Posts Tagged ‘tackle’

Set Your Hook: Drop-Shot Rig

Drop-Shot Rigs

A drop-shot rig is a hook tied directly to the line (from four inches to four-foot above the sinker) with a sinker also tied to the line, below the hook.

To create a Drop-Shot Rig:

Pass a look of monofilament line through the eye of the hook. The tail of the line (the part that is not attached to the reel) is where you will put your weight.

Tie a Palomar knot to secure the hook and leave the tag end (the tail of the line that is not attached to the reel) about four or five feet long. Now take the tag end and go back through the hook eye from the point side toward the back. When you hang the weight, the hook will be at a 90-degree angle to the line with the hook point up.

Last is the weight and how far up the line the hook should be. Here’s where you’ll have to decide based on how high above the hump or sunken island the fish are holding. You’ll just have to experiment to see what the fish want, but 18″ to 24″ is a good place to start.

Set Your Hook

Gang Hooks to Catch Trout

Every so often I run across a trout fishing idea and think “WHY have I NEVER heard of that?! That sounds like a fantastic idea!” This is one of those ideas.

Fishing Worm

Before I discovered a worm threader, I hadn’t been a big fan of using night crawlers as trout bait. No, it has nothing to do with being squeamish (I’m not) or the fact that you get dirt under your fingernails trying to get the worms out of the container. It was that I never seemed to catch anything with a worm; it’s a waste of bait as the worm gets soggy or eaten (with no fish on the hook), and left over night crawlers aren’t even great for my garden.

A gang hook set up is a one-up on a worm threader. The worm is presented in a more “natural” fashion and you get the advantage of two hooks instead of one.

I haven’t tried this set up yet (it’s still too hot for good trout fishing around here!) so, I want somebody to go out and test this one for me and then let me know.

What are gang hooks?

Gang hooks are a series of two or more single hooks tied in a straight line on a piece of monofilament leader.

What are the advantages to using a gang hook?

  • The worm will be stretched along the line, in a more natural position than wadded up in a “worm ball” around a single or treble hook.
  • You’ve got two hooks instead of one.
  • You can use smaller hooks which will better fit in a smaller fish’s mouth.
Worm Ball

A worm ball -- Gross!

How do I create a gang hook?

Using a snell knot tie a single, size 10 hook to a leader, leaving at least a 12″ tag end. Tie a second hook about 2- to 3-inches below the first (depending on the length of your worm) and clip the tag end.

If you want to, you can add the hooks to the leader directly below each other (with no space in between) to create a longer line of gang hooks. If your worm isn’t long enough to finish out the line of gang hooks, make a small ball of Powerbait to cover any remaining hooks.

Attach your gang hook to a swivel (I like two slip weights above the swivel) and you’re good to go. You can use this set up with or without weights and also with a bobber.

Gang hooks are best used in shallow areas with debris, including fallen trees and water plants. Gang hooks are less likely to catch or snag on the debris, due to its unique hook presentation.

Readers Weigh In:

  • Have you ever fished a worm on a gang hook? How did it go?
  • What is your favorite worm presentation?

Set Your Hook

Types of Freshwater Fishing Reels

If you’ve ever gone walking down the fishing aisle of any sporting goods store, you’re sure to be AMAZED at the variety of fishing poles and reels available. To make life easier, I thought I should probably explain about the three (FOUR!) main types of reels.

  • Spin cast
  • Spinning
  • Baitcasting
  • Fly (I’m not even going to get into fly fishing in this article, just know that they are wildly different!)

You’ll want to match your pole, reel, and tackle to the type of fishing that you’ll be doing. But, for the beginner, it’s easiest to just find a rod-reel combo that works for you and then get comfortable with it!

Spin Cast Reels

Also known as a closed-face reel, spin cast reels are the best choice for beginning fishermen due to their ease of use. To this day, this is the type of reel I use. It is PERFECT for kids and novice anglers since it is easy to use and hard to screw up!

