Sarasota Fishing Report

Sarasota Fishing Report, weekly updates from Capt Jim

I will be posting my current Sarasota fishing report on this page. It will be updated every week or two as conditions and species change. It will include the baits or lures along with the species and locations. Fishing conditions change daily and seasonally, anglers can use this report to be more successful.

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

March 27 fishing report

Speckled trout were the name of the game this week for clients on Sarasota fishing charters. Just about every grass flat in 4′ to 8′ of water from Big Pass north to Long Bar held trout. Most were caught on Bass Assassin jigs and jerk worms along with Gulp baits. Live shrimp fooled a few as well. Silver trout showed up in decent numbers along with the occasional mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, jack, shark, and catfish. Hoping for the action out on the beach to fire up this coming week!

Sarasota fishing report

Sarasota fishing report March 20

There were two solid bites for anglers on Sarasota fishing charters this week; trout hitting jigs on the flats and sheepshead taking shrimp in the passes. Just about every submerged grass flat in 5′ to 8′ of water held speckled trout. Bass assassin jigs and Gulp Shrimp worked well. Silver trout, mackerel, bluefish, jacks, small sharks, ladyfish, and more were also caught. Just about every piece of structure in either pass has sheepshead around it. Live or frozen shrimp fished on the bottom will catch them up!

Sarasota fishing report

March 13 Sarasota fishing report

Fishing was decent this week, though wind was certainly an issue early in the week. Conditions improved daily after Tuesday. Still, the bite was steady, though the fish were not quite as active as last week. Every trip produced a few decent Spanish mackerel and decent numbers of spotted sea trout along with pompano, bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish. Jigs, Clouser Minnow flies, and live shrimp were used. Sheepshead are stacked up in large numbers in both passes. Anglers seeking a fillet or two can catch these saltwater panfish by fishing live or frozen shrimp near any type of structure in either New pass or Big Pass.

Sarasota fishing report

March 6 fishing report

Fishing in Sarasota Bay was good again this week. The best action was on the deeper grass flats throughout the area. Pompano, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, and other species hit Bass Assassin baits and Gulp Shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig head. Speckled trout in particular were quite plentiful on the flats, their numbers are clearly rebounding. Anglers seeking a fillet or two can hit the passes with shrimp. Sheepshead are stacked in in big numbers as they prepare to spawn. I ran a couple river trips (probably the last ones this season) and it was pretty slow.

Sarasota fishing report

February 28

Fishing continued to be very good this week. The action in the passes was outstanding, despite the water being fairly murky. Big numbers of sheepshead seemed to have moved in over the full moon and are being caught on shrimp near most structure including rocks, bridges, and docks. Snapper and sea bass were mixed in as well. Jigging the passes while drifting with the tide produced both action and variety for clients this week. Pompano, Spanish mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, and other species were landed. Speckled trout were numerous on the deep grass flats and hit Gulp Shrimp on a jig head. Mackerel, bluefish, and ladyfish were also caught. A couple of river trips were a bit slow, with some jacks and small snook being caught, along with a bunch of big ladyfish. The water is 72 degrees and with this very warm weather coming up, the river fishing may be done for the season.

Sarasota fishing charters

February 20

Fishing was very good this week for clients on Sarasota fishing charters. A variety of species were caught using several techniques. The best bite was probably in the passes. Anglers drifting while bouncing jigs on the bottom caught permit, pompano, jacks, mackerel, small sharks, and ladyfish. Bottom fishing near structure with shrimp fooled sheepshead, snapper, small grouper, and sea bass. The deep grass flats held plenty of trout, which hit Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits and Gulp Shrimp. A few mackerel, pompano, silver trout, ladyfish, and whiting were landed as well. A river trip produced a pair of 24″ snook, a jack, and a couple of gar for anglers casting Rapala X-Raps.

Sarasota fishing report

February 13

Fishing was excellent in Sarasota this week! The weather fantastic with temperatures near 80 degrees. Clients caught a variety of species using multiple techniques. Big Pass produced sheepshead, snapper, grouper, and sea bass for those bottom fishing with shrimp. Drifting jigs in the pass resulted in pompano, jacks, and ladyfish. Anglers drifting the deep grass and casting Bass Assassin jigs and Clouser Minnow and D.T. Special flies caught a lot of speckled trout with some Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and pompano mixed in. A trip to a nearby river saw anglers casting Rapala plugs catching a bunch of big ladyfish with a few jacks and a nice redfish.

sarasota fishing report

February 6

The week started off cool and quite breezy, with temperatures dipping into the upper 30’s. It was Thursday before it was nice enough to get out. The bite was steady, despite water temperatures of 58. Sheepshead hit shrimp around structure, permit and pompano took jigs in Big Pass, and jigs produced trout and Spanish mackerel on the deep flats. A river trip on Friday was slow, the water was 59 degrees, but we did catch one decent snook on a Gulp jerk bait.

Sarasota fishing report

Jan 30 Sarasota fishing report

We experienced a warming trend this week and the fishing improved in several areas, though morning fog was a minor issue. Action on the deep grass flats was good with a lot of speckled trout and some decent Spanish mackerel.  The mackerel numbers decreased later in the week, but there were still some being caught along with an occasional bluefish and ladyfish. Jigs caught most of the fish, but spoons produced as well. The other bite that produced for clients was vertically jigging in Big Pass with banana jigs. Pompano, bluefish, mackerel, jacks, and ladyfish were landed. Bottom fishing did slow a bit.

jig fishing for pompano

Jan 23

Early in the week, bottom fishing with shrimp near structure in water between 10 feet and 20 feet deep produced sheepshead, snapper, grouper, sea bass, and jack crevalle. By the end of the week, the water had both warmed up and cleared up and action on the deep grass flats really picked up. Speckled trout and Spanish mackerel were plentiful, with a few bluefish and ladyfish mixed in.  Jigs, plugs, spoons, and live shrimp were all productive.

Sarasota Spanish mackerel fishing

Jan 16

Fishing was a bit tough this week as clients had to deal with cool water and breezy conditions. Bottom fishing was fair, with most of the fish being caught around oyster bars as opposed to docks. Sheepshead numbers are starting to increase and took live shrimp. The best action was on Thursday with anglers casting Rapala plugs and Gulp Jerk Shad in canals and creeks. Jack crevalle and snook were fairly active.

fishing report for Sarasota Florida

Jan 9

Winter fishing patterns are consistent and fishing was steady for a variety of species using several tactics. Free lining live shrimp into holes and channels, especially those dropping off sharply from grass flats, produced a bunch of nice “slot” trout along with a few ladyfish and flounder. Bottom fishing near structure produced sheepshead, gag and red grouper, mangrove and mutton snapper, and sea bass. Trolling plugs in canals fooled a couple of big jack crevalle.

fishing report in Sarasota

Jan 2, 2021

Fish have definitely moved to their winter locations and successful anglers change strategies with them. The bite on the grass flats has slowed. On Monday a fly fishing trip produced jacks and snook in area canals and creeks on Clouser patterns. Plenty of trout were found in deeper holes and on steeper drop offs. Free lined shrimp worked well. Bottom fishing with shrimp near structure was very effective. Snapper, sheepshead, grouper, sea bass, and flounder were caught. Drifting jigs in the pass produced a few permit.

mangrove snapper

December 26

Fishing has settled into it’s winter patterns as it has been a chilly December here in Sarasota. The bite on the grass flats has slowed considerable and fish have moved to deeper edges and holes. A fly trip on Sunday was pretty slow. Structure is holding a lot of sea bass, providing anglers with both action and some good eating fillets. Sea bass will hit both jigs and shrimp. Trout are schooled up and once located, the action can be fast. Clients found a school on Wednesday before the front and landed 15 or so nice fat slot trout free lining live shrimp. Several Spanish mackerel and big bluefish were caught as well. The very cold weather over the Christmas weekend may push fish south to Little Sarasota Bay, we shall see.

Sarasota fishing report

December 19

I did all of my fishing in lakes and rivers this week. Action was steady, particularly on the days right before the fronts moved through. Anglers caught bass and averaged sized snook casting Rapala plugs and soft plastic baits. Once nice aspect of this fishing is that it offers protection from the wind on breezy days. The river fishing is dependent on tides, especially this time of year when the winter low tides are VERY low. Anglers looking for a different fishing experience in a really cool environment might want to give it a try.

Sarasota fishing report

December 12

Weather was once again an issue and fish are definitely transitioning to their winter patterns. The action on the flats in the north bay slowed, with the spots closer to the passes being more productive, though the bite was not as fast as before. Trout were the most numerous species, with pompano, mackerel, ladyfish, and bluefish being caught. Jigging in the pass produced ladyfish and a few permit. Jack crevalle hit plugs in creeks and canals. I ran a trip to the Myakka River on Wednesday and it was very slow. We faced post frontal conditions; blue bird sky and 59 degree water and the snook simply did not eat.

permit

December 5

Well, summer is officially over here in Sarasota. After an unseasonably warm fall, the first severe front moved through on Monday. Action on the deep flats was very good the weekend before. It should resume as the water clears and settles. Pompano, bluefish, mackerel, trout, ladyfish, sharks, and more hit jigs. The bite in the Gulf slowed a bit before the front, though anglers caught some mackerel and a false albacore near the Silvertooth Reef. Hard to say if this bite will resume, the water temperature did drop substancially.

I ran my first Myakka River trip on Friday, as the Water level finally dropped after the last tropical storm. Rapala plugs produced a half dozen snook, including a nice one that hit right at the boat. This is a different and unique trip for more experienced anglers looking for “quality over quantity” that enjoy the challenge of fishing with lures.

Sarasota fishing report

November 28

Fishing was good on the deep flats once again, especially the first part of the week. Anglers on Sarasota fishing charters caught speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, cobia, jacks, sea bass, ladyfish and other species casting Bass Assassin and Gulp Shrimp baits on a 1/4 ounce jig head. The Middlegrounds and flats in north Sarasota Bay were best. The end of the week was a bit tough, with no breeze and a lot of boat traffic. The best bite was in Big Pass for ladyfish and Spanish mackerel.

Sarasota fishing report

November 21

Weather was once again an issue this week, it was breezy with Small Craft Advisories Tues, Wednesday, and Thursday. When it wasn’t blowing, fishing was good! The best bite for my clients continued to be drifting the deep grass flats and casting jigs. Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks, speckled trout, ladyfish and other species provided steady action. Stephen’s Point and the MIddlegrounds were the top spots. On Sunday there was a lot of bird activity with jacks and bluefish underneath, big fun chasing them around.

Sarasota Florida fishing report

Nov 14

Fishing was very good this week, despite some challenging weather. Strong winds started off the week, then a hurricane mid week!  Things settled back down by Saturday, where the bite was fast. Fast action on the deep grass flats continued, with anglers casting jigs catching cobia, spotted sea trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, sea bass, grouper, and more. The flats on the east side were best, mostly due to the wind. Creeks and backwater areas also produced snook and jacks on jigs and plugs. The bite should resume out on the beach once the Gulf settles down.

Sarasota fishing report

Nov 7

Weather was an issue for anglers fishing in Sarasota of late. I was on vacation in North Carolina, and came home to stiff breezes around 25 mph out of the northeast. It did ease up a bit towards the end of this week. As has been the case, action on the deep grass flats was very geed. Anglers casting jigs and spoons caught trout, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, grouper, small cobia, and more. Flats on the east side of the bay offered some protection from the wind. The Middlegrounds was probably the best spot this week. There has been some action on mackerel and false albacore just off the beaches, but it has been hit or miss. The weather does not look good at all for the first part of next week.

Florida bluefish

Oct 24

Wind was an issue for clients on Sarasota fishing charters this week. It blew steadily out of the north east at 15, with gusts to 30. It did subside a bit later in the week. Anglers casting jigs and free lining live bait fish did well on a variety of species. Catch of the week goes to Alissa Romas, with a nice cobia. Speckled trout were plentiful, with bluefish, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, jacks, sharks, snapper, grouper, sea bass, and other species mixed in. The wind pretty much limited us to flats on the east side of Sarasota Bay, with the Ringling flats being the top spot and Radio Tower being second. I heard reports of decent action in the inshore Gulf on mackerel, false albacore, and sharks, bit it was fairly choppy. I fished the braden River and Manatee River early in the week when the wind was really howling. The bite was fair, with anglers catching a few bass and snook on jigs and soft plastic baits, but it is just not cool enough yet. I am off to the North Carolina mountains for a week!

Sarasota fishing report

Oct 17

Action was very good on the deep grass flats this week. Just about every flat north of the Ringling Causeway produced fish, including Radio Tower, Middlegrounds, Stephen’s Pt., Bishop’s Pt, and Buttonwood. Anglers casting Bass Assassin baits and Gulp! Shrimp did well. I had fly anglers two days who caught a dozen or so fish each fish on Clouser patterns. Speckled trout were plentiful, with fish to 4 pounds being caught. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, sharks, ladyfish, grouper, snapper, sea bass and more took jigs and flies as well. I only fished with live bait one day, with anglers catching the same species.

sarasota fishing report

Oct 10

Fishing was very good once again this week as water temps dipped into the upper 70’s. Action on the deep grass flat was fast forr clients casting jigs, spoons, and live bait. On Thursday, George caught 14 different species including speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, grouper, snapper, sharks, ladyfish, sea bass, and more. Gulp Shrimp on a jig head and small silver spoons worked well early. A switch to live bait in the last hour kept the bite going. There was some action in the inshore Gulf of Mexico for mackerel and false albacore, but it slowed later in the week. The next decent front should get it cranked up again.

Spanish mackerel

October 3

Fishing picked up this week, especially just prior to the mid week front.  Speckled trout were plentiful on the deep grass flats, with mackerel, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, and other species mixed in.  Gulp Shrimp on jig heads caught most of the fish.  Flats near New Pass were best.  Live bait fish produced snapper and grouper around structure near big Pass. Spanish mackerel and false albacore are just starting to show up off the area beaches.

Sarasota anglers

Sept 26

Fishing was steady this week, with clients catching a pretty even mix of speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, sea bass, snapper, and small grouper. For whatever reason the artificial lure bite slowed a bit, perhaps there is just too much bait.  Jigs and spoons caught fish, but the “enthusiasm” was down from the last two weeks. However, the solution was simple; net up some bait and chum them pretty heavily. The flats near the passes were better as the water was clearer and there was more bait present. Bird Key, Radio Tower, and Middlegrounds were the top spots.

fishing report Sarasota

9/19

Action was very good on the deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay this week. Tropical weather had the Gulf churned up, so the areas in the middle of the bait were best. Stephen’s Pt and Buttonwood were the top spots. Anglers did well casting Bass Assassin and Gulp Shrimp baits on a 1/4 ounce chartreuse jig head. Kastmaster spoons produced quite a few fish as well. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, grouper, snapper, sea bass, sharks, and other species kept the rods bent. Small fry bait was thick on the east side from the ramp up to Ringling, small Rapalas produced trout and ladyfish.

Sarasota fishing report

9/12

Fishing was very good once again this week.  The bite on the deep grass flats continued to be steady. Speckled trout were caught in good numbers with some fish over 20″. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel were caught as well as the water temperature slowly dropped. Ladyfish, snapper, grouper, jacks, sea bass, and other species also kept the rods bent. Most of the fish were caught on Gulp Shrimp on a jig head. On Thursday I put two of my long time regular guys together, John Englander and Steve Owen. Just for fun, Steve kept count and landed 73, and John was right there, so they landed around 125 fish. Most were caught on the flats just north of New Pass. John wanted a few snapper for the table, so we finished up doing a little chumming with bait.

Sarasota fishing report

9/5

The weather was more stable this week, though still quite warm, and the fishing was very steady. Decent sized bluefish were found on the deep grass flats, along with speckled trout, mackerel, ladyfish, sea bass, grouper, snapper, and other species. Jig heads with Bass Assassin baits and Gulp Shrimp produced through the morning, so I did not have to catch bait. Bird Key flats, Middlegrounds, Bishop’s Pt, and Buttonwood were all productive spots.

