Friday, March 27, 2015

Confidence in Texas Rigging

  I have always been shy of using the Texas Rig.  To me, it just seems to be too slow.  And I really have no confidence in its’ abilities to catch fish.  Hmmm… Having confidence.  This is one of the most important parts of fishing; having a feeling of confidence from a certain type of set up.  In other words, if you haven’t had success in the past with your set up’s, then, you will have no confidence in that certain rig for the future.  Well, I had a good friend show me the finer points of the Texas Rig as well as putting me on some fish.  After an afternoon of fishing and catching (for the first time) with the Texas rig, my confidence grow fast.  It is now a standard in my fishing plans whenever I go out.  So I would like to take a moment to help you learn the finer points of this old but very useful set for some great fishing anywhere.

        First off, the bullet weight, which is the start of the whole setup.  It leads the

worm or soft plastic through the water and structure.  There are many different sizes of weights, but it is said that the lighter the weight the better the action of the plastic will be.  Next, in line is your choice of a glass bead, which serves two purposes.  First, it is designed to protect the knot from the sliding bullet weight; it also is used to add a little sound as the weight strikes the glass bead as you move the lure through the water.  Both are great reasons to add the glass bead.   But this is still an angler’s choice.



        Next, is the hook, there are plenty to choose from but the offset worm hook, in my opinion, is the best hook to use with a Texas rig.  You will need to choose the size that best fits the plastic bait you will be using, though.  You can use just about any plastic bait you believe works for your water conditions.  But the most common bait use is a plastic worm.  The technique to fishing

this set up is simple.  Cast the lure out and let it settle to the bottom.  With your rod pointed toward the bait, reel in your slack. Then, slowly lift your rod tip up to the 11 o'clock position.  Let the lure settle back down as you point your rod tip back to the lure and again reel up the slack.  Simple repeat this method until you have reeled the lure back.


Of course, with any set up there is more than one way to fish it successfully.  And for me, I have learned to bounce, pause, twitch, bounce, pause, and twitch, which imparts a wiggle in the lure as well as erratic jumping motion from spot to spot.  I have even heard people will cast a larger worm out and simply swim it back with success.

        I have learned to be confident in the Taxes rig setup only because I practiced this technique and have had, with time, gained success.  Please know, of course, you cannot have success without trying. So, speaking as a man who once had little to no confidence, if you have not tried this method yet, maybe it is time?

Found in The Float Tube Fishing Forum Quarterly Magazine:


Monday, March 23, 2015

The Best Tackle Storage System

       I have spent a lot of time looking at other peoples’ ‘pockets’ and discover what they have in them.  Ok, that sounds funny; what I mean is, their float tube or Pontoon boat pockets, and how do they store their tackle.  I mean every time I think I have a good system, I see someone else's setup for side pockets and I think, “now, that is perfect!”  I have used small tackle boxes, Planoe boxes, Tupperware containers, even Ziploc bags.   But I think I finally found the setup that works for me.

     Iris picture clear case, found at your local crafting stores or online.  One day while hanging out with my wife I came across this small 4 x 8 locking plastic container.  To me it looked like a good fit for both my fishing lures and side pocket of my float tube.  So I picked up 2 or 3 for a test run, and they worked great! They are clear plastic with a single locking flap on the front, and the box size is a little over 4” x 8”, which allows me to stack them up in my side pockets.   I am able now to put anywhere from 6 to 8 containers on either side of the tube if needed.  And they don't just hold lures! I also use them to carry scissors, forceps, weights, hooks, jigs, fishing license and an extra GoPro battery, among other things.  Well after my test run I saw the benefits these containers and figured I would pick up a few more.  Then I saw it; a complete large box filled with 16 of the smaller boxes. I bought it and now I can safely say I have the perfect float tube tackle storage system available.  At least until I find the next system.  If you are looking for a tackle storage system for your float tube or pontoon boat, I think this might be what you are looking for.



