Thursday, December 13, 2007

Winter Fishing Tips and Jigs for Crappie

By Daniel Eggertsen

Crappie fishing in winter can be a daunting challenge but cheer up there is help. Super crappie fishing really begins after the ice is long gone in the spring but its cold now and we are hungry for that clean white morsel of meat.

So you ask how to catch the little guys and how to get that pan fish in your pan and when ice fishing there are only a few key items to consider: bait, location and ice.

When it is cold the fish are slower and their hunting patterns change. Do not forget this - EVER. We are not much different, we like our ice cream in the summer and chili in winter. Keep this in mind when fishing in any water temperature. Use fast baits in warmer waters and slower baits in colder waters.

When the waters are cooler and sometimes frozen everything below the surface moves slower so when choosing jigs pick ones that move slower, this means lighter weight too as it will not sink so fast. Many of the plastic jigs will move smoothly through the water, this is a great advantage in the spring months, but not so much in the colder waters.

Feathered jigs once wet will also smooth out and move quickly through the water but an artificial feather sometimes will fall slower than most plastics. Do not forget either that plastics will get stiffer when they get colder and this is part of the reason that smaller jigs work well in the colder waters.

When the water temperatures drop below 50 degrees crappie will seek shelter in almost any structure they can find, so choose a bait that will be found in shelter they are hiding in. Most waters will get a little clearer when they ice over. When this happens use smaller jigs.

I would also suggest using really light colors on the jig like yellows and whites. Some of the smaller plastics seem to work well for me I like to use smaller grubs or tubes. When I know the water is clear I start with white or very light colors and work towards darker colors. But as the visibility of the water changes go with a color that is only slightly lighter.

Remember most bait fish or insects are really trying to blend in to the background so you want to stand out just a little bit more. It really is not that hard when the waters are green use a slightly lighter green jig. But if the waters or currents are really active use a stiff plastic jig and if the waters are still use a feathered jig because they will look more lively.

Another good trick is to use a light colored body with a medium contrasting head. For example use a yellow grub with a red head or reverse it. But I've haven had a lot of success using opposite colors like red with green.

I know we do not carry a color wheel, although it might help, in our tackle box but if the color combination seems unnatural chances are the crappie might think so as well. You can use opposite colors if there is a gradient between the colors. Just avoid sharp contrasting colors as these do not appear readily in nature.

Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best crappie fishing information possible. Get more information on crappie fishing tips here:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

FIshing In Ontario

Fishing in Ontario is one of the most beautiful places in the world to plan a fishing trip. I know, I've fished in many areas of Ontario and know what I'm saying. Many thousands of lakes in Northern Ontario have not seen a fishermen's bait cast to them. There are many species of fish throughout Ontario.

If you plan on traveling through and fishing in Ontario there are some things you need to consider before your trip.

You should realize that the costs associated with a trip there is expensive, the Province itself is huge and could cost a lot for travel expenses, accomodations, clothing, licenses and permits, fishing gear, food, water, matches and many other things you'll need.

Its a good idea to make a list of all the things you will need to take on your trip. If you know where your going its a good idea to get some topo maps of the area. Maps of Ontario will come in handy as well.

Some of the fish species you many encounter are:

Northern pike, Largemouth bass, Channel catfish, Smallmouth bass, Muskellunge, Walleye, trout, salmon, whitefish and many non game fish as well.

Regulations While Fishing

Canadians purchase a fishing version of an Outdoors Card with a validation tag on it.

Non-residents of Ontario need a basic license which is signed and has a validation tag attached. These cards cannot be transferred to anyone else. You must carry them all the time in case a Conservation Officer requests to check it.

Conservation Officers and Their Duties

These officers have the right to arrest, seize items, and view and perform searches whenever they see fit.

Just remember to obtain and obey all fishing regulations while fishing in Ontario.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fishing Reports

BC Fishing Reports

Fish Ontario Fishing Reports

Great Lakes Area Fishing Report - Lake Michigan

Lake Ontario Fishing Reports

Lake Superior Fishing

Canada Fishing Reports

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Buying a Boat

Buying a Boat

Tips on Buying a Boat: Seven Tips on What should you look for when investing in watercraft
by: Keith Binnersley

I discovered sailing many years ago and found it to be a wonderful way to enjoy time with friends and family as well as a way to get away from the office and become totally entranced and absorbed with a world that I did not know existed. I love to sail, so much that I became a certified American Sailing Association Sailing Instructor.

It has been 30 years now that I've sailed the Chesapeake Bay, East Coast U.S.A. and the Caribbean Islands and I've been fortunate to have owned a number sailing vessels, currently two Beneteau sail boats.

I'm often asked by my students what to look for when making an investment in a sailing vessel. I often share the following seven tips and hope that you too may find some value in them.

First carefully examine where you expect to use your boat, long term. Will it be on the Ocean, trans-Ocean, near the shore, in a Bay, on the Caribbean or all of the above. If you plan to sail Ocean or trans-Ocean then be sure that the construction is class "A" or rated for extended off shore passage making.

Beware of the buying philosophy "I'll buy a smaller boat now and get a bigger one later." If you're buying new you will suffer two large depreciations. If buying used, the money you put into the first boat to bring it up to your own personal standards and needs will go a long way to paying a down payment or many monthly payments on the second boat. You will be upgrading the second boat anyway. Buy now what you expect to own for 5-10 years.

Take into account the area where you will be sailing and who you will be sailing with. Decide on the type of berths that will be suitable for you, your family and your guests. For example, aft doubles aligned with the axis of the boat or an aft double that runs across the boat port to starboard. Although the latter tends to be larger and more comfortable in the slip it is definitely not a sea going berth. How easily does the main salon table convert into a berth and is it sturdy enough to do so repeatedly? In a pinch or in good weather can any one sleep in the cockpit?

What is your likely cruising range? If just 2-4 days then water and diesel tankage can be respectively 20 and 80 gallons or less. If it is 5-10 days then a minimum would be 50 and 160. If you buy a boat with say 100 gallons diesel and 2-300 gallons water then the designer will have given up berth space to accommodate the tankage. Depending on the size of the boat the left over space may not be well utilized until you reach say a 50 ft. long boat. Look for living and storage space that is well utilized. Odd placement of the main salon settees, chart table and galley may indicate poor utilization of space and hence you may be paying good money for little advantage.

Boats that are heavy displacement, say 28,000 lbs for say a 42 ft. boat rather than say 17,800 lbs for a medium displacement, 42 footer will need 10- 15 knots of wind to develop any kind of "feel" at the helm and in many locations such as the Chesapeake Bay with winds typically 5 - 15 knots in the summer you may have purchased a very nice well equipped power boat. However these heavy displacement cruisers are excellent for extended off shore passage making and live-aboard sailing either in the Caribbean or the U.S.A..

One of the best tips, If you are a first time sailor and want to buy a boat in the 25 to 50 ft range, is to sail with someone who knows how to sail, take a sailing class and then charter a boat in the length range that interests you. Picking a boat with out sailing a boat of similar size is risky although many have done it successfully. Keep in mind that many of the modern designs of the last 10 years are designed specifically for two people to sail easily whether in the Bay or in the ocean.

Lastly, do insist on a survey. If the boat has any of the defects listed below find out the cost to correct them if you are expecting the boat to pass the insurer's surveyor. Insurers have their own requirements. Your insurance agent and the surveyor should be working hand in hand. This is where a purchaser of a used watercraft can suddenly be faced with unexpected costs. Costly defects include but are not limited to:

Soft or cracked gellcoat on the deck.

Deck leaks around windows, masts, caprail, traveller or through deck fittings.

If the engine that has stood idle for more than 6 months diesel may be contaminated with bacterial sludges, have pistons seized, injectors blocked and electrical system contaminated with water. Insist on at least a 2-4 hour run in the water at cruising speed. Check for undue vibration, overheating, proper charging of the batteries and that the engine can come up to its cruising rpm.

If the boat is more than 6 years old have the surveyor check that the engine mounts are OK and particularly that all mounting bolts are intact. Two can be broken without any obvious signs or effects. When #3 breaks the engine is loose! This is a common problem on older boats that encounter rough waters while under power and can easily be overlooked by the surveyor.

Obviously you will need an out of the water inspection. Check for blisters, gellcoat cracks, soft spots, shaft play in the cutlass bearing and loose rudder bearings, hull integrity around through hulls and the gap between the hull and the top of the keel which should be filled with sealant else corrosion of the keel may have caused the keel to separate from the hull.

Rigging should be checked by a rigger and all running rigging must be overhauled end-to-end to detect hidden chafe.
Hope you find these tips helpful. Best wishes to you on your investment, maybe I'll see you on the Chesapeake Bay or near the British Virgin Islands sometime, I'll either be sailing on Majjik II or Majjik III.

