Fishing can get very expensive. During my college years, I really had to save up. Even still, I caught plenty of big fish on the same amount of money that would make many fishermen scoff. But it's very easy to catch big fish on cheap equipment. Remember, fish don't care what it costs!
Above: One of the online discount tackle shops.
Discount fishing tackle outlets are my first tip. They are very underrated. I have bought from them with very good results. They just sell refurbished rods, or clearance. They buy fishing rods that were sent back from customers that bought them in recent time, and select ones that will perhaps only have a small scratch on the label, or buy overstock. Because some of these rods are not "new," they sell for much less than if they were "new." I suggest you buy from these shops online. Great prices, and very good quality all around. This tip can save you plenty of money.
Try to use soft plastic baits, such as curly tailed grubs. That cost fractions of what a hard lure, such as a crankbait, would cost. They are just as effective, and can be bought from every place that carries fishing lures. Remember, more bass tournaments have been won on soft plastics than any other lure. Soft plastics have their place. While a typical crankbait at Walmart costs $7, a pack of ten plastic worms costs $4. Think about the savings!
It doesn't take a licensed guide, a Ranger boat, and enough tackle to stock a small shop to catch big bass. It doesn't even take a trip to Toledo Bend. A trip like that would set you back several grand. t
The thing with small ponds is this: There are very few bass to compete with. The food source is concentrated, and plentiful. There are no large predatory fish. Thus, the bass there grow to enormous sizes. They have never seen a lure before, and are not as wary as bass from a pressured reservoir. Since the pond is small, you can easily see the fish if the water is clear, as well as the fish holding structure. It takes only a few casts, since the water is small, to bring out the bass. Best part of this is that these small ponds are very common in just about any suburb. Retention ponds and golf course ponds count. The water is very fertile, and the fish there have plenty to eat. Do some hiking, and you will discover more of these small ponds. I have caught fish in the most unexpected of the places, in the smallest, most shallow water, so always look over every small pond. A beginner can easily catch a record from any of these ponds.
The best is not a requirement. I see plenty of people wanting a 10+ bearing baitcaster before they learned their knots. A one bearing reel and rod combo from Walmart can be great from a beginner, and if you don't like fishing, or close your car door on the, it's not like losing a G. Loomis. For most people, a $40 rod and reel combo is good enough to get you started. They come with a tackle kit, too. Cheap, and effective.
That's the end of the article. I hope you find my tips useful!
Targeting Creek Chub with Mealworms
Picture below from wikipedia.org
As discussed in the previous post, creek chub are very feisty fish. They can be reliably caught in almost any stream over 3 feet wide in Clarksville. Photo courtesy of rainbowmealworms.com.
Mealworms make a great bait for creek chub. Mealworms are not as messy as earthworms, hardier in the fact that they will tolerate light, are much less prone to dehydration, are tasty to fish, have a great wiggling action, are smaller than Canadian nightcrawler, which are the ones most locally available (if you cut off a piece of one, the worm dies, and can kill off the other worms in the cup), stays on the hook better than a nightcrawler, are very cheap, and are very good for trout, "slab" crappie and bluegill, bullheads, small bass, and just about every fish smaller than a large bullhead.
I feel the success of mealworms in small streams is also in part to resembling small aquatic larvae that fish feast on. They also look at the small insects that drop off from overhead trees that trout and other fish in a tiny creek eat. That may explain why they work great on small stream trout. The proper rigging technique is as you would rig a curly tailed grub: Hook the mealworm by the head, and push the hook shank down.
The white juices from the mealworm drive fish crazy. Plus, fish don't like always biting through a shell. Rip off the head or cut into the body to expose the juices. Mealworms, as said before are very cheap. You can get 500 mealworms for only $3.99. On the other hand, 100 Canadian night crawlers cost $30, have the disadvantages above, and European night crawlers, which are smaller, cost $8 per 100, and have the similar disadvantages. Mealworms can be stored in long periods of time in the begrudge, with their bedding of bran. Their moisture source can be a slice of potato or carrot. They are very low maintenance bait, and cost very little. I recommend you give them a try, not just for chubs, but for all smaller gamefish!
Below: Small bass can be caught on mealworms.
I hope you find this useful!
Targeting Creek Chubs
Pound by pound, chub are just as good fighters as trout. They might quite well, too. They are much hardier than trout, and are able to be taken on a variety of gear. They can be found in very small bodies of water, and plenty of the local waters. They aren't demanding to fish either - you can go to Walmart and get a good setup for them for less than $25. They take many baits, and are enjoyable to fish. On the left is typical creek chub water.
Rod and reel- A short ultralight rod would do very well. Since chubs are found in streams and small rivers, such as the Middle Patuxent, a rod around 4'6"-5'6" would be great to not hang up on trees and shrubs. An ultralight rod allows you to enjoy the fight, rather than just reel the fish in. Plus, it's lighter, and more sensitive. A small ultralight spinning reel would be great.
Lures - Micro sized jigs, and small soft plastics, such as curly tailed grub, attract the larger chub, which put on a strong fight. They sometimes take small spoons and spinners in the summer, when they are more aggressive. In the colder months, such as fall and spring, using a small presentation, such as floating a jig under a bobber, or spin fishing with flies, is a surefire way to catch chub and sometimes small brown trout.
Above: Student David Elsaesser displays the creek chub he has caught. It was recorded and measured for data, then released.
Line: Good quality monofilament line, 4lb is a good measure, will do. Smaller the pound test, the further an ultralight fishing combo can cast lures. Plus, it's harder to see.
Live bait: Nightcrawlers are a hit with creek chub, and work well for chub of all sizes. Small crayfish on a hook can catch huge chub, and grasshoppers will too.
Terminal tackle: Since you are fishing small waterways, casting distance isn't that important, and just a small bomber, some good hooks, some small spot shot, is all that's needed. In the summer, make sure to wear bug spray. A Hoo Rag, which is a facial covering, works great for fishing in forested areas: It prevents sunburn and bugs from landing on your neck, and protects your face in the cold.
Above: Members of the Clarksville Fisheries Sciences, mark off the sizes of fish caught that morning, their species, other information. Chub fishing is fun, and it's a great way to pass time with friends.
Chub fishing is cheap and fun. It's a good way to get started in fishing, and appreciating our local waterways. In Clarksville, the numerous trails into the woods lead to streams that are full of creek chub. Remember: only leave your footprints. Don't litter, or deface our natural resources.
Above: Creek chub come in a variety of sizes, and are caught on many different baits.
Creek Chub are really undervalued. They fight as well as trout, take many baits, but the large ones are just as elusive as a 25" brown trout. They survive water that trout cannot tolerate, live in the tiniest of the trickles, and are a great thrill to catch. As our trout fisheries are declining from pollution, chub provide a great alternative.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.