Top 15 Pennsylvania game fish species

Top 15 Pennsylvania game fish species

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

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

Top Pennsylvania game fish species

smallmouth bass fishing tackle and lures

The list of the top 15 Pennsylvania game fish species:

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

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

Pennsylvania largemouth bass

best soft plastic lure

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

Michigan fishing

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

Pennsylvania smallmouth bass

Pennsylvania smallmouth bass

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

Pennsylvania smallmouth bass

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

Pennsylvania walleye

walleye fishing, a beginners guide

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

Pennsylvania walleye

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

Pennsylvania rainbow trout

steelhead

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

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

Minnesota trout fishing

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

Pennsylvania brown trout

best trout lures

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

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

Pennsylvania brook trout

brook trout fishing

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

Pennsylvania striped bass

striped bass fishing tips and spots

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

Pennsylvania bluegill and panfish

Sarasota freshwater fishing

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

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

Pennsylvania northern pike

spinnerbait fishing for pike

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

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

Pennsylvania muskellunge

river fishing for musky

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

Pennsylvania catfish

channel catfish bait

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

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

Pennsylvania crappie

top freshwater species

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

Pennsylvania chain pickerel

top freshwater fish list

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

Pennsylvania carp

fishing for carp

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

Pennsylvania yellow perch

yellow perch fishing

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

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

 

Top 12 Michigan Game Fish Species

Top 12 Michigan Game Fish Species

smallmouth bass fishing

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

The top 12 Michigan game fish species are;

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

top 12 Michigan game fish species

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

Best Michigan fishing techniques

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

Michigan fishing

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

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

top 12 Michigan game fish

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

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

ice fishing in Michigan

Top 12 Michigan game fish species

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

Michigan smallmouth bass

fishing for bass

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

Read more about smallmouth bass fishing in this article!

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

Michigan Walleye

walleye fishing in Michigan

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

Read more about walleye fishing in this article

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

Michigan northern pike

top Michigan species

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

Michigan largemouth bass

bass fishing in Michigan

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

Read more about largemouth bass fishing in this article!

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

Michigan muskellunge

Miching game fish species

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

Michigan crappie

crappie fishing in Michigan

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

Michigan panfish

Michigan panfish

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

Michigan yellow perch

Michigan yellow perch

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

Michigan lake trout

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

Michigan trout species

Michigan brook trout

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

steelhead

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

best 13 brown trout fishing lures

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

Michigan salmon

best fishing techniques

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

Great Lakes salmon fishing

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

Michigan catfish

Manitoba fishing tips

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

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

Best 5 Fishing Techniques, Pro tips!

Best 5 Fishing Techniques

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

best fishing techniques

The best 5 fishing techniques are:

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

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

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

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

smallmouth bass fishing

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

Best fishing techniques; casting

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

freshwater fishing tackle

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

Casting with lures

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

fishing for largemouth bass

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

Bait fishing

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

top 25 Carolina game fish

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

guide to inshore saltwater fishing

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

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

Best fishing techniques; trolling

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

top 25 carolina game fish

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

walleye fishing, a beginners guide

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

Trolling techniques

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

salmon fishing in Great Lakes

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

Light tackle trolling in Saltwater

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

Best fishing techniques; bottom fishing

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

mutton snapper

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

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

Manitoba fishing tips

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

Best fishing techniques; drift fishing

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

walleye fishing tackle and lures

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

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

best Sarasota fishing charter

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

Fly fishing

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

Sarasota Spanish mackerel fishing

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

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

streamer fishing

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

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

Top 15 Wisconsin Game Fish Species

Top 16 Wisconsin Game Fish Species

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

Wisconsin game fish species

The top 16 Wisconsin game fish species are:

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

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

Muskellunge

top freshwater game fish

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

Walleye

best bait for freshwater fishing

 

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

Smallmouth bass

best 7 river smallmouth fishing lures

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

Largemouth bass

best largemouth bass fishing lures for beginners

 

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

Northern pike

northern pike lures

 

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

Crappie

fishing for crappie

 

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

Brook trout

best trout tackle

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

Rainbow trout

rainbow trout fishing lures

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

Brown trout

best 13 brown trout fishing lures

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

Lake trout

Alberta fishing tips

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

Coho salmon

Minnesota salmon fishing

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

Chinook Salmon

Great Lakes salmon fishing

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

Channel catfish

Manitoba fishing tips

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

Flathead catfish

flathead catfish fishing

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

Panfish

fishing for bluegill

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

best bluegill lures

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

Lake sturgeon

top fish species

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

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

7 Useful Flounder Fishing Tips

7 Useful Flounder Fishing Tips

In this post we will feature 7 useful flounder fishing tips. Flounder are a very popular species targeted by anglers all along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. They put up a nice little scrap, however they are mostly prized for their incredible fillets. While fishing for flounder is not complicated, there are some specialized techniques that will help anglers be more successful.

flounder fishing tips

The 7 useful flounder fishing tips are;

  • present baits or lures right on the bottom for flounder
  • constantly moving baits or lures will produce more flounder
  • jigs are effective flounder fishing lures
  • minnows and shrimp are the top live baits for flounder
  • flounder are structure oriented fish
  • strips of cut bait are very effective flounder baits
  • understand how tides will affect flounder fishing

Best flounder fishing tackle

light tackle bottom fishing

There is no special tackle required for flounder fishing. The same tackle anglers use for inshore saltwater fishing for species such as redfish and striped bass will work fine when chasing flounder as well. A medium spinning outfit and a light conventional outfit will cover just about every flounder fishing situation.

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

Anglers can read more about flounder and fluke fishing tackle

Spinning tackle works well when casting lighter lures and baits as well as when fishing in fairly shallow water. Lighter sinkers and lures will be used in these waters and spinning tackle will handle this job just fine. A 7 foot medium action spinning rod with a 3000 series reel spooled up with 20 pound braided line is an excellent all round combination.

flounder fishing in Florida

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

Bikini fishing

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

Conventional tackle works well when flounder fishing in deeper water or and stronger currents. The heavier rod and more powerful reel will work better when drifting or fishing with weights in excess of several ounces. It is also better when catching larger flounder around heavy cover. A medium light conventional rod between 6 feet long and 7 feet long with a matching reel and 30 pound braided line will get the job done.

Flounder are caught on the bottom

fishing for flounder with jigs

Flounder spend the vast majority of their time on or very near the bottom. They are a very unusual fish in the flatfish family. Flounder begin their life swimming upright like most normal fish with an eye on each side of its head. As it matures, one eye migrates to the other side and the flounder spends the rest of its life swimming on its side looking up. This makes it perfect for lying in the sand and waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey.

For these reasons, angling techniques that present the lure or bait on the bottom will be the most successful when fishing for flounder. Anglers using live bait can choose from a variety of bottom fishing rigs. Perhaps the most popular when flounder fishing is the sliding sinker rig or Carolina rig. With this rig an egg sinker is placed on the running line followed by a swivel. A leader between 18 inches and 36 inches long then connects the hook to the swivel.

Saltwater fishing with artificial lures

This rig allows the bait to flutter naturally as the sinker bounces along the bottom. Some anglers even at a spinner in front of the hook to add flash and vibration. This works extremely well in shallow water. Anglers fishing in deeper water will often go with a spreader rig or chicken rig. This works well in a vertical presentation, especially in deeper water. Anglers surf fishing for flounder will do well using both rigs.

