RD's Rugged Fishing Tips

If you’ve ever seen my previous fishing show, “Officially Rugged with RD,” you already know that it was a comedy show. Nothing more nothing less. It’s not a “how-to” type program in the slightest sense of the word. In other words, you aren’t going to learn a goddam thing about fishing while watching me on TV and this concept was done by design. With the risk of sounding like a bit of a dick, that doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing…

When I was travelling between 2000 and 2009 taping shows, I fished a lot. It seems I was always in a float plane or a boat somewhere in Canada. And, I always learn from others, so here is your chance to learn from others, that being me… no charge. Just send me a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving…

Some of these tips are pretty basic, but if you’re fairly new to fishing I think you’ll learn some good stuff here. I’ll be adding several each month, but here’s a few to start.
If you have a tip or two you’d like to share, email it to me and we’ll put it up on the site. Thanks in advance!

Save Your Outboard Motor!

Save Your Outboard Motor

I do a lot of unguided fly-in fishing trips each year and before I head out fishing, I always check to see that the outboard motor has not been left in the “locked” position. I want the outboard to be in the “unlocked” position, meaning that at any time I can lift the shaft and prop out of the water. The main reason for this is that if I ever hit something heavy duty at high speed like a reef [Read More]

Go Easy on Those Lake Trout!

Easy on Those Lake Trout

If you’re fishing in deep water for lake trout with either a downrigger or with jigs, try to bring the fish up to the surface slowly. Otherwise, you’ll likely kill it. If you bring a lake trout (or any fish) up too quickly, their swim bladder could expand too quickly and the fish will die. It’s the same idea as how a scuba diver must come to the surface slowly otherwise his lungs might pop. Ouch! You’ll often see air [Read More]

Make Your Own Leaders

Make Your Own Leaders

I do a fair amount of pike fishing each year, and where I fish there is always a possibility of hooking into a 30 pounder. Even a small northern pike can bite through your standard monofilament line with ease, but a big gator? Well, they’ll chew through just about anything. Most of you know you need to use a leader made from steel or wire, and even some of the new carbon leaders are pretty good. But, I prefer to [Read More]

Stay Out of the Water!

Stay out of the Water

One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced trout fishermen do is walk through the stream, creek or river. For some reason, people always want to get right in there, “balls deep” and start casting. Fish, especially trout, are very sensitive to vibration and they’ll “hear you” as soon as you enter the water. Better to stay back and cast from the bank. This is not always possible, but do it when you can. Another problem with walking in the stream, is [Read More]

Keep the Fishing Regulations Booklet in Your Boat

Keep The Fishing Regulations Book In The Boat

At least in Ontario, there seems to be more and more regulations every year. And, many pertain to certain lakes, let alone certain areas. I’m not a goddam walking computer and believe me, I know most of the laws, but not all of them! To avoid any possible “I think this is okay” situations, carry the “regs book” with you, either in your boat, or in your fishing vest. This will save you some head scratching and also, possibly a [Read More]

Wet the Knot

Wet the Knot

If you use monofilament line, like I often do, you’ll be tying knots like the clinch knot, the polomar knot, the barrel knot, along with a few others. Before you tighten the knot or cinch it up, make sure you lubricate the line somehow. The easiest way is to dab a bit of saliva on it. No, don’t hork up a huge friggin’ loogie… just some saliva will do. If you simply tie your knot, then cinch it up without [Read More]

Weird Colours Work!

Weird Colours Work

Why the hell would a fish try to eat something that has fluorescent orange painted down the side of it? I have no idea. I often use minnow baits that float until you retrieve them, then they submerge about 2 – 3 feet. Bass just love these damn things and so do trout. My favourite colours are the more natural ones that have brown, black, silver and gold finishes, but when the fishing is slow, I’ll try some funky colours. [Read More]

Keep a Second Rod Ready

Keep a Second Rod Ready

When you’re out fishing in a boat, let’s say for largemouth or smallmouth bass, keep a second rod handy (or a third if you can) and have a different type of lure tied on, ready to go. When I say different kind of lure, I mean different from the one on your main rod. Tournament fishermen often have 8 or 9 different set ups, ready for action. $100,000 could be at stake. Sometimes, you’ll get a strike, but fail to [Read More]

Hook Setting with a Fly Rod

Hook Setting with a Fly Rod

I do a lot of dry fly fishing, especially for brook trout. One mistake I used to make when I was a kid was to set the hook way too hard on a rise or strike. If you’re fishing for walleyes with a jig in let’s say, 15 feet of water, you can give it a pretty good snap when you’re setting the hook. The water creates pressure on the line (being submersed under all that water) and this would [Read More]

Hey, Nova Scotians… Try Bass!

Hey, Nova Scotians, Try Some Bass

When I moved to Nova Scotia from northwestern Ontario, I was shocked to learn of the hatred for smallmouth bass. Many people in this province consider them a nuisance or garbage fish. When they catch one, they sometimes throw it in the woods. I guess, technically, bass are an invasive species in Nova Scotia, because they are not native to the region. They sure are kicking the crap out of the brook trout in some of the traditional trout waters. [Read More]