About The Author

Keith Binnersley is owner of Upper Bay Sailing School, Inc He is a Certified American Sailing Association Sailing Instructor and holds a 50 ton Masters USCG License. You can contact him at

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Buying a Boat

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sell Your Boat

Sell Your Boat

What You Need To Know Before You Sell Your Boat

by: James "Doc" Lewis

As the owner/operator of a full service boat detailing- yacht maintenance business I can't help but chuckle sometimes at seeing the extremes that otherwise bright, intelligent, successful, people will go to in a misguided attempt to save a few dollars.

One of the biggest mistakes that we see is that people will decide to sell their boat without first having her completely detailed.

According to Rob Scanlan, a well known and respected Master Marine Surveyor;

"Detailing a boat is the single most important investment of time, energy and money a seller can make because a clean and shiny boat sells faster and for a lot more money. I strongly recommended that a seller enlist professional assistance to do a quality job." (Email) (Web site)

We at BoatDocs1, do a lot of work here on the Emerald Coast with local yacht brokers and know what the standards are for a "ready to show" boat. These professionals know that the cosmetic appearance says everything to the prospective buyer as to the overall care and maintenance that the previous owner has given the yacht. Add to that the universal wisdom about first impressions and it's not hard to see the importance of this vital first step.

Even if you intend to do most of the work yourself we can offer the expertise to assure that your time and money are spent wisely. Our trained eyes will often pick up the little details that only a prospective buyer would notice and likely balk at.

Here is an outline of the standard procedures we use when preparing a yacht to be put up for sale:

1. Thoroughly Wash and Dry the Boat

Note: For this part, pay attention to everything you see and unless your memory is a lot better than mine, make notes on a piece of paper for later.

Wash and chamois-dry your boat top to bottom including transom.
clean Isenglass and other ports/windows
wipe down and dress all aluminum/stainless
clean and dress vinyl seats
wipe down fly bridge and cockpit
vacuum exterior carpet
clean and dress nonskid
2. Stand Back and Survey the Boat

Note: Bring your list and organize it with the following outline

Put yourself in the buyers shoes, be critical, the buyer will.
a) Is it shiny? It's the first thing most people notice.

b) What about the smell? People have a way of getting used to almost anything. Get a second opinion and see the hint below.

c) Is all hardware intact and presentable? Just because you've used that broken table for years and are rather fond of it, to anyone else, it's just a broken table.

d) What about dings, any damage to the fiberglass? Aside from the fact that broken gelcoat can let water into the core of the lay-up and delaminate the fiberglass, it just plain looks BAD.

e) What about rust? You are probably thinking right now; (what's a little rust on a boat?) Let me tell you. A little rust on a boat is a sure sign that the owner let's little things go by unnoticed and if there is one thing there are always more. What about oil changes? I wonder if he flushed out the outboard after use? The object of this little exercise is to make the boat look like you are conscientious and a stickler for having everything perfectly "SHIP SHAPE."

f) One more little tip that you have probably already thought of. Take a look around the boat and remove EVERYTHING that isn't part of the boat.


Engine controls, compass, life jackets, flare kit, and a first aid kit ARE part of the boat. Knick-knacks, fishing tackle, cutesy wall plaques, and half full paint cans are NOT part of the boat-and look tacky. A few cleaning supplies, in their own locker is probably all right as long as they're kept neat and clean.

g) Make a list of things that need attention, and get it taken care of. A few dollars spent now will pay back in spades when the time comes to show your boat. Anything that isn't right will stick out like the proverbial sore thumb, be noticed and start the price spiraling down. (if it doesn't just send them scurrying off shaking their heads)

Hint: If you are not a woman reading this and don't have a wife of your own, ask your mother or sister, or see if a friend will loan you his for a few minutes. For some reason women can smell things that a man would never notice. You may think that men buy boats but in my experience they buy the boats their women like.

Along this same line, pay particular attention to the cabin and heads.

3. Prioritize the Job

With your list you are in good shape to decide what needs to be done and whether or not you want to do the work yourself or have it done by a professional.

Most of the professional yacht maintenance companies we are familiar with, would be happy to take a look and give you an estimate of what it will cost to have the work done right. We can do part of the job, for example the compounding/polishing and will gladly help you choose the best wax to finish the job yourself.

What about those little chips and dings in the gelcoat?

Many books have been written on fiberglass repair and it isn't the intent of this article to cover the subject in any depth but many small repairs are well within the reach of a fairly skilled do-it-yourselfer. Like anything else though, if you have never done it before, "consult an expert."

I've been building and repairing in fiberglass since I was 14 and while the first wooden boat I glassed was water tight and lasted a good many years, it was far from pretty. The small investment you lay out for expert repair now will pay big dividends when your boat sells at the price you want.

In the Emerald Coast region the standard fees for compound/waxing run between $15.00/ft. and $18.00/ft. for the topside (rub-rail up) which includes a thorough cleaning and treatment of the vinyl, windows, isenglass, and metal. In other words, for the price of doing the "hard" part we'll detail the entire topsides and leave it in "ready-to-show" condition. Hulls (rub-rail down) run about $8.00/ft. but, of course, the boat must be out of the water in order to do it. (This walking on water with a hi-speed electric buffer in hand is still beyond me, but I'll let you know;-)

Fiberglass repair runs from $45.00 to $65.00 per hour and in general as with most everything else, one gets what one pays for. The up side to this is that when approached in a professional manner the dents and dings of ten years hard use can be repaired and made to look like new in an amazingly short time.

All too often we have seen people save $300.00 or $400.00 on a detail only to loose $Thousands$ on what their boat could have sold for. Then too, our local marinas are clogged with many examples of boats with "For Sale" signs which were never given the least bit of attention to make the passer by want to stop and think, "Hey, I wonder what it would be like to call that boat mine." Some of these boats have sat for years when all they ever really needed was a little T.L.C.

I remember, years ago, someone saying something about being penny wise and pound foolish? Let's not let them be saying that about us.

About The Author

James "Doc" Lewis has been "messin about in boats" for as long as he can remember. He is owner/operator of BoatDocs1, a full-service boat detailing-yacht maintenance business serving the Emerald Coast region of Florida. To learn more about boats and keeping them looking their best visit his web site at:

You are welcome to distribute this article via Email or on the Internet. The only provision is that it be published in it's entirety including this resource box. Related articles can be found at
©2004 BoatDocs1

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Sell Your Boat

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Smallmouth Bass And Poppers

I remember when I would take my trusty fly rod down to a local river and catch smallmouth bass until my arm hurt. The fish weren't real big but they were scrappy.

Every once in a while I would hook onto a really good one. It was great! I still catch lots of bass, but mostly using my spinning rod.

I would like to head down to the river right after dinner, the fishing would be great by the time the sun set. Poppers seemed to get the most hits.

I liked to try and use different flies and bugs, with some success. I still remember those days when those poppers worked when nothing else would.

Do you have a story about fishing you'd like to share.

Leave a comment.

Smallmouth Bass

Monday, August 27, 2007

Walleye Fishing at Night Rakes in the Fish

By Andrew Martinsen

Have you ever tried walleye fishing at night?

One of the great things about walleye fishing at night is you are almost always alone on the water, giving you a huge advantage over the other anglers while they sleep.

Here are some insider tactics to use next time you decide to give it a go after the sun goes down.

Some walleyes will only eat when there are low-light conditions and minimal lake disturbances. This is important, because if the water is calm you’ll have an excellent chance to clean up on the walleyes at night. The walleye species is sensitive to light. However, at the same time the fish is also attracted to bright things, such as the shimmering of a lure that glows or is fluorescent.

It is crucial that you understand the mindset of your prey. The walleye has a unique lifestyle with its own distinctive habits and preferences.

One of the first things to do when you get on a lake is to look for things that aren’t showing on a lake map. Things such as rock formations, pockets of depth fluctuations and other abnormalities that are not readily obvious to all anglers. Night fishing can usually be quite bountiful in small patches of gravel that appear close to weeds.

Keep an eye out for minnow formations during the day. Usually you’ll find them near bay entrances. If they’re there during the day, you can be sure the walleyes will be there at night.

When the weather is consistent, walleyes are very predictable. If you find them feeding at a certain time, you can be sure they’ll be there the following night around the same time. Try live bait with a variety of glow in the dark lures and prepare for a feeding frenzy.

Andrew Martinsen is a walleye fishing fanatic. Sign up now at his website to download your free copy of the exclusive report called Secret Sauce: The Bait Recipe for a Freezer Full of Walleye plus more walleye fishing techniques.
To get your copy of this free, limited-time report, click below:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

How To Install, Use and Interpret Your Fish Locator - Part 2

By Carlton Holliday

Let us continue the discussion about fish locators. We will discuss the interpretation of the images you are seeing on your screen and how to utilize these images to catch fish.

