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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Fishing Knots

Fishing Knots for Dummies

There are several different type of fishing knots you can use, there are two types of fishing knots that are the best.

Palomer Fishing Knot:

The Palomar Knot is easy to tie correctly, and consistently the strongest knot known to hold terminal tackle.

Fishing Knots
1. Double about 5" of line and pass the loop through the eye of fishing hook.
2. Tie a standard over the hand knot in the double line. Try not to twist the fishing line too much.
3. Take the Loop End and pass it over the hook.
4. Tighten the line, by pulling both ends of the knots. You want to keep the line wet when you tighten it. This will keep the line from weakening do to the friction.

Your done, make sure that the eye of the hook is not caught up in the knot, it happens, and you can loose a good fish. There you go, thats all it takes to tie one of the best fishing knots there are. I like this fishing knot, because once you do it enough, you can do it with little light.

Trilene Fishing Knot aka the Clinch Knot

The Trilene Knot is a strong knot that can be used to join line to swivels, snaps, hooks and lures. The Trilene Knot is fairly easy to learn and is a very strong knot that resists slippage.

Directions for tying the Trilene Knot:

  1. Thread the line through the eye of the hook or lure and double back through the eye a second time.
  2. Holding the hook or lure in your left hand, and the standing line in your right hand, loop the tag end around the standing line 6 times. Then feed the tag end through the loop made in step 1.
  3. Tighten the knot by pulling gently on the tag end and the standing line simultaneously. Moisten the knot with water as you tighten to lubricate the line, allowing the knot to slide more easily while tightening. Trim tag end to 1/8 inch.
  4. Tying the Trilene Knot is complete.

Throwing a Cast Net - How To

Throwing a cast net is a skill that everyone who uses live bait should learn.

I would suggest learning with a cheaper net, because chances are you will loose your net starting off, or you could rip it.

I found some good how to videos here:

When you learn how to throw a net, you will feel like you've accomplished something great.

Make sure you wash the fish slime off your net, it can deteriorate it over time.

Happy Fishing!

25lb Large Mouth Bass

25 pounds, 1 ounce Largemouth Bass


March 21, 2006

It should have been the greatest day in the history of bass fishing, and Mac Weakley should have been on top of the bass angling universe for catching a beach ball-sized, 25-pound, 1-ounce bass yesterday at Escondido's Dixon Lake that would be a world record.

But Weakley and his crew, longtime buddies Mike “Budda” Winn and Jed Dickerson, knew something was missing from a catch that, if somehow approved by the International Game Fish Association, would shatter the Joe DiMaggio-like “unbreakable” mark of bass fishing, the 22-pound, 4-ounce bass caught by George W. Perry at Montgomery Lake in Georgia in 1932.

“It's a great day, but it's a bad day,” Weakley said at his home in Carlsbad. “It was a valiant effort. We've been trying and trying to catch this fish for years. It's the world-record bass. Unfortunately, it was foul-hooked.”

Weakley's catch faces an uphill battle for world-record consideration because Weakley unintentionally foul-hooked it off a spawning bed, snaring it on its left side and just below the dorsal fin during some wild, sight-fishing action in the wind and rain and early-morning light.

Yesterday, news of the catch quickly spread cross country via the Internet, where anglers discussed the possible world record – a holy grail that has been pursued for decades and a catch that many have said would be worth a fortune in endorsement money, especially in this big-money, big-bass era.

Weakley's monster bass, caught on a Bob Sangster handmade white rattlesnake jig (on 15-pound P-Line monofilament) from Angler's Arsenal, was weighed on a Berkley BogaGrip, a hand-held scale, but no measurements were taken of the biggest bucketmouth landed in the history of black bass fishing.

The Department of Fish and Game regulation on fishing states that for a fish to be legally caught, “the fish voluntarily takes the bait or lure in its mouth.” The IGFA rule only states a catch may be disqualified if the angler “intentionally” foul-hooks a fish. Weakley, who was fishing alongside Dickerson with Winn running the boat, said the fish was not foul-hooked intentionally, and several witnesses agreed.

IGFA officials couldn't be reached for comment.

