The Texas rig is arguably the most popular soft plastic rig used today. It can be used in freshwater as well as saltwater applications with many different kinds of soft plastics. I researched the inventor of the Texas Rig and finding a consensus is difficult. About the only thing we know for sure is that it was invented in Texas. Some say it was a guide down there that came up with the idea although his name was not saved for posterity. It’s too bad because that person would have definitely gone down in history as a fishing legend.
Being weedless, the Texas rig allows you to fish a soft plastic bait in and around weeds, brush and other types of cover while being able to stay virtually free of getting hung up. While it was first used primarily with worms it is now used with countless soft plastic baits in many different applications. You can fish a worm slowly along the bottom. You can pitch and flip a creature bait around cover, or burn a soft swimbait like a Gambler EZ through the Kissimmee grass in lakes in Florida. In saltwater, you can use the Texas Rig to fish a fluke or artificial shrimp. It is truly one of the most versatile rigs you can throw and even though it is decades old, there are still many anglers that don’t know how to rig it correctly. In this video, we show you how to properly Texas rig a worm but remember that you can use this same rig with different baits. Give it a try the next time you are hitting the lake or skinny waters of the Gulf of Mexico and let us know how it fares for you. If you’re interested in purchasing the Trapper Tackle hooks mentioned in this video, click here.
Live to Fish has teamed up with the Florida Wildlife Commission to recover and recycle monofilament fishing line. Monofilament line can last hundreds of years before breaking down. Improperly discarded monofilament line causes devastating problems for marine life and the environment in general. Marine mammals, sea turtles, fish, and birds can become injured from entanglements, and some marine life go as far as to ingest the line, often dying as a result. Human divers and swimmers are also at risk.
The Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program (MRRP) is a statewide effort that encourages monofilament recycling through a network of drop-off locations. This network of drop off locations is an efficient way to move large volumes of unwanted monofilament line, it’s free and available to the public at multiple locations including Live to Fish’s retail store in Hudson, Florida.
Please take the extra time to discard your monofilament line, it’s easy and it can make a huge difference in preserving our marine environments for generations to come. Live to Fish will gladly accept your unwanted fishing line and ensure that it gets disposed of properly. In the event that you are unable to find a drop-off location near you, feel free to mail your unwanted fishing line to us. Our store location, hours of operation, and mailing address are listed here.
When you’re on the lookout for soft plastic worms for bass fishing, you may notice that one brand consistently comes to the top of the list. The name is Zoom Baits, and this legendary brand has been a driving force in the soft plastics industry since the late 1970’s. One of the main advantages of using products from Zoom is that all of their baits feature a proprietary salt impregnated plastic formula. This special plastic provides a tasty burst of salt when the fish strikes, encouraging them to hold on longer and give you more time to reel in your catch.
Zoom’s extensive catalogue of soft worms are available in multiple kinds and feature over 370 color variations. With this much of a selection, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. That’s why we’re here to help! In this post, we’ll go over the special features of Zoom’s most popular worms and give details on how each one is best used to catch fish. Read on for some helpful information that might come in handy next time you’re on the market for soft plastic worms.
The Centipede is the soft bait of choice for sluggish bass in cold weather conditions. It’s also great for times when bass are finicky and less inclined to bite. At just 4″ long and armed with multiple rows of water moving ridges, the Centipede is a cold water bait that darts and glides with the slightest movement of your rod. While the Centipede is ideal for Carolina rigs, its short length and sturdy plastic construction means it can be dropshot, splitshot, or even used on a shakey head. Check out our selection of Zoom Centipedes for color options and more information.
Zoom Dead Ringer
The Zoom Dead Ringer is a mainstay in any serious bass angler’s soft bait arsenal, and for good reason. The Dead Ringer’s specially designed body-rings move more water than a traditional smooth worm, which helps it create predatory-response acoustics that hungry bass just can’t resist. The oversized curly tail flutters on the fall or with the slightest twitch of your rod, providing a lifelike action that can bring in bass from near or far. Our selection of Dead Ringer Worms includes multiple sizes and colors.
