Bob Jensen's Articles

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

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
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

June 2016


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

May 2016


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


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

March 2016


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

February 2016


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

January 2016


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

November 2015


Northern Pike on Walleye Gear
by Bob Jensen
It happened again recently. We had a great plan for catching fish and the fish just didn't get with the program that we were presenting. We changed our program completely and caught'em: Caught'em good. Here are the details. We were on Lake Winnibigoshish in north central Minnesota. My fishing partners were Craig Brown and Kyle Waterman. These guys both know their way around a fishing pol... more

September 2015


Fish The Weedline In The Fall
by Bob Jensen
The weedline is a great place to find and catch fish all during the open water fishing season. Lots of anglers even work the weedline while ice-fishing. Simply put, there is almost always a fish somewhere along the weedline that is willing to get caught. In the autumn months a variety of fish will be in the vicinity of the weedline. You might have a school of crappies suspended just off th... more

May 2015


Catch The Biters
by Bob Jensen
As we enter a new open water fishing season, it's good to get some thoughts together regarding changes in fishing techniques and fishing ideas. Some of us consider ourselves to be "walleye fishermen", some fit the bill as "bass fishermen", others narrow it down even more and proclaim themselves to be a "jig fisherman". However, there is a growing number of fishermen who consider themselves to be... more

March 2015


Early Spring Walleyes In Rivers
by Bob Jensen
Across the Midwest, walleye anglers are getting into boats and waders and are chasing walleyes. Jigging is perhaps the most popular way to catch walleyes this time of year. Jigs are popular because they're effective. Following are some ideas for using jigs to catch walleyes in rivers right now. Most rivers throughout the Midwest are currently low and clear. Minimal snowfall this year mean... more

December 2014


Factors That Influence Fishing Success
by Bob Jensen
Recently we talked about how lure color can have an influence in our fishing success. And, while color certainly can have a role in determining how many fish we catch, there are other factors that also come into play in our fishing success. Let's talk about some of those factors. Size is a really important consideration in open water or under the ice, but I think it's even more important un... more

November 2014


Catch A Bunch In The Fall
by Bob Jensen
I got to fishing again this past week. My friend Mike Gottheardt and I were chasing smallmouth bass on a river in eastern Wisconsin. We caught'em good: Lots of smallmouth and some nice ones. Nothing that would be considered a trophy, but some healthy bass that fought hard and jumped and were just fun to catch. The thing is, at this time of year, anyone can get in on some really, really good fi... more

October 2014


Drop-Shot Rigs For Fall Fish
by Bob Jensen
For some reason, autumn is the time of year when I feel the need to share the productivity of drop-shot rigs. It's probably because the first time I ever tried drop-shotting was in the fall at least twenty years ago. My friend Barry Day had just returned from a trip to the West Coast where he had been introduced to drop-shotting. Barry fished the Iowa Great Lakes a lot and had found drop-shotti... more

September 2014


Thinking About Fall Fishing
by Bob Jensen
For many people, Labor Day marks the end of summer or the beginning of fall depending on how you look at it. For some anglers, Labor Day marks the end of the fishing season: For other anglers Labor Day is the beginning of the best time of the year to be fishing. I like to fish during all the seasons, but autumn is perhaps my favorite, for several reasons. First Reason fall is perhaps my favor... more

August 2014


Planer Boards: Not Just For Walleyes
by Bob Jensen
Planer boards have been a part of many walleye anglers arsenal for a long time. Salmon and trout anglers also employ boards frequently. Planer boards do so many good things when a trolling presentation is called for. They enable an angler to get lines and baits out away from the boat, which prevents spooking the fish. Boards also make it so much easier to get multiple lines in the water. We... more

July 2014


Enjoy Your Fishing More This Summer
by Bob Jensen
Lots of anglers refer to this time of year as the "Dog-Days of Summer". The phrase "Dog-Days" came from ancient Rome and had to do with the stars and the belief that Sirius, The Dog Star, caused summer to be a bad time of year. Regardless of what they thought in ancient Rome, summer is not a bad time to go fishing. While catching fish in the summer can be challenging, the fact is that there are... more

June 2014


A Game Plan For Summer Walleyes
by Bob Jensen
The summer of 2014 has finally arrived. Lots and lots of anglers are taking to the water in search of their favorite fish, and for many of those anglers, their favorite fish is that guy with eyes that glow, the walleye. In most areas walleyes are done spawning and are setting up their summer patterns. There will be lots of ways to catch walleyes, but let's take a basic look at catching them in ... more

May 2014


Plastic Baits For More Fishing Success
by Bob Jensen
Through the years, wherever and whenever anglers go fishing, live bait has always been the go-to bait when fishing gets tough. It's still that way in many fishing situations: Pure and simple, live minnows, nightcrawlers, leeches, crickets, crawdads, and whatever else catch fish. But plastic baits are taking the place of live bait in many situations. However, when some anglers try plastic baits... more

April 2014


Jig Your Way To More Fish
by Bob Jensen
Early in the open water fishing season, jigs are probably the Number One go-to bait for walleye anglers, and folks who fish for bass and panfish also use jigs early in the season. There's a reason for that: Jigs are, plain and simple, fish-catchers. In fact, many anglers, if they were limited to one type of lure to use year 'round, would choose a jig. Jigs come in a lot of shapes and sizes and... more

March 2014


Select A Line For Open Water Fishing
by Bob Jensen
Another open water fishing season is closing in. It's still a ways off, but it's getting closer every day. Maybe the most important thing you can do to enhance your fishing is to use fresh line. Fresh line will help you enjoy your fishing and catch more fish. Here's why. Line that has been on a reel for an extended period of time probably isn't in ideal fishing form. It may not cast well due... more

February 2014


Color Under The Ice
by Bob Jensen
It might not seem like it, but the late ice season is not that far off. With Polar Vortex's and such displaying their power, warmer weather seems like a long way off. However, as the days continue to get longer and the sun moves farther north, we can be assured that the fish under the ice will sense a change and start to bite. One of the things that will determine whether or not they will bite ... more

January 2014


Mid-Season Ice Fishing
by Bob Jensen
The middle part of the ice-fishing season will soon be here. There are things we do in the middle of the season that we don't do earlier in the year. For more fishing success in the next few weeks, keep these ideas in mind. I was fishing for perch through the ice last year in South Dakota with Blake and Taylor Anderson. These guys are as sharp as it gets when it comes to ice-fishing. The pe... more

December 2013


Line Up For Ice Fishing
by Bob Jensen
Ice-fishing and open water fishing are very similar in some ways and very different in others. The differences are obvious; the similarities are much more subtle. One of the things that open water fishing and ice-fishing have in common is the importance of the line you're using. At any time of the year, your line is the only connection between you and the fish. You have to find them, and then ... more

September 2013


Wind Blown Walleyes
by Bob Jensen
We packed a lot of fishing into a short trip to Wisconsin recently. We fished for king salmon in the morning and had great action. One of my boat partners on the salmon trip was Bret Alexander. Bret is one of Wisconsin's best and busiest fishing guides. He told me about a unique walleye bite he had been on in the past few days. When our salmon trip was over, we had a few hours on our hands. ... more

