How Tides and the Moon Affect Fishing

Have You Thought About …?

Fish are cold-blooded  and don’t need energy from food to keep their body temperature at a certain level.  In other words, their metabolism is very slow.

A fish can go without food for days or weeks.  If they are not hungry, why do fish try to snag your lure?

Fish bite your bait for more reasons than because your lure looks tempting!

The Effect of Tides on Fish

Tides in estuaries and bays create movement in the bait shrimp and other foods that larger fish eat.  

When the tide goes out, the it drags these bait fish and food from the shallower areas and into deeper waters.  These foods and baits are concentrated in a smaller volume of water, thus offering more food per cubic foot.  Eventually, fish take notice and respond by chasing all this free-floating food.

Many anglers prefer the incoming tide because this bounty of water pulls food  from their burrowing spots.  Again, predator fish take notice and start looking for a tasty morsel.

The Moon and Tides

The moon and sun create the wave action we call tides.  The phase of the moon has an interesting connection to tidal action.

Spring Tides – have nothing to do with the season of spring.  They occur every 28 days during the full moon.  At this time, tides are at their highest.

Neap Tides – occur during the dark of the moon and have the lowest tidal action.

Is the Best Fishing During a Full Moon?

It seems logical, doesn’t it?  Well, very little is logical with fishing  (you knew that already, right?).

Full moons don’t occur in a vacuum; there other parts to the weather scene.  When a full moon rolls around, you also seem to see that bad weather and a falling barometer have joined the group.  Things can be dicey.

More info about   this important factor:   Barometric Pressure and Fishing.  Click on the words.

Barometer Readings

  • Slowly Rising Barometer = improving or good weather and good fishing.
  • Steady Barometer Reading Over Several Days =  poor fishing
  • Low Barometric Pressure = poor fishing
  • Barometric Pressure is Falling Rapidly = watch fishing shows on TV instead!

What does all this mean?  You will find some of the best fishing when the barometric pressure is rising.  At times, the pressure starts to rise during rain.  Overcast, rainy days are often some of the best times to fish!


‘Easy Pickings’ used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics


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Published in: on June 9, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments Off on How Tides and the Moon Affect Fishing  
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How Noise Affects Fishing!

Yesterday, the subject was:  Things You Need to Know to Catch Fish!  Today, let’s take a look at noise and fishing.  Fish respond to noises in surprising ways!

A Quirk of Fishing That Works

Experienced anglers sometimes “stone a pool” while fishing.  It seems that tossing a few pebbles into a stream with salmon can get them interested in looking for lunch!

Fresh water anglers sometimes try this same trick and attract panfish and perch.  If fish aren’t cooperating, toss a  few rocks and see what happens!

Even those with great knowledge of the habits of fish say that they learn new things all the time!

Sonic Lures 

Anglers of the bass persuasion like to use sonic lures; they attract bass by their popping  noise.

Often, the bass will strike at the sound, even when they cannot see the lure.  Champion bass anglers warn that it has to be the “right” sound.  Maybe that is why I haven’t joined their ranks yet.

Other Tips from Champion Anglers

Over the years, I’ve figured out that there is a difference between tournament winners and the rest of us.  They sometimes do strange things to muffle their noises while fishing.

For example, some experts have carpeting in the floor of their boats – to cut noise.  Other tournament winners swear by replacing nylon bearings in their oarlocks.

Still others are very careful about their personal noise; they would never consider dragging their tackle box across the bottom of their boat or tapping against the edge of their boat.

Good News About the Fish’s Sense of Taste 

Generally, fish don’t have a great sense of taste.  Thus, if it looks like a yummy piece of chum and it smells like it … when it enters their mouths, they can’t tell if it is the real thing.

Frightening Fish 

Fish are a nervous group, and they don’t handle fear very well.  They are particularly anxious about fast-moving, dark shadows.  If it looks too much like a predator moving in for a quick snack, most fish will vacate the neighborhood  in a hurry!

Fish in shallow waters, such as trout, are so nervous about dark shadows, the shadow of your rod can frighten the critters away!   Be careful of your shadow while fishing on shore.


Come Again:  More Fishing Tips … Soon


‘About to Strike’ used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Rear Window Graphics


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Published in: on June 7, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments (2)  
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Things You Need to Know to Catch Fish!

Catching fish requires some knowledge — of fish and their habitat.  The more you know, the more fish you will haul home!

In no particular order, these are some of the facts great anglers say are important!


Getting a Lot of Fish Action Requires You to Know Some Fishing Basics!


The Senses of Fish

No doubt about it, fish can see, hear and smell.  If you can see the fish, they can see you!  This is no time to wear your hot pink polka dot shirt; mustard, blue and beige are better color choices.

