50 tried-and-true techniques for guaranteed catches
#21 You will catch three times more pike on cloudy days. So, if the forecast calls for a sunny day instead, get up early and fish hard at first light, and again at twilight in the evening.
#22 The biggest mistake I see anglers make is locking into one spot and waiting for the fish to arrive. If you’re not catching anything, there’s nothing there. Staying mobile is the key to success.
#23 I can never understand why anglers suspend dead baits for giant pike at last ice, then switch to lures once the ice is gone. I suspend the same dead baits on quick-strike rigs under big bobbers and smash ’em.
#24 I prefer bladed jigs over plain ones. Not only does the vibration stimulate fish, it also helps you detect subtle bites—once you stop feeling the wobbling oscillations of the blade, set the hook.
#25 Since monofilament is abrasion-resistant, I always tie a mono leader to my braided main line if I’m banging bottom. If the bottom is clean, the water is clear or I’m fishing suspended baits, however, I opt for fluorocarbon instead.
#26 Here’s a trick I learned from a dear friend, the late Aaron Martens. When drop-shotting in ankle- to knee-deep shallow water, separate the hook from the weight by only two or three inches. That way, your bait stays up just off the bottom, slithering enticingly.
#27 Anytime you see shiners leaping out of the water, you can be sure there are predators around. Stay well back and cast to the edges of the frenzy so you don’t spook the feeding fish.
#28 For a deadly carp rig, take a yellow foam swimming-pool noodle and cut out pieces the size of a corn kernel, then skewer one or two pieces between real kernels on a steelhead hook or hair rig. The foam will absorb the corn’s scent, and make the rig float up off the bottom.
#29 Small creeks and streams may be the most overlooked and easiest places to find fish. I look for just one thing: deeper holes that offer fish stable water temperatures, current and security.
#30 I’ve caught some of my biggest bass under docks, but not just any docks. The best ones are the oldest, built on untreated, algae-covered wooden posts and rock-filled cribs. They also sit low to the water, providing a lot of shadow and shade.