Fishing Articles

Fishing Articles from Capt Jim Klopfer

This post is the list of fishing articles written by Capt Jim Klopfer. 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

Top 14 Chesapeake Bay Game Fish

Inshore Saltwater Fishing, a Complete Guide

What is the Best Pompano Fishing Lure?

Fishing for False Albacore, Pro Tips and Techniques

Best Cobia Fishing Tackle and Lures

Best Speckled Trout Fishing Tackle

Surf Fishing Tackle and Techniques

Best Jerkbait for Saltwater Fishing

11 Valuable Tampa Bay Fishing Tips

Best 6 Topwater Plugs for Saltwater Fishing

Best 7 Saltwater Fishing Spoons

Best Sheepshead Fishing Tackle and Baits

Tarpon Fishing Tackle and Gear, an Angler’s Guide

Best Redfish Fishing Tackle and lures

Best 12 Spotted Sea Trout Fishing Lures

Best Flounder and Fluke Fishing Tackle and Techniques

Best Grouper Fishing Tackle and Lures

Best False Albacore Fishing Tackle and Lures

Best Live Baits for Saltwater Fishing in Florida

Best 7 Fishing Lures for Redfish

Top 9 speckled trout fishing lures

Top 6 Spanish mackerel fishing lures

Jack Crevalle Fishing, a Complete Guide

Light Tackle Bottom Fishing Tips

What is the Best Saltwater Fishing Fly

How to Catch Saltwater Fish with Jigs

Spotted Sea Trout Fishing, Tips to Succeed

Spanish Mackerel and False Albacore Fishing Tips

Fishing for Redfish and Speckled Trout

Fishing for Bluefish, Tips and Techniques

Top 15 Sheepshead Fishing Tips

Best 6 Saltwater Fishing Lures

Fly Fishing for Jack Crevalle

Top 6 Spanish mackerel fishing lures

Florida fishing articles

Best 14 Tampa Bay Fishing Spots

Fishing for Snook, a Complete Guide

Florida Inshore Fishing Tips

Florida Offshore Fishing Tips

Florida Pompano Fishing

Florida Bluefish

Freshwater Fly Fishing in Florida

Fly Fishing in Florida, Gulf Coast Tips

Tarpon Fishing in Florida, an Anglers Guide

Light Tackle Trolling in Saltwater

Jacksonville Florida Fishing Tips

Best Snook Fishing Tackle and Lures

Florida King Mackerel Fishing, Tips and Techniques

Top 21 Florida Saltwater Game Fish

What is the Best Bait for Shark Fishing?

Fishing for Florida Panfish and Crappie

Top 25 Florida Game Fish

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Winter

Fishing for Ladyfish in Florida

Freshwater fishing articles

Best 11 Brook Trout Fishing Lures

What is the Best Fishing Bait for Blue Catfish?

What is the Best Fishing Bait for Channel Catfish

What is the best largemouth bass fishing lure?

What is the best crappie fishing lure?

9 Essential Smallmouth Bass Fishing Lures

14 Essential Walleye Trolling Lures

Top 6 Freshwater Fishing Lures

What is the Best Live Bait for Crappie Fishing?

Top 5 Freshwater Fishing Spinners

Best small Spinnerbait for Bass Fishing

Best Brook Trout Fishing tackle

Best Lake Trout Fishing Tackle and Gear

Best Musky Fishing Tackle

Northern Pike Fishing Tips and Tackle

Best Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tackle and lures

Rock Bass Fishing Tips and Tackle

Fishing for Crappie, Bluegill, and Panfish

Walleye Fishing Tackle and lures

Top 13 Freshwater Fishing Plugs

Best 11 topwater plugs for freshwater fishing

Top 11 Freshwater Fishing Spoons

Largemouth Bass Fishing in Creeks

Spinnerbait Fishing Tips and Techniques

Bass Fishing Tackle and Equipment

Best Catfish Fishing Tackle and Gear

Best 13 Brown Trout Fishing Lures

Freshwater Fishing Tackle and Lures, a Beginners Guide

Ice Fishing Tackle and Gear

Top 10 Northern Pike Fishing Lures

Top 11 Musky Fishing Lures

What is the best Northern Pike Fishing Lure

Best 13 Largemouth Bass Fishing Lures for Beginners

Best River Trout Fishing Lure

What is the best live bait for freshwater fishing?

Fly Fishing for Bluegill and Panfish

Fishing with Spinners in Rivers and Streams

Top 13 Rainbow Trout Fishing Lures

What is the best live bait for smallmouth bass?

Best 9 Fishing Lures for Streams and Small Rivers

Ice Fishing for Crappie, a Beginners Guide

Crappie Fishing Tackle and Lures, a Complete Guide

Best 9 fishing lures for bluegill and panfish

How to Catch Catfish, a Comprehensive Guide

Walleye Fishing, a Beginners Guide

Fishing for River Catfish, Tips and Techniques

Smallmouth Bass Fishing for Beginners

Best 7 River Smallmouth Fishing Lures

Fishing Franklin North Carolina

Top 27 Freshwater Game Fish Species

Minnesota Walleye and Pike Fishing

Trout Fishing in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Manitoba and Alberta Fishing Tips

Women Bass Fishing, Tournament Tips

Fishing Texas Lakes and Rivers

River Fishing Tips and Techniques

Fishing the North Shore of Minnesota

Sarasota fishing articles

Fishing Sarasota Bay, Pro Tips!

Fishing Siesta Key

Sarasota Fishing Calendar

Sarasota Bottom Fishing

Best 11 Sarasota Fishing Reefs

Sarasota Offshore Fishing

Sarasota Redfish

Sarasota Chumming Techniques

River Snook Fishing Charters

Sarasota Bass Fishing

Sarasota Snook Fishing

Sarasota False Albacore

Sarasota Fishing Forecast

Sarasota Crappie Fishing

Sarasota Sheepshead Fishing

Sarasota Mangrove Snapper Fishing

Sarasota Speckled Trout Fishing

Longboat Key Fishing Charters

Sarasota Freshwater Fishing

Best 6 Sarasota Fishing Lures

Fly Fishing Sarasota Rivers

Best Sarasota Fishing Charter

35 Best Sarasota Fishing Spots

Sarasota Jig Fishing

Sarasota Trolling Techniques

Siesta Key Snook Fishing

Best 7 Lido Key Fishing Spots

17 Best Bradenton Fishing Spots

Fishing Charters in Sarasota

Miscellaneous Fishing Articles

7 Essential Striped Bass Fishing Lures

What is the Best Striped Bass Fishing Lure?

What is the best fishing knot?

What is the Best Scented Soft Plastic Fishing Lure

Best Striped Bass Fishing Tackle and Lures

Top 12 Texas Game Fish

Striped Bass Fishing Tips and Spots

A Guide to Kayak Fishing for Beginners

Best 11 Brook Trout Fishing Lures

Best 11 Brook Trout Fishing Lures

This article will list Capt Jim’s top 11 brook trout fishing lures. Brook trout are native to North America. They are the smallest of the big three trout species. However, many consider them the most beautiful and most challenging! While many anglers fly fish for them, brook trout will take a wide variety of artificial lures as well.

brook trout fishing lures

The top 11 brook trout fishing lures are;

  • Rooster tail spinner
  • Mepps Aglia spinner
  • Panther Martin spinner
  • Blue Fox spinners;
  • Kastmaster spoon
  • Phoebe spoon
  • Krocodile spoon
  • Flatfish
  • Rapala Original Floating Minnow
  • Mister Twister teeny
  • Gulp Alive jigs

This selection of artificial lures will catch brook trout in any situation that an angler may encounter.

Best brook trout fishing tackle

Most brook trout anglers casting artificial lures opt for spinning tackle. These outfits are affordable, durable, versatile, and easy to use. They really are the best tools for the job. Spin cast gear still has a place as well. It can be easier to manage for children and novice anglers. However, it does have it’s limitations.

brook trout fishing lures

Most brook trout are fairly small. A 4 pound fish is a trophy! Therefore, an ultralight spinning rod and reel is the best choice. A 5 1/2 foot light action rod matched to a 1000 series reel is a great all-round combo. Anglers can shop for other outfits as well.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for an ultralight rod and reel

“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. ”

brook trout fishing

Click to read more about the best brook trout fishing tackle

 Light line is very important when trout fishing!

Light line is very important when it comes to fishing for brook trout. This is especially true in very clear water, which is where most trout will be found. 4 lb test is a good all round choice. Some stream anglers go down to 2 lb line. 6 lb line can be used in stained water. Going higher that that will really reduce strikes.

trout fishing tackle

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for 4 lb fishing line

List of top brook trout fishing lures

The top brook trout lures can be broken down into four categories: spinners, spoons, jigs and plugs. Most brook trout lures can be both cast and trolled effectively as well as covering the entire water column. All can be used in both rivers and lakes.

Top Spinners for brook trout fishing

Spinners are clever artificial lures that anglers have been using for decades to catch fish. They catch a wide variety of species and brook trout are certainly no exception. Spinners come in many different sizes and colors. A blade rotates around a shaft, putting out flash and vibration. There is a slender body and a hook that often comes with some type of dressing. Gold blades and bright colors seem to work best in most applications.

best trout tackle

Spinners are very easy to use. The angler casts it out and allows it to sink down a bit. A sharp twitch of the rod tip will get the blade turning. A slow, steady retrieve is used to bring the bait back in. In most cases, less action is better. This lure produces when very slowly trolled as well.

