Tag Archives: bait

Back to Basics: Inshore Tackle

Inshore saltwater kayak fishing is one of the most popular means of fishing for a large percentage of the kayaking community. The ease of access, relatively safe waters, and challenging fishing draws thousands of anglers to chase inshore species every year. But while planning an inshore kayak fishing trip with a few friends a couple of weeks ago, a buddy asked me, “What should I bring?”

For those inexperienced with inshore fishing, the choice of tackle can be daunting. Aside from the obvious of live/dead bait, a beginner is faced with hundreds of options of artificial hard or soft baits, colors, shapes, sizes, etc. So I tore apart my tackle box and whittled my plethora of choices down to just a few options that I deem essential for an inshore fisherman’s collection.

Swim/Paddle Tails

Image: Alex Vail

Image: Alex Vail

Used in combination with a small jig head, these soft plastics catch just about everything that swims around inshore waters. The rate of “wiggle” that the swim tail has depends solely on how fast the retrieve is. These are great for bottom bouncing to chase things like flounder and redfish, but can also be pulled in quicker and higher in the water column to entice trout and snook. Just remember to always bring extras. Toothy guys like mangrove snappers have a nasty habit of biting off the swim tail.

Weedless Jerk Shad

Image: Alex Vail

Image: Alex Vail

One of the biggest issues with inshore fishing is obstructions. Mangrove roots, oyster bars, docks, weeds, trees, etc. You name it, you’re probably going to get hung up on it it. And unfortunately that’s where most of the fish like to hang out, so you’ll find yourself casting near these things constantly. This is where weedless setups shine. Using wide gap worm hooks, an angler can easily make use of these weedless setups. Generally speaking, the soft plastic itself is heavy enough to cast, but if you’re trying to reach deeper water, or bottom bounce, a simple bullet weight can change how these are used. Twitch them occasionally for a mid-water column effect or very quickly to simulate something topwater. Set the hook pretty hard with these setups as you need to obviously expose the hook for it to work. 

Shrimp Imitations

Image: Alex Vail

Image: Alex Vail

Baits like DOA shrimp and similar are absolutely dynamite when it comes to inshore species. Their design also means that the hook is almost always faced upwards, which limits the amount of snagging that occurs with the bottom. They are unfortunately somewhat expensive when compared to other options, but I’ve encountered numerous instances where it’s the only thing fish will hit. Slow twitching works great, and sometimes all it takes is letting the bait drift down current for a fish to pick it up. It isn’t uncommon at all for fish to hit the shrimp immediately after it hitting the water, so don’t be surprised if you reel in the slack to find a fish on the end already.

Spinner Baits/Buzz Baits 

To many, this may seem like an oddball choice. Spinner baits and buzz baits are generally used by freshwater fisherman after bass. But in case you haven’t heard, redfish absolutely love them. They’re somewhat difficult to use since they aren’t weedless and require a bit of depth to the water, but since many inshore spots have poor water clarity, the vibrations of the blade attract fish. High tide and oyster bars are when I break out the spinner baits, and I’m rarely disappointed in their results.

red fish

This red fell victim to a spinner bait. [Image: Alex Vail]

Topwaters

Image: Alex Vail

Image: Alex Vail

As far as excitement goes, topwaters take the grand prize. There’s few things in life more exciting than watching your surface plug get annihilated by a fish from below. There are several options when it comes to these, but I almost always go with a lure that does the “walk the dog” action. These simulate a wounded baitfish on the surface and have an advantage over subsurface lures in that they rarely get caught on anything. The simple fact that they float means that glide right over the top of anything below, meaning they rarely foul. Use these early morning and late evening when it’s rather dark outside.

Popping Corks

Image: Alex Vail

Image: Alex Vail

The final piece of tackle I wouldn’t leave home without is the popping cork. Generally used when fishing with live or dead bait, a popping cork rig shouldn’t be overlooked when considering artificials either. Previously mentioned baits like swim tails, shrimp imitations, and jerk shad can easily be tied underneath a popping cork and used effectively. The nice thing about these is that the cork actually keeps the lure suspended and off the bottom. Tie a one to two foot piece of mono or fluorocarbon underneath the popper and then attach the bait. The quick popping action works the lure below and keeps it suspended. And in instances where a fish strikes, it’s immediately noticeable as the cork disappears below.

snook

Snook that fell for a DOA under a popping cork. [Image: Alex Vail]

So if you’re just getting into inshore fishing and trying to sort out the tackle box, consider giving these a try. One or the other, or a combination of them, all is bound to eventually work. Trout, reds, flounder, snook, and more are options for inshore kayak fishermen. With the right amount of patience, equipment, and luck, inshore kayak fishing can be one of the most productive ways to fish. Tight lines!