Spin cast reels are typically inexpensive. Another plus if you’re just getting started fishing!

A spin cast reel sits on top of the fishing rod.

Using A Spin Cast Reel

Spin cast reels combine spinning and casting. The spool of line remains stationary until you use a thumb button to cast. When you release the button, your bait or lure propel your line.

Pros of a Spin Cast Reel

  • They can be inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Not a lot that can go wrong with them
  • Are usually easy to cast

Cons of a Spin Cast Reel

  • Aren’t high-capacity so don’t hold a lot of line
  • Are typically only good for light to medium weight line (small to medium sized fish)
  • Drag systems aren’t always reliable

Spinning Reels

Also known as an open-faced reel, spinning reels come in a variety of sizes and can be used for a variety of fish species, from small panfish to large saltwater predators.

The reel is mounted below the rod.

The reel is mounted under the rod.

Using A Spinning Reel

A spinning reel has a fixed spool which doesn’t turn during the cast or retrieve. Instead, line is retrieved through a pickup mechanism called a bail, which turns around the spool as you turn the reel’s handle.

Pros of a Spinning Reel

  • Variable-sized spool that can accommodate varying amounts of line
  • From or rear drag systems (helps to keep the fish from breaking the line)
  • Good at casting light lures
  • Lures can be cast accurately (if you know how!)

Cons of a Spinning Reel

  • If you’re not careful, you can get the line completely tangles
  • Not (usually) a good choice for beginners to kids
  • Since the reel mounts under the rod, you might have to “relearn” how to cast
  • Can be expensive

Baitcasting Reels

Baitcasting reels are among the most specialized type of reels. They are best used with heavier lures than can be fished with a spinning reel. Baitcasting reels sit atop the fishing rod and come in a wide variety of sizes. They can be used to catch fish ranging in size from a pound or two to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Not for the beginner, a baitcasting reel is used when fishing heavy cover. This type of reel is not meant to be used with light lures! A baitcasting reel has more uses than the others, but also requires more coordination to use.

Using a Baitcasting Reel

Baitcasting reels work with the weight of the bait or lure as it pulls on the line and turns the spool to release more line; the heavier the lure, the longer the cast.

The baitcaster reel mounts to the top of the rod. The line comes off these reels from the top, so it doesn’t twist, however, the angler’s thumb is used to help control the speed the line unwinds off the reel when casting. However, that can make it difficult to cast. Because, if you forget to put your thumb down over the line on the reel, or don’t use enough pressure, the reel spins faster than the line can go through the guides, so it creates a big mess of snarled, tangled line called a backlash.

Pros of a Baitcasting Reel

  • You can cast with pin-point accuracy (after you learn how!)
  • Can handle heavy tackle and line
  • Perfect for catching big fish

Cons of a Baitcasting Reel

  • Difficult to learn to use
  • Expensive
  • Can make a huge mess of your line if used incorrectly
  • Not good for fishing lightweight tackle or for small fish

When you’re in the market for a new reel, be sure it will incorporate with your fishing pole. Not all reels can be used on all poles; the styles need to match. Also keep in mind the type of fishing you’re likely to be doing before buying a reel: size of fish, line diameter, tackle weight.

Also make sure you get a reel that matches your dominant hand. Not all reels are reversible for right- or left-handed anglers!

My biggest suggestion with buying any type of fishing gear is to always start out in a moderate price range. I also recommending going to a good tackle shop and talk to an expert: explain the type of fishing you want to do and listen to their advice!

Readers Weigh In:

  • What type of reel do you use?
  • Do you have any horror stories of tangled line or the one that got away?

Set Your Hook

What Are The Parts Of A Fishing Rod?

I’ve decided that since I’ve talked about the anatomy of a fish HOOK it was high time I discussed the anatomy of a fishing POLE.

My favorite fishing pole!