August 2013


August Fishing Ideas
by Bob Jensen
Can you believe it's August already? It's just crazy how fast time goes. In many regions of the country this has been a very weird weather year. Winter hung on as long as it could, which made the Fishing Season Opener in Minnesota and Wisconsin unusual with ice still covering many of the lakes. Excessive rain in some areas, excessive dry in other areas has made fishing different. Not bad, jus... more

July 2013


Plastics on the Weedline
by Bob Jensen
We're in the summer season pretty much everywhere in fishing country. The spawn is over, so the fish, regardless of specie, are doing one thing: They're either eating, or they're looking for something to eat. If you can put a bait in front of a fish in a way that looks appealing to the fish, they'll probably eat it. An outstanding way to present a bait to a fish right now is a plastic bait of ... more

June 2013


Early Season Bass
by Bob Jensen
Largemouth bass can be found in lots of lakes, rivers, and ponds across the country. In the southern regions of bass country it's already mid-season for bass catching, but in the Midwest the bass action is just starting. In fact, in some states that have an open and closed season for bass fishing, the legal season for catching bass is just starting. Here's how you can take advantage of the outs... more

May 2013


Catch Fish That Are Hittin And Spittin
by Bob Jensen
There are times, more than we like to think about, when fish get finicky. North, south, east and west, fish sometimes just don't want to get caught. Or maybe it's just that they like to frustrate us every now and then. Whatever the reason, there are things we can do to get the fish to take our bait better when they get fussy. Following are some of those things. When the bite is light, use a ... more

April 2013


Versatile Anglers Catch More Fish
by Bob Jensen
Anyone who goes fishing wants to catch more fish and bigger fish. The anglers who catch the most big fish are versatile anglers. If you want to be more versatile, you need to learn more fishing techniques. Following are some fishing techniques that I am going to learn more about this year in an attempt to catch more big fish. I'm going to use plastic baits for all species of fish more this y... more

January 2013


Trolling On Ice
by Bob Jensen
Most anglers know that trolling is an effective way to present a bait to fish in the summer. Trolling on the ice may sound like a strange thing, but once you understand what "trolling on ice" is all about, you'll understand why it's an effective way to present a bait to walleyes, perch, crappies, and anything else that you might want to catch. Here is how and why you troll on ice. I was first... more

December 2012


Ice Fishing Ideas
by Bob Jensen
Just as in open water fishing, there are a few really good guidelines for ice-fishing success. Keep these ideas in mind and you'll be more successful on the ice in the early, mid, and late ice-fishing seasons. Here we go! Location: In any type of fishing, you need to fish where the fish are. In open water, we troll or keep moving while we cast. When you're ice-fishing, you need to keep mov... more

November 2012


Get Ready For Ice-Fishing
by Bob Jensen
It's not here, but it's near. Ice-fishing that is. It's November. Many hunting seasons are in full swing. Those are an ice-anglers reminders that it's time to start thinking about ice-fishing. Depending on Mother Nature, we could be ice-fishing in just a couple of weeks in the northern states. Now is the time when we should be getting ready to go ice-fishing. If you get ready now, you'll be ... more

October 2012


Use Live Bait For Fall Fishing Success
by Bob Jensen
Fall arrives at different times in different places across North America. Right now in the Midwest, we're experiencing beautiful weather, but the fish are noticing a change in the seasons. Water temps are dropping, and the days are getting shorter. The fish know that winter is on the way, and this tells them it's time to fatten up for winter. At this time of year, for a wide variety of fish wh... more

August 2012


Working The Weedline
by Bob Jensen
In the summer, fish can be found in a lot of places in a body of water. They'll be wherever their food is, and their food can be in a lot of places and take a lot of forms. In some lakes the fish will be eating suspended shad, or crayfish that are over rocky bottoms, or perch that are hugging the bottom, or leeches that are just out swimming around, or,,,well, you get the idea. Fish can be in a... more

April 2012


Consider Color For More Fishing Success
by Bob Jensen
People who like to fish like to talk about different things that can impact their fishing success. The number of factors that can impact our fishing success are many, but one thing that we often come back to is lure color. Beginning and expert anglers alike are always trying to figure out how much impact lure color has on our fishing success. Following are some thoughts on lure color. In the... more

March 2012


End Of Season Ice-Fishing
by Bob Jensen
Depending on where you live in ice-fishing country, the end of the ice-fishing season is maybe a couple of weeks away or maybe a month away. Regardless of the time remaining, late ice provides perhaps the best fishing from a couple of standpoints. The bite will usually be pretty consistent, the fish will be bigger because the spawn is getting closer, the days are longer, and they're also warmer.... more

February 2012


Catch' Em When Others Can't
by Bob Jensen
When you're ice-fishing, just like when you're open water fishing, there are days when the fish get finicky. They might be finicky due to weather conditions, or it could be fishing pressure that has them closed-mouthed. Whatever the reason, just like in open water, there are some things you can do to get fish under the ice to bite even when they don't want to. Here are some of those things. ... more

January 2012


Icing Walleyes On Spoons
by Bob Jensen
Just as there are a lot of ways to catch walleyes in open water, there are several very productive lure types for taking walleyes through the ice. But if a survey was taken among anglers who like to chase walleyes during the ice-fishing season, I'll bet a spoon would be the most popular lure. Spoons are popular because they produce. There are a lot of different spoons available to the ice angle... more

December 2011


First Ice Panfish
by Bob Jensen
Ice-fishing is getting closer every day. For the past few days there's been a skim of ice on the pond early in the morning, but that skim has disappeared by mid-morning. Today the skim lasted until the middle of the afternoon. Once that layer of ice has a full day and night to get established, it won't be long until there will be anglers out there punching holes in the ice. I won't be the firs... more

November 2011


Ice-Fishing Baits For Open Water Fish
by Bob Jensen
The 2011 open water fishing season is starting to wind down. The chill in the early morning air reminds us that it won't be long until ice covers the waters of the Midwest. It's time to get our ice-fishing lures out. However, we're not going to be using those lures for ice-fishing. Not yet anyway. Although the open water fishing season is starting to wind down, there are still lots of open wa... more

October 2011


There's Still Lots of Time For Fishing!
by Bob Jensen
Labor Day 2011 has come and gone. For some folks, that marks the end of summer, and to some people that means it's time to put the boat and their rods and reels in storage. If they want to pull the plug on fishing in early September, that's certainly their decision, but, if they live in the Midwest, they're missing out on two months of some of the best fishing of the year. I'm guessing that if ... more

September 2011


Jig Ideas For Fall Walleyes
by Bob Jensen
In walleye country, it's still summer during the day, but nights are starting to cool down. Cool early morning air temperatures remind anglers that autumn isn't far off. Autumn means different things to different people. For some, autumn is a time for hunting: For others it's football season. For walleye anglers, it's maybe our favorite time of year to go fishing. The weather and scenery is g... more

August 2011


Keep Moving For Summer Fish
by Bob Jensen
The summer months are a good time of year for fish in at least one way: There is lots of food in the water for them to eat. The baitfish that were hatched this spring are getting to a size where the predator fish can feed on them, and last year's baitfish are still of a size where they can be forage also. The supply of food for predator fish is probably higher right now than any other time of yea... more

