Tips for early spring fishing



Since spring is upon us, I thought about putting together a short list of the tips that I found to be most helpful when you’re going to start your angling adventures in this season. The first piece of advice that I can give you is to try to fish as much as possible. Spring is amazing for most species, in that they’re slowly coming back to life. Fish are just the same. The only thing that I would like to note is that there might be some restrictions with regard to whether you’re allowed to fish for a certain species or in a certain area. What’s more, you should try to enjoy your angling as much as you can. Don’t focus on your catch per se. Use simple bait and the results will not fail to show up because fish are still somewhat dizzy or sluggish when the water is still cold. That’s why they might have to prey on anything they have the chance to.

Before setting your hook, give yourself some time. Just as I was saying before, it takes a bit more on the part of the fish to get that bait into its mouth, so be patient start reeling in only when you’re sure that you’ve caught something. Otherwise, you’ll be left feeling frustrated, you will want to go home, and there might be high chances of you never coming back to the river, pond, or shore where you’ve tried your luck.

Early spring fishing is different from the angling that you might engage in during the summer. In fact, the water is so cold in the morning that you might be better off sleeping a bit later than what you normally do. Fish are considerably more active once the water has gotten warmer, so I personally advise you to go out to your spot at around nine or ten in the morning.

Finally, I have to add that fish like to be comfortable when they’re going through their apparently hibernating period. That’s why you might find them in muddy areas because the mud keeps the cold water at bay. As such, you ought to try fishing the edges of lakes, for instances, where there’s a good amount of vegetation and mud. Of course, it pays off to leave on a fishing trip after checking out the weather forecast. This way, you won’t be in for some nasty surprises. Plus, you have to consider the fact that sunny weather brings fish to life and makes them more active. If you find the right day and daytime, you have significant chances of being entertained by battling with a strong fish.

How to choose a good-quality fly fishing rod and reel combo



If you’re a beginning angler, my personal advice would be to start considering getting a fly combo instead of purchasing the pole and the reel separately. In most cases, you’ll come to notice that both of these components are perfectly fitted and match each other far better than what you would choose on your own. If you are resolute on selecting these two pieces of gear individually, the least thing you can do is go to a store and talk to a seller or consultant or have a discussion with one of your fishing buddies.


Why did I decide to write this post? I believe that I can help you with this process as I went through pretty much the same thing. A high-quality rod can assist you in defining your casting skills and catching fish as easily and efficiently as possible. That’s why finding a well-constructed pole is so difficult, especially for beginning anglers as they hardly know what to look for in a product of this type.

Right off the bat, it’s easy to see that the first detail that you’ll likely notice is the weight and power of the pole you might be thinking of buying. The action is another factor to give some thought to. The simplest principle of these three is the weight, because a 4-weight rod will usually be rated for 4-weight fly line.

Therefore, you won’t have a hard time selecting the perfect line for your pole. Power and action are a entirely different thing. Power is the pressure that’s needed to bend the pole, whereas action is the area where the bending occurs. Ultralight fishing reels, for example, are usually recommended for less serious angling, such as the ones that imply fishing in small ponds, rivers, streams, where you might need a bit more flexibility.

On the other hand, you might want to avoid using this kind of pole when you’re out boat fishing and targeting heavy species such as tuna, marlin, and others.

Most reels designed for fly fishing have large diameter spools and are reasonably lightweight so that they allow you to avoid hand strain. The drag system is incredibly important when you’re tackling the matter of fly reels because it needs to be sensitive enough to alert you when the fish has bitten your bait, but reliable enough to avoid snapping your tippet.

As for making the difference between a good-quality combo and another that you can do without, it all boils down to the brand. I know that many anglers say that the manufacturer isn’t all that important as long as the construction is top-notch, but the fact is that it really does add to something. For example, some Orvis products are backed by warranties that last twenty-five years. That is impressive, right?