Spinners really shine when fishing for brook trout in streams and rivers. The current is used to keep the lure moving and the blade spinning. The best approach is to cast across the stream, 90 degrees to the current. The lure is reeled in very slowly as it sweeps down stream. Many takes occur at the end of the drift as the line gets tight and the spinner “swings” in the current. Fly casters are very familiar with “swinging a nymph”. This technique is very effective!

brook trout lures

Spinners come in a variety of sizes and colors. 1/16 ounce baits work best in most brook trout situations. Larger baits can be used in lakes and when trophy fish are a possibility. Silver blades and light colors work best in clear water with bright sun. Copper blades and darker colors work great on cloudy days. Anglers can read more about fishing with spinners in rivers and streams here.

1) Wordens Rooster tail spinner

rooster tail

The Worden’s Rooster tail is a terrific spinner for fishing streams and small rivers. It is Capt Jim’s favorite trout fishing lure! Rooster tails come in many different colors and sizes. It is also available with a single hook for areas that require them. The single hook also aids in a good, healthy release. This lure works best when retrieved VERY slowly! As long as the blade is rotating, it can’t be worked too slowly.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Rooster Tail spinners

 

2) Mepps Aglia spinner

mepps

The Mepps Aglia is another classic spinner that produces a lot brook trout for anglers. It also comes in a very wide selection of sizes and colors. Mepps spinners works well in both streams and lakes. Many anglers prefer the larger sizes for trolling in lakes. Capt Jim prefers the versions with dressing on the tail. Gold blade with brown fur is the classic pattern.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Mepps Aglia spinners

 

3) Panther Martin spinner

panther martin

The Panther Martin spinner is another excellent brook trout fishing lure. It is a tad heavier and more compact than Rooster tail and Mepps spinners. Therefore, they are a better choice in larger, deeper rivers and lakes. They will cast a long distance on light line.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Panther Martin spinners

4) Blue Fox spinners

blue fox spinner

Blue Fox spinners certainly have their loyal fans. Some anglers believe that it puts out a very distinct, and effective, vibration. Like the Panther Martin, it is heavier and more compact. It works best in slightly deeper or swifter water with a faster retrieve. It is a great lure for trolling deeper in lakes as well.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Blue Fox spinners

Best spoons for rainbow trout fishing

A spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook at the rear. Spoons are simple, yet very effective on brook trout and just about every other species. They work well on brook trout from small streams to the largest of lakes. Spoons can also be presented in a vertical manner, making them the top lure for ice fishing for brook trout.

ice fishing for brook trout

Spoons are relatively heavy for their size and cast a long way. The best retrieve is usually a steady one with the occasional pause or twitch. Anglers should vary the retrieve until a productive pattern emerges. Spoons put out a LOT of flash and vibration. They will call fish in from a distance.

Like most lures, spoons come in different sizes and finishes. Silver and gold are the most popular, though painted versions catch plenty of trout as well. Silver is best on sunny days while gold is preferred on cloudy days. Smaller sizes work best in smaller waters while the larger spoons are a better choice in lakes and larger rivers. A swivel should be used to reduce line twist when using spoons.

5) Kastmaster spoon

kastmaster

The Kastmaster spoon is very compact and dense. It is quite heavy for it’s size. Kastmaster spoons are a great spoon for fishing deeper lakes from the shoreline. It works well in larger, deeper rivers as well. Finally, it produces well when trolled.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Kastmaster spoons

6) Acme Phoebe spoon

phoebe spoon

The Acme Phoebe spoon has been around a long time. It is a small, delicate spoon that is the ideal choice for brook trout fishing in smaller streams. Many spoons are too heavy for small streams. The Phoebe spoon flutters seductively in the current and trout love it. Phoebe spoons come in gold and silver, most anglers prefer gold. Both the 1/8 ounce and 1/12 ounce sizes are effective.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Phoebe spoons

7) Luhr-Jensen Krocodile spoon

Krocodile spoon

The Lurhr-Jensen Krocodile spoon is a terrific bait for anglers seeking larger brook trout. It is fairly large and heavy, offering trout a substantial meal. Krocodile spoons are best used in larger rivers and lakes. It is a terrific lure for trolling up a big brookie.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Krocodile spoons

Fishing for brook trout with plugs

Many anglers ignore plugs when it comes to fishing for brook trout. However, that is a mistake. As trout get larger, they begin to feed more on minnows and less on insects. They are seeking a more substantial meal. Plugs closely mimic small, wounded bait fish. They generally do not produce as many trout, but they are almost always larger.

Brook trout fishing in Minnesota

Most plugs float on the surface then dive down to a determined depth when retrieved. The depth it dives is a result of the size and shape of the bill. Most plugs have this information on the package, though some are “optimistic”. Plugs should match the size and color of the local forage.

Shallow diving plugs are extremely effective in rivers and streams. Tiny plugs work great in smaller streams. They are best used in the deeper sections and at the head and tail of riffles. Deeper diving plugs are used in lakes for anglers casting and trolling.

8) Rapala Original Floating Minnow

Rapala Ultralight floating minnow

The Rapala Original Floating Minnow still has it’s loyal following, and for good reason! This is an old-school bait that still catches plenty of fish. It works well in both streams and lakes and is terrific when trolled. It comes in many sizes and colors. A lot of veteran brook trout anglers prefer the original silver finish.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Rapala Floating Minnow plugs

9) Flatfish

flatfish

The Flatfish is another classic bait that has a ton of built in action. It can be cast out and retrieved but is often trolled. One unusual technique is to simply let the plug back in the current and hold it in place. The Flatfish will vibrate in place in the current. This drives trout crazy!

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Flatfish plugs

Fishing for brook trout with jigs

Most anglers do not associate trout fishing with jigs. However, they can be effective lures for brook trout and tend to catch larger fish. Jigs mimic both bait fish and crustaceans. Those are the preferred forage of larger trout. Jigs are also effective through the ice.

best brook trout lures

Most anglers fishing for trout with jigs use the jig and grub combination. This allows for easy changing of tails to adapt to conditions. White and chartreuse generally imitate bait fish. Darker colors such as olive and rootbeer look like crayfish and nymphs.

These baits work very well when drifted along with the current in riffles. They can also be used in slower, deeper holes. Anglers fishing in lakes will catch fish as well. They can be trolled if the jig heads are heavy enough.

12) Mister Twister Teeny grub

mister twister

The Mister Twister Teeny Grub is an excellent soft plastic lure for brook trout. It has a very life like action on the water, particularly in current. It works well in small streams on a very light jig head.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Mister Twister Teeny grubs

13) Gulp Alive Minnow

gulp alive minnow

The Gulp Alive Minnow kind of bridges the gap between live bait and artificial lures. It is heavily scented and also has great action in the water. It is most often fished on a light jig head in a manner similar to other jigs. Brook trout will hold on to it longer due to the scent.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Gulp! Alive Minnows

In conclusion, this article on the best 11brook trout fishing lures will help anglers catch more of these very popular freshwater game fish!

 

 

7 Essential Striped Bass Fishing Lures

7 Essential Striped Bass Fishing Lures

This post will list the 7 essential striped bass fishing lures. Striped bass are a very popular game fish. While anglers certainly catch plenty of fish using live and cut bait, many anglers prefer to use artificial lures.

striped bass fishing lures

The 7 essential striped bass fishing lures are:

  • Spro bucktail jig
  • Kastmaster spoon
  • Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait
  • Atom Popper
  • Gulp
  • Diamond jig
  • Bunker spoon

Striped bass are a bit unusual in that they thrive in both freshwater and saltwater. In the oceans and bays, striped bass migrate up rivers to spawn. In many cases, they go way upriver to where it is totally fresh water. Consequently, striped bass have been stocked in large reservoirs with great success!

Striped bass feed mainly on bait fish, though they certainly happily devour crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp as well. Most striped bass fishing lures imitate bait fish. The main lure types are plugs, spoons, jigs, metals, and soft plastic baits. All of them will produce fish when properly presented.

striped bass fishing tips

One of the most confusing aspects of using artificial lures in the selection. In this article, Capt Jim will list his favorite lures in each category. These are time proven striped bass fishing lures that will catch fish anywhere. This will help simplify the process of stocking the tackle box while having a striped bass fishing lure for every situation than an angler will face.

Striped bass tackle

The tackle required for striped bass fishing varies greatly depending on the size of the fish, water depth, current, and bait size. Both spinning tackle and conventional tackle are used successfully.

Anglers can click this link to read a comprehensive article by Capt Jim on striped bass fishing tackle

Spro bucktail jig

bucktail jig

Click to shop Amazon for Spro jigs

Jigs are the oldest artificial lure used by humans to catch fish. A jig is a hook with aq piece of metal, usually lead, molded near the head. This weight provides for casting distance, depth control, and it gives the lure it’s erratic action. Jigs can be bare with a soft plastic tail or can have some synthetic or natural hair tied on.

The Spro bucktail jig is number one on the list of seven essential striped bass fishing lures. In fact, it is Capt. Jim’s favorite. The main reason for this is the versatility of this lure. Bucktail jigs can be fished effectively throughout the entire water column, from the surface all the way to the bottom. It can be cast, trolled, or vertically jig.

light tackle trolling in saltwater

White bucktail jigs have been very effective striped bass fishing lures for decades. They are simple yet very productive. White is the most popular color as it matches most saltwater forage species. However, often times the jig is tied with a contrasting darker color such as olive or purple. Many bait fish species are silvery or white on the bottom and dark along the top.

