Tips & Techniques Tech/Tackle Reviews

Catch Lake Erie smallmouths on tubes after the 40-degree switch
To say I was looking forward to fishing with The General was an understatement. On my drive up to Lima, Ohio, to meet Steve Clapper, thoughts of multiple 5-pound smallmouths admittedly caused my mind to wander at times. Thankfully, the effects on my driving were minimal, and I arrived safely. The only hitch to the fishing would be navigating Lake Erie and all the pleasantries it can provide on an early April outing.


Will Brantley

A guide to making your own jigs for fishing, hobby or profit
“Just break it off,” my fishing partner said. I cringed at the thought of losing another $3 skirted jig. We were fishing a gnarled rock pile with stumps and root wads, and it was a jig-eating monster. But it held some bruiser bass, and sometimes that’s the price to pay for quality fish. Is there an alternative to buying 100 jigs a year? Absolutely.


Jason Sealock

Advantages to a tiller-driven system
Tiller boats were the norm rather than the exception not too many years ago. In the ’70s and early ’80s, tiller boats reigned supreme for most walleye anglers. Then, in the late ’80s, the popularity of walleye tournaments exploded, and preferences for walleye-boat steering changed.


Dan DeJaeghere

Spinner-blade analysis and application
The recent expansion of big-money walleye tournaments spurred a whirlwind dispersal and refinement of fishing techniques. Traveling anglers rapidly discovered that what often works here also works there. They often discover what catches fish in a new venue also produces when applied back home – modified in some fashion, perhaps, but still a new and exciting way to catch walleyes.


Dave Csanda

The disappearing practice of using hair jigs
In the 1950s, hand-tied hair jigs were a standard in the tackle boxes of freshwater anglers. However, when soft-plastic, action-tail bodies began coming on strong in the 1970s, hair jigs slowly began to fade from sight. But, just because the masses gave up hair in favor of plastic did not mean hair quit catching bass.


Darl Black

Taking a great bait and making it better has become a new art form
In all sports, competitors always look for small details that will give them an edge. For anglers, the tweaks to tackle and equipment are infinite because of the limitless options of colors, shapes, sizes and actions of baits on the market. The competition isn’t angler versus angler in this game. It’s angler versus fish – and anything that gives you a leg up in that competition is good.


Jason Sealock

Dragging their way to big ledge bass
Some lures are overnight sensations. At the other extreme are deadly lures that go largely unnoticed for decades before they catch on. The football-head jig falls into this category.


Mark Hicks

Modern advances in trolling motors breed better, more efficient function
Remember a decade ago when the best electric trolling motor was a 24-volt model – two batteries – that generated 55 pounds of thrust? In retrospect, you might also remember how battery power, though a huge improvement over the oomph supplied to glorified eggbeaters a decade before that, was lacking for a full day’s worth of pedal-to-the-medal maneuvering.


Dave Scroppo

One angler’s research sheds light in the darkness that is big bass behavior
Every bassin’ buff has a theory on what makes big fish tick. But for John Hope, the proof is in the pudding.


Matt Williams

Essential modifications are crucial when fishing professionally for bass or walleyes
Walk into any tackle shop or thumb through any fishing catalog, and you will be greeted with a dizzying array of hard- and soft-body baits. Each of these comes with its own unique properties, including depth, color, sound, speed, size, weight, hooks and motion.


Dusty Routh

Wal-Mart FLW Tour pro Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., has a strange way of showing his love for crankbaits. It is perfectly normal for him to buy a dozen “store-bought” crankbaits, only to rip them apart and rebuild them to his own specifications.


Rob Newell

Sure, you’ve got your eyes on the prize when you’re trolling, spying electronics for the presence of baitfish and predators. An important tactic to pinpoint the twin pillars of open-water walleye angling, well beyond the parameters of typical trolling speeds of 2.4 mph and under, is to search at high speeds, a technique now possible with high-powered liquid-crystal units, particularly those with color readouts.


Dave Scroppo

Modern fish finders utilize technology that was invented during World War II to help destroyers locate German submarines. Although underwater locating devices have changed dramatically over the last 50 years, they still work on the same basic principle.


David Hart

The secret for cleaning your dirty boat is under your kitchen sink
After a hard few days fishing in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, on mineral-filled freshwater lakes that left hull and outboard flecked with water spots and white scale, you'd think it would have taken a chisel to pry the crud loose. But Joe Beech, maker of JNB Originals specialty walleye tackle and all-around handyman, pulled out a spray bottle, spritzed the stains and wiped clean with a towel.


Dave Scroppo

To properly winterize your boat, you'll need more than a few household cleaners. Here are a few things that you (or your boat dealer) should do if you plan to store your boat through the winter.


Ron Lappin

Keeping fish alive and well for over 30 years
Part three: From additives to circulation, livewell advancements are ongoing. Just as there are different factors that contribute to the effectiveness of livewells, there are varying uses for the systems that were created about 30 years ago.


Patrick Baker

Keeping fish alive and well for over 30 years
Part two: Multiple factors for consideration Developing a better livewell system is a work in progress. As new technology is incorporated and system designs are improved, the effectiveness of livewells continues to increase.


Patrick Baker

Keeping fish alive and well for over 30 years
Part one: Size matters. One could speculate with some certainty that the invention of the hook has been the single most important development in the history of fishing – at least outside the realm of commercial angling, in which large nets are the norm.


Patrick Baker