For 35 years, H.G. “Tap” Tapply was a mainstay in the pages of Field & Stream, writing the hugely popular “Tap’s Tips” column. Each month, he served up a batch of clear, concise tips, publishing 2,500 of them before his retirement, in 1985. He covered it all—dog training, upland-bird hunting, big game—but here, in time for summer, we’ve collected 34 of his greatest fishing tips. We’re sure you’ll find his advice just as useful today as readers did when it first appeared in print. —The Editors
Crickets make excellent bait for bass and panfish, and bread and sugar make excellent bait for crickets. Sprinkle the bread with sugar, moisten slightly, and leave on the ground overnight beneath cloth or newspaper. You should collect a day’s supply of bait.
Here’s a simple tip I wish I’d heard years ago. When trout fishing in cool weather, switch your bottle of floatant to an inside pocket. Why? To keep it warm, natch. Most floatants, such as Mucilin and paraffin dissolved in carbon tet, get gummy when cold and won’t float a fly.
Don’t let muddy water keep you from bass fishing. Bass may ignore sunken lures, which they can’t see, but a noisy surface bait often gets them. Fish around brush piles and weeds with top-water plugs or fly-rod poppers,…