Carp Fishing Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Carp Fishing is becoming more and more popular each year due to the ever growing population and interest. After seeing how big and massive carp can get, many anglers will end up giving carp fishing a try. These fish may not be the ideal eating fish, but boy do they put up a fight! Often anglers will simply just go carp fishing to test out new techniques and get some action.

They may seem abundant though, but you may need some carp fishing tips to help you master this fish species in hopes that you will end up landing the next record carp.

What you need to go carp fishing:
Medium to Heavy Rod that’s roughly 7-8 feet.
12-20 lb test line
This list varies from carp fishermen to carp fishermen but you will definitely need the above if you plan to head out fishing. Without these, you won’t be getting too far.

Carp Fishing Techniques
Carp fishing techniques will vary based on where you are fishing along with they may take a few different tries to master. If they aren’t working for you, you may need to modify them a bit or end up trying a different area all together.

Classic Corn Rig
One of the most simple techniques you can use is just pulling out a corn rig. If you don’t know what a corn rig is or haven’t heard of one; its simple. All you need is a medium to large size hook that is baited with either canned corn or even frozen corn. After that, put the right on a 1 to 2 foot leader that is attached to your 12-20lb test line on a t-swivel.

Depending on where you are fishing though, you may want to add a “break away” line to your rig just in case the carp ends up dragging it through brush and gets you hung up. If you are planning on adding a “break away” line, simply use a lighter test line between your leader and the heavy test line.

Simply sit back and let your line fall to the bottom. After this, all you need to do is just wait. Carp Fishing Tip: If you’re having trouble, try to “chum” the area by tossing some corn around the area that you are fishing in.

Carp Boilie Bait
A lot of the old timers will tell you about Carp Boilie and you’ll still find it in use today. Carp are naturally attracted to Boilies due to their high protein content. To put this in action, you will need a medium to large sized octopus hook.

After you’ve found your hook, thread your line through the center of the boilie with excess line left looped around to tie off the ends through the eye of your hook. Keep in mind though, you will want enough excess left so that the boilie can move. All you need to do is sit back and wait.

Boilie Carp Fishing Tips: If you are having trouble getting bites, you may simply be moving your bait too much. When boilie fishing for carp, you need to remember that not move your bait.

Record Breaking Carp
You will be surprised how big carp can actually get! We’ve looked up the current record holding carp just in case you feel that you may be catching the next record breaker! These are just a few carp that’ll give you a example of current record holders.

June 2nd, 2012 Roman Hanke hooked a monster mirror carp that weighed in at 101 lb 4oz in Euro Aqua.
October 10th, 2013 Keith Williams landed a Siamese giant carp which weighted in at a massive 134-pound 7oz in Thailand.
May 20th, 2014 Darren Ouelette pulled in a 44 pound, 6oz common carp in Varmont.
carp fishing tips
Photo by catsncarp / CC BY
Top Carp Fishing Tips
From time to time, you may need some carp fishing tips to help you catch those record breaking carp. If you are having trouble though, we have you covered! Below are carp fishing tips that we’ve put to the test and that you may need to give a try:

Use Bait In Season
I’ve been able to use bait in all seasons but I’ve always been told that I should only use boilies during the summer & autumn and use bird food type baits or 50/50 mixes in the winter and spring. Feel free to use this carp fishing tip with a bit of caution as it may not always be appropriate.

Patients is Key
More often than not, you will find carp being gentle and barely striking the bait. You need to wait just long enough for them to bite down hard enough where you can then set the hook. You also may need to have a hook remover near by in case your catch ends up swallow your bait whole.

Look for the Carp
Before you even throw your line out, you may want to do some searching before you immediately go carp fishing. If you can pin point where they are hanging out, you’ll improve your chances greatly.

Winter Carp Fishing
If you end up fishing for carp more in the winter, you may want to try casting more. Due to the colder water, carp will often move less thus they may not stumble upon your bait as easily compared to in the summer.

Color Matters
This is often one of the most ignored carp fishing tips. You need to use the right color when you are out carp fishing. Along with that, you may need to even match it to your bait color too. For example, if you’re using corn as a bait; you may want to use more of a yellow or gold hook.

If you end up fishing in darker water though, you will want to match your hook with the color of the water. Carp will not be interested in bright colors when the water is dark.

Classic Corn Bait Still Works
Majority of the fishermen often ignore the time tested carp fishing tips such as simply using corn. Corn is a classic that even my grandparents have told me. Originally I felt that the best corn to use carp fishing though was straight off the cob, but I’ve had equal experience testing sweet corm that’s straight out of a can.

Salt, Vitamin C and the Heat
Carp tend to love all things salty, high in vitamin C content and stuff with a kick. To solve the Salt issue, make sure your you add enough salt to your baits. A general rule of thumb would be to add one tablespoon of salt to every 5 liters of bait you use.

I don’t always follow the vitamin C rule but all my friends do. Make sure you try to have a decent amount of vitamin C in your bait by either adding orange juice in or simply soaking your bait in it.

For some odd reason, carp seem to love the heat. We tried this suggestion and we were surprised by the results. Adding jalapenos or any hot pepper seems to drive them wild.

Follow the Ducks
Okay, okay; I know this carp fishing tip sounds a little weird and odd, but it can and does work. Depending on where you live, you might find carp traveling along side packs of geese or ducks if people are feeding them. Often ducks and geese will miss some of the bread or food that they are getting tossed in which carp will gobble right up! Cast out your line near that next group of ducks or geese and you may get a little lucky.

Overfeeding shouldn’t be a issue
More often than not, carp will take a lot of food before they ever become full. If you think that you may be overfeeding them though, just use breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are effective as they will be easy to spread but are small enough where carp don’t feel full.

Wind Doesn’t Always Matter
Using the wind to locate carp often helps and worms but its not always accurate. The smaller area that you are fishing, the less the winds will matter. Even in larger waters this can play a role as its simply not suitable for them. Try a variety of areas.

Don’t Toss Too Much Bait
You can always put more bait out, but you can’t always take it back. You’ll catch more carp by just putting small amounts of bait at a time and often than putting a lot at one time.

There you have it. Top Carp Fishing Tips, Tricks and Techniques! Don’t get caught up reading too much though, get out there and try some carp fishing tips.

Best Bait For Bluegill: Top 8 Baits That You Must Try!

Trying to figure out what the best bait for bluegill can be troublesome but once you figure out what is working for the day, you’ll be catching fish right and left in no time!

Sometime though, you need to think out of the box, come prepared and be ready to experiment and try different things. You would be surprised what can work and what simply doesn’t. Along with this, the more different types of baits you bring along, the more different things you can try. Sometimes there simply isn’t a best bait for bluegill fishing and you’ll need to have a variety of baits in your tackle box so you will have a successful day of fishing.

best bait for bluegill
Photo by zekeduggan / CC BY
Thankfully, we have provided you with a list that will cut out all the trail and error we had to do. Without further adu, here is the list of the Top 5 Best Bait for Bluegill Fishing.

Top 8 Best Bait For Bluegill

These are just simply suggestions that we’ve tested and had great success with! Usually they work but fishing for bluegill can have multiple factors that may make them not wanting to bite. Just give these baits a try and I’m sure you’ll be catching bluegill in no time!

Night Crawlers
Night Crawlers are a classic bait for bluegill fishing but you still need to get them a shot before you most on to other baits. Thankfully you should be able to find night crawlers easily in most cities for only a few dollars. They also last a long time as you can break them up into smaller pieces.

