Bass Fishing Pennsylvania: Top 5 Places for a Weekend Trip

Whether you’ve been bass fishing your whole life, or you’re just getting started, there is nothing more exciting than fishing new bodies of water. Fishing new areas can help you develop your skills and make you a better all around angler. So, with that in mind, let’s run through the top 5 places for bass fishing Pennsylvania!

catch more bass fishing app banner 1

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania: Cowanesque Lake

Cowanesque might not be well known, but it has some incredible fishing opportunities. For example, last season I participated in a 3-day bass fishing tournament held by The Tackle Shack in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. We were suppose to fish a different lake each of the three days for the tournament, but mother nature had other plans for us, flooding out two of the three lakes. So, we were confined to Cowanesque for the tournament.

The dam held back the water until one day before the tournament, and when they opened the gates you could see the current from the main channel running through the lake. The water got incredibly dirty from all of the rain and the fish I had located before the tournament moved with the influx of rising water and current. When we located them, they were using offshore rock piles and structure to feed with the current. It was a blast, but the teams that found the best current breaks caught some giants. They won the tournament with a couple of giant bass weighing over 6 pounds.

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania(1)

A beautiful 6.5-pound largemouth from Cowanesque lake. Image Credit: Jennifer Lynn

Cowy, as the locals call it, is a beautiful body of water in North-Central Pennsylvania. You can catch bass using shaky heads, chatterbaits, and jigs around the rock piles and structure. The best time of the year to chase the bigger bass is right as the post-spawn kicks into gear and the fish move out to the deeper water.

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania: Raystown Lake

Raystown Lake will always be on the list for the top lakes to fish for bass in Pennsylvania. It is the state’s largest inland body of water and has about every possible structure and cover imaginable along with different supplies of bait fish for largemouth and smallmouth to feed on! Although many anglers find Raystown to be tough to find fish throughout the year, there are plenty of bass to be caught.

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania(2)

Raystown is always about fishing your strengths. With long underwater points, bluff wall’s, and shoreline timber and stumps, there are plenty of techniques you can lean on.  Raystown lies in the South-Central part of the state, so if you’re ever in the area, be sure to give it a try!

bass fishing blog cta equation

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania: Joseph-Foster Sayers Dam

Although this is a small body of water in Central Pennsylvania, the bass are really big!

With many different offshore rock, roadbeds, and submerged timber, these bass can be caught on a variety of techniques depending on the time of year. With multiple bass weighing over 7-pounds in the last few years, this lake gives anglers the feeling that their next cast could be one that gives them a shot at the fish of a lifetime.

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania(3)

A fish of a lifetime, 9.8-pounds, caught in the springtime. Image Credit: Nature Inn

The best baits are normally crawfish imitators like jigs, crankbaits, and texas rigged creature baits. Spinnerbaits and chatterbaits will also land some great fish in the spring and fall.

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania: Hammond Lake

Just down the road from Mansfield university is a little secret smallmouth lake. With plenty of shallow cover and some deep offshore structure in the way of humps and stumps, these smallmouth can be caught in a variety of ways!

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania(4)

The best advice I can give, versatile and keep in tune to what is going on around you. Fish the conditions. There are plenty of smallmouth in the 4-pound range which are normally targeted with moving baits and Carolina rigs. As the water temperatures rise, target the offshore structure until the smallmouth pull up shallow to stage for the spawn. This is the best time to target them with moving baits along the shallow cover.

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania: Lake Erie

We’ve saved the best for last. Lake Erie out of Presque Isle Bay features the best smallmouth fishing the state of Pennsylvania has to offer. Whether you’re targeting the bay, or headed out into the big water, there are monster smallmouth to be caught, and plenty of them to go around! The bay also offers numbers of largemouth in three 3 to 5-pound range.

Be sure to watch the weather closely if you’re planning on running out into the main lake as it can get nasty pretty quickly, but on calm days, dropshots and tubes work wonders. For the bay, any style flipping bait in the grass can lead to some great bites as well. If you’re looking for an inside scoop, be sure to check in with MLF Pro, Dave Lefebre, who actually lives on the lake!

You can watch an episode from the ANGLR Tour on Lake Erie below!

A Step By Step Guide to Changing Your Boat Propeller With Mercury Marine

Anglers and boaters alike all know the struggle of changing out a boat propeller. Whether you’re removing the boat propeller for maintenance, or replacing the boat propeller for better performance and durability, this process can leave you frustrated and scratching your head.

We’ve been there!

So, we decided to help everyone out by giving you step by step instructions for removing and installing a boat propeller on your outboard engine.

bass fishing blog cta equation

Removing Your Boat Propeller Step By Step

Removing Your Boat Propeller: Step #1

Before getting to the nuts and bolts of this operation, you must first equip yourself with the tools to get the job done. Now, you’ll need a socket, usually 1 1/16” will do the trick, but if you have a socket set, we recommend having that handy as not all sizes are the same and can vary by manufacturer. Once you figure out your socket size, equip yourself with a 2X4 or 2X6 piece of lumber, this will act as a stopping mechanism to hold the propeller in place and prevent the propeller from spinning when removing the nut. A final piece of equipment you can have at your disposal would be a torque wrench for installing your propeller which we will get to later.

Removing Your Boat Propeller: Step #2

Once you have the necessary tools listed above, you’re ready to dive into removing the propeller. Take your socket and fit it onto the nut, use your other hand to hold the 2X4 in place until the propeller makes contact, creating a wedge. Once the block is in place, you can then begin using the socket to remove the propeller, moving counterclockwise.

Removing Your Boat Propeller: Step #3

Once the nut has been removed, you’re ready to remove the propeller and other pieces. Simply slide the propeller up and off of the drive shaft. Be cautious in this process as to not lose or misplace any of the smaller pieces like the aft adaptor or delrin sleeve. Make sure to note the order in which these pieces were placed prior to removal in the case that they fall out of the propeller during removal. Once all these components are removed, you have successfully removed the propeller!

Now that you’ve successfully removed the boat propeller, you’re ready to perform maintenance like removing grass or fishing line wrapped around the drive shaft, greasing the drive shaft, or simply grab your new propeller and get ready to install!

Installing Your Boat Propeller Step By Step

Installing Your Boat Propeller: Step #1

In the case that you’ve removed components like the aft adaptor and delrin sleeve, the first step of this process would be adding the delrin sleeve to the bottom of your propeller. From there, you can take your aft adaptor and slide it into the top of your propeller. Once your assembly is ready and set inside the boat propeller, you’re ready to slide the entire assembly onto the drive shaft!

Note: It may take some time aligning the assembly onto the drive shaft, simply rotate the assembly until the assembly aligns with the ridges on your drive shaft.

