose to use these lures. Like most manufacturers, Molix offers anglers a variety of color combinations in both skirts and blades.

spinnerbait fishing

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Molix spinnerbaits

Redfish Magic Spinnerbait

The Redfish Magic is one of the the first spinnerbaits designed for saltwater anglers. It is an excellent search bait that can cover a lot of water when fishing expansive flats. While primarily designed for redfish in the shallows, it will catch spotted sea trout, snook, jacks, and other species as well. It comes with a large, single gold blade with a paddle tail grub body.

redfish magic

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Redfish Magic spinnerbaits

In conclusion, this article on spinnerbait fishing tips and techniques should encourage anglers to take advantage of these very effective lures which are easy to use!

Fishing for Striped Bass – Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

Fishing for Striped Bass – Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

This article will thoroughly cover fishing for striped bass. Striped bass, also known as stripers and rockfish are an extremely popular game fish. They are a bit unusual in that they thrive in both freshwater and saltwater environments.

striped bass fishing

Striped bass, Morone saxatilis, are the most popular inshore saltwater game fish in the Northeast. They range from Maine down to South Carolina. Anglers catch them trolling, casting, using live bait, and surf fishing. They have also been transplanted successfully in many large freshwater lakes. There is also a population of striped bass in San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento River. They grow quite large with the world record being a touch over 80 pounds.

Striped bass distribution

In salt water, striped bass are found from the mid Atlantic off of the Carolina coast north into Canada. Striped bass were also introduced into San Francisco Bay. In both of these saltwater environments, striped bass migrate up into freshwater rivers to spawn. On the East Coast, the Chesapeake Bay watershed and Hudson River host the majority of spawning striped bass. On the West Coast, the Sacramento River accomplishes this.

inshore saltwater fishing

Striped bass have been introduced into many freshwater reservoir systems with great success. Most of these impoundments were created in the 1960s and 1970s and created fantastic largemouth bass fisheries. However, over the course of time much of the flooded timber has rotted and bass moved to man-made structure especially docks.

Anglers can purchase Capt Jim’s E-book, “Inshore Saltwater Fishing” for $5 by clicking on the title link. It is 23,000 words long and covers tackle, tactics, and species.

With so much open water available, striped bass and forage such as herring and shad were introduced into these waters. Striped bass flourish in these large lakes as they are mostly open water predators. Dams do restrict spawning in many of these lakes is restricted by dams, therefore striped bass are stocked regularly.

Striped bass habits

Striped bass are open water predators. They are most often found in fairly large schools. Striped bass have a varied diet and are opportunistic feeders. However, they primarily feed on bait fish, particularly herring and shad in freshwater and menhaden (bunker), herring, mackerel, sand eels, and other bait fish in saltwater.

fishing for striped bass

Striped bass are often seen feeding on the surface. Anglers call this “breaking fish” and it is very exciting! Just about any flashy lure will draw a strike when fish are actively feeding like this. Trolling works well when striped bass are suspended below the surface.

Anglers do catch striped bass by casting lures and baits towards shoreline cover, mostly in saltwater situations. They will be found on bars and flats seeking forage. Striped bass can also be caught up in rivers as they migrate to spawn.

Striped bass fishing tackle

Lake Murray striped bass

The best striped bass fishing tackle varies, depending on the size of the fish and the technique being used. Medium spinning tackle works well for casting lures. A medium heavy baitcasting/conventional outfit is a good all-round choice. Heavy conventional tackle is required for trolling. Typical surf fishing gear works fine off the beach.

Anglers can read more about striped bass fishing tackle and lures in this article by Capt Jim

Spinning tackle is very versatile. It is the best choice for anglers casting lighter lures and smaller live baits for average sized striped bass in both fresh and saltwater. A 7′ medium action rod with a 3000-4000 series reel spooled up with 20 lb braided line is an excellent rod and reel combination.

surf fishing for striped bass

Baitcasting tackle certainly has it’s place when fishing for striped bass. It works very well when casting heavier lures and live baits as well as having the power to handle a decent fish. A baitcasting outfit also works great for chunking, bottom fishing, and light tackle trolling. A 7′ to 7 ½’ medium heavy outfit with 30 lb braid works great.

Anglers can shop Amazon for Penn spinning and conventional combos

“Fishing Lido Key is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. ”

Anglers serious about striped bass fishing and seeking larger fish will need some heavy conventional tackle. This is used for trolling mostly, but can also be used to present live or cut bait to large fish. The venerable Penn 4/0 outfit works very well.

surf fishing

Surf fishing for striped bass is very popular for anglers all along the east coast. Standard surf fishing gear works fine and most anglers already have the proper equipment. For those that do not, a 12” medium heavy spinning outfit is a good place to start.

Capt Jim has been a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida since 1991. Anglers who are interested in purchasing the equipment that he uses and writes about in his articles and reports can do so HERE on the PRODUCTS page.

Striped bass fishing techniques

There are several techniques that are productive for anglers fishing for striped bass. These include drifting, trolling, casting lures, and bottom fishing. Some techniques even kind of cross over.

Carolina game fish

Drift fishing

Drifting can be an effective technique to locate and catch striped bass. This is particularly true in cooler water when striped bass are in deeper water, close to the bottom. This works well in saltwater where tidal flow will keep the boat moving. It can be used when freshwater fishing for striped bass as well.

Drift fishing is effective because it keeps the bait in the strike zone for the maximum amount of time while searching for fish. Live and cut bait are often used. However, anglers can vertically present a jig or spoon as well. The best spots to drift are ledges, sunken islands, wrecks and reefs, and near schools of bait.

Trolling for striped bass

Trolling is an extremely effective technique for catching striped bass. It allows anglers to cover a lot of water while presenting multiple baits or lures at various depths. One a particular pattern emerges, anglers can focus in on that bait and depth to catch a lot of fish.

trolling for striped bass

Anglers can troll with both live bait and artificial lures. Slowly trolling a live herring or shad is the predominant method for taking big striped bass in freshwater lakes. Downriggers and sinkers are used to get the baits down to the desired depth. The boat is moved slowly, just enough to keep the lines straight. Channel edges are top spots as are any area where bait fish is plentiful.

Read more about trolling techniques in this article

Most anglers trolling for striped bass in saltwater use artificial lures. They can be trolled faster which helps anglers find the fish more quickly. Spoons, jigs, and plugs are all effective lures to use. Anglers should try to match the lure to the size of the available forage. Local tackle shops are an excellent source of information as to what lures produce in a particular area.

Plugs are great for trolling because no other gear is required, the lip on the plug will get it down in the water column. Spoons and jigs require trolling sinkers, downriggers, wire line, or planers. A trolling sinker followed by 10′ to 20′ of leader and then the lure is perhaps the easiest method. Planers work great as well, once an angler gets used to setting them.

striped bass fishing tips and spots

Umbrella rigs are interesting rigs that are mostly used for striped bass fishing, though smaller versions are used by largemouth bass fishing (known as Alabama rigs). They allow anglers to present several lures at once. The rig mimics a school of bait fish, jigs are most often used. It is a bit cumbersome, but effective.

Fishing for striped bass with lures

Anglers fishing for striped bass can catch them casting lures as well. This is similar to other styles of fishing as anglers work a shoreline or flat while casting lures in search of fish. A lead head jig with a 4” to 6” soft plastic bait works very well. Plugs and spoons will also produce when blind casting. Many striped bass caught by anglers surf fishing do so casting lures.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge striped bass

As mentioned earlier, one of the most exciting striped bass fishing situations occurs when fish are found feeding on the surface. This occurs in both lakes and in saltwater. Bass “trap” the helpless bait against the surface and then feed aggressively. Birds are often a sign that feeding stripers are in the area.

Read about the best striped bass fishing lures in this article

Spoons, plugs, and jigs all work well in this situation. Anglers fly fishing can get in on the action as well. Fish really are not that fussy and will hit most lures that are presented well. The main factor to pay attention to is boat position. It is important to be as patient as possible and work the edges of the fish. Driving through the middle of them will often result in the striped bass going deep. Vertically jigging a spoon works great when this happens.

Fishing for striped bass with bait

Plenty of anglers fishing for striped bass do so using basic bottom fishing techniques. Fishing with live or cut bait on the bottom produces every saltwater species and striped bass are no exception. Bottom fishing with cut and chunk bait work very well for anglers surf fishing for striped bass.

top Tennessee game fish species

Live bait works fine for bottom fishing, especially in saltwater, but cut bait is as productive and easier to use. Cut bait stays on the hook longer as well, which is an issue when crabs and bait-stealers are around. Any fresh caught fish that is legal to use will produce. Oily fish such as mackerel and menhaden are particularly effective.

Live bait is certainly used as well, but more often it is free lined or trolled as opposed to fished right on the bottom. These include herring, shad, menhaden, bloodworms, eels, and more. This technique works very well around bridges at night, some very large fish are caught doing this.

Fishing for striped bass in rivers

Many anglers enjoy fishing for striped bass in rivers. This is usually best in spring as stripers go on a spawning run. In lakes with dame, the fish often are forced to stop and school up at the tailwaters of dams. These can be fantastic fishing spots as fish are ganged up and forage comes through or over the dam.

top 13 Chesapeake Bay game fish

While these are terrific spots, anglers do need to be very careful as currents can be strong. Drifting with bait or lures or casting lures will produce fish. Anglers can often fish these spots from the shoreline, eliminating the need for a boat.

Free flowing rivers will see striped bass migrating very far upriver, to portions where it becomes totally fresh. The major tributaries of the Cheasapeake Bay are important spawning grounds. The Hudson River sees a lot of striped bass as well. On the west coast, the Sacramento River gets a nice push of fish as well.

Drifting through deep holes is productive when fishing for striped bass in rivers. In slower moving rivers, trolling will also produce fish. As it shallows up, bumping a jig along the bottom works quite well.

Inlets are excellent spots to target striped bass. This is especially true for anglers without a boat, as most inlets have jetties which allow anglers access. The best time to fish inlets is generally on the turn of the tide, when the current flow is reduced. It is difficult to fish when the current is running hard through the inlet.

inshore saltwater fishing

Anglers fishing the inlets can choose to use both natural and artificial baits. Those casting poppers and other plugs along with spoons and jigs do quite well when working parallel to the rocks. They will also make opportunistic cast whenever breaking fish pop up. Anglers bottom fishing need to constantly adjust the weight in order to minimize snags. Often times, the best spot to bottom fish is on the backside of the jetty where there is a sandy bottom and a current eddy.

East Coast striped bass

Striped bass spawn in the brackish tributary rivers. Chesapeake Bay is responsible for about 80% of the striped bass spawning activity. The Hudson River in New York is second in that regard. Juvenile striped bass spend the first couple years in the freshwater and brackish rivers before migrating out to the open water. Striped bass can live up to 30 years old.

fishing inlets

Striped bass can be caught using a wide variety of angling techniques. They are caught drift fishing, trolling, sight fishing, chumming, fly fishing, and surf fishing.

Striped bass fishing techniques

Anglers choosing to drift with natural bait will have success use in both live and cut bait. A free lined pogy or menhaden is a deadly bait for a trophy striped bass. Small live eels are used as well, especially in Chesapeake Bay around the bridges. Cut bait such as strips or chunks of fresh fish and squid will also produce. Anglers choosing to drift while using artificial lures will do well with jigs and heavy vertical jigging spoons.

Some anglers choose to anchor and chum a spot, rather than drifting it. This can be an extremely productive technique. The boat is anchored up on a drop off, piece of hard bottom, or other likely spot. Menhaden oil or other chum is dispersed with the tide from the stern. Several rods are rigged and hooked up with chunks of fresh baits such as pogy or menhaden. Any oily fish will work; bluefish and mackerel are fine baits. It is important to use circle hooks in this application to reduce the number of fish that are gut hooked. Many states require this by law.

Top east coast striped bass fishing spots

Striped bass fishing in Maine

Starting in the north, Maine now has reliable fishing for striped bass once again. After several down years, the numbers of fish are back up again. Biologists credit tough regulations along the east coast and plentiful bait fish as the main reasons for the resurgence.

