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General Fishing Thread

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
By: WIskier13
post #2 of 47
Thread Starter 
Fishing is a great off-season sport. I started this thread because I figured that there were some fishermen/women out there that had no place to voice their opinions or post their tips. This is that place. I will start by saying that I have a small stream/river/creek (or whatever you want to call it) by my house and I am planning on fishing it very aggressively this summer. Any hints as to bait, lures, locations, etc? I have my own raft that I use to get to the non-accessible spots.
post #3 of 47
Lures? Whats lures?

Tip #1. Fish from a half hour before daylight to an hour after sunrise.

Tip #1. Fish just before dark.

Tip #2. For smallmouth and similiar fish, an itty bitty bobber with an itty bitty split shot about two feet below the bobber with a medium sized crawler or jus' yer' basic "woim" will do if fished along the edge of cover like a weed bed or stump.

Tip #3. A nice little minnow/dace/killy will work too, just skip the bobber if you want.

Did I mention fishing just after day break or right before dark?

I don't know what you mean by a raft but that sounds large and noisy. Give the raft back to Huck and get a solo canoe.
post #4 of 47
I recommend a 9' 5weight, a pair of wading sandels, and a small chest pack with an assortment nymphs and attractors ranging in size from 14 to 18. One can catch fish anywhere with this setup!
post #5 of 47


WIskier13, Not enough info to give you a factual, useful answer.

How big the stream, deep? Wide? Wadable? What type of fish? Trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth etc.?

Are you a flyfisher? Spin fisher? Are you going to keep the fish? Whats your experience fishing?

There are some real basic, Yuki named some of them, fish early and late. However early in the season the water may need to be warmed a little for the fish to get active feeding, so maybe 10AM to noon might be the best in April but not in July. The other basic is what do the fish eat in the stream you are going to be fishing? nymphs, crayfish, other fish, flies etc. etc . That brings up another basic, you have to fish what the fish want and are used to seeing and then there are exceptions to that rule also.

So if you're serious post your answers and I'll answer and so will a lot of others I'm sure. Little too early here for fishing, ice has been off he lakes now for about 12 days so water still too cold. The exception is the Landlocker Salmon on Couer d alene Lake are biting. Smallmouth acttion will start in about 2-3 weeks on the lakes, later on the rivers as the snow run off is very cold still and will be until mid april or later.
post #6 of 47
Thread Starter 
Note to Yuki: By raft, I mean an 8' inflatable. Its not huge, because it doesn't have to be. It works well for me.
Stream Info: Name: Root River. It's not very big, maybe 15-20 miles long, ranging anywhere from 1 inch deep to holes that are at least 5+ feet or so. With the exception of a few places, one could probably wade the whole thing. The types of fish found there range from Salmon near Lake Michigan to Bullheads, Carp, and a few scattered LM Bass with maybe a pike in there for good measure. Myself, I use spinning gear, although a flyrod may be more appropriate at times. I do not keep what I catch. I consider myself a fairly accomplished fisherman, and I am going to Canada for Walleye this May.
it is also a little early for fishing here also. The lake that feeds the stream is still slightly iced over. I will probably start in mid-April, unless something unseen happens.
post #7 of 47
If you're fishing a creek/river, work your way UP stream, not down. they do actually see you coming... especially when they're lingering in some eddy, trying to keep their noses pointed at the on-coming current.

If you're a spin-fisherman, I assume you grew up on lakes, especially since you're from Wisconsin.
post #8 of 47
Oh, and salmon from lake michigan used to love "cracked ice" decalled spoons. (Cherry's in Green Bay?)

We couldn't buy those spoons on the west coast, but our J-plugs stirred quite the interest. Most pacific fisherman flat-line troll for salmon with chum. We used to downrigger for the deeper schools and fill out in hours. mmmmm... salmon.

salmon= cut off head, gut, stuff with onions, garlic and lemon. wrap in tin foil, throw in fire, eat with fork. I lived off the above while working at a cannery in AK when I was 20. Now I can throw a 20lb salmon in the air and have it filleted by the time it hits the table. They don't call me Samurai for nothing.
post #9 of 47
Thread Starter 
I did indeed grow up on lakes, so my stream fishing is not necessarily my strong suit. But hey. maybe I'll get to parcatice a little bit if the temps stay in the 60's and 70's.
post #10 of 47
When fishing during the day, polarized glasses. As you approach some cover vewwwwy vewwwwy quietly wike Elmer stalking Bugs Bunny, tread lightly on the bank and pick a spot from which you can cast and can't be seen (background cover). Then wait five minutes just quietly watching the hole/strump/rock ledge or whatever .... for activity. Cast well above and let the bait carry past the cover.