Installing Your Boat Propeller: Step #2

Once your propeller and assembly are back onto the drive shaft, you’re ready to lock your nut back into place. Hand tighten the nut, spinning it clockwise, to save yourself some time before taking your socket or torque wrench to tighten it further. Be sure to keep your 2X4 nearby for this process to act as a stopping mechanism to hold the boat propeller in place and prevent the boat propeller from spinning when tightening the nut.

Installing Your Boat Propeller: Step #3

Once the nut is hand tightened, you may now use a torque wrench to reach the specification of 55 pounds of torque. If you don’t have a torque wrench, no need to worry, simply tighten down the nut with your socket. It will need to be pretty snug to avoid coming off when running your outboard. Once the nut is snugly in place, you’ve successfully installed your propeller.

Boat Propeller(1)

Congratulations! You’re now ready to hit the open water!

bass fishing blog cta equation

For more information on this process, tune in as Dirk Bjornstad walks you through removing and installing a boat propeller, step by step in this video from Mercury Marine!

A List of the Top 10 Fishing Accessories for Under $40

Are you tired of never knowing exactly what to get the angler in your life? Whether it’s their birthday, Christmas, or just because you want to show your support, it’s tough to find the right fishing accessories to give as a gift without breaking the bank!

As anglers, we know the struggle our friends and family members endure, so we’ve decided to help them out. Below you will find 10 fishing accessories that won’t break the bank, but will also help the angler in your life while they are on the water!

Rapala RCTDS50 Compact Touch Screen Digital Scale – $29.99

Let’s face it. We’ve all heard the old adage about fishermen loving to exaggerate about their catches. Well, if you’re tired of hearing about the giant bass without any proof, get them a scale!

This digital scale will be helpful to any angler wondering just how big their catch is. They can be purchased in most outdoor sections of retail stores, or you can pick one up today here.

Fishing Accessories (2)

Strike King S11 Optics Polarized Sunglasses – $28.99

While these sunglasses may leave your angler with one heck of a tan line, they will also protect their vision when out on the water for hours on end. Anglers also know the importance of polarized sunglasses as they help with the ability to see into the water with more clarity. This can lead to seeing fish that other anglers may pass by.

With so many advantages to polarized sunglasses, you can rest assured knowing the angler in your life will wear these glasses as long as there are fish to be caught! You can find these sunglasses in most tackle shops, or you can buy them here.

Fishing Accessories

Accu-Cull Elite E-Con Tags Culling System – $31.94

If you’ve never heard of culling, here’s a quick lesson for you. For tournament bass anglers, most events allow for a 5-fish limit. This can consist of the anglers 5 biggest bass throughout their day on the water. Once the angler has 5 keepers, they can then upgrade if they catch a bigger fish. This is called culling.

Now, anglers like to use a culling tag system to mark which fish is their smallest so they can save some time during their tournament day. The Accu-Cull Elite system is one that won’t harm the bass, and will allow for quick and easy identification for the angler. You can find these in most tackle shops, or you can grab a set here.

NRS MightyLight Dry Sack – $39.95

Up next, we have a place for anglers to store electronics and clothing! A dry bag can be a saving grace for any angler. They are simple to use, and can store loads of gear in a dry and safe area.

Simply put the gear in the bag and go! These dry bags are great for kayak trips, canoe trips, and even a day spent boating. They’re easy to transport and can save anglers from quite a headache in the long run. There are many brands and types of dry bags on the market, but you can pick up the bag featured below here.

Fishing Accessories(3)

Hawg Trough Measuring Board (Pre-lined & Floating) – $19.99

Whether the angler in your life is a bass boat tournament angler, or a kayak angler, they will undoubtedly need to measure their fish. Having an accurate board can be the difference between weighing in a legal fish, or having one that might get the angler disqualified.

For anglers who are just out for a fun time on the water, a measurement board can be a great way to confirm just how big their lunker bass was! Either way, a good measuring board is a great accessory to get the angler in your life. You can find many different styles and brands in sporting goods stores, or you can pick the Hawg Trough measuring board from Fishing Online here.

TackleDirect 7.5-inch Custom Aluminum Offshore Plier – $28.95

No matter what species an angler is targeting, there is nothing worse than hooking a fish and being unable to get the hook out. Sometimes fish can be hooked at incredibly awkward and weird angles that make removing the hook a daunting task… without pliers that is.

As you could imagine, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different pliers on the market. So, how do you choose? Well we’re here to help. You want to find a pair of pliers that are resistant to rust and will last for quite some time. That’s why we recommend the TackleDirect aluminum offshore pliers! You can pick them up in-store at TackleDirect or you can purchase them online here.

Fishing Accessories (1)

Erupt Fishing RTD Rod Threading Device – $29.99

This device was announced and released at ICAST in 2018. Since then, it has been a much needed addition to every anglers toolkit. The RTD Rod Threading Device makes threading your rod quick and easy with patented technology that threads line through every single guide in mere seconds!

You can learn more about this device in the video below, and you can buy one here.

Mystery Tackle Box: Pro Monthly Subscription – $26.99

The MTB Pro monthly subscription is the perfect gift for the angler in your life. There’s nothing better than coming home to a box filled with brand new fishing gear sitting on the front porch!

There are three different plans you can get, regular, pro and elite. You can also select which species the angler in your life is pursuing, which allows the team over at Mystery Tackle Box to make sure the right baits are sent to help your angler land the fish of a lifetime! You can learn more and subscribe here.

Fishing Accessories

Line Cutterz Ring – $12.00

Tired of watching the angler in your life constantly bite their fishing line or struggle to cut braided line with a rusty pair of scissors? Well, we’re here to present a solution! The Line Cutterz ring is the perfect gift for any angler! This ring can cut monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided line with ease.

Anglers can wear it on a finger or mount it to fishing rod handles, kayak seat posts, boat rails or anywhere else you can imagine. It’s great for all types of fishing including kayak fishing, surf fishing, chartered fishing and tournament fishing. It features a two-sided stainless steel blade and stainless steel rivet set in an ABS plastic promising ultimate durability and safety. You can get one today here.

Fishing Accessories(4)

ANGLR Bullseye – $29.99

Last, but certainly not least for this list is our very own, ANGLR Bullseye. This bluetooth enabled tracking accessory pairs with ANGLR’s free fishing app to make marking catches and waypoints as simple as clicking a button.

You can clip it or stick it anywhere by using the adhesive backing! With a two-year battery life, this tracking accessory will make collecting fishing data a breeze for the angler in your life. You can learn more and purchase your own here.

NEW COMBO DEAL! ANGLR Bullseye with Line Cutterz Zipper Pull Bundle!

