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Practical Member Tips to Help Improve Your Fishing Success/Save Money

1. If you are like have stacks of outdoor magazine you refuse to throw away because there is SOMETHING you might need to know in one of them.

Trying to retrieve that info on demand is like trying to noodle a trout.

Try this: Whenever you get a magazine that you plan on saving...make a photocopy of the table of contents. I keep them in a folder...and it saves ALOT of time for that must have knowledge. (How did we ever get along without Google in the past??)

It's much easier to search for a particular issue than it is a specific article when you're not sure which one of the 500 magazines holds what you need to know.

2. To instantly remove slime from your hands after handling oily baitfish such as shad or trout...keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol onboard your boat...washing your hands with it quickly removes the slime...and sanitizes them simultaneously. (In case you're ready to munch on your sandwich, or smoke a cigarette)

3. The icing cup that comes with pillsburys refrigerated cinnamon rolls can be used for emergency cover caps on 1 1/2" bearing buddies. (Lol...don't ask! )

4. Don't throw away those little dessicant pouches (with silica in them) that come with electronics equipment. They absorb moisture very efficiently...and placing a few in your tacklebox will help to keep your hooks from rusting.

5. When swatting at a persistent horsefly buzzing around you won't shoo it away...try this....lean your back against the trunk of a tree. When the horsefly can't circle its will give up and fly away. (Works everytime)

6. Two piece rods are a necessary evil for most of us, and most are disinclined to break them down and case them constantly. Here's what I do:
I keep a roll of double-sided Velcro handy, and tape the pieces together, still rigged.
Since they ride in the back of my Polaris much of the time, dust is a concern, so I bag the handle/reel in an el cheapo nylon stuff sack.

7. If you ust a cork or somekind of a float on your Carolina rig. Cut a piece off a swimnoodle or any kind of foam that floats. I make mine about 3-4 in. long and about 1in. diameter. After you have the shape you want take a small crochetting needle ( the kind with a small hook on the end ) push it through the center long ways, now put your line inside the hook and pull it back through. You can hold the float in the place you want it by tying some knots on each end of it . You may want some small beads or tiny washers to keep the knots from pulling through the foam. Real easy to make and you doin't lose much when you hang up and break off.

8. Need kindling to start a fire on a wet day? A handful of greasy potato chips will do the trick in a pinch.

9. Before skinning a rabbit or a squirrel...soak it in a bucket of water first in order for the hair to not stick to the carcass like dry hair will.

10. When launching your boat at night...unplug your trailer lights to prevent blowing the bulbs.
There's not much sacrfice of backing light anyhow...instead...find a suitable plug in for your trailer light receptical...and wire it to a spot light with a magnetic base that you can put on top of your truck shining backwards. It lights up the WHOLE boatramp.

11. When picking morel mushrooms...use a mesh onion or orange sack made from nylon netting. Give it a good shake every once in awhile after you've found a few shrooms...especially in the spot where you just harvested one.
This allows the spores to drop back to the ground...insuring a new crop...instead of going down the drain at home.

12.-When you go to buy beads for slip floats rigs, or any rigs that involve beads for that matter, go to Wally World or any store that has a crafts center. You can pickup about 1000 for about a buck.

-Craft stores also have small diameter strong string similar to the kind that comes on bobber stops, and its much stronger. By and roll for 2 bucks, and make your own bobber stops for the rest of your life.

13. If you get wopped by a catfish fin, and get cut, I heard of you rub the belly of the catfish on the wound site it relieves the pain and toxins...

14. To protect the plug of your onboard battery charger from the elements when its not in use...get a three prong grounding adapter...cut off the two wall socket prongs...and insert the charger plug into it. The adapter plug is less than a buck at the hardware store...and will keep your charger plug from getting corroded.

15. Carry a roll of teflon tape in your tackle bag or in the dry storage compartment just in case your drain plug starts leaking. Pull the plug...preferably while the boat is on the trailer ...wrap some teflon tape around it, and reinsert into the drain hole. This tape is used by plumbers to stop leaks on metal pipe works equally well against leaks on a rubber plug.

