TADWACKY'S FISHING TIPS & TECHNIQUES
FRESHWATER & SALTWATER
Tad Wacky Fishing Tips
* Plan the next fishing trip. Have a plan where to start the day fishing and the next spot, the next and so forth. Have a plan for the fishing tackle needed and the species targeted. In case someone is already fishing a location have a backup plan. Rig fishing poles the night before and be ready to cast the fishing rod at all times. Never know when a fishing/catching opportunity will present itself when on the water.
* If possible check and plan fishing trips around the full and new moons. If fishing saltwater, plan to be on the water 30 minutes to an hour before the water starts moving from dead low tide. The early part of the incoming can be the best, as can be the early parts of an outgoing tide. Best full/new moon days will be when the moon is directly overhead or at 90 degrees (rising/setting moon) while on the water fishing. Fishing is usually better 2 - 3 days before or after a new/full moon.
* Always keep the hooks sharp. Carry a sharpening stone and keep the hook tips sharp. Consider removing the barbs. By maintain constant pressure on the fish the hook will not pull out without a barb. It also makes it better for the fish when they are going to be released.
* keep the fishing line taught, immediately after casting the lure or live bait out into the water, not tight where the fish can sense it . During the slow sink to the bottom is a crucial time to be monitoring your line slackness. The fishing rod will be much more sensitive to soft strikes when there is no slack in the line. Also keep an eye to see if your line is traveling sideways. This is a sure indication a fish has your lure in his mouth.
* Always have a careful eye on the water and surroundings while on the water. Many times the birds or other fish feeding in the area will signal a great location to check out. Birds diving into the water is a good indication of baitfish in the area and the big fish won't be far behind.
* Always use some kind of scent on artificial fishing lures and chum is a good idea when using fishing lures or live baits. Scents will greatly increase the chances of catching fish. For one thing they help disguise human odors on your lures.
* Try to dispense or set a chum bag up stream or up tide when the current is moving to help disperse the chum in the water. A great simple chum mixture is canned mackerel and menhaden oil. Experiment with the mixture and toss small bits overboard upstream of the cast net area. Store in the freezer until the next fishing trip. Just freshen with some menhaden oil and water after allowing it to thaw.
* Check the fishing line often for abrasions, cuts and bad knots. When a big strike finally occurs don't let tackle failure be the reason he got away. Change the fishing line every couple months and use a quality fishing line. Fluoro carbon leaders are highly recommended for certain predator fish.
* When deciding on lure colors keep in mind the environment to be fishing. The water visibility, the sky condition, the wind and the temperatures. Use blue, purple, black, green in milky, unclear or deeper waters. Use White, chartreuse or yellow in clearer or shallow waters. Red also makes a great top water lure application color. Determine if the fish are viewing your fishing lure against the bottom, somewhere in the water column or under a bright sky background. This will affect your lure color selection and appearance to the fish. Many times the water will in fact be clear but there is suspended particles in the water that makes it appear milky or muddy. Waters are often clearer in the fall and winter months, then milky in the summer months due to heavier boat traffic, rain runoffs and biological processes in the warmer waters. Plan and rig fishing tackle appropriately.
* Use smaller jig heads on artificial shrimp lures and/or less lead weight on lure offerings. Free lining rubber lures and live baits can be the ticket to catch fish when they are not biting so well.
*Slow down the retrieve of the lure and/or move it slowly on the bottom. This tactic aggravates the big fish and lures them to strike your lure.
* Try using a popping floater for redfish, trout and some other aggressive species. The sound of a popping floater simulates fish striking baitfish in the area and will attract the bigger fish. This is a killer Redfish and Seatrout tactic. Especially up tight around the mangroves on high tides and on the trout flats on low incoming or low outgoing tides.
* When possible take advantage of cloudy summer day and light rain conditions. These conditions are much cooler for the fish and the barometric pressures will be dropping. Great times to hook into some big fish. Just make sure there are is no lightning in the area.
* Use lighter fishing tackle and fishing lines. Unless fishing around docks, or mangroves try using lighter leaders and primary fishing lines. 8 -12 or even 6 lb test fishing line for trout without a leader will often perform better on slow days.
* Get out of the boat and wade fish or walk the shore. Some of the biggest freshwater and saltwater fish are caught while wade fishing or walking the shoreline of lakes and rivers. A boat is not necessary to catch quality fish.
* Don't have a boat and plan to fish a seawall, bridge or shore then try hand trolling. Just put on a shallow diving plug, swimming bait, or hook & live pinfish and pull the bait up the shoreline, dock or bridge. Some really big fish have been caught this way so be prepared with the appropriate tackle, lines and leaders when utilizing this method.
* One popular method of catching monster snook is to build a heavy duty snatch rod & bait setup, also known as a Calcutta Pole. This is a heavy fishing rod or wooden stick. Tie a double loop of 20 ft length, strong 1/4 inch rope around the thicker end of a 7 - 8 ft bamboo pole about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. With that loop secure move up from the butt end of the pole 6 inches and tie another double loop around the bamboo pole. Go up another 6 inches and repeat this to the end of the pole. Allow about 6 inches to hang free at the end and attach a large swivel. To this swivel tie a 8 - 10 ft mono leader of 100 lbs or more. Now attach a #4.0 to 5.0 circle hook. Tie a big lure or jig to the line end. Walk up to a dock or seawall being sure to keep a low profile so the fish cannot detect your approach. Take the rod tip and do a figure eight in the water with the lure and sometimes even the rod rod swiftly back and forth. Occasionally this method will hook into a real monster fish. fishermen will have to land the fish manually with no drag, no rod flex so it can be brutal but rewarding. This is also a great survival technique to make a fishing pole if ever in a survival situation. Photo coming soon....
* When site casting to fish, and depending on if the fish are schooling or a single target, cast the lure or make the presentation of the lure neither too close or to far away from the fish. A little practice will demonstrate the proper amount of distance needed from the fish to the lure's water landing. Let the lure sit for a few seconds or even minutes if patience will allow, and slightly twitch the lure. Never cast the fishing lure where the fish are, but rather where they are expected to be a short time after the lure settles from the cast. And remember if one fish is frightened in a school they will usually all take off and leave the area.
* Always use stealth when approaching fish from land or with a boat. If they detect someone is in the area they probably won't bite even though the fish are visible in the water.
* Consider using a Kayak or Canoe. Fishing from a Kayak can be very exciting, doesn't cost much and gives you an unfair advantage over fishermen using power boats. In many area Kayaks are not charged parking, or launch fees in comparison to rising boat launch fees. There are also established kayaking paddle trails in many areas of the United States that cover countless miles of marked waterway trails. Using a Kayak helps the environment!
* Consider hiring a fishing guide that is familiar with the local fishing conditions. Fishing is different throughout the year and under different conditions. Fish also move around and an experienced fishing guide will know the best times, baits, locations to fish.
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