There are literally hundreds of fishing poles to choose from. There are everything from ice fishing to fly; kiddie poles to high-dollar deep sea poles. But no matter what, all fishing poles are made of the same four parts:


The rod itself can be made out of a variety of materials including bamboo, graphite, carbon, fiberglass, plastic, or a composite material. Of course, all rods come in different lengths and diameters depending on what type of fishing, the angler’s preference, and what species of fish you’re after.

A rod that is all of a piece (that doesn’t break down for easy transport) have a much different feel than a multi-piece rod. But frankly, a single-piece rod is pretty difficult to transport! Two piece rods are joined together by a ferrule and if engineered well, won’t give up much in the way of having a natural feel to it.

The ferrule.

Fishing rods are sorted by the rod’s action, as well as its power. Power refers to how much force is needed to make the rod flex. Action is determined by where the rod flexes.


The guides are where the fishing line is threaded through. The guide has two main parts: the foot, which contacts the fishing pole, and the loop which sticks out from the rod. The guides of a rod are either metal or ceramic and are attached along the rod in a variety of locations.


With a multi-section rod, it’s important to have the guides lined up so your line will flow from the reel through the guides properly and without catching. Depending on the style of rod and its length, the placement and size of the guides will vary.

While you’re fishing, be sure to check the alignment of the guides often. A fighting fish can actually twist the two sections of rod so the guides no longer line up!

Reel Seat

The reel seat on a fishing pole is located above the base and is where the reel is attached to the rod. What reel you use, will determine what the reel seat will look like. Since there are three standard reels, there are three standard reel seats: fly, casting and spinning.

Obviously my reel seat has my reel attached to it!


The handle of a fishing pole is what you hold onto while fishing. The type of rod will determine what the handle looks like. Spinning and fly rods have a thinner and more streamlined handle, compared to a rod used for casting.

If you look closely, you might see the ground-in worms and PowerBait on my handle!

The majority of handles are manufactured out of foam or cork.

When you’re using a fishing pole, you want to be very careful with the rod tip. It’s easy to step on, break off, or otherwise damage. The other part that should be checked regularly are the guides as they can become loose and detach from the rod shaft.

Be very careful with the tip!

Readers Weigh In:

  • What is your favorite style of fishing rod?
  • Do you have a favorite brand or style?

Set Your Hook

The Best Way To Fish With Worms

ESP Boss discovered a worm threader about three years ago while on vacation in the White Mountains. NOTHING was working to catch fish; not PowerBait, not salmon eggs, not corn: NOTHING. But, there was one “old geezer” who seemed not to be effected by the lousy fishing conditions.

He told ESP Boss and The Queen Mother his fishing secret:


But not just sticking a worm on a treble hook and tossing it in. Nope, the man explained that he was fishing with night crawlers and a worm threader.

Of course, like most good fishing tips, there was a part of the worm threader tip that the man didn’t explain: how to USE the thing. Now, a worm threader seems pretty simple, but there is defiantly a technique to making it work well.

You’ll need:

  • Night crawlers or other live fishing worm
  • Worm threader
  • Single hook with a leader (as opposed to double, or treble)

Everything you'll need to fish with worms!

For all these photos, I use a whole nigh crawler so you can really see what is going on. When I’m using this set up for trout of sunfish, I usually use 1.5″ to 2″ of worm.

The first step is to insert the threader through the body of the worm. You don’t want to go from end to end, rather begin by puncturing the worm about 1/4 of the way up from on end.

This can be difficult since the worm will slide on the tip of the threader and try to curl around your fingers.

Once you have inserted the threader, you will slide it along the mud vein and out the end of the worm. The threader is now encased in the worm. You’re not “sewing” the worm onto the threader but rather sliding the theader through the body of the worm.

3/4 of the worm is on the threader

The tip of the worm threader has a small hole in it. That is where you will place the point of the hook.

