Category Archives: How To

HOW TO: CATCH MORE FISH IN THE SPRING

by Bob Jensen of fishingthemidwest.com

How To: Catch More in the Spring

from The Fishing Wire

The days, too slowly, are getting warmer and longer. These warmer, longer days are getting more anglers in the mood to visit a lake, river, or pond to see if anyone in that lake, river, or pond wants to get caught. Fish are cold-blooded. Being cold-blooded, they respond to different stimulus in diverse ways. Sometimes they like to eat larger, faster moving prey, other times they prefer prey that is smaller and slower moving. Here are some ideas for fishing in the spring.

Spring is the time of year when most fish like their food to be smaller and slower moving. Since they like their natural food that way, it’s a good idea to offer the fish that we’re after baits that resemble their natural prey. In this case, smaller and slower moving. Small is relative though. A small bait to a largemouth bass is going to be too big for a bluegill, a perch, or a crappie. We as anglers need to tailor our bait presentation to the species of fish that we want to catch.

In many areas, walleyes are a popular target at this time of year. In many areas, walleyes are a popular target at any time of year. But if we fish for walleyes with the same bait in the same way in the same location every time we go fishing, we’re going to be limiting our success. For instance, a jig tipped with a minnow can be particularly good early in the year. In some places a fathead minnow will be good. In the lake just down the road, a shiner will be preferred. That’s early in the year. A few weeks later when the water has warmed and the walleyes are in more of a chasing mood, a jig tipped with a Rage Swimmer plastic will be better. The jig/Rage Swimmer combo is more effective fished faster, so we can show our bait to more fish, which usually increases the chance to get bit.

Another thing regarding minnows and jigs in the spring. Some folks like to hook the minnow through the lips, others like to put the hook in the minnow’s mouth and poke it out through the back of the minnow’s head. By doing the in-the-mouth and out-the-back of the head deal, the minnow will usually stay on the hook longer, and it will also appear to be a smaller presentation. Cold water, smaller presentation, usually more fish.

Now about lure speed. Slower moving lures will usually be better in the spring, but it’s also good to cover water quickly and efficiently. There are a couple of ways that you can do this.

First, and if you’re fishing in a state that only allows one line, try starting with an eighth ounce jig. Work it kind of quickly, but when you catch one or two in quick succession, slow down. Tie on a sixteenth ounce jig and really work the area thoroughly. You’ll catch a couple more. If you go five or ten minutes with no more catching, tie the larger jig back on and start moving again. When you find the fish, slow down and work’em over good.

Here’s something that works well in states that allow multiple lines. Cast the jig but put a slip-bobber rig out there also. I’ve even had success hanging a rod with a jig/minnow directly over the side of the boat. This is often referred to as a “dead rod.” Make sure the jig is near the bottom. You might be surprised how many walleyes you can catch on the slip-bobber rod, and at times that dead rod can get pretty lively. Usually, it’s worth the effort to get those extra lines in the water.

The same concept is true if you’re fishing for crappies or bass. Move the bait slowly but work the area quickly until you find the fish. Then slow down and make them bite.

Depending on where you’re fishing the next few weeks, if you keep the small and slow idea in mind, you’ll increase your odds for catching more fish.

Eliminate the Confusion Associated with Fishing Fluoro Leaders

Seaguar Pro Staff Help Eliminate the Confusion Associated with Fishing Fluoro Leaders

Louisville, KY – One subject many anglers wrestle with has to do with optimal use of fluorocarbon leaders. There’s when to use leaders, length choices, the best knots to use to attach them to main line, as well as which presentations benefit most from their use. In an attempt to reduce the frequent head scratching we’ve talked with some of Seaguar’s staff of bass pros who share the nuances of their fluorocarbon leader use. Their shared knowledge will no doubt help you in your use of fluorocarbon leaders this season, alleviating much of the confusion that can accompany the topic.

Seaguar pro Brandon Palaniuk

When asked what’s the typical fluorocarbon length he uses, bass pro Brandon Palaniuk responded, “My fluorocarbon leader is typically between 10 and 12 feet long. I don’t have an exact measurement for it, but rather make sure that my knot is in my reel and then I make two more revelations with the reel and cut the leader next to the reel after it travels through the guides and back down the rod.”

