fishing tips Archives

Dead Sticking For Pre-Spawning And Late Season Bass

November 2012 Mactaquac Park ArmI have a hard time sitting still. It makes me feel like life is just passing me by. So when I learned about ‘dead sticking for bass‘ I really wasn’t interested.

However as each year passed and I get a little older I find I can sit for longer periods of time so maybe I should give dead sticking for bass a shot and see how long I can last, just sitting and waiting.

In the early spring and late fall when the water temperature is 50F/10C or lower the bass are usually in deep water, just waiting for the temperature to rise enough for them to get back to living and reproducing.

How Does Dead Sticking Work?

Largemouth and smallmouth bass tend to shut down when they find themselves in a cold front or when water temperatures drop below 50F/10C and usually won’t chase a bait, unless it’s right on their nose. The colder the water gets the slower your presentation gets until your presentation has to stop and just sit there.

If you are patient you can offer a bait, although it has to be close to them, and just wait for them to do something. Often they can only go for so long before doing something with the bait. If you can out wait the bass you win.

When bass are pre-spawn they are very territorial and will often attack your bait just to get it out of their territory. So remember to be quick to release these bass and try to put them back close to their nest.

Casey and I went muskie fishing November 12th which is the latest I have even been out fishing for anything other than Atlantic salmon. It was my first time muskie fishing as well as the first time I’ve seen the water so void of fish.

The water temperature was sitting at 45F/7C and we had to get into more than 20 feet of water before we saw any fish marking on the depth finder.

What Does One Need For Dead Sticking

Between your hands and that smallies mouth there are ‘four plus one’ things one needs to catch them, especially while they are suspended deep or guarding their nest and not really feeding. Those things are your fishing rod, reel, fishing line, bait/lure and plenty of patience.

1. The Rod to Use: For dead sticking you want a rod with a stiff backbone for setting the hook. It’s good to have a medium to heavy action rod about 7 or 7 1/2 foot long for this.

2. The Reel: A sturdy baitcasting reel with lots of fishing line as there can be some big fish down there and they can run a long ways, in a flash.

3. The Fishing Line: When fishing suspended or pre-spawn bass you will need to set the hook hard and you don’t want your line snapping on a fish of a lifetime. Plus these bass really know how to take your line through an obstacle course so be prepared with heavy line.

4. The Bait: Here you have a plethora of choices so you’re not limited to just a few baits that will work. You want a bait that will sit there and look real. Maybe a bait that appears as a hurting fish.

5. Patience. Dead sticking is a waiting game so patience is required. Lots of patience but can be so worth it.

The Waiting Game

Patience isn’t one of my strong points but for this game it’s about who blinks first so it’s important to give the bass every opportunity to strike. The closer you can get your bait to the fishes face the better and then wait until their instinct eventually takes over.

For late season suspending fish this could take a while however with pre-spawn bass it might not take as long, especially if your bait is close to their nest. They will see it, not as food, but more as something invading their territory so they may just smack it but they could also chomp on it to kill it.

Once the bass strikes it’s too late to check your setup so make sure you have your drag set correctly as they can give quite a run.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tips On The Cheap

jim with a big smallmouth bassI never get tired of fishing smallmouth bass. I do get worn out and have to go home to rest up for another day but other than that I never tire of it.

The biggest smallmouth I’ve caught here in New Brunswick Canada was about 4 pounds. It was in Harvey lake about 30 years ago and it was the only bass we caught on that lake after two days of hard fishing.

It’s been my trophy, even though I did practice CPR (Catch, Photograph and Release)

Most of the time it’s not very hard to catch smallmouth bass, just a few tips can have you enjoying yourself as much as I enjoy smallie fishing.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing Is For All Ages

fishing-buddiesI have been fishing since I was just 8 and the same with our son. It’s fun for all ages. Now I’m 60 and it’s just as much fun as it was all those years ago. I still can’t sleep the night before a fishing trip, just like when I was 8. Now my son is out west working but the first thing he did was to start buying fishing gear, as he used to just use mine.

Smallmouth bass are a high energy fish that love to jump and even tail-walk. I think that’s why they are so addictive. They never disappoint me, well seldom disappoint me as we all have those days eventually.

Bass Fishing On The Cheap

There was a time I bought all the top fishing gear including having the best lures however a turn in my healthy back in 2004 kind of changed my world and not for the better. I wasn’t able to work and my share of our family income stopped over night.

Today we live on tight budget which doesn’t leave much for fishing so I try to buy the most for my money now instead of the best.

