Early spring trout fishing usually means bad weather, high
water and sluggish fish. For that reason, when fishing live bait, I prefer to
use a set-up that includes a ‘Lil Corky Float from Worden’s. These small, round
floats are constructed of foam, with a durable, hard outer shell. They are
available in a wide range of finishes. When placed just above the baited hook,
the ‘Lil Corky helps to keep the bait in a natural drift just above the stream
bed. This is important when the water is high and cold, and when trout are
hugging the bottom - only moving inches within their feeding lanes.
The streams I fish in Pennsylvania are generally on the
smaller side and can be difficult to navigate with a long rod. For this reason,
I use an ultralight spinning rod in the 4’6” to 5’6” range. I recommend trying the
St. Croix Trout Series or the Daiwa Spinmatic. I combo this with a small, 500-size
ultralight reel, such as the Shimano Symetre FL or
the 20-size Pflueger Trion. I spool up with 6.6 lb. test DAM Tectan Superior Monofilament Line. This line is the
same diameter as 4 lb. test Berkley Trilene XL, which also works great.
To rig, I slide a 'Lil
Corky Float in size 10 on the line in a bright color. I then tie on a Matzuo Model 140 Sickle Baitholder Hook in size 8 and
slide the float to the hook eye. Then I place a Water Gremlin Removable Split
Shot in size 3/0 about eight inches above the hook. With a half crawler, this
is the set-up I start out with on opening day of trout season. The ‘Lil Corky
keeps the bait just above the bottom and allows you to feel the “tic-tic” of
the split shot bouncing along.
As weather and water conditions
change, I will change the size of the split shot, ‘Lil Corky, hook and bait. If
the water begins to clear and flow rates lower, I often change to a smaller
size BB split shot and size 12 float. Try the ‘Lil Corky in more subtle colors
as the water clears.
This rig works and will catch
you more trout. As an added bonus, this set-up tends to hook trout in the
corner of the mouth, allowing you to practice catch and release if desired.
It’s important to note that this
rig might not be legal in your area or the stream you fish. Some states
restrict the use of lead shot, some restrict the use of floats or beads in
between the hook and weight or sinker. Be sure to check your local regulations.
For over 60 years, Thomas Lures has been producing quality
lures for Trout, Pike, Walleye, Salmon, and Bass. I’ve had the pleasure of
working closely with Thomas Lures owner, Peter Ridd, for the past three years.
Once you have a conversation with Peter, you’ll quickly understand why Thomas
Lures is so successful.
It’s well known that Pennsylvania
has some of the best Trout fishing in the country. Thomas Lures is a staple
product for all trout anglers, and thousands of Thomas lures will be cast into
your local stream or lake on opening day. Not only is Thomas a recognized brand
locally, but they are highly recognized outside of the Northeast region as well. It’s well
known that California and Colorado are huge Trout states. FishUSA
sells a significant amount of Thomas Buoyant Spoons in California, while the Thomas Colorado Spoons are a key product in Colorado (I think the name is very fitting for the
Whether you’re a novice or expert Trout angler, you should
have Thomas Lures in your box. This product is made in Hawley, Pennsylvania,
and all products are available for purchase at FishUSA.
Capt. Doug Straub
So many times I hear anglers say, “I need to buy lures that
have a tighter wobble.” Or, “I need a lure that has a more erratic action.”
Since I was a child, I’ve always tinkered with lures to make
them run exactly how I want. Sometimes I destroy the lure, but I gain valuable
information that’s helped me in my professional fishing career. We all know why
we need different lure actions for certain situations, but it’s not commonly
known that we can achieve this by simply making minor changes to our baits.
The easiest way to change the action of your lure is to
either remove a hook or add a larger hook. If you have a lure that has three
hooks, like the Renosky Crystalina Shallow Diver,
you can remove the front hook closest to the head of the bait to achieve a
wider, more erratic action. If you are looking to achieve a tighter wobble,
simply try adding larger hooks.
These little tricks don’t work with all baits as some are
very sensitive to the number and size of hooks. But, give it a shot. You may
find that you can have a number of lures built into one.
Capt. Doug Straub
When fishermen hear the name Rapala, they think of original floaters, husky jerks, and jigging raps. Most anglers are unaware that Rapala also manufacturers an extensive line of fishing rods and reels.
FishUSA.com has always been a well known retailer in the salmon and steelhead market. This fall FishUSA will be offering a variety of spinning rods, casting rods, float roads, and center pin reels from Rapala. FishUSA.com is committed to offering anglers with the best gear at a low price, and it was a no brainer for us to offer these products for the salmon and steelhead community.
The FishUSA.com staff had the opportunity to “play” with the new Rapala rods and reels. We’re blown away with the quality and the features that are present on this gear, and we highly recommend these rods and reels to the novice angler or seasoned pro.
For more information regarding these products, please visit www.FishUSA.com or call us at 800.922.1219.
Capt. Doug Straub
With an oversized deep diving lip and wide-range of fish attracting colors, Rapala’s Down Deep Husky Jerk has become a favorite lure of the Great Lakes angler. The Deep Husky Jerk is hand-tuned and tank-tested to swim perfectly right out of the package and performs well when running fast and deep. The lures neutral buoyancy allows lure to suspend in the strike zone while the tuned internal rattle chamber creates a loud, rhythmic attraction. The premium black nickel VMC treble hooks are sticky sharp and durable, and will take the abuse of anything that swims.
Try the Down Deep Husky Jerk next time you are targeting big water walleye, salmon, trout, bass, and pike. FishUSA.com offers these lures in 8 natural colors, 7 glass finishes, and 5 FishUSA.com custom colors. These custom color schemes have been meticulously chosen by our own Great Lakes tournament anglers and charter captains. More...
It is kayak fishing season! Well, it seems that way as summer starts and more anglers are starting to explore kayak fishing. Kayak fishing is great for adventurous anglers or for those who want to get out on the water, but cannot afford a larger boat. Kayaks give anglers the ability to access smaller and shallower fishing areas and to reach places that bigger boats or even shore anglers cannot reach. Plus, there's the added More...
Summer is finally here! As the water heats up, crappie schools move to deeper water. Vertical presentations are ideal for pulling suspended slabs from their cool-water feeding zones, and when the schools of baitfish become impossible to net the savvy angler breaks out their squishy arsenal. Soft plastics can be tipped with meat (grubs, minnow heads, worms, etc.) or More...