With regard to technique, Palaniuk keeps the fluorocarbon length the same for each technique. He says the length of the rod may vary slightly or he will potentially go longer for extremely clear water like lakes or reservoirs with greater than 20 feet of visibility. In terms of the type and test of his preferred fluorocarbon, Palaniuk prefers 6-10 lb. Seaguar Tatsu for his leader material. He says the deciding factor for which pound test will be the type or amount of cover he’s fishing around.

Greg Vinson

Greg Vinson prefers six to 20 feet leaders depending on “water clarity, depth and technique.” He continues: “For weightless rigs like twitching Netbait T-Macs, flukes or wacky rigs I like to use a 6 to 10 foot Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon leader. That helps to get the most sensitivity but more importantly helps to get a solid hookset, which can be a challenge with weightless rigs, especially when the hook is Texposed, like a fluke. But I will also use a shorter leader with heavier fluorocarbon like 10 to 15 pound test. And in deeper, clear water I prefer a longer 20 foot leader for drop shotting, vertical rigs (Damiki), and especially when casting a finesse swimbait to suspended fish. Sometimes I feel that the leader-main line connection passing through a group of suspended fish can be a turn off if it’s too close to the bait, especially in clear water and heavily pressured waters. That’s when a 20 foot leader really excels. Although the leader is long, the braid on the spool lessens the amount of overall stretch and absorbs the line twist after hours of dropping or casting.”

John Garret

John Garret says his preferred go-to leader length when fishing the stained waters in the southern states is usually about six feet of Seaguar Tatsu 8 lb. fluorocarbon. What he likes about that length is the leader knot is not in your guides when you cast and in most water conditions it’s enough that fish do not see your braid. “This length also allows for the maximum hook driving power which is a big key when throwing a spinning rod and fishing shakey heads, weightless worms, small lures with treble hooks, and casting drop shot rigs.”

However, if he’s fishing clear northern waters or dropping directly down on fish Garret will up his fluorocarbon leader length to 15 feet depending on how deep and clear he’s fishing. “That still gives you plenty of fluorocarbon leader that the fish don’t see your braided line. And the majority of the time you’re fishing deep clear water you’re using a smaller size wire hook, so you do don’t need as much hook driving power. You have a little more give from the leader length.”

Matt Lee

Bass pro Matt Lee’s typical fluorocarbon leader length is about 10 feet or 8 lb. Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon. He says that length typically keeps the Albright Knot out of the spool to prevent the knot from catching a rod guide when casting. However, he sometimes ups the length of the Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon he uses in southern stained waters on lakes with greater visibility, going as long as 20 feet with 8 lb. and switching to an FG knot to connect to his main line braid. “There are some situations when I might go up to 10 lb. Tatsu, but I don’t ever need to go heavier than that.”

About Seaguar Fishing Lines

As the inventor of fluorocarbon fishing lines in 1971, Seaguar has played a prominent role in the advancement of technologies to improve the performance of lines and leader material for both fresh and salt water anglers. Seaguar is the only manufacturer of fluorocarbon fishing lines that produces its own resins and controls the manufacturing process from start to finished product. Today, Seaguar is the #1 brand of fluorocarbon lines and offers a full spectrum of premium products including fluorocarbon mainlines and leader material, fly tippet and leaders, 8-strand and 16-strand braid and monofilament fishing lines.

What Does It Mean To Be A Professional Bass Fisherman?

Pro bass fishermen at the Bassmasters Classic give young antlers advice on becoming a pro bass fisherman


WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A PRO

from The Fishing Wire

What It Means To Be A Pro

Forestville, WI (February 9, 2022) – What defines a professional angler? Ask someone off the street and they’ll likely describe fancy boats, bright lights and big fish. Ask those who stand atop the leaderboard, however, and they’ll tell a different story – one of hard work, determination, and the efforts of many other industry pros who have helped them succeed.

“You can’t get to the top without others to lift you up,” says, Patrick Neu, president of the 1,400-member non-profit National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA). “Nobody reaches the pinnacle of professionalism in this industry without a lot of help. That’s exactly why the NPAA is inviting fishing industry workers of every type to join our ranks. Our purpose is to grow and protect sportfishing while providing our members the tools and association benefits needed to increase their professionalism and meet individualized goals.”

To be sure, professionalism in the fishing industry is wide ranging, a point not lost on the organization and its members. “Being a fishing industry ‘pro’ is a pretty loose term,” says NPAA member Chad Pipkens, a ten-year full-time veteran of the Bassmaster Elite Series and five-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier from Dewitt, Michigan, who spent several years prior honing his skills on a variety of smaller trails before acquiring the knowledge, money and flexibility of time needed to compete at the highest levels.