Zoom Trick Worm
The Trick Worm is a perfect straight-tailed option when fishing weightless for shallow-water bass. It’s also super effective on a Shaky, Carolina, or Wacky rigs for deeper dwelling fish. The tapered body and natural-looking segments give it a slithering motion that allows it to navigate through difficult environments like grass beds and log jams. Try the Trick Worm in a variety of colors to see which one works best for you.
Zoom Finesse Worm
At 4.5″ in length, Zoom’s Original Finesse Worm is a smaller version of the popular trick worm. This little worm is responsible for catching more bass in the U.S. than any other finesse bait. The Finesse Worm’s lifelike body segments and gradually tapered shape make it extremely capable for a variety of fishing techniques. It can be rigged wacky style, on a darter head, or splitshot, but as the name would suggest, it’s perfect on a finesse jig head. We offer Finesse Worms in a plethora of colors, so make sure you check ’em out.
Zoom Fluke Stick
The Zoom Fluke Stick combines the lifelike worm shape and rigging versatility of the Finesse Worm with the gliding and darting action of a Super Fluke tail. The result is a unique, fluked soft-plastic stickbait that is useful for a variety of techniques. The fluked tail provides a smooth gliding motion on the fall, allowing access to previously unreachable areas like the underside of docks or beneath heavy weed cover. You can fish the Fluke Stick weightless, on a dropshot, or Texas rigged, and it will exhibit an erratic darting motion on the retrieve that bass can’t resist. Check out our selection of Fluke Sticks at LivetoFish.com.
Zoom G-Tail Worm
The Zoom G-Tail is the perfect weapon when going after big bass. The thick, square-shaped body and wide, fluttering G-shaped tail create a larger presentation that will naturally gain the attention of bigger bass. Use it with a Texas or Carolina rig, or fish it weightless for some topwater, tail-buzzing action that’ll drive big bass into a frenzy. If you’re on the market for a big bass-catching, soft plastic worm, then check out our selection of G-Tail Worms.
Zoom Magnum II Worm
The Magnum II (Mag II for short) is a soft plastic worm that is ideal for going after big bass when the water heats up. At a total length of 9″, this worm features an extremely long, curled tail. The sheer size and weight of the Mag II means it can be easily flipped or pitched into heavy cover areas. You can even add a weight to your line and crawl it along the bottom —its long tail will sway with the current and entice curious bass from all directions. Our selection of Mag II Worms includes multiple colors so you can tailor your presentation to a variety of weather conditions.
The Meathead’s thick, fleshy head takes up over 1/4 of its total body length, which makes it an ideal bait for split shotting. The body quickly tapers off into a flat paddle tail, which provides an extra bit of motion on the fall that can get bass biting on a slow day. Try out this 4″ worm when the fish aren’t biting and experience the difference it can make. The Meathead can also work really well when dropshot or placed on a Carolina rig.
Zoom Ol’ Monster
At up to 12″ in length, the Ol’ Monster is the largest worm in Zoom’s lineup. The shear size and profile of the Ol’ Monster make it best suited for going after really big bass. The slender body and long fluttering tail work great on both Texas & Carolina rigs, but are also adaptable to magnum shakey head rigs and much more. Live to Fish offers the Ol’ Monster in two sizes and multiple colors. See the Ol’ Monster in Action:
Zoom Shakey Head
As the name would imply, Zoom’s Shakey Head Worm was designed to work perfectly with a shakey head jig. The Shakey head is perfectly balanced for finesse presentations, and the flat head transitions into a segmented, tapered body that allows you to manipulate this worm with the slightest twitch of the rod. What’s more, if you pair up the Shakey Head Worm with a jig that shares its namesake, the tail will stand up straight in water columns and twitch enticingly. Use this technique when fishing in high-pressured waters when bass aren’t biting.
