Posts Tagged Smallmouth

How to Pick the Right Fishing Rod

I have been told for a long time that I need to use this brand of rod, reel, lure, color, boat and anything else that can be used for fishing. For most people they may not be able to tell the difference between a good rod and a bad rod. To me there is non such thing as a bad piece of fishing equipment if it gets people on the water. However, there is a difference in quality and technique preference. I am going to explain how to pick the right rod for your situation based on several factors.

First, you need to know who is using the rod. Are you someone or are you buying for someone that fishes a lot, occasionally, or 1 to 2 times per year? Is the rod for a beginner or a novice? If the fisherman is a child or not would play a major role in what kind of rod I purchased. Like I previously stated, I believe the most important thing is to be able to go fishing and if that means going and buying a $30 rod/reel combo then that is what should be done. My recommendations for children is to look at the line of Shakespeare kids fishing combos. They are great for beginners and are easy on the budget. Your budget should always drive the quality of rod should purchase or how many you purchase.

Next, I examine the target species we are looking to catch. You don’t need to have a ocean surf fishing rod to catch panfish. Length, weight, reel type, type of eyes and action are just a few options that you have to considered. There are many options out there that can determine how you will view the quality of your rod. Often times people buy a rod with expectations, but never use the rod for the intended use or target a species that it will not be able to handle.

Once you determine who you are buying the rod and what species that will be targeted, you will need to figure out the type of lures that are going to be used. There are many rods that are good for more than one application. However, I have rods that I will only use for one technique. Which sounds crazy to someone outside the competitive fishing world, but most competitive anglers only use 1 rod for 1 technique for a few reasons. First, the rod is typically built with a certain technique in mind. Second, the settings in the reel don’t need to be changed. Third a comfort level with technique and rod can be developed.

Now for my suggestions about which rods to buy. I already gave my suggestion for children. My suggestion to everyone is to look at the line of Abu Garcia fishing rods. The Vengeance model is only $50 and the line spans to the Villian model which is $180. There are several levels in between. My favorite model of Abu Garcia fishing rods is the Veracity. Fenwick fishing rods are probably my favorite brand that I have ever used. They combine the feel, durability, and cost efficiency that I look for. If I were to only have one spinning rod in my boat it would be a 6′-9″ Fenwick Smallmouth Series. It is good for every bass technique I have tried to use it for and doesn’t cost as much as more expensive rod with the same sensitivity.

Hopefully, this article will help you make a better informed decision on which rod to buy. If there are any questions make a comment and I will try to answer whatever question you have.

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TBF District 6 Tournament – Lake Erie

August 8th marked the second of three TBF district 6 tournaments.  This tournament was held on Lake Erie. The tournament launched from Marina Bay and was open to all waters, bay and main lake.  The Bass Hounds were there with 3 boaters and two riders.  The limit at the tournament was 4 fish, due to issues with keeping fish alive, due to very hot water temperatures; at the pre-tourney meeting the limit was changed to three fish to try to help this situation.

Most if not all boats headed out of the bay and towards the main lake to fish for the giant smallmouth bass that the lake has to offer.  Heading west was almost impossible as the wind was from the west and the waves were growing bigger and bigger, hour by hour.  At 6am when the tournament took off the waves were around 3 to 6 foot.  This made the fishing almost impossible.  The guys that headed east were able to fish for a little longer until the wind and waves caught up to them.  By 1pm there was a small craft advisory on the lake with waves in the 4 to 8 foot range.  Most boats had headed near or into the bay by 12 noon.  Largemouth bass can be caught near and in the bay area at Erie.

The choice baits at Erie are tubes, drop shot, blade baits, and even top water lures.  It seems you need some wind at Erie to make the fishing good, but you know what they say about too much of a good thing.  The wind was so bad that guys we were using 1 oz plus weights to try to get our baits to stay on the bottom.  It was just plain hard to get a bite when the conditions are like that.

Out of 46 entries only 9 limits were weighed, also fish were weighed by only 25 contestants.  One of the limits weighed was by Bass Hounds boater Rich Wolota, a limit of three largemouths’s weighing in at 5.72 as all he could do.  Rich said that his spots on the main lake were unfishable when he arrived there.  This limit landed Rich in 8th place for the tournament.  Co anglers Derek Severns and Jeff Spencer both had one fish each. This left Derek in 6th place and Jeff in 12th.   These were finishes that helped out all three anglers in the Angler and Co-Angler of the year races.  After Erie, Rich Wolota is in second place in the Angler of the year standings.  In the Co-Angler of the year standings after 2 of 3 events, Derek Severns is in first place and Jeff Spencer is in fifth place.  Anglers Brad Bressler and Brian Spencer are sitting in 10th and 18th respectively.