“Professional doctors diagnose and treat patients, teachers instruct students, pro golfers receive PGA cards, and electricians need a license to perform electrical work,” Pipkens says. “These are all well-defined fields of specialization. By comparison, the fishing world encompasses many different job opportunities. Sure, tournament anglers, captains and guides are fishing professionals, but so are the highly skilled mechanics that work on your engine as well as the folks who run the marina, design lures, sell fishing tackle, manage anglers and staff the tournament trails.

“To me,” Pipkens continued, “anyone making meaningful money or striving to earn a living in this industry should qualify as a pro. If you don’t want to be on the water day in and day out, but you still want to be in the industry, you can find the contacts amongst our membership to maybe make that happen.”

“Anyone making meaningful money or striving to earn a living in this industry should qualify as a pro.”

According to Pipkens, the NPAA does a great job of teaching aspiring pros how to run a fishing-related business through their seminars, annual conference and approachable members who have already achieved success. “NPAA membership can shorten your learning curve and raise your professionalism at any level,” he points out. “It’s a great organization for learning the ins and outs of running your own business; whether that’s tech stuff, accounting, how to network or get paid by more than one employer, it certainly can help shorten your learning curve.”

As a pro angler, Pipkens says his life is organized chaos; getting the boat ready, crisscrossing the country, and being on the road for five weeks at a time while never losing his family focus. He often practices on the water from sunrise to sunset. Despite the pressure to win, tournaments are actually the fun part of his routine. “Balancing all the rest,” he says, “is what really makes you a professional.”

For tournament pros, guides and charter captains in particular, there is a ton of preparation that takes place behind the scenes, notes John Campbell, an NPAA founding member and full-time guide. A Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame member inducted in 2018, Campbell managed to win both the Pro Walleye Trail Detroit River and FLW Lake Ouachita championships. He also qualified for a major walleye championship every single year from 1989 to 2011 while on the pro tour. That’s 22 consecutive years, if you’re counting.

Like Pickens, Campbell agrees publicly visible aspects of being a tournament angler or guide help solidify your status as a professional, but the business end of things is vitally important. “Sure, you’ve got to pre-fish, choose your lures, maintain your gear, set up the boat and put in plenty of time on the road,” he notes, “but you also have to learn to book charters, carefully plan out your competition schedule, promote your sponsors and tend to family matters. Earning money and winning tournaments is vital, but also important is finding ways to help grow the sport through sharing knowledge and getting more kids involved.”

As a professional guide, Campbell is in the business of educating anglers. “To me, helping others learn the game is the sign of a true pro,” he states, adding that this is exactly the kind of people you’ll network and rub elbows with in the NPAA. “This organization supported over 100 Future Angler clinics in 2021 alone. With support from the Future Angler Foundation, it’s member volunteers also distributed over 4,000 NPAA Future Pro T-shirts and 3,000 rod/reel combos to kids at NPAA Future Angler education events. That, I believe, is professionalism at its finest.”

For information on joining the NPAA and exploring the many benefits membership provides, visit npaa.net.

Tips On Cleaning and Cooking Trout

Trout, From Lake to Table
Tips on cleaning and cooking trout from Nebraska Game and Parks

By Larry Pape
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
from The Fishing Wire

Keep your catch of fish as fresh as possible and you will be rewarded with a wonderful meal that is the finale to a fishing trip. In mid-October, trout will be stocked across Nebraska in small city park ponds and state park lakes.

These pan-sized fish offer a person the delicious main course of a meal. From the lake to the table, every step is critical in making the best of what nature has given you.

Fish are a perishable food product and the quality of the meal is only as good as the handling of the fish after the catch. If practical, fish can be kept alive until just before cleaning. The best method is to keep them as cold as possible, as soon as possible. If you know you are going to be keeping fish, take along a cooler with ice and place them in it immediately after catching.

A 10-inch rainbow trout is one of the easiest fish to prepare for the pan. It is not necessary, nor advisable to skin or filet a small trout, as they have delicate flesh that is best kept whole. The method is simply to remove the internal organs and gills, and then wash.

Do this by making an incision along the belly from the vent to the gills, and disposing of the entrails. The gills may take a little more cutting to release them from the head. The head can be left on or removed depending on the diner’s sensibility. Notice a dark area inside and along the spine of the fish. This is the fish’s kidney and can be removed by gently rubbing while washing. It does not change the cooked product if left in the fish.

