The ProAngler Course covers the following topics...
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ProAngler Fishing 1
Catching fish is only one of the skill sets an angler needs to be successful. It is just as important to learn how fish function and how to handle them safely and responsibly.
Fish 101: Fins and Gills will explore basic fish biology to help you understand how different species use the various parts of their design, like fins, body shape and swim bladders, to feed and thrive in their surroundings. This section will also cover the key handling principles for reducing stress and injury to fish and is based on the understanding that all anglers have a responsibility to preserve the future of the sport.
Like humans, fish use their senses (hearing, smell, sight, touch, taste, and lateral line) to understand the world around them. This section examines how fish are affected by each sensory experience and takes a common sense approach to appeal to each of the senses. You'll also learn what motivates a fish to bite - beyond their need to feed - and how to use these different reasons to trigger more bites.
In North America, there are many types of bodies of water that are home to freshwater fish. This section examines the unique characteristics of lakes, rivers and reservoirs and how different types of fish relate to these environments.
A day on the water is much easier when you can understand the lingo, share in some friendly 'dock talk' and know how to relate to your fellow anglers. Fishing 101: On the Water looks at common fishing principles and techniques and walks you through the essential fishing terminology and rules of etiquette. This section will build a solid foundation for both your own fishing adventures and the more advanced Faculty of Fishing lessons and modules.
Like a set of golf clubs, your rods and reels are designed for specific uses. In this two part section, you'll learn how to choose the right rod to match your reel, your gear, the conditions and your presentation. This section will help you understand how to improve the way you feel the bite, present the bait and land the fish after you set the hook.
Fishing line has evolved significantly over the last few decades. The technology available in line today allows you to tailor your choice to any application, through characteristics like abrasion resistance, strength rating, visibility, stretch and knot strength. This lesson will take an in-depth look at the various properties of fishing line and how to use them to your advantage every time you hit the water.
The Fishing 1 module wraps up with an opportunity to expand on some of the topics covered, through a series of practical examples and tips. In TNT, the skills developed throughout the module will be applied to everyday fishing situations, to show you how you can apply the Faculty of Fishing lessons on the water.
ProAngler Fishing 2
By the time you have finished the Fishing 1 Course, you will have learned or reviewed many of the fundamentals you need to make the most of your time on the water. But in order to put these tools into practice, you will also need to know where to find the fish.
The first step in knowing where to look for fish requires you to understand how fish move throughout the day and during the different seasons and why they are drawn to certain areas. This lesson will equip you with the information you need to zero in on the best fishing spots every time you hit the water.
If you've spent a little time around the water, you've probably heard terms like thermocline, stratification, turnover and pH level. But how exactly do these water properties affect fishing conditions?
In this lesson, you'll take an in-depth look at key water characteristics like these, as well as other properties that affect fish, such as dissolved oxygen, light penetration and water clarity. By paying attention to the elements that make the aquatic environment thrive, you will be better equipped to know where fish will be and how they will be feeding and how to use this information to trigger the bite.
Regardless of the time of year or time of day, fish will never be too far away from their next meal. This two-part lesson dives right into the aquatic food chain, with an exploration of many of the common baitfish that make up the daily meals of North American freshwater fish. You'll not only learn to how recognize these species, but also how to mimic their habits and patterns and the methods used by predatory fish in targeting them.
When time comes to tie on your bait, there are countless options for hooks that you'll need to consider. Each design offers a set of advantages that are best suited for certain presentations or conditions. To help take the guess work out of choosing the best hook for the job, this lesson will explain the design, purposes and strengths of each type, thus bringing you one step closer to setting the hook on your next big fish.
Just like hooks, there is an abundance of choices available when fishing with jigs. Jigs are perhaps one of the most versatile lures available. They come in many varieties to allow you to fine-tune your presentation to any situation.
Jigs: Weighing your Options will help you match your jig choice to the water and bottom conditions, forage and fish preferences. It will explain a variety of other options available when fishing with these common, yet oh-so-effective, lures.
Think terminal tackle is less important than other types of gear you take to the water? Think again. Though it may not seem as interesting to shop for tackle like bobbers, sinkers and swivels as it is to choose a new lure or rod, these items can ultimately determine your ability to create a dependable, appealing and believable presentation. In this lesson, you'll learn how to make smart choices when tying on terminal tackle and how to use these essential items to land more fish.
Sometimes, you need to give a fish a little something extra to catch its attention. By delivering elements of flash, movement, vibration and sound, blade and spoon baits may be just the ticket for triggering the bite. In Blades and Spoons: Taking a Turn, you'll learn about the different types of baits that fall within this category, how each moves through the water, the best techniques to match them with and how to use them to target different species of fish.
A knot literally has the ability to make or break your day on the water. Therefore, it's critical to tie good, strong knots that will hold firmly with your line and stand up to the underwater conditions.
