Top to Bottom for Redfish & Trout

spotted seatrout catch

Selecting saltwater lures that allow you to effectively work the best part of the water column can help you catch more fish.

“Take it from the top.”

That phrase typically suggests going back to the beginning of a scene or song in some sort of rehearsal, but it’s also a good strategy for choosing saltwater lures for finding redfish or trout and tapping into the day’s finest action. Surface lures can be highly effective for prompting bites and serve up extra fun fishing. So, starting on top simply makes sense.

That said, some days fish will mostly near the bottom or somewhere between the top and bottom, so it’s valuable to have a “top to bottom” selection of saltwater lures and test offerings that work all parts of the water column, allowing the fish to reveal their daily preferences.

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Choosing Lipless Crankbaits for Early Season Bass

lipless crankbait smallmouth bass

Learn how and where to fish lipless crankbaits to catch more bass this spring.

Cold water and lipless crankbaits. So wedded are these concepts that many anglers have missed out on the four-season versatility of these simple looking lures.

Of course, there’s no denying the deadly cold-water effectiveness of lipless crankbaits like the BOOYAH Hard Knocker and One Knocker and Cotton Cordell Super Spot. Travel bass waters anywhere when fishermen have donned their winter wear, and you’ll likely find these lures working overtime. Although lipless crankbaits will work their magic in the steamiest days of July, they seem to save their best performances for the chilly water period of from late fall to early spring.

Sometimes called rattle baits for the sounds they emit, lipless crankbaits make it easy for predators to know they are coming, and the fish can’t seem to resist them when they arrive. Do fish find that rattle an irritating alarm? A wake-up call? A hunger inducer? A prelude to a satisfying meal? Who knows? Whatever the case, bass love them.

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What Do I See? Your Guide to Interpreting Live Sonar

crappie fishing catch

Learn how to make the best use of live sonar technology to improve your crappie fishing efficiency and catch more fish.

Early “Fish finders” were used primarily to find fish, as the term suggests, and to determine bottom depths and locate structure. Over time, technology has evolved, creating far clearer and more detailed pictures and many types of views and allowing anglers to determine bottom make-ups and find both structure and fish far more effectively

The latest electronics technology, live sonar, makes it far easier for anglers to recognize fish species, target specific fish and see how the fish react to lure presentations. It is highly popular for crappie fishing and extremely helpful if you know how make the best use of it.

Live sonar technology, which reveals high-resolution images of fish swimming and responding to lures, is available now via Garmin’s Panoptix LiveScope, Lowrance’s Active Target and Humminbird’s MEGA Live Imaging. For Dustin McDaniel, an Oklahoma tournament angler and guide (GFB Outdoors Guide Service, 417-437-5047), the ability to interpret what he is seeing on his Garmin 1222 unit with its Panoptix LiveScope transducer, has become a game-changer.

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Breaking Down the Bassmaster Classic and Bass Fishing on Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell, Bassmaster Classic site

We’ll look at 2022 Bassmaster Classic site and its bass fishery and consider lures and techniques that are apt to prevail.

In two weeks, 56 of the top bass anglers in the world will compete on Lake Hartwell for title of Bassmaster Classic champion and the $300,000 first prize. It will be the fourth time the Bassmaster Classic has been held at Lake Hartwell, a 56,000-acre impoundment of the Savannah River that straddles the Georgia/South Carolina border.

We’ll examine bass fishing on Lake Hartwell, considering the lake’s makeup, the bass population and the forage base. We’ll also consider the timing of this year’s world championship and how that is likely to affect the fishing.

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Deadly Trout Spoons You Didn’t Think Were for Trout

trout caught on trout spoon

Some of the absolute best offerings for enticing strikes from trout seldom get seen by stream fish. Learn how to get an upper hand on other anglers.

Spoons work well for catching stream trout. That’s no secret. Not all spoons are created equal, though, and the best trout spoons I have found for catching trout have never been seen by most stream fish.

“Why is that?” you might wonder. The answer is simple. The Lindy Quiver Spoon and Rattl’n Quiver Spoon were designed for ice fishing, so few anglers associate either with casting to stream trout, and you’re unlikely to find them sold as trout spoons or even available on store pegs outside the Ice Belt.

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Jason Christie’s Top 10 Early Spring Bass Bait Picks – Top Picks and Tackle Tips

Early Spring Bass Lures

Early spring can be a spectacular time to fish for bass, IF you choose the best approaches. Learn the lures Jason Christie considers essential for this time of year.

Early spring is Jason Christie’s favorite time of the year to fish. The bass tend to be shallow, and the pre-spawn is an outstanding time to catch big bass. Conditions can vary substantially, though, so it’s important to be equipped for the vast range of situations that might be encountered.

We asked Christie to share his top early spring bass baits. As importantly as revealing specific lure choices, Christie shared why he chose each of his top early spring bass baits and discussed the situations that call for each, along with sharing insights on fishing these lures for pre-spawn bass.

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How to Find and Catch Crappie in Open Water

crappie on Bobby Garland Slab Slay'R

Learn how four crappie guides target deep-water crappie during late winter.

The evolution of electronics with live sonar has changed how many anglers catch crappie during winter. Now crappie anglers with live sonar chase roamers as they scan for the larger crappie scattered over deeper water.

Before you stop reading this article because you don’t have live sonar, Bobby Garland Pro Barry Morrow is going to explain how to catch crappie this time of year without those tools, but first let’s talk about catching roamers.

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How to Choose the Best Spinnerbait for Bass, Every Time

Jason Christie with spinnerbait bass

We’ve gleaned expertise from Jason Christie’s many years of refining spinnerbait knowledge to provide you a shortcut to spinnerbait fishing success.

Enjoying consistent success with a spinnerbait for bass is so much more than casting and retrieving. For Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Jason Christie, there is a right time and place for fishing a spinnerbait, and there are several variables to consider when selecting the right spinnerbait. Christie is considered one of the best spinnerbait anglers on the planet, having earned countless dollars in tournament winnings a spinnerbait on the end of his line. Let’s dive into his recipe for success fishing a spinnerbait for bass!

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Crappie Guides and How to Shorten the First Time Learning Curve

Crappie Guide Barry Morrow

Hiring a crappie guide can be extremely beneficial and more cost-efficient than you might imagine. We spoke with several veteran guides about how to make the most of a guided fishing trip.

The start of a phone call once had crappie guide Brad Chappell wondering if he had unknowingly caused real problems. The caller said her husband had spent $6,000 on crappie gear and wanted to know why Chappell was “making” him buy all that stuff. Her husband, a fairly recent guide client of Chappell’s had been calling regularly since the trip to ask specifics about Chappell’s gear – one week about electronics, the next about rod holders, the next about baits… But Chappell hadn’t TOLD him to buy anything!

Then, with a smile in her voice that Chappell could hear, the caller said she was really calling to thank him because while her husband really had spent that much money, the two of them were truly enjoying crappie fishing together!

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