Best Fishing In Montana – 10 Places Anglers Can’t Miss

Are you thinking about fishing in a new and rugged place that is teeming with lakes and rivers full of fish? Planning a fishing trip and don’t know where to go? Don’t worry; you are not alone. As an angler, one is always looking for new and exciting places where there are a plentiful amount of fish with great scenery. Lets face it, half the reason people go fishing is to enjoy natures and the great outdoors! With so many places in the country to go to, it is a bit hard to choose which one is the best. We’re going to give you a breakdown of some of the locations and cities that will give you the best fishing experience in Montana!

Montana is a state in the United States and its a place that tops many hardcore anglers bucket list places to go, especially for fly fishing! A place with cold clear water making it a perfect home for trout including other fish species and best habitat for fishing. People mostly target areas near reservoirs and lakes where these species spend their largest time of the year.

Spring season starting from April through mid of May when the water temperature rises, these trout are far more active in this season. Montana has plenty of lakes for fly fishing and these are located anywhere from valleys to deep in the mountain ranges, just depends on how much effort you want to spend getting to your spot!

Most of the best lakes for fishing in Montana are in different reservoirs created by dams. Numerous natural lakes also exist here, providing never-ending opportunities for fishing. The rivers in Montana are worth fishing especially for anglers that prefer rivers where fish can be caught with ease.

Idaho Fishing Lake

If you’re looking for some of the best rivers, lakes, and reservoirs for fishing in Montana you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to break out some of the most popular and sought after locations in Montana for fishing, so you can plan out your next fishing trip with ease!

Big Hole River Fishing

Missouri River Fly Fishing Image

The Big Hole River, most famous for trout streams is also tagged as the prettiest river of Montana. When people think of the best spot to fish in Montana, we can guarantee the Big Hole River comes up in the conversation. It starts at Skinner Lake 7,340 feet high in the Beaverhead Mountains in southwest Montana, but that is not the only place that dumps into the Big Hole. It is also getting water from the Pioneer and Anaconda Mountains. It has four species of trout and the only population of fluvial arctic grayling. But the river is best known for its giant brown trout.

There are huge brown trout, rainbow, cutthroat and brook are all present in this river. If the snowpack on mountains is light, the river can have sections of lower water but the expanse of this river is so huge it provides a wide range of conditions, and Big Hole River fishing is different in each condition. Floating down the Big Hole River is the best way to enjoy this stream full of trout and can make for a full day adventure on the river. 

The area of the river in the mountains, as well as the small parts flowing through valleys, is of uniform spectacular beauty. Fly-fishing in the Big Hole River is truly a rare experience. The Big Hole River is not like other ordinary river hosting trout as it is situated at a much higher elevation than you’d think. People come here from all over the world to fish this stunning mountain river, that has such a varying landscape depending on where you decide to cast off!

Big Hole River Fishing Tips

Big hole river is a fantastic place to set up a line.  There are multiple designated fishing areas and roads all along it.  If you want to go for Brook Trout, start further up the river.  More trout can be found around the Big Hole River Canyon!  Once you make your way to the lower Big Hole River, Brown Trout will outnumber Rainbow, although both can be found!

Types of Fish In The Big Hole River

Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Cutthroat, Whitefish

Missouri River Fishing

Missouri River Fly Fishing Image

Missouri River was originally explored by Lewis and Clark and was previously considered a major gateway to the western United States. The fourth-largest drainage in the world having headquarters is Craig Town. The average fish here is a 17-inch rainbow found in 25 miles between Holter Dam and Pelican Point. It’s a food factory for fish because of plenty of insects found per square meter. All the bugs are very useful for fly-fishing. Here are a few of the flies you shouldn’t leave home without.

  • Pale Morning Dun
  • Parachute Adams
  • Terrestrials such as hoppers, beetles, etc

The river is home of trout and rainbow anglers from all over the world call it a heaven for fishing.

Rock Creek Fishing

Rock Creek Fly Fishing image

Rock Creek is an 84 km long river in Missoula and Granite County, Montana. It is a smaller but classic western dream stream flowing between the Sapphire and Garnet mountain, and a world class place to fly fish in Montana.  Here you can found brown trout, rainbow, and cutthroat trout gorge, and Rock Creek holds the highest number of trout in the region! The hatch of June salmon fly is epic and attracts anglers from all over the world, and it’s even possible to catch 5 different species of trout in a single day. This is seriously one of best spots to fish in Montana and in contention for number one for fly fishing!

If the water is high, you can easily fish from a raft or drift boat. There are many campgrounds along the river just off the road to set up and spend a weekend exploring and fishing Rock Creek! This is a classic river close to Missoula, one of the famous rivers hosting anglers from all over the world. The river is not too complicated for fishing; there are tons of spots and areas to fish from the shoreline. It also flows through National Forest Land, providing access for fish and camping spots for families there.

 One of the best places to stay is the Ranch at Rock Creek!

Big Horn River Fishing

Big Horn River Fishing Image

Bighorn River, in southeastern Montana, is considered to be the finest and the best fishery in the state. This river holds 6,000 fish per mile, and most of them are 20 inches long! This river is different from some of the other rivers in Montana because fishing is open here all year long.

The months of summer, from July through September, are the most popular for fishing. In August, there are hatches of morning duns and caddis (species of fly) which help to attract a ton of fish. The upper 13 miles of the river are considered to have the best spots for fishing the Big Horn river. The Bighorn river flows pretty quick at 2,000-5,000 cubic feet per second.

Fishing the Bighorn River is possible only if you are committed to doing it. You can camp here for a few days and have a good time. If you have plenty of time and wish for a long fishing trip with the family bighorn river is a can’t miss choice!

Bitterroot river located in the southwest part of Montana and is the third most fly fished river in Montana! The riverscape here is eye-catching and rainbow trout are the main treat for anglers here. Some cutthroat and brown trout can also be found in the Bitterroot River which is on average 7 – 10 miles wide.

Anglers from all over the world enjoy fishing here and some say its the best fishing spot in Montana. March, the month of celebration for anglers after a long winter in Montana flock to Bitterroot to get after Trout season!

The lower side of the river is famous for fishing in winter. Most of the anglers will tell you that there no such thing as dry fly-fishing in the Bitterroot, as you’re almost always going to come up with something. The Bitterroot river is famous for dry fly-fishing, as the trout will aggressively pursue them during the hatches, which make fly fishing here a dream! At the Bitterroot river, there is rarely a chance throughout the year that any aquatic insect or fly in not hatching on the surface, which gives you dry fly-fishing opportunities all summer long!

Midges hatch all year long, and mayfly, caddis, and stonefly constantly hatch from March through October. Try to time your visit to the Salmonfly hatch or the Skwala hatch for an amazing experience!

Best Cities for Fishing in Montana

Idaho has contributed a major role in enhancing the economy of the United States of America by its endless breathtaking and awe-inspiring fishing lakes and rivers. Idaho gives its visitors a charm that makes them hooked to the place. Some of the cities that will make your fishing trip to Idaho more enjoyable, or if you just need to stock up on some more bait are described below!

1. Missoula, Montana Fishing

Entering Montana, you’ll see stickers all around the town saying a very catchy phrase, “keep Missoula Weird”. Missoula is a city of almost 700,000 people and this is a place where hunting and fishing is embraced. Outdoor enthusiasts are in for a treat with tons of rivers close by to dip the hook in the water and start fishing in Montana!

The university in Missoula keeps people busy, but besides this, there are also plenty of things to do. Missoula and the valleys surrounding it is connecting with the Clark Fork River, Blackfoot River, and the Bitterroot River. The city welcomes anglers from all over the world and serves as a great jumping point to get to some of the best fishing spots in Montana!

These rivers surrounding Missoula is definitely the big attraction for fishing in Missoula and are open throughout the year. Cross-country ski trails in Pattee Creek Canyon is another point of interest for visitors in the winter months. Missoula hostsa bunch of festivals every weekend during the summer fly fishing months. Missoula is on its way towards one of the most sustainable cities in Montana, introducing pedestrians and bicycle paths throughout the city. Also, its devotion towards recuse and recycling, making it a very clean and pollution-free city.

2. West Yellowstone, Montana Fishing

If you found the city of Bozeman too far away from Yellowstone National Park, choose West Yellowstone as your next spot to visit. It is located in the southern part of Montana, and is a relatively quiet town of fishing enthusiast! The major attractions here are hiking, hunting, skiing, fishing, rafting, horse riding.

Outdoor activities are appreciated and enjoyed not only by the residents but also by visitors from all over the world mainly in the summer months. There is plenty of entertainment at night if you’re looking for it, the Playmill theatre has been operating here for the past 50 years featuring live family-oriented performances!

Rafting in the Gallatin River, cross-country ski trails, and Yellowstone Zipline Adventure Park are some of the main attractions around the city. Fly fishing in Hebgen lake, which is fifteen miles long and four miles wide, is a special treat for any angler!

It is the Stillwater fishing lake that is another huge draw and it is known for a ton of Gulper Rainbow Trout. There is a ton of accommodation options around the lake for families and fisherman alike, with the Kirkwood Resort and Marina provides boats, fishing equipment, and snacks if you need it!

3. Whitefish, Montana Fishing

Whitefish, Montana, is the home to the most breathtaking views and pristine fishing spots in Montana, ocated at the entrance of Glacier National Park, Big Mountain, Flathead Lake, and Whitefish lake! Flathead Lake and Whitefish lake are two of the main fishing spots and a super popular spot for families to come fish and boat in the summer months!

The fish species in these lakes are plentiful and include trout, pike, yellow perch and whitefish. The best thing about fishing in Flathead lake is that the trout found here can be huge, exceeding twenty pounds and give you an exhilarating fight trying to land them. Arctic Grayling, smallmouth bass, and walleye are also found in the lakes around Whitefish, making it a popular fishing destination!

Fishing is a daytime activity, but what to do at night, you may wonder. This city has plenty of bars and restaurants both for families and those looking for live music. This is a place with a population under 10,000 and has a booming tourist industry in the winter and summer months. 

4. Bozeman, Montana Fishing

Bozeman, Montana is located close to Yellowstone National Park, which is famous for fly-fishing and anglers from all over the world visit here to fish west slope cutthroat, Yellowstone cutthroat, rainbow, brown trout, brook, and lake trout. The city is called the most “livable” place in Montana for its plethora of outdoor activities including fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and skiing!

The park’s fishing season runs from May onwards into late fall. Bozeman, Montana has a population of 38,000 people, and is definitely a college town but is also considered a ski town in the winter, fishing town in the summer. 

Some of the top fly fishing spots near Bozeman are:

  • Gallatin River
  • Hyalite Reservoir
  • Lower Madison River
  • DePuy’s Spring Creek
  • East Gallatin River

5. Helena, Montana Fishing

Helena, Montana, is a pretty quiet and cozy town located between the Big belt mountains and the Elkhorn Mountains. The population is just over 28,000 people and is a great city to base your epic fly fishing trip in Montana!

Helena is the capital city of Montana and its a outdoor enthusiasts paradise with activities ranging from hiking, camping, bicycling, and horseback riding all which makes this place a heaven for families. Helena is also a place very concerned about its sustainability and development, with most of its services and initiatives very environmentally conscious for people residing here. Major fishing attractions near Helena are Spring Meadow Lake State Park and Black Sandy State Park, and there is close access to all the great Montana rivers including the Missouri, Blackfoot, and Clark Ford. 

Spring Meadow lake covers 61 acres just  west of Helena and is commonly visited for swimming, fishing, and also for scuba diving. Yellow perch, walleye, and rainbow trout, and spring spawners draw anglers to the river below Canyon Ferry Dam and Lake in Helena, annually.

Wrapping Up The Best Fishing in Montana

For beginner and advanced fly fisherman, there is something for everyone in Montana with a ton of variety in their rivers and species of fish! One of the best parts of fishing in Montana is you can easily fish three word class rivers in as many days by staying in a central location and really get the best bang for your buck! Anglers rave about Montana as there are constantly insect hatches throughout the summer, so the fish are almost always biting and expecting your line!

Make sure you have plenty of flies for fly-fishing, a ten-foot-long rod, and a perfect spot. Salmonflies, yellow sallies, and golden stoneflies are also found on many streams and rivers. You do not have to bring them with you. If you are looking for all in one package for your vacation trip then Helena, the capital of Montana is the best dream place to visit. If you’re looking for a more remote and laid back fly fishing trip for the hardcore angler and adventurist, it might be a good idea to get off the beaten path and check out West Yellowstone!

You can find activities from fishing to skiing to hiking to scuba diving and many more. But all of the above 10 spots in Montana are our picks for the best fishing spots and cities in Montana!

Best Fishing In Idaho – 10 Places You Can’t Miss

The first word that comes to the mind of an angler when he hears about Idaho is GREAT FISHING OPPORTUNITIES. Idaho is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Idaho means “Land of many waters,” which clearly states its extraordinary specialty in fishing. Why fish in Idaho? Idaho offers the anglers to pursue the greatest fish in the world as it is a home for different types of fish, including Trout, Steelhead, Salmon, Muskie, etc.

People mostly prefer oceans to satisfy their fondness for fishing. It is because oceans provide a large variety of fish, and there is a thrill of what you might find at the end of the line. However, some people prefer lakes because it offers them a more intimate relationship than ocean fishing.

The best fishing season can be both spring and fall. An important fishing tip is to avoid it during extreme weather conditions. In summer, early mornings are the best time to fish, whereas, in spring and fall, it’s preferred to go around dusk.

Idaho Fishing Lake

Best Locations to Fish In Idaho

Idaho offers a lot of fishing lakes, oceans, and rivers which makes it a fishing vacation destination hard to resist. We’ve gone through and done the research for you and listed out some of our favorite places and cities in Idaho to fish!

