Tips

An App Every Fisherman Needs

I enjoy fishing new bodies of water. I like the challenge of catching fish on a lake that I have never seen. One tool that I use to catch more fish is the Navionics app. This app shows you the contours of the lake, fishing spots, boat ramps, marinas, and the weather among other features. I think it is a wise investment for fishermen and boaters.

The app will cost you $9.99, same as the cost of a new lure. I use this to study lakes before going fishing to identify productive fishing spots. I was surprised how many lake are listed. I was also pleasantly surprised to see all of the very small local lakes are on here too.

It is also very helpful if you do not have a fish finder with a mapping card built in. Simply pull your phone out and see exactly where you are on the lake. It plots your current location while using the app. I know ice fishermen who use this and love it because of this reason alone. They can walk exactly to the spot they want to fish, drill a hole, and start catching fish.

I also like this app because it shows you boat ramp locations and marinas. This is very helpful when driving to a lake that you are unfamiliar with. You can quickly see the ramp locations on the lake and plan your route. It also makes navigating the lake much safer because you can locate the shallow areas before you launch your boat.

If you love to fish or just want to be a safer boater, I would recommend downloading the Navionics app. I know it has helped me.

Fishing Trips · Tips

Early Spring Fishing

Early spring fishing can be some of the best trips of the year. I recently fished a small local lake that typically has a ton of people fishing it. To my delight, I had the entire place to myself. The fishing at this lake was much better than normal, mainly due to the lack of fishing pressure.

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The water temperature was in the high 40’s, which was much warmer than I had anticipated. I found the bass in 3-4 foot of water, but close to deeper water. This is a standard place to look for bass in late winter and early spring. Bass like to move up and down the water column looking for the warmest water at this time of year. I caught the bass on a Rapala Shad Rap and a Berkley Flicker Shad.

The crappies and trout were located on a flat in about 3-5 foot of water. Both species seemed to be close to stumps and brush piles. This is a very common place to find crappies this time of year. Crappies will spawn in water temperatures between 50-60 degrees. These fish were already thinking about spawning. I caught the crappies and trout on a float and hair jig tipped with Berkley Gulp.

If you are willing to put on some extra layers of clothes and battle the cold, then I think you may be surprised how successful you might be. I was able to catch some nice bass, crappie, and trout on this trip. 

 

Tips

Winter Bass Scouting

Winter is a great time to get out and look for some great fishing spots. Many lakes are lowered in the winter. There are two things I really like about lakes being lowered in the winter. They concentrate the fish in a much smaller area. Secondly, you can see some great structure that is usually covered by feet of water.

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Winter fishing can be difficult, but also very rewarding. You need to have the mindset that you may only get a couple of bites during the trip, but they may be from the biggest fish that live in the lake. Fish will be concentrated in very specific spots. I call these high percentage spots, because there is a high percentage a fish is living there and you will likely catch one there. I look for bluff banks that drop off quickly. This allows fish to go deep to shallow without using much energy. This also allows your lure to be in the strike zone for a long period of time. You may only have to move your lure a few feet but the depth may change drastically. I also like to fish isolated cover such as boulders or stumps. Again, this kind of structure concentrates fish and allows you to have your bait in the strike zone for a long time. You may have to make multiple casts in the same location to get a fish to bite in cold water. This is another reason why I like to fish high percentage spots.

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Winter is also a great time to take pictures of a lowered lake. Take pictures of rock piles, logs, stumps, drop offs, anything that a fish will call home in the spring and summer. Use these pictures later in the year along with your depth finder to find those spots many anglers will miss. Make sure to take some notes so you know exactly where to go back to once the lake is back to its normal level.

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Next time we get a nice warm day this winter, use this time to scout out some new fishing spots on your favorite lake. The time invested now, will pay off by putting more fish in the boat later.

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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.

 

Fishing Trips · Tips

Camp Ernst Lake

Camp Ernst Lake is a very popular place to fish in Northern Kentucky. I have learned that just because a lake is constantly fished by dozens of other anglers, it doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish there.

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On my most recent trip to Camp Ernst I caught over 20 bass. Most of the bass were small, but I did manage to catch few keeper bass over 15 inches.

On this trip I used an ultralight St. Croix rod, with 6 pound test line. I caught all the fish on a  Rapala Skitter Pop topwater lure. Using light tackle and using very light line really helped me catch quite a few fish.  Downsizing helps catch more fish on busy lakes.  These fish are used to seeing lures and line.

This trip turned out much better than I expected. I love catching fish on topwater lures. Going out and catching over 20 bass in just a couple of hours all on topwater makes for a fun day.

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Fishing Trips

Fall Fishing at Doe Run

Fish are starting to put weight on for the cold months ahead. Fall fishing can be some of the best of the year. I fished Doe Run Lake last week and caught some big bass.

The bass were suspended in large fallen trees. The trees that extended the furthest into the water were the most productive. I used a Live Target Frog to catch most of the fish. I tried other top water baits, but the lake had too many floating leaves and twigs that other baits got hung up on. The frog came through this floating debris nicely.

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It was a gorgeous fall day to spend some time in the kayak. This is a great time of year to get out on the water. The leaves are changing colors and the fish are biting.

I ended up catching eight largemouth bass, and a couple bluegill on a hair jig.  I plan on revisiting Doe Run in a few weeks.  The fishing is expected to only get better.

Check out my other visit to Doe Run earlier this summer here.