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Entries in books (231)


How and Why Weather Affects the Bite

This is an excerpt from the "Weather" portion of my book, Better Bass Fishing. Of course, the book is written mostly for bass anglers, but this section --- as with many of the others --- can help you become a better angler in general by understanding the "big picture."

Generally moving from west to east, areas of high and low pressure determine our weather.

As high pressure moves in, winds tend to blow clockwise and away from the center. Weather within the center of a high-pressure area features clear sky, dry air, little or no wind, and cooler temperatures. Especially during fall and winter, high pressure brings sunny, blue-bird skies, cold winds, and poor fishing.

With the approach of a low-pressure area, the wind blows counter clockwise and toward the center. Weather within the center of a low-pressure area features cloudy sky, high humidity, light winds, steadier temperatures, and possibly precipitation. Fishing almost always is better under these conditions.

Changes occur as one type of pressure is pushed out by another. A low pressure area moving in typically brings unstable weather and falling barometric pressure. Falling pressure, anglers know, typically coincides with better fishing.

But maybe not for the reason that many believe. Some think that high pressure makes fish uncomfortable, which is why they don’t bite well upon the arrival of fair weather and a rising barometer. They also believe that falling pressure prompts fish to become more active.

Actually, what probably happens is that falling pressure allows plankton and tiny invertebrates to become more buoyant and float upward. This makes them easier prey for shad and minnows. The increased activity of these forage species, in turn, triggers bass and other game fish to feed.

Or, falling pressure simply might be an indicator of more favorable conditions overall, according to Bob Ponds, a former professional angler who worked as a radar specialist and supervisor for the U.S. Air Force and the National Weather Service.

“If you have falling pressure, you’re going to have high humidity and clouds. It will be darker and the fish will stray out farther from where they have been hiding and they will bite better,” he says. “Barometric pressure doesn’t affect how fish bite so much as it indicates conditions that affect how they will bite.” 

This book is available at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. But it often is sold out at Amazon.


August Sucks!

Ask me what I like about nature, and I can write a book. Ask me what I don’t like, and I need just one word: August.

Your August might not be the same as mine, especially if you live in a northern state. My August in the Missouri Ozarks is hell on earth, with no regard for the calendar. Typically it extends from the middle of July to the middle of September. But it could raise its demonic head in early July and its forked tail might not slither into fall until October.

What don’t I like about August? For starters, mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, sweat bees, and flies. August is a banner month for them all here at my house in the woods. Only then do I barbeque before an audience of thousands, none of them human and all of them believing that I am the entrée. Only then am I crawled on, sucked on, and stung so many times that I feel them scurrying up my legs, scooting along my back, and whining in my ears --- even when they are not.

Excerpt from "August" in Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies: Growing Up With Nature. Available at Amazon, the book has 43 five-star reviews.


"Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better"

--- Albert Einstein


Want to Be a Better Angler? Here's How

When you catch fish, don't just take note of the bait. Pay attention to lake conditions, weather, and time of day. If you were fishing visable cover, how close did you throw to it? What kind of retrieve were you using?

When you share a boat or shoreline with someone who seems to be a better angler than you, watch his behavior as well as your own.

Learn from him by paying attention to all of the little things that he does, especially if you are both using the same bait and he is catching more fish. How is he holding his rod? Is it higher or lower than yours? Is his retrieve steady or erratic? Are you retrieving as slowly or quickly as he is?

Also, are you using the same kind of reel that he is? That can make a big difference. Different models of reels retrieve line at different rates, depending on the gear ratio. Some are a blazing 9.1: 1. Others are 5: 1. The higher the first number, the more line is retrieved on each turn of the reel handle. That makes it a "faster" reel. You can slow down with a fast reel, but it's really tough to speed up with a "slow" reel. So, if your angling partner is using a faster or slower reel than you are, that could make a difference.

If the fishing is tough for both of you, here are some angler-behavior strategies that might work: Slow down your retrieve, especially if you're fishing a worm or other soft plastic. Use a smaller bait. When fish aren't aggressive, they sometimes prefer smaller prey. Use a different color bait. "Shades" (dark, light) usually are more important than specific colors. But if fishing is tough, a slight variation can make a difference.

Excerpt from "Angler Behavior" in my book, Better Bass Fishing.


Activist Angler Writes Book About Dogs

Local fishing expert and award-winning writer Robert Montgomery’s fourth book in less than five years has recently been released.

Unlike his previous books, however, which are mainly about nature, conservation, fishing and the appreciation of nature, “Pippa's Journey: Tail-Wagging Tales of Rescue Dogs” is about dogs, specifically adopted dogs, and highlights the efforts of Farmington Pet Adoption Center (FPAC) and other no-kill shelters.

Pippa’s Journey describes the “often funny, near tragic, and always exciting ride” Montgomery took with his dog during their first four years together. He dedicated the book “to man’s best friend and no-kill animal shelters,” and is donating a portion of the profit from the sale of each book to the Farmington Pet Adoption Center, where he found Pippa in 2013.

Read rest of article in Daily Journal.