Books with Tips & Techniques How to Catch Fish

what Fish don't want you to know, Catch Fish

What Fish Don’t Want You to Know: An Insider’s Guide to Freshwater Fishing

Largmouth Bass Fishing tactics

Largemouth Bass Fishing Tactics

Surf Fishing, How to catch fish in the surf

Surf Fishing Guide

Catch Fish with your Fishing Lures

How to Make Fishing Lures

Trout Fishing Secrets

Secrets from the Trout Fishing Pro’s

Trout Fishing Secrets

Fly Fishing for Beginners,  learn to catch fish on a fly

Fly Fishing for Beginners

Flyfishing Unleased

Flyfishing Unleased

Learn to fish, Trout Fishing Extreme

Tout Fishing Extreme

A young Boy Learning to catch fish

As a young boy of only about 7 or 8 years old where I lived in the state of Indiana, I remember on many summer days walking to the nearby park to go fishing.  I was very adventurous even then.

I don’t remember learning how to fish or how to catch fish but my dad loved to go fishing and so did my brothers.  I expect my dad took me fishing since I was very young but by the age of six I knew enough to fish on my own.

On the days I walked alone to the park to go fishing I didn’t dare take my dad’s fishing rod and I must not have had one of my own so I carried a piece of string, a few small split shot leads and some hooks. 

Where to Catch Fish

Near the bridge and beside the storm drain that poured into the creek there was a cement ledge where I could sit that dropped off into a deep hole.  That was my favorite fishing place.  In the small slow moving creek, I knew the fish would be in the deeper holes.  The creek was always a little muddy so I couldn’t see the bottom or any fish but I knew they would be there. 

I had heard from my brothers who were about ten years older than I that there were carp and catfish in the creek.  They would also sometimes catch a black or a white sucker there too.  I remember them even bring home a big snapping turtle one day.  They nailed it to the tree out back in our yard and pulled the shell off to clean it. Once I remember they brought home some bull frogs they had gigged and we ate frog legs for dinner.  However these were only occasional events and since I was much younger than they, I seldom got to tag along with them. I was often on my own but that was fine with me. I enjoyed exploring on my own.

Finding fishing Bait

At the park I had to find my own fishing bait. Looking under some rocks I could usually find bugs or worms that worked great.  If it was too dry to find anything under the rocks I would catch some flying grasshoppers or find some crickets.  Sometimes if nothing was found I knew that almost anything could work for bait.  My brother once caught a carp on a piece of his white tee shirt and I have even caught bluegill and bass on nothing more than a shiny brass colored hook.

wormsWax Wormsmeal wormsBuy Bulk Bait Worms online – CLICK the Picture To BUY –


I placed the bait, whatever it was, on the hook and dropped it into the hole just over the cement ledge.  I usually fished on the bottom but sometimes I would use a small bobber.  Both would get results but I learned that different types of fish could be caught at different levels in the creek.  Through experimentation I learned how to catch fish in this little fishing hole.

Fishing on Bottom or Using a Bobber

I found that fishing on bottom I often caught bullhead catfish and sometimes a carp would snatch my bait away.  When I used a bobber I was more likely to catch a bluegill, sunfish or shiners.  There were also a few small bass and goggle eye in the creek that could be caught either on bottom or with a bobber. I don’t think my brothers even knew there were bass in there at least they never said they caught any. So began my learning about fishing. I learned what baits to use and where to fish.  For the next several years I fished that creek from one end to the other. 

By the time I was 9 or 10 I had a bike that I could ride for miles to fish and hunt in every woods that surrounded the small town of Tipton.  I loved going out to the woods or creek every chance I could. I liked to hunt squirrels in the woods and rabbits along the railroad tracks.

Those were the days we didn’t worry about letting our kids out to play. I would even ride my bicycle through the middle of town carrying my pellet rifle or my dad’s single shot 22 under my arm. At that time no one ever considered it to be a problem. I can imagine what might happen these days if you tried it.

Fish in Small Creeks and Streams

With my bike I was able to fish the creek far out both sides of town. Then I found and started fishing other nearby creeks too.  Some were filled with smallmouth bass because some creeks looked too small to have any fish in them.  People would not bother to fish these tiny streams but I learned that even the smallest of streams had holes where bigger fish would grow and hide. 