16. To seal the cork on your favorite old fishing rod...first clean it with dawn diswashing soap under warm water...and then scrub with a soft brush.
Let it dry overnite...and then apply a product called U-40 cork sealant. (Available at home supply stores)
If its a new rod...skip the cleaning and apply the sealant with a small paint brush...a thin even coat is all thats needed.
It will soak into the cork and protect it against the abuse a catfisherman is known for dishing out.

17. A minnow trap can be made in an instant by taking a two liter pop bottle, and cutting off the top end of the bottle...and then re-inserting it backwards into the bottom half of the bottle. This creates a funnel like opening. Add bait inside the trap...bread crumbs or dry dog food both work very well...and place in a spot where schools of minnows are present. You'll be amazed at how well this one does work.

18. washing your hands in the sandbar sand will remove fish slime like the alcohol, dont sanitize

19. if you do much walking to bank spots, you know how unruley the rods are to carry. i stand my rods up on the buts. poles next to each other reels facing out. take the line from the shortest one( the line coming from the tip to the hook+i always hook onto the reel) pull that line out and wrap it around all(three here) rods and loop it over an eyelet. the rods will stay wrapped together and carry much esier!

20. if your cold water cats seam to drop your bait when they feel it get tight. with your rod laying on the ground(and casted out) pull about 3ft of line offf the reel (between reel and first eyelet) and lay it in the grass. when a fish picks up the bait it wont feel a thing till it gets to the end of that free line, by that time you should be able to get a hook in him. in light current i stick a small limber twigg in the ground about 2ft from my reel and loop the line over the top of it. that will keep the current from pulling the line but release with less preasure than the clicker.

21. free no roll sinkers= search boc library under free lead sinkers for catfishing. they dont take long to make and your not sucking up lead fumes from pooring.

22. when you get snagged wrap the line around your reel before you pull it free. this will keep the line from digging into the spool.

23. keep small baloons in your tackle bag(i use a back pack because i walk long distances to my bank spots) they work great for floats. they can be tied on the line and removed without retieing. dont blow them up much they will float a lot of wieght semi full of air!

24. a buddy of mine once spent a bunch of money on a couple of those line alarm electric gadgets that flashes a red light and beeps when a fish hits and takes line out. If I'm in a situation where I can let the fish run with the bait and my reel does not have a clicker, I will smash one side of a soda or beer can and place it on the line. This will signal me through both sight and sound if a fish runs.

25. use a cheap plastic frisbee as a cutting board for your bait. It's economical, keeps the boat clean, and it easy to clean (tip from bwhupp).

26. To get the slime and smell off your hands, wash them with tothpaste and water.

27. You can use rubber bands when you free line to keep the line under control and as a strike indicator. Works great on windy days fishing still water. I use this for channel cats in lake or reservoir waters.
Place a rubber band around the shaft of the fishing pole about six inches in front of the reel. Make the cast, let it drop to the bottom, then make a loop with the line between the rubber band and the pole. Works great for me. I saw this trick on a saltwater fishing show a few years back.

28. for a better smelling mosquito repellant rub a bounce dryer sheet on your bare skin.

29. if you don't use one tie on a shock leader it has a few benefits such as if you're using a lighter line to gain casting distance, use say 80lb test thenyou can have added abrasion resistance, or as a handy handle to land a fish.

30. try storing pre tied rigs and hook leaders in sandwich sized bags then you can put similar sized hooks or rigs in gallon sized bags for an inexpensive and compact organizational system.

31. to make a carolina or a slip rig a slip set rig pinch on a splitshot a set length from the sinker stop. for example if you pinch on a splitshot a foot away the swivel when a fish picks up your bait and moves off when the sinker meets the splitshot the weight of the sinker will set the hook.

32. ALWAYS wet your knot before cinching it tight!

33. I bought a cutting board at wally world for around $1, sticky velcro to the boat.. Cheap and easy cut bait station, and I just pull it up and dip it in the lake when washing it off. Also wont blow out of the boat.