In this section, you'll walk through step-by-step instructions, animation and video for tying a variety of knots, including those used to attach line to lures and line to leader line. You'll also learn about the characteristics, strengths and applications for each knot and be able to access detailed printable guides through the Faculty of Fishing downloads section.
Once you reach the end of Fishing 2, it's time to put some of this module's information and techniques to use. In TNT2, you'll run through some real-life fishing situations and see how to use your Faculty of Fishing lessons to maximize your time on the water. You'll also cover a few new items, such as using nets and release tools, to better prepare you for that next bite, hookset and release.
ProAngler Fishing 3
By the time you reach Fishing 3, you will appreciate how influential structure can be on the location and movements of fish. In Structure: The Hard Truth, you'll cover the main functions of this important element of fish habitat, including how fish use it to determine their routes, to facilitate feeding, and to access both shallow and deep water areas. By having a in-depth understanding of how fish use structure and hold near it, you'll be able to find the points, turns, and bottom components that may be holding your next big catch.
A fish's ability to take cover can allow it to survive and thrive within its highly competitive ecosystem by providing security, shade, and ambush points. Some species of fish use cover much of the time, while others only relate to it occasionally; however, nearly all fish will use it at one time or another. That's why this lesson takes a close look at the different types of cover available in freshwater systems, and helps you understand how to use them to find fish and deliver effective presentations.
The best fishing strategies can start well before you even get near the water. This is because hydrographic charts can give you a thorough view of an entire water system, including the structures that lie beneath the surface. This lesson will show you how you can apply your knowledge of seasonal movements, structure, and cover to pick the areas on a lake chart with the most potential.
Over the last few decades, technology has changed the world of fishing. Electronics like sonar, trolling motors, and global positioning systems make it possible for anglers to find fish quickly, stay on top of prime locations, and even be safer on the water. This lesson takes a close look at the capabilities and benefits of the different types of electronics, and acts as an introduction to future in-depth lessons such as Interpreting Sonar.
Soft baits offer some of the most realistic options in artificial lures, not only in their appearance, but also in their texture, taste, and action. In this two part series, you'll learn about the designs, materials and different characteristics of today's soft baits, and take a look at some of the more common designs that are used on North American waters.
They range from long and skinny to short and round, and from deep diving to surface running. No matter which design you are using, though, there is no doubt that hard baits have incredible potential to catch fish. This Faculty of Fishing lesson will break down the different designs of hard baits, including the applications and advantages of each type, and show you how to get the best results out of this popular category of lure.
Fishing 3 wraps up with another opportunity to take a closer look at some of the strategies and techniques covered in this module, in order to help you better understand how to take these lessons to the water and translate them into greater catches.
ProAngler Fishing 4
Do you think daily weather conditions mainly affect those of us that are above the surface of the water? Think again. Weather and environmental changes have a major influence on a fish's comfort level and its willingness to bite. Factors such as pressure systems and fronts can have a big impact on fish behaviour, location, and activity levels, and therefore, the strategies you need to bring to the water. In this Faculty of Fishing lesson, you'll learn some of the cues for identifying different weather factors, how these factors translate to the water, and the recommended techniques for targeting fish during different and changing conditions.
Interpreting SONAR takes your understanding of fishing technology to the next level by teaching you how SONAR can act as your eyes to the underwater world. In this lesson, you'll learn how to use your SONAR to identify different types of structure and cover, and to determine bottom composition and transition areas. You'll also see how SONAR can help you find game fish, bait fish, and even the thermocline, and review the latest technology in side imaging and down imaging.
Many effective presentations involve working a bait at a steady pace, over large areas of water. In these situations, the better you are able to set up and control your troll, the more likely you will be to pull that bait right to the fish. This course will cover essential trolling skills, including how to use trolling to locate fish, boat control techniques, and speed strategies, as well as how to best use your electronics and match your gear with your trolling presentation.
Casting is an interactive and effective way to target many species. Doing it well, however, requires practice and knowledge of what your cast should be achieving. In this lesson, you'll take a close look at the situations that require casting, as they relate to different species and conditions. You'll also learn about different casting methods and the ideal gear for each type, and develop the skills you need to deliver your next cast right to the fish.
When fish move into deeper water, vertical presentations can be a great way to get your bait right down to them. Vertical techniques require you to position yourself right on top of the fish, in order to keep your bait in a fish's strike zone and trigger bites from even the most neutral or negative fish. This lesson will show you how to use your equipment to deliver the best vertical presentations, including strategies for boat control, gear choice, and electronics. You'll also learn a variety of techniques, from different jigging methods, to rigging and deadsticking.
If you've ever read a fishing magazine or watched a fishing show, you are sure to have heard the pros talk about the importance of establishing patterns. Patterns bring together all the elements that influence fish behaviour, such as conditions, seasonal movements, water properties, and forage, to tell you where to find the fish and how to coax them to bite. In this lesson, you'll learn how to take the clues from each of these factors and translate them into effective fishing strategies for any species, on any day, and for any body of water.