Welcome to the AnglerWise Ultralight Fishing Blog. Check out the interesting videos, great articles, how-to guides, product reviews, and more.Ultralight Fishing – Anglerwise

Types of Hard Body Lures

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Every angler enjoys experimenting with a variety of lures to see exactly which ones are being hit on in the cool waters of the early morning, or during the heat of the day. Bib-less and bibbed lures offer a variety of opportunities for every fisherman when targeting a specific species.

Hard body lures are crafted in a variety of styles, shapes, colors and sizes. The first thing that any angler will notice is that lures look extremely different from one another. There crafted from gaudy shapes, to being drab and appearance, or created with the profile that might similarly resemble a fish variety.

Hard body Lures

The Action

The type of action created by hard body lures is significantly different to many soft plastics and jigs. Some lures are designed specifically for ride action, where their movement tends to mimic some type of action like walking the dog. To the fish, this type of lure appears as though the baitfish is attempting to escape. Other types of bit lures are designed to create a vibration much like tight swimming motion, which produces much noise. Some are even crafted to produce a rattling sound while others use proven sonic attractors.

Floating Lures

Floating shallow lures are designed to dive around the edges of kelp. If the angler finds that their lure is becoming too close to underwater plant life, they can stop the motion to prevent the diving action, and allow the lure to float upwards to the water surface. Many anglers have been able to perfect the use of a floating shallow diving lure, in that they can easily follow the rock contours, and move the lure through kelp and other situations presented in a natural environment.

Many deep diving lures offer the same floating features but are designed to work at lower depths (20 to 30 feet) if rigged properly. Some anglers can even make their deep divers traverse even lower in the water after casting. They simply allow the lure to sink one or two minutes more before beginning the retrieving process. This type of lure works best for trolling for fish at deeper levels, such as snapper.

These types of lures work well on savvy fish that have seen every type of moving bait possible. Anglers that use hard body lures around other fisherman using soft bait options often see significantly more activity.

No Mess and No Smell

Hard body lures tend to create much less mess over other baiting material. Avoiding the need to use soft baits and stink baits, provides a fishing experience with no mess and no smell. However, there are hard body options that include a scent system to provide an extra level of attraction. Some anglers enjoy incorporating a shrimp-colored tablet attached to the bottom of the lure as a way to produce one more enticement for the fish.

The main criticism to using a hard body lure is the cost, as compared to other types of bait. Many quality lures can cost anywhere from $15 – $45, and higher, just for a single unit. While this might seem expensive, landing lots of fish on a single lure tends to minimize its overall expense. Over time, even the most expensive lure can cost significantly less over a large amount of soft bait. In the meantime, have a look at some recommended lures for ultralight fishing.

When fishing in a familiar spot, or in new waters, locating the correct bait is usually the biggest challenge, especially when the fish appear not to be biting. While some anglers might be experiencing high results using soft bait, and others catching more with a hard body lure, only by understanding the fish in the surrounding waters, is it possible to know which type of bait to use. Hard body lures offer every angler an easy way to produce twisting actions, and lures that have the ability to mimic a wounded or slow baitfish.

You also may enjoy our Ultralight Fishing Post!

photo credit: Chau kar via photopin

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Recommended Gear for Your Fly Fishing Trip

Fly fishing is a pastime that has spawned quite the industry behind it. As such, there is no shortage of gear you can purchase for your fly fishing trip. But keep reading as we cover what you absolutely must have in order to make your trip a success. We’re not guaranteeing any huge catches; we’re just saying it won’t be for lack of gear.

Fly Fishing Gear

The Rod

Obviously, you won’t get far without a fly fishing rod. Given their simplistic construction, especially when compared to so many conventional fishing poles, you might think there’d be nothing to picking out a fly fishing rod.

Quite the opposite, though. If you’re just starting out, you should ask about a “fast” rod which means it will be stiffer. This lends itself well to someone who comes from a conventional fishing background. If you’re an experienced fly fisherman, then you probably know the qualities you look for in a rod.

The Reel and Line

When it comes to fly fishing, the reels really are simple devices. Unless/until you start raising monsters from the depths, your reel is nothing more than a device to hold your line. For this reason, the main thing you’re looking for in a reel is one that is lightweight. This will decrease your chances of fatigue.

The line you choose will ultimately come down to preference. However, if you’re beginning, you probably want to pick a line that’s going to be lighter. Just like with the reel, this will make for less fatigue, meaning you’ll be able to cast more with better technique.

Leader and Tippet

Lastly, to complete your rod, you’ll need a leader and tippet. The leader is a monofilament strand that connects your bait to your line. It’s designed to taper from the butt, where it’s thickest and attaches to your line, to the tippet, where it’s thinnest. This thin material makes it more difficult for the fish to tell your lure is a trap.

A good rule of thumb is that the smaller the fish you’re hunting, the smaller your leader and tippet should be to avoid detection. You’ll also want the leader to be long enough that the fish won’t be able to detect it when you’re casting.

