If you are not lucky enough to live in an area that has a year-round trout fishery, then winterizing your fly gear should be an annual undertaking. Thorough cleaning and storage will keep all your gear performing and looking like new for years to come.   First off, your rods, reels, nets and waders should be thoroughly washed.  If you don’t get sand, silt and debris off of your equipment, it may harm your gear to remove it once it has fully dried.     Rods Thorough cleaning and storage will keep your fly gear performing and looking like new…
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There is a certain joy in potential. After applying a coat of super glue to the collar wrap, I removed the bucktail jig from the vise and hung it on the edge of a cup.  It joined a dozen others I’d tied during the evening session.  Some would end up buried in a stump or boulder, lost forever.  Others would endure a great day of fishing, then be retired.  There’s always the chance, however, that one could even end up hooking the fish of a lifetime. I couldn’t help but wonder what adventures lay in store.    During a guide…
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Wading is, by far, the best way to approach spooky flats species such as redfish, bonefish, permit, and sometimes snook and trout. When the fish are in water that's barely ankle deep, stealth is critical, and that gives wade-fishers a big advantage. Your profile is low and small, you can move very slowly, and you have complete control of those breathless moments when you need to stand stock-still as a fish comes by within a rod-length. But there are a few things to know about being part of the wet-pants brigade. Here are some tips, gleaned over decades of tromping…
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Gear Guide for Shrimping

Monday, December 08 2014 12:00 am - for Saltwater Fishing
Smother this little fellow and a couple dozen of his friends in garlic and butter, and you have a feast you caught yourself. Shrimping. It’s simple really. Especially if you have the right saltwater equipment; or better yet, a friend who does. Here is the account of my first experience and a few simple ways you can catch a mess of these delicious crustaceans. We launched my friend Margaret Ellen’s 17-foot boat just two hours before low tide; right around 3:00 p.m. Out through the creek and into the expanse of Bull’s Bay just off the coast of South Carolina,…
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Some anglers destroy the fish on topwaters, some manage only a few, fishing the same waters with the same lures. Why might this be? Fishing a topwater bait is a lot like Dancing with the Stars. You have to have all the right moves to be successful. The zig-zag action that drives fish crazy takes the right lure, rod, line and leader, not to mention a "10" in technique.  1. Choose a lure that's easy to walk. Most look like a tapered cigar. The Heddon Spook was one of the first and it's still great, but now there are many…
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Gulp Alive minnows are a great alternative in the winter months. They are durable and convenient to store. Plus, they are much easier to hook than a wiggly minnow when your fingers are frozen. Best of all, walleye love ‘em! While using minnows to tip jigs is a proven combination when fishing for river walleye during fall and early winter, the colder temperatures can make that strategy a challenge.  So instead, I rely on artificial minnows such as Berkley Gulp! Alive! minnows to spice up my leadheads. From a tactics standpoint, there’s not a lot to say regarding using Gulp…
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Look down in your rod box and chances are you see . . . a mess. Not only that, but the fishing rod you really need, RIGHT NOW, is the one on the bottom of the mess! How to avoid this headache? Here are a few tips, gleaned from years of tangles: 1. First, use a good rod sleeve such as the Bass Pro Shops XTS Rod Sock to keep your line under wraps. These sleeves not only reduce tangles, they also protect rod guides and tips as you slide a stick in and out of the box. Use a…
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There are many ways to pursue the elusive Atlantic permit.  Anglers will often tip the odds in their favor by casting a permit’s favorite food, live crab.  Others find that duping one into biting an artificial jig is an even more unique challenge, and many agree catching a permit on the fly represents a truly great angling achievement.   The right combination of current, structure and presentation can lead to landing more permit like this one. Whatever your saltwater tackle and bait choices, there are a few basic tips that Captain Bob Branham suggests for consistent permit success. Captain Bob…
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When Winter Panfish Behave Badly

Monday, December 01 2014 5:34 pm - for Ice Fishing
A common mistake some anglers make is thinking the world below the ice is static.  The mistaken belief that nothing changes.  We have all probably been lulled into a great bite where we set up on a location and the fish basically make us look good.  The fish accelerate towards your presentation, rise up and than greet you.  The reality is that you can use several different presentations and fish those presentations several different ways and get bit.  We go home with a bounce in our step and a grin.  We also go home with confidence. Confidence however, must be…
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4 Panfish Ice Baits You Need

Saturday, November 29 2014 9:00 am - for Ice Fishing
The big profile of the Rapala Jigging Shad Rap and wide, gliding action are the ticket to trophy slabs and jumbo perch. For those of us in the North Country, ice fishing is just around the corner. The start of the season can provide some incredible action. Here are four must-have baits for icing big panfish all winter long. 1. Jigging Minnows Slab crappie and jumbo perch love jigging minnows, such as the Rapala Jigging Shad Rap. When panfish are on the chew at early ice, the big profile of these lures and wide, gliding action really have a knack for…
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