There are a bunch of world record fish that likely will never be broken.
In some cases records will remain safe due to new regulations. Take for example, Joey “Sturgeon King” Pallotta’s 468-pound white sturgeon that he caught out of Benicia, CA back in July of 1983. Since then, fishing regulations governing sturgeon up and down the West Coast include maximum size limits to ensure the big spawner females don’t get taken out of the gene pool.
In other cases, habitat degradation, development, pollution and over-harvest have all but wiped out the ability of some species to reach record class sizes anymore.
From monster great white sharks to Tuna the size of small cars and brook trout as long as your leg, here’s Field & Stream’s list of 15 (most likely) Unbreakable World Records.
Glide Baits have become extremely popular in recent years. And with good reason: They flat-out catch fish!
They got their start in the world of big bass fishing but striper anglers quickly realized that glide baits were also the ticket for targeting big linesides.
Here are some tips for catching stripers on these deadly lures:
How to Pick a Glide Bait
There are so many companies out there that make quality gliders that it can be a bit overwhelming to try to pick a few out. So, let’s take a look at a few things down here and try to narrow it down a bit.
First off, in my experience, two-piece baits work way better than the multi-segmented kind.
As far as size goes, it really depends on what your goals are. If your only goal is trophy fish, consider going with one of the big 9, 10- or 12-inch baits like the Megabass I Slide 262T Glide,
or the even larger Gan Craft Jointed Claw Super Magnum 303.
These are expensive baits and you won’t get a ton of bites on them, but when you do, chances are they will be really big fish!
If you’d rather go a little less expensive, the River2Sea S-Waver 200 is a good bait for under $50.
I generally run smaller gliders so I can catch the non-trophies as well. The good news is, big stripers will also munch these baits so you aren’t taking yourself out of the big fish game by using them.
The sky’s the limit here on what you want to spend. Generally, the more you pay the more refined the bait is but that’s not always the case. Some companies put out lesser baits and charge a premium just try to get get in on the action.
If you don’t mind spending the cash, the 5.5″ Gan Craft Jointed Claw Kai 148 (around $65) is deadly…
The River2Sea S-Waver in the 168 size is an excellent bait in the $20 range. Also in the less expensive but still effective range is the the Savage Gear Glide Swimmer in either the 5 1/4″ or 6 1/2″ sizes.
Regardless of the bait you choose, be sure that your glider rides balanced in the water. What I mean by that is it shouldn’t be nose or tail heavy and able to stand ups straight without rolling over on its side.
Some baits come with hooks that clearly weren’t designed to handle big stripers so you may have to change them out to stouter models. The trick is to make sure you don’t adversely affect the lure’s action by adding too much weight. On some lures, I’ll add a second split ring between the lure and the hook to give the treble the ability to rotate nearly 360 degrees — this helps reduce a big fish’s ability to use leverage to twist the hooks out.
If a bait seems to be riding a little to shallow, I will also sometimes add a split-ring and barrel swivel to the nose to give it a little more weight forward attitude.
Glide Bait Colors
The best color for a glide bait is pretty subjective. It depends a lot on water clarity, weather and natural forage. My top three favorites are rainbow trout, bone and white or silver with chartreuse. But again, every water is going to be slightly different. Start with finding out what they main food source is and then expand from there.
How to Fish a Glide Bait
Everyone has their own style for fishing these baits, but for me I find I do best when is all the action is imparted with the reel…not the rod. After the lure hits the water, I may let it sink a bit and then, with the rod tip pointed down, I’ll start retrieving it. Some days, the fish like a straight slow and steady retrieve. When you slow grind the lure in this way, it will slowly slide left and right. More often, however, I’ll also impart some stops and starts to the action as well.
By reeling a crank or two and then pausing, the bait will glide off to one side. Then another couple cranks and a pause will send it drifting off the other direction. Sometimes a steady grind punctuated by a couple speed cranks and a pause is the ticket.
You’ll just have to experiment with the action — the fish will tell you on a given day what the want. What you will find is if you go too dramatic with your stops and starts, the bait will sometimes do a U-turn and the hooks will wrap up in the line.
When you get bit, the key is to stay focused and reel into the fish. If you make a quick haymaker, tuna-tosser hookset, you’ll often jerk the bait away from the striper. Some bites are crushing blows, but more often you’ll feel a quick “tick” or “thump” as the fish sucks the lure in.