The hole is deep enough to hold most of the tip and barb.

Holding the worm threader in one hand and the leader of the hook in the other hand, you will then slide the worm OFF the threader and onto the hook and leader. This is where it can get tricky!


You’ll be forming a V with the threader and leader. It’s a lot easier to do if you keep the leader taut to maintain the V shape.

If the tip of the hook comes out of the tip of the worm threader, you’re best bet is to take the worm off and start again. You can’t really fix it at that point.

The hardest part (once you get the worm started) is getting it over the knot and eye of the hook. The fishing hook is thicker there. You might want to use a shorter section of worm.

See the V shape this makes? Keep tension on the leader to maintain that shape.

Once you have the worm threaded onto the hook, you can cast like normal. Since the hook is incased in the worm, you’re less likely to have a fish steal the worm. And, it makes it very difficult for the worm to fall off. (Always a plus!)

Keep sliding the worm down the leader. See how much is left on the threader? That's why I like to use a smaller piece of worm. Plus, worms tend to get longer & thinner when you're working with them!

Readers Weigh In:

  • What’s your favorite way of fishing a worm?
  • Have you ever used a worm threader? What are your tips for making it work well?
  • What is your go-to bait (or technique) when the fish just aren’t biting?

Set Your Hook

3 Advantages To Using A Bobber

Bobbers are some of the most popular fishing tackle ever. They’re easy to use (and easy to use incorrectly!), inexpensive, and perfect for a multitude of fishing conditions. Don’t let the bright colors fool you into thinking bobbers are only for kids!

3 Advantages To Using A Bobber

  1. You can float your bait in the middle of the water column. Unless you’re boat fishing, it’s pretty difficult to suspend your bait 5 feet off the bottom and 5 feet down from the surface of the water WITHOUT using a bobber.
  2. You can see if a fish is interested in your bait. When a fish has your bait, the bobber might start “swimming” in a direction, jerk, or completely disappear! How great is it to not only FEEL the line moving but also see evidence that a fish is interested in the bait!
  3. Bobbers can make it easier to cast out. Contrary to popular belief, having additional weight on your line usually makes it easier to cast your line. Having more weight means your line will cast farther, with more accuracy, and be less likely to be blown off course mid-cast.

Types Of Bobbers

Ball Bobber

Ball Bobbers
Ball bobbers are those iconic read & white bobbers that always seem to come with the Snoopy fishing pole kiddie kit. But don’t underestimate their value! Ball bobbers range in size from small enough to catch little sunfish to large enough to fish for Northern Pike (and suspend a 10 inch bait minnow!)

The ball bobber has a spring-loaded button on the top. When the full button is pressed down it releases a wire hook at the bottom of the bobber. If the button is pushed down around the edges, just the button goes into the body of the bobber and the wire hook at the top of the bobber is revealed. Place your line through BOTH hooks and the bobber is fixed into position — perfect for fishing at 5 feet off the bottom!

Stick Bobber

Pencil Bobbers or Stick Bobbers
Pencil bobbers are the longest and thinnest bobbers. They also might have a bulge in the center of the bobber (round or egg shaped.) Like a ball bobber, a pencil bobber clips directly to the fishing line, but the pencil bobber only has one clasp. If the bobber is weighted on one end (typical) then the bobber floats upright in the water. If the bobber isn’t weighted, then it will float horizontally in the water and will stand upright when the fish pulls on the hook.

Slip Bobber

Slip Bobbers
Slip bobbers are used when an angler is fishing in deep water. Slip bobbers are also perfect for when you need to change the depth of your bait frequently. Slip bobbers have a hole through the center so they can slide up and down the fishing line. There is usually a small knot tied on the fishing line to stop the bobber from sliding up the line. Whatever the distance is between the bobber stop and the hook is the depth at which the hook will hang.