Waders

Those who are just starting out can probably get away without waders if they like. You can elect to fish from the shallows in just shorts and sandals, use a small boat, like a kayak, or find an accommodating stretch of shore.

However, if you intend on getting in the water, waders are highly recommended. Waders come in all different sizes from the overall versions to smaller ones that go up to past your knee. Your choice will depend on the depth of water you’re fishing in and how much you’re willing to spend.

Lures and Hatch Charts

Whenever you go fly fishing, it’s important you understand what the fish you’re hunting eat. In order to do this, you should purchase hatch charts for the area your fishing hole is in. Hatch charts tell you what kind of water-borne insects are currently prevalent in the area. This is important because this is what the fish in that area will be accustomed to. The same fish from two different bodies of water will often have different tastes.

Once you understand what your target fish hunt themselves, you’ll know what lures to use. Usually the bait shop you purchased the hatch charts from also sells the corresponding lures. Of course, for those of you who are more experienced, you might elect to construct your own.

If you’re just starting out, don’t get lost in the weeds when it comes to equipment. You have plenty more to worry about at the moment. Those of you who are veterans probably have a good idea what your next purchase will be and why. Either way, all you really need to fly fish is the components of your rod, the right lure and a bit of patience.

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

photo credit: Al_HikesAZ via photopin cc

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Selecting the Right Fly Lure

Coilection of Fly Lures
photo credit: Lonnie’s Life via photopin cc

Everyone knows if you want to do a job right, it takes the right tools. When it comes to fly fishing, the most important tools you can bring to the table are the right lures. Keep reading to discover what you need to consider when selecting the right fly fishing lure.

Do Your Research

Unfortunately, there’s no one answer that makes sense across the board. The types of bugs fish eat can differ greatly from one body of water to the next, even when it’s the same exact fish you’re after.

However, you have help in things called hatch charts. These basically tell you what bugs are local to the body of water you’ll be fishing in. Some people take it a step further, though, and actually do a preliminary search of the water they’ll be fishing in. They’ll put down bug nets to see what shows up, investigate the foliage or simply sit down by the shore and observe. It might sound like a lot of work, but you won’t have any luck simply putting on any old lure.

The Most Common Patterns

Luckily, fish don’t have the best eyesight and there are three patterns of fly lures that will cover most of your bases. This doesn’t mean they’ll work all the time. Nor does it mean you shouldn’t put in some time to do the aforementioned research. However, while you’re learning about the local insects, there’s no sense in at least not trying your luck.

Dry Flies

Dry Fly Lures
photo credit: dianecordell via photopin cc

Dry flies so get their name from perching on top of the water. As such, they are lures meant to look like mayflies, stoneflies and a host of other flies that stick to the surface. A lure known as the Adams bares an amazing resemblance to the mayfly. It has a gray body with a sharp brown coat and bristly tail. This lure fits the bill for all manner of mayflies and other similar insects fish find irresistible.

Nymphs

Nymph fly lures
photo credit: Curtis Fry via photopin cc

While Dry Flies are stand-ins for mature flies, nymphs are meant to look like the younger variety. These flies don’t have a problem dipping below the surface, which is why these lures are also sometimes called wet flies. If at all possible, use this lure right before a hatch or around the time water-born insects will be hatching. The pheasant tail fly lure works well here. It has a shiny body reminiscent of a young insect with a bit of a bulge at the front of the body and small bristles.

Streamers

Streamer Fly Lure
photo credit: pacres via photopin cc

When you’re on the hunt for larger fish, your best bet is to use a streamer. This lure is just like a wet fly, except it’s made to look like a smaller baitfish that bigger fish hunt. While there are countless baitfish you can choose from to imitate, minnows and leeches are the best animals to imitate for this purpose. They are common enough and hunted enough that most large fish will strike.

Get Local Advice

Another way to give yourself a better at chance at picking the right lure is simply asking the locals if you’re from out of town. Go to the nearest bait shop. That’s where you can find the necessary hatch chart, but you can also ask the proprietor what people use in that area to fly fish.

Selecting the right fly lure is an important task that can ultimately decide your success on the water. However, it might be an ongoing process. Unfortunately, just because the trout on one river go for a certain lure doesn’t mean it will be the same with trout in other rivers. Do your research, seek advice and carry those three aforementioned lures. If nothing else, they’ll help you practice your casting.

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

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Fly Fishing vs. Conventional Lure Fishing

It’s difficult to observe someone fly fishing and not take an interest in what they’re doing. Between the solitude involved and the hypnotic motion of a fly fisherman’s rhythmic cast, it’s understandable that so many observers can’t wait to learn more. To better understand it, though, let’s take a look at how it compares to conventional ultralight lure fishing.

Successful Ultralight  Fly Fisherman
photo credit: Nicolas Valentin via photopin cc

The Goal

Obviously, both methods of ultralight fishing are aimed at catching fish by providing them with a lure and tricking them into thinking it’s a free meal. Once they do, the hook that’s used snags the fish and your cast is successful.