34. Buy el-cheapo rubber floor mat (again, usually find em for a couple bucks at wally world) to put your anchor on *IF* you dont keep it in a bucket or a anchor buddy type deal...

35. Spend your "down time" organizing your tackle (I highly recommend the system Big George has in the Library). Has saved me hours of searching for stuff...

36. Cheap rod storage for the boat can be made out of PVC and a PVC bracket..Much cheaper than the $25 for a 3 pole deal I see everywhere and can be custom mounted for your boat.

37. I see alot of posts asking about packaged Shad, DON'T Bother with it.. Spend your money on a $20 castnet and catch fresh. Your hook up rate will be much higher .

38. Small section of chain mounted with your plug on it next to drain hole is cheap insurance that you wont be looking for it...

39. Keep a truck key in your boat (hide-a-key) and a boat key in your truck.

40. Fishing out of town? Throw a baby monitor in your boat when you hole up in your motel room and you can keep an ear on it .

41. Katbobber, well worth your $$

42. Assorted "Catfish" hooks at wal-mart, NOT worth your $$$

43. Got a new boat and not sure how to set it up? Climb up in it while in your drive and start looking around... Imagine you have a HUGE fish on.. Where would need this that or the other to land it. Then imagine its pitch black out and your by yourself.. Whats in the way, what needs to be in easy reach, etc etc.... and then Do it again after you fished it few times....

44. I've always used ketchup to was off the fishy smell and slime. It's about the only thing I ever found it to be good for

45. use alot of carolina rigs? Drift rigs? or want to keep alot of pretied rigs ready to tie on?
buy a pool noodle and cut it into 8-12" pieces. gentle stick hook into noodle and wrap the line around it (around circular way not the length) and put rubber band around the line. U can put 10 pretied rigs on one 8" piece and be ready when u break off, saves time when on the water.

46. This one was hard for me to figure out. To save gas and space on a boat, only take what u need and a small emergency kit. There is no reason to take 4 life jackets out if only u r gonna be on the boat. same with tackle, why take out 10 rods when u can only use 3 or 4 at a time?

47. when you get through cleaning fish reach down get some mud rub your hands good it will clean your hands pretty good

48. If you travel in the woods with a net, put a pillow case over it first. Sticks and thorns don't get stuck.

49. If you carry a pack of any kind , weigh it before you go. If the load was a little heavy you know to back off your pre-recorded weight.

50. Waters low ? This is your time to learn...take drought pics of your spots. You will be glad you did when the water comes back up, especially when hunting the night time, shore line, rock loving Flatheads in the summer. This is also a great time for the slip bobber- use it to find out where/how deep the hole or channel is in your spot is. Basically it's your depth finder.

51. Catch your bait the day before, especially come late fall and winter. Put them in a minnow trap, close the ends if you want and hide them in the water close to your spot. I've also been know to hide rod holders..less weight.

52. If you catch some bait fish while fishing and have no where to keep them alive put 2 rocks in the water, lay your net down on top. Just leave about 4" of the net out of the water. They don't jump out. I if you use a 5 gallon bucket for bait cut some plywood out to match the top and screw it down...great cut board. Also cut all the tabs of except for two...a lot easier to open and close.

53. Always keep extra water in the truck. On long walks consider hiding some 1/2 way down off your trail. If your out there longer than expected or run out, walking back 1/2 way isn't so bad. On your way back fill up what ya need and dump the rest. Bring your trash home ; )

54. Winter time... I log the weather temps and what I wore. If you do this one winter it's easy to figure out what you need. Hiking means heavier loads in the winter. To much or to little cloths can make a bad trip. Bring foot warms also, don't use them till your feet are cold, the last thing you want is your feet sweating.

55. Take a bobber ( see pic ) and run wire through it then run a 1/2oz slip sinker on top of that. Make a ? mark shape out of the end and hook it between your first 2 eyes. Let the weighted bobber hang down about a foot. If a fish hits you the bobber will always move up or down. If it's the wind it goes side to side....this never fails !!! It's perfect for circle hooks because it's more load time for you. You have 2 feet of line and then the load of your rod. If it's real windy lower your rod holder so the rod tip isn't so high. If a cat hits you it will fly off on its own after smacking your rod...that smack sound has saved me many times, LOL.