Get the bundle today for only $35!

Line Cutterz (8)

The Story of Line Cutterz: The Best Way to Cut Fishing Line

For years and years, anglers have been cutting their fishing line with a variety of methods. Scissors, pliers, knives, fingernail clippers, and their teeth just to name a few. While these methods have worked for decades, every angler has also dealt with rusty scissors, rusty pliers, rusty clippers, and even chipped teeth!


Because there was never a better, more efficient way! Until a few years ago that is…

Fishing Accessories

The Beginning of a Line Cutting Movement

We met up with the owner of Line Cutterz, Vance Zahorski, who has taken the fishing community by storm.

Vance grew up fishing in Chetek, Wisconsin off of a dock on Prairie Lake. He can vividly remember catching panfish with his grandfather from as young as four years old. Since then, fishing has been the focus of his whole life, and like the rest of us, it’s more than just a hobby… it’s a lifestyle.

Over the years, he expanded from Prairie Lake onto other freshwater fisheries and even some saltwater fisheries. Through this expansion, he was forced to try new baits and thus, started using heavier line to adapt to the conditions and fish he was targeting.

Vance, like many of us, used the tried and true method of biting his line to cut tag ends or swap baits… until he chipped his tooth twice while trying to bite his line.

After this unfortunate scenario and a few trips to the dentist’s office, Vance found himself fishing at his good friend’s wedding near Destin, FL. To start his day, he had thrown a cast net to get some bait. After a few throws, he pulled up a mullet and filleted it prior to sending it out as bait. After a couple of casts, his line took off and he set the hook to begin the fight. A few minutes later, he finished reeling in a 3 foot Blacktip shark, which got tangled in braid. All he had on was board shorts with no pockets, so he ran up to grab his fillet knife to help free the shark from the tangled braid. Amidst the chaos, he didn’t realize how close the knife was and ran right across the blade, almost losing his toe… for entrepreneurs, this was his “Aha Moment”.

The New and Improved Way to Cut Your Fishing Line is Born

After almost losing a toe and taking a few too many trips to the dentist’s office all because of some fishing line, Vance knew there was an opportunity to improve the lives of thousands of anglers. His idea was to create a way to cut your fishing line that was safe and easy to transport. So, he began making a prototype ring out of JB Weld Automotive Putty and the blade from a dental floss box.

Line Cutterz(1)

After a few attempts, the very first Line Cutterz ring was born.

After some long nights spent talking to his wife, Vance decided to leave a great job and a newly renovated house in Arizona to pursue his dream. From the time he made the first prototype, it took about a year before he had a true working prototype that was a little more professional than JB Weld Putty. However, finances got tight during that process and he and his family had moved into his parents’ basement for a few months.

Fishing Accessories

The Highs and Lows of a Startup: Finding Investors

Line Cutterz sales took off, proving that anglers loved his solution, but Vance needed capital to fund the rapid growth. He made a trip down to Dallas to an open interview for the popular ABC TV show, Shark Tank. They loved the idea, and the fact that this ring wouldn’t cut skin, so they put him on the fast-track to meet with the sharks.

Vance’s episode aired on Shark Tank in November of 2016. During that episode, Vance cut a deal with Daymond for $120,000 for 33% of his company.

Line Cutterz(2)

From the time his episode aired, Line Cutterz saw more than 250X growth in a single month. Business was booming.

The Expansion of the Line Cutterz Movement

After this explosion into the fishing industry, anglers were finding a variety of applications for their rings. Guides were mounting it onto the rails of their boats, other anglers were attaching it to their fishing rods. The rings are incredibly versatile and can be strapped anywhere and everywhere.

Line Cutterz(3)

Jackson Kayak even attached it to their seats prior to shipping their fishing kayaks to market!  

Before long, Vance found out from some of his customers that wives were stealing their husbands rings for sewing, so he started a sister company called Thread Cutterz. In February of 2018, Line Cutterz made it on ABC’s The View.

With all of this growth occurring, Vance and his team still make time to share their story with up and coming entrepreneurs by traveling the country visiting high schools, colleges, and other entrepreneurial programs to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Line Cutterz has even made a rumble into other industries. Scuba divers are using these devices to avoid cutting an air hose when fishing line gets tangled around their air hose while underwater. People are even using this technology in the home improvement industry, using it to cut various materials there as well. Vance stated, “there are endless markets to look at and tap into. Bow Fishermen have even reported that they use the ring to cut 200-pound muzzy bowfishing braid.”

So, what’s next for the future of Line Cutterz?

“Our goal is to provide anglers with the best solution to cutting fishing line in every segment of fishing. We have some incredible products coming down the line. The biggest and best-selling is still yet to come.”

Proving His Never Give Up Attitude

One other part of Vance’s story occurred in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Vance and his brother Cullen Zahorski were living in Houston at the time, and lived in the attic of Vance’s flooded house for 12 days‍. Once they were able to make it outside, Vance and now Line Cutterz VP Cullen showed their never give up attitude by delivering packages by kayak and boat!

Line Cutterz(4)

The Full Product Lineup

Line Cutterz Rings – $12                Line Cutterz Flat Mounts – $12          Line Cutterz Zipper Pulls – $13.95

Line Cutterz(5)                Line Cutterz(6)                  Line Cutterz(7)

NEW COMBO DEAL! ANGLR Bullseye Bundle with Line Cutterz Zipper Pull! Get yours here!

Line Cutterz (8)


Fishing Reel Maintenance: Covering the Basics – Casting & Spinning Reels

The warmer weather of spring is making its way to many parts of the country. Anglers from all over are organizing tackle, prepping their boats or kayaks, and getting ready for the bite to fire up. This is all well and good, but many overlook the importance of some basic rod and fishing reel maintenance.

Let’s face it, most of us are forced to put our precious fishing gear up after winter sticks its ugly head into our lives. This leaves our rod and reels sitting there unused for months. We also store them still prepped with the hopes we will get a few opportunities to get out, but it never really happens. Our poor rods are left in whatever condition they are in until spring arrives again.

This is why just a few tools, some reel oil, grease, and a rag will greatly improve the life and performance of your rods and reels. This leaves you in prime condition to land that new personal best this year.

catch more bass fishing app banner 1

Fishing Reel Maintenance: Baitcasting Reels

We will start with baitcaster reels. Unlike spinning reels these are delicate and complicated pieces of gear, especially with many of the advancements in recent years. A complete breakdown is not recommended, just removing the side plates to access the gears and moving parts is all that is needed. I will demonstrate below with my Abu Garcia Black Max.

