The Venerable Lizard

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You don’t hear much about them anymore. I really don’t understand that because they’ve been a staple in my fishing since 1998. It’s true that there are new plastic designs coming out every day, if not every hour. But that doesn’t make any difference to me. I never leave home without a few sacks in my truck or in my boat.

Berkley PowerBait Lizard
Berkley Powerbait Lizard

I’m talking about a simple, old-fashioned 6-inch lizard.

There’s a good reason for that. They catch fish. Some guys think it’s because they look like the real thing. Other guys say they look like something alive no matter if the bass has ever seen a lizard. I don’t care about the why. All I care about is that they do it.

My choice is a Berkley Powerbait Lizard. It’s a basic, 6-inch lizard with four legs and a tail — each of which has a curl to them for subtle action. That’s important. I don’t want my lizard to have a lot of action but I do want it to have some. As far as I’m concerned the Berkley version is as close as you’ll ever get to perfect.

Here’s how I fish them.

The spawn

VMC Ike Approved Worm Hook
VMC Ike Approved Worm Hook, 3/0

Most of the time I rig them Texas style with a light weight — something in the 1/8 ounce to1/4 ounce is about right. I peg the sinker when I’m fishing in cover but I allow it to slip up and down the line when things are a little more open.

I like a 3/0 VMC offset worm hook. It fits the body about right and it’s plenty big enough to handle the bigger bass I’m expecting to catch.

Natural colors seem to work best when I’m fishing around the spawn. If I’m actually fishing in a bed for a bedding female I go with white. It’s easy to see so I can see what it’s doing, and I can see how the bass is reacting to it.

The post spawn.  This is Carolina rig time. I believe the shape and the action of a lizard is perfect for dragging it around open or semi-open territory.  I set my rig up with a 1/2-ounce or 3/4-ounce barrel weight from VMC. I use braid for my main line

Barrel Weight
Barrel Weight

with a 12 to 24 inch fluorocarbon leader. All my lines are made by Berkley. I arm my lizard with the same exact hook I use for my Texas rig during the spawn.

My Carolina rigged lizard is always set up so that the flat belly is down. It looks more natural that way and it glides better that way.





Want to do a deep-dive into rigging and fishing with soft plastics?  The Bass University has a 1-hour online video with legendary bass angler Gary Klein talking about rigging and fishing with worms, lizards, craws, tubes, etc.  See a preview here.  (Subscribe now and get a 10-day free trial.)   Subscribers, login and type “lizard” into the search box.


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Go Wacky Worming For Smallmouth Bass

image-dcec4b5db0f53f27c6cd7c1bd8d54044ff3ff763Spring warm up is weeks away for most of us but this does not mean we should wait to get ready. One of the techniques to focus on for plenty of smallmouth bass action this season is the use of stick baits. More specifically we need to get ready to go wacky worming for smallmouth bass. Long a favorite of bronzeback fishermen, these baits are tried and true fish catchers. Let’s take a look at how to fish wacky worms and why they work so well.

For many years I shunned artificial baits of all types in favor of live baits. My father, a fishing fanatic with over 70 years of experience, finally convinced me to give many of the new artificial baits a try. The one thing I noticed when using wacky worms for smallmouth bass was the size of the fish I began catching were larger. This was all it took for my conversion and now I rarely use live bait.


OWACKYTOOL-1There are so many available options in stick baits compared to even a few years ago. The tried and true Senko is always a top producer. To keep your costs down, consider using an O ring and hook your bait under the ring, not through the bait. I use the O ring tool to make it quick and easy to put them on.




We want to fish these baits in a vertical drop manner with little to no added weight to the bait. Big smallmouths are not dumb, and they will recognize a wacky worm dropping down at the speed of light as a bait to be avoided. It is not the way a real worm drops through the water. I have seen live and artificial un-weighted night crawlers take as long as a minute to drop into a deep fishing hole, and believe me when I say the fish are watching this presentation as well.

