Recover & Recycle Monofilament with Live toFish

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.

How to fish the tides.

How to Fish the Tides

Whether you know it or not, your fishing experience is dictated by the tide. That’s why it’s in your best interest to work with the tide when you fish as opposed to against it. There are plenty of options that you can take to get familiar with the tides of your favorite fishing spot and plenty of techniques that you can try once you’re there.

Get to Know the Tide

Tide Table Lookup
Live to Fish Tide Table Lookup Program

Before you head out, decide where you’re going to be fishing, what time of day (or night) you’re going to be fishing, and how long you’re going to be fishing. Once you’ve made these decisions, you’ll want to check the local tide tables. You can use a physical chart, like ones printed in a magazine or your local newspaper, or you can check our handy onsite tide table lookup program. Looking at these predictions will help you to know what times the low and high tides will hit. Our tide table lookup page also has helpful information about why tides are important, different types of tides, the best time to fish, and other useful information.

Understanding the tide is essential for a good fishing experience. The tide controls the current and the current controls the movement of the water. A low tide reveals structures that you may or may not have been aware of, and a high tide will flood a fish aggregator, or an object designed to attract fish to a specific area.

Even after perusing the tide table, it’s important to take adjustments to the tides into consideration. This can often depend on location and timing. The tide reading will often be given for a base point. If you aren’t fishing exactly at the base point, you are going to have to make adjustments to the tide reading. These adjustments can range anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.  Making adjustments can mean the difference between heading out to the water earlier or later than you initially intended.  Be sure to also take the movement of the current into consideration as well.

It’s important to remember that in most cases, fish want to swim along with the current rather than against it. They do this to conserve energy. As such, when you are fishing in shallow water (whether you’re in freshwater or saltwater), be sure to cast your bait up current. This will help to give it a more natural presentation as it moves through the water.

Inshore & Sight Fishing

If you do any sort of sight fishing from the shore, it’s good to be aware of the tide. In high tide,  fish will become more visible as the pursue prey that may be moving closer to shore when the water level is higher. You can also use the position of the tide to determine when a large amount of fish are going to be in an area. Not only to they become more visible to the eye as they pursue prey, but they will often crowd into a spot where they know that prey species will congregate as they are forced to move with the tide. The fish will do this to ambush their prey.  If you know where these spots are,  you can, in turn, ambush the fish.

As mentioned earlier, a low tide can reveal structures or  tidal paths that you might otherwise not have noticed. It can also draw fish into an area because they know that they have a better chance of finding food.  Eddies and jetties can move baitfish into a current that they might otherwise not have been in. Larger fish will take advantage of this. Fishing eddies works in saltwater as well, especially where the water is deeper.

What to do if there is no Water Movement

If you’re fishing in low tide areas with no water movement, try to go for spots that are different than where you would normally fish if the water was moving. Go for underwater weed beds, potholes, or areas where the water will cut through land. There are fish there that wait for baitfish and other prey species to appear. They’ll be hungry and more likely to go after your bait.

When the Tide isn’t Working in Your Favor

There will inevitably be times when fishing with the current isn’t giving you the results that you want. This can happen when the current and the tides are working against each other or in particularly windy conditions when there is a lot of water movement. In this instance, it’s important to remember not to fight the movement of the water. Change gear and change directions if you have to.

Regardless of how you fish the tide, it’s important to be familiar with your water conditions before you head out for the day.   Do you have any tips or techniques for fishing the tides? Share them in the comments or get in touch.


Live to Fish Soccer Team Header

Team Live to Fish Heads to Major Beach Soccer Tournament’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 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)


Penn Fishing Reels Header

Fishing Reels From Penn

Since its founding in 1932, Penn Fishing Tackle Company has been producing high quality fishing reels. Live to Fish strives to honor Penn’s tradition of excellence by offering some of their top-performing reel models to you. We know that it can be hard to choose the perfect reel to pair with your rod, so we’re going to break down all of the Penn reel options for you.

Penn Conventional Reels

Penn General Purpose Level Wind Reel
The Penn General Purpose Level Wind Reel boasts a classic time-proven design.

Let’s begin with Penn’s General Purpose Level Wind Reel. It boasts a simplistic, time-proven design that’s been hard at work since its inception in the 1940s. The General Purpose Level Wind Reel is a conventional reel that performs well in both freshwater and saltwater. Use it for trolling and casting. Special features on this model include HT-100 drag washers, a stainless steel wind system, and a counter-balanced handle with oversized paddle knobs for comfort. Live to Fish carries the 309M Level Wind Reel, which is a right-handed reel with a mechanical braking system and a multi-stop anti-reverse feature.