See the Shakey Head in Action:
Zoom Original Speed Worm
Zoom’s Original Speed Worm features a soft segmented body and a thick paddle tail. The body segments help move more water and attract bigger fish, while the paddle tail adds a gliding motion on the fall. This shape helps allow access to small openings under thick matting and brush piles. Fish it as a weightless swimbait or attach a bullet weight to simulate the pulsing movement of a spinnerbait. No matter how you use it, the Original Speed Worm is a versatile, durable, and capable bait that provides results.
Zoom UV Speed Worm
The UV Speed Worm takes the segmented body design of the Original Speed Worm and replaces the flat paddle tail with Zoom’s patented Ultra Vibe Tail. The Ultra Vibe Tail is designed to maximize water disturbance and vibration as you retrieve the bait. This creates a sound that hungry bass just can’t resist. Fish the UV Speed Worm as a Texas or Carolina rig to go after deep dwellers, or try it weightless and watch the Ultra Vibe Tail buzz across the water’s surface.
See the UV Speed Worm in Action:
Zoom Swamp Crawler
The Swamp Crawler is a finesse style worm with a thin, straight-tailed design and natural worm-like body segments. This worm is ideal for Texas and Carolina rigs, but also works great on a jig head or as a weightless lure. The straight tail and segmented body give this worm a natural, wavelike action that helps attract even the most finicky of bass.
Zoom U-Tale Worm
The Zoom U-Tale is a medium-sized worm that is arguably well suited to any fishing situation that you may encounter. For this reason, the U-Tale is a must-have for any angler’s soft plastic arsenal. Its medium size makes it adaptable for both large and small bass, and the U-shaped tail flutters naturally on both the fall and the retrieve. The U-Tale Worm is available in a plethora of colors, which means you can experiment and find the best option for every situation.
Zoom Z-Drop Worm
If there ever was a worm designed to be perfect for dropshotting, then Zoom has come as close as possible with the Z-Drop Worm. This worm features a big, segmented head and a flat underbelly with a crosstail design. The head adds extra weight and resistance on the fall, while the belly helps create a gentle gliding presentation and swaying motion as it descends into the depths.
We’re Here to Help
Do you have any particular preference of worms from Zoom Baits? Have you had success with a Zoom worm or a fishing technique not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments section or get in touch. If you’re on the market for some new soft plastic baits from Zoom, be sure to visit us at livetofish.com and check out the Zoom Baits selection for a huge variety of colors and sizes on all the worms mentioned in this article.
It is an unfortunate circumstance that you can’t just unhook your fish, slap it on a plate, and call it dinner. Well, you can. But you’ll probably get sick and a few bones wedged in your throat while you’re at it. Assuming you want to avoid the possibility of internal bleeding, the purpose of this blog post is to take you through the steps of filleting a fish. What you choose to do after you fillet your fish is up to you. We hope that you throw the fillets on a pan, on a grill, or in the oven for your next meal. But, hey. Your choice.
Let’s Get Started
First, before any filleting happens, you want to make sure that you have all of the tools necessary to get the job done. If you can, get your hands on a good fillet knife and fillet board. Fillet knives are built specifically for filleting fish and many are sturdy enough to cut through bone. If you can’t get a fillet knife, go for one with a serrated edge. And any cutting board will do, but wooden ones tend to preserve flavor.
We also recommend that you put on gloves to cut back on the mess and the fishy smell. If you can’t wear gloves, rubbing a lemon wedge on your hands will neutralize the scent of handling fish carcass. If a lemon wedge is hard to come by—after all, you might be filleting your fish on the dock or on the side of a river where lemon wedges don’t just float idly by-Live to Fish offers Fish-D-Funk Fishing Hand Wipes that are specifically made for getting rid of that fishy smell. Of course, you’ll be wiping or “lemon wedging” your hands after you’re done filleting.