Once a smallmouth bass observes this natural, slow drop of your bait, the percentage of getting a hit are much higher. If the fish are finicky allow the wacky worm to drop and hit bottom, then begin jigging the bait up two or three feet and allow for the drop back to the bottom. Take up any slack as you work a wacky worm this way because this technique slowly draws the wacky worm back towards your location.

You want the slack out of your fishing line because most of the strikes will come as the bait drops down. Smart smallmouth bass will dart out and grab the bait on this drop, and then remain motionless before heading back to cover. If you have slack in your line you are going to miss many strikes this way.

Go wacky worming for smallmouth bass when the water temps climb into the high fifties and higher. The smallmouths are over the spawn and hungry, so get ready for great fishing action!

How do you fish wacky worms? Please leave your tips for our readers.

A few Tips for Catching Smallmouth Bass in Clear Water

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clear streamAre you one of those who doubt your ability to snag a few smallmouth bass when the water is crystal clear? If so, don’t feel bad as many of us find this a daunting challenge. But put that chin up, and read on because we are going to help you with a few tips for catching smallmouth bass in clear water.

Don’t scare them

One rule to always remember when going after smallies is this: when you can see the bottom the smallies can see you. My uncle, who has fished for most game species in America, applied the same strategy for these conditions as he used when hunting Whitetails, Elk, or other big game. Camouflage clothing. Yep, you read that right. I always thought he was taking it a bit far, but the number of trophy fish he has on the wall attest to the fact this method works.

Long casts are one of the keys to clear water fishing. Consider using a longer rod with braid and a flourocarbon leader to avoid scaring away or turning off the bass.

Clear Water Baits

Ok, for the baits to use while fishing for smallmouth bass in clear water,  start with jerk baits or tubes and keep them moving as smallies will actively feed during this time of day. Natural colors are best in clear water. Dead sticking the bait can be super effective because the water will move your bait in subtle ways that you can’t, imparting a natural look to the bait. Smallies will come in from areas where you might not suspect them to be due to the fact the water is so clear sharp eyed bronzebacks can see the baits from further than twenty feet away.

When you need to quickly carpet an area of clear water definitely go with crank baits. Allow the light conditions to dictate the best colors of baits and for further casting try using eight to ten pound clear mono or flourocarbon line on a medium rod with a spinning reel. Go even lighter on the line for better action from the crank baits but avoid using heavier than ten pounds because heavy line reduces the action of the baits.

For great strikes that keep you coming back for more, work spinnerbaits on the surface, or just under. Bright, silver or gold blades will be as visible as possible to pull in smallmouths from long distances. By far, chartreuse is the top skirt color choice, but if the fish are ignoring this color try pink or white. Use a stinger hook for more hookups.

For those lazy, hot summer days switch to tube baits. Try fishing these off the bottom in an upward jerking manner to “wake-up” the smallies. If nothing else it will irritate them into striking. It really does work. If that doesn’t work, switch to the dead sticking technique as described previously.

Give our tips for catching smallmouth bass in clear water a try. You will catch more and larger smallmouth bass.

Has this information been helpful? Please leave comments below.

[video] Many Great Spinnerbaits for Smallmouth Bass


Have you been guilty of thinking a spinnerbait that catches largemouth bass will work on smallmouths as well? If so, don’t feel bad as many fishermen believe this.

The problem with this way of thinking is we are fishing for two separate species of fish. Just because both are classed as “bass” does not mean they will react to the same spinnerbaits in the same manner. Will you occasional snag both species.with the same spinner? Absolutely, but if you are serious about boating smallmouths on a consistent basis you need to realize they prefer a different type of spinnerbaits The good news is there is an entire family of great spinnerbaits for smallmouth bass specifically designed for the bronzeback.