There are two easy methods for cooking trout:

Pan fry – Dredge in a mixture of flour, salt, pepper and seasoning of choice. Fry about 3 to 5 minutes per side in a quarter inch of medium hot oil. Use spatula to turn the fish gently. When done, place on a platter to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Bake – Wrap in foil and cook on the grill or in the oven. This allows each fish to be seasoned to the particular desires of the diner. Oil is necessary to keep the fish moist; use butter, olive or vegetable oil; just a splash will do. Spices can be delicate such as rosemary and parsley, or bold such as Cajun and curry, but remember that a little goes a long way. To add flavor and edible ingredients, include sliced onions, garlic cloves, capers, or artichoke hearts.

Seal this foil packet and bake on the grill grates or in the oven on a baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes (350 degrees). Serve after resting for a few minutes and then placing each packet in front of the diner on a plate. Open carefully to release the steam and aroma.

A trout meal is best served with rice, vegetables and the stories of how they were caught.

If you are just getting into fishing and want more details, a helpful resource is Game and Parks’ Going Fishing Guide, available at OutdoorNEbraska.gov/howtofish. For information on Fish Stocking, including the dates pf upcoming trout stocking, OutdoorNebraska.gov/fishstockingreports.

Protect Your Boat’s Fuel System During Winter Storage


Check out these tips for keeping your boat’s engines gunk-free and ready to go when the weather warms again next spring.
from The Fishing Wire

Serious boaters know that proper care and maintenance of their rigs are the cornerstones of trouble-free boating. Whether you are an avid angler, watersports enthusiast or family cruiser, you want your boat to start up easily, run great and get great fuel efficiency every time you venture out on the water.

Taking care of your boat is even more important when you’re storing it for an extended period of time. This holds true whether you’re storing your rig for the offseason or just not going to be using it for a while.

The first and most important step is to use a high-performance fuel additive to stabilize your fuel and protect the entire fuel system from the build up of gum, varnish and corrosion over time. Techron Marine Fuel System Treatment was scientifically formulated by the fuel experts at Chevron to provide the highest level of protection during extended storage, while also fighting the corrosive effects of the harsh marine environment.

Ethanol Issues
More than 98% of gasoline sold in the United States contains ethanol, which attracts water into your boat’s fuel system. During offseason storage — or any period of infrequent operation — this water accelerates fuel oxidation, the formation of gum and varnish and can lead to corrosion in the fuel system. It left too long, this corrosion, varnish and gum can cause permanent damage to your boat’s fuel system.

Some boaters attempt to prevent this by draining their fuel system in preparation for storage. This is often impractical, and it also wastes money and gasoline. Most importantly, it can actually create problems. Draining the tank exposes the metal components inside to condensation, which may accelerate fuel system corrosion. It can also cause internal components in your fuel system to dry and crack over time, leading to potential hazards and leaks.

In addition, there will usually be some fuel left in the tank after draining, and it will be subject to oxidation. This can create gum and varnish that can restrict fuel injectors, gum up carburetors, and even clog the system badly enough to cause a fuel pump failure.Stabilize A Full Tank
Instead of draining the tank, add Techron Marine to a nearly empty fuel tank and then fill it up nearly to the top with quality gasoline. Leave just a little room for expansion. Then, run the engine for a few minutes to allow the treatment to circulate throughout the system. It only takes one ounce of Techron Marine to treat 10 gallons of fuel, so follow instructions and make sure you are dosing the fuel properly.

Techron Marine has been scientifically engineered to keep fuel fresh for up to 24 months. Head-to-head laboratory tests have shown that Techron is also a top performer when it comes to engine and fuel system cleaning and corrosion protection in the harshest environments — especially in salt water. Because of this, Techron Marine is an ideal additive for use with every fill up, not just during storage. Used regularly, Techron Marine can help keep a boat’s fuel system and engine running clean, strong and at peak efficiency. It works in all types of gasoline-powered boats including two-stroke, four-stroke, carbureted, port- or electronic fuel-injected and direct injected engines.

This versatility to stabilize fuel for extended storage and also protect boat fuel systems all season long contributed to Techron Marine winning a 2019 Top Product Award from leading trade journal 

Boating Industry magazine.
Visit www.TechronClean.com to learn more.

Hooked!

What to do if you hook yourself
By Alex McCrickard, Virginia DWR
from The Fishing Wire

Have you ever had to end a great fishing trip early due to accidentally hooking yourself?

