fishing advice request

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Ascobis

Forager
Nov 3, 2017
128
69
Wisconsin, USA
Greetings,
This is perhaps a bushcraft fishing question. It's really a general freshwater fishing question, but I hope the answers will have bushcraft implications.

I have a tackle box. I have little plastic trays with this, that, and the other lure. I go to a spot and deploy the appropriate lure for the spot. Well and good.

Now I have this little pocket sonar, mentioned in another thread, that says, yes, little fish are a meter down where I expect them. Pull out the x lure and away we go. Oh, the little sonar thing says there are also fish at 2 m and big echoes at 10 m. What to do? Pull out the spinner and tie a triple swivel, sinker, and plastic fish. One rod ready, prepare the other one. Look at at the ends of the Rapala boxes to find something that will draw close to 2 m. OK, ready to cast. Oh, no, now the fish icons at 1.5 m and 8 m. Dig for another Rap. Tie on different sinker.

Clearly, I am doing something wrong. <existential cry of despair/> What should I do?

Bushcraft implications: We pack a very small, generalized kit with a very small assortment of hooks, sinkers, and line. We improvise poles with local vegetation ("down and dead" is the rule for making poor fishing poles...) So how can bushcraft fishing knowledge be improved by answering the question of varying fish at varying depths?

Home now, caught zero fish.
 

garethw

Settler
Forget the little sonar, these devices are not very accurate and very little use at all for finding fish to catch. Echoes can be shoals of tiny fish tightly packed to show a large fish.. debris can show as fish etc. You have no idea what species are showing and if they even take a lure.
No, the best way to improve your catch rate is to go back to the time trusted "watercraft". You need to look at likely areas, depth, presence of weed, snags etc.. Fish waters known to hold the species you want. Choosing the correct lure, size, colour, form, depth it swims at etc is of far more importance. The only useful information you get from a sonar is the depth, presence of weed beds, underwater snags and eventually the type of lake/riverbed.
 
Jan 13, 2018
358
250
63
Rural Lincolnshire
If you are in close vicinity to the fish you just need to get them to 'come to you'.
Are you spinning, or just dropping the line down and waiting for a bite ?
1) Drop down to the bottom and slowly retrieve bringing your bait up thru the various levels at which the fish are sitting.
2) Use attractant - you can get very small tins of 'fish attracting' stuff, dab / smear onto your bait / lure and let the fish rise up to the scent trail.

It is surprising what you can get into a small tobacco-tin.

The contents of mine :

- 1 x Fisher Yo-Yo automatic fishing reel pre loaded with 60lb line
- 1 x length of extra nylon line to attach Yo-Yo to tree branches, jugs etc.
- 15 pre snelled ( attached to line) hooks in sizes 6,8,10,12 & 14
- 6 hook 'explosion' hook rig
- Steel bobbin wound with 25m of 6.8kg/15lb 0.35 clear monofilament line
- 2 x 0.5 oz weights
- 4 x 0.1 oz weights
- Quantity of 1g split shot
- 1 x Float with line connector
- 4 x 1.5 inch lumilight glowsticks + line connectors for night fishing
- Quantity of artificial worms, grubs, minnow and shrimp bait
- Quality spinning lure with swivel
- Trace with swivel
- Screw top aluminium pot containing 15ml Berkley Extra Scent Powerbait
- 110mm x 85mm lacquered tin with silicone seal
- Yo-Yo Instruction manual

To which I have added :

Extra Hooks, Barrel swivels, Float, ‘Lead-head Jig’, 4x Link Swivels, Stanley Knife Blade

Total weight = 248g
Size = 110mm x 85mm.

Have you tried the Yo-Yo automatic reel (if not do a search on YouTube)
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,675
1,629
McBride, BC
Can you predict the species of fish you expect in the water you were on?
Each species behaves differently.
In a lake, 3/4 of the fish are in 1/4 of the water.
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
What fish are you after? Once you know which species, then you can start adjusting your equipment.

Get rid of your electronic device, it is useless.
Fish move, and before you have time to fix your equioment it is gone.
 
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Ascobis

Forager
Nov 3, 2017
128
69
Wisconsin, USA
It is surprising what you can get into a small tobacco-tin
Wow. To me, "tobacco tin" = "Prince Albert", and my yo-yo would barely fit. What brand?

Yes, I have a spritzer of attractant in my vest, refilled from a leaky dissolve-one's-fishing-pack bottle.

