2016 Articles

November 2016

Early Ice: A Quiet and Productive Time of the Year
by Jerry Carlson
It was mid-morning when I stopped to pick up long time fishing companion, Charlie Simkins. Although the air was cool, this particular winter day did not have the bite to it we sometimes feel in early winter. After a short greeting, we loaded Simkins' gear into the truck and we were off. Our goal for this particular day was quite simple. We were going to look for walkable ice so we could get tha... more
Tips for more winter fishing success!
by Mike Frisch
Ice fishing season will soon be here, meaning thousands of eager anglers across the northern states will soon be venturing out searching for their favorite fish species. Regardless the species sought, the following tips can probably help anglers in their winter fishing this year. Stay Mobile Maybe the biggest difference between open-water fishing and ice angling is that open-water allows angl... more
Trophy Quality Begins with the Care you Take in the Field
by Traditions Media
Eight things your taxidermist will love you for... Written by Josh Lantz Anyone who plops their money down at the taxidermy shop wants and expects a great looking mount. Hunters expect a lot from their taxidermist and that's reasonable. But remember: He or she can only work with what they're brought. Many hunters don't fully understand or consider how their own actions in the fiel... more
Wind Game
by Scott Stankowski
No one can control the effects of Mother Nature but we certainly control our actions based off of what she has to offer. Sometimes we do not have a choice on the days we can hunt and the weather that is offered. The 2016 Wisconsin gun deer hunting opener is a prime example. The weather for that day is cold and brutally windy. Winds in excess of 40 mph will affect hunters and the landscape. W... more

October 2016

Hard (and Soft) Strategies for Late Fall Walleyes
by Jason Halfen
The signs of impending change are all around us. The last dry maple leaves are falling from the trees. Frost covers the windshield as the truck warms in the crisp morning air. Boat lifts and docks are high and dry, adorning the shorelines in anticipation of winter's arrival. This is also a time of change for walleyes in northern lakes and reservoirs, as they transition from the fall feeding bu... more
Three Ways to Catch More Harvest Moon Walleyes
by Jason Halfen
Oversized walleyes crash the shallows in the fall, and are targeted by fervent anglers pulling crankbaits near shorelines and decaying weed beds. Photo by the author Fall is here, and in a matter of days, the Harvest Moon will be upon us. This is a magical time of year for fervent walleye anglers, many of us launching the boat during the dinner hour and fishing well into the blackness, r... more

September 2016

An Ice-Fishing Bait For Open Water Walleyes
by Bob Jensen
Much of the time, lures are designed with a specific application in mind. But sometimes we discover that some baits are multi-purpose. I was reminded of that on a recent fishing trip. I was sharing a boat with fishing friend Mike Frisch in central Minnesota and walleyes were our target. Mike had been catchin’em good on Puppet Minnows. Puppet Minnows were originally designed to be dropped th... more
Decoy Tricks for Early Season Waterfowl
by Traditions Media
How to stay ahead once the pressure sets in By Sammy Bruce September is right around the corner, and skies are filling with waterfowl. And, although early season hunts occasionally involve uneducated birds willing to commit to any spread, rarely are things that easy. It's incredible how fast ducks and geese get wise to hunting pressure. A true credit to the resilience of nature, these ... more
Fall Walleye Tips
by Mike Frisch
The fall months have reputations for being some of the best months of the entire year for fishing as most fish species, walleyes included, are actively feeding during this time. However, simply hitting the water and wetting a line does not guarantee success. In fact, because fall walleyes can be shallow to very deep and everywhere in between, and because they can be caught lots of ways, this can... more
Live Ducks: The Only Judges That Matter
by Traditions Media
To consistently call ducks into range while hunting, try sounding like one... Written by Sammy Bruce I pity the up-and-coming duck hunter, anxious to learn the intricacies of calling but with nowhere to turn for guidance but YouTube and calling contests. While such resources occasional offer a handy tip, most are so crowded with useless chaos they're often difficult to watch all the way thro... more

