Fishing

Fishing

3.3 6
by George S. Fichter, Phil Francis, Tom Dolan, Ken Martin
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

This compact guide to both salt-and fresh-water fishing will help you to:

-Identify the principal sport fishes of North America
-Select baits and tackle
-Hook and land a fish

A basic guide for the novice and a handy reference for the experienced angler, it's packed with useful information and helpful tips on when, where, and how to fish most

Overview

This compact guide to both salt-and fresh-water fishing will help you to:

-Identify the principal sport fishes of North America
-Select baits and tackle
-Hook and land a fish

A basic guide for the novice and a handy reference for the experienced angler, it's packed with useful information and helpful tips on when, where, and how to fish most successfully.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582381411
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Series:
A Golden Guide from St. Martin's Press Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
751,397
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.04(h) x 0.31(d)

Read an Excerpt

Fishing

A Guide to Fresh- and Salt-Water


By George S. Fichter, Phil Francis, Herbert S. Zim, Tom Dolan, Ken Martin, Harry Mcnaught

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 1987 St. Martin's Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-58238-141-1



CHAPTER 1

SPORT FISHING

Sport fishing — catching fish for fun — began in ancient times. Man fished first for food, of course, then made a sport of it. Primitive man used a gorge, forerunner of today's fishhook. It consisted of a piece of bone, wood, or shell sharpened at both ends. A line was tied to its center, and the gorge was hidden in a bait. When a fish swallowed the morsel, the line was pulled tight, lodging the gorge crosswise in the fish's gullet.

Barbed hooks are mentioned in the Bible, and the Red Hackle, an artificial fly first described by the Romans, is still used to this day. By 1496, when Dame Juliana Berners, a Benedictine nun, published "The Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle" in The Book of St. Albans, fishing had definitely become a sport.

Then came Izaak Walton, patron saint of modern fishing, whose classic book, The Compleat Angler, first appeared in 1653. A truly contemplative angler, Izaak Walton enjoyed a day by the stream as much as the catch. His descriptions of the art of fishing are still inspiring.

Approximately 30 million fishing licenses are sold annually in the United States, and an estimated 30 million additional anglers fish where licenses are not required, as in most salt-water fishing areas. Every year anglers take some 500 million pounds of fish from fresh waters and about 700 million pounds from salt. Roughly 25 billion dollars are spent annually on this popular sport. In the United States, there are some 100,000 lakes and more than a million miles of streams and rivers for the freshwater fisherman and more than 90,000 miles of coastline on which the salt-water fisherman can try his luck. Most important is the immeasurable pleasure enjoyed by each of these millions of fishermen.

CHAPTER 2

FISHES

Fishes are a varied group of some 40,000 species, most of which have skeletons of bone. The few hundred species of sharks, rays, and lampreys have skeletons of cartilage. Most bony fishes are covered with overlapping scales over which there is a thin skin that secretes a coating of slime. This aids the fish in slipping through the water and protects it from parasites. A fish's age can be determined by counting the rings on its scales. The typical fish has two sets of paired fins (pectoral and pelvic) and three unpaired fins (dorsal, anal, and caudal). It swims mainly by wagging its body from side to side and uses its fins for steering. A fish breathes by alternately opening its mouth to let in water, then shutting its mouth and forcing the water back over its gills and out the gill openings. As the water passes over the gill filaments, dissolved oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide.

A fish's shape is a clue to where it lives, how it feeds and the sort of fight it puts up when hooked. Fish of the open sea generally have a spindle-shaped body. They depend on speed to escape enemies and to catch food. They fight hard. Many kinds leap from the water as they try to get rid of the hook. Marlins, tunas and mackerels are among these fast, streamlined fish.

At the opposite extreme are flat or chunky bottom-dwellers. Usually slow swimmers, they do not jump when hooked, but may pull hard as they bore deeper into the water. Some will saw the line in two on pilings or rocks.

Many fish that live in quiet waters between the surface and the bottom have a compressed body — flattened from side to side. Members of the sunfish family in fresh water or pompanos, among others, in salt water are of this type.

Many fishes are protected from enemies by sharp spines or spiny fins, some of which are poisonous. A puffer can inflate its body until it is too large for a predator to swallow. Groupers and flounders are among the fish that can change their color or pattern so that they blend with their surroundings.


