Advanced Tricks for Better Fishing

Bucks Skeeter Yamaha

by Dan O’Sullivan

I took my own advice this past weekend and did something I seemingly rarely get to do anymore, and that is go fishing.  My boat just got some work done to it by John and Jeff at Out of bounds Speed and Marine, and we needed to test  it out.  Christina and the GirlzO’S (my nickname for the sum total of our three daughters) were heading to a matinee with family to watch a cartoon.  Along with all of that, Folsom Lake, my home lake, finally filled enough that the 5MPH restrictions were lifted.

The result, I decided to go fishing.  But, rather than go at it alone, I called up my good friend Angelo Alorro; national sales manager from River2Sea, and invited him to come with me.  He accepted, so we decided to go out and toss the new larger SWaver 200 and some umbrella rigs to try and catch a big one – or two – or three.

Being that we both have been running seven million miles an hour with our hectic travel schedules, we decided to start around 8:00AM.  We started out with the big baits and rigs to no avail, but when we turned to tossing tubes on a jighead; we caught several, including a four-pound largemouth and a three-pound spot.  No giants, but a lot of fun.  For the record, Angelo likes Dry Creek Tubes in one of their Old Ugly color patterns and I like green pumpkin Strike King KVD Coffee Tubes.  Angelo also caught one or two on a Jewel Shaky Head with a Gene Larew TattleTail Worm by John Murray.

Stripping Multiple Reels at One Time and using an Overhand Knot can Save Time

Stripping Multiple Reels at One Time and using an Overhand Knot can Save Time – photos by Emberlie O’Sullivan

I only tell you all of that because if you were standing here as I told you this story; you would have asked.  C’mon, I’m a fisherman too; I would have.

Anyway, at one point when we weren’t laughing or when I wasn’t making a goofy fool of myself, Angelo and I got to talking about things we do to make our fishing trips more enjoyable (when we get to go).   It made me think of a few tips I’ve learned over the years that can help make time on the water more enjoyable, and Angelo suggested I do an article on them.

I’m always looking for new articles to write, so, why not.

Line Spooling
We probably spend more money fishing on line than anything else besides fuel.  Along with the amount of money we spend to constantly change line, there is also a large time sink in respooling.  A few tips to make respooling faster.  First, gather all of the rods you need to strip in one bundle and back off the drags s that they slip easily.  Then, grab all lines in one hand and use a long sweeping motion with your arms to pull the line off of all reels at one time.

Second, instead of using a blood knot, a Double Uni knot, or something like that to splice your fresh line to backing, just tie a simple overhand knot.  Pinch both lines together, and tie the overhand not with both lines together.  You can simply pop this knot apart when you reach it on the spool instead of using scissors, and if you’re worried about a fish stripping line off of your reel to the point

Use these Line Spooling Tricks to Get the Best Results

Use these Line Spooling Tricks to Get the Best Results – photos by Dan O’Sullivan

of reaching that knot, don’t be.  Even the largest bass should not pull more than 100 yards of line out during a fight; you’ll have them in your hands before that, or you should work on your fish fighting skills too.

If you spooled braided line on a casting reel and the end is getting a little worn, recycle it by swapping it onto another reel.  Loosen the drag on the reel you are removing it from, join the backing on the new reel and spool it onto the new reel.  You will use more of your expensive braided line that way and speed up the stripping process as well.

If you use filler spools, get a holder that will suction cup or hang firmly on something.  Make sure to have the line come off the top of the spool for baitcasting, and off of the bottom for spinning reels; this will help reduce line twist.  If you fill off of bulk spools, the direction of line is the same, but do what Skeet Reese and John Murray do, get a small square ice bucket from a motel, and use it to contain your line.  It adds tension and controls the spool as well.

Turn the Motor to Get a Better Casting Angle - photos by Dan O'Sullivan

Turn the Motor to Get a Better Casting Angle – photos by Dan O’Sullivan

Fishing from the Back Seat
While we would not recommend this maneuver if you are fishing in the back seat of a pros boat at a tour, Opens or Rayovac event, this little trick can help give a backseater in a team tournament a better casting angle at the bank.  If you are moving down a bank right to left and the starboard side of the boat is facing the bank, turn the steering wheel of the boat hard left.  This will cause the bow to drift slightly open and give the angler on the back deck a little better angle for casting.  Turn the steering wheel hard right if the port side of the boat is facing the bank and you are moving left to right, you will get a better angler there as well.

Lower Power Poles in Deep Water To Slow your Drift

Lower Power Poles in Deep Water To Slow Your Drift – photo by Dan O’Sullivan

Power Poles to Slow a Drift
If you don’t have Power Poles on your boat yet, the first question would be why?  But, if you do have them they can be used for more than just anchoring in shallow water.  If you are fishing deeper water and the wind is pushing your boat quickly down a bank or offshore structure, lower your Power Poles straight down.  They will actually work as a drift sock to slow your drift, and they will be even more effective if you add the drift paddle accessories that Power Pole sells as an add on.  But, they will help you even if you do not have the drift paddles on them.

Reel Set with Spinning Gear
It looks really cool to be able to set the hook like a Hungarian Hammer Thrower each time you get bit.  But, with today’s equipment, the need to act like a Communist Block weightlifter is not necessary; especially with spinning gear.

Reel Setting with Spinning Gear Will Land More Fish for You

Reel Setting with Spinning Gear Will Land More Fish for You – photos by Angelo Alorro

When you get a bite, simply lift the rod tip slightly until you just start to feel the pressure of the fish, and then begin speed reeling with the handle of your reel to pick up line and pull any stretch out of the line to penetrate the hook.  This helps sink the barb more quickly, avoids straightening fine wire finesse hooks and reduces line breakage on light line.

Most people believe that the act of the hookset is what drives the barb of the hook through, but a hookset only gets it started.  It is the act of reeling against the pressure of a fighting fish that sinks the barb.  Get all of that out of the way immediately with a reel setting motion, your hook to land ratios should improve dramatically.

Protect Valuable Gear by Buckling it to the Boat while Towing

Protect Valuable Gear by Buckling it to the Boat while Towing – photo by Dan O’Sullivan

Secure Gear While Towing
How many of us have lost life jackets or other gear while towing to the lake.  Take a minute to buckle your expensive inflatable PFD around a panic handle in the boat if you are towing long distances, or you simply meet your partner outside of the lake to avoid the extra fees of driving both vehicles into the launch areas.  You can do this with coolers, tackle bags, life jackets or anything else you want to make sure gets to the lake with you for an outing.

We hope some of these tips help make your fishing outings more enjoyable.