July 2011


Loading And Unloading Your Boat
by Bob Jensen
How you load and unload your boat at the boat ramp may not have an impact on how many fish you catch, but getting it in the water can set the tone for the day, for you and for any other angler that's waiting to put their boat in the water. Unloading your boat should be a quick and easy process, but often times it isn't. Following are some things you can do to get your boat off and on the trailer... more

May 2011


Catch More Fish In 2011
by Bob Jensen
Although the lakes across the northern section of the Midwest are still covered with ice, anglers are fishing almost everywhere else. There's a feeling in the air that anglers are anxious to get fishing. They want to be on the water chasing whatever it is that they like to chase, and nothing is going to keep them from doing so. They might be fishing closer to home this year, but they're going t... more

March 2011


Late Ice Action
by Bob Jensen
We are entering what many ice-anglers declare to be their favorite time of the year for ice-fishing. The weather is warming up, the days are getting longer, and the fish are really starting to eat. During mid-winter there can be a time when getting bites can be kind of a tough deal. From now until the end of ice-fishing season, bites will be more frequent and your nose is going to stay a lot war... more

February 2011


Walleyes Through The Ice
by Bob Jensen
In many areas of the Midwest, we are entering a time of year when walleye fishing through the ice can be pretty good. In some states, or in parts of some states, walleye season closes and walleyes can't be targeted, but in those areas where you can still chase walleyes, the bite can be very rewarding. Here's how you can get in on the action. There are a lot of things that you can do this time... more

January 2011


Put More Fish On The Ice!
by Bob Jensen
There are several different species of fish that anglers chase through the ice. Some anglers like to catch walleyes, other like to get after perch. Pike are popular in some places, and crappies and other types of panfish are favored in others. Different species of fish respond to different presentations. Walleyes like spoons, panfish like tiny jigs, and pike like natural baits. If you're ... more

December 2010


Catch'Em Through Early Ice
by Bob Jensen
Early ice can provide some outstanding action for a variety of fish. Walleyes, crappies, perch, bluegills and northern pike are all willing to eat your bait when the ice fishing season starts. As soon as you know the ice is safe, you should get out there. Once you're on the ice, there are a few things you should keep in mind to maximize your chances for ice-fishing success. First of all, it'... more

November 2010


Tiny Details Create Bigger Catches
by Bob Jensen
I just returned from a late-season fishing trip to the Mississippi River. We were fishing near Lansing Iowa. My fishing partners were Jim Hunt and Terry Fitzpatrick: Both work at the Cabela's store in Prairie du Chien Wisconsin and are expert anglers. The Mississippi River had been at flood stage for several weeks, but was back down to normal levels. A very strong windstorm had just gone t... more

October 2010


Why Fish in the Fall?
by Bob Jensen
Every now and then someone asks me why I get so excited about fall fishing. Before I can answer, the questioner provides a number of reasons why spring and summer fishing is better. While I agree that fishing anytime of the year is a good thing to do, I can come up with several really good reasons why fall fishing is a good idea. Here are some of those reasons. Some folks insist that autumn ... more

September 2010


Where To Find'em In The Fall
by Bob Jensen
When you go fishing, if you want to catch a fish, it's really important that you put your bait where a fish lives. That might sound extremely basic, but the most basic concept of fishing is to fish where the fish are. You can have the nicest boat in the world, and you can have lots of expensive rods and reels and tackleboxes full of lures, but if you don't put your lure near a fish, all that oth... more

August 2010


Middle of the Summer Bass
by Bob Jensen
It's summer, and fishing in the summer can be really good. Thing is though, fishing might not necessarily be good for the specie of fish that you want to catch. We might really want to catch walleyes, but in reality, in some bodies of water, the largemouth bass might be biting a lot better than 'eyes. It's a good idea to keep your options open when you go fishing in the summer. If you do, you'... more

July 2010


Take Advantage of Fishing Opportunities
by Bob Jensen
It's summer, and fishing in the summer can be really good. Thing is though, fishing might not necessarily be good for the specie of fish that you want to catch. We might really want to catch walleyes, but in reality, in some bodies of water, the largemouth bass might be biting a lot better than 'eyes. It's a good idea to keep your options open when you go fishing in the summer. If you do, you'... more

June 2010


Shallow Water Bass
by Bob Jensen
When largemouth bass move into the shallows early in the fishing season, the action can be fast, it can be visual, and it can be some of the most exciting fishing you'll have all year. Here's how you can get in on this action. Depending on where you live, bass may have already been in the shallows, they could be there right now, or they could be in deeper water waiting for Mother Nature to tel... more

May 2010


Put Some Back
by Bob Jensen
In the next few weeks, lots of anglers are going to take to the water in search of a tug on their line. And in those next few weeks, lots of fish are going to be caught. When we catch a fish, a decision needs to be made: Am I going to keep this fish? For some folks, there is no decision. They are going to release the fish. There are lots of anglers who go fishing because they just enjoy the ... more

April 2010


Line Up For Walleye Fishing
by Bob Jensen
It's spring in the Midwest!! The snow and ice are gone and the robins have returned. Open-water fishing isn't far away: In fact, a good number of anglers are already out on rivers chasing walleyes and on ponds, bays, and backwaters chasing panfish. This is the time of year when many folks are putting fresh line on their reels. That's smart! Fresh line greatly increases the odds of your landin... more

March 2010


Get Ready For The Best Ice-Fishing of the Season!
by Bob Jensen
My favorite time of the year for ice-fishing is getting closer all the time. While I really enjoy early ice and its potential for fast fishing, there's just something I enjoy more about the final three or four weeks of ice-fishing. Maybe it's the longer days, which mean you can fish later in the day with plenty of light. Maybe, it's the more moderate temperatures. You can fish comfortably t... more

February 2010


Lure Action For More Ice-Fishing Action
by Bob Jensen
It's that time in the ice-fishing season when we really need to start fine-tuning our presentations if we want to experience ice-fishing success. The easy ones have been caught, and the remaining fish have been pounded pretty good by this point of the season, especially on the community holes or if you're fishing out of a shelter that hasn't been moved. This is when lure action become a very imp... more

January 2010


Ice Fishing Ideas For Finicky Fish
by Bob Jensen
Fish under the ice, just like fish in open water, sometimes get finicky. It seems that they just don't want to open their mouths to take the bait we have down there. Here are some ideas for getting fish to eat your bait when they don't seem to want to. First of all, if they're not eating the bait you're showing them, show them something else. However, showing them something else doesn't nece... more

December 2009


Four Tips For More Ice-Fishing Success
by Bob Jensen
When a person goes fishing, they want to catch a fish, or better yet, several fish. That's true whether we're talking ice-fishing or open-water fishing. Sure it's fun to watch the wildlife and the setting sun and spend time with family and friends, but it's a lot more fun to catch fish than not catch fish when you go fishing. Here are some ideas for catching more fish through the ice in the nex... more

November 2009


Don't Fish Memories
by Bob Jensen
Fishing is a great way to create memories. I have very fond memories of sunrises and sunsets on the water, my first musky, my first truly big walleye, my nephew's first overnight fishing trip, and lots of wonderful times spent in the boat fishing with family and friends. Most anglers have lots of great memories related to fishing. But if you want to catch more fish, you have to be careful that ... more