Fish may not hear soft talking, but they do feel the vibrations of a boat motor.  Folks who insist on shouting to others — are alerting the fish, as well as their friends.

Fish are a lot like bloodhounds — they follow the scent of a favored food until they find it.  That is why tossing chum into the water is so effective; fish rush to the stinky fare.

Remember, odors carry better over water than on land!  Thus, smoking or handling kerosene, oil or gasoline is a dead give-away to fish.

Also, be careful with suntan lotion or insect repellent — remove the odors of these items from your hands before casting.

What Fish Like

Have you ever wondered why there are so many colors of plastic worms and lures?  Fish like colors and motion — however, they must seem natural.

On bright days, leave the chrome and nickel lures in your box.  You want to dazzle the fish; but fish are frightened when the light is too bright.

On bright days, it is better to stay with black, copper or brass colored lures.

Fishing in turbid (muddy) waters?  Yellow just might be the best color for the situation.

Fog lights are yellow because they are easier to see (than white) in murky, foggy or dark conditions.  This holds true for fish; they come toward lures they can see in darker waters.

An attractive, noticeable color is nice, but realistic action is what brings the fish in for a bite.

In fresh water, fish like slower moving lures; while saltwater lures need to move rapidly to catch a fish’s eye!

Come Back Tomorrow:  More Things You Need to Know to Catch Fish!


‘Surface Strike’ used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Graphics


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Take a Look at Snook Fishing Action!

Looking for some fierce action on the end of your fishing line?  Look to snook!

Snook are also known as Sergeant Fish or Robalo and hang out in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Snook Looks & Habitat

Snook are almost colorless, often with yellow fins and a black lateral line (along its back).  Long and lean, they resemble the northern pike.

Trolling for food in the western Atlantic Ocean, from South Carolina to Texas, snook like to stay in waters that are less than 70 feet deep.  Some of the largest snook have been caught off of the Florida coast (44 lbs.).

Water Salinity & Temperature

Although considered a warm saltwater specimen, snook easily transfer into fresh water; they prefer lagoons and estuaries.

The amount of salt in water is not a problem for the sergeant fish, but they are very sensitive to water temperature.

These fish only appear in warm waters … if water dips below 60 degrees (Fahrenheit), their systems go into shock and then they die.

Fishing for Snook

If water turns cold, look for the snook near power plant water discharge areas.   Otherwise, they like to hide in underground structures (rock piles, reefs, etc.), waiting for smaller fish to cross their path.

Mullet is a good bait fish; however, snook have a decided preference for live shrimp.  Only use enough weight (sinker or split-shot) on your line to get the bait to the bottom.

If you want to use a jig or lure, some favorites are:   some Mirrolures or the Red Tailed Hawk jig.

Biologists tell us that the snook are most active feeding from an hour before high tide through the first 3 hours of the falling tide.

Snook Spawning

Between April and October,  snook tend to spawn in the inlets and passes near open waters.

After a few weeks of life, the young robalo move into nearby estuaries – where they stay for the rest of their lives.  They do not roam over as large a territory as other fish.

Freshwater anglers sometimes report catching snook when they are fishing for largemouth bass.

The Snook’s Reputation

Most robalo are caught in the summer months.  They are a popular game fish for two reasons:  they are fierce fighters and they are taste great!

Once you set the hook in your snook, the race is on!   They don’t come in quietly, but put up a great fight.

Getting a snook to take your bait is just the first step.  It requires strength and patience to haul in a snook.


‘Snookered’ used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Graphics


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Published in: on March 1, 2011 at 12:52 am  Comments Off on Take a Look at Snook Fishing Action!  
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Getting Your Share of Smallmouth Bass Action!

Disclaimer: There are many ways to fish successfully.  This is one of them.  There are other ways … but this one works for me.  I expect newbie anglers will be my audience.

Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass have enough differences that we treat them separately.  Today– Smallmouth Bass.


Small Mouth Bass are Feisty Fighters and Fun to Catch!

Smallmouth Facts

A member of the sunfish family, smallmouths are rather picky about the waters they honor with their presence.  The temperature in streams, rivers, lakes, etc., must be rather cool.

In the spring, the females move to spawning flats * when the water temperature heats up between 48 to 55.   When the water temperature reaches 60 to 65, smallmouths get frisky and start the spawning process.

Smallmouths are also picky about pollution.  They will not live in polluted waters.  Even better, they prefer oxygenated waters.

Using This Info to Catch More Bass

Understanding the paragraphs above will help you catch more bass.  First, let’s talk about oxygenated water.