How To Use A Bobber

The first thing on your line (closest to the pole) will be your bobber. When you clip it on, pull about 5 feet of line off the tip of your pole and attach the bobber. You can adjust the length of the line based on where the fish are AND how much line you can handle to cast out. I recommend having the bobber a bit closer to the hook until you learn how to cast it out! (Speaking from experience here!)

Then, you’ll want some weights. I typically put my weights about 12-15 inches away from the hook. You can use clam shell weights that clip to the line or slip sinkers. You want enough weight to suspend the line below the bobber, but not enough to drag the bobber under!

Lastly, you’ll want your baited hook. Make sure you have enough bait to just cover the hook. Much more and a fish will just eat around the hook and leave the hook hanging there! (Again, speaking from experience!)

When you cast out, let the bobber settle, and then reel in so there is very little slack in your line. Too much slack and the breeze will move the bobber. And if you have too much slack, you won’t be able to set your hook when the bobber does go under. You want the line slack free, but not so tight that the bobber is floating at your feet!

5 Final Bobber Tips

1. Size matters. You want to choose the smallest bobber that will float your bait and a weight. The smaller a bobber is the more sensitive it is and the less chance a fish can feel or see it. If the bobber sinks after you cast it out, you have too much weight on it. If this happens use less weight or a bigger bobber.

2. Make sure it’s attached! I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen somebody cast out their line only to have the bobber and line part company mid-air. When you’re casting 25-30 feet off shore, there’s no way you’ll swim out to retrieve a bobber!

3. Start Inexpensive But Quality. I recommend buying ONE high quality bobber. Don’t get the most expensive bobber but stay away from the cheapies too. You want a bobber that is well made enough to perform as it’s supposed to, but not so expensive you’ll never take it out of the tackle box. (Or yell if you lose it!)

4. Bobber Colors. Colors don’t matter at all to performance or to the fish. They do matter to the angler though! Some colors are easier to see in some lighting conditions. I recommend buying your favorite bobber style in a multitude of colors and sizes.

5. Cut Off Your Line. Since the bobber attaches to the line in one form or another, you always run the risk of shredding the fishing line. Most tears are too small to see with the naked eye and only become apparent when your line breaks as you’re trying to land a MONSTER fish. I recommend removing the last 6-10 feet after ever fishing trip anyway since you can’t see any damage caused by bobbers, rocks, or weeds.

Readers Weigh In:

  • Do you ever fish with a bobber?
  • What is your favorite bobber style?
  • What tips do you have for fishing with a bobber?

Set Your Hook

Fishing for Northern Pike

I was supposed to be able to report on how our Homemade Fishing Baits did at Ashurst Lake on last weekend’s camping trip. But I can’t! When I got to Flagstaff I found out that all the trout in Ashurst Lake have been eaten by Northern Pike.


Since all my baits were pretty much for any fish species BUT pike, I have to save that until I can fish a local lake. So I will tell you how my 5 homemade fishing baits perform, but not until I can test them out!

Frankly I’ve never fished for Northern Pike before. I’ve caught one or two on accident, though!

Check out those teeth!

ESP Boss’ friend and hunting partner, Dave, had come up to visit my folks just before I got to camp. Dave has fished for pike before and offered us these suggestions:


  • Use at least 10-pound-test fishing line. (I actually set up a different rod & reel for pike, since I fish for trout on my lightweight pole with 4-pound test line)
  • Use steel leaders when fishing for pike. (I did know that part!) Unlike trout, pike have big, sharp and scary teeth that can bite right through a traditional monofilament leader.

    Leaders come in different weights and lengths.

  • Buy whole, frozen anchovies as bait. You’ll want to keep them frozen until you’re ready to stick them on a hook! (Be sure the lake you’re fishing at allows for this type of bait — some fishing areas will only allow artificial baits!)

    Whole, frozen anchovies are available at sporting goods stores.

Attaching The Bait

(Now this is so gross, I didn’t take photos when I was at the lake!)