Fishing Reel Maintenance: Tools Required

  • 10mm socket driver or wrench
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Rag or wet wipes
  • A white towel or mat

Before starting to disassemble anything, always take lots of pictures. This is your insurance policy in case you forget how it goes back together. Placing parts on a white towel is also great as it keeps them from rolling off and makes them easy to spot when reassembling.

Start by wiping the entire reel down with a damp rag. Get into every nook and cranny you can using Q-tips if needed.

Fishing Reel Maintenance(1)

  1. Take reel handle bolt cover off by removing the Phillips head screw. Then loosen bolt with 10mm socket to take reel handle off.
  2. Spin drag completely off. Place drag spacers to side on towel in same order they came off in.

Fishing Reel Maintenance(2)     3. Spin spool tensioner knob off before removing all side cover screws.

     4. Carefully lift off side plate to access inner gears.

     5. Add a little grease to any metal gears to help keep friction down and metal shaving from falling into other                   parts.

     6. Add a few dots of oil to any other moving parts within the reel including the spool.

Fishing Reel Maintenance(3)     7. Reassemble in reverse order before giving reel a few good turns to ensure it is running smoothly. 

     8. Oil up the line guide and spool release buttons and your reel is ready for fresh line.

bass fishing blog cta equation

Fishing Reel Maintenance: Spinning Reels

Spinning reels are a lot simpler and requires no tools for disassembly. All they really need is a little oil in the right spots.

Fishing Reel Maintenance(4)

Simply unwind the tensioner all the way out until the spool slides off. From there add a few drops of oil to each spot marked in a red circle in the photo below.

Fishing Reel Maintenance(5)

Slide the spool back on and tighten it down and give it a few spins to make sure it is operating correctly. It’s ready for some fresh line as well.

Fishing Rod Maintenance: A Basic Cleaning

Rods just need a little TLC to keep them in good shape. Wipe down the entire length of the rod from tip to butt cap with warm, soapy water. Pay extra attention to the threads in the reel seat to ensure a secure seat on your reels.

Inspect line guides for any damage before cleaning them with Q-tips and a little rubbing alcohol.

Doing these simple maintenance tasks a couple times per year will make a huge difference in the life of your rods and reels. It will help ensure smoother and longer casts as well.

Now get those reels apart, slap on some fresh line, tie on a new lure, and get to the water. The fish aren’t going to put themselves in the boat.

Selecting the Right Bass Fishing Lures: Jigs vs Texas Rigs

In bass fishing, there are several baits and techniques that can be hard to distinguish from one another. In this piece we are going to look at two such baits: a jig and Texas rig. Whether you’re pitching shallow cover or fishing offshore, these two baits can be used to target some of the same bass. Let’s look at which works best for each scenario.

catch more bass fishing app banner 1

Bass Fishing Lures: Jigs vs Texas Rigs – Fishing Shallow

When I’m deciding between a jig and Texas rig up shallow, a lot of it comes down to whether I’m fishing an exact target or a strike zone. What I mean by that is whether I’m making vertical presentations or dragging the bait along horizontally. If I’m pitching to stumps or bushes, I typically like to fish a flipping jig. If I’m fishing along laydowns, I like a Texas rigged worm. I tend to get hung less with a Texas rig in laydowns than I do with a jig. And I like the big hook of a jig, its vertical fall, and the bulk of the bait around stumps and bushes.

Bass Fishing Lures- Jigs vs Texas Rigs(1)

I also like the jig more in the spring and the Texas rig more in the summer.

I think the jig triggers more strikes when the bass are aggressive and feeding heavily in the spring where as the bass are a little more lethargic and stressed in the hot summer months from the hot water. They will eat a bigger, more aggressive bait like a topwater lure, but they seem to position a little differently in the summer months like in slightly deeper laydowns instead of up around the stumps when they’re trying to spawn.

The in-between here is that I’ll use a Missile Baits D-Bomb or a tube Texas-rigged in some of the same places I’ll fish a jig. These are both a little bulkier and more compact than a worm and have a more vertical fall for fishing around cover. Where I would use an offset worm hook with a Texas rigged worm up shallow, I prefer a straight shank flipping hook when flipping a tube or D-Bomb.

bass fishing blog cta equation

Bass Fishing Lures: Jigs vs Texas Rigs – Fishing Deep

When talking about the contrast between a jig and Texas rig offshore, we’re looking at a Texas rigged worm over the 8-inch mark and typically a football jig. There are a lot of other jigs that anglers throw offshore like finesse jigs, casting jigs and heavy cover jigs, but the contrast shows up the most between a football jig and a Texas rig.

Bass Fishing Lures- Jigs vs Texas Rigs(2)

For me, a football jig works better in more open water situations with smooth bottoms, rock and little drop-offs. I move to a Texas rig more in grass and brush. Jigs have a tendency to get hung more in brush and also don’t come through vegetation as well as a Texas-rigged worm.

A football jig is easier to keep on the bottom. That’s why I prefer it when fishing areas where I want to maintain bottom contact like drop-offs. When you pull a Texas-rig off of a ledge it has a tendency to glide to the bottom unless you’re fishing it on a heavy weight. As you pull a jig off a ledge, if falls more vertical and can trigger strikes from fish that are sitting close to that drop. A lot of anglers will actually use a magnum shaky head with a worm in situations like this where they want to maintain bottom contact but still use a worm.

Similar to the shallow dichotomy, I prefer a football jig more in the pre-spawn and a worm more in the summer. A lot of that has to do with where I target bass in the pre-spawn, around rock, and where I target bass in the post-spawn, around brush.

Bass Fishing Lures: Jigs vs Texas Rigs – Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a lot of similarities between jigs and Texas rigs both shallow and deep. Honestly, both could be fished in most of the same scenarios, but the key difference is which can be fished the most effectively and where. So the long and short of it, I prefer Texas rigs in deep, dense cover and football jigs in rockier situations. In shallow water, I still prefer the more weedless Texas rig and opt for the jig when pitching to targets.

Bass Fishing Small Ponds: A Great Way to Get Kids Outside

Have you ever been driving down the road and noticed those small two acre sized ponds? You see them along the road, behind someone’s house or in the middle of a patch of woods or even in a farmer’s field. I call them little gems because these ponds are like a diamond in the rough. I always get excited when I spot one because it’s almost guaranteed to have bass in it, and big ones to boot! Bass fishing small ponds can be some of the most fun you can have, and take you back to your roots!

These little gems are also a great way to expose children to fishing and nature. A lot of the time the fish in these ponds are unspoiled by human contact, so let’s talk a little about how you might respectfully approach the owners of the ponds and some of the ways you and your children can catch these fish!