Safety should never be overlooked when spending time on the water fishing. Without a doubt, it’s essential to make sure you are dressing for the weather, checking river flows or lake conditions, keeping an eye on the radar and forecast, wearing a life jacket if you are on a boat, and staying hydrated. However, one of the more common accidental injuries that an angler can encounter is being hooked with a fly, lure, or hook. It’s essential to know when the injury can be handled on the water and when it’s time to go to the emergency room.

I have spent a considerable amount of time teaching novice fly anglers in my years as a fly fishing guide on Wyoming’s Upper North Platte River. From experience, I will say that one of the less enjoyable aspects of being a guide is getting impaled with your client’s fly as they are learning how to cast for the first time. I have been accidentally hooked many times, including having flies embedded in my leg, arm, back, and even nose. I am lucky and have never had to take a trip to the emergency room with any of these injuries. The technique outlined below can help you remove an impaled hook while on the water.Photo by Lynda Richardson/DWR

The technique for removing an impaled hook is actually quite simple. Start by cutting off a two- to three-foot long section of heavy monofilament, 15 or 20 lb. test line. If you’re fly fishing, 0x tippet will work fine.

Next, thread the monofilament between the shank of the hook and your skin, situating the loop of monofilament at the bend of the hook. Make sure you have at least 12” of monofilament on either side of the hook. With your thumb, press down on the shank of the hook until the shank is parallel to your skin. Once you have pushed down, quickly jerk the monofilament with your other hand in a motion parallel to the shank to remove the embedded hook. It’s a simple push-and-pull technique that is highly effective. I have performed this on myself many times, but it can certainly be beneficial to have a family member or friend assist you in the process, especially if you hooked yourself in the back or arm.The tips below can help you in the process as well as decipher when it’s essential to seek medical attention:

This technique is not recommended with treble hooks. 
Treble hooks on lures pose an entirely different situation and it’s best to seek medical attention if deeply impaled by two out of three treble hooks.

Consider pinching the barbs on your hooks before fishing, especially for beginners. A barbless hook is a lot easier to remove than a barbed hook.

Trust your gut—if you think you need medical attention, then it’s best to go to the emergency room. If you are hooked deeply in the neck or face, it is best to seek medical attention.

Larger and heavier hooks, especially saltwater hooks that are deeply impaled, might also require a trip to the emergency room.

Always wear a hat and polarized sunglasses when fishing on the water. Not only will sunglasses protect your eyes, but they also cut down against the glare and help you spot fish in the water.

Spread out and give yourself ample casting space when fishing together with friends and family.

Carry a first aid kit in your car when wade fishing or in your boat so you are ready when a situation arises.

See more strategies for removing embedded hooks, complete with diagrams.

Boating Tips

Don’t block boat ramps!!
By Darcy Mount, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
from The Fishing Wire

Important tips to avoid lonely nights on the sofa, or being the star of a viral video, as boating season begins.

Never use a busy boat ramp to “teach” others to back a trailer.

There are two things you should not learn from a spouse or significant other . . . canoeing and trailer backing. I know there are many other examples but these are my observations from my career as a park ranger and manager.Want to see couples fight? Hang around at the boat ramp. It won’t be long until an argument erupts as someone is trying to get a boat on or off a trailer. Or as couples are paddling in or out from shore.

With boating season upon us, it’s a good time for me to share some things I have seen in hopes you might avoid similar public displays of disaffection and perhaps ruin your day at the lake.

Trailer Backing
Busy boat ramp. This is where you see the most fights, domestic violence, tears, anxiety, damage to boats, trailers, docks, trucks, etc. Of course, these incidents always seem to occur on a busy boat ramp with lots of witnesses.It seems that in many cases the person most comfortable backing the trailer is also the person most comfortable driving the boat. I’ve observed this play out in many ways.

Scenario One
A couple in a boat motors up to the dock and ties up. The boat captain gets out and heads to the parking lot to retrieve the truck and trailer, backs it into the water, gets out of the truck, gets on the boat and loads it onto the trailer, hops back in the truck and drives away. This is normally easy to do, unless the ramp is crowded and people are waiting to load. Then stress levels can rise causing tension as traffic on the ramp backs up. Squabbles can occur.

Scenario Two
The person most comfortable driving both the boat and the truck decides it’s time to teach the passenger to back up the truck and trailer. This is generally done by yelling or eventually screaming from the boat, which is still afloat behind the ramp. As tension builds, the novice trying to back the trailer down the ramp gets frustrated as the trailer jackknifes and you may hear the words “I told you I couldn’t do it” being yelled or eventually screamed at the teacher on the boat. (I use the word “teacher” loosely.)

