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Blog - 2022 Archive

wade fishing smallmouth bass

Must Know Wade Fishing Tips: How to Catch MORE Fish on Mid-Summer Streams

Want to find hot fishing action this summer? Follow these tips formed from many years of wade-fishing in streams and learn how to catch more fish.

It’s never too hot to go fishing, especially when you are wade-fishing streams.
Even when the temps reach more than 100 degrees, stream fish will still bite. They were designed to eat!

Here are a few rules of thumb to help you catch fish during the heat of summer while wade fishing.

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Frog Lure on Grass Mat

How to Choose the Best Frog Bait for Every Situation

Frog baits, which call up some of the most explosive action in bass fishing, come in a range of sizes and styles. Learn to choose the best frog for the day.

Sudden, violent surface strikes are the trademark of frog lure fishing and a major appeal of this style of fishing. As importantly, though, frogs are exceptionally productive and prompt outstanding bass action in broad range of situations from mid-summer all the way until the end of autumn.

Ongoing advancement of frog lures in recent years has added even more applications for tying on a frog. Looking at the BOOYAH Pad Crasher series, as an example, what began with a single, hollow-bodied frog now includes six different frog lures, each of which is available in broad range of colors.

Primary styles include the original Pad Crasher, the Poppin’ Pad Crasher, which has a cupped face that pops and spits, and the Toad Runner, which has spinning plastic tail that churns the water like a buzzbait. All three primary styles also come in a smaller Jr version.

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crappie on Itty Bit lure

5 Ways to Rig Bobby Garland Itty Bit Baits for the Best Summer Crappie Fishing

Small crappie baits can produce big catches if you use the best fishing techniques. Learn about 5 proven approaches.

“Something’s changed,” avid crappie angler Gary Rowe said, as he watched another fish on his Garmin LiveScope follow and then shy away from the jig at the end of his line. Just minutes before, the Oklahoma angler and Bobby Garland pro staffer was telling me this was the very spot where he and his son had quickly finished out their summer crappie limits the day before. The crappie weren’t cooperating today, though.

Having witnessed the same scenario at two other places where Rowe had caught them the day before, I politely suggested “let’s go explore some new areas.” After all, I knew this long-time friend had more than 1400 crappie fishing waypoints on Fort Gibson Lake – from which he lives just a block away.

“Okay, but humor me for just a second,” he said, turning to grab another rod. No longer than it took for his new offering to reach the 10-foot cover, Rowe was snapping a hookset and lifting a crappie from the same brush we’d been fishing for the past 20 minutes. Grinning, but saying nothing, he admired the 10-incher and then gently tossed it back. On each of his next three drops, the results were the same: a keeper crappie coming aboard.

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redfish caught on topwater

Secrets to Saltwater Topwater Success (Tactics, Timing & Lure Selection)

Want to catch more fish on topwater lures? Check out these saltwater fishing tips from a top coastal guide.

Few things in fishing create more excitement than a big saltwater predator fish coming from nowhere to devour a topwater lure. Thankfully, beyond maximizing the thrill of every strike, properly used topwater lures produce some of the best saltwater fishing action for inshore species like redfish and spotted seatrout (speckled trout).

Capt. Patric Garmeson of Ugly Fishing Charters in coastal Alabama makes regular use of saltwater topwater lures to deliver exciting fishing action for his clients. We spoke with Garmison, who guides year-round in and around Mobile Bay, about his topwater approach and about the lures he uses to call up the best surface action.

Follow these saltwater fishing tips to tap into fast and exciting fishing action in your area.

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spoon and jig crappie rig

Weighted Crappie Rigs You Didn’t Know You Could Use for Crappie

Learn about different crappie rigs that allow you to present soft-plastic crappie baits more effectively for a broad range of situations.

In my opinion, the most classic of all crappie rigs – a soft-plastic crappie bait rigged on a small jighead – is the most fish-catching tool on the planet. Think about it. The combo is so little that fish of all sizes, from tiny to giant, can and do eat it. We all have stories about catching – or at least hooking into – monsters of some kind on a crappie bait.

