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Type of Fishing

Bait Fishing
When bait fishing, the angler hooks live or dead bait and then casts, letting the bait sink. Depending on the game fish the angler intends to catch, he or she then might let the bait sit on bottom, hoping that the bait’s odor attracts fish; jig the bait up and down so that the action attracts fish; or reel the bait in, attempting to entice fish swimming between the bottom and the surface.

Almost every type of freshwater and saltwater game fish may be caught with bait. Live bait is more attractive than dead bait to predatory game fish, which can smell and see the difference. Dead bait, however, is easier for the angler to store and place on the hook. Popular baits in fresh water include worms, crayfish, insect larvae, fish eggs, frogs, and leeches. In salt water, anglers use small, whole fish; pieces of fish; and live crabs and shrimp. Some anglers also chum, which entails throwing additional pieces of dead bait into the water in hope of attracting game fish.

Spin Fishing
Spin fishing involves the use of artificial lures, which spin as the angler reels in the line. Spin-fishing anglers pay close attention to the retrieval speed and the depth of the lure, trying to imitate a game fish’s prey. If a fish strikes the moving lure, it will usually hook itself. When the fish is hooked, bait-casters and spin-casters reel it in and land it with a net or gaff (a sharp, hook-like pole). Lighter fishing rods are used for smaller fish, and heavier rods for bigger fish. It is considered unsporting to use large rods for small fish because a heavier rod tires them quickly and denies them a chance to fight and escape.

Anglers troll by motoring or paddling a boat and dragging the bait or lure about 30 m (about 100 ft) behind the stern. At the correct speed, trolling produces a motion in the bait that mimics a live, unhooked fish. The most common use of trolling is in saltwater big-game fishing. Once a fish hits a lure and is hooked, the boat is stopped and the fish is reeled in. Trollers often use electronic depth finders or sonar to locate schools of game fish.

Perhaps the most difficult angling method is fly-fishing. The fly angler uses a rod much longer and lighter than those used for bait and spin fishing. Fly-fishing rods can be 3 m (10 ft) long in freshwater fishing and 4 m (14 ft) long for saltwater fishing. To cast a fly, the angler whisks the fly rod forward and back using only the forearm. Generally, the rod is moved from the 10 o’clock position to the 2 o’clock position without letting the line touch the water or ground. During this movement the angler pays out line. The movement continues until a considerable amount of line is airborne. The angler then casts the line to a specific spot with a sharp but smooth snap of the wrist.

Casts are made to likely fishing spots such as pools and pockets in streams. The fly is allowed to touch the water and either float or sink, depending on the type of fly. This presentation of the fly onto the water is one of fly-fishing’s most difficult aspects, because the angler is attempting to cast in such a way that the line lands smoothly on the water’s surface and the fly appears as natural as possible. After several moments the angler withdraws the fly by pulling a small portion of line then lifting the tip of the rod. The angler then makes another presentation. When fly-fishing, one hand should always be holding the fly line so there is little or no slack. If a fish strikes, the angler pulls in line while raising the rod tip. This sets the hook in the fish’s mouth.

Ice Fishing
Fishing through ice is a popular form of angling in northern regions, where lake surfaces freeze solid. Ice anglers drill holes through the ice, then lower lures or baited hooks into the water. By jigging the lure or bait, or by letting live bait swim freely on the end of the line, the angler hopes to attract game fish. Although ice fishing can be done with regular bait fishing tackle, most enthusiasts prefer ice fishing rods, which are shorter poles with less complicated reels. Many anglers drag lightweight, wooden shacks and plastic or nylon tents onto the ice, to provide protection from the weather.

"Fishing," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2007

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Key West Fishing

Follow in the wake of legendary sportsman Ernest Hemingway on a deep sea fishing charter or fish the backcountry with a local flats guide and target permit, bonefish and tarpon, the Silver Kings. Check out the fish photos and see what’s being caught off Bone Island this week.FISH PHOTOS