As water splashes against rocks and other barriers, the water mixes with the air.  This makes the water more oxygenated.

Thus, you will want to fish for smallmouths wherever water can be re-oxygenated – around boulders, in riffles and under/in underwater structures (weed beds, rock formations, log jams, etc.).

Spring Fishing

Try smaller lures and hooks in the springtime.  Look for water with a gravelly bottom.

When you are thinking about live bait, consider the crayfish.  We carefully polled as many smallmouths as we could find and they assured us that they prefer crayfish.

Summer Fishing

Smallmouths are not interested in the heat of summer.  As the water heats up, they move to deep pools (during the day).  They only emerge from sundown till sunrise.  This is the best time to fish.

They will move into shallow areas, rock piles and in reefs.

Fall Fishing

Now the water is cooling down and the smallmouth bass prefer the deep pools because the temperature is steady. Again, these bass will come out of the pools to eat at night.

Winter Fishing

Smallmouths stay in deep pools – where the temperature is constant.  They are not very active.  Mostly, they chase small bait fish (that are also in these deeper pools) during the cold months.

Favored Lures & Bait

Crayfish, Mepps spinners, Rebel, jig and pig, Rapalas & spinner baits.


* Spawning flats have a gravel floor in 8 to 10 feet of water.


** Smallmouth Bass Tailwalking Profile is used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics

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Published in: on February 15, 2011 at 1:11 am  Comments Off on Getting Your Share of Smallmouth Bass Action!  
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A Few Freshwater Fishing Tips

Fishing in Small Streams

Newbie anglers are often surprised when I recommend  keeping a low profile when fishing in these waters.  The axiom is:  ‘If you can see the fish, the fish can see you!’

Dress for the occasion in mustard, beige or yellow clothing.  It is harder for the fish to notice these colors.

Although fish do not have ears (as we know them), they can tell humans are near by the stomping of anglers, shouting, loud talking, revving up boat motors, etc.

Since there are fewer fish in small streams, you don’t want to spook the ones available!  It may take hours before they return to your site.

Is This Your First Time Fishing in a Large Stream? Some Hints.

Fishing in a Large Stream

Fishing in a new area?  One of the best ways to scout a new large stream is to move around and try to find the deep holes.

Have a GPS device?  It’s the ‘new fangled way’ to mark holes and/or great fishing spots for future use.

Fish like to use features of the body of water to their advantage.  For example:  Predator fish like to hover in piles of debris (collected logs, rotting trees & branches that may have piled up in the water.

Predators like to hide in weeds, holes and behind submerged boulders — waiting for their next meal to stroll by!

Look around for structures where fish may hide.  One of my favorite fishing locations is to drop my line near an exposed boulder.

If I can get my line in the right place without snagging it on submerged logs or rocks, I have a very good chance to catch a bigger fish (that is preying on smaller fishes).

What amazes me is that I can continue to harvest fish from those rocks for some time.  When I catch one predator, another takes its place.

Fish are nervous creatures.  Instead of moving around in the open areas of the water, they prefer to use the underground structures.

I guess it is because no matter how big a fish you are, there’s a larger one looking to invite you to be their supper!


Just received some new “amazing photos.” Will post them soon.


Come back Sunday: I’ll show off some new items  — Native American Graphics!


Don’t Forget: My NRA Rear Window Graphics are on Sale during the month of February!


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We now have 900 + Graphics in 26 Categories!

Published in: on February 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm  Comments Off on A Few Freshwater Fishing Tips  
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Four Quick Fishing Tips

The tips included today (and most days) are ideas that have worked for a variety of anglers.  Not all tips work all the time, however, they work often enough that I found them in fishing articles or books.

Curing the Slippery Feel of Fish

Use Salt When Cleaning Fish!

Cleaning fish seems so yucky because we have to touch fish that are slimy.  Cut the slime by placing the fish in a pot of water, with 1 cup of salt  dissolved in it.

You can also “get a grip” by adding dry salt to your hands, before you pick up the fish and start to clean.

Making Fish Release Their Scales

Before starting to scale small fish, drop them in boiling water for a few seconds.  The scales will seem to fall off while using the dull side of a knife or scraper.

The trick to removing scales easily from larger fish is to fill a sink or tub with plenty of water.  By keeping the fish under water while scraping, the mess stays in the water, not on you.

Three Critical Fishing Tools You Probably DON’T CARRY

Perfect for Fishing Trips

I use these on all fishing trips:  35 mm film containers, paper clips and safety pins.  Why?  Let me count the ways ….

The 35 mm film containers are an endangered species (with the advent of digital cameras).  I use them to store small baits (grubs, mealworms, etc.), small pieces of tackle (snaps, swivels, etc.) and as waterproof  storage for my tape (used with a straightened safety-pin – as an emergency rod guide or rod tip).