If you end up having to search for some yourself, they’ll usually hangout under logs or heavy rocks. You’ll have a lot of luck using night crawlers for any time of panfish really.

Leaf Worms/Red Worms
You may have a little trouble finding leaf worms but usually you will have success finding them at a local bait store or you can even have them delivered to you. If you are in search of some leaf worms, start by checking under logs, rocks or under big decomposing leaf piles. Due to their smaller size, you may have trouble keeping them on the bigger sized hooks.

Wax Worms
Wax worms have turned out to have some great success when fishing for bluegill. We usually use these in stained water as they tend to stand out fairly well from the surroundings. You most likely though will only find these at a bait shop or you’ll need to order them online.

You’ll be able to find these at any local bait shot and can be bought by the dozen. If you are looking to catch your own, that can easily be doe using a seine or minnow trap hanging at the end of your dock. We’ve had great success catching panfish in general with minnows and often will be the difference between having a successful day of fishing compared to catching nothing.

Just make sure you aren’t using minnows that are too big. You will need to use smaller minnows as bluegill don’t have that big of mouths. If you’re not having a good day of fishing, you might need to try some minnows.

Sweet Corn/Canned Corn
Believe it or not, sweet corn will work! Some even claim this to be one of the best bait for bluegill currently out there today! Its simple, easy and you can guy a lot of it on the cheap! Just put a piece on the end of your hook with a bobber attached and you’ll be ready to go!

White Bread
Yes, you read it right! Bread. We’ve had success using just bread on the end of our hook. Make sure you grab a decent piece and roll it into a tight all and simply hook it on the end of your hook. It may fall off and you’ll have to replace it but usually you’ll find some sort of success with just white bread!

This may not be something freely available for everyone, but you haven’t fished until you’ve tried crickets! Its a classic old timers trick and if you have a open prairie or field by you; you must give it a try! Grab a net and drag it through the grass. More often than not, you’ll catch a few crickets.

It may be a little hassle, but crickets are one of the best bait for bluegill fishing that most seem to overlook. These will break any boring day of fishing!

Hot Dogs
Okay, this was a weird one but our friend suggested that we need to try it! He ended up catching 20+ bluegill simply with store bought cheap hot dogs.

After trying it, we can say this bait worms for bluegill! Just make sure you have a large enough piece on the end of your hook as they are able to snag it off quite easily.

There you have it! Our Top 8 Best Bait for Bluegill fishing! The more variety you have in your tackle box though, the greater success your day will bring. Have you found the best bait for bluegill fishing?

Tips, Tricks and Techniques to Ice Fishing For Bluegill

Bluegill fishing can be odne in a variety of ways that will leave you with a boat load of bluegill. In particular though, many anglers have started ice fishing for bluegill and its quickly growing in popularity as years go on. More often than not, the further south you go; the less anglers you will find who have ice fished. Ice fishing as a technique will obviously further your fishing season even in the dead of winter.

If you are lucky enough, you will be ice fishing for bluegill in a heated house and out on the lake. The key benefit to having a ice house is that you are constantly warm and out of the heavy winds. You could also be outside though too.

ice fishing for bluegill

Photo by Jami.1022 / CC BY
Sitting or standing on a side of a band in the middle of the winter may not sound like a fun thing for the majority of the angling population but it’ll get you out in the outdoors and catching some of those beautiful bluegill.

Ice Fishing for Bluegill Gear: Top Factors To Remember

One of the biggest factors that you should remember when you are ice fishing is that you need to stay warm! Simply throw on several layers of warm clothes such as jackets, sweatshirts and more. Along with that, layers will keep you warmer than just one solid layer. Most anglers agree that wearing too much clothes and have to peal off a layer than freezing your butt off and being miserable. You will want the following to comfortably going ice fishing for bluegill:

Several pairs of gloves or mittens to keep your hands warm. Bring extra in case some end up getting wet.
Multiple pairs of wool socks
Rubber boots and or chest waders
Multiple layers covering your chest
Warm hat to cover your ears
Ice Fishing For Bluegill Gear

Depending on how serious you are with ice fishing, it can easily change the type of gear that you bring. Basic gear you should bring ice fishing for bluegill includes:

Ice Dipper (Will help remove the little pieces of ice)
Fishing Rods
And finally, a sled
ice fishing for bluegill house
Photo by Jami.1022 / CC BY
If you are fishing in extremely cold conditions though, you most likely will want to invest in some protection or a shelter so you don’t get stuck out in the cold too long. This could just be a piece of plywood or you could go as far as get a shack that is even insulated and heated.

When selecting your ice fishing rod, you will usually fin that they are made of fiberglass, short n stiff and often already have four pond test monofiliment rigged up too. This type of ice fishing rod is perfect for fishing for bluegill and will be one of the cheapest that you can buy. For the sake of the trip, its best that you should grab at least two rods so you can have multiple rods rigged up. Its not required but simply recommended.

Lure wise, make sure you end up getting small lures that are bright such as green and red. Smaller is better in the winter months unlike in the summer.

Make sure you use something to float it such as a bobber that is just barely large enough that it will float your bait. When ice fishing, you will need to use live bait as it usually is the most successful. These include: mealworms, minnows, waxworms, larvae, grubs and more. Its best to bring a few different kinds of baits though in case you need to try something different.

Personally, nothing beats the old classic when ice fishing for bluegills: small minnow sitting under a bobber. Simply hook the minnow through the tail so there is more action from the minnow trying to swim. Countless bluegill have been caught this way.

Bluegill Ice Fishing Locations

Ice fishing on lakes or rivers for bluegill will often be in the same places that you caught them in during the fall or summer. You will find the best ice fishing though will be right after it freezes, or in the freeze up. They will be found near weed beds and at moderate depths. As the winter gets colder and longer, you will often bluegill towards the deeper water though. If you are new at ice fishing though, simply look at where the rest of the fishermen are at and you’ll quickly know where to start.

If you are fishing on a river, don’t get stuck fishing one spot too long. If you aren’t getting any bites, try to move to a different area every 15 minutes. Just don’t get stuck trying to hit up when hole too long when ice fishing for bluegill as you will only find them in decent size schools in the colder, winter months.

Once you find your spot, its time to start cutting a hole in the ice. Do not and I repeat, DO NOT be that guy out on the ice trying to hack through it with an axe. It simply won’t work unless the ice is thin. If its that thin too, you might not want to even be out there. We recommend you use a auger or spud bar to cut a hole.

After you cut a hole, use your dipper to clear it out. Pick out your favorite lure and drop it down the hole to see how deep it actually is. Once you figured out how deep it is, set your bobber so your lure sits roughly a foot off the bottom. If you are having trouble finding the right depth, try to use trial and error. Simply drop your lure or jig to the bottom and slowly bring it up a few inches. Wait a few minutes and then real up 5-12 inches. Keep repeating this until you either have some bites or that you end up reaching the surface. Once you find the height that all the bluegills are biting at, just set your bobber to that surface.

You will find that the biggest bluegills will be found near the bottom in the winter and will have a light bite. Make sure you pay attention to your bobber for bites when ice fishing for bluegill. Right when you see a bite, try to set your hook as soon as possibly and hopefully you’ll get that big bluegill on your hook!

Ice fishing for bluegill is a classic activity and easy to catch! They are one of the best fish to get into for beginners and getting people into the sport. Thankfully you most likely won’t find too much of a shortage of bluegill fishing spots and they are once great fish to eat.

