Here in northwestern Pennsylvania it’s the time of year when you take advantage of whatever outdoor opportunities present themselves.  If something is in season and the weather decides to cooperate, you jump at the chance to get out of the house. When the often whimsical conditions finally paired an above-freezing day with nice flows in area waters, my friend Dave and I decided to spend the afternoon prospecting a wild trout stream.   Wild winter trout can fall for the slow, steady vibration made by inline spinners—especially after a pin-point cast. I took my 7.5-foot four-weight fly rod; Dave a…
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Largemouth and smallmouth bass love wobbler style lures and you should, too. The fishing lure’s wobbling action causes powerful surface strikes that will shake you to the bone. Fishing wobblers such as jitterbugs, crazy crawlers and others are made so they wiggle across the surface when steadily retrieved. The constant motion allows fish to follow the bait in low light conditions. Fish a wobbler like you would a crankbait by reeling it straight in toward you and letting the bait do all the work. Run it close to any good bass-holding cover and be ready. It’s hard to beat the…
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Gear You Need for Walleye Fishing

Sunday, February 22 2015 7:00 am - for Walleye
Walleye fishing tackle is becoming more specialized every day, but it is still amongthe simplest of rigs you can buy and use. One of the best all-around combinations is a 6', lightor medium-action spinning rod with an open-face reel balanced to the rod. When you shop for outfits like this, select a reel that comes with a spare line spool. Fill one spool with 6-lb. test, the other with 8-lb test and adjust as needed. When choosing line, look for thin line that is fairly limp. Although this kind of line may not transmit strikes as well as stiffer lines,…
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When you are getting ready for a fishing trip, establishing a routine will help you make sure that every detail is taken care of. The next time you’re getting ready for a day on the water, make a fishing trip packing list of everything you need to do before you slide your boat in the water or put your waders on. Then organize the list in the order you need to accomplish each task. Turn that into a checklist and follow it until you’re doing all of those things by instinct and don’t have to make a list. When it…
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I’d never want to take a crappie shoe shopping. Even if you could overcome the difficult task of sizing a fin correctly, the fish would never be able to make up their mind. One moment plain sneakers would do just fine, the next bright pink platforms are a must-have. The point is, figuring out the depth and color to use when crappie fishing is often a huge guessing game.  These finicky panfish leave me wishing I could just throw my whole jig box in the water and let them decide. Spider rigging is the closest thing to doing just that.…
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Choosing an ice fishing rod can be a daunting task. Here are 4 things to keep in mind when shopping for a new hard-water sword:   Large guides and a crisp, sensitive blank will help you put more slabs on ice this season.   1.    Balance with your Bait A balanced rod is a sensitive one, and sensitivity is allows you to feel light bites. Match the power of the blank to the weight of the baits you intend to fish with it. When in doubt, go with a slightly lighter action graphite blank over a heavier one for baits…
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If you want to catch bass fishing windy days in early spring, find windy banks. Many times, you’ll find that these areas hold the warmest available water on the lake you’re fishing. Baitfish will usually be found there, and of course, bass are going to be there too. A great way to eliminate water is to run a windy bank using your graph or depthfinder to see whether baitfish are congregated there. If so, you can expect to duplicate that pattern on similar areas the rest of the day. You also should use a surface temperature gauge to find the…
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After launching my boat in the river the other day, my sonar unit registered a water temp of 35 degrees—Burrr!  Gamefish such as bass, walleye, crappie, and yellow perch can still be caught in frigid water, but it’s often necessary to hang something right in their face.  When they are schooling along major structures and deep edges the most productive “something” is typically a jigging spoon.   Spoon-Fed Smallie: This cold-water smallmouth fell victim to the enticing “hang” of a jigging spoon. Here are a few tips for fishing with a jigging spoon in cold water: Track ‘Em Down The…
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Fishing Hook Extractor Buying Guide

Thursday, January 22 2015 8:30 am - for Saltwater
Sometimes it's more of a trick to get the hooks OUT of a fish than it is to get them in. When practicing catch and release, removing hooks quickly and with minimal damage is important.  It's a big determinant in whether or not the fish survives to fight again.   Good dehookers can make a huge difference in freeing a fish without lasting damage, either to you or to the victim. While standard long-nose pliers will often do the job, there are now much better tools on the market. Here's a quick look at several types I've found to be…
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Great Ice Fishing Buys for Under $5

Wednesday, January 07 2015 4:00 pm - for Ice Fishing
Don’t let an empty bank account keep you from a great hard water outing.  These items can make all the difference on tough days, and at under $5 each you can still afford to pack some beverages! Berkley Bucket Rod Holder: A steal at $3.99, I regularly use this rod holder for securing my dead-stick rod when soaking a minnow for walleye, perch or crappie. I highly recommend it. Bass Pro Shops Depth Finder Weights: Depth finder weights are traditionally used to quickly find bottom when setting tip-ups and other stationary lines. I also like to use them to add…
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