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April 27th, 2008

Have you ever noticed how many times you spot fish on your fish finder and you fish and fish as hard as you can but your partner in the back of the boat is the only one catching fish.

Could it be that you are just a rotten fisherman or maybe you just smell bad, maybe they are using some secret bait and did not tell you? NoĒ thatís not usually the problem, even though gas , oil, or other odors on your hands can cause these problems .

99% of the time its just a simple lack of not understanding your fish finder. Letís say you know where there is a underwater hump or a good point that goes out into 10 feet or so into the lake. You rush to get there, and slow down before you get to it so that you can come up on it quietly, and not spook the fish.

As you approach the spot, be it with your trolling motor or a slow troll you are watching your fish finder in the front of the boat. There they are you say and in a flash you casting out in anticipation of all those fish you saw on the screen.

Your partner in the back knows youíre the captain and that there is only room for one in the front of the boat so he or she just drops their line out the back and instantly stars hauling them in. WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

Well lets say your boat is a 16ft , your fish finder is on the front , but what most people forget in all the excitement is that your transducer is on the back of the boat and now you are sitting 16 feet past the fish casting into dead water.

Your transducer in 10 feet of water is also only reading a area of about 2 or 3 feet around because sonar units read like a ice cream cone upside down, the less water the smaller the cone the deeper the wider the cone and fish move around so they can be hard to find again if you disturb the area to much looking for them.

Solutions, you can buy another unit for your trolling motor, but remember in a Tournament who really careís who catches the fish, or start fishing from the back of the boat, or you can adjust to the situation put out a marker and move off the side so that you can both catch fish and double your odds.

I hope this helps you put more fish in the boat and see you on the water soon.

Dave LaFontaine

Angling TIP #3

February 2008

Mike Desforges - Spinnerbaits

As every angler knows there is a lot of lures out there that will catch Bass and everyone must be able to use them all at different times depending on the situation.

One of these lures is a spinnerbait, and I thought you would like to hear from one of Canadaís top anglers on the spinnerbait.

spinnerbait for fishing Mike Desforges is well known both here in Canada and the U.S.A., as a great angler who can figure out what the Bass wont and where they are. One of Mikeís best search baits is the spinnerbait, so I asked Mike to give you some tips on using them and here is what he had to say.

Q. What do you think of a spinnerbait?

A spinnerbait is a lure that is easy to fish, catches quality fish everywhere in many different situations and is a excellent representation of a small school of baitfish.

Q. What is the best time of year to use a spinnerbait.

They work throughout the year and can be your best choice of bait at anytime but spinner baits are consistently the best bait early in the year when the majority of the Bass are shallow. They allow you to cover a lot of water fast to find feeding fish.

Q. What about color.

spinnerbait for fishing I like to stick to natural colors that I think imitate the bait fish. My favorite color is silver blades with a white or silver skirt. If I, am fishing stained water like on Lake Nippissing, Iíll switch to a gold blades because I think they give off more flash in that type of water. The odd time I will throw a spinnerbait that is completely chartreuse to try and provoke a reaction strike.

Q. What weight do you think is best.

My favorite weight is always a 3/4 ounce spinnerbait and the odd time Iíll go as heavy as a 1oz.. The only time I use a lighter spinnerbait is when I fish for largemouth Bass.

Q. How about blades?

Blade size is very important. I like to use a spinnerbait with two #4 willow leaf blades. The willow leaf blade gives you the most flash and creates the least amount of lift in the water. This allows you to really crank up your retrieve and still keep your bait in the water. A lot of the heavier spinnerbait.s come with big #5 or #6

Q. What seems to be the best retrieve?

Speed makes big fish stupid, so obviously I like a fast retrieve. The faster I can retrieve, the more casts I can make and the more water I can cover, which allows me to show my lure to more fish. Itís kind of a numbers game, not all the smallmouth will bite a spinnerbait but if I show it to enough of them hopefully Iíll get 5 big ones in the boat before the end of the day.

spinnerbait for fishing

Your final thought on the spinnerbait.

