Use the best bait for the spot when going for big fish

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Back to front - Will Rodden, Rae Rodden, Ryatt Rodden and Jeremy Pyle huting for bait on lake Stanley Draper. (Photo by Jeremy Pyle)

By Jeremy Pyle
Contributing Writer

Everybody knows that when you go fishing, you don’t always catch fish. I always say it is called fishing and not catching. That being said, the goal of every fishing trip is to try and land what we call in the fishing business a “personal best.” But what usually happens is tons of medium-sized fish and one bigger than the rest.

When fishing for big fish, the number one rule is to use the best bait for the spot. That isn’t always the same bait. Some places its live bait, whether that’s minnows or live bluegill or skipjack, and in other places it’s cut bait or worms. Heck, sometimes the best bait for a spot is shrimp or even crawdads. So, if you are on the hunt for big fish, its always best to put out a variety of baits to see what they are biting on.

Next, you need decent gear if you will be able to wrangle the big boys. I like to use medium to medium/heavy action rods with reels big enough to hold about 30 or 40 pound test fishing line. It is strong enough to pull up big fish and also you can pull free from snags. People say “big bait, big fish” but that’s only the first half of the equation. You will also need big hooks to land big fish. I like to use a number 6 circle hook on live bait, but I prefer a simple J-hook for worms and small bait. They call it a J-hook because it is literally in the shape of a J. Can you guess what shape a circle hook is?

Now its time to fish. I like to set out a couple poles in deep water and then fish with lures in close water trying to catch fresh live bait to throw on to the hook and toss back out. I have found that in most places, fresh live bait, caught directly from the fishing spot is the best chance to catch big fish. The best time to catch these bait fish is right before dark or right when the sun is coming up. We usually do well especially the last half hour of light.
Now, once you get your poles in the water, there is a little trick. Bells! Bells are your best friend when fishing for big fish. They let you know when you are getting a bite, even if you aren’t paying close attention to the pole. I recently found light up bells which are even better. You can hear when you get a bite and when you look, you can see what pole is getting a hit even at 3 a.m.

Fishing is really growing in this great state of Oklahoma. I have seen more people fishing out at lakes this year than in the last 10 years. It is an awesome sight to see. If you are a little worried about where to go, or about what type of baits to use, please don’t hesitate to ask questions.

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