Susquehanna River striped bass

Fish show in the the southern part of the state in May. They will move as far north as Penobscot Bay by late June. Mackerel, either live or in chunks, is a top striper bait. Any fresh cut bait will work at times. Sand worms and blood worms are also effective baits. Poppers, diving plugs, spoons, and jigs are the top choices for anglers who prefer artificial baits.

Striped bass fishing in Massachusetts

Striped bass show up off of Cape Cod and Buzzards Bay in late April and stay until fall. Smaller fish are usually first to show up, followed by the larger specimens. Massachusetts offers anglers fantastic striped bass fishing when conditions are right. Fish will be caught in Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod Bay, and off the area beaches.

Anglers fishing from boats catch striped bass trolling and drifting. However, the most exciting fishing is when schools of fish are “breaking” on the surface. Just about any lure will draw a strike. Surf fishing is extremely popular in this area as well. Cape Cod is famous for surf fishing for stripers and other species.

Striped bass fishing in New York and New Jersey

Long Island sound and the New York and New Jersey beaches offer fantastic striped bass fishing. Fish show up in mid April and stay until Thanksgiving. Anglers can target them by trolling, drifting, casting, and surf fishing. Sight casting to large fish in shallow water is great sport!

spinnerbait fishing techniques

The fall blitzes off of Montauk are legendary. Fish will be seen busting on top throughout the area. Boating can be intense, especially on the weekends. The key to the fishing is the abundance of bait. This attracts the striped bass as they migrate through and they feed heavily, especially in the fall.

The Hudson River is responsible only behind Chesapeake Bay for producing juvenile striped bass. The fishing during the spring run can be epic. The prime time is from mid-April to mid-May. All of the same techniques produce in the river as in the saltwater.

Striped bass fishing the coast

Kirsten Holloway fishes the New Jersey Coast north of Atlantic City. As far as bass fishing on the Great Egg Harbor river goes, she catches fish on a variety of baits depending on the month of the year. In these pictures, the fish were caught in the spring time when the fish enter the river for spawning. At this time, the fish are after bloodworms and herring. Since the use of herring as bait has been outlawed, we have came up with some alternatives.

striped bass spots

Most of these fish were caught as I like to refer to it as “chunkin”. I will use a hi-lo rig to catch a few smaller perch. I will then use the perch as bait and allow the bass to find the chunk, while staying anchored. It has seemed to work very well. If that isn’t working or I am looking to stay busy, I have also caught quite a few bass with a commonly used lure known as the “SP minnow” made by Daiwa.

Striped bass fishing, Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay is responsible for producing 80% of the east coast striped bass. The myriad of tributaries gives spawning fish plenty of places to reproduce. It also offers juvenile fish a place to feed and grow safely. Trolling produces most of the larger fish. Anglers can drift baits and lures as well as cast to fish.

inshore fishing for stripers

Kayla Haile has been fishing the Susquehanna since before she could walk. Her dad would take her fishing there and taught Kayla everything she knows about fishing the river. She currently runs an 1860 G# jet boat. She primarily fishes the Susquehanna below the Cowingo Dam, but knows the Chesapeake Bay as well.

The Chesapeake Is a very diverse fishery. It starts as a river to the north and is almost like an ocean at the mouth. Tributaries hold juvenile fish before they migrate out into the open bay. Mature fish spawn in these rivers and creeks as well.

Striped bass fishing the Susquehanna River

Kayla fishes the lower Susquehanna River below Cowingo Dam. The best fishing is in late spring when the water temperature is around 65°. She likes a 6’7″ medium heavy St. Croix rod, Diawa B&G reel spooled with 30 pound HI-SEAS Grand Slam Braided line.

Tailwater fishing tips

Striped bass are mostly feeding on white perch at this time. Kayla has good success with a white Sassy Shad swim bait on a 3/4 ounce jig head. This bait mimics the white perch that are in the river. Water clarity will affect bait choice. White or pearl is a great all round color. Most of the large striped bass are in shallow water. They put up a great and challenging fight around the rocks and other structure.

Fishing Chesapeake Bay

The entire Chesapeake Bay watershed can be productive. Numerous rivers will hold striped bass in the spring as they spawn. Larger rivers such as the Potomac, Rappahanock, Patuxent, and Choptank are normally best. The mouths of these rivers are good again in the fall. In the warmer months, most of the larger fish will be found in the main channel where the water is deeper.

Virginia river fishing

Breaking fish are plentiful most years in the fall. Many of these are “schoolies” of around 20”, but are fun on light tackle. The late bite at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel at the south end of the bay is legendary. Anglers also catch fish off the surf, especially near the inlets, during the season. Night fishing around the Bay Bridge can be very good.

Striped bass fishing in the Carolinas

Striped bass are plentiful as far down the coast as South Carolina. The Hatteras beaches in North Carolina are famous for surf fishing for striped bass and other species. These isolated barrier islands jut out into the Atlantic Ocean. Anglers come from all over the country to try their hand at surf fishing.

Most anglers surf fishing for striped bass take a two-pronged approach. They keep a 10 foot surf rod rigged up with a popper, plug, spoon, or jig. They they will also have a heavier 14 foot outfit. The heavier rig is baited up with a chunk of bait such as mullet or herring. While waiting for a bite, the lighter rod is used to cast whenever activity is seen.

Massachusetts striped bass

Albermarle Sound and Pamlico Sound are large inshore bays that offer good striped bass fishing as well. Tributaries into the sounds as well as the inshore bays and rivers south to the Georgia state line offer good angling opportunities as well. The same techniques that work up north work well in both North Carolina and South Carolina.

Freshwater striped bass fishing

Striped bass are a huge success story in larger freshwater lake and river systems. As flooded timber has rotted, largemouth bass fishing slowed. Striped bass and herring were introduced, and the stripers flourished! This is particularly true in the Tennessee Valley Authority lakes throughout the Southeast. Dams often prevent spawning, however some sytems are free flowing. While the following article is about Lake Murray, SC, the tactics will work anywhere freshwater striped bass are found.

Lake Murray Striped Bass fishing, Tips and Techniques

This article will focus on catching Lake Murray striped bass. Lake Murray offers excellent fishing for these transplanted game fish, along with bass, catfish, crappie, and other species.

umbrella rig for stripers

Lake Murray is a reservoir in the center of the state of South Carolina. It is 41 miles long and approximately 50,000 acres in size with around 500 miles of shoreline. Lake Murray was impounded in the late 1920s to provide hydroelectric power to the state of South Carolina. South Carolina were an innovator and began stocking striped bass in the late 60’s. Striped bass thrive in this freshwater fishery and are caught using several techniques.

Jacki Gillen is the “Lake Murray correspondent” for the site. She knows the lake well and primarily targets striped bass. Jacki was born in Norfolk, Virginia and grew up in the Lexington area of South Carolina. She spent many summers saltwater fishing with her grandfather in Chesapeake Bay along with freshwater fishing with her father in South Carolina.

Striped bass fishing fever!

It has only been in the last few years that she has found a new love for striped bass fishing with her husband on Lake Murray. Jacki also really enjoys offshore fishing and Charleston, South Carolina and in the Florida Keys. She owns J Hooker Fishing with her husband Jacob. Jacki is on the Striper Sniper pro staff and has great success using their products.

striper fishing Lake Murray

Striped bass are a saltwater game fish that were introduced into freshwater lakes in the early 70’s. Stripers spawn in freshwater and brackish rivers. Biologists were confident that they would do well in large freshwater lakes. They were correct! Striped bass do require fresh, flowing water to spawn. Santee Cooper is the only lake in South Carolina that has this environment. Therefore, Lake Murray striped bass do not reproduce. A million 1” fish are stocked each year.

Lake Murray striped bass forage

Striped bass feed primarily on bait fish. The primary forage species are threadfin shad followed by the gizzard shad. However, most and guides seem to prefer fishing with the blueback herring. These herring were not natural to Lake Murray, but were introduced by fishermen in 1985 and are now an established forage fish. Jacki does fine using herring and gizzard shad. Bait can be caught but Jacki prefers the convenience of picking it up at local bait shops.

The lures that Jacki uses and recommends when fishing for Lake Murray striped bass mimic these shad species in size and color. Bait size changes as they grow. Successful anglers “match the hatch” by keeping up with the size shad that the stripers are feeding on.

Lake Murray striped bass fishing tackle

Anglers need both spinning tackle and conventional tackle when targeting Lake Murray striped bass. Spinning tackle is used to cast to breaking fish (fish that are feeding on the surface) and for vertical jigging. Jacki prefers a 7 foot rod matched with a 3000-5000 series reel. She uses 20-30 lb braided line. No leader is required as the lure is tied directly to the braid.

Trolling requires heavier tackle. The strain of the larger lures and rigs dictates the use of light conventional equipment. Not to mention that there is always a chance to hook a very large fish as well as multiple fish at one time. Jacki uses 7′ rods, Penn 30 series conventional reels, and 50 lb test line on her trolling outfits.

Umbrella rigs are effective on Lake Murray striped bass

Umbrella rigs are very productive when trolling for Lake Murray striped bass. They can be a bit cumbersome and will tangle when multiple fish are hooked. Umbrella rigs are basically larger versions of the “Alabama rigs” that largemouth bass anglers have made popular. They do a great job of imitating a school of shad. Jacki prefers Capt. Mack’s un-rigged nine bait umbrella rigs. She pairs them all with Striper Sniper buck tail jigs, snake worms, and swim shad baits.

winter striped bass fishing

Striper Sniper 3/4 ounce to 1 ounce white buck tail jigs are tied on each arm of the umbrella rig. The leaders are 6 inches long. A Striper Sniper 10” snake worm or 6” swim bait is added to the jig for extra action. White, chartreuse, glitter, lemon lime, blue pearl, and sun drop are the top producing colors. They have recently introduced a new color called American eel which is next on the list to be tested

Lake Murray striped bass seasons

There are two basic seasons when fishing for Lake Murray striped bass; warm water and cool water. The water temperature is critical to striper migrations. Anglers need to be aware of this migration pattern and adjust accordingly. There is no real “calendar” as every year is different when it comes to weather. Here is Jacki’s advice for adapting to the two “seasons”.

Cooler weather striped bass fishing, fall and winter;

“Once the water temperatures begin to drop, the striped bass tend to start heading back towards the rivers and start coming up closer to the surface even schooling at the surface. We use umbrella rigs trolled at 3 MPH closer to the boat. This keeps them at or above 20 feet below the surface.

We also use planer boards with live herring trolled at about .5 – 1 MPH. We set the lines out 20-30 feet behind the planer. A 3 foot flourocarbon leader of 20-30 lb test is used. A # 3/0 hook completes the rig. We will occasionally run a flat line down the middle, quite a ways back.

Nothing beats casting artificial lures to breaking fish! I always keep a spinning outfit rigged with a topwater plug handy. My favorite bait is a Yo-Zuri 1 ounce plug. I use this when the fish are staying up on the surface. I also keep a Striper Sniper jig with a swim bait ready to go. This works well when fish surface quickly then go down. The jig will get down into the water column.”

Warm water striped bass fishing, spring and summer;

”Once the water begins to warm up, the striped bass start to head back to deeper water away from the rivers and towards the Lake Murray Dam. Anglers fishing in summer should always be able to see the dam. If not, you are too far away. We still use the umbrella rigs trolled at 3 MPH. However, we do so further from the boat to keep them in the 35 – 50 foot range, the lower the better.

We have also been able to put our smaller lighter weight rigs and crank baits on downriggers to drop them into the 60 – 80 foot range. Mid-Summer is also tower fishing season. We tie up to the towers at the Dam and drop live and/or cut bait herring typically to around 60 – 80 foot depths. We use a 1 ounce weight and a 3/0 hook.

Night fishing is a great way to escape the heat and catch some fish. Striped bass feed heavily at night, particularly in the summer time. Anglers do need to be more careful when fishing and boating in the dark. Summer storms can be an issue as well.