The Spro bucktail jig is available in a wide variety of sizes in several colors. As mentioned, is hard to go wrong with all white. Anglers should match the weight of the jig to the depth of the water, current, and size of the locally available forage. This bait is made from quality components which will hold up under harsh saltwater fishing conditions.

Kastmaster spoon

kastmaster

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Spoons are another simple yet extremely effective striped bass fishing lure. A spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook in it. The size and shape of the metal will determine the action in the water. Slender spoons have a tight wiggle and are generally work quickly. Wider spoons are worked more slowly and have a more distinct wobble.

The Kastmaster spoon is second on Capt. Jim’s list of seven essential striped bass fishing lures. Once again, a key to its effectiveness is the versatility of this bait. The cast master spoon is a bit more slender and has an excellent action in the water when trolled, cast, or fished vertically over structure. It is a dense bait that cast a long way, making it a favorite of surf anglers and those fishing from other shore locations.

inshore saltwater fishing

The spoon puts out a lot of flash and vibration as it is worked through the water. As with jigs, this type of spoon can be worked throughout the entire water column. It is extremely effective when striped bass are found feeding on the surface. Long casts are often required in this situation. It is also very effective when trolled and is often heavy enough to be trolled without any additional weight. When striped bass are holding over deep structure, the Kastmaster spoon is an excellent choice.

The Kastmaster spoon is available in several sizes and many different color patterns. The all silver with a white bucktail dressing on the hook is an extremely popular and effective combination. The spoon is available with a single hook which facilitates an easier release. The silver with a neon blue finish is also an excellent color choice.

Rapaa X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait

Rapala x-rap

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Hard bodied plugs are extremely effective lures for striped bass and just about every other game fish species. These lures come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. However, they all basically fish the same. The size and shape of the body along with the size and shape of the lip will determine the action and the depth that which the lore will dive.

Plugs put out a lot a flash and vibration. Bass fishing circles, they are known as jerk baits. These lures can be cast out and retrieved back in using an erratic stop and go action. Many strikes occur on the pause, as the bait sits there motionless. Wounded baitfish wobble from side to side and put out flash and vibration, which these lures imitate very realistically.

Susquehanna River striped bass

The Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait is Capt. Jim’s favorite jerk bait. It is a must have lure for every serious striped bass angler in both freshwater and saltwater. They come in a wide variety of color patterns and several sizes. The number 10 and number 12 sizes are excellent choices for most situations. White and olive are excellent all round color combinations.

These lures are extremely effective when trolled as well. The Rapala X Rap comes in a deep diving version which has a larger lip. This makes it very easy to present a bait in the 15 foot to 20 foot deep area of the water column. The standard version with the shallow diving lip is excellent when fish are feeding on or near the surface or when casting to shoreline structure.

Atom Popper

atom popper

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Some plugs are fished entirely on the surface. These are known as top water plugs. They come in different variations with a concave face which is known as a Popper, conical plugs, and those with propellers. Poppers work very well and are easy to use for even novice anglers. It is very exciting to see a big striped bass take a top water plug.

The Atom Popper is number four on Capt. Jim’s list of seven essential striped bass fishing lures. It is an established lure that has been around a long time. It is a favorite of surf anglers as well as those fishing from jetties and other shoreline spots. It is fairly heavy and cast a long way.

striped bass fishing spots

Top water lures are an excellent choice whenever striped bass and other species are seen feeding on the surface. The lure is worked fairly aggressively with hard jerks of the rod tip which results in a splash and commotion emitting from the lure. It is then allowed to set still for a moment. This is often when the strike occurs. Striped bass will rise up a surprising distance in order to attack a top water plug, especially when the water is clear.

Gulp baits

Soft plastic baits have revolutionized both freshwater and saltwater fishing since they were first introduced in the mid-1970s. There are several reasons for their effectiveness. Soft plastic lures come in many different sizes, shapes, and colors which allow anglers to easily and quickly match the locally available forage. They mimic both bait fish and crustaceans.

striped bass fishing tackle

Most anglers fishing for striped bass and using soft plastics opt for swim baits or shad style tales. This is a bait that resembles a bait fish and has a paddle tail on the rear. When worked through the water, it puts out a very realistic action and vibration. As with all artificial lures, the best approach is to try and match the size and color of the soft plastic bait to the locally available forage.

Capt. Jim’s favorite soft plastic lure by far is the gulp line of products. These have a revolutionary design that has an incredible sent factor included. There are several different gulp baits which work very well for striped bass and every other freshwater and saltwater species. These soft plastic baits are most often fished on a bear jig head, which provides both casting weight and a hook in one tidy unit.

Gulp Jerk Shad

gulp jerk shad

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The Gulp Jerk Shad is a long slender bait that has a terrific action and the water. Like all of these baits, it is fished on a jig head, the size of which is determined by the depth of the water and current speed. White is an excellent all round color. The best retrieve is one where the lure is allowed to sink and then jerked back to the boat and in erratic manner.

Gulp Paddle Shad

paddleshad

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The newest member of the Gulp line up is the paddle Shad. What makes this a bit different is the fact that it is offered in several sizes between 3 inches and 6 inches long. It is available and several very lifelike color combinations to match shad, herring, menhaden, and just about anything else a striped bass will feed on. Often times a slow steady retrieve works best to let the action of the tail attract the fish. It can be trolled as well.

Gulp Swimming Mullet

swimming mullet

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The Gulp Swimming Mullet has a curly tail or twister tail. This puts out a terrific, though more subtle action in the water. Is an excellent choice and just about any watercolor or fishing condition. The twister tale is very effective when jig off the bottom as in helicopters back down.

Gulp eel

gulp eel

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Eels are a favorite live bait in forage of striped bass. The Gulp Eel is a terrific bait for striped bass and were present cobia. Both of these species are known to have an affinity for eels. It is most effective when fished slowly on the bottom which is where eels live. This is more of a “big fish” bait for anglers seeking a trophy striped bass.

Diamond jig

diamond jig

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The Diamond Jig is a relatively unassuming little lure, but don’t let that fool you. It is an extremely effective striped bass fishing lure that is been catching fish for a long time. It is a long and slender shiny piece of metal, usually led, with a hook in the rear. It can be cast out, trolled, or used in a vertical presentation.

The Diamond jig really shines when fish are a bit fussy and more reluctant to bite. It is number six on Capt. Jim’s list of seven essential striped bass fishing lures. Anglers are often faced with clear water this bait has a much more subtle action. In ways, it really is a bit of a finesse presentation. When worked through the water, it does not put out a lot of flash or action. However, it is just enough to resemble a wounded bait fish.

This lure works best when striped bass are feeding on small, slender forage such as glass minnows, anchovies, and sand eels. While it can be cast out, it’s design works better for trolling and vertically jigging, especially while drifting over structure. Heavier models in the 2 ounce to 3 ounce range can certainly be cast out effectively by anglers using spinning tackle. Silver is the predominant finish.

Bunker spoon

bunker spoon

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The Bunker spoon is a larger and wider spoon with a very distinctive action. It is a bit of a specialty bait which was really designed for striped bass fishing in the Northeast off of the New England coast. Striped bass there feed heavily on menhaden. These are a wide bait fish species in the Bunker spoon does an excellent job of mimicking this forage.

In conclusion, this article on the 7 essential striped bass fishing lures will help anglers catch more fish!

 

What is the Best Striped Bass Fishing Lure?

The Best Striped Bass Fishing Lure is a White Bucktail Jig

Striped bass are a very popular game fish. They thrive in both fresh and salt water. Many striped bass are caught by anglers using live bait. However, many anglers pursue them using artificial lures. There are many effective striped bass fishing lures, but there is one bait that exceeds all others.

best striped bass lure

The best striped bass fishing lure is a white bucktail jig. There are several reasons for their success and productivity. Bucktail jigs are very versatile. They can be cast, trolled, and vertically presented. Bucktail jigs can effectively mimic bait fish and crustaceans. They are available in many sizes to cover every angling situation.

There is evidence to support the claim that a jig was the first fishing lure used by humans. A jig is basically a hook with weight, usually lead, molded in near the eye. This weight gives the lute it’s action and name. The hook is then dressed with some type of hair, synthetic or natural. Soft plastic tails are also used and are quite effective.

light tackle trolling in saltwater

White is a natural color for a fishing lure. Most bait fish are silvery or white in color. At the very least, almost all of them have a white belly. Some darker colors can be included to add contrast and a darker back. Of course, bucktail jigs are available in a wide variety of color patterns.

Best striped bass fishing lure

As mentioned above, the reason that the best striped bass fishing lure is a bucktail jig is the versatility of the bait. These lures can be used throughout the entire water column. Anglers can cast a bucktail jig to breaking fish on the surface, work the mid-depths by trolling or casting, and fish the bottom either by vertically jigging or drifting.

striped bass fishing tips and spots

As in most fishing situations, anglers who match the size of the bucktail jig to the available forage will usually have more success. Fortunately white bucktail jigs are available and just about every size and weight imaginable. Again, white bucktail jigs with some darker green or other natural color tide in will effectively mimic a pogy, sardine, herring, or other common forage of striped bass.

The weight of the bucktail jig is also an important consideration. There are several factors which will determine the best weight of jig to be used. The primary concerns are water depth and current speed. A 1/2 ounce jig may be fine for casting or drifting and water that is fairly shallow with little current flow. Conversely, anglers fishing in deep water with a strong current can go up as high as 6 ounces or more.

striped bass fishing tips

White bucktail jigs are just as effective for striped bass when freshwater fishing as they are in saltwater. Stocking of striped bass into freshwater reservoirs has been a huge success for fishery management officials. Most of these lakes and rivers were also stocked with forage species such as blueback herring. White bucktail jigs effectively imitate these species.