Largemouth bass hug cover and ambush their prey. They usually do not chase prey more than 5 to 7 feet. This is one reason why picking up a largemouth strike can be difficult, especially if you are fishing tubes, rubber or live crawlers, and cast the bait right on top of them. They will inhale it and continue to sit motionless.

Now the smallmouth on the other hand is like a tiger chasing down prey. Distances are of little concern for the bronzeback as they commonly chase a spinnerbait 20 feet or more. The reason for this is smallmouth bass prefer to hang out on the edge of a flat like you find at the end of an underwater ridge. These spots are free of cover for the most part and thus they will aggressively pursue their prey longer distances.

Smallies also hit with a vengeance. Nothing about their method of catching prey or your spinnerbait is gentle. When retrieving spinnersbaits preferred by smallmouth bass keep the speed up and hold on as they will pull the rod out of your hands with the force of their strike.

Look into Strike Kings Premier Plus selection of spinners for smallmouth bass.  They make great spinnerbaits for smallmouth bass. Spinnerbaits with plenty of flash from the blades will earn you more strikes, so grab a selection with small, heavy designs in the ¾ ounce weight range without the fancy skirts and sound producing designs of largemouth spinners. Smallies are far less attracted to the sound of a spinner moving through the water as they are the spinning flash of the blades, which mimic a wounded minnow moving erratically through the water.

Big fish reaction strikes with spinnerbaits

Select a variety of colors such as red, gold, and white because smallies are sight oriented fish. The better they can see bait the more likely you are to get a hit.

Selecting a wide selection of great spinnerbaits for smallmouth bass need not be a hassle. Think of it as adding to your collection, and how each spinnerbait will be the one that puts an elusive lunker in the boat!

What are your preferred bronzeback spinners? Please share your thoughts with our readers in the space below.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing In Cold Weather

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photo-a04f4d19245c6ca35515d3424b6faf5f2eecf988Are you one of those fishermen who believe smallmouth bass fishing concludes as soon as college football season arrives? If so I am going to tell you about an entirely new world of fishing you are missing. Smallmouth bass fishing in cold weather is much more than a chance to get out of the house and cast a few baits around. Sure, the smallies are not going to be as active, but they do need to feed and you can bet not many other people are out there on the river or lake attempting to feed them! This puts the ball in your court as far as having access to prime locations and fish ready to bite. Let’s look at what we need to do for these winter excursions in search of our favorite game fish. Planning is key for successful smallmouth bass fishing in cold weather. Winter conditions are going to require you are properly dressed as condition are going to go from calm to cold wind so dress in layers. Reels need a lighter need lighter oil to function smoothly, water levels and water clarity should be decent, and always bring along a thermos of your favorite hot drink. The smallmouth bass will hit when water conditions are slightly muddy but this also limits the distance they can see the baits so when you locate a good spot be sure to cover the area thoroughly. Present your baits in a slow manner as opposed to how you would in summer. The smallies are going to be a bit lethargic, so to entice them a slow moving presentation is the way to go. One of the things you will need to do, depending on water temperature and wind conditions, is remove any ice from the reel, rod eyelets, and line. This only takes a few seconds so keep an eye on this. Sometimes WD-40, Chap Stick or Reel Magic can be helpful in preventing this.

Great video explanation here It might take you a few missed fish to develop a feel for winter strikes as they tend to be more subtle. Keep a close watch on your line as you retrieve the lure and set the hook if you see it slack being taken up. Use weed less lures for cold weather/winter fishing conditions. Look for those spots where the current is slack and close in to shore as this will be the preferred location for smallmouth bass. Get over those winter blues by heading out to your favorite river, stream, or lake and netting a few smallmouths. Smallmouth bass fishing in cold weather is a sport unto itself, and for those who have never tried it you are missing out on some great fishing! Has this information whetted you’re fishing appetite? Please share your thought below.

If You’re Gonna Fish In The Cold You’ve Got To Know About This

EyepoleWho has trouble with their guides freezing when the water temps are low and the air temps are below freezing?

I know I do!