Table of Contents

Lake Couer d'Alene Fishing

Lake Coeur d’Alene is a dam-controlled lake in North Idaho. It is located in the Pacific North-West region of the United States. Its coordinates are given below: Longitude 47°N, longitude 116°W. The length of the lake is almost 25 miles, and its width stretches from 1-3 miles with 109 miles of shoreline.

Lake Coeur d’Alene is a home for a number of fish, including Brown Trout, Chinook Salmon, Brown bullhead, Bull trout, Black Crappie, Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Tiger Muskie, etc. A lake providing a wide range of fish species clearly brings people from all over the world to enjoy excellent fishing, breathtaking views, and all the amenities you are looking for on vacation.

The weather conditions in Coeur d’Alene are average. It offers all four seasons. The summers are mostly warm and dry while winters are cold. The temperature typically varies from 24°F to 86°F and is rarely below 9°F or above 95°F. July is the hottest month where temperature increases to 89.2°F while January is the coldest month, the temperature lowers down to 23.6°F.

People mostly fish Chinook Salmon and Steelhead in this particular area.

Snake River Idaho Fishing

The Snake River flows through the Snake River Plain of southern Idaho. It emerges from western Wyoming and it is a major river of the greater Pacific Northwest region in the United States. Its coordinates are as follows: Latitude 46°N and Longitude, 119°W. The Snake River stretches to about 1078 miles and is the largest North American River to empty into the Pacific!

Snake River is a home for a variety of fish species like Smallmouth Bass, Trout, Steelhead Rainbow Trout, Sturgeon, and Channel Catfish, etc. Anglers are encouraged to pay their visit to the Snake River due to the diversity of fish species. Sturgeon is one of the greatest populations of fish to provide food and income to a number of people.

The weather conditions in the Snake River depends on what time of the year and state you’re in but they are mostly warm and sunny, and it rarely rains there on the Idaho section. The daylight temperature ranges from 85-95 degrees Fahrenheit in June, where it is warm. The night temperature fairly drops down to 65-70 degrees in August. There is a random change in temperatures with sudden rainstorms.

People mostly fish Steelhead, Sturgeon, and Salmon in Snake River and it is widely regarded as one of the top rivers to fish in the Pacific Northwest and Idaho!

Lake Pend Oreille Fishing

Lake Pend Oreille is located on the northern Panhandle and is the largest lake in the U.S. state of Idaho. It covers an area of 148 square miles and has 111 miles of shoreline! The lake gets its water from Clark Fork River and the Pack River and is surrounded by national forests and a few small towns. The average depth is about 540 feet and the maximum depth gets all the way up to 1150 ft. Geographically, it is located as follows: Latitude 48°N and Longitude 116°W.

Lake Pend Oreille offers a great number of fishing opportunities as well, including Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and Lake Trout. One of the best things about fishing in Lake Pend Oreille is the massive shoreline, so you can catch huge fish in plenty of locations without needing a boat!

The northern Lake Pend Oreille offers average weather conditions. The summers are short but warm and dry, whereas winters become very chilly. The temperature typically varies from 24°F to 86°F and is rarely below 9°F or above 95°F.

People mostly fish Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Northern Pike, and Kokanee Salmon as they find their way from Clark Fork River.

Lake Pend Oreille Idaho

Dworshak Reservoir Fishing

Dworshak Reservoir is found in central Idaho and is located on the north of the Clearwater River. It provides a beautiful and thrilling fishing environment for its visitors. People indulge themselves in a ton of different ventures like swimming, boating, fishing, hunting, water-skiing, camping, hiking, etc. Its coordinates are given as Longitude 116°W and Latitude 46°N.

Dworshak Reservoir is a home for smallmouth bass, black crappie, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon, and steelhead. Like the lakes mentioned above, the Dworshak reservoir being located near the Clearwater River becomes a major source for bringing different species of fish into this massive calm reservoir.

As with the other lakes and rivers in Idaho, the weather conditions are almost the same. There are sudden rainstorms. The average temperature varies from 24°F to 86°F and is rarely below 9°F or above 95°F. The summers are short and dry, whereas the winters are very brisk, thus creating an adequate temperature for fishing and other activities such as hiking, boating, and hunting, etc.

Most people are seen fishing all types of fish in Dworshak Reservoir, including rainbow trout, steelhead, kokanee salmon, and a variety of different types of Trout.

Brownlee Dam is basically a hydroelectric powered dam located in the western United States right along the border of Idaho and Oregon. . It is situated on Snake River and offers a 50 mile stretch of calm water perfect for fishing! The Brownlee Reservoir also offers spectacular views as it almost looks like a valley since the embankment of the Snake River is so high. 

Brownlee Reservoir is on Snake River but gets a special mention due to the serene landscape and pristine fishing conditions you get. There are no restrictions on using a boat either, so you can choose to fish from the shore or get right out on the water! People from all over the world fish the Brownlee Reservoir and get to attempt catching a variety of fish such as Bass, Crappie, Trout, Bluegill, Catfish, Yellow Perch, etc.

Brownlee Reservoir brings about all four seasons. The weather remains average there. There are hailstorms and rainstorms during the course of the year. June is one of the warmest months of the year, while January being the coldest. It is one of the most breathtaking tourist attractions and compels people to leave their four-walled room and give themselves the experience of a soothing place like Idaho.

Brownlee Reservoir Idaho

Best Cities for Fishing in Idaho

Idaho has contributed a major role in enhancing the economy of the United States of America by its endless breathtaking and awe-inspiring fishing lakes and rivers. Idaho gives its visitors a charm that makes them hooked to the place. Some of the cities that will make your fishing trip to Idaho more enjoyable, or if you just need to stock up on some more bait are described below!

Nampha, Idaho for Fishing

Being Idaho’s most populous city, the population was marked to be 81,557 at the 2010 census. Nampa is about 20 miles west of Boise. Like Kuna, Nampa is also considered to be one of the important cities for sight-seeing and being near the capital of the U.S. state of Idaho. Its coordinates are as follows Longitude 116°W and Latitude 44°N.

Talking about different tourist attractions, Nampa has set a different level for all those people who are looking for a good vacation. Nampa has twenty-four parks, the largest of which is Lakeview Park.
The Nampa Recreation Center facility with a six-pool aquatic center, theaters, racquetball courts for sports, and exercise equipment for fitness, and other activity areas. The different parks, all with different amenities to offer, compel people to visit there.

Nampa provided a wide range of fishing opportunities in the following lakes/rivers that a easily accessed closeby:

  • Lake Lowell
  • Lucky Peak State Park
  • Lake Owyhee State Park

Kuna, Idaho

Kuna is one of the fastest-growing cities in Idaho with a population of 15,210, as recorded in the 2010 census, with 4,782 households and 3,838 families residing in it. Geographically it is located at Longitude 116°W and Latitude 44°N.

If we search for different festivities and attractions here, Kuna doesn’t disappoint us. Regular festivities include food vendors around the park, live music concerts, a free kids funfair, a barbecue charity at the fire station, a procession, a street dance, and a fireworks show.

Kuna is a safe place to live in. It has less crime rate than any other state in Idaho. It is a small town with a lot of facilities to offer, and it is around 13.5 miles to Boise, which is the capital city of the U.S. state of Idaho.
Following are some of the fishing opportunities in City of Kuna:

  • Eagle Island State Park
  • Boise River Greenbelt.
  • Ontario State Recreation Site. 
  • Bruneau Dunes State Park. 
  • Lake Cascade State Park.

Meridian, Idaho

Meridian is the third most populous city in the U.S. state of Idaho after Boise and Nampa. Its population, as marked from the 2010 census, is 75,092. It is considered the fastest-growing city in the United States. Geographically, it is located on Longitude 116°W and Latitude 44°N.

Meridian shares boundaries with the two largest cities in Idaho. Boise and Nampa. Boise is on the east, whereas Nampa is located on the west. Therefore, residents of Meridian often take advantage of the recreation and sports opportunities in those cities.

Meridian provides a wide range of fishing opportunities in the following lakes/rivers:

  • Lake Lowell.
  • Lucky Peak State Park.
  • Lake Owyhee State Park. 
  • Swan Falls Dam.
  • Arrow Rock Reservoir.
  • South Fork Boise River.
  • Local Ponds.

Boise, Idaho

Boise is the capital city of the U.S. state of Idaho. It is the highly populated city in Idaho, with a population of 709,845. Being the capital of the state, it is the cultural center and home to many small businesses, and the major business of the state runs through it.

Hence, its importance cannot be negated in any way. Geographically, it is located as the given below coordinates: Longitude 116°W and Latitude 44°N.

The area contains the Basque Block, which displays Boise heritage. Downtown Boise’s main attractions include the Idaho State Capitol and Julia Davis Park. Julia Davis Park includes the Boise Zoo and Art Museum that exhibits the rich history Of Boise.

There are opera performances and music concerts near the Egyptian Theater that catches the attention of millions of people around the world.

Boise will also not discourage you if you need a vacation and plan to fish. Following are its some of the lakes/rivers that is a home for a wide range of fish species:

  • Swan Falls Dam
  • Arrow Rock Reservoir
  • South Fork Boise River

Couer d'Alene, Idaho

Coeur d’Alene located geographically on: Longitude 116°W and Latitude 44°N is one of the most important cities in the state of Idaho. It has significantly grown itself in recent years all because of the tourism resorts, fishing lakes, and amazing views that take the tourist’s breath away.

Tourism has played an important role in enhancing the economy of the city. Its population is 51,303, as estimated by the United States Census Bureau. As of the census of 2010, there were 44,137 people, 18,395 households, and 10,813 families residing in the city.

Tourist attraction places are abundant in the city that includes Tubbs Hills, Lake Coeur d’Alene, McEuen Park and Dog Park, Museum of North Idaho, Coeur d’Alene City Park, and etc.

As far as fishing is concerned, the following are some of the opportunities that will make you fall for them. Some of them are given below:

  • Lake Pend Oreille
  • Lake Coeur d’Alene
  • Sandpoint City Beach.
  • Hayden Lake.
  • Coeur d’Alene River
  • Priest River
  • Priest Lake.

Wrapping Up The Best Fishing in Idaho

The U.S. state of Idaho has never let us down with its magnificent and spectacular sceneries and beautiful lakes/rivers that bring people to life as they leave their houses to find peace and calm. If you really are looking for a place that relaxes your mind and takes you to another world, you have got to visit Idaho.

Idaho offers not only bewildering resorts but also promises great fishing experience with hunting and multiple amenities to bring tranquility in your busy lives. Lake Coeur d’Alene with its exotic fishing experience and resort, Snake River for its Sturgeon Fish, Lake Pend Oreille for its Northern Pike, Dworshak reservoir for numerous activities like swimming, boating, and skiing, etc. Brownlee Reservoir for all kinds of Trout. You just can’t miss Idaho if you feel like fishing!

The Ultimate Guide to Fishing a Chatterbait Lure

Looking for one of the best fishing lures for bass? Then you should definitely give Chatterbait lures a look if they aren’t already a staple in your tacklebox. A Chatterbait is a very popular and exceptionally effective bass fishing lure. This lure has plenty of vibration and action in order to attract bass out of hiding and onto your hook. 

Chatterbaits are a popular lure among anglers as they are versatile; thus they can be used in a variety of bass fishing environments. However, for plenty of fishermen out there, they may seem a bit enigmatic. If you’re thinking about using chatterbait for fishing for bass, but you aren’t quite sure how or where to use them, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need about Chatterbait in order to make your fishing experience productive and fun. Hopefully once you’re done reading the article, you will be able to have amazing time bass fishing with the help of a chatterbait lure!

What is a Chatterbait Lure?

Chatterbaits are lures with a lead head, colored skirt, and a hexagonal blade. In looks, a chatterbait is quite similar to a spinnerbait. It is basically a jighead and a colored skirt at its backend.

If you have used jigs, crankbaits, or spinnerbaits before, you’d probably be wondering right that what makes chatterbaits different from the other lures present in the market?

Chatterbaits have a sound component to them, which distinguishes them from other baits. The blade attached to them is crafted in such a way that it bounces off of the lead head and reverses it. This enables the lure to pulsate in the current without the angler having to jig it.

Image of a Chatterbait Lure

Why use a Chatterbait Lure for Bass Fishing

Bass fish usually tend to hide under cover of weeds, grass etc. The chatterbait blasts through the grass and vegetation, with its blade helping to keep the hook clean and not snag on anything. Especially in the prespawn period, chatterbaits are highly effective in luring bass out of the heavy cover. The way it looks as well as the way it vibrates attract bass in a variety of different conditions. The wobbling action along with their weedless nature helps lure more bass out of hiding and entice them to bite your hook. If a lure is covered in grass, bass fish usually shy away from it. However, with the real vibrations that the chatterbait creates along with the fact that they slice through the grass and other debris, make them the ultimate lure for bass fishing.

When Should You Fish a Chatterbait Lure

Chatterbaits are highly effective when the bass are in shallow water and are more active. The pattern of bass movement is predictable during the various seasons, such as from spring to summer and from summer to fall. Here’s how you should fish chatterbait according to the seasons.

Pre-Spawn Season

As the water becomes warm towards the start of spring, the bass fish tend to move towards spawning flats and the coves. Chatterbaits are excellent lures to target the female bass that are getting ready to spawn.

Spawning Season

When there is a lot of grass cover or the water is stained, you can’t see for yourself where the fish are. These are the conditions when the fish are on the bed. Chatterbaits really helps in these situations.

Post-Spawn Season

After the spawning period, the female bass moves out from the spawning areas toward their summer places. They don’t move very far and will try to find the first possible cover. This is also a nice time to fish bass with the help of chatterbait.

Summer

As the summer sets in, the grass fills in, and other types of baits can’t be used effectively. However, since chatterbaits can pull back the weeds and grass, they are highly effective.