How To catch Fish and What to Use

By this time I had a good fishing pole, a fishing reel and an assortment of lures.  I learned how to fish these small streams and loved to be the first one, probably in several years if ever, to toss a floating plug into a new hole.  Almost every time, BAM, a bass or goggle eye would come clear out of the water to grab that lure.  Top water lures are my favorite for fishing little streams. When I come up on a hole in the stream just a toss over the deepest part is all you need.  No need to twitch or move the lure. Let it set, be as patient as possible, it very likely will draw a strike. Let it float clear out of the hole before retrieving.  Then, if the fish watching it did not take it, it will surely grab the swimming lure before it leaves the water.  A big part of learning how to fish is learning patience.

Small Stream Advice on How to Catch Fish

Don’t ever think a stream is too small to have fish.  Unless there is some heavy pollution or someone else has fished the stream out recently there are often big fish in it.  I want to caution you though that a very small stream can be thrown out of balance or over fished easily. If you want to continue to catch fish there, catch and release is the best policy. A couple nice sized fish per season will not hurt but don’t keep everything you catch there or the next year you won’t catch anything.



fish bait recipe books, Angling addition

Fish Bait Recipe Books

Catfish Bait Formulas

80 Easy Catfish Bait Recipes

101 Catfish Bait Recipes

Secret, Homemade, Carp Bait Recipes


Fish Bait Recipes

Fish Bait Recipes for Carp, Catfish or any type of fish can be homemade or purchased.  The ingredients vary considerably but the results hopefully are the same.  Good recipes will attract and catch fish.

Most of the fish bait recipes found in a recipe book will catch fish. Often however the conditions and the natural foods availible in the local stream or lake will make some fish bait recipes better than others. 

The best option is to take more than one type of bait with you when you go fishing.  It will give you the best opportunity to be successful.   


Fish bait recipes & games, Deer Avenger

Books – Secrets Tips & Baits

Live Bait Secrets

Catfishing Secrets

The Quest for Big Cats

Bass Fishing Guide

I usually try at least three baits when I go out, especially if I am going to fish in a new location.  While fishing, even if I am catching some fish on one bait, I like to test out the others. It is a good way to determine how well each of your bait recipes are working.If you have not yet read my other blogs, check them out, Catfish Bait and Carp Bait.  There you can find more specific  information about what foods catfish and carp like to eat. Also mix up some recipes of your own on my Homemade Carp Bait Recipes page or Homemade Catfish bait Recipes page.A good Fish Bait Recipe Book will give you more  recipes than you can make, probably in several years.

There are some great books advertised on this page that have some good offers to go along with a book purchase.

See the list of books below. 

Buy and Read Fishing Books

I enjoy reading fishing stories or learning more about different types of fishing. It’s also handy to be able to take a fishing guide book with you while you’re out relaxing by the water.Get a couple extra books for your library. You can never learn enough if you want to outsmart fish, consistently.


Largemouth Bass TacticsLargemouth Bass Fishing Tactics Get Paid to Fish

Get Paid to Fish

Georga Fishing Books

Georgia Fishing Books

Bass Fishing System

Bass Fishing System

“At Last! A Proven Method For Always Finding The Best Secret Ice Fishing Spots And Catching More Fish Than You Can Carry Home…Even If You’ve Never Ice Fished A Day In Your Life!”

Ice Fishing Secrets

Inland Walleye

Inland Walleye

Bass Fishing System

Bass Fishing Extreme

Ice Fishing Tips

Ice Fishing Tips

Carp Fishing Secrets

Carp Fishing Secrets

Catfish Tactics Catfishing Secrets From Master Anglers

Catch Monster Catfish

Catfish Seasons


I enjoy fishing from the bank when I can find a good accessible place to fish but most of the time I fish from my boat.   These days I have seen a lot of new boat fishing tackle available in stores or over the internet.  I am amazed at some of the things people have come up with. 

Though I am sure some of these accessory type gadgets are useful and may even work well I tend to stick with the more traditional items in my boat.  One of the basics we all need and use are boat fishing rods and boat fishing rod holders.   

I’ll give you my opinion on what I prefer and you can decide for yourself what really works best for you. I know everyone is different and what works well for one may not be the best for others. That’s just the way God made us to keep life interesting.  This should give you a good starting point if you want to try and improve your boat fishing gear. 