How I like to cook fish



There are several ways to prepare fish, and everyone has their favorite. When people ask me how I like to cook fish I my answer is always the same. I like to cook it the fastest and easiest way, and this means on a stovetop. Thankfully, my method also tastes great, and is healthy to eat. Just by following these simple steps you can cook a fish fillet in 10 minutes or less.

Which type of fish?

When you are cooking fish on the stovetop the type really does matter. White fish fillets are generally recommended, and my favorite is Tilapia. Cod, grouper, bass and even snapper and catfish are also great choices, along with haddock. Once you have chosen your fish it is time to toss the fillets in a pan. The fillets should be 6 to 8 ounces a piece, and this is usually enough for the average adult.

Choosing your pan

There are three types of skillets that can be used to cook fish, and the best one often depends on personal preference. When I’m in a hurry I generally use a non-stick skillet, and this has the added advantage of making cleanup a breeze. You can also use a cast iron or stainless steel skillet, though you will want to use a little more oil. The oil will help prevent the flaky fish from sticking, and it also gives the fillets a crispy texture and golden color. Personally this is the reason why I like cooking fish this way.


Cooking your fish

It is important to remember that it only takes a few minutes on each side to cook a fish fillet so you don’t want to walk away from the stove. This is especially important if you are using a cast iron or stainless steel skillet since you will have to add more oil to prevent the fillet from sticking or burning. You will know when it is time to flip the fillet when it is starting to turn a very light golden color. When both sides have a slight golden color it is time to slip them onto a plate.

How you garnish the fillet is up to you. I like to coat them with breadcrumbs. It’s quick, easy and won’t add a lot of extra calories. You can also garnish with fresh lemon or serve them with your favorite sauce.




Live bait I use in freshwater


During my days as a beginner angler, I learned the hard way that not using the proper live bait to catch fish can result in nothing less than coming home with a fish-free cooler filled with water from melted ice after an entire day of fishing. It’s funny because there’s a wide range of live baits I could have used to avoid going home with a long face and nothing to show for my efforts. Now, I use the following types of live baits to show how serious I truly am about my sport, by way of having something to grill or fry for dinner.


Often referred to as crawdads or crawfish, the crayfish is a freshwater crustacean that looks so much like a lobster, only much smaller. Serving as a widely-used bait to bag different types of game fish, the crayfish I use has enabled me to capture walleyes, smallmouth and largemouth bass. For me it works great with my Shimano Stimula rod.   It’s fantastic what fish I can target using crayfish. I am fortunate that in my state, there exists no regulation on the use of crayfish as bait. However, I’ve heard that in some states, the crayfish is considered an invasive species so there are laws that prohibit its use in angling. Although I find that sad, crayfish is still my favorite bait because it is quite effective on the job.

Minnows and Baitfish

Whenever I can, I use chubs as bait. Chubs work extremely well when I want to bag northern pike, muskie, walleye and largemouth bass. I have even caught some catfish and smallmouth bass using chubs. Both redtail chub and creek chub work well for many types of fish species but the more seasoned anglers I have had the pleasure of talking to swear by the greater effectiveness of the redtail chub for catching northern pike and walleye. Well, I can’t tell exactly why but there must be something in the redtail chub that entices the toothy species.

Targeting freshwater gamefish using creek chubs has generally been a terrific experience for me thus far. There have been times when my creek chubs have incited hardly a strike or even a tentative nibble from the fish but at other times, when I do get a bite, it’s most likely from a big fish. I capture creek chubs using a small piece of corn or worm, in small streams and creeks.

Like most other anglers, I consider the fathead minnow a great freshwater live bait because so many fish eat it. The baitfish is comparatively easy to keep alive, living long in the minnow bucket with very little care needed. During the cooler season, I have seen fathead minnows lasting days in a minnow bucket left outside. I have been successful at catching perch, crappie, bass and walleye using fathead minnows as live bait.

