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    When it gets hot, downsize baits when the bite isn’t going well (left to right): Cajun Sleigh spoons, Gulp shrimp, MirrOdines. and Flats Intruder spoons.

    Slow down and fish small

    Have you had one of those days when you could see fish feeding but couldn’t get them to bite anything? If you answered “No,” please call me to go fishing; I want to know what you’re using. For the rest of us, I’m going to offer a few ideas that have worked in the past.

    June 05 at 9:00am
    Fishermen need to use products that reduce or eliminate bad scents, as well as those scent-enhanced baits that attract different species.

    If it makes scents, use it - Scent-enhanced baits that attract different fish

    Much like fine perfumes, scented body wash and “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” shampoo, not all odors are bad ones. That’s a very basic and simple way to approach scents, but the truth is that beauty is indeed in the nose of the beholder. Something that smells rotten to one fish may be the perfect dinner invite to another. 

    May 05 at 9:00am
    A well-thrown cast net will make obtaining bait a much-easier task.

    A primer on cast nets

    I don’t know that there is any single piece of fishing equipment that is less understood than a cast net. What? That’s easy. They are nets thrown to catch bait. While that is absolutely correct, unfortunately it isn’t quite that simple. During boat and fishing shows, I always get a bunch of questions on cast nets, which brought about this column.

    April 01 at 7:00am
    The EGO Mini Gripper comes with a lanyard and is available with or without a magnetic holder. It is just the right size for kayak anglers and wading fishermen.

    Get a grip on new fishing tackle

    Many fishermen are aware that the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) show is held each July to introduce new fishing tackle. It is a closed show, open to media and buyers only, and some anglers would consider donating body parts to be able to walk the aisles and see all the fishing tackle and accessories. 

    March 05 at 9:00am
    Preventative maintenance on electrical panels should take care of issues that might crop up on winter fishing trips.

    Be careful on winter fishing trips

    Winter fishing, especially late in the winter once the days start warming, can be some of the best and most fun of the year, plus, you are ready to shake off winter and get outside.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the most dangerous times to be on the water.

    February 05 at 9:00am
    Boat shows offer not only the opportunity to shop for boats, but to talk with experts in the field about different features anglers might want.

    It’s show time!

    If you’re reading this, you’ve made it to the end of 2015 and should be thinking about your fishing, hunting and other outdoor exploits for the coming year. Most of us would like to do things a little better, a little easier, and be a little more productive. That’s a good thought and there are things we can do during the winter that are helpful and fun. 

    January 01 at 7:00am
    Lures are great stocking stuffers for fishermen, and most are reasonably priced.

    What wise fishermen want for Christmas

    Wow, this year has flown by, and we’re approaching Christmas again. This list of gift suggestions for your favorite sportsman began more than 10 years ago, and I have received reminders to do another every year, so here it is, divided into price ranges and containing perennial favorites, plus new and improved fishing and hunting gear. It can be difficult to shop for sportsmen, but this should provide a starting point.

    December 05, 2015 at 9:00am
    How you approach a fishing spot in your boat could kill or enhance your chances of catching fish.

    Use these tips to work your favorite fishing holes

    Some days when you fish, everything you do matters, and some days, it seems as if you couldn’t stop fish from biting if you wanted to. There is a lot of room for fishing mistakes between these two extremes, and being on the positive side more often is simply a matter of identifying bad choices from good ones and doing our best not to repeat the mistakes. 

    November 05, 2015 at 9:00am
    A portable, manual grinder and an industrial-strength grinder make for some easy chum-making.

    Hello there, old chum

    As we become more competitive, anglers tend to leave no stone unturned in their quest to catch the most and the largest fish. This isn’t just for tournament fishing, but there are times well-known fishing spots are crowded, and you’re seeking an edge to lure fish to your baits rather than others. Fishermen readily buy the latest and greatest lures, lines, rigs and baits, but sometimes, the trick is drawing the fish in to notice your bait or lure.

    October 05, 2015 at 9:00am
    Eddyline’s YakAttack won the ICAST Best in Show award for its special-edition fishing kayak.

    ICAST is ’yak time again

    The 2015 International Convention of the Allied Sportfishing Trades Show (ICAST) was held July 14-17 in Orlando, Fla. It is the largest tackle show in the world, and many store owners and buyers compare walking the aisles to a child spending a few days with the elves in Santa Claus’ North Pole workshop. There are far more booths than can be visited and much more stuff than a fisherman can use in a lifetime. Still, ICAST continues to expand.  

    September 07, 2015 at 9:00am
    John Alden Knight’s Solunar Tables provide predictions for when game and fish will be most active based on moon phases.

    Get your moon table on

    Would you like to better understand fish and their feeding habits? Maybe even get a leg up on your buddies so you tear them up the next time you go fishing together? 

    August 06, 2015 at 9:00am
    Downriggers are an essential fishing tool for many freshwater and saltwater applications.

    Don’t scratch the surface

    Trolling offers a way to present baits to a lot of fish over a large area, but when fish aren’t at the surface, you must get your offerings down to them or you’ll have an empty fish box at the end of the day. Of the ways to get trolled baits below the surface, I believe downriggers are the most versatile.  

    July 06, 2015 at 9:00am
    Cork rigs are a staple of fishermen targeting inshore species like speckled trout.

    Bobber-stop business

    I’m really not thinking about that song by the Beach Boys, but the catches that come from fishing a bobber-stopper rig can be enough to make you want to sing. If you have enough tackle to dedicate one outfit specifically for float fishing, a bobber-stopper rig is the way to go. It allows you to fish shallow or deep without re-tying, and it only takes a few seconds to adjust the depth.

    June 04, 2015 at 9:00am
    Making all marine electrical connections as <br />
waterproof as possible is tough, but extra steps can be taken to reduce the chances of problems developing.

    Keep that spark going

    Do you ever think about electricity when you’re fishing? If you’re like most fishermen, the answer is a flat no. That is, unless the electricity stops working. As fishermen, we have become used to having the tools and conveniences of numerous electrical devices to the point of becoming almost addicted.  

    May 04, 2015 at 9:00am
    Even when it’s perfectly stuck in the corner of a fish’s mouth, a circle hook can be tough to dislodge without injuring the fish.

    An unbroken circle?

    I’m not a big fan of circle hooks. There, I said it, and those who believe circle hooks are the do-all, end-all for fishing can begin throwing stones. Still, I’ll stand by my statement. I believe in conservation and protecting our fishing resources, but I just don’t see using circle hooks in every situation as the absolute best way to do it.

    April 01, 2015 at 7:00am
    A Cajun Sleigh combines the best of a spoon and an in-line spinner.

    Some great new stuff

    I won’t stop going to the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show held each July to introduce new fishing products, especially when it’s Orlando and I can schedule fishing trips before and after. However, a growing number of tackle and accessory manufacturers are introducing new products at the Big Rock Sports Group tackle shows held each January at Las Vegas and Raleigh. Some of these items were still in development at the previous ICAST show, and the bulk of the fishing season will be completed before the next ICAST show.

    March 05, 2015 at 9:00am