Bluegill Fishing Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Its that classic time of the year to find out how to catch those really big bluegills! Grab your fishing pole, camera, net and get your fish on! Here are some bluegill fishing tips, tricks and even techniques that will help you catch ten times more bluegill on your next fishing trip!

Without further ado, here are some bluegill fishing tips, tricks and techniques:

Basic Information and Facts about Bluegills: Lepomis Marcochirus
Today, Bluegill are one of the most recognized pan fish. Depending on where you are from, they may be referred as a bream, copper nose or brim. Bluegill are one of the most bold fish among the pan fish family and often have little to no fear of any angler trying to catch them.

Its been reported that in Lake Scugog in Canada that there are even bluegill who allow for humans to touch and stroke them. A perfect example of their boldness.

Anglers though use bluegill in a variety of ways. Often they are used as a bait for larger predators such as bass and even catfish. You will most often find bluegill being caught by new anglers or from younger children who are fishing off the dock in which allows for the children to have a interest in fishing even at a young age.

When fishing for bluegill, they are most often found in shallow water or sometimes in slower sections of rivers and streams. When in doubt, they can easily be caught off a dock too. Bluegill are called and easily identified by their blue color pattern, blue/purple face and gill flaps, orange-yellow body and olive colored bands.

Oddly enough, for such a small fish; they are able to grow to roughly 12 inches in length and over 4 pounds. Bluegill will often school with other pan fish and often will be found in groups of 10 or more. Sometimes they are even right off the side of a dock. Bluegill eat a variety of things such as:

Insect Larva
Small Fish
Water Fleas
When food is scarce; aquatic vegetation
You will find these schools often throughout the year but they are most active during their spawning period which is in early May and goes through late August.

Learning How to Catch Big Bluegill: Only ten inches and up!
You will most often find the biggest bluegills in lakes or streams that hold a very small population of panfish such as sunfish, bluegill, crappie and more. The sole reason behind this is that the more food the bluegill has to eat, the bigger they can be!

Most often the record breaking catches are found in the southern regions as they are the most likely to produce these bigger fish than the northern region. They are able to grow larger in the southern reasons for a variety of reasons: Constant warm water, longer summer, and less stressful winter. You still may get luck up in the north though and pull in a record breaking catch!

Wherever you decide you are fishing though, it will take a little research if you are willing to try to snag that next trophy bluegill! If you are up for the challenge, you can find out this information in a variety of ways by: contacting state fisheries agencies, checking out pictures at bait shots, looking online for information, checking record books and by talking to local water front property owners.

Once you get all this information put together, you should have a decent idea where all those local big bluegills are in your area. After that, its just takes time trying to find the peak time to try to snag one.

Here are some record bluegill records:

Bluegill Fishing All Time Records: Can you beat these fish?
Here are the top 5 caught bluegill records! These are from Land Big Fish and only based in the United States. Often record catches go unreported or improperly reported so there still could be huge bluegill still out there! If you want to view more record breaking catches, feel free to visit the Land Big Fish website.

T.S. Hudson in the USA on 4-9-1950 caught a 4.12 lbs. bluegill in Lake Ketona
Chris R. Mapes in the USA on 5-2-2004 caught a 3.15 lbs. bluegill in Goldwater Lake
Michael Holoubek in the USA on 6-22-2008 caught a 3.14 lbs. bluegill in an unknown lake
Albert Sharp in the USA on 8-7-1998 caught a 3.4 lbs. bluegill in Rancho Murieta Reservoir
Nicholas Toczek in the USA in 1998 caught a 2.4 lbs. bluegill in Hollenbeck Reservoir
You never know if you might be the next bluegill record holder! More often than not, people are surprised by these low numbers but prove to them that your lake holds that next big catch! If you are having some troubles, more often than not; our tips will help you snag that next big catch. If you end up being that next angler that catches the next record holder, feel free to tell people where you snagged all those nice bluegill fishing tips and techniques!

Simple techniques that will net you ten times more bluegill
Oddly enough, there are two fishing techniques and tips that will change your success rate for catching all sizes of bluegills. There are a variety of techniques and tips but I can’t place these two any higher:

Fishing Line Helps: Use Four-Pound Test Line
Even though this may seem weak, its best for the most overall situations. You’d be surprised how well bluegills can see and without a doubt, they will be able to see thicker fishing line.

They may be fish but they aren’t dumb. Often enough, they won’t even try to go for any bait that looks out of the ordinary. They are smart, cautious fish that prefer to stay alive! The bigger the bluegill is, the harder it will be to snag one.

You should even go as far as to try two pound test line and try that out before you try something heavier. The lighter and smaller line will help catch bluegills since they are picky eaters. If you are fishing in clear water, this is the top bluegill fishing tip.

The smaller the line you use, the more bites you are most likely to get. Keep in mind though, if you are going for a huge bluegill; your line will break if you lift it out of the water. Its best to bring a net when bluegill fishing. Don’t let that next record breaking bluegill get away!

You also need to keep in mind the situation that you are fishing at. More often than not, you will end up with multiple snags in trees, brush, weeds and more. Use your best judgement when picking out a line that will work. Make sure you don’t pick something too heavy though. That is key to this bluegill fishing tip.

Give Fly Fishing a Try: It Really Works
Believe it or not, fly fishing for bluegill is one of the best ways to fish for bluegill or pan fish in general. It may be a rare sight to see a fly fisherman going for bluegill but this bluegill fishing tip & technique is golden!

This doesn’t always work though due to insect hatching times. Your best bet is to try this bluegill technique only when insects are hatching. To find out more about fly fishing for bluegill, check out our other post.

Top Bluegill Fishing Spots: Don’t Miss out On These!
For the most part, you will find bluegill in a variety of water bodies such as: lakes, rivers, streams and even reservoirs. Even the smallest water bodies might luck out with some bluegill lurking.

There is a small lake that doesn’t have any boat launches near my house. Therefore, most people think there isn’t any fish there and rarely will you ever see people trying. Low and behold, they have the biggest pan fish I’ve ever caught! Give every decent size body of water a try before you give up on it!

Fishing in Rivers and Streams
If you are fishing in any rivers or streams where water is moving, try to find a area where the current slows down a bit. I’ve had the most success in areas where the water is even considered stagnate that is next to brush and or weeds. Most often, you will not find any bluegills in any fast flowing sections of water.

Fishing in Lakes/Ponds
When searching for a decent pond or lake, try to find one with big bass or record breaking predators. You might be thinking, “why would I want to go somewhere with big bass? I’m looking for bluegill!” but that also means there are less bluegill in the lake. Less bluegill means the bigger ones have survived and have plenty of food to eat! When there aren’t enough predators in a lake, often there are too many small bluegill or pan fish.

Lets be real, 4 inch fish simply aren’t fun nor good eaters. Bigger is always better.

Consistent catches though will really depend on how well you know the pong/lake that you are fishing at. Bluegill often have seasonal habits and will roam based on that in concentrated schools. If you are looking to be truly successful in catching bluegill, you must be able to locate where all the fish are concentrated.

Simply put: Just because you know you caught a ton of them in the spring by the band doesn’t mean that’ll be at that same bank mid summer. Be prepared to adjust locations between seasons.

Bringing Kids Fishing For Bluegill
This is the perfect fish to introduce kids to fishing with and especially for their first time. With their beautiful colors, you won’t be too surprised if they get caught in the fishing niche. Top Bluegill Fishing tip though is to make sure you stay with your kids!

