By William D. Anderson
   

Fishing Tips

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1

When considering a fish for a release it is always best to support the fish by the belly. At the very least always avoid lifting the fish out of the water by its lips or lower jaw. Evidence and gravity shows that lifting a fish, which is usually entirely supported by water, by its lower jaw will badly stretch the vertebrae in its spine. This is especially true for larger fish and can even lead to death after release. Always support the fish under the belly and try not to focus all pressure on one part of the fish. - BirdO

2

When trolling with older style plastic rod holders, it is a good idea to secure one end of a bungee cord to the boat and then hook the other end to the reel. This will prevent the rod from going overboard if it pops out of the rod holder when a big fish hits, or you snag.   - Bill A.

3

When photographing a fish, try to have the sun behind you and make sure your camera flash is turned on. This will make for a better picture.

4

If you find yourself lucky enough to find that your net is way too small for that giant fish on the end of your line, try to net the fish head first. He is less likely to flop out. Remember to handle the fish with as much care as possible if he's going to be released.

5

When you purchase a new reel, many times the tackle shop will offer to put new line on it for you. Before letting them do this, read the instructions for your reel and make sure that the spooling  machine winds the line onto your reel per the manufacturers recommendation. This will prevent line twist and allow you to cast much farther. Many newer spinning reels are now supposed to be wound differently than the way the machines do it.

6

When you want to fish in really cold weather, make sure you bring along whatever tools you might need to break up ice around the ramps. Take plenty of salt or ice melt so that you'll have traction when trailering your boat. Also, be courteous and stop for a few moments when your boat clears the water so that the water drains off the back of your trailer into the lake or river and not onto the ramp where it can freeze and cause a hazardous condition for others. Always make sure you'll be able to get out of the water before you put the boat into the water.

7

Whenever you photograph a fish, always make sure the sun is behind you and that you are not casting a shadow over what you are trying to photograph.

8

If your hands still smell like minnows after you wash them, try a little laundry detergent such as Amway SA-8. Make sure you use some type of lotion afterwards because some detergents will dry out skin.

9

When fishing in the winter months try using soft plastic lures such as worms or lizards. Make sure that you keep whatever plastic that you use warm, so it doesn't lose its action. When retrieving, go slow and softly twitch the rod tip. Don't be in a hurry or you will scare the fish.  Jeff P.

10

When you need to keep track of how many fish you catch, it can sometimes be difficult if you're having a good day. To make it easy, get yourself some of those cheap golf stroke counters that you click each time you take a stroke. Each time you catch a fish, just click the counter - no need to remember what the current count is. 

I have several in the boat. When fishing with a partner I can use the top for myself and the bottom for the other person. When I'm by myself I can use each one to count the different species.   Bill A

Counter
11.

Use a high quality pair of polarized sunglasses while fishing. The higher quality lenses (such as those made by Maui Jim) will allow you to see deeper into the water. They are also easier on your eyes when worn for long periods of time in bright sunlight.

I have a pair with lighter lenses for overcast days, and a pair with darker lenses for bright days. You will also want to get a cleaning kit or cloth made for your glasses and keep it handy. There are a million ways to get your glasses dirty while fishing and you don't want to wipe an expensive pair of sunglasses off with a cloth that could possibly scratch them.

Polarized glasses are a must when you need to observe how bait fish are swimming, or you need to see bottom content or structure.

12.

Always wear good sunscreen when fishing. Use something that wont wear off from sweat and contact with the water. Wear a hat that will protect your neck and face too. - wda

13.

When you are using plastic crawdads, use a Texas rig and cast past your target. Then reel in about 2ft of line then let it sink. Repeat and have fun.  - Drew

14.

When you release a fish you should point it's head away from any obstructions including your boat. Very often a fish will swim forward and crash into the side of a boat when lowered into the water by his jaw. Turn the fish away from your boat so he wont hit anything while he is still disoriented. Never toss or drop a fish into the water.  Bill A

Releasing a Largemouth Bass                                       www.catchphotorelease.com
15.

USE a GPS! Use it to record fishing hotspots so you can find them again. You can also use it to avoid dangerous territory and if you get into trouble, use a GPS unit and a two-way radio or cell phone to communicate your exact position to rescue teams.  Dave Rogers

16.