In conventional ultralight fishing, the bait can vary. Generally, it is meant to appear like any number of creatures that call the body of water home and that the intended fish is known to eat. Depending on the bait used, the fisherman will utilize different tactics to further the ruse.

With ultralight fly fishing, the fisherman’s bait resembles a fly or any other airborne insect that hangs around the particular body of water. Their rhythmic casting motion is designed to make the bait further resemble the insects that dart around, before finally resting it on the surface of the water.

The Equipment

Both styles involve poles, though they are very different. Simply put, both poles are designed to facilitate how their respective fisherman cast. Conventional fishermen usually cast out once and then leave the bait in that spot for some time. Their pole is generally heavier, with a lighter line. There’s a bobber attached to the end of the line to let you know where your bait is and give
you an indication if it’s being eaten and there’s also a sinker that helps keep the bait from floating to the surface.

Ultralight Fly Fishing Equipment
photo credit: Nicolas Valentin via photopin cc

ultralight Fly fishermen need much lighter poles to make their casting motion possible. Their line, however, is much heavier as they need this extra weight to make up for how light their bait is. Extra weight makes it easier for them to cast farther out.

Though we touched on the bait already, it’s notable that many fly fishermen actually design their own bait based on the fish they’re chasing, the water where they fish, the conditions they fish in, etc. Conventional fishermen sometimes do this as well, but they also use a much wider array of bait, even for the same kind of fish.

Conventional Ultralight Fishing Lure
photo credit: Nicolas Valentin via photopin cc

A big difference between the two poles is that traditional fishing poles include a mechanism for pulling the line back in. You simply use the reel to help return the line. Fly fishing poles don’t have this. In order to gather the line, a fisherman must do it by hand. Sometimes they will wear little baskets on their waist which they can put the line into when it’s gathered. One of the reasons fly fishing is the oldest form of fishing is this lack of reel. Traditional fishing didn’t really catch on like we know it today until after the first spinning real was invented shortly after WWII.

As fly fishermen actually step into the water, a key piece of equipment is waders. They’re basically waterproof overalls that keep the fly fisherman dry.

Settings

Fly fishermen fish almost exclusively in rivers or deep streams where the water is constantly in motion. However, fly fishermen have been known to fish still water from time to time. Conventional fishermen, on the other hand, generally fish in all kinds of water. They don’t get in the water like fly fishermen do, making a boat one very important piece of equipment at times. Those who practice conventional ultralight fishing do it in lakes, rivers, ponds, the sea and the ocean. Even ice won’t stop conventional fishermen from dropping a line.

Ultralight Fly Fishing Serenity
photo credit: *natalia altamirano lucas* via photopin cc

Hopefully, this brief synopsis has helped shed some light on these two very different forms of fishing. Which one you choose to do will ultimately come down to preference, but there’s no law saying you can’t love both.

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

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Fly Fishing Basics

If you’ve been ultralight fishing for a while and just need a change of pace, fly fishing might be the answer. Or if you’ve never been much for fishing, but you love the great outdoors and would like an activity that would help you enjoy it more, ultralight fly fishing may be just the ticket. Continue reading for a short primer on fly fishing basics.

What is Fly Fishing?

Fly Fishing is the most relaxing form of ultralight fishing
photo credit: Graylight via photopin cc

Put simply, ultralight fly fishing has the same goal as traditional ultralight fishing, but with lures that resemble flies (or similar flying insects). So just as you look for bait that appears and acts like a worm, small fish or other creature that could be found underwater when traditional fishing, you do the same while fly fishing, but with lures that resemble insects that typically appear just above the surface of the water. Part of making your bait appear that way is utilizing a unique motion specific to fly fishing. The goal of this specific casting method is to further imitate these insects and trick fish into reacting.

How to Fly Fish

The secret to fly fishing is all in the unique casting motion. Because the lures fly fishers use don’t carry much weight to them, they need to carry out a very specific motion in order to get their cast far away to where the fish are.

Unlike with traditional fishing, fly fishing involves almost continuous casting (some methods involve less, but on average, you’ll be casting the majority of the time). It’s a fluid motion that almost resembles cracking a whip. This motion’s job is to use the weight of the line to carry the bait out as far as possible, and then use all the stored energy in the line to pull it back. The return almost resembles the cast in reverse as the bait goes all the way behind the fly fisherman, gathers energy and then propels it forward again. A skilled fly fisherman makes the entire process seem like nothing more than a flick of the wrist.

Equipment

Building a fly collection is an addictive part of ultralight fly fishing
photo credit: helti via photopin cc

As you can imagine, fly fishing calls for much different equipment than its traditional cousin. For example, fly fishing needs a rod that is lighter and more agile, as this lends itself to the motion discussed earlier. We covered the difference in bait, but the line that a fly fisherman needs to use will actually be much heavier than the traditional version. That’s because the bait itself doesn’t have the hefty type of weight that makes casting easy.
Unlike traditional fishing, fly fishermen almost always cast from in the water. An important piece of equipment is waders, waterproof overalls that allow the fisherman to get a good distance into a body of water before beginning.

