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Entries in bass fishing (54)


Line Taming Serum Reduces Coils, Backlashes, Aids Casting

I field-tested John Adams' new Line Taming Serum recently while bass fishing in Florida, and, found it just as advertised: A great product for taking memory coils out of fishing line. It also aids in making longer casts and reducing backlashes.

I tried it on copolymer and fluorocarbon, but it also works on braid and monofilament. Although I didn't test it with ultralight tackle, I suspect that it would be especially helpful for taming light line on spinning reels, which can develop especially nasty coils when coming off the reel. (Here's another tip for helping with that: After a cast, close the bail with your finger, instead of the handle.)

Adams decided there must be a better way after struggling to put line on his reels before a crappie fishing trip. "It was so bad I knew I wouldn't be able to spool in on my reels," he said.

"I started reading on the internet about how fishing line is made and what causes problems with twisting."

On the third try, he came up with a formulation that tamed his line.

"It worked well enough that I could spool the new line on my reels and go fishing the next day," he said. "That was my whole purpose for making my first bottle of Line Taming Serum.

"Over the next few weeks, I made a few more bottles and gave it to some friends. They tried it and liked it."

Then a friend suggest that he sell it. And after field testing confirmed that the liquid didn't weaken line or have any other adverse effects, Adams started doing just that.

You can  find out more at the Line Taming Serum Facebook page.


Fishing keeps us humble, which makes us better people.  Infrequent success reminds us that we have much to learn from those less “intelligent” than ourselves.

From Why We Fish


The Power of Fishing As A Lesson in Life 

Photo from City of Oswego, NY, website

(Excerpt from "The Fishing Triangle" in Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies: Growing Up With Nature. Owner of National Bass Guide Service, author Steve Chaconas catches bass and snakeheads on the Potomac River and is a fishing friend of mine.)

My intention is to teach as much as possible in the allotted time to allow the parent to reinforce on their own outings. Where things get interesting is when the kids return, year after year. I see a little of me in them, noting their focus, understanding, and passion for what they are doing and how they have carried this over to other elements of their development.

When they don’t return, I wonder why.

Zev’s dad booked a trip with me about 15 years ago. He insisted his six-year-old was really into fishing. He also made it clear the trip was all about his son, not for him to fish. I was very happy to hear that, as often the kid is being dragged along so dad can go fishing.

I rigged Zev’s small spinning rod with a bobber and worm and handed it to him with a bit of instruction. He loaded that rod and released it, making a long and accurate cast. I was astonished and asked his dad about it. He said he could cast like a champ. I cut off live bait and tied on a weightless, artificial worm. Cast after cast, Zev hauled in three- to five-pound largemouth bass for the remainder of our trip. I was very confident I had a new regular client. Meanwhile, Dad shot video, with Zev excited about each cast and catch.

As we said our goodbyes back at the dock, I was certain that they would be back for another outing. Zev’s mother was amazed with the video and called me. She was even more excited than her son. They were eager to go out again!

Sadly, I never heard from them. That is until about 13 years later. I was giving a seminar at a Bass Pro Shops when a guy came up to me with his son who was more than six feet tall. Dad asked me if I recognized them. Honestly, I said no. He reintroduced me to Zev! Now a 19-year-old college freshman, Zev told me he watched the video of our trip over and over so many times his dad had to have it transferred to DVD before time took its toll on the tape.

I wanted to know why they never came back. Zev’s dad said they enjoyed that trip so much that he went out and bought a boat the next day. They have fished together nearly every weekend, including team tournaments, for several years. This floored me. From one four-hour trip, I changed the course of their relationship. Well, maybe I didn’t change it as much as I just gave it a nudge.

*           *          *           *

 . . . until kids are really ready, four hours is usually all I book.  One day, I received a call from a woman whose grandson was visiting. I explained my reluctance to take such a young child out on the boat, but she sold me on a trip after we agreed I would take him out until he wanted to go home.

There was no way he could cast, so I started fishing right at the launch area. With a drop shot, I explained the procedure to him. He took to this technique quickly. He caught three nice bass in an hour with grandma documenting the catches with a camera. I shot a few of them together for her as well.

Shortly after, he asked if we could go for a boat ride. I obliged, firing up my Yamaha to his delight. Once the Skeeter was on plane, he grinned from ear to ear. I told him to tap me on my leg if we were going too fast. Feeling nothing, we took a 20-minute ride, stopping a few times to take in Potomac River sights, including Fort Washington, Mount Vernon, Reagan National Airport, and the Washington Monument.

When I asked him what he wanted to do next, he said, “It’s been about an hour and a half. I think that will do it.” Grandma concurred and we returned to the marina. Kids will let you know, sometimes not so directly, when it’s time to go. Don’t argue.  Consider the outing a success!

Instruction to adults also can make a lasting impression. One client has been fishing with me for 20 years. During that time, he has bought a boat, dozens of rod and reel combos, and a boatload of tackle. His wife refers to me as Dr. Bassenstein, as I have created a fishing monster out of her husband. 

Some refer to fishing as a hobby, sport, or an addiction. I prefer to think of it as a lesson in life. It allows us to spend quality time in a quality environment, forgetting about everything else except the rod in hand.  It allows us to focus on something that, in the big picture, really isn’t that important. As far as being an addiction?  It’s only an addiction if you are trying to quit.


Better Bass Fishing has been selling so well these days that I'm thinking of writing a sequel. I have plenty of material. Just waiting to see if my publisher is interested.

Book was published in 2009, but just now seems to have been discovered. Most information in it is not time-related so it doesn't go out of date. Back then I didn't have high-speed internet or access to social media. And even though publisher was one of the nation's largest, it did nothing to promote the book.

Amazon sometimes temporarily is out of stock. Barnes & Noble also carries it.


Happy Thanksgiving From Activist Angler

For the following I am thankful:

  • The fondness of bass for topwater lures.
  • The rainbows that I’ve seen because I got up early to go fishing
  • Bluegill too big for me to hold with one hand.
  • The big bonefish that found my offering, even though my cast was way off target.
  • Thousands of dolphins swimming alongside the boat.
  • The good people that I’ve met and the friendships that I’ve made because of fishing.
  • River fishing on summer nights for catfish, while listening to the baseball game.
  • Bats chasing insects all around the boat under a full moon.
  • Seeing the joy that a child derives from his first fish.
  • The power of fishing to bring us together, no matter how polarized we are politically. 

From Why We Fish.