Dickerson said he recognized the fish as soon as he saw it in their net after Winn missed on the first try, but scooped it on his second. The bass has a black mark on the underside of its right gill plate. Poway's Mike Long caught a 20-pound, 12-ounce bass at Dixon with the same mark in 2001. Dickerson caught a 21-11 with the same mark in 2003, also at Dixon. But Long said he discovered a huge bass with that same marking floating at Dixon and identified it as the same bass he caught through a scale sampling, adding more mystery to this fish.

Dixon supervising ranger Tony Smock said they should call it “Spot,” and Jay Cowan, supervisor at Escondido's Lake Wohlford, said it should be called “Beauty,” as in beauty mark.

Weakley, who runs a banking corporation for casinos with Dickerson and Winn as his main hands, often teams with his buddies on these big-bass hunts. They are not strangers to big bass. Dickerson's 21-11 is the fourth-largest bass ever caught. Weakley's 19-8, also from Dixon in May of 2003, is tied for 13th on the all-time list. Winn landed a 15-pounder earlier this month.

The crew videotaped and photographed the weigh-in before releasing the fish. The short video shows the excitement and fulfillment of these diehard bass fishermen's longtime dream.

“That's the beast right there,” Weakley can be heard saying on the video he shot as Winn lifts the bass out of the water.

The video shows the hand-held scale recording a weight of 24-15, 25-0 and finally 25-1 for the last few seconds.

Dixon Lake dock attendant Chris Bozir, one of three witnesses, watched from the fishing pier.

“They were definitely fishing for it, and it was a hook-set,” Bozir said. “After he landed it, I could see the lure sticking out of the fish's dorsal fin when he got it on the boat. It was a gorgeous fish.”

Weakley can be heard on the video saying, “Hurry up, get it back in the water.” And the world's largest bass ever caught was released.

“We figured that was the right thing to do,” Weakley said. “I didn't want to put it on the dock, measure it and then take a chance it would die.”

Dickerson described how the big bass just rested calmly on a rope tied to the dock after the catch.

“She sat there like she'd done all this before,” Dickerson said. “She was so docile. That fish probably thinks this is all just part of the spawning process.”

Rancho Bernardo youngsters Steve and Dan Barnett also witnessed the catch from shore. Steve, 18, who recently fished in the Junior Bassmaster Classic in Florida, took his brother, Dan, 15, to the lake to try to get a junior world record bass.

Steve Barnett said Weakley missed the fish four times and caught it the fifth time he swung on it.

Said Weakley: “I felt a thump and saw the white of its belly swirl around. I set the hook and knew I had it.”

He just didn't realize where it was hooked until it tumbled into the boat.

Know your bait

Here are the types of Live bait we often use when fishing for Striped Bass:

Skipjack Herring

Nickames: tennesee tarpon, skipjack, river herring, herring.

Natural History: A migratory species, skipjacks assemble below dams in late spring returning from the gulf of Mexico or the lower Mississippi River. They spawn from late April to mid June, during which time they can be captured by dip net, cast net, jigs, spoons, or multi fly rigs.

Characteristics: Long and thin, bright silvery, blue-black back, protruding lower jaw and the presence of teeth in both jaws.

Typical Size: Adult length: 12-16 inches

Habitat: Prefer clear waters, normally found in swift current, over sand and gravel in large rivers.

Feeding Habits: Skipjacks eat plankton, minnows and larvae of mayflies and caddisflies. They feed in large schools, leaping out of the water while pursuing prey.

Fish Facts: Most every fish will feed on the skipjack herring until they reach the size of 5 inches at which time they become to large for most fish.

Bait: The herring are used whole and live for Striped Bass. Cut into chunks they make great catfish bait.

The skipjack herring is not usually consumed by humans because of its bony disposition, however a pleasure on the hook due to its speed, and jumping ability.

To catch herring from 3 to 6 inches for bait one may use a cast net or a rig with multiple small flies.

To catch the larger herring use lead head jigs with curly tails or spoons.

Gizzard Shad

Nicknames : bluetail, shad, nanny shad, stink shad, slime ball, hickory shad, mud shad, hairy back, golden eyes, slicks, jack shad, saw belly.