Additional Lake Murray species

While Jacki primarily concentrates on striped bass, Lake Murray offers excellent angling for other species. Largemouth bass are arguable the most popular species in the Lake. Much has been written about fishing for bass in the lake. Crappie and panfish are plentiful and Lake Murray has an excellent catffish population. Anglers can find more info and some great links about Lake Murray fishing in this link.

Sacramento striped bass fishing

This article will focus on Sacramento striped bass fishing. There are several rivers in the Sacramento, California area that offer anglers excellent fishing opportunities.

Sacramento River striped bass

The Sacramento River is the largest river in California. Stretching over 400 miles from the eastern slopes of the Klamath Mountains to Suisun Bay, it drains an area of about 27,000 square miles, including many major fishing tributaries. The Sacramento River, The Delta, Mokelumne River, Feather River and the American River flow a short drive from Sacramento. They hold several different species including striped bass, salmon, largemouth and spotted bass, shad, catfish, and sturgeon. Anglers can target these species using several different techniques.

Aimee lives in Elk Grove, near Sacramento, and knows these rivers well. She fishes for a lot of species, both salt and freshwater. Her favorite species are Striped Bass and Salmon when fishing fresh water. While the rivers do offer decent bass fishing, Aimee enjoys the challenge, and great fish, of the larger fish.That is the reason that she targets Sacramento striped bass and salmon.

Striped bass fishing tackle

The same tackle can be used when targeting both species. Aimee only uses Phenix rods. Her personal favorite for casting is a 7’11” M1 Phenix rod with an extra fast action. She jigs with a 6’8” foot slow pitch Titan rod. She matches both with a Diawa Lexa reel and 65 lb braided line. When trolling, Aimee goes with a Phenix X-14 that is 7’11” with an extra fast action.

Striper fishing in California

Heavy tackle is required to catch big fish in the current when targeting Sacramento striped bass and salmon. River and fishing conditions change daily. The best bet is to look online to get current river conditions and fishing reports. Aimee’s favorite sites for this are Navionics and Willy Weather.

Sacramento Striped Bass

Striped bass migrate up into these rivers in the spring to spawn. The best time to target them is from March to May in spring and October to December in the fall. As with most river fishing, water levels and flow are very important. Years that have more rain will see an extended season. Conversely, drought conditions will condense the fishing season.

Sacramento striper

When fishing for striped bass, Aimee uses a couple different techniques. She drifts live bait such as blue gill & minnows. This is a very effective technique and is one almost any angler can use to be successful. Mud sucker minnows are purchased at bait shops. Bluegill and shad are caught by anglers. Larger baits will get less bites but will catch bigger fish.

The rig that Aimee uses for drifting for striped bass is a simple drop back bottom rig. A 3 way swivel is tied on the line. Depending on current flow, sinkers from 2 ounces to 4 ounces. The sinker is placed on a 1 foot dropper line. A 4 foot leader of 15 lb to 30 lb test P-Line FlouroClear flourocarbon leader and a 2/0 to 7/0 hook completes the rig. As in most live bait applications, the hook size should be matched to the bait size, not the size of the fish being targeted.

Sacramento striped bass lures

Aimee really enjoys using artificial lures for these California river striped bass. She casts Delta Wood Bombers and ¾ ounce Ra-L-Traps. Silver/chartreuse, red and white, and chrome with a blue back are her top colors. Aimee also likes casting soft plastic swimbaits on a ¼ ounce or ½ ounce jig head.

California striped bass

Often times fish will be seen feeding on shad and other fish on the surface. This is a great time to cast a large topwater plug! Anglers can also blind cast both topwater and diving plugs neat fallen trees, rip-rap, and other structure and cover.

Trolling is another technique that produces striped bass on the California rivers. Her favorite plug is a Yo-zuri in the 5 1/4” size. Holographic Redhead is a great all-round color. Chartreuse woks well if the water is a bit murky. Trolling is relatively easy. Most anglers put the bow of the boat into the current and slowly work the area thoroughly. Fish are usually found in bunches, especially early in the year.

Artificial lure techniques on Sacramento rivers

Jigging is another very productive technique when targeting Sacramento River stripers. Aimee uses Blade-Runner Spoons for her jigging. Not surprisingly, her favorite color is “Aimee Blue”, named after her. You know she is a serious angler when she has baits named after her! 2 ounce to 3 ounce spoons are the preferred size.

The technique when drifting is fairly simple, whether jigging or using live bait. Anglers drop the lure or bait to the bottom and work it as the boat drifts along. Strong currents make it a bit more challenging. Channel edges and drop offs are prime spots, as are eddies when the river is running hard.

Anglers using live bait will need to adjust the depth of the bait as it drifts along. The idea is to keep the bait just above the bottom. Line will need to be let out and reeled in to adjust to the depth. Anglers jigging do the same thing, only the bait is jerked vertically as the boat moves along. The spoon should tick the bottom regularly.

Tennessee striped bass

Striped bass are a huge success story for the Tennessee fish management professionals. Many if not most of the Tennessee lakes were created in the mid-60s and early 70s by the TVA. These lakes had countless acres of flooded timber, offering perfect habitat for largemouth bass. However, over the years this timber rotted and deteriorated. Largemouth bass moved to other structure.

fishing for striped bass

This left an opportunity for an open water fish species and striped bass were the perfect fit. The Tennessee state record of 65 lbs. 6 oz. caught in Cordell Hull reservoir is an excellent example of a thriving striper population

Striped bass are a saltwater species that can tolerate absolute freshwater. They naturally migrate from saltwater into freshwater rivers to spawn. While striped bass and lakes can reproduce, and most lakes they don’t. This is due to the fact that dams inhibit the migration of fish up into the tributary creeks and rivers.

Forage for striped bass

In order to support this new fishery, forage species needed to be introduced as well. Several different species of shad were introduced and have thrived as well. Shad school up in large numbers over underwater structure. These are the same places where striped bass are found.

Anglers targeting striped bass used two primary methods. Live or cut Shad produces the majority of striped bass by Tennessee anglers. Drifting, slow trolling, and bottom fishing with live baits is extremely productive. The biggest hurdle is catching and keeping the baits alive. Cut Shad will produce as well, though it will also attract large catfish.

Anglers casting artificial lures can catch striped bass as well. This is particularly true when they are found feeding on the surface. This is great fun as any spoon, crank baits, jig, or any other lure cast into the fray will normally draw a strike. Anglers vertically jigging deeper channel edges and blind casting shorelines and rip-rap areas near dams will also produce fish. Where allowed, tell water fisheries just below the dams can produce some fantastic striped bass fishing and Tennessee!

The top Tennessee striped bass fishing lakes are Old Hickory Reservoir, Cordell Hull Reservoir, Caney Fork, Melton Hill Reservoir, and Watts bar Reservoir.

Southwest striped bass

The southwest part of the country has excellent striped bass fishing as well, particularly in north Texas and Oklahoma.

Oklahome striped bass

Texas Striped bass lakes and rivers

The major lakes in Texas with healthy populations of stripers include Amistad Reservoir, Lake Texoma, Toledo Bend, Belton Lake, Canyon Lake, Cedar Creek Reservoir, Lake E.V. Spence, Cooper Lake, Hubbard Creek Reservoir, Lake Bridgeport, Lake Brownwood, Lake Buchanan, Lake Conroe, Lake Granbury, Lake Kemp, Lake Lewisville, Lake Livingston, Lake Lyndon B Johnson, Lake Palestine, Lake Ray Hubbard, Lake Somerville, Lake Tawakoni, Lake Travis, Lake Whitney, Lavon Lake, Medina Lake, Pat Mayse Lake, Possom Kingdom Lake, Proctor Lake, Red Bluff Reservoir, Richland Chambers Reservoir, Sam Rayburn Reservoir, and Wright Patman Lake. The Brazos River yielded the Texas state record striped bass.

Oklahoma Striped Bass lakes and rivers

The Oklahoma lakes and rivers that offer good striped bass fishing include Lake Eufaula, Broken Bow Reservoir, Canton Lake, Lake Murray, Waurika Lake, Fort Cobb Reservoir, Fort Gibson Lake, Grand Lake of the Cherokees, Great Salt Plains Lake, Hugo Lake, Kaw Lake, Keystone Lake, Lake Altus-Lugert, Lake Carl Blackwell, Lake Hudson, Lake Texoma, Oologah Lake, Robert S Kerr Reservoir, Skiatook Reservoir, Sooner Lake, Tom Steed Reservoir, and Webber Falls Reservoir. Most tributaries offer good fishing as well.

California striped bass lakes and rivers

The Colorado River used to support a spawning run of striped bass. This was prior to dame being built. Some large fish are still taken there. Productive California lakes include Lake Havasu, Pyramid Lake, Bucks Lake, Lake Mendocino, Los Vaqueros Reservoir, Millerton Lake, New Hogan Lake, San Luis Reservoir, The Delta, Canyon Lake, Castaic Lake, Diamond Valley Lake, Lake Cahuilla, Lake Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Lake Perris, Silverwood Lake and Skinner Reservoir.

Nevada Striped bass lakes

Lake Mead, Lake Lahontan, Washoe Lake, Lake Mohave, and Rye Patch Reservoir are the top Nevada striped bass Lakes.

In conclusion, this article on fishing for striped bass will help anglers be successful when targeting these terrific game fish!

26 Productive Trout Fishing Tips

26 Productive Trout Fishing Tips

This post will list 26 productive trout fishing tips. Trout fishing is extremely popular throughout North America and the world. The many trout species are all beautiful fish that fight hard and often leap out of the water. There are multiple species of trout that anglers can catch. They are found from the tiniest streams to the largest lakes. Many different techniques can be used to successfully fool wily trout.

26 useful trout fishing tips

There are several species of trout that freshwater anglers can pursue. Rainbow trout and brown trout are the most widely distributed species, with brook trout being a close third. Most trout caught these days are stocked, however native trout are available in many locations. Cutthrout trout, lake trout, tiger trout, bull trout, and Dolly Varden trout are other, less plentiful trout species.

While there are multiple species of trout found in streams and lakes, they behave in a similar manner in most instances. Therefore, they will all be covered together when discussing trout fishing tips, unless otherwise mentioned.

trout fishing tips

Special thanks to Bry Sims for the great pictures and trout fishing tips! Bry is an expert trout angler and trout and salmon guide in Alaska. You can book a trip with her HERE. Anglers can follow Bry on Instagram as well.

General trout fishing tips

There are some trout fishing tips that apply to all species in most waters and many different techniques. These will help anglers fishing for trout anywhere achieve more success.

1)  Match the hatch

trout fishinh tips

No matter where an angler is trout fishing, it is best to try and imitate the forage that trout are feeding on. This really applies to all types of fishing, not just trout. A lure, fly, or bait that closely mimics the available prey will often be the most productive offering.

2)  Attractor flies and lures produce as well.