Penn General Purpose Level Wind Reel Specifications. Click a size to view more info:
Reel Size Mono Capacity Braid Capacity Max Drag Gear Ratio Retrieval Rate
Size 209M 360/17 290/20 190/30 575/30 400/50 330/65 10 lb. 3:2:1 19″
Size 309M 450/20 300/30 250/40 625/50 525/65 450/80 15 lb. 2.8:1 20″

The Penn Squall Lever Drag Reel is another option if you’re on the market for a conventional reel. It is lightweight and ergonomically designed with graphite construction for corrosion resistance. The stainless steel gears offer a higher gear speed ratio than their competition. The Squall Lever Drag Reel is perfectly built for trolling near the shore for kingfish, dolphin, and wahoo. This reel features a Dura-Drag system, six stainless steel bearings, a silent double-dog anti-reverse, and switchblade lugs on the 50 and 60 options.

Watch the Squall Lever Drag Reel in action here:

Penn Squall Lever Drag Reel Specifications. Click a size to view more info:
Reel Size Mono Capacity Braid Capacity Max Drag Gear Ratio Retrieval Rate
Size 40 490/25 360/30 300/40 1075/30 750/50 625/65 20 lb. 5.1:1 37″
Size 50 500/30 420/40 310/50 1050/50 875/65 750/80 27 lb. 4.3:1 35″
Size 60 500/40 370/50 330/60 1050/65 900/80 775/100 27 lb. 4.3:1 35″

Penn Spinning Reels

If you are looking for a spinning reel, Live to Fish offers two options from Penn: the Spinfisher V Spinning Reel and the Fierce II Spinning Reel. Let’s take a look at each one.

Penn Spinfisher V Reel
The Penn Spinfisher V is a beautiful spinning reel with a patented water-tight design.

The Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel has a patented Water Tight design that protects the gearbox and drag systems from saltwater damage. Its full metal body and side plate keep precise gear alignment under heavy loads with a max drag of 40 pounds on the SSV9500 option. Other features include a machined and anodized aluminum Superline spool with line capacity rings, a sealed HT-100 Slammer Drag System, instant anti-reverse, and five shielded stainless steel ball bearings.

Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel Specifications. Click a size to view more info:
Reel Size Mono Capacity Braid Capacity Max Drag Gear Ratio Retrieval Rate
SSV 4500 300/8 250/10 185/12 365/15 280/20 200/30 25 lb. 6.2:1 35″
SSV 5500 360/10 270/12 240/15 425/20 320/30 250/40 30 lb. 5.6:1 35″
SSV 7500 440/15 300/20 210/30 430/40 360/50 320/65 13 lb. 4.7:1 36″
SSV 8500 440/20 300/30 250/40 650/40 540/50 470/65 35 lb. 4.7:1 42″
SSV 9500 360/30 300/40 220/50 630/50 540/65 490/80 20lb 4.2:1 39″

If you would like to watch the Spinfisher V in action, check out the video here:

Penn Fierce II SpinningReel
The Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel is dependable and durable even through the roughest conditions.

The Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel offers dependability and power so that you can tame the toughest fish in the roughest conditions. Like the Spinfisher V, it has a full metal body. It also boasts a stainless steel main shaft and thick aluminum bail wire. The drag system features oiled-felt construction. The Fierce II also has a Superline spool and line capacity rings.

Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel Specifications. Click a size to view more info:
Reel Size Mono Capacity Braid Capacity Max Drag Gear Ratio Retrieval Rate
Size 2000 240/4 180/6 125/8 210/8 180/10 165/15 7 lb. 6.2:1 30″
Size 3000 200/8 165/10 120/12 250/15 180/20 130/30 10 lb. 6.2:1 35″
Size 4000 270/8 220/10 165/12 360/15 260/20 185/30 13 lb. 6.2:1 37″
Size 5000 225/12 200/15 135/20 420/20 300/30 240/40 20 lb. 5.6:1 36″
Size 6000 335/15 230/20 210/25 490/30 390/40 335/50 20 lb. 5.6:1 41″
Size 8000 340/20 310/25 230/30 475/50 390/65 345/80 25 lb. 5.3:1 44″

You can see this reel in action by viewing the video here:

Hopefully our overview of the various Penn reels has made your choice a little easier. If not, leave a comment or get in touch and we’ll get things sorted out for you. Be sure to also keep an eye out for blog updates as the Live to Fish crew is going to be taking out a Penn reel or two on a fishing trip very soon!