Best bucktail jigs for striped bass

Anglers have quite a selection when it comes to choosing the best white buck tail jig. There are many manufacturers who offer a quality lure. Capt. Jim Klopfer has been a fishing charter captain in Sarasota Florida since 1991. He also grew up fishing in Chesapeake Bay.

Spro jigs

bucktail jig

Capt. Jim’s favorite bucktail jig is the Spro jig. It is available in many different sizes and is a quality jig that will hold up to the rigors of saltwater fishing. While white is primarily used, there are many other color choices and combinations of the Spro jig to choose from.

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Sea Striker jigs

Sea Striker makes excellent bucktail jigs for striped bass. They are made from quality components and are quire durable. Sea Striker jigs come in a great variety of colors and sizes.

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VMC jigs

VMC jigs are a great choice for freshwater and saltwater anglers requiring a smaller jig.

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Adding a trailer to a bucktail jig

best striped bass fishing lure

As has been previously mentioned, one of the aspects of the bucktail jigs that makes it so effective is its versatility. One extremely effective technique is to add a soft plastic trailer on to the jig. Swim bait tales and yield tails are most commonly used in both can be extremely productive. These add both bulk and action to the bucktail jig. In fact, many anglers rarely fish this lure on its own.

Both live bait and cut bait can also be used in conjunction with a bucktail jig when fishing for striped bass. Live minnows and bait fish along with live eels can be hooked through the lips and fished effectively. Long, slender strips of cut bait that tapered to a point work extremely well on a bucktail jig, too.

Best striped bass rods and reels

There is no single rod and reel outfit that works best when fishing for striped bass with bucktail jigs. The size of the fish being pursued is the primary consideration. The size of the bucktail jig being used as a secondary factor, though it is tied to the size of the fish as well.

Oklahome striped bass

A medium action conventional or bait casting rod around 7 feet long with a matching real is an excellent all round combination when fishing with bucktail jigs for striped bass. This outfit will work very well for drift fishing, light trolling, and vertically jigging. Anglers can spool the real with 20 pound to 30 pound braided or monofilament fishing line.

Read a comprehensive article on striped bass tackle in this article

Spinning tackle certainly has its place when casting jigs for striped bass as well. This is particularly true when chasing schools of striped bass that are feeding on the surface. Anglers will often have to make a slightly longer cast while keeping the boat away from the feeding fish. Most anglers surf fishing you spinning tackle as well. The best all round spinning outfit for striped bass would be a 7 foot to 8 foot medium action rod with a 5000-6000 series reel.

Tailwater fishing for bass and catfish

Bucktail jig fishing techniques for striped bass.

There are several techniques that work very well when fishing a bucktail jigs for striped bass. These primarily are casting, drifting, and trolling. All three of these techniques will produce striped bass for anglers fishing in both freshwater and saltwater.

Casting bucktail jigs for striped bass

Bucktail jigs can be cast out and retrieved to catch striped bass in a variety of situations. Perhaps the most fun and exciting condition is when striped bass are feeding on the surface. The bucktail jig is cast to the edge of the school and worked back in an erratic manner. This will almost always elicit a strike from actively feeding fish.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge striped bass

Bucktail jigs can also be cast out towards shoreline structure and cover. Flats that are in 5 to 10 feet of water and then drop off sharply are prime spots. Striped bass will often stage on the edge of this drop in wait for the current to bring food to them. Any type of cover such as submerged or fallen timber, rocks and seawalls, docks, and bridges can all be prime spots to cast a jig for striped bass.

Drift fishing with bucktail jigs for striped bass

Drifting is an extremely effective technique that is used more when saltwater fishing manner freshwater. The reason for this is the strength of the tide. Tides will often move the boat along at 45 knots. Anglers simply bounce a jig off the bottom or work it in the mid-depths in search of fish. The main benefit in this type of fishing is that anglers can cover a lot of water in a relatively short period of time. Inlets are prime spots to drift fish for striped bass.

Trolling bucktail jigs for striped bass

Trolling catches a lot of striped bass for anglers fishing in both freshwater and saltwater. Once again, it allows anglers to cover a lot of water in a fairly short amount of time. Trolling also offers the advantage of being able to present multiple lures at various depths in search of fish. This can be a huge advantage when fish are scattered out throughout a large area or in different depths.

In conclusion, this article on the best striped bass fishing lure will encourage anglers to add a white buck tail jig to their tackle boxes!

 

What is the Best Fishing Bait for Channel Catfish?

The Best Fishing Bait for Channel Catfish are Nightcrawlers!

Catfish are very popular among freshwater anglers. Channel catfish are the most plentiful and widespread of the species. While channel catfish will occasionally take and artificial lure, the vast majority of them are caught by anglers using bait. There are many baits that are effective. However, there is one bait that is the best when fishing for channel catfish.

best fishing bait for channel catfish

The best fishing bait for channel catfish are live nightcrawlers. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, channel catfish devour them greedily. Nightcrawlers are very economical to use. They are widely available and are sold at just about every bait shop and even department stores. Nightcrawlers are very easy to store and keep alive. Finally, nightcrawlers stay on the hook very well and catch just about every freshwater fish that swims.

Anglers have been fishing successfully with live worms for a very long time. There is evidence to support that they were the first live bait used on a hook. While worms are not really all that abundant in the water, for whatever reason just about every freshwater game fish species will readily take them.

best live bait for freshwater fishing

Nightcrawlers are even better than regular worms due to their size. A large live nightcrawler puts out a lot of scent as well as action as it wiggles seductively on the hook. Nightcrawlers represent a substantial meal as well. So, in conclusion, nightcrawlers have excellent action along with a great scent and taste. It is no wonder that they are the best fishing bait for channel catfish!

Best fishing tackle for channel catfish

The tackle that anglers fishing for channel catfish will use is dependent on a couple of factors. The primary factor is the size of the fish being pursued. Channel catfish are the most numerous of the catfish species, but there also the smallest. In general, channel catfish average 3 to 5 pounds. However, larger specimens are certainly a possibility.

best channel catfish bait

Water depth and current are the other two primary factors when it comes to choosing the best channel catfish fishing tackle. Many anglers pursue channel catfish and rivers, and for good reason. Rivers are a primary habitat for channel catfish. Obviously, deeper swifter rivers will require heavier tackle then will rivers that are more shallow with less current flow.

Click this link to read a comprehensive article on catfish tackle and gear

Both medium spinning tackle and bait casting tackle are both excellent choices when it comes to fishing for channel catfish. Anglers fishing from shore who need to make long cast will probably do better with spinning outfit. However, skilled anglers can certainly do well with conventional tackle. The best spinning outfit would be a 7 foot to 8 foot rod with a medium action and a 4002 5000 series real. Most anglers opt for braided line due to its thin diameter and strength. 20 pound to 30 pound braid works well.

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best catfish fishing tackle and gear

Anglers choosing to fish with a conventional or bait casting outfit will do well to to something similar. A 7 foot to 8 foot rod with a stout butt section and a limber tip and matching real spooled up with 20 pound to 30 pound braided line is an excellent all round choice. This works especially well for anglers fishing from boats, were long casts are not a requirement. Bait casting tackle is also a better choice were larger fish are a possibility.

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Channel catfish hooks and rigs

There are many different choices when it comes to hooks when fishing with live bait for catfish. Many anglers have turned to circle hooks as they tend to end up in the mouth of the fish, thus reducing mortality rates. Other anglers still prefer to use “J” hooks. There really is no wrong answer, it is just a matter of angler preference. 2/0 “J” hooks and 5/0 circle hooks are good all-around size is when fishing for average sized channel catfish.

channel catfish fishing bait

While channel catfish are most often found on or near the bottom, there are several different ways to present a live nightcrawler to them. The most commonly used rig would be the sliding sinker rig, also known as a Carolina rig. This consists of a sinker with a hole in the center, which the running line slides through. A swivel is then tied on, which not only stops the sinker but facilitates use of a leader. A short leader is used between the swivel and the hook.

This rig allows catfish to pick up the bait and move off a bit without feeling the weight of the sinker. Is a very effective rig for catfish and just about any other bottom feeding species. Many anglers opt for special flat catfish sinkers which sit on the bottom and do not roll. These are also known as “no roll” sinkers, for obvious reasons.

fishing for river catfish

More channel catfish rigs

Channel catfish will also feed a bit above the bottom. In these situations, anglers do well with a high low rig, also known as a spreader rig or chicken rig. With this rig anglers can present multiple baits at varying depths above the bottom. Most anglers limit this to two or three hooks at most, as it becomes cumbersome after that. A couple of hooks are tied on the mainline a foot or so apart with a sinker at the bottom. Bank sinkers are most often used. This is a very popular rigs for anglers fishing for catfish in rivers from shore as well as docks and bridges.

fishing for river catfish

Channel catfish will be found quite shallow at times, which surprises some anglers. This is especially true at night. Fallen trees and other structure as well as flats and drop-offs will be prime spots to catch channel catfish. Fishing a nightcrawler under a float can be a very effective presentation during these times. This is a simple as adding a float or bomber three or 4 feet above the hook. Often times a small split shot is used just above the hook to get the nightcrawler down into the water column. When the float disappears, it is fish on!

fishing for channel catfish

Other channel catfish baits

While the best fishing bait for channel catfish is a nightcrawler, there are plenty of other effective baits as well. These include shrimp, fresh cut bait, livers, live minnows, prepared baits, and more. Some anglers swear by soap as bait! Channel catfish will eat just about anything at one time or another.