Characteristics: bright silvery blue-green on back, silvery sides and dull white belly; wide body that is more of a stocky nature than most herring. Shad make great bait for catching catfish also!

Fish Facts: Highly susceptible to sudden changes in water temperature. Shad commonly reach 4 inches in length during the first year of life.

Habitat: Preferring low gradient waters with an abundance of phytoplankton.

Typical Size: . 625 pounds to 10 pounds.

Gizzard Shad Fishing Information:

The gizzard shad is common in most Western Kentucky rivers and lakes.

Gizzard shad exhibit the typical herring body shape with a wide body that is stocky in nature. Color ranges from bright silvery blue-green on the back, silvery sides and a dull white belly. A dark shoulder spot is common on younger fish but may be absent from adults. The front of the head is rounded with a subterminal mouth.Bottom jaw or lip is not very strong. Teeth are absent. There are about 190 rakers on the lower limb of the first gill arch. The eyes have adipose eyelids with vertical slits. Body scales are cycloid with no lateral line present. The ventral scales are keeled. Dorsal fin rays number 10 to 12 with the last ray elongated into a thin whiplike filament. This fin is inserted slightly behind the pelvic fin. An auxiliary process is present at the base of the pelvic fin. The anal fin has 27 to 34 rays, and the caudal fin is deeply forked.

Gizzard shad prefer sluggish rivers and soft-bottomed lakes. The fish is synonymous with mud. It is found most commonly in open water near the surface. The fish are random, nocturnal group spawners in shallow bays, coves, or sloughs with no care given to the young. Eggs are released near the surface of the water from late April or early May to early August at 50 to 70 degrees F. The eggs are adhesive and sink. The females are prolific, producing up to 400,000 eggs that are about .03 inch in diameter.

The species is an omnivorous filter feeder taking both phytoplankton and zoo plankton, which are then ground in the gizzard section of the gut. Some bottom material is often ingested while feeding; hence, the name mud shad or mud feeder. Shad are intermediate hosts for several species of the glochidiad stages of mussels and in that respect have economic importance in the perpetuation of freshwater mussels with commercial value.

Gizzard shad have little value as a food-fish and are seldom taken by hook-and-line. Its flesh or sides as commonly reffered to, and particularly the gizzard or gut are great catfish bait. Dense shad populations provide considerable forage as young for other predatory fishes, and their schooling behavior during the first year make them easy prey for larger fish. Some controversy surrounds this forage value, however, as shad quickly outgrow the vulnerable forage size and rapidly assume pest levels in some closed watersheds or when predator populations are insufficient to control their numbers. One reason that states such as Kentucky stock Striped Bass is to help control the overpopulation of large gizzard shad. Evidence is quite strong that shad compete with young bluegill for food items, and when populations reach very dense levels, bluegill survival is inevitably lowered. Massive dieoffs of young and yearling shad are commonly reported after spring ice-out as a result of their susceptibility to fluctuating water temperatures.

Shad Catching Tips:Use a dip net or cast net to catch them for bait according to state and local laws. Use a net sized so that your shad will not hang in the mesh, this can bruise or knock off their scales. Gizzard shad will not take a baited hook.

Shad Tanks and Keeping Bait

Water: Should be kept moving and changed often in bait holding devices in boats. Baitfish forced to swim will absorb more oxygen due to water flowing accross thier gills.

Aerator: This mixes the water and adds oxygen. Paddle aerators work well but can beat the scales off the bait.

Temperatures: Kept between 50-62 degrees are best. Check with the bait man and try to get within a few degrees to keep from shocking the bait during transfer. Warm water means lower oxygen levels. Cool your water by adding ice, but do it slowly, rapid temperature change can result in shock or death. 3 degrees per minute is a good guideline. Buy an inexpensive temperature gauge. This can be a valuable tool to have.

Chemicals: Salt is the most important ingredient (use rock salt; never iodized) 10 gallons- 2/3 cup 20 gallons- 1 1/2 cups 30 gallons- 2 cups 40 gallons- 2 2/3 cups. hardens and bonds scales to Shad. Replaces valuable electrolytes lost due to stress. Should always be used in holding tanks. Chlorine: If you are using city water or ice, use a chlorine killer. Most bait dealers can order this or will have some form of chlorine killer. It's cheap, and it kills the chlorine before you put the shad in the tank, not after.

