Fishing Tackles – FAQ

What’s the most effective bait when ice fishing?

Minnows generally work the best when ice fishing with tip-ups, especially for perch and walleye. Maggots are also effective.  

Does adding scent really make fish bite more?

It can certainly help. Because the bait becomes all the more enticing, fish are more likely to indulge than otherwise. A great side effect to using scent that should not be overlooked is that it will take the smell of the angler’s hands (sunscreen, for example) off the bait. 

What’s the best lure when fishing for smallmouth bass?

Tube jigs are a sure bait to use in any kind of water. If there are rocks try throwing a purple with silver pepper colored tube. This color is great for rocky conditions if the water is clear or light green. Inline spinners and surface poppers work well in certain times of the year as well. Minnows, worms, and crayfish work best for live bait.

By RLS Photo/shutterstock

What are some useful baits for rainbow trout?

These are the favorite rainbow trout baits:

  • A sac of roe containing 3-4 eggs, using small hooks and a 4 lb fluorocarbon leader line.
  • Spinners work as well, especially with black feathered tails as it imitates a bug or parasite.
  • Smaller sized spoons are effective when trolling.

What’s a great lure for pike?

Weedless spinnerbaits in a natural color. Pike like loud, colorful baits that attract their attention and inspire them to eat. 

How do I fish in plant and weed infested waters and what type of lures should I use?

A common lure for fishing in weeds is a 10″ (or 7″) plastic worm with a screw-in worm weight, perfect for flipping into holes of the slop. Give it a few shakes and move on. Most of the time bass will hit it on the drop or jump out of the weeds to strike the lure. Also use a 5′ plastic minnow with a worm hook so it is weedless. Don’t use any weight and run it on top of the weeds like a wounded minnow. Weedless inline spinnerbaits also work.   

How do I keep a buzzbait on the surface when retrieving?

When first casting out, flip the bail before the lure hits the water and start to retrieve immediately. This allows the buzzbait to hit the water and start rolling right away. Second, use a braided line so there isn’t so much stretch in your line. Lastly, keep the rod tip at a 45 degree angle upwards, which allows for better control of the buzzbait. 

By Alexander Lukatskiy/shutterstock

How do I fish in darker, murkier waters?

It is very helpful to use a lure that will vibrate in the water. This allows the fish to sense the vibration and counter a strike. In dark but cleaner water, try using a white color in sunny and cloudy conditions. The fish will skyline them if the water is clear. To you it may seem dark down below but the fish can see clearly. If the water is dark and murky I would use dark colors and rattles. Murky water has a lighter color to it so the dark colors show better.

There are so many lures that come in different shapes and colors, how do I know which ones to go with?

You have to consider many factors first: what species of fish you are targeting? What’s the water clarity like? How big are the fish you want to catch? What are other anglers using on the same waterways? Keep your choices simple at first, until you get comfortable with presentation and technique. 

What is the difference between a Texas rig and a Carolina rig?

The Texas rig is a term used for rigging a bait with a small percentage of the bait covering the very tip of hook, resulting in less snags or hang ups while fishing in heavy cover; A Carolina rig is mostly used while drifting, or slowly using the trolling motor, to work over a vast area like flats, ridges, or humps- with a small ball bearing swivel, bead and walking sinker attached from the main line to a fluorocarbon leader. From the swivel you tie the leader material and then you tie on a soft plastic bait with a wide gap hook.

What lures or bait should I be using when ice fishing for big northern pike?

Big northerns are great predators, so live bait such as suckers on a quick strike rig is really tough to beat. Pike also bite into a variety of spoons. Another strategy is to use a white 5″ tube rigged on a 1/2 or 3/4 oz head and fish it like a spoon. The erratic glide on a free line is a great trigger for these fish and the profile is just like a smelt or other bait fish they love to eat. Fish it on a Medium Heavy to Heavy power rod that has a nice fast or extra fast tip so you can impart a bunch of action to the bait and hang on tight. 90% of the time the pike will hit it on the way down and when you go to move the bait again you will lock up nice and solid.

By newroadboy/shutterstock

What’s the best lure for largemouth bass when fishing from shore?

Like any form of fishing, the best lure depends on a variety of circumstances, from type of water to the amount of cover available for fish to hide in. For its ability to work in many different kinds of water, buzzbaits are an excellent choice, especially for the excitement it can bring for surf anglers


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Jack Bollinger
Born in Massachusetts, Jack is an avid fisherman most of his life. He is currently a fishing guide in the bay of California. He has been fishing for more than 40 years and fly-fishing for more than 30. His favorite fish to catch is the rainbow trout and small-mouth bass. He has earned many top places in different lake fishing competitions.



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