Most newer fish locators are operated much like a computer. You have a MENU button through which you can control the various features available on your locator. If you just press the ON button, your locator will start functioning in the AUTO mode. The sensitivity, surface clutter, fish icons and other factory presettings are already programmed into your unit. Read your owners manual to determine what all of the preset settings are for your unit. By doing and familiarizing yourself with these settings, you can turn off the AUTO mode and customize your locator.

Turn off the AUTO mode and turn off the FISH ID. They look good but chances are they are only confusing the real picture especially if you are a new user.

Let us discuss the transducer. Resolution is the name of the game. The greater the resolution the better the true picture of what is down there will be. In AUTO mode the resolution might be 6 inches between fish where, with the MANUAL mode you can get resolution of ¼ to ½ inch between fish. A rule of thumb mathematic formula is depth divided by vertical pixel unit equals resolution. Example: 50 foot of depth divided by 240 pixels = ¼ or separation of ¼ inch. As you can see, this type of resolution will allow you to see much more detail.

As a general rule, you probably will not be fishing for bass, crappie, bream or catfish over 30 to 35 feet deep. Go to MANUAL mode and set the upper limit to 0 and the lower limit to 30 feet. Turn the sensitivity up to a level that does not pick up too much surface clutter or distortion. Remember that the smaller the window, the better the resolution. Another feature to turn on is the GRAY LINE or GRAY SCALE. This feature measures the density of objects and the bottom being scanned. The more pronounced the bottom line appears, the harder the bottom surface. This feature is especially helpful when looking for particular bottom composition.

In the spring and early summer, most species are going to be relatively shallow thus your locator is not going to be used as much. A typical post spawn situation develops in the summer when the fish move out to deeper water and underwater structure. This is when the locator plays a major role in locating the underwater structure to fish. A typical summer scenario: You are fishing points and looking for underwater brush piles. When I am looking for brush piles I am going to concentrate my search in depths close to the thermocline. The thermocline shows on the locator to be a faint gray line usually between 18 and 24 feet deep. This water will be a little richer in oxygen and cooler than the water above it thus more comfortable for the fish.

TIP: Make a mental note or write a reminder to yourself at what depth the thermocline is on this particular lake at this time of the year. Will pay off by less searching next year.

A brush pile will show up on a locator as a 3 to 6 foot lump on the bottom with a black line on the exterior and a fairly solid gray filling for dense brush piles like cedar or pin oak piles. Many times you will see small black specs, marks, squiddlies above the brush pile. These may be crappie, bream or bait fish. If the brush pile is old, it will show up as less gray filling and more like a blob on the bottom.

TIP: When you find a brush pile be sure and mark the location on your lake map. Put as much information as you have on the notation. If you have a GPS, note the coordinates.

Brush piles are not created equal. Some brush piles will hold fish consistently while others will not. To determine which piles are holding fish, you will have to fish them. The ones that are not holding fish can be omitted from your notes because they have degraded or for some other reason, just do not hold fish.

As the year wears on and you get into late fall, most fish leave the brush piles and begin to follow schools of bait fish. Here you will use your locator a bit differently. Turn your FISH ID on and look for large gray haystacks of bait fish. With your FISH ID on, you will see the bait fish and the bass, crappie, stripers or perch as well.

If the bait fish appear as a large gray haystack, chances are these are inactive and not worth a lot of effort. If you find your screen filled with scattered and broken up bait fish, you have probably found feeding fish. Concentrate your fishing efforts around these schools of bait fish. Bass will appear as medium sized marks usually in random patterns, crappie or perch will appear as small marks usually in a vertical formation. Stripers appear as the largest and deepest marks on the screen and will generally leave quickly.

As you become more experienced with finding and observing these bait fish balls, you will be able to predict when the bait fish are being driven to the surface or if they are returning to the lower depths. Most of this activity will happen about halfway into a pocket off the main lake in water 10 to 18 feet deep. As fall progresses, the bait fish will move further back into the pockets. As winter arrives, the bait fish will move back out to the main lake and deeper water.

I hope this article has been helpful and hope you keep a tight line.

Carlton “Doc” Holliday and his wife, Darlene “Dee” Holliday only tournament fished together for 5 years. In late 1992, Carlton had a heart attack thus the early retirement ended along with the professional fishing career.

All told, both individually and as a team, Doc and Dee won over 30 bass tournaments and placed in the top 5 in over 70 bass tournaments. The last 3 years of their career as professional bass fishermen were spent winning the Arkansas Guys and Gals Championship in 1991, Doc finishing seventh overall in the Arkie Division of the Redman Circuit in 1991 and becoming eligible to fish the Redman Regional Tournament in Columbus Mississippi where he finished 20th. Also in 1990, Doc fished in the Mr. Bass of Arkansas Championship on Lake Ouachita and finished third. Career winnings estimated over $85,000.00.

Carlton “Doc” Holliday and his wife, Darlene “Dee” Holliday are both retired and live at Joplin, Arkansas two minutes from Lake Ouachita near Hot Springs, Arkansas. Visit us at or email us at

Friday, August 17, 2007

How To Install, Use and Interpret Your Fish Locator – Part 1

By Carlton Holliday

As you are probably aware, the device we are talking about is not a fish locator but, rather, a depth locator. Most fisherman use a fish locator but most fisherman do not use it properly and can not interpret what they are seeing on the screen.

Most bass boats utilize two fish locators: One mounted in the dash, usually a flasher unit, and another mounted on the trolling motor. The majority of us fishermen utilize the flasher when running new water or low water conditions on a known lake. If this sounds familiar, well you are missing out on a lot of information. I did not learn this trick until a few years ago. If you turn your flasher unit on while you are running to your favorite fishing hole, you may be in for a surprise. If you are comfortable setting the sensitivity on your unit, you can get a real time view of the bottom, find humps and submerged moss beds you did not know existed. If you have a high speed flasher unit and get the sensitivity adjusted right, you can also see what depth the majority of the fish are located. This little trick has allowed me to find several humps I had not known existed on Lake Ouachita and give me more possible places to fish.

TIP: If you find a new hump, you can, if you are financially challenged and can not afford a GPS Plotter, take a hand-held GPS unit and get the coordinates and record the coordinates on your lake map. This way you can take the hand-held unit and find the hump any time.

It all starts with proper installation of your unit(s). If you have an in-dash flasher unit, it was probably installed by the boat manufacturer or the boat dealer. That installation should be OK. If you bought a LCD unit to install on your trolling motor, that is the unit we will discuss.

Let us start with a quick check-up of your existing unit. If you have an in-dash unit installed, the first thing to check is the installation. Where is your transducer located? Is it in the bilge area and shooting through the hull? Is it mounted on the transom? Check the transducer to see if the mounting is still tight and your cable is still in good shape. No nicks, scrapes or rubbing on any metal which could fray or sever the wire over a period of time. Is the transducer still tightly glued to the floor of the boat for thru hull installations? For a transducer on the outside of the boat on the transom, check the mount for loose screws, missing screws, is it perpendicular to the hull. It is very important to have the transducer perfectly straight up and down or your signals will not be accurate. The preference for this type of installation is a puck type transducer for thru-hull units and a bullet style transducer for transom mounts.

TIP: If the transducer mounted on the transom is a gimble type mount, after each trip check the transducer to make sure it is pointed straight up and down. These type of mounts are designed to “kick up” if you hit or run something.

A puck style transducer is the most used for trolling motor applications. It has a slim size and is easily mounted with a large hose clamp. The advantage to this transducer is the small size puts the transducer behind the skag on the trolling motor thus protecting it from contact with underwater objects. The most important thing in mounting this transducer is to make sure it is perpendicular to the centerline of the trolling motor body. Once you have the transducer mounted, it is simple to take some wire ties and attach the cable to the steering cable encasement into the boat. This prevents the transducer cable from being entangled in vegetation or ripped loose by limbs or stumps. Try to mount your locator and cable hook-ups as far away from trolling motor battery wires or outboard engine wires as possible to minimize electronic/electrical interference with the locator. Some interference is inevitable but in a good setup it is minimized. In-line fuses will also minimize interference.

TIP: Remember to add the distance from the surface to the transducer to your locator readings to have accurate depth readings.

When you have installed your locators, the first thing you need to do is READ the instruction manual. This will familiarize you with the various features and buttons on the locator. Pay particular attention to the sensitivity, menu, auto, and zoom buttons. Learn how to adjust and turn these features on and off. Become familiar with the examples shown in the instruction manual. Once you have become familiar with the features and operation of your locator, it is time to try it out.

In Part 2 of this article, we will discuss the settings of the locator to properly interpret what you are seeing on the screen.

Carlton “Doc” Holliday and his wife, Darlene “Dee” Holliday only tournament fished together for 5 years. In late 1992, Carlton had a heart attack thus the early retirement ended along with the professional fishing career.

