Local Fishing Knowledge

By Andy Whitcomb

Dec 19, 2016

You can learn valuable fishing information by visiting local anglers

When I travel, I always try to tap into the local fishing knowledge. I don’t expect them to give away ALL their secrets but many anglers are glad to talk fishing and will share valuable information regarding what to use, where, and when to go fishing in the area.

Here are some examples of information I’ve learned from area anglers:

1. River smallmouth bass anglers shared their preferred colors of soft-plastic grub tails for pairing with a jig. There are three main colors, the most popular being a dark green version, but all have caught fish. I now keep a handy supply of all three.

2. The jig and grub technique was successful for a couple of years. However, this year it was surprisingly unproductive. This lure had numerous follows but very few hits. Eventually, I learned that a couple of local anglers were having success by switching to a “wacky” hooked short plastic worm, rigged weightless to drift longer in the current. Something to try on our next trip.

3. I was aware of the unique blade action of the Panther Martin inline spinner but was surprised at the color suggested by the hatchery manager at the Leadville Colorado Fish Hatchery. When he recommended “black,” I thought he was pulling my leg. I caught many trout on it that summer.

4. Sometimes we can learn just by watching. While taking walks on the bike trail by the river last winter, I noticed there was sometimes an angler in the same spot, just inside the mouth of a tributary of the Allegheny River. Because he was determinedly casting a giant lure, I could tell what he knew lurked there: muskellunge.  Guess where I’ll be casting this winter?

5. I’ve gained enough time and experience on local waters that sometimes I’m now asked to provide fishing information.  One of the things I’ve shared this year is that on several lakes, especially with murky water, we noticed a difference in spinnerbaits. The bigger vibration of the rounded “Colorado” blade has caught bass and pike where the same colored narrow “willow” blade spinnerbait has not.

Locals also can tell you where the best tackle and bait shops are. And while you are there, it is time to renew your fishing license.  What new information have you learned from the locals?
Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.