Walleye are sometimes very elusive fish and spend their time looking
for food in the easiest places. They have favorite types of hang outs,
so be prepared to "read the water" to find where the lunkers are
lurking. A rocky bank, with weeds along the shore, is a good bet. Fish
on the deep side of weed beds, not in the weeds, but nearby. Walleye
like to have a chance to eat the small minnows that live in and around
these weeds. You can sometimes catch them from shore if you find a good
place, but a boat helps to locate the best spots. Walleye are often
found in schools, so it's important to try to locate these school areas
where the fish are concentrated. They avoid bright light and seek out
darker, cooler water. Remember that Walleye are predatory fish and eat
lots of smaller fish, along with worms and other aquatic life.
"Octopus" style hooks in sizes 6, 4, and 2 are favored by many walleye
anglers when fishing with natural baits. Treble hooks are used on many
walleye plugs and for 'stinger' hooks on some larger jigs and
spinner/night crawler rigs.
Largemouth's . . . what do they eat? Just about anything . . . at times.
Their varied diet might include crayfish, frogs, minnow, bugs, moths,
mice, birds (even baby ducks), keys, can openers and an occasional soup
spoon. Yet, if you want to approach Bass fishing with a bit more
science, then there are literally thousands of lures from which to
choose. Among the best is a pork rind bait, and fishing the deadly
plastic worm has developed into a true art form to many Bass fanatics.
Look for "Old Bucket mouth" around cover in warm water lakes and ponds.
Some very small ponds can contain some very big bass. Look for bass in
lily pads, cattails and other weedy areas; around and under docks, logs
and other "cover". In reservoirs bass love the flooded trees, bushes,
and the old road and creek beds on the bottom. For Largemouth's, try
sizes 4 to 8/0. Striped Bass (and Wipers) want them even bigger, like
3/0 and up.
Smallmouth prefer steep rocky banks in the faster waters of streams and
rivers. He's a cold water fish, so you might find him sharing the same
pool with your Trout, and you're apt to catch him on the same tackle.
Try casting him a nymph (especially a hellgrammite). He'll also gobble
up grubs, crickets, crayfish, leeches and worms. For the Smallmouth,
use sizes 4 up to 3/0.
For big Salmon, try smelt, herring, shrimp, sardines, anchovies along
with a never ending list of artificial flies and lures. Consider hooks
ranging from 6/0 for large mouthful baits.
The famous Steelhead runs along the northern west coast and makes many
a heart skip a beat as this giant seagoing Rainbow indulges his passion
for salmon eggs. Artificial flies and lures also top the list for these
salty spectaculars. Try hooks ranging from 2 up to 6/0.Be sure to check
the regulations in your area regarding the use of barbless hooks.
The small but mighty Pan fish are all over the place and their easy
accessibility makes them an object of pursuit for most everybody. The
Bluegill, for instance, is distributed far and wide and dons such names
as Brim, Bream, Copper belly, Shell cracker, and Old Poker Face. If you
want the big granddaddies, you'll have to use the study and skill
approach. Big Bluegills are not always easy to catch. They're cautious
and their eating habits fastidious. Bluegills hide and feed in quiet,
weedy water. When soup's on along toward evening, they'll chomp down on
a wiggly cricket, a fat grasshopper or a squirmy worm. Baiting up with
meal worms or juicy golden grubs will often fill your boat with these
guys. Even big Bluegills have tight lips, so just be sure you stay with
hook sizes between 8 and 12 and you won't miss many. Crappies, on the
other hand, have large tender mouths and a lively minnow on a number 4
Aberdeen hook will whet his appetite quicker than anything. Fly fishing
anglers get a big kick out of taking Pan fish on ultra light tackle. And
if you want lots of the bigger Crappies, find a sunken brush pile and
tease 'em with a small lead head jig.
Trout crave cold water and plenty to eat. Their broad choice of menu
depends on the species, locale, and the availability of food. Depending
on the size and type, a good square meal might include nymphs,
hellgrammites, grubs, crickets, grasshoppers, salamanders, crayfish,
minnows, salmon eggs and even cheese and marshmallows. When fishing in
streams, look for what is called "cover" or hiding places where the
trout live most of the time. These include areas near overhanging
branches, around logs and big rocks, in deep pools and behind obstacles
in fast water. Sometimes, generally early in the morning and in the
evening, trout will move out of their hiding places and feed on
insects, but remember to always look for trout "cover" when you
approach a stream. Move to the bank very slowly and keep your profile
low so you won't spook this shy game fish. Also, keep in mind that the
trout will most always be facing upstream so approaching them from
behind, or downstream, is best. In lakes, they like to patrol the
shoreline looking for food and will move closer to the shore in the
morning and evening hours when the sun is low in the sky. Look for
trout where there are drop offs, near weed beds and around underwater
"structure" like ridges, stumps, rock piles and other places that offer
protection and a good food supply.