While it seems to contradict the previous tip, there are times when going with something larger and more conspicuous will fool a trout into taking the offering. Large attractor flies are famous for this, but the same applies to lures as well. If subtle presentations do not produce, try something else!

fly fishing

3)  Stocked trout feed differently than native trout

This is a VERY important tip, one that many trout anglers overlook. It is good to know if the water being fished has native trout, stocked trout, or both. Stocked trout are used to feeding on man made fish food. Therefore, commercially available products are quite effective. Also, stocked trout often seek their food on the surface. This is not to say that traditional trout fishing lures and flies will not produce, quite the contrary. This is especially true the longer a trout has been acclimated it’s new home.

trout fishing blue ridge

4)  Understanding seasonal changes when trout fishing

One of the wonderful things about trout is that they are active all times of year and can be caught year round.  Each season requires its own tricks and tactics. River temperature is a major factor in determining the activity level of trout. Very warm and very cold water can both make trout more lethargic and less likely to feed. Aquatic insects make up a large part of what trout feed on in river systems and the temperature of the river can make a huge difference in the number and type of insects hatching.  

fishing for brown trout

In summer months, trout may be feeding on both terrestrial and aquatic insects. Some Bry’s favorite fly combinations for river fishing in the summer are grasshopper or other terrestrial dry fly patterns with one or two wet fly droppers. In summer you also have a proliferation of hatching insects like salmon flies, green drakes, caddis flies, mayflies etc that may be used as your dry fly pattern or indicator fly. 

fly fishing for trout

Fishing dry fly/nymph combinations is extremely effective in the spring, summer, and fall. Spring and fall can also have the added bonus of being spawning seasons for many species of trout.  Egg patterns are trout kryptonite when salmon and trout are spawning and fall is Bry’s personal favorite time of year. Fishing for rainbows and Dolly Varden in northern rivers with spawning salmon in the late summer and fall can be amazing! Fall is also a time when many river systems water levels and temperatures stabilize.  Spring runoffs often create less than ideal clarity and often more water in general which disperses the trout.

trout fishing

 Summer and fall tend to bring more crowds to trout fishing river destinations and fisherman in search of more solitude should not overlook the advantages of fishing for trout in the winter. Many trout freestone streams and rivers that hold trout will slow down in the winter months, but that is not to say that the trout are not still feeding. Concentrating on fishing with nymphs beneath strike indicators on warmer winter days can make for wonderful fishing.  Tailwater sections of rivers that have stable water temperatures beneath dams can keep winter water temperatures consistent and fish may feed on hatching insects year round in these areas.  

5)  Ice fishing for trout

ice fishing for rainbow trout

Trout are comfortable and feed well in cold water. This is particularly true for brook trout and lake trout. Therefore, ice fishing for trout can be very productive in both streams and lakes. Jigs, spoons, and live and cut baits will all be productive. Unlike many other species, trout remain active under the ice and often cruise around quite a bit and are found high in the water column.

Capt Jim has written several comprehensive articles on ice fishing for rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout and brook trout. Click the links to read them!

6)  Handle trout carefully!

brown trout fishing

Trout can be delicate and anglers should use as much care as possible when handling them for release. Smaller trout can be popped off using hemostats. Larger fished can be lifted briefly for a quick pic, but anglers should make sure to support the weight of the fish and revive it if necessary.

7)  Local knowledge is invaluable

While there are quite a few aspects of trout fishing that can apply anywhere, there is no substitute for local knowledge. This is especially true for fly anglers looking to match the local hatches and forage. Anglers can visit local shops and get some great advice while making a few purchases to support these small businesses.

trout fishing tips

8)  Hiring a guide is a great investment

A guided fishing trip can be expensive, depending on the financial situation of the angler. However, in most cases this is money well spent. Anglers may learn more in a few hours with a good guide than they might fishing alone in a year. It can really steepen the learning curve!

streamer fishing

9)  Tailwaters are terrific trout fishing spots

Tailwaters are the rivers below dams. These are fantastic spots for trout and many other species. The water flow and temperature can be controlled, often being tailored to ideal trout fishing conditions. Some of the top trout fishing spots in the world are tailwater fisheries. Anglers need to be careful and heed safety warnings as waters can rise very quickly.

Trout fishing in streams and small rivers

brook trout fishing lures

Many anglers associate trout fishing with streams, and for good reason. Smaller streams and rivers are perfect habitat for most trout species. They also are accessible to anglers without a boat.

10)  Light lines catch more stream trout

Trout in creeks, streams, and small rivers are usually quite spooky. The water is often clear as well. Lighter line and leaders will catch more fish. Many anglers are amazed at how many more strikes they get when going from 4 lb line to 2 lb line. The same applies to leaders for fly anglers.

brook trout fishing

11)  Fly anglers should use longer leaders and floating lines

In a similar vein to the previous tip, trout in shallow, clear water can be fussy. While fly anglers do not need to make long casts, a longer leader, up to 12 feet long, will definitely produce more strikes. This is especially true when fishing for brook trout in the tiny mountain creeks. While there are many line options, a floating line will be fine for this application.

12)  Spinners are the best river fishing lures

brown trout fishing lures

There are several types of artificial lures that will be productive when trout fishing in smaller streams. These include spinners, spoons, jigs, and plugs. However, in most cases, a small spinner is the best choice. Small spinners are light and land softly. They also snag the bottom less. Finally, they catch fish! Several manufacturers offer spinners with single, barbless hooks to comply with regulations and aid in successful releases. A 1/16 ounce spinner with a gold blade and brightly colored body is an excellent all-round choice.

Click to read more about fishing with spinners

13)  Fly choice for trout fishing in smaller streams

Trout in small streams tend to be very aggressive feeders as they often receive less pressure than fish in larger rivers do. Small streams tend to give trout very good access to terrestrial insects living along the river bank. Grasshoppers, ants, crickets, beetles, spiders, and a host of other tiny insects will often fall into streams and make excellent patterns for trout.  Small streams also have plenty of aquatic insects that live in the stream.  Mayflies, stoneflies, caddis flies and midges are just a few examples of insects that spend their larval stages growing and feeding in streams before hatching and mating at the end of their life cycle.  

trout fishing equipment

Using combinations of terrestrial and aquatic insect patterns in small streams can be deadly. Deeper pools in small streams can also be ideal locations for using streamer patterns as large fish in streams can become major fish eaters, often eating many of their cousins and even there own kind.  Other stream resident minnows like sculpins, dace, and trout fry can be imitated with a variety of streamer patterns and can be extremely effective in streams.  

trout fishing tips

Fish in streams tend to be wary and fly choice can be important when considering how to not spook your quarry. Bry often uses a highly visible dry fly when trying to make a delicate cast and presentation to finicky stream trout. It is hard to beat a good old fashioned grasshopper or ant pattern when stream fishing for trout. Favorite patterns for streams include Dave’s Hopper,  prince nymph, hare’s ear nymph, and brown sculpin.

14)  Trout holding spots

Locating trout in big and small rivers is based on several important factors. However, the most important component is a spot where can the fish access the most food while expending the least amount of energy. Feeding trout in both large and small rivers will often hold behind gravel bars, rocks, undercut banks or island seams where faster water is bringing food into breaks in the current. This allows fish to expend very little energy fighting the current while still having access to food that is drifting downstream.  

fly fishing for trout

Fish in small rivers will often hold in deep slow pools and runs below rapids. The bigger trout can usually be found in the very best pieces of structure that provide them with the first opportunity at food in a pool. Savvy anglers look to the head of the pool or riffle for the biggest trout. One exception to this rule is in shallow rivers where big trout need bigger, deeper pools and structure areas to feel safe from predators.

Big river trout that have started consuming large quantities of other fish will often reside in deep pools, moving into the shallows of slow water sections to hunt for minnows along the river banks. Winter trout will often move into slow moving water in the winter to conserve energy when less food is available.  

15)  Keep a low profile when fishing for trout

brown trout fishing lures

Anglers fishing the smaller streams and creeks should always be aware of how their presence will affect trout. They should walk quietly and avoid casting any shadows over the pool that is to be fished.

16)  Live bait can be effective in streams and small rivers

While most anglers opt to use either lures or flies when trout fishing in these smaller bodies, live bait, where legal, can certainly be used. Generally, bait works better in slightly larger streams and smaller rivers. Nightcrawlers and minnows are the top baits.

best 13 brown trout fishing lures

Trout fishing tips for larger rivers

Larger rivers provide anglers with some excellent trout fishing. However, they pose a few challenges as well. These trout fishing tips will help anglers be successful in larger waters.

17)  Safety first!

Large rivers will hold some trophy trout. However, they can unfortunately be deadly. Strong currents and deep water result in a dangerous situation. This is especially true for anglers wading. A PFD should be worn when wading big water. Anglers should also avoid fishing alone in these big rivers. Anglers in boats should exercise more caution as well.

trout fishing

18)  Beef up the tackle a bit

Anglers fishing these larger rivers can go heavier on the tackle than those fishing in smaller streams. The water is usually faster and not quite as clear. Anglers will need the heavier tackle as well when a big fish is hooked in the fast water. A 7′ medium light spinning rod with 8-10 lb line is a good combo. Fly anglers will do fine with a 7wt to 8wt outfit.

19)  larger lures produce in big rivers

Anglers will find that larger lures work better in the big rivers. These heavier lures can be cast farther, covering more water. Also, larger trout generally prefer larger meals. Larger spoons cast a mile and are very productive.

streamer fishing

20)  Streamers fool big trout for fly anglers

Streamers are very effective on trout in larger rivers. They can be tied to mimic bait fish, crustaceans, and insects. The Wooly Bugger is a classic streamer that will catch trout anywhere on the planet. Streamers are fished across and down current.

Anglers can read more about streamer fishing for trout in this article!

21)  Bait is productive in larger rivers

trout tips

Natural bait becomes a better option in larger rivers. Live baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, and crustaceans are effective. Eggs are deadly, particularly in rivers that experience salmon runs. Rainbow trout grow fat and happy gorging on salmon eggs.

22)  Trolling and drifting produces trout in large rivers

Trolling is very productive for trout in large rivers. It allows anglers to cover a lot of water in search of fish. The same applies to drifting, which in a fast current is a similar thing.

Trout fishing tips in lakes

lake trout fishing tackle

 

Anglers certainly catch a lot of trout in lakes as well. In most cases, these are the largest specimens. Trout can grow large on the abundant forage. The primary challenge when fishing for trout in lakes, unlike streams, is that there is a lot more water for them to be found in.

23) Trolling is the top fishing technique for trout in lakes

Most trout caught by anglers fishing in lakes are done so by trolling. The reason is simple; it is a very efficient technique. Trolling allows anglers to present multiple baits and different depths in search of fish. This can be as uncomplicated as pulling a spoon behind a small Jon boat or trolling in the Great Lakes with downriggers. Spoons and plugs are the top lures used.

salmon fishing in Great Lakes

24)  Trout in lakes are constantly cruising

Unlike trout in rivers, which tend to hold in certain spots due to current, fish in lakes tend to constantly cruise in search of forage. Often times, they do so high in the water column. Many freshwater fish species relate to structure. For the most part, trout do not. However, they will hang near schools of bait fish.

25)  Fly fishing can produce trout in lakes

Fly fishing can be an extremely effective method for taking trout in lakes. Like trout in rivers, aquatic insects are often a very important source of food for trout living in lakes. When fishing in a lake you may see trout on the surface, actively feeding on emerging or mating insects. On warm summer evenings the dry and dropper approach used on rivers can be extremely effective on lakes.

fly fishing in lakes

It is important to note that the majority of trout feeding that takes place in lakes is beneath the surface and identifying the primary food source in any given lake is critical. Fresh water shrimp, snails and a host of other aquatic insects and fish can be imitated effectively with hundreds of fly patterns tailored for catching trout in lakes. Fishing with stationary nymphs below a strike indicator is a sure way to fool even the wariest trout in a lake. A more aggressive and highly effective approach is to slowly strip streamers and large nymph patterns at the depth that trout are feeding.  

Fly fishing a lake has the advantage of allowing a fisherman to present very small insect fly imitations that are often the primary source of food for resident trout. Starting with big attractive flies and then gradually reducing the size of the offering until a productive pattern emerges is an excellent strategy. This is particularly true on unfamiliar lakes.

26)  Live bait works well in smaller lakes and ponds

Many ponds and smaller lakes have been stocked with trout, particularly rainbow trout. As mentioned earlier, stocked trout are raised on man made food and respond very well to commercially available baits as well as eggs and live bait. Worms and nightcrawlers are quite productive.

In conclusion, this article on 26 productive trout fishing tips will help anglers catch more of these terrific freshwater game fish!

 

 

 

Top 15 Pennsylvania game fish species

Top 15 Pennsylvania game fish species

This post will list the top 15 Pennsylvania game fish species. Pennsylvania offers anglers some outstanding freshwater fishing opportunities, from tiny streams to the open waters of Lake Erie! They are listed in no particular order. Fishing tips and locations will also be included.

Pennsylvania is a land locked state. Therefore, it only offers anglers freshwater fishing opportunities. There are many different species available and quite a few different techniques that can be used successfully.