Fall Surf Fishing

Contributed by Alex Vail of The Flying Kayak

It’s getting to be that time of the year again—the dog days of summer are beginning to wane (even here in Florida), and there’s a cool breeze in the air. Pretty soon the water temperatures will begin to drop, and that means different fish species start to pop up on the radar for fall. If you’re lucky enough to live near the coast, you may find yourself in the perfect position to do one of my favorite types of fall fishing: surf fishing.

Man fishing on the beach.

Image Credit: Alex Vail

I’m asked fairly regularly by friends of mine to take them fishing when they haven’t actually been before. When it comes to taking someone fishing for their first time, it’s generally best to pick something low-key. I’m not exactly about to go pole the tarpon flats with the fly rod with someone who has never even caught a fish before. So when I introduce someone to fishing for the first time, it’s almost always surf fishing.

Surf fishing combines two of the greatest things around: fishing and sitting on the beach. And honestly, it’s generally fairly action-packed. But before you go running off to cast some lines out into the water, take the time to plan properly to maximize your enjoyment and success.

Tackle

Generally speaking, the name of the game with surf fishing is long distance casting—you want to be able to get the bait out past the breakers and into deeper water. At least one long surf casting rod is a must with line and leader weight depending on the species you’re targeting. For species like pompano and whiting, I generally stick with 10-12 lb test. With other species, like redfish, it might be wise to step up the game a little. Fall (particularly down here in Florida) is when the big bull reds come in to spawn. It wouldn’t be surprising in the least to hook a 40+ inch fish from the beach, so plan accordingly.

Fish in a cooler.

Image Credit: Alex Vail

When it comes to leaders and bait, I almost always use a double or triple dropper rig with a pyramid weight. The pyramid weight will help keep the bait from rolling around in the surf, and the multiple hooks allow for more bait. And everyone knows there’s no such thing as too much bait.

Equipment

Rod holders (a.k.a Sand Spikes)! These are pretty much a requirement. No one really wants to hold onto their rod the entire time as sometimes it takes a while for the bite to pick up. Bury the sand spike into the sand, and make sure it’s secure before putting a baited line in it. The simple fact that you don’t have to hold onto your rod now opens you up to use multiple rods, which increases the amount of bait out in the water (yes, lots of bait is important). This also means you can cover more water, which is important because sometimes fish aren’t always present in every part of a hole.

A fishing rod perched in the sand.

Image Credit: Alex Vail

Coolers and carts are also fairly important in my book. Coolers for the obvious reasons of keeping fish and drinks cold, but the cart for its simple ease factor. Drop the cooler in a cart, put the rods inside of it, and suddenly you’re only making one trip from the truck instead of five. I’m also a HUGE fan of using folding chairs once I’m set up on the beach. I generally place the chair right in the middle of my setup so that I’m equidistant from my two rods farthest away from me, and then I sit back and enjoy a cold drink without sitting in the sand. Don’t get too comfortable, though; it’s not uncommon for three or four of your rods to get strikes at once, so you might not be doing too much sitting.

Tactics

The final and probably most important part of surf fishing are the actual tactics involved. They aren’t particularly complex, but you must always remember that not all parts of the beach are created equal. There are good spots and bad spots; holes that produce fish, and holes that just waste time. Look for areas of deeper water where the breakers aren’t, well, breaking. Deeper water closer to shore tends to hold fish. Also keep track of which direction your current is moving parallel to the beach. I like to set up on the down current side of certain holes to catch anything that may be chasing bait as it’s pushed along by the current.

Remember how I mentioned a longer rod is nice to have? Well it isn’t just nice because you can cast further. It’s important to try and place your sand spike as high as you can above the water line, because once you’ve cast out, the line is now at a downward slope toward the water. The longer the rod, the higher that point of entry is into the water, and the line doesn’t drag in the water as much. This is important because incoming waves tend to pull on the line, and it’s often easy to mistake a wave as a fish strike.