This situation can escalate and the boat driver/teacher may get yelled at by others bobbing in the water, waiting to load. This can happen because the “teacher” is distracted by the fish-taililng trailer on the ramp and lets the boat drift toward the other boats in the queue. The truck driver may experience a flight response and get out of the truck, walking away and telling the teacher to do it himself. Or the driver may even beg other people to back the trailer in for them. These people may be total strangers, which then causes more yelling from the teacher on the boat. It should be obvious, but you should never use a busy boat ramp to “teach” another to back a trailer into the water. The results are not pretty. 

Scenario Three
This is the reverse of scenario 2 with the novice trying to guide a bobbing boat onto a trailer as impatient strangers stare and even offer unsolicited advice as the “teacher” shouts instructions from behind the wheel of the truck. Either way, all the yelling is a surefire buzzkill guaranteed to ensure you boat alone in the future. (And probably sleep alone on the couch for a few nights.).

Soaking Your Partner
This occurs a couple ways and both can result in frayed tempers.The partner backing the trailer down the ramp can get soaked, and the truck stuck and in need of a tow, if the driver ends up too far onto the ramp and the truck sinks in deep water. This happens if the ramp is long and the water level is low and the ramp suddenly drops off and the truck ends up in deep water. If they back in far enough, they will find out trucks do not float as they watch it slowly sink under water. That is a guaranteed fight. 

Most common is the disaster that can occur when one partner forgets to put the plug in the boat and it fills with water as the boat floats off the trailer. 

A temper fit by the other partner can be avoided if you are lucky enough to quickly steer it back on the trailer and insert the plug.But often couples find themselves too far out from shore before they realize the boat is taking on water. This requires a boat tow and quite a bit of stress and in some extreme cases having to abandon your sinking boat. 

Boat and Ramp Repairs
This occurs often in the spring when we are so excited to get back in the water we forget to make sure the engine runs. You may see people parked in the parking lot trying to make repairs while their partner and friends in the truck wait not-so-patiently. Worse case is you float off your trailer to realize it will not start and need to be pulled back onto your trailer. 

Enjoyable Boating Adventures

If you follow these tips, you will have much more enjoyable boating adventures. And you won’t be the star of a viral video. I would like to say what happened at the boat ramp stays at the boat ramp. But if you search YouTube, you’ll discover that is far from the case.Written by Darcy Mount. Darcy is the Eleven Mile State Park Manager.

If you have general questions about Colorado Parks and Wildlife, email Darcy at AskARanger@state.co.us. Darcy may answer it in a future column.

Buy Fishing Line Based on Diameter

My favorite fluorocarbon line

Buy Fishing Line Based on Diameter, Not Lb. Test, Advises Sunline
from The Fishing Wire

Making enough line to go around the world nearly 34 times each year, Sunline has the largest stand-alone line factory on the planet. Despite making so much line every year, quality and accuracy are guiding principles for production of every spool of line that Sunline makes. 

 Sunline manufactures their lines to strict diameter tolerances that require a specific diameter range for each lb test. These diameter specifications are held across the globe for any line we offer. 

 Japanese laws require line companies selling line in the Japanese domestic market to label lines with a specific lb test based on pre-determined diameter ranges.  This policy ensures lines rated at a specific lb test will break at that lb test for true accuracy.

The true measure of a line or fiber is the denier rating.   Denier is a unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers.  It is the mass in grams per 9000 meters of the fiber. This provides a true measure of the strength of a line or fiber and allows the strength of different materials to be compared regardless of the diameter.  One fiber may have a higher breaking strength because it is larger in diameter, but that does not mean it is stronger, only thicker in diameter.  Denier allows fibers to be tested and compared regardless of diameter for a true comparison.

Companies selling line in Europe are also held to a similar standard for diameters with the EFTTA Line Charter.  The charter is a pledge by over 35-line manufacturers stating they will only manufacture lines that meet agreed upon standards.  

A few of those include:
To print on their products clear and accurate descriptions in terms of diameters and breaking strength that are easy to understand, truthful and respectful of consumer protection laws and the standards of the industry, in compliance of the ISO 2062 Standards.

To run quality controls in sufficient quantities and sufficiently often to ensure that products labels are always accurate.

