Tips

Christmas Lure Options

Buying fishing gear for another angler can be difficult. When it comes to buying lures, the task becomes even more challenging.  All fisherman have specific lures they like and some they do not. The selection of lures is endless and can be overwhelming for someone that is not a fisherman. Here are some lure options that every bass fisherman will enjoy.

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Topwater lures are favorites for most fisherman. There is something exciting about seeing a big bass exploding on topwater. Most topwater lures cost between $5-$15. The buzzbait is a lure that can catch fish almost anywhere. It is a great lure for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Frogs are another great topwater option. These lures work well in lakes, ponds, and rivers. Check out my previous post about topwater lures here.

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Crankbaits are another lure that you can’t go wrong with. Most crankbaits cost between $5-$10. I suggest buying medium diving crankbaits. Bass spend a lot of time in water depths from 2-6 feet. These lures work great in this water depth.  Bass fisherman can never have enough crankbaits!

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Soft plastic lures are a staple for most bass fisherman. A bag of soft plastic lures should cost about $3-$7. One soft plastic that we all own and love to use is a Senko style bait. These baits are very soft and tear easily, so you can never have too many Senkos.  A second soft plastic option is a Beaver style bait. These baits are great for punching heavy cover and skipping boat docks. Pick up a pack or two of natural looking colors and you will be good to go.

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This holiday season show the angler in your family that you can buy some great lures for them. These are lures that they will truly use and not forget about in the bottom of their tackle box.

 

Tips

Rainy Day Tackle Organization

Tackle organization is a great thing to do when the conditions are not right to go fishing. I actually really enjoy going through and organizing all my tackle.

Being able to find that exact lure needed quickly during a fishing trip can be the difference in catching fish and not. I have had times when I really wanted to use a certain lure and couldn’t find it. Taking time to organize your tackle is something that you should do throughout the season.

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I like to divide my tackle into lure specific trays. I divide crankbaits up by depth and then color. I have multiple trays just for crankbaits. I have trays for jerkbaits, topwater, spinnerbaits, jigs, hooks, and sinkers, too.

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It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of lures or you have one box full.  Keeping your tackle neat and organized will save you time. When you are on the water, spend your time fishing and not hunting for a lure.

 

Hunting

Indiana Firearm Season

I love this time of year. Not only is the fishing good, but it is also the perfect time to sit in a tree! There is one day that stands out the most though, opening day of Indiana firearm season for deer hunting. Opening day is a special day for our family.

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Our family gets together days in advance for opening weekend. Once Saturday morning arrives, we surround a couple different pieces of property waiting for a monster buck to show up. The anticipation of what may walk out at any given moment is what keeps us coming back every year.

We have been extremely fortunate to harvest some great deer over the years. With any luck this year will be no difference and we can keep the tradition alive. Nevertheless, harvesting a deer or not, I enjoy being outdoors and enjoying this weekend.

Hunting

Archery Buying Tips

The sights, sounds, and smells of the fall, make it my favorite time of the year. It just so happens to be deer season too.  I enjoy hunting deer with archery equipment as well as with a muzzleloader. The fact that I only have one shot makes this style of hunting more challenging. The right equipment is critical to having a successful hunt. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing archery equipment.

There are a number of great bows on the market. I believe you have to find one that you are confident with and stick with it. Confidence is a huge factor in bow hunting. You must believe you can make the shot. Practice is very important and the more shots you take at different distances, the better you will be.

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The size and shape of the bow is unique to each person. It must fit you correctly to get the most accuracy out of it. Most bows can be adjusted a few inches shorter of longer to make sure the draw length is correct for you.  Make sure to purchase a bow from a dealer or retail store that can set it up properly. If the bow doesn’t fit you, you will never get the full accuracy potential out of the bow.

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Thank you Kevin Harvey for this great photo!

I use a Diamond Outlaw bow. This bow has a let off of 80%. “Let off” is simply the weight you are holding back at full draw. For example, if you are pulling 70 pounds, then you are only holding back 14 pounds at full draw. This makes for much better shots, because you are not shaking and straining to hold the bow back. You can also hold the bow back at full draw for much longer.

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Arrows are very important to the success of your hunt. Carbon arrows are more durable and last longer then the traditional aluminum arrows. When selecting arrows, make sure to follow the guide on back of the package. You want to make sure you get the correct stiffness for your bow setup.

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Broadheads are the last piece of the puzzle, but arguably the most important. There are two main differences in broadheads; fixed blades, versus expendables. Every archery hunter has an opinion on which one is better, but the main factor to consider is accuracy. If you plan on shooting long shots with your bow, than I suggest expandable broadheads. If you mainly shoot under 40 yards, than either style will work.  With my bow set up, the accuracy is the same with both styles of broadheads, under 40 yards. Pick one that you are confident with and stick with it.