Fish.

Image Credit: Alex Vail

So if you find yourself with the chance to hit the beach this fall, consider giving surf fishing a try. If you’re also ever looking to take someone fishing for the first time, always give this type of fishing a go. It’s extremely low-key with easy clean up and is often times quite action-packed. Worst case scenario, their first time fishing includes siting on the beach and catching a good tan all morning, and that’s still pretty hard to beat. The only thing to make it better is a cooler full of pompano.

Three Do-It-Yourself Catfish Bait Recipes

Sometimes the best idea for succeeding in your favorite hobby is to change things up a bit. Trying a new fishing method may lead to hooking that prize catfish you’ve been after; a true record-breaker that you’ll brag about for years to come. Here are three unique catfish bait recipes you can cook up next time you’re heading out on a fishing excursion, rather than rely on worms or pretty lures.

A man holding a gigantic 200+ pound catfish.

Gigantic 232-pound wels catfish caught by Sven Weide. This could be you if you play around with these fun recipe ideas! [Image: http://www.grindtv.com/]

Jack’s Cat Attack

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. chicken livers
  • 1 package hot dogs
  • ½ loaf bread
  • 2 cans nacho cheese
  • 1 can corn
  • ¼ bottle Tabasco sauce
  • Dozen chopped worms

Directions

  • Age chicken livers in the sun and mix with hot dogs in a blender.
  • Break up bread into bite-sized pieces and place in a gallon jug.
  • Pour the liver and hot dog mix over the bread chunks.
  • Add nacho cheese, corn, Tabasco sauce, and worms into the mixture.
  • Pour the mixture out of the jug and knead until it becomes thick and dough-like. Store in the sun in a large plastic container until your next fishing venture.

Cajun Mud Bait

A man with a mask on putting a fish into a blender filled with green liquid.

It may smell pretty horrible, but in the end, it’ll all be worth it. [Image: http://www.userinteraction.com/]

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. rotten minnows
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 box of cherry Jell-o
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 3 tbsps. onion salt
  • 3 tbsps. garlic salt
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsps. soy sauce
  • ½ cup flour

Directions

  • Mix minnows, water, Parmesan cheese, Jell-o, molasses, onion salt, garlic salt, breadcrumbs, and soy sauce in a blender.
  • Pour mixture into a bowl and add flour as needed until thick.
  • Roll into small 1-inch balls and store in plastic bags.

Catfish Mélange

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Velveeta cheese
  • 6-8 oz. chopped chicken liver
  • 1 tbsps. Garlic powder
  • 1 can wet dog food
  • Dozen minnows
  • ½ cup flour

Directions

  • Melt cheese and mix in chicken liver.
  • Add garlic powder, dog food, and minnows.
  • Use flour as needed to thicken.
  • Mix all ingredients together in a blender.

A big ball of food on a fish hook.

Successful homemade catfish bait ready to hook a big one. [Image: http://www.fishingtalks.com/]

Have any successful catfish (or any fish!) bait recipes? Download our Pocket Ranger Trophy Case® mobile app and share your secrets with us on our social media pages. Looking forward to hearing your tips!

Summertime in Hell

Contributed by Alex Vail of The Flying Kayak

Hell’s Bay in the Everglades backcountry of southern Florida is one of the best, and most diverse fisheries in the southeast. With summer right around the corner, the temperature isn’t the only thing that’s beginning to heat up. The fishing is, too. Before you go racing off into the backcountry, keep in mind a few helpful tips that will make your trip safer, more enjoyable, and hopefully more successful.

Boats 

Though I’m a big fan of kayaking and paddle craft, I have to advocate the use of power boats in Hell’s Bay and the surrounding areas. There’s simply too much water to cover. With the closest kayak launch being over 12 miles away at Flamingo, you’d end up spending your whole day paddling. Instead, shallow drafting flats boats, or the ever popular Gheenoes are perfect for this area. You can cover a lot of water much faster and they’re overall safer than a kayak. Why, you may ask?

