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Line Shy
By Terry Ellis

    Line Shy?

   Out fishing a new body of water with a buddy of yours. Excited to get that first catch in the boat. As hours past, I had a couple of hits but not too much activity. Your buddy though is slaying them. Has at least a dozen or more boated keepers. The lure choice by both the same, technique pretty similar. You are scratching your head, and trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Then you realize, could it be the fishing line.

   This has actually happened to me, up north bass fishing on a clear lake. Clarity being a few feet deep, fishing all morning scratching my head trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Co-angler had about 12 or so bass already boated, both of us using the same lures. The only thing I could think of was the line had something to do with it. I had supposedly low visibility green line, the other had clear. I reached for a different rod spooled with clear and wack, almost immediately caught my first keeper of the day.

   That afternoon I drove into town and purchased a spool of clear line anticipating that the next day would bring great results with different line. Wow was I right; I landed at least 15 bass that next morning. It really proved to me that maybe one needs to think about their line choice when fishing a clear lake.

   The following year on the same lake my dad and I were both fishing similar lures but I using clear line and him with braided. After boating a few fish, my dad realized that maybe it was the line again, instead of switching line completely he tied on a 3-4 foot leader of clear line on the braided. This had great results and once again proved my theory correct.

   One other time fishing just north of Bloomer for smallmouth on a local river in late fall, proved once again. The water had become a bit clearer with the time of year. Myself fishing with clear line, and my dad fishing with braided. Again the clear won out till he either tied on a leader or switched poles by more than 2 to 1.

   Maybe coincidence but I donít think so. All my poles now with clear line; no matter what type of water clarity I am fishing I will be prepared. My word of advice is to do the same. Why take the chance of your outing being dissatisfying due to the fact the fish are spooked by the line.

   Terry Ellis