Another Way to Fish

For easy freshwater fishing and a relaxing time on the water, try fishing a live minnow or small panfish. For some simple fishing from bank, bridge, pier, boat or even when wet-wading, hook the bait and carefully cast it into open water. Make the cast slowly so as to not snap the bait off of the hook.

This simple rig of a hook and bait allows the bait to free-swim where it wants to go. Hold the rod for sensitivity or put the rod in a rod holder and wait for a strike.

If using a rod holder, use a bait-runner type of spinning reel or a casting reel with a clicker to alert to a strike.

You can also fish with a bobber to keep the rod above a certain depth so that you know where the bait is at all times. It will also alert to strikes and nibbles. If fishing shallow, snap the bobber onto the line no more than a few feet about the bait for easy careful casting.

If you want to fish deep with a bobber, use one of the many bobber-stop rigs that are available from any tackle shop and made by companies such as Arbogast (Arndt), Betts, Eagle Claw, Plastilite, Thill and others.

These work in two basic ways. Some have a spring that you slide up the line and pull to stretch it tight. This prevents it from slowing or interfering with casting. It does stop a small plastic bead on the line which in turn stops a sliding bobber.

Other systems work by using the bead and sliding bobber arrangement, but are stopped with a small rubber band or separate line tied knot (firmly fixed to the line and clipped) that can’t interfere with casting. Both systems allow casting with spinning or casting gear since the sliding bobber and bead slide down to the hook and bait on the cast. Once the bait lands, it will sink as the bobber and bead slide up the line until stopped by the knot or stretched spring.

There are three good ways to hook live baitfish, be it a minnow, sucker or small panfish. If allowing a baitfish to run free, the best way is to hook it through the meaty part of the tail and let it go. If you are fishing running water or very slowly trolling from a boat, try lip hooking a minnow, going through both upper and lower lips.

For really deep fishing on a sliding bobber rig, the hook live baitfish through the back, making sure that you avoid the backbone spinal cord. Each of these methods works best for the method of fishing involved. Each rig allows the baitfish to run and act as normal as possible to take game fish such as bass, pike, musky, or even channel catfish.

Taking advantage of the right bait, the right hooking method and the right rigging can really help you fill a livewell while enjoying a relaxing afternoon.

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