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Page 126

Bait Control

Bait should always appear natural in the water. Avoid making the bait move or behave oddly by moving the rod around sharply or keeping a very tight line. For example, if you're fishing in a lake with a minnow hooked directly behind the dorsal fin, and you're not using a bobber, any time you pull up on the rod or reel in line, the minnow will swim backwards. You must have a little bit of slack in the line to allow the minnow to swim freely, yet not so much that you can't reposition the minnow if it swims into thick weeds or brush. Also, if a fish takes the bait and feels tension from the line, it may spit the bait out.

When fishing bait in moving waters, you want to present the bait to as many fish as possible. This means that you should cast at an angle, up-and across-stream, and let the current carry the bait through the section of water in front of you. But you must reel in some line, called mending, until the current brings the bait directly across from you. If you don't, too much slack will build up in the line, and if a fish takes the bait, you won't have any way of knowing it. As the baits sweeps past you, keep your rod tip at about a 45° angle, pointed above the bait, even extending your rod arm out, to keep your bait flowing naturally as you track it. Once the line straightens out, the bait will curve until it's directly downstream from you. Then you should reel in and cast again.

Lure Control

Because lures should be kept in motion, you should always keep a tight line. Fish know that a lure isn't the real thing as soon as, or soon after, they take it, and they'll spit it out unless you set the hook immediately (which is covered in the next chapter). Also, lures need to be moved to attract fish; without movement, a lure is just an inert hunk of wood, metal, or plastic floating in the water or sitting on the bottom.

When retrieving a lure, keep your rod tip at approximately a 45° angle. Face the lure directly. You may find it more comfortable to cant the rod a bit to your left or right when reeling. Just be sure to maintain that 45° angle, and never point the rod tip directly at the lure. If a fish hits, you won't have the rod providing enough pressure to make a proper hookset. And never allow any slack to build into the line.

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Fish Recipes

Fish Recipes

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