All told, both individually and as a team, Doc and Dee won over 30 bass tournaments and placed in the top 5 in over 70 bass tournaments. The last 3 years of their career as professional bass fishermen were spent winning the Arkansas Guys and Gals Championship in 1991, Doc finishing seventh overall in the Arkie Division of the Redman Circuit in 1991 and becoming eligible to fish the Redman Regional Tournament in Columbus Mississippi where he finished 20th. Also in 1990, Doc fished in the Mr. Bass of Arkansas Championship on Lake Ouachita and finished third. Career winnings estimated over $85,000.00.

Carlton “Doc” Holliday and his wife, Darlene “Dee” Holliday are both retired and live at Joplin, Arkansas two minutes from Lake Ouachita near Hot Springs, Arkansas. Visit us at or email us at

Your Fish Locator

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jigging For Fast Walleye Action In The Hot Summer Sun

I want to go over that last tip given by Jack Phillips. He says to really catch some nice catches of walleye we should fish on the grassy edges sunken islands in a walleye pruducing lake. Look for drop offs.

Fish seem to hold to this area at different times of the day. Also deeper in this area during the heat of the day and close to the evening. He says he likes to drift slowly over this island from one end to the other.

He drops a jig head tipped with a leech or minnow. Of course if you have a fish finder this would make the whole process that much easier to find the fish. He also suggests if you find it windy to use a trolling motor or anchor to keep you in the thick of the walleye action.

He also states that in the particular lake he fishes that the heat of summer causes an algae growth that clouds the water and makes for great walleye fishing even in the heat of the day because the water darkens and blocks the sun some what. Well try this tip out and let the rest of us know how it worked. If you didn't get a chance to read the whole article by Jack Phillips, here is the link Walleye Fishing Tips

Walleye Fishing Tips

Monday, August 13, 2007

Walleye Fishing Tips

by: Jack Phillips

Here is a simple walleye fishing tip that I use for one area of a lake I fish frequenly on Manitoulin Island and the lake is Mindemoya lake. This walleye fishing tip will work on most lakes of various sizes anywhere walleye are caught.

I have been catching walleye for over 50 years all across Canada. During that time I have learned a lot of things about fishing. But always remember that you can usually learn some new tricks and tips at any time.

Over the many years that I have fished this area I see so many anglers full of enthusiasm and expectations come and leave just frustrated with their experience fishing walleye. This fishing tip will help eliminate that frustration. It may not make you an expert, but it will make a difference in your fishing results.

Lake Mindemoya is not a large lake but to know where certain features of the lake are is great information to have. Depth, where to find shoals, sunken islands or structure that walleye love and frequent. My favorite spot on this lake is what is called Grassy Island and in the north west corner of the lake. It is actually what I call a sunken island because the only time it is actually visible from anywhere is in the summer when the reeds and grass are growing. In fact the hottest time of the summer is a great time for fishing walleye.

Now the first thing is of course is your rod and reel, sounds simple but be sure to use good fishing equipment. A light action graphite rod and reel with 6 or 8 pound test line is sufficient to catch and land most large walleyes.

The last thing is of course the simplest the hook. A plain unadorned ball-headed jig is king here. It is simple and easy to use, and deadly. Use 1/4 ounce as much as possible. If you have a problem finding the bottom you can move up to 3/8 ounce till you get used to finding the bottom.

These jigs have no action of their own, so that is up to the angler, short hops seem to work best but do not be afraid to experiment. Try to maintain contact with the bottom at all times, but try not to bounce on slack line. This can cause you to get snagged more often.

Jigs are great for catch and release, most of the time the walleye will be hooked in the top lip. Unhooking is fast and easy for you and the fish.

Tip jigs with either a minnow or a leech. I like to use leeches but at times minnows will work best. I usually carry both so I can test which is working best that day or for the area you are fishing.

Well now put this all together and lets catch those walleyes. Off the edge of this grassy island or sunken island as I call it there is a drop off and the walleye hold to this at different depths at different times of the day. Deeper during the heat of the day and closer in the evening.

The area I fish I am usually able to drift slowly over this reef from one end to the other and preset my jig and bait offering easily plus with great success. If you use electronics of any kind of course you can find these walleyes and where they are holding up. Also if it is too windy to drift the way you want a trolling motor can keep you in the thick of the action or even anchor.

Walleye do not like bright light and most anglers think that the best time for fishing walleye is early morning or in the evening and even after dark. But on Mindemoya Lake in the heat of summer you have an algae growth that clouds the water somewhat and makes for great fishing even in the heat of the day. As simple as this walleye fishing tip seems, remember it works and just experiment and you will succeed.

So to wrap this up if you ever get to my favorite place on earth, Manitoulin Island and happen to be near grassy island on Mindemoya Lake say hello to the oldtimer you see out there all alone in his Lund boat. Do not be afraid to ask questions, because he will have fish! Get out there and enjoy nature and relax!

About The Author
Jack Phillips has been an avid Canadian angler for over 50 years. Fishing Canada provides solid advice walleye fishing tips, bass, pike, muskie, a variety of trout, arctic char bass and more. Idea's on when and where to go on your next trip to Canada. Ice fishing tips. Delicious fish recipes also!

Walleye Fishing Tips

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Experience The "Walleye" Capital Of The World

Fishing Charters, Lake Erie: Experience The "Walleye" Capital Of The World by Eliseo Lao

Fishing charters, Lake Erie can be the cure of all ills. Lake Erie is bounded on the north by the Canadian province of Ontario, to the south by the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York and to the west by the state of Michigan. It is the tenth largest lake on the earth and home for many different species of fish. Fishing opportunities are plentiful on Lake Erie with both commercial and sport fishing. Lake Erie frequently produces more fish for human consumption than all the Great Lakes combined. That is why fishing charters; Lake Erie are in such hot demand!

The lake is the southernmost, warmest and most productive of the Great Lakes. A diversity of habitats, which include: major tributaries, reefs, rocky island shorelines, and deep-water flats account for the abundance of Lake Erie's Sport Fishing. The Division of Wildlife's Lake Erie Fishing Guide lists ramps and marinas that serve as access points for those wishing to fish out of their own boats. For those who don't have large boats or perhaps aren't familiar or comfortable enough with Fishing Charters, Lake Erie are available to meet your individual and group needs regardless of your skill level. These fishing charters contain crews comprised of professional and experienced fishermen who will guide you comfortably through the waters. The charter captains know the region and stay in constant communication with marine radios. They know exactly where the hot spots are for whatever species of fish you seek out. People from all over the United States travel to this region specifically so that they can experience the fishing charters available.

Walleye fishing is a popular attraction for many anglers and the fishing charters, Lake Erie. In the summer months it is not uncommon to catch 10-12 pound walleye. Lake Erie is a shallow lake compared to the other Great Lakes making a good habitat for walleye existence and reproduction. The lake is also known for hosting high quantities of yellow perch.

The five-pound fighting bronze back small mouth Bass is another experience that people seek. This particular fish is a challenge to pull in as they bullet out of the water and use an aerial dance to break free. Steelhead and Lake Trout fishing of the Niagara River is also a popular attraction between the months of November and March. There are quite a few resources to find fishing charters, Lake Erie along the lake. If you are interested in a charter trip search online and you will find an abundance of information.

About the Author
Eliseo is an avid fishing guy For more fishing info visit

Experience The "Walleye" Capital Of The World

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bass Fishing Facts

Bass Fishing Facts And More
By: Travis Clemens

Bass fishing has a fascinating history. It started in the late 18th century and continues to progress until today.

It probably was originally practiced in search for food among the people in the south of the United States. Since then, it has started gaining numerous audiences of all ages and nations. Today, countries such as Australia, Cuba, South Africa, United States and most of Europe participate in this kind of event.


• The year 1768 or 1770 represents the birth of bass fishing sports. Onesimus Ustonson introduced his first multiplying reels to the fishing gurus and lovers. It was later developed into bait caster.

• William Shakespeare Jr. materializes the production of a level wind device and secured its patent on 1897.

• The William J. Jamison Co introduced the overly ornamented Shannon Twin Spinner in 1915 and was improved to create today’s spinner baits.

• In 1932, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted the creation of Tennessee Valley Authority and encouraged the creation and building of numerous dams. These dams were later used for culturing different varieties of bass fishes.

• Five years later, DuPont Company filed patent for nylon fishing net, this was later developed into nylon monofilament fishing line.

• The year 1992 is one of the most glorious events in the history of bass fishing. Larry Nixon, the famous fisherman in the history of bass fishing won $1 M total earnings for this sport on this year.

Bass Fish

Several fish species that are being caught in the bass fishing events are the following:

• Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede) - Largemouth Bass
• Micropterus dolomieui - Smallmouth bass
• Micropterus punctatus - Kentucky Bass

Other species of Micropterus are also caught but one that remains popular is the Largemouth bass. However, it should be emphasized that Australian Bass are different from the above North American Bass variants although most share similar features.

