Different types of top water baits

A Topwater fishing lure is a type of fishing lure, usually floating, that may be moved about the surface of water in order to attract and cause fish to attempt to strike the lure. Non-floating versions may be retrieved at sufficient speed to cause them to travel at the water’s surface.

Ask any angler what their favorite way to fish is and odds are your answer will be topwater lure fishing. Why? Because there is nothing like seeing a fish explode out of seemingly no where to engulf your bait. The adrenaline rush it gives anglers is unparalleled and will have you eager to throw your bait back in the water after landing that fish.
Not only that but depending on what bait you’re using topwater  baits give you a great way to fish areas blanketed with fish harboring weeds and little pads.  So just to simplify things a bit for you here is a list of the different types of topwater  bass baits available.

Hollow Frogs & Rats:  Hollow bodied frogs and rats are probably the ultimate lilly pad fishing bait.

Hollow Body frogs are one of the best and most entertaining baits for catching Largemouth bass in cover.

Hollow Body frogs are one of the best and most entertaining baits for catching Largemouth bass in cover.This is due to the fact that they are weedless and easily crawl across weed mats and pads producing a big silhouette for fish to see from the underside of pads.  Don’t be afraid to tie a frog or rat on and give it a whirl, fish love them and trust me you will too.

Poppers:  Poppers also known as chuggers  and spitters have concave faces that cause them to pop, gurgle or spit water when you twitch them.
Stick Baits (Walkers):  I believe the Zara Spook might be the most widely used stick bait there is on the  market.  It’s cigar shape and weighted rear end allows it to have a walk the dog (side to side) action as your twitch the bait.  Stick baits are also baits for open water or waters where the weeds have not reached the surface as they, like poppers, have treble hooks at the front and rear end.

Crawlers: The Jitterbug is the standard for crawling topwater baits. The wide concave lip causes the bait have a side to side action accompanied by a “plop plop” sound that fish can’t resist.  Simply cast it into open water or waters that have weeds below the surface and hold on.  Crawlers are great baits for night time, heavily overcast and rainy day fishing.

Propbaits:  Propbaits look similar to stickbaits with a more narrow profile and small propellors at each end. They’re fished with twitches and frequent pauses that make props spin simulating feeding baitfish.  Like many others on the topwater list they are good for open water and water with below surface weeds.

Prop provides moderate resistance to keep lure in the strike zone longer

Prop provides moderate resistance to keep lure in the strike zone longer

Buzzbaits:  Buzzbaits are great baits for covering large amounts of water within a short time.  They have a large propellor like blade that throw a lot of water making the buzz sound across the surface. Retrieve them slowly and steadily as they sink when you stop reeling.  As well you want to retrieve the slowly in order to keep the bait in the strike zone longer avoiding missed strikes.

 

 

Crappie Fishing Tips

About Crappie

d2cc8e1805827594af25f558159121c7Crappie (pomoxis annularis & pomoxis nigromaculatus) is a species of fish native to North America. There are two types of species of crappie, white crappie (pomoxis annularis) and black crappie (pomoxis nigromaculatus). They live in freshwater and are one of the most popular game fish among anglers. Their habitat will usually consist of water that is moderately acidic and highly vegetated. When crappie are juveniles they feed mostly on prey that is microscopic, such as cyclops, cladocera and daphnia and when mature they will feed on aquatic insects, minnows, and fish fingerlings of other species.

Crappie are a schooling fish and will also school with other types of pan fish. They prefer underwater structures like fallen trees, weed bends and other structures that might be submerged. Generally during the day crappie tend to stay deep under water and only move to shore when feeding, mostly at dawn or dusk. However, during their spawning period they can be found in shallow water in large concentrations. They do not go into any semi-hibernation during the winter, making them a prime target of anglers that are ice fishing. Crappies, both black and white can have color variance that is affected by their habitat, age and the colors of the local breeding population.