SENSES

Fish detect danger and find their food by their senses of sight, hearing, smell, and taste. Generally, fish with a well-developed sense of sight are predators; they eat smaller fish or other live, active animals. Their sense of smell is not as well developed as it is in bottom feeders, many of which are scavengers.


SIGHT

A fish's eyes are at the sides of its head; hence it can see behind as well as in front. Experiments have demonstrated that many fish can detect even slight variations in form and that they can see colors ranging over the spectrum from red to violet. Fresh-water bass, for example, often show strong preference for lures that are red or yellow. A fish can focus on near objects and can detect even slight movements in distant objects. Distance vision is limited by the short range light travels in water. Fish that live at moderate depths or those that feed in dim evening or morning light may have large eyes. Fish that find their food mainly by its odor, as do catfish and eels, have small eyes. Fish that feed mainly by sight readily take artificial lures.

Light rays bend in passing from water to air; hence fish's exact location varies with observer's viewing angle.

A fish looks from the water through a circular window, which varies in size with the clarity of the water and the fish's depth.


HEARING

Vibrations travel more rapidly and also greater distances in water than in air. Lures that gurgle, pop, or rattle attract a fish's attention; they can be "heard" without being seen and are effective at night or in murky water where silent lures pass unnoticed. Fish do not hear fishermen talking because these sound waves are in the air, but banging on a boat sets up vibrations in the water that may frighten fish away. A fish picks up vibrations through the ear bones in its skull; it has no external ear openings. Its lateral line, with pores opening to the outside, detects low-frequency vibrations, such as footsteps on the bank, and changes in pressure or current direction.


SMELL AND TASTE are closely related, but smell is effective at a distance, while an object must be contacted to be tasted. A fish's nostrils are blind sacs lined with a tissue that is sensitive to odors. At spawning time, salmon find their way from the sea to their parental stream by the odor of its water. They can be guided to a new spawning area by an odor path of the old stream. Odors given off by alarmed or injured minnows attract predators. Thus, a bass may seek a wounded (hooked) minnow used for bait. Taste organs on the whiskers or barbels help catfish, drums, and others find food. Natural baits, especially those with a strong odor, work best for these fish.

CHAPTER 3

SPORT FISH

Any fish that is fun to catch on hook and line qualifies as a sport fish. Opinions vary about which fish are the most game, however. A 14-inch Smallmouth Bass, a prize catch to a Midwest fisherman, might be scorned by a Florida fisherman accustomed to battling Tarpon or a California fisherman who catches Albacore. Most fishermen agree that salt-water fish show more speed, strength, and stamina than do freshwater fish.

Gameness varies, too, with habitat and climate. Largemouth Bass caught in cool northern lakes often fight harder than Largemouths of the same size from warm southern lakes. Walleyes taken from rivers battle much harder than do Walleyes from lakes. But extra size may make up for the difference, as Largemouth Bass grow larger in the South and Walleyes living in lakes grow larger than those in streams.

The gameness a fish shows depends also on the kind of tackle used. A quarter-pound Bluegill hauled in on a 20-pound test line puts up no fight at all, while the same fish caught on a limber fly rod and fine leader is a real battler. Most fish, in fact, fight gamely when caught on light enough tackle. Light tackle puts more zest in a salt-water fish's fight, too, and really large-size battlers can be bested with light tackle if it is used properly. The fighting chance light tackle gives the fish makes fishing more fun.

Fish normally swim about as fast as a man walks. But when hooked, some fish literally burn the line from a reel. Marlin and sailfish may reach speeds of 60 miles an hour in short bursts. Tarpon can rip off line at 30 miles an hour, and even small game fish, including fresh-water trout and bass, have been clocked at 20 miles an hour. The harder and faster a fish fights the more exciting it is to catch, as any veteran fisherman will testify.

The principal sport fish of fresh and salt waters in North America are described and illustrated on the following pages. Included with the sport fish are some of the common rough and pest species that provide sport or fun simply because they are caught so abundantly or are good to eat.

Both the common and scientific names used in this book are those adopted and recommended by the American Fisheries Society.


