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Premium fishing lines are expensive these days. One of the best ways
to save a buck without sacrificing performance is to top dress popular
bait casting, trolling and spinning reels.
By Mark Romanack

Newsflash premium fishing lines are expensive. These days with modern advancements like stranded braid, fused lines, co-polymers and fluorocarbon lines no surprise these essential fishing products are expensive. Buying a new reel and filling the spool with any of these lines can be a shock to the pocket book. If an avid angler is filling eight, 10 or 12 matched trolling reels the cost might just break the bank!

The best way to spool all your reels with premium line and still save a few bucks is a process called top dressing. Truth is, most of the line on the spool of a fishing reel never sees the light of day. In the case of a spinning reels that holds 120 yards of 10 pound test line, even the longest cast is going to use less than 1/3 of the total line on the reel.

Things that Go Round and Round

By Mark Romanack
Captain Terry Kunnen of TKO Charters is a master spinner
fisherman who works his craft on the Western Basin of
Lake Erie in May.

Walleye anglers in the Great Lakes region will soon put down their crankbaits and turn to another lure group. About the time the surface waters creep close to 50 degrees, the crankbait bite starts to decline and the “spinner bite” kicks off with a vengeance.

When it comes to catching big fish, crankbaits rule and most of those big fish are taken in the early spring and late fall. During the warmer water periods of the year, nothing out fishes the “spinner” or nightcrawler harness.

Note that the garden variety crawler harnesses you may have fished as a kid aren’t exactly what this army of walleye anglers are using today. Like everything else in the tackle industry, walleye spinners have refined over the years into a lure group that does a lot of things well. Truth be told, more walleye are probably caught on “spinners” than all the other popular lure groups combined!

Fishing spinners with the help of a sinker called a “bottom bouncer” or “bottom walker” is the dominate way that spinners are fished early in the season.  Little more than an upside down “L” shaped piece of wire with a weight on long arm and a snap swivel on the short arm. This unique sinker is tied to the main line at the elbow between the two arms and the crawler harness is attached to the snap swivel on the short arm.

The “Just Right” Walleye Jigging Rod

By Mark Romanack

The author spends considerable time jig fishing for walleye and he often
 recommends that anglers concentrate on bodies of water that will provide
 them lots of opportunity to catch fish. Getting good at jig fishing requires 
repetition and a fisherman simply can’t get that repetition unless he or she 
spends time on the best bodies of water.
used for walleye jigging come in a host of lengths, actions and price points. Not long ago I picked up a rod from a “designer rod brand” and almost fell over when I saw the $425.00 price tag. Yikes, I would be afraid to take a rod that cost that much out of the rod locker! Needless to say I put that one back on the rack very carefully.

For as long as I can remember people have been talking about how this rod is more sensitive than that rod, how this modulus of graphite is better than that one and how if you want a “quality” rod you have to be willing to part with some serious cash.

The one I love the best is watching someone at a sport show trying to pick out a rod while the salesman works his magic. Ever see someone holding a rod while the salesman is putting the rod tip on his throat and talking? The idea here is the rod is “so sensitive” that the guy holding the rod can feel the subtle vibrations from the salesman’s voice.

Spring Starts our with a Bang

By Mark Romanack

The near shore waters of Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay offer some amazing
 opportunities for pre-spawn walleye trolling using crankbaits.
If you’re like me you can’t wait for the first few fishing adventures of the spring. In Michigan we’re blessed to have lots of options in that category. Different anglers gravitate in different directions. For the Fishing 411 crew it’s especially difficult because we enjoy fishing for just about everything with fins and early in the spring the choices are many and the days available to fish are few.

Immediately following ice out, Michigan residents can expect to enjoy some amazing perch fishing in places like Muskegon, White, Crystal and Higgins Lake. Typically these fish are found in fairly deep water and still fishing with live wigglers for bait is the best way to catch a quick limit.

If trolling for near shore brown trout heats up your blood, there are some great destinations to explore. Ludington, Manistee, Muskegon and Frankfort are just some of the ports anglers can expect