October 2009


Top Three Tips For Fall Fishing
by Bob Jensen
It's the end of September. Autumn is here. The fall season presents lots of great fishing opportunities for big fish and lots of fish. Wherever you live in the Midwest, there's some sort of fishing close by that will be peaking in the next few weeks. Following are some ideas for cashing in on those fishing opportunities. If you like to catch crappies, and if you have a body of water nearby ... more

September 2009


Turnover - A Fall Fishing Phenomena
by Bob Jensen
The fall season is a great time to go fishing. If you're looking for a true trophy, autumn is a good time to achieve that goal. If you're interested in catching a few fish for the table, you can do that in the fall period also. And, if you want to experience some spectacular colors in the trees, see wildlife, sometimes have the lake to yourself, and just generally be outside during a really n... more

August 2009


Fish For The Biters
by Bob Jensen
When anglers go fishing, they want to catch a fish. In fact, they want to catch lots of fish. While you're probably not going to always catch lots of fish, there are some things that anglers can do to increase their odds of getting bit. Finding the biters is a big part of catching fish. We frequently emphasize that to consistently catch fish, first you've got to find the fish. However, at t... more

July 2009


Work a Weedline
by Bob Jensen
As summer progresses, gamefish throughout the Midwest will be found in a variety of areas in a body of water. They are looking for food, and, depending on the lake, food can be found in a variety of areas. In some lakes, walleyes will be feeding on perch in deep water. In other lakes, largemouth bass will be eating suspended shad. Northern pike can be found chasing oily baitfish off deep poi... more

June 2009


Try A River This Summer
by Bob Jensen
The Midwest is blessed with all sorts of fishing opportunities. Lakes, rivers, ponds, and reservoirs dot our landscape. Wherever you live, you don't need to drive far to wet a line. Rivers can provide some outstanding fishing action throughout the summer. Actually, rivers can be good year 'round, especially the larger rivers. However, in the summer, small, medium, and large rivers can provi... more

May 2009


Early Season Shallow Water Walleyes
by Bob Jensen
It's here or very near! Wherever you live in the Midwest, walleye season is open or very close to opening. The next few weeks will see lots of anglers trying to catch walleyes. Here are some ways to increase your odds for walleye success early in the season. Early in the season the water is cold. Walleyes like slow moving baits in these conditions. We can present a bait slowly several diff... more

April 2009


Early Season River Walleyes
by Bob Jensen
Pretty much wherever you live in the Midwest, there are walleyes just waiting for you to catch them right now. Some states have a closed season on 'eyes, but with just a little driving, you can get to areas that have walleye fishing happening as you read this. Following are some ways to get in on the action. Much of the walleyes that are being caught this time of year are being caught in ri... more

March 2009


Open Water Fishing This Year
by Bob Jensen
There's still lots of ice-fishing left in the winter of 2009, but I've been doing some thinking about the upcoming open water season. Those of us who live in the Midwest have lots to look forward to when it comes to fishing. I say it a lot, and I'm going to continue to say it: If you live in the Midwest, you have many outstanding fishing opportunities available to you. There are lots of rive... more

February 2009


Thoughts On Ice-Fishing
by Bob Jensen
We're quite a ways into the ice-fishing season. It's about this time every year, after we've been on the ice a few times, when we realize that we've learned or re-learned some things that can contribute to ice-fishing success. Following are some things I've learned or re-learned so far this ice-fishing season. If you're driving your truck on the ice, don't get stuck in four wheel drive. If... more

January 2009


Mobility On The Ice
by Bob Jensen
As we get farther into the ice-fishing season, things change a bit. We still need to put our bait in front of a fish if we want to be successful, but we need to be a little more aggressive in our search for fish. Early in the season, because of thin ice and minimal snow cover, the fish can see activity above them very easily, and that can make them spooky. The less activity the better, whic... more

December 2008


Early Ice-Fishing Action
by Bob Jensen
When I drove by the local pond this morning, it was covered with a skim of ice. Certainly not enough ice to support a person, but nonetheless ice. This is the earliest I've seen ice on the pond for a long time. Maybe that indicates an early start to ice-fishing this year, or maybe not. It's a good reminder though, that now is the time to be thinking about early ice tactics. Panfish are an ear... more

November 2008


New Fishing Lessons Learned
by Bob Jensen
For many anglers, the 2008 open water fishing season is quickly winding down. Many folks who like to go fishing also like to hunt, and right now is about the only time they can go hunting. There are also a lot of other activities that can conflict with fishing this time of year. While the opportunity to catch lots of fish and big fish is great right now, unfortunately there aren't a lot of angl... more

October 2008


Big Baits For Big Bass In The Fall
by Bob Jensen
Autumn is a wonderful season for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities. This time of year is especially attractive to anglers. Most species of fish that are found in the Midwest are more susceptible to an angler's presentation now, but that creates a bit of a challenge also. The challenge is, what specie of fish do we go after? Walleye fishing can be outstanding on one lake or river, while the ... more
Fall Fishing In Rivers
by Bob Jensen
Rivers, both large and small, criss-cross the Midwest. Many of those rivers are full of fish in a wide variety of species. Those fish can be caught using a number of techniques, and they can be caught winter, spring, summer and fall. Here are some ideas for catching those fish right now. Most Midwest rivers are home to several species of fish, but there generally is a dominant predator specie.... more

September 2008


Fishing for Cruisers
by Bob Jensen
So much of the time when we're looking for fish, we're looking for them near underwater structure such as sunken islands, reefs, weedbeds, just something that they might like to hang out by and are easy for anglers to find with the aid of sonar. Other times we're looking for them near visible objects, maybe a tree or tree stump in the water, vegetation that is sticking above the water, someth... more
Summer is Winding Down
by Bob Jensen
You may not know it by looking out the window, but signs of summer’s departure are already starting. You may not even realize that fact by stepping outdoors. It’s still hot outside, the breezes are warm, and dew covers the grass in the morning. However, we can’t avoid the fact that another summer is slipping away. As summer makes its exit, the fish start to detect the changes in their surroundings... more

August 2008


Swim Bait Bass
by Bob Jensen
There’s a new bait style in the Midwest that is proving itself to be an outstanding producer of largemouth bass. It’s called a swim bait. Swim baits have been a big deal for a couple of years in other parts of the country where largemouth bass are the primary and most popular gamefish. Oftentimes bass trends start in the west or south where bass are chased twelve months a year. These trends then m... more

July 2008


Find'Em and Catch'Em In The Summer
by Bob Jensen
It would appear that summer is finally here, and most of us would say, "It’s about time". The weather so far this year has been weird. Now that we’re in the summer period of the year, we need to change our fishing a little bit. Earlier, when the fish were in a pre-spawn or spawn mode, we just looked for the areas where the fish were spawning. Walleyes were in areas that had sand or gravel bot... more

June 2008


Get Ready For Summer Fishing
by Bob Jensen
As the weather continues to slowly warm, anglers should be aware of changes in the fish-world if they want to be successful in their catching. As the water warms, the underwater world changes, and those changes will influence how fish behave and how our lure presentations should be altered. Here are some ideas for catching more fish in the early summer months. So far this fishing season, the fi... more