The crappie jig looks like food, most often imitating a prey fish or insect. Today’s technology allows for precision-made, multi-cavity aluminum molds that feature intricate design shapes and features. The result is a realistic forage match that appeals to most gamefish. Sometimes subtlety tempts the most. The perfect example is the teasing action of the flexible, straight tail on a Bobby Garland Baby Shad. Conversely, a bait with a crazy amount of tail action, like the heavy-thumping Bobby Garland Stroll’R, might drive attention.

A crappie jighead is the standard business partner for a host of soft-plastic crappie baits. However, at times, other crappie rigs, including some you might not consider, provide the best means for presenting these baits. Let’s look at ways that non-traditional weighting approaches can boost your crappie catching success.

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Weakfish

How to Catch Jersey Bay Weakfish (Top Lures & Tactics)

Weakfish have been far more plentiful in New Jersey bays this year than has been the case for several years. Let’s look at the best weakfish lures and strategies for catching these popular gamefish.

One speckled saltwater jewel captures the hearts of New Jersey anglers during the summer – weakfish. Remember them? Seems like it’s been way too long that we’ve said the word weakfish much in fishing reports around New Jersey or had reason to discuss how to catch weakfish. Reasons for their lack of presence in recent years has been hotly debated with varying theories, though none scientifically proven.

In the late 1990s I recall heading out for a morning in Barnegat Bay and having no problem tangling with a half dozen 5- to 10-pound tide-runners before sunup on soft baits, then grass shrimping hundreds of weakfish in the 2-to-4-pound range all day long. The mid- to late 2000s saw a marked decline in the fishery. Some springs since, they’ve sort of shown up, with a dozen here and there. Other years, you wouldn’t hear of one being caught.

So far in 2022, a wild rebound has been happening in the backwaters and surf from one tip of the state to the other, with fish from 2 to 12 pounds seemingly haunting the backwaters in solid numbers. So, let’s look at how to catch weakfish and where to find them.

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Walleye Landing

Proven Walleye Tips for Intercepting Fish on the Move

Learn when to use spinners and related rigs to counter walleye movement and catch more fish.

Walleyes are famous for their nomadic roaming tendencies. Walleye movement is depicted with phrases like, “Here Today—Gone Tomorrow,” or, my favorite, “They don’t have a mailbox.”

Whether you chase walleyes in the Great Lakes, in smaller natural lakes, or in reservoirs, decades of old angling wisdom addresses the roaming ways of walleyes with presentations designed specifically for covering water. One of the time-honored traditions for intercepting walleyes on the move is to cover water with live bait harnesses, using spinners and action floaters.

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Big Crappie

Crappie Fishing’s Top 6 Selling Colors: Do Color Designs Catch Fish or Anglers?

If you ever wonder what color crappie lures to buy or tie on, this guide to top colors and picks from crappie fishing experts will aid future decisions.

Okay, here’s the dilemma. A buddy calls unexpectedly and says he’s just decided to go crappie fishing. He’ll be picking you up in 30 minutes. The problem’s not the short time, (most of us probably could be out the door in 15), but rather the fact that he instructed you to bring only one color of crappie fishing lure.

That’s it. ONE color! No additional details are given. You don’t know if the water is clear or muddy, or something in between. And you can’t help but wonder if the destination will have white crappie, black crappie or both.

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frank_scalish_smallmouth

How to Catch Early-Summer Smallmouth Bass

Frank Scalish shares secrets from a lifetime of targeting smallmouth bass on the Great Lakes and large inland lakes.

When Frank Scalish competed on the Bassmaster Elite Series tour, he was known for his ability to catch smallmouth bass. He did especially well with this species on the Great Lakes and on large, inland, natural lakes, such as Lake Champlain. A lifetime resident of northern Ohio, Scalish has never lived more than a short cast from Lake Erie, one of the nation’s premier smallmouth fisheries.

He has fished Erie regularly throughout his adult life and has the equivalent of a PhD in finding and catching Erie smallmouth. He is especially erudite about how glaciers created the rocky bass habitat on the lake’s bottom. This knowledge has helped him catch big-water smallies wherever he casts for them in North America.

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