Fish

Fly fishing used to be aimed mostly at trout and other fish that were well known for jumping out of the water for their meals. But as the sport has grown, fly fishermen have gone after just about any fish they can find. Overall, they’ve been successful. One of the central tenets of fly fishing is to challenge oneself in the type of fish you go for and where you try to find them. Therefore, it’s not all that surprising that fly fishermen would be up for a challenge.
Bodies of Water

Rainbow trout is a grand prize of ultralight fly fishing
photo credit: Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing – Northern VA via photopin cc

Typically, fly fishing is done in moving water. The fishermen use their waders so they can actually get in the water itself. From there, they begin their casting motion. However, fly fishers have been known to find success in still water as well.
If you’re up for a challenge and you love the great outdoors, consider giving fly fishing a try. It will get you out into nature, right into its moving water and provide you with a fun activity at the same time.

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

Source:

http://theflyfishingbasics.com/what-is-fly-fishing/

http://www.thecatchandthehatch.com/the-difference-between-fly-fishing-and-spin-fishing/

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Catch and Release vs. Keep

There is always an ongoing heated debate on C & R (catch and release) within the ultralight fishing community. The debate usually centers on whether or not catch and release is better than just fishing for a meal. C & R is all about enjoying the outdoors and nature with the thrill of catching a fish every now and again.

What the average angler does with the fish often depends on a variety of factors that are not always as simple as good or bad. Some anglers believe that every fish that is caught should always be released, while others believe just the opposite. Some anglers believe the catching of fish just to release them back into their natural habitat is a cruel gesture and that if a fish is to be caught, it should be consumed.

Other anglers believe both things, and that the sport of fishing is a fundamental way to enjoy free time, and that consuming a fish one catches is a great way to feed oneself. Catch and release is also a popular practice in the sport of ultralight fishing. For some ultralight fishing enthusiasts, they just don’t like the fish however that shouldn’t stop them enjoying the thrill of the catch.

Catch and Release is a common ultralight fishing practice
photo credit: Aquila-chrysaetos via photopin cc

Rethinking the Slot Limit

The enjoyment of catch and release has quickly become a major concern for many biologists and fishery managers. In all honesty, C & R has been under significant scrutiny for a long time. Fishery biologists make claims that the only sure way a “slot limit” can really work when managing a lake, is by eating the captured smaller fish (fish under the slot limit) in significant quantities. However, that goes against the current trends with those associated with bass fishing.

It is the biologists’ beliefs that by promoting catch and release as an efficient fishery plan there would be a balance in the amount of fish that are killed for food, and no fishing simply for sport. As a result though, catch and release has become an anglers dream, were few keep the fish they catch.

Know your limit when ultralight fishingphoto credit: Duncan Rawlinson. Duncan.co via photopin cc

C & R Can Create a Negative Impact

Recent research has indicated that catch and release can have a negative impact over the long term. Smaller fish that tend to be aggressive can quickly consume most of the food resources and leave the larger fish without a food supply. Biologists are quick to claim that smaller fish tend to forage quicker and more often, based on their size, then they are worth in the value of the lake community. As a result, large fish are left with less food resources and will not grow nearly as quickly as they do under premium conditions when there is a large source of food to consume.

New studies are indicating that imposed limits are not working quite as efficiently as once believed. Some biologists believe that the way to catch and release system is set up currently; the process might be stimulating an undesired evolution of a variety of fish. Additionally, the process of catch and release is helping to teach fish exactly how to avoid being captured the next time.

Fish Are Becoming Smarter

There are studies that are indicating that many fish, including bass, tend to become smarter, after being captured on a lure. Experience teaches them ways of not being so easily caught a second time.

Striking the perfect balance between killing and C & R (catch and release) involves the process of creating a selective harvest that is more natural. However, this likely will not be easy to accomplish. Anglers are not inclined to keep every fish caught on a single day, and will need to understand the new ethics involved in properly managing the lake.

However, to be successful will require some type of compromise. One way to do this is to train new anglers and get them involved in the sport. Throwing back the little ones, just to keep the large ones will need to be avoided in the future. As new anglers seek to enjoy the sport more than just capturing the “designer” fish will help manage the waters.

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

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Maintaining Your Ultralight Fishing Equipment

There are only a few things more annoying than seeing corrosion and rust crusted all over your ultralight fishing reel and lures. Properly maintaining fishing tackle is the best way to ensure the gear is in proper working condition for a long time. Routine maintenance can also help maximize every piece of gear’s resale value when the angler wants to sell it to purchase something newer or better.

Ultralight fishing gear is exposed to all types of harsh conditions including the sun, salt, water, wind and sand. Every one of these elements has the ability to quickly corrode nearly everything in the tackle box along with the rod and reel. There are a few simple steps that can be taken to fully protect the ultralight fishing tackle and eliminate the possibility of having it malfunction at the time when it truly counts. While these steps are not foolproof, they certainly have the ability to extend the length of time the gear will last.