Fall

In the fall, the bait fishes move towards the shallow waters once again, and the bass fish follow. Grass dies off, and we are left with grass and weed floating over the surface of the water. In this situation, chatterbaits help catch bass again.

The Best Spots to Fish a Chatterbait Lure

Chatterbaits are versatile. However, there are certain places where they shouldn’t be used like bushes and rocks. Let’s take a look at the places which are perfect for fishing a chatterbait.

1. Shallow / Mid-Depth Grass

Submerged grass which is almost 1-6 ft. deep is perfect for using chatterbaits. Even if the grass is pretty thick, you can use the chatterbait on the top of the weeds. Scattered weed growth areas are also excellent for fishing a chatterbait.

The ripping technique works with grass. Allow the chatterbait to hit the top of the grass and rip it out. Bass are attracted to the tripping movement as they use vegetation such as grass as ambush points.

2. Docks

Chatterbaits are perfect to be used as dock baits. Wherever there is any growth around the docks, just tie on a chatterbait and go out to fish. The bass is near the docks before and after spawning. Docks are full of bass during early summer and spring. Plenty of bait fish are present here and bass come in the hoping of fattening up for the spawn in the spring. If the dock has grass nearby, that’d be a bonus for you.

3. Wood Targets

Wood targets such as stumps and laydowns are good areas to be fished with chatterbaits. The only trick is to make sure that you don’t snag the bait on the wood. 

Bass hide in fallen trees or stumps along the shore and wait for their prey to swim by. Thus, these places are ideal spots to fish a chatterbait.

4. Shell Beds

Mussels beds are famous for attracting bass specially in the summer. Just move the chatterbait slowly across the shell bed, and you are bound to get a strike pretty soon.

Chatterbait Fishing Methods and Techniques

When you’re fishing, you need to know which casting and retrieval method you’re going to use. This depends on various factors, such as the season and fishing methods. Let’s take a look at the chatterbait fishing techniques various people use and for what purpose.

The Chunk and Wind

It is a traditional casting and retrieval method which you learn as a beginner. It works well with chatterbaits. You can cast parallel to the shore. After that, you’ve to move the chatterbait up and down the shore until you get to the strike zone. If you bring the line in parallel, it will optimize the amount of time your lure stays in the area where the bass is striking.

The Pause Technique

The purpose of all the fishing techniques is to attract bass towards the lure. One of the best ways to attract fish is to pause mid-retrieval. Pause for a while, then start to retrieve the line. When you paused, the skirt of the chatterbait pulsated and gained the attention of the fish. As the lure moves again, the fish will be enticed by the moving blades and try to take a little nibble.

The Yo-Yo Technique

In this technique, you cast your line out and allow the line to fall to the bottom of the lake. Once the line touches the bottom, you have to lift the rod and the lure and then wait for the lure to hit bottom again. You should keep the line tight when you bring the rod back to the initial position. Keep repeating until you get a strike.

Slow Your Roll

If you’re fishing in winter, slow rolling is an effective method. What you need to do is to cast the line, allowing the lure to hit bottom. Slowly, reel in the line. The trick with this technique is to reel the line in so slowly that you barely feel the blade movement at all. With the help of a heavy chatterbait and this technique, you can catch plenty of fish specially in the winter when the bass is sluggish.

The Burning Technique

Burning is entirely opposite to the rolling technique. In this technique, you cast the bait and then reel it in pretty quickly. It looks like a baitfish trying to get away, and the bass fish strike very quickly.

The Bump and Grind

In this technique, you cast the line and allow the chatterbait to hit bottom. As you reel in the line, you should let the lure bump into anything such as rocks, tree stumps, etc. Pause after each bump. This erratic movement will attract more bass fish.

Switching it Up

You can use your own fishing techniques as well. You should keep switching things up. Keep switching the fishing techniques and pay attention to the conditions you’re fishing in. Change the tools as per the circumstances.

Chatterbait Rod and Reel Considerations

The gear that you choose to use in order to fish also play an important role when fishing with a chatterbait lure. There are options for gear that work great with a chatterbait lure to give you the best possible chance at landing a nice fat bass!

1. Fishing Rod

The rod which works best with chatterbait is a longer model, 7 ft in length with a fast tip and medium action. If the chatterbait you’re using is light then a shorter fishing rod could also work. Otherwise, a 7 ft. long rod provides you with the versatility you’re looking for. With it, you’ll have enough length to be used in different retrieval techniques and pull the fish from thick grass.

2. Fishing Reel

The perfect rod needs the perfect reel. A good choice would be to use a reel with a gear ratio of 6.3:1 or more. A baitcasting reel would be ideal for getting the most out of your lure.

3. Fishing Line

Another thing you should consider is the line you’re using. Different types of lines can be used under different water conditions. However, if you stick with a 30lb braided line, it would be great. Flourocarbon options also work well with chatterbaits.

Five Common Mistakes when Fishing a Chatterbait

Fishing is something that you learn over time and with practice. When you are learning to use chatterbait, you are bound to make some mistakes in the beginning. Instead of making mistakes and then rectifying them, we are to tell you the common mistakes people make so that you can avoid them.

1. Not Using a Chatterbait Lure in Clear Water

It is the most common mistake that shallow-water fishermen make. If the water is clear, you should still use a chatterbait instead of a crankbait. Chatterbait works well in clear waters and provides you with excellent results.

2. Mistaking Grass Bumps for Bass Bites

Chatterbaits work wonders around the grass. But there is a catch. When you bump into the grass, you might mistake it for a bass bite. If you bump into a bit of grass and jerk the line thinking that it is a bass bite, and miss the actual bass bite, that can be an issue. So instead of jerking when you feel a bump, reel in quickly about 5-6 turns of the handle, and the load of the rod will tell you whether you have a bass on the hook or not.

3. Not Changing Retrieval Techniques

You will definitely catch some bass using standard, traditional retrieves. But, if you add some action into your retrieve, you’ll definitely get more action. Don’t get robotic with your retrieval techniques. Move the chatterbait around, pause for a bit, give it a little shake, move it around, do something with your bait rather than letting it sit around, and then reeling in when you get a strike.

4. Not Keeping Your Trailer Fixed

The biggest mistake that even professionals make is not keeping the trailer snug. When it slides down the shank of your hook, it creates issues. You can use super-glue to fix the head of the trailer to the Chatterbait. It merely takes 5 seconds and provides peace throughout your fishing experience. You can fish for hours without the trailer constantly sliding down.

5. Investing Too Much in Color

Color does play an important role in catching a fish, but it isn’t everything. With chatterbait, you can keep the colors simple. Experiment with various colors, yes, but don’t invest too much money into colors.

The color of chatterbaits is something you should consider in combination with the time of day and water conditions you are fishing in. Black and blue chatterbaits are good for dark waters, and low light conditions as the fish are able to see the silhouette in a better way. Green pumpkin is a color which works all year around. If you only have this one color of chatterbait, you will be set for life. If the water is clear, yellow and, green colors work well as Bass are typically attracted to them.

Wrapping Up Fishing with Chatterbait Lures

Chatterbaits can be used in any situation to catch bass easily. Even in the situation when crankbaits and other lures fail, chatterbaits are there to save the day. In this article, we have explained to you what a chatterbait is, how and why it is good for catching bass, along with a few things that you need to know when using chatterbait for fishing.

Chatterbaits work great for fish that are hiding under cover of weed and grass. Their movement seems like that of an injured bait fish and bass are highly attracted to it, making it is easy to use and produce great results!

If you use a chatterbait, you’re bound to catch plenty of bass, not only in summer and fall but with the help of correct techniques, all throughout the year!

Here’s to an awesome fishing adventure!

How To Fish In A Kayak

Image of a person fishing in a Kayak

Gliding over the water stealthily, reaching a hidden spot where a big fish is hiding can be an amazing experience. With the help of kayaks, you can access places where motorboats can’t go, and shoreline fishing isn’t possible. Moreover, the affordability and ease of use of kayaks are huge draws!

If you are new to kayaking, the huge variety of gear choices as well as learning how to kayak can seems quite daunting. However, once you get to know the ropes, you would learn how easy and beneficial kayaking is especially for fishing. In this article we’re going to help you figure out the ins and outs of fishing in a kayak from essential gear and casting from a kayak!

Let’s get fishing!

Advantages of Fishing from a Kayak

If you’re on the fence about getting a Kayak for fishing or just want some more detail into why experienced anglers are opting to use a Kayak instead of a boat? Let’s take a look at some advantages that kayaks have over motorboats and hope that this will help you come to a decision!

1. Maneuverability

With a kayak, you can go almost anywhere on the water. You can slide through tree stumps, hug banks, cruise through various lily pads, and go anywhere you think the bass fish might be lurking. Places, where there are sudden changes in depth, submerged objects such as tree stumps, aquatic vegetation, etc., are all places where the bass hide and you can easily go there on your kayak as compared to a large and bulky motorboat. They’re able to turn and adjust much quicker and easier than compared to a boat.

2. Stealth

When compared to a boat, there is no question that a kayak is less noticeable and a lot quieter. Since kayaks don’t have a trolling motor, the only real sound a kayak will make in the water is when you’re padding. The bow of a motorboat will create ripples even when the trolling motor isn’t being used while a kayak will slip into the water without the fish even noticing that you are there. This enables a good angler to constantly change spots and not have to worry about disturbing the fish.

3. Better Casting Angles

If you are fishing from a boat, the majority of your casts are most likely going to be perpendicular to the shore, and the lure tends to swim from the shallow water towards the deep water. When you fish from a kayak, you can adjust everything to get the exact casting angle you need for the specific spot. For example, you can place the kayak directly along the edge of some marshy grass so you will retrieve the lure along the grass and you aren’t trying to cast over it or into it. Doing this keeps the bait in the red zone for a longer period of time. Bass fish tend to hide under marshy and weedy patches in the lakes. This increases the number of strikes you get and the fish you catch!

4. More Action

When you are catching fish in a kayak, it gives you an incredible feeling as you watch the fish circle your boat and then finally catch the lure. Moreover, with the modern and comfortable seats that kayaks have on them nowadays, it feels as if you are fishing while sitting on your couch. The challenge of landing in a fish is also a bit different than how you’d do it in a boat, so you have to be swift and agile with your net and paddle for everything to go smoothly!

Kayak Fishing Setup - The Essentials

The first thing that you would need to fish in a kayak is a kayak itself. In recent years, the design and technology used to build kayaks solely for the purpose of fishing has seen many changes. When you are out searching for a kayak to fish in, there are a few essential things you need outside of the kayak and your fishing rod / tackle.

  • Paddle
  • Rod Holders
  • Paddle Holders
  • Dry Hatch or Dry Bag for storage
  • GPS
  • Personal Flotation Device

If you have the proper kayak fishing setup, it will ensure you spend all your time fishing and not fiddling around with your kayak and gear. Thus, it is very important to select the correct fishing gear and setup you kayak correctly. Let’s take a brief look at the things that are going to help you fish better in a kayak.

1. Choosing The Right Fishing Technique

The conditions you are going to fish in are going to change especially if you’re on a lake or river you aren’t familiar with so you don’t know the spot you’ll be fishing in. Sometimes you will have to fish on open lakes, while at times, you might want to maneuver your kayak through a narrow ford in a river. Instead of wasting time to rig your fishing rod according to a particular technique, one way is to keep a few rods ready to fly and all rigged up. This might be having one rod rigged up using a top water lure and another rod ready to go with a drop shot rig. This makes it so you won’t be fooling around changing rigs on the kayak. Seven-foot long rods are great for kayak fishing. If you are a newbie, then you should get a spinning reel instead of a baitcasting one as it will be a lot easier to use.

When it comes to kayak fishing, the most popular species of fish to go after are bass. In order to target bass, you should pack a tackle box with a number of lures that bass can’t resist. Use various types of lures that allow you to fish in different water sections and using different techniques. Topwater lures are great to fish along the surface in shallow water while crankbaits or spinners can go to your desired depth. Soft baits such as worms can be used in various movements and situations like jigging, diving, suspending, etc

2. Size and Weight of the Kayak

Usually, anglers get kayaks that are 12 feet in length. However, the general rule is that thin and long kayaks are used if you are looking for fast speeds. Wide and short kayaks are not that fast, but they have greater stability which is normally what you want when you’re using the kayak mainly for fishing. You don’t want to carry a heavy kayak when you are tired from fishing all day or if you need to trek a long distance through rough terrain. You want to look for a kayak that is light in weight, but not so light you sacrifice the strength of the kayak. Since you’ll be going to the hard to reach places, you’re more likely to scrap bottom and bump into rocks so you want a durable kayak. 

3. Paddle Selection

Choosing the right paddle is as important as choosing the kayak itself, but is typically overlooked. When you are looking at different styles of paddles, one of the most important things to consider is the length. The length of the paddle should be such that it reaches the water comfortably, but it shouldn’t be very long so that it becomes uncomfortable or difficult to maneuver. The length depends on your height, paddling style, and the width of your boat. However, a paddle that is approximately 8 ft. in length would work fine for most people. 

Some anglers also prefer to get paddles that are collapsable for easier transportation and so you can tuck them away in the kayak when they aren’t needed. This makes it easy to just stick in a backpack while you’re carrying your kayak and its just one less piece of gear you need to worry about.

4. Kayak Rod Holders

There are various rod holders with several features and functionalities available in the market. Some are a little bulkier and give you better strength if you’re catching bigger fish while other rod holders provide you with a quick release movement at the time when the fish is biting. Rod holders are important in your kayak fishing setup especially if you want to fish to lines at once. They give you the ability to paddle and maneuver your kayak while your line is in the water so you don’t have to reel in every time you want to make a small adjustment with your kayak.