Moving baits catch more flounder

Since flounder often lie in ambush, waiting on prey, baits that are constantly moving are usually more productive. This includes live baits, cut baits, and artificial lures. A live or cut bait drifting along naturally with the current or slowly trolled by a boat is a very realistic and effective presentation. Flounder will take the bait as it drifts by. Often times, the angler thinks that the bait is snagged when suddenly the snagged comes to life.

flounder fishing tips

Anglers using artificial lures for flounder will take the same approach, whether casting or drifting. Flounder are often found on the shallow flats, and water 23 feet deep and 10 feet deep. A jig is an effective lure to be cast out and bounced along the bottom. In deeper water, a vertical presentation works well.

Jigs are the best flounder fishing lure

The top artificial lore when flounder fishing is unquestionably a jig. The reason for this is that a jig can be presented right on the bottom, which is where flounder’s feed. There are periods when flounder become active in will rise up quite a ways off the bottom to inhale a jig. Anglers are often pleasantly surprised when this occurs as a fish for other species.

saltwater fishing with artificial lures

The most popular jig is a 1 ounce to 2 ounce white buck tail jig. This is an effective lure that will catch flounder, and just about every other species, anywhere and saltwater. In shallow water the jig can be cast out and retrieved along the bottom while in deeper water a vertical presentation works best. Anglers will often sweeten the jig with a strip of squid, or other cut bait.

Soft plastic jigs work well for flounder. A 4 inch paddle tail soft plastic bait on a 1/2 ounce jig head works quite well and water that is fairly shallow. It is easily cast with a spinning rod and anglers can cover a lot of water in search of flounder. Scented soft plastic baits work very well, with the Gulp line of baits being the top choice.

flounder fishing

Live baits are effective for flounder fishing

The two most popular live baits when flounder fishing are minnows and shrimp. Both are extremely effective throughout the range were flounder live. Shrimp are especially popular all along the Gulf Coast and in the southeast part of the United States. Minnows are used for flounder fishing anywhere they are found, as this is a prime forage for them.

Both live minnows and live shrimp are fish in a similar manner. Live minnows are hooked through the lips up from the bottom. Shrimp are hooked under the horn in the head in front of the black spot which is their brain. Both of these methods result in the bait staying alive and looking natural when presented to flounder. Also, both baits are readily available at bait and tackle shops that cater to inshore saltwater anglers. The minnow species will vary depending on geographical location.

bottom fishing

The two best ways to present a live minnow or shrimp is on a Carolina rig or on a jig head. A jig head is handy in that it combines the hook and weight into one tidy little unit. Anglers casting a jig and grub combination can easily remove the grub and place a minnow or shrimp on the hook. It Carolina rig is also an excellent way to present live bait as the leader allows for it to move with the current, resulting in a very natural presentation.

Flounder relate to structure

While flounder can be found on open flats, they almost always prefer to relate to some type of structure. This can be both natural and man-made. The most common natural structure are ledges or areas of rocky or hard bottom. This is true for both flounder inshore and out in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Often times, flounder will be in the sand right at the edge of the reef or ledge.

Chesapeake Bay fish species

Anglers fishing for flounder on offshore structure can choose to either anchor or drift fish. Anchoring works best on smaller patches of structure while drifting is a good option on larger pieces or in deeper water where anchoring is more troublesome. Even when anchored, it is best to be constantly moving the bait in search of flounder. Artificial reefs are plentiful and some areas and almost all will hold flounder at one time or another.

Much of the structure found in inshore waters will be man-made. This includes boat docks, piers, rip-rap, jetties, and bridges. Structure such as this found in inlets and passes is especially productive as flounder like to lie in wait and let the current bring forage to them. Anglers do need to be careful when the current is strong. The best time to fish is often near the time that the tide switches as the current slackens. Anglers can either anchor close to the structure or drift, depending on conditions.

Cut bait produces flounder

Cut bait is extremely effective for flounder fishing. Just about any type of fish that can be caught and legally used for bait will produce. The white belly section is often the most productive part of the bait fish to use. Anglers can cut the bait fish into chunks, however long slender strips that taper to a point are usually more effective as they undulate naturally in the current.

Fishing for flounder

Anglers can certainly purchase cut bait at bait and tackle shops as well. Squid is a universal cut bait that is readily available, affordable, and productive on just about every saltwater fish that swims. Again, anglers cutting the squid into strips with slowly tapering points are generally the most effective.

Cut bait has several advantages over live bait. It is less expensive generally, and is more convenient as anglers do not have to keep it alive. It is also quite durable it is the top choice in areas where crabs are plentiful and will quickly devour a live bait. Cut bait also stays on the hook longer, which is one reason it is a favorite amongst anglers surf fishing for flounder.

Tides affect flounder movement and locations

It is important to understand how tides affect fish migrations and saltwater, and this is true with flounder fishing as well. In the southeast part of the country around North Florida to the lower Carolinas, tides can range as much is 10 feet. This will drastically affect where flounder will be found given a certain stage of the tide.

flounder fishing tackle

To keep it simple, on the low tide flounder will be found on the deeper edges and in holes. As the tide comes in, fish will move out from these deeper areas and onto the flats to feed. At high tide, the fish will scatter out and may be found anywhere on a flat. As the tide turns to move out, flounder will move with it and often stage in predictable locations. Edges that drop off into deeper water in the mouths of tributary creeks or cuts in a flat are prime spots to catch flounder on an outgoing tide.

In conclusion, this article on seven useful flounder fishing tips will help anglers understand the habits of flounder in the tackle and techniques required to catch more of these delicious saltwater fish!

Black Sea Bass Fishing, Tips, Tackle and techniques

Fishing for Black Sea Bass – Tips, Tackle, and Techniques

Black sea bass are a popular and fairly abundant bottom species caught by anglers. They are a beautiful fish that puts up a nice little scrap on light tackle. However, they are mostly prized for their incredible snow-white and tasty fillets! Black sea bass are a staple of charter boat captains from Maine to Texas.

black sea bass fishing

Black sea bass, Centropristis striata, is in the family Serranidae, which includes grouper. They are a bottom dwelling species. Black sea bass relate to structure and are usually found quite close to ledges, wrecks, reefs, and other man made structure. Most sea bass are caught by anglers fishing with natural bait. However, artificial lures such as jigs and spoons are productive as well.

Black sea bass behavior

Black sea bass grow relatively slowly. They live around 8 to10 years and can grow as large as 10 pounds. However, the vast majority of fish caught are between 1 pound and 4 pounds. They range from new England south along the Atlantic coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. Black sea bass prefer cool water and make a seasonal migration. Anglers will find them offshore and in the southern states in the cooler months and in the coastal waters of the North Atlantic in the summer time.

fishing for sea bass

Black sea bass are opportunistic feeders. They have quite the varied diet and will eat just about any type of bait fish, crustacean, and other marine animals such as worms. They are quite aggressive as well. These trades combine to make them fairly easy for anglers to catch, once a school is located. Bottom fishing with live or cut bait or bouncing spoons are jigs off the bottom will be productive.