Top Pennsylvania game fish species

smallmouth bass fishing tackle and lures

The list of the top 15 Pennsylvania game fish species:

  1. Largemouth bass
  2. Smallmouth bass
  3. Walleye
  4. Rainbow trout
  5. Brown trout
  6. Brook trout
  7. Striped bass
  8. Bluegill and panfish
  9. Northern Pike
  10. Muskellunge (musky)
  11. Catfish
  12. Crappie
  13. Chain pickerel
  14. Carp
  15. Yellow perch

There are opportunities and waters for every freshwater angler in the state of Pennsylvania. Anglers can fish ponds for bluegill, fly fish streams for trout, cast lures for bass in lakes, or troll for walleye in Lake Erie. Many anglers practice catch and release, however many species are good to eat as well.

Pennsylvania largemouth bass

best soft plastic lure

Largemouth bass are a popular freshwater game fish species in North America. Pennsylvania offers anglers some excellent fishing for them. They our first on the list of the top 15 Pennsylvania game fish species. Lakes abound throughout the state, as well as smaller farm ponds and slow moving rivers. Bass are decent to eat, but the vast majority of largemouth bass are released to fight another day.

Michigan fishing

Most anglers targeting largemouth bass do so using artificial lures. Soft plastic baits are very effective! Plugs, spinnerbaits, jigs, spinners, and even flies will fool them. Anglers using live bait opt for nightcrawlers, crayfish, and minnows.

Pennsylvania smallmouth bass

Pennsylvania smallmouth bass

Smallmouth bass are a terrific game fish species and Pennsylvania has an excellent population! The cool, clear waters of the state are perfect smallmouth bass habitat. They are found in streams, rivers, and lakes, including Lake Erie. Smallmouth bass are fine eating, though most are released.

Pennsylvania smallmouth bass

Smallmouth bass are a bit of a mix between largemouth bass and trout. They prefer clear water with some current. Mid sized rivers like the Susquehanna are great spots to fish. However, they can tolerate warmer water than trout. The same lures and baits that produce largemouth bass work fine for smallmouth, though usually smaller in size.

Pennsylvania walleye

walleye fishing, a beginners guide

Walleye are a gamefish that are prized by pennsylvaia anglers. They are third on the list of the top 15 Pennsylvania game fish species. While they are a pretty fish that puts up a decent tussle, the reason for their popularity is the fantastic value on a dinner plate. Walleye are perhaps the finest tasting fish in freshwater! Lake Erie is the top spot, though they are found in many larger lake and river systems throughout Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania walleye

Trolling is the most effective method when pursuing walleye. It allows anglers to cover a lot of water in search of fish. Anglers can present multiple lures and baits at one time. Plugs are very effective, as are nighcrawlers on a harness. The famous Erie Dearie was invented there. Drifting works as well and anglers can even cast lures in shallow water. Ice fishing for walleye is also popular and productive.

Pennsylvania rainbow trout

steelhead

Many anglers associate Pennsylvania with trout fishing, and for good reason. The state offers countless miles of productive trout streams along with lakes and larger rivers. Pennsylvania has an aggressive stocking program to keep the waters full of fish. There are areas of puts intake fishing where the trout are meant to be harvested. This usually occurs and bodies of water that get too warm in the summer for trout to survive.

Rainbow trout are one of the most recognizable game fish species in the world. They are also widely distributed and are the most popular of the major trout species. Many anglers fly fish for rainbow trout, but lures such as spoons and spinners are effective, as is live bait. Rainbow trout are very good to eat.

Minnesota trout fishing

Some rainbow trout exhibit a particular behavior. They move out into the open waters of Lake Erie, then return to their native creeks and rivers to spawn. This same behavior occurs when rainbow trout move out into the open oceans as well. These fish take on a distinct color pattern and are known as steelhead trout. They are large and strong and put up an incredible fight.

Pennsylvania brown trout

best trout lures

Brown trout are plentiful in Pennsylvania as well. They are the largest of the three main trout species and can tolerate water that is a bit warmer. They grow large in lakes and are found in most of the same rivers and streams as rainbow trout. Brown trout are heavily stocked. Like most trout, they are excellent to eat.

Brown trout are caught by anglers casting flies, lures, and live baits in creeks, streams, rivers, and lakes. They inhabit many of the same waters as rainbow trout. The largest brown trout are caught by anglers in the open waters of Lake Erie. These trout feed heavily on the abundant forage and grow quite large.

Pennsylvania brook trout

brook trout fishing

Brook trout are the smallest of the three trout species, and perhaps the most beautiful. They have a bit of a cult following for anglers seeking “native brookies”. Brook trout can be found in the tiniest of streams, often high in the mountains. They are stocked as well in the larger, more accessible waters. They are terrific eating and are often fried whole for breakfast.

Pennsylvania striped bass

striped bass fishing tips and spots

Striped bass are a fishing management success story throughout the United States. They are a species that can tolerate salt and fresh waters and our next on the list of top 15 Pennsylvania game fish species. Striped bass are an open water fish and were perfect for the large, deep reservoirs. Herring and shad were stocked as forage and striped bass have thrived. Trolling is the preferred method, though casting lures can be productive as well. Live herring and shad are terrific live baits. Striped bass grow large, fight hard, and are very good to eat!

Pennsylvania bluegill and panfish

Sarasota freshwater fishing

Bluegill and other panfish species may be the most popular and sought after of all fish. There are several reasons for this. They are abundant, widely distributed, fairly aggressive and easy to catch, great fun to catch, and are fantastic eating! Pennsylvania offers anglers some very good bluegill and panfish fishing opportunities.

Many panfish are caught by anglers using live bait such as worms and crickets. Fishing a live bait under a float is a time proven successful method that anyone can do. Bluegill and panfish are most often found in fairly shallow water, around weeds, boat docks, and fallen trees. Warmer months are generally best, but they can be caught by anglers ice fishing as well.

Pennsylvania northern pike

spinnerbait fishing for pike

Northern Pike are an apex predator. They are one of the largest of all freshwater fish species in Pennsylvania offers anglers excellent pike fishing. Northern pike prefer cooler water temperatures which many Pennsylvania lakes offer. They do not prefer areas with high current flow, instead preferring to ambush prey on shallow water flats. Submerged weed beds in particular are prime northern pike fishing spots.

Most anglers fish for Pike with artificial lures. Spoons and large spinners in particular are very effective, as are plugs and even soft plastic lures. This allows them to cover a lot of water and searching fish while also appealing to the aggressive nature of pike. It’s northern pike continue to feed when the water is cold, they are prime target for anglers who enjoy ice fishing. A live bait fish such as a sucker is the top choice. Pike are bony, yet are very good eating for anglers who take the time to learn how to clean them.

Pennsylvania muskellunge

river fishing for musky

Many anglers consider muskellunge, also known as musky, to be the ultimate freshwater fishing challenge. They did not earn their nickname “a fish of 10,000 casts” by accident. Musky fishing requires dedication as well as the ability to cast heavy artificial lures for a long period of time in search of a feeding fish. However, the effort will pay off in the fish of a lifetime. Pennsylvania offers anglers some very good musky fishing in both lakes and river systems. Almost all musky are released unharmed.

Pennsylvania catfish

channel catfish bait

Catfish are another popular and plentiful fish species found in Pennsylvania. Some anglers failed to consider them a game fish, but this is a mistake! Catfish are aggressive and grow quite large. The reputation of being bottom feeding scavengers is not deserved. Catfish much prefer a fresh or lively bait and are regularly taken by anglers fishing for largemouth bass with artificial lures.

There are two main catfish species in Pennsylvania; channel catfish and flathead catfish. Channel catfish are smaller and much more plentiful, being available and most waters that are warm enough to support them. They have a varied diet and can be caught on just about any live or cut bait. Flathead catfish grow larger and are more solitary, thus less numerous. They are primarily taken by anglers using large live bait fish.

Pennsylvania crappie

top freshwater species

Crappie are the largest member of the pan fish species and are found in decent numbers throughout Pennsylvania, though they are not as abundant as some other states. Crappie fishing has become quite popular throughout the United States, particularly due to the advent of tournaments. They are normally found in large schools and are most often sought after in the spring and early summer. Live minnows and small jigs are the top baits used to catch them. Crappie are fantastic eating!

Pennsylvania chain pickerel

top freshwater fish list

Chain pickerel are basically a smaller version of northern pike. They have all of the same aggressive tendencies and behaviors, just in a smaller package. They are great fun when caught by anglers using appropriately light tackle. Like the other members of their family, they are bony and very few anglers keep them to eat. Shallow, weedy lakes and rivers are prime spots to catch chain pickerel.

Pennsylvania carp

fishing for carp

Carp are another fish that often suffers from an unfair reputation. They are bottom feeders that swim about feeding on whatever they run across. However, they grow large and can put up a fantastic fight for anglers using light or medium spinning tackle. Most carp are caught by anglers bottom fishing with corn, dough balls, and nightcrawlers in slow-moving rivers and in some lakes and ponds. They are not considered to be good to eat.

Pennsylvania yellow perch

yellow perch fishing

Yellow perch are smaller cousins to walleye, though they are often included in the panfish family. For the purposes of this list, they are listed separately due to their habits. Yellow perch are most often caught in the open waters of lakes in fairly deep water. Lake Erie in particular is a prime spot to target yellow perch. They also make runs up into tributary creeks in the spring to spawn. Yellow perch are beautiful fish that put up a great little battle on ultralight spinning tackle. They are a very popular species for anglers ice fishing as they still feed well in cold water. Many anglers consider them to be the best tasting freshwater fish that swims!

In conclusion, this article on the top 15 Pennsylvania game fish species will help anglers catch more fish in the Keystone state!

 

Top 12 Michigan Game Fish Species

Top 12 Michigan Game Fish Species

smallmouth bass fishing

This post will list the top 12 Michigan game fish species. Michigan offers anglers many excellent fishing opportunities. There are many different techniques used to catch a wide variety of freshwater game fish.

The top 12 Michigan game fish species are;

  • Smallmouth bass
  • Walleye
  • Northern pike
  • Largemouth bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Crappie
  • Panfish
  • Yellow perch
  • Lake trout
  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • catfish

top 12 Michigan game fish species

Special thanks to Christina Robinson for the great pictures! She is a serious multi-species angler in Michigan. Follow Christina on Instagram.

Best Michigan fishing techniques

There are several different techniques that produce for anglers fishing in Michigan. Casting lures and live baits is the most popular technique. It can be done from a boat as well as the shoreline. Casting produces all Michigan game fish.

Michigan fishing

Bottom fishing is a fishing technique that has been around a very long time. Since many fish, walleye in particular, relate to bottom structure, bouncing a live bait or lure off the bottom can be very productive.

Trolling is a very efficient fishing technique which allows anglers to cover a lot of water in search of fish. It produces most of the salmon, lake trout, and walleye caught by Michigan anglers.

top 12 Michigan game fish

Fly fishing is a bit of a specialized technique. Many anglers associate it with stream trout fishing, and for good reason. However, anglers fly fishing will catch most species that are found in shallow water.

Ice fishing is extremely popular in Michigan! Many fish are just as active under the ice as they are in open water. Obviously, no boat is required to enjoy a productive day ice fishing.

ice fishing in Michigan

Top 12 Michigan game fish species

Here is the list of top Michigan game fish species, in no particular order. Tips and top spots will be included.

Michigan smallmouth bass

fishing for bass

Smallmouth bass are a terrific freshwater game fish! They are often associated with rivers, but are certainly found in many Michigan lakes as well. They average a pound or so but grow to over six pounds. The many bays in Lake Michigan in particular provide some of the best smallmouth bass fishing found anywhere.

Read more about smallmouth bass fishing in this article!

Anglers catch smallmouth bass on lures, live baits, and by anglers fly fishing. They can be taken through the ice as well. Smallmouth bass prefer cool, clear water. They are good to eat, but like largemouth bass, the vast majority are released to please other anglers.