The funny thing is I still catch lots of fish with cheaper gear.

Just Replace Those Cheap Hooks

I get up really early, usually about 4am. Just about the end of winter I was up early and was looking through eBay to see what bass lures I could find for our bass fishing and chain pickerel fishing trips.

Well I saw a boat load of cheap bass fishing lures. My first instinct was to look further but my urge to have more lures this year got the better of me and I bought more than 30 lures. The seller was so happy they included 4 extra lures in the shipping at no extra cost.

I got the lures in the mail just before I headed out for our first day of fishing and didn’t take the time to replace the hooks like my friend Casey does when he buys lures. If I had bought new replacement hooks I might have thought of it.

Anyways I still caught the most fish and only used my new lures that day.

The only negative thing about my really cheap lures was the hooks. The first fish I caught broke one of the treble hooks but I still caught the fish. Then I had to put that lure away until I bought new hooks, but just grabbed another lure and kept on fishing.

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Using Bass Poppers For Chain Pickerel Fishing

I really enjoy using top water baits when the fishing conditions are right. For me that means really calm waters so the fish can clearly see the ripples and I can see the explosion that usually follows.

Over the winter I purchased a few more bass poppers which work great but will catch a lot more than just bass. I use them to drive chain pickerel, the pike of the Maritimes.

How I Use Bass Poppers

Bass poppers are pretty simple to use but may require a little patience. I just toss the popper to the location I’m interested in and then I wait patiently for the ripples to disappear. Next I give it a little tug with my fishing rod. It only needs to move a short distance and quite often that’s all it takes to get that strike you’re looking for.

I’m not the most patient guy so I honestly think it’s just about as hard for me to wait for the ripples to disappear as it is for a pickerel or bass to ignore them.

Keeping Up With What Works

I ask my family for subscriptions to magazines I like. Fishing is just one of my hobbies and magazines are great for finding what’s working and for tips and tricks on how to use them.

We do have a PVR so I get to record every fishing show we have available. I love skipping the commercials so I do miss some things that might be useful so having bass fishing magazines come is very handy.

A Few Bass Poppers To Try

The Rebel Pop-R Bass Popper

The Rebel Pop-R lure has been around for a long time and has made many anglers much happier anglers.

The Arbogast Hula Popper

The Arbogast Hula Popper gives the bass in the area you’re fishing a big wake up call. It’s an awesome lure for fishing over fallen trees and grassy patches.

For over 60 years, this lure with its pulsating skirt has helped many anglers to reel in the big ones, even when nothing else would work for them.

The Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper

Perhaps the Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper is the lure that you need to make your next fishing trip a huge success. This lure is a little heavier than most top water lures making it easy to cast further. The weight that is on the tail of this lure helps it to produce a clicking noise as you drag it across the top of the water. That clicking noise make the fish in the area agitated leading them to ambush this bait. Once they do, you have your bass on the line.

You will find that there are a large variety of top water lures that you can choose from to make your fishing trip a success and exciting.

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Bass Fishing Lures That Get More Action

smallmouth-bass-18inchMy early years of fishing started in 1960 and my gear was pretty simple and my bait was worms.

As I got older I bought my first fishing rod and a Red Devil. Back then I had no problem catching all the fish I could land just using worms or my Red Devil. Those were my catfish and pike days on the river behind our farm.

In never did any bass fishing until I was in my 30s.

Since then I have enjoyed smallmouth bass fishing and have acquired a few favourite bass lures and many have become my go to lures when fishing gets tough.

Today I walk into the bass fishing section and get immediately excited as well as a bit scared as there are so many bass lures to choose from and in they come in a variety of sizes and colours, just to make it more confusing.

I was looking at bass lures a few weeks ago and over heard a guy say “Holy Shit” excuse my language but he said it, not me. The look on his face was funny because you could see he was instantly overwhelmed with the huge supply. I laughed and said, ‘Isn’t it great??’.

Staying On Budget

We have a limited budget so my wife continually reminds me not to go overboard when I head for the bass fishing section. If it was for Jenny I would probably have tackle boxes like my fishing buddies have.

I do buy a few new bass fishing lures each year. Some are to replace those I lost the previous fishing season and other to add to my little collection of confidence bass baits. I also watch eBay for any deals I can get on bass lures, usually during the winter when I have more time on my hands.

I took a few minutes with Ron, the guy I met in the bass fishing lure section, and learned that he was new to bass fishing so I pointed out a few lures I like to call my confidence baits. I think he grabbed at least one of each lure I pointed out and in every size available.