When fishing in colder water, try a slow retrieve where you use small pause and twitch movements to entice lethargic fish. Fish as slow as possible unless the fish are actively feeding in cold water.

17.

When fishing in temperatures below freezing, try using a high quality fluorocarbon based line. These lines absorb less water which means you'll have less ice forming in your guides. The ice you do get wont damage the fluorocarbon line as quickly as standard monofilament.

18.

We have have manufactured the first above water fishing lure...never fish underwater again, it's phenomenal!
hover-lure.com

19.

If you have ever been frustrated trying to measure your fish before releasing, try a Rodrule Decal. They stick right on your rod and it sure makes for a quick measurement.  Davin

20.

When you fish with any of the so called "Super Lines" such as Spiderwire or Fireline, always use 15 to 20 feet of monofilament backing and join the two lines together with a blood or Uni knot. Many line types other than monofilament will spin on the spools of both bait-casters and spinning reels. This means that when you turn the handle to retrieve your line, nothing happens. Other times it will feel like your reel is "skipping". Using the backing prevents this.

21.

Before you purchase a Spin-Cast type reel, remove the cover. Make sure there is a nut that you can remove to get at the spool. Some of the cheaper reels are constructed so that it is very difficult to remove the spool or change the line.

22.

When you fish in 5-6 feet of water, the fish may be there because they are hungry. Try a surface lure and your chances will be doubled or tripled.   Alex M.   Editors Note: We suggest trying surface lures no matter what the depth if the water is fairly calm, especially when bank fishing. Top-water fishing can be addictive. Even if the fish are not 'hungry', they often can't resist a surface lure. We also suggest top-waters early and late in the day. Thanks Alex!

23.

When fishing tubes Texas rigged, put a 1/2" piece of plastic worm in the head of the tube. This will help keep the eye of the hook from coming out which can cause the tube to spin when retrieved...

24.

When boating in extremely cold weather, make sure all the water is removed from your live well and any drain lines that might run under the floor of your boat. Water left in these lines can freeze and crack them leaving you with an expensive repair. Also, depending on the design of your boat, these cracked lines can cause water to flood your boat the next time you put it in the water.

25.

Remove the prop on your outboard and trolling motor regularly to check for fishing line. All it takes is a very small amount of line to damage the seal and put water in the lower unit. This is not something that would be covered under warranty, but is easily prevented.

26.

When you have finished fishing for the day, avoid hooking your lure into the eye of one of the guides on your rod. Doing this can damage the smooth inner ring and thus cause nicks in your line. Hook the lure to the outside wire frame of the guide - Big LU

27.

If netting the fish is a must, always net the fish head first. Touching its tail can make it dart away. If you are catch-and-releasing, try to avoid netting the fish - Big LU

28.

I recently accidentally kicked a very expensive rod and reel over the side of the boat in 9 feet of water while reaching for the net. My first concern was the wind carrying me off that spot so I picked out an object on the bank so that I could line myself up with the spot if I drifted away. Next I wedged the trolling motor in the rip rap and was able to retrieve the combo by casting and dragging a tube bait across the bottom. Other people have told me that they have had luck retrieving rods by vertically jigging large weighted treble hooks. Crank baits might work in shallower water.   

 If anyone has any other ideas about this, let us know! - webmaster

29.

Read the record catches in the regulation book before you catch and release.  - Laura O.

Webmasters note: - Laura sent me a photo of a Rock Bass that might have been a potential Minnesota State Record had it not been released. It was an awesome fish!

30.

Do not leave your pole un-attended when you are fishing if there are big fish in the lake. - Anonymous

31.

Use rubber Boat Fenders when docking your boat or maneuvering anywhere you might come in contact with another boat or object. They can help keep your boat looking new and prevent unsightly scratches.

32.

It's a good idea to keep your cell phone and other electronics in a zip lock bag or other waterproof container because you never know when you'll wind up in the water.

33.

If you fish hard like I do and bang up your trolling motor, you can make it look like new again with a little outboard motor spray paint. Be sure to remove the motor so you don't get over spray on your boat.

 

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