5. Fish Finder / GPS / Sonar

Depending on your budget, you’ll want a fish finder / GPS combo or just a Sonar if you’re looking to save a bit of cash. These go a long way in figuring out what depth you’re at and mapping your route so you don’t get lost trying to get home. The fish finder is particularly useful if you’re at a new lake and want to figure out exactly where the fish are to get that immediate success. These are not required for your kayak fishing setup, but are definitely in the nice to have category as they’ll make your fishing life quite a bit easier.

Kayak Fishing Tips for Beginners

When you are fishing from a kayak, there are a few things you should keep in mind, such as how to paddle, how to cast, and how to land a fish in a kayak. Let’s take a brief look at them so that you can learn how to do them on your own easily.

1. Casting From a Kayak

When you cast from a kayak for the very first time, it is going to be slightly awkward and there is really no getting around that. The kayak will wobble around for a bit, and you might get worried that it will flip. But you have to relax and trust that the kayak will do the job it was meant to do, plus kayaks are much harder to tip than you might think!

A kayak is designed with initial stability and secondary stability. Initial stability allows a boat to sit flat in the water when you are paddling around. Secondary stability keeps the kayak safe when you make a sudden movement, and the boat leans. You have to trust this stability of the kayak but it may take a few times out on the water to get completely comfortable with.

When we tell you to relax, we mean to say that you have to let the lower half of your body stay loose and let the boat roll slowly. Try to get comfortable with this motion and ease up on your casting. Practice staying relaxed and loose inside the boat. Then try to land a lure in the water while staying at ease.

If you are not comfortable standing up and casting, you can cast while you are sitting. This will hinder the casting distance and reduce your line of sight, but you don’t have to worry about balance or the stability of the kayak as much. If you are standing, remember that you have to bend your knees and keep your feet apart so you’re as sturdy as possible in the kayak. Make sure that you keep your legs relaxed and at ease, and try to hold your core as steady as possible when you’re casting the lure!

2. Paddling in a Kayak

Paddling on a kayak is fun as well as challenging. Proper strokes with your paddle will help you get your kayak to the destination easily and quickly, especially when you are going against the current or there is a strong wind. Moreover, paddling in the correct way will help you conserve your energy for when you are trying to reel in the fish.
On a kayak, you will mostly use the forward stroke. Here are a few tips that will help you when you are using forward stroke:

  • Keep looking towards your destination
  • Keep the blade of the paddle near your toes while it is in the water. You don’t have to exert yourself over though. If you can’t place it near your toes, then place it as far as you can comfortably
  • Submerge the blade completely in the water, then pull it back.
  • When you pull the blade in the water, you shouldn’t use the smaller muscles in your arms. Try to use the torso muscles for applying the force. This way, you will be able to paddle for quite some time before getting tired.

3. Landing a Fishing in a Kayak

The gulp as the fish strikes when using a topwater lure or the bending of your rod as the bass bite down on a chatterbait under the surface of the water makes the heart of angler race. It is gratifying when a fish bites down on your lure, and your line starts to sizzle. With a balance of luck and skills, the moment arrives when you are ready to land a nice big bass. That’s when you realize that it is quite tricky to land a fish in a kayak. Worry not, we have all been through this.

If you know what to do, it’s a pretty easy task. Keep reeling until you have approximately one foot of the line away from the tip of your fishing rod to the bass. Keep your fishing rod in the hand which is farthest from the fish. Keep the tension on the fishing line, and draw the fishing rod slightly up and away from the fish, across your body. With your free hand, you’ll want to use a fishing net to land in a kayak so its not flopping around on top or around your feet!

Kayak Safety Essentials

Nothing is more important than your personal safety. When you are out fishing on a kayak, you need to be sure that you are following all the safety protocols, as there is nothing cool about being unsafe. One tip is to never anchor the kayak in a swift current. There is a high risk of your kayak flipping if it turns the wrong way. Attach a float to one end of the fishing line when you anchor. Let’s take a brief look at the things you should do in order to ensure that you will stay safe and sound while fishing on a kayak.

1. Getting A Personal Flotation Device

A personal flotation device such as a life jacket is very necessary when you are using a kayak, and really anytime you are out on the water. Sometimes you may want to get in the water while you are using fishing out of your kayak, so it is better that you have a PFD. Some PFDs have small pockets that are perfect for keeping small packets of lures, hooks, etc.
No matter how well you swim, you should always wear a life jacket. You should get a PFD that is specific to kayaking. The PFDs, which are specifically are made for kayak fishing, have a thin back for more comfort. Moreover, they are breathable.

2. Dress for the weather

When you are out kayaking, you will be fully exposed to natural elements. This means that you need to be dressed accordingly and you should look at the weather forecast before going kayak fishing. If you are fishing in areas with a lot of heat and sun, you should wear a hat, long-sleeves shirt, and sunglasses in order to minimize the exposure to the sun rays. They will beat down on you from above and reflect off the water so this is a big thing to remember.

Shell pants, gloves as well as neck gaiters are used in order to get more protection. You should not forget to pack sunscreen and drinking water. Most of the time, the water temperatures are low so if you get wet landing a fish or you decide to get in the water and do a bit of shore casting from a nice secluded spot this can cool you right down. Getting hypothermia while fishing in a kayak is a long shot unless you flip, but it is important to consider regardless. 

 

3. Keep a Knife on you

You should have a straight knife with you, and every experienced angler wouldn’t fish without a knife nearby. Keep it in your PFD or on your seat. If your fishing line or your anchor gets caught in something, it will be very crucial to have a straight blade handy. Look for a blade that has a blunt tip and can be used quickly where you don’t have to worry about poking yourself with the sharp end. 

4. Always Bring a Compass as Backup

You should always keep a compass with you in case your GPS stops working for whatever reason. You should never head out without knowing which direction you came from and you can’t always rely on your phone as a backup in case it dies or gets wet.

A few other things you should keep with you for safety but aren’t truly essential are:

  • Waterproof torch
  • Strobe light
  • Flares
  • First aid kit
  • Spare batteries

Wrapping Up How To Fish In A Kayak

If you fish smartly, it will help you catch more fish with less work. Kayaks are super versatile and they allow you to fish anywhere you want. After you try out a kayak for fishing you’ll see that the kind of access to water that is not possible with motorboats seems to end up in you catching more fish. You can paddle quietly and catch the fish without them even being aware of your presence.

In this article, we have explained to you how fishing in a kayak has advantages over fishing in a boat, things you need to do while fishing in a kayak, the safety measures you need to take while you are fishing in a kayak, and a lot more. We hope that after reading this article, you will be equipped with knowledge that helps you when you are out there fishing in a kayak.

Happy Fishing and Paddling Folks!

Best Places to Fish In Florida

If you close your eyes and think of a place to fish whether it is in an ocean, river or lake, Florida ought to come in most people’s minds. Residing between the ever blue Gulf of Mexico and the magnificent Atlantic Ocean, Florida has become one of the most renowned vacation destinations for everyone over the years.

Whether you are looking for fly-fishing sites or deep water fishing, you can get it all in Florida. Having an array of saltwater and freshwater hotspots, Florida is considered as the ‘Fishing Capital of the World’ by most fishing enthusiasts.

If you are thinking of driving down to Florida to catch some bass or panfish, you need to know about all of the best spots for fishing. Hence, in this article, we will talk about all of the best places you could find in Florida for fishing opportunities irrespective of your age or skill level.

10 Fishing Spots in Florida You Cannot Miss

Bradenton BeachOn Anna Maria Island off the Gulf Cost
Amelia IslandNorth East coast of Florida
Daytona BeachOn the Atlantic Costal part of Florida
SteinhatcheeSouthern part of Taylor Country in Florida
Charlotte HarborOn the South West Coast of Florida
Key LargoIn Monroe Country, Florida
IslamoradaIn Monroe Country, Florida
Fort PierceOn the Treasure Cost
Key WestIsland City of Florida
SarasotaLocated on the Southwest Cost of Florida

Why Should You Fish In Florida?

Florida claims that it is the Fishing Capital of the World for pretty solid reasons. Not only does the state have great resources but it also contains endless diversity of amazing weather, awestruck habitats, countless possibilities of sport fish as well as year-round fish and last but not the least, it also has a defining infrastructure relating to fishing industry which contributes 5 billion dollars to the US economy.

Florida comprises more than 7700 lakes, 10550 miles of beautiful rivers and 2276 miles of sandy tidal shorelines which gives you never finishing spots to fish whether it is with your friends or family. After every five years, a survey is conducted by the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation which is the basic standard that draws a comparison between the recreational activities conducted by different states. The survey conducted in 2006 concluded Florida as the top fishing destination.

Though there is no hard and fast rule to determine which time or season is best for fishing, according to popular beliefs, it is best if you go fishing early in the morning or late in the evening during the hot, summer days. During the spring and autumn seasons, it is preferable that you fish around the dusk time. Though lucky for the citizens of the US, in the southern parts of the country, fish are swimming blissfully in the rivers, lakes or oceans around the year so even in winter’s you can catch a fish.

Each person has a different taste and preference and likes to act accordingly. While some people love to fish in freshwater rivers and lakes, others like to hunt the sea monsters residing in the salty water.

Best 5 Saltwater Fishing Spots in Florida

In this section we’re going to hit some of the best spots to go fishing in Florida, which can include rivers, lakes, beaches, and even locations off the coast! We want to give you the best ideas for your next fishing trip to one of the top fishing states in the US!

1. Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach resides on the Atlantic Coast of Florida. Known for the Daytona International Speedway, the beach consists of hard-packed sand roads so you can drive right up to the ocean. Furthermore, in addition to an unreal variety of different kinds of fish to catch, the Beach’s Bandshell stages give you a phenomenal concert free of charge! Furthermore, it contains a water park that has go-karts, waterslides, laser tag and much more. That all makes it the perfect get-a-way site for fishing.

Some of the fish that you can hook onto your fishing rod or even your spear are Redfish, Sharks, Snook, Jack Crevalle, Spotted Sea Trout, Scamp Grouper, Mangrove Snapper, Marlin, Flounder, Tarpon and Black Drum! Thus, you will get a variety of fish to catch and have for lunch or dinner.

The weather is perfect for a family day out. The beach stays in the sun all year round and the super mild temperatures make fishing enjoyable anytime. The cold oceanic breeze gives you refreshing, salty winds in the summer while in winters, the temperature turns cool with windy days and cloudy skies.

One of the great advantages Daytona Beach has over other locations is that there are plenty of piers to fish off of, so you don’t need a boat to land that massive catch! Some of the deep sea fish like Marlins you will need a boat, but if you’re going for a relaxing family vacation fishing off a pier will do the trick!

2. Charlotte Harbor

Located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Charlotte Harbor is the second-largest bay in Florida and it is known for the man-made waterways, abundant recreational opportunities, and ever-growing commercial complexes. It is located between the two Counties of Florida –Charlotte County and Lee County. Moreover, it has been considered as one of the best places to live after retirement with endless activities like golfing, fishing and sailing easily accessible around the clock.

Some of the fish that you can catch at the harbor are the common snook, the red drum, cobia, tarpon, Spotted Seatrout, the grouper and much more.
In Charlotte Harbour, the summers are characterized with long, sweaty, and sunny days while the winters are short with chilly winds and a typically overcast the majority of the day. Overall, the temperature of the place varies from 52 degrees to 91 Degrees Fahrenheit.

The barrier Islands and the beaches that reside around Charlotte Harbor have become the main target of many anglers. Furthermore, various deep sear fishing enthusiasts have caught fish as large as 180 pounds Tarpon! Shallow water fishing participants have caught a variety of trough, redfish, and snook. One of the big draws to Charlotte Harbor is the accessibility of fishing either deep sea or just off the shore!

3. Key Largo

Key Largo is one of the first-ever Florida Keys that has proclaimed itself as the ‘Dive Capital of the World’. It homes the world’s biggest artificial reefs, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the 510-foot USS Spiegel Grove and the African Queen. Furthermore, it has magnificent mangrove forests and expansive flats that cause a huge influx of tourists.

It is located in Monroe County –in the upper Florida keys. In addition to fishing, it has various watersport activities like swimming with the dolphins, and kayaking. If you just want to relax, grab a tropical drink and watch the beautiful shell on the coastline. Marlin, Kingfish, Spearfish, Wahoo, Sailfish, Dolphin, Barracuda, Tuna, Cobia, Sharks and Jacks are just some of the popular fish that are found in the water. The keys are closest to the equator and get a variety of weather changes around the year. Varying from sunny days in the summer to cold nights in the winters and occasional showers, Key Largo has it all!

It is considered one of the most beautiful fishing places in the United States. Since it contains a number of colorful fish, it attracts a lot of anglers. Fish like bonefish, snook, and tarpon are major attention grabbers of many anglers.

4. Islamorda

Known as the Sportfishing Capital of the world, it is famous for its astonishing collection of coral reefs and the world’s largest fishing fleet per square mile! The village contains six of the most beautiful keys to Florida. It is located between Miami and Key West on five different islands. Lower Matecumbe Key, Tea Table Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Plantation Key, and Windley Key.

Islamorada is known for the set of amazing sea life and fun sea life and incredible beaches that it adorns. If you are looking for a weekend getaway, Islamorada can be the ideal location to just forget about reality for a few days. Moreover, with snorkel tours, water sports abound, and scuba diving, you will forget all about work and relationship strains.

Behold, fishing enthusiasts! Did you know that activities under, near or above water are available around the clock? Yes, they are! Some of the local fish found swimming in the clear waters of Islamorada are Jack Cravelle, Tarpon, Snook, Bonefish, Spotted Sea Trout, Permit, Black drum, and Ladyfish.

Whether it rains or not, people are fishing 365 days a year in this vibrant fishing town. With the warm temperature in the months of July and August and lowest in January, February, and December, it is a perfect place for fishing. No matter, whether you are an angler, deep-sea diver or a freshwater fish hunter.