Boat Fishing Rods

Unless you have a very large boat the space is limited.  Space for standing, casting and storing your fishing rod will better serve you if you use a shorter rod.  In a boat you can also more easily get close to the location where you want your bait placed. The long cast offered by a rod length of 8-9 feet or more is not needed as it often is when fishing from the river or lake shore.  

Fishing rod, fast taper, slow taper

My favorite boat fishing rod length is between 5 ½ to 7  feet long.  The smaller your boat is the shorter the rod should be.  When using a shorter boat fishing rod, unless fishing for pan fish you should use a rod with a heavier spine but I personally like a rod with a light tip.  This will give you the best sensitivity to feel or see a bite.  Look at the chart to the left. The rods labeled “fast action” will give you a fast taper toward the last 1/3 of the rod length.  It will provide you with both a sensitive tip and a strong spine to set the hook or keep a fish away from structure or weeds.

If you are fishing for small fish such as pan fish you may want to use a medium action or even a slow action boat fishing rod.  These are designed to be very sensitive and bend most or all the way down to the handle.  It will give a light feel to the fish and not tear a hook from a soft mouth. 

I have often fished for shad in the river near my home and you need to be very careful not to pull too hard because of their paper soft mouth.  In this case a medium or slow action rod can be used to help prevent the fish from escaping.

One other point when using a slow action rod is that it only provides a soft pull when setting the hook.  Generally it is best to use the slow action rod with treble hooks and bait or swimming lures and plugs.  It’s not a bad choice for medium to small catfish which often swallow the hook.  The slow action rod will provide you with more feel of a fight from smaller fish.

Boat Fishing Rod Holders

There are a lot of different boat fishing rod holders available.  The opinions vary considerably on which one is best.  Personally I have rod holders on my fishing boat but I prefer to hold my rod with a finger on the line in order to sense when a fish is on the bite.  This is not always practical so getting the best rod holder for your boat is important. 

If you are serious about catching fish you need to use a boat fishing rod holder that both holds your rod secure as well as makes it easy to remove when you have a strike.  This can vary on the kind of fishing you are doing as well such as trolling or still fishing while anchored.

flush-mount gunwale rod holder

When trolling, depending on the type of fish, it is more likely to be hooked from the movement of the boat than when fishing while anchored. The lure will often be set in the fish’s mouth when he takes the bait.  Setting the hook as the pole is removed from the holder is not as critical as it is while fishing at anchor.  Using a boat mounted slip in holder may work fine for you in this case.  They are designed to be cosmetically pleasing when not in use and will hold a fishing rod by the handle. The rod is simply slipped into the tube and the pressure from the line drag or fish will bind the rod in place preventing it from coming out until it is removed by the fisherman. 

They will not work well with short handled bait casting style rods. 

If you want to be able to quickly grab a rod and set the hook then an open nesting type boat rod holder is good.  The rod handle will slip down into or under the lower portion of the holder allowing the pole above the reel to rest on the open nest.   When a bite occurs you can simply pull upward on the rod to set the hook or lightly remove the rod from the holder.  Be sure to find a design that will only take a small amount of movement to remove the fishing rod from the boat fishing rod holder.  I prefer the type with an open side to make it very easy when removing the fishing rod because you do not need to pull long handled rods out of a hole. rod holder extension lift

The holder shown here has a rod holder extension which lifts it above the boat rail. This can be very handy in making it easy to remove a long handled pole.

Most boat fishing rod holders have a security strap or loop that will connect over the rod above the fishing reel.  The use of this loop is a matter of personal opinion.  Normally is not needed as it will limit quick action in removing the fishing rod from the holder.  There are times when it may prevent loss of equipment.  I personally do not hook this loop or ring when fishing.  I have never lost any fishing tackle from lack of securing the rod to the holder but I’ll leave it up to your choice.  I would not want to give any advice that would lead to lost fish or fishing gear.

Catfish Fishing Tips, Fishing tackle for your catfish rod setup should consist of enough lead or weight to get the line down and hold it on or near the bottom of the lake or river.  Catfish are mostly bottom feeders so you will have much better luck when your catfish bait is on or close to the bottom of the body of water you are fishing. There are two main choices that make a good fishing tackle setup. 