August 22 marks the last of the three District 6 events on the Allegheny River.  The Bass Hounds are looking for a strong finish to the year and possibly two Angler of the Year titles.  Again, The Bass Hounds would like to thank all of their sponsors.  A special thanks goes out for this update to Valvoline Oil for their sponsorship throughout the year…Thanks again guys, catch you after the Allegheny River.

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Well after spending this past weekend practicing at Chautauqua for my upcoming B.A.S.S. tournement, I am pumped to get back up there.  Every time I go to New York to fish I leave thinking about the next time I will be heading back.  The combination of beautiful lakes, great fishing, and friendly people make it a pleasure to visit.

This past weekend the weather made fishing more than a little difficult.  Saturday the wind was ripping and there was a mix of rain and sun shine.  The lake laid down towards the evening and I was able to get some nice fish.  Sunday I woke up to the wind being a little more calm, but it rained the majority of the day.  The surface was temperature varied.  I saw temps as warm as 74 degrees and as low as 68 degrees.  The lake seemed to be turning over because there was a thick layer of green alge floating in the water.  It was so thick in certain spots that it affected the sonar.

The fishing wasn’t stellar, but I did manage to get some really nice largemouth.  The aggressive bite was not on at all.  I also couldn’t get bit punching weeds.  Which is very confusing because that lake is covered in weed cover.  I managed to find a pattern that I managed to catch 5 keepers saturday that weighed over 13 pounds, and 5 keepers sunday that weighed over 14 pounds.  I fished this pattern about 1/10 of the time I was on the water.  I feel that if I would have worked 2 of my spots that I could possible end up with the 20 pound bag that I will need this saturday.

If you remember my post about Chautauqua in the spring I was catching mostly smallmouth.  This trip I only managed 2 smallmouth and a bunch of largemouth.  I am not real sure where they have disappeared to but I know if I am going to win I better find them this friday.

For anyone that wants to check out weigh-in we will be at Long Point State Park.  Weigh-in should start around 3:00 pm and last for at least 1 hour.  The Bassmaster Weekend Series – run by the ABA does a great job with fish conservation and public relations.  Come on out and see it for yourself.

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Post Spawn Blues

To me the toughest time of year to fish is the post spawn.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t get fish to eat, but they may be difficult to hook or get hooked up well, land, and find.  Sometimes as anglers we are doing nothing wrong and we can’t seem to have any success.  This was how my entire weekend went.

I believe that the fish in Western Pennsylvania have moved into the post spawn time of  year.  That is not to say that you can’t find a few bass still on beds.  You can and will still find some bedding bass.  However, the majority of the females have left the beds for the males to guard. 

Saturday, I headed up to Wilhelm with my dad trying to find some of the true giant largemouth bass that swim those waters.  Unfortunately, the fish were in post spawn meaning that they were going to be very inactive.  We landed about 8 bass, but nothing was over 3lbs.  I was able to hook up with 2 good fish that came off.  Both fish ate the jig to the point where they were swimming with it.  I nailed them with a good hook set and both fish (one around 4lbs and the other pushing 6lbs) managed to shake the hook on the way in. 

Sunday my wife and myself met my parents at Shenago Lake for a picnic and some fishing.   The day went very much like Wilhelm the day before.  I managed to catch 9 bass, but only one smallmouth would keep and it was the first fish I caught.  I hooked up with 9 more bass that came off, and missed about 5 fish to short strikes. 

Fishing the post spawn can be very frustrating, but once you get on the fish you can catch alot of them in one area.

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TBF District 6 – Pymatuning

This Saturday I had a great day of practice fishing with a young friend, Nick Black.  Nick is 9 years old and absolutely loves to go fishing and hunting.  His family has a camp at Pymatuning so since I was heading up to practice anyways I told him that he was welcome to come with me.  I had no idea we would have such a great day.  He was able to catch 10 bass, smallmouth and largemouth, and they varied from 14-17 inches long.  Needless to say he was very excited. 

With a great practice day behind me and a cold front arriving I prepared for a tough day on the water on Sunday.  I was fishing in my first TBF District 6 event ever on Sunday.  I was fortunate enough to draw a great partner and president of the Pennsylvania TBF Mike Pierro.  Mike was more than willing to fish however I wanted to, and it was very obvious that he was a skilled fishermen from the word go. 

Throughout the day we struggle to get good bites, but i managed to get a limit of 5 bass that weighed 9.21 pounds.  It wasn’t what I would call a stellar day on the water but at least I had a limit.  Little did I know that it would be good enough to finish in 3rd place.  Needless to say I was quite pleased and I am looking forward to fishing the rest of the District 6 events. 

For all of the competitive anglers out there who have yet to fish a federation tournament, I urge you to join a club that allows you to do so.  These are good guys that just love to fish and compete.

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