By Al Denninger © 2011
Some Fishing Tips
Al Denninger Guide
Every fishing season we learn new tricks to improve and increase our
enjoyment and hopefully our catch. Talking to people at sports shows, at my
seminars, and in the course of a fishing day, I hear many interesting and
informative fishing tips. The following are just a few of the fishing tips I
feel are worthy of passing along.
Keeping Night Crawlers Cool and Dry
Keeping a nightcrawler in good condition can be hard, especially in a
boat during the heat of a summer day. To keep your crawlers cool and dry in
a boat for an extended period of time, simply place in the crawlers in a
double sided worm box and then put the worm box in a five quart ice cream
bucket that has been set in a large cooler containing ice. The ice will keep the
crawlers cool while the ice cream bucket will keep the crawlers dry as the
ice melts. The crawlers remain fresh, cool and dry even during the hottest
When vertical jigging, your line can become twisted. To prevent this
twisting, tying a small barrel swivel about 1ft. up from the jig.
Locate New Weeds
||This is one for the summer angler
who plans on fishing walleye next May. Weed growth is at its peak in
July and August. Locate weed beds on your favorite walleye lake for
the following spring. Smart walleye fishermen realize that newly
emerging weeds are prime early season walleye hot spots. Scout on a
clear day. Put on your polarized sunglasses and cruise the shoreline
and shallow bars, visually seeking cabbage and coon tail weed beds
and mark them on your map. Deeper weeds are also much easier to spot
on the electronics at this time of year.
For the River Fishermen
Rising dirty river conditions often mean a slow, tough bite. A trick that
works well it is to go to a completely artificial lure presentation.
Favorite lures for this technique include jigs with 2 inch twister tail, 2
inch double tails, or sassy shads. Apply a little fish sent and try fishing
these plastic lowers against the current as much as possible. The current
resistance against these plastic baits creates vibrations and presents a
better target for the walleye.
Vertical jigging and river fishing go together like Fridays and fish
fries. To increase your chances of catching your next fish fry from a river,
try this trick when the fishing actions slows down. Change your presentation
by dragging your jig. Occasionally, lift it slightly off the bottom. Veteran
river rats have found this change will trigger some of the non-aggressive
fish. However, have plenty of jigs because you tend to snag more using this
Walleyes can be taken not only on crawlers and leeches during the summer
months, but also on minnows. Minnows fall from favor with anglers not
because they stop catching fish, but due to the fact that it is almost
impossible to keep most species alive. Not so with the lowly "mud" minnow.
Many fishermen know that mud minnows are dynamite for largemouth bass, but
very few use them for walleyes. They are by far and away the best minnows
for warm weather. Northern and Musky love them also.
They stayed on a hook and remain a live much longer than any chub. A 3 inch
"mud" tipped on a 1/16 ounce weedless jig worked through the weeds is tough
to beat on certain lakes. A mud minnow will survive all day in the minnow
bucket in 90į weather with no special handling. Try that with chubs and they
are dead in an hour without ice and aeration.
Since most Musky strike a lure as it hits the water to within the first
3ft. of the retrieve, a shorter cast increases your odds of producing a
strike. Make 1500 short casts of about 75 to 80ft. long. During an average
day of a musky fishing, this will give you a 1/3 better chance of a strike
then your partner who makes 1000 longer casts that day.
Many times when a musky follows your bucktail to the boat aggressively
but does not strike...try casting out the same color pattern, only in a
smaller overall size. Many times this will provoke a strike.
With catch and release fishing, many well meaning anglers keep their
catch out of the water longer than necessary. If your boat is equipped with
a live well, simply remove hooks from the Muskyís jaw while keeping the
fish and the net in the water. Then place your hand along the gill plate,
removing the fish from the net and placing it in the live well (pre-filled
of course). This will give the fish time to regain its strength and allow
you/or your fishing partner time to ready the camera. When all is set, hold
the fish up supporting its weight with your other hand while your partner
snaps a couple of quick pictures.
||Now, put the Musky back into the
lake while holding the fish just above the tail. With a gentle back
and forth a motion, the fish will soon pull away from you ready
to fight again another day. You will have pictures of your prize and
a special feeling that comes only with seeing this great fish swim
away, hopefully to spawn again next spring. The key here is to never
a keep a fish you plan on releasing out of the water any longer than
you can hold your breath underwater!
If your boat does not have a live well, simply keep the fish in the net
alongside the boat. On bigger fish, this can get a little hairy, but itís
better than having a trophy that you intend to release flopping on the floor
of your boat.