April 2008


Get Ready For Open Water
by Bob Jensen
Some Midwest anglers are already on the water, others are still on the ice. For most of us though, our first open water fishing trip is still a couple of weeks off. There is a thought that ice-out might be later than usual in some areas, so some of us could still be a month away from that first open water trip. However, when the opportunity to go fishing gets here, we want to be ready. Here are so... more

March 2008


Late Ice Panfish
by Bob Jensen
In some states throughout the Midwest, the ice-fishing season for walleyes and northern pike is coming to a close, or has, in fact, already closed. If you live in one of those areas, now is not the time to hang up the ice-rods and put the shelter and auger in storage. There are still some very good opportunities for ice-fishing action. Some of the best perch, crappie, and bluegill ice action is st... more

February 2008


Hold’Em High
by Bob Jensen
Whether you’re talking about open water fishing or ice-fishing, one concept remains constant: You’ve got to put your lure near the fish if you want to catch it. That sounds basic, but especially when ice-fishing, where your lure is in relation to the fish is very, very important. In fact, the position of your lure will sometimes determine if you catch a few fish or no fish. This fact was made very... more

January 2008


Lessons From A Season Of Fishing
by Bob Jensen
The cold northwest wind that blew through recently signaled the end of another fishing season for most folks. There will still be some trips to the river to catch walleyes, and ice-fishing will kick in pretty soon, but for now, most fishing is taking a break. This is the time of year when I like to look back to figure out what I learned this fishing season. Swimming a jig is a great technique... more

December 2007


Selecting A Line For Ice Fishing
by Bob Jensen
As ice-fishing season gets closer, we need to start thinking about getting ready for that first ice bite. Many of the most accomplished ice-anglers view first ice as being the best time to be out there. While first ice can be good, there are many very good fishing opportunities throughout the ice-fishing season. However, no matter how good the fishing is, you need to have line that is going to sta... more

November 2007


Fall Smallmouth In Rivers
by Bob Jensen
Smallmouth bass can be found almost anywhere in the Midwest, and this is the time of year when they can be very active in rivers. You will need to change your approach a little bit, and you’ll also need to realize that they will be grouped tighter than they are during the warmer weather months. In the fall months, you might fish several spots and catch nothing. Then you’ll find the area where they... more

October 2007


Trailering Ideas
by Bob Jensen
This is the time of year when it’s good to check on something that many anglers don’t think about checking on. That would be your boat trailer. So many of us just hook the trailer up and head for the lake, and much of the time that works out fine. But if you experience just one trailer problem that could have been averted, it’s worth the time to do so. Here are some things you should check before ... more

September 2007


Get Ready for Fall Fishing
by Bob Jensen
“Get ready for fall fishing”. That sounds kind of premature, but now is a good time to get ready to get after the really big fish, and the really big fish bite in the fall. So do the small and medium-sized fish. Everything bites in the fall, and the other benefits of fall fishing are pretty hard to overlook also. The weather can be beautiful, colors on trees are vivid, and often you’ll have the la... more

August 2007


Courtesy at the Boat Ramp
by Bob Jensen
The idea of courtesy at the boat ramp is something that should be thought of early in the season, but in reality, anytime is a good time to think about getting your boat in and out of the water quickly but safely. There is no need or reason why a ramp should be tied up by a boater loading or unloading for more than a couple of minutes maximum. On a recent weekend at a popular Midwest lake that... more
Fishing Success During the Dog Days of Summer
by Bob Jensen
Here in the Midwest, we’re right in the middle of the dog-days of summer, and we’ve got at least a month of the dog-days left. A very basic definition of the dog-days is the period of time during the hottest part of the summer. Anglers often describe the dog-days as the toughest time of the year to catch fish. Although fish can get a little more difficult to catch, they’ll still eat. In fact, if y... more

July 2007


Summer Fishing Ideas
by Bob Jensen
We’re just starting to get into the summer months, so now is a good time to think about a few ideas that will help us catch more fish throughout the summer. In the summer, fish do one thing: They eat. In the spring, spawning is their priority. After the spawn and a recovery period of a few days, the fish will be wherever the food is. If they’re eating perch, they’ll be where the perch are. If c... more

June 2007


Early Season Walleyes
by Bob Jensen
As the waters warm, walleyes change the way they do things. Earlier in the year, they were in the shallows spawning. Now that the spawn is complete, the walleyes will maybe stay in the shallows, or they might move into deeper water. Where they are depends on where their food is. In the spring walleyes will be in shallow water spawning. The rest of the year, they will be wherever their food is. If ... more

April 2007


Lessons from Ice-Fishing for Open Water Fishing
by Bob Jensen
Sometimes anglers who fish in both open water and through the ice can learn from those seemingly opposite experiences. That point was made crystal-clear to me on my most recent ice-fishing trip a couple of weeks ago. Here’s what I mean. First, you can’t catch the fish if they’re not there. When you’re ice-fishing, if you’re using a sonar unit, you can tell if the fish are there: You can see the... more

March 2007


Presentations For Finicky Fish
by Bob Jensen
Sometimes when ice-fishing, the fish really want to bite. That's when an angler can get by with presentations that aren't real precise. At other times, the fish want a bait a certain way. If it isn't presented just so, they're not going to hit. You can tell how finicky they are by watching your sonar. If they come in and eat the bait, they're aggressive. If you can see them come in on the so... more

February 2007


Sonar for Ice-Fishing
by Bob Jensen
Open water anglers will usually admit that their most important tool for fishing success is sonar, which is often referred to as a depth-finder. Many anglers have a depth finder on the console of their boat so they can watch the depth and for fish-holding structure as they move around the body of water they're on, and another on the bow next to their electric motor so they can keep track of struct... more

January 2007


Fool Finicky Fish
by Bob Jensen
Every now and then the fish get a little finicky, sometimes a lot finicky. Regardless of whether it’s open water or ice season, there are ways to encourage these finicky biters to take your bait. Following are some ways to get them to eat your lure when you’re ice-fishing. First of all, how do you tell if the fish are finicky? It is important to first determine that fish are actually in the are... more

December 2006


Ice Fishing Update
by Bob Jensen
Part of the fun of any new fishing season is the anticipation of exploring new waters, chasing a new species of fish, and using new fishing equipment. The ice-fishing world always has new items that can help you catch more fish or be more efficient in your time on the ice. Following are some ideas or products that will make your ice-fishing more productive. If you're going to catch anything whi... more

November 2006


Walleyes at Night
by Bob Jensen
On some bodies of water, at some times of the year, the walleyes bite best at night. That is especially true in the fall months. Here is how you can get in on this action. The best night-bite lakes for walleyes are often the lakes with deep, clear water, although I have done well on smaller, darker lakes from time to time. However, it’s a pretty safe bet that the deeper, clearer lakes will be b... more

October 2006


Why I Fish in the Fall
by Bob Jensen
The autumn months offer so many options to sports enthusiasts. There's football on Saturdays and Sundays. There's goose, duck, pheasant, deer, and small game hunting. There's the traditional "drive-around" to look at leaves in their brilliant fall colors, visit orchards, and to do whatever else people who enjoy that sort of thing do. What many outdoor folks forget, or don't realize, is th... more