To ensure you impart the proper action to the lure, don’t wear yourself out on the casts and also capitalize on as many bites as possible, using the proper gear for Glide Bait fishing is really important.
Starting with rods, I like a stick that has enough oomph to cast heavy baits and fight big fish but it also needs a soft enough tip to ensure accurate casts. The top end also needs to be able to “give” when a striper sucks in the bait so she doesn’t feel much resistance.
I use to main rods for this technique: The Douglas LRS C764MF for smaller sized gliders and the Douglas LRS C784F for medium sized ones. You can also check out the Dobyns Rod Champion XP Swimbait series.
One bait rule of thumb to keep in mind is that of your lure twirls through the air like a helicopter, your rod is too still. You know your have the right action when it doesn’t spin through the air.
There are a lot of quality choices out there as far as reels go. In general, I like a big 300-size reel with power handles and a solid drag. Some good choices are the Abu Garcia REVO Toro Beast and the Shimano Calcutta D Series In the more affordable range, some big glide bait fans love the Shimano Cardiff 300A for it’s slow retrieve rate.
Line is a pretty subjective topic — everybody has their favorite. I have found that braid with a fluorocarbon leader works great on the smaller sized gliders but if you want to throw the mega-sized ones, straight fluorocarbon is the way to go. With those huge baits, you are likely to snap one off on the cast with braid and mono ends up getting too stretched out.
It’s cold and stormy out…perfect for revisiting some epic Topwater Salmon Fishing from Alaska. Enjoy!
On the 6 a.m. Southwest flight from Sacramento to Portland on a Monday morning, I am the odd man out. Surrounded mostly by folks in suits and briefcases – business commuters – I’m sporting fleece wading pants, a Gore-Tex parka and stained fishing cap. When we hit the tarmac at PDX, most of my spiffily dressed friends here will shuffle off to work somewhere downtown. I’m headed just a few miles southeast to do something quite the opposite – to go steelhead fishing on the Clackamas River.
This interesting contrast gets me thinking about how big cities and good fishing don’t always go hand-in-hand, but here on the West Coast, we have several major urban areas that play host to some surprisingly productive and diverse fisheries. Here now, in no particular order, are some of the best:
San Diego, CA
You could spend a lifetime sampling all the sportfishing opportunities that the greater San Diego area has to offer and never come close to doing it all. From giant tuna to record class largemouth bass and everything in between, there’s a little something for everyone here.
San Diego is perhaps best known as the homeport of the extremely popular long range fleet that fishes along the Mexican coastline – and points further south. Cow yellowfin, wahoo, dorado, albacore, yellowtail and marlin are the main draws, but there are plenty of calico and sand bass, barracuda, halibut, white seabass, rockfish and bonito in the local inshore waters to keep the small boat crowd happy, too.
Get seasick? No problem – just head into San Diego or Mission bays with some ultralight gear and have a ball with sand bass, spotted bay bass and halibut. Additionally, bay anglers also catch the occasional seabass, bonito, barracuda – and even bonefish. Or, you can always prowl the beaches for small ‘butts, corbina, perch and croaker.
Then there’s the whole freshwater scene. Giant Florida strain largemouth draw record hunters to places like Lake Dixon (formerly home of “Dottie,” the mammoth bass that made so much news a couple years back), Lake Miramar, Lake Hodges and others. As if that weren’t enough, you can also catch trout in lakes like Poway and Cuyamaca.
San Francisco, CA
Of all the West’s big cities, San Francisco may just offer the most diverse collection of angling opportunities. Right outside the Golden Gate there are lings, rockfish of every size and color, albacore and Chinook salmon to chase. And who could forget the Dungeness crabbing? Inside the bay, there’s terrific striped bass, sturgeon and California halibut fishing all within sight of the city’s high rises.
Shore-bound anglers can fish San Francisco’s ocean beaches for perch and striped bass or venture to one of the region’s many freshwater lakes that kick out a wide range of fishing that should suit just about everybody’s taste. Most feature put-and-take trout fisheries, along with bass, panfish and catfish. Check out Lake Chabot, Del Valle Reservoir, San Pablo Reservoir, Shadow Cliffs Lake and many others.