Sunset over Hell's Bay, Florida [Image Credit: Alex Vail]

Image Credit: Alex Vail

Summertime storms. South Florida’s rainy season is already underway and when these big thunderstorms boil up in the afternoons, you have to be prepared to dodge them. That’s something that is very difficult to do while paddling a kayak, especially when you’re 10 miles from safety.

Safety

Hell’s Bay and the entire surrounding area is a massive mangrove swamp. Twists and turns, bayous, creeks, and small bays are what make up this place. And it all looks the same. Exactly the same. You absolutely need some form of navigational tool. I will not go out on the boat with at least a nautical map of the area, a compass, and a GPS. Preferably, more than one GPS with spare batteries. Getting turned around out there is a real possibility.

Glimpse of Hell's Bay in Florida on a sunny day [Image Credit: Alex Vail]

Image Credit: Alex Vail

In addition to that, sun protection is your next top priority. There’s no shade anywhere, so long pants, long sleeve shirts, and wide hats are a must. During the summer it’s oppressively hot. So sun gloves and sun buffs make that necessity list, too. And with it getting hot, the bugs begin to become a very big issue. Early morning and late evening is obviously the worst time, but simply being out of the wind or in the mangroves can be a one-way ticket to losing gallons of blood from mosquitos. Definitely bring plenty of bug spray.

Fishing

So why suffer through all of this? Well for the fishing of course!

Angler holds a snook at Hell's Bay, Florida [Image Credit: Alex Vail]

Image Credit: Alex Vail

Snook, tarpon, and redfish all call Hell’s Bay and the backcountry home over the summer. Flipping weedless jerk baits or DOA shrimp alongside the mangroves can be a sure ticket to some of these fish. Just be sure to bring plenty of extra tackle as losing fish in the mangroves is a harsh reality of this place. Also take special note of the tides. These fish need tidal movement to begin feeding and the more movement, the better the bite. Look for drop-offs and creek outflows to land some of the bigger fish. Like most fish, early morning and late evenings are the best time. Just be sure to give yourself enough daylight to navigate back to Flamingo where the only boat ramp is.

So, if you find your way down in sunny south Florida this summer, don’t hesitate to give the backcountry a try. It’s a fantastic fishery that shouldn’t be overlooked at any time of the year, especially not summer. Just be sure to plan ahead, bring plenty of tackle, and maybe just an extra can of bug spray.

Gone Fishing: Springtime Fishing Events at the State Parks

May is the perfect time to hunt down that fishing rod and tackle box, rustle up some bait, and get out on the water. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, this spring there are plenty of fishing clinics and tournaments at the state parks for all kinds of anglers. Just another good excuse to discover a new fishing hole.

Little girl fishing [Image: www.alaskafishingak.com/freshwater/freshwater.htm]

Image: www.alaskafishingak.com/freshwater/freshwater.htm

Alabama

Mead Westvaco Annual Bass Tournament
May 2nd, 2015 – 5:30am
Lakepoint Resort State Park
Number of boats expected: 40
Weigh in at 3:00 EST
For more information, contact Larry Bettison 229-366-1759

2nd Annual Joe Wheeler State Park Youth Fishing Rodeo
May 2nd, 2015 – 8:00am – 11:00am
Joe Wheeler State Park
For youth through age 14. There will prizes and trophies. Bring your own tackle and bait. Participants must register and pay $1.00 fee to enter rodeo. Adult supervision required.

Eufaula Bass Trail Fishing Tournament
May 9th, 2015 – 5:00am – 4:00pm
Lakepoint Resort State Park
Number of boats expected: 40 – 60
For more information, contact Lester Bratcher at (334) 726-5697 or by email les.bigbitebaits@gmail.com

Catfish Rodeo
May 23rd, 2015 – 8:00am – 12:00pm
Blue Springs State Park
Fishing tournament for kids 12 and under. Bring your own pole or rod and reel, but there will be some bait available to participants. Adult supervision required. Prizes will be awarded.
For more information, call (334) 397-4875 or email: bluesprings.stpk@dcnr.alabama.gov

Bass jumps from water for bait [Image: bassfishing.sportclubs.rutgers.edu]

Image: bassfishing.sportclubs.rutgers.edu

Mississippi

Lefleur’s Bluff Fishing Rodeo
May 9th, 2015 – 8:30am
Lafleur’s Bluff State Park
Youth fishing rodeo for kids 15 years of age and younger. Participants must bring fishing equipment and bait. Games, prizes and tagged fish!
For more information, contact Mike Stepp at (601) 987-3923 or (601) 562-9296.