Perhaps, the most robust success of Bass Fishing was in the 1950s. The popularity of the game during this period is the springboard to the development of modern fishing equipments from bass boats, rods, lines, lures and various fishing gears.

Electronic gears were also incorporated among the host of equipments bass fishers used at that time. Reels of different types, which function in hauling and hoisting, were also created.

The contribution of bass fishing industry to the US economy records $50 to $70 Billion and the number continues to grow. Statistics show that the audience base of this sport is increasing and that more and more people are getting interested in it compared to tennis and golf.

About the Author:Travis Clemens is a life time fisherman and he knows the ins and outs of gettinem on the hook! You too can gettem on the hook with Travis as your guide!

Bass Fishing Facts

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bass Fishing At Night

Bass Fishing At Night - An Effective Way To Fish
By: Gray Rollins

The classic image of bass fishing is lazing in a rowboat in the middle of a lake on a sunny afternoon. However, some smart bass enthusiasts have discovered that the best way to get great bass during the summertime months is by fishing in the dead of night. There are a lot of reasons why night fishing for bass is a great idea, so if you haven’t tried evening fishing yet, give it a shot and be prepared to reel in some winners. Summer is the most popular season for fishing, which has both positive and negative aspects for sportsmen. Because bait and equipment are in so much demand during the warmer months of the year, these goods are plentiful and easy to find as retailers stock up in order to get the best bait and tackle to their customers. However, as fishing fans flock to lakes and streams all over the country, all too often the peace and quiet of the sport becomes quite elusive as multiple sportsmen jockey for position on the same water. The summertime crowds can take away a lot of the fun of bass fishing. If you choose to fish at odd times of the night, it is likely that you will never run into the problem of overcrowding. Because only a small percentage of bass fishermen hit the water in the dark, you should have no trouble finding a pond or a lake offering plenty of solitude and a supply of fish that is all yours for the taking.

Another reason why bass fishing at night during the summer can prove to be a kind of fisherman’s jackpot has to do with the habits of the bass themselves. Bass prefer to stay cool, so they tend to head for the deepest waters that they can find during the intense heat of midday and afternoon. The deeper down in the pond the fish are lurking, the more difficult they are to catch and reel in. This can lead to fruitless afternoons of sitting in the sweltering heat and catching very little bass. However, during the cool nighttime hours, the bass come much more readily into shallow waters. This means that they are easier for sportsmen to find and to catch.

Although nighttime bass fishing can be much more rewarding than trying to snag these elusive creatures during the day, there are some disadvantages to night fishing. One problem that many sportsmen are surprised by during late night expeditions is insects. Be sure to pack some bug repellent to help you emerge from your night on the water without falling prey to mosquitoes and other warm weather pests. Another issue to consider is safety. Spending time in a boat when visibility is low because of the lack of light can be more dangerous than boating during the daytime, so make sure to take all of the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your fishing companions.

About the Author:Gray Rollims is a featured writer To learn more about bass fishing and for more Fishing Tips, visit us

Bass Fishing At Night

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Just Some Thoughts About Fishing

Just thought I'd jot down a few thoughts about the fishing this year. I've been out to the Grand River a number of times this season.

I've caught some nice Smallmouth Bass. I also caught a nice 4lb largemouth. Also caught some small walleye, something you don't se too much of around this area.

I guess the MNR stocking plan must be working. Hows your fishing this year? Have any thoughts you'd like to share? Go a head leave a comment. Have any outdoor gripes you want to share?

Just Some Thoughts About Fishing

Monday, August 06, 2007

Bass Fishing

Bass Fishing in Shallow Water
by: Byron Branfield

Bass Fishing in Shallow Water

Bass fish, including the largemouth are notorious for feeding in shallow waters. For this reason novice anglers will use contour maps, or depth finders to locate areas where bass flock together. Since bass will scatter in shallow waters, it is important to find structures where fish group. Novice anglers will avoid frightening bass in shallow water as well. The fish tend to fright easily. Moreover, anglers will move around the waters, scouting the areas. As well, novice anglers will use a variety of lures, particular the presentations (Lures) that retract swiftly. NOTE: When bass join in schools, it is easiest to catch more than one fish.

Anglers who hunt bass often return to locations where they had previously caught fish. For this reason, bass anglers will mark areas to reduce confusion. Take markers with you if you intend to head off on a bass fishing trip. Novice anglers also recommend that you avoid making noises that scare the fish. If you use a boat while fishing, make sure that you avoid running the overboard. In addition, cast your line in areas that do not shadow the fish. Furthermore, when you cast your line, make sure that you extend it away from the boat. The distance you cast often brings good results.

How to choose bass bait:

Anglers often use crankbait or spinnerbait to catch largemouth bass, or related bass. The bait is one of the easiest to retract, or replace quickly. Spinnerbait rotates in the water, especially when the line is reeled in. In brushy or weedy areas, anglers will use weed-less presentations to avoid entrapment, i.e. entangling their line. In brush clumps, anglers will use rods that are rigged with plastic bait, such as artificial worms. The rod and lures assist anglers in working sufficiently. Tip: In deep water, using bread dough, I have caught some of the largest bass in Florida waters.


Anglers will consider casts, fan-cast, spot-cast, position, movement, and lures when fishing. The lures are factored into the structure. For instance, if bass structure is shallow anglers will consider poppers, Texas-Riggs, Floating Weed-less lures, such as the artificial worms, buzz bait, etc. Anglers will also consider spinnerbait, crankbait, artificial minnows, spinners, weed-less spoon, and so on.

Holding your catch

When anglers cast spinnerbait in shallow structures, the angler will direct his catch away from the bushes, weeds, trees, etc, to avoid entwining. To fan-cast, anglers will direct their boat to flat waters. Anglers will gradually and quietly, use their troll motor to manipulate the boat to avoid disturbing the fish.

Boat position plays a part in bass fishing as well. Anglers will often quietly move their boat to the center waters, or channels of the creek before casting. The lure is retrieved at the point of drop off. In addition, the angler may move his boat along the channels and continue casting his line in various parts of the water. Use your maps, or depth finder for best results.

Areas in the water where the shorelines have slopes, the angler will move slowly. In addition, the angler will maintain his boat at a distance to avoid frightening the fish, as well as avoid weeds. During spot-cast, anglers will search for areas, such as flats, sunken islands, clumps where thick weed resides, single bushes or trees, etc. Bass tend to dwell in these areas.

NOTE: Always cast your line toward the wind for best results.

Shallow bass fishing structures differ from deep-water fishing. It is important to learn that deep-water bass fishing is more, extreme than common shallow water bass fishing.

About The Author
Byron Branfield Dedicated Bass

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bass Fishing Tips

Bass Fishing Pro Tips
by: William Perkins

In this article I will reveal some bass fishing pro secrets. I'll tell you about one bass fishing technique that will make bass literally attack your lure! I'll reveal why the taste and texture of your bait makes a difference, and I'll tell you what color lures to use depending on the prevailing weather conditions.

First let's look at how to choose the best color lure. Knowing how to choose the right bass fishing lure will increase your catch dramatically! There are three main variables to consider when choosing your lure: light, water, and what the bass happen to be eating for supper on that particular day.

The amount of light and quality of light will depend on the time of day and the prevailing weather conditions. On cloudy and grey days, lean toward a brighter color lure like chartreuse. On clear sunny days, a white color lure is often a good choice. Surprisingly, as light becomes more scarce, darker color lures seem to work best. Some bass fishing pros recommend using black or grape colored lures as nightfall approaches.

You must also factor in water visibility when choosing the color of your bass fishing lure. And in case you didn't know, bass have excellent eyesight! According to Bill Dance, "A bass' eye receives five times more light than the human eye and can see forty feet in clear water. In murky water, they can see up to seventeen feet. In muddy water, they can see five to seven feet."

If the water is dark or murky, bright and shiny or flourescent colors will be your best choice to attract attention. When the water is downright muddy like chocolate milk, then flashy, bulky, and noisy baits are your best bet. If the water is clear, you will want to choose natural colored lures that imitate the food found in the bass environment.

Try to determine what the bass are eating and factor that into your choice of bait. Bass eat sunfish, minnows, shiners, bluegill, crayfish, frogs, and insects. But you could add a lot more things to the list. Large bass have been known to eat baby ducklings, rats, and blackbirds. Your shiny and silver or yellow lures will imitate minnows and sunfish. Your greens and browns resemble crayfish and frogs. If you can determine what the bass are biting on, you will always be more successful.

Equally important to the choice of color is the smell, taste, and feel of your bait. According to Bill Dance, "Bass can smell eight times better than a dog."

A lot of fisherman fail to take into account the smells that rub off their hands onto their bait. Your hands must be free of the smell of any petroleum products like gasoline, suntan oil, or sunscreen. Insect repellent, nicotine, and the natural oils produced by your skin alert bass that there's a predator in the vicinity. These man made scents will literally scare away a wary bass. Conversely, coating your bait with a powerful scent like cod liver oil or other fish attractant can make a big difference in the size of your catch.

