Thursday, August 20, 2009



Jig fishing is popular and challenging. Why? Because the person fishing is creating the action that attracts, or doesn’t attract, the particular type of fish he or she is trying to catch. Here’s how it works. Cast out and let your jig hook sink to the bottom. Then use your rod tip to raise the bait about a foot off the bottom. Then let it drop back to the bottom. You can jig up and down, side to side or up and down and sideways. Jig rigs come in all sizes, shapes and colors, and can be used with or without live bait.

Jig and Worm

Attach a worm to your jig hook and use it to bottom hop or sweep through your target area. To bottom hop, cast to the target and let the jig sink. Then reel in slowly, twitching the rod with every third or fourth turn of your reel. To sweep, cast to the target and drag the jig parallel to the bottom while reeling with a fairly tight line. Slow and steady gets the fish when you’re sweeping with a jig and worm.

Ice Fishing

Fishing through a three-foot hole in the ice? Yup. It’s a unique way to catch multiple species of northern, fresh-water fish. And thanks to advancements in garment design, portable fish houses and fish locating devices, it’s becoming more and more popular every day. One- to three-foot rods are most often used and simple reels hold the line. You can also ice fish with tip-ups. When a fish hits your tip-up gear, it releases a lever that raises a flag or rings a bell. This means you should stop playing cards with your buddies and start reeling.

Many fisherman fish with no protective structure other than their winter clothes. Longer fishing expeditions can be mounted with simple structures. Larger, heated structures can make multiday fishing trips possible, but these are often eschewed by seasoned fishers, many of whom do not use these larger shelters. In other words, they think they are wimpy.

For those who are game for a cozier experience, a structure with various local names, but often called an ice shanty, ice shack or just plain shack, fish house, bob house, or ice hut, is sometimes used. These are dragged or trailered onto the lake using a vehicle such as a snowmobile, ATV or truck. The two most commonly used houses are portable and permanent shelters. The portable houses are usually made of a heavy, watertight material. The permanent shelters are made of wood or metal and usually have wheels for easy transportation. They can be as basic as a bunk, heater and holes or as elaborate as having satellite TV, bathrooms, stoves, and full-size beds, and may appear to be more like a mobile home than a fishing house.

Ice Fishing Basics: Setting Up Traditional Ice Fishing Tip Up
Courtesy of

Fishing From Boats

Big or small, motorized or outfitted with paddles, a boat simply allows you to cover more water. But for most folks, a boat simply makes fishing a lot more fun. The boat you choose should be based on where you want to fish and what kind of fish you’re stalking. Some boats are better on rivers, streams and ponds. And some are best used on large bodies of water. Choose your boat wisely and follow the rules.

* Know your boat and how to handle it.
* The water you’re in contains hazards such as submerged trees and rocks.
* Watch the weather conditions and follow emergency procedures.
* Always carry safety devices and know how to use them.
* The boat operator is legally responsible for the boat and the safety of those on board.
* Understand the rules of navigation, the courtesies of safe boating and always complete a boater safety course prior to operating a boat for the first time.

Catch and Release

Catch and release was first introduced in Michigan in 1952, as a way to reduce the cost of stocking hatchery-raised trout. Since then, conservationists and sport fisherman alike have promoted catch and release to ensure sustainability and avoid over fishing. Proper catch and release fishing techniques also reduce fish fighting and handling times and help avoid damage to fish skin, scales and slime layers— damage that can leave fish vulnerable to fungal skin infections.
Here are some simple rules.

* Don't keep a fish out of water longer than you can hold your breath.
* Never tear a hook out of the fish. Make or purchase an efficient hook remover.
* If a fish loses consciousness, try to revive it by gently moving it forward and backward so water moves through its gills.
* When the fish begins to struggle and can swim, let it go.


ernest miller said...

neat details

Joyce Latimer said...

My Dad always kept a hand towel on the boat to handle the fish. He would wet it in the water (lake or saltwater) where the fish lived. He cautioned us to try not to handle the fish with our bare hands as it did more damage to the protective film of "slime" on the fish. Less damage to that film meant that the fish was less exposed to infection. I don't know the science behind it but it made sense to me.

Holly said...

We do a lot of fishing we have more lakes within a ten mile radius than you can shake a stick at. We do a great bit of boating, and some ice fishing. Your instructions were great to read and well put together. Thanks for your time, enjoyed once again!