KNOTS MADE EASY
Well a little bit easier anyway...
Tying lures, hooks or swivels securely to fishing line can be a hassle for many of us. When I was a child I'd simply tie 4 or 5 over hand knots, give it a tug and if the lure didn't come off, I was ready to fish. Today there are countless knots, combinations of knots and personal favorites that you'll no doubt be shown by your local "expert".
Here are a couple easy ones you don't need a degree in engineering to master.
|1. Pass line through eye of hook and return through eye making a 3" or 4" loop as shown.|
|2. Hold line and hook eye with one hand and use other hand to tie a loose overhand knot in doubled line. Do not tighten.|
|3. Hold loose overhand knot and pull loop over hook, swivel or lure.|
|4. Pull on doubled line to draw knot up making sure loop does not hang up in
hook eye or swivel. Pull both line ends to tighten. Clip off end about 1/8"
NOTE: Pulling the loop over the hook, lure, etc. (step 3), is what keeps this knot from slipping, so don't cheat or you may be sorry when that big one hits.
Tie an overhand knot. Leave 5" of free end. Run free end through the
Run free end back through overhand knot.
Wrap free end around standing part of line 3 times.
Thread free end through back of overhand knot.
Pass free end through loop that is formed.
Moisten line and draw up tight. Trim excess.
A jigging spoon is meant to appear like a wounded bait fish when jigged upward and then allowed to flutter back toward the bottom. These lures will draw strikes from temperamental and non-aggressive bass if presented and worked correctly.
Spoon jigging can yield more strikes from larger fish once you've mastered the technique. It's a sure fire way to draw out bass in deep water and around vertical structure such as a steep drop off, large rocks, stumps or sunken trees.
THE BASICS OF JIGGING
The jigging motion used should be a slow, upward movement of your rod tip
anywhere from six inches to three feet, then lower the rod tip back parallel
to the water again before letting out more line and repeating the jigging
motion again. Repeat this until you bounce your spoon off the bottom and
start back up stopping every few feet to jig your lure.
When jigging you'll want to keep your boat over vertical structure (stumps, large rocks, underwater trees, or a steep drop off).
When jigging very rarely will a bass hammer the lure. You will feel only a tap or pause as the lure drops. Hits when jigging spoons can be described as taps, twitches or a steady pull and almost always occur when the spoon is dropping or stopped between motions. When felt you should set the hook hard! Follow your sinking lure closely with your pole tip, don't allow slack in you line or you may not feel these gentle hits so common to jigging.
By far my favorite type of fishing. There's nothing quite like the feeling
you get when a bass nails a surface lure. Be fore warned however, wait until
you feel the weight of the fish to set the hook. Trying to set the hook instantly
upon attack may have you trying pull your lure out of the trees or worse.
I know, easier said than done.
Choice of lure color, buzz baits, poppers, jerk baits, size and shape should be left, perhaps, more to personal preference than to science as discussed below in "Picking Lure Colors". After working an area with one type lure without success change lures and try again. Some days even fishing can be 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration.
A FEW TOP WATER TIPS
Top water lures naturally work best when bass are in the shallows. This normally occurs in the spring, fall, summer early morning and early evening. Bass prefer water temperatures in the 60 degree range but spend allot of time in warmer shallow water during feeding. Top water effectiveness can depend on weather condition. Lures that make allot of noise for rough water on windy days, darker colors on overcast days, a well placed stick of dynamite on bad days...
Bass rely on good cover in order to ambush their prey. Check the water for
fallen trees, stumps, large rocks, weed beds and even shadows on the water
from nearby trees. Bass are not real keen on chasing prey very far so a well
placed cast can make all the difference.
Keep your hooks sharp. Check hooks for burrs or bent tips after snags. Watch your line for sign of wear and keep that tip up or away from parallel with you line. Your poles action is your best allie in keeping your line tight and absorbing the shock of the sudden turns of a fighting fish.
Talk to any three anglers fishing the same water and you'll no doubt get three different answers to the question. What's the best color lure ?
Here are a few basics to consider when choosing lure color.
First, what are the weather conditions, bright sun or overcast? Is
the wind calm or strong ?
Water condition. Is the water clear, muddy or clouded with algae ?
Where's that stick of dynamite you had in your tackle box ?
Clear water and Bright Sun - Silver or other highly reflective color is best. Remember bass are also visual hunters, not forgetting their great senses of smell and hearing, so make the most of clear conditions and also consider their natural food sources, baby rainbow, shad, herring, crawfish, frogs, eye of newt and wing of bat...
Clear and Deep - The best color to combine with silver when fishing deep is blue. Blue holds its color deeper than the rest. Reds quickly fade to gray as the water filters out the red in the sunlight.
Overcast days and cloudy water conditions - Now the controversy really starts. Many will tell you to use dark colors, since the fish now see only the silhouette of the lure against the lighter sky. Still others want you to use florescent colors for improved visibility and most will combine all of the above with noise makers, either a rattle or some other surface running, noise making contraption.
Windy Conditions - Fishing non surface lures can be productive or... here we go again... I've been told to use one of those louder noise makers to attract the fish... Haven't tried this yet since my mother-in-law refuses to get in the boat with me...
And when all else fails forget everything you've been told and pull out your old favorite, what ever it may be, and give it a toss!