Black sea bass fishing tackle

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

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

Click this link to shop Amazon for Penn Conventional outfits

Anglers fishing for black sea bass do not need any special tackle or equipment. In fact, most saltwater anglers already own outfits that are more than adequate for the job. Black sea bass relate to structure and are caught by anglers using basic bottom fishing tackle and techniques. The tackle required will basically depend on the size of the fish that are available as well as the water depth and current that the angler is fishing in.

fishing for sea bass

A medium spinning outfit is fine for chasing sea bass inshore and in relatively shallow water. In fact, it is preferred in many applications were anglers want to anchor a distance away from a piece of structure and cast to it. Spinning tackle is the best choice in this situation. A 7 foot medium action rod with a 3000 series reel spooled up with 20 pound braided line is an excellent all round combination.

Light or medium light conventional or bait casting tackle is an excellent choice when fishing and slightly deeper water, around heavy structure, and strong currents, and for larger black sea bass. Conventional outfits provide more power than a spinning reel. This makes them a better choice when heavier sinkers are required as well as when fishing around heavy structure or for larger fish.

Black sea bass fishing rigs

bottom fishing rigs

Anglers will do well to keep it simple when it comes to rigs for black sea bass fishing. A couple of rigs will get the job done in the vast majority of applications. In fact, the basic chicken rig, also known as a spreader rig or high low rig, is really the only rig that most anglers pursuing sea bass will need. Again, these are not complicated fish that are aggressive and school near the bottom.

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

While the chicken rig will suffice in many sea bass fishing situations, the second rig an angler can add to the arsenal is the sliding sinker rig or Carolina rig. Anglers can go to this when black sea bass are especially finicky. This rig allows the fish to pick up the bait and move off with it without feeling the weight of the sinker.

black sea bass fishing

Anglers have a couple different choices when it comes to hooks for black sea bass fishing. Many anglers have switched over to circle hooks as they age greatly and releasing a fish with less damage. Most fish hooked with a circle hook will be done so in the mouth as opposed to the hook being swallowed. In fact, circle hooks are now required for Florida and much of the Gulf of Mexico.

Standard β€œJ” hooks are still quite popular with many anglers. This is especially true for those who like to set the hook, which does not work well when using circle hooks. It is important for anglers to match the size of the hook to the bait being used in the size of the fish being pursued. In most instances, a #1/0 standard hook or #3/0 circle hook is a good all-around hook and less the fish are running especially large.

sea bass fishing

Bottom fishing tips

While bottom fishing is pretty straightforward, there are a few tips that will help anglers be more successful when bottom fishing for sea bass as well as other species.

Anglers should use the minimum amount of weight required to reach and hold the bottom. It is fine if the bait bounces and moves a little bit. This can actually increase the effectiveness of the presentation. The weight needed to accomplish this will change constantly with tidal flow as well as depth. This is one reason the chicken rig is so popular, it allows for easy sinker changes.

fishing for sea bass

Many anglers set the hook when bottom fishing. While this works with “J” hooks, it will not with circle hooks. In fact, Capt Jim advises his clients, no matter which style hook is used, to simply come tight and reel while slowly lifting the rod tip. Also, it is best to wait out the little nibbles. Eventually, the fish will take it and the angler will feel a steady pull. This is the time to reel quickly and come tight on the fish.

Top black sea bass fishing baits

The list of baits that will fool black sea bass is quite long. In fact, the list of baits they will not eat is much shorter than the list of baits that they will eat. Squid is a universal cut bait that is available at every saltwater bait and tackle shop. Sea bass will readily devour a nice strip or chunk of squid.

sea bass fishing

Other available cut baits or frozen baits will depend on the geographical area. In the Gulf of Mexico as well as the southern Atlantic coast, shrimp work very well for sea bass and just about every other saltwater species. They can be used both live and a fresh dead or frozen. They do not stay on the hook as well as some cut baits, but are extremely effective.

Various clams and the crabs also make excellent black sea bass fishing baits, depending on the region. These are available both at bait shops as well as being caught or a tainted by the angler. Anglers can also catch a fresh fish and then cut it up for bait as well. The baits can be cut into long strips or chunks. Fresh cut fish works very well when currents are strong or when crabs become a nuisance. Anglers must check local regulations to make sure they are in compliance.

Fishing with artificial lures for black sea bass

The aggressive nature of black sea bass makes them a natural for anglers who prefer to use artificial lures. Since these fish are almost always found on or near the bottom, lures that are presented in this part of the strike zone are most effective. The two most popular lures for sea bass fishing are jigs and jigging spoons. Both of these lures are made to fish right on the bottom where sea bass feed.

fishing for black sea bass

Jigs can be used in a vertical presentation when fishing for sea bass over structure in deeper water. Often times, a strip of squid or cut bait is added to sweeten the lure. A white buck tail jig is tough to be in this application. Black sea bass can often be found on flats and water between 5 feet deep and 10 feet deep. Anglers drifting with the wind and current will do well casting jigs out in front of the boat. A 1/4 ounce to 1/2 ounce lead head jig with a 3 inch soft plastic grub body is an excellent combination.

Heavy jigging spoons are excellent artificial lures to use for black sea bass when they are schooled up over structure in fairly deep water. These spoons are compact yet dense and heavy allowing them to sink quickly through the water column. Once at the bottom, the angler jerks the rod tip sharply and allows the spoon to fall on a semi-tight line. This is a highly productive technique for sea bass and many other wreck and reef species.

black sea bass

Top black sea bass fishing spots

Black sea bass will almost always be found relating to some type of structure. The structure will vary depending on the geographical location that an angler is fishing. Many black sea bass are an unintentional, but most welcome, catch of anglers fishing for other species such as grouper, snapper, flounder, and tautog. Basically, the same types of bottom structure that produce for these and other species will hold sea bass as well.

Fishing for black sea bass offshore

In the offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, natural ledges, artificial reefs, and wrecks are the top sea bass fishing spots. Many of the spots are published in the numbers are available at bait and tackle shops as well as online directories. However, the best spots are often smaller β€œprivate” spots that get much less fishing pressure.

Anglers fishing these offshore spots can either anchor or drift. Generally speaking, anchoring works best on a smaller piece of structure while drifting is more productive in a larger area such as a patch of hard bottom or coral. Either way, anglers can bottom fish with bait on a two hook chicken rig or bounce a lure off of the structure.

Modern GPS trolling motors have revolutionized the bottom fishing and allow anglers with larger bait boats pin point boat positioning. This is a huge advantage that allows anglers to thoroughly cover a piece of structure while keeping the bait in the strike zone the entire time.

Fishing for black sea bass inshore

Anglers fishing for black sea bass inshore will often times be fishing man-made structure. Bridges are sea bass magnets! The same bridges that fluke and flounder anglers love will produce sea bass as well. Docks and piers are also structures that will hold fish. Finally, rocks, rip-rap, jetties, and areas of rocky bottom are prime spots to try.

The best approach in the shallower inshore waters is usually to anchor a cast away up current of the structure to be fished. Feeding fish almost always face into the current so it is best for anglers to present baits back to the fish in this manner. This is one situation where the sliding sinker rig works well.