Mepps Black Fury #1, 2, and 5 are my never-fail lures. Z-ray is my most effective lure for inland lakes trout. Royal Coachman and Woolly Bugger are my go-to flies. I've never had even a nibble on an Aglia. Rooster tails are iffy. LIve bait is for weenies or for folks who have to catch fish to make a living. YMMV.

Thanks for the responses.
 
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Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,367
561
Canada
There is one electrical device that will work ... a car battery and charger cables ... not very legal in some parts though ... well, not at all legal in any parts, I'd imagine :lol:
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I have been fishing for over 5 decades and not seen a more useless method than with that reel.

The previous ’most useless’ was that contraption that kind of ejected the line and bait from the top.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
There is one electrical device that will work ... a car battery and charger cables ... not very legal in some parts though ... well, not at all legal in any parts, I'd imagine :lol:
More legal than a stun grenade in the water though......

Have tried the stun grenade successfully ( so long ago the crime is not a crime anymore :) ) but not the battery technique.
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,367
561
Canada
So how can bushcraft fishing knowledge be improved by answering the question of varying fish at varying depths?

Home now, caught zero fish.
Catching zero fish is the main joy of fishing, but figuring out the principles of fishing at various depths is a bit easier on the heart.

I may be misinterpreting your post, so if the following sounds like an education in sucking eggs, apologies .... You could go to a tackle shop, or in fact anywhere you see cheap fishing gear in a big department store, and pick up a bag of assorted floats; in fact pick up a couple.

Working out where the fish are is to to do with the species, the time of day, water temperature, how the sun is falling on the water, what the fish have available to eat, even oxygen level .. a hundred variables which will give you the chance at an educated guess as to where the fish are. You'll be wrong 90% of the time :lol: The other thing to do is just climb up a tree a bit and see if you can see them.

Anyway, back to depth. Put a float on your line and balance it with a bit of shot to make it stand upright in the water. Apart from indicating any nibbles or bites, the purpose of the float is to suspend the bait at a certain point in the water. You adjust this by sliding the float up and down along the line. After that it is just variation and experiment. Fishing is a bit like riding a bike. You only really learn how to do it by doing it, only then does the theory make sense (as you will know exactly how big the pinch of salt needs to be :lol:)
 
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Jan 13, 2018
358
250
63
Rural Lincolnshire
There is one electrical device that will work ... a car battery and charger cables ... not very legal in some parts though ... well, not at all legal in any parts, I'd imagine :lol:
I often heard about 'electrocuting fish' (electro-fishing) and it is often laid at the door of the eastern Europeans, but I have never seen it done, or the equipment to do it.

As water is such a poor conductor of low voltage electricity**, I wonder if in reality it is as simple as a 12v car battery and a couple of wires.

Has anyone actually tried it, and been successful ?

** Remember those films where the car drives off the end of the pier and the headlights are still on as it sits on the bottom of the river ?

I have been on off-road training days where the engine (and alternator) have been submerged but nothing disastrous happens, nothing electrocutes the local fish, or the driver.

Thinking back ( a long time ago) as kids we used to short out the terminals on a PP9 (9 Volt) battery with the damp tip of our tongue, we all lived to tell the tale - but put a ball of dry steel-wool on the terminals and they glow red and you can start a fire.
Water, and skin, are poor conductors at low voltages.
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
The car/bike has highly conducting closed circuits, when in use or lights on. Current takes the path of least resistance.



I do not think it is the Voltage, but the Ampere that kills the fish.
The lickable small 9 V battery will excite your tastebuds!

Please do not try to connect the terminals on a 8 V golf cart battery with your body parts, no matter how excited you want them to be!
:)
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,367
561
Canada
This guy is using a 12V .. but the unit is a stepup transformer

The other way is with a magneto

 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,675
1,629
McBride, BC
Electrofishing is used very commonly to sample _all_ species of fish for inventory purposes.
Most major Fish & Wildlife agencies have the equipment.
A little specialized training is needed as most units will kill the operator.

The option, the far older technique, is to use the Derris root derivative.
Known commercially as 'Rotenone' as an asphyxiant, it is biodegradable.
The harvested fish are edible. I ain't dead yet.

Derris root is pulped and the washings are used by some South American paleo peoples.
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Rotenone kills most aquatic animals, which might be a harsh way to get a meal!
It is toxic to humans too, but the levels in the fish are to low to harm us.

I like eating Jicama, contains the same chemical.
Many tropical plants eaten are slightly toxic.

Remember, what does not kill you makes you stronger!