Fresh cut bait

channel catfish bait

Fresh cut bait is a very effective bait for channel catfish and other catfish species. It is best to use a bait fish that has just been caught in the local waters. These include shad, herring, suckers, pin fish, and more. These baits can be cut into fillets, but are more often used as chunks. These chunks, or plugs, tend to stay on the hook a little longer. It is important to check local regulations before using any fresh caught fish to as bait.

Shrimp

fishing in tailwaters for catfish

Shrimp are another very effective bait for channel catfish. Fresh or frozen shrimp are easy to obtain at any grocery store. They stay on the hook pretty well and put out a lot of scent in the water. The one downfall to using shrimp is bait is the cost, it is a bit more than most other baits. However, some experienced channel catfish anglers swear by them. Fresh grass shrimp are terrific, but are a bit more involved to catch and use.

Livers

Lake Murray catfish

Chicken livers are another inexpensive and easy to obtain bait when fishing for channel catfish. They are available at just about any grocery store. One downside to using chicken livers is that they do not stay on the hook all that well. Pork liver can actually be a better choice as it is a bit fattier and stays on the hook longer. This is particularly important for anglers making long casts from the banks of rivers and lakes.

Minnows

channel catfish fishing

There is a misconception the channel catfish are just scavengers who feet off the bottom. This is not true! Catfish are predators and will just assume prefer a nice lively bait such as a nightcrawler over a rotting piece of fish on the bottom. For this reason, live minnows are another good catfish bait. Minnows are a bit more difficult to keep alive as anglers have to use a bucket with an aerator. Also, anglers may have to catch their own live minnows. However, they are very effective bait for channel catfish fished on the bottom or under a float.

Prepared baits

catfish bubblegum

There are many different commercially prepared baits available to catfish anglers. These are very effective and also quite convenient. Most of them can be stored and tackle boxes for an extended period of time. This makes an impromptu catfish fishing trip much easier. In most cases, they are some type of paste a can be formed into a ball around the hook. The one drawback is that some of these baits do not stay on the hook as long, especially when River fishing in current.

In conclusion, this article on the best fishing bait for channel catfish will help anglers catch more of these hard fighting and tasty game fish!

What is the best fishing knot?

The Best Fishing Knot is the Uni Knot

Strong, well tied knots are very important when it comes to fishing. They keep the fish connected to the angler. There are many excellent fishing knots that can be chosen. However, there is one fishing knot that is the best knot to use.

The best fishing not is the Uni knot. This is true for several reasons. Uni knots are very strong. They are also one of the easiest and quickest knots to tie. Finally, the Uni knot is quite versatile and can be used in variation to match every fishing situation that an anglers will encounter.

Capt Jim Klopfer has been a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida since 1991. He has tried just about every fishing knot out there. As a charter boat captain, he requires a knot that is strong and fast and easy to tie. The Uni knot meets those requirements and is the only knot that Capt Jim uses.

Anglers can see the tackle and lures that Capt Jim uses in this link to his article

Most fishing knots are a variation of the same principle. The line goes through the eye of the hook or lower, is wrapped around the running line several times, then goes back through and is cinched tight. The Uni knot is no exception. However, there are a couple of distinctions that make the Uni not the best fishing not.

Reasons why the uni knot is the best fishing knot

First and foremost, the Uni knot is quick and very easy to tie. This is important for charter boat captains who have to re-rig quickly and efficiently. It also comes into play for anglers fishing in low light conditions where the line is more difficult to see. Finally, when a blitz is on, anglers can confidently and quickly tie a Uni knot.

Strength is extremely important when it comes to fishing knots. The Uni knot is one of the strongest ones out there, when properly tied. It works well with both monofilament and braided line, which is not true of every fishing knot.

Uni knots are also quite versatile. By pulling the tag line tight instead of the running line, anglers can make a very effective loop knot. Uni knots are also a very easy way to tie multiple hooks on some type of dropper rig for bottom fishing or any other situation where more than one hook or lure is used. Finally, a double Uni knot is an excellent way to tie a piece of leader to the main line without having to use a swivel.

Tying the uni knot

what is the best fishing knot

The Uni knot is very easy to tie. The first step is to pass the line through the eye of the hook with about 6 inches of excess line to use to tie the knot. The angler then makes a loop pinching all three portions of the line between the thumb and forefinger. The tag end is then passed through the open loop 3 to 5 times when using monofilament line and 8 to 10 times when using braided line. The tag end is then slowly pulled snug. When properly done, the line will wrap over itself in a figure 8 manner. It does not hurt to wet monofilament line before pulling it tight. Once the knot is snug, the angler pulls on the running line to slide the knot down to the eye of the hook or lure. The tag end can then be trimmed. If a loop not is desired, the angler can finish up the knot by pulling tight on the tag and and trimming that end of the knot.

Variations of the uni knot

One variation of the Uni knot is to tie a double Uni knot. This is an excellent line to line knot, used to attach two pieces of fishing line without the use of a swivel. This can include a fluorocarbon leader to monofilament, two pieces of monofilament, two pieces of braid, or a monofilament leader attaching to braided line.

double uni knot

The double uni-knot is tied very similarly, with a little bit of difference. Both lines are laid over top of each other, with the tag end facing in different directions. A Uni knot is tied on one and, then the line flipped over and another one tied on the other end. The two knots are then pulled snug, resulting in a nice compact and strong knot.

Uni knots also work very well when tying dropper rigs when bottom fishing or when using multiple lures on one rig. The line is passed through the eye of the hook or lure, then a Uni not is tied. Once the size of the loop is the desired size, the tag end is pulled tight. This can then be repeated as many times as needed.

In conclusion, this article on the best fishing knot will help anglers land more fish!

What is the Best Fishing Bait for Blue Catfish?

The Best Fishing Bait for Blue Catfish is Fresh Cut Bait

Blue catfish are an increasingly popular freshwater game fish. They grow quite large and are widely distributed. There are several baits that are effective when fishing for blue catfish. However, there is one bait that is the best fishing bait for blue catfish.

The best fishing bait for blue catfish is fresh cut bait. There is nothing that a blue catfish prefers more than a freshly cut chunk of locally available forage. It is always best to use fresh bait, especially if that bait is present locally in the waters. Fresh cut bait puts out a ton of fish attracting scent, which will attract blue catfish to the hook.

best fishing bait for blue catfish

Blue catfish were introduced into many larger river and reservoir systems throughout the country, particularly in the Southeast and Midwest. This was done to give anglers the opportunity to catch a very large game fish. Blue catfish grow to over 100 pounds! They have a large mouth and a voracious appetite, making them an apex predator.

Best blue catfish baits

As mentioned above, the best fishing bait for blue catfish is a chunk of fresh cut bait. The best baits are normally shad, herring, and suckers. Shad and herring have been stocked into many larger lakes to provide a food source for striped bass. They are certainly happily devoured by blue catfish as well.

fishing for catfish

These are oily fish that put out a mini chum slick of scent into the water. As blue catfish primarily feed on forage fish and are also scent feeders, this makes a chunk of fresh cut bait a natural choice. Some anglers do go to the trouble of using live bait fish for blue catfish as well. However cut bait is very productive and there is no need to keep these fragile bait fish alive.

Frozen bait can be used in a pinch, however fresh bait will drastically outperform frozen bait in most instances. Fresh baits can be purchased at some bait shops and even grocery stores. However, most serious anglers fishing for blue catfish catch their own bait. Shad and herring are most often caught by anglers throwing a cast net. Suckers are usually caught on a hook in line with a piece of warm, but can be caught in nets or traps as well. It is important to check local regulations to determine what baits are legal to use and what methods are legal to use an order to obtain them.

Catfish bait

Anglers using fresh cut bait when fishing for blue catfish have two options; fillets or chunks. Most anglers opt for using chunks for several reasons. Using a sharp knife, the bait fish is caught into several sections, usually around 2 inches wide. This results in each piece of bait having some blood and entrails which will help attract the fish. The bone under the top of the bait fish helps keep the bait on the hook longer.

Best fishing rod and reel for blue catfish

Blue catfish grow very large. Fish in the 30 pound to 50 pound class are not at all uncommon. The current world record blue catfish is 130 pounds. For this reason, fairly stout conventional tackle is the best choice when fishing for blue catfish.

bank fishing

Fortunately, several manufacturers offer quality cat fishing outfits at a very affordable price. A 7 foot to 8 foot medium heavy rod with a fairly limber tip and matching reel is an excellent all round combination. This outfit will be light enough to enjoy the fight of a small to medium-size blue catfish while providing the power to land a trophy. Most anglers use braided line, with 50 pound test being a good choice.

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Anglers can certainly use heavy spinning tackle as well. Spinning tackle is actually advantageous in situations where anglers need to make long casts. Again, a 7 foot to 8 foot medium heavy rod with a 6000 to 8000 series reel spooled up with 40 pound braided line is an excellent spinning outfit when fishing for blue catfish.

fishing for blue catfish

Hooks and rigs for catching blue catfish

There are many different choices when it comes to hooks when fishing with cut bait bait for blue catfish. Many anglers have turned to circle hooks as they tend to end up in the mouth of the fish, which reduces catfish mortality rates. Other anglers still prefer to use “J” hooks. There really is no wrong answer, it is just a matter of angler preference. 5/0 “J” hooks and 10/0 circle hooks are good all-around size is when fishing for average sized blue catfish.

catfish leaders

While blue catfish are most often found on or near the bottom, there are several different ways to present a chunk of cut bait to them. The most commonly used rig would be the sliding sinker rig, also known as a Carolina rig. This consists of a sinker with a hole in the center, which the running line slides through. A swivel is then tied on, which not only stops the sinker but facilitates use of a leader. A short leader is used between the swivel and the hook.