Crankbait Header Image

Crankbaits 101

Not to be confused with jerk-baits, the crankbait is usually much thicker and shorter in size. A crankbait is a hard bait that dives at various depths in the water. Highly-recommended by bass fisherman, this lure can also be used for other species of fish besides bass. Crankbaits come in many different sizes, can be lipped or lipless, and sometimes feature chambered bodies with rattle bearings designed to attract fish with sound. Overall, this lure was designed to mimic the everyday actions of baitfish, crayfish, and other small prey.

In this entry, we’ll discuss the multiple types of crankbaits, corresponding diving depths, recommended gear, and how to tune your lure. Give it a read & let help you crank one out!

Types of Crankbaits:

Squarebill Crankbait
Squarebill: Great in super shallow waters. Features a short, square lip to help it glide through weeds and water brush without getting stuck. When this lure bumps into rocks or other objects, it deflects and changes directions.

Deep Diver Crankbait
Shallow Diver: Great in shallow waters. Ideal to fish in areas with lots of cover such as fallen trees, shallow grass, rocks, under docks, etc. This lure uses its short lip and treble hooks to bounce off objects and avoid potential hang-ups.

Medium Diver Crankbait
Medium/Moderate Diver: Able to dive in deeper waters, however it works best in water levels between 8-12 feet deep. Reaching the water’s bottom will cause it to bounce off and entice bites.

Deep Diver: Great for offshore fishing. These lures are able to dive deep into water over 12 ft. and stay down there to entice big, lurking bass. Keep the lure moving and bumping into objects in order to raise the chance of a bite.

Lipless Crankbait
Lipless: Great for winter bass fishing. Able to be cast extremely far and retrieved quickly. Be careful when using around heavy cover, the lack of lip causes this lure to get stuck or held up more easily than the others.

Average Crankbait Diving Depths

  • Squarebills: 0-5 ft.
  • Shallow Diver: 0-8 ft.
  • Medium-Moderate Diver: 8-12 ft.
  • Deep-Diver: 12-20 ft.

Recommended Gear, Line, & Accessories

Like many other lures on the market, most crankbait manufacturers will supply their own information on recommended gear, line, and accessories for successful catches. It’s always a good idea to follow each specific crankbait’s recommendations to ensure that you’re using it properly, however, feel free to switch it up and find what works best for you. Below are some general gear recommendations to use with crankbaits.

Hooks: Make sure that your hooks are strong, durable, and ready to hold fish. It’s important to modify your hooks when needed. You may even want to consider changing out your lure’s original hooks for more reliable ones of your choosing. Just make sure that the new hooks are similar in hook-to-lure ratio, or else your lure action may negatively change.

Line: When fishing with crankbaits, we recommend that you use a small diameter line to allow your lure to drop more easily and deeply into the water. Choose a thin monofilament or fluorocarbon line to get the best action out of your crankbait. Monofilament line works best with shallow-to-medium level waters, while fluorocarbon sinks faster and is better for medium-to-deep diving crankbaits.

Split-Ring Pliers: These are a must have for any good angler. Keeping a nice set of split-ring pliers in your tackle box will definitely come in handy when it’s time to tune your crankbait.

Rods: Crankbaits work best with medium-heavy power rods that measure between 6’6” and 8’ long. A rod that’s too short won’t cast as well, while a rod that’s too long will be too difficult to reel-in. It’s important that the rod is able to be held at a 45-degree angle with your rod tip hovering just above the water. If you hold your rod at a 90-degree angle or higher, you’ll weaken your natural pulling power. The lower your rod is held; the more power and leverage you’ll have to reel in large catches.

Reels: Choose a reel with a 4:1 or 5:1 gear ratio to allow more power for reeling in catches.

How-to Properly Tune a Crankbait

We all have that special “lucky” lure that we love to use. Unfortunately, sometimes that lure becomes damaged over time by the vicious strikes of big, hungry bass. That’s why it’s important to keep your crankbaits properly tuned with a straight line-tie eye. With a set of split-ring or needle-nose pliers, hold your crankbait steady and gently twist the line-tie eye in the opposite direction of which it is pulling. This will straighten it out and help your lure move more freely.

