Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Chum On The Run

By: Dennis Dobson - Oregon Outdoors

While many savvy anglers consider October and November to be primetime for fall chinook on Oregon's north coast, those truly in the know realize they can double their fun by chasing chinook and chum on the run at the same time.

FLY ROD FUN - In the Kilchis' justly famous Second Bridge Hole a very busy angler fights his first chum salmon on a fly rod. Known as great fighters, regardless of the gear or technique used to hook them, anglers commonly prefer to catch them, as here, on 8, 9 and 10-weight fly rods.

Chum salmon, also known as 'dog salmon' begin filtering into Tillamook Bay's Kilchis River with the first heavy rains of autumn. Called dog salmon both for the size of their teeth and because Alaskan's have used their oil-rich meat to feed sled dogs for centuries, chum are both overshadowed by their larger cousins, chinook, and under-appreciated by the general fishing public. Averaging just fifteen pounds, with the occasional twenty-pounder considered a trophy , once experienced chum often hold a place in the hearts of true-blue salmon anglers right next to chinook. Tremendous fighters, chum are known, and appreciated, for their long, strong runs, aerial acrobatics, tail walking and a never-say-die attitude.

Beginning the second or third week of October the Kilchis will be full of a mixed bag of both chum and chinook salmon. One of the fall salmon season's great joys is drifting the Kilchis and never knowing which fish, a chum or a chinook, will be the next to take your bait.

Incredibly aggressive and running in packs or schools, chum will attack almost literally anything they see. From a simple corky and yarn drift fished in front of them to large plugs and back-bounced salmon eggs or sand shrimp presented from a slowly back-rowed drift-boat, it's pretty much certain that if they can see it, they'll hit it.

As a professional guide working the Kilchis every Autumn my favorite presentation is fly fishing. Using a ten, eleven or twelve-weight fly rod, a fast-sink tip line and large, gaudy flies, it's not uncommon to play a dozen or more chum every day. And most days will include a few chinook taken on the same gear as well.

The standard fly fishing set up and presentation is very simple. Using either a very fast sink tip line or crimping a small split-shot or two onto a standard fly line just where it is tied to the leader, roll cast or sling the line into the top of a runor drift. As the line drifts downstream take in the slack. Once the line swings below you either play the slack back out slowly, letting the fly bump along at or near the bottom, or simply let it hang in the current. Most of the time, whether it's a chum or a chinook, the bite will come as the fly hangs or swings in the current downstream from the angler. The presentation is just that simple. Fly and leader selection is even simpler.

GREAT FIGHTERS - Aggressive biters justly famous for not being choosy about what technique is used to hook them, this very nice 18-pound chum salmon buck fell victim to the seductive wiggle of a back-trolled anchovy-wrapped size K-14 Kwik-Fish.

The best leader, especially bearing in mind that chum are your basic non-selective biters and that the chances of a chinook hitting your offering are almost as great as a chum taking it, is four to six feet of either thirty or forty pound test monofilament line. That's it. No fancy tapered leaders, no need for long nine to twelve foot leaders that tangle on every cast, just a simple piece of mono strong enough to hold the fish.

Probably the most common fly used on the Kilchis for both chinook and chum is a simple one-inch piece of chartreuse yarn. Tie a 2/0, 3/0 or 4/0 hook to the leader with a guide's knot - also known as an egg loop - open the loop and place the yarn inside the loop. Pass the yarn through the loop a second time and cinch the loop back down against the hook. This is both simple and effective. By passing the yarn through the loop twice it won't come loose when casting or while fighting a fish and lies flat against the hook shank looking and acting very natural while drifting.

Although most years it is not a requirement, I always use barbless hooks. The chum are a protected species and while we can target them for catch and release from mid-September through mid-November, we can't keep any. Barbless hooks just make it easier to release the fish unharmed. And, as long as you keep a tight line while fighting that chinook that took you by surprise -two of which you can keep daily - you won't lose any more fish than you would with barbed hooks.