Ammonia : Caused by waste products from stressed shad resulting in red nose shad, loss of scales, loss of color, dead shad, and dirty, foamy water.Change or clean water regularly or filter with cotton and charcoal.

Foam: Caused by ammonia and dirty water. Foam on the water cuts down on the oxygen level. Non dairy coffee creamer works well. Using defoamers allows proper oxygen transfer add one or two drops until foam disappears.

Bait Saver: 1 teaspoon per 25 gallons helps coat scale damaged areas eliminates chlorine and trace metals

Red Nosed Shad: If you experience this you are doing something wrong. Caused by stress , over crowding or using a none oval tank .

Filtration: Can be done through a developed system in the tank or changing water. If you change the water watch your temperature rise and fall.

Amount: I shad per gallon of water. Adjust this formula with the season. The hotter the weather, the less shad in the tank.

Guidelines:The effort you put forth in caring for bait will greatly enhance your ability to catch fish. It is always best to mix a fresh tank of water. Match tank size and air to load requirements. Keep temperature steady and in desired range and mix in proper chemicals. Your bait will stay livelier and help you catch more fish. Blueback Herring

Blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) are a favorite food of bass where they live in the same waters. They are a saltwater fish that can live in freshwater and have become established in many freshwater lakes.

  • Blueback Herring Descripton - Blueback herring and alewife are very similar. They are flat sided fish with rounded bellies and forked tails. Both are silvery with dark blue or bronze backs and have small spiny scales along their belly.

  • Blueback Herring Size - Reach a maximum length of 16 inches (40 cm) and weight of 7 ounces (200 g.) MAximum age is about eight years.

  • Blueback Herring Distribution - From Nova Scotia to northern Florida and inland rivers and lakes.

  • What Blueback Herring Eat - Microscopic plants and animals (plankton), small insects, small fish and eggs of fish (including bass)

  • Blueback Herring Spawn - In fresh or brackish water by depositing eggs that stick to hard objects like gravel, rocks, plants and wood.
  • In lakes they like hard botoms composed of clay or gravel where wind and wave action keep silt clear. They will spawn on riprap, seawalls and pilings, too.

  • Blueback Herring Attraction to Light - Blueback herring seem to come to the surface when the sun is shining and go deep on darker days. For that reason the topwater bite is better on sunny days and largemouth and spotted bass tend to feed better when the sun is shining.

  • Blueback Herring Life Cycle - In saltwater adult blueback herring swim to fresh or brackish water to spawn. They spawn in water above 70 degrees, so lake herring spawn when the water reaches about 70 degrees. Many adults die after the spawn but a few survive to return to the sea. The larval herring live for a few months in spawning areas then move back to the sea. In freshwater herring are more likely to survive the spawn. Female herring are fully mature at five years old and produce 60,000 tp 100,000 eggs. Males are smaller and mature at three to five years of age.

  • Blueback Herring Problems In Freshwater Lakes - Since blueback herring eat fish eggs and fry as well as the food that game fish fry eat, they are director predators and competitors with them. Because of this they ahve caused problems with largemouth populations in Lake Burton and Nottely in Georgia and walleye populations in Lake Hiwassee in North Carolina. All state Departments of Natural Resources work to limit their spread in freshwater lakes and it is illegal to use them as live bait in lakes where they don't already exist and it is always illegal to stock them.

Background: The alewife is a member of the herring family. Originally a saltwater species, it can survive and reproduce in landlocked freshwater environments. It has been stocked (intentionally and accidentally) into many reservoirs across the U.S. Average size is 3-6 inches, but up to 14 inches. In lakes where alewives and striper coexist, they are a preferred food for striper of all sizes.