Best places where you can catch smallmouth bass



A species of freshwater fish belonging to the sunfish family, the smallmouth bass is one of the black basses. It is a widely sought after game fish throughout North American temperate zones, with spread of stock done to plenty of cool-water tributaries in Canada, and with more introduced to the US in this manner. The smallmouth bass’ maximum recorded size has been 12 pounds at 27 inches. Native to the Saint Lawrence River–Great Lakes system, smallmouth bass is also indigenous to the upper and middle Mississippi River basin and up into the Hudson Bay basin.


If you’re planning to go on a fishing vacation to the midwest, make Sturgeon Bay, WI your top smallmouth bass fishing destination. This is where anglers can catch 3- to 4-pound bass regularly, with some lucky fishers even bagging one above 7 pounds. Door County, WI, which is home to Sturgeon Bay, goes beyond just Sturgeon Bay, running up the peninsula on the Green Bay side, where top notch smallmouth bass fishing lies in wait. Farther north to Washington Island, more smallmouth bass fishing awaits.

Located in Iron County, WI, Turtle Flambeau Flowage lies near the towns of Butternut and Mercer and is home to 3 rivers, 9 lakes and a number of creeks. Easily one of the better lakes in Wisconsin at which to do smallmouth bass fishing, the flowage boasts good size and numbers of the sought-after species, with 3- to 4-pound fish being relatively common. Plenty of lakes abound in the Northwoods Wisconsin region that offer fantastic smallmouth bass fishing. Because most anglers in this area target muskie and walleye, the smallmouth bass aren’t really put under a lot of pressure. Thanks to different fishing shows, Chequamegon Bay has been receiving substantial attention from smallmouth bass anglers these days although it still hasn’t been feeling as much heat as the more widely-recognized areas for smallmouth bass angling in the state.



Definitely another one of the best smallmouth bass lakes in the world, Lake Erie, which is shared by Ohio, MI, NY and Canada, doesn’t offer much in the way of shelter from the wind for anglers. A big enough boat is needed as well as adequate protection from the high winds. However, in cooperative weather conditions, 4- to 7-pound bass are usual catches on the lake. Lucky anglers who find large smallmouth schools are likely to haul in 50 or more bass in one go.

A truly large expanse of water, the Menominee River shared between WI and MI delivers fantastic smallmouth bass fishing in Wisconsin. Be ready to catch exceptional numbers of smallies between 3- and 6 pounds heavy. At Grand Traverse Bay, you can bag 4- to 6-pound smallies in good numbers. Big fish in large numbers are available on Lake St. Cair, with remarkable 30- to 50-bass days to look out for, all weighing up to 6 pounds each.



Because walleye fishing is so remarkable on Mille Lacs Lake, most fishers don’t really angle for smallmouth bass there but that still doesn’t dispute the fact that the lake offers huge potential in smallmouth bass fishery. Joining guided fishing trips can bag you double-digit catches, with fish commonly ranging between 2 and 3 pounds heavy, as well as big bass up to 6 pounds.

Ely is another Boundary Waters Area where smallmouth bass are plentiful in the lakes. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is teeming with smallies in the spring or early summer and the fall. Anglers who are able to find a good balance between the 10 or 25 horsepower limit for many of the lakes at Ely and the presence of bass along the shorelines, are sure to bag large numbers of smallmouth bass between 3 and 4 pounds weight.

Rainy Lake, shared between Minnesota and Canada, offers excellent smallmouth bass angling. Fishing is even better on Canada’s side of the lake. Anglers can enjoy 30 to 50-bass days easily during the spring and early summer during which 3- to 4-pound fish can be caught.



Home to the world record smallmouth bass weighing 11 pounds 15 ounces, Dale Hollow Lake remains a big bass fishery area despite not being what it used to be. Trophy smallmouth bass is available as well on Pickwick Lake, where smallmouth bass offer interesting prospects as the weather becomes cold in the north states. This specific lake also teems with striped bass, huge catfish and largemouth bass along with the smallies.

Other areas where smallmouth bass fishery is best include enormous Lake Champlain in New York and Lake of the Woods in Canada.