If you are fishing in a small pond or lake, location will really depend on the depth of the lake. More often than not, fish will follow a pattern based on the temperature of the lake/pond.

When fishing in a pond, try areas that have a lot of cover. These would include: Weeds, brush, fallen trees or simply shady spots. If you try all these spots listed above, you are bound to snag at least one bluegill or pan fish. Note: If its really hot out, try shady areas right off the bat as fish will be looking for cooler waters

If the weather is brutally hot, bluegills will be far from the edge of the pond and towards the deeper spots. Most people will ignore this bluegill fishing tip or not remember this technique. I’ve had the best luck though fishing on and or near the edges of ponds/lakes. Keep in mind though too, you will have a significant advantage when fishing on the sides of a pond since there is simply less room for fish to roam.

You don’t need a boat to fish for bluegill or pan fish either. More often than not, having a boat will be overkill. With these bluegill fishing tips and spots listed above, you should be golden next time when you go out fishing!

Bluegill Fishing Tips, Tricks and Techniques: This is what you’ve been waiting for!
These tips may come off as a little repetitive, but they are key to helping to learn how to fish for bluegill! Read every tip and you will be catching these pan fish in no time! Note: These tips are in no order.

Bigger Predators Mean Bigger Bluegill
Yes, this does sound like something confusing idea but the less smaller bluegill there are in a lake, mean that the bigger the other ones get the chance to get. Less competition will result in more food in which means bigger bluegill. Trust us on this tip!

Research is key
Knowing you lake brings a huge advantage to going in blindly. Without research and knowing your lake, you might as well just kiss that trophy bluegill away. Make sure you look of depth charts, DNR stocking info, bait shop pictures and more.

If you are a true angler, you will take mental notes of your lake to help yourself identify seasonal patterns as bluegill travel throughout the lake.

For example, bluegill at my local lake are only found near lily-pads. Once the summer start coming and more weeds come up, they move towards the center of the lake. Knowing these key signs of where the fish move will help you greatly.

Fish at the Peak Time of the Year: Spawn time
Make sure you fish only at the correct spawning times. Bigger bluegills only spawn at cooler and deeper depths compared to smaller ones therefore, the deep edges of any bluegill colony will hold the biggest fish.

Midsummer Fishing Works
One of the best times is to try fishing for bluegill midsummer as they will be eating the most since the water is at its warmest. These fish will be in deeper water and can be in waters deep as 30 feet or more. Be prepared to search around.

Pick The Best Bait For Bluegill
Often, bluegill will strike at just about anything. If you are simply just striking out on any luck, feel free to try some crickets. You may not be able to pick some up at your local bait store, but they are perfect for those big bluegills. Along with that, wax worms and beetles work good too.

Equipment is Everything
Having the right supplies is key. That includes the right fishing rod along with the line. The smaller and more lightweight, the better. For most situations, simply use 3-4 pound test monofilament fishing line. If you are running into a lot of snags, bump up your test a little bit.

Hook your bait correctly
Bluegills are known to steal bait right off the hook so make sure you wrap your worm or bait enough where it will result in the bluegill being on the hook. At the same time, you want to make sure your bait can move about as it needs to be in order to attract the bluegills. Finding the right balance is key.

Retrieve Slowly: Speed Matters
Have some patience and don’t rush when trying to catch bluegill. You need to retrieve your line slowly as more often than not, you will get the most strikes this way. These fish simply aren’t build to chase down food. They most commonly eat food that is slowly moving. Slow and steady is key to retrieving your lures.

Hook Size Does Matters
You don’t want to use too big of a jig where the bluegill won’t be able to bite it. Don’t use a jig that is any larger than 1/32 ounce. If you are using live bait, only use a #8 or #12 size hook.

Bigger Bluegill Require Bigger Bait
You will need to use larger bait when you are trying to catch larger bluegill. For example: good sized leeches, multiple small worms, night crawlers, or even a grasshopper will work to catch a decent size pan fish. You could even end up using some minnows.

Fish Before and After It Ices Up
Right before and after the water starts icing up is a great time to try to catch bluegill. Keep in mind though you will need to use smaller bait as they will be less hungry.

Trophy Bluegill Fishing Isn’t Easy
The bigger bluegill more often than not won’t be just sitting in a school, they often will a lone fish. They simply won’t be in schools of 20 to 30 fish.

Patience and Persistence is needed
You won’t go out and catch that trophy bluegill right off the bat. It will take time and persistence to catch it. Don’t give up right off the bat.

Bigger Bluegill Look Different
Once they grow over one pound, they start becoming a little different compared to usual bluegill. When they hit roughly 10 inches, their face starts to flatten out and mouth will often look different.

Try Using a Spinner Blade
Place it right in front of a baited hook along with a big night crawler for bait and you might get lucky. I’ve had the best luck simply casting it far out and slowly reeling in. Based on the strikes, you can find where the schools are at.

Try to find a brightly colored, flashy spinner blades such as nickel or chartreuse. These help get the bluegills attention and hopefully make them strike.

Try using a Bobber
Even though a bobber seems like a piece of a amateurs lure set, it perfect for bluegills! Simply cast out and once it hits the water, leave it to wait. If you end up not getting any bites, slowly reel in ten or so feet and then let it sit for a while. Rinse and repeat until you start getting bites.

Seasonal Patterns Matter
Always remember that as the summer starts, bluegills will start heading towards the shallows and leaving the shore. Try to check out deep channels and cover that is in roughly 20 feet of water or even sometimes deeper.

Sometimes Throw Them Back
If you caught a boarder-line big bluegill, you might want to just toss them back and let them get a bit bigger. This will allow the chance for the fish to become the next trophy fish.

And there you have it, our top bluegill fishing tips, tricks and techniques to mastering these pan fish! Don’t spend all day catching nothing when you could be catching something!

Best Power Bait For Rainbow Trout

Finding the best Power Bait for Rainbow Trout can be hard. More often than not though, it will come down to a few different factors when trying to find the perfect bait you should use. Heck, you may not even find the best power bait to use either as factors are constantly changing.

We have found that both the bough and nuggets both work well for power bait fishing for rainbow trout. Along with that, Power Bait does work when you have figured out the right color. Simply put though, its not easy. Finding the Best Power Bait for Rainbow Trout color will take time and effort. Once you figure it out though, you will be catching trout in no time!

Factors To Finding The Best Power Bait For Rainbow Trout
Even though there are many factors, one of the main factors to watch out for is the water color when determining the Bait Power Bait For Rainbow Trout Fishing.
Water Color
Simply put, the water color alone will lead to certain colors doing well than others. Depending on how muddy the water is that you are fishing in will determine the power bait to try for rainbow trout.

For example, if the water is muddy or dark, than you should be using a brighter color to try to stand out in the water and get the trouts attention.

If the water is fairly clear, you will be able to get away with darker power baits without having to worry as the rainbow trout should be able to clearly see it. Trial and error will help you figure out the best power bait for rainbow trout.

You could even go down the path that your bait color could even change daily due to factors such as water temp, air temp, time of the day, depth that you are fishing at, distance from the earth to the moon, time of the year, and more.

Its best to not search for one answer, answers and try to come prepared with multiple kinds of the best power bait for rainbow trout. Power Bait is extremely effective for trout fishing but its best to be able to try different colors and kinds in case something simply doesn’t work.

