Eight More Tips for Fishing

In this collection of tips for fishing the author discusses weather conditions, where to find fish, and equipment care.

| May/June 1981

069 tips for fishing pt2 - clean your reel

"Clean your reel" is one of the author's eight tips for fishing.


Equipping yourself with the proper gear and bait for the type of fish dinner you favor most is, of course, only the first step in putting that tasty food on your plate. So, in the final section of this two-part article, I'm going to concentrate on telling you how to entice your quarry into biting and what to do once that happens.

V. Know the Fish's Water Preference

Every area has its "fishin' holes," and if you find yourself a fishing-fanatic friend, he or she will likely show you most—though probably not all—of his or her pet "hot spots." But there are other folk (owners of tackle shops and sporting goods stores, for example) who, in order to get your continued business, will point you toward (if not that particular person's own favorite spots) good angling areas.

Since most fish spawn in shallow water and seek the cooler depths during hot weather, check out maps (they're usually available for large lakes and reservoirs) that show the topography beneath the body of water that you're fishing. Other sources of information may include chambers of commerce (for maps), as well as a state's fish and game commission or its parks and recreation department. (The telephone numbers for local branches of such agencies can often be found at town libraries.)

But, even without advice or maps, you can still take an educated guess at where the fish will be. In a lake or pond, for instance, many species (such as bass) tend to gather at points where a stream enters the larger body of water, to eat the food carried in by the current. Furthermore, any underwater obstacle (such as the fallen trees and "fields" of stumps found beneath the surface of many man-made reservoirs) will attract fish, since it offers them a year-round hiding place. Remember, too, that a lake bottom's contour will generally mirror the shoreline near it. A sheer cliff next to the water's edge will usually drop off rapidly into deep water, while a beach that extends away from the lake in a flat plain will frequently produce gradually deepening shallows.

A river or stream is—in most cases-even easier to "read" than is a lake, pond, or reservoir. In moving water, most fish (especially trout) like to hang out just above and below riffles. Either side of the downstream "V" that's formed by the current is also likely to be a very productive place to plop your bait. The deep holes found below many fast moving sections of water can contain fish as well (such critters are most easily caught at the upstream edge of the pool, where food is often deposited). Also look for hungry swimmers at the edge of eddies formed by any projecting limbs, and underneath overhanging banks and roots. And when you catch a good fish from a stream or river, remember the spot. Odds are another trophy will shortly move in to take over the "prime" location!

VI. Don't Miss a Fish-Catching Season

There's only one fishing season: year round. Spring, for example, can result in rapid-fire post-spawning action. Then, as the water warms up, the best fishing will often be around protective "lairs" such as submerged logs, stumps, and roots; underwater brush piles and weedy beds; rocky drop-offs (where a river once ran, for example); and the areas beneath piers, bridges, and boat docks.

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