Archive for March, 2011
Fishing Line for the River

The river is a tough fishery. If there’s a place on the planet that’s harder on line than the Ohio River I don’t know where it is. Our beloved river is a maze of wood, rock and, in some cases, home appliances. That stuff will shred ordinary fishing line in a second.

If you doubt any of what I just said take some time and run your depth finder over the mouth of almost any creek, or walk along the bank and see what the river’s washed up in the last few days. You’ll be amazed.

That’s why it always surprises me to see anglers fishing with soft, light test-weight monofilament. It makes no sense. There’s almost never more than 18 inches of clarity anywhere, most days it’ll be less than 12.

That kind of water doesn’t show line. Remember, fish are moving fast when they take your lure. They rarely have the time or the visibility to look it over before they strike. They grab and go.

Heavier abrasion resistant fluorocarbon or braid won’t cost you any bites, and it’ll keep you from breaking off. Years ago fluorocarbon was stiff and hard to work with. Braid was heavy and bulky. None of that is true anymore. The new lines are good. You’ll lose nothing by switching away from monofilament — unless you’re fishing topwater. (We’ll cover that subject in another blog.)

Some of the best fluorocarbon and braided lines are made by Vicious, Sunline and Berkley. Check them out before you make your next line purchase. No one wants to lose the biggest fish of their life because their line broke.

Boating Toolbox Essentials

Every boat should have a toolbox on-board for emergencies and minor repairs. We have all encountered circumstances on the water where things have broken, come apart or otherwise failed. A few simple tools can, in many circumstances, correct these problems and turn what is a day ending problem into a minor inconvenience.


Electrical problems can be disabling but many are easily correctable with just a few tools and supplies. Battery cables and connections should be taken apart at least twice a year, cleaned with a wire brush, and greased before being put back together. Loose or damaged connectors should be replaced. Check and add water to your batteries as necessary. It is a lot easier to do this at home than on the water.

Despite proper maintenance, however, problems do arise. You are in a marine environment so expect corrosion.

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Catch a Trophy Largemouth

April looks good if you’re a trophy hunter. There’ll be a new moon around the 3rd and a full moon around the 18th. Add to that clearing waters and warming temperatures as the month moves along. That’s a great combination of factors that’ll move the female bass to their beds.

It’s also the best time to catch one. There are more quality largemouth bass in the river than many anglers realize. It’s just that they’re hard to find. The spawn helps solve that problem by locking them into specific areas.

Specific areas almost always means back in the creeks, near channel swings that have large, shallow flat areas bordering them. (Stumps will turn a good spot into a great spot.) And believe me when I tell you that shallow means shallow. It’s common for river bass to spawn in water less than a foot deep.

The biggest largemouths move first. It’s common for them to finish their spawn before the smaller bass have even staged. Take advantage of that. Check out likely areas a few days before the new moon or the full moon and then fish as close to the exact date as possible.