Angler's Notebook

by Jon Farley

You can make a crankbait a little more attractive to fish with one simple modification. Take a small snap swivel and slide the round eye over the hook point and onto the bend of a crankbait's trailing treble hook. The swivel should be just big enough to fit over the barb, but not big enough to come back off too easily. Next, attach a small Colorado-style spinner blade to the swivel. The blade adds a little extra flash as you retrieve the lure. photo-Jon Farley


Most ice fishing gear can be transported in a five-gallon bucket. Shovels are a different story, though. They have to be carried by hand, much to the inconvenience of ice anglers. To avoid this bother, use a dust pan to clear snow away from your holes instead of a cumbersome shovel. A compact dust pan fits nicely in a bucket or pack basket, and it can clear all but the deepest snowfalls.

Special disgorgers for removing small hooks from a fish's mouth are small, simple tools that often carry outlandish price tags at fishing shops. A less costly alternative is to use a "seam ripper." As its name implies, the tool is used in sewing to tear out unwanted seams from clothes, but it works just as well in removing small hooks from fish. A seam ripper can be purchased anywhere sewing supplies are sold.

Nowadays, the interiors of specialized bass boats are covered with all-weather carpet. Take advantage of this feature by putting pieces of self-adhesive hook-and-loop material on any items you want to "stay put" while fishing­things like drink holders, tackle boxes or rod tubes. The stiff bristles of the hook-and-loop material adhere nicely to the carpet, and they'll keep your essential gear in place.

Salmon eggs fished singly or in a clustered spawn sack are one of the best baits for steelhead. To make them even more enticing, tie a piece of brightly colored yarn to the hook shank, just above the bait. This makes the bait more visible to steelhead and often yields better results with the notoriously picky fish. The tactic is especially helpful when murky water limits visibility.

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November/December 2000 Angler & Boater

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