Critical Fishing Tools: Besides a Rod, Reel & Tackle

Going fishing is a chancy thing, right?  You may or may not connect with fish.  Is there anything that will increase your chances of finding fish — besides a GPS (Ground Positioning System)?

Amazing Tools

Finding fish can be a lot like ‘Russian Roulette’ – everything depending on chance.  However, once I learned about the lake maps where I fished, things changed.

There are a variety of maps available, depending on the popularity of the body of water where you want to fish.

The most common ones are available from the local bait or tackle shop.  They are also available online (Google: list the name of the body of water + map) from map companies and (often) your state fishing department.

In some areas, you can get them from the local fisheries.   I’ve even seen them offered by County Extension Agencies.

What Kind of Maps?

Maps offer differing information.  A contour map shows the contours of the water where you want to fish.  Here’s a simple contour map of Balsam Lake in New York).

This map indicates the shallow edges of the lake, where the water drops to 5 feet and where the deep hole is at 10 feet.

Most bodies of water have a number of deep holes and sand bars and the contour map will indicate them.

The Latest Lake Survey Map

This useful map has a wealth of info:  game fish available, aquatic vegetation types (their locations and which fish call them home), water quality, and much more.

One of the most useful features might just be the information on the forage fish populations.  If the game fish are bass, then knowing which fish they use for food will help you select likely baits and a successful strategy for fishing.

Keeping a Log

Second to the maps in value, to my mind, is keeping a log of fishing experiences.  Things I include in my log:

  • Type of water,
  • Season,
  • Water temperature
  • Cover type (sandy bottom, sparse vegetation, are examples)
  • Structural patterns (if any)
  • Water level,*
  • Water depth,
  • Water clarity,
  • Time of day

I’m amazed how quickly I forget important facts.  Without my log, I wouldn’t be able to learn nearly as much from my past experiences.

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* If you find that the water level has dropped, most likely the fish have moved to deeper water.  If the water level has risen, the fish are likely to have moved to shallow areas.

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This is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesandGraphics.com

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Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 8:59 pm  Comments Off on Critical Fishing Tools: Besides a Rod, Reel & Tackle  
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Goin’ Fishin’ with a Fishing Log

Sample Fishing Log 

 

Successful Fishing!

Successful Fishing!

 

Name ___________________________

Date____________________________

Location: ________________________

Water: (circle one)

Tank/Pond    Creek    Stream    River    Lake    Reservoir    Ocean

Season: (circle one)       Spring       Summer       Fall       Winter

Time of Day: Early Morning     Mid-morn.     Afternoon     Evening     Night

Time Started _______________    Ending Time _______________

~*~

 

Water Conditions: (circle one in each row)

* Appearance — Dirty       Clear        Muddy

* Surface — Smooth/Calm       Rough      Choppy       Some Ripples

* Currents — None      Slow      Average/Moderate      Fast

~*~

Weather Conditions (circle one in each row)

* Air Temperature — Cold      Cool      Average      Hot

* The Sky — Foggy     Overcast     Partly Cloudy      Clear/Sunny

* Wind — None      Light      Moderate      Strong

* Wind Direction — N      S      E      W      NE      NW     SE      SW

* Any Variables — Cold Front Approaching   or Cold Front Leaving

or Other ______________________

* Barometer — Falling       Rising      Steady

~*~

 

Type of Fishing Today: Bait Casting      Fly Fishing      Trolling

Experience Counts With Fishing! Boat Fishing     Ice Fishing      Shore Fishing

Other __________________

~*~

Comments: _____________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

 

 

________________________________________________________

~*~   ~*~   ~*~

 

My Fishing Log 

 

Successful Fishing!

Successful Fishing!

 

Name _____Marylouise_____________

Date_____6/13/2009______________

Location: ______Brenham, TX_______

Water: (circle one)

Creek    Stream    River    Lake    Reservoir    Ocean  Tank/Pond

Season: (circle one)       Spring        Fall       Winter       Summer

Time of Day: Early Morning     Mid-morn.     Afternoon     Evening Night

Time Started _____5:55 pm___    Ending Time ____8:3o pm_______

~*~

 

Water Conditions: (circle one in each row)

* Appearance — Dirty       Clear        Muddy

* Surface — Rough      Choppy       Some Ripples      Smooth/Calm

* Currents — Slow      Average/Moderate      Fast       None

~*~

Weather Conditions (circle one in each row)

* Air Temperature — Cold      Cool      Average      Hot

* The Sky — Foggy     Overcast     Partly Cloudy      Clear/Sunny

* Wind — None       Moderate      Strong        Light

* Wind Direction — N      S      E      W      NE      NW     SW      SE

* Any Variables — Cold Front Approaching   or Cold Front Leaving

or Other ___________none___________

* Barometer — Falling       Rising      Steady

~*~

 

Type of Fishing Today: Bait Casting      Fly Fishing      Trolling

Experience Counts With Fishing! Boat Fishing     Ice Fishing      Shore Fishing

Other __________________

~*~

Comments: _After several very hot days, the water level seems too low in the front pond. It hasn’t rained in about 3 weeks.  Nothing is biting in spite of using live bait (grasshoppers and worms) and several lures.

~*~

By making notes about the conditions, date and time, etc., I’m creating a knowledge-base to increase my chances of being a successful angler.

I’m not trying to rely on my memory. By spending 5 minutes on a pre-printed form, I can look back and learn from my experiences.

This is a rather puny example; however ….  When conditions are very dry & very hot (and the pond is muddy), it doesn’t matter what I offer, the fish don’t bite in this particular pond.

~*~

This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com


 

 

 

 

Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 11:47 pm  Comments (4)  
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