Once you have a knife and cutting board handy, don your gloves or brace yourself for fishy impact. Rinse your fish and place it on the cutting board horizontally with the bottom facing you. You can either choose to cut the head and tail off during the fillet process or leave them be. For larger fish, most people choose to leave the head and tail alone.
If you want to remove the head of the fish, position the knife behind the gills and cut at a downward diagonal angle towards the head and through the bone. Flip the fish over and make another diagonal cut. Then, remove and discard the head. To remove the tail, place the knife down where the tail meets the body and cut through the skin and bone. You can easily discard of the tail after doing this.
Begin filleting the fish by cutting behind the head or where the head would have been. Angle the knife towards the tail of the fish and cut down to the bone. Follow the line until you reach just behind the fins where the guts are located. After, turn your fish and run your knife just shy of the fins until you feel it touch bone. Follow the bone until you reach the backbone. Peel the fillet back and run the knife over the backbone. This will sever all of the lateral fish bones. Stop cutting and turn the fish over.
Repeat the first cut that you made behind the fish’s head. Then repeat the second cut near the dorsal fin. Be sure to angle the knife downward. Continue along the length of the fish.
Then, reverse the direction of the fillet knife and follow the bones until you reach the backbone. Again, peel the fillet back to cut around the backbone and through the lateral bones. At this point, you may run the knife through the underside of the fish. Once you reach the belly, you can cut through or over the bones of the belly. If your fillet knife is strong enough, you can just keep cutting right on through. Take a moment to cut though any sinew or skin that is still attached. Now, remove the first fillet. Flip your fish back over to the side that you were originally filleting. Cut the bones around the belly and then cut around the backbone to release the rest of the fillet.
Some people choose to discard the belly portion of the fillet because it is high in fat and generally cooks faster than the rest of the fish. If you don’t mind the extra fat, you can just get straight to removing the skin and bones.
Take a moment to clean off your knife and then place your fillet skin-side down and place the knife at the tail end of the fish between the skin and the meat. Slowly and gently run the knife along the length of the fillet. Again, be sure to angle the knife downward and firmly grip the skin as you cut so that the fish doesn’t slide away. You’ve now skinned your fish. If you like eating the skin, you can skip this step and remove the fish scales with a fish scaler.
Deboning Your Catch
Deboning your fish is very important as bones present a choking hazard and put you at risk for other internal injuries if you eat them. Wipe any residue from skinning your fish off of the knife. Return your knife to the area at which you removed the fillet from the underside of the fish where the guts are. Gently stroke the knife downwards to locate the fine bones. Many of the fine bones stop two-thirds of the way down the fillet. Once you have located the bones, place the knife on the other side of the bone lines until the point is under the bones.
Remove the knife and cut the flesh of the fillet from the bones. Stay as close to the bones as possible to preserve the integrity of your fillet. No one wants to eat something that looks like it’s been pre-chewed.
Once you are done filleting your fish, it is ready for cold storage or cooking. Do you have a favorite way to fillet your fish or a knife that you prefer to use? Have tips for making filleting even easier? Comment or drop us a line.
Designed by charter captains, Redbone Rods were constructed to give saltwater anglers exactly what they look for in a good rod: dependability and durability. Each rod is made of lightweight graphite and features quality parts that work together to create an enjoyable fishing experience. With supreme fishing strength, the Redbone Rod is more than just a saltwater fishing pole; it is a hope for a cure.
When charter captain, Gary Ellis, and his wife Susan found out that their newborn daughter was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, it became their life’s mission to help fight the disease. In 1988, Ellis started organizing events such as the Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series. At this tournament, fishermen were on the hunt for redfish and bonefish, hence where their brand name ‘Redbone’ was born. The group raised $16,000 for the cause during their first run. Since then, Redbone has teamed up with Hurricane to raise more than $10 million for Cystic Fibrosis research.