Sarasota fishing report

8/29

Fishing was decent this week, though weather was an issue. It was windy early in the week, with some Small Craft Advisories. The wind eased up later in the week. Clients casting jigs caught speckled trout, bluefish, ladyfish, grouper, sea bass, snapper, and other species. The water near the passes was dirty from the big storm swell. The flats in the middle of the bay, Bishop’s Pt., Buttonwood, and Stephen’s Pt., were best. Bait was scattered out in the dirty water, so we stuck with the jigs.

fishing for bluefish

8/22

Weather was an issue for clients on Sarasota fishing charters this week. Storms forced me to postpone a couple of trips. On days we did get out, mangrove snapper and juvenile grouper provided the best action. Not only are they around structure, but anglers caught plenty on the open flats as well. Most were caught on live bait. For whatever reason, the jig bite slowed a bit, though a couple nice trout were caught. Live bait definitely produced better action this week. Big Pass and the flats near New Pass were the best spots.

fishing report sarasota

8/15

The action on the deep grass flats continued to provide anglers with good action. Speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, jacks, sharks, snapper, gag and red grouper, sea bass and other species. Bass Assassin jigs and Gulp Shrimp produced early in the morning. The wind eased up after an hour or so most mornings, which makes jig fishing less effective. A nice little breeze really makes a huge difference when drifting the deep grass flats. So, we ended up switching to live bait a bit earlier. Mangrove snapper showed up in the chum in good numbers, along with the other species. Spots near the passes were the most productive.

best Sarasota fishing charter

8/8

Action was good on the deep grass flats again this week.  With no rain, the water temperature has eased up to the upper 80s.  The best bite was in fairly deep water, 8′ or so.  All of the fish this week were caught on jigs, mostly a red gold shiner 4″ Bass assassin Sea Shad, but a few Gulp Shrimp as well.  Speckled trout, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, red and gag grouper, mangrove snapper, sharks, sea bass, catfish, and more were caught.  Middlegrounds and Radio Tower were the top spots.

I did a little bream fishing, hoping to find them on beds with the full moon.  The bite was fair, maybe the water is just too warm.  A few were caught at Benderson Lake and Evers reservoir on black Beetlespins and tiny twister tail jigs.

Sarasota fishing report

Sarasota fishing report Aug 1

As has been the case all summer, the fishing remains very good on the deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay. The water close to the passes has been the cleanest, with a fair amount of bait. Casting jigs at first light then switching to live bait mid morning continued to take advantage of the morning fishing window. Speckled trout fishing was very good, with both numbers and quality. Bluefish, ladyfish, sharks, grouper, sea bass and more were also caught. Mangrove snapper are seemingly everywhere, on the flats and in the passes, providing anglers seeking a meal some fine fillets along with a good fight.

Sarasota fishing report

7/25

Fishing was good once again this week for anglers fishing with Capt Jim on Sarasota fishing charters. The deep grass flats in the north bay were best early in the week. Anglers casting jigs and Clouser Minnow flies caught some nice trout along with bluefish, mackerel, ladyfish, sea bass, jacks, sharks, grouper, snapper, and more. Later in the week, the was got a little stirred up with rain and wind, and the flats closer to the passes were better. Live bait produced some good mangrove snapper along with spotted sea trout later in the mornings when the jig bite slowed.

Sarasota fishing report

7/18

Once again, the action on the deep grass flats continued to please anglers casting jigs and free lining live baits while chumming. The early jig bite improved later in the week as the wind finally turned out of the east. That resulted in more pleasant conditions and better fishing. Speckled trout were plentiful, with bluefish, jacks, grouper, ladyfish, and sharks mixed in. Mangrove sapper numbers and size improved this week, which is good for clients looking for a few fish tacos!

fishing report for Sarasota

7/11

It sounds like a broken record, but the fishing on the deep grass flats continues to be very good. Speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks, sharks, ladyfish, grouper, snapper, sea bass and more kept the rods bent and Capt Jim busy!  The pattern of casting jigs at first light then catching bait when that bite slowed continued to be the best bet.  Chumming with live bait produced fast action later in the morning.  The flats near the passes, Marina Jack, Bird Key, Radio Tower, and Middlegrounds were best.

Sarasota fishing report

July 4 Sarasota fishing report

Fishing was excellent once again this week, despite the heat and water temperatures near 90. The best action was on the grass flats in 6′ to 8′ of water. Speckled trout were plentiful, with some nice fish over 20″ hitting jigs and live bait. The pattern of jigging early then switching to live bait worked well, though the jig bite has been slowing a bit earlier.  Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks, sharks, grouper, snapper, sea bass, ladyfish, flounder, and catfish were also caught.  The flats closer to the passes were better this week, perhaps the water was a tad cleaner.  There certainly was a ton of bait as well!

Sarasota fishing report

6/27

Fishing was good once again this week for clients on Sarasota fishing charters. I took a two-pronged approach to my trips this week. We got out on the water at first light, at around 6:30 AM and headed for the deep flats. Anglers casting jigs produced a ton of speckled trout and ladyfish. There were quite a few decent sized trout mixed in. Bluefish, mackerel, jacks, grouper, snapper, sharks, and catfish also kept the rods bent. This bite lasted for an hour or two, depending on the breeze and cloud cover. It did slow down a bit later in the week as water temperatures eased up to 88° and there was no wind and weak tides.
Once the jig bite eased up, I ran into the passes to catch bait and do some live bait chumming. This produced the same species as well along with nonstop action most mornings. I just like to take advantage of that first light bite casting lures instead of spend it searching for bait. Also, structure in both passes produced a ton of mangrove snapper along with some black sea bass and small grouper.
Sarasota fishing report

6/17

I was on vacation in the North Carolina mountains for a week. Upon returning, I found the fishing to be as good as it was when I left. The best bite has been for action and variety on the deep grass flats. Speckled trout were numerous and up to 23″. Anglers casting jigs caught them, along with bluefish, ladyfish, jacks, grouper, sea bass, snapper, sailcats, and more. I get a lot of families this time of year and this type of fishing is easy for even novice anglers to quickly learn. Drifting the flats in 6′ to 10′ of water is both productive and fun!

Sarasota fishing report

5/30

Fishing was very good this week for clients on Sarasota fishing charters.  I finished up the week with a family trip, catching around 100 fish!  Speckled trout, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, sharks, sea bass and more kept the rods bent.   Bass Assassin jigs and Gulp Shrimp caught all the fish. On other charters, spin and fly anglers had similar results.  The Middlegrounds, Stephen’s Pt., Bishop’s Pt., and Buttonwood were all productive.  Big Pass produced a bunch of snapper and sea bass for clients bottom fishing with shrimp.  Nearby flats held a bunch of silver trout.  One client caught a sennett casting a Gulp Jerk Shad.

Sarasota fishing report

5/23

It sounds like a broken record, but the best bite in Sarasota continues to be drifting the deep grass flats. We have had some breezy days, so the wind dictated where we fished. On east wind, the Ringling flats produced and with a west wind Bishop’s Pt and Buttonwood were better. Clients casting Bass Assassin jigs, Gulp Shrimp, and chartreuse Clouser pattern flies caught some decent speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks, and ladyfish. Speaking to other guide buddies, there are a few tarpon out on the beach, but it has been pretty tough.

Sarasota fishing report

 

May 9

Once again, the best bite for clients on Sarasota fishing charters has been on the deep grass flats. Just about every flat in 5′ to 8′ has fish on it. I basically let the wind decide where we fished. Bass Assassin jigs and GULP! Shrimp caught them. Speckled trout to 22″, bluefish to 3 pounds, Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, ladyfish, sea bass, jack crevalle, mangrove snapper, sailcats, and more were landed. Small snook, jacks, and some decent trout hit Rapala X-Raps near bars and mangrove shorelines. I went out to Evers Reservoir (Jiggs Landing) on a day off to chase some bluegill. I was disappointed to see that they had sprayed, killing all the weeds. The lake had really healthy weeds all along the shoreline. I really don’t understand it. Not surprisingly, fishing was slow, caught a few on Beetlespins.

Sarasota fishing report

May 2 Sarasota fishing report

Once again, weather made things a bit challenging this week as we have been experiencing some breezy days of late. Still, I was able to get out several times and clients experienced good action. Once again, the best bite was on the deeper grass flats on the incoming tide. Anglers casting Gulp Shrimp and Clouser Minnow flies caught speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks, grouper, sea bass, whiting, ladyfish, and other species. Bird Key, Radio Tower, Middlegrounds, and Stephen’s Pt were all productive. We also caught a few fish in Big Pass, mostly ladyfish.

Sarasota fishing report

April 25

Weather was once again an issue this week. Tuesday and Wednesday were nice and I was able to get trips in both days. On Tuesday I had my “regulars”, Bill, Doc, and John. We started off near Stephen’s Pt and found fish feeding on the surface.  Action was good for 3 hours as the boys caught a bunch of fish. Speckled trout were plentiful with some nice ones mixed in. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, and sharks kept them busy. 5″ white Gulp Jerk Shad was the hot bait. We finished up fishing docks, landing small reds and decent snapper, losing a big red that broke us off on the dock.

On Wednesday I took out fly angler Steve Schulmerich. The bite was a little slower, but still steady. There was no wind, which is not great for the flats. Still, Steve caught a bunch of bluefish, ladyfish, a mackerel, and a nice trout. He was casting chartreuse/white Clouser Minnow patterns on a 7 wt.

April 18

Weather was definitely an issue for anglers this week. On days that we got out, the fishing was very good!  Just about every grass flat in 5′ of water and deeper held fish. The flats north of New Pass were best. The key was to let the wind determine where to fish and then find clean water. Anglers casting Bass Assassin jigs and Gulp Shrimp caught big bluefish, speckled trout to 22″, Spanish mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, small sharks, sea bass, whiting, catfish, and other species. Docks around Big Pass produced black drum and mangrove snapper for anglers fishing live shrimp.

Sarasota fishing report

April 11

I got out three times this week, doing something different on each trip. On Sunday we went out on the beach in search of a king mackerel. It was cool, cloudy, and drizzling, not ideal conditions and the bite was slow. We caught a few mackerel and jacks. I had an excellent fly fishing charter on Tuesday! My angler caught several nice trout early at Bishop’s Pt., then finished up with a flurry of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and ladyfish on the east side. On Thursday we went to the Myakka and it was pretty slow, though the gar did provide a little excitement.

mackerel on fly

Fishing report for Sarasota, April 4

Like most guides in Florida, most of my clients had to cancel their vacations. However, I did get out a couple of times this week with local “regulars”. Bill, Doc, and John fished with me on Monday. WE decided to do something different and fish the bars and mangrove shorelines between Stickney Pt and Blackburn Pt. The bite was steady with the fellas catching most of the fish on #8 Rapala X-Raps. Doc had the hot hand, catching a half dozen snook, some nice speckled trout, and a redfish to complete the “slam”. He also caught 3 keeper mangrove snapper, with one really nice 15″ fish. Bill lost a big red that ran under a dock. Jacks and ladyfish were also caught. Later in the week I fished the Manatee River.  It was after the front and the bite was pretty slow. We caught a few small snook and snapper on plugs.

Sarasota fishing report

March 28

As with most Florida fishing guides, I was booked solid but had cancellations due to the health emergency.  I still got out three times this week. Early on, I had a fly/spin trip.  There was no wind and we headed out in the Gulf just off the Siesta Key beaches. Rapala X-Raps produced Spanish mackerel for the spin angler while the fly anglers scored using Clouser patterns.  After a bit we went back inside and caught ladyfish and trout on Gulp baits, the bite was slow for the fly guys.  Another inshore trip produced speckled and silver trout, ladyfish, and other species on jigs.  Bottom fishing produced a ton of action on snapper, grouper, sea bass, and sheepshead.  It looks like the run of sheepshead is winding down.  I ran a trip to the Myakka River as well.  It was a bit slow as the water temperature was in the upper 70’s.  However, we landed a nice snook on a white #10 Rapala.

Sarasota fishing report

March 21

Fishing was very good this week for anglers going out on Sarasota fishing charters with Capt Jim Klopfer. The best bite was on the deep grass flats. Clients casting Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits and Gulp Shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig head landed a variety of species.  Speckled trout and ladyfish were plentiful with Spanish mackerel, pompano, bluefish, grouper, jacks, sea bass, small sharks, and catfish also being landed. Middlegrounds, Radio Tower, Bishop’s Pt and Stephen’s Pt were the top spots. Sheepshead are still around docks and structure in the passes.  Bottom fishing with shrimp produced some nice sheepies along with tripletail, sea bass, grouper, and snapper. Rapala X-Raps worked along a mangrove shoreline produced a few small snook one morning.

Sarasota fishing report

March 14

Fishing was very good this week! Anglers on Sarasota fishing charters experienced good action and variety on a multitude of species. Big Pass was hot for several days. Pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and a lot of ladyfish hit Bass Assassin and Silly Willy jigs on the bar and in the channel. Sheepshead took shrimp fished on the bottom. The wind eased up, allowing us to fish the deep grass flats. Gulp Shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig head produced speckled trout, pompano, jacks, mackerel, bluefish, and ladyfish. I finished up the week with a fly trip, where anglers caught trout anfd ladyfish inside, and Spanish mackerel out on the Fisher reef casting Clouser Minnow flies.

Sarasota fishing report

March 7

Wind was a factor that clients on Sarasota fishing charters had to deal with this week. Strong breezes out of the south limited area that we were able to fish. Big Pass was fairly protected and provided good action. Bottom fishing with shrimp produced sheepshead, snapper, grouper, sea bass, and pompano. Drifting with jigs fooled pompano and ladyfish. I had two river trips, which is another option for experienced anglers to deal with the wind. Rapala plugs, Gulp Jerk Shad, and chartreuse/white Clouser Minnow flies produced snook to 32″, big jacks, snapper, bass, and gar.

Sarasota fishing report

Sarasota Fishing Report, 2/29

Weather was certainly an issue for clients on Sarasota fishing charters this week. Early in the week, action was very good both on the deep grass flats and in the passes. The cooler weather seemed to help the sheepshead bite fire up. Decent numbers of these feisty bottom dwellers were caught by anglers fishing shrimp on the bottom. A few pompano were landed as well. Speckled trout were numerous on the deeper grass flats at the Middlegrounds, Stephen’s Pt and Bishop’s Pt, hitting Bass Assassin and Gulp baits on a jig head. A severe front moved through Wednesday, bringing strong winds. I finished up the week with a fly angler in the Manatee River, who caught a few small snook.

Sarasota fishing report

February 22

The best action for clients on Sarasota fishing charters this week was on the deep grass flats. Speckled trout were numerous, hitting jigs and live shrimp. Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks, pompano, ladyfish, small sharks, big sailcats, and other species were also landed. The flats from New Pass north were best as the water cleared up the further from the passes we got. Sheepshead fishing in the passes was hit or miss.  We had a couple good days and a slow day as well.  There are a LOT of smaller snapper, sea bass, and pinfish which makes getting a shrimp to the sheepshead difficult.  Perhaps the cooler weather will help as the water temperature was a bit too high for mid February.  Anglers drifting with jigs in Big Pass caught a few pompano, mackerel, and ladyfish as well.

Sarasota fishing report

February 15

Fishing was good over the last couple weeks for clients on Sarasota fishing charters.  Sarasota Bay is a bit warmer than normal, resulting in good action on the deep grass flats.  Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, pompano, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, and more hit jigs cast while drifting the flats.  Anglers free lining shrimp around oyster bars found juvenile permit, snook, redfish, sheepshead, flounder, and snapper.  Sheepshead seem to be moving into the passes as anglers bottom fishing with shrimp caught some decent sheepies mixed in with a ton of small snapper and sea bass.  A fly angler scored his first couple jack crevalle up in a residential canal one breezy morning.  The warm water has not been good for river fishing, which has been a bit slow.  Persistent anglers caught snook and gar on Rapala plugs.

Sarasota fishing report

Sarasota fishing report for February 1

We have settled into our normal winter fishing patterns. Clients on Sarasota fishing charters caught a variety of species using multiple techniques. One key to success is to keep moving in search of fish, locations will change daily. Action on the deep grass flats was steady, with a very good bite on Friday afternoon as the front approached. Spanish mackerel, pompano, bluefish, trout, and ladyfish hit jigs, Rapala plugs, and live shrimp. Clients fly fishing scored using chartreuse/white Clouser patterns. Docks and oyster bars held redfish, sheepshead, snapper, grouper, black drum, and sea bass for anglers fishing with shrimp. Rapala X-Raps and jerk baits produced snook, jacks, and reds in creeks and canals. The pompano bite in the passes has slowed considerably.

Sarasota fishing report

January 25

Winter arrived in Sarasota this week!  Prior to the severe front, Mike Tyler landed a very nice snook in the Myakka River on a Rapala Jointed BX Minnow plug. Clients did well on Sunday morning on the flats and in the passes.  Monday was tough and Tuesday and Wednesday were blow-outs as the wind blew hard from the north and temperatures were in the 30’s in the morning.  After the front, clients fishing docks and bars with shrimp caught redfish, sheepshead, and jacks.  Jigs produced bluefish, Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, ladyfish, pompano, and jacks on deeper flats.  Pompano and small permit hit jigs in the passes.  Small snapper and sea bass were thick on bottom structure in the passes as well, with a few sheepshead mixed in.