Our Experience
There ends up to be multiple different kinds of bait that I consider the “Best Power Bait For Rainbow Trout”. Make sure you end up bringing both the dough and the nugget Power Bait for rainbow trout fishing, a variety of colors and try to give them all a try. You will more often than not find one particular color and variation working well for the day.

We often bring 7 or 8 different colors of Power Bait with us for rainbow trout fishing. In particular though, we have the most success with Rainbow, Green, Yellow (NOT Chartreuse), or even Red. It really will depend on the area that you are fishing in though. Throw on an 12-16″ of leader and a small hook such as the 8 or 10. Cast and let drift through the current, tumble to the bottom or just let it simply sit.

When applying the Power Bait, scoop out a piece that is about the size of your thumb and place it on end of the hook. After that, put some split shot roughly 8-12 inches above the hook. Finally place your bobber or float 5-12 inches above your split shot. It may take a few different casts to land a bite. If you don’t end up getting any bites, swap out the bait for another color.

Its best to also bring different set ups with you too. So pack some spinners, crankbaits, blade baits, jigs and flies. With all these in your arsenal, you will be bound to become the master angler of the rainbow trout on your next trip to the river!

Lake Trout Fishing Tips

Most people don’t even give lake trout a try or even consider something to fish for. In particular, people usually have trouble fishing for lake trout and the traditional methods that go along with it. First though, you probably should spend some time learning about Lake Trout themselves before jumping in and trying to fish for them right off the bat. We’ve provided you with some lake trout fishing tips for seasons, methods and general tips for you to improve your fishing game!

About Lake Trout Themselves (salvelinus namaycush)
Lake trout is a species of trout that you will only find in North America but has been introduced to other parts of the world that include: Europe, Asia and South America. They only will live in freshwater and have become a popular game fish in North America. In essence, the Northern parts of North America.

Diet of lake trout varies based on their weight, length and general age but usually will include snails, leeches, crustaceans, insect larva and sometimes even other small fish. Due to being a popular game fish though, the populations itself have been on a downward fall and have to be supported with breeding & stocking programs.

Usually lake trout will tend to live in large lakes that are very cold and deep. They will spawn in the fall but sometimes is different from the location and weather patterns that they are living in. Lake trout are obviously different than any other trout due to their color variation in which has a light yellow and white spots along their green body. They also have a white belly and orange fins that make them stand out.

Lake Trout Fishing Tips
Sadly, Lake Trout Fishing isn’t as simple as 123. Every season will have its own way of fishing along with techniques itself. Thankfully, with the simple lake trout fishing tips below, you won’t have any problems catching some lake trout and have a blast reeling in some big heavy fish from the deep depths of your lake.

Lake Trout Fishing Tips For Spring
In the spring during ice-out (when the ice starts to melt) to a couple weeks after, you will find lake trout to be under the surface of the ice and provides one of the best times to go lake trout fishing. Sometimes you will end up catching the most lake trout during this time too and at others, it may be darn near impossible. One of the major disadvantages of lake trout fishing in spring is that the are all fairly spread out and not concentrated in one place on the lake.

If you do end up fishing though in the spring, you will want to find areas that the lake will warm up the fastest. Your best bet is to find a sandbar or shallow sandy areas such as shores as it’ll warm up fastest there and provide small minnows for lake trout to eat. Lake Trout themselves though don’t enjoy the warmer waters though but they will wait on the deeper edges for minnows to wonder by. You may have luck on the shores too though as lake trout sometimes will venture near the shore in search of food.

Trolling in the Spring does work but you may end up finding it to be not that effective as they’re sensitive to any motor or noise in general. If you really do want to troll, your best bet is to cast sideways or at a 40-50 degree angle from the back of your boat. Simply cast out, slowly reel in and repeat. Even with a electric motor, we’ve found Lake Trout to be sensitive.

Summer Lake Trout Fishing Tips
In the late spring to the early summer, finding where lake trout are at may be a bit of a trouble. This is essentially a transition stage where they are found at a variety of depths before they move to the deeper parts of the lake for the hot summer. Finding where they are lurking will really come down to the size of the lake that you are fishing in.

If you are fishing in a smaller lake, you may have some luck checking out deep spots as the lake will warm up much faster than the bigger lakes. If you are fishing in bigger lakes, you may have a little more trouble. You will want to check the temperature of the water and try to fish roughly at the 50 degree thermocline (basically the level in which the temperature is roughly 50 degrees). If you end up fishing any lower, the lake trout won’t be biting too much due to the low oxygen levels in which makes them go into a semi dormant state. Depending on your lake, try to fish between 40 and 60 feet deep.

Lake Trout Summer Fishing Methods
Lake Trout summer fishing requires different styles of fishing that many are not used to. Most these methods though will catch catch fish but they are just very boring, dull and simply put not very effective.

Depending on your boat size, the prime way of fishing for Lake Trout is to use the back troll method as slow as possible using a three-way swivel. Attached some 6 pound test line to your fishing rod and you should be ready to go. 6 pound test line is ideal due to its thin composition thus creating little friction with the water. If you are planning on fishing at more than 50 feet deep or even at 50 feet deep, you’ll want to use 2 ounce weight and a flutter spoon. The two spoons that we would recommend are the Sutton Silver Spoon or the MooseLook spoon.

We know there are hundreds of light flutter spoons on the market but those two stood out to us because of their composition. So far we found that darker colors along with shiny colors such as dark blue and silver are ideal on sunny days. If you end up fishing on a day that seems a little cloudy you may want to use a copper colored spoon. Along with that, you may not be able to catch any Trout if a low-pressure system is coming in.

3 Way Swivel Technique
The three-way swivel technique is fairly simple. First you’ll want to type 2 feet of your line from one of your three-way swivels to a regular clip swivel. Following that, you’ll then attach your lure. On your last swivel, use roughly 3 feet of line and attach it to your 2 ounce weight.

You’ll want to give slow trolling a try by simply letting line out 1 foot at a time. You should be traveling slow enough that your line will almost fall straight down to the bottom. Letting your line out should have a one-to-one ratio. For example, if you let out that 40 feet of line, you should be 40 feet down.

One of the best tools though for trolling is to get a depth finder. Depth finders allow you to find what depths fish are lurking at. From our experience, we found Lake Trout to be at 50 feet to even as shallow as 25 feet in the summer.

Sometimes in small springfed lakes or even shallow lakes in general, you may ignore the depth rule altogether.

Line selection is also very important too. From our experience we found that dark green line produces the lowest of visibility. Following that, continue trolling until you start getting bites.

Jigging For Lake Trout
If you find the lake trout to be fairly concentrated, you may want to try a jigging technique. Thankfully jigging for trout is fairly straight forward and all you will need is simply 6 pound mono filament and half ounce jig. From our experience we found that white tube jigs and even buck tail jigs to be effective when Lake Trout fishing. Followed by adding a minnow, you are surely catching a lake trout in no time.

If you are fond of spoons, you also can jig them. For both cases though, you want start jigging on the very bottom in slowly and gradually work your way to the very top. Trout are known to fall your bait and often the only bite when it slowly moving through the water. You’ll need to be alert for any strikes, as trout are known to strike at some most unusual times.

This simple technique will leave many inexperienced anglers missing the catch. If you are finding that you’re missing strikes, you may want to change to more sensitive lines such as 10 to 12 pound test. Combining the drifting technique or using the motor at a slow pace will effectively lead to locating Lake Trout and no time.

Best Lake Trout Fishing Times
Your best bet when Lake Trout fishing is to try early in the morning and the evening. During the day you will find that the trout can be very picky and sometimes they won’t ever be feeding. You’ll want to be out on the lake though and continue trying as you don’t know when the ever will start feeding again.