Another of my favorite flies for the Kilchis is called a "Great Big Ugly Green Thing". Also called a bunny fly, it is simply a several inch long piece of chartreuse bunny fur tightly wrapped and tied onto a long-shank 2/0 or 3/0 hook. Hot pink, dark orange, bright red and black are also among my favorite colors. Basically though, just about any large brightly colored fly will take both chinook and chum.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Product Reviews: Crankbaits

by Russ Bassdozer

Bandit Lures Series 100, 200 and 300 Crankbaits

Series 100. 2". 1/4 oz. Series 200. 2". 1/4 oz. Series 300. 2". 3/8 oz.

I don't believe Bandit Lures have been on the market for too many years, at least not that I am aware. In the last few years, they've become popular because they catch fish and are affordable.

  • Series 100 (top in photo) runs 2-5 feet deep.
  • Series200 (middle) runs 4-8 feet deep.
  • Series 300 (bottom) runs 8-12 feet deep.

Bandits are all fast risers. When the retrieve is paused, they begin to rise tail first, making them good choices for pulling through wood and weeds. Just pause to let them float out and over snaggy areas, then begin the retrieve again. Don't be surprised to get hit on the rise, or even when the crankbait pops to the surface and floats on top, it will still attract strikes.

Bassdozer Shallow, Medium, Deep and Super Deep Crankbaits

Shallow. 2". 5/16 oz. Medium. 2". 3/8 oz. Deep. 2-3/4". 1/2 oz. Super Deep. 3". 7/8 oz.

With four models, there's a Bassdozer crankbait to cover most any type of cranking situation you may encounter.

The four sizes effectively cover the entire water column from shallow to medium to deep to super deep:

The Shallow Diver (top in photo) runs 1-4 ft deep. This square-lipped shallow runner works best with a slow to medium retrieve. It has a light rattle. If desired, upsize the rear hook to a #4, which does not affect the action.

The Medium (second from top) dives 5-8 feet, which is the crankbait depth range that is useful most of the time. It has a high-pitched rattle.

The Bassdozer Deep Diver (third from top) can reach 9-12 feet deep and has the loudest rattles of the four models.

The Super Deep Diver (bottom) is one of only a few crankbaits that can get super deep into the 13 to 15 foot range. It has a little less chatter, more like a drum beat to its rattle.

Friday, June 23, 2006

For Bass Fishing Success: Be the Bass

by Charles Hammer

If what you want from your bass fishing is a nice day spent on the lake, then more power to you. Bass fishing for the unadulterated relaxation of it is one of the best and purest reasons to drop a line; however, if you're angling day isn't complete until you've caught and released a boatload or you're looking to haul in a few trophies then you are going to need a more head on approach. You are going to need to know your enemy and plan your assault. Be the bass.

Before deciding what direction to turn your boat for the day, consider the day itself. If you were a big, aggressive but somewhat lazy bass, where would you be in the early morning hours when the deep water might be cold and the day has just begun? Why in the shallows, sitting in the cover of the undergrowth watching the lake come to life. Same is true of the evening as the day winds down and the water starts to cool off. During these times, quietly reconnoiter the tall grass, the fallen logs, the underbelly of the lake world. Many bass may be starting and ending their days here, visible to the naked eye.

As the sun traverses the sky, the fish will start to migrate to and from deeper water; you can often catch them in transit. Cast sinkers that drift into the edges of the grassy interface. Be patient, don't bob the bait. This approach can be mighty fruitful on overcast days when the bass haven't quite decided to go deep.

Now that you're thinking like a fish, consider your bait. Lots of bass fishing is done with big bait because bass are fierce fighting fish and big bait just seems the way to go. Truth be told, bass are hungry and hostile. They will strike on a large variety of lures. Think smaller lures, spinners and don't forget the lowly plastic worm. Properly cast brightly colored worms are the number one bait for a reason. They catch bass. Shallow water is a good place to try a float worm. Straight worms get lots of bites in undergrowth.

