Archive for the ‘game fish’ Tag

ICE OUT PATTERNS FOR COLD FISH   Leave a comment

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Some fishermen mistakenly seem to think fish are like bears and go into hibernation.  Large game fish often turn up at this time of the year.  The fish are not as aggressive when water temperatures are below 500-degrees.  But they still eat and take a properly presented lure.  In winter fish suck bait gently in leaving only the sensation of a tic on the line.

Any current in a body of water increases the oxygen content and fish relate to it.  In general fish are in the 12 to 20-foot range this time of year.  On larger impoundments without a warm water discharge the warmer water is in the section closer to dams.  On main part of a lake the combination of structure and currents hold promise of good fishing.  Fish tend to be just out of the current near structure.  The forage fish are there picking up the small plankton that flows with the current.  Bass in particular hang around the area close to stumps, beneath undercuts, rocks or just on a sharp breakline.

Thawing periods increase river flow and current.  The warming trend that occurs signals a feeding frenzy in predator fish.  For some reason the larger fish are the first to react to the action.  Often one will have to fish hard for a long time to get bites but the bites come from the larger fish.

Game fish like to hold on the edge of muddy water concealed from the forage fish so they can ambush them.  The silt attracts the forage fish as it presents a source of food.

Disruptions such as noise on shore or in the water make the fish shut down.  Light also seems to have an effect on the fishing action.  The brighter the day the closer to the bottom the fish seem to locate.

Weedy areas or those with the dark bottom warm sooner and are areas likely to harbor fish.  The weeds and the dark muddy bottom absorb what heat there is available on a sunny day and hold it longer than any other bottom structure.

Lures for ice-out fishing fall into two categories jigs and deep diving crankbaits.  The rods should be very sensitive and the line very light test.  The bite will be just a tic and therefore the light line and sensitive rod are required for the angler to know of the bite.  One-piece rods are more sensitive than two-piece rods.

Fish all lures slowly.  The lure needs to get down to the bottom or at least near the bottom.  Crankbaits should slowly bounce along the bottom kicking up small clouds of mud.  A loose wobbling crankbait that disturbs the silt on a branch or stump is more likely to attract the fish’s attention than one just passing over his head.

Because bait fish are just as slow reacting as are larger fish the crankbait needs to move in slowly.  The idea is to make the crankbait imitate the action of the baitfish.  That is to dart, slow down, and shimmy in one spot before moving off.

The lure is going to have to be right in front of the larger fish for him to react to it.  Long retrieves are a must in order to get the crankbait down to the strike zone of fish sitting on the bottom.

Jig fishing is a little less complicated.  A 1/16th ounce or 1/32nd ounce jig fished right below the boat works well.  With electronics one can park a boat right on top of the fish and bounce a jig right in front of their noses.  It is possible to cover the fishing zone with the jig.  The fish will not be more than a foot off the bottom.  One can do well with just about any type of jig or jigging spoon as long as it weighs less than an ounce.

You also need to fish jigs slowly and right up against any structure available.

In the case of both jigs and crankbaits it is important to pay close attention for the tic of the bite.  Then set the hook quickly.  They will not hold the hook for long.  Any variation in the action of the line calls for immediate setting of the hook.  This is a game of total concentration on the job at hand.

BEWARE OF FLYING CARP   Leave a comment

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Boating public on the upper mid-western rivers and some lakes are finding a new navigational danger, flying carp.

The Asian Silver Carp and Bighead Carp have become prolific in the Midwest will take to the air in response to noise such as that produced by outboard engines. They have experienced collisions with boaters, water skiers, anglers and operators of personal watercraft.  The accidents have resulted in damage to property and injuries to humans.

Carp often land in boats causing a mess with the excessive slime and blood from the fish getting all over the operator, his boat and equipment. The fish hemorrhage heavily when they strike solid objects.  Other damage occurs to windscreens.

The invaders escaped from fish farms in the south during the flood of 1993. They entered the Mississippi River that year and since then have moved upstream in virtually all of the rivers that drain into it.

They invade other lakes and ponds when anglers catching their own bait net some of the infant carp and transfer them. They look similar.

Bighead and silver carp are two of the four Asian carp species to invade our waters. The other two are the black carp and grass carp.  They should not be confused with the common carp, sometimes called Asian carp.

The bighead and silvers prey only on the smaller plankton, competing directly with game fish larvae. They strain their diet of plankton from the water using highly efficient long thin gill-rakers.  Being very efficient eaters, they could soon deprive the game fish of their food source.

These carp grow faster than any predators and as such have no natural enemy.

The grass carp were introduced to clean weed growth from ponds and as a food fish. Grass carp can clean out a body of water depriving game fish of a place to hide or spawn.

The black carp is an eater of mollusks and snails. As such he presents a danger to shell fish populations in rivers.  It is believed that all of them in this country are sterile but no one knows for sure.

Biologists are working with commercial fishermen in an attempt to encourage heavy catching of the fish as a way of maintaining population control. The effort centers on making it a food fish.  Anglers only catch them by snagging the fish.  The fish eat only items much smaller than a lure or bait.

We probably will never be able to eliminate the fish completely. The concentration now is on how to manage them.

 

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