Bass Fishing Small Ponds(1)

Bass Fishing Small Ponds: Getting Permission to Fish

Your first step is getting access to these little gems. My number one concern is not to violate the rights of the property owners or get arrested for trespassing. You have no right to fish a private body of water without the permission of the owner(s). A lot of ponds are on private property, like golf courses, a farmers land, someone’s backyard or may even be owned by a sportsman’s association. I like to approach the landowner and ask for their permission to fish before anything.

Remember, the worst thing they can do is say “no”, and that’s when having a child with you can sometimes be an advantage!

If it is the property of a sportsman’s club, ask someone how to join the club. A lot of them only charge five to ten dollars for a year for membership and most times, kids under the age of 16 are admitted free.

Back to the landowner; make sure you introduce yourself as well as the child or children. Always tell them you will respect their property and practice catch and release unless they ask you to keep what you catch. This can be the case for these little gems that need a little population control. If you return to fish the pond make sure you check-in with the owners before you fish and always check-out when finished to assure them you are responsible people and that you are there to fish, not to be nosey or cause property damage.

Whatever you do though, always make sure you take all trash with you even if it is not yours.

If you find a gate open leave it that way and if the gate is closed to make sure it is closed and secured after you pass through. Perhaps, sometime after you have been there a few times, you may want to offer to help the owners with some minor work around the property. Just don’t be a nuisance and if there are a lot of cars parked out front, just keep on driving by. It could be a family gathering and no one likes having family time interrupted by a stranger. What I am saying is give them the utmost respect and you should be treated in the same manner.

catch more bass fishing app banner 1

Bass Fishing Small Ponds: Gear and Baits

Baits for Bass Fishing Small Ponds

Now that we’ve got the formalities out of the way, let’s talk about lures! My favorite, don’t leave home without it, lure is a 4-inch or 5-inch Yamamoto senko in green pumpkin. I don’t know why or what it is about this bait, but it is one of the best fishing lures of all time. The fish catching ability of this stick worm is unsurpassed. The easiest way to fish it is to dead-stick it. When dead-sticking, I rig Senkos one of two ways, weightless Texas rig or a wacky rig, and by dead sticking I mean throw it out and don’t do anything to give the lure action as it shimmy glides to the bottom.

Once it hits bottom count to 60 and then shake it up off the bottom and let it fall and count to 60 again. It is that simple.

Another type of lure I never leave home is some kind of topwater lure. Whether it is a Heddon Tiny Torpedo, a small frog, or even a River 2 Sea Bubble Pop, I always take topwater lures to small impoundments. The best way to fish these baits is to cast parallel to the shoreline where there might be over hanging grass or brush. The cover provides the fish with a good ambush point and shade from ambient light. If you can teach a child to work one of these properly they will be hooked on fishing forever.

I work the Torpedo in sharp jerks to make the prop on the back treble hook displace as much water as possible while causing the lure to run subsurface for a moment. The frog can be worked in a walking the dog fashion or like the Torpedo. The bubble pop is one of the best designed poppers since the gill plates are open to displace water and create a little bubble trail along with the wake as it walks side-to-side in a walking the dog fashion.

The colors I choose for the topwater baits are imitating bait fish or amphibians.  

Last but not least for must have lures are tubes, grubs and small creature baits like a Zoom Baby Brush Hog or a Reaction Innovations Smallie Beaver. Fish these baits on the bottom around any type of off the bank structure. Stumps, underwater trees, and possibly rock piles. Now for the children fishing around the pond you have got to have Berkley Gulp products like the grub, maggots, or earthworms. Hook them up with a bobber and watch them go nuts!

Gear for Bass Fishing Small Ponds

You might laugh about the equipment I haul to these ponds but let’s start with the fishing rods. I take one spinning outfit six and a half to seven foot, medium action, Duckett Micro Magic Pro rod with a Lews 200 series reel spooled with Sunline fluorocarbon in eight to ten pound test.

My second outfit is a Duckett 7’ medium-heavy, baitcasting rod with a Lews Super Duty reel, 7.1:1 speed, and spooled with 30-pound Sunline SX1 braid. My son’s rods are a six and a half foot, medium action rod for bass and a five and a half foot ultra-light rod for trout, bluegill and crappie.

We also take an ice cream tub, minnow bucket, and a couple of long handled bug nets. Now you may wonder why all the extras when we are going fishing. Well, when you have a son who is fascinated with bugs, lizards, frogs and snakes as much as fishing, then you have to let him go into herpetologist/entomology mode sometimes!

bass fishing blog cta equation

Bass Fishing Small Ponds During the Summer

Lastly, let’s talk summer-time patterns when bass fishing small ponds! This is when I fish ponds the most. Especially when you get in a rut on a lake, a pond can clue you into little nuances and things you may be doing wrong on a lake. When that happens, I like the pond for an uplifting confidence builder. I believe a bass is a bass no matter where; it may be a lake, pond, or river system, but  regardless, they are all ambush predators.

When I approach bass fishing small ponds in the summer I stand back a little and look around for cruisers or any other fish activity. This can be done with a good pair of polarized glasses. When and if I see something, I don’t just run down to the bank and start fishing, I walk down as stealthily as I can. The reason I do this is so I don’t alert any fish to my presence or create any negative vibrations.  Another important thing is to try wearing colors that blend with the background surroundings so you are not silhouetted and spook the fish. I always try to cast past any structure that might have a fish or two on it and I try to contact or bump that target with the lure.

Gin clear ponds are also a great place to test lures and they are good for children to watch fish relate to the bait. I am sure children love the visual effects since it helps them understand fish behavior in different situations.

Bass Fishing Small Ponds(2)

A little adrenaline goes a long way in a child’s heart.

With that, remember to take care of these little gems and by all means leave them the way you found them. Abide by your local and state fishing regulations and always say thank you to the people who let you enjoy their resource!

So quit wish’in and let’s get fish’in!


ANGLR Experts Are Sharing Fishing Intelligence In a Brand New Way [NEW FEATURE]

So, your new fishing app has finally finished downloading. Your expectations soar as you open it up on your trusty smartphone.

Will this be the app that actually helps you catch more fish?

After exploring the features on your newest fishing app that promised you the world, you get the message…

You know the one.

It’s the discovery that the app is selling its users’ fishing locations for one sinfully low price. As soon as you start saving catches, your spots will also be added into its premium offering.

It’s your confirmation this app that was too good to be true really is too good to be true.

It’s a tragedy because mobile technology is an incredibly powerful tool that has the potential to grow and protect our sport instead of trying to prey on unsuspecting anglers.

It’s a tragedy because a corporation is lining their pockets because of your hard work and not giving you any piece of it.

It’s a tragedy because it puts prime fishing locations on precious and fragile fisheries in the crosshairs of app users who are just looking for instant gratification and are willing to pay for it with no limits or control mechanisms in place.

This story is all too common. As anglers, we believe it’s time to change it.