Lake Trout can be a challenge on the larger lakes so your best bet is to try a variety of methods. In smaller lakes, Lake Trout will be very susceptible to changing pressures along with the weather. Finding the ideal methods takes time and effort but eventually lead you to becoming a better angler.

General Lake Trout Fishing Tips
This is probably what you been searching for, and you finally made it. Here are a few of our lake trout fishing tips that will get you started and catching bigger and better lake trout on your next fishing trip.

Depth Matters
When you are fishing for Lake Trout, depth actually matters. You need to find the area where the lake trout are usually lurking. One of the biggest issues though with finding these areas is that it varies from season to season. As the water stuck in warmer you’ll need to search deeper and as it gets colder, you’ll need to start searching in shallower waters.

For example, once the ice is out, you’ll be fishing at a surface of roughly 10 feet while in mid spring you should be fishing at a depth of roughly 20 to 30 feet and finally in late spring, you can be even fishing at depths of 30 to even 45 feet. The summer is most hardest time of the year to go lake trout fishing as the lake waters tend to change often thus the fish are constantly moving as they try to find the ideal layer.

Lure Selection Helps
As always you’ll want to consider the lures are using when lake trout fishing. These lures though will be affected by a variety of factors. For example, the size, lake trout population, season, air pressure, depth and food supply are very important factors when considering what fishing lure you should use. Our best advice is to talk to the local bait shop and fisherman to get idea what is currently working on the lake.

Once you Find One, You’ll Find More
Once you start catching fish, odds are that you will find more. Even though these are not schooling fish, they tend to enjoy the same general surroundings.

Live Bait Works
From our experience we found live bait for Lake Trout fishing to be the ideal bait. Along with that, we’ve only used the time-tested nightcrawler. If you are wanting to try different baits, decent size minnows and even salmon eggs will also work too.

Buy a Fishfinder
One of our biggest secrets though is simply a fishfinder. This is expensive piece of equipment but it will greatly increase your chances of finding fish along with reeling in the biggest lake trout. This simple device will allow you to find where all the schools of baitfish are currently lurking along with any of trout that you you missing out on. This device is one useful tool that should be on any fishermen’s boat

There you have it! Those are all of our lake trout fishing tips that hopefully will end up catching some fish for you. As always, don’t spend too much time reading and try to put more action into trying different lake trout fishing techniques! Fish on!

Fishing For Sunfish in Lakes: Top tips to getting you started!

Sometimes fishing for sunfish in lakes can just be frustrating. Especially when you are out there with the mind set that you will be catching big fish the whole time. I know personally I always have no problems catching those little tiny sunfish but that’s never what I have a goal for.

Usually I find sunfish or panfish in general near areas with some type of cover in shallow water. Whether that may be weeds, lily-pads, or in a back cove, they aren’t too hard to find and or catch. Fishing for Sunfish in lakes is simply great way to introduce fishing to beginners such as kids too. Grab a bucket for your live-well, a container full of worms and you’ll be ready to go fishing for sunfish in lakes in no time!

So.. Where should I look to find sunfish in the lakes?
I get this question a lot, and there simply is no straight answer. Its best to get to know your lake a little by looking up maps online. If that’s simply not a option, you need to use your observation skills.

You need to look towards the brushy side of the lake in areas such as: rocky bottoms, weeds, and in shade of docks or trees. You will find sunfish in the shallows most of the time in the hot summer months. Sunfish will spawn in the late spring and sometimes will even spawn several times a year. You will find these hot pockets that have a gravel or sandy bedding.

What baits should I use for when I’m Fishing for Sunfish in Lakes?
One of the great things about fishing for sunfish in lakes is that they’ll hit just about anything you throw at them. You will have a lot of success simply just using worms as they are the bait most anglers use to catch sunfish in lakes.

You could even use baits such as: grubs, minnows, crickets, flies, grass hoppers, meal worms and even corn. Heck even artificial bait works too. They even will strike at a variety of jigs, small flies and crankbaits.

If you are planning on using live bait though, you will want to use a bobber to keep it from hitting the bottom. This is a great technique for casting and fishing around a dock.

If you plan on using artificial baits, you will want to try to fish and cast near weedbeds, rock cover and brush. You will also get lucky casting near shade too from hills, rocks and trees on hot summer days.

What Tackle is best for fishing for sunfish in lakes?
You can use a variety of tackle for sunfish and thankfully they’ll bite at just about anything. Simply put, keep it simple. To go fishing for sunfish, you will need the following:

A fishing pole
A simple 12 to 13 foot fishing rod will work but even a stick can work too.

Reel equipped with four pound test line
You shouldn’t need anything more than four pound test line when fishing for sunfish in lakes.

Split shot Sinkers
Make sure you bring a few split shot in case your line snaps.

More slender bobber, the better. This will allow you to see more action from the fish.

Simply grab some worms from your local bait store or anything else that you can get ahold of listed above.

How to Catch Sunfish: Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Sunfish fishing is a ever increasing sport that is perfect for both getting people into the sport along with professional anglers looking to get some easy fishing in. In all honesty, this is one of the easiest fish you’ll find yourself getting and some even claim them to be the best tasting.

How to Catch Sunfish
You are probably wondering, well.. How do I go about catching these sunfish then? Its not too hard and with these tips, you’ll be catching them in no time!

First and foremost, when learning how to catch sunfish; you want to make sure you are using ultra-lite tackle and light line that is rated 2-6 pound test. You shouldn’t need any high test line as these fish only can get so big. This is often one of the most ignored tips when learning how to catch sunfish.

Where To Find Sunfish
Usually, you will find sunfish to be in the shallow water that is often near the shore. They will be found during the spring and summer months there and in nothing more than 20 feet deep of water. You will have the most luck by fishing off a dock or sometimes right off the shore.

When the weather starts turning cold and going towards the fall/winter months, you will find sunfish in the deeper water such as 10-30 feet.

When you are sunfishing, you are bound to come onto a bunch of other fish in the process. With sunfish though, you will most likely end up catching other panfish such as crappie, bluegill etc.

Sunfish Tackle
When learning how to catch sunfish, one of the most effective rigs that you should use is simply a bobber/slip bobber and a #6 or #8 hook. Arm this hook with some corn, minnow, leach or worm and you’ll be getting bites in no time!

Just make sure that your bobber is sensitive enough where you can see if there is a strike on your hook. Sunfish don’t get too big so they will have trouble pulling big bobbers down. If you want something really sensitive, use a slender stick like bobber as you will be able to see all the action.

If you are fishing near the bottom, you will want to use something like a small 1/4 to 1/8 oz sliding sinker and a 12 inch leader. The bigger sunfish you are going for may require stronger line so keep that in mind.

You can also simply just use a few slipshot and go bobberless. We’ve found this to be one of the best methods to use when the water starts to get choppy due to the wind. Personally, use a decent sized minnow and you’ll learn how to catch a sunfish in no time!

Bait Options for Sunfish
Learning how to catch sunfish will allow you to learn what they like to eat. Thankfully sunfish will go after a variety of bait, sometimes even nothing. We once threw a blank hook out in a pond and sunfish started striking it due to the splash alone. They aren’t the smartest fish per-say. Learning how to catch sunfish will require you to be a master of bait though. Here is a list of bait we’ve used and have had success with.