Fishing Rods for a Cause
So, what’s so special about Redbone Rods? Well, despite their attractive appearance and smooth handling, these rods help support a cause. With every rod purchase, Hurricane donates a small percentage of the profits to helping find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. You don’t need to be a tournament winning fisherman or charter captain to get involved, all you have to do is purchase one of these stunning rods. Live to Fish offers 8 basic types of Redbone Rods ranging from casting to spinning, and everywhere in between. Designed for either inshore or offshore fishing, each of these premium performance rods offer supreme saltwater action. In this entry, we’ll be going over some of the basic details that make each Redbone Rod unique.
Redbone’s Inshore Fishing Rods
All Redbone Inshore Rods are made of a high modulus graphite so they’re super strong, yet still able to bend with ease. This also helps with rod sensitivity, so you can feel every move at the tips of your fingers when fishing with live bait. Generally, inshore fishing rods are meant to be used in shallow waters less than 30 meters deep. Use these rods for fishing in shallow waters such as bays, lakes, and other bodies of water that are close to land.
Offshore fishing rods are best for fishing in water that’s anywhere over 30 meters deep. Ideal for deep-sea fishing, these rods are better built for hooking large trophy fish such as tuna, grouper, and sharks. Each Redbone offshore rod is constructed from a high modulus graphite and features quality parts that make it a genuinely powerful rod. These rods even have special rear grips and gimbal butts to help transition your rod more easily from holder to hand.
LivetoFish.com’s very own soccer team, Team Live to Fish, tested out their skills in the 2016 Clearwater Beach Qualifier of the Major Beach Soccer National Championship Qualifying Series this past Saturday, July 16th.
Major Beach Soccer was originally founded by Peter Mellor, a former Premier League goalkeeper, as “Soccer on the Beach” back in 1991. It is the original beach soccer organization in the US. The National Championship Qualifying Series is family oriented with boys, girls, co-ed, and adult teams playing on various Florida beaches. Tournament matches take place in Ft. Lauderdale, Daytona, Clearwater, Bradenton Beach, and Ft. Meyers.
While we didn’t place in the semi-finals, we had a blast representing LivetoFish.com down in Clearwater. Check out the pic of our whole team below!
(Top Row from Left to Right: Rob, Ian, Jake, Tyler. Bottom Row from Left to Right: Diego, Anthony, Genaro, Jason, Paul)
Live to Fish offers a wide variety of fishing line for all of your freshwater, saltwater, and ice fishing needs. Choose from industry standards like monofilament, braided line or even specialty products like lead core trolling line. Not sure what you want or which fishing line is right for you? Don’t worry – we’ll provide all the information you need to make the most informed decision possible.
Monofilament Fishing Line
Let’s start with monofilament line. Monofilament is made from a single fiber of nylon. It is some of the least expensive line on the market and it comes in a variety of colors and tensile strengths (labeled as ‘pound test’ on the package or spool). This line can stretch to absorb shocks and it stays neat on the spool. It is also abrasion-resistant with a uniform cross section that knots easily.
While monofilament is a tried and true fishing line type, some important setbacks of monofilament should also be noted. This line has a strong ‘memory’ tendency, which means that it’s more likely to hold the shape of the spool when cast. Also, monofilament is not as strong as braided line, either (we’ll cover braided line next). Lastly, exposure to sunlight breaks down the nylon construction of monofilament over time, so you’ll be looking at replacing your line at least once a year.
If you do decide to purchase some monofilament line, Live to Fish carries up to 100 pound test line in an assortment of colors including clear, pink, and varying shades of blue and green. Fishermen often choose our clear or blue mono line because fish have a hard time seeing these colors once the line is submerged.
Braided Fishing Line
Braided line is just as popular as monofilament line but twice as strong. This often means that you’ll get more line per spool than you will with a mono line that is rated with the same tensile strength. Braided line is often made of woven or braided fibers of different materials like Dacron, Spectra, or dyneema to create a single strand of fishing line. Dacron is the same material that water bottles are made from. Dyneema and Spectra are very strong abrasion-resistant fibers.