56. More on the weather..... Our worst enemy is the wind. I carry a compass to check the wind. If I go out one night and the wind is 10mph out and my spot is sheltered from the wind, I log it down. I have certain spots that are best for certain winds...homey don't play that game !

57. Rivers ? Most dams release flow/dischard level information on-line. I like to know ahead of time how fast of water I'm dealing with.

58. Night crawlers ? Use European crawlers in the summer, they don't die as easy in the summer. If your gonna store them in the fridge, sprinkle some coffee on top. It keeps them good and healthy.

59. if you use a lot of bobber stops you can take a plastic drinking straw and pre tie your bobber stops.cut the straw after each one is tied and place in an empty aspirin bottle.when you need one just run your line threw the straw slid the stop of pull tight and you are ready to fish.

60. After a night of flathunting and you have plenty of left over sunfish, do you dump them back in the river? I don't, I have a wire basket where I put the leftover bait in and leave it in a spot in a creek behind my apartment complex. The next day when I go out again, I don't have to time to catch bait. Just go get my gills anf fish!

61. Cider or white vinegar will cut fish slime, help stop the pain if you get finned or have a minor burn,dress up wild asparagus shoots,wild onions or cattail roots for a snack when you forget your lunch and decrease the smell in the truck when you leave a bag of shad in there for a few days...

62. Keep a dry towel or rag in a ziploc (r) bag with your fishing kit; you never know when you'll need to dry something.

63. Always let someone know where you're going and when they should expect you back. There are times when one can't call for help by oneself.

64. Kitty-litter will make your truck drivable again, after a bait malfunction.

65. Make a bream bed by taking a 6 to 8 inch square piece of hardware cloth and tie a string to each corner. Tie off to a limb overhanging pond, lake, etc. Place a good chunk of meat on hardware cloth and let it rot for a few days ( can substitute meat for tuna fish). Come back near enough to spot to cast line to and catch bream for either eating or bait. The meat will attract flies which will lay their eggs in it and the larvae (maggots) will emurge and fall into lake attracting the bream. Keep replacing the meat as rots away and you'll create a good bream bed.

66. I got this idea from a post by someone on here, he prepares all his snelled hooks and puts them in small bags, and puts them in larger bags, saves room. for split shot, beads, some hooks that fit, smaller sinkers, swivels, snap hooks, there are plastic compartment boxes for stuff, but a pill case is good for some hooks, swivels, smaller sinkers, split shot, beads, etc. takes up less room, and only have to open one compartment at a time. the compartment can be labeled, with size etc of whats in there. that way if its windy, cold, or i drop it, i don't loose everything, just one compartment that i got open.

67. Pull the cowling off of your boat motor and check every fuse there. Keep a box of each size in the boat. Same for your fuse panel.

68. Spark plugs - see above.

69. Tools. Spark plugs or any other spare part's not much good if you can't take it off. How many of you guys have a spare prop in the boat and not the wrench or socket to pull the prop nut?

70. When you're done fishing for the day, cut off the last 4 or 5 feet of line and your rig. Gets rid of any nicked line/leader and forces you to check and retie all your knots next trip. It's a hassle, but I HATE to lose a fish to bad line or knots.

I keep a change of clothes in the boat in a dry bag. Good deal if you get wet or cold at 3 in the morning. I also keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in the boat. I stay out all night a lot and for some reason being able to brush my teeth first thing in the morning makes me feel a lot better.

72. Spare cell phone car charger in the boat.

73. First aid kit with some of the stuff you might not think of as first aid - anti-diarhea pills for when you get a bit too many shad guts with your sandwich, tums for when you eat that cold pizza at 7AM, and visine so your eyes don't feel full of river bank sand after being up all night fishing. I also keep a spare lighter in the first aid kit since it's waterproof.

