Posts Tagged Fishing

Take Kids Fishing

I am a great believer that kids need to be exposed to the outdoors. Whether it is fishing, hiking, hunting, or anything else it gives a certain bond and enjoyment for the kids and the parents. From the time I was born up to this past weekend I have been camping, fishing, and hunting with my parents. It is something that we have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy to do together.

Below is a video that is from Texas. Other states need to following in there footsteps and try to get todays youth involved in the outdoors. I know some local clubs and organizations hold kids tournament, but we simple need to have learn to fish sessions for kids and parents alike. Remember kids are the future of the sport. Check out the video.

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Washington County Bassmasters Cabin Fever Tournament

Cross Creek Lake in Avella was host to the 2011 Cabin Fever Tournament, this marked the first tournament that The Bass Hounds will fish this year.   Team member Derek Severns partnered up with Jim Lambert to fish this early season buddy tournament.  With air and water temperatures still cold you know the fishing will be slow, the question with this tournament each year, is how slow?  There were 28 boats signed up for this tournament.

The anglers were greeted with a beautiful morning and a promise of temperatures to be warming up in the afternoon.  The water temps started off around 45 degrees but warmed to 50 by the afternoon.  The fishing was slow, the guys started off flipping jigs and throwing lipless crank baits.  Between 8am and noon, the guys only had one bite which was a swing and a miss, but they kept a mental note of where the bite was.  Around 12:30 they made a sort run to a point that has always given up one fish or two during these early tournaments.  The point did not disappoint this year either.  Derek hooked up with what ended up being the tournament lunker, a 5.3 pound largemouth.  That fish really got the blood pumping on this slow day.  Both guys knew with just one more fish they would really have a shot of doing well.  After an hour or

so of no bites, the team decided to move back up the lake to where they had missed the fish earlier in the day.  Jim flipped in the bush and bang, the fish was on, it was the team’s second keeper!  This really gave the guys a chance now, but they continued to think, if we could get one more good fish, it could be game over.  But that bite never came, they fished hard all the way to the end.

At the weigh in it seemed that not too many boats were bringing in fish.  There was rumor of a 6 plus pound fish, which never surfaced, Derek’s 5.3 ended up being the tournament lunker and with Jims fish, the team ended up with 8.05.  This was enough for second place, the first place team of Bill and Rob Tarr had two bass for 8.16, so it was close.  Only 6 teams weighed fish.  Washington County Bassmasters does an excellent job with this tournament and hats off to all of the people that help make this event possible.

This is the first of many events The Bass Hounds team will be fishing this year…this weekend, March 26th, team members Brad Bressler and Derek Severns will be teaming up to fish the Mariners Buddy event back at Cross Creek, and then it is off to Erie for the opening district tournament for the TBF D-6, and then to Washington DC for the TBF Mr. Bass East Event.  The Bass Hounds would like to thank all of their 2011 Sponsors, Valvoline Oil, Nervous Waters, Metal Menders, Strauss Automotive, Poor Boy Baits and FishPittsburgh.com without the help of these companies this would not be possible.

 

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Finding Spring Crappie

crappie_art

Catching spring crappie is a great way to spend a nice spring afternoon or evening. The key to finding spring crappie is to find the type of water that is holding them. The best places to start looking for spring crappie would be: wood, weeds, rocks, or possible some bridge pillar. Once you find what the crappies are holding on start looking for other places that look like the place you found. Minnows seem to be the most consistent bait and will give you the best success in catching good numbers of crappie. In clear water you will want to make sure you are using light weight fluorocarbon line or at least a fluorocarbon leader. The rig of choice would be a slip bobber with a jig and minnow or a minnow on a split shot rig. A great place to start if you are just starting out is to go out and get a book about crappie fishing.  Here is one of the best crappie book  I have ever read,  Crappie Fundamentals. Good luck and have fun.

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Weekend on Lake Arthur

 

26" Lake Arthur Walleye

26" Lake Arthur Walleye

I went to Lake Arthur this weekend and put in at the 528 end of the lake.  On Saturday, I got to the lake around 9am, and the water temp was in the low 40s.  The weather turned out to be enjoyable, but the fishing was still pretty slow.  I was able to manage a few bass, one smallmouth and one largemouth both on a jerkbait.  I was also able to get a pretty nice walleye on a shad rap. When I left around 5pm the water had warmed up to around 47 degrees.  

 

Sunday’s weather wasn’t as nice.  We were on the water around 10am, and it was cold, rainy, and windy.  The wind got worse as the day progressed with frequent wind gusts.  I caught three largemouth on a jig, but only one kept.  We left around 4pm, as the weather was getting worse and I had my fill of the lake for the weekend.

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Fishing for Lake Arthur Hybrid Striper

Hybrid Striper

Hybrid Striper

For years my friends and family have chased the elusive hybrid striper around Lake Arthur.  The attraction to striper fishing begins with their slamming hits and powerful fast fight.  Most anglers agree that these fish are one of the hardest fighting fish that swim in freshwater.  In the following I will discuss some techniques, lures, and possible locations to get you started in chasing these beautiful creatures. 

Let’s start with some general information about hybrid stripers.  First, hybrid stripers are unable to naturally reproduce.  That is the reason that the creel limits set by the PA Fish Commission is 2 fish at 20″.  They are a good tasting fish and you only will need 1 or 2 to make a meal for a family.  I recommend keeping hybrid stripers to eat in the spring when the water is colder,  the fish is less fatty, and has a better taste.

