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How to tie fishing knots

JRW Fishing.com ~ Reporter

Monster White River Brown Trout
Have you ever heard of a 40 pound brown trout?  Well an angler in Arkansas recently landed one.  Check out the story here.  

The Fishing Knot Every Fishermen Should Know

I am an avid fisherman and have been so for quite some time. For more than two decades to be exact and this ice fishing season I was introduced to a fishing knot that I wasn't previously aware of. A knot that is fairly simple to tie and will be useful to me in a variety of fishing situations beyond ice fishing. Many anglers will probably think of this “awakening” on my part to be less than fulfilling to them as they could already be aware of it, but I nonetheless want to make you aware of this interesting and useful fishing knot.

A couple of weeks ago I was out ice fishing and as I watched another ice fisherman out fish me at least 3 to 1 I began to get quite curious. What the heck was he doing? Was he using some kind of special bait? I simply couldn't figure it out and when I finally became too cold to continue my day, I packed up my gear and headed for the truck. Seeing as how I had to walk right by my fellow angler I stopped and inquired as to the secret of his success.

He informed of a few of the lures and baits that he was using and said that many of the fish were being caught farther up in the water column (closer to the ice he said). I asked how he new that, was he using a fish finder? No, he said, I have different bait's or lures at different depths. Huh? I said, how do you do that, three way swivels? Nope, he said I use dropper loops. Very nice I said, and away I went.

When I got home, a little bit of research revealed to me how simple a dropper loop is to tie and my imagination did the rest. On my next ice fishing trip I was placing baits at different depths within the water column and my bites rates began to rise. Now the dropper loop is one of my “go to” fishing knots and a knot that I believe every angler should have as a part of their repertoire.

This unique fishing knot can be used in a variety of fishing scenarios and isn't only for ice fishing. Any fishing scenario in which having more than a single option or covering different depths within the water column at the same time sounds like a good idea, the dropper loop can help you out. If you spend any decent amount of time on the water chasing fish the unique fishing knot known as the dropper loop is a fishing knot that you need o familiarize yourself with. If you do, I promise you that you will be able to experience more fishing success.

Record Rainbow Trout
Now this is what you call a rainbow trout.  Record sized rainbow has obviously spent it's life feeding on salmon and steel head eggs.  What a catch!

How To Catch A Trout Under The Ice
During the winter months of December all the way through March in many area's, the most effective way to catch a trout is to head out onto a frozen lake or pond and do a little ice fishing. Although rainbow trout can be caught in rivers during these months, getting them to bite your offering is much more difficult than it is during the warmer months of the year. So, for trout fishermen who want to fish during the winter months, the best chance of landing a trout or three is to do go ice fishing. In this post I will discuss a couple of effective strategies to implement the next time that you head out onto the ice with the intent of catching a few rainbow trout.

The first thing to keep in mind no matter what strategy you are going to employ is that under the ice, is that trout are much more active during the changing light conditions that occur during the early mornings and late evenings than they are at other times of the day. This means that you need to be on the ice early in the morning and/or late into the evening if possible.   During these low light periods rainbow trout are almost always active, and thus the most apt to be feeding (which is what you want anytime that you are fishing).

Many anglers who ice fish for trout fish in water that is much deeper than it needs to be. This was a mistake that I used to be notorious for making when I was fishing for rainbows while ice fishing. The truth is that many times trout, and often large rainbows are caught in very shallow water when ice fishing. This means fishing the shorelines and drilling holes in water that is from two to four feet deep. This shallow water ice fishing strategy is very effective when ice fishing for trout in my experience.  Ice fishing in shallow water means that you are very close to the trout you are fishing for and those trout can (and often do) "spook" easily. So being as quiet as possible on the ice is paramount when employing this strategy.

Another effective thing to do when ice fishing for trout is not to neglect fishing with Powerbait. If you fish for rainbow trout during other seasons you undoubtedly know how productive fishing with Powerbait can be. Well, believe it or not Powerbait is also a great bait to use when ice fishing for trout. Powerbait can be used by itself and rigged on a small treble hook with a split shot or two pinched onto the line to keep it from floating to the surface or can be used to "tip" a small jig, but the bottom line is that  Powerbait is effective even when you are standing on top of the water that you are fishing in.

Finally, there is one of the most popular strategies that there is for fishing for rainbow trout beneath the ice, which is to use a small marabou jig, tipped with a meal worm or maggot for added attraction  Hungry rainbow trout will readily goggle up these little morsels as they cruise around in the freezing water of a winter lake.  I have caught many trout on tiny maggot tipped marabou jigs.  I have found that a key to using this strategy is to not be afraid to let your offering just sit there.  With many ice fishing jigs, the goal is to constantly "jig" the lure up and down, but with marabou tipped jigs, I have found that less is more, so to speak.  I will often just jig my rod once every 5 or even 10 minutes and let the rod sit there motionless in the mean time.  I have found that hungry rainbows will often take the bait when the jig is sitting there doing nothing.

Simple Tips That Will Help Anyone Catch More Fish

As fishermen, no matter what type or style of fishing that you prefer, or what species of fish you prefer to fish for, there is one thing that I think we can all agree on. We would all like to catch more fish when we head out fishing. Well, as a person who has been fishing for various species of freshwater fish for the better part of thirty years, I know how true this fact is, and therefore would like to provide a few simple tips that I have learned over the years that will help even novice fishermen catch more fish the next time that they head out fishing.

The first and easiest thing that can be done if you want to catch more fish is to be on the water at the most opportune times. Whether or not you realize it, there are certain times of the day, week, and month that are more conducive to catching fish than others and by educating yourself a little bit you can go a long way towards "tipping the odds" into your favor, as it were, as far as catching fish is concerned. Although there are many factors that contribute to when fish are more apt to be feeding such as frontal systems, the weather, temperature, time of year, etc., since this article pertains to simple tips, I think we'll keep our focus on the moon.

That's right the moon, believe it or not, has a significant effect on whether or not the fish that we are fishing for are going to be actively feeding and the simplest aspect of this phenomenon has to do with the phase that the moon is in at the time you are going to be fishing. I have found that the three to four day stretch that surrounds the new moon phase on any given month is significantly more productive as far as fishing is concerned than most other times of the month. This isn't of course to say that fish can't be caught during other phases of the moon because they obviously can, it's just that I have found that the fishing is almost always good to great when the moon is in it's "new" phase for the month.

A very common reason that fish are "missed" or come unhooked during a fight is that your fishing hooks aren't as sharp as they once were. For this reason you always want to make sure that the fishing hooks on your bait rigs, lures, jigs, flies, spinners, etc. are as sharp as possible. Hooks become dulled from catching fish, being drug along the bottom, etc. and the easiest way to make sure that your fishing hooks are always as sharp as possible is to carry a little hook sharpener with you on the water. This way your fishing hooks can be easily sharpened "on the fly" while you are fishing. If you do this you will "miss" or "lose" many less fish, thus increasing your catch rates.

Keep these simple tips in mind the next time that you head out fishing and I don't care how experienced you are, you will catch more fish. Over the years I have found that the simplest things are many times the most effective and when it comes to these fishing tips that adage definitely holds true.

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