Why would you want to fish in these conditions?

“I had one of the biggest smallmouth limits of my life (24 pounds) while fishing an ABA (American Bass Anglers) championship at Watts-Barr when it was 11 degrees,” reminisces Scalish. And former Bassmaster Open competitor Skip Surbaugh fished a buddy tournament at Lake of the Ozarks this winter in 4-degree weather; and he and his partner landed a limit in 25 minutes and caught 23 keepers that day.  Source

A few quick tips are included in these videos so check them out.

In addition to Chap Stick, here are some other ideas.

I have used Reel Magic and it helps when the temps are in the upper 20s to low 30s.

Fishing Line

Avoid using braid in cold water as it tends to retain water in the line and can make fishing in freezing more difficult. Switch up your reels to monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line and you’ll be good to go.

 “People like to dunk their rods in the water to get the ice off, but that’s bad news because all you are doing is making them freeze twice as fast and twice as hard,” cautions Scalish. The 2004 New York CITGO Bassmaster Open winner keeps his rods ice-free by applying fly fishing line coating on the guides. Spooling his line with a rag coated in Armor All also helps Scalish minimize icing problems.

Loose, worn-out reels with minimum grease work best for Tucker in freezing conditions. “The worst thing you can do is put oil on your reel before a cold day of fishing,” he warns. “You will be sitting there with just 6 feet of line because the reel will gum up on you.”  Source

If you have some other great tips, please leave your comments in the section below!

Can You Use Frogs For Smallmouth Bass?

live targetThe Frog…not always considered a top option in smallmouth bass fishing. Sure, we use them in largemouth bass fishing a lot. After all, those bucket mouths love to chill around lily pads and frogs are often found in this environment so it seems to be a natural fit.

Smallmouth bass tend to hang around in schools in cooler, deep water lakes and around current in river so are frogs a good option for smallmouth bass?

Well.. let’s see! Since smallies go for almost anything that moves, when they are in the right mood, frogs can be a great way to go because not many anglers use frogs for smallmouth bass.

There are three main groups of frogs that you can use. We have popper, hard bait type frogs, soft bodied frogs and hollow bodied frogs.

Let’s look at some options…

Take a look at this Spro Bronzeye popper getting slammed by a smallie on the French River in Ontario.


Note a couple of things here. He was basically walking the dog with this lure. You can fish it like a typical popper bait or you can copy what was done here by walking the dog.

Also, you can hear the braid that he was using. This is good stuff in topwater fishing because it floats and you can get a quick, strong hookset with braid. Never use fluorocarbon when fishing topwater because it sinks and it’ll drag the nos of your topwater bait down, reducing the desired action.

Soft bodied frogs

Soft body frogs like the one in this video are fished similar to a buzz bait. Check out the smallies caught on these Ribbit frogs!


Throw this bait out there and start reeling. You want the bait to kick its legs as it buzzes across the water and wait for that explosive strike. When you feel the fish take it, set the hook. Try to avoid setting the hook on the first splash because you’ll pull it right out of the smallie’s mouth. These frogs have a couple of options with regards to rigging. The easiest is a 4/0 EWG hook ( I prefer Gamakatsu), texposed. There are other frog hook options with 2 hooks that can work well also.

Hollow Bodied frogs

Hollow bodied frogs are great because they are virtually snagless when dragged across lily pads and other weeds. They can be worked slowly or in a walk the dog pattern. I have caught smallies early in the morning from shore on small lakes in Massachusetts when the bronzebacks moved in to the shallows to feed.

Check out this video showing a nice smallie caught on a Kopper’s Frog! Check it out!


Tell us your experience with topwater frogs and smallmouth bass and pick up a few to try today!

What Do You Do When The Wind Starts Blowing?

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windylakeRecently, we asked our fans what they do when the wind starts whipping.

What do you do? Do you suck your thumb and go home? Do you cry and curse the weather man, the Gods, etc?