A well maintained ultralight fishing reel
photo credit: maskedcard via photopin cc

Fishing Reel Maintenance

It is essential to minimize the ultralight fishing reel’s direct exposure to salt water and sand. While it might seem obvious not to simply lay down the rod and reel on a sandy beach, there are other occurrences that can expose the equipment to these harsh conditions. Windy days can continually expose the reel to the high volumes of sea spray when the boat is moving. The salt water can penetrate deep into the workings or line of the fishing reel.

Without providing gentle care, it is easy to knock the reel around, hitting hard objects and rocks. This has a tendency to weaken the reel’s frame which can easily encourage the formation of rust or corrosion.

After fishing, it is important to lightly spray the rod and reel to remove any accumulated sand, salt or other harmful elements that might have collected on the line or in the reel. A light spraying can be accomplished using a hose and setting it to a light mist. Some anglers choose to thoroughly rinse them off after dunking them in a bucket of water that has a small amount of soap.

It is essential not to loosen the reel’s drag before washing it off. Additionally, applying high pressurized water can surely blast the salt or sand deeper into the fishing reel, defeating the entire purpose of keeping it clean.

An Aerosol Corrosion Inhibitor

WD40 Lubricant will keep your ultralight fishing reel clean
photo credit: FHKE via photopin cc

After the thorough cleaning, or light misting spray, it is imperative to dry it completely using a rag. Additionally, spinning the handle five or 10 times to flick off the remaining water can help a dry quicker. Lightly spraying an aerosol corrosion inhibitor or lubricant and wiping it down using a clean rag can maximize its longevity while inhibiting rust and corrosion.

Once completed, it is important to leave the ultralight fishing reel in an area that is open to the air. This will allow it to fully dry. Understand that there will be places in the reel that are inaccessible to dry with a cloth. If the angler is used to storing the reel away in a neoprene cover, or a box, it is important to keep it uncovered for a few days (based on the temperature and humidity) before putting it in storage. Even the slightest moisture still left inside the reel can hinder the drying process.

Proper maintenance should include taking the reel to a local fish tackle store for complete servicing at least once every year. This will ensure that all of the internal components have been fully maintained, and that it is in proper working order, when it matters most, while out spending the day fishing.

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

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How to Enter Ultralight Fishing Tournaments

Every year, all across North America, anglers participate in the seemingly endless number of derbies and ultralight fishing tournaments. The tournaments are often focused on catch and release, while the derbies typically require or allow the fish caught to be kept. Most tournaments are local one-day events while some others, primarily walleye and bass tournaments, are popular circuit events were the champions are often series winners at multiple events.

ultralight Fishing Tournaments are alot of fun
photo credit: virtva via photopin cc

The Amateur Angler

Fortunately, there are rich sources of wonderful fishing environments located all across the United States and Canada. Because of that, anglers do not have to go far to find a local ultralight fishing tournament. Any town in North America with a body of water close by will usually have a fishing tournament. Many of these local ultralight fishing events are sponsored by local clubs while others are national or regional circuit events that are held annually or semiannually.

The ideal way to get into tournament ultralight fishing is to begin as an amateur individually, or as a team member. In any event, it is best not to take the position of needing to operate the tournament boat. This will provide the amateur the opportunity to focus primarily on learning better ultralight fishing skills from any member of the team that has more experience.

Many times, new tournament participants will often feel the pressure because of the money involved. However, when participating in an ultralight fishing tournament, you will be essentially dealing with fishing conditions, the day’s weather, any experienced or inexperienced fishing partners, and the clock, all of which are out of the amateur’s control.

Being a non-boater or co-angler allows the amateur to stay close to the team’s more experienced anglers. It will provide the opportunity to see exactly how experienced fishermen handle the work conditions and the pressure instead of letting any of the uncontrollable conditions work against their favor.

Many of these ultralight fishing tournaments have the advantage of allowing the amateur and the pros to combine their catches rather than simply weighing the fish the pros caught separately from what the amateur catches. These types of tournaments offer the ability for the team to be the winner of their division even if the amateur has not caught a single fish, and can rely on the partner’s catches entirely.

You dont have to be a pro to enjoy an ultralight fishing tournament
photo credit: virtva via photopin cc

Selecting a Partner

Selecting the best partner can make all the difference in winning or losing an ultralight fishing tournament. It will also include the need to set aside much time for practice. The best partner will also be one with a personality that blends well with the amateur, especially under difficult and high pressure conditions. Having the right kind of chemistry will provide the opportunity to trust one another when seeking the best opportunities for maximizing the number and size of fish caught.

The chemistry shared between the beginning amateur and the experienced angler will focus on the patterns of how each one fishes. If both anglers are comfortable casting their lines off the bow of the boat, they will likely be in the others way. Selecting a partner that can complement each angler’s fishing style is better than one that simply mirrors it.

