Learning New Freshwater Fishing Techniques

Fishing is full of surprises. For example despite my attempt to target fall bass with cooler water techniques, I’ll sometimes find other species tugging at the end of my line such as walleye, or even flathead catfish. As I travel, I continue to learn unexpected new freshwater fishing techniques for certain species from local anglers. Several times I’ve been told how to catch a fish and I’ve thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me. I don’t believe it.” And then saw it.

Freshwater Fishing Techniques That May Surprise You

The traditional lure for pike is something big and flashy like a spoon. However when the water is cold such as in early spring, a small white grub tail jig is a hot pike or even muskie lure. An angler in North Dakota shared that information and since then it has been a successful technique in Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, and Pennsylvania.

On an early trout fishing venture in Colorado, I asked a local angler about how to catch trout; which fly pattern I should use. He suggested one brand of a small inline spinner, BLACK, and thought he was joking. That lure earned a spot in my box of trout lures and accompanies me on every trout outing.

And most recently, I was targeting an odd species: bowfin. I’ve only caught a couple and have read that they are mostly caught while fishing for bass with lures like spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, or soft plastics worked near or in heavy vegetation. Several sources in western Pennsylvania insisted that nightcrawlers were the ticket, however until I watched some fishermen cast nightcrawlers on the bottom below a small low water dam, one of the best fishing techniques for catfish , land bowfin, I doubt I would have tried that method for that species.

Ask Locals for Freshwater Fishing Tips

When you travel, don’t forget to visit with the locals about their fishing techniques. You just might learn a new way to connect with a fish. And whatever state you are in, even the state of euphoria; don’t forget to have your fishing license.

Have you been surprised by any new freshwater fishing techniques? Share your experience with us.


Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.