If you are going for bigger sunfish, the leech is your friend. They not only stay on the hook but also will make other smaller sunfish avoid it and only the bigger fish will go after it. Only use leeches that are roughly 1 inch in length.
Earth Worms have also brought in a lot of sunfish too though. Usually we just go around and turn over a few rocks as they seem to be everyone. If you end up buying some, you will find them to be easier to find around town along with just cheaper in general. Make sure you wrap your worm enough or the sunfish will be able to just pick it right off the hook!
Classic corm bait works too when learning how to catch sunfish. It may not be our top choice but it can work. If you end up not being able to get any other bait, corn is a perfect substitute. You will find though that only the larger sunfish are able to get the corn off the hook and sometimes the fish will just be more pickier and not even strike at your corn. We’ve used both corn from a can and right off the cob with success. When baiting up your hook, you will want to put a few kernels.
Minnows have had great success and you will be able to catch a variety of fish with them. Since minnows are fish too, you will only find bigger sunfish being able to engulf your minnows.
More often than not, you will find me armed with artificial bait when teaching people how to catch sunfish. Not only does it allow me to be able to always have bait at hand, it also allows your to go for other fish too. My favorite so far is the small tube jigs, beetle spins, and sometimes just throwing powerbait at the end of the jig.
Ice Fishing for Sunfish
Ice fishing is one of the more unique ways to learn how to catch sunfish. You will easily have success with a small spoon (1/64 oz to 1/32 oz) or just a small jig. Through a small worm, wax worm, or minnow on it and you’ll have bites eventually. You will want to use a slip bobber too that is slender to show the most action. Along with that, you will need to try to set the hook earlier as they might try to pull it under the ice.

During the dead of winter, sunfish will hover near the bottom (sometimes just inches or even as much as 3 feet). When learning how to fish for sunfish in the winter, you will want to use the lightest line possible such as 4 pound test. These fish may be dumb, but they will still be able to see heavy line going through the water.

How to Catch Northern Pike

You can’t just jump into any sport without learning skills and techniques. Fishing for northern pike is the same too. In particular, it can be either easier or harder depending on where you are fishing. Heck, your local lake might not even hold northern pike either. Lets get this started!

how to catch northern pike

Photo by delarenzo / CC BY
Learning How to Catch Northern Pike in 4 Steps

Figuring out how to catch northern pike isn’t a science, but it takes a few different considerations and factors to become a angler that is pulling in a record breaking pike. Follow these points to a T and you should be golden.

Location, Location, Location

One of the most obvious issues when learning to catch northern pike will come down to location. Where can you find northern pike in a lake? Where are they in the summer? Questions like these are obvious once you know where they usually are larking.

You will most often find Northern pike that are small to medium in size towards the back ends of bays; these include areas with thick weeds, lily pads, wild rice, and cat tails. These small to medium size northern pike feed on bugs, frogs, small minnows and sometimes even each other.

As you start going away from the weeds, the northern pike will get bigger as they will have more food opportunities and less competition. They even can eat the small to medium pike that wander out from the weed line. Even though these Northern Pike may be decent size, where are the monster pike?

More often than not, you will not find monster northern pike in the weeds as they simply don’t care for those small minnows, frogs or bugs. They need real food such as; suckers, chub, whitefish and sometimes walleyes. The bigger pike will try to just hang out and ambush any pray that goes by. In particular, one of their main ambush points will often be at the points of areas leading into a bay. Sometimes you will even find them at rocky points, islands, or other places that you can catch walleye.

The best place to get those record breaking northern pike though is usually at the mouth of any stream or river, narrow areas between islands, and sometimes where to lakes connect. These monster pike are opportunist eaters and will just wait for other fish to swim past them before they strike.

Location in a lake will often vary. They are one of the few fish that tend to migrate all year long due to ever changing food, water temperatures or shifting to their spawning grounds.

Northern Pike can be easy and are known to hit just about any lure in your arsenal. They are often attracted to bright colors such as red, silver, yellow, and sometimes even bright green. Pike seem to strike jigs, rapalas, thundersticks and more. Heck, even with small jigs you can catch record breaking pike.

Know your surroundings

One of the most underrated features of fishing is not putting adequeate research towards knowing your lake or river! There is so much available online and in your local bait shop. Even the DNR will put our reports of lakes that have been stocked so you should have a pretty good idea of how much and what kind of fish are in your lake.

Use the Right Lures: Colors and Types

Sometimes people will underestimate what lures or what colors they need to have when learning how to catch northern pike. If you are off, they simply won’t bite and you will be left with one boring afternoon. To combat this, make sure you come prepared wit a variety of lures and colors so you can adjust as they day goes on. Plus, if something simply isn’t working after 20 to 30 minutes, just change it up.

Tips and Tricks to Learning How to Catch Northern Pike

With these few short tips and tricks to learning how to catch northern pike, you should be on your way to catching some in short time!

Let the Pike Have fun: Play with your bait
Most often than not, you will find great success allowing the pike play with your bait before you immediately try to hook him. The key thing to have is patience. If you end up having a strike and you think you lose it, don’t panic as he will most likely come back and strike again. These are almost dianasor like fish, they can easily just forget about your lure and try again. Some fishermen even report that they end up catching the same northern pike over and over again!

Use the slap technique
If you end up trying to use a spoon as your lure, use a slapping technique when casting. Sounds a little weird at first, but trust me; it works! What you need to do is cast at your target zone at a high angle so that your lure will fall into your zone. Right when the lure is roughly 2 or 3 feet above the zone, jerk your line so that the spoon will slap towards the water. This sound alone will often make a northern pike strike.

Change your Lure Color Based On the Water
Depending on the water, you will want to have a certain color lure. In a way though, this applies to all fishing. If you find your water to be muddy or dark, use a brighter color such yellow and or a lure that creates noise. Rattle baits will be your prime weapon in your tackle box during these times as pike often will locate food just from sound alone.

Fish can smell scents
Make sure you don’t have any unwanted smells on your hands when handling lures. For example, handle anything with gas on it, touches gas in anyway or sprayed bug spray on, you will want to avoid touching your lures. To combat this, to get rid of the gas smell: Wash your hands with sugar. To combat bug spray: Wash your hands with salt.

If you do this before you touch your lures, you will not get undesirable scents on them in which will lead to more strikes.

How To Catch Northern Pike: Bait Edition

You will find those big, monster northern pike feasting on other fish such as those 1 to 2 pound walleyes. Not little minnows. You will need to change your bait based on this mentality. If you end up going to a bait store looking for a 6+ inch sucker or chug, good luck as you will quickly find out that they most likely won’t have any in stock. If they do.. Great, you just saved yourself some time!

You will need to fish for some on your own.

Walk down to a small streak and simply cast into a hole. Make sure you use a small hook and a worm. You will most often than not be able to snag a few decent size sucker fish to use for fishing later.

With all this in mind, you will quickly learn how to catch northern pike. Its not a simply process, but its one that is repeatable once you manage to get your skills down.

Top Crappie Fishing Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Crappie fishing is not only entertaining, but can be a great learning experience when you are trying to catch other fish. Thankfully, instead of having to spend a lot of time with trial and error, we have the best top crappie fishing tips to helping you know everything about both crappies and crappie fishing in general.

When fishing for crappie, it doesn’t matter if you are either a first time fisher or a professional angler; we still have crappie fishing tips that’ll help your angling game!

We have provided you with information about crappies themselves so you have a better idea where crappie are lurking and why they do what they do. We also provided you with top crappie fishing tips, crappie fishing facts and finally, crappie fishing records so you will know everything about crappie fishing.