Black sea bass will also be found on the open flats, particularly in areas of submerged vegetation and oyster or shall bottom. Sea bass feed heavily on crustaceans of all types, in these areas will certainly hold them. On larger areas, the best approach is to drift the area while casting a jig or bouncing a bait along the bottom. If a very productive area is located, anglers can re-drift that area or anchor up and thoroughly fish it.

In conclusion, this article on black sea bass fishing will help anglers catch more of these tasty and hard fighting saltwater pan fish!

 

Great Lakes Salmon Fishing

Great Lakes Salmon Fishing

Great Lakes salmon fishing

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

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

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

Chinook salmon in the Great Lakes

Great Lakes salmon fishing

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

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

Coho salmon are popular as well

salmon fishing

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

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

Great Lakes pink salmon

pink salmon

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

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

Atlantic salmon

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

Great Lakes salmon fishing tackle

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

salmon fishing in Great Lakes

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

Trolling tackle for salmon in the Great Lakes

trolling with downriggers

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

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

walleye trolling rods

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

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

Spinning tackle has a place for salmon fishing

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

top freshwater fish species

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

Great Lakes salmon fishing techniques

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

Great Lakes salmon fishing

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

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

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

Flatlining

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

Great Lakes salmon fishing

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

Using trolling sinkers to get down in the water column

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

Trolling with planers

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

Trolling with downriggers

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

lead core lines are another trolling option

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

Trolling for salmon in the Great Lakes

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

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

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

Locating structure can be the key to trolling success

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

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

Setting up the trolling spread is important

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

River salmon fishing in the Great Lakes

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

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

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

River salmon fishing tackle

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

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

Salmon fishing in the Great Lakes

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

Lake Michigan salmon fishing

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

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

Top Lake Michigan ports

St. Ignace

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

Escanaba

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

Manistique

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

Traverse City

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

Ludington

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

Lake Superior salmon fishing

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

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

Sault Ste. Marie

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

Lake Ontario salmon fishing

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

Lake Huron salmon fishing

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

Lake Erie salmon fishing

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

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

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Fall – Pro Tips

Florida Saltwater Fishing in Fall – Pro Tips

This article will cover Florida saltwater fishing in fall. While the changes can be subtle, fall does arrive in the sunshine state. Successful anglers will understand how these changes trigger fish migrations and habits.

Florida saltwater fishing in fall

Fishing can be fantastic in Florida in the fall season. The days begin to shorten, which means less sunlight. The angle of the sun changes as well. These two factors combine to result in a drop in water temperature, which triggers migrations of both bait fish and game fish.

Fall is an excellent time to go fishing through most of North America, in Florida is no exception. Again, the changes are subtle, but they are there. Each of the fishing situations will be covered in detail in the manners in which fish migrations and habits change this time of year.

Fall flats fishing in Florida

Game fish on the flats certainly respond positively in the fall. Flats that can have water temperature as high as the low 90s will now be much more comfortable, from the upper 60s to mid 70s. Bait fish and other forage such as crustaceans will be more plentiful. Game fish will be feeding heavily in preparation of winter coming.

11 fantastic Tampa Bay fishing tips

Snook, perhaps the premier inshore game fish in Florida, will move from their summer haunts and scatter out onto the flats and backwater areas. Snook spend most of the summer in the deeper passes and inlets as well is out on the beaches. As fall arrives, they move inshore to the bays to feed.

Snook are ambush predators. They will set up and feeding stations were current will bring them there prey. These include boat docks, oyster bars, points, bridges, and depth changes on the flats. These are all likely spots to find a feeding fish. Anglers casting artificial lures cover a lot of water while anglers fishing with live bait concentrate their efforts in a smaller spot.

fishing for redfish

Redfish will be scattered out on the shallow grass flats. The larger schools of late summer have for the most part broken up, though and early fall anglers will still encounter schools of redfish, some of them quite large. A low incoming tide is preferred when chasing redfish on the shallow grass flats. Title creeks will hold more fish as water temperature drops. Oyster bars are always an excellent spots to look for redfish, and fall is no exception.

Fishing the deep flats in Florida in fall

Speckled trout respond well to the cooling water temperatures. In the heat of summer, trout will seek out the deeper hole As the water cools, they will move out of these areas and scatter out on the flats. Trout are often found in deeper than snook and redfish, preferring flats between 4 feet deep and 8 feet deep over submerged grass.

fishing in Bradenton Florida

The same flats will hold a wide variety of other game fish species. These include Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, flounder, snapper, cobia, sharks, jacks, ladyfish, and more. Anglers fishing the inshore waters and searching for action and variety will find that drifting the grass flats and casting artificial lures or live baits to be a very productive technique.

Inlets and passes are also excellent spots when Florida saltwater fishing in fall. Structure in these areas such as docks, piers, jetties, riprap, and ledges will hold bottom fish such as sheepshead, drum, mangrove snapper, grouper, and flounder. Live or cut bait fished on the bottom is generally the most productive technique. Slack tides are often the best time to employ this technique, especially on the East Coast were tides are very strong, making anchoring and fishing difficult.

Fishing can be fantastic off of Florida beaches in the fall

Perhaps the best and most exciting fall saltwater fishing in Florida occurs just off of area beaches, on both coasts. Cooling water temperatures bring in hordes of baitfish. On the West Coast of Florida, these include cigar minnows, scaled sardines, blue runners, and threadfin herring. This in turn brings in king in Spanish mackerel, false albacore, cobia, and sharks.

Florida saltwater fishing in fall

On the East Coast, the mullet run is famous. Schools of finger mullet will migrate down the coast. These look like black balls and the water. Just about every Florida game fish species is right on their heels, including tarpon, Jack revile, king in Spanish mackerel, bluefish, snook, sharks, cobia, and more. The stray sailfish may even venture and quite close to shore when this occurs.

Anglers chasing fish β€œout on the beach” as it is called, are hoping to find breaking fish. These are game fish species that are feeding voraciously on the surface. Basically, they trap the forage against the surface of the water, where they cannot escape. The bait gets caught between the fish feeding below and the birds feeding above. On a calm day, this is very easy to see from a long way off. Once fish are spotted, anglers can cast lures or baits into them in a strike is practically guaranteed.

best shark bait

On days when the fish are not seen feeding on the surface, anglers can search for the schools of bait, and then fish around the edges. A free lined live bait is tough to beat in this situation. When the bait is not readily seen, this occurs often when it is rough, trolling with plugs and spoons can be an excellent way to locate fish.

Fishing for Spanish mackerel and false albacore

This section of the blog post will provide Spanish mackerel and false albacore fishing tips. They exemplify fall fishing in Florida. Spanish mackerel are a terrific and in my opinion underrated game fish. They are widely distributed along the East Coast of the United States as well as the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. They are very fast fish, feed aggressively, and are excellent table fare when eaten fresh. False albacore are my favorite fish to target on fly. They fight incredibly hard for their size. Both are similar in habits, but with enough differences to be covered separately.

inshore saltwater fishing

Spanish mackerel and false albacore are both pelagic species. This means that they spend most of their time in the middle of the water column. They do not relate to bottom structure, other than the fact that that same structure attracts bait. Spanish mackerel and false albacore also make a seasonal migration up the coast in the spring, then back down in the fall. They spend their winters in the tropical moderate climates. Both species feed primarily on bait fish. They are taken by anglers using live bait and artificial lures such as spoons, jigs, and plugs.