  1. Using a good-sized hook (hook size depends on the size of the anchovy and the size of the Northern Pike you want to catch!) thread the hook through both eyes. Pull all the leader through the eyes until the head of the fish is nearly at the start of the fishing line.
  2. Wrap the leader around the body of the anchovy, moving from the head toward the tail. Be careful not to draw the leader so tight as to cut or damage the body of the anchovy.
  3. Thread the hook back into the body of the anchovy. Make sure most of the hook (especially the barb) is buried in the body of the anchovy.

    Pretend this is an anchovy! The black "hook" is about where I shoved the hook into the body of the bait-fish.

  4. Cast your line out and pray that the whole thing doesn’t fly off in mid-air!

Since I had never fished for Northern Pike before I wasn’t sure if the whole set-up would work or not. I was able to cast the whole rig out without losing the bait. And I was really pleased to see how FAR the cast went since I’m not really used to tossing that much weight out at the end of the line.

Did it work?

I didn’t get a single nibble! When we were ready to call it a day (cold, windy, and raining) I pulled in my bait to find that a crayfish or three had stripped all the flesh from my anchovy and left me with just a skeleton.

It literally looked like a cartoon fish skeleton attached to my line!

What About You?

  • Have you ever fished for Northern Pike?
  • What bait did you use?
  • Have you ever heard this technique that Dave shared with us? Did it work for you?

Set Your Hook

3 Tips For Fishing Rocky Lakes

I’m heading off for a long weekend of camping, fishing, and geocaching today. One of my favorite lakes near Flagstaff is Ashurst Lake. Just looking at the lake, you can tell that it is a volcanic rock depression that was dammed to form the lake. (There are few natural lakes in Arizona!)

Typical shoreline for Ashurst: rocks, rocks, and more rocks!

What that means is that the lakebed is full of jagged volcanic rocks that are only interested in one thing:

Snagging my tackle and dragging it to the watery depths, never to be seen again!

3 Tips For Fishing Rocky Lakes

Tip #1:

You know the feeling: something just nibbled your bait and you want to make sure it’s still there. In a rocky lake, resist the urge to reel in slowly, thinking of course, that a trout can’t resist a moving target. What happens when you reel in slowly is that your weights and bait are on the lake bottom and can easily fall into the crevices between rocks and become trapped. If you reel in quickly and steadily, the weights and bait will rise above the lake bottom and minimize the chances to get snagged.

Tip #2:

Okay, it happened: your line is caught in something under the water and you want your tackle back! The first thing is to reel in any slack so your line is tight, but your pole isn’t bending. Then, walk up the shore, keeping the tension on your line, while you jerk your line up and down. (When I say ‘jerk’ I mean using abrupt motions, I don’t mean trying to rip your tackle out of the water!) If that doesn’t work, try releasing the line and then reeling in again. And the last part of the tip: with the line tight, hold your rod parallel to the ground and gently pull backwards. As soon as you feel the rocky lake bottom give up your tackle, follow Tip #1!

Tip #3:

There’s no avoiding it, you’re going to lose your bait and all your tackle; you just can’t get it unstuck. Well, believe it or not, there’s a right way to break your line. Instead of jerking and pulling on your line until it snaps, you’re going to have to cut it. First, release the line and set your pole up on the shore where you’re not going to step on the tip. (I like to prop my pole against my chair- way out of the way and safe.)

Then, get as close to the water as you can, bend down and grab your line. (If you squat or kneel at the edge of the water, you’re less likely to fall in!) Reaching out, pull your line towards you and, as close to the water as possible, cut the line. Be sure to check your line for fraying and signs of stress before putting any more tackle on.

Some great cutting tools are a pair of fingernail clippers, a pocket knife with scissors, or needle nose pliers.

Oh, you might also want to consider moving to a new bit of shore- if there’s a tackle-eating-snag down there, it will be after your new tackle for dessert to the first set it ate!