Sarasota fishing report

January 18

Pompano continued to please anglers on Sarasota fishing charters this week, both in the passes and on the flats.  Banana jigs, small pompano jigs, and Gulp Shrimp on a jig head caught them.  There are a ton of small bottom fish in the passes such as snapper, sea bass, and grouper that took the jigs as well.  A few Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and ladyfish were also caught.  In other words, a good way to keep the rods bent!  Early in the week, action on the deep grass flats was good, with a lot of speckled trout to 20″ being caught.  It is nice to see them rebounding!  Pompano, mackerel, blues, and ladies were also landed.  That bite slowed a bit later in the week, for whatever reason.

Sarasota fishing report

Trips to the Myakka River produced a few snook, largemouth bass, and several gar.  The water is really a bit too warm for ideal fishing, I think that is the reason clients caught so many gar.  Rapala plugs both cast and trolled caught the fish.

Sarasota fishing report

Jan 10

I spent all of my time fishing rivers, creeks, and canals this week. Two trips to the Manatee River produced small to medium sized snook for fly anglers casting chartreuse over white Clouser Minnow patterns. Later in the week I fished in Sarasota Bay, and it was quite breezy! We sought refuge in protected creeks, bayous, and residential canals. #8 Rapala X-Raps produced decent numbers of jacks with a few snook mixed in.

fishing report for Sarasota Florida

Good fishing in Sarasota to start 2020!

Fishing was good this first week of 2020! Clients on Sarasota fishing charters caught a variety of species using different techniques. The best bite in Sarasota Bay has been pompano in the passes and out on the flats. Small jigs produced the best, and color really did not seem to matter. Pompano in the passes were found near structure while those on the flats were located fairly shallow, in 3′ to 4′ on the bars. Action on the deep flats slowed a bit, with anglers catching trout, bluefish, pompano, ladyfish and more. Wind and dirty water hampered the bite.

Snook and jack crevalle were caught in Robert’s Bay along with residential canals by anglers casting and trolling #8 Rapala X-Raps. We found a school of very large jacks in a foot of water and landed a couple. Trips to the Myakka River produced snook and largemouth bass on larger #10 X-Raps.

Sarasota fishing report

 

Sarasota fishing report

In the winter time I do three types of fishing; bottom fishing, River snook fishing, and on nice days drifting the deep grass flats. I use live shrimp to bottom fish for sheepshead, snapper, drum, and other species around docs and other structure. Local area rivers produce snook and bass for anglers casting plugs. When conditions are favorable on the open flats, we use jigs and live shrimp to catch a variety of species.

As it warms up fish move out of the deeper waters where they spend the winter. The flats and passes become alive with snook, redfish, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, and other species. The passes and deep flats produce the most action while some anglers seek the challenge of catching snook in redfish in the back country.

When conditions are right, the fishing in the inshore Gulf of Mexico can be fantastic! East winds will result in clear water and plenty of baitfish. This will in turn attract Spanish mackerel, false albacore, sharks, cobia, and other species. Often times, the fish will be seen feeding aggressively on the surface. This is great fun as just about anything tossed into the feeding frenzy will draw strike.

Sarasota fishing charters

For many anglers, the heat of summer means one thing; tarpon! The silver Kings invade our area in early May and stay until late July. This is very challenging fishing, and not for everyone. However the reward is the fish of a lifetime! Tarpon to 150 pounds are landed off of the area beaches every summer.

While I still do a little tarpon fishing, most of my summer trips are run in Sarasota Bay. With all the anglers out on the beach chasing tarpon, fishing pressure in the Bay is lighter. My normal approach is to cast lures or shrimp at first light then use my cast net to catch bait and chum mid morning. Either way, with the heat of summer, we are will off the water early.

You’ll see me mention “deep grass flats”often in my Sarasota fishing report. This is where the majority of fish on my fishing charters are landed. These areas are large with a mixture of grass and sand bottom. Shrimp, crabs, and bait fish all hide in the grass. That obviously makes it an attractive place for game fish to feed.

Speckled trout in particular are associated with these deeper grass flats. But anglers will also catch Spanish mackerel, Pompano, bluefish, jacks, a lot of ladyfish, snapper, grouper, cobia, sharks, catfish and more while fishing the deep grass at one time of year or another.

Sarasota fishing

We primarily drift fish while working the deep grass flats. Anglers cast out lures, flies, or live bait as we drift across a productive areas in search of fish. Bass Assassin jigs, Rapala plugs, and spoons are effective artificial lures. The top live bait is a shrimp. These are fished either free line or under a noisy cork. In the summer time, live bait fish such as scaled sardines are used.

Both Big Sarasota Pass and New Pass produce a lot a fish for clients on Sarasota fishing charters. Anglers reading my Sarasota fishing report will see Big Pass in particular mentioned quite often. Sheepshead school up there thick and late winter and early spring. Mangrove snapper and snook are found in the rocks in the summer time. Ladyfish are often times thick right in the middle of the pass itself. Bluefish and mackerel can also be encountered as well.

Anglers drifting the passes cast jigs out and bounced them along the bottom. This is very effective and produces Pompano, bluefish, mackerel, and loads of ladyfish. Free lining a live shrimp with a split shot or fishing a live shrimp on a jig head can also be very productive. However, when the fish are biting jigs are more efficient as there is no need to stop and rebate the hook.

Sarasota Bay fishing report

There is a ton of structure in Big Pass as well. This is particularly true of the whole area along the north side of Siesta Key. The water is deep, there is good current flow, and abundant structure. This is a recipe for an excellent fishing spot, and it is! Bottom fishing with live shrimp and bait fish is very productive. Anglers do need to time this during periods of lesser current flow. It is difficult to anchor in fish when the tide is screaming.

Spinning tackle is used on the vast majority of my fishing charters. The reason is quite simple; it is effective and easy to use. Many freshwater anglers are experienced with close to faced reels. However, it usually only takes a few minutes before there casting like a pro with the spinning outfits. 10 pound spinning outfits are light enough that anglers enjoy the fight of even a smaller fish while still giving them a chance of the hook something larger.

Anglers seeking a bit more of a challenge will opt to targets snook, redfish, and jacks in the back country areas. This type of fishing is more of a “quality over quantity approach”. I use the trolling motor to ease the boat along a likely looking shoreline, while anglers cast lures towards the shoreline. I do use live bait occasionally as well.

River fishing charters

Visitors to my site will often see ”River snook fishing”in my Sarasota fishing report. This is a unique angling opportunity that I offer to clients. I am not aware of any other guide to do so. I use my 14 foot Alumacraft jon boat for this fishing. Shallow water and primitive ramps require this. However, this also results in less boat traffic and a quiet, serene angling adventure.

The Manatee River, Myakka River, and Braden River, are all within a 45 minute drive from the Sarasota beaches. Each has a distinct feel and personality. The Myakka River has some stunning scenery and big snook. The Manatee River is pretty as well but a bit more developed. It offers the most variety. The Braden River is the most developed but offers fantastic fishing for jack crevelle in the cooler months. Snook and redfish are available as well.

One unique aspect of fishing the rivers is the chance to catch freshwater species as well. The Manatee River and Myakka River are both brackish below the dams. This results in saltwater fish such as snuck, redfish, jacks, and juvenile tarpon being found in the same water as largemouth bass, sunshine bass, catfish, gar, and bream. These freshwater species will take the same lures meant for the saltwater fish.

In the spring and again in the fall we experience runs of pelagic species. This means that they spend most of their time in the middle of the water column and do not relate as much to bottom structure. Spanish mackerel and false albacore are prime examples. King mackerel show up here offer beaches as well. This fishing is dependent on conditions, the water needs to be clear and calm. When it is, fishing can be outstanding!

Inshore Gulf of Mexico

This type of fishing is very exciting in that it is visual. Often times we don’t even fish until we actually see the mackerel and false albacore busting baits on the surface. We will also look for big schools of bait fish which can be seen dimpling on the surface. Artificial lures work very well when the fish are breaking. We will also catch some of the live bait fish and cast them back into the school of bait.

On days when the fish cannot be seen working on the surface, trolling can be an effective technique. Trolling spoons and plugs is a great way to locate Spanish mackerel, false albacore, and even big King fish. It is also a great way to put a lot of fish in the boat quickly and is an easy technique for anglers with limited experience.

The “inshore artificial reefs”will be mentioned regularly in my Sarasota fishing report. I am referring to three man-made groups of structure that were placed between one and to miles off of Lido Key. The Gulf floor is for the most part flat and featureless. Therefore, any structure will attract fish and hold them there. Those three reefs provide excellent fishing for bottom fish such as sheepshead, snapper, and grouper along with pelagic species such as mackerel, King fish, cobia, and false albacore.

Fly fishing

Fly fisherman are certainly not to be left out of the action! False albacore in Spanish mackerel will most certainly hit a well presented fly out in the Gulf of Mexico. This is terrific sport for anglers wielding a fly rod. Any inshore species that can be caught on a jig will also take a fly. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, jacks, and more will hit a Clouser Minnow on the deep flats. Snook and jacks prefer whiteCrystal Minnow patterns in the back bays.

An 8wt outfit is a good all-around choice for fly fishing in Sarasota. It might be a tad light if the false albacore are running large. Otherwise, it is a good choice for the water and species that Sarasota offers. An intermediate sink tip line and then 9 foot tapered leader with a 24 inch piece of 30 pound bite tippet finishes off the outfit.

Readers will see a lot a families including children and my Sarasota fishing report. I really enjoy taking families out, it has become a big part of my Sarasota fishing charters. Many of these anglers have limited experience. One great thing about fishing here is that there are many species that do not require a great deal of skill or patience to catch. This is a good thing!

Also, while I don’t mind if clients keep a couple fish for dinner, I strongly encourage catch and release. Sarasota gets a lot a visitors and thus a lot of fishing pressure. It is important that the focus of the fishing trip beyond catching fish and enjoying quality time with families. I will certainly filet and bag up your catch at the end of the trip.  Current Florida fishing regulations and license requirements can be found HERE.

Fishing Articles from Capt Jim Klopfer

Fishing Articles from Capt Jim Klopfer

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

fishing articles

Saltwater fishing articles

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

Surf Fishing for Striped Bass – Pro Tips!

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

Surf Fishing for Whiting – a Complete Guide

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

Trolling in Saltwater

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

Fishing for Triggerfish – Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

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

Black Drum Fishing – a Complete Guide

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

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Fall

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

7 Useful Flounder Fishing Tips

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

Black Sea Bass Fishing

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

Snapper Fishing – A Complete Guide

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

Fishing for Redfish, a Complete Guide

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

What is the best Saltwater Fishing Reel under $100?

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

Saltwater Fishing with Shrimp

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

7 Essential Surf Fishing Lures

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

Top 14 Chesapeake Bay Game Fish

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

Inshore Saltwater Fishing, a Complete Guide

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

What is the Best Pompano Fishing Lure?

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

Fishing for False Albacore, Pro Tips and Techniques

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

Best Cobia Fishing Tackle and Lures

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

Best Speckled Trout Fishing Tackle

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

Surf Fishing Tackle and Techniques

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

Best Jerkbait for Saltwater Fishing

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

11 Valuable Tampa Bay Fishing Tips

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

Best 6 Topwater Plugs for Saltwater Fishing

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

Best 7 Saltwater Fishing Spoons

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

Best Sheepshead Fishing Tackle and Baits

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

Tarpon Fishing Tackle and Gear, an Angler’s Guide

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

Best Redfish Fishing Tackle and lures

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

Best 12 Spotted Sea Trout Fishing Lures

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

Best Flounder and Fluke Fishing Tackle and Techniques

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

Best Grouper Fishing Tackle and Lures

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

Best False Albacore Fishing Tackle and Lures

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

Best Live Baits for Saltwater Fishing in Florida

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

Best 7 Fishing Lures for Redfish

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

Top 9 speckled trout fishing lures

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

Top 6 Spanish mackerel fishing lures

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

Jack Crevalle Fishing, a Complete Guide

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

Light Tackle Bottom Fishing Tips

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

6 Essential Saltwater Fishing Flies

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

How to Catch Saltwater Fish with Jigs

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

Spotted Sea Trout Fishing, Tips to Succeed

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

Fishing for Redfish and Speckled Trout

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

Fishing for Bluefish, Tips and Techniques

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

Top 15 Sheepshead Fishing Tips

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

Best 6 Saltwater Fishing Lures

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

Top 6 Spanish mackerel fishing lures

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

Florida fishing articles

largemouth bass fishing in Florida

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

Surf Fishing in Florida

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

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Summer

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

Flounder Fishing in Florida

This article on flounder fishing in Florida covers all of the tackle and techniques needed to catch these delicious inshore saltwater fish. Flounder put up a nice little fight and are one of the best eating fish out there!

Largemouth Bass Fishing in Florida

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

Best 14 Tampa Bay Fishing Spots

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

Fishing for Snook, a Complete Guide

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

Florida Offshore Fishing Tips

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

Florida Pompano Fishing

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

Florida Bluefish

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

Freshwater Fly Fishing in Florida

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

Fly Fishing in Florida, Gulf Coast Tips

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

Tarpon Fishing in Florida, an Anglers Guide

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

Best Snook Fishing Tackle and Lures

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

Florida King Mackerel Fishing, Tips and Techniques

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

Top 21 Florida Saltwater Game Fish

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

What is the Best Bait for Shark Fishing?

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

Fishing for Florida Panfish and Crappie

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

Top 25 Florida Game Fish

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

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Winter

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

Fishing for Ladyfish in Florida

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

Freshwater fishing articles

top freshwater game fish

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

Best 13 White Bass Fishing Lures – Hybrid Bass, Too!

This article lists the best 13 white bass and hybrid bass fishing lures. White bass are a small but fiesty species that are abundant in many waters, particularly in the Midwest.

Blue Catfish Fishing Tips

This article on blue catfish fishing tips will help anglers catch more of these trophy gamefish. Blue catfish have grown in popularity as they have been introduced into many large lake and river systems.

Spinner Fishing for Trout, a Complete Guide

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

26 Productive Trout Fishing Tips

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

Top 15 Pennsylvania Game Fish Species

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

Top 12 Michigan Game Fish Species

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

Top 15 Wisconsin Game Fish Species

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

Streamer Fishing for Trout – Pro Tips!

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

Trout Fishing Equipment – A Complete Guide

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

Fly Fishing for Bass

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

10 Essential Spotted Bass Fishing Lures

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

Largemouth Bass Fishing – Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

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

Top 18 Minnesota Game Fish

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

Bluegill Fishing- Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

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

Best 11 Brook Trout Fishing Lures

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

What is the Best Fishing Bait for Blue Catfish?

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

What is the Best Fishing Bait for Channel Catfish

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

What is the best largemouth bass fishing lure?

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

What is the best crappie fishing lure?

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

9 Essential Smallmouth Bass Fishing Lures

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

14 Essential Walleye Trolling Lures

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

Top 6 Freshwater Fishing Lures

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

What is the Best Live Bait for Crappie Fishing?

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

Top 5 Freshwater Fishing Spinners

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

Best Small Spinnerbait for Bass Fishing

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

Best Brook Trout Fishing tackle

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

Best Lake Trout Fishing Tackle and Gear

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

Best Musky Fishing Tackle

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

Northern Pike Fishing Tips and Tackle

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

Best Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tackle and lures

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

Rock Bass Fishing Tips and Tackle

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

Panfish Fishing

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

Walleye Fishing Tackle and lures

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

Top 13 Freshwater Fishing Plugs

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

Best 11 topwater plugs for freshwater fishing

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

Top 11 Freshwater Fishing Spoons

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

Largemouth Bass Fishing in Creeks

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

Spinnerbait Fishing Tips and Techniques

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

Bass Fishing Tackle and Equipment

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

Best Catfish Fishing Tackle and Gear

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

Best 13 Brown Trout Fishing Lures

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

Freshwater Fishing Tackle and Lures, a Beginners Guide

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

Ice Fishing Tackle and Gear

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

Top 10 Northern Pike Fishing Lures

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

Best 13 Largemouth Bass Fishing Lures for Beginners

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

Best River Trout Fishing Lure

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

What is the best live bait for freshwater fishing?

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

Fly Fishing for Bluegill and Panfish

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

Fishing with Spinners in Rivers and Streams

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

Top 13 Rainbow Trout Fishing Lures

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

What is the best live bait for smallmouth bass?