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

Here in Sarasota, Florida where I run fishing charters, our prime times for Spanish mackerel and false albacore are spring and fall. However, if we experience a very moderate winter or a cooler than average summer they can be caught all year long. Spanish mackerel are a fish that pleases every angler, whether they fish from shore, in the bays, or out in the inshore Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. False albacore can be a bit more difficult, but are well worth the effort!

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

Fishing for Spanish mackerel

Spanish mackerel and false albacore fishing tips

Where are Spanish mackerel found?

Areas that have distinct inshore waters offer anglers the advantage of catching mackerel both inshore and in the open Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean. The variety of both techniques and locations that will produce Spanish mackerel are factors in their popularity.

Spanish mackerel can be taken using a variety of baits and techniques. I personally enjoy catching them using artificial lures and fly fishing. Mackerel hit so hard and make such long runs that it is really quite exciting to catch them while casting artificial lures on light tackle.

The most productive artificial lures are spoons, jigs, and plugs. Live shrimp and bait fish catch plenty of fish as well. Anglers can fish from the surf, jetty, or pier. They can also fish bays, passes, in the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean from a boat.

Spanish mackerel fishing with artificial lures

The lead head jig plastic grub combination produces a lot of fish in Florida and beyond. These lures are very versatile, cast well, are cost-effective, most importantly catch a lot of fish! They are really quite simple, consisting of a hook with the weight near the eye. This is called the jig or jig head. These can come dressed with hair of some sort either natural or synthetic. Or, anglers can slide some type of plastic body onto the hook.

Sarasota fishing report

Spanish mackerel most often respond to a fast retrieve. Therefore, jigs with a shad tail body work best when targeting them. The shad tail grub has a terrific motion when retrieved through the water either slowly or more quickly. Anglers cast the lure out, allow it to sink, then retrieve it back in at a fairly brisk pace with sharp hops.

Anglers can read more about Spanish mackerel fishing lures here.

Spanish mackerel love spoons and plugs

Silver spoons are another very effective lure when targeting Spanish mackerel. Their main advantage is that they cast a long way. A 1/2 ounce silver spoon is a very good all-around size when targeting Spanish mackerel. The lure can be cast out and retrieved back steadily or by using an erratic motion. It is important to use either a snap swivel at the lure or a swivel between the leader and the running line to prevent line twist.

fishing with plugs

Plugs are another very effective lure for catching Spanish mackerel. However, they do have a couple disadvantages. They are bit more costly, which can be an issue when the toothy Spanish mackerel start cutting lures off with their teeth. Also, dealing with trouble hooks and a thrashing Spanish mackerel can be dangerous. Careful anglers will find them worth the trouble, especially when trolling.

Spanish mackerel prefer clear water. They mostly feed by sight. Anglers should therefore target Spanish mackerel in clear water using light colored lures. Lighter colors tend to be more effective in light clear water. White, silver, and olive have all been productive patterns for clients on my fishing charters.

Spanish mackerel fishing using live bait

Live bait certainly accounts for many Spanish mackerel landed by anglers. Live shrimp are the most effective and widely used live bait for anglers targeting Spanish mackerel in the United States. Just about every bait shop along the Gulf Coast and eastern seaboard up to the mid Atlantic carry live shrimp.

Sarasota fishing excursions

Shrimp are very easy to use. Anglers simply hook the shrimp under the horn just above the brain and cast it out into the water. Anglers fishing from the surf or jetties as well as piers may need to add a sinker for casting weight. A hook with a long shank will help reduce cutoffs from mackerel. A #1/0 is a good all-around hook size.

Whenever possible, the best approach is just allow the shrimp to be hooked on with little or no weight. This is called free lining and it works very well. Sometimes a small split shot will be required. This is the best approach when fishing with live shrimp from a drifting boat or when anchored over and artificial reefs.

Using live bait fish to catch Spanish mackerel

Live bait fish are extremely effective for anglers targeting Spanish mackerel. However, catching in using them is a bit more involved. Most anglers using live bait fish will catch them themselves. A cast net, the ability to throw it, in a large bait well with a good recirculating pump are required.

chumming with live bait

Chumming with live bait fish is one of the most productive fishing methods and saltwater. Anglers will need quite a bit of live bait for this. Once the well is loaded up with frisky live baits, the boat is anchored in a likely position. This can be over in open grass flat, along an edge or drop off, near a bridge or other structure, or over a piece of hard bottom or artificial reef.

Once positioned, the technique is very simple. A handful of live baits is tossed out behind the boat. Anglers may choose to squeeze the baits, crippling them. The action of these baits swimming around helpless on the top of the water will draw game fish to the back of the boat in short order. It is then just a matter of tossing out a hooked bait fish into the fray.

Spanish mackerel and false albacore fishing tips

Tackle and rigging used when fishing for Spanish mackerel

The tackle and rigging used for both live bait fishing and casting artificial lures is the same. A 6 1/2 to 7 foot medium action rod with a 3000 series spinning reel is a great all around the combination. I actually prefer monofilament line when targeting Spanish mackerel. I feel that the stretch can actually be beneficial. The speedy mackerel are less apt to pull a hook with monofilament line.

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Anglers will need a leader of some sort when targeting Spanish mackerel. While some choose to use a wire leader, I stick with a heavier fluorocarbon leader. I feel that the risk of getting cut off versus the extra number of bites is worth using the fluorocarbon leader.

Anglers can attach the leader to the running line by using a small number 10 black swivel. It is important to not use a shiny swivel as this will attract mackerel, resulting in them severing the line at the swivel. The leader may be attached to the running line using a leader to leader not such as the Double Uni-knot. Finally, the hook her lure is attached to the terminal end of the leader.

Fly fisherman will do well targeting Spanish mackerel by using a7wt outfit with an intermediate sink tip line. A 9 foot tapered leader with a 24 inch piece of 30 pound bite tippet completes the rig. Just about any white bait fish pattern will produce, with the Clouser Minnow and D.T. Special being the most popular choices.

Sarasota fly fishing charters

Fishing techniques for Spanish mackerel

As mentioned above, there are multiple techniques which will produce Spanish mackerel. Casting, drifting, trolling, and fly fishing will all put Spanish mackerel in the boat. As with all fishing, current conditions will dictate the best place to fish in the technique to employ.

Drifting open water while either casting artificial lures or flies or free lining a live bait out behind the boat is simple and very effective. On the West Coast of Florida and along the entire Gulf Coast this method works well both on the deeper grass flats and 4 foot to 10 feet of water as well as the open Gulf of Mexico. Anglers will do well to keep their eyes peeled for signs of fish such as birds working and fish feeding on the surface.

Spanish mackerel fishing tips

Drifting can work very well in the passes and inlets also. Anglers simply set up a drift allowing the boat to cover a productive area. Both lures and live bait work well. Anglers on the East Coast will have to choose times when the title flow is moderate. It is just too difficult to fish this way when the tide is very swift.

