By Lake Michigan fishing charter Capt. Jim Hirt
As with all sports and activities basics and fundamentals are the foundation from which a sound well played game is achieved. The name of this article could have been the twenty five R's of fishing because many small details will make or break your day on the water. However I decided to focus on only three of the fundamentals, rigging reacting and record keeping. Read all my articles and see video fish reports at http://www.jimhirt.com
This is a vast subject with a different definition to most anglers. To me it means assembling the correct components in the best way to meet the current conditions. Let's get into specifics. The rod, reel, line and terminal tackle are the foundation to success. In my earlier days of fishing the selection of a fishing rod was confusing. The more people you talked to the worse it got. My experience over the years has lead me to a simple conclusion, heavy weight rods for big fish with high test line. Light weight rods for small fish on light test line. Following the recommended line weight marked on the rod will put more fish in the cooler. A rod that is too stiff will not bend with light line. The result will be lost fish from failure to maintain a tight line to the target. You will also be able to use smaller snaps and terminal tackle on light line with a light action rod. This will enhance the lure action with improved presentation.
Reacting to changes will improve your success. The speed of your bait whether it is a spoon, jig, or crankbait is important. The right lure at the wrong speed will be less productive. The correct speed is dictated by many variables.
Always consider the mood of fish and the environment they are in and adjust to the conditions. This will help you find the best speed. Mood is defined by weather and the time of year. High and low barometric pressure are a part of the weather question. They both have a significant impact on the mood of all fish. Activity level in fish will change with the movement or lack of barometer movement. You must know what the weather has been preceding your fishing trip. This information will set the stage giving you the information you can use to your advantage. A clear blue high sky after a low pressure front is every anglers nightmare. Fish get spooky, neutral or negative in these conditions. For these types of days a slow spot on the spot presentation is key. Work your favorite location with precise boat and lure control. Inactivity is normal, when this happens pick your favorite locations on any body of water and look for your target species in the next break to deeper water.
Baits, speed and location
Work smaller spoons, lures or baits in a slow systematic presentation. If motor trolling is your method of fishing use small spoons. Present them at slow speeds and fish them near the bottom. On the other hand steady barometric pressure for an extended period of time with overcast sky conditions is time to grab your pole and to head for the water. Don't miss these ideal days. The fish will be up on the shallow flats, near shore and active. Pound these fish with big baits and fast erratic actions. Work hard, work fast and cover a lot of water. This sets up a great opportunity for trolling big water. The correct lure color for overcast will put more fish in the boat. Silver or gold has long been the standard until resent years. Cutting edge anglers are now going to glow in the dark lures. The visibility of glow spoons far exceeds the old standards. Badger Tackle has great line up of glow spoons. For the anglers that run a boat speed from 1.5 to 3.5 MPH I would recommend the Vulcan magnum. This is a tough heavy weight spoon with a slim profile that fits well with most freshwater and saltwater forage base sizes. The other one I like is the Reaper. Run the regular size on clear calm days and magnum at first light, overcast or whenever you are down deep or in a low light presentation. The Reaper is a wide spoon with a crippled baitfish action for trolling at speeds of 1.0 to 2.5. The Striper and Salmon fishermen say it is a perfect match to the Shad and Alewife forage. Both are exclusively sold at http://www.badgertackle.com/ you won't be disappointed. Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyrightę 2011 James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.