Well our readers gave these answers!Fishing in the wind…

Jodey Bruce The wind is a whore that knows no master…. She starts and ends all earths disasters.

Donald Adams: that would push baitfish into the cove.

Kenny Clarkson:  put a sinker on the line lol

Shane Richard: Become lazy, and let the waves work my bait, caught a lot of walleye exactly like that

Erin Caroline: Bitch, swear and pull my hood up

Gabriel Falcon: I say, I hope this wind dies down because I’m gonna have a hell of a time getting my boat on the trailer

Jeremy Galloway: Find the shore its blowing against.

Matt DeVore: .. try to fish with the wind at my back & cast 40 feet further

Joe Wilson: Use heavier bait and keep my rod tip to.the water so my line is still straight

James Ursu: Take a swig of whiskey

Mike Cole: I say thank you Lord!!! Then get out start looking for a rocky bank with waves slapping it…as I tie on a flat side….and a blade….

Richard Farquer: Tied on a spinnerbait and hooked up fat

Jamie Carson: Break out the SPINNERBAIT and find the windiest points!!!

Andy Ralph: Complain

Linda Lewis-Solsky: Move my kayak or my row boat to the back side of an island or where wooded land cuts a bit of the wind.. and keep fishing

Jesse Hall: Get out the swimbaits

David Bell: close my eye’s, breathe in deep and smile.

Matthew Tipton: Go heavier!! & keep it moving!!

Charles D King:  fished shore-line with the wind to my back. The bait-fish get pushed into the shore,which brings in the predators.

KRend Ill: I. i.. i cry.. i cry when i get to the river,, and its miles and miles of wind. blowing me down.. =[

Randy Ramer: the wind is my friend

Jesse Myers: Take some ibuprofen, cause a windy day on St. Clair is no picnic, even in my 621!

Robert Aguirre: use it to my advantage

Ted DiBenedetto: Keep fishing!!!

Bill Hines: Keep fishin, lol…

Todd Dame: Ur an asshole Larry. Lmfao

Todd Dame: Bitch that its windy on my one frickin day off!!!

Kris Kapps: Keep fishing

John Rozgony: throw a fluke into the wind with 20lb flouro

Justin Time Allen Richter: Put down the baitcaster and throw my spinning setup if it’s really blowing

Tayler Brooks: Start drinkin

Bill Heidt: Pinch on a split shot.

Josh Keeton: Whine a lil and keep fishing

Kevin Warner: Spend 20 mins pulling out rats nests lol

Stewart Mainville: go upwind and throw out the driftsock.

Jonathon Patterson: Get blown around in my canoe!

Brenda Layman: Put away my flyrod and switch to spincasting.

Valerie Priest Hanifen: Puke

Andrew Davies Throw a spinnerbiat!

Brian Singleton: Get the spinner baits out


Damien Robert Gervais: Take a piss

Jay R. Grave: FInd a rocky point to fish. The rougher the better.

Lee Rippee: Keep fishing

Jeremy Conkwright: Turn trolling motor on high face into it and keep fishing cause smallmouth going to start biting

Kevin Burroughs: Put on the lightest lure I got an cast directly into the wind!!!!

Brandon Lilly: Cuss. Then I cuss.

Andrew ODea: I start swearing

Greg Dudley: I use it to my Advantage and put a Spinnerbait on, and work the Windy Shore!

Shawn Smith: We go drive my Ranger like we stole and took it too Arena Cross…Lol

Leonders Johnson: bounce a crawler off the rocky bottom

Kevin J Brooks: find a cove to fish in.

Freddie Hommes:  i just troll to the other side of the island lol or opposite side of the lake ….i hate wind and do everything i can to avoid it lol

Beaver Slivinski: Turn the trolling up and drop the drift sock………except when I’m on a river, then I hide. If it’s too strong, I call it a day. Fishing isn’t a job, stay safe.