74. I keep an approx. 12"x12" bright fluorescent orange piece of cloth on a 1 ft length of dowel to wave around in the boat if I have a real emergency. I believe people would really react to this, although haven't had to use it yet

Carry a roll of teflon tape in your tackle bag or in the dry storage compartment just in case your drain plug starts leaking. Pull the plug...preferably while the boat is on the trailer ...wrap some teflon tape around it, and reinsert into the drain hole. This tape is used by plumbers to stop leaks on metal pipe works equally well against leaks on a rubber plug."
Actually, as long as you're up on plane, you can safely remove the plug on your boat. I've done that quite a few times to let water in the bottom of the boat drain out while running.

If you're crappie fishing, and the bite drops off, scale a couple of fish over the side of the boat. The scales drifting down through the water look like a school of minnows, and often turn the crappie back on.

77. remember back to grade school science projects ever take a potato and cut it then put it down in some red dye and leave it a few days. what happened. The potato soaked up the red dye because it was still a living root. Cut some potatos and put them in anise oil, fish oil, or any other liquid attractant that you want to try. after two or three days cut the potatoes into cubes and put them on your hooks.
Also, commercial catfishermen used to boil irish potatoes just a little cube them up and put them on their hooks when live bait wasn't handily available.

78. Save your cast net boxes, I've got base ball floats in 1, Got 3in cigar floats and 3in removable cigar floats separated with ziploc bags in another, and got and assortment of pre-tied rigs separated in ziploc bags in one also.

79. When trying to keep tabs on those pesky schools of whitebass, wiper, and crappie as they move about...try attaching a piece of 4 lb test line to a balloon on one end (The running depth of the school will dictate how long of a piece of leader)...and a small trout hook on the other.
After you catch one of the schooling fish...attach the small hook to the dorsal fin or in the side of the mouth of it...and release the fish.
The fish will go right back to the school it came from...with the marker balloon in tow. You now know the position of the school...removing the endless process of fan casting to locate the school again when its on the move.

Keep in mind that like sized fish school together (If they school at all)...this is true from schools of catfish...and everything inbetween. (Although the schools may at times overlap...this is the rule rather than the exception)

80. Spraying your line with no stick cooking spray...such as Pam...will keep your mono line lubed up...and less likely to twist or backlash than usual. (And if it still does...its easier to pick out)

81. When fishing with plastic baits such as worms or grubs...hook the trailer...but don't push it up onto the shaft of the hook just yet.
Take a butane lighter and heat up the shaft of the hook...and then quickly push the trailer on the rest of the way.
This will fuse the plastic to the heated and now hot hook...and make it less likely to slide off and wear out prematurely. (Super Glue is another option...and works actually even better if you happen to have some with you in your tacklebox)

82. EVERYBODY hates to get out of that toasty double sleeping bag when camping in cold weather....with momma there by your side keeping you warm.
But...when it must be done for fishing or hunting's sake...have a warmer wake up call by stuffing your long johns down into the foot of your sleeping bag...this helps to not only keep the feet warm while in the bag...the long johns are already warm from your body heat when you crawl out of the sack and put them back on.

BTW...disregard if you're still wearing the long johns in the bag while you sleep with momma in there with you...but you need to're not doing something right! (You'll need another tip off a whole other board to fix that one!)

83. If you notice your hull leaking unexpectedly while on an extended fishing trip...first trailer the boat.
Then fill the bottom of the boat with water....and crawl underneath to locate the offending pin holes. Mark them with a yellow crayon...and then apply Gutter Guard aluminum guttering sealant. (Available at any home improvement store)
A tube costs about $4. It will fit a standard calking gun...or can be applied with a paintbrush.
This stuff dries'll be back in business in no time.
If the hole is a bigger one...and you'll probably laugh...but this DOES work.

Take a one of those Strike king brand 3X minnow shaped plastic trailer...the "Zulu". (These are the ones that are so tough that you can stretch one up to 1 or 2 feet and it wont break...and has the memory to still retain its shape afterwards)

Insert the tail into the hole by pushing it through with a hook or a stick...and then pull the tapered body of the Zulu up as far as you can through the hole. You can add superglue if you wish...but it really isn't neccessary.

That one has saved the day twice...and countless other times it has made us at least more comfortable for my buddy and I in his old leaky johnboat.

