In my travels, I run across a lot of fishermen especially out at the lakes. When I ask what they are using, the answer is usually Power Bait. "Are you using a slip sinker rig?" Most say yes. "Are you catching anything?" Some say one or two or nothing yet. I try to explain what I use, but it's hard without a picture of some kind, but I always leave a card (An Avery business card stock with the name and URL for Northern California Trout and the newspaper I write a column for)and say "Stop by and check out the blog. A lot of good stuff there".
Then there are times when I sit within a 100 feet of a guy fishing with a "slip sinker rig and Power Bait" who catches nothing while, I walk away with a limit. I know I've said it before and I'll say it again that I feel bad when that happens. My mission and the mission of Northern California Trout is to help other people catch fish.
So I wanted to do another post on the slip sinker rig on my rod with 4# test line and add in things that work for me.
Here is a picture of my slip sinker rig. Double click so you can get a good look at it.
Start with the sinker: Egg or sliding sinker in 1/4 oz, 3/8 oz, or 1/2 oz depending on how much wind is blowing.
Barrel swivel: #7 gold barrel swivel. You can get them anywhere. Why #7? Seems to work the best with all three sizes of sinkers.
Leader: 4# fluorocarbon leader 18" to 24" depending on how far out you are fishing. If you're fishing in a lake with a lot of undergrowth, you can always lengthen the leader to 36" if necessary. I use Trilene 100% fluorocarbon and Maxima 100% Fluorocarbon Leader. I've been asked why I don't use 2# and the reason is that I've had it break too many times fighting a fish. The only time I've used 6# was in the Camanche Trout Pond when the fish were consistantly running big. I had a 6# leader snapped by one fish in the pond.
The hook: You can get gold treble hooks in various sizes. #18 (smallest), #16 (bigger), #14 (bigger yet) and so forth. A #18 is my hook of choice. Why, you ask? When fishing Power Bait (lets mention that I always use plain old Berkeley Rainbow Power Bait), all you need is enough to cover the hook (the ball should be about the size of a pea). Fishing with Power Bait, the phrase "bigger is better" does not apply. I took my Grandson fishing up at Red Lake one fall and he got into the "bigger is better" syndrome. Being a smart Grandpa, I gave him a bottle of Power Bait that I didn't use and said, "have at it". By the time he was done, the bait ball was the size of a golf ball. He didn't catch anything on it, but had a really good time.
Now comes the kicker. When I first started (I should say got back into) this fishing thing, I came across a guy out of Lake Tahoe by the name of Mark Wiza. Mark is a great fan of Pro-Cure bait scents. In many of the stories he wrote, he talked about this scent or that scent and the fish he caught using it. So, being a listener to those who know, I stopped by Fisherman's Warehouse in Sacramento and picked up a half dozen bottles.
Anise was always a good scent for trout. Back in the day, before Berkeley Power Bait (you might not be old enough to remember), we used to make our own floating bait out of Velveeta cheese, anise oil, and a packet of stuff that made it float. Throw it all in a pan on the stove (without telling the wife), heat it up, stir it around, and let it cool. Floating cheese bait.
Sweet Corn, well you've heard in the last bunch of posts how that works. Trophy Trout flavor. Haven't caught anything on it, but the cats like it. I also have a shad flavored one and a krill flavored one, and one or two more.
The scents come in a squeeze bottle and are easy to apply to your power bait. Could make the difference in being skunked and catching a limit. One other thing, when you apply, don't be shy. Hey, poetry..........
I hope that helps someone out there. I was approached at the supermarket yesterday by a gentleman I've talked to for years and is just now retiring. He wants me to teach him to fish. We'll be starting, probably in spring, and wants to learn everything. Aaah, a clean slate with no previous bad habits. I can't wait.
OK, enough blabbering. Till next time.