Once you have knocked down few ways to think like a bass, it's important to write your discoveries down. Keep a detailed written record of the most productive and, unfortunately, the least productive ways you have developed for bass fishing. Make a log book part of your bass fishing equipment. Note the day and date of each excursion, the weather, the vegetation, the distance from the bank, the bait used. When you pull in that trophy, mark down the time; when you pull in that minnow, mark down the time. No detail is too small when developing your bass book.

Bass are strong fish who put up a good fight; that's the reason most bass fishers go after them. Study them and their habits and document your findings. You will find that your effort will ultimately pay off with larger and more consistent catches. After all, in order to land them you have to understand them.

About the Author
If you want to catch more bass you need to come over to We provide many tips, tactics, articles and more to help with your next bass fishing adventure. Whether you fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, peacock bass, or any other type of bass we can help you.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Finesse Fishing

by Rick La Point

Imagine this, you feel the subtle tap on your most sensitive spinning rod with 6 pound test mono. Then, WHAM! You set the hook with the swiftness of a lion pouncing on his prey. The medium action rod is bent in a full circle, just enough give for the lightest of lines but enough backbone to slam the light wire hook in the steel jaws of a lunker bass. The drag starts singing as you feel the head shaking of a huge bass on the other end of what seems like a thread separating you from your respected quarry. You quickly release the anti reverse to manually fight your prospective catch, relying on skill and expertise to back reel when your mama hawg jaw makes those last minute runs at the boat. Then, PANIC, you feel the telltale sign that your line is hung around a limb you confidently release all pressure.

Like a miracle from God your quarry swims free, you gingerly finish the battle knowing your line has some damage from the unsuspected limb. Slowly bending over the gunnel, you grab her with your hand, then unsure you reach with the other lifting that beautiful fish out of the water. Admiring her for a few seconds you gently ease her back watching her slowly swim back to her deep-water lair.

That's what finesse fishing is all about! You are literally one on one with the bass. I like to call it feel fishing. With a sensitive rod and a soft touch you can detect those subtle bites that most fail to detect. My favorite finesse fishing rod is a custom built rod by Grandt Rods. Jim Grandt makes his own blanks with a 70 million modulus graphite material which are the finest and most sensitive, lifetime warranty, rods on the market. This rod paired with a ultra smooth Shimano Sedona 2000 makes a deadly combo.

Fishing with a instrument like this (retail combo $250) is definitely worth the money. Your fishing line is the most important link between you and the fish. Using a good quality limp monofilament is extremely important for finesse fishing. You need your line to lay down with ease and not twist. Properly spooling your line on your spinning reel is crucial making sure the line comes off the spool the same way it goes on the reel. Spooling your reel this way will help you some of the headaches that frustrate anglers. I use Excel Mono 6# test or 8# test in the green color, which works well in the clear waters of Table Rock Lake. Using green line makes you rely more on your sense of touch since it is hard to see against the clear water.

Your selection of lures can vary, from small worms, French fry?s, bass jigs to 1/4oz. jigging spoons. You can use most anything for finesse style fishing. Probably the heaviest finesse bait I use is a 1/4oz. spider jig. The lightest I trust in is a weightless French fry. Both can be awesome when used in certain situations. Precise presentation of your lure is a must and casting these light lures takes a lot of practice. Most of my finesse fishing is down around boat docks or brush piles. Occasionally I fish deep cedar trees, with a slider rig and a 4-inch finesse worm. Sharp hooks and a good hook set is a key. If the bass gets you down in the thick of things the only thing you can do is give the fish line and pray. Many times the fish will swim out of the tree or dock. Other times 'snap' and she?s gone.

Finesse fishing is a style of fishing more than a type. Slow and deliberate concentration a key, the touch a must. A good finesse angler is hard to fish behind unless you watch the anglers every move. Throw between casts, watch his presentation and vary your presentation slightly. That makes the difference between catching a bass behind him or going fishless. The best way to learn is to fish with a finesse style fisherman. Watch the anglers every move and observe his techniques. Any Angler can learn from another, even the best can learn from a novice. A particular instance comes to mind, although not while finesse fishing, but while fishing Zara Spooks in a Mid-West Bass Regional tournament at Lake of the Ozarks. I was on some good bass, fishing a spook. I told my amateur partner to rig up a spook. We arrived at my honey hole, I threw the spook out methodically walking the dog, not missing a beat.