You may have to stick it back up into the hole if you scrape the bottom of the boat on the ramp...a log...or a it will eventually begin to dislodge under friction.

84. If you need drift socks and do not have them or need more than you got use 5gal buckets with out the lid.

85. from my days as a tournament caster i used a 6 inch bolt, a wingnut and a couple of washers to hold a line spool and used my cordless drill to strip line off my reels. that evolved my tip make a line stripper for your drill from a bottle cap. see the pics but now i can change line and save a ton of money by not stripping and refilling my reels (up to 600yds of mono) i strip it off the reel onto a spool(i still use it too) then wind it onto a second spool, then reel it back on the reel now the line is reversed and its a new spool of line! now i'm changing line every 2-4 years.

86. I keep a book on the boat in a ziplock bag (I read a lot) to keep me occupied when the fishing's slow. I also keep some newspaper on the boat and keep it dry for a fire-starter. There's usually a toy or two hidden somewhere to keep the little monsters occupied between fish as well.

87. drill or cut some big holes in the bottom of your "drift bucket" so you don't have to pick it up full of water and pour it out. Still has enough surface area to catch current but a whole lot easier to empty when you want to move

88. WE all know that duct tape will fix everything. but when you get home and find that you walked or sat in a nest of seed ticks, duct tape will pull off the little buggers even when you cant see them.

89. As far as dumping out a drift bucket and obtaining 100% drag, Just drill a hole in the bottom of the bucket push a rope through tie a knot in the rope so it will not pull through the bucket. Run the rope that's tied to the bottom of the bucket the length of your tie off on the front of the bucket tie them off together, and pull the bucket in backwards with the rope that's attached to the bottom of the bucket. You can use one rope for both front and back, tie the rope to the handle of the bucket then the other end of the rope to the bottom of the bucket. If you have a bucket that you do not want any holes in, pull it boat side grab the bottom of the bucket dump as your picking it up.

90. Cut a small "green" stick(maple works best but any will do) 4 or 5 inches long and maybe a 1/4 inch thick, shave the bark, cut a diagonal slit part way through, upwards toward the thicker end of the stick, and hang on your line out past your last rod eye. You may have to pinch the slit closed on the line to keep the stick from sliding. Shows up good in lantern light and will fly off out of the way on a good strike or when you set the hook.

91. Always swap out to new line at least once a year.

92. If you use forked sticks for bank rod holders, (After making sure they are FIRMLY planted in the ground, "green", and stout enough), Place a fair sized rock on the butt end of your rods to help keep them from unexpectedly launching into the water.
And don't forget to trim the little "nubbins" and small limbs off of your fork stick so they don't catch your line.

93. If you smoke and like to keep your pack in your front shirt pocket, Turn the pack sideways to help keep the pack in the pocket when you bend over.

94. Even if you do not smoke, keep a cigarette lighter with you. It comes in handy for all kinds of things.

95. Always keep a small plastic bag with you for packing out your trash.

96. Keep a large "lawn and leaf" bag for an emergency rain poncho. Helps cut a chilly wind also.

97. In a pinch, you can plug a small hole in your aluminum boat with a stick.

98. For forked stick holders, instead of putting rods in the fork, get a straight stick and put across two forks.. Now you can put several rods on there...

99. I don't reuse Ziploc bags for food, but I do recycle them over and over for small baitfish, like shad. I keep a stash on my boat, my four-wheeler, and in my truck.

100. For larger bait, I use plastic grocery sacks...roll 'em up tight, and throw 'em in the freezer. I keep these things stashed, too. Handy for everything.

101. Here's a few tips about how to enhance your fishing or hunting honeyhole by utilizing manmade structure....

1. When attempting to set up a population of forage fish in your pond...take a stack of wooden pallets...and wire them together. This creates a minnow "condo" when placed into a few feet of it provides shelter from predators.

2. Round up peoples live christmas trees...and anchor them at the base with a cinder block wired to the bottom of the trunk...and an empty plastic milk jug or bleach bottle wired to the top.