Readers Weigh In:

  • What type of lakes do you fish? (Rocky, weedy, sandy, etc)
  • What are your suggestions for getting your line out of the snags?

Set Your Hook

Must Know Fishing Hook Info

For the first video from The Outdoor Princess Productions I’ll be teaching you how to tie one of the most commonly used fishing knots. But, before I can teach you how to tie this knot, there are a couple of things you need to know!

Anatomy of a Fish Hook

A fish hook has 7 fundamental parts. Hooks come in various forms, sizes, and applications. As always, it is necessary to know the advantages and disadvantages of different hooks, and to know what it the correct hook for the species you are after.

  1. The eye is where the fishing line is attached.
  2. The sharp part of the fish hook pointing upward is called the point.
  3. The small sharp protrusion immediately below the point is termed as barb. Be extremely careful with the barb. It is very sharp and pointed backwards so it will remain embedded in the fish. It can also embed in your clothing, skin, eyes, or weeds and other debris.
  4. The gap is the distance from the point of the hook to the shank.
  5. The shank is the straight part of the hook.
  6. When the hook is in an upright position, the bend corresponds to its bottom part.
  7. The distance from the gap to the bend is called the throat.

Hook Sizes Explained

Have you ever read a fishing tip that says something like: “The best hook sizes to use are between #8 and #16”?

If you’re like me, then when you need a #8 size hook, you just flip open the tackle box and grab one from the package labeled #8. (Or, head to the store and buy a #8 hook!)

Have you ever wondered WHY a #8 is a #8? Here’s your answer!

There is no world or industry standard method of measuring hooks, but here in the US, the measures go from the smallest size 32 (which is barely large enough to hold between two fingers) and count down. As the number decreases, the size increases all the way down to a number 1 hook.

At this point the number changes to a designation of “aughts” or zeroes. A 1/0 (pronounced “one aught”) hook is the next larger size to a number 1. A 2/0 is larger still, and this numbering scheme goes as high as 19/0.

Hook size chart courtesy of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Hook size should be the first thing an angler thinks of when buying hooks. (The second thing is which hook is the right size for the fish you’re after.) Sizes from most manufacturers range from the very smallest freshwater trout hook at a number 32, to the very largest game fish hook at 19/0.

Now you’re ready for the video!

Set Your Hook

Sure-Fire Trout-Catching Setup

ESP Boss discovered this set up for our trout tackle about nine years ago and since then we’ve had excellent trout catching success.

  • Size 12 or 14 treble snelled hooks (the ones with line attached are easier to use and faster to change out when the fishing is hot)
  • 1/8 oz egg weights
  • 4 lbs test fishing line
  • Swivel
  • Berkley® Power Bait

On your fishing line, thread one or two egg weights. These will slip up and down the line. Then attach the swivel. Attach a treble hook line to the swivel. Cover the hook with the Power Bait, only using enough to completely cover the hook, about the size of an olive.

(The “fishing line” in the photo is actually sewing thread so you can see how the line is set up.)

I personally use two egg weights with my Eagle Claw fishing pole. I have a very flexible action and with just one weight, my casts barely clear the weeds on shore.

Under water, the weights go to the bottom, and the Power Bait floats above the rocks and weeds, making sure the trout can find it. I prefer the slip sinker method rather than pinching on split shot because I think the slip sinkers are more adaptable to the underwater conditions. If you pinch a split shot at 15 inches above the swivel, that’s where it is, with no flexibility.

I’m addicted to using Yellow Power Bait, not having much success on other colors. It’s a good idea to have at least a few jars of different colors in your tackle box, just in case. The other colors I use are: white, chartreuse, pink, and anything with sparkles.

If you prefer worms, salmon eggs, corn or other bait, they’ll all work with this set up, but floating bait works the best.

Readers Weigh In:

What tips do you have for catching trout? Is there a way to set up your tackle that just seems to work no matter what?

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