I made about 5 casts before my amateur partner reared back and let go, causing a huge backlash in his reel. I ask him if he needed help he said no. After about what seemed like a minute he jerked the spook inadvertently, then WHAM a huge bass swirled at his spook, he jerked the spook back to the boat in one motion. Thinking it was just a fluke I continued fishing. The very next cast, he got another backlash though this time not so bad. He pulled it out and the instant he moved the spook another bass inhaled it this time. Just a little shy of being a keeper I knew it wasn?t a fluke this time.

My next cast I let it sit there for what seemed like 30 seconds then before I moved it a good keeper inhaled it. I went on to win the 2-day tournament thanks to my partner's backlash. Although he never fished a spook before this tournament, my partner taught me a great new way to present this lure.

There are a couple of different techniques I use while finesse fishing. The slow crawl method, the jiggle method, (my favorite) and the dead stick method. All have their niches and times they work best.

Remember finesse fishing is not a type of fishing, but a style of fishing.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Choosing A Graphite Freshwater Fishing Rod

Purchasing a rod can be one of the most difficult parts of getting started in fishing. There are a dizzying array of options available, all claiming to be superior to the rods next to them. Before you jump into a decision you will regret, it always pays to educate yourself on just what it is you need to, and therefore should, acquire.

The first step in acquiring a fishing rod is to purchase a blank. This refers to the rod proper, which is a shaft of varying materials on which you mount a reel and some line. Shafts can be purchased in three different materials: graphite, fiberglass, and bamboo. Bamboo rods are generally used for fly fishing and can be quite expensive. Fiberglass rods are generally for beginner use, and are the type you find at your local Wal-Mart or other department type stores. Graphite is the material of choice for serious fisherman, and can be found many places online, or at your local sporting goods stores. For this article, we will concentrate on graphite rods.

Fishing rods come in varying strengths and will be measured in terms of modulus. Modulus refers to the density of the weave of the material from which the rod blank is fashioned. Graphite rods generally come with a modulus between 33 million and 60 million. The higher the modulus, the stiffer the rod will be. The higher modulus rods will also be lighter, faster, and more sensitive. As a trade-off however, high modulus rods are more brittle than lower modulus fishing rods.

Sensitivity is also an important factor when choosing a rod blank. As a general rule, the deeper the water that you are fishing in, the higher sensitivity you will want, so that you can feel the more subtle bites. The last thing you want is to have to go home and tell the story about the one that got away!

One factor that affects sensitivity of your rod, besides material of the shaft, is the handle construction. Usually the handles are made from cork or foam. You should ensure that the handle feels comfortable in your hand and that it is not too soft, otherwise you may not be able to feel those aforementioned subtle bites. Also, if you are fishing with any type of artificial bait, it is crucial to be able to feel the movement of the bait through the rod to ensure that you are enticing the fish in the proper manner.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bass Fishing Facts You Need to Know

by Dave Kessler

Some people may not be aware of what bass fishing is. Bass fishing has an interesting story. It begun in the late 18th century and it still continues to develop until today. More and more people have been hooked up with bass fishing. It is in fact one of the most popular hobbies of many people and in most countries. More and more countries have been adopting bass fishing.

It had probably in the beginning practiced in search for food from among the people in the south of the United States. From that day onwards, it has started getting numerous audiences of all ages and nations. Today, several countries such as Australia, Cuba, South Africa, United States and most citizens from Europe participate in this kind of event.

The year 1768 or 1770 was the birth of bass fishing sports. Onesimus Ustonson was the one who introduced his first multiplying reels to the fishing gurus and lovers of bass fishing. From then on, it was developed into bait caster.

William Shakespeare Jr. have materialized the construction of a level wind device and secured its patent on 1897.

Then after, the William J. Jamison Co introduced the excessively ornamented Shannon Twin Spinner in 1915 and was enhanced to create today's spinner baits.