SALT-WATER FISHES


WHERE AND WHEN

TARPON range over the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and in the Atlantic north to Virginia and as far south as Brazil. Inshore fish, they often ascend rivers to fresh water. They are permanent residents in the Florida Keys and 10,000 Islands. In U.S. waters they are most abundant in spring and summer, migrating northward in spring.

HOW AND WHY

Trolling, drifting, and still fishing are best methods for big Tarpon. Smaller fish are taken by spinning, bait casting, or fly fishing. Nocturnal feeders, they are caught most readily at night. Favored natural baits are live crabs, pinfish, pigfish, and mullet. Cut mullet or bonito are also good, as are jigs, plugs, spoons, and flies.


WHERE AND WHEN

BONEFISH are found on the flats bordering warm seas the world over. In the continental U.S. they rarely occur north of Biscayne Bay on the Atlantic or the 10,000 Islands on the Gulf. They are plentiful the year round in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. Most active on the rising tide, they feed night and day.

HOW AND WHY

Baiting an area with conch chum, then still fishing is classic fishing method. More popular is stalking the fish by poling or wading across flats. Best natural baits are shrimp, hermit crabs, and conch. Effective lures are pork chunks, bucktail jigs, worm jigs, and flies. Spinning gear is best; fly tackle is more sporting.


WHERE AND WHEN

LADYFISH are found in the inshore waters of tropical seas the world over. They are plentiful in the Gulf of Mexico and range northward in summer to the Carolinas in the Atlantic. Ladyfish are active all year in southern Florida, feeding day and night. They are caught around inlets and over deep flats.

HOW AND WHY

Casting small bucktails with spinning tackle is the best way to catch Ladyfish. Best natural bait is live shrimp, but they also take cut mullet and live minnows. Streamer flies, small surface plugs, and spoons are good at times. Whatever the lure, it should be fished behind a heavy nylon or light wire leader.


WHERE AND WHEN

AMERICAN SHAD enter rivers on the Atlantic from New England to North Florida. Hickory Shad do not occur abundantly south of the Carolinas. Both are caught in fresh water during spring spawning runs.

HOW AND WHY

Most popular angling method is casting small spoons or brightly colored weighted flies with spinning tackle. Trolling is also practiced in slow rivers of the South. Shad are rarely taken on natural baits.


WHERE AND WHEN

ATLANTIC MACKEREL roam the open waters of the Atlantic north of Cape Hatteras. Schools appear off Hatteras in March, migrating northward to New England by late May, and there they venture into inside waters. Elsewhere, they stay offshore.

HOW AND WHY

Trolling with feathers, spoons, or diamond jigs is the standard angling method. After a school is located by trolling, mackerel may be caught by casting with fly or spinning tackle. Natural baits are rarely used, but fish will hit trolled strip baits.


WHERE AND WHEN

KING MACKEREL winter in the Caribbean and along the Florida Keys. In spring, migrations carry them into the northern Gulf and as far north as North Carolina. Usually found a mile or more offshore.

HOW AND WHY

Trolling with spoons or large feathers is the most popular fishing method. Chumming with pieces of mullet is practiced in the western Gulf. Many are taken on trolled baits of ballyhoo or mullet when fishing for sailfish.


WHERE AND WHEN

SPANISH MACKEREL range through inshore and offshore waters of the Gulf and the Atlantic south of Virginia capes. In summer they range northward; resident in southern Florida.

HOW AND WHY

Trolling with small spoons or white bucktail and nylon jigs is the most popular method. Casting the same lures with spinning tackle also good. Minnows and shrimp are best natural baits.


WHERE AND WHEN

CERO MACKEREL are rarely found in the U.S. north of the Florida Keys. Common in the Bahamas. They like coral reefs.

HOW AND WHY

Ceros are best caught by trolling small bucktails or spoons around the outer reefs. Deep retrieves with bucktails are favored.


WHERE AND WHEN

PACIFIC (CHUB) MACKEREL occur along Pacific Coast from Washington south to Mexico. Most abundant off beaches south of Santa Barbara to Ensenada.

HOW AND WHY

Usually caught from piers or small boats on strip baits, live sardines, or anchovies. They readily strike trolled spoons, squids, and small bucktail jigs.


WHERE AND WHEN

PACIFIC SIERRA range from Peru to Baja California. Rarely seen north of Ensenada.

HOW AND WHY

Trolled strip baits, jigs, and spoons are effective. Good live baits are anchovies, sardines.