Just inland lies the vast Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that pumps out all sorts of mixed bag action. Stripers and sturgeon probably get the most attention here, but the Delta also has a solid reputation for harboring good numbers of jumbo largemouth bass, along with a modest population of smallies. The place is also teeming with catfish that can go from paniszed bullheads to blues and channels that have topped the 50-pound mark in recent years.
Location, location, location! Situated about an hour and a half from the coast and just minutes south of the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, Portland is an angler’s dream. Right downtown there’s some of the best sturgeon and spring-run Chinook salmon fishing to be found anywhere in the two big rivers. Smaller tribs like the Clackamas and Sandy rivers play host to seasonal runs of winter and summer steelies, springers, fall Chinook and coho salmon.
An hour east is the amazing Columbia River Gorge and more epic sturgeon, steelhead and salmon action – plus smallmouth bass and walleye, too. To the west lies the fabled Tillamook Bay area, which is the epicenter of some of the West Coast’s best salmon and steelhead fishing and there’s plenty more up north across the Washington border.
Los Angeles, CA
Much like San Diego, there’s a ton of saltwater fishing to be had off LA. Near shore, you’ve got calico and sand bass, barracuda, bonito, mackerel, halibut, sheepshead, sculpin, white seabass, cabezon, lings and rockfish. Get out into the blue water and you’ve got a shot at big game species like bluefin and yellowfin tuna, dorado, albacore and billfish.
Newport Harbor is an exciting fishery for the light tackle aficionado and fishes a lot like a bass lake. By tossing small plastics around pilings and under boat docks, you can expect to catch sand bass, halibut and croaker. For a really interesting experience, hit the beaches around the Santa Monica Pier in July when the sand crabs are out in force. If you look closely, you should be able to see plenty of corbina working the foam line right at the feet of the scads of waders, swimmers and boogie boarders.
If coldwater species are your thing, check out the trout fishing at places like Irvine Lake and Santa River Lakes, where chasing oversized planter rainbows on featherweight tackle is almost a religion. There are big bass here, too. Though not the glory hole it once was, Lake Castaic has produced a number of monster largemouth, including a 21-pound 12 ouncer that narrowly missed the world record for the species by ounces. Other waters to check out include Piru Lake, Lake Casitias and Ojai Lake. If you’re into stripers, try Pyramid Lake near the Grapevine.
It may be the smallest town on this list, but the Capitol City can hold its own. Flowing smack through the heart of downtown are both the American and Sacramento rivers and then you have the Feather River just north of the airport. All three play host to excellent runs of Chinook Salmon and several other species.
Anglers flock to the Sac and Feather every spring for world-class striped bass fishing, while the American is more of a size over numbers game. Good shad runs also enter these streams April through June and the Feather gets a run of small fall steelhead, too. Most of the action in the winter comes courtesy of the American, where winter steelhead to 15 plus pounds are taken – or the Sacramento which yields big sturgeon to bait anglers.
To the southwest is the vast Delta system and all it has to offer, while Folsom Lake is an excellent trout, king salmon and bass fishery. Lake Natoma doesn’t produce a lot of fish, but a handful of rainbow trout over 20 pounds have been landed there. Then you have a myriad of lakes within an hour’s drive in any direction, including popular Lake Berryessa, Camanche Reservoir, Sly Park, Union Valley Reservoir, Lake Pardee and Lake Amador.
Because it’s bordered by both fresh and saltwater, the Emerald City is another urban area that features great fishing diversity. Just yards off Seattle’s western edge, you can catch king, coho, pink and chum salmon, plus rockfish, lings, halibut and crab in Elliot Bay and Puget Sound.
To the east, the city is hemmed in by Lake Washington, which produces good cutthroat and rainbow trout fishing, along with yellow perch and smallmouth bass. Additionally, sockeye salmon migrate up through the Ballard Locks and into the lake in the summer months. On years when biologists determine there are enough salmon in the lake to reach escapement goals, they open it up to anglers and a zoo-like troll fishery materializes overnight.
Just over the hill from Lake Washington is Lake Sammamish, which gets seasonal runs of coho and king salmon to go along with a nice resident population of smallmouth bass.
For the river fishing enthusiast, there are several rivers that serve up nice salmon and steelhead action, including the Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Tolt, Snohomish, Wallace and Sultan to name a few.
So there you have it – there’s some pretty good fishing to be had in the concrete jungles of some of the West’s largest cities. On that next business trip, you just may want to pack a travel rod in with your laptop!
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