 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Blade Jigs Broken down

       Put a Curly tail grub on my line and I am just fine I will fish till I get something; I have also become confident in drop shooting a 3" to 4" worm, or Texas Rigging bigger worms not a problem for me.  I feel very confident in my fishing style and I am confident in the techniques I use while fishing my favorite waters.  So have I become complacent, you might say I am a one trick pony when it comes to my fishing techniques?  I asked myself this question and I really feel that I need to expand my arsenal of fishing tackle chooses.  So I starting looking at other baits that I have avoided or tried but never had success with over the years.  My eyes kept coming back to one type of lure the Blade jig.  I have tried the different types of blade jigs over the years, as they seem as they could be successful if you know what you are doing.  When purchasing these types of baits I had high hopes, but they were soon dashed as throw after throw I would get nothing not even a follow in the shallows.  Looking back at this now I feel it comes down to 2 things, lack of confidence and lack of understanding.

        Well I continued my search online and found some articles to read and learn from, in my search I came across the information I felt could make me a better blade jig fishermen.  Now I would like to help you understand these baits a little better as I have begun to learn there ins and outs of how to fish them.  So let’s start off with the bait and what the blade jig actually does to trigger the strike.   The blade on these baits create vibration in the water and with the blade leading the bait through the water it moves side to side causing it to strike the jig head causing a click clack sound in the water.   The vibration that this bait gives off and the clicking that is made is one of the biggest reasons fish will strike at this bait, but not the only reason.
           
        How are these blade jigs fished for the most success possible, which would be what most people would like to know.  Well the blade jig can be fishing slow retrieve or fast retrieve, high or low in the water column.  It can be bounced off the bottom or dragged through the gravel on the beds of your favorite waters.  It really comes down to what the fish is looking for.  The blade on the bait is the key to most of the retrieves, the more movement the more vibe and click, the slower the movement the less vibration and click, but what every you choose make sure you continue to
feel the blade working in the water.   In most situations a steady retrieve might be all that is needed, just enough movement to impart the clicking of the blade on the jig head.  Hopping the bait off the bottom can be a useful retrieve as hopping it off the bottom once again kicks the blade in to gear and the quick vibration could trigger that strike you were waiting for.  Of course don’t be afraid to simple crawl it across the bottom or dead stick it, so long as the bottom is fairly free of obstructions and heavy weeds.  There is also a retrieve were you will cast it out let it sink and just before it hits the bottom you pick up the rod tip sharply and reel in then pause.  After a short pause started the same pattern up again, rod tip, reel, pause, rod tip, reel, pause.  This mimic’s pray that is fleeing from a predictor and can cause that reaction strikes.

             So Next when is the best time to fish blade jigs, in my research most pros will tell you that these are year round baits.   I will agree that these lures can be fished almost year round, but I am sure most people will agree there are better times to fish them.   The best time to be throwing a blade jig is in the spring time.  Everything is beginning to wake up including the fish.  As the water warms hunger will set in and these lethargic bass are now on the chew.   The blade jigs are meant to mimic a swimming baits fish or could be seen as a crawfish kick along the bottom.  These are some of the targeted pray that these fish are looking for in the spring, which is just what you want.  Of course if you choose to fish a blade jig in the colder months, you might just need to slow down you retrieve to a slow roll or crawl.  And if you find yourself in the hotter months you want to look for deep waters and structure to fish for the best results.

Lastly a few more things before you head out to try a blade jig.  Where do you fish these baits, meaning what water and structure are best suited for blade jigs.  Their design lends itself to be fished almost anywhere you feel the fish might be.  Fish them along weed lines; bounce them off rock piles or stumps, and alongside docks and pylons is just a few areas we can fish these.  Finally these baits were not meant to be fished alone they are best paired with a trailer.  There are many trailer baits that have been made that will work just fine, for example the split tail trailer will work great.  Of course don’t get boxed in with only one type of trailer, experiment with different types.  Change it up with a 3” to 4” swimbait style, or maybe a ringer worm type lure.  Even use creature baits to add just a little more action on the bounce.  This, like in fishing is all about you and what you think will work best.  With time on the water and some imagination you might be able to take your blade jigs, and dial them in for some great bass fishing this Spring, summer, or fall whatever suit your fishing needs.  Then hopefully you, like me won’t be a one trick pony any more.



Friday, March 6, 2015

Stop Leg Cramps While Tubing

      I know I am not alone in this statement: DAM CRAMPS!
They never happen at the right time and they hurt so bad you start cursing the fish because of the pain you feel.  It’s not their fault!  It is on you more than likely.