Michigan Walleye

walleye fishing in Michigan

Walleye are an extremely popular species, and they are second list of the top 12 Michigan game fish species. Walleye are found in many lakes and river systems. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron give up some of the largest Michigan walleye.Walleye prefer cold, clear water.

Read more about walleye fishing in this article

Walleye usually, but not always, feed on or near the bottom. Trolling is an excellent technique to locate and catch them. Live bait such as nightcrawlers, minnows, and leeches work well. While walleye are not the toughest battlers, they more than make up for it on the dinner plate! Most anglers consider walleye to be the best eating fish caught anywhere.

Michigan northern pike

top Michigan species

Northern pike are an apex predator and certainly are one of the top Michigan game fish. Pike are aggressive and are mostly taken by anglers fishing with large, flashy artificial lures. Spoons, spinners, and plugs are effective lures. However, they will certainly take live baits as well. Northern pike are most often associated with shallow weedy flats. Ice fishing for northern pike is quite popular and productive in Michigan as pike thrive in cold water. They are good to eat, but are bony and a bit difficult to clean.

Michigan largemouth bass

bass fishing in Michigan

Largemouth bass are probably the most popular game fish in the United States, and Michigan offers excellent fishing for them. They are next on the list of the top 12 Michigan game fish species. Tournaments have really resulted in their explosion in popularity.

Read more about largemouth bass fishing in this article!

These hard fighting fish are found in a variety of waters from small ponds to the largest lakes. Largemouth bass prefer warmer, slower moving water. Bass are aggressive predators and are caught by anglers using both lures and live baits. While decent to eat, most anglers practice catch and release.

Michigan muskellunge

Miching game fish species

Muskellunge, also known as “musky”, are a top predator and game fish in Michigan. They grow quite large and are one of the most challenging species to catch. Musky are called the ‘fish of 10,000 casts” for good reason. Most musky are caught by anglers casting artificial lures. They inhabit the same environments as pike, particularly shallow, weedy bays and coves. Afternoon is often the best time to catch them, especially on cloudy days. Very few musky are killed by anglers, most are released.

Michigan crappie

crappie fishing in Michigan

Crappie are next on the list of the top 12 Michigan game fish species. They do not put up a spectacular fight, all things considered. However, they are a beautiful fish that are fantastic eating. Crappie tournaments have increased their popularity. Trolling with jigs or live minnows is extremely productive. Crappie school up and once located, the bite can be fast. Crappie will bite through the ice as well.

Michigan panfish

Michigan panfish

Michigan has an excellent population of bluegill, sunfish, rock bass, and other panfish. Obviously, ultralight tackle is the best choice. Live bait probably accounts for the most fish, though lures will produce, especially for the aggressive bluegill. Worms, maggots, and crickets are top live baits. Spinners and jigs fool them as well. Ice fishing for panfish in very popular in Michigan.

Michigan yellow perch

Michigan yellow perch

Yellow perch are smaller cousins to walleye. They are a beautiful fish that put up a great fight on light tackle and are 8th on the list of top 12 Michigan game fish. Yellow perch school up in larger lakes, especially Lake Michigan. Once located, a bunch of perch can be caught in short order. Jigs and live minnows are the top producers. They prefer cool, clear water. They are a favorite of anglers ice fishing as they feed actively in cold water. Yellow perch are as good an eating fish as any that swims.

Michigan lake trout

Lake trout are the largest of the trout species found in Wisconsin. In fact, they are one of the largest freshwater species in North America. Most lake trout are caught in large, deep lakes, especially the Great Lakes. Trolling is the most productive technique as it allows anglers to cover a lot of water. They put up a decent fight, though a lot of it is just their size. Ice fishing is very productive as lake trout feed actively in cold water. Smaller fish are good to eat, larger specimens are usually released.

Michigan trout species

Michigan brook trout

Michigan offers anglers the opportunity to catch several other trout species; rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. All can be caught through the ice as well as in open water. Brook trout are the smallest, but perhaps the most beautiful. Most Michigan brook trout are caught by anglers fishing smaller streams.

steelhead

Rainbow trout are probably the most recognizable fish in North America, due to the distinctive red stripe. They are heavily stocked and found throughout Michigan in streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. Fish that move out into the Great Lakes and return to streams to spawn are called “steelhead” trout.

best 13 brown trout fishing lures

Brown trout are abundant in Michigan as well. They are heavily stocked and can tolerate warmer water than the other trout species. Brown trout are also the largest of the three stream trout species. Some very large fish are caught in the Great Lakes!

Michigan salmon

best fishing techniques

There are several different salmon species available to anglers fishing in Michigan. These include chinook or king salmon, coho or silver salmon, Atlantic salmon and pink salmon. Chinook salmon are the largest while Atlantic salmon are the rarest of the four. Pink salmon are usually caught in Great Lakes tributary rivers.

Great Lakes salmon fishing

Most salmon are caught by Michigan anglers trolling in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. In the fall, the rivers become the top spots as salmon begin their spawning migrations. Salmon populations continually fluctuate due to forage, stocking, and other factors. They are obviously highly desired due to both size and eating quality.

Michigan catfish

Manitoba fishing tips

Catfish are last on the list of top 12 Michigan game fish species. Michigan offers anglers the opportunity to catch all three of the primary North American catfish species; channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish. Most are taken by anglers fishing live or cut bait in slow moving rivers and lakes. These fish grow large, put up a great fight, and are terrific to eat!

In conclusion, this article on the top 12 Michigan game fish species will help anglers identify and catch these terrific game fish!

Best 5 Fishing Techniques, Pro tips!

Best 5 Fishing Techniques

This post will list the best 5 fishing techniques. These basic fishing techniques will allow anglers to be successful and just about every situation.

best fishing techniques

The best 5 fishing techniques are:

  • Casting
  • Trolling
  • Bottom fishing
  • Drift fishing
  • Fly fishing

Capt. Jim Klopfer is a fishing guide in Sarasota Florida. He has been doing this since 1991. Capt. Jim is a well-rounded angler who has fished all over the country. He has broken down fishing into these best 5 fishing techniques in an attempt to simplify and help anglers better understand how to catch more fish.

Anglers can see the fishing equipment that Capt Jim uses on his fishing charters.

“Fishing Lido Key is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. ”

smallmouth bass fishing

There are many different baits and lures which can be used. However, they all still fall into the techniques being used as opposed to what’s actually tied onto the end of the line. That is the approach that will be taken in this article.

Best fishing techniques; casting

Casting is the most popular angling technique. This is simply the act of tying on a lure or bait and using the rod and reel to launch the lure or bait a distance away. This can be done from a boat or from shore as well as bridges and piers. Casting has the advantage in that anglers can position their offerings exactly where desired and easily reel it back in and repeat the process.

freshwater fishing tackle

Anglers can cast both natural baits and artificial lures successfully. Artificial lures are cast out and retrieved back in. Live and cut baits are usually allowed to set relatively still and use scent or action to attract fish to the hook.

Casting with lures

Casting and retrieving artificial lures has one huge advantage over anglers fishing with bait; they can cover a lot more water in search of fish. Lures are available in many different variations which allow them to cover the entire water column, from the surface down to the bottom.

fishing for largemouth bass

Lures are usually cast out towards some type of structure that an angler think may hold fish. This includes man-made structure such as docks and natural structure including vegetation, points, drop-offs, and ledges. Fish will strike lures for a variety of reasons other than hunger. These include anger, excitement, competition, and defense.

Bait fishing

Many anglers cast out a live or cut bait in search of fish. This was probably the way man first began to fish, by attaching some live bait to a hook and throwing it into the water. As simple as this is, it still continues to catch fish to this day. It is perhaps the most dependable fishing technique out there and works well for novice anglers.

top 25 Carolina game fish

Live bait can be presented in a variety of manners. Anglers can fish it under a float to suspend the bait at the desired level as well is using the float to indicate a strike. This is often done when casting to shoreline vegetation in fairly shallow water. Bait can also be allowed to swim on it so naturally with nothing but a hook. This is called free lining a bait.

guide to inshore saltwater fishing

Many anglers cast a bait out with the use of a sinker or weight. The weight not only provides the angler the ability to cast the bait out quite a distance, it also takes it down to the bottom were many fish feed. This is especially true with any type of cut bait or commercially prepared baits.

Anglers can purchase Capt Jim’s E-book, “Inshore Saltwater Fishing” for $5 by clicking on the title link. It is 23,000 words long and covers tackle, tactics, and species.

Best fishing techniques; trolling

Trolling is a very effective fishing technique. It basically involves slowly moving the boat forward while pulling multiple lines behind. Technically, trolling can be accomplished by anglers walking a shoreline or seawall, but the vast majority of trolling is done with a boat. The primary advantage is to be able to offer multiple baits at various depths. This aids greatly in finding fish when they are scattered out over a large area or suspended in open water.

top 25 carolina game fish

There are several methods that anglers can use when trolling to get the lures or baits down to the desired depth. The easiest trolling method is to use diving plugs. These are hard bodied lures that resemble bait fish. They have a large lip on the front which determines the depth at which the plug will run. This makes it fairly easy for an angler to work the depth that is desired. These lures have excellent built in action as well.

walleye fishing, a beginners guide

Sinkers are another fairly simple method used by anglers when trolling to control the depth at which there baits will run. Anglers have the choice of using an in-line sinker or a sinker on a drop her off of a three-way swivel. Both work fine, though the in-line sinker is used in open water and the three-way swivel is used when snags are more of a problem.

Trolling techniques

Downrigger’s are expensive and a bit more complicated, but are an excellent tool to use to control depth when trolling. It looks like a small fishing rod with an arm and a real. It uses a wire cable and a heavy ball to get down to the desired depth. There is a clip on the ball that releases when a fish strikes. This technique was developed by anglers in the Great Lakes to catch salmon and trout.

salmon fishing in Great Lakes

Planers are the final method used by anglers when trolling to control depth. These are clever devices that dig down into the water when pulled then trip or release when a fish strikes. They are more common in saltwater fishing that in freshwater fishing and allow anglers to troll quite fast, up to 7 miles an hour or so.

Light tackle trolling in Saltwater

While lures are mostly used, anglers can use live bait with this fishing technique as well. This is a bit of a specialty application used in salt water and in freshwater for striped bass. Anglers control live bait using sinkers or behind a downrigger.

Best fishing techniques; bottom fishing

Bottom fishing is an extremely effective fishing technique. The reality is that more fish relate to bottom structure then do those that swim or suspend in the middle of the water column. Structure on the bottom provides cover and safety as well as forage. Therefore, presenting a lure or live bait on the bottom will be productive and many fishing situations.

mutton snapper

Most bottom fishing is done by anglers using live or cut bait. Since artificial lures are usually on the move, they are not quite as effective when bottom fishing. Conversely, both live bait and cut bait our perfect for bottom fishing. Anglers have several different rigs to choose from, but all are similar in that they use a weight or sinker and a hook or hooks to present a live bait or chunk of cut bait on the bottom.

Most bottom fishing is done on some type of structure. In freshwater fishing, this can include fallen timber, submerged rock piles, sloping points, and channel edges as well as man-made structures such as bridges. Anglers saltwater fishing will bottom fish over natural reefs and ledges, wrecks, artificial reefs, and more.

Manitoba fishing tips

While most bottom fishing is done with live or cut bait, anglers can certainly present artificial lures on the bottom as well. This is most often done with slow-moving soft plastic baits such as plastic worms and to baits. Jigs can also be used. While not strictly considered bottom fishing, these lures are slowly worked or crawled across the bottom in search of fish.

Best fishing techniques; drift fishing

Drift fishing is a very efficient angling technique. It is similar to trolling in that anglers can cover a good amount of area in search of fish while keeping the baits directly in the strike zone. The difference is that instead of using a boat to move the lures or baits, natural elements such as current and wind are used to move the boat over a productive area.

walleye fishing tackle and lures

The two primary components involved in drift fishing are wind and current. In freshwater fishing lakes, when will be the determining factor in most cases, though there are situations where current can be strong. In saltwater fishing, current created by tidal flow are much stronger. Wind is certainly a factor as well.