September 2006


Try Something New for More Fish
by Bob Jensen
Sometimes anglers get in a rut. So much of the time we tie on the lure that was productive on our last fishing trip and stick with it too long. Although that lure might be producing o.k., there could be another lure that would be much more productive. That point smacked me over the head on a recent fishing trip. My nephew Sam and I traveled to central Minnesota in early August to join our bass-... more

August 2006


Courtesy at the Boat Ramp
by Bob Jensen
The idea of courtesy at the boat ramp is something that should be thought of early in the season, but in reality, anytime is a good time to think about getting your boat in and out of the water quickly but safely. There is no need or reason why a ramp should be tied up by a boater loading or unloading for more than a couple of minutes maximum. On a recent weekend at a popular Midwest lake that... more

July 2006


Find Fish in the Summer
by Bob Jensen
Finding fish is almost always the key to fishing success. It has been said so many times before: You can't catch'em if you can't find'em. There are a few things to keep in mind when searching for summer fish. First, remember that eating is what fish do all summer. Their main objective every day is to find something to eat. Therefore, you should be looking for the areas that hold the food for t... more

June 2006


Keep Quiet in the Shallows
by Bob Jensen
Early in the open water fishing season, many of our favorite fish that live in Midwest lakes are active in the shallow water, and when they're shallow, they are often willing to bite. However, shallow water fish are often quite spooky. Too much noise or motion will make them skittish. They will either leave the shallows or just not bite until things quiet down. To catch these shallow water fis... more

May 2006


Spool Up for More Fishing Success
by Bob Jensen
A new fishing season has arrived. Anglers are excited about what this season may bring in the way of fishing. You may have new lures, new rods and reels, maybe even a new boat. Maybe you have fishing trips planned, and new techniques that you're anxious to try in an attempt to get the fish to bite. When that big one finally does bite, will you be ready? Too many anglers forget about perhaps the mo... more

April 2006


Fishing For A Meal
by Bob Jensen
Anglers across the Midwest are starting to get the urge to go fishing. They're looking forward to feeling a tug on their line, and many of those anglers are also looking forward to a meal of freshly caught fish. A meal of fresh fish is a good thing. Most folks will agree that fresh fish are tasty in a good way, and, when prepared correctly, fish are good for our health. There's nothing wro... more

March 2006


Catching Pressured Fish Through The Ice
by Bob Jensen
This is the time of year when fish start to show some of the effects of fishing pressure. Although some lakes across the Midwest haven't seen quite as much ice-fishing pressure as usual this year, the fish in most bodies of water are acting like fish that have been beat up on as much as ever. Here's how you can continue to catch fish through the ice when others can't. If you've been fishing a... more

February 2006


Sit Still For More Perch
by Bob Jensen
As the ice-fishing season continues, the fish change a little bit. If we want to continue to catch them, we need to change our lure presentation a little, sometimes a lot. Sometimes it pays big dividends to sit still if you want to catch more perch from now through the end of the ice-fishing season. When we talk about sitting still, that doesn't mean we're not moving around looking for the fish... more

January 2006


Trolling on Ice
by Bob Jensen
Most anglers know that trolling is an effective open water fishing technique. Successful ice-anglers know that "trolling" is also an effective way to catch more fish through the ice. Here's how you troll on the ice. When you troll in open water, you put a lure in the water, let it out behind the boat, put the motor in gear and start moving either forward or backward. You keep a close eye on you... more

December 2005


Another Fishing Season of Learning
by Bob Jensen
Anglers should learn something new about fishing every season. If you don't learn something new every year, then you probably aren't trying different techniques or different bodies of water or different somethings. And that means you aren't catching as many fish as you could or should. Following are a few things that I learned or re-learned in the fishing season that just passed. Plastic and... more

November 2005


Three Tips for Better Fall Fishing
by Bob Jensen
Fall fishing is upon us. Some anglers look forward to fall fishing with great expectations. Those anglers know that the autumn months can provide lots of action and perhaps the best opportunity of the year for a trophy. Additionally, in many cases you will have the best spots to yourself. There are a lot of distractions in the fall that keep anglers off the water, but if you get the opportunity to... more

October 2005


Bulk Up For Bigger Bass
by Bob Jensen
This summer has been a weird one for many anglers. The weather early on was wet and chilly in many areas throughout the Midwest, then when it decided to warm up, it got really hot. The heat kept some anglers off the water. Gas prices have been unpleasant this summer also, and although some analysts expect gas prices to moderate, we should probably anticipate that gas prices aren't going to reac... more

September 2005


Keep Your Fishing Costs Low
by Bob Jensen
This summer has been a weird one for many anglers. The weather early on was wet and chilly in many areas throughout the Midwest, then when it decided to warm up, it got really hot. The heat kept some anglers off the water. Gas prices have been unpleasant this summer also, and although some analysts expect gas prices to moderate, we should probably anticipate that gas prices aren't going to reac... more

August 2005


Big Baits for Big Fish
by Bob Jensen
From the middle of summer and through most of the remaining open water fishing season, fish are going to be eating. That's all they do this time of year. In fact, except during the spawn period, a fish's life revolves around eating. In the spring, smaller baits will usually be most effective for fish catching, but from mid-summer right through the fall months, big baits are going to catch big fish... more

July 2005


Plastics for Bass
by Bob Jensen
Throughout the Midwest we have some excellent populations of largemouth bass. Largemouth can be found in lakes, rivers, and ponds, and in many cases, they are under-fished, especially in the northern states of our region. It's hard to figure out why this wonderful gamefish is ignored by so many anglers, but that's o.k. with me. Fewer anglers chasing bass just leaves more for the few of us who enjo... more

June 2005


Net'em When You Can
by Bob Jensen
As fishing seasons get underway across the Midwest, it is a good idea to review proper netting techniques. Sometimes it can be tough to get the fish to bite: We sure don't want to goof up when the catching is slow. However, there really is no good time to make a mistake with the landing net. Following are some ideas for proper netting procedures. We should be thinking about netting the fish eve... more

May 2005


Panfish For The Season Starter
by Bob Jensen
In some areas of the Midwest, fishing season for some species of fish is still closed. In other areas, you can fish for whatever you want to fish for. Regardless of where you live, you can chase panfish. Panfish can be easy to catch right now and if you're hungry for a meal of freshly caught fish, you can't beat crappies, bluegills, or yellow bass. Pretty much wherever you live in the Midwest, pan... more

April 2005


CATCH WALLEYES EARLY IN THE SEASON
by Bob Jensen
---> Throughout the Midwest, the early season walleye bite starts at different times. The farther north, the later the start. Some states allow anglers to start chasing walleyes whenever possible, other states require us to wait until the season opens officially. Wherever you live in the Midwest, you can fish for walleyes right now. You may have to drive to an area that allows for walleye fishi... more

March 2005


New Lake: Where to go?
by Bob Jensen
As I sit writing this on a February weekend, the temperature outside reaches into the 50's giving this writer some serious spring fever. Luckily it won't be long until spring and open-water reemerge. Like most years, I will probably venture to new fishing locations this summer. Finding and catching fish on unfamiliar waters can be a difficult, yet very rewarding experience. Here are some thoughts ... more