Acquisition: One of the more difficult baits to acquire, they do not gather in tight schools. In the summer, they will congregate at the thermocline which is usually 35-40 feet below the surface. Other than rare random encounters while netting other species of bait, the only surefire method is to lure them at night. Alewives are attracted to light at night in deep water. Lure them in, turn off the light, and throw your cast net. Turning the light off disorients them and makes them easier targets. Also try jigging a small sabiki rig amongst the school. This is effective on the larger alewives.

Alewives are somewhat fragile. Typical ratio of bait to water would be 2 alewives per gallon of water for 3-5" baits and 1 bait per gallon for the big 7-10 inchers.

Threadfin Shad

Nickames: yellow tails, shad, shad minnows.

Characteristics: Head is strongly compressed, scaleless. Mouth terminal, floor of oral cavity is spotted with black. Bottom lip protruding; upper lip with a slight indication of a notch or notch lacking. Back dark gray to bluish black; sides and abdomen silvery;distinct post opercular dark spot present; spot smaller than the eye. Fins,except the dorsal, yellowish; caudal deeper yellow than the other fins. Body is deep, strongly compressed laterally. .

Typical Size: Adult length: normally less than 9 inches

Habitat: The threadfin inhabits large lakes and rivers with moderate current, usually congregating in schools over deep water during the daylight hours, moving into shallower areas at night.

Feeding Habits: Threadfin shad are mainly limnetic particulate feeders on larger plankton and filter-feeders on smaller plankton; however, some bottom feeding does occur. Adult threadfin shad may also prey upon fish larvae. .

Fish Facts: It is sensitive to cool temperatures, and below 45 deg. F it has decreased swimming and schooling abilities. It cannot tolerate water temperatures below 35 deg F.


Sometimes called crawfish, or crawdads are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are closely related. They are found in bodies of fresh water that do not freeze to the bottom, and which have shelter against predators. Most crayfish cannot tolerate polluted water, although some species such as the invasive Procambarus clarkii are more hardy. Some crayfish have been found living as much as 3 m (10 feet) underground.

Crawfish are great fish river fishing, bass love them!

sources from and
Great sites

Fishing for Striped Bass

Fishing for Striped Bass is too much fun. These suckers can get HUGE, land locked striped have been caught nearly 70lbs. They are aggressive and fierce feeders.

When you are fishing for freshwater stripers, the best bait you can use will be:
  • Gizzard Shad
  • Skipjack
  • Threadfin Minnows
  • Alewives
  • Crawfish
  • Trout
They basically hit anything that moves, stripers have been known to eat smaller stripers. I saw a guy fishing for catfish, and his catfish we're getting hit when he was reeling them in. Catfishermen sometimes even catch Stripers when they are fishing with Chicken Livers.

Stripers don't necessarily look for cover and structure as much as some other fish, except in current. When river fishing, you can often find them near cover closer to the banks.

They are very tempature specific fish, with a optimal water temp of 63 degrees. So instead of structure, look for cooler water, and bait. When you find bait, you will find the stripers near by in most cases. The bigger fish are more effected by the water tempature, then the smaller fish. The bigger fish, are often large and lazy. A lot of big stripers are caught on cutbait, because it is said they wait for the scraps from the smaller fish feeding frenzies, instead of using all their energy to chase down bait.

Cut Baiting

Cut bait fishing for Stripers can be very effective. you can often find the biggest fish on cutbait. When cut-baiting, there are several methods. Some prefer to cut the fish in half and use either the head or tail section. I prefer to cut the head off, and use it; sometimes I cut the nose/eye area off as well to double the sent.

You will want to make sure you use FRESH cut bait, the fresher the better. You will notice more hook ups when using fresh bait. I would also suggest chumming the area around as well.

Another thing I noticed is, when cutbaiting you should use a more oily bait. When fishing with a more oily bait, there will be more scent. Skipjack is a great oily fish, and stripers can't resist them.

More fishing information coming soon!


Im going to start a fishing resource webpage. This is my first attempt, and I will provide you with all the information I can. Expect a fishing forum coming soon too.

I love to go fishing, and I am currently fishing with the NSBA. Team Hyperstriper, I'll post our tournament results soon.

We placed 1st in the Striped Bass Fishing Tournament at Lake Cherokee Tennesee in May 2006.
Im going to post all my fishing stories, and fishing information soon.