Finding the Tournaments

Seeking out community ultralight fishing tournaments is easy. Simply asking about tournaments at the local tackle store will usually point the amateur toward all the available local clubs. There are also circuit tours for bass anglers that have relatively low entry fees and quality sponsors.

In the United States alone, there are well over 500 tournaments held every year. Many of the national championships invite anglers that have participated in at least five tournaments in a year, and end up listed with the highest points (typically the top 500 high scorers).

Participating in an ultralight fishing tournament can be an enjoyable experience filled with the competitive spirit, while making new friends.

Here are just a few links for some popular ultralight fishing tournaments throughout the USA:

Crappie USA
Host various Crappie tournaments which are a great introduction to ultralight fishing tournaments.

USA Bassin
U.S.A. BASSIN is a fishing team tournament trail, catering to the weekend angler and our youth.

Bounty Fishing
A tournament with a different spin where you can compete from anywhere!

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

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Best Soft Plastics For Ultralight Fishing

Ultralight fishing with soft plastics is great for catching large mouth bass
Ultralight fishing with soft plastics is one of my favorite methods for catching a lot of largemouth bass, as well as larger fish in a wide variety of other species such as Crappie, Bluegill, Shellcrackers, and even Catfish. To switch out baits when you’re fishing with soft plastics, all you have to do is remove the bait that’s already hooked up, and swap it out for a new color or style, and you’re back to fishing within 30 seconds. Other types of baits require you to cut the line and retie if you want to change colors, or lure styles for a slightly different presentation. Listed below are 5 of my favorite soft plastics for ultralight fishing.

Zoom Super Fluke Jr.

Zoom super fluke are especially designed for ultralight fishing
When the fish are in an active mood, I will usually reach for a Zoom Super Fluke Jr. Rigging this soft plastic weightless is one of the best ways to give it a lifelike action. If it is windy when you’re fishing you can attach a small split shot directly in front of the bait to get it further out, and help give it a more aggressive action coming through the water. My favorite colors are black, Shad, and Green Pumpkin, depending on what forage species are in the waters you’re on.

3″ Yamamoto Senkos

Ultralight fishing will reap rewards with yamamoto senkos

The Yamamoto Senkos quickly made a name for themselves in the professional tournament circuit because of the much larger average fish size that they accounted for. The same thing holds true with the smaller 3″ versions. The baits are incredibly lightweight, and slightly under 3″ which makes them a perfect fit on a 1/0 wide gap hook tied to ultralight fishing line. You can cast the bait out, and if something doesn’t hit it on the fall, you can shimmy it a few times and allow it to sit. The fish will usually grab it after it gets done shaking and begins wiggling its way back onto the bottom.

Zoom 4″ Finesse Worms

finesse worms will help you catch more when ultralight fishing
Soft plastic worms were one of the original artificial baits used by anglers. To this day they still account for more fish than practically any other type of lure, soft or hard. When I have a 1/0 wide gap hook tied on, I love using Zoom’s 4″ plastic Finesse Worms. They feature the same action as the larger trick worms, which means you can work them back to you weightless, just under the surface, or with a small split shot in front of them, bouncing along the bottom, banging into light cover.

Berkley Gulp 1.5″ Grubs

berkley grubs provide great feel for ultralight fishing

If the fish are in a passive, or neutral mood, usually from a cold front passing through, I’ll go to a much smaller profile Berkley Gulp 1.5″ swimming or jigging grub. When you hook the grub onto a 1/8 or 1/16 ounce jighead and bounce them along the bottom, the smaller design helps to entice fish into biting that normally wouldn’t hit other, larger lures. The slim profile helps them cast for incredibly long distances, and I believe that the extra Gulp “sauce” helps the light lipped fish hold onto them, giving you time to sweep the hookset.

Zoom 4″ Lizards

zoom lizard
During the spring time I reach for Zoom’s 4″ lizards if I know that the largemouth bass are spawning in the waters I’m on. These little lizards can take some incredibly huge fish, as long as you are patient, and are able to focus 100% of your efforts on watching the line for small movements. Small lizards are one of the biggest predators of largemouth bass eggs after they have spawned, which makes these an excellent bait to use to entice strikes when other baits won’t accomplish it. When you are fishing the lizards in this fashion, though, you usually will not get the fish to bite, but rather they will suck the lure into their mouth and move it away from the bed of eggs. That means you have to be quick on your toes if you want to get a solid hookset.

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

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How to Correctly Fillet Fish

You may be someone who enjoys ultralight fishing for the pure sport or alternatively you may be trying to put food on the table or maybe you enjoy ultralight fishing for both of these reasons. No matter what species you are targeting, you want to ensure that you are getting the most flesh from the bone as possible. There are plenty of ways to prepare fish for the table however one of the most popular methods which we are going to cover is filleting.