In the year 1932, President Franklin D. Roosevelt has instituted the formation of Tennessee Valley Authority and has encouraged the construction and building of several dams. These dams were later used for culturing different varieties of bass fishes. If these dams were not built, the people would not have the place to go for bass fishing.

Five years later, the famous DuPont Company filed copyright for nylon fishing net, and this was later urbanized into nylon monofilament fishing line.
The year 1992 is one of the most glorious events in the history of bass fishing. Larry Nixon, the famous fisherman in the history of bass fishing won $1 M total earnings for this sport on this year.

A lot of fish species that are being caught in the bass fishing events include the following:

Micropterus punctatus - Kentucky Bass

Micropterus dolomieui - Smallmouth bass

Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede) - Largemouth Bass

The other known classes of Micropterus are also wedged but in those times, one that remains most accepted is the Largemouth bass. On the other hand, it should be emphasized that some of the Australian Bass are different from the above North American Bass variants even though most share comparable features.

Possibly, the most vigorous success of Bass Fishing was in the 1950s. The popularity of the game during this age is the springboard to the development of modern fishing equipments from bass boats, rods, lines, lures and various fishing gears.

The contribution of bass fishing industry to the US economy records $50 to $70 Billion and the number continues to grow. Statistics show that the audience base of this sport is increasing and that more and more people are getting interested in it compared to tennis and golf.

Electronic gears during that time were also integrated and incorporated among the host of equipments bass fishers which were used at that same time. Reels of different types, which function in carrying and hoisting, were also created.

Now that you have a little understanding about bass fishing, you can already start your own bass fishing in your place. It is important to know the certain facts about bass fishing so that you will fully understand how it started.

In addition, you must know how to build up a victorious bass fishing pattern. Having a larger bass will really help you in your fishing trip.

Some may also go bass fishing at night if they want to so it is good that you be taught professional night bass fishing techniques.

Besides, the others may also be benefited by learning the professional winter bass fishing techniques for those who have experienced the four seasons.

These are only some of the many styles and tips on how to progress and enhance your bass fishing strategy. But if you do not have any plan at all, you may really get dissatisfied from time to time. But, it is optional that you first learn and read adequate information and guides about bass fishing.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Smart Fisherman's Bass Fishing Techniques

by Dave Kessler

Every smart fisherman has his own fishing techniques that allow him to catch the fish he has goaled to. Like in bass fishing or fishing in fresh waters, the fisherman will always have to implore bass fishing techniques suitable for the kind of waters he is fishing.

The first consideration in developing bass fishing techniques that can bring you your dream catch is to choose the shore you are to start out.

Also you have to be very keen with the weather. Bass fishing is most productive in the great lakes and like the ocean, these great lakes are also very dangerous if bad weathers occur.

That is why it is most ideal to do bass fishing during summer especially if the place you choose to have your bass fishing adventure is a big lake like the Lake Erie.

The other thing to consider in bass fishing is whether you goal to fish in the deep called off-shore fishing or just in the shoreline.

When you are fishing in the deep, make sure that your boat is fully equipped with the safety devices and must know the regulations imposed by your host state regarding bass fishing in their respective area of responsibilities.

Some fishermen use the trolling techniques in the deep sea fishing or off-shore fishing to catch more fish.

While if you opt to do bass fishing in the shorelines, you only need small boats and minor fishing gadgets.

Also, it is an experience that to be more productive in bass fishing in the shore, one technique is to fish during night time.

You may also watch or look at the waters if it is very clear. Most probably you can not make a good catch when the water is very clear. Bass fishes prefer discolored waters. Smallmouth bass fishes and many other species do not stay in clear waters.

The contour of the underwater terrain is also a thing to consider in bass fishing. You may consult an expert in the terrain of the lake you are fishing and he will guide you to the best place to fish.

Of course your choice of fishing gadgets will spell much of your success in bass fishing. Choose the most durable hooks that will hold firm when opportunity is given.

The choice of baits is also crucial. There are plastic baits that do but natural baits such as worms and flies make better. Remember always that the bigger the bait, the probability of catching the big fish is better that having small baits.

