Resources: Fishing Tips Freshwater Bait

Fishing Tips
 Fishing Tips brought to you in association with 
AL Lorenzetti & Skimmer Outdoors
Captain Al is an outdoor writer with OWAA, a video producer, writer, webmaster, charter captain, lecturer, Mercury Marine Pro Team Captain, Penn Fishing Tackle Representative, etc..  I have a selection of excellent instructional saltwater fishing videos available through "The Fisherman" magazine which is primarily an East Coast weekly periodical focusing on saltwater fishing.


Save the Poor Worms | Tide and Current | Dirty Water | Keep the catch cold | Scents Work | Best Wind/Tide Conditions | Plain Old Killie | Catch your own fresh Bait | Sea Anchor | Fluoro-Carbon | Single tool | Fish in the Dark?Brine the Bait | Cameras for Fishing Memories | Multifilament Lines | Cloudy WaterBucktail-Jellyworm Combo | Bad Scents

Save the poor worms
When you fish worms and have leftovers at the end of the day, dump the worms and grass they are packed in into a bucket of salt water for a few minutes. They will freshen up and it will clean away their metabolic wastes. Put them back into their container and refrigerate them. They will last several days, hopefully until your next fishing trip. You will save money ($5 per dozen) and you will conserve worms!

Dirty water? Make it smell
When fishing in dirty water, (brown-tide or wind churned) fresh dead or live bait will produce better than artificials. In these conditions the fish will feed by smell rather than by sight. Natural bait produces the scent to attract the fish. If you insist on using artificials, then add a scent to them. Bunker oil is a good one to try. Chumming also will bring the fish to your offering. Anchor and chum with bunker or clam. Use fresh bait on the hook. You can catch any kind of fish that swims using this technique.

You have identical fishing outfits. You notice while fishing that there is a fray in the line. How do you know which outfit needs your attention when you get back to the dock?

A numbering system is the answer. You can use an engraving tool to inscribe a small number in some inconspicuous but visible place. I prefer to use a label maker and stick a number on the side plate of the reel on all my fishing outfits that look exactly alike. When I notice something that needs my attention I make a mental note of the number for later identification.

In our area, current change occurs about two hours after the high or low tide. If high tide where you fish is at 12 noon, the current will start to ebb or run out about two hours later. If low tide is slated for 4 p.m., the current will start to flood or run in at about 6 p.m. etc.. In addition, If you are using Fire Island inlet tide information, the farther you are from the inlet, the later will be the tide change. At Ocean Beach the current will change almost two hours after the current change at Fire Island inlet.


Try using the new multifilament lines. They are half the diameter of comparable test monofilament line and have almost no stretch. You can fish lighter lures and hook setting power is unsurpassed. I recommend filling your spool full with monofilament and attaching a header of about 100 feet of multifilament line using an Albright knot to make the connection. This will be a sufficient amount of line for most inshore fishing applications and it cuts down on the cost for these expensive lines. I also recommend using the gel-spun variety of multifilament line. When using this variety, normal fishing knots will work well and no glue will be needed to keep the knot from working itself loose. I use Berkley Fireline in 12 or 20 lb. test.

During the hot summer weather it is very important to keep your catch on ice. They will spoil in the heat and could actually get you sick if the heat damage is severe. The quality of the meat will diminish rapidly upon heating. I fill empty soda bottles with water and freeze them. They are reusable and this saves on the cost of ice. It is also very convenient. When filling them, squeeze out an ounce or two of the water to allow for expansion and cap them tightly. You can put a bunch in your cooler and add them to the container in which you keep your catch. I put two or three into the fish-box on my boat. I stopper the drain, and a couple of gallons of sea-water. The water will stay cold for several hours. Fish kept this way will be in excellent condition.

Try using "bunker oil" to add scent and flavor to the waters and to your baits and jigs. "Bunker oil" is a natural scent of the Atlantic menhaden fish. I dip my bunker chunks in the oil to add extra flavor and scent. When I chum for bluefish or sharks, I add a few drops to the water to create a better smelling slick. I put some in a small squeeze bottle with a dropper tip and add a bit to my artificial lures. I really think it makes a difference. Give it a try.


Work the tides and the current. The worst situation to have is a wind directly in-line or directly against the tide if you are drift fishing. Working with the wind will move you too fast and make it difficult to hold the bottom. Drifting against the wind will slow the boat so much that you will not cover ground. When this situation occurs, consider moving to and area where the wind will be at angles to the current. For example, if the wind is due west, it would be difficult to fish in front of Ocean Beach. You will move too fast or too slow. If you move to West Channel, the current moves north and south. With a west or east wind, your drift will be angled across the channel and you will drift at a moderate pace which is best for catching fish.

When fishing for fluke I usually add a squid strip with a live killie or spearing. I have found however that in areas where crabs are plentiful such as the sand bar areas near the Moses Bridge, the squid will attract more crabs than fluke. Consequently, I have been using just a plain live killie on the hook and if they are small, I put on two. Fluke seem to have no trouble locating that live killie. This past week also I have noticed that a plain hook with killie has caught more fish than a rig adorned with spinners, beads etc. This technique has really produced fish.

