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a tackle shop near where you’ll be fishing and ask which lures and baits are best and how to fish them.

them quietly. Don’t 2

TRY A CANE POLE. Sometimes the simplest rig catches the most fish. Get an eight-foot-long cane pole and tie on an eight-foot fishing line and a size-12 hook. Attach a bobber 18 inches up, hook on a lively worm and plop it in the weedy shallows near shore where big bluegills live.


THINK SMALL. When finicky fish aren’t biting your big nightcrawlers or minnows, try using smaller bait. Cut your worm or minnow in half, and put a piece on your hook. Sometimes fish prefer smaller portions.

4 5

USE LIGHTWEIGHT LINE. It should be thin and invisible to fish. For bluegills, perch and trout, use 4- to 6-pound test


THINK SHADE. On sunny days, bass like to hang out in the shade of half-sunken stumps and submerged logs. Cast your lure a few feet in front of the stump, and then reel the lure through the shade. And be ready for a strike.

bang your tackle box on the boat or talk loudly on shore. When approaching a good fishing spot, walk slowly and crouch down so the fish won’t see you.

BE SNEAKY. Fish frighten easily. Sneak up on

17 Sneaky Fishing Secrets 1

ASK A QUESTION before you wet a line. Visit

monofilament. For larger fish, use 6- to 12-pound test.


USE DOUGH BALLS when fishing for

catfish. Catties are bottom feeders with a keen sense of smell. So use smelly bait like

dough balls. Make your own: Mix a handful of bread crumbs, oatmeal, cornflakes, grated cheese, one egg, two tablespoons of maple syrup, and a bit of water. Work the gooey mixture into dough. Then pinch off little smelly chunks and work them into balls. Store in a plastic bag and refrigerate until you go fishing.

PICK A FISH’S FAVORITE COLOR. The best rubber worm colors are black for night fishing and purple for daytime fishing.

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realistic, use a stop-and-go retrieve: Reel in five to seven turns, then stop for a few seconds, and repeat this pattern.

BE PATIENT. Too often, a beginner starts reeling in his bobber just when a fish is about to nibble on the bait. Leave your pole alone and you’ll catch more fish.

10 11


USE HOMEBOY MINNOWS. When fishing with live baitfish, catch them in

the same water you are going to

GO AND STOP AND GO. To make your spinner or rubber worm look more

GET UP EARLY. Sunrise is one of the best times to fish. Be casting at first light.

13 14

AVOID HOOKS BIGGER THAN SIZE 10. The fish will notice them. Size 12, which is smaller than 10, is perfect for trout.

for fishing. If stocked trout aren’t biting worms on opening day of trout season, try putting a few kernels on your hook.

15 16

SET THE HOOK RIGHT to catch more fish. Many beginners yank the line too hard, pulling the hook right out of the fish’s mouth. When your bobber goes under or you feel the “tap tap” on your rod, lift your rod tip with a quick jerk. That’ll help the hook bite into the fish’s jaw. Then keep your rod tip high as you reel in.


EAT YOUR VEGETABLES. But save a handful of corn in a plastic baggy

A fisherman needs more than luck to catch lunkers. He needs know-how, tips, and tricks. It takes years to learn lessons like these, so we’ve gathered up a tackle box full of them to give you a head start.

fish. That way you won’t introduce new diseases or fish species to a lake or river.

PLAY A DOUBLE-HEADER. Bring two rods. Bait one, cast, and let it sit propped

up on a Y-shaped stick. Put an artificial lure on the other one, cast and retrieve. You’ll double your chances of catching.

TRY CRICKETS. Big bluegills love crickets. Buy about 50 live ones

from a bait store. Use a size 10 long-shanked hook and run the hook through the cricket’s back, just behind the head. Add two large split shots to the line to make the insect easy to cast, no bobber. Cast into water that’s about 10 feet deep and has a weedy bottom. Let the split shots hit bottom, then raise your rod tip and start reeling in slower than slow.

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