One of my favorite things about writing this column is interacting with readers. It’s great to hear stories and feedback when I bump into people on the water or around town.
In recent weeks, I have received some fun queries via email. So for the first time, I’ve put together a reader mailbag. I would like to make this a regular thing, so if you have questions, stories or tips to share, send them in!
Total eclipse of the bite
In August, I wrote about how the moon affects fish and asked readers to share their experiences about fishing during the solar eclipse. Randy Doolittle gave this interesting report:
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“I was lucky enough to be fishing during the eclipse. I was fishing the South Fork canyon at Arrowrock, trolling. I had six bites in the first 1½ miles and caught a 16-inch bull trout, which was released. As I returned upstream to make another run, I noticed the temperature dropping, put on the eclipse glasses and noticed it was 75 percent covered. I didn’t have another bite until an hour and a half after it was over. One cool thing I noticed was silence, total silence. Chukars, ospreys and eagles all went quiet, same as the fish. An hour and a half later, all was normal. I expected an “evening bite” situation with the eclipse, but instead I got the dead zone.”
I wasn’t fishing during the eclipse, but I did hit the Snake River that evening. I also hit a dead zone for a couple hours before rallying to catch more than 20 smallmouth bass in the last 90 minutes of daylight.
What’s up with WD-40?
Earlier this summer, I wrote a column about popular fishing myths. This prompted a double-question from reader Christine: Is it legal to spray WD-40 on your lures, and does it attract fish?
I have heard this rumor many times, and I even tried it once back in Boy Scouts. Some people say it works because it contains fish oil (it doesn’t). Others say it covers the human scent (it might, but this seems unlikely to make a big difference).
WD-40 addresses the myth on its website, saying: “While WD-40 can be used to help protect fishing equipment from rust and corrosion, WD-40 Company does not recommend using it to attract fish.”
As for legality in Idaho, the topic appears in the FAQs on the Fish and Game website: “WD-40 or other scents that are nontoxic or don’t threaten human or fish health can be applied to lures.”
WD-40 is petroleum-based, but it isn’t toxic. So you can use it if you like, but there are more environmentally friendly, fishy-smelling attractants available in tackle shops.
Class in session
I’m teaching a fishing class Oct. 3-7 through The College of Idaho’s Community Learning program. Reader Michael McCarthy emailed to ask if “Stop Fishing, Start Catching” focused on fly-fishing specifically. It doesn’t, but I can promise there will be something for everyone, regardless of experience, skill level or preferred method of fishing. The class is filling up fast, but there are still a few seats left. Register online at www.cofifun.com, or call 208-459-5188.
Thanks for reading, and keep the feedback coming. Tight lines!
Jordan Rodriguez has been fishing Idaho waters since he was a teen. Share your fish stories, adventures, tips and tricks at firstname.lastname@example.org.