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

Best 9 Fishing Lures for Streams and Small Rivers

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

Crappie Fishing Tackle and Lures, a Complete Guide

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

Best 9 fishing lures for bluegill and panfish

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

How to Catch Catfish, a Comprehensive Guide

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

Walleye Fishing, a Beginners Guide

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

Fishing for River Catfish, Tips and Techniques

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

Smallmouth Bass Fishing for Beginners

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

Best 7 River Smallmouth Fishing Lures

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

Fishing Franklin North Carolina

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

Top 27 Freshwater Game Fish Species

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

Trout Fishing in Blue Ridge, Georgia

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

Manitoba and Alberta Fishing

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

River Fishing Tips and Techniques

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

Fishing the North Shore of Minnesota

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

Ice fishing articles

ice fishing for rainbow trout

Ice Fishing for Crappie, a Beginners Guide

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

Ice Fishing with Tip Ups

Tip ups are used by many anglers who enjoy ice fishing. These units are set and baited, usually with a live minnow, and then the angler waits for a game fish to come by and feed.

Sarasota fishing articles

guide to inshore saltwater fishing

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

Fishing Sarasota Bay, Pro Tips!

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

Fishing Siesta Key

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

Sarasota Fishing Calendar

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

Sarasota Bottom Fishing

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

Best 11 Sarasota Fishing Reefs

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

Sarasota Offshore Fishing

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

Sarasota Redfish

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

Sarasota Chumming Techniques

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

River Snook Fishing Charters

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

Sarasota Bass Fishing

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

Sarasota Snook Fishing

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

Sarasota False Albacore

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

Sarasota Fishing Forecast

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

Sarasota Crappie Fishing

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

Sarasota Sheepshead Fishing

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

Sarasota Mangrove Snapper Fishing

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

Sarasota Speckled Trout Fishing

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

Longboat Key Fishing Charters

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

Sarasota Freshwater Fishing

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

Best 6 Sarasota Fishing Lures

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

Fly Fishing Sarasota Rivers

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

Best Sarasota Fishing Charter

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

35 Best Sarasota Fishing Spots

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

Sarasota Jig Fishing

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

Sarasota Trolling Techniques

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

Siesta Key Snook Fishing

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

Best 7 Lido Key Fishing Spots

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

17 Best Bradenton Fishing Spots

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

Fishing Charters in Sarasota

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

Miscellaneous Fishing Articles

fishing for striped bass

Fishing with Lures, a Complete Guide

This article is a comprehensive guide to fishing with artificial lures in freshwater and saltwater. It covers the different lutre types along with techniques that will help anglers be more successful.

Jerkbait Fishing _ Pro Tips!

Jerkbaits are very effective and versatile fishing lures. Capt Jim shares some great tips along with his favorite lures in this article on jerkbait fishing.

Lipless Crankbait Fishing, a Guide to Success

Lipless crankbaits are effective and versatile fishing lures. This article on lipless crank bait fishing will cover the lures, tackle, in the techniques that will help anglers be more successful when using these baits.

Best 11 Spinnerbait Fishing Lures

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

Best 5 Fishing Techniques

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

Fishing for Striped Bass, Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

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

Top 25 Carolina Game Fish

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

7 Essential Striped Bass Fishing Lures

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

What is the Best Striped Bass Fishing Lure?

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

What is the best fishing knot?

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

What is the Best Scented Soft Plastic Fishing Lure

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

Best Striped Bass Fishing Tackle and Lures

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

Top 12 Texas Game Fish

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

A Guide to Kayak Fishing for Beginners

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

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

Jerkbait fishing – Pro tips!

Jerkbait fishing – Pro tips!

This article will thoroughly cover jerkbait fishing. Capt Jim Klopfer is a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida. He loves fishing with plugs, especially jerkbaits.

jerkbait fishing

A jerkbait is an artificial fishing lure in the plug family. Jerkbaits are long and slender. They put out a lot of flash and vibration as they wobble. Most have a bill which will determine the depth that the lure will run. Many manufacturers offer shallow and deep diving versions on the same bait. Both freshwater and saltwater game fish species will take a properly presented jerkbait.

For the most part, jerkbaits mimic wounded bait fish. As they wobble, they flash and put out vibrations. Jerkbaits are available in many different sizes and colors from quite a few manufacturers. However, they all basically work the same. Jerkbaits are excellent search baits as they allow anglers to cover a lot of water fairly quickly.

fishing with lures

Jerkbait fishing techniques

There are two basic retrieves that anglers use when jerkbait fishing; a steady retrieve and a “jerk and pause” retrieve. The latter is how the lure got it’s name. Steady retrieves will produce, whether cast or trolled. Most jerkbaits have an excellent built in action. Anglers should vary the speed of the retrieve until a production one emerges.

walleye fishing, a beginners guide

While a steady retrieve will catch fish, the most effective way to work a jerkbait is to use a more erratic presentation. The key to this is understanding how to use and manage some slack in the line. This violates many angling principles regarding keeping a tight line, but it is crucial to properly fishing a jerkbait.

9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures

The bait is cast out and retrieved a few cranks to get the lure to the proper depth. The angler then creates a few feet of slack. This is easily done by simply pointing the rod tip at the lure. After a few seconds, the rod tip is sharply jerked to the side. The slack will allow the rod tip to gain speed. When the slack is taken up, the lure will jerk forward violently.

Once again, the angler puts slack in the line. This will result in the jerkbait suspending motionless in the water column. Quite often, this is when the strike occurs. This motionless presentation very realistically simulates a helpless bait fish, seemingly an easy meal. The process is then repeated back to the boat.

Trolling jerkbaits

tackle for lake trout fishing

Jerkbaits are outstanding trolling lures! The side to side wobble produces a lot of flash, mimicking and wounded bait fish. Color patterns and sizes are available to match any forage species that game fish are feeding on.

Trolling is simply driving the boat around at a slow speed while pulling a lure behind. It can be as simple as tying a lure onto the end of the line. Most jerkbait manufacturers offer models that run both shallow and deep. This makes trolling with jerkbaits very easy. The line diameter and distance behind the boat will affect lure depth as well. Anglers should experiment with speed, a slight change can make a big difference.

salmon fishing in Great Lakes

Serious anglers will troll jerkbaits behind downrigger balls and off of planer boards. This is a bit complicated and is better explained in this article on salmon fishing. Snap on trolling weight are another easy method that anglers can use to get the lure down deeper in the water column.

Best conditions for jerkbait fishing

For the most part, jerkbaits produce best in water that is fairly clear. While predator fish will track down a jerkbait in dirty water, there are other lures that are more effective under these conditions. Jerkbaits really shine in clear water and will provoke strikes when other more subtle lures do not.

bass fishing

In freshwater lakes, sloping points with rock or gravel are prime spots to fish a jerkbait. Smallmouth bass in particular fall prey to this approach. A jerkbait worked over deeper submerged vegetation will produce bass, pike, musky, and other species. However, they do have exposed treble hooks and will hang up in heavier weeds.

Smaller jerkbaits are very effective in streams and rivers. Bass and other species will readily take a bait flashing through a deeper hole. However, they really do not work well in strong current.

bass fishing

Jerkbaits are an excellent choice to work long stretches of rip rap in both freshwater and saltwater. They allow anglers to cover a lot of water. The lure will catch active fish as well as triggering strikes from inactive fish.

best fishing lures for redfish

Anglers fishing jerkbaits in saltwater do well to work any type of shallow cover such as oyster bars, docks, bridges, shorelines, jetties, submerged weed beds, and more. Jekbaits really shine when working large schools of bait. This occurs quite often in saltwater environments. Predator fish will ball up bait and “trap” it against the surface. A jerkbait cast into this bait or near the edges will usually draw a strike. Freshwater anglers will find striped bass behaving similarly in lakes.

bass fishing

Best jerkbait fishing tackle

Anglers jerkbait fishing can properly present these lures using both spinning and baitcasting tackle. In either cast, a long, limber rod is preferred. This type of rod will absorb the shock of aggressive strikes, resulting in more fish landed. A 7′ to 7 ½’ rod works well. Spin anglers will do fine with a 2500 series reel in most applications.

While both spinning and baitcasting tackle can be used when fishing jerkbaits, baitcasting tackle really does have several advantages. These advantages are the faster retrieve ratios of baitcasting reels and the fact that they manage slack line much better. This is especially true when using heavier baits. Anglers trolling with jerkbaits almost always use conventional gear.

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For the same reasons that softer fishing rods are used, most anglers jerkbait fishing opt for monofilament or flourocarbon line. Braided line does not stretch at all and that “give” really helps anglers land more fish. Anglers trolling with jerkbaits will use braided line along with a fairly long flourocarbon leader.

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Jerkbait fishing produces for both saltwater and freshwater anglers!

best jerkbait for saltwater fishing

Jerkbaits are very productive and versatile fishing lures, this is one advantage of using them. They will fool a wide variety of predator species for both freshwater and saltwater anglers. In freshwater, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, walleye, northern pike, all trout species, musky, and even panfish will hit a jerkbait.

fishing with jerkbaits

Anglers fishing with jerkbaits in saltwater will catch striped bass, bluefish, bonito and false albacore, mackerel, snook, redfish, jack crevalle, and more. Saltwater versions often have stronger, corrosion resistant hooks and hardware. In reality, and game fish that feeds on smaller fish can be caught on a jerkbait.

Choosing the best jerkbait

Anglers should choose the jerkbait that they use the same way they would other artificial lures. In most cases, the best approach is to use a lure that resembles the local forage in both size and color. There are times when a larger, flashier bait will get the attention of a fish. A good rule of thumb regarding color is to use light colors in clear water and darker colors in dark water. White and silver produce in clear water, green, black, and gold in dark water, and pink and chartreuse in stained water.

Florida saltwater fishing in summer

There are quite a few lure manufacturers that sell quality jerkbaits. Some offer both freshwater and saltwater versions. Here is Capt Jim’s list of his favorite jerkbaits

Top 13 fishing jerkbaits;

  • Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait

  • Yo-zuri Crystal Minnow

  • Bomber Long “A”

  • Rapala Husky Jerk

  • Smithwick Rogue

  • Strike King KVD Jerkbait

  • Lucky Craft Pointer

  • Megabass Vision

  • Livetarget jerkbait

  • Berkley Flicker Minnow

  • Storm Thunderstick

  • Cotton Cordell Red Fin

  • Rebel jerkbaits

While all jerkbaits share traits and are similar, there are some aspects that are different as well. We will briefly cover these differences in each description in this list of top 13 fishing jerkbaits.

Rapala X-Rap

Rapala x rap

The Rapala X-Rap Extreme Action Slashbait is Capt Jim’s favorite jerkbait. They are available in freshwater and saltwater models as well as shallow and deep diving versions. Rapala X-Raps are available in a wide variety of colors. The 08 size is good when a smaller, finesse bait is needed. The #10 size is a good size for many applications. White is an excellent all round color.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Rapala X-Raps

Yo-zuri Crystal Minnow

walleye fishing lures

Yo-Zuri baits are well known for having fantastic finishes, and their jerkbaits are no exception. These finishes are offered in many different colors and patterns. They are available in shallow and deep diving models and several sizes, from 2 3/4″ to 5 1/4″.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow jerkbaits

Bomber Long A

walleye trolling

The Bomber Long A is an old school jerkbait that has been around a long time. It is an affordable option that is available in several sized and multiple colors. Anglers can also purchase shallow and deep diving lures. Long A lures are available in saltwater models with stronger hardware.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Bomber Long A jerkbaits

Rapala Husky Jerk

husky jerk

The Rapala Husky Jerk is another older fishing lure. It is less expensive but a very effective bait. It is an excellent choice for smaller species as it is available in small sizes. It is primarily used by freshwater anglers. Gold is one of the most popular colors.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Rapala Husky Jerk plugs

Smithwick Rogue

smithwick rogue

The Smithwick Rogue is a long, slender bait that is 4 1/8” long. Is suspends and has rattles. The Rogue is available in 22 different colors. It is a freshwater lure that works well when both cast or trolled.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Smithwick Rogues

Strike King KVD jerkbait

kvd jerkbait

The Strike King KVD jerkbait has a lot of action, perhaps more than any other bait. It is available in a few different sizes and quite a few color patters. Sexy Shad is very popular. It also has a weight transfer system, resulting in longer casts.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Strike King KVD jerkbaits

Lucky Craft Pointer

lucky craft pointer

The Lucky Craft Pointer is a high quality, but expensive, jerkbait. It is available in both shallow and deep diving models. Pointer lures come in several sizes and many colors. For the most part, they are used by freshwater anglers.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Lucky Craft Pointer jerkbaits

Megabass Vision

megabass vision

The Megabass Vision is an excellent jerbait. However, it is a very expensive lure, retailing for around $25. However, some serious anglers swear by them. They have a unique shape and are available in an astounding number of color patterns as well as shallow and deep diving models.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Megabass Vision jerkbaits

Livetarget jerkbait

livetarget jerkbait

The Livetarget jerkbait has a weight transfer system and suspends in the water column. They are available in shallow and deep diving models for freshwater anglers. They come in many fish-catching colors as well as their famous “school of fish” finishes.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Livetarget jerkbaits

Berkley Flicker Minnow

berkley flicker minnow

The Berkley Flicker Minnow is a very affordable deep diving jerkbait. It is a favorite among freshwater anglers who troll. It is available in 4 sizes and 13 colors.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Berkley Flicker Minnows

Storm Thunderstick

storm thunderstick

The Storm Thunderstick is another very affordable, old-school jerkbait. It is available in shallow and deep diving models as well as many popular basic color patterns. Firetiger is a favorite among anglers. It has internal rattles as well.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Storm Thundersticks

Cotton Cordell Redfin

cotton cordell red fin

The Cotton Cordell Redfin is a long and slender jerkbait. It is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater anglers. It comes in 3 sizes, up to 7”, which works well on larger species such as striped bass.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Cotton Cordell Redfin jerkbaits

Rebel jerkbait

rebel

Rebel lures have been catching fish for decades. The Trackdown, or TD series of jerkbaits are effective on a variety of freshwater species, whether cast or trolled. They come in several sizes, shallow running, with a good selection of finishes.

Click the links to shop Amazon for Rebel jerkbaits

In conclusion, this article on jerkbait fishing will help anglers be more successful using these effective fishing lures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing with Lures, a Complete Guide

Fishing with Lures, a Complete Guide

This topic of this article is fishing with lures. Many fish are caught by anglers who fool their quarry with lures as opposed to live bait. Lures are extremely effective for both freshwater and saltwater anglers. The different lure types, proper tackle, and techniques used to catch fish with artificial lures will be thoroughly covered.

fishing for largemouth bass

Advantages of fishing with lures vs live bait

Many anglers, particularly those new to the sport, assume that live bait is always the best choice. While it may seem that the “real thing” is always more effective, this is not the case. Artificial lures have several advantages over live bait.

fishing with lures

Fishing with lures is more convenient than fishing with live bait. Anglers using lures do not need to catch or purchase bait not keep it alive. Lures sit in the anglers tackle box, always ready to go fishing!

Lures also catch fish that are not in a feeding mood. The action and vibration of lures will trigger strikes from fish out of angler, irritation, excitement, competition, and just natural reflex. Live bait generally catches fish that are in a feeding mood or just opportunistic.

best 11 smallmouth bass fishing lures

Perhaps the main advantage that anglers fishing with lures have is that lures allow anglers to cover so much more water than anglers fishing with live bait can. This greatly aids in locating and catching fish. Trolling lures in particular is an extremely efficient fishing method. Great Lakes anglers have perfected this techniques on walleye, trout, and salmon.

Best rods and reels for fishing with lures

Anglers fishing with lures can use spinning, baitcasting and conventional, and spincasting rods and reels. For the most part, spincasting outfits, also known as “push button” or “closed face” tackle, will be left out of the discussion as it is really not very suitable for fishing with lures.

top 12 Michigan game fish species

Spinning tackle, also known as “open faced” tackle, is well suited to fishing with lures, especially lighter lures. However, heavier lures can certainly be used as well. The rod and reel should match the size of the fish being pursued and lures being cast. Ultralight spinning rods and reels are perfect for casting light lures for panfish and small fish. Heavier tackle is fine for larger fish such as pike and bass as well as saltwater species.

Baitcasting tackle certainly has it’s place when fishing with lures as well. It is often the best choice when fishing with plugs and other heavier lures. The same applies to casting into heavy cover, baitcasting outfits provide the power need to handle a big fish in tight quarters.

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Conventional tackle is often used by anglers trolling artificial lures for larger fish. As mentioned above, anglers fishing the Great Lakes troll extensively and almost always use conventional tackle. Saltwater anglers use conventional outfits as well. Again, the tackle should match the size of the fish being sought.