Look For Bass Lure Sales

The bass fishing experience I’ve gained over the past 30 years here in New Brunswick helps me to narrow my focus to just the lures I really want to try. I have to keep a check list of the lures I am interested in or I get shopping for bass lures and completely forget my goals, then I have to deal with my wife.

Okay, Jenny’s not that bad, I kind of make fun of her because she won’t go fishing with me.

Fishing is a costly hobby if you don’t look for sales. Well if money isn’t an issue I guess it doesn’t matter but to those of us on a budget it does. I love it when I find a sale and get double the lures for the money.

When I show up for a day of fishing I may not have a hundred bass lures at the ready, like most of my fishing buddies do but I still have fun and catch bass, pickerel and perch, so I’m a happy fisher.

Heck I have a hard time remembering the names of the few bass lures I have. What would I do if I had a hundred.

Using Ebay To Get Bass Fishing Lure Deals

I like keep my eye on eBay for great deals on bass fishing lures as people will sell of their current supplies of lures in order to get more and I like to get in on the deals when they are happening.

Just last Sunday morning I was able to get more than 30 awesome lures for under $50.00 and that was delivered right to my door. My budget for bass fishing lures is higher than that so I have money left over to buy even more this year.

My Personal Favourite Bass Lure Types

The Rat-L Trap

rat-l-trapRat-L Trap bass fishing lures are what I use to cover water and to bring smallmouth bass closer to the boat. The work in all kinds of water clarity, good or poor as they have a rattle inside made up of metal beads and makes a noise bass find hard to ignore.

I have been fishing this type of bass lure for many years and have some that are older than my 26 years old son and they still attract and catch bass every year.

The metallic beads inside of the rattle chamber help make a noise that a number of kinds of bass are unable to avoid.

Bass Jigs

bass jigThere will be times you just can’t get the attention of a bass using other types of lures such as the Rat-L Trap. This is the time to get out a bass jig and a plastic worm or crayfish. I have had days of catching 30 and 40 bass, all with jigs, when nothing else seemed to work.

I never used jigs until one day we were fishing this huge bass pond in our area which I normally used my fly rod on. This day nothing was happening and we tried every lure we had.

My fishing buddy finally pulled out a jig and put on a little pumpkin seed coloured grub and dropped it into the water and let it sink to the bottom. It didn’t even make it to the bottom before he yelled ‘Fish On’. And then another and another.

I moved over to his location and snagged a couple of those jigs and grubs from him and tried them myself. I had just found a brand new bass lure to add to my collection. We continued to catch smallmouth bass all day long, just tossing them to the shore and dragging them across the bottom.

The jig is just a hook with a small ball on the end that usually has eyes on it. They of course come in a multitude of colours although my favourite today is still the pumpkin seed colour. The just catch bass when nothing else seems to be working.

I have a special tackle box that’s just jigs of various sizes along with grubs and other plastic baits I can use on the jigs.

Fluke Baits

fluke baitFluke baits all tend to look like bait fish so it’s important to find fluke baits that match the bait in the waters you will be fishing. We fish a variety of lakes and streams so a variety of fluke baits are required because bass can be picky when looking at something that doesn’t match what they are used to eating.

These fluke baits don’t come with hooks in them so you need to have hooks that will allow you to hook the fluke bait so that it moves through the water naturally, like the real thing as bass today aren’t all that stupid and not as easy to fool as some people think.

These baits are great for pulling through weeds as the hook can be buried in the bait and not get caught up so much on the local vegetation.

Spinner Bait

spinner baitMy fishing buddy Roland and I have has some awesome days fishing smallmouth bass using spinner baits. You can cast them a country mile and they attract bass. They are pretty versatile as well.

I also love using Mepps to attract smallmouth bass. I can cast them under trees along the shores, from my float tube, and catch feisty bass all day long. I love them on those really hot days when it’s great to have the shade of those trees.

I have only touch on bass fishing lures but these will give you a start and have worked for me for a long long time. Have a great time on the water and let us know what’s been working for you.

Dressing Tips For Real Winter Fishing

ice fishingI do most of my fishing in spring, summer and fall but winter fishing is an option, although I haven’t done any ice fishing or winter fishing since I lived in Ontario many years ago.

Back then I didn’t think about winter fishing clothes and did a lot of freezing. No so today.

So the first thing I do is to dress with layers to keep as warm as I want to be.

