Keep An Open Mind This Year
By: Charles Stuart

One of the biggest dilemmas in fishing today is the amount of tackle available to the weekend angler.

Every week I get bombarded with "new product" and the "latest and greatest" in baits. I find myself wondering if fishing every day for a year would get me ahead of the stack! I become "gun shy" of another worm, another crankbait or other plastic monstrosities that look like something from STAR WARS!

Well I am here to tell you that it is time for some changes around here and I want you my loyal readers to try something new this season, even if it is only one new lure or a new line or a new scent.

My thought process for this article however, is that I am, like most anglers, an "old fashioned" kind of guy when it comes to tackle. I like what works and do not often stray from my usual "go to" items.

To prove the point I frequently open my tackle boxes when things get tough and I will nearly always reach for the same two or three items. Adding a word to those of Martha Stewart (no relation!) that is NOT a good thing!

As I grow more experienced with my fishing (ED note: Does it ever end?) I find that I think more now than ever about the type of fish I am targeting and where they might hide if I were that fish. My next thought process is what are they eating under these conditions? Which way is the wind blowing, what is the water temperature etc, etc. My biggest asset however is my "gut reaction". I cannot tell you how many times I have said to myself (yes fishermen do talk to themselves constantly!) "What in God's name are you doing Charles"? "You know this is not going to work, so why are you still throwing it"? Sound familiar?

I fish with several people who do not like certain types of fishing style i.e. Carolina rig, crankbaits, buzzbaits etc, etc. Well I am asking you to try the styles you do not usually use, in your local lake or river. Try larger sized baits than you usually throw, or a really bizarre colored spinnerbait. You may surprise yourself with the fish you catch. I went "out on a limb" with my fishing this season and with five top ten places in the last five tournaments I proved to myself that change is good and I feel this could be my year because I dared to be different.

Here are a few fishing tackle items you might want to try for the 2000/2001 season. I have tried and tested all these items and can personally give my seal of approval!

SNAP-SET Spinnerbaits & Buzzbaits (608) 348-5614.
This is the best spinnerbait and buzzbait on the market! (Wild colors!)
Budz Fishin Wayz Gitzits (888) 758-2864
If you liked Bobby Garlands Gitzits, these are the new owners. (Wilder colors)
Hooks and G-Line by Gamakatsu. Available from Causeway Bait and Tackle (516) 785-3223.
The best hooks fishing line in the world. Forget the rest buy the best!
Kick-N-Bass fish attractant and scent (800) 605-2277.
Puts more fish in your livewell! This is the best fish attractant I have EVER used!

So this season I have decided to not only open my tackle boxes but also my mind to the possibilities of other lures and accessories making the difference. All to often we are fooled into using something because someone "only last week" caught forty fish in two hours on such and such a bait! Well I can tell you that I would have to see it with my own eyes before I fall for that kind of chat ever again and even then, would not try to duplicate it.

Please remember to practice catch and release for all your freshwater species and if you are a saltwater fisherman or woman, please only keep what you can eat and release the rest. We have a God given resource here on Long Island, let's all work together to keep it going for many more wonderful years.

Tight Lines!
Charles - Contact me with your questions or comments at

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