If you're a smoker, just remember that when you're bass fishing, you have got to clean your hands before handling your bait or lure. Bass fishing expert Russ Bassdozer recommends, "Just keep a bar of Ivory soap on the boat. It is 99.44% pure, no added perfumes, and it floats if you drop it." The smell of soap, of course, is not exactly a plus either, so you should use some kind of fish attractant to mask or neutralize the negative smells that adhere to your hands.

As for the taste and feel of your bait or lure, it's important to understand how a bass eats its prey. When chasing a fish, an agressive bass will inhale its prey with its large cavernous jaws. But once inside its mouth, the bass will taste and feel whatever it is it chomped on, and only then will it decide to swallow. If a bass detects a hunk of metal, it will likely spit it out. That's why you will often have more success with a lure or bait that is gummy or otherwise imitates the feel of something natural like a fish or frog.

Still another good reason for using a fish attractant is that once the bass has your lure in it's mouth, "the scent and taste of the attractant will cause the fish to hold the lure in its mouth longer," says Russ Bassdozer, "rather than taste an unadulterated DEET, PVC plastic and L-Serine cocktail and spit it out." This will allow you a couple extra seconds to detect the bass on the end of your line and to set the hook.

OK, I saved the best for last.

Here's a bass fishing technique that will provoke a bass to attack your lure ferociously! As you know, bass see in color, and some colors are more effective than others depending on various factors. But when a bass sees a bit of red on your lure, it really drives a bass crazy. That's because a little red on your lure looks to the bass like the blood of injured prey! It's not surprising that pro bass fishermen will often attach something red to their bait that resembles blood. Adding a sploch of red can double the effectiveness of your lure.

About The Author
William Perkins writes numerous articles on trout and bass fishing. If you would like to receive "Pro Bass Fishing Tips" for free visit:

Bass Fishing Tips

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Tournament Bass Fishing

Tournament Bass Fishing, Is it for You?
by: Paul Bruessow

I remember my dad taking me and my brothers fishing in Michigan many years ago. We would often go to a local river, lake or cut to fish for perch, bluegills or anything else that would hit. Often, the fish weren't biting and my dad and brothers would want to pack up and go home. I would almost always ask to stay a little bit longer but usually the answer was a vote, and I normally lost.

I distinctly remember a trip to a Michigan cut, off of Lake Huron, when supposedly the perch were running. After a couple of hours soaking minnows, we had not caught a thing. My dad had a friend who lived within a mile of the cut and told us to pack it up and we'll all get warmer at his buddies house. I complained as usual and asked him if I could stay because I thought the fish would start biting when the water started warming up later in the day. He took a while to answer and replied "Paul, aren't you cold? Let's warm up at my buddy's place. Besides, the fish aren't biting." Of course my answer was, "Dad, please can I stay longer? I know they'll start biting." Dad said, " You know Paul, you must love fishing. I'll tell you what, you can fish for a couple of hours and I'll take Mark and Matt with me unless they want to stay." Was I ever happy and of course my brothers didn't want to stay, so they took off with dad.

It was cold, about 40 degrees and I checked/changed my minnow every 5 minutes or so. I'd cast up the cut, down the cut, changed my spot but nothing seemed to want my bait. I was watching my line (no bobber) when finally I got a bite. Jerked on the pole and reeled in a 10" perch. Within about 10 minutes I caught about 5 perch, stringered them all up and time expired as my dad and brothers came to pick me up. Darn, I wish they had stayed at my dad's buddies house a little longer.

Well guess what, they were so surprised that I caught some fish, we got to stay a couple more hours and we came home with a nice bucket of yellow bellied perch (Mmmm, these were delicious).

Prerequisites for a Tournament Bass Fisherman:

So what's my point? The point is that you either love to fish, even if they aren't biting or you like to do it once in awhile. If you love fishing as I do, you can be very competitive in bass tournaments, while if you only want to fish once in awhile, you won't be too successful. If you are the latter, just fish for fun and save your tournament entry money.

Another prerequisite for a good bass tournament fisherman is the will to compete. If you are laid back, just like to cast your line out and wait for the fish to hit, then tournament fishing isn't for you. I grew up playing baseball, running some track and enjoyed these sports. I also had a bunch of brothers, so competition has been instilled in my personality. In fact, whenever I get together with my best bass fishing buddy (met him in Gainesville, Florida while going to UF for my degree) either fishing for fun or prefishing for a tournament, we are always raz each other. If he has more fish, he'll yell something my way saying something like "So, when you going to learn how to fish" or " That's a sissy bait your throwing, no wonder you can't catch any fish!" Big fish also has the braggin rights and usually we tease each other with sayings like this, "How many more dinks ya gonna catch?" or "My one fish outweighs all 3 of yours", etc. It's always competitive, so if you have this spirit in your blood, then you can be a good tournament fisherman.

How to Start Bass Fishing in Tournaments:

OK- So you think you have met the prereqs and want to tournament fish. Here's my first suggestion, join a local bass club. There are many published bass club lists on the internet, so just Google with "Bass clubs your state" for a list to start with. You could also inquire at a local lake and talk to some fishermen there.

There are two types of bass clubs: 1- Draw tournament and 2- Team tournaments. The draw clubs have boaters and non-boaters prior to the tournament launch, the boaters are paired with non boaters through a random draw out of a hat. If possible, try this club style 1st and fish a few tournaments as a non-boater. You will be surprised how much you didn't know about bass fishing when you see how your boater partner fishes. It's great to learn from more experienced anglers!

The team type clubs have the same non boater and boater teamed up all year long. If you have a good fishing buddy that you want to fish with, go ahead and join this type. The main disadvantage of this style of tournament fishing is that your learning curve for competitive fishing is much longer because you don't have any experienced tournament fishermen to learn from. You'll miss out on some special tips on how to flip, pitch, sidearm cast, prevent splashes during pitching, Texas rig correctly, etc. If you do this style, read a lot of online information and perhaps subscribe to Bassin' or Bassmaster magazine (I think FLW also has one).

So, you followed my recommendation and want to join a draw style club tournament so what's next. You will usually need to attend their club meetings. In the south, there's usually one club meeting a month while in the north it maybe as often as twice a month because of their limited fishing season. At the club meeting they usually discuss new members, tournament results, payouts, the next tournaments location and a sundry of items. In that meeting, you usually decide to go boater or non boater. After this, the boater is paired with the non boater and you'll find out who your partner will be. If there are more boaters than non boaters, it's usually worked out who will be the boater through a rule or through negotiation between the paired boaters. During the meeting, get your partners phone number so you can call him. During this meeting, the boat launch position is usually announced as well.

Prior to the actual tournament call your partner. When you get a hold of him ask him the following questions:

1- Do you want me to come to your house and we can go together or do you want to just meet at the ramp? Tell him you will share all gas expenses with him which is the norm for draw tournaments or team tournaments for that matter. Of course you don't have to pay for his truck gas if he says just meet him at the ramp. You will always need to split the cost of the boat gas!

2- How many rods can I bring and how much tackle ? Can I bring my cooler or do you have one for my drinks? If the boater has a small boat, he may ask you to downsize the amount of equipment to bring. This is a common courtesy, besides you are using his boat aren't you?

3- Do I need to bring my lifejacket? Lifejackets are a mandatory item for bass tournaments, however your boating partner may already have 2 and your extra one may only crowd the boat. Ask him just in case he doesn't have an extra, or he doesn't like strangers using them out of courtesy.

4- What time do you want me at your house or ramp? There's nothing more aggravating to a boater than a late non boater. Usually the boater will "pad" the travel time with an hour or so to allow for gas stops, snack stops and possible flat tires. So if your are not spending the night before at a local hotel near the lake, be ready to get up very early to make the trip to the boaters house or be ready for an early pickup by the boater. Just be ready when the boater asks you to be.

5- Would you like me to make some sandwiches for you? Although not a mandatory question, it is a nice offer and the boater will be more willing to help you during the tournament.

I probably forgot some questions, but please ask the ones I listed. Things will go a lot more smooth if you do.

Pre Tournament Preparation

Prefishing: The most neglected part of pre-tournament preparation is the lack of pre-fishing. If you are a boater or non-boater, just like a class in high school or college, if you don't do your homework you will not do well on your test. Just think of the tournament as a test and pre-fishing as homework.

Pre-fishing involves checking out the lake where the tournament is to take place prior to the actual tournament. No matter how many times you have been successful on this lake in the past, you should pre-fish to find the dominant pattern for the current weather conditions, water levels, cover and time of the year. Try to pre-fish as close to possible to the tournament date. During prefishing, never stick more than 2 fish in one spot, and if the fish are not very active such as in cold fronts, you may want to limits it to 1 fish. After that, use hooks with the barbs removed if you want further verification that the bass concentration is good and don't set the hook on any more hits in that area. If you are sight fishing, just use your GPS to mark the spots and maybe toss a hook less bait to verify that the fish would be willing to hit the bait.

