FishUSA.com Tackle Blog

FishUSA.com News, Articles and Events!

Walleye Prep Work


In a normal year I would be panicking that my new boat hasn’t arrived and in a mad rush to get it all rigged, instead I’m fishing over nearly two feet of ice. For those that don’t ice fish or need a little break from the weather, March is a perfect time to make sure you have yourself and gear ready when the weather breaks. For me this is an extremely important process, since many of these tasks can take enough time that you don’t want to undertake them all at once or when the fish are biting.

Checking planer board release pads - Pads can get worn or cut up and can do serious More...


Lindy 360 Ice Jig

The Lindy 360 Ice Jig utilizes a revolutionary concept to create a rotating jig. Featuring a body that rotates on an internal axle, this jig produces an impressive amount of movement, flash, vibration, and water displacement. These factors are often critical to producing strikes. Once the jig is underwater, the body taps against More...

Rattle Bait Walleyes


As a full time professional angler I am often told I think outside the box. Ironically this large amount of time that we spend fishing also makes us rely on things that we know work and often cuts down on experimentation if we let it. Rattle baits through the ice for walleyes and even pike, crappies and perch has been a very successful tactic for several years. Nearly every manufacture now has a bait that can be used for the hard water.

Last winter myself and several of the Ice Team and Clam National Pro Team huddled around a custom built tank that was designed specifically to test new lures. We looked like a bunch of kids in a candy store. We all wanted a rattle style lure because of their effectiveness at not only catching aggressive fish, but for their ability to draw fish in to your hole. Their effectiveness on large Canadian Shield lakes and lake Winnipeg in particular was known, but most felt that they would work on other bodies of water across the US. After about 20 versions were sorted through you now have what Clam calls the Psycho Shad. This lure, unlike most that were open water lipless cranks, was designed More...


Ice Fishing Plastics

For several years now manufacturers such as Berkley, Custom Jigs and Spins, Nothland, Lindy and Little Atom have been producing micro-sized plastic baits designed specifically for the ice fishing angler. This past season we saw new bait releases from Clam, VMC and Trigger X. These baits are not simply a fad, they are here to stay because they work great. Sure, there are times when natural bait is all the fish are keying in on. Many anglers still start the day off jigging a live minnow or waxie, but for times when the bite is off, the appeal of More...

Between the Hatches


Have you ever seen somebody on the stream with their fly rod held high? Do you wonder what they are doing in the middle of the stream? They are performing the art of high sticking also known as short line nymphing. This type of fishing will often out produce other techniques. Some of my best days on the streams occur when I am high sticking. It is a great skill to learn for use when there is no hatch present.

The preferred rod for high sticking is a 9ft long rod with a fast action. A fast action provides greater feel as the line moves along the bottom. The longer length rod allows you to keep as much line off the water as possible as this will cause drag. People have been known to use rods as long as 12 feet in order to obtain a longer reach and More...


New Berkley Trilene Transoptic Monofilament Line

Berkley has always been a leader in fishing line technology and this year’s offering is no different.

Trilene Transoptic features a proprietary transition technology which is activated by UV light. Transoptic changes from clear to gold in sunlight and overcast conditions. UV light begins to filter out the farther down the water column it goes, causing this line to return to its clear color after a few feet of water depth. This color changing line is the perfect answer More...

Selecting an Inline Planer Board

Inline planer boards were invented years ago, but their popularity has blossomed over the past decade. While most popular on “big water” they have found use nearly anywhere anglers troll. As their popularity grew, many manufacturers started producing them, and now there are plenty of models for the angler to choose from.

Inline boards are designed to take the trolled lure to the side of the boat where the lure can be presented to fish that have not been spooked by the boat. Planer boards also allow anglers to troll many more lines without tangling. While most inline planer boards are very versatile, some are particularly useful in certain situations.

For fishing inland lakes with fairly light lures for smaller fish; mini boards such as the Church TX-12 are excellent. They do not pull as hard as the larger boards and allow the angler to use lighter rods as well. Although these boards More...

Choosing the Proper Bait for Spring Trout Fishing

In many states, the opening day of Trout Season is one of the true signs of Spring. Every Spring millions of anglers from 3 to 93 participate across the country. Some anglers fish hard from the opening bell till dark, whereas others seem just happy being outside and watching the spectacle. In many areas of the country, trout fishing is brought by the stocking truck, where millions of browns, rainbows and brook trout are released into streams, lakes and rivers by the States and fishing clubs. Because these trout have lived nearly all of their lives in a hatchery, their diet is much different than their wild cousins. Stocked trout also seem to tolerate angler pressure much better and will feed in the same conditions that would send a wild trout scurrying for the nearest rock.

Just because the stocked trout are not that selective doesn’t mean that they are always easy to catch, particularly when they have been hooked and lost (or released) a time or two. By selecting the proper hardware, processed or natural bait, and presenting it in the proper manner, catching these trout will More...

Choosing a Fly Rod for Trout

There was a time when most anglers carried a cane rod 8-9 feet long with a reel filled with 6 weight level line. In the 1950′s fiberglass became popular, particularly with anglers on a budget, as these rods could be mass produced. Cane rods were still mostly built one at a time. In the 70′s and early 80′s, graphite (and boron for a time) became the new miracle fiber. Some traditionalist scoffed, but the graphite fly rod was ingrained in the fiber of fly fishing forever.

Today, cane rods are primarily used by traditionalists. Since cane rods are still for the most part produced one at a time, the prices are fairly expensive, with most new rods running $500 and up.

Fiberglass fly rods are still popular with some anglers, particularly those who prefer more moderate action rods. Small streams and very soft presentations More...

Lure Selection for Hard Water Angling


As with all fishing, selecting the proper lure is crucial for success. With the wide variety of lures that are available to the modern ice angler, many are baffled by all of the choices. Some lures are particularly effective for a certain species of fish, while others perform well for a wide range of fish.

Below are some preferred lures by species.

Panfish

Throughout much of the ice fishing region, panfish such as perch, crappie and bluegill are very popular. Because More...