BASIC TACKLE AND RIGGING
For Bass, Walleye, medium size Catfish 10 lb test spinning gear works well whether using live bait or artificial. The most popular live bait used is live shiners, available at most bait shops. Artificial that work well include plastic worms, plastic jerk baits, surface plugs, (my favorite are the floating Rapalas) spinnerbaits such as the beetlespin,(1/4 ounce) and weedless spoons.
When using rapalas, or spoons I use a small snap swivel tied to the line with an improved clinch knot to attach the lure. This way, the knot itself does not interfere with the action of the surface lures, while protecting the line from line twist from the action of spoons.
Fly-fishing can also be very productive using cork bodied popping bugs, muddler minnows, and deer hair bugs. For these flies, it's best to use about a # 8 fly rod as they can be a little tough to cast effectively with lighter rods.
Tackle for bluegills (this is a generic term I'm using to cover all the panfish species here) can be somewhat lighter although it doesn't have to be. Bluegills can be caught with 4-10 lb. test spinning tackle, size 6 hooks and smaller baits such as live minnows, crickets and live worms fished on size 6 hooks under a small cork or bobber. I've also caught them on size 0 mepps spinners, small spinnerbaits such as 5/32 ounce beetlespins, and even small rapalas about 1 1/2 inches long. Use a small snap swivel with the lures.
However, this is where I believe the fly rod
really shines. I use a 8 ft. # 5 rod with size 8 cork popping bugs with
chartreuse being my favorite color. Foam bodied spiders with rubber band legs
also work. I've also found that they will hit fly patterns more often associated
with trout fishing such as royal coachman's, adams, hopper patterns, nymphs, wet
flies, etc. Almost anything that resembles a floating or submerged insect seems
Both bass and bluegills like cover. They are usually found around shoreline and submerged vegetation where they like to hide and ambush their prey when it swims by. If fishing from a boat, cast artifices along the shoreline, especially around lily pads and other floating vegetation. Bass can be caught by casting on top of floating mats of plants with weed-less plastic worms, (un-weighted) the bass come up through the vegetation or hit just as the worm is pulled off the vegetation into the water. Work weed-less spoons through grasses growing just off the shore.
Surface lures can be cast just to the edge, allowed to set for just a bit, and then twitched just slightly for some explosive action. Surface and subsurface flies can be fished the same way.
When fishing from the shoreline, walk the shore and work the shoreline in front of you as you walk (quietly), or cast to any floating vegetation you see, or stand back from the shoreline as you make your cast and work the lure back to shore like an injured minnow looking for cover. The same basically applies to bluegills.
When fishing from a boat, work lures, flies and baits around shoreline vegetation and areas where vegetation like lily pads are on the surface. Trees that have fallen in the water are other good places to try. Just remember that bass and bluegills feel safer around cover and like to ambush their food.
are great eating, live near the bottom, and will readily take almost any bait
that emits an odor such as cut fish, dead shrimp, chicken livers, etc. Fish
these baits on the bottom with a weighted rig and about
Measuring Your Catch
To determine the accurate length of a fish, measure a straight line from the tip of the jaw (mouth closed) to the tip of the compressed tail fin.
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Striped Bass Adventures
Striper Fishing On Lake Ouachita
Hot Springs, Arkansas