Try a variety of baits and locations during prefishing. GPS all of the spots that produced fish and note the cover/depth and weather conditions when/where you caught fish. If you are the non-boater, it is still your obligation to pre-fish if you have a boat. You need to help your partner as much as possible, and you never know as you may have better spots than your boating partner. Try prefishing with a partner. The partner does not have to be your boater/non boater, but the more lines in the water with various baits, the more likely you will find the successful pattern.

Fishing Tackle: Make sure your reels have good line on them i.e. the line is not old or has not taken too much set resulting in tight curly loops. Replace the line if necessary. Lube up your reels if time permits.

Retie all lures with fresh knots while removing the 1st couple of feet of line. You never know if you have nicks or knot abrasion from your last fishing trip. If you still have plastics on your hook, throw them away, leave the hook barren until the day of the tournament, then put on your soft plastic. This retains the smell/scent of the bait.

Be sure you have adequate fish scent for your soft plastics as well as enough toothpicks for Texas rigged baits. Make sure you pack your pliers and clippers.

Sharpen all of your hooks. If possible replace your worm hooks with new ones. Crankbaits such as Rattletraps often have dull hooks. Replace them with sharper ones like Gamagatzu's.

While pre-fishing, tune your lipped crankbaits by bending the eye so they run straight.

Finally, use a rod cover if possible prior to storing the rods in your rod locker (it's also good for the non boater). This will not only protect the rods, but will prevent the rods from tangling inside your box.

Boat Gear and Tow Vehicle: As a boater you need to check the following:

1- 2 cycle oil reservoir is filled and take an extra gallon if possible.

2- Fill up the gas tank or at least put in enough to last the whole tournament.

3- Charge up your trolling motor batteries and big motor battery.

4- Check your trailer tires/tow vehicle tires for air pressure and lube the trailer wheel bearings via the zerk fitting.

5- Fill up your tow vehicle and check the oil and antifreeze.

6- Bring an inexpensive 12V air inflator and tire plug kit. These work great in case you get a screw/nail in either your tow vehicle or trailer tire.

7- Make sure your vehicle jack will work on your trailer, if not you may need to buy a bottle jack for your trailer in case it gets a flat.

8- Make sure your spare tires have air in them.

9- Always hook up your safety chains when towing and check your winch strap/cable for any signs of wear.

10- Be sure to plug in your trailer lights

11- Put in your boat plug just to be on the safe side. If it is raining you can always bilge or pull out your plug at the ramp. It's better than trying to get the boat back on the trailer when it's sinking because you forgot to put the plug in!

12- Check your boat lights out to make sure they work.

13- Make sure you bring your raingear and lifejackets.

14- Make sure you have non expired flares, fire extinguishers and whistle or horn.

15- Check your boat registration/trailer registration. I leave these in a compartment in my boat.

16- Pack your float markers.

17- Bring your fishfinder and GPS.

18- Check all your trailer and tow vehicle lights.

19- Bring your weigh in bags.

There's probably some other things, but this list should always be checked.

Boat Ramp Launch Preparation and Launch: 1st, make sure you leave early enough to get to the boat ramp at least one hour before safelight. Safelight does not equal sunrise! It is usually 30 minute to an hour before sunrise. Bass tournaments start the launch process at safelight.

Bass tournament fishermen are often impatient. That's their competitive nature going to work and rookies at boat ramps are often aggravating to tournament fishing pros. The main reason is the amount of time the rookies take to launch their boat.

When you get to the ramp and you are approaching a line of boats switch to your parking lights only (as long as you can see in front of you). This helps the fishermen who are launching their boats see the ramp and the path their boat is taking while they back up. Bright headlights in their eyes while backing up blinds them!

While in line, both you and your partner need to make launch preparations. here's the list:

1- Keep your parking lights on and exit the vehicle.

2- Remove your boat straps, transom saver and double check that your boat plug is in.

3- If a vehicle ahead of you pulls up, get back in your vehicle and pull up again. This will prevent a line forming that goes out to the main highway.

4- Prime your fuel bulb in your boat.

5- Put in your boat lights.

6- Lower your motor to a lower position, but not to low as to hit the ground while going over bumps/grade.

7- Make sure everything is out of the tow vehicle and in your boat that you are going to take. If there is a boat check in the line, open up your livewells and your compartments so the check can be done quickly.

8- If you are next in line to launch, line up the tow vehicle and boat to the ramp. If the non boater can, have him back in the boat with you in it. Make sure you tell him to close all windows, bring the keys and lock up the vehicle after he parks. Tell him to watch you for hand signals as the backup lights will light you up and that you will be having him stop when the tires first touch water. This is so you can undo the bow strap/cable. Also have him open up the side window so he can here you just in case something happens or he misunderstands your hand signals. Usually a come here motion with your hands means keep backing up while a palm forward (like a policeman stop) means stop. Tell him to take his time. A point to the left or right means that the boat needs to go that way, while a straight back come here means to go straight back.

9- When the tires 1st hit the water (this is approx. and may vary according to what you like), indicate a stop. Go to the front and undo your bow strap. Get back in the boat driver seat, and have the non boater come back until the boat is floating, then give him the stop signal. Give him the go forward signal (motion forward) so he can park.

10- Lower your motor the rest of the way for carbureted motors (not necessary for EFI systems) and put your idle bar in the best position to start . Prime the motor by holding the key in (most motors) and start the motors. Get out of the way of the ramp as soon as you can and find a spot to beach or dock.

11- Turn on your boat lights.

12- Warm your engine until it's warm enough that it will be easy to start at launch time. Then turn it off.

13- Plug your livewells.

14- While your partner makes his way back to your boat, get the rods out you are going to use and strap them in with your Rod Savers or bungies on your front deck.

15- Use your flashlight and get your soft plastics on.

16- Now your ready for the pre-tournament meeting.

Pre-tournament meeting:

This meeting is usually held when all fishermen have launched their boats. It may start before if there are late arrivers, but those late arrivals will just miss the meeting.

During the meeting, the size limit, the number of fish per fisherman or boat, off limits, weigh in time and other items will be discussed. Make sure you get the weigh in time and the official time. The official time is the one announced that corresponds to the tournament directors time. Therefore offset your watch to match the tournaments official time.

Once the meeting is over, go to your boat, dawn your lifejackets and attach your kill switch. Don't start your motor until it gets closer to your launch number. This just makes it easier to hear the tournament director.

If the boat check is on the water, idle slowly by the check point with livewells running. They will signal you to go if they see you are clear.

When your boat number is called idle beyond all other boats, once you have cleared them, get on plane quickly so you don't hold up the line. Never start to plane if there are alot of boats idling in your planing path. Just use common sense here as no one likes to have a wave come over the sides of their boat when another boat planes right next to them!

Tournament Time

If you and your partner did your "homework", you won't be doing a lot of lure changing, tying lures or running around the lake trying to find biting bass. If there was a major cold front or other major change like water level drop, you may have to adjust. Still rely on the spots you caught fish in pre-fishing but you may have to flip or go to the next closest dropoff to find the fish you located during practice.

The non boater must respect the boaters preferences, however if you developed a good rapport prior to the tournament, things will go much smoother. The non boater usually has rights to 50% of the front of the boat during a club tournament. In some big tournaments this is not the case. If you want the front, just be courteous and ask. If the boater says no, don't bring it up any further and do the best you can from the back. A boater that always says no to a non boaters request will often be found out at a later time and will no longer be welcome in that club.

If you are a non boater and fishing from the back of the boat always cast towards the front or side of the boat, never behind when working a weed/timber line. Just respect the boaters line and never cast over his line or into the path of the trolling motor.

If you are the boater, just remember when you 1st started and how unfair it was when that boater never let you up front. Don't you remember the club murmurs of a certain individual that constantly backboated his partner, elbows out like a chicken so there was no way a non boater could effectively cast. I guess this is the biggest downside of a draw tournament!

When you catch your 1st fish, quickly measure it, closed mouth on a metal ruler like the "Golden Rule". Make sure it measures as not only can you be penalized at weigh in but you could get a ticket from the wildlife officer. Close the drain plugs for your livewells if you haven't already and turn on the aerators. Put the fish in the livewell as soon as possible. When the livewells are full, I like to switch over to recirculate and put my timer on.

If you gut hook a fish, I normally leave the hook in it's stomach and cut of the line. This will do a lot less damage than ripping out the hook.

If you get a limit, I cull by weighing all my fish and using a numbered float system. For example, #1 float = 2.8 pounds, #2= 1.5 pounds, etc.. I record this on a piece of paper. When I get my next fish over the limit, I release the lightest one and place the new weight on the paper for that float number. Hopefully you'll be doing this all day long, but remember never to have more fish in your livewell than the limit.