Artificial fishing lure types

Saltwater fishing with artificial lures

There are six basic categories of artificial lures. These are:

  • jigs,

  • spinners

  • spoons

  • plugs

  • soft plastic baits

  • spinner baits and buzz baits

Just about every single fishing lure that an angler can use will fall into one of these categories. However, there are certainly variations lure type.

Jigs

Tailwater fishing tips and techniques

Jigs are very basic fishing lures. They consist of a hook with lead molded in the front near the eye. This weight and the offset position creates an erratic action, which gives the lure its name. There is evidence two point to the jig being the first artificial lure used by humans to catch fish. Jigs are very effective lures and will catch just about every freshwater and saltwater game fish species.

best crappie fishing lure

There are many different tales or dressings that can be added to the hook to give the bait bulk, action, and flash. Natural or synthetic hair is often used. Bucktail is the most common natural dressing and is still popular today. However, synthetic hair is used quite often. It is effective and more durable than natural hair.

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

Marabou feathers are also used in conjunction with a jig. This is especially true for anglers targeting crappie and other panfish. Marabou has a very enticing undulating action, especially when worked slowly.

Sarasota jig fishing

Many anglers at a soft plastic grub body to the jig head. This jig and grub combo is an extremely effective fishing lore and both freshwater and saltwater. These grub bodies will be further covered in the “soft plastic baits” section.

Jig fishing tackle and techniques

Jigs can be fished effectively by anglers using both spinning and bait casting tackle. Jigs that way one quarter ounce or less are much more easily fished by anglers using light spinning tackle. Jigs that weigh ¼ ounce to ½ ounce can be fished using either spinning or bait casting equipment. Jigs much heavier than that are best fished with bait casting tackle.

Manitoba walleye fishing

Jigs are very versatile lures that can be cast out and retrieved, trolled, or presented in a vertical manner. They can also be used to cover the entire water column. Jigs can mimic just about every type of forage that game fish feed on. Anglers match the hatch by choosing a size and color to match the local prey in the area.

A dark colored jig, whether soft plastic or natural hair, bounced along a rocky bottom very realistically mimics a fleeing crayfish. Lighter colors such as white and chartreuse work very well when imitating bait fish. Anglers can swim a jig through the water column to produce fish. This produces in both freshwater and saltwater fishing situations. Shad tail and curly tail jigs as well as natural hair jigs are effective when slowly trolled as well.

fishing for largemouth bass

Anglers bass fishing in heavy weeds and other cover use specially designed jigs. These are usually quite heavy, up to 1 ounce or more. Most have fairly thick rubber skirts that undulate naturally in the water. Anglers often combine these jigs with a soft plastic trailer. This is an extremely effective combination for flipping and pitching in heavy cover and produces some of the biggest bass caught.

Click to read more about fishing with jigs

saltwater fishing with artificial lures

Finally, jigs are very effective when presented vertically. During the warmest and coldest parts of the year, fish will often school up in deep water over certain types of structure such as sloping points, channel edges, and submerged timber. Anglers can use a vertical presentation to precisely deliver their offering to the desired depth, working it right in front of the fish until a strike occurs. This exact same technique is extremely effective for anglers ice fishing as well.

Spinners

fishing with lures

Spinners are very simple lures which have been around a long time. While used occasionally and saltwater, these are primarily freshwater fishing lures. Spinners consist of a wire frame with than I let on the top so that anglers can attach the line. The frame has a body of some sort with a blade that rotates around. A hook, often dressed with some type of hair, completes the lure.

Spinners put out a lot of flash and vibration. One of the great attributes of fishing with spinners is that they are very easy for anglers to use. Spinners have a lot of built in action and produce best when fist with a slow, steady retrieve. This makes them an excellent choice for novice anglers who don’t have a lot of experience.

best 13 brown trout fishing lures

All spinners are similar regardless of size. The smallest spinners are extremely effective on panfish in ponds and lakes. Small spinners are also terrific lures for anglers chasing trout in streams and small rivers. Smallmouth bass and walleye will fall for medium-sized spinners. Giant spinners are used for anglers pursuing large northern pike and musky.

Spinner fishing techniques

As mentioned above, one of the advantages of choosing a spinner by anglers fishing with lures is that they don’t require a lot of technique in order to be effective. As long as the spinner is moving fast enough for the blade to rotate, it will catch fish.

steelhead

Spinners really shine when fishing in streams and small rivers. In most situations, the best approach is to cast directly across the stream and then just keep the line tight while the current provides enough movement to cause the blades to rotate. They work well in deeper holes and runs as well as in faster riffles. Often times, the strike occurs at the end of the drift as the spinner swings in the current.

Read more about fishing with spinners in streams

rock bass fishing tackle

Spinners also work well in ponds and lakes. However, if there is one disadvantage to a spinner it is that it is not very weedless. Anglers will do best by working the spinner along the edges of weed lines as opposed to through the thicker vegetation. The same applies to docs and fallen timber.

Spinners do work very well when retrieved over the top of submerged vegetation. This is the best approach for northern pike and musky, both of which like to lie in the weeds waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey.

best northern pike fishing lure

Trolling with spinners is also very effective, especially for anglers chasing rainbow trout in lakes. Trout will often suspend high up in the water column and a spinner putting out a lot a flash and vibration will attract trout to the lure. Again, slower speeds are often the most effective.

Spoons

trolling for mackerel

Anglers fishing with lures have been catching just about every freshwater and saltwater species using spoons for a very long time. A spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook in. The shape of the spoon along with the bend will dictate the action. Long, slender spoons have a fast erratic action. Conversely, wider spoons have a slow enticing wobble.

Read more about fishing with spoons in freshwater

brook trout fishing lures

Spoons are available in just about every size and color imaginable. Silver and gold are the two most popular finishes. Tiny spoons are very effective on trout and panfish. They are used extensively by anglers ice fishing. Spoons in the 1/2 ounce size are very versatile as they match a lot of the available forage in both fresh and saltwater. Spoons as large as a foot long are used to mimic shad and herring and other prey for anglers pursuing trout and salmon in freshwater as well as striped bass and other predator species and saltwater.

Spoon fishing techniques

Spoons are another versatile fishing lure that is fairly easy for anglers to use as they have a lot of built in action. They can be cast out and retrieved, trolled, and fished vertically. Most spoons have a treble hook though they are available in single hook bottles as well.

lues for surf fishing

Spoons are an excellent search bait for anglers who like to cast artificial lures. They are quite dense and will cast a long way for anglers using both spinning and bait casting tackle. Anglers should vary the retrieve, though a steady retrieve with the occasional twitch or pause is usually the most effective. The spoon will flash as it falls seductively on this pause, simulating a wounded bait fish.

Spoons are an excellent choice when anglers are chasing “breaking fish”. It is when game fish have trapped a school of bait fish up against the surface and are feeding aggressively This happens often in saltwater, but does occur in freshwater as well. It can be seen from quite a distance as birds are diving in the water is actually frothing. A silver spoon very realistically mimics the bait fish that are being devoured.

Best 6 fishing lures for redfish

Spoons are very effective when blind cast as well. Again, due to the fact that they are heavy and can be cast a long distance, they are an excellent lure to use when searching large areas for fish. Where possible, it is best to match the size and color of the spoon to the locally available forage.

Weedless spoons can be extremely effective when fished through areas of thick vegetation. This is true for anglers chasing bass in freshwater as well as redfish in saltwater. Weedless spoons have a single hook which rides up in a weed guard to deflect snags. They are one of the most effective artificial lures to use, especially in shallow water situations.

Great Lakes salmon fishing

Spoons are outstanding trolling lures! Anglers fishing in the Great Lakes region have been using them successfully for decades to catch salmon and just about every trout species. Walleye also fall victim to spoons quite often. Anglers trolling for striped bass in both freshwater and saltwater do well with spoons. Finally, every species of mackerel will readily take a trolled spoon.

walleye fishing

Anglers can also use spoons in a vertical presentation. In fact, some spoons are specifically designed for this application. The Hopkins jigging spoon is a prime example. Suspended fish can be very difficult to catch. Anglers using a vertical presentation can keep the lure in the strike zone for a long period of time, hopefully enticing a strike. This technique is extremely effective for anglers ice fishing with spoons.

Plugs

best jerkbait for saltwater fishing

Plugs are another category of fishing lures. In the early days, they were hand carved from balsa wood. However, the vast majority of fishing plugs available on the market today are made from plastic. Most imitate wounded bait fish, but some mimic crayfish and other types of forage.

Check out the top freshwater fishing plugs!

These are very effective baits for anglers fishing with lures. For the most part, they are either cast out and retrieved or trolled. There is one type of plug that can be used in a vertical presentation. Like most lures, plugs are available and just about every size, shape, and color imaginable to match the available forage.

snook fishing tackle

While plugs have many advantages, there are a couple of disadvantages as well. Plugs are fairly expensive to purchase compared to other artificial lures. Also, the multiple treble hooks that often increase the hookup ratio also can be quite dangerous. Anglers need to be very careful when casting plugs as well as when will landing a fish and removing the lure from the fishes mouth.

Different plug types and fishing techniques

There are several types and styles of plugs. These include top water plugs, crank baits, and jerk baits. While they are all similar, there are enough differences that they should be covered in separate sections.

Topwater plugs

best 6 topwater plugs for saltwater fishing

As the name implies, top water plugs are worked on the surface. There are several different styles and they all are designed to put out a commotion on the surface that imitates a struggling and wounded bait fish or other prey. Top water plugs are generally worked fairly slowly with sharp twitch is in a pause. The strike often occurs on this pause. For the most part, top water plugs work best in fairly shallow water or when fish are seen feeding on the surface.

Read about the best topwater plugs for saltwater fishing

The three types of top water plugs are poppers, propeller baits, and “walk the dog” baits. Poppers have a concave face and when twitched sharply they dig into the water and produce a loud popping sound. Propeller baits have propellers either for, aft, or both. Again, when twitched sharply they put out a lot of surface commotion, more than a popper.

Chesapeake Bay bass

Walk the dog baits are a little bit different”. Unlike the other two types of top water plugs, these have very little built in action, the angler must imparted to the lure. They are conical he shaped front and rear. With the rod tip held low near the water, the lure is retrieved steadily while the rod tip twitched and a rhythmic manner. This causes the lure to dance sideways back and forth. It takes a while to master this technique, but is extremely effective on a wide variety of freshwater and saltwater game fish.

Crankbaits

Just as with top water plugs, there are several different styles of crank baits. Crank baits are generally cast out and retrieved back in, or cranked in, thus the name. They are available in many different shapes and sizes. Generally speaking, they have a fairly wide body that imitates shad, bluegill, herring, and even crayfish.

Sacramento River striped bass

Most crank baits have a plastic bill on the front. This bill, along with the shape of the plug, determines how deep the lure will run. Most manufacturers offer some type of charge give anglers a rough guide of how deep a particular lure will run, though there are other factors which affect this. Obviously, the best approach is to match the depth that which the lure is designed to dive with the area being fished. In most cases, it is best to have the lure occasionally bumping the bottom.

Squarebill crank baits have become fairly popular of late. These lures are especially erratic and for whatever reason seem to bump off of cover instead of get hung up. This makes them an excellent choice to fish in and around heavy cover. For the most part, this is a shallow diving bait, but deep diving models are available as well.

bass fishing

Lipless crank baits do not have the plastic lip on them. They are shaped like a fish in the line tie is usually on top near the center of the bait. When retrieved through the water, they put out a ton of vibration and noise as well as some flash.

Anglers fishing with crank baits should vary the retrieve until a productive one emerges. The best all round retrieve is to cast the lure out, reel quickly to get it down to the desired depth, then work it back in using an erratic twitches and pauses. Again, experimenting will determine what the fish want that day.

walleye fishing, a beginners guide

Crank baits are excellent trolling lures as well. Due to the fact that the lip will cause a lore to dive, anglers do not need weights and downrigger’s and other devices to get the lure down to the desired depth. Special crank baits are used by saltwater anglers that will dive as deep as 50 feet on their own. Anglers fishing larger freshwater lakes often use lures that dive down 25 feet or so.

Jerkbaits

fishing for snook

Jerkbaits are long, slender plugs. They have a plastic lip and come in both shallow and deep diving models. They are worked aggressively, with the angler giving the lure a hard jerk (thus the name), followed by a pause. The pause is crucial as this is when the fish most often hits the lure.

There are many different jerkbaits on the market and they produce a lot of both freshwater and saltwater species. Smallmouth bass in particular love them as jerkbaits often perform well in clear water conditions. Most jerkbaits also do well when trolled, either alone or behind a downrigger or sinker.

fishing with lures

A wide variety of saltwater species will take them as well. Saltwater fish tend to be more aggressive and the erratic nature of a jerkbait appeals to them.

Soft plastic baits

spotted sea trout fishing

Soft plastic baits have revolutionized fishing, and that is not an overstatement. These lures are soft, supple, and very lifelike. They look and feel like the real thing to game fish. Some soft plastic lures also incorporate scent as well. This only increases their effectiveness.

Soft plastic lures are available in a myriad of shapes, sizes, and colors. Plastic worms were the original soft plastic bait. When they came out in the late 1960s, they were very stiff and unnatural looking. That has changed a lot today! However, a six inch plastic worm remains one of the most effective largemouth bass fishing lures to this day.

fishing for crappie with jigs

Most soft plastic lures are meant to be fished quite slowly, imitating natural creatures that are crawling along the bottom. They are available in worms, salamanders, crayfish, and creature baits which really don’t look like anything in the water. The bulk and action of these lures is very effective.

inshore saltwater fishing

Soft plastic swim baits are also very effective, particularly for anglers saltwater fishing. They are most often fished on a jig head and are cast out and retrieved similar to other artificial lures. They are not confined to saltwater, many freshwater predator species including smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and walleye will readily take a soft plastic swim bait on a jig head.

Fishing with soft plastic baits

Unlike other fishing lures, soft plastic baits must be rigged up in some manner. The lures are sold in bags separately from the hooks. There are several different ways that anglers can rig and fish soft plastic lures. These include Texas rig, Carolina rig, wacky rig, drop shot rig, and soft plastics on a jig head.

texas rigged worm

When plastic worms first came out, the most commonly used rig was a Texas rig. This involved a specially designed hook as well as a sliding conical he shaped sinker. The shape of the hook allowed for the worm to hang straight while embedding the hook in the worm. This resulted in it being almost entirely weedless. The sliding weight allowed for the worm to be fished through weeds and over cover, yet allow the bass to pick the worm up and move off with it without feeling any weight. This rig is still popular and very effective and can be used with just about any soft plastic lure.

carolina rig

A Carolina rig is similar to a Texas rig with a couple of differences. Instead of the sinker being allowed to rest up against the eye of the hook, a swivel is used to stop the sinker. A leader around 30 inches long connects the other end of the swivel to the hook. A floating worm is most often used. The result is a rig that allows the sinker to crawl over cover while the worm works just a little bit above the bottom. This is an extremely effective rig that is most often used in deeper water around structure such as points and channel edges.

wacky rig

There is perhaps no easier way to fish a plastic worm then to use a wacky rig. It simply consists of a hook placed through the center of the worm and then cast out towards likely structure, usually along the shoreline. As the worm syncs through the water column, it undulates naturally in very seductively. It is extremely effective and it is very easy for novice anglers to use and master. In most cases, the fish, usually a bass, picks up the worm and runs off with it.

drop shot

A drop shot rig is an extremely effective way to present a soft plastic lure. The hook is tied in line about 12 inches to 18 inches above a sinker. This results in the bait being presented just off the bottom. It is extremely effective when fish are fussy and desire a very subtle presentations. The bait can be wiggled right in front of the fishes nose for a long period of time, hopefully drawing a strike. Just about any soft plastic lure can be used with this presentation.

guide to inshore fishing

The final presentation that anglers can use when presenting a soft plastic lure is to use it in conjunction with a jig head. While the previous for rigs are mostly tailored to bass fishing, a soft plastic bait on a jig head will catch just about every species that swims. One of the keys to this combination is the versatility. Any tail can be added to the jig head to mimic a baitfish, shrimp, crayfish, or any other type of aquatic life. The jig and grub can be bounced off the bottom, worked in the middle of the water column, and even worked just under the surface.

Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits

spinnerbait fishing

Spinnerbaits are excellent choices for anglers fishing with lures. They consist of a wire frame that looks a bit like a safety pin. In fact, back in the day they were called safety pin lures. A blade or blade rides on the top of the arm and a jig head is molded into the lower arm with the line tie being in the center. The result is a lure that is a combination between a jig and a spinner; two of the most effective fishing lures.