Due to its extraordinary strength, braided line is the first choice for deep sea fishing. It sinks faster, casts farther, and trolls deeper. It doesn’t stretch, it doesn’t have a memory, and it does not break down in sunlight. This means that you can use braided line year-after-year without need for replacement.
Before you settle on braided line as your miracle option, there are a few setbacks that you should be aware of. First, this fishing line is very slippery, so you must be able to tie a knot that can hold with low friction. As mentioned before, braided line is very strong, so it can only be cut with clippers or extra sharp scissors. Lastly, while braided line comes in an assortment of colors, it doesn’t blend into the water like monofilament can, so fish may be able to see the line in exceptionally clear water conditions.
Regardless, if you feel like braided line is right for you, Live to Fish carries white, yellow, camouflage, vermillion red, green, and marine blue options in ratings up to 100 pound test. Many of these colors come in hi-vis and low-vis varieties.
Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
If monofilament and braided line aren’t for you, fluorocarbon line is always an option. This fishing line is generally used as leader material because it is invisible underwater and abrasion resistant. Fluorocarbon line is great for fly fishing or for going after fish that are easily spooked by visible fishing line.
Like all other fishing lines, fluorocarbon line isn’t perfect. First, not all fluorocarbon lines are made from 100% fluorocarbon. This line is also prone to memory problems.
If you are interested in reading about fluorocarbon in freshwater fishing applications, check out this article by Nick Ruiz from Bass Resource, a site dedicated to bass fishing resources. Live to Fish offers fluorocarbon line in tests up to 20 pounds.
Fishing-Type Specific Lines
If you’re looking for fishing line that is specific to a certain type of fishing, we offer fly line, ice line, and Tuf-Line Lead Core Trolling Line, which is a type of specialty line.
Fly Fishing Line Fly line is used for, well, fly fishing. In addition to being identified by tensile strength, fly line is identified by the weight of the line. The line weight is then matched with the heaviness of the fly rod. Live to Fish carries fly line in clear, white, chartreuse, and yellow with line tests up to 30 pounds. The yellow line comes in different hues depending on your fly fishing needs.
Ice Fishing line
Ice line is strong enough to withstand the cold, harsh conditions that come with sticking your line into freezing water. Ice fishing line is available in braided and monofilament varieties. The ice fishing line at Live to Fish is braided and black in color with 25 and 35-pound test options.
Lead Core Trolling Line
Finally, Lead Core Trolling Line from Tuf-Line is a specialty line option. It has a lead core and the color changes every ten yards to allow fishermen to measure depth. A lead core trolling line is the main line for heavy trolling applications where reaching a certain depth is important. It is a high density line that sinks relatively quickly, resulting in less line being used. However, these lines are very thick compared to their braided counterparts and often require a reel that can handle a larger spool. The trolling lines from Live to Fish can handle up to 36-pound test.
While these can’t be exactly classified as standalone fishing lines, fishing leaders are especially important when working with braided and some specialty fishing lines. A leader is a short length of line that connects to the main line on one end and the hook or lure on the other end. Leaders are designed to improve your chances of hooking a fish and keeping it without having to cast and waste all of your line. While leader line is available, a leader can be made from any line material—including stronger versions of the line that you are already using.
Some Final Advice
While there are many fishing line options to choose from, it is important to pay special attention to your line’s tensile strength or the point at which it finally breaks. For example, a 10-pound test line is going to break once it exceeds 10 pounds of pressure. You also want to be careful to choose a line that can handle the workload. Things as simple as knotting your line while attaching a hook can cause damage.
Do you have a favorite line that’s your go-to on the water? Want to share tips for extending the life of your line? Leave a comment or get in touch with the Live to Fish crew.