You may be too much of a newbie to know how to break off the tip of your fishing rod 😉   or even how to break off the guides that hold your fishing line along the length of your rod.

Ah, just wait.  It will come to you!  At about the same time, you will learn to connect long enough strings of cuss words together to make a sailor blush!

I prefer to use a plastic-coated paper clip to hold snaps or swivels.  Safety pins are handy to carry hooks; different pins hold different sizes.

One Tool You May Need to Swipe From a Golfer

The BEST  ‘fishin’ rag’ in the world is a golfer’s “crying towel.” You know the one: it has a grommet with a hooking clip for belt loops.

The towel is hand towel size. Attached to your jeans, it is always available! Since there are no golfers in our family, I pick them up in thrift stores or garage sales.


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The Truth About Freshwater Fish: They’re Sneaky!

This post is for beginning anglers.  The best place to go fishing is … where the fish are!  In case you haven’t heard, fish are sneaky.  However, I have a few hints, learned the hard way.

The Truth About Fish

Trust Me, This Guy Has No Interest In Being Your Dinner!

When my father told me to be quiet because the fish could hear me, I’d roll my eyes and suggest he “pull the other one.”  After all, we were salt-water fishing and there was a whole ocean out there. Who was going to hear me?

So it was a shock to actually see fish see me when I went freshwater fishing.  They got so frightened, they vanished for hours!  (Maybe it was the hair. 😉 )

When Fish Can See You

Before I tell you where fish hide, I need to tell you one truism: If you can see the fish — they can see you!

The corollary to that axiom is: They don’t WANT to see you.  They will pack their bags and swim to another state to get away from you!

Thus, you need to learn to be sneaky.  If you are fishing and the sun casts your shadow on the water, YOU ARE BUSTED!  No self-respecting fish is going to hop on your line just to get a chance to share a “Kodak-moment” with you!

Before You Get too Depressed …

I’d best change the subject from telling you how smart fish are to showing you where fish hide out.

The way I see it, the fish hold most of the cards.  They know every nook in the water, understand currents, barometric pressure & moon phases,  and know what the enemy looks like (pssst, that’s you).  The only chance you have is to send a tasty morsel past their hiding places and stay out of sight.

Trees As Hiding Places

Crappie are very fond of hiding around submerged trees, logs or stumps.  Try jig fishing with live bait (such as minnows) close in to the tree parts sticking out of the water.

During the heat of summer days, fish like to stay in the shade of overhanging trees.  Aim your hook around the edges of the shade.  Make sure you don’t cast a shadow on the water (refer to the “BUSTED” paragraph above).  This isn’t as easy as it sounds!


Next Time: More Fish Hide-Outs


‘Hang Up’ is part of the Wild Wings Collection of Vantage Point Graphics. Used by permission.


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Published in: on February 5, 2010 at 8:54 am  Comments Off on The Truth About Freshwater Fish: They’re Sneaky!  
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Goin’ Fishin’ with a Fishing Log

Sample Fishing Log 


Successful Fishing!

Successful Fishing!


Name ___________________________


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_____________


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.


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Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 11:47 pm  Comments (4)  
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Goin’ Fishin’ – Common Mistakes


If you want to become an accomplished angler, these are some basic problems to avoid.

Not Paying Attention

Successful anglers pay attention to the weather, wind direction, water conditions, etc.  One of the best ways to do this is to keep a log of your fishing expeditions.  This doesn’t have to take much time; just check off a few items on a page.  I’ll provide you with a sample soon.

Keeping the Same Fishing Line on Your Rods for Years

Fishing line has a limited lifetime. It gets snagged, stretched and crimped through use.  You will have no problem understanding this the next time you lose a lunker, because the line snapped while you were hauling it in!

Only Using Your Favorite Lure

One lure cannot be successful with every species of fish — and in every situation.  One of the ways anglers improve their chances of success is by trying different types, sizes, colors and shapes.

Fishing in Only One Location

One way to increase your success ratio  is to try different spots – from ponds to oceans.   I’ll offer specific tips for different bodies of water: tank/pond, creek, streams, rivers, lakes, etc. Stay tuned!

Only Using One Fishing Technique

If you only fish in a boat, how about trying shore fishing, trolling, bait casting, fly fishing, etc?  I plan to provide some tips for each type.


As you can see, I’m ready to get busy with fishing tips. In the next week, I will offer a “Fishing Log” sample.  You will be surprised how quickly you become an accomplished angler by keeping a few notes!


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Published in: on June 17, 2009 at 1:50 pm  Comments (1)  
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