There are two main accessories that you must have. The first accessory to have is a good stabilizer.  Stabilizers help balance the bow and help takes some of the vibration out of the shot. I like a shorter stabilizer than most hunters. I don’t want a long stabilizer getting in the way while I hunt.  The second accessory is the release. The release allows for more accurate shots, because you are not holding the string with your fingers. You have to decide if you want a hand held, or wrist release. I have always used a wrist style. I like the wrist style, because once I put it on, I won’t lose it. Handhelds, can be put down and easily lost. Also, handhelds make the bow harder to pull back. I can pull much more weight with my wrist release. There are countless other accessories that can make your bow more accurate, quite, and smooth, but I covered the must haves.

There are lots of things that go into purchasing a bow. I recommend getting help from an experienced archer, before you make your purchase. Good luck and shoot straight.

Fishing Trips · Tips

Late Fall Fishing Trip

I spent a great day on the water this weekend. I went to the lake with the intentions of using the baits from my last post, Fall Haul. I fished a lake that had been lowered for the winter. The lake is about 12 feet lower than its normal level. The water temperature was in the mid 50’s and the fish were biting.

The bass were located around wood structure along the new bank line. I caught the majority of the fish with crankbaits. I tried a few other baits, but the baits from my Fall Haul post worked the best. Once I fished the area thoroughly, I re-fished it with a jig and caught a few more quality bass.

Fishing lakes that have been lowered requires a little more work than normal. Most of the time, the boat ramps are inaccessible, because they on dry land with the water being down. You may have to carry your kayak or boat through mud and debris to get to the water. This keeps a lot of people from fishing this late in the year. I only saw one other boat, but I usually have the lake to myself.

Late fall and early winter fishing can be very good. If you are willing to put in a little work you’ll be the only one catching fish this time of year.

Tips

Fall Haul

I just bought some baits that I intend to use this weekend. I often wonder what other fisherman are using, so here is a look at what I will be throwing this weekend. Weather permitting, I plan on fishing a local lake that has been lowered for the winter. The bass in this lake should be located along steep sloping banks that have tree and rock structure. I do not anticipate the bass being deeper than 10 feet. These lures should produce some good results for this time of year.

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The jerkbait is a great cold water lure. I bought a suspending model.  Suspending models allow the lure to sit in front of the fish. If the fish are inactive, this bait should work well.

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Shallow diving crankbaits are a favorite of mine. These lures work very well around structure. Crankbaits with a square bill will go through wood cover without getting hung up on anything. They work much better around wood structure than crankbaits with a round bill. I use the round bill crankbaits for fishing rocks and steep sloping banks. Round billed crankbaits dive a little quicker too, this will be good for fishing fast sloping banks.

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The jig is a bait that works everywhere in every condition. This will be my last option if the other two lure styles aren’t catching fish.  Jigs can be fished very slowly around heavy cover. Jigs usually produce some big bass. I will try this lure when all else fails, because you have to fish slow using this lure. I would prefer to fish fast and cover a lot of water using the other baits, but I will fish whatever lure seems to be catching the most fish.

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Late fall fishing can be a difficult season to fish. Finding the exact location where the bass are located is more challenging, than when fishing in warmer conditions.  However, once you catch one bass, there will often be more located in that area. Hopefully my fishing trip proves to be successful this weekend using these key baits.

 

Tips

Shallow Water Crappie Tip

Crappies spend most of the year in deep water, but during the fall and spring they move into shallower water. These transitions to shallow water make them much easier to catch. I like to use a rattle bobber when the crappies are in the shallows.

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I actually found this tip out by accident. I was crappie fishing one day and saw a green and yellow rattle bobber hanging in a tree. I had never tried one before, and I’m not one to pass up a free bobber, so I switched out mine for the new found rattle bobber I found.

I quickly found that crappies are really attracted to the sound of a rattle bobber. I was surprised by how well it started catching crappies. I had not been catching many crappies that day, but once I switched bobbers I started consistently catching nice crappies. The crappies were around boat docks in 3 to 4 feet of water. I know that the bobber helped turn my day around.

This bobber is only going to be effective catching fish in water no deeper than 6 feet. Fishing in water any deeper than this, the lure will be too far below the bobber and the crappies may not find it. Also, the crappies who are hanging out in deeper water won’t be able to hear the rattle. Next time you find yourself fishing in shallow water for crappies I would suggest trying this kind of bobber. You may be surprised as surprised as I was to see how well it works.