Next, let’s talk about weather conditions and locations on the lake.  The best weather conditions and locations to fish on the lake depend on the time of year.  In the spring, I look for days with a slight wind and lots of sun.  During this time I am looking for active baitfish.  Since the sun makes the baitfish get active and spawn these conditions are ideal for catching hybrid striper.  Watch for vicious surface action in the schools of baitfish and move in slowly, being careful not to spook the bait and striper.  During the summer, the cooler overcast days tend to be the best.  However, if you are able to fish during the night then you should consider fishing those hot humid nights.  These fish are cold water creatures and with feed when the surface temperature cools down.  During the fall, I fish much like I do in the spring.  Looking for those days with the sun and slight wind.  No matter what time of year I am fishing for Lake Arthur hybrid striper I fish the same types of areas.  For me, there is no where better than fishing a roadbed.  I would say that I catch about 75% of my stripers on the roadbeds.  You will find sweet spots that they always seem to hold or come up to feed on them.  Other areas to try are hard bottom rocky shorelines, wind blown points, the creek channel, both bridges, and the areas by the islands.  If you can combine any of those areas into one spot then more than likely you will find the targeted striper.

Now let’s talk about the different techniques that can be used to catch hybrid stripers.  I try to basically break down striper fishing into 2 categories.  First, you can troll for them.  This may be the most productive and more consistent of the 2 styles.  The time of year will determine how deep you want to troll.  Sometimes you will be in less than 4 feet of water, and other times you will need to troll in 20 feet of water.  Once you catch a hybrid trolling make a couple passes through the same area because these fish are pack hunters.  Don’t be surprised if multiple hook ups happen at the same time.  The other method I use is casting and covering water using an electric motor.  This is my favorite style because you really get an aggressive strike and once you find them you are  going to get a bunch of hits and hook ups.  Remember that once you find the fish you want to work your trolling motor as little as possible because these fish are spooked easily.

The next bit of information is what most anglers consider sacred information that I have acquired from experience and from other anglers.  When fishing in the spring I have a few favorite lures.  Soft and hard jerkbaits work extremely well.  Some specific brands lures include zoom flukes, case sinking minnows, bass assassins, rapala xrap and original striper-lures2floater, bomber long A, and strike king wild shiner.  I also like to use spinnerbaits varying in size.  Personally, I have caught more striper on a strike king mini king spinnerbait than any other lure in my box.  Remember when picking a spinnerbait, buzzbait, or swimming jig to match the baitfish size and color (white or shad colored) the best you can.  In the summer you will generally get them on the same lures, but you may need the deep diving version unless you are night fishing.  Another lure you may want to try in the summer is a rapala shad rap.  It gets down a little deeper than most jerkbaits.  As far as live bait goes I would stick to shiners or I would try to catch some alewives. 

This is a species that everyone can enjoy catching, so remember to share your experiences with a friend, child, or a family member.  Have fun and good luck!

 

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Saturday on Lake Arthur

moraine3_21

Made it out to Lake Arthur for a few hours on Saturday from Noon till around 6pm.  Didn’t have a whole lot of luck but was able to manage one super skinny largemouth.  The temp was only in the high 40’s and there was a light wind blowing.

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Remember to check the hooks on your hard baits

A hook sharping file is an easy way to keep your hooks sharp.

A hook sharping file is an easy way to keep your hooks sharp.

Remember to check the hooks on your hard baits.  This is something that can be easily over looked, but a dull or rusty hook can turn a good day bad.  A soft bite on a dull hook and you miss the fish.  The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to either sharpen the dull hooks with a file, or simply replace the hook.  Just be sure to match the hooks you’re replacing as close as possible to the original ones to keep from changing the action of the lure.

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WHEN THE ICE COMES OFF

It is the most exciting time of the year! The local lakes, rivers and streams are all thawing and the ice is coming off. We all have a few months of stored up fishing energy that we want to put to good use. Before we rush out to the bone chilling water temperatures here are a few things to remember.

Before you leave home, you should check the tire pressure of your trailer tires. While you are checking the tires, you might want to consider checking your bearings and pack them in grease. Also, you will want to check you trailer lights. I know that I usually have to replace light bulbs throughout the year and I usually start my year with new lights. Depending on what you had done before or during winter on your boats motor you may want to have it tuned, or at least buy a spare set of spark plugs.

Here are a couple personal rules that I follow and live by. When fishing from a boat in water less than 50 degrees I always wear my life jacket while the gas motor is running. The kill switch should always be attached to you as well. This should be practiced even with small engines. While fishing rough water with these cold water temperatures I find myself reaching for my life jacket. The life jacket may restrict or limit your motion, but if you end up in the lake or river these devices will be the main reason you survive. Tournament anglers and recreational fishermen alike should always be concerned with safety first.

Now we can talk fishing. That stored up energy that I talked about.

It can be a killer. You want to fish fast aggressive and cover water. If that is your plan then you might want to give the water a couple of weeks. You are going to have to work slow and be very patient. You are only going to get a few strikes and you may never even feel them. My lures of choice are suspending lures. Hard bodied jerkbaits and shad baits that suspend are my go to baits. The fish will range in depths from 3 feet to 15 feet depending on the lake and species of fish. Don’t expect your fish to have a bunch of hooks in its mouth either. More than likely it will barely be hooked. Fight your fish slow and make sure to keep good tension, but don’t put too much pressure on the hooks.

 

I hope your first trip to the water is a successful one.

 

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