When the water is high and muddy, bait fish will work well on trout ... like small shiners, or dace ..... those with a bit of natural flash. Small ones, not pike and bass sized. Often you can catch these in roadside culverts or rivulets on your way fishing. Or since you live there, set a box trap out for a ready supply.
post #11 of 47
Thread Starter 
Baitfish are not a premium in my stream, but there are quite a few crawfish. If I remember correctly, it is illegal to use whole crawfish or crawfish tails or something like that (if anyone knows, please fill me in so I don't break a reg). I can probably build a crawfish trap, but I doubt that they would work well for bait in a stream with mainly only panfish and an occassional very small bass.
post #12 of 47
I can't imaging a lake or stream that doesn't have a population of small bait fish like killies, dace or shiners. The only thing you need to be aware of in the game code is not using baby sport fish (reguated species), for bait. This isn't as difficult as it sounds ..... a baby bass will look like one and the stripe will be prominent .... sunnies ... look like ... baby sun fish.

Down at the local hardware they will have a mesh cone trap with a tiny opening. Loading that up with some dough and bread and letting it sit for a day may give you some results.

If there are two of you, it's pretty easy to net bait in a highway culvert or rivulet. One guy spans a narrow part of the stream with the net and the other guy goes down stream and drives the bait/minnows to the net.

Check your local code for use of crawfish. NJ "tips on bass" section of the web site encourages the use of crawfish.
post #13 of 47
Thread Starter 
I think the box trap will work good for crawfish/baitfish. My last comment about no baitfish was incorrect. There are some in the feeder lake and some in the shalloer parts of the stream. Thanks for the advice.
post #14 of 47
Get some spawn sacks and snag a few steelhead. They should be running pretty soon if they haven't already.
post #15 of 47
Thread Starter 
I would, if I lived closer to Lake Michigan. On my branch of the river (which does get a Salmon run every so often because it dumps into the Lake), we only get salmon extremely rarely as far upstream as I am. Good idea, though.
post #16 of 47
Thread Starter 
I bought a minnow trap and am going to set it either tonight or tomorrow night in a rocky section of the stream and hope for the best. Will report back on catch.
post #17 of 47
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
If you're fishing a creek/river, work your way UP stream, not down. they do actually see you coming... especially when they're lingering in some eddy, trying to keep their noses pointed at the on-coming current.

If you're a spin-fisherman, I assume you grew up on lakes, especially since you're from Wisconsin.
However if you can stay low with some stealthiness.....or if one can cast from behind a bush or two on the shoreline, the downstream drift one can get is of such a higher quality. You have to have the patience to let the trout turn so you don't take it out of its mouth... Like on the super steeps, ya' have to talk yourself thru the process a little....

post #18 of 47

Fish Fear ME!

I am going through quite a change in my fishing... From lake fishing as a kid, to the river/ fly fishing of the Calif and Colo mtns, and now back to lake fishing in Southern TX...

Went out to a new lake I'd never fished, and I was killing them! Caught 7 lg mouth, 4 were over 5 lbs, and I caught my first catfish! Almost a 20 pounder! Took me almost 5 minutes to land the beast! The guys I was with were just dying... We would trade gear, lures, what ever, and it didn't seem to matter! I couldn't miss! At one point, caught 2 fish on 2 casts.... The guy who had just handed me his rod would swear I couldn't do it.. But he watched it happen!

I also have 2 lakes right outside the back of the complex I live in now. I go out early and late, and haven't missed yet! Even caught a turtle! (another first!)

These fish have a new reason to live in fear! HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA
post #19 of 47
Depending on the stream I tend to use a shorter rod because of the overhangs and stuff. Lighter tackle. I like Okuma for spinning reels. If you're going for trout small hooks and make sure everything looks presentable because they are very smart and cautious. Some of the other species aren't so picky like Bullheads and pike - tend to be more aggressive and curious. But anyway each place has its own idiosyncrasies - that's the fun of figuring the stuff out.