Crappie Fishing Tips, Tricks and Techniques

  • Use the Right Fishing Knot– If you’re fishing for crappie with a jig you should use a loop knot. This type of fishing knot will allow the jig to move more freely when casted. In addition, it provides crappie with a subtle movement that is very enticing when done vertically to the fish.
  • The Best Live Bait Setup– One of the best bait setups for crappie is to use a #6 hook, a small split shot, a live minnow and a slip bobber. The slip bobber will allow you adjust for any depth while not sacrificing casting ability. Hook the minnow either through both lips or just behind the top dorsal fin.
  • Fish the Right Depth– Crappie can usually be found between three and six feet of water. During the peak of summer crappie will move to deeper areas and come out to the surface during dawn and dusk to feed.
  • Keep the Line Tight– Crappie are known to have a soft lip. This means that they can tear easily and shake your hook if the line isn’t kept tight enough. Luckily crappie will put up a good fight, so keeping your line tight shouldn’t be a difficult task.
  • Don’t be in a Hurry– Crappie will give you more action if you are slow and steady with your jig and/or minnow. Try to avoid retrieving your cast too quickly. If you’re not getting any action and you know crappie are in the area then try slowing down.
  • Use a Topographical Map– Since depth is important when trying to fish for crappie you’ll want to make sure you use a topographical map of the body of water you’re fishing. A map will at least contain depths and in some instances sunken structures like fish beds. You don’t need to pay for these, there are tons of free ones available on the internet.

Crappie Fishing Records

Below is the world record crappie caught by anglers just like yourself. This information came from the IGFA (International Game Fish Association) at the time this content was written. While these type of records do change it’s not that often, you can look up crappie records in real time by visiting the IGFA website. Their is a link to their website in the additional resources on crappie section below. Who knows, in the future we might find your name in the top anglers for crappie because you used information on this web page!

Walleye World RecordJohn R. Hortsman caught a black crappie in a private lake in Missouri, USA on April 21st 2006 that weighted 2.26 kg (5 lbs. 0 oz.)

Walleye World RecordFred Bright caught a white crappie at Enid Dam in Mississippi, USA on July 31st 1957 that weighted 2.35 kg (5 lbs, 3 oz.)

Crappie Facts

We’ve put together for you some basic facts and data about crappie. This information is useful to better understand this type of popular game fish and to get an idea of what to expect when fishing for them. The maximum weight and length is from the latest all-time record at the time this information was written. It may have changed slightly, but that is only for the top 0.5% of crappie you’ll find in the wild.

  • Scientific Name: Pomoxis annularis (white) & Pomoxis nigromaculatus (black)
  • Nickname(s): Papermouth, Sac-a-lait, slab, speck and speckled perch
  • Average Lifespan: 10 years in the wild and 12 years in captivity
  • Length: Up to 20″ for white crappie and 19″ for black crappie
  • Weight: Up to 5 pounds, average is quarter to half pound
  • Range: North America
  • Spawning Water Temperature: Black crappie 58-64 degrees and white crappie 60-65 degrees

 

 

Health Benefits of Fishing

For many, fishing is a personal escape that provides great benefits for your mind and soul in the calming atmosphere.

Did you know that fishing is also an excellent physical activity as well?

Yes, if you are looking to keep your physical and mental body in shape and prolong your overall health, fishing is one of the best activities you can be regularly involved in.

Physical Benefits

If you are genuinely proactive and conscious about your fishing habits, this can be a great way to keep your physical body in great shape.

If you are lounging back in a lawn chair on the side of the pond with your line just sitting there however, you are not going to find too many physical health benefits from doing this for several hours.

If you are able to, consider going to a more remote location for your fishing where you have to hike back to a pond or river a couple of miles in.

Once you reach a spot like this, be sure you are standing up the entire time you are fishing and try and move around to different areas on the water. By constantly moving your body and finding different locations, you will not only increase your chances of catching a fish, but better your physical body.

These strategies can do wonders for your heart health, but you can also do great work for the rest of your body such as getting quality muscle workouts, exposing yourself to clean, fresh are, and getting natural vitamin D in your body from a little sun exposure.