ANGLR Experts Are Writing a New Story

It’s time to rebuild trust in fishing apps as a tool you can securely use and rely on. It’s time for anglers to be fairly compensated for their valuable fishing intelligence.

We set out to build a fishing app that would act as a positive force in this fight and progress the sport. More specifically, we wanted to build a groundbreaking feature that would help anglers protect and offer intelligence that goes well beyond the simple notion of “spots” while maintaining complete control over their content, spots, data… their intelligence that they are trusting us to secure on our platform.

Relying on the direct guidance of our experts, we were able to build a feature that we hope can help turn the page.

We asked our community what we should call the feature and you helped us name it “Intelligence Packs.

Now, with Intelligence Packs as part of their toolset, our ANGLR Experts are re-writing this story on their terms.

Introducing ANGLR Intelligence Packs [NEW FEATURE]

ANGLR Intelligence Packs are complete breakdowns on specific waterbodies that Experts are offering to anglers through our platform. They are blueprints for finding success. Intelligence Packs contain GPS locations, detailed notes, tips, and other educational intel to help other anglers be successful. And, they’re doing it on their terms; their spots, their limits, their content, their price.

Today, the first chapters have been inked by James Elam (Four-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, two-time Bassmaster Open tournament champion, 2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year Championships champion, and 2019 MLF Bass Pro Tour Competitor) and Gene Jensen (Aka. Flukemaster, creator and manager of one of the most popular fishing channels on YouTube focused on teaching the world to fish).

You can view the first two Intelligence Packs to ever be released into the world here:

Enough from us. Let’s hear from these pioneers…

“I can’t physically go fish with every single one of my subscribers on any given lake, but this is as close to having me with them on their boat that they can get.”

– Gene Jensen

“I am constantly approached by anglers who wonder how a professional breaks down a body of water and establishes a plan for game day. ANGLR Intelligence Packs finally provide a way for people like me in the sport who fish for a living to share exactly how this looks while maintaining control over the content and truly help other anglers catch more fish.”

– James Elam

“Information is power, and when it comes to detailed fishing information, nothing comes close to intelligence packs.”

– Dave Lefebre

Why does this matter?

Why? Because there’s nothing better than seeing other people catch a fish. This is why ANGLR Experts do what they do. This is what they live for. This is what it’s all about.

Intelligence Packs are a whole new way to make these magical moments happen more often and scale it in a way that improves and grows the sport instead of damaging it.

With Intelligence Packs, these Experts are transcending the physical limits of mentorship in this great sport. This is a key connection in this industry that has been missing for generations.

Above all, we exist to help anglers constantly improve. We feel this is a meaningful new manifestation of this mission that will truly help our fellow anglers enjoy their sport and share it at a new level. Let us know in the comments what you think!

Important Questions and Honest Answers [Q&A]

At this point, we hope you have some questions. Here’s a few that we’ve already received and answered. We’ll be updating this section as we continue to usher in this new era with the fishing community.

What are ANGLR Intelligence Packs?

Intelligence Packs are exactly what they sound like, a package of intelligence. This intelligence consists of various types of waypoints that are created and organized by trusted and verified Experts within the ANGLR platform. Experts add photos, notes, patterns, baits, tips, tricks, techniques, and other instructions to append to these waypoints. When purchased these “packs” live right inside your ANGLR account where you can toggle them on as you need them for guidance and learning.

Think of packs as virtually guided trips. This is an entirely new way for expert anglers to help others learn tips and tricks that further the enjoyment of being on the water with confidence. They will act like a digital guide next to you the whole time you’re on the water.

How do Intelligence Packs work?

Experts use ANGLR to track their days on the water. They set the prices. They control the volume of packs sold and the duration it is available on ANGLR. We’re giving our Experts a platform to share fishing intelligence with other anglers who want to improve and learn on their home bodies of water or a brand new body of water! You just select the pack you’d like to purchase, log-in or register, and enter payment details.

To locate your purchased pack, you simply log-in to and click on purchased packs. From there, you can toggle on any packs you have purchased and see them in Map View! You can select any waypoint or catch to open the details and insights related to it.

Isn’t this just a new way to burn spots?

Intelligence Packs are to spot burning what iTunes was to music piracy. The goal is to decrease the abuse of spots and the erosion of their value by providing a marketplace that helps sustain their value. And, it’s not about spots. They contain various types of waypoints that are designed in a way to help anglers approach a body of water and fish a certain pattern. These packs are a controlled product by our Experts on our platform. We work with the Experts and allow them to set quantity limits and their own pricing in a way that responsibly shares this information with a limited audience. This makes sure these spots are preserved and shared on a controlled level. Contrast this with the current scenario where a fishing app takes everyone’s spots and shares them with everybody.

Do I have to use Intelligence Packs to use ANGLR?


ANGLR is completely free to:




How else is ANGLR different from other Fishing Apps?

We track your fishing trips from start to finish. 

We automate your logbook. No more manual data entry!

All of your data is private by default.

We help anglers plan, record, and improve with each and every fishing trip. This includes full reports and insights along with an entirely free web application.

Connected devices make recording your trips practically hands-free!

We are anglers helping anglers improve.

Can you guarantee that if I purchase an Intelligence pack I will catch fish?

Even if the Expert was on your boat staring down into the water at a giant largemouth waiting to eat a bait that you drop in the water, then they hand you the perfect rod and reel combo, the perfect bait, and show you the perfect technique to get that fish to bite, there’s still no guarantee that you’d get bit.

That’s why we love this sport so much.

Our Experts hope you understand that all these packs can do is provide you expert advice, data, and insights that they’ve worked hard to learn and package for you to give you the best chance possible.

Trout Fishing Virginia: Fly Fishing in Virginia’s Beautiful Mountain Streams

 With wild trout quietly lurking in 2,300 of its 2,900 miles of trout streams, Virginia’s state slogan should be “Virginia is for Anglers” instead of “Virginia is for Lovers.” In addition to water discoverable by those willing to wear out boot leather in search of a sparkling mountain stream in a private setting, Virginia has over 600 miles of delayed harvest and put-and-take destinations close to population centers and associated road networks. Trout fishing Virginia doesn’t leave much to be desired!

bass fishing blog cta equation

Trout Fishing Virginia: Fishing the Mountainous West

Not surprisingly, the best fishing is in the mountainous west. A 30-minute side trip off I-81 at Abingdon leads to Whitetop-Laurel Creek, a freestone wild trout stream that is the jewel in the Virginia crown. Whitetop has two special regulation areas (single hook artificial) in addition to put-and-take. Whitetop is a medium-sized stream, typically 20 to 30 feet across, featuring the standard set of pools, riffles, and runs associated with perfect wild trout habitat.