5. Amelia Island

On the Atlantic coast of Florida, an island “Amelia Island” resides, which is one of the sea islands chains of barrier islands. It is known for its history of French, American, British and Spanish rule. Furthermore, it is one of the most popular vacation destinations due to golf courses, resorts, and abundant sandy beaches.

Some of the best go-to places in the city are Fort Clinch State Park, Big Talbot Island Boneyard each and Amelia Island State Park.

With a small population of 25,000 only, the island is breathtaking. Including tourist guides and horseback rides, you will be able to observe the golden-hued sand and enjoy your day while fishing King Mackerel or Wahoo.

Best 5 Fishing Cities in Florida

In this section we’re going to hit some of the best cities to stay in while planning a fishing trip in Florida. If you’re a big group or have a few people that aren’t interested, its always good to have other attractions and things to do while you’re out on the water landing fish left and right!

1. Bradenton Beach

Bradenton Beach is a city located on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County. It is the 52nd largest city in Florida. In addition, it has an estimated population of the city is 57,644 according to a recent census.

The city is known for sugar-sand beaches, fishing piers and long arrays of shops. Furthermore, the restaurants that will keep you busy if you decide to visit the place. Some of its most endearing sites to visit are Coquina Beach, Anna Maria Island, Bridge Street and Cortez Beach.

2. Sarasota

Residing in the south of Tampa on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Sarasota hosts numerous cultural institutes. Moreover, it is home to various beaches that have fine sand and deep sea-green water containing various types of fish. The destination has many public access points to the ocean and various tour guides that will make sure you enjoy your day fishing and also get the insider tips on the best things to do around Sarasota. 

There are tons of bright, distinct fish which are in the area; Snook, Spanish Mackerel, Redfish, Pompano, Bluefish, Speckled Trout, Jack Crevalle and Mangrove Snapper are a few of the main ones but there are tons of others! These fish take both artificial lures and live bait so no matter your skill level; you will surely be able to easily catch a fish during your time in Florida.

The weather is Sarasota contains both unbearable sweaty days and the pleasant cool days. March, April, and November are the heavenly months in the area where the temperature is nice and comfortable for fishing. Whereas July and August can leave people to sweating profusely and trying to find ways to deal with the humidity. The beauty of fishing in Florida is that you can do it all year round (excluding hurricanes) and the weather and enviroment will always be beautiful and enjoyable!

3. Steinhatchee

With a population of 920, Steinhatchee is the 15659th largest city in the US. It has a population density (288 square mi) 30% less than that of Florida’s Average population density.

The location of this is in the southern part of Taylor County, Steinhatchee is a gulf coast community which is prevalent for its Spanish moss and various fishing opportunities. Also, the place combines the aesthetics of the 19th century with the ease of the 21st century and is the perfect option for those looking to get off the beaten path and have a unique Florida vacation!

Some of the big attractions other than fishing are the Steinhatchee falls, Hagens cove, Tide Swamp Wildlife and Hangen’s cove park just to name a few.

4. Fort Pierce

Fort Pierce is a city on the east coast of Florida and is popular as the ‘Sunrise City. It has been the hub of St. Lucie County for more than 100 years and has a current population of 45,581 people as per the census of 2017. The coast it is on is called the Treasure Coast which was named due to the Treasure Fleet of Spain that sank in the 18th century.

Just because it is one of the oldest communities on the east side of Florida does not mean that it lacks its own beauty and attraction. It homes Florida A1A which is a beach lagoon and a running place, Hutchinson Island, Ft. Pierce Inlet State Park and Navy UDT SEAL Museum.

Having abundant opportunities to catch fish, the city allows recreational activities like swimming, snorkeling, bird-watching, surfing and much more.

5. Key West

Known for its jaw-dropping sunsets and tolerant atmosphere. Key West draws visitors from not the only United States but from all around the world. It is in the southernmost part of Florida. Also, it is a part of the Florida Keys Archipelago.

Pastel-hued, conch-style houses, coral reefs, and beaches are major characteristics of this small city. It has a population of 25,208 according to the census in 2017.

Key West is popular for catching deep water dishes like Blackfin Tuna, King or Cero Mackerel, Mahi Mahi. In the winters, yellowtail, grouper, mutton snappers, and snapper are most eaten.

There are various charters and boat rentals that let you tour around the coral reefs, shallow water and mangrove islands of Key West. Moreover, you get numerous opportunities for fishing, swimming, snorkeling, and diving in the sea.

Wrapping Up The Best Fishing In Florida

Florida is one of the most popular states of the US when it comes to having a tremendous, worth remembering vacation. With multiple islands, Florida Keys and villages, towns and cities, you get ample chances of engaging in various activities. Not only fishing but also swimming, diving, snorkeling, and many other recreational activities. Furthermore, the state contains diverse types of fish. So, you will get to try out different types of fish and different tastes wherever you go within the state of Florida.

Top 10 Baitcasting Reels

Often times on the river or lake I have heard fellow anglers say something like “why would I use baitcasting reels when spinning reels work just fine?” Undoubtedly spinning reels do have their time and place (like pitching 1/8oz jigs to walleyes for example) but for certain applications a baitcasting reel is going to be the weapon of choice. This guide will help you choose the best baitcasting reel for any type of fishing situation and budget. Below are some of the top reasons and situations an angler would choose a baitcasting reel over a spinning reel.

Why Choose A Baitcasting Reel

1. Higher Line Capacity

Baitcasters can hold more line and heavier line than a similarly sized spinning reel. This is one reason why muskie anglers and many bass anglers mostly choose baitcasting reels when targeting those lunkers especially since many of them are throwing bigger heavier lures in heavy cover.

2. Better Control

Due to the way a casting reel is designed it is much easier to control where your lure hits the water than a spinning reel. By slowing down or stopping the spool with your thumb you can make pinpoint accurate casts that place your lure exactly in the strike zone.

3. Fast Line Retrieve

Baitcasting reels in general have higher line retrieves than spinning reels due to higher gear ratios. The Shimano Chronarch MGL Baitcasting Reel XG model’s gear ratio is 8:1:1 while my Shimano Sahara 2500 is only 5:0:1.

4. Lightweight

Casting Reels in general are lighter than spinning reels. The Piscifun Phantom Carbon reel only weighs 5.7oz! Thats like holding a baby bird in your hand. If you are doing a lot of casting the lighter weight reels really do help make the difference between waking up with a sore shoulder or not.

Best Baitcasting Reel Comparison Table

ReelGear ratio Weight Bearings 
Shimano Chronarch MGL6.2/7.1/8.16.58BB + 1
Team Lew's Custom Pro Speed Spool 6.8:15.810SS + 1
Piscifun Phantom Carbon 7.0:15.76+1
Daiwa Saltiga 
Abu Garcia Revo Elite 77.1:1 69 + 1
13 Fishing Concept A38.110.56SS + 1
Shimano Curado XG Baitcast 8.2:16.55BB + 1
Abu Garcia Revo MG 8.0:14.511
Lews Tournament MB Baitcast Reel 5.6.1/6.8.1/7.5.1/8.3.16.79+1
13 Fishing Concept C 5.3:1/6.6:1/7.3:1/8.1:16.24AC+4SS + 1

Best Baitcasting Reel Reviews

1. Shimano Chronarch MGL

Specifications

Gear Ratio: 6.2/7.1/8.1

Weight: 6.5oz

Bearings: 8 + 1

Features

Lightweight Magnumlite spool, Micromodule gearing, and SVS braking system

Overview

There’s a reason Shimano reels have remained the number 1 top choice for anglers worldwide for decades. Rock solid dependability and performance. The Shimano Chronarch MGL is no exception. Weighing in at a mere 6.5 ounces this top performing casting reel has been re-engineered with some of Shimano’s most advanced features. The one complaint we had about this reel is that it is not rated for saltwater use, but that shouldn’t be an issue for freshwater anglers.
Shimano fitted this reel with their new magnumlite spools which allows for a low moment of inertia which requires very little force to get it moving. These new spools feature porting not only along the bottom, but along the sidewalls as well. This translates to much farther casts with less effort when compared to similar reels in its class.

To further enhance casting performance and accuracy Shimano included its all new SVS braking system which garners phenomenal control, and easy trouble free casting. Some anglers have reported when adjusting the external dial that it was a little stiff upon initial use but that should loosen up with repeated use. For me personally I use the tried and true “set it and forget it approach” when it comes to the external brakes. I prefer to leave it a little on the loose side and use my thumb more when using casting reels.

As for retrieve many anglers are shocked at how buttery smooth the Shimano Chronarch MGL is. The smaller teeth used in Micro-Module Gearing equals more solid contact between gears, which translates to smoother, silkier performance.

Bottom Line

Considering its advanced features and high end construction its no wonder so many anglers gush with exuberance when talking about their Shimano Chronarch MGL. With its Magnumlite spool, SVS braking system and Micro-Module gearing that allows effortless pinpoint accurate casts and smoother than silk retrieves all it takes is one cast and you’ll know why this is our top pick casting reel.

2. Lew's Fishing Custom Pro Speed Spool

Specifications

Gear Ratio: 6.8:1/7.5:1/8.3:1

Weight: 5.8oz

Bearings: 10+ 1

Features

One-piece SLP (super low profile) aluminum frame,C45 Carbon side plates,Double anodized 32MM Duralumin U-spool

Overview

All it takes is a few casts to see why the Lew’s Custom Pro Speed Spool SLP won the 2016 ICAST best of show award. Weighing in at a skimpy 5.8 ounces this is Lews lowest profile design ever. Packed with Lews most advanced features and technologies it sits super low on the reel seat providing unmatched comfort and balance when casting. The low profile one piece aluminum frame and C45 carbon side plates make for an incredibly comfortable feel in your hand. It comes in 3 different retrieve ratios but only one of those is made in both left and right hand retrieve. That brings us to our only complaint with this reel the left hand version only comes in the 7:5:1 gear ratio. It’s a happy medium between the two other ratios and still gives you 30” retrieve per crank. Another con some anglers have noticed in the 6.8:1 ratio version is that there is a very very slight play in the handle that makes a very minor rattling noise when retrieved.

Many anglers rave about the ease of use and incredible casting distances they are able to achieve with this reel. Thanks to its aircraft-grade double anodized Duralumin drilled U-shape spool and its externally adjustable 4-pin, 27 position SpeedCast adjustable centrifugal braking system you should have no problem launching lures in the quarter to one ounce range with the right setup.

As for drag this reel comes equipped with a mix of carbon and steel washers that provides a maximum of 20lbs of drag pressure. The performance is smooth and consistent and has been a standard design Lews has used in many of their other reel designs.

Bottom Line

If you prefer to use right handed retrieve this reel is a clear winner as you can choose between three different gear ratios and use it for a variety of techniques. With its super lightweight (5.8oz) and SLP design combined with superior casting distances and a strong smooth drag this reel receives our runner up reward behind the Shimano Chronarch MGL.

3. Piscifun Phantom Carbon

Specifications

Gear Ratio: 7.0:1

Weight: 5.7oz

Bearings: 6 + 1

Features

Dual brake system, Premium carbon fiber drag system, CNC Hollow Aircraft-grade Duralumin spool.

Overview

The ultra lightweight Piscifun Phantom Carbon casting reel comes packed with some very advanced features at an unbeatable budget price. Many anglers are shocked at how smooth and sold this reel is. With more than 300 positive reviews on Amazon its safe to say this reel would make a fine addition to any anglers arsenal. Of those reviews a few of them noted they had a little trouble getting the brakes dialed in but with some tweaking it shouldn’t be a problem.

Some anglers don’t realize this reel has a dual braking system featuring both a 10 setting mag*netic brake and 6-pin centrifugal brakes, one on the inside and one on the outside, which is quite noteworthy for a $69 casting reel. This allows you to custom tailor the brake setting exactly to your casting style allowing for effortless and backlash free casting.


As for casting a quick look at the reviews show how many anglers are quite shocked at ho*w smooth, accurate and how far they can cast with this reel. Many anglers have reported the casting distance equaling 3x to 4x more expensive reels. This is in large part due to its CNC Hollow Aircraft-grade Duralumin spool which is the same spool we see in much higher end reels.

Considering the fact that the Piscifun Phantom reel is a carbon composite reel its retrieve is shockingly silent, smooth, and solid. Many anglers have reported this fact. That brings us to the drag system. With premium carbon fiber drag system providing upto 17lbs of drags, the overall consensus is it provides velvety smooth pressure throughout the drag range.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a baitcasting reel with superior performance for one third the price then look no further. The ultra lightweight Piscifun Phantom reel is packed with a lot of high end features such as the aircraft-grade Duralumin spool, lightweight carbon composite frame, and dual brake system at an unbeatable budget price. The Chinese manufacturers have really upped their game and offer seriously well made reels with similar performance in terms of castability, smoothness etc. as their much higher priced cousins. That is why we have chosen the Piscifun Phantom reel as the best budget reel in our lineup.

4. Daiwa Tatula 200 TWS

Specifications

Gear Ratio: 6.3:1/7.3:1

Weight: 8.1oz

Bearings: 7+1

Features

Deep spool with higher line capacity, T-Wing system (TWS), Reinforced brass gearing,Rigid aluminum frame and sideplate,100mm handle, Well suited for frogging/flipping

Overview

Daiwa has reel has really stepped up to the plate with their updated Daiwa Tatula 200 TWS reel. This new and improved version delivers 30% more line capacity than its predecessor thanks to its deeper spool. This beefed up version was engineered with rugged aluminium side plates and frames in addition to reinforced brass gearing that is well suited for heavier applications like frogging flipping etc. Many anglers also love its 100mm handle which provides more power and leverage. It comes in 6.3:1 and 7.3:1 gear ratios which is great for most applications, but since this reel is built for big baits and deep diving cranks Daiwa could have made it better if they offered a lower gear ratio. **

Let’s get down to performance. Thanks to its Air Rotation technology the Daiwa Tatula 200 TWS is butter smooth on the retrieve. As for casting many anglers have reported that this beast of a reel is better suited for lures weighing three eighths of an ounce and up to however heavy you like. Thanks to the T-Wing System (TWS) the “T” aperture allows the line to flow more freely on the outcast reducing line **friction.