Beach, Pier, and Jetty fishing for Spanish mackerel

Anglers without a boat most certainly catch their share of Spanish mackerel. Piers, jetties, and beaches can all be productive areas, especially in the spring and fall. The keys to fishing these areas are clear water and the abundance of bait fish. Anglers and countering these conditions when the water temperature is in the low to mid 70s have an excellent chance of successfully targeting Spanish mackerel.

Siesta Key snook fishing

The same methods that work while fishing from a boat are productive foreshore bound anglers. Lures can be cast out and retrieved while live bait can be allowed to naturally attract mackerel. It is important to try to make the presentation as natural as possible and use as little weight as is required. As with boat fishing, keeping a sharp eye out for signs of activity will lead to a productive outing.

Trolling for Spanish mackerel is very productive

Trolling is an incredibly productive technique for Spanish mackerel. It is also quite simple. Anglers tie on a lure such as a spoon or plug, and let it out behind the boat a good distance. Then, the boat is simply driven around a bit above idle speed. When a Spanish mackerel takes the lore, there is little doubt. This is a very easy and relaxing way to fish and is productive both inshore, in the passes and out in the inshore Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean.

fishing report for Sarasota, Florida

Spoons and plugs are the two best lures to employee when trolling. The jig will tend to roll and spin at those higher speeds while the plug and spoon will track naturally with a great wobbling action. Once a productive area is located, anglers can troll back and forth through that area maximizing the action. Spanish mackerel are terrific eating, but do not freeze well. Limits are liberal, but please just keep a couple for dinner. Here are the current Florida Spanish mackerel fishing regulations.

False albacore fishing tips and techniques

This article will share some great false albacore fishing tips. False albacore are found along the entire coast line from Texas to New England. They are a terrific sport fish and not considered good eating by most anglers.

false albacore fishing tips

False albacore are a pelagic species. That means they spend most of their time in the middle to upper part of the water column. Unlike most fish species, false albacore habits are basically the same everywhere they are found. To put it simply, they swim around the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico terrorizing helpless forage. While that might sound simple, there are nuances to catching these fish.

False albacore are almost always found in schools. These schools can be located very close to the beach or many miles offshore. In most instances, anglers prefer to target them by sight fishing. Anglers scan the horizon searching for signs of feeding fish. Bird activity is always a great indicator. False albacore are also called β€œlittle tunny”. They are very similar in habits to other members of the tuna family.

False albacore fishing tackle

Just as in every other fishing situation, proper tackle is required. Spinning tackle is best when sight fishing for false albacore. These fish feed on small bait fish at times, particularly glass minnows. Therefore, small lures are often required to fool the fish. Light tackle is required to cast these small lures to the fish.

Spanish mackerel and false albacore fishing tips

A 7 foot medium action spinning rod with a 3000 series reel is a good all-around outfit. Anglers can spools the real with 20 pound braided line or 10 pound monofilament line. Rated line will allow anglers to cast a bit further. I still prefer monofilament line for this type of fishing. I feel that the stretch and the line is actually a benefit when targeting these fast, hard fighting fish.

A shock leader is required for most saltwater fishing, and this is true for our ladies false albacore fishing as well. Under normal conditions, when the water is clear, 20 pound test fluorocarbon leaders are a good choice. False albacore don’t generally bite through the leader.

However, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and other toothy predators are often mixed in with the false albacore. This may require bumping up the leader to something a bit stronger. False albacore can be fussy, though. Anglers will have to weigh the pros and cons of getting cut off more often versus getting more bites.

Top false albacore fishing lures

fishing in Sarasota

My favorite lure when targeting false albacore is the #8 Rapala X-Rap slash bait in white and olive. These lures very closely imitate the small bait fish that the fish feed on. It has a great tight wiggling action that the fish love. They also will fool other species such as striped bass, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and more. They are very productive when trolled as well.

Jigs and spoons are also very effective lures for our ladies false albacore fishing. These lures work particularly well when the fish surface quickly and then dive back down into the water column. Jigs and spoons both sink rapidly, getting down to where the fish are. A 1/2 ounce silver spoon and one quarter ounce jig head with a 3 inch to 4 inch Shad tail body and silver, Pearl, or gold are both great baits.

False albacore fishing techniques

While having the proper tackle is important, the number one requirement when sight fishing for false albacore is patience. False albacore are very fast and often times move around a lot. There are days when the fish will come up in a huge bunch and stay on top. This is the optimum situation as it gives anglers plenty of time to get on the fish. However, this is the exception more than the rule.

Most days the fish will only surface for short period of time, sometimes only a few seconds. It is easy to get excited and run all over the place chasing fish. However, this rarely works and will often times only succeed in spooking the false albacore. The best approach is to try to determine the speed and direction that they are moving and get in front of them. Weekend fishing pressure can be high. Anglers need to be patient and courteous of others when the bite is on.

False albacore fishing tips; patience is a virtue

Chasing false albacore on the surface is a bit like hunting. There definitely is stalking involved in strategy that must be employed. And, like hunting, one good shot is better than 10 poor ones. There will be days when it just doesn’t happen. That is part of the challenge and also part of the fun. But, on most days, patient anglers will achieve success.

inshore saltwater fishing

One issue that I run into as a guide when false albacore fishing is that things happen very fast. Anglers need to be quick; cast need to be fired out quickly and accurately. False albacore change directions constantly. Successful anglers will cast out ahead of the fish and begin their retrieve immediately. As with all fishing, vary the retrieve and the lures until a productive pattern emerges. In most instances, the fish like a very fast and erratic presentation.

Fly fishing for false albacore

This is a situation that is tailor-made for fly anglers! False albacore are tremendous sport and a hooked fish will dump the real, putting a fly angler into the backing in short order. The technique is basically the same as when spin fishing, the boat is placed 40 feet or so upwind of feeding fish. A nine weight outfit with a floating or intermediate sink tip line, 9 foot leader, and small white minnow imitation will get the job done.

Spanish mackerel and false albacore fishing tips

False albacore can certainly be caught on days when they are not showing on the surface. Ideally, I enjoy casting to breaking fish. However, I enjoy catching fish more and will do what needs to be done to get a hook up. While false albacore don’t necessarily relate to structure, bait fish will. This results in false albacore being caught over artificial reefs, wrecks, and natural ledges.

When targeting false albacore in these situations, I like to have some type of chum. Live bait fish such as pilchards can be used to chum the fish up and this is a deadly technique. In cooler weather when live bait is not available, frozen sardines, glass minnows, and commercially prepared chum will bring the fish up behind the boat. Free lining a chunk of bait with no weight so that it appears to be naturally sinking is usually the best approach.

Trolling for false albacore

Anglers targeting false albacore also catch fish trolling. The same general trolling techniques that produce king mackerel and Spanish mackerel will also catch false albacore. Light conventional tackle is best for this application. Anglers usually choose to troll a combination of planers and diving plugs.

Sarasota fishing videos

My personal trolling spread would go as follows. An outfit with a number one planer, 20 feet of 30 pound fluorocarbon leader and a small spoon would go out first. I counted back 20 seconds. Next, and outfit with a number two planer, 20 feet of 50 pound fluorocarbon leader and a medium-size trolling spoon would be deployed. I count that line back out 15 seconds.