Spinnerbaits are mostly used by anglers freshwater fishing. There are a couple of saltwater applications, mostly fishing for redfish in fairly shallow water. Some anglers snook fishing use them as well. However, the vast amount of anglers casting spinner baits will do so in freshwater.

Best fishing lures for bluegill

Spinnerbaits have several advantages. They have a ton of built in action and are easy for novice anglers to use. In most cases, the best retrieve is a steady one. The rotating blade swimming skirt on the jig attracts fish. The lure is fairly easy to cast. Finally, spinnerbaits, due to their design, are relatively weedless. They tend to walk over and around structure.

Spinnerbaits come in several different configurations. Lures with one blade are called single bladed while those with two blades are called tandem spinnerbaits. Gold and silver are the most popular finishes on the blades. These blades are also available in several different designs; Colorado, Indiana, and willow leaf blades. All put out slightly different vibration. Skirt colors are endless two, with white and chartreuse being the top colors.

Tiny versions of these lures are incredibly effective on panfish, with the Beetle spin being a prime example. Generally, the slowest retrieve that will keep the blade spinning it will be the most productive. Larger versions in the 1/4 ounce to 1/2 ounce size are extremely effective on just about every other species. Larger models are used on Pike and musky.

For the most part, spinnerbaits are a shallow water bait. They work best around vegetation, fallen timber, and other structure. Heavier lures can be fished slowly and deeply, this is called slow rolling a spinnerbait. These lures are almost always cast out and retrieved, they do not work well in a vertical presentation and are rarely trolled, though they can be.

Buzzbaits are basically top water versions. They are designed to run right on top of the water with a specially designed blade that puts out a rhythmic gurgling sound and a ton of commotion. This is considered by many anglers to be a big fish bait and will draw some explosive strikes!

In conclusion, this article on fishing with lures will help anglers be more successful when using artificial baits!

Best 13 White Bass fishing Lures – Hybrid Bass Too!

Best 13 White Bass fishing Lures – Hybrid Bass Too!

This article will list the best 13 white bass fishing lures. Since hybrid bass are very similar in habits, this list applies to them as well. Anglers fishing for white bass and hybrid bass often find them in large schools, feeding aggressively. Therefore, the best white bass and hybrid bass fishing lures are compact and cast well. White bass and hybrid bass are found throughout the country, particularly in the Midwest.

best 13 white bass fishing lures

The best 13 white bass fishing lures and hybrid bass fishing lures are;

  • Acme Kastmaster spoon
  • Blakemore Road Runner lure
  • Rat-L-Trap Tiny Trap
  • Mann’s Little George
  • Mepps spinners
  • Bass Assassin grub on a jig head
  • Rapala Husky Jerk plug
  • Rebel Pop-R topwater plug
  • Johnson Beetle spin spinnerbait
  • Johnson Sprite spoon
  • Mister Twister curly tail grub on a jig head
  • Hopkins jigging spoon
  • Rapala Shad Rap crankbait

White bass and hybrid bass characteristics and habits

white bass lures

Special thanks to Jamie Smith for the great pics and info!  She loves fishing and fitness and lives in Texas. Follow Jamie on Instagram for more great pics!

white bass

White bass, Morone chrysops, do not grow very large. The world record is 6 pounds, 13 ounces. However, most white bass caught are around a foot long. They are quite aggressive and are often found in large schools. Many anglers target them as they feed actively on the surface. Both white bass and hybrid bass have varied diets, but feed primarily on bait fish as they mature. White bass are found in larger lakes and river systems. They spawn in the tributary rivers in the spring.

hybrid bass fishing

Hybrid white bass are a mix of white bass and striped bass. They grow larger than white bass, growing to over 20 pounds, and can be distinguished by the broken lateral stripes on the lower half of the fish. Hybrid bass exhibit many of the same habits as white bass. The same artificial lures work well when fishing for both white bass and hybrid bass.

white bass fishing lures

White bass fishing tackle

Spinning tackle is the best choice for anglers targeting white bass. White bass lures are small and light, matching the shad, minnows, and other forage that white bass feed on. Ultralight rods and reels are usually the best choice.

white bass fishing tackle

A 6 foot light rod with a 1000 series reel spooled up with 6 pound line is an excellent all round combination for anglers fishing for white bass. This will cover most situations where white bass and hybrid bass will be encountered. Anglers fishing in areas where larger hybrid bass are available can certainly bump up the tackle a bit.

Best 13 white bass fishing lures

fishing for white bass

Here is Capt Jim’s list of the best 13 white bass fishing lures. As mentioned above, white bass and hybrid bass feed aggressively. Therefore, lures that offer a fast, erratic presentation are usually the best choice. Many anglers chase “breaking” fish. These are hybrid bass and white bass that are feeding on shad and herring on the surface. Anglers often need to make quick, long casts to get in on the action. Small, compact lures and light lines are the most effective for this application.

Acme Kastmaster spoon

kastmaster

The Acme Kasmaster spoon is the perfect spoon for fishing for white bass and hybrid bass. It is first on the list of the best 13 white bass fishing lures. The Kastmaster is a slender spoon with a unique action. It casts well and can be fished throughout the entire water column, from breaking fish to vertical jigging. These spoons available in many sizes, 1/8 ounce and ¼ ounce are the most popular sizes for white bass fishing. Chrome, gold, and “split” finishes work great.

Blakemore Road Runner lure

road runner

The Blakemore Road Runner is a terrific white bass fishing lure! It sort of combines two great lures in one; a spinner and a jig. Road runner lures are compact and cast fairly well for their light weight. The 1/8 ounce and ¼ ounce sizes are best. White, chartreuse, and pink are top colors. They can be cast into breaking fish as well as working submerged structure, points, and channel edges.

Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap Tiny Trap

rat-l-trap

The Bill Lewis Tiny Trap is a small version of the venerable Rat-L-Trap, a lure that has been catching fish for decades. It is a great example of a lipless crankbait. Tiny traps are third on the list of the best 13 white bass fishing lures. These lures vibrate and rattle when retrieved through the water. They work very well for casting to fish on the surface as well as blind casting. It is an outstanding search bait and can be trolled as well.

Mann’s Little George

mann's little george

The Mann’s Little George is an old school bait that has been around a long time. It was designed by legendary angler Tom Mann. Little George lures are quite dense and compact and can be cast a very long distance. It is a terrific lure to use on busting fish, particularly when they are a bit spooky. It also is very effective in a vertical presentation when white bass and hybrid bass are schooled up deep over structure.

Mepps Spinners

mepps

Most freshwater anglers are familiar with Mepps spinners. They have been used to catch a wide variety of species, and white bass are no exception. Mepps spinners work best in the spring when white bass have moved into tributary rivers to spawn. Spinners in general are excellent lures in rivers. They can also be trolled effectively.

Bass Assassin 2″ Crappie Dapper on a jig head

bass assassin

The jig and grub combo is one of the most effective fishing lures in both fresh and salt waters. It will catch just about every species that swims. Capt Jim prefers the Bass Assassin line of baits. They offer a variety of sizes and colors. The 2” Crappie Dapper on a 1/8 ounce jig head is a good all round white bass fishing lure. The 3 ½ inch Die Dapper is a better choice when larger hybrid bass are feeding on bigger shad and herring.

white bass fishing lures

These lures are quite versatile. They can be cast, both blind casting and into breaking fish, as well, as trolled and presented vertically. White and chartreuse are top colors. These baits work very well when fish are a bit less active and react better to a more subtle presentation.

Rapala Husky Jerk plug

husky jerk

Jerkbaits are very effective white bass and hybrid bass fishing lures. They have a very erratic action and put out a bunch of flash and vibration. They very realistically mimic wounded bait fish. There are many fine jerkbaits on the market. Capt Jim’s personal favorite for freshwater fishing is the Rapala Husky Jerk. It is fairly economical and comes in a variety of sizes and colors. Lighter shad patterns as well as silver and gold in the 08 size work great. They can be cast and trolled.

Rebel Pop-R topwater plug

rebel pop-r

Topwater plugs are both great fun to fish and are extremely productive in the right situation. They are a natural fit when white bass are feeding on the surface. Capt Jim’s favorite freshwater topwater plug is the Rebel Pop-R. It has a concave face which puts out a loud “pop” when twitched sharply. They also work well when fish have moved shallow near shoreline cover. Pop-R plugs are 8th on the list of the best 13 white bass fishing lures.

Johnson Beetle spin spinnerbait

beetle spin

Spinnerbaits are terrific fishing lures. While they really do not look like anything that white bass or hybrid bass feed on, they put out flash and vibration. They combine a jig and a spinner in one unit. Capt Jim’s favorite freshwater lure is the Johnson Beetle spin. It is a compact spinnerbait with a short, grub body. The 1/8 ounce and ¼ ounce baits in black, white, and green are great choices. They work best when cast and retrieved when white bass are in fairly shallow water.

Johnson Sprite spoon

sprite spoon

The Johnson Sprite spoon is a great example of a classically shaped spoon. It has the teardrop shape and puts out a great wobble that flashed and vibrates. It really mimics a wounded bait fish. The Sprite spoon works best when cast out and reeled back in using an erratic retrieve. They can also be trolled as well. The ¼ ounce model in gold or silver works best.

Mister Twister curly tail grub on a jig head

mister twister

Mister Twister revolutionized fishing back in the mid 70’s when they introduced the Mister Twister curly tail grub. A curly tail grub has incredible action in the water when simply reeled in. It can be used to fish the entire water column. It is very effective when bounced down a sloping point or over a ledge. It also works great when whit bass are in the rivers. The 3” grub on a 1/8 ounce jig head works great. White and chartreuse are top colors.

Hopkins jigging spoon

hopkins jigging spoon

The Hopkins jigging spoon is a bit of a specialty bait. While it can be cast out, it is almost always used in a vertical presentation when white bass and hybrid bass are schooled up over structure in deep water. It is one of the best baits for suspended fish of all bass species. Silver with a hammered finish is by far the top finish. ¼ ounce is a good size for white bass.

Rapala Shad Rap crankbait

shad rap

Crankbaits are last, but certainly not least, on the list of best 13 white bass fishing lures. Crankbaits differ from jerkbaits in a couple of ways. They are wider and better resemble shad and herring. They are can be purchased with larger lips that cause them to dive fairly deep. Capt Jim’s favorite crankbait is the Rapala Shad Rap. It comes in shallow and deep models in a variety of sizes and colors. It is an excellent trolling lure as well.

In conclusion, this article on the best 13 white bass fishing lure will help anglers catch more of both white and hybrid bass!

Lipless Crankbait Fishing, a Guide to Success!

Lipless Crankbait Fishing, a Guide to Success!

This article will thoroughly cover lipless crankbait fishing. Lipless crankbaits are versatile lures that will catch a wide variety of both freshwater and saltwater species.

bass fishing

Lipless crankbaits are hard bodied lures, usually made from plastic. Unlike most crankbaits, lipless baits do not have a bill or lip which dictates the depth at which they run. Lipless crankbaits emit a lot of vibration and flash, mimicking a wounded bait fish.

Lipless crankbaits can be used at any depth. The angler controls the depth at which the lure is presented by the time it is allowed to sink and the speed of the retrieve. Lipless crankbaits are very versatile lures. They can be cast out and retrieved, trolled, vertically jigged, and even produce for anglers ice fishing!

ice fishing for walleye

Best lipless crankbaits

Most lure manufacturers sell a lipless crankbait. They are effective lures that have a lot of built in action. Often times, a simple steady retrieve works best. This makes these lures an excellent choice for novice anglers and children. Lipless crankbaits are available in a wide selection of sizes and colors to match the forage that game fish are feeding on.

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The top 8 lipless crankbaits are;

  • Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap
  • Rapala Rattlin Rap
  • Berkley Warpig
  • Booyah Hard Knocker
  • Cotton Cordell Super Spot
  • LiveTarget Golden Shiner
  • Strike King Red Eye Shad
  • Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe

Here is the list of Capt Jim’s favorite lipless crankbaits. Most have rattles inside, as the names imply. The slender bodies create a very tight wiggle. The combination of this action with the rattles results in a lure with a lot of vibration and noise, which will pull fish in to attack it.

Bill Lewis Rat-LTrap

rat-l-trap

Click to shop Amazon for Rat-L-Trap lures

Any list of lipless crankbaits begins with the Bill Lewis Rat-LTrap. This is by far the most popular lipless crankbait and is an extremely effective lure. They come in a wide variety of colors and are available in both freshwater and saltwater models.

Rapala Rattlin Rap

rapala rattlin rap

Click to shop Amazon for Rattlin Rap lures

The Rapala Rattlin Rap is Capt Jim’s favorite lipless crankbait. The gold lure in the ½ ounce size is his go-to bait in both rivers, lakes, and in saltwater. They are available in several sizes and a wide variety of colors.

Berkley Warpig

Berkley Warpig

Click to shop Amazon for Warpig lures

The Berkley Warpig is a well-balanced bait designed for Berkley with the help of Daid Fritts. It is a quality lure that comes well tuned right out of the box. The shad pattern is very productive.

Booyah Hard Knocker

Booyah Hard Knocker

Click to shop Amazon for Hard Knocker lures

The Booyah Hard Knocker is one of the louder, more aggressive lipless crankbaits on the market. It is a good bait when the water quality is poor or to irritate inactive bass and other species.

Cotton Cordell Super Spot

Cordell Super Spot

Click to shop Amazon for Super Spot lures

The Cotton Cordell Super Spot is a lipless crankbait that has been around a long time. It has a more subtle action that some other lures. It is an excellent all-round choice for most situations where a lipless crankbait will produce.

LiveTarget Golden Shiner

livetarget golden shiner

Click to shop Amazon for Golden Shiner lures

The lIvetarget Golden Shiner is a recent addition to the lipless crankbait lineup. It is a quality bait that is available in many different finishes. It has high quality finishes and is a favorite among anglers ice fishing.

Strike King Red Eye Shad

red eye shad

Click to shop Amazon for Red Eye Shad lures

The Strike King Red Eye Shad is a quality bait designed by the famous Strike King fishing pro staff. It works well in a variety of applications and has an excellent fishing. The ½ ounce bait in the Sexy Shad finish works very well.

Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe

rattl'n vibe

Click to shop Amazon for Rattl’n Vibe lures

The Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe is an aggressive bait with a quality finish. It casts well and puts out a ton of noise and vibration. It works great in a vertical presentation as well.

Best rods and reels for fishing with lipless crankbaits

There are varying schools of thought when it comes to the best rods and reels for fishing lipless crankbaits. The best outfit is a medium action baitcasting rod and reel. The rod should have a bit softer action to absorb the violet strikes and so that anglers do not rip the hooks out of the mouth of the fish.

bass fishing

Baitcasting reels have a faster retrieve ratios. This helps when a fast retrieve is producing. Also, baitcasting reels work best when a twitch and pause is used, these reels handle the slack better.

Click to shop Amazon for spinning and baitcasting combos

Spinning outfits can certainly be used as well. This is particularly true when a steady retrieve of moderate pace is used. Again, a softer rod works best. With both spinning and casting rods, monofilament or flourocarbon line is best. A little bit of stretch is actually desirable.

Lipless crankbait fishing techniques

smallmouth bass fishing for beginners

As mentioned earlier, lipless crankbaits are very versatile. They can be cast and retrieved, trolled, and vertically jigged. The size and color of the lure should match the locally available forage, where practical.

Casting and retrieving lipless crankbaits

Most fish caught by anglers using lipless crankbaits are done so casting the lure out and retrieving it back in. These lures put out a large amount of flash and vibration. This produces in several situation, Active fish will obviously be attracted to it. Inactive fish can be irritated into striking it. When visibility is low, the sound will help fish find it.

best bass lure

In many situations, a medium paced steady retrieve works best. The depth is controlled by the time the lure is allowed to sink, along with the speed of the lure. Strikes are very easy to detect. They cast very easily as well. These factors combine to make lipless crankbaits an excellent choice for anglers with a bit less experience.

While a steady retrieve often produces fish, anglers should certainly vary the retrieve to find out what the fish want that day. One extremely effective technique is to use several fast cranks of the reel followed by a pause. This imitates a wounded bait fish that appears to be dying. At times, being extremely aggressive and ripping the bait hard followed by a two or 3 foot drop will trigger a strike.

These baits are extremely effective when fished over submerged vegetation. The proper speed will have the bait ticking the tops of the weeds. Experienced anglers actually let it sink into the vegetation and then “rip” it out. This will trigger strikes from inactive fish. Lipless crankbaits produces around any type of structure as well. As with most lures, occasionally knocking the plug off of the structure is a very effective technique.

