Finding Tackle

Hooks and Tackle

When it comes to fishing, tackle makes it possible. Rods, reels, sinkers, lures, hooks, and lines are the basics.

Here is a breakdown of the basics and their importance.

FISHING REELS

1. Spincast – A spincast reel is an enclosed reel with a spool feeding line out of a hole in the top. This reel is very versatile and great for beginners. It generally holds less line than other types of reels but its push button casting makes it very easy to use. Dont let anyone tell you that you cant catch fish with a spincast reel.

2. Spinning – A spinning reel has an exposed spool where the line is retrieved by the bale mechanism. When casting, the line is basically free to come off of the spool. Instead of a button being used to start the cast, the bale is opened and your finger holds the line until it is time to fly.

3. Baitcast – A baitcast reel uses a spinning spool where the other two reels use a fixed spool. This is where the dreaded backlash comes from. If the spool ends up spinning so fast that the line no longer has tension, it can result in a fishing line snarl. These reels can usually use more heavy duty line and are used to catch larger fish. Casting a baitcast reel uses a combination of both a button, and your thumb to make sure the spool isnt spinning out of control.

4. Fly reel – The fly reel is a very basic spool that you pull line from on demand. The line is pulled from the reel to gain slack in the line. The slack is used up in the back and forth casting motion of the the long fly rod.


fishing poles
Fishing Pole Styles

FISHING RODS

Fishing rods (poles) come in a few styles. On the left is the rod for the spinning reel. It has no finger trigger to hold on to while casting because you don’t use your thumb to cast this style. The center rod is the baitcast rod. It has a long handle and a trigger to hold on to for stability in casting. Sometime you will need to hold on to the handle with both hands for longer casts. The rod on the right is the spin cast style. It has a short handle and trigger to assist with the one handed thumb cast. The spinning rod will have larger eyes on the bottom because of the wide twirl off a spinning rod. All rods are rated based on durability and action. Heavy action rods are more rigid and can handle stronger line. Light action rods are thinner and more flexible. They are made for lighter line and lures. The action in the tip (top portion of the rod) can also be important. A fast tip with will bend rather easily while the rest of the pole remains fairly rigid. Not pictured is the fly fishing rod where the reel is at the bottom of the pole handle.


fishing lineFISHING LINE

Spools of Fishing LineThere are many kinds of fishing line out there. Monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided line are the three popular styles. All lines have a test strength that can be used to judge how strong the line is. Braided line is typically the strongest. Its is just what it says it is, thin diameter  lines braided together. Braided line is usually the most expensive.  Fluorocarbon is the most sensitive. It is also the least visible. Unfortunately this style of line is fairly rigid so it may not be very shock absorbent. Monofilament is the most versatile. It has moderate elasticity and comes in many colors. Monofilament line is the least expensive and most popular line in general.


fishing hooks
Fishing Hooks

FISHING HOOKS

Hooks come in many shapes and sizes. Too many shapes and sizes to show here. Something to keep in mind when selecting your hook is the type of fish you are after. A fish with a small mouth can not be caught on a large hook. But a fish with a large mouth can be caught on a small hook. Some hooks are thinner and are called wire hooks. If your hook is too thin, it can bend when a large fish gets a hold of it. Finding the hook that works perfectly for your application make take some experimenting. Some fish might not want to bite a bait with an obvious hook, other fish wont care at all.

Growing as an Angler

fishing young

As you grow, fishing grows with you. I have been fishing for over 30 years. Most people start out when their mom or dad takes them down to a lake or pond. Kiddie fishing pole in hand and with help making that first cast, you wait for that first fish.
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From the Shore

Not all fish are caught while out in the boat. Fishing from the shore can have its advantages. It can be spontaneous and convenient. And if you know your spots, it can be extremely rewarding. Here are some things to look for….

Rocky Shore
Rocky Shore

A rocky and sloping shoreline is a great place to find fish. Minnows, crawfish, bugs, and other critters live inside of the rocky gaps and attract fish. Some fish like to spawn in areas like these as well. Watch your step.


