- Bass: 4- to 5-inch shiner.
- Pike: 8- to 10-inch chub or sucker.
- Walleye: 4-inch fathead minnow.
- Trout: 3- to 4-inch shiner or minnow. —Lawrence Pyne
- The Surface Slam: Five different species on a topwater plug.
- The Trash-Can Slam: Five different species of rough fish.
- The Four-of-a-Kind Slam: Four fish from the same genus or family (salmon, bass, or sunfish).
- The Fry-Pan Slam: Four different species of panfish—that are all bound for hot oil.
- The Slammer Slam: Five trophy-size fish from the same lake or area. —L.P.
- Some 3-inch tubes and curly-tailed grubs to be dragged and jigged.
- A few jerkbaits and topwater plugs to cover water and find fish.
- A few stickbaits and swimbaits for good measure.
- A couple of Mepps Aglias if there might be some trout in those riffly sections. —L.P.
Campfire: Forget that you're already sweating in short sleeves. A full-on blaze is required, to help keep bugs away if nothing else.
Forked Sticks: The original rod holder still excels and can be repurposed as a prop for roasting marshmallows. Want high tech? Dangle a bell from the rod tip.
Kids: The only thing better than tangling with a 5-pound catfish in the dark is watching a kid do it.
Cast-Iron Fry Pan: Don't wait. Eat them now, as fast as you can catch, clean, and fry them.
Chicken Livers: There are less nasty baits. But as a summer icon, a plastic tub of ripe chicken livers is up there with your first summer-camp kiss. —T. Edward Nickens
- A farm pond full of aggressive 12-inch bass and a Pop-R keeps things fun and casual. Just don't get too competitive.
- Be sure the boat is running perfectly ahead of time. Fighting with a dead motor while adrift leads to awkward conversation.
- Avoid shad guts, rooster livers, and stinkbait. In fact, avoid catfishing altogether.
- For now, backlashes and crankbaits hung in trees are cute. If this goes well, there'll be plenty of time for yelling down the road. —W.B.
- "School's Out" Alice Cooper
- "The Fishing Hole" Andy Griffith
- "Fishin' Blues" Taj Mahal
- "Ask the Fish" Leftover Salmon
- "Water Song" Hot Tuna
- "Chattahoochee" Alan Jackson
- "Fishing Song" G. Love and Special Sauce
- "Bigg Bass Blues" Brown Trout and the Lunkers
- "Too Drunk to Fish" Ray Stevens
- "See You in September" The Happenings —David Draper
- Orlando, Fla.: Monster bass and Mickey Mouse—all at the Magic Kingdom.
- Yellowstone N.P.: Cutthroats, plus geothermal funhouse.
- Branson, Mo.: Bass 'n' crappies. Country 'n' western.
- Wisconsin Dells: Where walleyes and water parks unite.
- Outer Banks, N.C.: Surf cast while your kids build sand castles. —D.D.
- Tell a Story: Don't just film fish being caught. Shoot the sunrise when the boat leaves the dock. Shoot close-ups of lures. Shoot the angler rigging the lures. And after the catch, ask the angler to recap the epic fight—and shoot the interview. With these additions, you'll end up with a mini feature instead of a random clip.
- Move Around: Nothing is duller than a camera that never moves. Whether it's a fish fight or someone putting bait on the hook, change the camera angle.
- Get in the Way: Don't be afraid to get in an angler's face to capture his or her expression. Work in tight on the reel as the drag spins. Lie down at someone's feet and shoot up while he casts. These shots add drama and emotion.
- Don't Blow It: The microphones in most digital cameras do not like wind. Neither will you once you hear it. Use your body to block a breeze as much as you can. Turn your back to the wind and hold the camera lower at your chest. —J.C.
Fry It: In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 inches of oil. Dip your fish fillets in egg wash and dredge them through crushed crackers. Fry them over a fire until golden brown.
Wrap It: Stuff a cleaned trout with lemon slices and fresh dill. Seal it all tightly in tinfoil that's coated on the inside with butter. Cook it directly on hot coals.
Grill It: Slash each side of a whole fish three or four times with a knife. Coat it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Fill the cavity with fresh herbs. Grill the fish over a hot flame. —D.D.
- By Species: Catch all the species found within, say, 50 miles of your home, including the overlooked oddballs.
- By Number: Catch 10,000 fish before you drop.
- By Method: See how many species you can catch on a favorite lure or fly.
- By Destination: Make a bucket list of classic fishing locales—and hit the first one this summer. —L.P.
- Flies: Ants, hoppers, Stimulators, Parachute Adams, Woolly Buggers, Zug Bugs, and Prince nymphs.
- Lures: Panther Martins, Mepps Aglias, Little Cleos, a Rebel Crickhopper, and a Rapala Ultra Light Minnow. —L.P.