Want to hear one of Bob Roudybush's favorite fishing secrets?
Well, he's ready to talk.
"One time I was at a resort on Lake of the Ozarks," said Roudybush, 73, who lives in Topeka, Kan. "I went into the restaurant and saw these big crappies on the wall. The waitress told me they were caught right along the shore at the resort.
"I was excited and I went down there and threw everything in my tackle box and didn't catch a fish. Finally, I switched to a small spinnerbait and I saw a big crappie come up and flash at it.
"It finally came to me that it would take a more natural presentation to catch them. So I went to a minnow on a small hook and no weight at all. I hooked the minnow in the nose, because they always swim deeper when you rig them that way.
"I ended up catching a dozen big crappies like the ones that were mounted and on display in the restaurant. They were there the whole time, they just wanted a natural presentation."
Feeling privileged that you got one of Roudybush's secrets out of him? Don't.
He's revealing a lot of them in the book he just wrote, "Fishing Secrets: Where and How to Catch 'Em."
After more than 65 years on the water, Roudybush has picked up some great tricks to make the fish bite. And his fishing partners kept telling him, "You ought to write a book." So he did.
Most of his information came from years of keeping journals on his fishing trips. "I learn something new every time I go out," he said.
Brought up in the Manhattan, Kan., area, Roudybush started fishing when he was 7. The second the bobber went under for the first time, he was hooked.
He has gone on to become an avid fisherman, concentrating most of his efforts in Kansas and Missouri.
"You don't have to go to exotic locations to catch fish," he said. "We have great fishing right here in Kansas and Missouri.
"You just have to figure out ways to get them to bite."
Through experimentation, Roudybush has figured out many unusual ways to fool the fish. When he is going for catfish, for example, he often will go a one-sixteenth-ounce jig tipped with a small piece of liver or shrimp. He will stand next to others who are using standard catfish gear -- heavy-action rods, big weights, big hooks and large baits -- and will constantly outfish them.
"In places that get a lot of fishing pressure, catfish will get bait-shy," he said "If they pick up a bait and feel any resistance, they will let go right away.
"With the smaller setup, that doesn't happen."
In his book, Roudybush also offers tips on how to catch bluegills, walleyes and white bass. In addition, he throws in a few recipes for fish dinners.
"My favorite places to fish are off docks and below dams," he said.
Roudybush's book sells for $14.99 and can be ordered online or by calling 620-947-5702.
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