Lipless crankbaits are perfect for open water fishing when fish are feeding on the surface. These lures cast a good distance. They look just like shad and other forage. Anglers can easily match the size of the forage using a lipless crankbait.

Lipless crankbaits can imitate crayfish

Anglers casting lipless crankbaits are generally imitating wounded bait fish. However, they can be used to imitate another abundant freshwater forage; crayfish. Most manufacturers offer anglers these lures in crayfish patterns. Red with some black and it seems to be particularly effective.

9 essential smallmouth bass fishing lures

The best technique in this situation is to fish the bait very close to the bottom. Instead of a steady retrieve, a more erratic one is used where the bait is moved quickly for a few feet then allowed to fall back to the bottom. This realistically imitates a fleeing crayfish. It is a very effective retrieve for a variety of species.

Trolling with lipless crankbaits

Trolling is another very effective lipless crankbait fishing technique. These lures put out excellent flash and vibration when retrieved using a steady speed. This makes them a perfect choice for trolling. It is also a very easy method that any angler can use to cover a lot of water in search of fish.

walleye fishing tackle and lures

Anglers can keep it simple organ as complicated as they want when trolling with lipless crankbaits. In fairly shallow water, the best approach is to simply measure out a length of line behind the boat then slowly drive around at a few miles per hour. Anglers can use heavier lures as well as let more line out in order to achieve the proper depth.

The best spots to troll are large areas with some type of cover or structure. Channel edges that drop off into deep water are excellent spots to troll. Deep, submerged weed beds as well as submerged timber are other terrific spots. Trolling lipless crankbaits works well to cover large areas like rip rap around bridges.

Lipless crankbaits produce in a vertical presentation

Lipless crank baits are also productive when used in a vertical presentation. They are fished very similarly to a jigging spoon. The lore is let straight down to the bottom, usually around some type of structure such as a sloping point, channel edge, submerged timber or weeds, or around schools of bait fish.

Once the lure reaches the bottom, the angler sharply jerks the bait up several feet off the bottom, then allows it to flutter back down. The line is reeled up a crank or two, then the process repeated. This allows anglers to work the entire water column and is extremely effective on suspended fish. Anglers ice fishing have been using this technique for decades with lipless crankbaits.

Lipless crankbaits are more than just bass lures

There is little doubt that lipless crankbaits are most often used by anglers targeting largemouth bass, and for good reason. Besides the fact that bass are one of the most popular freshwater game fish, these lures are very effective for them. However, it is a mistake to think that that is the only species they will catch. In fact, anglers often overlook opportunities to fish these lures for other species.

top Michigan species

 

Any game fish that feeds on live bait fish can be caught on a lipless crankbait. These lures are available in sizes and patterns to imitate every prey species including bluegill, perch, herring, shad, and more. Northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, musky, trout, salmon, and even panfish can be caught by anglers casting these extremely effective lures.

Lipless crankbaits produce in saltwater fishing

river snook fishing charter

While the majority of anglers using lipless crank baits will do so when freshwater fishing, these lures are also very productive in the salt as well. Snook behave very much like largemouth bass. In fact, almost all of the best snook fishing lures are really adapted largemouth bass lures. Lipless crank baits are no exception.

Striped bass and bluefish will certainly hit these baits as well. The same goes for Spanish mackerel, jacks, sea trout, and false albacore. In reality, any game fish species in freshwater or saltwater that feeds on bait fish will take a lipless crank \baits. It is particularly true of fish species that feed aggressively in schools.

In conclusion, this article on lipless crankbait fishing will help anglers be more successful using these very effective artificial lures.

 

 

12 Useful Blue Catfish Fishing Tips

12 Useful Blue Catfish Fishing Tips

This article will list 12 useful blue catfish fishing tips. Blue catfish have become a very popular target of anglers throughout North America. They have been successfully introduced into many large river and reservoir systems.

blue catfish fishing tips

Blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus, are the largest of the three major catfish species. They are apex predators that grow to 150 pounds. Blue catfish are native to the Mississippi River and it’s tributaries, but have been introduced throughout North America. They adapt well to large reservoir and river systems.

The introduction of blue catfish into some systems is not without controversy. They are a large predator game fish that can change the balance in a particular body of water. Some anglers are not happy with the way they have affected native populations. Fish management agencies introduced blue catfish to offer anglers an opportunity to catch a large, trophy fish.

Blue catfish expert Samantha

blue catfish fishing tips

Samantha Caudill is an experienced tournament angler and a blue catfish expert. She fishes with her boyfriend Matt Russell. She is sponsored by Dales Tackle, River Rats reel repair, RS Nets, Reel Em Up, BKPC Nation, Fish Hard Industries, Slimecat Rods, and Cat River Anchor. Follow her on her YouTube Channel. Special thanks to her for sharing her pictures and tips!

12 useful blue catfish fishing tips

The following list of 12 useful blue catfish fishing tips will focus on the differences between blue catfish and the other catfish species. While similar in habits, there are some subtle differences in blue catfish behavior and habits. Anglers who understand these factors will be more successful.

fishing for blue catfish

1)  Proper tackle is important when fishing for blue catfish

Anglers chasing blue catfish will need the proper tackle in order to be successful. In most cases, the rods and reels will be quite a bit heavier than used for other freshwater species. Smaller blue catfish can be caught on lighter tackle, but serious anglers will beef up the tackle quite a bit.

Anglers fishing from boats will do best using fairly heavy conventional tackle. For the most part, casting is not required. Samantha likes a 7′ 3”xmh Slimecat rod foot rod with a Penn Squall 20 reel. Most anglers use braided line, Samantha prefers 40 pound test.

Click to read a detailed article on catfish tackle

fishing for catfish

Heavy spinning tackle can certainly be used as well, particularly by anglers fishing without a boat. In this application, long casts may be required and spinning tackle is certainly better for that for most anglers. A 7 to 8 foot long heavy rod with a fast action matched to a 6000-8000 series reel is a good all around combo. 40 pound braided line completes the rig.

2)  Fresh cut bait is best for blue catfish

The best fishing bait for blue catfish is a fresh chunk of cut bait. Bait fish that are available in the water being fished is best. Herring and shad species in particular are effective as they are quite oily. This helps spread the scent down current and will draw blue catfish in to the bait. Suckers and chubs are also popular. Check local regulations before using fresh caught bait.

catfish bait

Anglers can cut the bait fish into chunks or strips. Chunks, or “plugs” are most often used as they provide more bulk and stay on the hook better. The chunk can be hooked right under the dorsal fin. Serious anglers pursuing blue catfish prefer to catch their own bait. Cast nets are often used. In some areas, traps can be employed as well. Anglers also catch bait using a light rod and small hooks. Again, check local regulations to remain in compliance.

3)  Understanding current is a key to success

Current is a very important factor in all types of fishing, and blue catfish are no exception. They thrive in river systems and understanding how current will locate fish is important. Predator fish like to find breaks in the current where they can lie in ambush while not expending a lot of energy.

blue catfish tips

Anything that causes a break in the current can hold blue catfish and other species. Fallen trees, rock piles, and bridge pilings are examples of this. Ledges are also used by game fish to ambush prey.

Current is extremely important when fishing for catfish in rivers. The spots they will stage in really depends on the level of the river. Entire books have been written on the subject. Basically, when the river is high and fast, catfish will find quiet water out of the main current. Conversely, during low water conditions, they will often be found in the swiftest moving water that has some depth to it.

4)  Night time is the right time for catching blue catfish

fishing for blue catfish

It is no secret that catfish are nocturnal species. They are built to feed efficiently under almost zero visibility conditions. This included night time as well as very murky water. They use their keen sense of smell more than their sight.

Blue catfish will often move up quite shallow at night as well. Flats that are adjacent to river channels are prime spots. Fish will move out of the depths and up onto the flats to roam about and feet. Obviously, anglers need to be extra careful when fishing in the dark, especially if current is present.

fishing for blue catfish

5)  Proper rigging for blue catfish is crucial

Fishing for blue catfish is not complicated. However, using the proper rigs and tackle will certainly increase the odds of success. Most often, anglers present the bait on or near the bottom. The basic 3 way catfish rig works very well for this, especially in current.

fishing for river catfish

The Carolina rig is a bit less complicated and is very effective as well. With this rig the line slides through the sinker and a swivel stops it from sliding down to the hook. A float can be added to lift the bait a bit above the bottom. This also gives the bait a natural looking action as it sways in the current. Rattles can be added as well to help blue catfish find the bait.

catfish leaders

Most anglers fishing for blue catfish use circle hooks these days. They almost always result in the hook being lodged in the corner of the fish’s mouth. This greatly aids in releasing fish in a healthy state. Sizes vary, but 5/0 is a good all round size for average fish. The hook should be matched to the size of the bait being used. Samantha uses 10/0 circle hooks for most of her fishing that targets larger cats.

There are quite a few choices when it comes to sinkers as well. Samantha, and most catfish anglers, prefer the flat “no roll” sinkers, especially in heaver current. Anglers using 3 way rigs often opt for bank sinkers. Egg sinkers are used when it is desirable to have the bait drifting with the current.

whisker bomb

A whisker bomb is a special rig used when precise placement of the bait is desired. With no leader, the bait will not move around and get snagged. This rig is used in heavy cover.

Read more about catfish rigs and baits

6)  Top spots for locating blue catfish

catfish fishing tips

Blue catfish are like many other game fish. They prefer structure so that they can ambush prey. The same structure attracts the same forage. Fallen timber, rocks, bridges, channel edges, sloping points and wing dams are all prime examples, Areas that combine two or more of these are prime spots. A channel edge with a steep drop off and fallen timber would be a great example. Blue catfish will get up on a flat to feed as well, particularly at night. Also, generally speaking, blue catfish prefer larger bodies of water. Smaller lakes and rivers will not be as productive.

7)  Blue catfish are excellent to eat, but larger fish should be released

tips for catching blue catfish

Blue catfish are fantastic eating! Their flesh is white, firm, and flaky. Many consider them to be the best table fare of all the catfish species. However, like most fish, the smaller and medium sized fish are best to keep for anglers who desire a meal. Larger blue catfish are usually females. It is important not to over fish the breeder stock.

8)  Safety first when handling catfish

blue catfish

Anglers fishing for catfish of any species need to exercise caution when handling them. This is especially true of blue catfish, due to their size. Gloves are highly desired, as is some type of tool to grip a fish in the mouth. The dorsal and pectoral fins have barbs and toxin that are extremely painful if they stab an angler.

9)  Other effective baits for blue catfish

best live bait for freshwater fishing

While fresh cut bait is the preferred bait for blue catfish, there are several other productive baits. Nightcrawlers will certainly catch blue catfish, as well as just about every other freshwater species. That is actually the main disadvantage to using nightcrawlers and worms. Serious blue cat anglers not not want to be ‘interrupted” by these other fish. For anglers who do not mind, they are an excellent choice. Nightcrawlers are readily available and easy to keep alive.

fishing

Prepared commercial baits are very popular among catfish anglers as well, particularly for those targeting channel catfish. However, blue catfish will be caught on these baits as well. The main advantage to using prepared baits is the convenience; they are always in the tackle box and ready to go.

10)  Boat position is very important

blue catfish tips

Boat positioning is crucial to success when it comes to fishing for blue catfish. They will often be found in fairly precise location, though they will also scatter out over a large flat. The key is to place the boat up-current of the spot or area to be fished. Anglers can then put out their spreads as dictated by the conditions. This is a skill that really comes from practice.

Here are some tips on anchoring from Samantha and Matt. Anchor: when anchoring we like to be around 100ft to 120ft from our spot that we marked in our graph. Depending on how deep the water is, is how much rope you will need to let out to keep your anchor in place and so it doesn’t slide. We use a 20lb HD Cat River Anchor with a 150ft rope. When double anchoring we will use one 20lb HD anchor for the front of the boat and 0ne 20lb HD anchor for the back of the boat

11)  Blue catfish can be caught from shore

catfish fishing tackle

Anglers without a boat can certainly experience success when fishing for blue catfish. This can be done in lakes but is probably more effective when done from a river bank. Fish in rivers are easier to locate. Anglers can access deeper holes on outside bends from the shoreline. Tailwaters (see next tip) are prime spots for blue catfish and many other species. Bridges can offer anglers access as well.

Heavy spinning tackle is usually the best choice for anglers fishing from the shore. However, those proficient with baitcasting tackle can cast just as far, if not further. It is just a bit more difficult, especially for the novice angler.

12)  Tailwaters are a top spot for blue catfish

fishing in tailwaters for catfish

A “tailwater” is the section of a river just below a dam. These are prime locations for anglers seeking many different species, including blue catfish. The current is often swift and catfish will hold behind large rocks and boulders as well as in eddies and current breaks.

Bait fish often get caught in the turbines of the dam and are chopped up and dumped into the flow. This creates a natural “chum slick” of sorts and fish set up to gorge on the easy pickings. Therefore, a chunk of cut shad or herring is tough to beat.

Anglers fishing from shore can often access these areas to fish. Parks are often created in these spots so that kayakers and anglers can access the river. It is VERY important to make safety the top consideration! Water flow levels vary greatly. Most dame have schedules that let anglers know when the water is being released.

These can be great times to fish, but maybe not the best time to be in a small boat. Anglers should never anchor in a heavy current, many have died doing that. Drifting or anchoring downstream and out of the strong current is best. The same applies to anglers fishing from shore; be careful!

In conclusion, this article on XX useful blue catfish fishing tips will help anglers catch more of these large and powerful freshwater game fish!

Spinner Fishing for Trout – a Complete Guide

Spinner Fishing for Trout – a Complete Guide

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

spinner fishing for trout

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

Spinner fishing for trout

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

best 13 brown trout fishing lures

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

Spinner fishing techniques

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

best trout tackle

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

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

Read more about the best trout fishing lure

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

trout fishing with streamers

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

Spinner fishing for trout in lakes

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

rainbow trout fishing lures

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

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

Choosing the best spinner for trout fishing

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

trout fishing

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

The top 4 spinners for trout fishing are;

  • Worden’s Original Rooster Tail spinner

  • Mepps Aglia spinner

  • Blue Fox Vibrax spinner

  • Panther Martin spinner

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

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

Worden’s Original Rooster Tail spinner

rooster tail

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

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

Mepps Aglia spinner

mepps

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

Blue Fox Vibrax spinner

blue fox spinner

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

Panther Martin spinner

panther martin

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

Best rod and reel when spinner fishing for trout

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

brook trout fishing lures

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

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

brook trout fishing lures

Spinner fishing will produce other species as well

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

Smallmouth bass

smallmouth bass fishing

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

Panfish

rock bass fishing tips and tackle

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

Northern pike

best northern pike fishing lure

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

Walleye

walleye fishing tackle and lures

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Ice Fishing with Tip Downs, Tips and Techniques

Ice Fishing with Tip Downs, Tips and Techniques

This article will focus on ice fishing with tip downs. Tip downs are clever devices that hold a regular ice fishing rod and reel in place over a hole. They are an effective way for anglers ice fishing to present multiple offerings in different locations. Tip ups are mostly used by anglers targeting panfish and smaller game fish species, but can certainly be used on larger fish as well.

ice fishing with tip downs

Tip downs are devices used by anglers ice fishing that hold a rod and reel that presents a bait through the hole in the ice. Like tip ups, tip downs allow anglers to fish more than one spot at a time. When a fish strikes, the rod tip plunges down into the hole, thus the name. It is important to check local fishing regulations! They will vary greatly regarding hooks, baits, and number of lines allowed.

Anglers who would like to read more about ice fishing can purchase Capt Jim’s E-book, “A Complete Guide to Ice Fishing” by clicking on the title link.

Tip downs are advantageous because they allow anglers to fish multiple holes while still catching them on a regular ice fishing rod and reel. This is kind of the best of both worlds! Anglers ice fishing with tip downs are normally pursuing pan fish, crappie, and other smaller game fish species. These fish are better suited for tip downs as they generally don’t strike hard enough to pop the clip on a tip up.

ice fishing with tip down

Tip downs are excellent for anglers learning a new body of water. They allow multiple baits to be presented at different depths and locations. This will help anglers learn much more quickly the types of structure and depth that which fish are feeding. Tip downs are also very conducive to family fishing. Children can be distracted and play a bit in between bites.

Tip down options

ice fishing with a tip down

Tip downs are lightweight devices that are usually made of wood, plastic, or metal. They are very portable and set up quite quickly. As mentioned above, they use a conventional ice fishing rod and reel. One set, the rod is either horizontal or a bit above. When a fish strikes, the unit pivots and the rod tip dips down towards the hole. Thus the name “tip down”!