Netting fish properly is also very important. The last thing you want to do is to wack the fish in the side or the head and knock off the fish. When your partner has a fish on, quickly reel in your line and get the net. Try to get the net near the water, when the fish approaches, try to net it by submerging the net before the fish and getting it head first. That way the fish is swimming into the net rather than away from it. Never hit your partners line or the side of the fish with the net. Usually your partner will let you know when to net, but you must be ready!

If it is hot, be sure to add ice to your livewells on occasion. Also make sure you use sunscreen.

When it gets close to tournament weigh in time, remind each other of what time it is and how long it's going to take. Make time adjustments according to weather conditions. A thunderstorm or high winds in the afternoon will likely double or triple the time it took you to get to your spot. Just make sure you adjust for this.

It's time to go, so put on your lifejackets, attach the kill switch and go!

Weigh In

If there is a big line, keep your fish in the livewell so they don't have to be in un-oxygenated weigh in bag. When the time is close, quickly move your fish into the weigh bags being careful that the fish don't jump out of your livewells (Hmmm, has this ever happened to me) and into the lake. For the too close for comfort fish, re-measure and if not sure ask the tournament director for a courtesy measure. This will prevent measurement of short fish and a hefty penalty.

Watch the scales while your fish are being weighed. If the scale doesn't closely match your culling weigh paper, ask for a retare of the scale if possible. Sometimes the scales mess up do to low battery or wind conditions.

If your in the money, congrats! Shake the tournament directors hand with a big smile on your face.

If you got the prereqs, you've got to try tournament bass fishing! So pre-fish and Do ore Catching with Less Fishing.


The Largemouth Herald

About The Author
Paul Bruessow 20 years as a avid bass fisherman in Florida fishing local and club tournaments. Websites: and

Tournament Bass Fishing

Friday, August 03, 2007

Bass Fishing

Bass Fishing Techniques
by Uladzislau Suski

In bass fishing you will find that there are various bass fishing techniques which can be employed to make certain that you have a chance of having a good time. These techniques will be ones like the types of fishing knots which will give you a good still on the rod bait or lure.

You will also find that some of these bass fishing techniques are ones that anglers use in order to get a really great catch. If you are a novice you will be told what these bass fishing techniques are in brief, but the secrets to this art will remain with your mentor. You should not worry too much as there are many different fishing books of all sorts which will provide you with a healthy amount of bass fishing techniques.

Once you have found the books, magazines and internet sites which will provide you with the bass fishing techniques that you need, it is up to you to start getting proficient at these. The best way to practice these bass fishing techniques is to start at home. You will need to see how the hand movements are done and try these steps yourself.

You should understand that while these movements will seem effortless when the experts are bass fishing it will take you some time. The various bass fishing techniques can then be used with slight modifications for the black or white bass. You should practice making your casts quietly as the noise of a large splash will scare the fish away.

Once you have become proficient at bass fishing techniques you can travel to a known bass fishing spot. Make sure that you have other plans for dinner planned. Also make sure that the area you are practicing your bass fishing techniques in is deserted. Other anglers - unless they are family - will not appreciate having their fishing of bass disturbed by your novice bass fishing techniques.

You should not worry too much as the bass fishing techniques that you have picked up will improve as time passes. The main thing to remember is that you should start out with small and easy to use fishing techniques. In some cases these are the ones that you will remember long after you have become proficient.

The many different bass fishing techniques which you will find are the ones that can improve your fishing capabilities. Using these bass fishing techniques will allow you to master the intricacies of bass fishing much easier and quicker.

About the Author
Visit our Great Fishing Guide to find out more on Fishing.

Bass Fishing

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Striped Bass

Striped Bass - What A Thrill To Scrap For These Guys!
By Verlyn Ross

Is bass fishing an exciting pastime of yours? Is it a passion of yours? At this point, have you been able to experience fishing for striped bass? You're missing a real thrill? I recommend that you give it a try. It really is time to go for the stripers! You're in for an exciting experience!

Fishing for striped bass has become widely popular. You really owe it to yourself to learn why. It's greatly enjoyed by many. Instead of just focusing on fishing in general, this sport concentrates on one type of fish, in particular, the stripers. Unlike general types of fishing, you'll have to make specific plans to be successful in fishing for striped bass.

If you are a seasoned bass fisherman or a beginner you'll either know or you'll soon learn that you need different lures or tackle to catch different species of bass. Just as the tackle you use for fishing from the shore is different from that used for deep sea bass fishing, you'll need to really understand the differences in what you use in fishing for striped bass.

Fishing for striped bass has become very popular among bass fisher devotees, for a lot of good reasons. You can catch stripers in many different ways, through trolling, casting and, of course, with a fishing pole.

Stripers have a great range of size. In fact, they can grow to be underwater brutes. Their range of taste is incredible. This makes the catch a rewarding experience. It is one that you can enjoy sharing with many of your friends, neighbors and fellow fishers.

In addition, for those of you who enjoy a great challenge, stripers will give it to you. They fight hard and do not give up easily. This can make your fishing trip not only an exciting one, but also one that may be filled with a certain amount of physical exertion to help you meet your physical exercise objectives.

If you want to know more about fishing for striped bass from the experts, there are plenty of research opportunities, including other websites.

You'll find that many will enjoy helping you make your striped bass fishing experience a great one! In fact, you'll find that real passion is involved in the desire to help you.

So, whether you want to know about the generalities of striped bass fishing or what bodies of water will give you the best results, or whatever your need, you will be able to find tips and inside secrets from the people who know best. I recommend that you take full advantage of these resources.

They will help guide you and steer you in the direction that will only make your striped bass excursions better and more fruitful. Enjoy!

Verlyn Ross owns and operates a website dedicated to fishing. It includes many excellent articles. Go here for answers!
Freely explore it and visit our Blog. ENJOY!
You may re-publish this article, if done 100%, as contained herein.

Striped Bass

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Worm Fishing

Do You Fish With Live Worms And Move From Spot To Spot While Fishing?
by Trevor Kugler

For those of you who are like me and fish with live worms and like to move from spot to spot while fishing, such as along a river or stream, then this article should interest you. More than 20 years ago my fishing mentor came up with the most ingenious solutions for carrying live worms while fishing, that I've ever seen. He didn't have a name for it at the time, but that of course didn't make it any less effective. Carrying live worms while fishing, if you move from spot to spot, can be quite a dilemma. You always have to try to remember exactly where you left them and then open the container, remove a worm, and bait your hooks. This can become a real time waster and just all around pain in the butt.

So JRW, my fishing mentor and the best trout angler that I've ever seen, came up with the idea of having a little sack that would hang off of your fishing vest and carry the live worms for you. In other words, worms would be purchased as normal, then simply taken from the container they were purchased in and placed into the sack for the duration of a fishing trip. This seemed strange at first, but I tried it and fell in love with the concept. It was the most ingenious apparatus that I'd ever seen. The live worms that were being used as bait were always hanging right on my fishing vest, literally "at my fingertips". It was great.

From this original concept, The Bait Bag was born. The bait bag has become much better to look at and much more functional than it was in the beginning, but the point is that it's still the best way that I've ever encountered for carrying live worms while fishing. As a matter of fact I've been using some manifestation of a bait bag for at least 20 years and I wouldn't even consider fishing without it. My bait bag has become as much a part of my fishing repertoire as any single piece of fishing gear is.

A bait bag will make any angler so much more efficient that it's difficult to put into words. Just think about it. All that time that used to be wasted with you fumbling around with your live worms can now be used with your line in the water, where the fish are. If a fish steals your worm, you simply use your fingers to grab another worm from your bait bag, re-bait, and you're good to go. How much quicker is this than looking for your worm container, opening it, grabbing a worm, baiting up, closing the worm container, and putting the worm container back where you got it? The two options don't even compare!

The reality is that I personally haven't carried a worm container fishing with me for 20 years! I leave the containers in my vehicle. When I get to my fishing spot, I open the container that I purchased the worms in, transfer the worms to my bait bag (just the worms, not the dirt) and leave the container in my vehicle. Then I'm on my way to fish. I don't even have the option of forgetting my worm container and thus creating another piece of litter along my favorite river. If you fish with live worms, and are mobile while fishing like I am, check out the convenience of a bait bag. You'll be glad you did, and wonder how you ever fished with live worms without one.

Trevor Kugler is co-founder of and an avid angler. He has more than 20 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his three year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country…..Montana! The Original Bait Bag

Worm Fishing

Monday, July 02, 2007

Big Bass Catching SECRETS

Big Bass Catching SECRETS

Are you interested in catching that trophy Bass! It was a long cold winter and I know how anxious you are to hook into some lunker Bass. I've already been out and caught some nice smallie's. I'm planning to go out again today. For some great info on catching Big Bass, Check out these articles:

Fishing Tips

Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

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