Dale Charles: Fish

Danny Michael Sexton: LOST MY KAYAK

Daniel Johnson: Cast with the wind…and use the chopiness for a topwater advantage

Latasha Long: Keep fishing til I see it lightening

Scotty Dont: Curse the wind god furiously…lol

Rodney Anderson: Go **Brrrr* and flip my hoodie over head then catch a nice 3lb largemouth 7 minutes later.

Bryan Sims: Keep right on fishing

Shawn Patrick: Head for a windward point or shoal with a steep drop off !!! Tight-lines

Joe Randolph: Have a fly rod so just cast tighter loops

Michael Fusté: I set the drag a lil tighter…

Jeff Wrubel: Crack one open

Shoreline Camps: On Big Lake we go to the leeward shore for the day or tuck behind an island and find a shoal to throw at.

Kevin Unger: Bounce a heavy jig or tube behind a drift.

Alex Kazama Riady: Either cast heavier lures or dial a higher brake on a baitcaster.

Arley Cope: keep fishing

Jason Cooley: Tie on the top water!

Curt Kummer: Use the wind, but usually it’s blowing towards me so in that case, add some weight and fish on.

Mike Moore II Fish the shore it’s blowing towards… And fish topwater

Daryl Williams: make them long cast!!

Daniel Robinson: Spot lock!!! Then chuckle at all the other boats fleeing & fighting it! Thank you I-pilot!!!

Jerry Queen: Go to heavier weight on my favorite worm

Brian Chamberlain: opened a beer and started all over

Allen Belew: Spinnerbait, rattle trap. Never give up!!!!!

Joe Wilson: I fish in rivers so its a bit more challenging but I like it .

Joe Wilson: Yes yes I a poet but its how no catch my fish and how I rember what to do .

Marc Troain: Throw my hood up and keep fishing!

David Terryberry: Cast away from the wind

Andrew Jennissen: Go to the banks and cast for the muskie!!

Tyler Talley: Hit a cove if on a lake. The river I fish is in a bottom with trees around it so not much wind around it. Probably throwing a spinner or a shallow diver.

Stan Baczynski: Head in to the launch ramp.

Brad Burkhart: Stop think’n and start crank’n

Kent Bishop:  The wind always blow here in Pueblo, Cotton Cordell Super Spot do the job!

Jesse Shartzer: throw spinner bait on rock ledges

Chuck Merrill: fish the windblown shoreline

Chuck Miller: am ready for action!

Jeff Neels: If I am on St Claire I crap my pants

ßj ßnet: Change my strategy

Nate Theriault: put on a spinner bait n throw out the drift sock!

Randy Harbin: Break out the spinnerbait and roll with it!

Donald Adams: find a cove with the wind blowing into it and throw a tube bait.

Edward Lay: Throw a heavier jig

Jeff Ingebritson: Say bad words out loud.

David Sullivan: Get ready to start smokin em

Miles Pancoast: Throw a spinnerbait, favorite lure in windy conditions

Jonathan Cano: I face the wind and fish the shores the wind is blowing up against. Usually do well.

Tyler Mills: Turn my other 2 internal brakes on

Brian Prosser: Curse a meteorologist.

Jeff Glins: when from the east they bite the least, from the west they ite the best , from the south into their mouth, from the north time to drink a beer.

Peter Paul Boyko: but beer drinking happens all the time, doesn’t matter the wind direction. Just seems an easier feeling to deal with the wind

Dan Martin: Get pissed off and head in ill try for a little bit but if there’s no luck I’m out the susskys hard to fish with high winds

Steve Lopez: Enjoy the water no matter what. Realize that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else

Rick Ott:  Take my plastic off and go with something heavier!

Man, there were so many great answers. Most of them boil down to:

  1. Curse the wind
  2. Tie on a spinnerbait
  3. Tie on a heavier bait or weight.
  4. Drink more beer
  5. Fish a cove or quieter water.
  6. Fish the bank where the winds beating down -that’s were the bait fish go
  7. Cast with the wind
  8. Keep the line low to the water.

