Thanks to today’s taxidermists and their artistic skills with fiberglass replicas, if you catch a trophy fish you can release it and still have it on the wall to show off. To help make sure you get a fish mount as close as possible to the original fish, always make sure you have a camera with you. With today’s smartphones that should not be a problem. Always keep an accurate fishing scale and a tape measure handy too. As quick as you can after catching the fish, weigh it and measure its length and girth. Next take several quick photos…
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Mercury pro Jay Yelas loves fishing for bass when they are in the shallows. Like everyone who chases bass, Yelas has his preferred methods of extracting these piscine warriors from their cover. One of Jay's go-to offerings to entice bass in the skinny water is the famous Yamamoto Senko worm. Sure, there are other lures designed for shallow-water presentations, but the Senko tops Yelas' list for an all-around offering. Spring is Senko time. "Spring is probably the season most associated with fishing a Senko," said Yelas. "When bass are not hitting a reaction bait, the Senko is tough to beat.Jay…
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A friend of mine has a theory: any time you see the word fat or calories in an advertisement for food, just substitute the word taste and you’ll know whether it’s any good. If the ad copy says “reduced calories,” you can assume it has “reduced taste,” too. This is analogous in the world of fishing to words like “stretch.” In recent years, we’ve been told that braided line has “no stretch” and fluorocarbon has “minimal stretch.” We’ve held this to be a self-evident truth that they’re better than traditional monofilament. Edwin Evers locks into a topwater bite. The stretch…
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Most times if you want to find fish, find weeds. Practically every species of fish like to spend time in the weeds and that means you should, too. Weeds are where baitfish often congregate to find security, and usually weeds will offer slightly cooler, more oxygen-rich water. If you locate a school of fish in the weeds, learn everything you can about the cover. What kind of weeds are they? How dense are the weeds? Where are the fish located in the weeds? Is the water dingy or clear? What’s the water temperature? Is it shaded or sunny? If the…
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Tips for Catching White Bass

Sunday, March 22 2015 7:00 am - for Bass
When water temperatures reach the low 50s, whites start moving upstream, out of the lakes and reservoirs, until they reach a dam or other obstacle that blocks their travel. Here the white bass stack up and continually gorge themselves, waiting for the magic 55-degree mark to complete their spawn. One of America’s most popular gamefish is the white bass. The most exciting time to fish for them is during their annual spring spawning run up streams and rivers. Here's a handy guide from the Texas Parks and Wildlife department that shows you how to tell the difference between a white…
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Spring is here and it's a good time to take inventory of your walleye trolling rods and reels in preparation for the upcoming season. Load up on the correct gear before you hit the water and you'll be on your way to the best season of your life.   If you're anything like me, you can't wait to feel the pull of that first fish on your line this spring. Selecting the Perfect Trolling Rods Walleye trolling rods should have a few key features: They should be at least 7 feet 6 inches, but by far the most popular lengths are…
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Jerk Fishing for Crappie

Sunday, March 08 2015 7:00 am - for Crappie
Want to try something a little different when crappie fishing this spring? Try jerking for them. Jerking is a technique that’s been used in some parts of the country for quite a few years but is just now catching on in others. Here's how you do it. Rig a minnow or jig under a bobber, cast it around crappie cover, then moveit with short, quick jerks every minute or two. Beneath the surface, your jerks make the bait dart erratically for a second and then flutter down, simulating a wounded baitfish, and that really excites a crappie. When using this…
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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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