A simple, easy fishing tackle choice is to place the lead or sinker at the end of your leader.  When you do this you will need to use a dropper for your hook and catfish bait.  Another option is to use a sliding sinker at the end of your main line or on a three foot leader with a barrel swivel on each end of the leader. Locate the sinker between the swivels.  Using the leader will help prevent loss of fishing tackle. The hook is located on a leader at the very end of your line.  The sliding sinker will allow fish to take the catfish bait without feeling any resistance and you will feel the bite very easily as well.

My personal preference is to use the sliding sinker .  I use this type rig for most all of my bottom fishing unless I want the bait suspended above the bottom.  However catfish don’t normally drop the bait just because they feel resistance. 

Another one of my catfish fishing tips is to use the dropper mentioned above
 with more than one hook dropper. You can use two or three hooks depending on what is allowed in your state regulations. The best reason to do this is to test more than one catfish bait at a time. Sometimes the catfish may be drawn by one bait smell but bite on another. 

Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit

Fishing Tackle Recomended Line Weights

These Catfish Fishing tips will help you to retain most of your fishing tackle or at least keep you from loosing your main line from your catfish rig.

Selecting the correct line weights for the various parts of your catfish rig will determine how much fishing tackle you will loose when snagged on a log or in the rocks on the bottom of the lake or river. 

As a general rule to prevent fishing tackle loss you should drop the strength of your line by 20% between your main line, leader and bottom weight dropper.   This will insure that when stuck,  most likely the only fishing tackle you will loose is your bottom weight.  However if your hook is stuck into a log or between rocks, depending on which rig you use, you may loose both your hook and bottom weight but your main line will not break.  

The line holding the sinker should be the lightest weight line used.  Your leader holding your hook should be about 20% stronger than your sinker line but 20% weaker than your main line.  As an example:  if your main line is 25# you could use a leader for your hook at 20# and a dropper for your sinker that is 16# or less.   

One thing to consider is the weight of your leader;  I like for it to be greater than the weight of the fish you are likely to catch.   Set up your fishing tackle so that the leader, located between the hook and main line swivel, is strong enough to hoist a fish by hand.

However this is not always possible when catching very large fish.  In this case use a fishing net or slip your hand into the gills of the catfish to hoist it on bank or into the boat.

As an example If fishing for channels weighing about 10 lbs. in a river or lake near snags. For my catfish rig I would use a main line weight of 20-30lbs,  a hook leader at 15-20 lbs.  and a dropper for my lead at 10lbs.  This would prevent me from losing my main line and most of my fishing tackle should I get my lead snagged.

Another great catfish fishing tips is to use a short length of light line on your catfish rig sinker.  Purchase a slider that has a clip for your lead.  Place the slider on your main line or your leader.  Instead of attaching the lead directly to the clip, use a light line in the weight  described above to attach it.  The light line will break when you are stuck so that the lead is the most you will loose.

Catfish fishing Tips about How Catfish bite; Catfish are normally very aggressive.  They are not shy and heavy fishing tackle does not prevent them from biting.  Also they will usually not waste much time playing with your catfish bait.  Generally a few pecks to get your attention and then off they go.  I prefer to let them run a little ways giving them all the slack line I can before setting the hook.  Depending on the type of fishing tackle you are using this can be done by opening the bail on your open face fishing reel, or leaving the lock off, and click on, for a bait casting fishing reel.  

Catfish Fishing Tips for gear; For large catfish I prefer using a catfish rig with a bait casting type fishing reel on a fast action heavy fishing pole about 6 to 7 feet long.  The bait casting reel is made to handle a heavy fish and the fast action pole has a light tip which makes it easy to see the bite but a heavy butt to handle big fish. Whatever type of catfish rig, fishing reel and fishing pole you prefer to use as your favorite fishing tackle setup, It’s best to set the hook after the catfish runs about 10-15 feet. 

Here is one of the most important of Catfish Fishing tips:  One other piece of fishing tackle you will want to carry with you is a pair or long nose pliers or a plastic hook remover.  Catfish bait is often swallowed along with the hook making it difficult to remove.  If you forget to bring your hook remover it may be easier to cut the line than to pull out the hook especially if you want to let the fish go. Otherwise you may kill it trying to remove a hook that has been swallowed, but don’t forget to retrieve your hook if you take the catfish home for dinner.