February 2005


THINKING OF OPEN WATER
by Bob Jensen
It's that time of year when an anglers thoughts turn to open water. Although there is still lots of ice-fishing to do, it is only natural to look two months ahead to the time when we will be putting the boat in the water instead of pulling a portable shelter across the ice. Following are some of the things I'm looking forward to on that first open water trip of the year. First, it will be nice ... more

January 2005


PANFISH ON ICE
by Bob Jensen
Throughout the Midwest, panfish are abundant and they're popular. Anglers year ‘round like to catch panfish, and the winter season provides lots of opportunities to do so. Lakes, ponds, backwaters of rivers, they all hold panfish in good numbers. Here are some ideas as to how you can catch more panfish through the ice. First, it is important to identify what type of panfish you will be after. D... more

December 2004


Tip-Ups For More Fish
by Bob Jensen
Just as there are a lot of ways to catch fish in the open water season, there are numerous ways to catch them through the ice. In open water or through the ice, many anglers like to get as many lines in the water as permitted, as this increases the chances for getting bit. In open water, many anglers will put a bobber rod or dead rod out while they throw a jig or crankbait from an anchored positio... more

November 2004


Time To Re-Think Catch And Release
by Bob Jensen
For a number of years, catch and release has been gaining popularity in the fishing world. With anglers becoming more efficient and successful, it became apparent, at least in some circles, that angling pressure could create a strain on some fish populations. In most waters catch and release is voluntary, in others catch and release is required for fish of some sizes. The voluntary catch and relea... more

October 2004


Big Fish on Big Baits
by Bob Jensen
If your goal in fishing is to catch one or several big fish, then autumn is the time to do so. And, if you're going to be chasing big fish in the fall, big baits are the way to go. You can catch lots of fish on small baits, but if you are going to target truly trophy fish, you need to use big baits. For the biggest walleyes or smallmouth bass, it is very difficult to beat a redtail chub on a Roach... more

September 2004


Catch Muskies Right Now!
by Bob Jensen
Muskies will eat a lure at any time of the year. Numerous huge muskies are caught annually in the spring, often by walleye anglers using small, walleye-sized baits. However, if you want to up your odds for tangling with one of these toothy freshwater tigers, the period from mid-summer into late autumn can be the best time to do so. Here are some ideas for increasing your chances to catch one of th... more

August 2004


Mid-Summer Smorgasbord
by Bob Jensen
The summer months are a great time to try to catch a wide variety of fish. In fact, sometimes at this time of year it works better to just go fishing and see what you catch instead of targeting a specific species. If you want to catch a specific specie of fish, you will need to target them. However, if you just want to feel something pull back and don't care what type of fish it is that you catch,... more

July 2004


Mid Summer Catfish
by Bob Jensen
Catfish will bite year 'round, but lots of anglers wait until the heat of summer has set in before they start chasing whiskered fish. Here's how you can get in on some fast catfishing. In the Midwest, catfish inhabit a variety of waters. They can be found in lakes, ponds, and big and small rivers. There are several varieties of catfish, but for the most part, anglers in the Midwest chase chann... more

June 2004


Three-Ways For More Walleyes
by Bob Jensen
When some anglers think of "three-ways for more walleyes", they might think "jigging, rigging, and crankbaiting" or something like that. And, although those are three good ways to catch walleyes, in this case we are talking about using three-way swivels on our line to catch more marble-eyed fish. Anglers don't often pay a lot of attention to the swivel being used in their rigging, but in this case... more

May 2004


Chase The Other Fish
by Bob Jensen
Too many anglers consider themselves to be single-species anglers. Many, many times I've heard a person proclaim that they are a walleye-fisherman, or a bass-fisherman, or a cat-man, or whatever. If you enjoy specializing on one particular specie of fish that's fine, but you're missing out on a lot of other very good fishing opportunities. Anglers in some areas, or some areas of some states, ... more

April 2004


Try Plastic For More Fish
by Bob Jensen
Jigs are great for catching fish: Almost any fish will eat a jig. Tradition has most anglers tipping their jigs with minnows, leeches, or nightcrawlers, and for good reason. There aren't many fish that can resist a jig/live bait combo that is well presented. However, plastic baits are getting better and better all the time, and more and more anglers are finding that plastic tails on jigs can reall... more

March 2004


End of the Season Ice-Fishing
by Bob Jensen
This is the time of year when some ice-anglers start to wind down their ice-fishing. Although there is still lots of ice-fishing action remaining, for some reason, about this time of year, some anglers decide to hang the rods up for the season and start getting ready for open water. Those folks that continue to ice-fish can experience some really good action if they keep a few things in mind. Foll... more

February 2004


Mid-Winter Perch
by Bob Jensen
This is the time of year, in many areas of the Midwest, when fishing slows down for some folks. In fact, many anglers believe that the best ice-fishing of the year is under first ice and that the rest of the season just isn't very good. While it is true that early ice can be very productive, if you hang up the ice-rods and auger now, you're missing some great action, and much of the time that acti... more

January 2004


Early Ice 'Eyes
by Bob Jensen
Walleyes can be pretty easy to catch, much of the time, as soon as there is safe ice. In many bodies of water, the fish haven't seen much fishing pressure since Labor Day, so they're willing to bite. The numbers of baitfish are low now because many of them have been eaten throughout the summer and fall, and the remaining ones are, in most cases, too big for the walleyes to feed on. This also ma... more

December 2003


Early Ice Panfish
by Bob Jensen
It's happening earlier this year than it has in the past several years. Ice is forming earlier this year than it has in recent autumns. Mother Nature could be playing a trick on us, or she really could be kicking off the ice-fishing season early this year. If we are going to get an early start on ice-fishing, we need to keep a few things in mind if we are going to be successful. We are assuming... more

November 2003


Crankbaits In The Fall
by Bob Jensen
In the fall, crankbaits are one of my favorite lures for catching fish. Most species of fish eat crankbaits, and often times the larger fish will respond very favorably to these hard-bodied lures. The key is selecting the right crankbait, then putting it where the fish live. Here are some ideas for doing that. First you've gotta' find the fish. This time of year you can find the different speci... more

October 2003


Panfish In The Fall
by Bob Jensen
Panfish are fun, there's no other way to look at it. When a good panfish bite is discovered, it's possible to catch lots of fish. Panfish are also great on the table. Whether we're talking about bluegills, crappies, yellow bass, or perch, there is no question that if a meal of fish is the goal, you won't go wrong with panfish. Autumn can be a very good time to find panfish action. They can... more

September 2003


Getting Ready For Fall Fishing
by Bob Jensen
Although it still feels like the middle of summer, the signs that autumn will soon be here are unmistakable. The corn is starting to turn to gold, the young geese that were incapable of flight just a few weeks ago are now flying everywhere, and football seasons are starting. Those events all mean one thing: Fish will soon be entering their fall patterns. The time for big fish throughout the Midwes... more

August 2003


Proper Netting Means More Fish
by Bob Jensen
The big one finally hits. This is the musky, walleye, bass, or pike that you've been looking for for a long time. Your hookset was strong. The drag on your reel is set perfectly, the line is fresh and strong, and you know your knot is tied tightly. You're keeping pressure on the fish and, with just a little luck, it will soon be yours. It will be yours IF your fishing partner does a good net job. ... more

