General freshwater fishing articles and tips

Increase your fishing knowledge, seasonal fish patterns, angling advice, how to and more…..

Becoming a Better Angler By Joe Bucher
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Basic casting proficiency is very underrated and highly overlooked. In other words, if you can’t cast accurately and effectively without getting snarls and backlashes, your success is sure to suffer.

HOOKSET 101 By Joe Bucher
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One thing you’ll find in common with most of the best big gamefish anglers in our sport today is they generally all have a great hookset. What’s the opening shot on most TV show intro’s? What’s the feature shot in most fishing related commercials? What’s the visual image that really captures the true excitement of a big fish battle? It’s a power hookset, of course.

The Trophy Quad By Joe Bucher
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Hall Of Fame Angler Joe Bucher Suggests These Four Easy-To-Follow Tips To Score Big On Trophy Fish This Season

Fishing on the Cheap By Ted Takasaki and Scott Richardson
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Even if the economic downturn has its fangs into you, there is still a lot of fishing fun that can be fit into your budget. If money is tight, consider it a chance to return to the basics that drew you to fishing in the first place. At its core, fishing is one of the most inexpensive ways to have a great time with your friends and family.

Aquatic Weeds of Northern WI Lakes By Captain Marty Papke
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Have you ever thought of how important weeds are in our area lakes? Many times when we are fishing either through the ice or open water fishing we think of weeds as a pest, our baits get hung up! It gets hard to fish in and sometimes just plain frustrating…. We are writing this article to show how important these plants are to fish and to the general condition of your lakes.

Slip Float Basics By Spence Petros
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During the last few years many fishing magazines have had numerous high-tech articles on float fishing. But while recently thinking about putting some material together for my upcoming fishing schools, one of my golden rules came to mind, “don’t assume anything about what you think anglers know–start with the absolute basics and go from there”.

Small Lakes In June Offer Action And Variety By Mike Mladenik
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While small lakes may not offer big fish, they can be your best bet for a big catch. By June, many anglers begin concentrating on large reservoirs and natural lakes. Scattered throughout the upper Midwest are countless small lakes with limited fishing pressure. These smaller lakes can see increased usage by mid-summer, but in June many are absent of any boat traffic.

Hi-Tech Sonar and its Use By Ted Takasaki and Scott Richardson
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Here is a great article by the writing team of Ted Takasaki and Scott Richardson. This time, they tackle technology­ specifically, side-imaging sonar units and how they can help average anglers quickly ‘scan’ sections of water looking for fish and structural elements.

“Jumbo Jigs” – A New Trend in Jigging By Spence Petros
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Forget about “finesse” all the time! Savvy jig anglers are going to 5/8 to 1 1/2 ounce jigs to trigger strikes, and to achieve precision lure placement and absolute depth control.

Anchors – Fishing’s Forgotten Tool By Captain Marty Papke
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Take a look in any angler’s boat and the one thing that you will almost always see is an anchor. Watch any angler fish and the one thing you will almost never see them use is that same anchor. It seems like, for most anglers, anchors are something that we have but almost never use. That’s too bad. When used at the proper time in the right way, an anchor will allow us to be more effective anglers.

Fishing Photos on Your Own?  By Patricia Strutz
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Here’s a few tips from Patricia Strutz “A Blond and Her Boat”. on using a camera alone in your boat.

Fall Crankbait Fishing By Mike Mladenik
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Crankbaits will catch fish most of the season, but they can become very effective in fall.

Flowage Fishing By Rick Writz
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Bodies of water such as the Willow Flowage, Rainbow Flowage, and Flambeau Flowage are some of the most beautiful and productive waters the Northwoods of Wisconsin has to offer.

Sinking “Count-down” Crankbaits By Joe Bucher
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As much print as crankbaits have commanded in articles, books, and other publications, very little material has been devoted to the sinking “count-down” style crankbait. In fact, few anglers own or even know how to effectively use these highly efficient deep water tools. Without the proper working knowledge of sinking count-down lures, and what their true functions are, any typical sinking crankbait does nothing more than collect weeds or occupy space in your tacklebox.While floating divers and suspender crankbaits continue to get all the press and playing time, sinking “count-down” cranks wait in the wings for a chance to prove. They are the true dark horses of the crankbait world.

Minnow Bait Magic By Joe Bucher
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My first exposure to the minnow bait was back in the early 1960’s. I remember staring at my first minnow bait, a Rapala, for weeks in my grandfather’s general grocery store. He had a small fishing tackle department in this store, and I use to gawk at various lures on display all the time when I was a child. I wanted that Rapala so bad, but I had no money to buy it. I finally convinced my grandpa to trade it for a day of work. I still can’t believe how many chores he found for me. I ended up putting in an entire eight hour work day for that one single lure. Rapalas were rare and expensive in those days, and I wasn’t complaining.

Fishing with Jigs By Joel DeBoer
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Fishing is a sport unlike any other for a variety of reasons. Perhaps one of the most alluring factors that sets fishing apart is the never-ending challenge resulting from continual changing and varied seasons, weather changes, water types and conditions, and of course the vast variety of species available to pursue. While each season presents its own unique obstacles to success, spring is arguably one of the more trying times for the angler; with that in mind, here is not-so-secret information on a “must-have” lure for the ardent fisherman’s tackle box, sure to tip the odds in your favor.

Getting Kids Started: It’s about Them and Their Fishing By Jason Mitchell
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A frank discussion on what it takes to get more kids into the sport. To Jason Mitchell, introducing kids to fishing and hooking them on the sport ideally takes place on the same day. It’s a specialty that takes a commitment from an adult that goes beyond “letting ’em come along.”

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Be On The Right Spot At The Right Time

The Roots Of A Crankbait By Joe Bucher
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The term “crankbait” was actually first developed by bass tournament anglers back in the late 1960’s, and generally it referred to any hard bodied lure that had a natural, built-in action when retrieved. Before that time, such lures were referred to as plugs, wobblers, vibrating lures, and divers. In fact, the word “plugs” was as much the accepted terminology in this category of lures back in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s as “crankbaits” is today. However, plugs also included topwater lures to some fishermen. Nowadays, the word crankbait does not include surface lures. The term “crankbait” only refers to a subsurface lure today.

Crankin’ Weedflats & Weedlines By Joe Bucher
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Weeds, whether in a bay, flat, bar, or mid lake hump, are one of the most productive forms of cover for nearly every big gamefish that swims in freshwater. Admittedly, much of my success with magnum muskies, big bass, and wallhangin’ walleyes have come from some form of weeds.

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Modifying Crankbaits By Joe Bucher
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As my rodbent for the 15th time, I just had to give in. I couldn’t keep it a secret any longer. After all, this wasn’t some duel between two tournament combatants, this was father and son, enjoying an afternoon on the water..

Tuning Crankbaits By Joe Bucher
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I’ll never forget my first experience with tuning a crankbait. Again, it was back when I was still a teenager, with no money and few lures. This meant, every lure I had – had to work. And, if I had a good one, I had make sure I didn’t loose it, plus keep it running perfectly.