Succulent fish fillet the rewards of Ultralight Fishing

photo credit: noodlepie via photopin cc

It takes a trained touch to properly fillet a fish. When performed correctly, it can produce a high quantity of meat that contains no bones. Once an individual fully understands and can perform a quality filleting, they can quickly prepare a fish in no time.
There are not many things in this world that can beat the enjoyable flavor of eating fresh fish. However, to ensure that the caught fish maintains its flavor requires proper care.

Fish is an extremely perishable meat. To ensure that it stays fresh means that it should remain alive as long as absolutely possible, before the filleting process begins. Anglers can keep their catch fresh by using a fish basket, a live well (in a boat) or a good stringer. The ideal way to maximize fish freshness is to keep the fish directly on crushed or cubed ice.

The Ideal Knife

To properly fillet a fish requires a good knife designed specifically for filleting. It is usually crafted as a flexible, thin long blade. Anglers can locate a quality filleting knife at a department store, or sporting goods store that sells fillet knives. It should be of quality, so that it maintains its sharpness after repeated uses. To begin the filleting process requires a flat, smooth board to work as the ideal cutting surface. Many experienced anglers use a canoe paddle when filleting a fish to enjoy at lunchtime, while on a fishing adventure.

The ideal sportsmen will understand exactly how the bone structure of a freshwater or ocean fish is designed, to help them in the filleting process. It is important the fish be dead before the process of filleting begins. This will help avoid any type of injury by the fish moving around. To ensure the fish is dead, simply make a cut just behind the cover of the gill without cutting through it.

Filleting a Fish

The process of filleting a fish includes:

• Using the filleting knife, cut the fish’s head off at a position just behind its gills.

• Holding the fish by the tail, take the blade of the knife and eat it away from you. Start cutting toward the fish’s head (where it once was), while using the fish’s backbone as an effective guide for the knife.

• The easiest way to remove the skin is to hold a fillet knife and the fish’s tail with the skin side down. With the knife in a crosswise position insert it between the flesh and the skin (no one will be able to do this perfectly the first time). By carefully holding the skin, take the knife and move it toward where the head used to be. This process is more difficult when performed on larger fish.

Ultralight fishing can provide food for the table
photo credit: mrjorgen via photopin cc

Contaminants

Many times, significant levels of contaminants can be found in the fish’s fat. By properly skinning, trimming and fully cooking the catch, many of these contaminants can be reduced. This often requires the process of trimming and skinning away nearly all of the fat located in the flap of the belly and along both sides of the fish. Additionally, fat can be found along the fish’s back and directly under its skin. All dark fatty tissue should be removed.

It should be noted that simply cooking the fish will not destroy any of the contaminants in the fish. However, the heating process will melt much of the fat and allow the contaminants to drip away. Therefore, baking, grilling and broiling skinned fish using a rack will help the melted fat drip away. The drippings of the fish should never be used as a way to prepare gravies or sauces.

As ultralight fishing continues to be one of the most favorite outdoor activities, it is important to understand the proper way of filleting a fish to fully enjoy every catch.

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

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Bait or Artificial Lures – Which is Better for ultralight fishing?

Which is the best method for catching freshwater fish using ultralight fishing gear- bait or artificial lures? This is a question that different anglers will have different answers for. The short answer is that both methods are great ways to catch fish. The long answer depends on the specific fishing situation. In certain situations you will have more luck if you use bait and in other situations artificial lures are the way to go. Whether you want to fish with bait or lures will also depend on your personal preferences as an angler.

Artificial Lures

There are many different types of artificial lures, including crank baits, swim baits, jerk baits, spinner baits, plastics, jig heads, tube jigs and much more. These lures are often made of plastic or a gel-like material and they move in a way that is similar to a real prey item. You can successfully catch all species of freshwater fish using artificial lures. You can control their speed and their presentation to mimic swimming schools of baitfish or a single injured baitfish. They come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, styles and types. They can be used to represent a specific type of prey, such as a baitfish, crayfish, insect or other food item, or they can be very general to mimic several types of prey at once. Some artificial lures don’t mimic anything specific, but are bright and flashy enough to trigger strikes by fish.

Hard Body Lures - perfect for ultralight fishing
photo credit: C. J. Vizzone via photopin cc

There are several advantages to using artificial lures when ultralight fishing. The first advantage is that you don’t have to handle smelly, stinky and nasty bait. You also don’t have to buy your bait ahead of time and worry about it dying while you are fishing. You can use a variety of fishing techniques and presentations with artificial lures as well. If one technique isn’t producing results you can always try another lure or presentation method. It is easy to carry lots of different lures with you when you go fishing. Carrying around different types of bait can be rather tricky, especially if you are wade fishing. One disadvantage to lures is that while they look good, they don’t actually smell like bait. You can add artificial scents to some lures however. Lures are also highly complimentary to ultralight fishing gear as the light weight rods, reels and lines let’s you have greater feel and control over the action.