The basic technique for drift fishing is fairly simple. An angler determines the area that he or she wants to fish, then positions the boat upwind or up tide of the area to be fished. The boat then slowly drifts across that area while lures are presented at the desired depth. Baits are often presented right on the bottom in this situation. Live and cut baits are very effective. Anglers can certainly present live baits or lures anywhere in the water column while drift fishing.

best Sarasota fishing charter

The two top artificial lures used when drift fishing are bucktail jigs and jigging spoons. Both are very effective lures that work well and a drift fishing situation. They put out great action when presented vertically and can be used to work the entire water column. Anglers can even combine the two and use a jig or spoon with a live bait or piece of cut bait attached.

Fly fishing

Fly fishing is the most difficult fishing technique to master. There are a lot of factors involved. Many books have been written on the subject but we will briefly cover fly fishing here.

Sarasota Spanish mackerel fishing

The primary difference between fly fishing and other types of fishing are that with fly fishing the the line is cast out and the fly follows behind. In all other types of fishing, the lure or bait provides the weight. However, fishing flies weight next to nothing it would be impossible to cast using their weight alone.

Flies can be used to work the entire water column from the surface down to the bottom. Anglers have a wide variety of choices and lines and flies that allow them to do so. Floating lines will stay on the surface while anglers can purchase sinking lines that sink at varying rates to match the current fishing conditions.

streamer fishing

The fly itself can mimic either a fly or just about any other type of forage that fish feed on. Many anglers associate fly fishing with trout fishing and streams, but anglers fly fish for just about every species in both fresh and saltwater. Any fish that will take and artificial lure can be caught on a fly.

In conclusion, this article on the best five fishing techniques will hopefully simplify all of the fishing variables and help anglers be more successful out on the water!

Top 15 Wisconsin Game Fish Species

Top 16 Wisconsin Game Fish Species

This post will list the top 16 Wisconsin game fish species. Wisconsin offers anglers some of the best freshwater fishing opportunities in North America! Most of these species can be caught through the ice as well.

Wisconsin game fish species

The top 16 Wisconsin game fish species are:

  • Muskellunge
  • Walleye
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Largemouth bass
  • Northern pike
  • Crappie
  • Brook trout
  • Rainbow trout
  • Brown trout
  • Lake trout
  • Coho salmon
  • Chinook salmon
  • Channel catfish
  • Flathead catfish
  • Panfish
  • Lake sturgeon

These species all offer anglers great sport and some are terrific to eat as well. The list of each species will include some tips and interesting facts.

Muskellunge

top freshwater game fish

Muskellunge, also known as “musky”, are a top predator and game fish in Wisconsin. They grow quite large and are one of the most challenging species to catch. Musky are called the ‘fish of 10,000 casts” for good reason. Most musky are caught by anglers casting artificial lures. They inhabit the same environments as pike, particularly shallow, weedy bays and coves. Afternoon is often the best time to catch them. Very few musky are killed by anglers, most are released.

Walleye

best bait for freshwater fishing

 

Walleye are an extremely popular species, and they are second list of the top 16 Wisconsin game fish species. Walleye are found in many lakes and river systems. Walleye prefer cold, clear water. They usually, but not always, feed on or near the bottom. Trolling is an excellent technique to locate and catch walleye. Live bait such as nightcrawlers, minnows, and leeches work well. While walleye are not the toughest battlers, they more than make up for it on the dinner plate! Most anglers consider walleye to be the best eating fish caught anywhere.

Smallmouth bass

best 7 river smallmouth fishing lures

Smallmouth bass are a terrific freshwater game fish! They are often associated with rivers, but are certainly found in many Wisconsin lakes as well. They average a pound or so but grow to over six pounds. The Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay areas provides some of the best smallmouth bass fishing found anywhere. Anglers catch them on both lures and live baits. Smallmouth bass prefer cool, clear water. They are good to eat, but like largemouth bass, the vast majority are released to please other anglers.

Largemouth bass

best largemouth bass fishing lures for beginners

 

Largemouth bass are probably the most popular game fish in the United States, and Wisconsin offers excellent fishing for them. They are next on the list of the top 16 Wisconsin game fish species. Tournaments have really resulted in their explosion in popularity. They are found in a variety of waters from small ponds to the largest lakes. Largemouth bass prefer warmer, slower moving water. Bass are aggressive predators and are caught by anglers using both lures and live baits. While decent to eat, most anglers practice catch and release.

Northern pike

northern pike lures

 

Northern pike are an apex predator and certainly are one of the top Wisconsin game fish. Pike are aggressive and are mostly taken by anglers fishing with large, flashy artificial lures. Spoons, spinners, and plugs are effective lures. However, they will certainly take live baits as well. Northern pike are most often associated with shallow weedy flats. Ice fishing for northern pike is quite popular and productive as pike thrive in cold water. They are good to eat, but are bony and a bit difficult to clean.

Crappie

fishing for crappie

 

Crappie are next on the list of the top 16 Wisconsin game fish species. They do not put up a spectacular fight, all things considered. However, they are a beautiful fish that are fantastic eating, perhaps only second to walleye in that regard. Crappie tournaments have increased their popularity. Trolling with jigs or live minnows is extremely productive. Crappie school up and once located, the bite can be fast. Crappie will bite through the ice as well. Many anglers target them in the spring when they move in shallow and are easier to catch as they spawn. Determined anglers will catch them year-round over deeper structure.

Brook trout

best trout tackle

Brook trout are the smallest of the three major trout species. They demand cold, clean, clear water. Brook trout are most often caught shallow, even in the tiniest of streams, though Lake Michigan gives up some big brook trout. They are very active under the ice. Most are taken in lakes on live bait and small spinners and spoons. Brook trout are the only stream trout that are native to Wisconsin. Flies and other small lures work well in streams. Many anglers consider brook trout to be the best eating on the trout species.

Rainbow trout

rainbow trout fishing lures

Rainbow trout are one of the most recognizable fish species, with their bright red stripe. Wisconsin has an excellent population of rainbow trout in streams, rivers, and lakes. They are heavily stocked to please anglers. Spinners, spoons, flies, and live and prepared baits will all fool rainbow trout. Trolling works well in larger lakes. Fly fishing is popular in streams. Rainbow trout that move into Lake Michigan and then back to the rivers are called “steelhead trout” as they take on a different look. Rainbow trout are excellent to eat.

Brown trout

best 13 brown trout fishing lures

Brown trout grow the largest of the three major trout species and are next on the list of top 16 Wisconsin game fish species. They also tolerate the warmest water, resulting in them being the most widely distributed. Brown trout generally prefer larger streams and lakes. Casting, trolling, and fly fishing are all effective techniques. Ice fishing produces as well. Lake Michigan holds some very large brown trout. Smaller specimens are quite good to eat.

Lake trout

Alberta fishing tips

Lake trout are the largest of the trout species found in Minnesota. In fact, they are one of the largest freshwater species in North America. Most lake trout are caught in Lake Michigan. Trolling is the most productive technique as it allows anglers to cover a lot of water. They put up a decent fight, though a lot of it is just their size. Ice fishing is very productive as lake trout feed actively in cold water. Smaller fish are good to eat.

Coho salmon

Minnesota salmon fishing

Coho salmon, also known as silver salmon, are a smaller, but more numerous salmon species. They, like chinook salmon, in Wisconsin they are found in Lake Michigan and it’s tributaries. Trolling works best in the big lake while casting and fly fishing produces in the rivers. Coho salmon are terrific to eat.

Chinook Salmon

Great Lakes salmon fishing

Chinook salmon, or king, salmon are primarily caught in Lake Michigan and it’s tributary rivers and streams. They are a fantastic game fish whether caught trolling in deep water or on fly tackle in the rivers. Chinook salmon were stocked decades ago and their numbers seem to rise and fall. Obviously, chinook salmon are fantastic eating.

Channel catfish

Manitoba fishing tips

Channel catfish are the most widely distributed and numerous members of the three major catfish found in North America. They are quite abundant and plentiful and most warm water bodies of water in Wisconsin. They put up an excellent battle for anglers using tackle matched to their size. The vast majority of catfish are caught by anglers using live or cut bait. However, channel catfish are not scavengers and prefer a fresh dead or live bait over a stinking rotting piece of meat on the bottom. Quite a few channel catfish are caught by anglers casting artificial lures for bass and other species as well. Slow moving rivers and lakes are top spots to catch them. They are fantastic eating!

Flathead catfish

flathead catfish fishing

Flathead catfish, also known as yellow cats, are a bit of a specialty catfish species. Most anglers who catch them do so on purpose. They prefer slow-moving rivers and are more solitary than the other two catfish species. They are much less prevalent than channel catfish. Most of them are caught by anglers using large live bait such as panfish or suckers. They grow quite large, reaching weights of over 100 pounds, and are good to eat.

Panfish

fishing for bluegill

Bluegill and panfish do not grow very large, however they are every bit the game fish. Pound for pound, they are one of the toughest little battlers an angler will encounter. Wisconsin has an excellent population of bluegill, sunfish, rock bass, and other panfish. Obviously, ultralight tackle is the best choice. Live bait probably accounts for the most fish, though lures will produce, especially for the aggressive bluegill.

best bluegill lures

One of the reasons for the popularity of bluegill and other panfish is there accessibility. These species inhabit just about every warm freshwater body of water in the United States, and Wisconsin is no exception. Many are caught through the ice. Also, due to their prolific nature, anglers can keep a bunch of fish with a clear conscience. Bluegill and panfish are fantastic on the dinner plate.

Lake sturgeon

top fish species

Sturgeon are a success story in Wisconsin, though the species is always in danger. Stocking efforts and strict management resulted in the sturgeon fishery rebounding. Habitat quality and dams are the primary obstacles to their success. Pacific sturgeon grow very large, lake surgeon in Wisconsin are big, but not the giants seen out west. They are caught in lakes and rivers by anglers bottom fishing.

In conclusion, this article on the top 16 Wisconsin game fish species will help anglers achieve more success!

Great Lakes Salmon Fishing

Great Lakes Salmon Fishing

Great Lakes salmon fishing

This article will thoroughly cover Great Lakes salmon fishing. While walleye, smallmouth bass, and trout are very popular species, many anglers consider salmon to be the ultimate prize. The tackle, tactics, and techniques used by top professional and recreational anglers will be shared in this post.

Salmon were introduced into the Great Lakes as early as the 1800s. The fishery has certainly had its ups and downs over time. However, salmon stocks are steady and doing well currently. It is important for anglers to properly identify each salmon species as well as understanding the current regulations where he or she is fishing.

These regulations vary by region. It is also import to properly identify trout and salmon species.  Here is a link to help.

Chinook salmon in the Great Lakes

Great Lakes salmon fishing

The Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, is the largest species of salmon that anglers will find in the Great Lakes fishery. They were introduced in the 1800s but failed. However, they were successfully reintroduced in the mid-60s and are currently doing well. Male Chinook salmon usually live for a couple of years and females from 3-4 years. Mature female Chinook are obviously larger.

Chinook salmon make their spawning runs up tributary rivers in late summer and into fall. By mid October, the run is pretty much over and the fish have turned quite dark. This is quite similar to the way Chinook salmon on the West Coast behave. Mature Chinook salmon in the Great Lakes average 8-10 pounds with 30 pounds being a nice fish!

Coho salmon are popular as well

salmon fishing

Coho salmon are the next largest species of salmon found in the Great Lakes fishery. They were introduced in the late 60’s as well. The Coho salmon are mostly responsible for the popularity of salmon fishing in this region. Early in the year, Coho salmon can be caught by anglers fishing from shore. In the summer, they move out deeper.

Coho salmon follow a similar spawning migration to the Chinook salmon. In most cases, anglers will encounter more Chinook in rivers than Coho salmon. An average Coho will weigh 8 pounds with 20 pounds being a nice fish.