Pennsylvania

Family Fishing Festival
May 2nd, 2015 – 9:00am – 12:00pm
Ohiopyle State Park
Fishing event for anglers 12 and under. Meadow Run will be freshly stocked. Registrations is from 9:00am – 10:00am, and fishing goes from 10:00am to noon. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the festival.

Intro to Fly Tying & Fly Fishing
May 2nd, 2015 – 9:00am – 1:00pm
Presque Isle State Park
All ages welcome at this free introductory fly fishing program. Equipment and materials provided.
Register for this event at (814) 833-7424.

Fly-Fishing Basics
May 2nd, 2015 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Parker Dam State Park
One of the park naturalists will introduce participants to fly-fishing. Session will include discussion about techniques, learning basic knots, and practice fly-casting.

Man stands on boat fishing in pond [Image: adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/fishing]

Image: adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/fishing

Virginia

Make Your Own Fishing Lures
May 2nd, 2015 – 11:00am – 12:00pm
Kiptopeke State Park
All supplies are provided and a park ranger will be on hand to demonstrate how to make fishing lures. $2 per person; $6 per family

Let’s Go Fishing! – Children’s Fishing Tourney
May 16th, 2015 – 9:00am – 11:30am
Chippokes Plantation State Park
A casual family fishing event that includes awards for first, second, and third place in fish length and for greatest number of fish caught.

Kansas

Fishing’s Future Family Fishing Clinic
May 2nd, 2015 – 9:00am – 12:00pm
Hillsdale State Park
This clinic is taught by Kevin Reich, and will give participants important information about species identification, knot tying, live bait regulations, casting practicing, and fishing etiquette and safety.
For more information, contact Kevin Reich at (785) 577-6921.

Show Me the Smiles Crappie Tournament
May 3rd, 2015 – 7:00am – 2:00pm
Hillsdale State Park
Terry Acton, host of “Show Me the Outdoors” on 610 Sports Radio and DJ Kirby with Karl Kolonka from “Krappie Kings” (TV) will be hosting the Crappie Tournament. Family-friendly event including prizes, raffles, silent auction, musical entertainment and concessions. A free dental screening for kids will be available from 10:00am through 2:00pm, too.

Wishing everyone tight lines this spring!

Springtime Cichlids

Contributed by Alex Vail of The Flying Kayak

With the weather heating up, and summer right around the corner, now is the best time to fish for some of my favorite fish: Exotic cichlids in South Florida.

Fisherman holds a cichlid in swampy area [Image Credit: Alex Vail]

Image Credit: Alex Vail

Many of these fish were originally introduced into the canal systems throughout South Florida as far back as the 1960’s. Cichlids are primarily aquarium fish. You know, the kind you might find in your local pet store. Oscars, Mayan Cichlids, Jaguar Guapotes, etc. All these fish are loose and reproducing in the South Florida freshwater canal systems and are there thanks to irresponsible pet owners. Pet releases from home aquariums actually led to the establishment of many of these species.

The good news? They’re an absolute hoot to catch. Many of them fight as aggressively as some saltwater species and to make matters even better, they’re good to eat. And if that wasn’t good enough news, the state of Florida has waived any size or bag limits on them. You can keep as many as you catch.

Cooler full of cichlids [Image Credit: Alex Vail]

Image Credit: Alex Vail

Cichlids prefer warm waters (hence them being loose in South Florida), but even the winters down in Florida are enough to make them lay low. However, spring is here, and the water temperatures are heating up. That means that the cichlids are out in full force and ready to feed. Small diving lures, flies, and even earthworms are favorite bait for this ferocious species.

There is, however, a little bit of a time limit for these fish. Summer is closing in and that means rain for South Florida. Water levels will soon rise and most of the canals will flood into the surrounding areas. That means that the cichlids (as well as other fish) won’t be restricted to just the canals and will spread themselves out considerably. You can, of course, still catch them during the summer months, but don’t expect to find them in such high volumes during that time of year.

