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Early Season Live Bait Trout Rigging


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.

FishUSA Staff,
Jay Prazer

Sonar vs. Underwater Cameras



So you've found yourself “hooked” on ice fishing. Good for you. If you are well prepared and vigilant to conditions, ice fishing is a great family activity and fun way to put fresh fish on the table. Whether sitting on a bucket exposed to the elements, inside a homemade hut, manufactured flip-over, or ultra-portable pop-up hub, your tackle and gear options are great and varied. Like open water trolling, ice fishing demands the use of specialized equipment due to the harshness of the environment and behavior of the target fish. Safe ice and safety gear aside, nothing is more important to the modern ice angler than knowing if there are fish below your setup.

Unless you fish crystal clear, typically shallow waters, you just don't know what is under the ice without the use of electronics, specifically sonar and underwater cameras. When the itch to get serious about ice fishing add-ons takes over your financial thoughts, the argument turns to what technology is better? $300 - $600 is not a typical impulse purchase, so it's important to make the smartest purchase possible. You can always save for the option you don't choose, as long as you fill your most important needs first. Typically the big names in the game offer the best equipment in both performance and durability. The question remains the same. Camera or sonar? FishUSA.com is here to help More...



Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk Lures - Now Also Available in FishUSA.com Custom Colors!!!

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...

Berkley Spooling Station

Congratulations to Robby Liming for winning the Berkley Spooling Station giveaway!

We have contacted you via email and will ship the prize as soon as you confirm your shipping address.

Stay subscribed for future giveaways!

-FishUSA.com staff-

Kayak Fishing


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...


Five Crappie Soft Plastics You Need To Try!

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...

Berkley Flicker Minnow

Berkley has done it again.

They have designed another future classic lure similar to the flicker shad but this time it is called the flicker minnow.

The Flicker Minnow is not only designed by pros, but is also tournament proven to catch fish. This new bait dives deeper and has maximum flash and tail action. The new flicker minnow comes in 2 sizes and 16 different colors. More...

New Renosky Colors

Renosky has released four new custom color lures that are only available at FishUSA.com. These four colors mimic the basic reflection of light with the design of these extremely effective lures to create a lure that truly duplicates the light reflecting scales of a live minnow. These lures are great for fresh and saltwater game fish.

The new lures have all of the same great features as the standard Renosky Shallow divers such as More...

Spring Trout Spinning and Fly Tackle Checklist


Late winter is a great time to check over your gear for the approaching spring trout season. Whether you fly fish or use conventional tackle - a simple rundown of the basics will get you off to a great start. Trout tackle essentials include rods, reels, terminal tackle, lures, flies, bait and wading gear.

1. Rods

It’s really important to check your fishing rod’s guides, ferrules and reel seat. Grab each guide and make sure they are secure. Inspect the thread wraps and epoxy for damage. A guide that breaks while you have a fish on can cause the line to break, ending with the loss of a fish. The rod ferrules on multi-piece fishing rods are what give the rod the overall strength, similar to that of a one-piece rod. Again, inspect the epoxy and wraps on these areas for damage. The rod’s reel seat should clamp down on the reel’s foot tightly and should have a solid connection inside to the rod blank.

If you find damage, it may be time for a new spinning rod. Some favorites 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...