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Tips & Tricks of the Trade

Posted: January 3rd, 2013 by Bill Dance

Like so many sports that are continuously fun in an ever-learning kind of way, fishing is a sport where we are in constant search for improvements. That’s why we anglers are so caught up in both learning and sharing tips and tricks of the trade–we all want to get better.

With this in mind consider these tips and tricks. Maybe they will help you on future fishing trips?

Watch the 90s

Want to risk breaking your favorite bass rod? Well, stress it past a 90-degree angle. To do so, puts unnecessary stress on the rod. While fishing rods are designed to be flexible, they can only take so much pressure. When you’re setting the hook, fighting a fish, bringing it into the boat or trying to remove a hook with the rod bent in an awkward position–or at 90 degrees and beyond, you always run a great risk of breaking it.

Fishing A New Lake?

Whenever I find myself on “new” water, whether it be a huge reservoir or a farm pond, I try to find something familiar about this “new” lake–something that I’m familiar with fishing from past experience. Find something in the new lake you like to fish, say a point or grass. It will give you confidence and since you are familiar with the type of fishing, you will likewise have confidence, and as I’ve said so many times before before, “Confidence is the most important lure in your tackle box.”

One Prop Is Not Enough

Most people only have one propeller for their trolling motor, but you may want to consider having another. Really, one prop can’t do everything! Don’t believe it when you hear some trolling motor manufactures say their motor has got the “best power” and “best weedlessness” in the same prop. Outboards motors have all kinds of different props – 3 blades, 4 blades and even 5 blades–because no one prop is best for speed, pulling power, or reduction in steering torque. The same is true for trolling motors!

Four-blade props are ideal in weeds, 3-blade props are a good combination of power and weedlessness and 2-bladed props are for maximum power. Choose the one that fits your fishing locale or needs best. Change when needed.

The Summer Shallow Bass Blahs

In summer it can be it difficult to catch bass out of a small shallow lake when water temperatures climb into the mid 80-degree range during the summer. This is primarily due to low oxygen at such times of the year.

Colder water holds more oxygen molecules whereas hotter water holds less–without adequate oxygen in its bloodstream, a bass will slow its activity level. As water temperatures cool oxygen levels increase and fish become spunky and active again.

Smaller Lures In Winter?

Should you down-size your lures in winter? It’s a technique many anglers consider. And I want you to note that it takes a bass considerably longer to digest a meal in cold water than in warm water. Therefore bass in chilly waters don’t feed often, and tend to take smaller bites when they do feed. This could explain why a compact lure like a 1/8-ounce jig or grub, or 3/16-ounce crankbait or spinnerbait is a far better bet for bass in cold conditions than large lures like a 3-inch crankbait or 10-inch plastic worm.

As always, catch one for me!

Bill Dance


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