My dad's family comes from near Lake in the Woods way up in Minnesota yaknow. Never went up there but I hear the fishin's pretty good not to mention hunting.

I live on a smallish lake now with chain pickerel, pike, bass, bullhead, panfish, occasional trout, perch etc. In fact first thing this AM my 4 yo demanded we go fishing - didn't get anything but nice time with the little guy nonetheless. Suns up around 5 here now so we'll have to head out early one morning.

There's a medium sized bass who's very curious and I can see with my polarized lenses come in to about 5 feet offshore and just look at me. Until I get my gear then he takes off
post #20 of 47
vail ... some days are just magic days absolute magic!

Catfish .... ja' eat em' ... ???

In the spring before the water gets warm and muddy, catfish are good eating. Real good!

How to clean a catfish ...

1. With a sharp knife, make a cut around the fish just behind the head (where the meat starts) .... hold the fish with an old rag or pliers (grabbing the dorsal fin), cause spines are wicked!

2. Drive a nail through the head of the fish to "pin" the fish to a wood plank.

3. With the fish firmly nailed to the plank/board, take the pliers and just grab a tad of the skin (at the cut), and pull it towards the tail .... this is much like pulling a sock off your foot.

4. Remove the guts and rinse.

No need to fillet or do anything else; the meat will fall right off the bones when you cook them.

Note: This is not my usual screwing around, this is actually the best way to clean a catfish. I spent five sorry years of my life working on a trout and catfish farm.
post #21 of 47
Originally Posted by WIskier13 View Post
Any hints as to bait, lures, locations, etc?
I caught two 22"+ browns in a half hour on the flyfishing only part of the Peshtigo river (in northern WI) yesterday - on a 7x tippet, nontheless. Probably would have caught more, but it started thunderstorming right away and I had to go drink some beer.
post #22 of 47
[quote=Jer;711597 Probably would have caught more, but it started thunderstorming right away and I had to go drink some beer.[/quote]

Filthy beer drinker!

Smoke those trout!!!!

Light the tails and inhale deep!!!
post #23 of 47
As far as river trout are concerned, I'm strictly catch n' release. They taste like poo IMO. I'll smoke a nice fat king though - they're bigger and easier to roll.
post #24 of 47
Only ones I ever eat in Vermont are the native brookies. Natives are usually smaller with more vibrant colors and marking.

Still, hooking onto a 22 inch brownie must be a blast ... damned your pleasant lifestyle Jer, all those pow days and now trout fishing - GRRRR (jealousy
post #25 of 47
The only thing that swims that I can't find some way to eat is eel. :
post #26 of 47
eel, unagi; 鰻 great stuff.I didn't like it at first, but have developed a very serious craving for it.
post #27 of 47
I used to do a little ocean fishing as a kid, living in Monterey, Calif. Off the wharf, we used to occasionally catch wolf eels, which the local restaurants would buy from us for $10 a lb. Could never get into eating anything quite so ugly or ferocious looking.
post #28 of 47
Someone caught one of those wolf fish (if it's the same thing) on a fishing trip I went on some years ago. Nasty but you're right they do pay $$ for them. The mate threw it in the bucket with the other fish (cod and such) and you could hear it crunching a hole in one of them (took a few bites out of the others in there)
post #29 of 47
Thread Starter 

Summer is here, and you know what that means......

Late May in Wisconsin. Nice weather sometimes. Once the bass get done spawning (should happen before the end of the month), then the real fishing season begins. I don't know about any of you, but I have a small drainage lake by my house that is just loaded with bullhead, a catfish relative. They are fun to catch, but no good eating. It may sound wierd, but it is true.

Now I am a little nervous to say the least. The fish virus has been discovered in the Winnebago chain, and that could spell disaster for the sturgeon and other species living in there. Not a good situation at all.
post #30 of 47
Like the whirling disease in many of the Colorado streams and rivers. It affects the brains of the fish, and makes them swim in circles. Many streams got ruined because of it.
Even a few hatcheries were found to be contaminated, and had to be shut down for cleaning. We lost thousands of fish, and years of viable natural reproduction in the rivers themselves.
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