July 2003


No Stress Boat Loading (and Unloading)
by Bob Jensen
I just got back from the lake. It's a Sunday afternoon and we wanted to take the boat for a ride. No fishing this time, just a nice cruise around the lake. The weather was beautiful and lots of other folks had decided that boating and fishing were good things to be doing on this day. The lines at the boat ramps were long, but things were going nicely, at first anyway. Everyone was getting the boat... more

June 2003


The Best Fishing Of The Year?
by Bob Jensen
Early summer is perhaps the best time of the year for fishing. Autumn is probably better for trophies, but big fish are also available in early summer. Numbers of small to medium sized fish are also very good. Combine lots of fish with nice warm weather and you have the makings for a great day on the water. Here's how you can take advantage of early summer fishing. There are a couple of reasons... more

May 2003


Early Season Panfish
by Bob Jensen
In some Midwest states fishing seasons are in effect in the spring. Some states protect walleyes, bass, and pike at this time of year. However, for those who are anxious to wet a line, panfish are the perfect target. Many lakes and ponds have excellent numbers of panfish. Best of all, panfish can be very easy to catch soon after the ice goes out. Here's how you can take advantage of those panfish ... more

April 2003


Spring River Walleyes
by Bob Jensen
A friend just called to tell me the walleyes were going big-time on a nearby river. For the next few weeks, rivers across the Midwest will be the scenes of some superior walleye action. Of course rivers provide excellent walleye action all year, but in late winter and through the spring, action can be intense. Here's how you can catch walleyes in rivers for the next few weeks. Just as with any ... more

March 2003


Finding Fish
by Bob Jensen
I just returned from an ice-fishing trip to northern Minnesota. The action was awesome. Lots of perch, and many were jumbos. Also caught a good number of crappies and some bluegills. It was on this recent trip that I was reminded how important it is to, first, find the fish and second, give them the bait the way they want it. I was also reminded how important it is to pay attention to your sonar u... more

February 2003


Tip-Ups For More Fish
by Bob Jensen
Just as there are a lot of ways to catch fish in the open water season, there are numerous ways to catch them through the ice. In open water or through the ice, many anglers like to get as many lines in the water as permitted, as this increases the chances for getting bit. In open water, many anglers will put a bobber rod or dead rod out while they throw a jig or crankbait from an anchored positio... more

January 2003


Panfish Through The Ice
by Bob Jensen
There is a growing number of anglers who look forward to ice- fishing as much as some anglers look forward to the opening day of walleye season. I can understand why that is, although I have a hard time explaining the appeal of ice-fishing. Sure it's fun to be out there with friends, but lots of folks go ice-fishing by themselves. Some anglers go ice-fishing for a couple of hours on the weekend... more

December 2002


Selecting a Line For Ice Fishing
by Bob Jensen
In many ways, ice-fishing is very much like open-water fishing. Basically, the key is finding the fish, then putting a lure in front of them that they will eat. There are a lot of considerations that go into finding the fish then selecting a lure to use, but in the most basic sense, you need to find'em, then feed'em. There are also some very distinct differences in ice-fishing and open-water fi... more

November 2002


Get Ready For Ice Fishing
by Bob Jensen
I woke up the other morning, looked out the window, and thought I had over-slept, by about a month!! There was snow on the ground!! This reminded me that ice-fishing is probably not that far away. As with open water fishing, there are things you need to do to make sure that the first ice-fishing trip of the year goes smoothly. Here are some ideas as to what you can do to insure a trouble-free firs... more

October 2002


Autumn's Fishing Smorgasbord
by Bob Jensen
Late summer and early autumn can provide some wonderful fishing opportunities. Unfortunately it seems like some species of fish, like walleyes, bass, crappies, muskies and pike get all the attention while some other species of fish go unnoticed and under-appreciated. Following are some ideas how you can catch more fish and broaden your fishing skills in the next few weeks. Three species of fis... more

September 2002


Get Ready For Fall Fishing
by Bob Jensen
As the seasons change, so do a fish's habits. Even though we may not feel the change in seasons yet, fish are already aware of the fact that before long, their world will be a much different place than it is now. If anglers want to catch more fish, they need to be aware of how the fish's world changes. Much of the time anglers need to change their techniques and fishing locations if they want to b... more

August 2002


Try Deeper For More Fish
by Bob Jensen
We've entered that time of year when, in many bodies of water, the fish move deep. They still might move into shallower water when they are aggressive, and there will always be some fish shallow, but if you want a good chance to catch fish consistently this time of year, it might be a good idea to move deep. In some lakes deep is ten or twelve feet, in other lakes you might be looking at thirty... more

July 2002


Catch More Fish with Crankbaits
by Bob Jensen
Most of the larger gamefish throughout the Midwest have several things in common. One of the things is that they all are very susceptible to crankbaits right now and will be throughout the rest of the summer and into the fall. There are a lot of very good reasons to use crankbaits. They come in variety of sizes and colors, they can be worked shallow or deep, they can be cast or trolled, and best o... more

June 2002


The Right Jig For More Fish
by Bob Jensen
In the cold waters of late winter and early spring, it's really hard to beat a jig for most types of fish found in the Midwest. In fact, jigs are great year 'round. This time of year though, they are the first type of lure many anglers will reach for. There are a lot of different types of jigs available to anglers, and those different jigs have some different characteristics. Here's how to select ... more

May 2002


Fishing In Shallow Water
by Bob Jensen
In the spring, most of your fishing action will take place in shallow water. That's where the fish spawn this time of year, so that's where you're going to find them. Walleyes and northern pike will move into an area, lay their eggs, then move on. Bass and panfish on the other hand, will enter a spawning area in advance of the actual spawning process. The males will move in and build a nest. Wh... more

April 2002


Spring Walleyes In Rivers
by Bob Jensen
In many areas of the Midwest, rivers are the locations of some fast walleye action right now. In several Midwest states, walleye season isn't open yet in lakes, while walleyes in rivers are fair game. And, even if walleye season was open, the rivers would probably be a better bet for walleyes anyway. One of the keys to catching river walleyes right now is the current. The walleyes will genera... more

March 2002


A New Rod
by Bob Jensen
Winter and early spring are times when many anglers discover they need a new rod. Actually, many of those anglers don't really need a new rod, they just want one. For most Midwest anglers, the open water-fishing season is still several weeks away, so now is a good time to get out to the tackle shops and shake some fishing poles. If you start now, you'll be able to narrow your selection down to ... more

February 2002


Keep Moving For Better Ice Fishing
by Bob Jensen
In many areas of the Midwest ice fishing is just starting, but the season seems to have already reached a mid-point. The closer we get to spring, the better the ice fishing will get in many situations. We often hear about first ice being the best for ice fishing, but there are plenty of instances when the ice fishing gets even better as the season progresses. One of the keys to ice-fishing su... more

Article Archive

2017 Articles

2016 Articles

2015 Articles

2014 Articles

2013 Articles

2012 Articles

2011 Articles

2010 Articles

2009 Articles

2008 Articles

2007 Articles

2006 Articles

2005 Articles

2004 Articles

2003 Articles

2002 Articles

2001 Articles

2000 Articles

1999 Articles