August 2016

Deep Drop Panfish
by Ted Pilgrim
Mr. Bluegill's Late Season Prescriptions While many anglers fish shallow, trophy bluegills often linger deeper during late summer and fall. Photo courtesy of Custom Jigs & Spins After a full summer of chasing 'glamour fish'-the bass, walleyes, and trout of the world-a dude dubbed Mr. Bluegill is certainly ready to call an audible. Not that Captain Troy Peterson doesn't cons... more
Four-Wheel Drive Trolling
by Traditions Media
Four-Wheel Drive TrollingCritical boat control concept explained by tournament walleye pro Ted Takasaki By Jim Edlund with Ted Takasaki In his countless clinics and tournament appearances, legendary walleye pro Ted Takasaki says he's asked thousands of anglers what they struggle with most on the water. "Almost everybody wants to know how to control their boats in the wind," says Takasak... more

July 2016

Live-Bait Rigs For More Summer Fish
by Bob Jensen
From now until autumn, one of the most productive ways to catch fish is with a live-bait rig. Live-bait rigs are simple set-ups, but they're so effective so much of the time. Whether you're after walleyes or crappies or smallmouth bass, pretty much anywhere in the Midwest, when nothing else will get the fish to open their mouth, live bait will. There are lots of things we can do to make our liv... more
Midday Walleyes - Precision is Key
by Scott Stankowski
When most people think walleye fishing, they think like a traditionalist, which is early morning or late evening. It is true that the ole glass eyes are caught predominantly at this time of the day but they are also targeted during that time. The typical scenario is to find yourself a shallow shelf off of deep water and wait for the walleye to follow the baitfish until they bite on your presen... more
The Story of America's Favorite Fishfinder
by Traditions Media
From humble beginnings to industry leader, how Humminbird® earned its wings The old saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child." Much the same is true when it comes to 'raising a company.' Many individuals must combine unique gifts and unify a team in order to shepherd a vision into real success. In the case of Humminbird, there were so many that contributed to the presen... more
Troll Fast For More Fish
by Bob Jensen
It's summer. The water is warm, there are lots of baitfish in the water, there are lots of people fishing, and there are lots of fish that are looking for something to eat, and fish that want to eat are easier to catch. Trolling is a great way to present a bait, and you might be surprised how fast you can troll and still catch fish. Following are some ideas for trolling fast to get more fish to... more
Walleyes in a Snap
by Jason Mitchell
Trolling patterns that cover water and break down big locations with crankbaits often seem to dominate the walleye scene come mid summer. As fish pull out over deep contours or basins and in some cases suspend over open water, nothing beats a crankbait for eliminating water. Part of what makes trolling crankbaits so effective as we move towards the heart of the summer is that a crankbait is th... more

June 2016

Big summer bass on the flats!
by Mike Frisch
Lots of Midwestern bass anglers, this one included, like to fish the deep or outside edge of the weed line utilizing spinning gear and jig-worm style baits. Jig-worming the deep weed line is, in fact, a favorite technique of lots of fishing guides who prefer this fishing method for its simplicity and the number of bass and other fish species often caught. At times, however, the bite can be bette... more
Crankbaits For Catching
by Bob Jensen
Crankbaits are hard-bodied baits that often resemble a baitfish of some sort. They come in all shapes, colors, sizes, running depths, actions, some rattle, some don't. The one thing that crankbaits have in common is that they catch a variety of fish year 'round, but they are particularly effective in the summer. They're great spring and fall baits also, but boy do fish in the summer like to eat ... more
Fishing the Transitional Edges
by Jerry Carlson
During the course of the year, I fish several dozen different lakes. For the most part, each lake has its own personality when it comes to structure, water clarity, weed growth and the size and quantity of fish. Even though lakes differ greatly in their personality, there are some similarities that help me locate summer bass no matter what lake I am targeting. One surefire concept that will co... more
The Meanest Walleye
by Jason Mitchell
I make no secret for my love for shallow weed pattern walleyes. These fish are aggressive and will hit baits with force. Spend any time chasing muskies and sooner or later, don't be surprised to find your retrieve interrupted by a big old "Walter" smashing down on a bucktail or spinnerbait. These weed fish don't even act like the walleyes many of us were groomed to catch in our youth when we th... more