Click to read more about ice fishing tackle and gear

There are a wide variety of tip down units available to ice fishing anglers. Most opt for the type where any rod and reel can be used. This way, anglers can use the outfits that they already own. Sullivan ice fishing tip downs are an example of this. Some tip downs come with flags as well. However, it is very easy to tell when a fish takes a bait.

ice fishing basics

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Setting up an ice fishing tip down

Once the hole is drilled, the tip down is set at that location. Anglers can use a live minnow or nightcrawler on a small hook with a split shot or a jig head to get it down in the water column. This works well for crappie and yellow perch as well as a variety of other game fish species. Micro jigs with a meal worm or wax worm are best for anglers chasing bluegill and panfish. Artificial lures alone are generally not productive as they require manipulation by the angler. A brightly colored ice fishing jig with a live bait is an excellent all round combination.

Anglers ice fishing with tip downs should not neglect dead or frozen bait as well. These can be particularly effective on larger species such as northern pike, walleye, and lake trout. Minnows that have dies can be very effective. Game fish will at times not want to chase a live bait, but will readily take a fresh dead minnow. Cut bait can be productive as well. Suckers, ciscoes, and shiners work well.

ice fishing tip down

While the bait should be placed close to the bottom, anglers should vary the depth that they are fishing with the various set ups. This way, anglers can quickly identify the depth that which fish are holding and feeding. It is important to keep an eye on your tip downs! It is not unusual for a fish to take the bait off of the hook unnoticed by the angler. Fishing a hook with no bait defeats the purpose of covering a lot of water!

There are several other nuances which will help anglers ice fishing with tip downs be more successful. It is very important to keep the hole clear of ice. Most often, very light line is used in this application. Sharp pieces of ice will quickly cut this very thin line.

ice fishing basics

Also, wind can be an issue when fishing with tip downs. The best approach is usually two point the tip of the rod right into the wind. This results in the best line management when dealing with a stiff breeze. Also, it is often a good idea to pack some snow around the base of the tip down when the wind is blowing.

Strategies for drilling holes when ice fishing with tip downs

The primary advantage to ice fishing with tip ups is the ability to fish several different spots can be fished at once. Therefore, strategically drilling the holes is important in order to maximize tip up placement. Ideally, anglers will fish several different depths in a fairly small area. Sloping points are an excellent example of this, as are channel edges. Anglers can research prior to the trip to get current information and fishing reports. Many anglers have good GPS waypoints from open water fishing, these are good places to start.

ice fishing auger

While it is good to cover several different depths and even cover types, it is important not to place the holes too far apart. This will make it more difficult to get to a rod quickly. Also, anglers may miss a few bites. Most experienced anglers ice fishing with tip downs keep the rods a hundred yards apart or less. Again, anglers need to check local regulations regarding the number of rods and baits that are legal to use.

Ice fishing anglers have a couple of options when it comes to drilling holes. Hand augers work fine for those fishing a hole or two on ice that is not too thick. However, serious anglers opt for some type of power auger. Electric units work well up to a foot or so. Serious anglers will choose a gas powered ice auger.

ice fishing auger

Click the link to shop Amazon for ice fishing augers

Sonar units are very helpful for anglers ice fishing with tip downs. They will help anglers locate structure such as drop offs along with fish-holding cover. They will also show schools of fish. Several manufacture units specifically designed for ice fishing applications.

ice fish finder

Click to shop Amazon for ice fishing sonar units

Ice fishing with tip downs for panfish

Tip downs work very well for anglers ice fishing for panfish. The light rods and baits along with the more subtle takes work well in conjunction with tip downs. Most of these smaller fish will not trip the clip on a tip up, those are just a bit too heavy.

ice fishing for bluegill and panfish

Anglers ice fishing for bluegill and panfish will do well to use a micro jig tipped with a grub of some type. Mealworms and wax worms are easy to keep alive and are readily available. A piece of nightcrawler works quite well, too.

The other bait most often used by anglers ice fishing with tip downs for panfish is a jig with a live minnow attached. The advantage that this brings is the chance to catch larger game fish such as walleye and pike. Live minnows are very effective on crappie and yellow perch. Larger brown and rainbow trout will take them as well.

crappie fishing

Anglers seeking larger species such as walleye, pike, lake trout, whitefish, burbot, and more will need to bump up the tackle a bit to handle the larger fish. In reality though, tip downs really are better suited to smaller fish on light tackle while tip ups are best for pike and larger fish.

In conclusion, this article on ice fishing with tip downs will help anglers catch more fish using this technique.

Surf Fishing for Striped Bass – Pro Tips!

Surf Fishing for Striped Bass – Pro Tips!

This article will thoroughly cover surf fishing for striped bass. Striped bass are the most popular inshore saltwater species from the South Carolina to New England.

surf fishing for striped bass

Surf fishing for striped bass is a very popular sport that takes place all along the East coast of the United States. Striped bass, Morone saxatilis, are the most targeted species for anglers surf fishing the coastal beaches. Specialized tackle and techniques are used to hook them!

striped bass

Special thanks to Erica and Paulie for the great pics and technical details. Anglers can follow their adventures on their YouTube Channel, Get Reel Bass Fishing. as well as their website.

Surf fishing may seem like a pretty basic fishing technique where anglers simply stand on the beach and cast out into the ocean. However, this is far from the reality. Surf fishing is very nuanced; little changes and tactics make a big difference in angling success. All of the information needed to go surf fishing with striped bass will be in this article.

striped bass

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

Striped bass surf fishing tackle

Anglers surf fishing for striped bass will need some specialized equipment. The main difference is the length of the fishing rods. Long rods are required in order to make long casts as well as keeping the line up over the breaking waves. Spinning tackle is mostly used and is the best choice for anglers new to the sport. Experienced anglers use conventional tackle with great success.

surf fishing

Two different rod and reel combinations will be required to efficiently go surf fishing for striped bass. The requirements for both types of fishing are a bit different. One is for casting artificial lures and the other for casting heavy natural baits. The outfit for casting lures will usually be a bit lighter than the heavier outfit for casting cut baits.

Best rod and reel for casting lures

surf fishing

Anglers casting lures need an outfit heavy enough to handle heavy lures while being light enough to cast repeatedly. The best rod and reel combination for surf fishing for striped bass is a 10 foot rod paired with a 6000 series reel and spooled up with 30 pound braided fishing line. This outfit will allow anglers to cast lures without getting exhausted while still handling the heavier lures and big surf. If anglers only want to purchase one surf fishing rod and reel, this would be a perfect combination.

Erica and Paulie highly recommend a 10 foot Tsunami Airwave Elite rod paired with a Penn Spinfisher 6 5500 spooled reel spooled up with 30lb braid. This outfit has served them well, especially for casting artificial lures.

Click links to shop Amazon for Tsunami rods and Penn reels

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Best rod and reel for bait fishing for striped bass in the surf

surf fishing for striped bass

Anglers casting natural baits, either live or cut, will require slightly different tackle. A heavier, longer rod is used to cast heavy baits and sinkers up to 8 ounces. However, many fewer casts will be made as once cast out the rod is held or put in a rod holder. Constantly casting a heavy rig would quickly tire most anglers out.

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

The best rod and reel combination for surf fishing for striped bass with bait is a 13-15 foot rod, 8000 series reel, and 40 pound braided line. This will allow for long casts and handle the heavy gear. The longer rod will also help keep the line up over the waves. A similar conventional rod and reel can certainly be substituted for anglers who prefer that type of tackle.

Best rigs for surf fishing for striped bass

surf fishing for striped bass

Anglers surf fishing for striped bass will need to use the proper rigs in order to be successful. The rig used for casting artificial lures is pretty simple. Anglers simply use a 3 foot length of 60 lb flourocarbon leader, followed by a quality snap swivel. This allows for easy lure changes while also adding action to the lure. Striped bass do not have teeth. However, bluefish do have teeth and are often found mixed in with striped bass. Wire leaders are certainly an option, though strikes will be reduced, especially in clear water. Anglers will have to decide whether the risk of loosing lures is worth the extra bites. In most cases, sticking with flourocarbon leaders is the best option.

surf fishing for striped bass

Read more about surf fishing in this comprehensive article

Best bottom fishing rigs for striped bass

There are two basic rigs that will cover the vast majority of surf fishing situations that a striped bass angler will encounter. These are a fish finder rig and a 3 way rig. Both work well on striped bass and most other game fish caught in the surf.

surf fishing rigs

A fish finder rig uses a clever device that slides on the running line. A swivel stops it, then a leader is attached followed by the hook. This rig allows the striped bass to pick up the bait and move off with the bait without detecting the weight of the sinker.

fishing for river catfish

A # way rig uses a 3 way swivel tied to the main line. On one rung a leader and hook are attached. On the third rung a leader and the sinker. Anglers often use lighter line on the sinker drop, so if it snags only the sinker is lost.

Best hooks and sinkers for surf fishing

Anglers have a couple of different choices when it comes to sinkers. Most anglers use pyramid sinkers, they hold well in the sand. There are special variations of these that some anglers prefer. Bank sink are occasionally used, especially if it is desired to have the bait bouncing along the bottom.

surf fishing

Most anglers use circle hooks when surf fishing for striped bass. In several states, they are required by law. Circle hooks usually result in the bass being hooked in the mouth as opposed to swallowing it. A #3/0 is a good size for smaller striped bass and small baits. #7/0-#10/0 work best for big baits and big fish.

No matter the size of the circle hook, anglers need to just come tight and reel and not to set the hook. In surf fishing, this is really a natural reaction anyway, anglers using “J” hooks usually let the fish hook itself.

Surf fishing techniques for striped bass

surf fishing

Anglers surf fishing for striped bass will find fish of all sizes. Many will be “schoolies” that are numerous and great fun to catch. Larger fish, often called ‘cows” are more challenging. The two primary techniques are casting lures and bottom fishing with cut or live bait. However, the first order of business is locating fish.

Locating striped bass in the surf

Reading the beach” is a skill that takes years to master. To novice anglers, it all looks the same. However, to the trained eye there are clues that will dictate the best spots to fish. Some tips and techniques will be shared to help anglers find fish in the surf.

Inlets are top spots

striped bass fishing in the surf

One excellent strategy when surf fishing for striped bass is to choose a beach close to an inlet. Inlets have strong current flow and usually rocks or other structure. These factors combine to hold bait, and therefore striped bass. Fishing near inlets is a bit of a “shortcut” to learning a beach. Anglers do need to be VERY careful when wading as currents are strong.

Read more about striped bass fishing in this article by Capt Jim

Also, while maybe not technically surf fishing, many inlets have a jetty that anglers can access in which to fish. The rocks create eddies which striped bass will use as ambush points. Strong currents exist there as well. However, these spots can be quite crowded, especially on the weekend.

Cuts in bars are top surf fishing spots

Several bars run parallel to the beach, each a dozen or so yards apart. There are “cuts” in these bars. Striped bass and other game fish will use these bars to move in and out of the troughs. There are a couple different ways to locate these cuts. The easiest way is to scout the beach at low tide.

surf fishing

Waves will give anglers a clue as to the composition of the bars as well. The closer to the beach the waves break, the deeper the water. Gaps in breaking waves also can indicate a cut in the bar. The waves themselves will break on the bars, giving anglers great clues as to what lies underneath.

Find the bait, find the fish

There is one overriding principle that applies to most forms of saltwater fishing; fish will be near the “groceries”. That means that while they have other preferences, forage is the prime consideration, other than during spawning. Beaches that have bait fish showing or birds working are excellent areas to start fishing.

Tides are very important in surf fishing

Florida surf fishing

Understanding tides is very important when saltwater fishing, and anglers plying the surf are no exception. Tides will move fish and bait. If there is one general rule, it is that the two hours before and after the high tide are best for surf fishing. If this occurs at dawn or dusk, so much the better.

In spots such as Maine that experience huge tides, it can just be too difficult trying to fish when the tide is running hard. The slack water times of the turn of the tide are the only practical times to fish. However, the beach can be easier to read on low tide. Anglers fishing inlets usually prefer the outgoing tide.

Night time is the right time for surf fishing

striped bass

Like many game fish species, striped bass feed heavily at night. There are also several advantages for the angler. The crowds will be much thinner; only the serious anglers will be out on the beach at 2:00 a.m.! Anglers can go heavier with the leaders and tackle.

There are some disadvantages to surf fishing at night as well. Sharks and rays can be a huge nuisance for anglers soaking baits. Also, obviously it is more difficult to see, anglers need to put an emphasis on safety. In the fall and early spring, it can be downright chilly as well.

striped bass in surf

Find “breaking” fish

If there is one situation that anglers surf fishing for striped bass (and other species) relish, it is ‘breaking fish”. These are fish that have herded bait fish up to the surface and are ravaging them. In this situation, just about any lure that remotely resembles the forage will draw a strike. Bait can work, but these are prime conditions for casting lures.

Top artificial lures when surf fishing for striped bass

surf fishing for striped bass

There are several lure types that really shine when surf fishing for striped bass. These are spoons (and metals), jigs, and plugs. All three are heavy so that they cast well and imitate wounded bait fish. Local shops can be great sources of both information and lures, they know what produces in their particular area.

Spoons

lues for surf fishing

Spoons are terrific surf fishing lures, perhaps the best. They are heavy and cast a mile, even into a stiff breeze. Spoons put out both flash and vibration, simulating wounded bait fish. Spoons are versatile lures that can be worked right on the surface for breaking fish as well as closer to the bottom. They are an excellent choice when blind casting off the beach.

Read this article on the best striped bass fishing lures

The top spoon for surf fishing for striped bass and other species in the Acme Kastmaster spoon. It is slender and aerodynamic, which results in long casts. It comes in several sizes and quite a few colors and finishes. These baits also come in a single hook version, which facilitates a healthy release.

Jigs

Jigs are also very effective surf fishing lures. They can be cast and and reeled back in, this works well with shad style swim baits on a jig head. Bucktail jigs work very well when bounced along the bottom. Some anglers add a strip of squid or cut bait to make it even more attractive.

bucktail jig

The best bucktail jigs for saltwater fishing are Spro jigs. White is tough to beat and 3 ounces is a good all round size. One tip is to vary the weight of the jig to cover the entire water column. A lighter 1-2 ounce jig can be used to swim the upper part of the water column. Adding a strip of squid will help. A 3-5 ounce jig can be bounced right along the bottom in stronger currents.

Erica and Paulie really like the Tsunami line of soft plastic baits. The weighted sand eel is extremely effective, especially in the fall when the sand eels are running. The Tsunami Pro Swim Shad Holographic Swim Bait works well all season. They are available in several sizes and many different colors. White is a good place to start.

fishing from jetty

Plugs

Plugs are the third style of artificial lure that works well in the surf. Plugs are hard bodied lures, usually plastic but can be wood as well, that mimic wounded bait fish. They come in many varieties from poppers and topwater plugs to diving plugs. However, plugs do have a couple of disadvantages. They can be fairly expensive and bluefish will cut them off the line. Also, plugs usually sport multiple treble hooks which can make handling and releasing the fish more challenging. Many anglers replace the treble hooks with singe hooks. VMC manufactures hooks specifically designed for this, the eye is turned inline with the hook. These facilitate a safe release while not reducing the hookup ratio.

mag darter

 

Erica’s personal favorite plug is the Yo-Zuri 5” floating mag darter in chartreuse during the day, and in blue/black at night. She caught her personal best striper on this lure! It was her go to plug when they weren’t biting anything else.

Rapala x rap

 

The top diving plug is the Rapala X-Rap Slashbait, size 12 is a good all around size.

Surf fishing for striped bass with natural bait

Many anglers choose to use live or cut bait when surf fishing for striped bass. While lures are productive and great fun to fish, there are times when the real thing will be more productive. There is the added benefit that bait will catch other desirable species as well.

Striped bass have a varied diet, feeding on bait fish, crustaceans, and other marine life. Bloodworms are a top bait used year round to catch striped bass. Clams are another excellent and universal bait. Fresh clams are desired. Striped bass love crabs, but they do not stay on the hook as well in surf fishing conditions. Sand fleas are another excellent bait used when surf fishing for striped bass.

surf fishing techniques and tips

While live bait fish are often used by anglers fishing for striped bass in boats, it really is not practical for anglers fishing the surf. It becomes problematic hauling bait buckets and aerators around. Also, live bait fish will often fly off on the cast. Fortunately, cut bait works just as good in most applications.

Just about any fresh caught fish can be cut up and used for bait, as long as it is legal to do so. Local bait shops that cater to anglers surf fishing are usually the best place for both bait and advice on the best baits for that particular area. Mullet, bunker (menhaden), mackerel are the top cut baits.

In conclusion, this article on surf fishing for striped bass will help anglers catch more fish!