I try to collect handy tips that can help with my fishing or simply make my time afield more enjoyable. I also like to pass those tips along to others so they can benefit as well. Here are a few of the tips I’ve come across, and I hope you find a few that will make your time outdoors this spring more fun.
» Anglers, particularly trout and bass anglers, who wear camouflage or dark earth-tone colors while fishing have an edge. You can stalk much closer to fish before being detected if you don’t look like a human. Fish see very well into the world above the water. By using “stealth” clothing, you can become more difficult to see and be less likely to spook fish. Getting closer means you can have shorter, more controlled casts, and that usually means more fish on the stringer.
» If you always seem to be chasing your lures around the bottom of the boat, here’s a neat trick: Glue a short piece of Velcro to the inside of your hull in a handy spot. Velcro comes with two distinct sides, the hook and the pile. The pile side looks fuzzy; this is the piece you want to use. When you’re not using a lure, simply hang the hook in the pile to keep it handy.
» Fishing with a bobber is one of the most basic ways to practice the sport. You can increase your odds of catching fish by using a pencil bobber rather than a round one. A round bobber will ride higher in the water and tend to be more buoyant. These characteristics cause much more resistance when a fish tries to pull it under. Many times a fish will notice this resistance and drop the bait. A streamlined pencil bobber offers much less hindrance to a fish, so it is more likely to continue taking the bait.
» The No. 1 reason anglers fail to catch bass when fishing with top water lures is a straight, steady, lifeless retrieve. Try varying your speed of retrieve or make a few random erratic jerks and twitches while cranking your lure back in to you. It is also a productive technique to let the lure lie still for a few seconds after one of these moves. The quick movements followed by a “rest” mimic the actions of an injured baitfish and can trigger a bass to strike.
» Mosquitoes and other biting bugs can be a nuisance when fishing. There is probably a great insect repellent right in your bathroom closet or cabinet, Vicks VapoRub. The camphor, menthol and eucalyptus oil gives off the equivalent of noxious fumes to most insects. You don’t need a lot of Vicks to do the job either, and it’s much less expensive than commercial insect repellent formulas.
» Some species of fish, like northern pike, have a reputation of being a strong-tasting fish. I believe most of the “fishy” taste is in the skin. Careful cleaning and preparation of your catch will get rid of most of this trait. If your palate still senses a rather strong flavor, try soaking your filets in something like Sprite or 7UP for a few hours before cooking. The lemon-lime flavors really mellow the taste.
» Fish can feel the vibrations caused by an angler moving through the water from long distances, especially if the bottom is a rocky one. All the little “click and clacks” you hear are magnified and radiated out from you in all directions. To minimize the chance of spooking fish, move only in short steps. Carefully place your foot down just as if you were still-hunting deer. If you do make some “loud” noises, stand still for a while. Fish seem to forget what bothered them in a couple of minutes, and then you can continue to fish.
» Fish have a highly developed sense of smell. Some species, like sharks, are well known for their ability to “smell” blood in the water from great distances. All fish can pick up scents from the water. Catfish can detect food scents down into the parts per million range. I believe that bass and pike are other species that depend on their sense of smell to verify food.
I have watched many bass and pike follow a lure for long distances without biting. I feel that they are “scenting” the bait to determine whether it is really something to eat. Anglers can improve their odds of catching fish by eliminating unnatural scents, like gas or oil. Carry a bottle of unscented dish washing liquid in your tackle box. If you do get a foreign odor on your hands, you’ll have a handy method to remove it before you pass it on to your favorite lure.
More Remington news
If you are a shooter, you have probably heard this bit of news. Last Sunday evening, Remington Outdoors, parent company of Remington Arms, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. America’s oldest gun manufacturer, Remington has been in business for 202 years. Remington Outdoors also owns the firearm name brands of Marlin and Bushmaster.
I have been writing about Remington’s problems and this eventual outcome for the last 18 months or so. The company reported that the reason for this action was due to a slow economy. Their sales in 2017 were just over $600 million, down more than 30 percent from 2016. Court documents show that the company reported negative operating cash flow of $7.4 million as of last Sunday.
I think the real cause for this may be largely due to three major issues:
» The settling of lawsuits related to the Model 700 trigger assembly, which cost the company millions.
» Cutting corners in the manufacturing process and making products that were perceived as “cheaply made” by the shooting consumer (Bushmaster and Marlin).
» Some poor management decisions, like discontinuing the Model 1100 shotgun and the recent Model 51 pistol flop.
All of these issues compounded the problem of lagging sales and losing customers.
Last Wednesday, it was reported that an unnamed investor offered Remington $300 million to help them out. I’ll be interested in knowing who this investor is. We will have to wait and see if Remington survives as a company.