Did you know that fishing can also have a tremendous effect on the overall health of your brain as well?

A study done in Japan showed that those who were exposed to the woods on a regular basis has significantly lower blood pressure and pulse rates.

Mental Benefits

One of the most obvious benefits for those who are fishing on a regular basis is the relaxed state of mind it puts you in. The calmness and serenity of being out on the water or in the woods alone can relieve a lot of stress you may be aware or unaware of.

Fishing can also help you boost your critical thinking and problem solving skills, while improving your overall mental fortitude.

If you haven’t caught a fish in a while or keep hooking the same one and can’t reel them in, this is naturally going to test your patience and overall mental strength.

Scenarios like this can help you figure out different ways to attack the fish from different angles and come up with alternative strategies in order to put yourself in the best possible position to catch the fish.

Once you do reel that big game in, your confidence can be boosted tremendously, which can lead to better performance in other areas of your life.

As the old saying goes, a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.

 

 

Plano 3740 Waterproof Stowaway

Plano Waterproof Stowaway

Plano has introduced an enhanced version of the industry-standard StowAway boxes: the Waterproof StowAway. Utilizing what Plano calls the Dri-Loc Seal and three cam-action latches, the box locks down tight and seals out moisture to protect tackle from rust. Additionally,  the tight fit keeps tackle where you put it, so you’re not left picking apart hooks and other tiny pieces. The Waterproof StowAway  is available in Plano sizes 3440, 3540, 3640, 3740 and 3741 to match many of the most popular tackle-storage products the company makes. Retail price is $6.99 to $14.99.

 

Basic Trout fishing – How to rig a Jig under a Cork.

float types

Basic Trout fishing – How to rig a Jig under a Cork.

One of the simplest and most basic way to catch a trout is with a jig under a cork. Guys call them tourist rigs,  rattle corks, and clackers…  “Cajun thunder” is a brand that’s become a name for the rig.

cigaroval

There are two main shapes, egg and a cigar. Both will work and have their advantages. The egg is easier to see while  the cigar shape has less drag for the fish to feel.

weight

Corks also come with and without weights- typically small brass beads. The weighted cork will stand up and be much easier to see when you’re fishing.  And the added weight makes it easier to cast.

They come in all kinds of colors. My personal preference is yellow/green. I find it easier to see than the traditional red.

jigtypes
The second piece of the equation is a jig head. I cannot overstate how important it is to buy quality Jig head. Most brands have small silver hooks. I prefer one with a 3/0 wide gap hook. See the difference in the photo below… if you use the cheap ones  them you want to miss a lot of fish.

hook close up 2
I don’t think jig head color really matters. You will find a personal preference. I like pink and gold.
Slayer makes an excellent Jig head –  its the pink one above. MirrOLure’s jig , the unpainted one in the first photo , is  less expensive and still has a great hook. I suggest using a  light jig-  1/16oz  or 1/32oz. The lighter jig will still bring the jig down without sinking the float.

Floro Leader

The last part of the Rig is leader material. You can use plain monofilament but I find a flurocarbin leader works better. Fluro is more abrasion resistant, you’re less likely to get cut off, and because of its chemical makeup the fish can’t see it as well. I suggest using at 15-20 pound test although I have used 30 pound test in dark or stained water. The heavier line helps prevent you from getting cut off but it may also spook the fish.

Putting the rig together
the rig

Tie the main line coming from you fishing rod to the un-weighted side of the cork.

Tie your leader to the weighted side of the cork. You want enough leader to keep the jig just off the bottom. For example,If you’re fishing in 4 feet of water you want about 3 feet of leader.

Then tie on the Jig head.
You can put any kind of rubber body on the Jig head. Locally people fish a lot with Gulp. But Saltwater Assassin, or a traditional curly tail grub both work great.

