Tactical Angler: Fishing Tactics

Fishing tactics and techniques used on the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean, and surrounding freshwater fishing areas are covered in depth.

August 24, 2023
It’s the most common mistake I see people make aboard my boat: when told the fish are hugging bottom, they cast out and then retrieve without knowing exactly where in the water column their jig is.…
August 13, 2023
Flukes are a great choice for fooling predators into pouncing, especially when you need a weedless option that sinks slowly and can be used in shallow water and/or thick cover. And yes, largemouth…
July 29, 2023
Maybe your idea of a good time fishing means hauling up one crappie after the next, or maybe you sit at the opposite end of the angling spectrum and tugging on tuna is more your style. Whatever…
July 11, 2023
Topwater is an exciting way to fish, but you can choose the most tempting plug, cast it with pinpoint accuracy, and bring it back with the picture-perfect walk-the-dog retrieve, and if it never…
June 24, 2023
Carp love corn, and many anglers chum with it to get the fish into a feeding mood. Often, however, it’s easy to out-cast the distance you can fling your corn-chum by a longshot. If that’s a scenario…
June 22, 2023
The classic bait and switch is a widely known tactic for getting marlin to eat a hook, but traditionally, it’s performed with a hookless teaser and a hook-bait. In reality, most of the time…
May 14, 2023
Late spring can be a tough time for jiggers, as many of the Chesapeake's striped bass are in small, highly mobile pods that haven’t yet joined up to form big schools. They’re often in open water,…
May 12, 2023
People were catching flounder long before jigging for them came into vogue, and old -school tactics still work like a charm on them in this day and age. Whether you enjoy fishing with bait or you…
April 24, 2023
Presented by SiriusXM Marine Just when will the waves of yellowfin tuna begin pushing through out Mid-Atlantic waters? No one can predict it for sure. Sometimes it happens early, sometimes it…
April 16, 2023
At some point this month the first big bull red drum of the season will show up. Expect them to make their initial appearance at the shoals at the mouth of the Bay and along the lower Eastern Shore…
March 27, 2023
For many anglers out there, flounder fishing means drifting around with weighted, baited rigs and relatively heavy gear. And to a light tackle aficionado that’s a darn shame — those flatfish have a…
March 21, 2023
With the April shut-down on catch-and-release striper fishing in Maryland’s Bay waters, March is now the only spring month for anglers to tangle with catch-and-release pre-season trophies. And, the…
March 21, 2023
It’s a serious feat to catch a muskellunge — they’re only in a few of the region’s waterways (such as the upper Potomac, James, and New Rivers), and they’re anything but easy to catch. March is an…
March 7, 2023
Whether you’re exploring a new area, trying to put as many pickerel in the boat as possible, or chasing trophies, it's hard to beat slow trolling live minnows. I’ve spent countless days floating…
February 15, 2023
As is true with most fish, it’s tough to predict what a chain pickerel will favor from one day to the next. That said, on a consistent basis these fish like lures with blades and inline spinners are…
February 13, 2023
Rainbow trout will bite no matter how cold it gets, and that includes when you have to drill holes in the ice to get to them. Will there be any more ice in our region before the spring warmup hits?…
January 16, 2023
Few fish are as different as rainbow trout and red drum, but if you live in the Mid-Atlantic region, you have a shot at both over the winter months. Here are two tactics that can help you get in on…
January 6, 2023
Some types of rigging can get complex and thus may seem a bit overwhelming at times, but you can catch just about every sporting species with some very simple, basic rigs - and when it comes to…