Its close proximity to the Virginia Creeper bike and hiking trail built on a converted railroad bed with a wide, smooth surface and a gentle gradient makes it both unique and accessible. The trail gives those willing to sweat a bit the opportunity to get away from any real or perceived pressure near the trailheads.

Instead of making a strenuous hike, smart anglers use a bike to move quickly from spot to spot. Given the popularity of the trail, there are numerous places to rent a mountain bike in both Abington and Damascus. For example, the Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop in Abingdon, charges only $25 for a full day rental of a high quality bike (no department store cheapos) with an angler friendly after-hours return policy, allowing you to catch the evening hatch.

Trout Fishing Virginia(1)

A few cable ties on a rod tube converts a rental bike into a fishing machine ready to travel miles on the trail to find great fishing destinations!

For advice on Whitetop, check in with the Virginia Creeper Fly Shop in Abingdon. As a full-service fly shop, it has gear, guides, and friendly staff. In addition to guiding on Whitetop, their service covers the nearby trout heavens on the South Holston and Watauga tailwaters in Tennessee as well as smallmouth on the New River and the James.

Use a 4 or 5 weight rod and fish the prime time from April through the middle of June with quill gordons, march browns, stoneflies, blue wing olives, sulphurs and even green drakes all making an appearance.  Before you go, understand the trick to fishing Whitetop!

Since the Virginia Creeper trail gradient runs downhill from north to south, most bikers start at the northern terminus for an easy ride, coasting most of the way down to meet a bike shop shuttle at the bottom. In addition, bikers sometimes stop to either watch or have a conversation as they take a break. If you prefer solitude, start fishing at the lower end at either the well-developed Straight Branch trailhead on US 58 (36.644122, -81.739857; restroom, picnic tables and bike rack) or the middle trailhead in Taylor’s Valley (36.630216, -81.707967; no facilities). Once the bike traffic eventually reaches your location, slide over to one of the many sections out of both ear and eyeshot of the trail.

Trout Fishing Virginia: Looking East for More Fishing Opportunities

Heading East, the next major trout stop has to be the South River outside of Waynesboro just off I-64. While the South River has a sad history as little more than toxic dump for the effluent from various industries lining the banks and even catching fire once, miracles do happen. As a result of the hard work of the Shenandoah Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), the river was completely cleaned up and now leverages the large limestone springs south of town pumping thousands of gallons of clear, cool water into a revitalized fishery for wild browns and the normal mix of stocked trout.
Trout Fishing Virginia(2)

The South River is wide with an easy, wader friendly gradient.

While the town of Waynesboro has an easily accessible, stocked urban fishery under delayed harvest and put-and-take regulations, a better bet is the four-mile-long special regulation area south of town opened to the public in 2011. Fishing there requires a free landowner permit obtainable from the VDGIF website or the South River Fly Shop; a full-service store only a block from the river with guide service covering not only the South River but the Shenandoah, James, Jackson and mountain streams in the Shenandoah National Park.

Trout Fishing Virginia(3)

A feisty South River brown trout giving a dirty look as he tries to wiggle free.

In what is a consistent theme for trout fishing Virginia, the best fishing is between April and June with sulphurs, light cahill, and caddis (check with the fly shop for the specific variant) being the flies to use on the end of a 4 or 5 weight rod. The special regulation area requires anglers be on their best behavior to prove to the landowners the risk they took in opening their land to public use was justified. Never stray from the marked angler trail and only use one of the five designated parking areas. All lead to good water with my favorite being the section upstream from South Oak Lane (38.043038,-78.925506).

Trout Fishing Virginia: Fly Fishing the Blue Ridge Mountains

Just north of Waynesboro, the Blue Ridge Mountains scream, “Fish here!”

Two choices. East slope or west slope? I recommend the east slope since the water is more reliable.  The smaller streams on the west slope may go bone dry in years of drought (Paine Run, West Branch Naked, and Madison). The two largest west slope streams, Big Run and Jeremy’s Run, are popular destinations primarily accessible via a tough hike from Skyline Drive.  If you want to fish the west slope, check with the Mossy Creek Fly Shop for real time advice.

Trout Fishing Virginia(4)

Paine Run and other small west slope steams can completely dry up in a bad year as shown in this photo from 2010.

bass fishing blog cta equation

Trout Fishing Virginia: Focusing in on the East Slope

Moving to the east slope, the famous Rapidan River is always a good choice, but do not neglect its lesser-known neighbors – Conway, Rose, Hughes, and Hazel Rivers. Ignore the “river” designation – these are small streams where short 10 to 15 foot casts do the job for waiting brook trout that will eat just about anything presented properly.

Key flies are Mr. Rapidan, mosquito, adams, blue wing olives and terrestrials (ants and crickets).

This is ideal Tenkara water with either the 8’10” Tenkara USA RHODO or Temple Fork’s 8’6” Cutthroat rods being the weapons of choice. Not a fan of Tenkara?  A 3 or 4 weight works fine. Fishing is physically demanding given the need for stealth, with slippery rocks, large boulders, and dense underbrush making streamside movement challenging. Leaving the feasible, yet strenuous, hike to each of these rivers from Skyline Drive to the very fit, most anglers usually approach from the foothills.

The parking area for the Hughes River at the Old Rag Mountain parking lot (38.589848,-78.315321) is approximately a half mile from the trailhead (38.573030, -78.295552) and the public water is another half mile beyond that via an easement across private property. Public pressure on Hazel is controlled by the limited parking (3 cars) three quarters of a mile from the Park boundary (38.614976,-78.256624; walk up Hungry Horse Lane).

Getting to the Conway requires bumping over a rough dirt road doable on a gently driven “flatland” vehicle to reach a small turnout at 38.432682,-78.4338. Once there, bushwhack west and carefully slide down the steep 20-foot embankment to reach the stream; the trail is on the far side. There are good hiking trails adjacent to the Rapidan, Conway, Hazel and Hughes rivers.

Trout Fishing Virginia(5)

The Rose River is worth the hike!

The Rose River trailhead has room for six or seven vehicles (38.514334,-78.365769). After entering the Park, anglers can begin fishing immediately by walking 100 yards downhill to the stream. However, the best fishing is upstream from where the trail takes a permanent sharp turn away from the stream, leaving the angler in deep forest with not even a beaten game path next to the stream. Regardless of which stream you choose, bring a canister of bear spray or noisemakers (whistle or air horn) since the Shenandoah National Park has a robust population of black bears.

Trout Fishing Virginia: Targeting Metropolitan Areas

Metropolitan area anglers in eastern Virginia can also get a trout fix; albeit not in a very scenic setting. For example, Accotink Creek is literally within earshot of the Washington DC Beltway and is a delayed harvest stream just under 2 miles long (38.817891, -77.223881). It’s a sad, lazy puddle of water with muddy banks, overhanging trees and nothing interesting beyond the stocked trout.

