Spark plugs make excellent disposable sinkers. Need some cheap (free) fishing weights? Go to any gas station and ask for them. Then, loop a rubber band through the electrode and then tapping the wire down the plug can be attached to a loop of monofilament. The rubber band stretches when the plug is hung up, and even if the extra stretching force isn’t enough to break free, the band will break before the monofilament.
Jigs are one of the most versatile game-fish catchers in either fresh or saltwater. It is so important to have the right weight jig for your line weight. If the jig is too heavy for the line, you will loose your jig far too easily. If the jig is too light for the line, its swimming pattern will be disrupted and it won’t be ass effective. This simple chart will help you select the correct jig:
Line Strength Jig Size
4-lb. Test 1/16 to 1/8 oz.
6-lb. Test 1/8 to ¼ oz.
8-lb. Test ¼ to 3/8 oz.
10-lb. Test ¼ to ½ oz.
12-lb. Test 3/8 to 5/8 oz.
14 to 20-lb. Test 5/8 to ¾ oz
Treble Hook Replacement
When replacing the treble hooks on your lures, there are a few things to consider. Chang the split ring too because it is subject to stress and rust. Use a stainless-steel split ring for strength. They do not spread or rust as to most of those that come wit h the plugs. Don’t, however, use stainless steel hooks – they are more easily bent out of shape by a fighting fish. Also, if a fish gets away with your plug, stainless steel will not rust out, as a plain steel hook will. Lastly, get some split-ring pliers – they make changing your hooks easy.
If you use a spinning reel, you have probably had a spring break when the fishing gets really hot. Always carry extras (use a 35mm-film canister) – and make sure to have a little screwdriver along as well. Practice changing it before you go out
If your winter boot soles are worn, just cut the liner to match the sole of an old sneaker. Fasten the felt to the sneaker sole with a non-soluble glue. Please a heavy object on top of the sneaker overnight, and by morning you have an all purpose non-slip shoe.
Treble hooks are oftentimes “trouble” when using spinners, causing snags. Make them snag-free by removing the treble hook and replace with a single hook. Next thread on a three to four inch twister-tail grub and Texas-rig it.
Need to drop your bait down deep? Fish are very uncooperative creatures, and don’t always hang out near the surface. If your depth sounder is alerting you to fish down deeper, a downrigger can really help out.
If you aren’t exactly sure what it is, it is simple. It is a spool holding between 200-600 feet of steel cable. There is a weight attached that is between 6-12 pounds. Additionally there is a quick-release line gripper, just like a clothespin.
The fishing lines from your rods are attached to the quick-release mechanisms. Then the entire thing is dropped down to the depth you want. The bait is far enough from the weight and line gripper not to spook the fish. If you get a bite, the line is released from the gripper, so it is just you and the fish!
Some downriggers have fish-attractant properties (either electrical, or a special kind of paint), but not most of them.
Downriggers work great for deep trolling, and some even have an electronic crank that will bring everything up. If you need to get at deeper schools of fish, these are highly recommended.
Nail Polish Helps
Does your spoon, spinner, or plug get the paint chipped after only a few casts? Use clear fingernail polish to protect the paint and increase durability. Carry a bottle with you when you are fishing, and give it a shot.
If there is dirt on your ferrule it can contribute to rapid wear. Make a plug out of wood to help keep the female ferrule clean.
Is your ferrule stuck? Use “Liquid Wrench”, which you can get at any auto-parts store. Just spray it around the male ferrule and let it drip down. In a few minutes you will be able to pull it apart.
Getting Out Line Tangles
Use a pair of large fabric needles to work out these tangles. They have a smooth finish which won’t damage the line as you work the mess out. They are also handy to sew canvas tarp, leather, or carpet strips.
Pocket Tackle box
Attach a cord to your pocket tackle box, so you don’t worry about dropping it in the water or leaving it behind. Just drill an undersized hole near the back of the box and insert a small eye-screw. A know will stop the cord from slipping through the eye. Just put a clip on the other end so that you can secure the rope to a belt loop or buttonhole.
Avoiding Line Twist
Line twist is the leading cause of fouled fishing. To check for it, pull off enough line to span your outstretched hands – about 6 feet. Next, bring your hands together in front of you, causing the line to drop into a loop. If the loop wraps around itself, you have line twist. Remove it by trolling about 100 feet of line behind a boat. Next install a ball-bearing swivel to prevent future line twist.
Knots Are Key
One of the most important things in losing or landing a hooked fish is your knot. Be certain the knot you are tying is strong and properly tied.
To make sure, tie your usual knot and test it against other knots. A good test is to take two four-inch sections of a broom handle with the screw eye in the center of each. Tie a knot in each screw eye and pull steadily until you see which knot survives. Do it 10 times to get an average. The knot that holds best should be your new knot.
Anchor Pulley, Keep it Quiet
If you use an anchor pulley, you risk spooking the fish as most pulleys eventually start to squeak. Try this alternative to a pulley:
Get a large U-bolt, a few nuts and washers, and an old-style glass or porcelain fencepost insulator.
Slip the insulator on a U-bolt, drill a couple of holes to accommodate the bolt, and tighten it to the mounting surface. The anchor rope will slide freely in the insulator’s groove, and the anchor lowers and raises as effortlessly as with a pulley, especially once the rope is wet.
Casting poppers with a fly rod is awkward. To get better distance bore a slightly undersized small hole in the popper, just big enough to fit a BB in. It should fit snugly and will give you another 30 feet of casting distance at least.
Cheap and easy depth finder
Using two felt-tipped markers (red and black) mark an anchor rope as follows: A single red mark around the rope at five feet, a red and black mark at 10 feet, a single red mark at 15 feet, two black marks at 20 feet, a single red and two black marks at 25 feet and three black marks at 30. Use the color code red for every five feet and multiples of black for 10 feet.
Increases the efficiency of your minnow scoop by putting a bend in it. Just turn the wire handle down 90 degrees, then push the net back on line. The forward-positioned net makes it much easier to trap a baitfish against the inside of an open-top bucket.
A Cheap Anchor For A Fishing Boat
For holding a good-sized boat over a rocky bottom, use a large swivel snap to fasten four fee of heavy chain to a standard mushroom anchor. You can get one from a junkyard. The chain boosts the anchor’s weight and holding power, provides convenient handles for lowering and raising, and gives extra leverage when an anchor jams in rocks or snags. When he brings it aboard, he coils the heavy chain on a bed of old foam-rubber pads so it doesn’t rattle around or dent his boat. In calm water, he simply unsnaps the chain and uses the mushroom anchor by itself.