Thanks for all the great replies everyone!

Getting Grubby: Fall Smallie Fishing With Grubs

Kalin grubWe all are looking for that secret weapon, that $15 lure or that special sauce that will help us hook up with smallies as things cool down in the winter.

Sure jerkbaits work great a lot of the time but the bass seem to be either on them or completely off of them at any given time in many of our fisheries.

Tubes can work great in cool conditions but sometimes you want to change things up a bit and some of you aren’t patient enough to drag tubes all over the place.

Well there is a little friend that is dirt cheap to use and can be worked in numerous ways. Its called the curly tail grub! (of course, you know that already)

Here’s an example of what it can do in the fall (love those Kalin’s grubs):


Grub techniques

Now that you’ve seen the video, you can see that just swimming a grub can pick up some amazing bronzebacks.

In addition to swimming the grub, you can bounce it on the bottom or lift and retrieve, creating a Yo-Yo type of motion.

Experiment with the speed of the retrieve, depth and color. Sometimes a grub is all you need. Other soft plastics, especially swimbaits can kick ass but the cost of grubs are hard to beat. A regular ball head jig and a pack of grubs will cost you less than $3 and you’re good to go.

Want to learn more technique, with some underwater video?
Watch Dave Mercer explain:


Don’t forget these simple but effective baits, you’ll have a blast!

Check out the selection of Kalin’s here: click

And some Rage Tail Grubs here: click

Don’t Be Stupid: Fish Safely In The Cold

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20131111_090620This is the time of year where we begin hearing tragic stories of anglers killed by the cold, in most cases, by errors of judgment.

Since smallmouth bass are highly concentrated in areas of North America where winters are cold, I thought I’d take a few minutes to review a few basic safety tips.

I personally made a stupid mistake several years ago which could have turned out really bad.

The story goes like this…

I was fishing by myself on my Tracker Jet Boat on the Susquehanna in cold weather. It was late February, with air temps of 45F and water temps of 38F. I had taken my PFD off and was drifting down river.

I reached down to pick up another fishing rod when I drifted right into a rock and went head over heals right into the river. I had talked about joining the polar bear club in the past but definitely wasn’t prepared on this day! The shock of hitting the water and my adrenaline combined and I grabbed the side of the boat and rocketed right back into the boat!

Unfortunately, my cell phone was in my pocket (it was ruined) and I had no dry clothes on the boat. I immediately started my journey back to the ramp (about 15 minutes) and got into the car and warmed up. I got the boat loaded and stripped into my underwear and drove off into the sunset.

I often think to myself how lucky I was that I wasn’t in heavy current and that I didn’t whack my head on a rock when I fell in.

So what should you do? Learn from my mistakes!

    1. Wear your PFD! I actually had mine on while under power but when I stopped, I took it off because I had the kill switch cable attached to it and instead of unhooking the kill switch, I took off the PFD. If wearing one bothers you, try one of the small inflatables or a jacket with a built in PFD.
    2. Don’t go fishing by yourself – you never know when you’re going to need help and when the water is cold, this is especially true. In a river situation, the current can pull you away from the boat and you need to have someone there yo help you.
    3. Have a throwable flotation device – this is very helpful no matter if you are in a lake or river
    4. Bring waders if you have any risk of running aground – Jet boats are amazing for getting into skinny water but every now and then, we get hung up and need to get out of the boat deal with poor navigation decisions!
    5. Carry extra clothes and a blanket in a sealed plastic bag so that they stay dry.
    6. Carry a fire starting kit and some snacks, beverages with you so if you end up stranded, you can survive until help arrives.
    7. Keep the cell phone out of your pocket and in a safe place – it’s great to have easy access to your phone for taking pictures of the bass you catch but if you go in, so does your phone.

These are my top recommendations.

If you have some of your own, please leave them in the comments section below!