Trout Fishing Virginia(6)

Accotink Creek… grateful it is stocked, but no expectations for typical trout scenery.

A better, more scenic option during the stocking season is Chopawamsic Creek on the Quantico Marine Corps Base (38.528413, -77.381977). The best fishing on Chopawamsic is beyond the final vehicle gate.  Walk or “fish bike” upstream to the dam; paying special attention to the two ponds at the top. The creek is open to the public, but everyone, military and civilian alike, must have a Quantico license ($10) available at either the Game Check Station (38.512500, -77.388636) or on Base at the Marine Corps Exchange sporting goods counter (show your driver’s license at the gate). The Base Commander usually closes vehicle access at the turnoff from the main road when the trout are gone.

Trout Fishing Virginia: Some Final Takeaways

In an article this short, I cannot discuss all the great places for trout fishing Virginia. In particular, where you may want to go depends on season, where you happen to be and what is close by. Unlike the days long ago when we would find out about fishing locations through friends and family, there are no secrets any longer. Actually, that is a good thing. Secret water might get polluted or developed if it does not have a constituency. Google “paint branch brown trout” for an example of a wild trout stream in Maryland that would have been wiped out if kept secret.

Trout Fishing Virginia(7)

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has gone the extra mile to ensure anglers know every opportunity to wet a line via the interactive map available on the VDGIF website. Not only does this increase license revenue and the sportsmen spend in local areas, but it gives everyone the opportunity to experience a broader set of locations than are documented in books, websites, or whispered about at Trout Unlimited meetings; spreading the pressure.

Visit the Kayak Hacks Fishing channel on YouTube for fly fishing and kayaking hacks (tips and tricks). For stream specific guidance on trout fishing Virginia, visit or check out Steve’s books available on Amazon:

Originally published in Southern Trout Magazine. Reprinted with permission.


King Salmon Fishing Alaska: The 3 Best Rivers in Alaska

King salmon or chinook salmon in the largest species in the salmon family. These fish can easily weigh +50 pounds. King salmon can be caught in the saltwater, trolling herring and flashers or they can be caught in the rivers as they return to spawn. King salmon fishing Alaska is some of the best king salmon fishing in the world.

Due to numerous factors there has been a decrease in the number of king salmon as well as the size. If you’re planning on going on a guided trip, be sure to explain to the guide your intentions of the fishing trip. Let the guide know if you are trying to target large king salmon and if you wish to release the fish after catching. This will insure everyone understands the plan and can take care of the fish properly. As a guide myself, I wanted to discuss my three favorite places to catch big king salmon in the Alaska rivers in hopes that you might book a trip and attempt to hook a fish of a lifetime.

catch more bass fishing app banner 1

King Salmon Fishing Alaska: The Kenai River

When discussing king salmon fishing in Alaska, it’s nearly impossible to not have the Kenai river come up in the conversation. The Kenai river is home to the world record king salmon caught on rod and reel.

May 17th, 1985 Les Anderson caught the world record king salmon at 97 pounds and 4 ounces on the Kenai River. Les caught the monster fish using a spin and glo with salmon eggs. The same set up Les used in 1985 is still catching 50+ pound king’s today.

King Salmon Fishing Alaska(1)

Les Andersons King Salmon – Image Credit: Alaska Sports Hall

The Kenai river, located in south-central Alaska, is around a 3 and a half hour scenic drive from Anchorage. The Kenai is a popular fishing destination due to its close proximity to anchorage, and moderate road access. The Kenai river is 82-miles long and is broken up into three sections the upper, middle, and lower river. Your upper river is predominantly where you will do the majority of your trout fishing. The lower and middle river is where most of your sockeye, silver, and king salmon fishing will take place.

The Kenai river is a large, fast moving river. Many believe the kings are larger on the Kenai due to the fast moving water, salmon have to fight as they work upstream to spawn. King salmon are a difficult fish to catch. It takes time, knowledge, and execution to hook and net a king salmon.

The most effective method for catching king salmon is to back troll using a spin and glo with salmon eggs, or using a sardine wrapped Kwikfish.

The best time to catch large king salmon on the Kenai river is in July. Specifically the last two weeks of July can be the most promising time to fish. During this time of the year you give yourself the best opportunity to catch a king salmon that is in the 40-pound range.

King Salmon Fishing Alaska: The Kasilof River

The Kasilof river is my favorite place to fish for king salmon! I love this place because it’s one of the best kept secrets in the Kenai Peninsula. The Kasilof river is located just a short 15-mile drive south of the Kenai River and is located in the town of Kasilof. This river is a glacier fed river from Tustumena lake and provides excellent scenery, peace and quiet, and rod bending King salmon!

King Salmon Fishing Alaska(2)

The Kasilof river is a drift boat only river.

Meaning when you are king salmon fishing you can not use a motor. The greatest part? This makes it nice and quiet for you to get that true Alaskan wilderness experience. The other fun part of fishing for king salmon in a drift boat is the fish will have a lot more control. This makes it more challenging to land your hook ups.

However, this can enhance the experience as you chase the king down the river maneuvering it out of rapids and obstacles.   

The king salmon on the Kasilof river tend to be a little smaller than your average kings on the Kenai River. A good king salmon in July on the Kasilof river is anywhere from 30-pounds to 45-pounds. You do see 50-pound kings caught as well, just not as commonly as you would on the Kenai River.

King Salmon Fishing Alaska(3)

The best time to fish this river for king salmon will be June 10-24 or the last 3 weeks of July.

bass fishing blog cta equation

King Salmon Fishing Alaska: The Nushagak River

If you are searching for days full of 25-pound king salmon, the Nushagak River is the place to be. The Nushagak river is what you would call a true Alaskan wilderness experience. There are no roads and it is only accessible by float plane or boat. The most accessible way to the Nushagak river would be taking a float plane from anchorage to Dillingham. Most lodges on the Nushagak are non-permanent structures usually comprised of wilderness tents or yurts.

What the Nushagak river lacks in luxury, it makes up with the high quality king salmon fishing.

The main king salmon season on the Nushagak river will be the first two weeks of July. This river also has some of the largest sockeye salmon and silver salmon runs in the world. Depending on when you schedule your trip you can fish for a number of different salmon species and trout.

King Salmon Fishing Alaska: Takeaways

The Kenai river, Kasilof river, and Nushagak river are my top three recommendations to fish for king salmon in Alaska. Each river provides a unique experience that you will never forget. Each river features world class fishing that provides excellent scenery and wildlife.