This rig allows catfish to pick up the bait and move off a bit without feeling the weight of the sinker. Is a very effective rig for catfish and just about any other bottom feeding species. Many anglers opt for special flat catfish sinkers which sit on the bottom and do not roll. These are also known as “no roll” sinkers, for obvious reasons.

fishing for blue catfish

More blue catfish rigs

Blue catfish will also feed a few feet above the bottom. Anglers often do well with a high low rig, also known as a spreader rig. With this rig anglers can present multiple baits at varying depths above the bottom. Most anglers limit this to two or three hooks at most, as it becomes cumbersome after that.

fishing for river catfish

Three-way swivels are used to tie this rig. The running line is tied to one end of the swivel. The leader with a hook in it is tied to in other end of the swivel. A short piece of line connects the third ring of the swivel with either a sinker or another three-way swivel and the process is repeated.

Blue catfish will be found quite shallow at times, especially true at night. Submerged timber, rocks, and other structure including flats and drop-offs will be prime spots to catch channel catfish. Fishing a chunk of cut bait under a float can be a very effective presentation during these times. This is a simple as adding a float several feet above the hook.

Other effective blue catfish baits

While fresh cut bait is the best fishing bait for blue catfish, there are other baits that can be productive as well. These include live versions of the same cut bait, prepared baits, and nightcrawlers.

Live bait fish

As mentioned earlier, live a shad, herring, suckers, and even panfish where legal can be very good baits when fishing for blue catfish. The main disadvantage is the extra care and inconvenience that is required when fishing with live bait fish. Herring and Shad in particular are very delicate and require large live wells with strong pumps in order to keep the bait alive for very long. Suckers and panfish are a bit easier to deal with. There are some anglers fishing for blue catfish who feel that live bait fish are worth the trouble.

Prepared catfish baits

Catfish Bubblegum

There are many commercially available prepared catfish baits that will certainly full blue catfish as well. These normally do not work as well and heavily pressured waters. The main advantage to these baits is their convenience. Anglers can keep them stored in their tackle boxes or garages for a long time and they are ready to use whenever the angler wants to go fishing. These tend to catch more channel catfish as well, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on the angler.

Nightcrawlers

best live bait for freshwater fishing

Nightcrawlers will catch just about every freshwater species, and blue catfish are no exception. There are times when a gob of lively nightcrawlers on I hook will be the preferred bait for anglers fishing for blue catfish and other species. Nightcrawlers are readily obtainable and easy to keep alive, which are both definitely advantages. The main disadvantage, if you want to call it that, with nightcrawlers is the fact that just about everything else will eat them. Anglers targeting blue catfish will often find these other game fish to be a “nuisance”.

In conclusion, this article on the best fishing bait for blue catfish should help anglers catch more of these powerful freshwater game fish!

What is the Best Largemouth Bass Fishing Lure?

The Best Largemouth Bass Fishing Lure is the Plastic Worm

Largemouth bass are the most popular freshwater game fish in North America. Most anglers catch them using artificial lures. There are many lures that anglers fishing for largemouth bass to choose from. However, there is one bait that is the best largemouth bass fishing lure.

best largemouth bass fishing lure

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The best largemouth bass fishing lure is a plastic worm. This is true for several reasons. Plastic worms are very versatile and will catch largemouth bass under all conditions.. They can be rigged and presented in a variety of ways. Plastic worms also come in many different lengths and colors. Finally, plastic worms are very economical to fish.

Plastic worms first hit the bass fishing scene in the late 60s. At that time they were very stiff and were not very lifelike. That has changed greatly over the decades. Plastic worms look and even taste like natural prey. While largemouth bass do not necessarily feed on nightcrawlers all that extensively, plastic worms just resembles something that is alive and tasty and crawling along the bottom or swimming through the water.

bass fishing with a worm

Plastic worm choices for bass fishing

Plastic worms vary in length from small versions that are only a couple inches long up to gigantic baits that are a foot long. As mentioned above, these can imitate salamanders, crayfish, baitfish, and other forage. In most cases, a 6 inch or 7 inch plastic worm is the best choice for most anglers.

best largemouth bass lure

The key to the effectiveness of plastic worms is the action they produce in the water. Plastic worms undulate seductively in the water, both as they are falling through the water column and as they are being retrieved back in by the angler. In most cases, a slower retrieved works best to allow the natural action of the lure to attract the fish. Rarely does a fast, aggressive retrieves produce largemouth bass for anglers fishing with plastic worms.

Anglers have many different colors to choose from when it comes to fishing with plastic worms for bass. In some cases, the selection can be overwhelming! However, the general rule of thumb of using light colored worms in clear water and darker colored worms and stained water works pretty well. Natural colors such as green pumpkin, motor oil, and black roof produce in just about any body of water and under all conditions.

best bass lure

Best tackle for fishing a plastic worm

Anglers fishing for largemouth bass with plastic worms can use both spinning tackle and bait casting tackle successfully. Spinning tackle is becoming much more popular among bass anglers, especially when using finesse style plastic worms. These are smaller plastic worms used in conjunction with smaller hooks and lighter lines. It is easier to cast these lighter baits out with spinning tackle than it is with conventional tackle.

best bass lure

The best spinning outfit for largemouth bass fishing with plastic worms is a 7 foot to seven 1/2 foot medium action rod paired with a 3000 to 4000 series real and spooled up with 10 pound to 20 pound monofilament or braided line. This is an excellent all round combination that anglers can use that will cover a wide variety of fishing situations.

Read this article on tackle choices for largemouth bass

Heavier bait casting tackle certainly has its place when it comes to fishing for bass the plastic worms. This is especially true when casting worms into heavy cover. In this application, anglers will need to set the hook hard and horse the fish out of the vegetation or away from the structure. Bait casting tackle is better equipped for this. A medium action bait casting rod with matching real and 40 pound braided line is an excellent outfit.

Top plastic worms for bass fishing

There are too many manufacturers who offer quality plastic worms to listed this post. However, Capt. Jim will list several of his personal favorite plastic worms that he uses to catch largemouth bass.

Zoom Trick worm

zoom trick worm

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The Zoom Trick Worm is an excellent and versatile plastic worm. Capt. Jim prefers the standard 6 1/2 inch size. It is a long slender lure that comes in a wide variety of colors. Green pumpkin and motor oil work very well and are excellent all round colors for many different applications. White is also an excellent color and is underutilized by many bass anglers. This worm is most often fished Texas rigged or on a swim bait hook. It also floats, making it very effective when fished deep on a Carolina rig.

Yamamoto Senko

Senko

The Yamamoto Senko is a fantastic plastic worm in his Capt. Jim’s favorite finesse style bait. Both the 4 inch and 5 inch versions in natural colors such as green pumpkin and read Shad work very well. These baits are most often fished on a drop shot rig, wacky rigged, or on a Shaky Head jig. However, they can certainly be fished on a Texas rig or a swim bait hook as well, anglers just need to use a smaller hook size.

Click this link to shop Amazon for Senko baits

Culprit

culprit

Click this link to shop Amazon for Culprit worms

Culprit worms are another one of Capt. Jim’s favorite plastic worms for largemouth bass fishing. He prefers this worm with a curly tail when a little bit more action is desired. It is a great worm to swim. As with the other manufacturers, this worm comes in a variety of fish catching colors. Capt. Jim likes to six-inch or 7 inch versions. Is mostly fished Texas rigged bite is very effective when reeled and steadily on a swim bait hook. It also works very well when fished wacky style.

Mann’s Jelly worm

jelly worm

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The man’s jelly worm is an old-school bait that is been around a very long time. It was designed by legendary bass angler Tom Mann. It has a flat tail which has excellent action and the water. Capt. Jim goes to the jelly worm in the 10 inch or even 12 inch size when looking to fish a larger plastic worm.

Rigging plastic worms for bass fishing

There are several effective ways to rig and fish the plastic worm when fishing for bass. These include a Texas rig, swim bait hook, wacky rig, Carolina rig, and a drop shot rig.

Texas rig

texas rigged worm

A Texas rigged worm uses a special worm hook along with a sliding worm sinker. The worm is threaded on to the front of the hook while the point of the hook is inserted through the body. When properly done, the worm hangs perfectly straight and is virtually weedless. This is the best way to fish the worm in shallow water where cover is present.

Swim hook

swim bait hook

Swimming a worm has become popular of late amongst both recreational and tournament bass fisherman. It is a very simple yet effective technique that is easy for novice anglers to learn. Swim bait hooks are similar to bare warm hooks except that there is a little bit of weight added to the shank. These hooks also have some type of device be it a bar or screw to hold the nose of the bait. The hook is then inserted through the body with the tip of the point buried in the worm. The lure is cast out and reeled and slowly and steadily. This works very well in vegetation.

Wacky rig

wacky rig

Wacky rigging a worm hit the bass fishing scene 20 years or so ago. It looks ridiculous, but is incredibly effective. The worm is basically hooked right through the center of the bait. The point of the hook is exposed. Most strikes occur as the worm lands in the water and falls through the water column, wiggling seductively. Largemouth bass will pick up the worm and run off with it, making the strike easy to detect. This is most often used in shallow water and is an excellent method for novice anglers to use to catch fish.

