Going Fishing Guide

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Page 21 of 47

LOCATING FISH Think food, oxygen and shelter. Where are these basic needs met for the fi sh species you target? During mornings and evenings, many fi sh move out of their daytime shelter and into near-shore areas in search of food. This is often a prime time to have a hook in the water. Fish with high oxygen requirements probably won't be found in a shallow, muddy pond. Instead, look for clean, fresh or fl owing water habitat with plenty of oxygen. Shelter provides shade, a place to hide from predators or to lie in wait for prey. Look for weed beds, submerged trees, rocky areas, boat docks, overhanging trees or outcroppings, or even simply deeper pools of water. On bright sunny days, avoid shallow, open water and fi sh in areas that provide shade. ATTRACTING FISH Sight Fish can see color. When fi shing in clear water, use lures that mimic natural colors (like silver and whites). When fi shing in murky or deep waters where light doesn't penetrate as well, bright refl ective colors (like red, green or chartreuse) are often more effective. Smells Fish found in murky or dark water will rely on senses other than sight to fi nd food. Many soft plastics are injected with scents and, of course, live baits will provide an olfactory attraction when fi shing murky waters. Catfi shers will often use stinky baits like rotten cheese to attract fi sh. While the fi sh may bite on the smelly stuff, they'll also bite on a chunk of hot dog. There are even commercial products available to spray onto lures as a fi sh attractant. (Many old-timers swear that WD-40 lubricating oil is an excellent fi sh attractant because it contains fi sh oil. According to the manufacturers, the product does NOT contain fi sh oil and they do not recommend using it as a fi sh attractant for environmental reasons.) Sound Fish hear differently than humans. Hearing is more like feeling to a fi sh because they pick up the vibrations of sound in the water with sensory organs like the lateral line. Unnatural sounds will spook fi sh, so think "quiet" while fi shing. When casting and retrieving, let your lure rest for about 10 seconds before beginning your retrieve, to allow fi sh to recover from the startle of your lure hitting the water. Lures that make noise are popular for deep water fi shing or when fi shing in the dark, situations where fi sh rely on senses other than sight to fi nd food. Pay attention to what your fi sh are biting on and when. Keep a journal and record the type and color of your lure, the time of year and the weather conditions. Your records will likely begin to show patterns that you can refer back to when choosing baits in the future. For example, you may notice that certain species at a specifi c lake prefer a specifi c colored jig at a specifi c time of year. These preferences likely correlate to something that repeats itself in the environment, like an annual hatch of baitfi sh that resembles the lure you use. CHAPTER 4 FISHING TIPS AND TECHNIQUES LOCATE, ATTRACT, AND CATCH Fish need water, so a lake or stream is an obvious choice to fi nd them. The Nebraska Fishing Guide – Public Fishing Areas is a great place to start fi nding a location and information on the fi sh present. Then it's time to explore and experiment. Find a fi shing spot that is comfortable for you and seems "fi shy". Try different baits and techniques. If it's not working out, move. When in doubt, observe or ask other anglers about what is working. Most anglers will oblige. 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 CHAPTER 4 ● FISHING TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

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