During summer, one bass fishing technique is choosing to fish along Long Point Bay at Lake Erie because during this time, the bass fishes especially the smallmouth bass fishes are swimming their way here back to the main lake after their spawning period. If you are an amateur in bass fishing, the best thing to do is to fish with a companion who is an expert in the field not only in fishing but also an expert in the flora and fauna of the river you are cruising or fishing of.

As a beginner, you may opt to fish only in the shorelines of the lake or you may try fishing in the smaller lakes. Smaller lakes offer also varieties of bass fishes including the smallmouth bass and the white bass.

Bass fishing in the rivers is also fruitful to beginners. Catch that catfish and its fun. There are rivers with runs and pools and in many cases fish are stacked up in these areas where catching them is as easy as eating nuts.

Definitely your summer fishing will be very educational and full of fun. Plan your summer bass fishing well by developing and adopting bass fishing techniques suitable to the waters you aim to explore and the fish you wish to catch.

Bass fishing techniques vary from one situation with another. The few ideas presented to you here may help you in deciding and planning your next bass fishing adventure.
Lastly, please bear in mind that safety is the must be technique to adopt in any endeavor.

Always check your gadgets for any defect and if you will use a boat, it has to be a licensed one.
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About the Author
If you would like more information on fishing please visit

Top 20 Bass Fishing Tips

by Joan Yankowitz

Before heading out to catch some bass, take a look at these 20 important bass fishing tips.

  1. Fish slowly, providing better action and enabling the fish to have ample eye contact.
  2. When the bite seems to slow down, you should slow also down. Work methodically until you find the fish.
  3. Always be aware of your weather forecast. Wind, storms, and lightening kill. Safety comes first.
  4. If wet feet bother you on rainy days, try a pair of GORE-TEX sox. They are waterproof and can be worn in any shoe or boot.
  5. Be alert and watchful. Fish give away their presence 90% of the time through baitfish fleeing; surface action; or vegetation movement.
  6. Always look in a bass' mouth before releasing it. Most of the time, when fighting a lure in his jaw, a bass will try to throw up whatever is in his stomach. You may be able to determine what prey the fish are actively feeding on and choose a lure/presentation to duplicate it.
  7. Set the hook on a fish by feel rather than by sight.
  8. Regularly check your knot for weakness and hook for sharpness.
  9. Bass are not that smart. A swivel does not affect the action of a lure in a negative way and fish don't really care about it. Use one anytime there is the potential for line twist.
  10. If you are using small hooks, don't jerk hard on the hookset; just tighten up the slack with the rod and reel faster.
  11. Check your line just above the lure frequently when fishing crankbaits around rocks, gravel, stumps, and other hard obstructions. They can quickly fray your line.
  12. Bass normally respond best to an erratic retrieve and a lot of motion. Keep that lure in front of the fish as long as you can.
  13. Hold your rod tip down and to the side for better feel, keeping the angle between rod and line at around 90 degrees.
  14. Black buzz baits seem to produce more strikes than bright colors.
  15. Since the bass's metabolism is high, use large crankbaits in warm and hot weather. Switch to smaller baits when the water is cooler.
  16. Use a wire cross-locking snap when fishing crank plugs. It allows you to change lures quickly and enables the bait to vibrate more freely.
  17. If you notice feeding fish and baitfish movement, the predators are actively after the prey. Switch to a fast moving crankbait and burn it through the area of activity.
  18. Protect your eyes with a good pair of plastic polarized sunglasses. They will protect you from the sun's rays and also provide a shield against a snagged slip sinker or lure flying back when pulled loose.
  19. Keep baits fresh and airtight with a food vacuum sealer. You can also store hooks and other terminal tackle this way.
  20. Store small quantities of hooks with a few grains of rice and they will never rust.

Using these tips will help you increase your bass catch!

About the Author
Joan Yankowitz publishes consumer and business
Kwik eGuides. Instantly download her Bass Fishing 101: How to Catch the Next Big One Kwik eGuide.