Fishing the Rig

Throw the bait as far from the boat as you can get it. A 7 foot rod makes casting the 3 foot plus rig a lot easier. Allow the rig to rest for a moment or two and then give your rod a quick snap. This causes the jig to jump in the water and the cork will make a rattling clacking sound draws trout. Most of the time you cannot snap your rod hard enough. The louder the better!

After the snap, reel up your slack line. Count to ten and pop the cork again. Some days the fish like a faster pace other times it like a slower pace. You’ll have to experiment find out what the fish want.
Many times they’ll strike it when the cork is still and you’re not working it all.

You can also cast this rig on the backside of your drift and drag it behind the boat. Just pop your rod every now and again and allow the boats drift to take up the slack. This “no reeling required” method is great for kids!

A few alternates on the rig:
Try using a plain hook with your plastic bait rather than a jig head. It allows the lure fall through the water column more slowly. Late summer when the fish are lethargic this will draw lots of strikes.

Another alternative is to bait with shrimp or piece of cut bait. You will catch more catfish and sharks this way but it can be productive when the fish just won’t  hit plastic.

Try using a popping cork instead of the rattle cork. Some days the chug of the popper will draw more fish.

Final word:
This rig is a simple and easy productive way to catch trout. But don’t be surprised if you catch a Spanish mackerel, blue fish, flounder, or Red!

15 Baits That Won the Bassmaster Classic

15 Baits That Won the Bassmaster Classic

1971
Key Lure: Zorro Aggravator (spinnerbait)
Site: Lake Mead, Las Vegas, NV
Winner: Bobby Murray, Hot Springs, AR

1972
Key Lure: Okiebug S.O.B. (spinnerbait)
Site: Percy Priest Reservoir, Nashville, TN
Winner: Don Butler, Tulsa, OK

1976
Key Lure: Fleck Weed Wader (spinnerbait); secondary bait: Bagley Honey B (shown)
Site: Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, AL

1979
Key Lure: Mann’s Jelly Worm (6-inch)
Site: Lake Texoma, Pottsboro, TX
Winner: Hank Parker, Clover, SC

1982
Key Lure: Norman Deep Little N (crankbait)
Site: Alabama River, Montgomery, AL
Winner: Paul Elias, Laurel, MS

1983
Key Lure: Ditto Gator Tail plastic worm (5-inch)
Site: Ohio River, Cincinnati, OH
Winner: Larry Nixon, Hemphill, TX

1986
Key Lure: Toledo Tackle plastic worm; secondary bait: Bagley DB3 (shown)
Site: Chickamauga Lake, Chattanooga, TN
Winner: Charlie Reed, Broken Arrow, OK

1988
Key Lure: Stanley Jig with a Luck “E” Strike Guido’s Bug trailer
Site: James River, Richmond, VA
Winner: Guido Hibdon, Gravois Mills, MO

1990
Key Lure: Poe’s RC1 (crankbait)
Winner: Rick Clunn, Montgomery, TX
Site: James River, Richmond, VA

1994
Key Lure: Culprit worm (6-inch)
Winner: Bryan Kerchal, Newtown, CT
Site: High Rock Lake, Greensboro, NC

1995
Key Lure: Bomber Fat Free Shad (crankbait)
Winner: Mark Davis, Mount Ida, AR
Site: High Rock Lake, Greensboro, NC

1998
Key Lure: 3-inch generic tube bait
Winner: Denny Brauer, Camdenton, MO
Site: High Rock Lake, Greensboro, NC

2002
Power Frog trailer; secondary bait: Berkley Frenzy (shown)
Winner: Jay Yelas, Jasper, TX
Site: Lay Lake, Birmingham, AL

2005
Key Lure: Smithwick RB1200 Rattlin’ Rogue
Winner: Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, MI
Site: Three Rivers, Pittsburgh, PA

2010
Key Lure: Strike King Red Eye Shad (lipless crankbait)
Winner: Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, MI
Site: Lay Lake, Birmingham, AL

2012
Key Lure: Gambler Ugly Otter
Winner: Chris Lane, Guntersville, AL
Site: Red River, Shreveport, LA