When submersed into water...the tree stands upright and stays that way when it hits the bottom...and creates refuge for minnows and small perch that the crappie, walleye, bass, and channel like to gorge themselves on.

3. Wiring together wooden pallets and placing brush on top of them at intervals inside a hedgerow...or in a briar patch will attract a variety of small game...rabbits, squirrels, quail, and even pheasant or grouse.

4. Building and placing even crudely made elevated wood duck nesting boxes in brushy areas along a creek or a swamp will attract nesters to use them...perhaps establishing in the process a population that had been sparse or non-exisistent before.

102. If you have a pond that the cats are not reproducing in add spawning containers. For example coverts, old milk barrels, drums, trash cans, and appliances etc. Try to keep only one opening into the love nest if possible it will make the nest more attractive to the fish and also improve the success rate of the spawn. In most cases this is the problem not adequate or enough spawning habitat.

103. For those who do/don't dip(Skoal/Grizzly) the leftover containers are real good for storage of split shots etc.
When emptyed of tobacco wash out and get the label off the top and grab a marker and you will know what your grabbing.Stores easy and if you don't feel like carrying a box you can fit several in pants pockets.

104. If you use a spinning reel the loop of line that gets wrapped under your line as you reel then try and cast it again it tangles and stops your cast.
Dont pull the line off the front of the spool,back off on the drag and pull the line off the side of the spool.

105. Artificial Christmas trees work great for making cover. I hot glue the limbs in so they won't come lose and then set them in a cement filled bucket. Over the years I have done several this way and they last a long time under water.

106. you can make a waterproof match case by cutting the crimp off a 12 gauge and a 20 gauge shell, then inserting the 20 gauge shell into the 12 gauge shell. Makes a tight, waterproof fit.

107. My wife just bought me something that I think is neat...some ziploc bags about 2" x 2" with a write-on spot so you can label it. It's designed for putting medication doses in, but I can see it being useful for other purposes, such as putting in your fishing license and leaving your billfold in camp, or putting certain type/size hooks or swivels in to keep them from getting all mixed up.

108. In a pinch you can use 1 inch pvc pipe in the desired lenght and swim noodle with a cap on the top end small hole drilled in it for the line .works with a bead just like any other float . adjust length of noodle to size and weight requirements.i found out when i didnt have time to order a cat bobber it works in a pinch.

109. Dont overlook daytime flathead fishing, it can be killer, especially in deep scour holes.

110. when bait is plentifull fill your freezer, frozen bait is better than no bait.

111. Trophy flatheads dont feed everyday, pick a good location and be paitent, give it several trys before writing it off.

112. To keep your bait caster from bird nesting , after you make a long cast , pull off a few feet of line and place a strip of electrical tape on the spool . This will prevent too much line from spooling off ,thus saving time when youre on the water.

113. If you've ever been stuck on the water with no power you know how helpless a feeling it is. (I certainly do). Wal-Mart sells a portable "jump start" that you can plug in and charge for about $35. Charge it up and keep it with your batteries or in a safe place on your boat. If your batteries die, just clamp it on, and you will have instant power and be able to start your motor.
Also, Don't forget to check your gas before heading out!

114. I saw thread in the library about taking a bell bought from a craft store and fixing it to the end of your rod . I tried it and it worked great ,I think I paid 1.76 $ for 45 of these bells , much cheaper than the ones sold at bait and tackle stores . I use a tie wrap to attach them to the rod tip , they stay in place very well..

115. If you drift fish much in snaggy water,take a wiffle ball that golfers use to practice with and cut a slit in one side.Insert your sinker and you will reduce the snags considerably.

116. If you know anybody that works around conveyor, hit them up for some old PVC rough-top conveyor belting. Almost indestructable and makes great non-skid matts for the boat.

117. If you put an 8' to 10' length of fairly heavy chain between your anchor and the rope, it will hold the eye of the anchor down: and cause it to hold better. It is possible to get carried away with the size (trust me; I know) and your fishin' buddies will catch on real quick.

118. Instead of throwing away the wax from scented candles (when they don't smell good anymore), I take and pour the wax into empty dip cans or 35mm film canisters with a wick and use them to start a campfire. Lightweight and compact.

