Friday, February 29, 2008

Spring Fishing's Coming

I can't wait for spring to get here. The rains come, the creeks swell, the fish move up into the creeks and then when all returns to normal and the waters warm just a little bit, the fishing is really great everywhere. I love fishing creeks and rivers in the springtime cause the action is so fast and you never know just what you might catch. There's lots of ledges and over hanging tree branches that hold fish but you have to take your time fishing these spots to be effective and catch the fish. Sometimes you have to wade back thru a hole and change baits to get them to bite but its worth it just to get the full enjoyment of creek fishing. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time when you go creek wading so you can fish the holes slowly and be sure to take in all the scenery as you wade. Remember to that the bottom of the creeks are going to be very slick up until mid summer, especially if there's any current at all, due to the winter cleansing. Remember also to keep just the fish you intend to eat or put in the freezer and only keep the fish of legal size limits.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lake Sturgeon Project in Tennessee

In the year 2000 Tennessee Wildlife resource Agency began stocking lake sturgeon in the French Broad and Holston rivers near Knoxville, Tn. and again in 2006 stocked Cheatham Reservoir of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tn.. The lake sturgeon is Tennessee's largest species of fish growing to weights of 300 lbs. and lengths of 8 feet long and living for up to 150 years old. To date more than 50,000 Lake Sturgeon have been released into Tennessee's rivers. Movement studies of the lake sturgeon have already shown that they travel great distances after being released and some fish which have already been caught and released have shown the fish traveling 250 miles and going through 4 dams before being caught by an angler. Some of the lake sturgeons are equipped with transmitters for research study and monitoring of the fish . Lake sturgeon are an endangered species in Tennessee and should be released immediately without harm to the fish. If a lake sturgeon is caught by any angler, TWRA would appreciate a photo and approximate length of the fish if this can be done without harm to the fish or delaying the release. In addition to the photo, your name, address, phone number, when and where you caught it and what you were using for bait should be sent to your regional office or call the Fish Management Division at 615-781-6575. A numbered Lake Sturgeon Certificate will be sent to you as appreciation of your report. TWRA is hopeing to be able to allow a managed sport fishery of this primitive species in years to come if the program succeeds.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wading Creeks and Streams

Creeks and streams are abundant all around the world and many of them are have some really great fishing in them if you find the right spot. Most people who fish are what I call the " seldom fishers " , who I refer to as those group of people who only pretend to know what they are doing when they go fishing and end up fishing from the banks somewhere where they can drive up to the edge of the water and fish almost out of their vehicles. The next group of people who fish I call the " amatuer fishers " who know something about fishing but catch very few fish when they go. Then we come to the " professional fishers " who seem to know everything there is to know about fishing and usually can catch fish anywhere they go and at anytime. As for me, I guess I'm whats called an amatuer fisher and only catch fish if they are biting. My favorite way to catch fish is by wading the creeks and streams at a slow pace, usually wading upstream so as to keep any mud and debris that is stirred up from the bottom flowing behind me. Depending on the time of year as to the type of bait or lures that I take with me and what kind of bottom I fish. During spring thaw the smallmouth bass run upstream to the dams to spawn and can later be caught just about anywhere in the creeks and streams as the water temperatures change. Just about all species of fish will spawn in early spring with the exception of a few species which will wait till the water temperatures have warmed to around 65-68 degrees. As you wade these creeks and streams there are a few hazards you want to be carefull of such as slick bottoms, snakes and swift currents and even fences across the waters. Wading creeks and streams can be an enjoyable event but it can also turn out to be a very bad situation if care is not taken while fishing. Please make sure you use caution when stepping off ledges in the waters as these can sometime be very deep drop-off putting you in over your head. Next time you go fishing give this method a try and see if you don't come out with some great fish but remember to keep only what you can eat and release the rest for someone else to have a great time catching.Please remember also to check your size limit in your area before you go fishing and when in doubt throw them back.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Big Catfish -- Catch-em if you can

Catfish are thought of by many people as strictly bottom feeders when in all reality they are just like any other species of fish, feeding at any depth. Most species of catfish crave certain foods for their diet but will eat just about anything you put before them. Understanding these fish and doing alittle research and study work will allow anybody to be able to catch one of these monsters of our waters,whether it be from a lake,reservoir,river or pond. As of 2007 there are 36 extant families and about 3,023 extant species of the catfish family. The largest flathead catfish ever caught to date was taken in Independence, Kansas weighing 123 lbs. 9 ozs but is no match for the world record Giant Mekong Catfish of Northern Thailand, the largest of which was caught May 1, 2005 weighing in at an unbelievable 646 lbs. Today the Giant Mekong Catfish are on the critically endangered species list and are illegal to fish for in certain waters of Thailand. Other catfish around the world of substantial size include the European ( Wels ) Catfish and of our very own yellow catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish and the shovelbill catfish (spoonbill ). Now I do a good bit of catfishing in the summer months and do quite well at it but it depends on where I go as to how I fish for them. In one area of a river I fish I use a 2-4/0 hook with no sinker and let my big chunk of chicken liver drift under the ledge rocks producing some nice 10-25 lb catfish where as at another spot I fish I like to use a sinker and fish the bottom for channel catfish and flatheads producing fish from 1 lb to 15 and up to the 78 lb fish posted on one of my other websites. Fishing for catfish can be slow,easy and laid-back or it can be fast and furious with lots of action and excitment.Don't expect to catch any perticular species of catfish all year long as each species go on bed at different times are just don't feed while on beds. It all comes down to one important fact about catching catfish, you have to be at the right spot at the right time to catch fish.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Technology and Tackle.

Todays fishing world is just as full of fish of all sizes and different species as it was over 100 years ago but the technology to catch these fish have changed dramaticly over this time and more so just recently. Rods and reels, boats, electronic eqippment, baits and lures, lines and even the technics have all changed to make fishing more productive and enjoyable. As you walk through your favorite fishing tackle store or look through your favorite fishing supply magazine take a moment to notice just how many different varieties of the same type lures or rods you'll find that do exactly the same thing. Now they say choice is good but too much of a good thing can be confusing to alot of people. Me myself, I like to run into my tackle store grab exactly what I'm after and get out to the fishing hole,but let a salesperson or someone in the store that knows you see you there and it's 20-30 minutes before you get out of the store to go fishing. There is one great way of getting your fishing supplies before your trip and that is to go grocery shopping with the spouse everytime and depending on where you get your fishing supplies either drop her (or him ) off and go get your tackle or like at Walmart Supercenter just go to the other end of the store and have them meet you there when their done shopping. In the next few post I plan on discussing ways of catching big catfish and wading creeks and streams for fast action fishing.