No thrill in angling can match that of a hungry bass chomping down on a surface lure the size of a rat. But finding such aggressively-feeding fish is unfortunately the exception rather than the rule. When bass are in a finicky, skittish mood or not aggressively feeding, jumbo surface lures often fail miserably. The wariness is especially prevalent on hard-pressured waters, clear lakes and after a cold front pushes through, making bass sluggish and lethargic. It's also often common in summer, when young-of-the-year baitfish are the dominant forage available to the bass.     Why Going Small Works Largemouth fishermen…
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Smaller rivers and large creeks often harbor excellent smallmouth bass populations. Because these places require extra effort to get to, these populations often see fairly light fishing pressure. Such places are the home of the angler with a shallow water jet boat, kayak or waders, depending on the size of the water in question.   Chances are there's some good summertime smallmouth bass fishing in a flowing water near you. Here are some ways of catching those bronze batters during the summer and early fall.   Get on the Water Early During those clear, stable-weather nights of mid-summer river valleys often fill…
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Live bait will often catch more fish. Where allowed, live bait can be effective for catching freshwater and saltwater game fish during summer. 1. Use small bait catcher rigs, which are tiny #8 gold hooks adorned with pieces of bright plastic. The hooks are rigged in tandem, about 6 or 8 in line, and weighted at the end with a sinker. 2. Try vertical jigging the rig at places such as tail races below dams or other areas where baitfish congregate. Throw fishing nets can also catch plenty of bait fish. 3. You can set out crayfish traps baited with chicken…
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My Secrets of Night Bass Fishing

Wednesday, July 16 2014 5:00 pm - for Bass Fishing
By late June, most bass have moved to their summer hangouts. Dropoffs, weedlines and weedflats should be good, butthe edges of humps and reefs will usually hold the most fish. Anglers know it is around this time of the year when night fishing can improve the odds of success often between dusk and dawn.   Night fishing can improve the odds of success often between dusk and dawn. On hot days, bass hold tight to the bottom or hide in the thickest vegetation they can find to escape the hot sun and boat traffic. At night, they move away from…
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Subtle changes in presentation can make a big difference in fishing success, something I was reminded of during last week's slate of guide trips. In this case, the lure in question was a soft-bodied jerkbait; the presentation adjustment was one of slowing down just a bit, a change that meant the difference between run-of-the-mill sized bass, and some true lunkers. Soft bodied jerkbaits like Zoom's Super Fluke are an important part of my summer fishing arsenal. Along with hard-bodied jerkbaits (typically a 3-inch Rapala X-Rap), they account for about 95 percent of my summertime river smallmouth bass. Both styles of…
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Hooks are an important part of your angling arsenal. This guide breaks down the common terms used to describe fish hooks, and what they mean. This is important information to know so you can make informed purchases when it's time to stock-up with hooks to cover a range of fishing scenarios. Anatomy of a Hook All hooks have an eye, shank, gap, point and barb, but variations of these characteristics result in dozens of hook styles. The Eye — The hook eye is the connection point to the fishing line or the body of a lure. Ringed eyes are the…
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The red and white bobber bobbed on the surface of the small pond.  Although it was still early in the day, summer insects buzzed and whirred in the warm, still air.  But, my eyes were glued to that fishing bobber until they were almost crossed. Fishing is the perfect summer activity for kids. Then it happened.  The unmistakable ‘plop’ of the bobber going under and the slight tug on my line that meant I had a fish.  I was six; it was summer; and I was fishing with my mom.  What could be better? When looking for things to do,…
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Fishing crankbaits for crappie needn't be a big-boat, multi-rod affair. You also can cast and retrieve a single lure for big-fish action. Oklahoma crappie guide Todd Huckabee uses a Carolina-rigged Smithwick Rogue to catch summer crappie that want a big meal. Oklahoma City crappie guide Todd Huckabee does this using a Carolina-rigged, 4-1/2-inch, suspending Smithwick Rogue in shad-like colors.   "When big crappie go deep in winter, their metabolism stays high," he said. "These fish are preparing for the spawn, and they're eating a lot. But during summer, these same deep-water crappie are lazy. If you drop a lure like…
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by JD Pate Bass fishing and kayaks are a match made in heaven, and a great choice is the Ascend FS128T Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak, which includes almost everything you need to get started kayak bass fishing. This advanced fishing craft sports a comfortable, removable, and adjustable seat; a rod tender and four recessed rod holders; multiple watertight storage hatches; and many more features to make bass fishing easy and fun. The 2014 Ascend catalog is now live you can download the app here (iPad only). The Ascend FS128T Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak, includes almost everything you need to get started kayak…
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At the risk of sounding whiny as well as redundant, I again must share the fact that western Pennsylvania has been inundated with rain for the past several weeks. The wet weather has provided some additional fishing opportunities, though, as well as the opportunity to revisit productive fishing tactics. In the case of the latter, there is the use of spinnerbaits for river smallmouth bass. Spinnerbaits provide an easy to locate profile to river smallies when rivers run high and cloudy. Here are a few tips that you should find useful if you are a river rat like me. Look…
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