May 2016

Early Season Bassin’
by Mike Frisch
Spring largemouth bass fishing is usually a shallow water affair as these fish are often in, and around, shallow water cover at this time. Pencil reed patches, boat docks, fallen trees, and any other shallow cover will often harbor largemouth bass as they go through their spawning ritual, and also roam the shallows looking for food. When chasing "largies" at this time, I often rely on two bait p... more
KVD’s Comeback: In His Own Words
by Traditions Media
How Humminbird pro Kevin VanDam cracked Toledo Bend's big bass code Bass fishing is a lot like any sport. Fall into a slump and critics crawl out of the woodwork. And with today's multitude of media, there are way too many opinions flying around - most of all the realm of social media, where everyone's an expert. But squawk boxes are it's a little quieter this week for Kevin VanDam as bass ... more
Open Water Fishing 2016
by Bob Jensen
It's pretty much official: The open water fishing season for 2016 is here. Minnesota walleye season opened this past weekend, Wisconsin was the week before, and northwest Iowa was the week before that. Most of the other states in the Midwest don't have a closed walleye season, and while there are still a couple of seasons left to open, the walleye opener to many is the official signal that fish... more

April 2016

April’s Sand-Bottom Saugers
by Ted Peck
A lifetime of fishing the Mississippi River has taught me that the concept of "pre-fishing" is usually a waste of time. It makes perfect sense to begin a day on the water with a presentation that caught fish the day before. But if the rod doesn't bend in less than five minutes a substantial change in strategy is often the best strategy. There are a couple of caveats to this rule of thumb: summe... more
Catch What Wants To Get Caught
by Bob Jensen
Another fishing season is here. Something you can do to catch more fish and enjoy your time on the water even more is to be flexible in your fishing goals. You'll catch more fish year 'round if you go after the species of fish that's most susceptible to getting caught when you're on the water. Here's what I mean. When you start out your day of fishing, it's important to have a game-plan in... more
Crappie time!
by Mike Frisch
Many Midwestern lakes are ice free, and for the anxious open-water angler that means its crappie time! These scrappy panfish take center stage for many anglers now because, as panfish, they are legal for the taking, while gamefish like walleyes and northern pike are still protected by some state's closed gamefish fishing seasons. Crappie anglers often think shallow water and finding the warm... more

March 2016

Dreaming of a Canadian Shore Lunch
by Erin Rody
The majority of visitors to Northwestern Ontario's Sunset Country come up here to enjoy the great fishing the area offers. There are literally tens of thousands of lakes and hundreds of resorts and lodges you can choose from. Whether you are fishing a larger lake or a small remote fly-in lake you'll enjoy a traditional Canadian shore lunch. After a successful morning of fishing, take a break for ... more
Good Things are Coming to Lake Oahe
by Dennis Foster
Holding the distinction of the most well-known of the 6 mainstem reservoirs on the upper Missouri River; Lake Oahe is the gem of them all when it comes to opportunities for anglers. This huge Missouri River reservoir originates from the Oahe Dam near South Dakota's state capital of Pierre and continues well into North Dakota, running approximately 231 miles, covering 2,250 miles of shoreline and ... more
Ideas For Early Season Fishing Success
by Bob Jensen
More and more, anglers are getting on and in the water. Some folks are fishing from boats, some are wading, and some are fishing from docks or shore. Some anglers are catching fish, some aren't catching too much. If you'll be fishing in the next couple of weeks, keep these fishing thoughts in mind. Early in the season it pays big dividends to understand a little bit about the fish you're... more
The Magic of March
by Bob Wilson
Every year March and April brings many changes to the fishing world. It's that time of year when ice fishing is still hanging in there but open water is just around the corner. Winter starts to break and the weather slowly warms up. This causes a lot of things to happen. Waters start slowly warming up, and the fish being the sensitive creatures that they are, feel this change and respond. Almos... more