Have questions?
We’re ready to answer any crankbait or other product questions that you may have. Just give us a call at 1-844-9-FISHIN or drop us a line on our contact page.


Fishing Hook Anatamy 101 - Learn about the different parts of a fishing hook and what they are used for.

Fishing Hook Anatomy 101

Know Your Anatomy

Fishing Hook Anatomy
A fishing hook is made up of six different parts.

Sometimes, it can be hard to choose the perfect hook. There are many hook sizes, styles, and shapes on the market for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

At, we’re here to make the decision a little easier. Let’s start with the anatomy of a hook. Knowing the parts of a hook is key to picking the one that’s going to catch you the most fish. There are six basic parts to a fishing hook: the eye, the shank, the gap (also sometimes called a ‘gape’), the throat, the point, and the barb.


The Hook Eye

Fishing Hook Eye Types
Different types of fishing hook eyes.

The eye is situated at the very top of the hook. This is where the line is tied. Depending on the type of hook that you have, the eye will either be open or closed. A closed eye is welded directly to the shank. An open eye is simply bent into place, which allows for easier removal from the line. If your hook has a straight eye, it lines up perfectly in line with the shank. Turned up and turned down eyes are determined by the way that the eye is turned. A turned up eye is bent or “turned” upwards and away from the hook. A turned down eye is bent downwards toward the hook point.

The hook eye may also be identified as having a certain type of shape. These shapes include looped, ringed, tapered, and needle. The looped, ringed, and tapered eye shapes are all considered to be open eye varieties. Looped (or loop) eyes are oval in shape with a form that extends alongside the shank and continues depending on the direction that the bend is facing. The ringed eye is the most common. It is round in shape and can be applied to many different fishing applications. The tapered eye is thinner than the ringed eye and is perfect for dry fly fishing.

The Hook Shank

The shank is the straight portion of your hook. It extends from the eye down to the first bend where the curve of the hook starts. The length of the shank will help determine the weight of the hook and the distance from the eye to the hook point. This distance is important in determining what size bait you’re going to be using.

The Hook Gap

The gap of a hook is the horizontal distance between the shank and the eye. Hooks with narrow gaps are generally used for live bait fishing because they do less damage to the bait while hooks with wide gaps are generally good for larger baits.

The Hook Throat

Equally as important as the gap is the hook throat. This is the vertical distance measured from the point to the bottom of the curve of the hook. Knowing the size of the throat is important because it can help you to determine how deep a hook is going to go when a fish bites down.

The Hook Point

Fishing Hook Point Types
Different types of fishing hook points.

The point of a hook is pretty self-explanatory. It’s the pointy end that pierces your bait and goes into the mouth of your catch. There are many different types hook points from spear points to knife edges. Longer hook points take longer to penetrate the fish’s mouth.

Hook points are generally named so because of their appearance, design, or function. A needle point has tapered, round sides that give it the appearance of being needle-shaped. Needle points are some of the most common hook points. Spear points are shaped to have spear-like angles. The point is aligned from its tip to its barb. Rolled in hooks reduce hook set pressure. The aligned point directly faces the hook eye. This allows fish to thrash and move around without hurting the line. Hollow points have a cut from the base of the tip. They are perfect for crappies and other soft mouthed fish. A knife edge point has two flat sides that come together to form a single edge that is easy to sharpen and is quick to penetrate.

The Hook Barb

The barb of a hook is a piece of steel that is created by notching the hook. It holds bait in place and keeps the hook from sliding out of the fish’s mouth after it bites down. Bait hooks may have several barbs going up the shank. While many hooks have shanks on them, some freshwater hooks (and a few select saltwater ones as well) do not have barbs. These are generally used for catch and release fishing.

A Note on Hook Sizes

The size of a hook doesn’t exactly fall under the umbrella term of “hook anatomy,” but it is something that you should know when deciding on what to use or buy. A good rule of thumb to go by is “the bigger the number, the smaller the hook size.” A size 12 hook will be tiny and a size 1 hook is about average size. Hooks that are larger than a 1 will have a /0 next to them. This is called an “aught.” Hooks with aught sizes will follow standard sizing with 1/0 being a median hook size proceeding all the way up to 20/0, which is big enough for catching sharks.

Ready to Buy? has an extensive catalog of fishing hooks available for purchase. Check out our store page on Fishing Hooks to view and purchase products from our selection.

If you’re looking for even more information about fishing hooks, read through our next article – Fishing Hook Types.