When it comes to power the addition of the 100mm handles really make a big difference for turning the gears on big baits. This is a nice upgrade on the already generous 90mm handles on the original Tatula reel.

The magnetic brakes are adjusted externally so there is no need to take the reel apart and fiddle around with an internal brake. The drag provides smooth and consistent power throughout the drag range and is rated up to 13lbs.

Bottom Line

This a great reel for anglers who are looking for a 300 sized reel in terms of line capacity in a 200 sized package. Packed with quality components like a deeper spool with higher line capacity, T-Wing system (TWS), reinforced brass gearing,rigid aluminum frame and sideplate, and a 100mm handle for cranking those big baits its no wonder this reel is a top choice for anglers who are looking for power and strength in a compact package. Its well suited for throwing heavier lures ⅜ oz and up and will make a fine addition to any anglers arsenal who are keen on throwing bigger lures.

5. 13 Fishing Concept A3

Specifications

Gear Ratio: 6.3:1/8.1:1

Weight: 8.1oz

Bearings: 7+1

Features

Ocean Armor 2 Saltwater protection, Bulldog Drag system providing 30lbs of drag, H.A.M gearing system

Overview

Power is the first thing that comes to mind when handling the 13 Fishing Concept A3 casting reel. Built with Japanese Hamai gearing, the new H.A.M gears are much harder, stronger, and thicker than any other reel in its class. Providing over 30lbs of drag the new Bulldog Drag system is strong enough to handle just about anything that bites salt or freshwater. 13 fishing engineered these reels with their Ocean Armor 2 technology so these reels are saltwater ready. We really couldn’t find many cons when it came to this reel. The vast majority of anglers were overwhelming positive with their reports regarding this reels performance. One angler** did mention that it would make screeching noises when he casted it after some time. We can only assume this case was a fluke.

We like the fact that this reel is a dedicated saltwater reel with a whopping 30lbs of drag! 13 fishing really beefed up the drag for this reel for those anglers who are targeting giant stripers, red fish, muskys or any other big game fish. 13 Fishing outfitted this reel with their Ocean Armor 2 technology which means its resistant to corrosion and well suited for saltwater environments. Of course it is a good idea to rinse your reel in freshwater after each outing in the saltwater.

Many anglers have reported the ease with which it handles giant salt and freshwate*r fish thanks to its Japanese Hamai gearing. The new H.A.M gears are reportedly 37% harder than its competitors so you can have confidence when reeling in the fish of a lifetime.

Another really nice feature of the 13 Fishing Concept A3 reel is that it comes with both the Concept cork knob or a power handle. For those anglers preferring the standard co**rk knob you’ll be pleased to find it comes in 100mm size rather than the conventional 90mm. The single knob is included at no extra charge so there is no need to buy it separately.

Bottom Line

13 fishing continues to impress with its innovation and high quality components like their Japanese engineered Hamai cut H.A.M gearing. We love how the 13 Fishing Concept A3 reel is saltwater resistant thanks to its Ocean Protection 2 technology and provides a whopping 30lbs of drag. If you are looking for a beefy saltwater rated reel with a robust powerful drag you will want to add the 13 Fishing Concept A3 reel to your arsenal.

6. Lew's Tournament MB

Specifications

Gear Ratio: 5.6.1/6.8.1/7.5.1/8.3.1

Weight: 6.7oz

Bearings: 9 +1

Features

One piece die cast aluminum frame, Premium 10 shielded bearings,Lews LFS (lighter,faster, stronger) technology

Overview

If you are looking for a high performance, lightweight casting reel at an affordable price that can bomb even lightweight lures a country mile then look no further. With its one piece diecast aluminum frame, ten premium shielded bearings and only weighing at 6.7oz, the Lew’s Tournament MB reel delivers consistent smooth performance and solid hooksets. Lews outfitted this reel with carbon composite drag system delivering 14lbs of max drag. Many anglers have noted how smooth it is. Some anglers have mentioned they noticed a whining noise on the retrieve especially after a light rain when retrieving. Lews has excellent customer service so any issues such as these should be resolved fairly quickly.

The nice thing about a higher drag rating is for many bass anglers they like to max out their drag setting when setting the hook so as to prevent any line slippage. This allows for rock solid hook sets. Thanks to its rugged carbon composite drag system rated up to 14lbs you don’t have to worry about sloppy hooksets.

When it comes to casting many anglers are shocked at how far it casts and even complain they didn’t expect to overshoot their targets by up to 20 yards even with lightweight lures! It has a dual cast control system which means it has a dial on the outside for adjusting the magnetic brake and 4 brake shoes on the inside that work by way of centrifugal force.

Many anglers love how comfortable this reel feels in their hands, even after all day use. While it might not be the lightest reel on the market weighing in at only 6.7oz is still plenty light and the oversized knobs really help when cranking down on a big one.

Bottom Line

Packed with quality features and high end performance at an affordable price. . Coming in 5.6.1/6.8.1/7.5.1/8.3.1 gear ratios anglers are spoiled for choice when it comes to retrieves and applications. With super smooth performance thanks to its 10 premium ball bearings, dual cast control system anglers are astounded at how far this bad boy can launch even the lightest of lures. With its ergonomic design and lightweight its a pleasure to cast all day on the water. Many anglers love the oversized knobs which allow you to quickly find them when a fish strikes. Lews continues to deliver time and time again with high end performance at an affordable price. The Lew’s Tournament MB reel is no exception and provides anglers smooth, powerful performance without breaking the bank.

7. 13 Fishing Concept C

Specifications

Gear Ratio: 5.3:1/6.6:1/7.3:1/8.1:1

Weight: 6.2oz

Bearings: 4+4+1

Features

6 Way brake system/4+4+1 Stainless/Anti-Corrosion High Spin Bearings/22lb Bulldog Drag System/ Ocean Armor Saltwater protection

Overview

This powerful saltwater ready 13 Fishing Concept C is the lighter cousin to the 13 Fishing Concept A3. Weighing in at 6.2oz this bad boy is packed with 4 stainless steel bearings, 4 anti corrosion bearings and 1 Dead Stop Anti-Reverse bearing. Thanks to its Ocean Armor Saltwater protection you can safely use this reel in fresh or saltwater. Delivering up to 22lbs of smooth drag pressure thanks to its bulldog drag system its safe to say this reel can handle practically anything that swims. of The one minus we found with this reel is that it is only available in right hand retrieves, hopefully 13 Fishing comes out with a left handed version in the future.

The Concept C reel instantly stands out with its brilliant pearl white finish which really gives it a refined elegant look. The “Dead Stop” anti reverse system is well named since there is no back play whatsoever when engaged.

The Concept C reel’s drag achieves a whopping 20lbs of drag thanks to its many carbon and steel drag washers providing a large surface area which also allows for smooth consistent performance throughout the drag range. In most cases max drag isn’t always the most important thing when choosing a reel, rather smoothness and consistency is key which according to many anglers the Concept C reel has plenty of.
Many anglers have reported that not only is the Concept C reel is smoother than 13 Fishing Concept A reel it is lighter as well. Thanks to its higher bearing count there is a noticeable difference.
When it comes to casting the Concept C reel uses a 6 way internal centrifugal brake system. While providing accurate long casts many anglers prefer adjusting the brakes externally. For retrieves many have noted it is extremely smooth and delivers a much more friction free experience compared to other reels in its class thanks to its premium 9 ball bearing system.

Bottom Line

Many anglers love the fact that this reel comes in a range of retrieves (5.3:1/6.6:1/7.3:1/8.1:1) is very lightweight (6.2oz) and is rated for saltwater use with a max drag of just over 20lbs. Its excellent build quality and high end components make this reel a definite buy for those anglers who want a reel that is strong enough to handle large toothy critters fresh or salt in a lightweight package that is a pleasure to cast all day.

8. Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast

Specifications

Gear Ratio: 4.9:1/6.2:1

Weight: 13.4oz

Bearings: 7+1

Features

25lb Power Stack Carbon Drag System/ Infinimax Brake System/High Line Capacity/7+1 HPCR bearings

Overview

Big brute cranking power combined with high line capacity comes to mind when talking about the Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast reel. Designed for cranking big baits in fresh or saltwater the Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast reel comes in 4.9:1 and 6.2:1 gear ratios. The 4.9:1 version especially pulls giant hard pulling deep diving crank baits like the Strike King 10XD with relative ease. Finally a reel with high line capacity and a slow enough gear ratio to pull big boy crank baits. Another really solid thing Abu did was include two extra power handle options which are normally available in the aftermarket or not at all. Some anglers have reported that the dual brake system is unnecessary in a reel that size and the handle removal can be tricky, but this reel also comes in left hand retrieve so that is a definite plus.

Like the standard Abu Garcia Revo Toro reel the beast utilizes Abu Garcia’s Heavy Duty Duragear brass gear design. This brass gear really helps to contribute to the reels overall smoothness and sold feel when cranking in big baits.
The carbon matrix drag system Abu employs for the Revo Toro Beast reel provides a whopping 25lbs of smooth consistent drag pressure. When it comes to power the extra long handles, low gear ratio, and large line capacity make pulling magnum sized deep diving cranks a breeze. Many anglers really love the large handles and how long they are in proportion to the size of the frame and the extra handle options really you customize the reel the way you like to fish.

Bottom Line

Abu engineered the Beast with 7 high performance corrosion resistant bearings and an aluminum frame which makes the Revo Toro Beast an excellent choice for saltwater scenarios and any big game species where power and a large line capacity is required. The 25lb carbon matrix drag system and the option for left or right hand retrieve in low gear ratio make this reel an excellent choice for throwing big baits.

9. Abu Garcia Revo Mgxtreme

Specifications

Gear Ratio: 8.0:1

Weight: 4.5oz

Bearings: 8+1+2

Features

X-Mag alloy frame/Aircraft grade aluminum main gear/Super Light Weight Concept spool design (SLC)/Carbon Matrix drag system/ IVCB-4 braking system

Overview

Catering to the enthusiast crowd Abu garcia has loaded the Revo Mgxtreme low profile baitcaster with all the latest advancements and technologies. Weighing in at a mere 4.5 ounces it is still a durable reel thanks to its X-Mag alloy frame and C6 carbon to reduce weight and maintain rigidity. The main gear is designed with aircraft grade aluminum which results in world class power in a super light package. Utilizing a hybrid bearing system that combines 8 HPCR stainless steel bearings, one roller bearing, and 2 Ceramilite spool bearings, it’s the only reel we know of that combines ceramic and stainless steel bearings. The addition of the 2 ceramic bearings really aid in casting performance especially with lighter lures. Some anglers have noted Revo Mgxtreme can be a bit noisy on the retrieve which may be due to the ceramic bearings,but the amazing overall performance of this reel far outweighs a slight bit of noise.

Many anglers have noted the insane casting performance of this reel. The Super Light Weight Concept spool design combined with the TI coating on the line guide really shines when it comes to casting performance. Even when casting very light offerings like ⅛ oz lures many have noted that with these light lures it is very hard to birdsnest. The IVCB-4 braking system on this reel is so precisely fine tuned that it allows for extremely precise adjustments for even light lures, which can be a difficulty for a lot of other baitcasters. So it is well suited for finesse applications.

When it comes to drag some anglers may wonder how can such a light reel provide enough power to winch in big bass. The Revo Mgxtreme doesn’t disappoint in this regard either. Hats off to Abu for providing an industry standard 12lbs of drag in such a light compact reel. The carbon matrix drag system provides silky smooth consistent drag pressure and enough power to pull big bass out of heavy slop.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an ultra lightweight high performance casting reel that casts like an absolute dream then look no further. The low profile Abu Garcia Revo Mgxtreme reel packs all the latest technologies in a small compact rigid frame. This flagship reel makes all day casting an absolute breeze thanks to its Xmag alloy frame and Super Lightweight Concept spool design.

10. Shimano Curado K

Specifications

Gear Ratio: 6.2:1/7.4:1/8.5:1

Weight: 7.6oz

Bearings: 6+1

Features

Micro module gearing, X-Ship, Hagane Body,SVS infinity braking system,CI4+ sideplates

Overview

The Curado is without a doubt the most important line of Shimano’s baitcasting reel offerings. For years this has been the go to workhorse reel reel for both fresh and saltwater anglers who need a quality high performance reel in a variety of gear ratios that won’t break the bank. The Curado K reel is Shimano’s latest iteration of this classic reel that now features cutting edge technology like Micro module gearing for smooth performance day in and day out. Thanks to X-ship technology and sculpted aluminum frame many anglers have noted that the Curado K reel is built like a tank. With that being said one con we have noticed is that it is a bit on the heavy side weighing in at 7.6oz. This is not that heavy though when you consider this reel was designed to handle the abuse of saltwater fishing.


When it comes to casting many have noted that it has the same max casting distance as previous versions but it handles light lures and pinpoint casts more effectively. Externally located on the non handle side plate the SVS braking system allows for minute adjustments which makes casting lighter offerings a breeze.

For retrieve the Curado K is noticeably smoother than previous iterations and comes very close to the more expensive Chronarch MGL. Thanks to the combination of Micro Module gearing and X-ship technologies many anglers have noted how great the silky smooth power is when cranking down on big fish.

The Curado K comes with 11lbs of max of cross carbon drag which is down from previous version the Curado I, but the good news is that the drag is more refined allowing for even finer adjustments and yes it is buttery buttery smooth.