February 2016

Aim For The O2
by Mitch Eagan
Imagine your home growing darker by the day, to the point you haven't seen sunlight in over a month. Moreover, your surroundings are growing colder by the day. In fact, it's so frigid that your muscles have become rigid; to the point it's all you can do to muster moving few feet…even to eat. And you're hungry. Oxygen is diminishing, too. Some areas are completely void of oxygen, while other po... more
Love Those Winter Panfish
by Jerry Carlson
When it comes to ice fishing, I am definitely someone that thrives on panfish. Crappies and sunnies have a way of keeping me entertained through the entire frozen water period. Occasionally, I get a little grief for not targeting walleyes during the winter months, but I can handle the criticism. There is something about the winter panfish routine that I thoroughly enjoy. That is all the reason... more
March On The Ice
by Bob Jensen
It seems like February just started and I'm already looking forward to ice-fishing in March. March is my favorite month for ice-fishing. The days are longer, the weather isn't as cold, and the fish like to get caught in March. Following are some things to keep in mind to catch more fish through the ice until the end of the ice season. First, be safe. The weather can really warm up toward ... more
The High Road for Panfish
by Jason Mitchell
Panfish can suspend anywhere in the water column and a big equation for locating fish and putting together a pattern is dialing in that productive zone. Before electronics, anglers often fished down through the entire water column. The edge that sonar gives us today is that we can speed up the process of getting back down to fish which makes us more efficient. What also happens as we race back ... more

January 2016

A Case to stay in Place
by Dennis Foster
This overlooked strategy can pay big dividends as one of your best options for icing the biggest fish of the year. Before the run and gun crowd starts sneering and guffawing, hit the kill button on your augers long enough so you can hear for a moment and open your mind to the possibilities. Scrambling all over the lake and covering a lot of territory-particularly for perch-is indeed the best r... more
A Guide's Perspective on Ice Fishing Electronics
by Maynard Lee
The frozen surfaces of lakes, rivers and reservoirs across the ice belt represent the final frontier in angling. Ice thicknesses that are often measured in feet, air temperatures that hover near zero, and frigid winds that often carry frozen precipitation all represent physical, and even psychological barriers to ice fishing success. Over the last 5 years, however, advances in marine electronics ... more
Change In Latitude Changes Attitude
by Ted Peck
Jimmy Buffet's classic song "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" kept running through my mind as I watched a food plot from a vantage point in a tripod stand about 140 yards away. The sun had just set in the frigid upper Midwest.The only activity on this food plot was a lone doe, which was rapidly fading from view as another mid-winter night silently reclaimed the landscape. I was qu... more
Keep Comfortable On The Ice
by Bob Jensen
Back in the day, some people didn't go ice-fishing because they didn't like to be cold. While that may have been a valid excuse then, now there is no need to avoid ice-fishing due to the cold. We have all sorts of clothing and equipment that will enable us to stay comfortable on the ice. It is important to keep in mind that we want to stay comfortable, but not too warm. Too warm is just as... more
Put a Little Spring in Your Bobber
by Jerry Carlson
It happens to me several times every winter. Someone that has not experienced the pleasures of modern ice fishing techniques asks me to take them panfish fishing. I gladly oblige. Each time out, there is quite a learning curve that must be gone through. The concept of seeing your bait on the Vexilar and being able to watch the fish as they respond to your offerings is quite fascinating. L... more
The Winter Perch Search!
by Mike Frisch
One of my favorite winter fish species to chase is yellow perch. These fish grow big and feisty in some waters and are very tasty table fare too. Here is a look at some tips to put jumbos on the ice and in the frying pan this winter. The first step in finding winter perch is choosing the right body of water, targeting a lake with a reputation for producing jumbos is sound advice. Lots of ... more