Not to use any other labeling in terms of breaking strength that is not scientifically demonstrated or agreed by the industry so as to avoid any confusion among consumers leading to unfair competition.

So, what about the US?  There are no such guidelines or charters in the US market regulating diameters.  Line companies can produce a line and label it with any lb test they want.  What better way to make a line seem stronger than it really is than to make a larger line and label it with a lower lb test.  This will make the line seem much stronger than it really is. An angler thinks the line is strong but doesn’t realize they are fishing with a much larger line size.  

If an angler were to catch a record fish using one of these inflated lines, the record would not be upheld when they submitted the record catching line for testing.

 In some cases, an angler thinking he is buying 12lb line is actually buying 22lb line with a 12lb label on it.

This can obviously impact the status of record fish caught with inflated line sizes. Other ways inflated lines impact anglers are in the performance of their lures.  Many lures swim or run better with lighter line.  If you are buying line you think is 12lb which will allow a lure to perform at its best, but the line is much larger it can impact the performance of the lure. 

 Crankbaits and jerkbaits run deeper with smaller diameter lines allowing them to reach maximum depth.  Similarly, anglers that troll a lot purchase lines based on the diameter knowing it will impact the diving depths of their crankbaits when trolled.  

The Precision Trolling Data shows the impact that a larger diameter can have on the diving depth of a crankbait.

Additional Resources
EFTTA, https://www.eftta.co.uk/line-charter/
Trolling data, https://www.precisiontrollingdata.com/
Denier, https://standardfiber.com/about-denier/
Lines, www.sunlineamerica.com

Fiddle Earthworms


Fiddle Your Way to Fresh Bait
Earthworms
Fishing for food to avoid going to the store? Try fiddling up some live worms, suggests Arkansas GFC.
from The Fishing Wire

LITTLE ROCK – Going fishing doesn’t have to mean expensive equipment. It simply takes a hook, some fishing line and some sort of bait. You could dig around in the refrigerator for food-type baits, or make the bait-gathering duty an adventure in itself by gathering worms from the wild.

Earthworms are excellent live bait for catfish, bream, bass and even an occasional crappie. And handling a nightcrawler or two will definitely prevent you from getting your hands near your face before washing them.

One technique to stock up on some nightcrawlers is to break out a fiddle. “Earthworm fiddling,” “worm charming,” and “worm grunting” all refer to an interesting practice some anglers have been using for centuries to get earthworms to come to the surface and show themselves.

Simply take a stick that has notches cut along its length and push it into the ground. Then rub another stick along its length to create vibrations.

Kids who got stuck with “sticks” in music class when all the cool instruments were already handed out will know exactly what sound this makes. The vibrations will bring the worms to the surface to dance, where you can be ready to pick them up and place them in your bait bucket. OK, the worms aren’t dancing. They’re actually moving out of the ground to avoid predators.

The famed geneticist Charles Darwin theorized, “If the ground is beaten or otherwise made to tremble, worms will believe that they are pursued by a mole and leave their burrows.”

A study conducted by Vanderbilt University biological sciences professor Ken Catania in 2008 confirmed Darwin’s theory. The study, held in northern Florida, where the practice of worm grunting was extremely popular, recorded the sounds of real moles digging versus worm grunters and compared their effects on the earthworms habit of springing from the ground when in danger.

Northern Florida has taken the grunting and fiddling practice to a new level. The town of Sopchoppy has even adopted the practice as its calling card, hosting the annual Worm Gruntin’ Festival where young earthworm harvesters compete to see who can coax the most earthworms from the ground with various techniques. It doesn’t have to be two sticks making the vibrations, either.

An old broom handle driven into the ground rubbed with a hand saw can produce the low vibrations needed. Two lengths of rebar also can be used to charm up some nightcrawlers for bait. Whatever you use, be sure to keep an eye on the ground for several feet around the fiddling tools and be ready to grab the worms before they can burrow back into the ground.

Naturally, you want to do this fiddling where worms are likely to be. Extremely hard ground or sandy soil is not likely to have worms. Try under trees or in areas where the ground is fertile with lots of deteriorating vegetation. Watering the lawn heavily ahead of time can help. Rake a spot so the ground is bare, then go to fiddling. It may take some effort to figure out your technique, but it will keep you stocked with bait throughout your fishing adventures. 

Aqua-Vu Underwater Cameras

Look underwater

See What You’re Looking at With Aqua-Vu Underwater Cameras
Three ways underwater study will help you find and catch more fish.