For me it’s not about looking good,  it’s more about comfort. If I am freezing my ass off I want to either catching a heck of a lot of fish or I wan to go home. I don’t care for frost bite and it doesn’t take much for me to start shaking, then I can’t even tie a proper knot.

I remember the first time I dressed in layers to go fishing. Once I got fishing and was all bundled up I could barely more around. It was hilarious according to my fishing buddies. After that I dressed a little loosely.

What Do I Wear Ice Fishing

You could spend money buying just the right clothing like my son does, but he still lives with us and doesn’t pay the bills. So for me, I would rather spend my money on new fishing gear.

For that reason I start with my long johns, both top and bottoms. I wear them all winter long anyways. I like two piece so that I can remove one or the other depending on the day.

Some times I put on another tee shirt and then a nice warm winter shirt. The T-Shirt is usually only for the extra cold ones. Then it’s aunt Hazel’s gift of a wool sweater.

That setup is great for those days in winter when it’s nice enough to have your big coat off for a bit. The wool sweater keeps any moisture off me.

After the sweater I will put on my winter jacket with the wool liner. Now the top half of my body is ready to go late November fishing or ice fishing.

Let’s move down and put on some pants. I like lined winter pants but I will also bring my snowsuit bottoms. I don’t use the coat as it’s too bulky for my liking. Oh, maybe I should try it on without all my other stuff on. Just kidding. Smile

If My Feet Are Cold I’m Cold

I remember back when I was a kid it wasn’t my clothing that allowed me to freeze. It was winter boots that didn’t fit properly. I grew up wearing hand-me-downs and of course they never fit right. It’s important to have boots that fit correctly.

I like to be able to wear two pair of socks in my boots, a thin comfortable sock and a thicker wool sock. I also make sure my boots fit well without pinching my feet. Keep the feet in comfort and they will thank you.

Note: I always carry and extra set of socks in case my feet get wet. I never leave my feet wet in the winter while fishing.

Okay Now For The Hands

Now I’m nice and comfy, ready for a day of fishing in the winter. All that’s left are my gloves and for that I like neoprene gloves that have finger tips that flip back.

The first pair my wife bought me as a fishing gift never saw a day of fishing as my dog Shadow ate them. That was the only thing of mine she ever ate. Maybe I don’t take her fishing enough.

Cover Your Head And Protect Your Face

protecting your faceSome guys and gals can take the cold but I guess I’m a wimp that loves to fish but I don’t like my ears going numb or my big nose.

I like to wear a hat that covers my head well and my ears, especially if it’s windy.

For those days that are really windy and bitter cold I wouldn’t think of going fishing without a scarf or a neoprene face mask. They may look funny but I’m still able to smile because my face isn’t frozen.

So the key to a great day of fishing, even when it cold enough to freeze the, well I won’t go there, but with the right winter fishing clothes you’ll have a great time and remember it for all the right reasons.

5 Tips For Better Trout Fishing Success

When it comes to fishing around the world trout fishing seems to be the most popular for most anglers. I would have to agree with that most of the time although bass fishing puts up a good fight for first place among sports fishers like myself here in North America.

I have been fishing for these rather abundant yet crafty fish using my spinning gear and fly fishing gear for about half a century. Trout fishing just never gets old whether I’m fishing a lake, pond, river or brook.

I live in North America, Canada actually and we have trout all the way from the east coast, where I currently live to the west coast where I’d love to take a fishing trip some day. The trout in it’s many forms such as brookies or speckled, rainbow, brown and even lake trout are all over most parts of North America but they are not limited to N.A.

The Trout Habitat I Love To Fish

I really don’t find fishing lakes for trout as exciting as I do fly fishing a stream for brookies probably because a brook is so much more visual. But I won’t turn down a trip to a lake for some trout fishing.

One of my best fishing trips was a fly in trip into Quebec for lake trout and pike. A fishing trip I will not soon forget as I got to sight fish for spawning lake trout, my first chance to fly fish for lake trout.

We have rivers here in New Brunswick with Brown trout in them. I didn’t even realize we had brown trout here so you can imagine how excited I was when I landed my first brown trout ever in a brook I was fishing for brook trout in.

trout fishing tipsLuck can be a big part of fishing and I enjoy making a cast that hooks into a fish I didn’t expect.

My fishing buddies tend to think I’m lucky or have horse shoes up my behind when I catch a big one.  Of course when it’s them that makes the big catch it’s all skill.

The truth is there are always a few things you can learn to do while fishing that will make you a better trout angler.