The question is what do carp eat and what should I use for carp bait?  Since carp are considered to be an omnivore they will actually eat most anything from plants to meat.  They will feed on aquatic plants, bugs, crawdads, worms, dead fish, freshwater clams or nuts and berries that fall into the water from trees.  Occasionally they can be caught on an artificial lure indicating they will eat live minnows although this is fairly rare and depends on the food source available.

home made carp bait recipes carp bait, carp rigs

Secret Homemade Carp Bait Recipes

I have found that there two easy carp baits I have had great luck with when it comes to carp fishing.  Red worms and Wheaties are very good carp bait.  I often use one of these baits when fishing for carp.  They are simple and easy to find.  I don’t have to do anything special to either of these before fishing with them. 

Red worms are pretty strait forward. For some reason in the places I have fished carp prefer red worms over any other type of worms. Using a small, short shanked, strong hook, place two or three of them directly on the hook and drop them in the fishing hole.  Other types of fish also like red worms especially pan-fish such as brim or sunfish but I’ve seen carp chase smaller fish away to get hold of red worms themselves.  I have also caught a few carp on night crawlers but they will often ignore a night crawler where they seem to find it hard to resist red worms. 

You might be thinking how can I get Wheaties on a hook? First of all for those who don't know what Wheaties are, yes it is the breakfast cereal. For anyone living in the US it's been around for many years and is availible in most grocery stores.   Making Wheaties into carp bait is really not that hard and only takes a few minutes to make a tough dough ball. 

First get a medium to large mixing bowl.  Pour in some amount of Wheaties and crunch the flakes up with your hands.  They don’t need to be broken extremely small but do the best you can in a minute or two.  Add some water, not too much at first but just enough to make the mess very sticky.  Use your hands to form a ball working the dough by squeezing it until it loses its stickiness. You will find that it will become quite firm and it is easy to pull off a chunk and place it on a hook.  If the ball becomes dried out just dip it in the water, work it some more with your hands and it soon be the right consistency again for fishing. 

carp bait, carp fishing secrets, carp rigs


I can’t end this article without mentioning corn.  Carp do seem to be partial to corn in almost any form from whole kernel corn placed directly on a hook to corn flakes or corn meal made into a dough ball.  If I can’t find red worms or Wheaties I will grab some corn flakes or corn meal, add something sweet, like molasses or honey. You should feel free to experiment with anything else that might be found in your cabinet that will soak out into the water to attract the fish.  Anything sweet and flavorful is worth a try.

Go here to better understand Carp bait ingredients and find some free recipes.

There are several carp baits you can purchase for fishing. Most of these are already in dough ball form and can work quite well.  Honestly I have not tried any purchased carp dough but reading the testimonials it appears many people have their favorite baits and are convinced they will catch more fish on their choice brand. 

Whatever carp bait you use, purchased or homemade I hope you have good luck and it works well for you.  Try the ones I mentioned above or one of the carp baits available through the ads posted online or from your local bait shop.  Fishing for carp can be a lot fun and very exciting. It is a great fish for kids to start out on or for you to go after for that trophy. A carp could easily be the biggest fish you ever caught.

You should use adequate fishing tackle because carp do get very large.  A proper fishing reel and fishing pole heavy enough to handle a good sized fish may be needed. Take a couple carp rigs.  Start out light and if the carp are biting you can always switch to heavier fishing tackle if it is needed. 

CARP FACTS- For a little background about carp they are a freshwater fish native to both Europe and Asia.   Being nonnative in America, introduced in 1870, the carp is considered an invasive species in the US.   Carp are closely related to the ornamental species goldfish and koi which are often seen in ponds and pools designed for show.  

Carp however are far more common in rivers, streams and ponds all across the US and in Europe.  Considered a coarse fish in the UK and a rough fish in the US.  Carp are not considered a game fish such as bass and trout however they are sought after in tournaments and for trophies. 

People fish for carp for several reasons. They can be found almost everywhere and they can grow in excess of 60 lbs. but most are commonly caught up to 20lbs.  I grew up fishing for and catching a lot of carp. The carp bait I used did the trick. The carp were big, easy to find and a lot of fun to catch.

Although not everyone eats carp, when cleaned correctly (remove the dark meat) they can be very tasty dish hard to distinguish from other more accepted table fare.  Fish from clean or clear water will have a better taste than fish from very dirty muddy water due to the fish’s diet.

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