You can be as successful fishing from shore as from a boat. That was made very evident by the fish-catching success of the Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Derby, the national program that hosts more than 300,000 youth shore anglers at fun fishing events held in every state. The events are free and all kids from 6 to 16 are invited.
Gordon Holland of Hooked on Fishing International, the company that produces the popular coast-to-coast youth angling program, has provided us with some fishing secrets revealed by the successful young anglers.
When you arrive at the lake or pond, choose your location so you can fish with the "either-or" technique. That means being able to cast your bait to water that is either lit by the sun or in the shade, casting to water with either weeds or clear areas, and casting to water with either shallow or deep spots.
If a creek flows into the lake, that’s a good place to fish because it brings fresh water into the lake, which fish like, with a current that brings the food to the fish. Fish don’t like to swim in the current, so they’ll be hiding behind a log or a rock. Let the bait drift in the current to where the fish are waiting.
Most successful young anglers use worms or minnows and put the bait under a float, which they watch very carefully. The secret, they say, is to let the fish take the bobber completely under the water and start to swim away. That’s the time to set the hook. Coach your young pro on the importance of patience. If they strike too soon, while the fish is just nibbling, all they do is take the bait away from the fish.
If they’re not catching any fish, then change something. First, they change the depth of the bait by sliding the float up or down the line. Usually, fish are close to the bottom, which makes it important to get the bait deeper. If that doesn’t work, the young anglers change bait or even move to another area.
Good shore anglers know that shallow fish along the bank scare easily and understand how important it is for people on the bank to walk quietly. They also say they wear natural colors like green, blue, brown or even camo to help them blend into the background.
The young anglers who most often catch fish say when they get a fish on the line they reel it in slowly, but always fast enough to keep the line tight between the fish and the tip of the rod. If it’s a big fish that wants to run, they stop reeling until the fish has turned and started to swim back toward the angler.
Wear polarized sunglasses when you’re fishing.
For more kids fishing tips, visit www.kids-fishing.com.
FISHING TIP OF THE WEEK
Windy days interrupted some of the good warm-water fishing this past week, but the lakes are back in action. Bartlett, Roosevelt and Pleasant are providing the best catch rates while Saguaro and Canyon are yielding the lunkers. Alamo is doing OK for largemouth, but there is a great night crappie bite. Catfish are starting to bite at all the warm water lakes, making shore angling even more inviting. Rainbow trout stockings have resumed at Goldwater Lake in the Bradshaw Mountains. Stockings were halted following the deaths of two bald eagles. Arizona Public Service (APS) attached reflective devices on the wires crossing the south cove to make them more visible to foraging eagles.