119. I got an LED bulb for my mini mag, LEDs don't put off much heat and the nightcrawlers don't spook when you shine it on them. Plus it's bright and makes them easy to see and catch. I got the LED conversion kit at wally world for about 7 0r 8 bucks I think.

120. The best thing I've found to get fish/bait smell off your hands is Germ-X hand sanitizer in the small pocket size bottles. It's 99 cents in most grocery store checkout lines.

121. For getting night crawlers take two small steel post or rebar about 2' long. Drive them in the ground in an area you know holds worms but don't place them too close together. About 3' apart is sufficient. Take a car or boat battery and hook jumper cables from the battery to the posts. Neg. on one post and pos. on the other. This will drive the worms to the top quick and you will have your bait in no time at all without all the digging and scraping.

122. When traveling with two-piece rods, bundle something a little bit longer than the longest rod section with them, to protect the tip. A piece of 1/2" pvc pipe works well.

123. loops-if you use mono and you are having problems with getting loops in your line when you cast (spinning gear), give this a try. take off the spool of line and submerge it in really hot water (not boiling hot, just as hot as you can get it). leave it in there for about 5 or 10 minutes and remove and let it dry. this helps remove the lines "memory" and will keep you from getting so many loops in your line.

124. mono leaders- if you use a mono leader of high pound test, you know that it also retains alot of spool memory. once you cut the desired amount of leader material off of the spool, pinch the leader between your thumb and fore finger and pull it through 2 or 3 times. this should help you straighten out the leader and remove the memory of the leader line.

125. To remove fish smell from your hands, use anything acidic lemon juice, coke, mountaindue,etc, pour on hands then rub your hands on a stainless steel spoon, fork, and smell will transfer to utensil.

126. Cheep fishing weights, #2,3,4,stones, telephone wire twisted into a loop with a straight tag end, then epoxy the straight end to the stone. I bought 40 pound of stone for 4 dollars and made 127 weights ranging from 1 ounce to 4 ounce. If they snag just pull on line and wire will pull off stone and you save your hook and swivel. Also environment friendly. No lead left in the water.

127. When river fishing, rather then anchoring bow of boat, tie off on tree branch. If you need to chase fish just untie from boat and chase fish, then go back to get your tie off rope.

128. When bank fishing, for bite indicator,wrap line from reel around a pop can with small rock on top of can, when fish bites can will fall over and you`ll know witch pole took a hit.

129. Take a kid fishin with you, we have a responsibility to pass our passion on to the future, and show them alternatives to drugs and crime!!!

130. When you have a spill in your vehicle that leaves a rank smell. Get some coffee and put on the area of the spill and let it adsorb up the odor. I have tiied this on several smelly spills and it works.

131. Ok now we all know sunfish make breat bait and crickets make great sunfish bait here is my helpful tip:

Dig a hole about 18 inches deep about 8 to 12 inches wide, make sure the sides of you hole are straight up and down. Place a cover over the hole like a piece of old carpet, wood or anything insects will crawl under to hide,I like to make a mock brushpile and when the do, they fall into the hole and cant climb out. You can sweeten the pot by adding some lettuce scraps and such to help draw the crickets in. Also it helps to add a coffee can in the hole you can just throw a lid on it and go catch bait.
Also a red light just over top of the trap will attract them in larger numbers.

Contributing to this article:

Jerry60K; Fishing Bum; Sgt Fishslayer; Katmandeux; Whisker Maniac; Riverdawg-1; Lilrivercatman; Darkthirty; Gargoil77; Yeppa; BKS72; Jim; *****; Baptisitpreach; Dave53; Flathunter; JPB; Dinger66; jtrew; TexDan; Ruger 454; Ulikedew; Quint; Subnetzero; Danzig; Smokey; Rwilley3; MrMarkEdwards; Odtimr; Plainsman; Rich-Online; Pirate Jerry; Blacky; Poison Pits; JimmyJonny; GMCFishhauler; Big Dav; Old Driller; Tbull; River Scum; Alands94;
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