A pair of diving plugs finishes out the spread, one very far back in one right in the prop wash. These lures are used with a 6 foot long 50 pound fluorocarbon leader. The plug on the long line should be back further than the number one planer. This bread will allow anglers to cover the water column thoroughly while still making turns. It will also catch king mackerel, tuna, stripers, bluefish, mackerel, and other species.

Gumping

When all else fails, find a shrimp boat! The locals call this “Gumping”, in reference to Forrest Gump, the movie. As shrimpers clean out their nets, they dump the by catch over the side. This results in a chum slick that attracts false albacore, sharks, tuna, and other species. In fact, many anglers targeting blackfin and yellowfin tuna actually get annoyed by the β€œpesky”false albacore.

Very few anglers that I know keep false albacore to eat. Most are released to please other anglers. The procedure for releasing these fish is a bit different than other species. Time spent out of the water should be reduced to an absolute minimum. When releasing the fish, it should be shoved briskly headfirst into the water. This will get the water moving through it’s gills and hopefully it swims away.

In conclusion, I hope this article on Florida saltwater fishing in fall will get you excited to get out there and catch a bunch of fish!

Streamer Fishing for Trout – Pro tips!

Streamer Fishing for Trout – Pro Tips from a Professional Guide!

The topic of this article is streamer fishing for trout. Streamers are very versatile flies. They can represent insects, larvae, minnows, and crustaceans. These are all prime forage for all species of trout in both streams and lakes.

A streamer is a fishing fly that works below the surface of the water. Depending on the streamer selected and the manner in which it is retrieved, streamers can mimic a wide variety of trout forage. While current is a factor in moving water, the angler does need to impart action to the fly in most cases to elicit a strike. Streamers can be used to work the entire water column.

While many anglers fly fishing for trout prefer to catch them on dry flies, the reality is that sub-surface flies will catch more fish day in and day out. Streamers will also produce larger fish with regularity. As tall trout species grow and mature, they focus more on larger prey such as minnows as opposed to insects. Larger meals simply offer more nutrition.

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Kara is a trout fishing expert who lives in Dillon, Montana. She guides for trout in her local waters. She loves to fly fish for trout with streamers! Kara Jean has her own apparel line, Yellow Sally Fishing that caters to female anglers.

streamer fishing

To book a trout fishing trip in southwest Montana with Kara call Greater Yellowstone Outfitters (816) 591-3535.
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Top trout fishing streamers

As mentioned earlier, streamers are very versatile trout fishing flies that can be used to imitate the things that trout feed on. Some really look like nothing that exists in the water, yet trout will still take them when presented properly. Most are weighted.

Here is Kara’s list of the top trout fishing streamers

  • Muddler Minnow
  • Wooly Bugger
  • Micky Finn
  • Clouser Minnow
  • Sparkle Minnow
  • Yellow Yummy
  • Zonker
  • Leech fly

Muddler Minnow

muddler minnow

The Muddler Minnow is a classic streamer fly that has been around a long time. It is tied in natural brown colors and mimics sculpins and other aquatic prey. It it generally worked slowly near the bottom.

Wooly Bugger

Wooly bugger

The Wooly Bugger is perhaps the most popular streamer in freshwater. It is a weighted variation of a Wooly worm. It is a ‘buggy” looking fly that can be tied to imitate a variety of trout forage.

Micky Finn

The Micky Finn is an unweighted streamer fly that is a bait fish pattern. It is unweighted and usually tied using fairly bright colors. Micky Finn streamers are worked faster and closer to the surface.

Clouser MInnow

Clouser

The Clouser Minnow is considered a smallmouth bass fly (it was invented by Bob Clouser for smallmouth on the Susquehanna) and is often ignored by trout anglers. This is a mistake! Clousers are arguable the most popular saltwater fly. They can be tied using different hook sizes, weighted eyes, and material to imitate anything a trout eats. It also rides with the hook up, resulting in less snags.

Sparkle Minnow

The Sparkle Minnow is one of the most productive little streamers in the West. The body is made out of Wing-n-Flash, and features a tri-colored marabou tail. The sparkle minnow is a staple streamer pattern for just about any body of water in the country, particularly out West.

Yellow Yummy

Yellow Yummy flies are a good choice in spring when the waters are high and off-color. It is a bright fly that displaces a lot of water and makes a large splash on entry.

Zonker

 

Zonkers are very effective and versatile trout fishing streamers. They can be tied in a variety of materials and colors to imitate every type of trout forage that lives beneath the surface.

Leech fly

A Leech fly mimics a leech, which trout feed on. They are mostly fished slowly and close to the bottom. Leech flies are excellent search baits used to cover water when fish are near the bottom.

Tackle requirements when streamer fishing for trout

Tackle requirements for streamer fishing for trout are similar to other forms of fly fishing. One difference is that the line should sink down into the water as opposed to floating when dry fly fishing. Kara prefers a 6 wt outfit for most of her streamer fishing for trout.

Anglers can use a floating line for streamer fishing. Most streamers are weighted and a split shot or two can be added to get the streamer down deeper in the water column if needed. The floating line adds versatility; anglers can easily switch back and forth from streamers to other flies.

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Read more about trout fishing equipment in this article

There are conditions where a sink tip line does work best. Primarily, this would be when fishing high, fast water. The sink tip line will better facilitate getting the fly down without adding too much extra weight. Another situation is in summer when warmer water pushed the trout deeper into pools and holes.

Leader options when fishing streamers

Water color and fish species and size will dictate the leader size and to some degree, length. When the water is dirty or heavily stained, a 0X flourocarbon leader and tippet is a good choice. Streamers do get hung up. Having a stronger leader will save anglers from losing flies to the snags.

When the water is clear, 2X or 3X leaders are a better choice. However, anglers do need to be prepared to lose a few streamers. Leader length is a bit of a personal choice, but Kara prefers shorter leaders, between 5 and 7 feet long. She believes it results in the streamer having better action in the water.

Trout fishing with streamers in rivers

Streamer fishing techniques vary in a couple of different ways from dry fly fishing. Streamers are usually fished across the current and down stream. Also, streamers obviously work below the surface of the water. They are manipulated by the stripping hand of the angler.

Fly fishing with streamers from a boat

The best technique when fishing streamers, particularly from a boat or raft, is to work tight to the bank with casts. It is important to make a splash with the fly when it lands, no delicate presentations here! This will get the attention of a trout. After it lands, the fly is stripped a few times before casting again.

This technique requires constant casting. It is crucial to cover as much water as possible. Brown trout in particular are partial to undercut banks. A noisy, fast moving streamer will appeal to their predatory nature and elicit a strike. This is very exciting as the takes are visible. The fish will often β€œbump” the fly or miss it entirely. This only adds to the excitement! A pair of experienced anglers can cover virtually the entire banks of a river.

Wading techniques

Streamers are usually cast out across the stream or river. As the current grabs the line, the streamer fly swings with it. The angler keeps the rod tip low, near the water. Using his or her stripping hand, the fly is manipulated using short strips. As in all fishing, the retrieve should be varied until a productive pattern emerges. When a fish takes, set the hook and get the rod tip high.