Crosslake, MN – For most anglers, watching the fish is something that happens only in the mind’s eye. You picture what your lure looks like, and how it moves underwater. You visualize what the weedbed or brushpile looks like and you wonder what types of fish might be inhabiting it. You imagine what it looks like when a bass first sees your lure and moves in for the strike.But unless you’re scuba diving or looking through the lens of an underwater camera, you don’t really know what’s happening below the surface.

For anglers truly interested in learning about fish behavior from an underwater perspective, an Aqua-Vu camera provides rare and incredible opportunities to observe, marvel and ultimately, catch more fish. No matter if you’re an ice angler, lure troller or a shallow water bass angler, an underwater camera can revolutionize your subsurface understanding.

Pole-Cam Perspectives Bass and crappie anglers have joined the ranks of underwater scholars, probing into and examining hard-to-reach areas beneath boat docks, inside brushpiles and under matted vegetation with a camera. Reaching out to inaccessible areas with his Aqua-Vu HD10i camera connected to a telescopic push pole, Major League Fishing pro Ott DeFoe likes to peek below boat docks. A special XD Pole Cam Adaptor makes connecting to any telescopic pole an easy five-second process.

“The pole-cam set up lets me look for big bass living in remote locations and under hard-to-reach shallow cover, like docks, without spooking them,” notes DeFoe, a longtime advocate of underwater study.“The Aqua-Vu also allows me to find concentrations of bass during pre-tournament scouting, without having to catch them before competition begins. That’s a huge asset in a tournament, and it works in clear as well as stained water, when all you need to see is the presence of fish a few feet from the lens.”

Visual Ice Fishing Mike Hehner, photographer, angler and producer for Minnesota based Lindner Media Productions has been a longtime fan of real-time underwater viewing with an Aqua-Vu camera. “I’ve spent the last few ice fishing seasons watching how bass and other fish behave in their natural habitat,” says Hehner. “What you learn is that every individual fish exhibits unique behavioral responses to lures or livebait.

“While ice fishing, I like to train the lens of my micro Revolution 5.0 Pro camera on a live minnow. Hit the record button and just start capturing footage. I can watch the video on the screen, live, or view it on my computer later on.

“Most people would be amazed to see what’s really happening down there—even during those periods when you’re not getting strikes. I’ve seen huge schools of bass move past the bait without even stopping to sniff. Other fish stalk and examine the minnow for many minutes at a time. Some bass lightly mouth the bait or nudge it, as if to taste or test it for palatability. Other times, they’ll nip the splitshot but totally ignore the minnow. I’ve also seen days when bass absolutely crush an artificial rattlebait over and over but completely ignore the livebait.

Trolling Goes Interactive A great way to add spice to the otherwise mundane task of trolling lures around the lake, sight trolling allows anglers to watch fish react in real time, right on the Aqua-Vu display. “The XD Live-Strike system connects the camera to your fishing line, letting you watch fish react to and bite lures, live,” says Dr. Jason Halfen, owner of the Technological Angler.

“What makes sight trolling with an Aqua-Vu such an amazing experience is the ability to see fish strike right on the screen, as it happens. With other Go-Pro type cameras, you don’t get to see what unfolds on the water until you’re done fishing.”Halfen and other anglers who’ve tried sight-trolling have seen some remarkable fish behaviors unfold on the screen. “You can’t believe how many fish—trout, salmon or walleyes—might be following your lure at once,” he observes. “Or the fact that a single muskie might follow your lure for 5 minutes or more before biting. You learn that a rapid acceleration in lure speed or a sudden interruption in its forward momentum, perhaps by contacting structure with the lure, can prompt an immediate violent response from fish.”

“After watching the fish for the past few years,” adds Hehner, “I realize how many times underwater study has revealed fish in spots I wouldn’t have otherwise found them. It’s also helped me make key adjustments to my presentation—a different way to hook my bait, lure size or a new color—that resulted in more bites and more fish on the line.“You never get bored watching the underwater show. You see something different, something new and exciting, every time you go out there and drop the Aqua-Vu. You learn and you absolutely catch more fish.”

View Online Version About Aqua-Vu The Original Underwater Viewing System, Aqua-Vu® is manufactured by Outdoors Insight, Inc., and has led the underwater camera category in design, innovation and quality since 1997. The Central Minnesota based company builds other popular outdoors products, such as the iBall Trailer Hitch Camera (iballhitchcam.com). For more information on Aqua-Vu, visit www.aquavu.com.