Carolina rig

carolina rig

A Carolina rig consists of a sliding egg sinker, a swivel, a length of leader, and then a worm hook. This rig is used to crawl over cover and structure in deep water. Many anglers prefer a floating worm with this rig as it will result in the worm hovering 6 inches to a foot above the bottom. That is basically determined by the length of the leader. This is not an easy method to master, but is very effective when fish are schooled out in deep water structure.

Drop shot rig

drop shot

Drop-shotting is a very effective finesse style presentation that is grown massively and popularity. It works extremely well when bass are suspended in deeper water, when the water is clear, and imposed cold front conditions. It consists of a hook tide in line with a sinker generally 1 foot to 18 inches below. The worm is hooked through the nose than lower down to the desired depth usually starting on the bottom. Very little action is used, just slight manipulation of the rod tip. The lore will dance and wriggle in the water, attracting bass.

In conclusion, this article on the best largemouth bass fishing lure will help anglers learn how to purchase and fish a plastic worm.

What is the Best Crappie Fishing Lure?

The Best Crappie Fishing Lure is the Blakemore Road Runner

Crappie are one of the most popular freshwater game fish species. Many anglers choose to fish for them using artificial lures. There are many lures that will fool them. However, there is one lure that is particularly effective when crappie fishing.

The best crappie fishing lure is the Blakemore Road Runner. It is an extremely versatile and productive bait when fishing for crappie. The Blakemore Road Runner combines the bulk and action of a jig with the flash and vibration of a spinner. They are available in a wide variety of color combinations and several different sizes. Road Runner lures are effective, versatile, and economical.

best crappie fishing lure

Jigs have long been used by anglers to catch crappie, and for good reason. A jig is basically a hook with a lead weight molded at the head and dressed with a soft plastic or hair body. This lure has an erratic action in the water, particularly when falling. It can be fished at any depth effectively.

Spinners have long been used by freshwater anglers to catch crappie and other species. The rotating blade adds both flash and vibration, imitating wounded bait fish. The genius of the Blakemore Road Runner is that it combines both of these highly productive crappie fishing lures into one unit.

road runner

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Road Runner crappie fishing lure options

Road Runner are available dressed with hair, mostly marabou, and with soft plastic grub tales. Each have advantages and disadvantages. Marabou dressed to jigs are very effective and extremely lifelike in the water. The natural hair dressing undulate seductively in the water with even the slightest movement. These jigs come in many different color combinations.

Many anglers prefer the soft plastic tails for their versatility. Anglers can quickly and easily change the color and action of the jig by simply changing the grub body tail. Also, the tails are easily replaced if they get chewed up or the curly tail is bitten off. Either way, anglers can’t go wrong choosing the marabou or soft plastic tailed Blakemore roadrunner lures.

Best crappie fishing rod and reel

Anglers fishing for crappie with Blakemore Road Runner lures mostly opt for light spinning tackle. Given that crappie average a pound or so, for pound or 6 pound light spinning outfits work very well. This outfit will work well whether casting lures, vertically fishing, or even trolling. Anglers fishing for larger crappie around heavy structure will have to bump it up a bit.

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fishing for crappie bluegill and panfish

Click to read a detailed article on crappie fishing tackle and lures

Choosing the best color and size for crappie fishing

Blakemore Road Runners are available in many different colors and several different sizes. As in all fishing situations, anglers fishing for crappie should match the lure to the current fishing situation and conditions. Water clarity, water depth, current, forage size, structure, and fish size are all factors that should be taken into account.

The 1/8 ounce size is an excellent all round size for most crappie fishing situations. It is small enough to catch average sized fish while large enough to attract trophy crappie. In darker, tannin stained waters, bright colors will be more productive. Pink and chartreuse are the top colors in stained water, with white being a another good choice. In clear water, white works very well. Chartreuse is the most popular color and works well in all conditions.

crappie fishing with minnows

Crappie fishing techniques

One of the key elements that makes the Blakemore roadrunner the best crappie fishing lure is its versatility. These lures can be cast out and retrieved, fished under a float, trolled, or even used to present a live bait.

Casting the best crappie fishing lure

Casting and retrieving the roadrunner is a very effective technique. This is most often used in shallow water were anglers want to keep a distance away from the cover being fished. The lure is cast out, allowed to sink, then reeled back in. In most cases, a slow steady retrieve works best. This is a very effective technique to use over submerged grass beds as well as around structure such as docs and fallen trees.

Sarasota crappie fishing

The Blakemore roadrunner is very effective when fished under a float as well. This serves a couple of different purposes. Allows anglers to suspend the lure at the desired depth, usually over submerged vegetation or structure. It also gives anglers a visual reference when a strike occurs as the float will disappear or move, indicating a strike.

In deeper water, anglers can vertically fish the Blakemore roadrunner quite effectively. This is a very efficient technique when crappie are located over deeper structure such as channel edges, creek beds, artificial reefs, and submerged timber. The bait is dropped down to the bottom and jig subtly. After a few moments, the angler reels up a few feet of line and repeats the process. This is an excellent way to catch suspended crappie, which can be difficult to catch at times.

Trolling for crappie

Trolling is a very efficient and effective way to locate and catch crappie. Trolling is simply the act of slowly moving the boat while pulling lures behind. This also allows anglers to present multiple baits at various levels at the same time. The roadrunner is an excellent lure to use when trolling for crappie as the combination of the flashing blade in the action of the lure body combined to attract fish.

crappie fishing in Texas

Trolling for crappie can be as simple or as complicated as an angler desires. In its easiest form, a couple of lures are simply trolled behind a slowly moving boat while the angler holds the rod in anticipation of a strike a couple of anglers can easily troll for rods using rod holders or just holding them.

Many anglers have taken trolling for crappie to a much higher level. A special technique called spider rigging is used by serious anglers. This involves the use of multiple special rods that vary and length up to 16 feet or more. It is usually done from the bow of the boat. This is a bit complicated as anglers have to constantly monitor many different rods and lines.

Using the Road Runner with live bait

Anglers fishing for crappie can even use Road runners to present a live bait. This is an option as the roadrunner is available bear, ready for a soft plastic grub body to be attached. This makes the lure an excellent choice when fishing with live bait, as it has weight, a hook, in the flash of a spinner all in one tidy little unit.

fishing Texas lakes

Live minnows are the most popular bait used by anglers fishing for crappie. A 2 inch minnow hooked through both lips from the bottom works very well behind a roadrunner. Anglers can certainly use other baits such as nightcrawlers or worms as well.

More productive crappie fishing lures

While the Blakemore Rd., Runner is the best crappie fishing lure, there are certainly other baits which are effective as well. Several of these will be listed below.

Rooster Tail inline spinners

rooster tail

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Inline spinners are effective lures for just about every freshwater species, and crappie are no exception. The Worden’s Rooster Tail line of in-line spinners are very productive crappie fishing lures. They are available in many different color patterns, with the 1/8 ounce size being the best all round choice. They produce best with a very slow and steady retrieve. These lures can be cast out as well as trolled.

Mister Twister grubs

mister twister

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Mister Twister pretty much invented the curly tail jig back in the late 1970s. These lures revolutionized soft plastic baits. The 2 inch Mister Twister continues to be a very effective lure to this day. It is most often fished on a 1/16 ounce or 1/8 ounce jig head. It can be productive and every crappie fishing situation and is fished similarly to the roadrunner. The primary difference is that it does not have the flashing blade.

Rapala Husky Jerk

husky jerk

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The Rapala Husky Jerk in the 06 size is an excellent crappie fishing lure. It is a shallow diving plug that realistically mimics a wounded minnow. This lure floats on the surface and dive down several feet when retrieved. It works best in fairly shallow water and is an excellent choice for anglers targeting larger fish. Silver and gold are the top color patterns.

In conclusion, this article on the best crappie fishing lure will help anglers catch more of these desirable freshwater fish!

9 Essential Smallmouth Bass Fishing Lures

9 Essential Smallmouth Bass Fishing Lures

Most anglers fishing for smallmouth bass do so using artificial lures. These baits allow anglers to cover more water as well as triggering bites from non active fish. However, there are a few lures that have proven to catch more smallmouth bass than other lures.

9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures

The 9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures are

  • Berkley Power Tube
  • Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait
  • Heddon Tiny Torpedo
  • Yamamota Senko
  • Rebel Crawfish
  • Strike King KVD Finesse spinnerbait
  • Spro hair jig
  • Mepps Spinner
  • Daredevil spoon

Smallmouth bass feeding habits

Many of the best fishing lures for smallmouth bass are smaller versions of those used for largemouth bass. As the name implies, smallmouth bass do have a smaller mouth. The forage that they feed on generally consists of crayfish, helgramites, and smaller fish.

9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures

Crayfish in particular are sought after by feeding smallmouth bass. They are found in rocky environments, which smallmouth bass prefer. This is especially true in rivers. Crayfish are high in protein and relatively easy to catch. Many of the top smallmouth bass lures mimic a fleeing crayfish.