      So, the question is, what can you do to avoid those these miserable cramps?  I have done some research and have asked around and the answer to this is, who truly knows?  I have heard everything from stretch more, drink more water, to even drink pickle juice “What!”  I will discuss the different areas listed here to help you to avoid cramps while float tubing.  I ask that you keep an open mind and rely on the fact that not everything I list here is going to work for everyone all the time.  In my 41 years of life I have learned one very important fact:  we are all different.


      So, first off, I have read and will discuss the use of potassium to help alleviate muscle cramps.  It is a proven fact that if you are low in potassium that you could and will most likely be susceptible to cramping during activities.  So how do we replace that missing potassium? You guessed it: bananas.
Of course there are potassium supplements and I have even heard bananas and/or mustard is a great and quick source of potassium.  So make sure you have a banana in the hours before you get in to the water and maybe take a few mustard packs with you for a quick shot of what you need.  That is a simple fix right? So, now I am done and am at the end of the article.  Oh, but wait like I said we are all different. And because of this, we now know that this might not be the complete fix for some of us.


      It was stated previously that it could be your fins, the length of you fins that will denote the amount of force needed to move yourself through the water.  So you might need to experiment with the type of fins you are using.  This could be an expensive fix and the recommended fin for this remedy is:  the Force fins.  Now I have no experience with Force fins so I will not stand behind this statement.  Not because I don’t agree but only because I don’t have the experience.  This could be a true statement and maybe it has or would work for you.


Still another idea is to stretch before you get started float tubing.  Again this is simple; at least when I was younger it was simple - not as easy now a day.  To stretch before an activity you are helping your muscles to relax and get prepared for the activities ahead.  Make sure that you are doing proper stretching on the muscles that would be used while float tubing and maybe you should concentrate on the areas that you seem to have the most cramps during your outing.  For me I will be concentrating on my calf muscles.  Remember; be very careful not to over-stretch.  Only move to the point you feel the stretch.  Many years ago, Jane Fonda put out exercise videos telling you exercise until you feel the burn. And then, push beyond.  Bad news! Going beyond this could cause muscle damage.  It is also very important your muscles are warm before you start your stretch so you might want to take a light jog or do some jumping jacks before you stretch.


       Water.  You must have water.  Without water, dehydration could be the cause of your leg cramps.  So, it is stated, by the experts you should be taking in enough water daily to help you avoid those painful cramps.  Good advice while kicking around in your float tube.  Further. This seems to be another simple fix but I challenge you to really think about this.  Do you really take in enough water?  I am sure most of us after really thinking about it could safely say we are falling short of our water intake minimums and could be dehydrated and not know it.  If this is so, making a conscious effort to drink some water before your activity could significantly prevent the cramps you are experiencing, during your activities.


      Beyond these simple fixes, there are more ideas on the subject: quinine pills; Gatorade; a proper exercise program; and even pickle juice.  The quinine pills are not used anymore and I think you should heed the FDA’s warnings on this.  Now drinking some pickle juice before your outings have proven to help with cramping.  I am not sure if this works, nor do I promote it as a leg cramp cure, but stranger things have happened.  As for Gatorade and good a workout program are concerned, give them a shot as it may be what you need to help alleviate those nasty leg cramps and extend your time on the water, not to mention maintaining that svelte figure of yours…


By; JBernier

From the The Float Tube Fishing Forum Quarterly Magazine ( http://joom.ag/GtRb )

Friday, February 27, 2015

FTFF Magazine is now up for reading

Here you go guys our first issue for 2015, take a look and let us know what you think.  In this issue and quite possible the next 3 issue we have a give away contest.  This one is for a small hand made tackle products called CoolBaits.  Check it out page 18 of the magazine this is open to all that read this magazine.
Please know that right now the magazine can only be viewed on a computer as our upgrade in over. I will be working on trying to get this fixed in the next few months.  So you cannot see this on a tablet or a smartphone for now.  But in time this will be fixed for now take a look and enjoy and please take a look at the Coolbaits contest as well as our sponsors ads. salute 

https://www.joomag.com/en/newsstand/the-float-tube-fishing-forum-vol-2-issue-1/0040101001410885391