May fishing tips

May fishing tips

TROUT: Don’t be afraid to make a commotion when you fish a streamer, especially a big one, for even bigger brown trout. The bad boys are altogether different critters from their insect-sipping underlings. A magnum brown with an attitude problem-that’s attitude” as in aggressive, not moody-will attack a bulky streamer that’s slapped down and stripped back fast.

BASS: Giant smallmouths can be incredibly aggressive predators as well, even in the super-clear waters of the North Country and Great Lakes, where they often have a reputation for bashful behavior. So break out a big, gaudy spinnerbait-bright chartreuse, for instance–and bum it back to the boat right beneath the surface. Smallies will often explode on it afer they’ve spurned a naturallooking plastic offering worked down deeper.

MUSKIES: Tired of bringing up the big boys only to have them veer away? That’s the way it is with a “follow”-a fish “just looking.” Thing is, you can use the knowledge of a follow to your advantage. Return to the same location first thing in the morning, at dusk or when the weather turns rough (rain and wind are excellent) and go for the fish again. You might get a pleasant surprise.

CATFISH: Oftentimes, too much is made of fishing for Mr. Whiskers with the foulest, stinkiest baits. There’s no reason to gross out your fishing partner (or yourself) with such disgusting stuff as fermented chicken livers. Instead, consider using cut baitit usually works better, too. Simply cut a chunk from a shad or fillet a minnow, baiting up with the fresh fish flesh itself Even more convenient (and far less repulsive) is to freeze the bait whole, and then thaw it the night before you go fishing.

WALLEYES: The ‘eyeballs aren’t responding to your jigs as well as they should when the water warms? Bump the jigs up a size or two and make them move. Sometimes going from a 1/16-ounce jighead (with either plastic or live bait) to 1/8- or 1/4-ounce head will do the trick, even in shallow water. Simply give the doodad a little extra wrist action and see what happens-it’s a good bet the finicky walleyes will be much more responsive. In fact, they’ll be chomping at the bait.

Copyright Hearst Magazines May 2000

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