WHERE AND WHEN

WAHOO are nowhere abundant, but are found in the Gulf Stream and over coral reefs south of Hatteras. Most numerous in Bahamas and West Indies.

HOW AND WHY

Deep trolling over coral ledges is best method. Wire line is often used with large feathers or spoons. Best bait is whole Spanish Mackerel trolled deep.


WHERE AND WHEN

BONITOS range from Long Island to Florida in the Atlantic and in the Gulf. In the Pacific they are found south of Pt. Conception. Usually stay offshore; most plentiful in summer.

HOW AND WHY

Many Bonitos are caught by anglers trolling for Bluefish or for school tuna (10-100 lbs.). Strike strip baits, bucktails, spoons, and metal jigs. In Pacific, live sardines are favored.


WHERE AND WHEN

BLUEFIN TUNA are found from Bahamas to Nova Scotia. In the Pacific they occur south of Pt. Conception offshore. Atlantic school tuna (10-100 lbs.) stay offshore, but giants (over 100 lbs.) work inshore in north.

HOW AND WHY

School tuna are taken trolling with spoons, jigs, and plastic squids and fish. In Pacific, live sardines and anchovies are used. Giant tuna are chummed with herring and baited with mullet or mackerel.


WHERE AND WHEN

BLACKFIN TUNA range south of Cape Hatteras to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Blue-water fish, they roam open seas and edge of Gulf Stream. Summer fishing is best in U.S. waters.

HOW AND WHY

Trolling with strip baits, bucktails, or spoons is best method. Large specimens often hit sailfish baits off Florida. Sometimes caught from compact schools by casting jigs, squids, or spoons.


WHERE AND WHEN

YELLOWFIN TUNA roam the Atlantic south of Hatteras and the Pacific south of Santa Barbara. They are most plentiful in spring and summer in blue water well offshore.

HOW AND WHY

Usually caught more by accident than design, these fish often strike trolled mullet or ballyhoo baits intended for sailfish or marlin. In Pacific waters, they pick up Bluefin Tuna baits.


WHERE AND WHEN

SKIPJACK TUNA or "Oceanic Bonito" occur south of New Jersey in Atlantic and south to Pt. Conception in Pacific. Prefer blue water, summer weather.

HOW AND WHY

Fast trolling with feathers, metal jigs, or spoons is most consistent method. Strip baits are fair for trolling. Live sardines are the favorite bait in the Pacific.


WHERE AND WHEN

LITTLE TUNNY range from New Jersey south in the open sea and edge of the Gulf Stream. Sometimes come close to inlets and beaches. Summer and fall best.

HOW AND WHY

Very fast trolling with strip baits, metal squids, or bucktail and feather jigs is best method. Casting the same lures works well when school is located.


WHERE AND WHEN

ALBACORE are found in the Pacific north to Alaska, often in the deep blue water near shoal green. Most common in summer.

HOW AND WHY

Caught from live-bait boats off California on anchovies and sardines. Trolling with feathers or metal jigs also good.


WHERE AND WHEN

SAILFISH occur in the warmer waters of both the Atlantic and the Pacific. In the Atlantic, Sailfish range south of Hatteras, staying near the Gulf Stream, and into the Gulf of Mexico. In the Pacific, this magnificent blue-water fish is found throughout the tropical waters and north to Baja California. Sailfish are active the year round.

HOW AND WHY

Best method is trolling baits of mullet, ballyhoo, mackerel, or sardines, with line clipped to an outrigger. Sailfish strikes the skipping bait with his bill and jerks the line from the outrigger. As the line goes slack, the bait sinks as if stunned. Sailfish then picks up bait and runs with it. Slow trolling with live fish for bait is also a good method.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Fishing by George S. Fichter, Phil Francis, Herbert S. Zim, Tom Dolan, Ken Martin, Harry Mcnaught. Copyright © 1987 St. Martin's Press. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Golden Guides first appeared in 1949 and quickly established themselves as authorities on subjects from Natural History to Science. Relaunched in 2000, Golden Guides from St. Martin's Press feature modern, new covers as part of a multi-year, million-dollar program to revise, update, and expand the complete line of guides for a new generation of students.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Fishing 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Flare pads in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Son loves it.... gives essential in all areas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago