Freshwater Fish

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5 Best Fall Smallmouth Fishing Tactics

As a kid, we fished for largemouth bass in the summer. We’d catch the lion’s share of them around weed beds and shady docks. But every now and then I’d wake up early enough to tag along with the grownups to go smallmouth fishing. In the summer, our resident brown...


The 3 Biggest Catfish Ever Caught

Found in every continent except Antarctica, catfish rank among the most abundant fish on the planet. There are just shy of 3,000 different species, though in the U.S. anglers arguably are most interested in the blue, flathead, and channel catfish varieties. Glamourous they are not, but they get big and...


Jacob Wheeler on Life and Bass Fishing

With 10 major professional wins under his belt and tournament winnings surpassing $2.5 million, Jacob Wheeler is widely recognized as one of the top tournament bass fishermen in the world. Claiming four Bass Pro Tour wins, two Bassmaster Elite Series wins, and a Major League Fishing World Championship, Wheeler credits...


Is It OK to Eat Bass?

Today’s bass junkie is a different breed of angler. Dressed in the latest high-tech gear and operating a space-aged boat, competition drives his every move. Success is measured in pounds and ounces. All fish are released, coolers stay clean, and not a drop of blood can be found on the...


Why You Suck at Throwing a Baitcaster

After hours of catching nothing, I finally got my big break. There, just a cast away, several bass corralled a school of shad and were taking advantage of their position by blasting the bait into oblivion and gobbling up the wounded. With the wind in my face, I launched a...


The Best Postspawn Crappie Fishing Tactics

Crappie fishing is a springtime sport for most anglers, and it’s hard to argue the logic behind this association. Spring brings big numbers of hungry fish to the shallows, making for quick contact and easy pickings. Following the spawn, a lot of crappie fishermen hang up their gear, assuming warm...


16 Years of Noodling for Catfish

At one in the morning I knocked on the door of our single-bedroom apartment hard enough to wake my wife, Michelle. I needed her to unlock it. She answered with a .44 Special revolver at her side and demanded to know why I’d made such a racket in the hallway...


How to Catch Fish During a Giant Bug Hatch

Why would a fish eat a bug? I found myself asking that question the first time a buddy showed me a “Mayfly Rig.” After an unsuccessful day chasing walleyes on Lake Erie , and watching hundreds on the screen of my depth finder, I had nothing to show for my...


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Bowfishing: 12 Fish Species to Target

Bowfishing is a lot like bowhunting. Except that you get to shoot a whole lot more. And it's warm. And you can talk to your buddies. And you don't have to worry about the wind. And you get to reel in a bunch of big fish. It's an inexpensive sport...


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29 Father's Day Gift Ideas from Realtree

Old Dad deserves something really special this Father's Day, and your friends at Realtree are here to help. From socks to coolers to shotguns, this lineup suits any budget and will help make his time in the outdoors better.


5 Top Lures for Summertime Bass Fishing

Summertime bass fishing is a boom or bust sport. Long periods of inactivity are interrupted by brief moments of greatness, when it seems nothing can go wrong. The reasons for this are simple. Following the springtime spawn, bass begin to group up and move offshore, where they favor subtle spots...


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The 10 Best Baits for Great Lakes Fishing

The first half of my life found me targeting every fish that swims the Great Lakes. I grew up the son of a part-time charter captain, and I later established a career around tournament fishing. I called the continent’s biggest freshwaters home. I fished virtually year-round (unless I was duck...


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