Crappie Themselves: Pomoxis Annularis
Often called one of the most fish to catch and one of the best tasting fish to eat, they are often abundant too! Crappie are found throughout the United States and even into Canada. Swimming in large schools in warm water near cover, you are surely able to snag quite a few of them!

Crappie themselves often average roughly 6-11 inches fully grown and depending on the conditions, can reach lengths even up to 17 inches. Often good size crappie, will weigh in at 1/2 to 1 pound but sometimes can even reach up to 6 pounds.

Oddly enough, there are actually two different sub-species of crappie; black crappie and white crappie. These two sub-species have this color variance due to the habitat they grew up in, the age of the fish itself along with the general local population breeding stock.

Black Crappie
black crappie fishing tips
Photo by WBeckon / CC BY
The black crappie obviously gets it name due to its slightly darker appearance in color compared to the white crappie. The black crappie also has a white or slightly gray/dark gray or spots along the majority of its sides. Finally, the black crappie has roughly 7-8 dorsal spines that go along its back.
White Crappie
white crappie fishing tips
Photo by U.S. federal government / CC BY
The white crappie obviously appears much lighter compared to the black crappie and actually has distinct gray vertical bars that extend down the sides of the white crappie. They also only have 5-6 dorsal spines compared to the black crappie’s 7-8 dorsal spines.
Both species itself though has nearly the same feeding patters along with spawning times. They often will be found in water that is a little acidic and a lot of vegetation. When crappie itself though are juveniles, they will only go after pray that’s on a microscopic level. This includes cyclops, daphnia and cladocera. Finally once maturity starts to hit, they will start becoming a predator and go after minnows and other fish.

Crappie are usually found in a school and will school with even other species of fish. You will find the majority of crappies near underwater structures such as weed bends, lily-pads, fallen trees, and even banks. For the most part, crappies during the day are found in the deeper water and only will be near the shore when they have to feed in the early dawn or dusk.

Spawning though, they can be found in shallow water in large schools. During the winter and cold months, they don’t go into any type of hibernation in which makes them a perfect fish for ice fishing.

Top Crappie Fishing Tips, Tricks and Techniques
Often more than not, every angler has come to the point where they need help and thankfully we have provided some crappie fishing tips. We have compiled the best tips from not only personal experience but also from searching from all over the internet! There’s a good chance even some of these tips even were submitted by a angler in your area too.

Fishing Knots are Important
First and foremost, use the right knots! It may seem like a little time consuming but having the right know when crappie fishing is essential. By chance you are using a jig when crappie fishing, pull out the classic loop knot. This knot in particular allows the jib to move freely. Along with that, it provides little subtle movements that often will make the crappie want to strike. This is considered one of the most important compared to our other crappie fishing tips.

Try Bringing More Than One Pole
We get it, you aren’t a professional angler but more often than not; it’ll only help as you don’t need to keep tying on a new lure when you want to try something different. Simply put down one of your rods and you’re ready to go back at crappie fishing!

Have A Backup Plan
More often than not, crappie simply may not be biting for a particular lure. Its best to bring more lures in case you end up having to try something else. From personal experience, crappie will be biting with a specific lure one day and that lure will end up getting completely nothing the next! Bring something else in case all else fails.

Best Live Bait Setup For Crappie
From not only personal experience, using a #6 hook, some split shot, live minnow and a slip bobber will lead you to catching crappie with ease! One of the benefits of using a slip bobber is that you won’t have to adjust it as it’ll auto adjust for any depth that you cast at.

Another essential crappie fishing tips though of using live minnows is to hook the minnow either through the lips or just right behind the top dorsal fin. This allows the minnow to still swim and be realistic.

Depth Matters: Know Where to Fish
One of the most essential crappie fishing tips is knowing simply the right depth to fish at. More often than not, you may be fishing in a area that is too shallow or simply too deep. Crappie will be found around three to six feet deep in water. If its a hot summer day or midsummer and the water is warmed up, you may have to search for crappie in deer areas due to the heat or wait till dawn or dusk when they come out of the deep water to feed.

#4 Light-Wire Hook
Of all our hooks, the #4 light-wire hook will provide you with the best way to probe against the thickest cover and still get through without getting hung up; yet the hook is still big and strong enough to pull in the biggest of the crappies.

If you end up getting caught up, don’t worry as this hook can easily bend and can be pulled free. Together with braided line that doesn’t have any stretch, you will most likely stop loosing jigs all together. One quick whip of your rod and you’ll knock it free.

Color Matters
Sometimes simply just changing the color of your jig will help change any bad luck. On cloudy, overcast days; try to use colors such as black, red or even just a plain jig. On clear days, pink or white and even just bright color jigs in general will help.

When Crappie Seem To Disappear
When crappie just seem to disappear and leave you wondering where they went, you best bet is to must to deeper water and fish at roughly the same depth. In summer, often crappie will just suspend out by structures or even drop offs and stay at the same depths.

Deep Water is Just as Good As Shallow Water
More often than not, crappie will be found in deeper water if they are not currently spawning. In a one year span, you will only find crappie in shallow water for two to three weeks. Deeper water will provide the consistent fishing that you desire.

Tighter is Better When Crappie Fishing
Crappie are known to be able to shake your hook loose due to their soft lips. If you end up giving them too much line, they often will be able to shake the hook loose. Crappie themselves though will put up a decent fight and as long as you’re reeling in, you won’t have too much of a problem.

Slower is Sometimes Better
Crappie often will prefer that you actually go slow and steady with your jig or minnow in terms of action. Don’t end up giving up on your cast too early, give it some time and really try your best on the fishing hole. If all luck is failing, simply take a deep break and try to slow it down a bit.

Topographical Maps are key
More often not, your lake that you will be fishing at has a topographical map that’ll show a good idea of the water that you are fishing at. It will often list the: Depths, sunken structures, types of fish in the lake and records of DNR released fish stock in the lake. These stats may even surprise you and will help you pinpoint what fish you should be going for in the lake.

These crappie fishing tips are just tips, feel free to not use them but I can guarantee you that they will improve you fishing game.

Crappie Fishing Records
Everyone loves knowing what the record catch is from anglers and the professionals. All the information we pulled about crappie fishing records is from the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) and sometimes is updated in which this data may be a little off. If you want to look at recent records that are the most up to date, feel free to visit the IGFA website and see if your catch is up to the chance at being top!

John R. Hortsman; black crappie in a private lake in Missouri, USA on April 21st 2006 that weighted 2.26 kg (5 lbs. 0 oz.)
Fred Bright; white crappie at Enid Dam in Mississippi, USA on July 31st 1957 that weighted 2.35 kg (5 lbs, 3 oz.)
Crappie Facts: Get to know your catch
Below is just some of the basic date and facts about crappie. Even though you may find this information to be irrelevant in helping you fish, it should help you get a idea on what to expect when you are out fishing for them. This information is the max weight and length from all-time records. It may of changes ever so slightly but only is roughly the top 1% of crappie in the wild.

Scientific Name: Pomoxis annularis (white) & Pomoxis nigromaculatus (black)
Nickname(s): Papermouth, Sac-a-lait, slab, speck and speckled perch
Average Lifespan: 10 years in the wild and 12 years in captivity
Length: Up to 20″ for white crappie and 19″ for black crappie
Weight: Up to 5 pounds, average is quarter to half pound
Range: North America and Canada