Smallmouth bass certainly feed extensively on bait fish as well. The type of fish will vary depending on the region and body of water. White and silver lures work well in waters that have shad and herring. Darker colors imitate gobies in the Great Lakes region. Yellow perch and bluegill patters are effective as well.

smallmouth bass fsihing lures

Best smallmouth bass fishing tackle

In most cases, light or medium light spinning tackle is the best choice when casting lures for smallmouth bass. Many of these lures are light. Therefore, spinning tackle is much better suited for tossing these baits. Anglers casting heavier plugs can certainly opt for light baitcasting outfits.

smallmouth bass fishing

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The best rod and reel is a 6 ½ foot to 7 foot rod with a ‘fast” action. This means that the rod has some strength at the reel, then tapers to a limber tip. This combination allows anglers to cast light lures while having the power to handle a good fish. 6 lb monofilament or flourocarbon line or 10 lb braided line are good line choices.

fishing lures for smallmouth

9 Essential smallmouth bass fishing lures

This is the list of Capt Jim’s 9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures. They have produced many fish over decades for him and countless other anglers. These lures will cover every fishing situation that will be encountered as well as all depths from the surface to the bottom.

Berkley Powerbait tube

tube lure

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Tube baits are incredible baits and top the list of the 9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures. Many anglers associate tube lures with smallmouth bass, though they are certainly effective on many other species, particularly panfish. Tube baits are basically soft plastic lures with a slender body and many split tales that undulate realistically in the water. The Berkley Power Bait Tube is Capt. Jim’s favorite tube lure.

These are very versatile fishing lures. They realistically imitate both crustaceans and live bait fish. Natural colors such as brown, red, olive, and orange are excellent crayfish colors. They are very effective when bounced along the bottom, mimicking a fleeing crayfish. Tube baits produce well for anglers in both lakes and rivers.

live bait for bass

Tube baits can also imitate live bait fish. In most cases, pearl, white, silver, and chartreuse are the top choices when shad and herring are present. Darker colors produce better when smallmouth bass are feeding on gobies, bluegill, and yellow perch. The tube size should be matched to the prey as well, with 3 inch baits being an excellent all round choice.

Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait

Rapala x-rap

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Second on the list of 9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures is the Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait. This is in the family of hard plugs known as “jerk baits”. These are long and slender lures that are worked very aggressively. The angler jerks the rod tip sharply, thus earning its name. In between jerks, the lure is allowed to pause and hang motionless in the water. This is most often when the strike occurs as the lure resembles a wounded bait fish and seems like easy prey.

river smallmouth bass fishing

Anglers have several different sizes and many different colors to choose from. In most smallmouth bass fishing situations in lakes, the number 10 size is the best all round choice. It is available in both a shallow diving in deep diving version to suit the depth of the water being fished. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass in rivers and streams will often do better scaling down to the number 8 size X-Rap.

As with all lures, the color should be matched to the locally available forage. For the most part, jerk baits mimic live bait fish, especially shad. Lighter colors such as white and silver are excellent choices. The shallow running version will work a few feet below the surface, where shad and herring often school.

Heddon Tiny Torpedo

tiny torpedo

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The Heddon Tiny Torpedo is a legendary fishing lure that has been around for many decades. It is a top water plug, which means that it stays on the surface the entire time. This bait has a cone shaped nose with a propeller on the rear. This combination puts out just the right amount of splash and action to be productive. It is third on the list of 9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures. It comes in one size. Color is less important on top water lures as it is more about profile and action.

best 7 river smallmouth fishing lures

Top water lures are mostly worked around shoreline structure or over shallow submerged structure such as rocky points and sunken islands. In clear water, smallmouth bass will rise a surprising distance to take a top water plug. The best retrieve consists of a sharp twitch to cause the propellers to make a commotion on the surface, followed by a pause. In many instances, the bass will hit on this pause as the lure sits there seemingly helpless.

One mistake that many novice anglers make when fishing the Tiny Torpedo and other top water lures is setting the hook too quickly. It is easy to get excited and set the hook when the take is seen. However, this will often result in missing the fish. A better technique is to wait until the fish is actually felt on the line, then sweeping the rod tip and coming tight while reeling. This will result in more hookups.

Yamamoto Senko

senko

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The Yamamoto Senko is a fantastic soft plastic fishing lure! It is in the family of what is known as “finesse” baits and is very versatile. It is basically a plastic worm. In most cases, the Senko is most productive with very little or even no action. It can be rigged Texas style, wacky style, on a shaky head jig, on a drop shot rig, or on a jig head. It is fourth on the list of 9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures.

The 4 inch size Senko is the best choice for most anglers fishing for smallmouth bass. It is available in the 5 inch size for anglers targeting larger fish. Natural colors are very productive, with green pumpkin being an excellent choice in just about every fishing condition or situation. While mostly used in lakes, these baits are very effective when fishing in rivers as well.

Virginia river fishing tips

The best technique when fishing the Senko is to let the natural action of the bait attract the fish. Many strikes will occur as the lure falls through the water column, no matter what the depth being fished or the type of rig being used. Once the lure reaches the bottom, it can be twitched or hopped very slowly along bottom structure, especially rocks. Again, it is important not to work this lure to aggressively. Anglers fishing in rivers will do well to simply allow the bait to drift naturally with the current through riffles and pools.

Rebel Crawfish

bebel wee craw

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The Rebel Crawfish is another legendary smallmouth bass fishing lure, especially for anglers fishing in streams and rivers. This is a hard body plug that dives down five or 6 feet and has a very effective erratic action. When worked properly, it will bounce off of rocks and other cover, realistically imitating a fleeing crayfish. It is next on the list of the 9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures.

Oklahoma smallmouth bass

The standard crawfish size works very well in most river and lake situations. Anglers can drop down to the Wee Craw when fishing in smaller streams. These lures will also catch trout in waters where they reside. The Rebel Crawfish is available in a handful of natural colors and finishes. Where possible, anglers should match the bait color to the color of the crayfish in the area.

This lure is fairly simple to use and has a great built in action. Anglers simply cast it out, reel quickly to get the lure down to the desired depth, then work it back in using an erratic action. As mentioned above, bouncing the lure off of rocks and other obstructions will only increase its effectiveness. This is a fantastic lure that realistically imitates the favorite food of smallmouth bass.

Strike King KVD Finesse Spinnerbait

terminator

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The Strike King KVD Finesse Spinnerbait is number six on the list of 9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures. Spinnerbaits are very effective lures on bass and just about every other game fish species in freshwater. As the name implies, this spinner bait is a bit smaller than other models offered for largemouth bass. That makes it the perfect choice for anglers fishing for smallmouth bass.

smallmouth bass fishing tackle and lures

This lure is a tandem spinner bait, which means it has two blades. These put out excellent flash and vibration, which imitate a wounded baitfish. In most cases, the lure is mimicking bait fish. White and chartreuse are the top color patterns. However, anglers can slow roll and bounce this lure off the bottom to imitate crayfish. There are a couple of darker color patterns to suit this presentation.

In most cases, spinner baits are most productive when fish in fairly shallow water, 10 feet deep or less. However, in very clear water, these lures can be effective when worked deeper. Spinner baits are very easy to use and are an excellent choice for novice anglers as they have terrific built in action. A slow steady retrieve is often the most productive. Spinnerbaits can be worked through the entire water column, from just on the surface all the way to the bottom.

Spro hair jig

bucktail jig

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The Spro jig is another very effective smallmouth bass fishing lure. These baits have the hair or dressing fixed permanently to the jig head. They are very versatile lures that can be used to mimic a wide variety of forage. They are especially effective in natural or darker colors and bounced along the bottom, mimicking crayfish. White is another very popular color and is an excellent choice when herring and shad are in the area.

Tailwater fishing tips and techniques

Jigs are one of the oldest lures that man has been using to catch fish. The combination of the weighted jig head and hair dressing results in a very enticing and natural looking lure in the water. Subtle action is generally draw more strikes, though there are times when active fish will respond better to a fast, erratic retrieve. Some anglers increase the effectiveness of this lure by adding a soft plastic trailer or even a live minnow.

Mepps spinner

mepps

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The Mepps line of spinners have been catching smallmouth bass for anglers for decades now. This is a very simple lure that is an in-line spinner. This consists of a shaft with a weighted body, a hook which is often dressed, and a blade that rotates around the body putting out both flash and vibration.

fishing in rivers for smallmouth bass

Spinners are very easy to use, making them an excellent choice for novice anglers. While they are used effectively in lakes, spinners really shine when chasing smallmouth bass in rivers. The best technique is to cast straight across the stream then reel back in using a slow, steady retrieve. The current will assist in rotating the blade. Many bites occur as the spinner swings in the current at the end of the drift. Spinners are an excellent choice for anglers fishing waters that are cold enough to have trout along with the smallmouth bass.

Eppinger Daredevil Spoon

daredevil

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The Eppinger Daredevil spoon is last, but certainly not least, on the list of 9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures. Spoons have fallen a bit out of favor with smallmouth bass anglers of late, but this is a big mistake. A spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook in. Spoons are excellent and productive lures and have several advantages. Silver, gold, red/white, and 5 of diamonds are the top colors. 1/2 ounce is a great all round size.

Most spoons are fairly heavy and are very easy to cast a long distance. They are worked fairly quickly and put out a lot a flash and vibration. This combination makes them an excellent choice for anglers who need to cover a lot of water in search of fish. Spoons can also be used in a vertical presentation on are very effective when jigs over submerged structure. This is especially true in winter and summer when smallmouth bass move deep.

Finally, spoons are excellent lures to use when trolling. Whether casting or trolling it is important to use a quality swivel when fishing with a spoon to reduce line twist. The final advantage anglers fishing with spoons for smallmouth bass will realize is that they will catch many other species as well, including northern pike, trout, and walleye.

In conclusion, this article on the 9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures will help anglers fill their tackle boxes with baits that will produce fish in any location and at any time of year!