  1. When trout fishing a stream don’t get in the water until you have evaluated the lay of the water and structure. What’s happening in and around the water that will tell you want might be happening under the water.
  2. Knowing what the trout are feeding on will give you a big advantage so follow step one first and then step two is to turn over a few rocks that are under the water to see what kind of life is living there, then use a bait that matches what you find.
  3. Having taken the time to read the water and surrounding for indicators of what the trout are feeding on and you have turned a few rock you now need to get your bait or fly where the fish live, but not on top of their head as you will spook them and never catch much other than dumb fish which are usually quite young and small.
  4. Situate yourself so that you are not in a feeding lane and then cast ahead of the fish so that the bait or fly will drift into the fishes feeding zone. You are much more likely to get that big one when you’re stealthy.
  5. Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to trout fishing as they are extremely easy to spook. Practice patience and you will do much better. When you accidently slap your bait or fly on the water and spook a fish, stop, take a break to give the fish a few minutes to calm down. That’s when you get the big one and the other guy gets skunked.

Bonus Trout Fishing Tip

A real key to successful trout fishing is to go with a fishing setup that will give you the most excitement and sometimes that means going with a light setup for those smaller trout. I have so much more fun when I am fishing light tackle or fly fishing setup that matches the size of the trout I am fishing.

These 5 useful trout fishing tips will help you catch more trout and even bigger trout in the same water you couldn’t catch them before. Happy fishing and remember to take a kid fishing, it could change their life like it did mine.

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The Minn Kota Endura C2 30, A Trolling Motor To Meet Your Expectations

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 12V 30lb 30 InchTrolling motors give you the opportunity to find those best fresh water fishing hot spots. Let others fish those not so productive areas.

I love trolling motors. I even had one for my canoe and caught lots of big bass on Lake George, Harvey Lake. Even pickerel and trout from Cassidy Lake near Norton New Brunswick.

So today I’d like to share a bit about a specific fresh water trolling motors, the Minn Kota Endura C2 30 12V 30lb 30 Inch. Let’s look at some benefits along with a few features but it wouldn’t be complete without a look at any reported shortcomings of the Minn Kota Endura C2 30.

I don’t mind spending money on fishing related products but I also love getting a real good deal because it means I can usually buy more fishing related stuff. Those of us who are really serious about our fishing and who have a boat loving buying new things for it.

Christmas is getting so close and it’s the time I try to get my friends and family to think fishing when they think about what to buy me.

If you’ve had your mind set on a trolling motor you need to start giving the hints to your family. Wouldn’t it be nice to get the Minn Kota Endura C2 30?

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Characteristics

Start sharing all the characteristics with your family so they know you’re excited about the Minn Kota Endura C2.

  • 30 lbs of Thrust
  • 30 Inch Shaft
  • 5 Forward Speeds
  • 3 Reverse Speeds
  • Six Inch Telescoping Handle
  • Lever Lock Bracket. A Mounting bracket that’s the strongest
  • Runs Quietly so as not to disturb fish.
  • Special composite materials resist flexing warping and UV damage.
  • Indestructible composite shaft stronger than steel.
  • Uses 12 volt Battery – not included.

Yeah the Minn Kota Endura C2 is a legendary performer built to explore, built to last and backed up with our two year warranty. It’s also designed specifically for boats that are small to medium in size.

This trolling motor has been designed for freshwater and is easily mounted using the lever lock bracket. To reduce friction as well as noise the Minn Kota Endura C2 has a ball bearing system that’s extremely smooth so it doesn’t scare off the fish.

Before I finally boat a trolling motor I used to curse the wind, a lot. Especially on Cassidy lake near Norton New Brunswick. The best fishing spot of course is the furthest spot from my vehicle. And of course once you get down in there the wind picks up and makes it tough for one person to paddle out of there. I usually ended up beaching the canoe and walking it along the shore line until I would get out of there. But it’s such a good fishing spot.

Bass boat, aluminum, on High Rock Lake

Image via Wikipedia

The first time I used my new trolling motor on Cassidy Lake I cruised right out there. Actually caught a couple more pickerel on the way out. When the wind is blowing in there you can’t stop paddling or you lose ground. With the my trolling motor I wasn’t cursing the wind or the the slightest bit exhausted from paddling.

The places we fish for bass, pickerel and trout require a trolling motor as most boat motors would never get to where we like to fish. Take a few minutes to check out the Minn Kota Endura C2 30 and I am sure you will have more productive days on the water.

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