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New Things To Consider

As fishing season gets closer, many anglers are thinking about new lures or techniques that they would like to put into practice this year. That’s a wise thing to do. Fish get conditioned to lures, lure colors, and lure presentations. When they become conditioned to these factors, they’re less likely to eat that lure. Show them a different lure or different presentation and they might respond the way that we want them to respond: They eat the bait. Here are some ideas that you might want to consider putting into action on future fishing trips.

Sometimes old techniques become new techniques. Anglers have used slip-bobbers when fishing for walleyes for a long time. But in some areas the use of slip-bobbers has fallen by the wayside. That’s too bad, because there are times when slip-bobbers are the best way to get finicky walleyes to eat. I can’t think of a better way to put a minnow or leech in front of a walleye and leave it there until the fish can’t resist eating it. However, there’s more to it than attaching a bobber to your line above a hook and throwing it out there. It might be hard to believe, but the bobber you choose to use can determine how many fish you catch. A thin, cigar-shaped bobber has less water resistance than a bobber that’s larger in diameter. A bait-shy walleye can pull the thinner bobber down easier, so it will hang onto a bait longer, and that gives the angler an advantage. If you like to catch walleyes, research slip-bobber techniques if you haven’t done so.

A new lure type that has been creating outstanding catches for largemouth bass is a bladed or vibrating jig. And although bladed jigs were designed with largemouth in mind, if the bladed jig is pulled past a walleye or northern pike, it is going to get eaten. Bladed jigs can be fished over and through deeper beds of vegetation as well as through shallower reeds and lily pads. It creates a good amount of vibration, so it works well in stained water but also calls fish in from farther distances in clear water. Fishing guide and educator Mike Frisch employs whatever technique is necessary to catch fish and reports that Thunder Cricket Vibrating Jigs have earned an especially critical position in his bass fishing efforts.

Pay attention to the various shapes of plastic. Much of the time, in fact most of the time, anglers tip their jig with some form of plastic. Anglers that use plastic a lot soon learn that the different shapes of plastic have distinct characteristics. They perform differently in the water. Plastics that have claws and flappers and appendages put out more vibration, and they also fall slower. Often those shapes will be better in stained or dirty water. Plastics that have straight tails fall faster, have less or no vibration, and are more productive in clear water. Color is certainly a consideration, but the shape of the plastic bait on your jig is an especially key factor also.

Last thing for now. There are rivers near where most anglers live. Some of those rivers are small, some are medium-sized, and a few are large. All of them can provide good fishing at times, and many will be outstanding. Fish expend more energy in a river’s current, so they need to eat more often. This need to eat can make them easier to catch. Rivers will produce fish when the catching in nearby lakes is slow. Investigate what rivers are near where you live. You might find that there is a river close-by that deserves some of your fishing attention. If you give that river your attention, you might find, like many anglers have, that river fishing can be very productive.

This year, expand your fishing techniques and locations and you’ll be a more successful angler, more often.

– Bob Jensen of

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