I would consider the spinnerbait as one of my top 5 go to baitís for smallmouth Bass. However you have to think of your lures as tools. You shouldnít use a hammer to put a screw in because it is not the right tool for the job, you should think of you baits the same way , when the time is right spinnerbait,s are often the best tool to get the job done.

Good luck this year and I hope this helps you catch more fish.

Mike Desforges

Mike is sponsored by, Bass Pro Shops, Re/Max/Nitro/ Johnny Morris/Signature Series Rods and Reels/Humminbird/Minn Kota/Blue Water Optics/Navionics/Rapala and Gamakatsu.

Mike is also a newly wed and his wife says he can keep fishing because it keeps him out of the kitchen, just as long as he brings home the bacon.

Angling TIP #2

by John Henderson

John is a Pro Staffer for Lund Boats & G-Loomis rods and has over 40 years experience in Tournament fishing, both in the north and south. With numerous 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places; he is a quide and outfitter.


  • Equipment:
    "Buy the best equipment you can afford, because quality does make a great difference in performance and sensitivity. With good quality equipment, lets say rods & reels, you will be able to feel everything on the bottom and be able to feel that light tick of a fish that is just checking out your bait.These are the kinds of things that will put 15 to 20 % more fish in your live well."

  • Pre Fishing:
    "I can not express how important pre fishing is in a Tournament situation in order to create a game plan. You need to know where the fish are before the Tournament; how the wind, sun, cloud, and water temperature affects them. What they are feeding on, like shad, herring, or cray fish; and have a back up plan if things change."

  • New Water:
    "If you are going out on new water, the easiest way to start off looking for fish is to look at the shore line. Does it drop straight off or does it continue out under water slowly; is it rock or gravel , mud or clay? Bass are structure orientated; so look for structure both in deep water and shallow, where fish can find and ambush prey. Underwater structure draw bait fish and bait fish draw bigger fish, so take your time and check it all."

  • Best All Round Bait:
    "For shallow, clear, stained or muddy water, I recommend 4Ē grub or the 4Ē tube used with a 1/16oz or 1/8oz jig. In deeper water I would recommend using a 1/4oz or 3/8oz jig."

    "The single most important factor in all of the fishing tips you could get is confidence. If you are confident in what you are doing and what you are using, it takes all the pressure off and you will not need to spend hours tying and retying everything in your tackle box."

  • Angling TIP #1

    by Dave LaFontaine

    If you are a new angler to the Tournament world or just love fishing, here's a little tip I think you will find helpful.



    When fishing with a jig tipped with a twister tail or a grub, one of the first things you will notice is that after a few casts your twister tail or grub will start to slide down your hook.

    The more it moves the looser it gets and soon you will be spending more time fixing it up or putting a new one on, rather than fishing. This can get frustrating to say the least, and in a tournament situation the more time your bait is out of the water the less chance you have of catching that big one.

    Now you can buy expensive jigs with screw on springs that work really good, but they can be extremely costly with all the different weights and hook sizes, some of the ones I use cost $6.00 for just 4 and I still loose plenty of these; so to cut the costs I use a little trick I learned years ago .

    Buy yourself a small bottle of super glue or crazy glue, one small enough to keep in your tackle box. Take your jig and put a drop of this where your grub meets the jig head, being careful not to get any on your hands or you will really feel it when pull the jig away; take my word on that .

    Now carefully slide your grub over the hook and up to the jig head; let set for a few seconds, then slide the hook into your grub. You can do some the night before if you know what you will be using the next day, to save time. I do some in different colors and weights so that I have a selection for the next day.

    The glue is colorless and has no scent but if you are worried, use some fish scent to give yourself confidence, which is the most important thing.

    I know if you use this little trick it will improve your fishing and help you get more bites.

    Keep your eye open for more tips from other anglers here at T.S.B., because our goal is to make you a better angler.


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