A ruddy-colored cichlid [Image Credit: Alex Vail]

Image Credit: Alex Vail

It’s important to note, however, that the small cichlids aren’t the only thing to target this time of the year. Their predator is, too. The smaller cichlids pose a big problem to some of our native fish species. They out compete many of Florida’s species, like Largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcrackers, etc. Realizing that the cichlids were an issue in the South Florida canal systems, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission purposefully introduced a predator of the non-native cichlids: the Butterfly Peacock bass.

Reaching sizes of up to 5lbs, these fish are just as ferocious as the small cichlids, but pack an even bigger punch. With their prey out in force this time of year, they’re actively hunting and feeding. On top of that, they’re beginning to bed as well. Anglers can catch them on live minnows, diving lures, and even flies. Since they’re spawning right now, look for them to be guarding their beds in the shallow waters lining the edges of the canals.

Butterfly Peacock Bass [Image Credit: Alex Vail]

Butterfly Peacock Bass [Image Credit: Alex Vail]

The rules and regulations for Peacock bass differ from their cichlid counterparts, though. They do have a size and bag limit set in place. The reason behind this? They were purposefully brought in to help control the cichlid problem. If they start to get over-fished, the already present issue of too many cichlids will become much more serious.

So if you find yourself in southern Florida this time of year, be sure to bring a rod. There is almost no roadway around the area that doesn’t have a canal nearby. And there is almost no canal that doesn’t have these aggressive and fun fighting fish in them. Just don’t forget the cooler!

Casting Close: Why It’s OK to Get Tangled

Contributed by Alex Vail of The Flying Kayak

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. You’ve readied yourself for a cast, the spot looks unbelievably fishy, and you simply know for a fact that a monster is about to take your lure as soon as it hits the water. You line up, make the cast…

And then your lure wraps itself impossibly around a tree branch three feet past your target.

It happens. And while on a recent fishing trip with a buddy, he executed the scenario above flawlessly. He apologized profusely about getting tangled, but I was perfectly alright with it. Why, you may ask? Simply because it’s part of fishing. The way I see it, it’s almost GOOD that someone gets tangled every once in a while. It means that you’re casting close to cover, and the closer to cover you can get your lure or fly, the better. Think of it as a risk/reward. Sure you’re safe to cast all day out into the open water and never lose your bait, but that’s not where the giant lunker bass is. He’s underneath the impenetrable thicket in the corner of the pond. You’ll risk losing that lure casting to him, but you’ll never get him if you don’t try.

Kayaker paddles through river lined with thick green vegetation

Image Credit: Alex Vail

With this in mind, there’s plenty of things to consider about fishing close to cover. The first is, of course, your lure/fly. I know for a fact that I’m going to lose tackle, but when it comes to fishing in areas where there’s an extremely good chance of losing that $12 lure, I tend to go the cheap route. Soft plastics, weedless worms, simple flies, and cheap topwaters.

Depending on the species you’re chasing, going the weedless route is the way to go in preventing getting tangled. Cast just a little too far and landed in the lily pads? It’s absolutely nothing to worry about when fishing weedless. Going weedless comes in handy, too when it gets caught in a tree or the fish are hanging out in underwater vegetation.

Fisherman holds up large bass

As the background suggests, weedless is the way to go. [Image Credit: Alex Vail]

Unfortunately, casting close to cover is probably going to mean switching up your line a little bit. A heavier leader or line will prevent fish from rubbing up against underwater roots or rocks and breaking you off. An easy way to tie a heavier shock-tippet is to do a simple back to back Uni knot. These shock tippets come in handy because you don’t have to spool your whole reel with heavier line, and you can get away with using just a little (albeit expensive) fluorocarbon as the leader.

Casting close to cover is also extremely good casting practice. An angler can quickly get to know his/her rod and reel and before long, getting tangled becomes almost a rare issue. But practice makes perfect. Try casting a few feet from your target first. Then slowly get closer and closer. Once you’ve got the distance dialed in, it isn’t impossible to get just a few inches from your target more times than not.

Man fishes from yellow kayak in river bordered by trees

Image Credit: Alex Vail

So, the next time you launch your lure miles into the nearby woods, try not to get frustrated. Losing tackle is part of the sport. And the only way to get better (and eventually catch those monsters) is to lose some tackle.