Bottom Line

As some have noted the Curado K reel is “built like a tank but handles like a sports car”. This new iteration of the legendary Curado line comes very close to its much more expensive cousin the Chronarch MGL in terms of quality and performance for $100 cheaper, and unlike the Chronarch MGL is rated for saltwater use. With a whole host of high end features like SVS Infinity Braking System, micro module gearing, X-Ship, cross carbon drag, Hagane body, CI4+, a variety of gear ratios, and both left and right hand retrieve, Shimano has designed a clear winner worthy of anyone in need of a tournament grade workhouse casting reel.

Conclusion

It’s hard to choose a winner among all these great choices we have covered. Some of these reels have very specific niche applications like the heavy duty Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast reel for example. Others offer incredible performance and quality at a rock bottom price like the Piscifun Phantom Carbon reel. If we had to choose one reel however as our top pick it would have to be the Shimano Chronarch MGL. What sets the Chronarch MGL reel apart from its competition is its unparalleled pinpoint casting performance thanks to its Magnumlite (MGL) spool. One cast is all it takes for your to know why this is our top pick. 


For our runner up pick that title would have to go to the Lews Custom Pro Speed Spool reel it is lighter weight than the Chronarch MGL and offers comparable casting performance but only comes in one retrieve ratio in the left hand. 


Many anglers tend to stick their nose up when it comes to the Chinese offerings like the Piscifun Phantom Carbon reel, but the fact of the matter is Chinese engineering and manufacturing quality has improved drastically over the past few years. A simple disassembly of the Pisicfun Phantom Carbon reel will reveal high quality machined components, bearings, and construction at an unbeatable price. The amount of satisfied anglers who rave about the smooth operation, casting performance and strong smooth drag is astounding. The quality and performance this super light weight reel delivers is on caliber with many reels costing three times as much. Thats why the Piscifun Phantom Carbon reel reigns as our best value pick. 


We included what we think are the top ten baitcasting reels of 2020 that cover a wide gamut of applications. We included everything from the heavy duty saltwater rated 13 Fishing Concept A3 reel to the ultra lightweight enthusiast favorite Abu Garcia Revo Mgxtreme reel to our top pick the Shimano Chronarch MGL reel. We chose these because they embody the best of what baitcasting reels can offer the angler, namely light weight construction, higher line capacities that are better suited to throwing big heavy baits, and a variety of gear ratios. There are definite applications for spinning gear but for many other applications the baitcasting reel shines. Like it has been said before there is a time and place for everything.

What Is Ice Fishing – The Ultimate Guide

Back in the day, people used to cut holes into the frozen great lakes in search of food to eat. Early anglers would lie flat on the ice, ready to spear and stab any approaching prey that they find underneath the surface. While their hunting goals were mainly driven by a hungry stomach, modern ice fishing is mainly done as a sport or a hobby; although some anglers do eat what they catch. 

We have come a long way since the spear fishing days. Nowadays, anglers are equipped with high tech gadgets and fancy rods to give them an edge when fishing on ice. So if you’re looking for some information on how you can step up your ice fishing game, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll be covering ice fishing safety, equipment checklists, and tips and tricks to ensure that you will be successful in your ice fishing adventure.

Let’s go ice fishing!

What To Do When Ice Fishing

Before you go out onto the ice, make sure to check with your state’s Department of Natural Resources for information on ice fishing, rules, and regulations. It is your responsibility to follow the regulations set out by local authorities to prevent over fishing and to preserve your local lake’s ecosystems. Now that you’re up to date, it’s time to do some ice fishing – assuming you have your fishing license handy. (if not, jump online and register. It is easy to acquire a license nowadays)

There are 3 different methods you can use to catch fish on top of the ice.

Light-Rod Fishing

In general, ice fishing rods are half the size of your regular fishing rods. Unlike fishing on open waters, you won’t be doing any casting with your fishing rod when it comes to ice fishing. The rods are used for vertical jigging, or gently bouncing the bait in the water to attract fish. Most anglers use live minnows or wax worms for ice fishing.

Tip-Up Fishing

When you get tired of jigging a rod and watching the bobber float around the hole, consider using a tip-up instead. A tip-up is a contraption that sits on top of the hole in the ice, it generally has a flag that flips up when a fish bites the lure suspended underneath it. The best part about using a tip-up is not having to babysit and wait around for a fish to bite. You can gather with friends and family at the hut after setting up the trap and watch out for each other’s flags. In the meantime, feel free to cook some lunch, drink some beer and have great conversations while waiting for someone to yell out those magic words “FLAG UP!”

Spear Fishing

 Ice fishing trips can be as spartan or as fancy as you wish. If you choose to go full spartan, spear fishing can be an extremely rewarding experience. This method of fishing requires a lot of focus and patience. Start by throwing some blended up minnow or other baitfish into the hole to attract passing fish to pop their heads out of the water. This is where you strike by throwing your multi-pronged spear at the unsuspecting fish, be sure to have a string attached to your spear so you can retrieve your spear in case you miss.

How to Choose a Spot to Ice Fish

When it comes to ice fishing, it all begins with cutting holes in the ice. You will be needing an ice saw, an ice chisel, or an auger (either manual/electric/gas powered). As a rule of thumb, a 6-inch hole will be fine for most fishing, 8-inch augers are the most popular choice among anglers, or you can use a 10-inch auger if you’re fishing on a lake that has huge fish in it.

In general, the best depth to fish is about 2 – 4 feet from the bottom of the lake. It is best to try and figure out what lies beneath the surface of the water before it freezes over. Be sure to avoid drilling close to high underwater rocks, stumps or extremely weedy areas as you’ll come up shy in the fish catching department. 

Savvy anglers usually start scouting during the regular fishing season, making notes on maps, gps or in their minds about certain areas they should visit when the water freezes over. Alternatively, you could skip the scouting and use fish finders and portable sonar devices instead if your budget allows it, as they can be quite expensive.

Regardless which way you choose, both ways will work well with the right preparations.

Ice Fishing Essentials

Ice Fishing may seem like a relatively easy hobby to pick up, and its not complicated as long as you have the correct gear. We’re going to break down your essential ice fishing gear plus a few luxury items that you can get if you plan on going frequently, or if your budget allows!

Equipment Checklist for Ice Fishing

Proper Clothing

Beginners to winter sports or activities tend to under dress, especially when it’s a sunny day. The coldest days of the year are typically when the sun is out and there is not cloud cover to keep the head in the atmosphere. Save yourself from catching a cold or worse – Hypothermia. Layer up appropriately and always be aware of the weather forecast and the potential for winter storms.

Sunglasses

The reflection of the sun on ice or snow will blind you and cause a higher chance of you tripping or falling on the ice. Protect your eyes with some polarized sun glasses.

Fishing Gloves

With any kind of fishing, your hands are going to get wet at some point whether its bringing in a fish or setting your line. In the winter, its especially important to have gloves that are well insulated and waterproof, as your hands are one of the first things to get frostbite. 

Ice Auger

In order to get a hole in the ice, you’re going to need some kind of an ice auger or saw. If you know the area and lake well and you think you can find a relatively fresh hole without a thick layer of ice, you can bring a shovel and clear out the fresh ice.

Ice Chip Scoop

If you’re on the ice fishing for a long period of time, your hole will start to get slushy and form ice chips. It is important to get rid of these throughout the day as they have the potential to cut your line!

Ice Fishing Gear

Aside from the essentials, you definitely need ice fishing gear or you’re just going to be sitting on a lake drinking beer. The must haves are a proper ice fishing rod, line, and hooks or lures. 

Fishing Bait

This is always a must have if you’re using a hook and not a lure, the most popular kind of bait for ice fishing are minnows and wax worms.

Optional Gear for Ice Fishing

Fishing Hut / Tent

This is a luxury to get protection from the wind and make the ice fishing experience a little more enjoyable. If you have a lake where you can leave the shanty on it year round, these are a great investment for people that ice fish more than just a few times a season. If you like to do weekend trips, these can also be a worthy investment as you can sleep right on the ice!

Ice Shanty Heater

If you’ve made the investment for a ice fishing hut, then getting a heater is almost a given. These will ensure you can fish without feeling cold, and will even be layering down throughout the day as your ice fishing hut warms up. If you plan on sleeping in the hut, these are great as you don’t need heavy duty sleeping bags or gear to prevent you from freezing!

Smart Sonar / Depth Finder

Definitely not a requirement, but if you’re serious about catching fish a depth finder or a sonar can go a long way. Depth finders will allow you to pick the ideal spots on the lake where the depth is the range you know the fish like to hang around at. A Sonar basically takes the guessing game out, as you’ll be able to detect and see fish if they’re swimming by where you have it set up!

Underwater Fishing Camera

If you want to track the fishes movements or simply want a better look at the enviroment you’re about to drop your hook into, these are a super cool gadget that are gaining in popularity in the ice fishing community!

Ice Fishing Safety Tips

Ice fishing can be dangerous if you don’t do it right. Injury reports have shown that ice fishing injuries are generally more severe than regular fishing injuries. Therefore, safety should always be your number 1 priority whenever you’re heading out onto the ice.

When it comes to the dangers of ice fishing, most people have an inner fear of falling through the ice and into the ice cold water below. Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown that over half of all ice fishing injuries are caused by trauma from falling on the slippery ice. According to the Mayo Clinic’s research, there were significantly more cases of broken bones, sprains, bruising and strains from slipping reported than people actually falling through the ice.

Buying a good pair of winter boots combined with ice cleats goes a long way. It can provide the extra traction needed to prevent injuries from falling on the ice.

Surprisingly, burn injuries are just as common as people falling through the ice when it comes to ice fishing. This is largely due to intoxicated accidents combined with irresponsible use of rudimentary heaters. So keep an eye out when using heating systems in the huts and make sure you have good ventilation. A poorly ventilated hut can cause carbon-monoxide poisoning to its users.

We recommend all anglers to go ice fishing with a friend. At the very least, you’ll have good company when fishing. And in the event where you fall through the ice or hurt yourself from falling on the ice, they can throw you a rope and pull you to safety or call 911 during an emergency.

With ice fishing’s rising popularity within the angler community, we must place more focus on safety by raising our awareness of potential dangers and being well-prepared. It is always better to be safe than sorry when things go awry.

Ideal Ice Thickness for Walking/Driving

As a rule of thumb, the clearer the ice, the stronger it is. Keep in mind that the ice will never be 100% safe, as the thickness can change very quickly depending on the situation and where you are on the lake. You should use a depth indicator to measure the ice thickness after drilling as ice fishing requires a great deal of precision for your own safety.

Below is a quick guide on ice thickness and the weight it can hold.

2″ Ice Thickness or Less – Stay off the ice. This is not safe for anyone to walk on and you could be in danger of falling through the ice.

4″ Ice Thickness – Ideal ice conditions for ice fishing and walking.

5″ Ice Thickness – Suitable for snowmobiles or ATV.

8″ – 12″ Ice Thickness – Suitable for driving a car or a small pickup.

12″ – 15″ Ice Thickness – Suitable for a medium truck.

What To Do If You Fall in the Water

In the event where you fall through the ice, knowing the following techniques on self-rescue and having the right equipment handy will greatly increase your chances of survival.

1. Brace Yourself

The water is going to be very cold and your body will go into shock in response. Panicking will only worsen your fate, so try and force yourself to stay calm in this situation and control your breathing as much as you can.

2. Keep Your Head Above Water

You need to stay afloat, so try to remove objects or heavy clothing that are weighing you down to make it easier for yourself.

3. Focus On Getting Out of the Water

The longer you stay in the water, the lower your chances are of survival. Your muscles will feel weaker as time goes on. Your best bet is to head back to the part of the ice you were walking on as the edges will probably be strong enough for you to hold on to and attempt to pull yourself out.

4. Stay Horizontal

After swimming towards the edge of the ice, try to stay as horizontal as you can by getting most of your body out of the water, prop yourself up with your elbows and forearms and let the water drain off for a few seconds to reduce your weight. Afterward, kick as hard as you can to help you get out of the water.

5. Start Rolling Across the Ice

Once you’re out of the ice, do not stand up immediately, just in case you fall through again. Distribute your weight evenly by rolling across the ice towards more solid ground.

6. What If You Can't Get Out?

If you can’t get out on your own after 10 minutes of trying, it is best to stop exhausting yourself at this point and conserve energy. Hypothermia will begin to set in and you won’t be able to use your muscles soon. Conserve your energy by moving as little as you can, keep your legs crossed to conserve your body heat while you wait for help.

Keep a pair of floating ice pick handy at all times. If you fall through the ice, the ice pick will help you stab into the ice, giving you enough leverage to pull yourself out of the water. It would be extremely tragic if you accidentally dropped your ice pick into the water in a panic, so make sure you purchase one that floats, just in case.

Final Thoughts

The best part about ice fishing, is the chance to kick back and enjoy the company of friends and family in the beautiful winter environment. With a bit of financial investment, you can further enhance the experience with all the new technology available today; or just go old-school and do some spear fishing. Regardless of which way you choose, both ways work well with the right preparations and offer a fun experience for kids and adults alike. And if you do it right, chances are, you’ll be catching instead of fishing this winter.

Advantages Of Underwater Fishing Lights

Have you heard other anglers raving about fishing at night with underwater fishing lights and wondered what it’s all about?

Or maybe you already know that the light works and you’re just doing your own research before purchasing one yourself.

You’ve come to the right place for information.

Night fishing has become very popular as an option because of these underwater fishing lights. There are lots of benefits to fishing at night – You can’t get sunburnt. Plus, you will usually have your favourite fishing spots all to yourself at two o’clock in the morning. Some may even argue that fishes are more active at night due to the change in water temperatures – also known as the thermocline effect.

While it is true that the underwater fishing light works well to attract sport fishes like magic. The reasoning behind why it works may come as a surprise to you.

Read on to find out more about the underwater fishing lights and how they work.