Great Lakes pink salmon

pink salmon

Pink salmon are the smallest of the Pacific salmon, averaging 3-5 pounds. They established themselves in Lake Huron in the 1950s. Pink salmon are the are most numerous in Lake Huron tributaries, with the Carp River and the St. Mary’s River being top spots.

Pink salmon ordinarily spawn every two years. However, enough one year old and three year old salmon spawn, resulting in fish being found in the rivers every season.

Atlantic salmon

Atlantic salmon are renowned for their fighting abilities. They pull very hard and often leap high out of the water. While they can be caught in the open water, most anglers target them in fast-moving rivers from early fall into winter.

Great Lakes salmon fishing tackle

Anglers fishing for salmon in the Great Lakes will require vastly different tackle, depending on the type of water they are fishing and the size of the fish being targeted. Trolling with conventional tackle is by far the most productive technique in the open waters. Anglers fishing the Great Lakes from shore most often use spinning tackle, however light conventional tackle can be used as well.

salmon fishing in Great Lakes

Once the salmon move into tributary rivers and streams, spinning and fly tackle are predominantly used. In the larger rivers with deeper holes and pools, some anglers do use conventional tackle control and present natural bait.

Trolling tackle for salmon in the Great Lakes

trolling with downriggers

As mentioned above, the vast majority of salmon caught by anglers fishing in the Great Lakes is done so by trolling. While the active trolling is simply driving the boat along at slow speeds while pulling lures or cut baits behind, it is much more complicated than that. Speed and depth control are extremely important. Trolling multiple lines at various depths and lengths behind the boat takes practice, particularly on a breezy, choppy day.

Conventional outfits are best suited for this type of fishing. Casting is not required, as the lines are simply let out behind the boat. Conventional reels hold a lot of line and reels most often used for salmon trolling have line counters on them. The rods are often a bit longer and limber. This allows them to absorb the shock when a big fish hits.

walleye trolling rods

Fortunately, several manufacturers offer gear specifically designed for this type of fishing. Diawa in particular has an affordably priced line of gear called “Accudepth” in which the reels have line counters on them. This allows anglers to know exactly how far back behind the boat their presentations are. This is invaluable and both repeating a strike as well as keeping lines from tangling.

Diawa also manufactures a line of rods specifically designed for Great Lakes trolling which match up well with their reels. Anglers have other choices when it comes to manufacturers as well.

Spinning tackle has a place for salmon fishing

Spinning tackle is the best choice for anglers casting lures or baits. This is true whether fishing from the shore and casting into one of the Great Lakes as well as fishing streams and rivers. Anglers can use spinning tackle when fishing for salmon in the Great Lakes from a boat, though it is not the best choice for trolling.

top freshwater fish species

There is no one size spinning outfit that works best for all applications. Salmon vary widely in size and anglers need to match the tackle to the size of the fish being pursued and the environment in which they are doing so. Anglers chasing smaller salmon in the 5 pound range will do fine with a 7 foot medium action rod paired with a 3000 series reel Spooled with 8 pound to 10 pound test line. Obviously, anglers chasing larger fish and big, fast-moving rivers will need to bump up the tackle size significantly.

Great Lakes salmon fishing techniques

There are a variety of productive techniques that anglers Great Lakes salmon fishing can use to be successful. Often times that decision is made based on the time of the season being fished. Early in the year, anglers can catch salmon from the shores of several of the Great Lakes. By summer, just about all of the fish have moved out into open waters, seeking cooler temperatures. By early fall, many fish have moved into the tributary rivers and streams to spawn.

Great Lakes salmon fishing

Trolling is the most effective technique for catching salmon in the Great Lakes

Trolling is an extremely productive technique when salmon fishing in the Great Lakes. It is an efficient way to fish as anglers can present multiple baits at multiple depths while covering a lot of water in search of fish. However, it is a technical method that requires anglers to constantly adjust lines and pay attention to factors such as speed, wind, and current.

There are several different ways in which an angler can get his or her lures and baits down into the water column. These include flatlining, sinkers, downriggers, planers, and lead core lines. All have advantages and disadvantages in situations where one is a better choice than the other.

Flatlining

The easiest trolling method when fishing for salmon and other species is flatlining. This is simply tying on the lure or bait and letting it out behind the boat while it is slowly moved forward. Diving plugs are most often used with this technique. Plugs come in a wide assortment of sizes, shapes, and colors. The bill on the front of the plug will determine the depth that which it will dive, along with the diameter of the fishing line.

Great Lakes salmon fishing

Trolling with diving plugs is fairly easy and works best early and late in the season when salmon are shallow. The maximum depth that most trolling plugs will reach is around 30 feet deep. Therefore, when salmon are staged in deeper water off shore, the plugs will not reach the required depth. Successful anglers use different plugs at different depths to determine where salmon are feeding that day.

Using trolling sinkers to get down in the water column

Sinkers are another fairly easy method that anglers can use to get there offerings down into the water column. Weights can be added right to the line using clips. This method is advantageous in that anglers can quickly and easily changed the way to adjust to the current conditions. In-line sinkers are also used, they are not as easily changed. Trolling sinkers work very well when fishing for salmon with spoons.

Trolling with planers

Planers are clever devices that will dig down into the water and present a lure or bait at a determined depth. This depth is determined by the shape of the planer and the position where it is clipped on. The most often used planer in the Great Lakes region is the venerable Dipsey Diver. When a fish strikes, the clip is pulled loose and the fish can be fought without the resistance of the planer.

Trolling with downriggers

Downriggers were basically invented by anglers fishing the Great Lakes for salmon, steelhead, and lake trout. They consist of a real and a small arm with a cable that has a heavy lead ball at the end. The downrigger ball is lowered to the desired depth. It has a clip on it which will release the line when a fish strikes. Downriggers are the mainstay of serious Great Lakes anglers. They come in both manual and electric versions.

lead core lines are another trolling option

Lead core lines are the final method used by Great Lakes anglers when trolling. As the name implies, these are plastic fishing line with a lead core center. The depth is determined by the number of sections of lead core line used. This can be a bit cumbersome, especially for the novice angler and requires care to keep the line from twisting. However it is an excellent method that should be in every Great Lakes anglers repertoire.

Trolling for salmon in the Great Lakes

As mentioned above, one of the great advantages of trolling is the ability for anglers to cover a lot of water in a short period of time in search of fish. However, that does not mean that anglers should simply fish anywhere and hope for the best. There are several factors which will help increase the odds of success.

Reliable, current fishing reports are invaluable! These can come from online forms, reports from charter boat captains, bait shops, radio chatter, and more. When the bite is on, it is usually hard to keep it a secret.

Locating forage fish is another extremely important element when trolling for salmon in the Great Lakes. In fact, it may be the most important component of all. Fish that large are usually not very far from their food source. A quality sonar unit and the ability to read it are invaluable tools for any angler trolling in open water.

Locating structure can be the key to trolling success

Structure is another component that anglers need to take into account. In the Great Lakes, this mostly consists of rocky bottom and ledges. These areas of structure and an otherwise featureless bottom will attract both bait fish and game fish. Most of these areas are already known and the GPS numbers can be found in a variety of locations.

In the summer time, large bodies of water stratify. This means that they separate themselves into layers based on water temperature. The spot where transitions is called the thermocline. Locating this can be crucial when trolling for salmon in the summer time. Experienced anglers will easily see this on a quality bottom machine.

Setting up the trolling spread is important

Properly putting out the lines, also known as setting up the spread, is an extremely important aspect when trolling for salmon and other species. Much of what it takes to be successful will only be learned from experience. However, the following information will help novice anglers get started.

River salmon fishing in the Great Lakes

Every fall, Chinook and coho salmon leave the large open lakes and head to the tributary rivers to spawn. This is true for both stocks fish and naturally reproducing salmon. All five of the Great Lakes see some type of salmon spawning run. However, the majority of fish come from Lake Michigan. The Muskegon River sees the bulk of these salmon. While there are some coho salmon, Chinook salmon are the majority of fish that will run up into the river.

Salmon start showing up in the Great Lakes tributary rivers as early as late August. However, the bigger pushes of fish will be seen and late September through mid November. October is the prime time to fish for salmon in the Great Lakes rivers.

Fish will stage in the deeper poles while waiting to move up river. This is the best time to catch them. The further along in the spawning process that the fish are, the more difficult they are to catch. In reality, salmon are not interested in feeding at all once they move into the rivers.

River salmon fishing tackle

These freshwater trophies are caught by anglers using conventional tackle, spinning tackle, and fly tackle. Many anglers consider Chinook, or king, salmon caught on a fly rod to be the ultimate sport. 8wt to 10wt rods are used as these are large fish that are often hooked in swift currents. Leader tippets of 10 pound to 12 pound test are most often used. Spey rods are an excellent choice as well.

Anglers using both spinning and conventional tackle will do best with a medium heavy rods around 8 feet long with a matching reel. This will allow for long casts and the ability to fight a heavy fish in a swift current. Eggs and Rose Sachs are often used. Anglers casting artificial lures do best with large spinners and medium-sized plugs.

Salmon fishing in the Great Lakes

All five of the Great Lakes offer salmon fishing. Each lake is a bit different as far as species and options. The five lakes will be covered individually with species, best times, and ports.

Lake Michigan salmon fishing

Anglers start catching Chinooks (king salmon) by the first of July and the bite remains steady through August when they move to the river mouths. Coho salmon then become fairly numerous.

Lake Michigan is the second largest of the Great Lakes. It is entirely in the United States, unlike the other four. Lake Michigan borders Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Changes in forage have resulted in a decline in salmon fishing, but hopefully it will rebound.

Top Lake Michigan ports

St. Ignace

This town is located on the southern tip of the upper peninsula. It is the primary point to access both the upper and lower peninsula. Many consider this area, which is close to Mackinac Island, to have the best salmon fishing in Michigan.

Escanaba

This town lies on Little Bay de Noc. The Escanaba River enters Lake Michigan at this location.

Manistique

This is another town on the upper peninsula with a river (the Manistique River) entering Lake Michigan. Many anglers consider it the best spot to catch a trophy Chinook salmon.

Traverse City

This is a popular town on the lower peninsula that offers anglers easy access to Lake Michigan. It is an excellent family destination with good fishing for salmon and other species.

Ludington

Ludington is on the western section of the lower peninsula. It has a variety of fishing opportunities that attract a lot of tourists. Salmon and steelhead fishing is very popular and productive in the fall and winter. This is a great area for anglers without a boat to catch salmon from piers and the shore.

Lake Superior salmon fishing

Lake Superior is the largest lake in North America. It is on the borders on Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Over 22 rivers empty into Lake Superior. It is very deep, often quite close to shore. Lake Superior offers excellent fishing for salmon. King, Coho, and Atlantic salmon were stocked in Lake Superior over the last few decades.

Salmon fishing is good in May through mid June. At that point, the water warms up and salmon and other species scatter out. They will relate to the forage, especially herring. Fish may move closer to shore late in summer if the bait fish migrate there. In fall, salmon will gang up at the mouths of feeder streams and rivers.

Sault Ste. Marie

Sault Ste. Marie is a port town is on the northeastern end of Michigan’s upper peninsula. It is right along the border of the United states and Canada. It is the second most populous city on the upper peninsula.

Lake Ontario salmon fishing

As with the other Great Lakes, salmon fishing in Lake Ontario really gets going mod summer. As fall approaches, the fish migrate towards the streams and rivers to spawn.

Lake Huron salmon fishing

Lake Huron has seen a decline in salmon fishing of late, mostly due to the invasive zebra mussels. Still, recovers efforts are underway with stocking and other strategies.

Lake Erie salmon fishing

Lake Erie is not noted as a great salmon fishery, walleye are the primary target of anglers. Most of the salmon caught in Lake Erie are done so in the Eastern Basin area as the fish stage before moving into the rivers. Chinook, Coho, and pink salmon are available, though they are not prolific and can be challenging. Pink salmon can be fairly numerous in the tributaries. The Mountain is the top spot in late summer before the fish move up to the rivers.

In conclusion, this article on Great Lakes salmon fishing will help anglers catch more of these terrific game fish!