Boat Docks
Boat Docks

Docks and other similar structures are likely to be holding fish. They produce shade and cover to make the fish feel more secure while keeping them a little cooler in the summer months. This is a good place for larger fish to feed on smaller fish also looking for cover. So before you run out to the end of the dock trying to cast as far as you can, toss a line in along side it and see what its holding.


Dam Fishing
Dam Fishing

Dams and other man made structures that manage water flow are great fishing locations. The oxygenated and churning waters attract a wide variety of fish. The amount of food and depth of the water mean there will be some really large fish around. Be careful though, the water in areas like these can be dangerous.


River Shore Breaks
River Shore Breaks

Breaks in fast moving water are great places to find fish. The calm spots behind rocks and logs are great places for fish to wait and ambush prey. Let your bait drift past these calm spots and see what surprises they have in store. Be careful not to get too snagged up.


Trees
Trees

If you notice trees near the water, its a good place to look for fish. The shade, and sometimes the trees themselves provide cover for fish. Trees that are actually in the water are very good places to try as well. Just for fun, look into the trees and see how many bobbers you see hanging there. That might be a hint about how popular that spot is.


Shore Weeds
Shore Weeds

Weeds and grasses growing along the shore are excellent places to fish. Cast your bait to the edges and be careful not to get hung up in the weeds. If you can find pockets of water within the weeds, that is also a great place to find fish. Be prepared for the hooked fish to attempt a run into the weeds. Strong line will help here.


Log in the water
Log in Water

Submerged logs, brush, and other underwater structures, are great places to find fish. Cast along side the underwater tree and be careful not to accidentally cross over it. The main thing to be careful of here is a snag. The closer you can get without actually snagging the object, the better. Pay attention to your casting and be ready to get the fish away from the object once its on the hook.

Fishing Fun

Fishing is a great source of fun and good times. While fishing can be fun and exciting while you are alone, it can be even more fun with others. Sure, suddenly hooking into a big fish is fun, but seeing your fishing partner hook a big one is also fun too. You never know what might happen while out fishing with someone else. Find someone to go fishing with and have a good time.
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Good Eats

Long Ear Sunfish

Fishing isn’t only fun, it can feed you too. So whether you just like the taste of fish, or you really need something to eat, grab your pole and search out some of our favorite eats.

bluegillBluegill

Probably the most common of all the panfish… the bluegill. Caught along shorelines almost anywhere, this fish is good eating. Being a smaller fish compared to some, hence the name panfish, it might take a few to make a meal. Whether you are camping, starving, or just like this particular fish, its abundance and pleasant taste make it fun and good eating.


crappieCrappie

The crappie is another panfish that is good eating. Caught in the shallows in spring time, a stringer full of crappie will contribute to a great dinner. Delicate white meat makes this fish very popular for the table.


Yellow PerchYellow Perch

With it’s distinctive yellow body and black stripes, the yellow perch is a stand out. If you are going to have a fish fry the yellow perch is a perfect choice. If you catch one perch, there are likely many more around.


Channel CatfishChannel Catfish

The channel catfish is an extremely popular and good eating fish. Lurking on the bottom of almost any lake or river, this fish can be caught on a variety of baits. Growling large enough for a couple of nice fillets per fish, a stringer full of these might require some room in the freezer.


WalleyeWalleye

Similar to the perch, the walleye is a larger good eating fish. Often swimming close to the bottom, this fish can be caught with a variety of jigs and other similar baits. Although a little toothy compared to the perch, this fish is a keeper none the less. Walleye on your plate, and you are good shape.


Yellow BassSmall Yellow Bass

The yellow bass, white bass, striped bass, and hybrids are all good eating fish. Pictured here is a yellow bass. They are all similar with the striped bass being the largest and the yellow usually being the smallest. Filleted, battered, and fried, these fish are great on the plate.

Respecting Mr. Fish

When it comes to fishing I tend to take it quite seriously. It is not something to be taken for granted. Like anything else that man decides to become involved in, there are consequences for his involvement.
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