Excessively strong tides and wind can make a boat drift to rapidly for productive fishing. I find this is a problem when fishing around the full or new moon when tides are strongest. When wind and tide are running in the same direction it is really a problem. There is something that can be done to slow the drift so that the bait is presented in an enticing way. A sea-anchor is one solution to the problem. A sea-anchor is a triangular shaped bag attached to a line. It is put overboard and fills with water. It acts as a drogue and will slow the movement of the boat through the water. It is very useful when drifting in deeper water where a lot of lead weight would have to be used to hold bottom. When drifting for fluke in the ocean in 60 feet of water, the use of a sea-anchor can reduce the needed lead weight from 8 oz. To 3 oz.. Less weight will allow you to feel the bite of a fish and make for a better fight when you hook up to a good fish. In addition, a sea-anchor is also a good piece of safety equipment. If a boat loses power in rough seas, a sea-anchor can be let out off the bow. It will keep the bow of the boat pointed into the seas and prevent swamping of the boat.


When fishing artificials, try using fluoro-carbon leader material. It is almost invisible underwater. It will reduce the chance that the fish will see something that does not look natural and this is most important when fishing in very clear water.

The answer is the BOGAGRIP. This is the niftiest tool in my fishing arsenal. It is made of machined stainless steel, will not corrode and is almost indestructible. Its locking mechanism will attach easily to the jaw of any fish and will not let go until you hit the release. It has a precision built in scale for weighing fish or setting drags. It comes in two sizes; small will weigh up to 30 pounds and large that will weigh up to 60 pounds.

When drifting for striped bass at night it can be pretty tough to get back to the exact beginning of a productive drift. This is especially true if visibility is reduced by mist or fog or if the area has no convenient structures or lights nearby for taking visual ranges. Be prepared and always store the start of a drift in your LORAN or GPS. I always hit the "quick save" button when I begin a drift. If I catch fish I can get right back to the original starting point and repeat the same drift under any conditions.

Whole clams threaded on a hook will catch striped bass. Many tackle shops sell shucked whole skimmer clams for bait. The problem is however, when clams are frozen and then thawed, they become soft and are easily torn off the hook. I like to thaw the clams a day before fishing and mix them with a good helping of Kosher salt. The salt will toughen the tissue considerably making it very difficult for the fish to steal your bait. The salt does not seem to reduce the attractiveness of this bait. Any leftover salted clams can be refrozen and thawed again without seriously hurting the quality. I always have a couple of boxes of Kosher salt handy for this purpose or just for making up a brine solution for rinsing fillets. Some bait and tackle shops do carry salted shucked skimmer clams

How do you keep memories of a great fishing day? With a camera of course. But now there is a new twist that I find very convenient. I purchased a digital camera, an Olympus D 400 zoom and can save all the good moments in digital form on my computer. The price of digital cameras has come way down and most people have access to a computer at work or at home. What I find most convenient is the ability to immediately see how good the picture is and delete what is not just right. It also eliminates the hassle of going to the photo lab and the results are immediate. You can then e-mail pictures to your friends and family or with a good printer and photo quality paper, produce excellent quality prints. You can also view the pictures on your TV set. If you are one that likes to capture the moment, then this is worth a look.

I use multifilament line on many of my fishing outfits. Berkley "FireLine" and Innovative Textiles "Power Pro" are my choice in this type of line. One problem that exists with such lines is being able to cut them when rigging. The cutter on a set of fishing pliers or a nail clipper will not cut them properly if at all. A sharp knife will cut them but it is dangerous to use on a rocking boat or when near others. I find that a good sharp scissors works best. Many of the available multi-purpose tool manufacturers make a model with scissors. I use the Leatherman "Micra" and "PST II" which both have scissors. They easily cut through these extremely tough lines quickly and safely. I like the "Micra" because it can be kept in my pocket and I wear the "PST II" on my belt in a leather pouch. The "PST II" also has a diamond grit hook sharpening file with groove. These tools are an indispensable part of my fishing gear. I recommend strongly that you get hold of such a tool with a scissors feature if you use multifilament lines.

When the water is murky the way it is now, I always add an extra attractant to my lures. I usually tip-off the lure with a piece of pork rind or strip of squid or fluke belly. I also split the strip from the middle to the tail to create a fluttering action. This definitely will improve your catch in cloudy water.

An excellent artificial lure is a bucktail tipped off with a jellyworm. Use a 1.5 oz. bucktail and add a 7 or 8 inch jellyworm to the hook. Run the hook through the middle of the jellyworm for about 1 inches. Slide the jellyworm all the way up the shank of the hook and expose the point. Bounce the lure along the bottom and strike hard when a fish hits. This is a very productive lure. Give it t try.

Fish like certain scents and dislike others. Two scents proven to turn off the fish are insect repellent and sunblock lotions. If you are fishing and apply these to your body, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching any bait or lures.