Bait

There are many different kinds of bait that can be used for freshwater fishing. This includes live bait like minnows, worms or scuds, or cut bait such as chicken livers or cut fish. You can also purchase artificial baits. Bait can be a very effective way to catch all species of freshwater game fish, because it smells like the food many fish are looking to eat. Catfish are especially vulnerable to bait. Live or cut bait can be fished with a bobber, slip bobber, along the water’s bottom or it can drift along with the current. Sometimes you can actively fish with bait, such as when you are in a current or when you are throwing a live minnow, and other times you can place some stinky bait on the bottom of the water and wait for something to find it.

Bait - a Relaxing ultralight fishing technique
photo credit: Leonard John Matthews via photopin cc

You will have a lot of options when it comes to cut bait. Bait does have to be purchased or caught ahead of time, and it may die during transport or before you get the chance to fish with it. Probably the biggest disadvantage of bait for a majority of anglers is the gross out factor. Some anglers simply don’t enjoy gut hooking a live minnow or impaling a worm on a hook.

The decision of whether to use live or dead bait or to go with an artificial lure will be up to the angler. Some will use both at the same time. Both techniques can produce great results, so it is really up to you which one you want to use. A serious ultralight fishing enthusiast may swear by lures because this is a much more intense style of fishing, where your patience and skill are rewarded. However if you just want to dangle a line whilst nursing a beer, bait may be the answer!

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

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Your Fishing Holiday Checklist

Anyone that is properly prepared for their ultralight fishing holiday will return back home from their exciting adventure more relaxed than they have felt in years. The outdoor adventure will provide the ultimate experience while spending time in some of the most beautiful bodies of water available in nature. The holiday experience will provide a chance to be one with nature while observing great scenery. Ultralight Fishing offers the opportunity to focus solely on the experience and leave every day cares behind.

Fishing Rod Rack Commonly used for ultralight fishing

photo credit: KimmerKC via photopin cc

Taking a holiday to enjoy an ultralight fishing adventure will offer fun and excitement along with a much-needed rest. For the most relaxed adventure, it is important to develop a holiday checklist to ensure that you bring along everything necessary for your trip. While it is not imperative to bring along everything on the list, nor does it represent the ideal comprehensive guide, experienced anglers want to make sure they have everything necessary to be ready for nearly any type of experience on the water.

Fly Fishing Tackle

Fly Fishing or Ultralight fishing Tackle

photo credit: helti via photopin cc

When traveling, rod tubes are known to fare much better during transit than other varieties. Additional fly fishing tackle to take along on the holiday includes:

• Reels & line
• Leaders
• Tippets
• Flies
• Bite indicators

Cat Fishing Tackle

• Rod, reel and line – any line rated 10 kg or less breaking strength will minimize the potential for landing large fish.
• Bait casting reels
• Large spinning reels
• Miscellaneous tackle – i.e. bite alarms
• Barrel weights, pencil weights, cork balls, 3-swivels
• Float/bobber for live bait

Lure Fishing Tackle

Lure Fishing or Ultralight fishing tackle

photo credit: revjdevans via photopin cc

It is important to use a spinning rod that is crafted with a high level of flexibility. This will provide the opportunity to cast the lure at an effective distance. The longer the rod, the farther it will cast creating a longer trace, which could be a significant advantage for capturing large fish in clear water. The tackle you will need to bring along include:

• Reels & line
• Lure connections that minimize tangles and produce a more natural appearance
• Spinner louvers (spoons)
• Plugs
• Feathers
• Look-alikes

Clothing

Obviously, the type of clothing that needs to be taken will be highly dependent on exactly where the fishing destination is located. It will also involve the time of year, and whether or not the fishing adventure will be on land, on a boat, or in the wading waters.

• Fishing jacket
• Waterproof jacket
• Gloves,
• Windproof jacket
• Undershirts
• Towels and toiletries
• Reading material
• Knife
• First aid kit and medications
• Comfortable pants
• Cell phone
• Hiking boots
• Plenty of comfortable, warm socks
• Down vest/jacket
• Hats

Miscellaneous Fishing Tackle

Fishing Tackle Store ultralight fishing tackle can also be purchased
photo credit: KyleWiTh via photopin cc

No matter what type of fishing you will be experiencing on your holiday, it is important to bring along a specific variety of miscellaneous fishing tackle. These include:

• Line clippers
• Pliers
• Waders
• Polarized glasses
• Wader boots

You do not need to be a diehard fishing fanatic to enjoy the experience. Fishing in the beautiful waters is a sport that is accessible to every individual of varying skill levels. By being prepared, and having the right equipment, every member of the party will have the opportunity for the big catch and a lifetime of memories of the rich and rewarding ultralight fishing experience.

Many individuals enjoy fishing holidays as a way to meet individuals that have similar interests. It is important to take the time and fully prepare for the adventure, to ensure you have everything you need for the trip. This includes all of your tackle, rods and reels, along with the proper clothing that is ideally suited for the weather you will experience while on holiday. Adding too much, or redundant items, is much better than not having enough, or worse, leaving something behind.

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

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