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April 2019


Save Your Eyes And Catch More Fish
by Craig Ritchie
Walk through any well-stocked tackle store these days and it's a sure bet that somewhere onsite you'll find a display rack with a range of polarized sunglasses for fishing. Some of the glasses on display will be cheap and cheerful, while others can cost several hundred dollars. There are plenty of reasons for wearing quality sunglasses any time you're outdoors. Polarized sunglasses filter out ... more
When To Use Mono, Braid or Fluorocarbon
by Craig Ritchie
Buying fishing line used to be easy - you picked the brand, tint and breaking strength you like best, and head for the cash register. There wasn't much more to it. Not so today, with fishing stores offering braided lines, fluorocarbon lines and monofilament lines in a huge range of sizes, colors, brands and styles - to the point that some anglers are starting to feel they need an engineering de... more

March 2019


Get Ready For Open Water
by Bob Jensen
The winter of 2019 appears to be winding down, at least a little bit. I'm guessing that I've got a couple more ice-fishing trips in me, but I can't get out now, so I'm getting ready for open water. Here's what I'm doing: I almost always start in my jig boxes. I've got a box for walleye jigs and another one for bass jigs. Fire-Ball Jigs are my go-to jig in the spring. The short-shank wide-g... more
Enjoy Fast Action With Ice-Out Crappie
by Craig Ritchie
While each of the four seasons has its own charms, it's tough to beat the surge of activity that comes in early spring as winter finally relaxes its icy grip. Fast-slowing streams across the Midwest attract big runs of powerful steelhead, open waters on the Great Lakes offer salmon close to shore, and warming shallow bays attract spawning pike in mass numbers. Yet I find one of the most enjoyable ... more
Prime Time For Winter Steelhead
by Craig Ritchie
As much as I enjoy ice fishing, and as much as I look forward to a mid-winter trip south to get in some open water casting, my favorite winter pastime has always been river fishing for steelhead. Each year, starting in late February, winter begins to release its icy grip from the rivers flowing into the Great Lakes, and those rising meltwaters trigger a substantial migration of steelhead on their ... more

February 2019


Search Strategies for Jumbo Perch at Late Ice
by Jason Mitchell
Ice anglers have long been infatuated with big jumbo perch and late ice is a prime window for targeting perch on a lot of different fisheries. In some states, game fish seasons close prior to the late ice period where as perch and other pan fish seasons remain open year-round. Part of the allure for ice anglers targeting perch can be the highs and lows of perch fishing in that we often need to m... more
Easy Tactics For Mid-Winter Panfish
by Craig Ritchie
It's well known that the best ice fishing happens early and late in the season. Many species are still putting on the feed bag when the first ice seals the lakes shut, while longer days and the approach of spawning season for many species brings another burst of activity before the ice gives out altogether. But in between, things can slow a bit in what some anglers refer to as the February Blahs. ... more

January 2019


Hunting Gators
by Jason Mitchell
Northern pike have a rap sheet with ice anglers. These top end carnivores have always held a special place in ice fishing lore simply for their attitude. Some of my earliest ice fishing memories involved staring down a hole in a shallow weedy lake. The weeds seemed vibrant like a neon green carpet. We would stare down the hole for hours watching pike and perch swim underneath. Each pike seeme... more
Use Winter Nights To Prepare Tackle For The Coming Season
by Craig Ritchie
If you really think about it, an angler's year can be divided into three neat periods. There's the open water season, when we're fishing every chance we get. There's the winter, when we still fish, but through a hole in the ice. And there's that brief, panic-stricken few days in between, as the last ice melts and it's a mad scramble to get our gear together for another open water season. If yo... more
Winter Is Prime Time For A Tennessee Grand Slam
by Craig Ritchie
Ice fishing is fun, but I prefer casting in open water to drilling holes in a frozen lake. Thankfully, winter brings all sorts of great opportunities that are just a short drive away. Tennessee isn't far from my home in the Midwest, but it's a world apart in January. While our lakes are capped with a layer of ice, lakes in Tennessee remain wide open, and you fish out of a boat instead of an ice hu... more
Crappie Main Streamed
by Jason Mitchell
Crappie inhabit so many different environments and ecosystems. What has always made ice fishing so much fun for me is the simple fact that each body of water will have its own personality. And that my friends is fun to figure out. There are some fisheries where we often find crappie on rock structure for example and yet other lakes or reservoirs where we find fish using locations that might see... more

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