Trout fishing with streamers in lakes and ponds

Streamers can certainly be used effectively for trout and other species in still waters such as lakes and ponds. This can be done from both the shoreline and from a boat. There are a couple of differences when fishing lakes as opposed to streams. Obviously, the main factor is the lack of current in lakes. Also, anglers fishing streamers in lakes will usually do best going to a full sinking line.

Kara fishes streamers extensively in still waters when both guiding and fishing on her own. The primary challenge is determining the depth that the trout are feeding at. It does require patience! She starts closer to the surface them works deeper, using the countdown method on a sink tip line or sinking leader. Anglers simply cast out and allow the line to sink for 5 seconds before beginning the retrieve. If no take occurs, cast again and count to 10 before retrieving the fly.

Leech flies are also effective when fly fishing for trout in lakes and ponds. They are cast out and allowed to sink close to the bottom. Retrieve it back in with long, slow strips. The takes are quite aggressive when employing this technique.

Kara highly recommends that anglers who enjoy stillwater fishing give Pyramid Lake on the Paiute Indian Reservation a try. It has a good population of Lohanton Cutthroat trout which are both large and gorgeous!

In conclusion, this article on streamer fishing for trout will help anglers experience more success using this technique!

Essential Trout Fishing Equipment – A Complete Guide

Essential Trout Fishing Equipment – A Complete Guide

This post will cover the essential trout fishing equipment. Like all hobbies, trout fishing requires some specialized gear and equipment. All of the items will be covered in detail.For the most part, equipment and tackle the main three trout species, brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout will be discussed.

trout fishing equipment

The list of essential trout fishing equipment is:

  • Fishing rod and reel

  • Waders and staffs

  • Fishing vest

  • Landing net

  • Fly boxes and tackle boxes

  • Flies and lures

  • Forceps, pliers, and nippers

  • Hats and sunglasses

  • creel

rainbow trout fishing lures

For the purposes of this article on trout fishing equipment, we will confine the discussion to wading and fishing from small boats. Most of the trout caught fishing this way are not huge, a few pounds or so. Most really large trout are caught by anglers trolling in large bodies of water. That is a bit of a specialized technique, best covered in a separate article.

Fishing rod and reel for trout

The fishing rod and reel are obviously very important pieces of trout fishing equipment. The two most often used types are spinning outfits and fly fishing outfits. Anglers can also use light baitcasting or spincasting rods and reels, but these are much less used to casting in streams and lakes.

trout fishing in Franklin

While there is no one outfit that will cover every trout fishing situation, anglers can narrow it down depending on their situations. Most trout caught are a few pounds or less. Therefore, a 6′ light action spinning rod with a 1000 series reel spooled up with 4 pound test line will cover most trout fishing situations.

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A trout fishing rod and reel like this is very versatile. It is fine for casting light lures and baits in streams, ponds, and makes. It will let smaller fish put up a nice battle while still handling a decent fish. Anglers can also troll light lures with this, though bumping up to 6 or 8 pound test line might be in order. Obviously, in situations where large trout are present, the tackle should be a bit heavier.

Fly rod and reel

Many anglers associate fly fishing and trout. This type of fishing was basically created for fishing for trout. Fly rods and reels are definitely important parts of trout fishing equipment.

fly fishing Sarasota Bay

Fly rods, reels, and lines are designated by β€œweight”, expressed such as β€œ4 wt”. This makes it very easy to match the components, which is very important. A 4 wt outfit is great for fishing creeks and small streams. A 5 wt combination is better for larger streams and rivers as well as fishing in lakes. In most cases, a floating line is the best option.

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streamer fishing

Buying a fly rod and reel can be overwhelming, but it need not be. Many manufacturers offer kits that have everything needed at a modest price. Trout fishing really does not require long casts, it is more about technique and presentation.

Waders and wading staffs

trout fishing equipment

Waders are extremely important pieces of trout fishing equipment. Anglers who fish for trout will often find themselves in the water. Waders should be insulated, as the water that trout prefer is usually cold. There are a couple of different options for anglers to choose from. Waders can be purchased as one unit with the boot attached or separately, with the waders going on and then the boots going over the stocking foot waders.

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Wading staffs are excellent pieces of trout fishing equipment that will certainly add to the safety of the sport. At one point or another, every angler wading slips and falls on the slick rocks. A wading staff adds a third point of contact, making wading much safer. Most staffs have a lanyard of some type so that it stays out of the way while fishing.

Fishing vest

trout fishing equipment

Fly fishing vests are optional pieces of trout fishing equipment. This is mostly due to the fact that modern waders have clever little spaces to stow and keep tackle and other gear handy. However, vests are still quite handy. Anglers most often use them over waders. They are also an excellent option when β€œwet wading” without waders.

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Landing net

trout fishing equipment

A landing net is a crucial piece of trout fishing equipment. Trout are active and slippery and are often hooked on tiny hooks. A landing net will help ensure the catch while also making it easier to release the fish. Modern nets have rubber coatings that do not remove the important slime off of the trout. Most also resist being snagged. They come with a lanyard and are often placed over the angler’s shoulder.

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Tackle and fly boxes

best 13 brown trout fishing lures

No matter what type of fishing an angler engages in, he or she will need some type of tackle management system. Fly anglers have fly boxes to keep their flies organized as well as places to keep leaders. The same goes for anglers spin fishing, they will need to store lures and other terminal tackle.

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The type of tackle store required will depend on the type of fishing an angler prefers. Those who wade are are constantly on the move will want to pare down the gear and keep things simple. Anglers fishing from a boat or the shore of a lake can obviously make different choices. Small soft tackle boxes work well in this application.

Flies and lures

trout fishing blue ridge

The list of flies used by anglers fishing for trout is extensive and will certainly not be tackled here. Suffice it to say that anglers will need a decent selection of fies to cover the current conditions. Local fly shops are the best source of both information and product in this regard.

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Anglers spin fishing for trout have it a bit easier. There are a handful of lures that will catch trout almost anywhere. A basic lure selection includes a 1/16 ounce Rooster tail spinners, small Kastmaster spoons, size 04 Rapala Floating Minnow plugs, and small jigs.

Anglers can read more about trout fishing lures in this article by Capt Jim

Forceps, pliers, and nippers

Brook trout fishing in Minnesota

Pliers, forceps, and nippers to cut line are other pieces of trout fishing equipment that anglers will need. Fortunately, these are not expensive nor do they take up much room. Forceps are best for fly anglers to release trout. Anglers can clamp them in a handy spot. Spin fishers will usually fare better with small pliers. Simple nail clippers work great for trimming knots and cutting line.

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Hats and sunglasses

fishing for rainbow trout

Hats and sunglasses may seem like an afterthought, but they are very important when fishing for trout and most other species. It is important to be able to see ledges and other underwater factors that may hold fish, as well as actually spotting fish themselves. Hats will help keep the sun and glare off of an angler’s face, and even neck, depending on the hat. Sunglasses will help anglers see as well as protecting the eye from an errant fly or hook.

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Creel

creel

Creels are an older piece of trout fishing equipment that are not used as often as they used to be. They are designed for anglers walking streams to keep a fish or two cool and fresh. Many anglers practice catch and release these days. Also, coolers and ice have replaced creels and even stringers for those who want to keep a few fish to eat.

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In conclusion, this article on the essential trout fishing equipment will help anglers acquire the gear needed to enjoy this sport!