How Do Underwater Light Attract Fish?

When it comes to fishing with artificial light at night. The old timers used to think that the light attracted bugs, which in turn attracted fish that wanted to eat them. Although technically correct – as it did attract a lot of bugs. That line of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth.

Newer technology in the market has done a lot to disprove the old ways of thinking. Since the introduction of underwater fishing lights, we now know that the reason fish are attracted to the light is because of mother nature’s food-chain pyramid effect. 

The underwater fishing light attracts microscopic creatures called zooplankton, which then attracts bait fishes for an easy feast. Over time, the water around the light will start getting foggy due to the swirling masses of microorganisms and bait fishes surrounding it. 

When the predator fish start to learn that they can find their prey easily around the glow of the light, they too will come and hang around. 

And finally, with you sitting at the top of that food-chain (literally), it is now time to catch game fish!

Underwater Lights for Boat Fishing

After the sun goes down, you can set yourself up for a big catch by putting your own underwater fishing lights to the test. Grab a hold of your fishing gear and boat because it’s time for you to visit your favourite fishing spot. 

Read on to find out how you can use your underwater fishing light to its maximum fish-attracting-potential.

Tips and Techniques for Fishing with Underwater Boat Lights

1. Anchor Your Boat

It is highly recommended that you anchor the boat when you find your favourite spot for the night. Planktons and bait-fish won’t be able to crowd around if your boat is drifting around, that completely negates the food-chain effect from the underwater lights.

2. Location, Location, Location

Having an idea where your fish have chosen to spawn and finding these locations will lead to a better result at the end of the night. Make sure to do your research on the best fishing spots around your area as it will go a long way in you catching more fish and not searching for locations all night!

3. Check the Weather

While you can catch fish in any weather conditions, an overcast sky has been known to produce better results. This is especially true since the moon won’t be lighting up the water, so your boat will be the only source of light and are more likely to attract more bait for the fish. 

What Colors Work the Best?

Underwater fishing lights come in two primary colours – white and green. These two lights are most attractive in the eyes of our little planktons in the water, as they need light for reproduction. You need these planktons to crowd around the light source so that they attract bait fish, which in turns attract game fish looking for an easy meal. 

In most cases, green works best compared to white light – that is why manufacturers of underwater fishing lights generally use the color green. 

If you have both options available to use, you can try switching the lights around to see which color light is attracting the most bait-fish at that particular area.

How Many Lights Do You Need?

This all depends on the size of your boat. The bigger the boat, the more light you will need.

In general, we recommend having at least 2 light sources (white & green) so that you can switch the colours around to see which light attracts more bait-fish where you are on the water. The more lights you have is proportional to the amount of plankton you can attract if they are placed strategically around your boat. 

Where Should You Set Up Your Boat Lights?

Keep in mind that – “10% of the water in any lake holds 100% of the fish. The rest of the lake is dead water… with or without a light.”  Sure – having the best lures and boats makes life easier when it comes to fishing, but it won’t matter when you’re not fishing in an area that has fish.

Attracting bait fish is a must when fishing. So if you don’t see any bait fish crowding around the light within the first 30 minutes after setting your underwater lights. It is time to move to another spot.

Underwater Lights for Dock Fishing

For younger anglers who don’t have the financial resources to purchase a boat (yet), you don’t have to keep fantasizing about night fishing in the wide open sea. You might be surprised by some of the distinct benefits of fishing from the dock, and underwater lights go a long way to enhance this experience!

Night fishing on the dock is much easier to manage compared to a boat. No hassle, and no worrying about all the time-consuming stuff that comes with boat ownership. Plus, using an underwater fishing light at your favourite dock consistently will result in large baitfish schools learning the location of the light, they will show up to your dock night after night, bringing along those predator fish that you so want to catch. Within a few weeks, your favorite dock could become the regular feeding ground for your local fish populations.

If fishing isn’t your thing, underwater lights for a dock is a great way to attract fish and entertain your kids and family all night watching them!

How To Set Up Your Underwater Dock Lights?

It is best to place your underwater light a little further away from the dock. Dock fishing is all about being stealthy, so make long casts from the docks for best results. If you want to be able to see the baitfish and are looking for underwater dock lights more for entertainment, attaching them right below on the sides is the best bet!

How Many Lights Should You Use?

In general, we recommend having at least 2 light sources (white & green) so that you can switch the colors around to see which light attracts more bait-fish where you are on the water. For people with a bigger dock that want to make it easier for more people to fish at the same time, we recommend setting up two lights at the end of your dock, and a few on the sides. If it is possible to set up the lights further into the water from your dock, that is the best option for catching more fish. 

Why are Underwater Lights Better Than Above Water Lights?

Above water lights work well at attracting bugs to your favourite spot, whereas underwater lights work well at attracting game fish. Which one would you choose?

Underwater lights also illuminate the water so that you can actually see the bait fish crowding around, you can use it to figure out if you’re in a good fishing spot by the amount of bait fish are attracted to the light source.

Conclusion

Many of you have heard the expression “Luck is where preparation and opportunity come together.” By utilizing underwater lights on your next fishing adventure, you are essentially making your own luck through your own preparation and creating a great opportunity for you to catch lots of fish at night. 

So, the next time you hear an amateur saying “fishing is all about luck”. Feel free to point them to this article to get educated!

How To Fish A Carolina Rig

When it comes to fishing, using the right kind of baits, lures, and fishing techniques is very important.  Carolina rig setup is easy enough to learn if you are a beginner. For pros, it is appealing because it offers a lot of action. 

If you have never fished with a Carolina rig before, it is important to know how it works and what makes it a great fishing setup to catch bass.  Even if you are not new to Carolina rig, improving your knowledge and understanding on how it works will undoubtedly help you catch more fish.  That’s where we come.  In this article, we will tell you all you need to know about Carolina rig in order to make your fishing experience a better and memorable one!

What Is A Carolina Rig?

Carolina rig is a plastic bait rig. Instead of sliding the weight down the hook, in the Carolina rig, weight is fixed above it. The Carolina rig is specifically designed to catch bass.

When the bait attached to the Carolina rig is placed in the water, it tends to have a circular motion. Bass fish are attracted to this circular motion, and thus they tend to bite the lure. The Carolina rig is also useful for winter. The weight on the rig lets the bait reach down into the deep waters, where the fish generally stay during the winter.

What Do You Need To Fish A Carolina Rig?

If you don’t know how to set up a Carolina rig, don’t worry. It is very easy to learn how to set it up quickly. The things which you need for a Carolina rig are:

1. Fishing Rod - The fishing rod should be 7 ft. or more in length. Many Carolina rig fishers like using rods that are at least 7' 6" long.

2. Swivel - The swivel you use will depend on the size of the tackle. You can also use a Carolina Keeper, in which there is less tying and untying of the knot. Moreover, the lead length can be easily adjusted in it. 

3. Beads - You can use either plastic beads or either glass beads. Beads stop the weights from sliding up and down. Moreover, they are useful in creating a noisemaker to attract fish.

4. Hooks - The hook you use will depend on the lure or bait you are fishing with -Make sure to stock multiple colors just incase!

5. Reel - You should make use of a baitcasting reel. Baitcasting reel with a gear ratio of 6:1 is preferred since it helps in bringing the line quickly when required.

6. Leader Line - You can use either a Fluorocarbon leader line or a monofilament leader line.  Fluorocarbon will sink faster and give you shock absorption to boot.

7. Weights - Lead weights and sinkers are very common. But, you should use tungsten weights are generally the weight of choice for a few reasons we will discuss below

Tips for getting the most out of your Carolina Rig

If used properly, you can up your fishing game with the help of Carolina rig. There are a few things you should keep in mind in order to get the most out of the setup. Let’s take a look at them.

Carolina Rig weights

When it comes to buying weights for the Carolina rig, nothing comes close to the tungsten weight. Tungsten is dense, small, and hard. They are expensive compared to other weights, such as lead, but they are well worth the money you spend on them.

Choosing the Line

Choosing the fishing line is a difficult thing. There are so many options available, each working better in different conditions. Many seasoned anglers believe that a braided fishing line should be used. Others believe that if you pair a fluorocarbon fishing line with a fluorocarbon leader, you will get an excellent setup.  We suggest going with a fluorocarbon line.

Choosing the correct lures

Although soft worms are great to use as Carolina rig lures, the world doesn’t end there.  You need to experiment with various sorts of lures, and then find the ones you think will be perfect for bass fishing.

Length of the Leader

The length of the leader is also important when it comes to the perfect Carolina rig setup. Normally, a leader length of 15 to 18 inches works well in most cases.

How to set up a Carolina Rig

Now comes the main task that is tying a Carolina rig. Even though the Carolina rig may seem a bit complicated, it is pretty simple and easy to set up. The thing which makes the Carolina rig so fantastic is that you can easily set it up in minutes. If you don’t want to waste a lot of time on knots and other things, the Carolina rig would be perfect for you.

Here’s how you set a Carolina rig:

  1. You begin by threading the fishing live through the weight. You don’t have to tie a knot as yet.
  2. Next, you have to thread the line through the bead (plastic or glass) and slide it up to the weight.
  3. Then you have to tie the swivel to the fishing line.

Weight, swivel, and the bead you just placed are what constitutes a Carolina rig. After setting up this rig, you have to set up the lead, lure, and hook obviously. Leader length can be chosen as per your needs and requirements. Usually, a leader length of 18 inches or more works perfectly.

This is how you set a Carolina rig up. Some people may use a Carolina keeper instead of using a swivel. Instead of tying and untying the knots, you only have to squeeze the Carolina Keeper and adjust the lead length. Another variation can be in the type of weight that various fishermen use, but the overall procedure of setting the rig remains the same.

The lure you use is entirely up to you. A soft-bodied worm or a soft-bodied crawfish can be used. The same goes for the hook that you will use. Experimenting with different lures and hooks would work wonders for you.

Using your Carolina Rig

Now that you are done setting the rig up, you have to learn how to use it. You simply have to cast the rig into the water. 

In order to understand what will make you successful in fishing with your Carolina rig, you need to know the behaviors and the habits of the fish you are going for. Bass usually have two modes when it comes to their behavior and fishing habits.

Opportunistic vs Aggressive Feeding

Bass usually feed opportunistically and will eat only when they are either very hungry or an easy meal presents itself.  This is why it is crucial to drag your lure near them, to get them thinking about another feeding opportunity.  Aggressive feeding is more rare for bass, but is obviously preferred for anglers.  You don’t have to be as pinpoint accurate with your lure placement if a bass is aggressively searching out food.

With a properly rigged bait like Carolina rig, you can drop the bait in the right spot. In both opportunistic and aggressive mode, the circular motion of the bait will be attractive to the fish.

You have to move the bait slowly across the water. If you use the rod instead of the reel to move the bait, you will yield better results. 

Keep the rod parallel to the water. Imagine that your rig is sitting in a 12 o’clock position. You have to move the fishing rod from 12 o’clock to 2 o’clock position. Keep repeating this until you get a strike.

When is the best time of year to use a Carolina Rig?

From what we have read online and in talking to different fishermen, any time of year other than summer is best for using a Carolina Rig.  In months that are colder, Bass will stick to lower waters where it is warmer than the surface.  In the summer they will be all over the place depth wise, in the spring and fall they will tend to be a bit deeper, and in winter they will be near the bottom trying to stay warm.  That being said don’t forego your day on the lake when it’s a beautiful summer day out, as some success can still be found in the summer months.

The next part is season independent – but windier, choppier days on the water are better for using your Carolina rig as Bass tend to be most active on windier days.

Carolina Rig vs. Drop Shot Rig - What are the differences?

The main difference between Carolina rigging vs Drop shotting is the weights location compared to the lure.  In Carolina Rigs the weight is on top of the lure, with the lure dragging behind it.  In drop shotting the weight is at the bottom of the line, with the lure a few inches up floating above it.  

Common mistakes people make when using a Carolina Rig

In extreme weather conditions, we have to use a slow and deliberate retrieve. Sometimes people simply don’t use the Carolina rig correctly and then complain about the lack of results. Here a few things you should keep in mind to help boost your success rates!

Bead Choice

Normally people use ceramic or glass beads. If you place a bead between the weight and the swivel, it protects the knot from getting beat by the weight. Moreover, the bead produces a sound when the bead hits the weight, which entices bass to check out your lure.

Plastic beads are an alternative to ceramic or glass, and in our opinion, a better option. With fluorocarbon and tungsten weights being highly popular, you need a bead that is sturdy enough to stand any abuse. The hard and dense tungsten cracks the ceramic and glass beads which will result in a frayed line almost instantly. Breaking your bead and fraying your line before you even get going is a surefire way to be frustrated early in your fishing expedition, which is something you want to avoid at all costs!  After all, fishing is about having fun and getting some R&R!

Cutting the leader too short

When it comes to the leader length, using the proper length is crucial.  Normally, people use 10-18 inch leaders with Carolina rigs, however, you should go for a 20-22 inches from our experience.  The added length provides more freedom for your bait to float, which appears more natural. 

Choosing the wrong location, or changing locations too often

If there is a lack of action, fishermen might follow their impulses and move to a location they think looks better.  Location matters when you are using a Carolina rig and you should always opt for the deepest part of the lake as opposed to spots near the shore.  The center of the lake being the deepest zone is one of the highest percentage areas of a lake. When the bass feed, the move towards the deeper areas.  Ditches are also high-percentage zones. These are safe zones for the bass fish, and bass retreat to these areas. to find any type of cover be it gravel, foliage, or stumps.

Conclusion

So what have we covered today?

We have explained to you what Carolina rig is, what its main components are, how to set it up, and the best conditions to use it in.

Carolina rigs work great for bass.  It works well in deep waters.  They take less than ten minutes to set up which is a huge bonus – you get out there fishing in less time!

Happy fishing, folks!