Steve Ryan's Articles

March 2010


Trout thru the Ice - Just the Basics with Brad Bricco
by Steve Ryan
The bend in the rod foretold the tale of the tape. This was not the pull of a walleye or even a pike for that matter. This fish had a purpose, which did not include making an appearance on the topside of the ice. Jenny fought the fish with all the skill of a professional. After a tense ten minute fight, Jenny stood triumphant on the ice with her fish in hand. Brad Bricco, our fishing guide ... more

August 2009


Summer Perchin'
by Steve Ryan
Perch fishing is one of summer's simple pleasures. As a kid, I recall waiting all winter for the first warm days of summer to head down to the 'Lake' for some jumbos. A can of crawlers or a bucket full of minnows was all that you needed to catch a stringer of perch. Lake Michigan's perch fishery has changed considerably over the last several decades but the methods for catching these tasty ... more

July 2009


Spinning Your Way to More Walleye
by Steve Ryan
Summer offers some of the easiest walleye fishing to be had throughout the year. Forget the talk about dog days of summer. Walleye enjoy a nice summer day as much as anyone in the Midwest. Over the last decade, crawler harnesses and spinner rigs have likely won more tournaments for competitive walleye anglers than any other lure or bait system. Yet many casual anglers have still not embraced t... more

February 2009


Northern Pike Nirvana
by Steve Ryan
Most claim that it doesn't exist. Others whisper in low tones about its possible location. Notes are passed. Satellite images studied. GPS coordinants exchanged. Like chasing the end of a rainbow, the end point keeps shifting. Some prospect the feeder creeks of the Yukon River in Alaska. Others claim it must be in Ireland's fabled sloughs or Sweden's vast Baltic Sea region. Still others pond... more

January 2009


Jigging Success for Winter Pike
by Steve Ryan
Pack away the tip-ups. Grab a jig rod in one hand, a small box of lures in the other and set off on the ice for a full day of pike action. No bait necessary. With a basic understanding of the movement of pike throughout the ice season and a few simple jigging techniques and tackle requirements, winter pike are easy prey. Sure, everyone has enjoyed some good days of pike fishing while monito... more

December 2008


Ten Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques
by Steve Ryan
Everyone can stand to catch a few more panfish through the ice. However, ice anglers typically settle into a routine when they head out onto the ice. They catch several fish and then the action slows down or stops entirely. Maybe they change depths, colors, or holes a few times but that is about it. Once they stop catching fish based upon this routine, they quit and blame it on the fish - "they ju... more

July 2007


Sizzling Saginaw Bay Walleye
by Steve Ryan
It was a pleasant July morning when I first boarded Mike Veine's 20' Lund Baron in search of Saginaw Bay walleye. Along with my fishing buddy, we had made the six hour drive the evening before from Chicago to Au Gres, Michigan to test the waters of Saginaw Bay. We had heard much about this famed summer walleye fishery and were about to experience just how hot the action can be. Instead ... more

January 2007


Ten Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques
by Steve Ryan
Everyone can stand to catch a few more panfish through the ice. However, ice anglers typically settle into a routine when they head out onto the ice. They catch several fish and then the action slows down or stops entirely. Maybe they change depths, colors, or holes a few times but that is about it. Once they stop catching fish based upon this routine, they quit and blame it on the fish - "they ju... more

April 2006


Cabo Marlin
by Steve Ryan
With the snow and ice lingering this winter, I told my wife it was time to get some salt and sand. Not for the driveway, but for our drinks and for under our toes - it was time to head down to Cabo. The weather forecast was for 80 degree temperatures and sunny skies . . . all month. Plus, the striped marlin report was red hot. From Earnest Hemingway to Sammy Hagar, folks can't get enough of... more

February 2006


Top Ice Toys
by Steve Ryan
Lets face it; life on the ice can be cold and boring. What one needs to add excitement to the icefishing game are gadgets. The thicker your wallet, the more gadgets you can afford. Mind you, I have had plenty of fun catching fish with nothing more than a homemade spud bar, a make shift jig rod and a handful of ice jigs. However, if I had my choice, the following toys would accompany me on the ic... more

January 2006


Ten Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques
by Steve Ryan
Everyone can stand to catch a few more panfish through the ice. However, ice anglers typically settle into a routine when they head out onto the ice. They catch several fish and then the action slows down or stops entirely. Maybe they change depths, colors, or holes a few times but that is about it. Once they stop catching fish based upon this routine, they quit and blame it on the fish - "they ju... more

December 2005


Ten Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques
by Steve Ryan
Everyone can stand to catch a few more panfish through the ice. However, ice anglers typically settle into a routine when they head out onto the ice. They catch several fish and then the action slows down or stops entirely. Maybe they change depths, colors, or holes a few times but that is about it. Once they stop catching fish based upon this routine, they quit and blame it on the fish - "they ju... more

October 2005


Rockin' Walleye
by Steve Ryan
One of the easiest ways to catch late summer walleye is to fish mid-lake structure - in particular rock piles and reefs. Walleye relate to this structure from mid-summer to late fall. Reefs concentrate bait and provide land marks by which walleye navigate throughout the lake. The most difficult part of fishing rock piles and reefs is locating and marking them. LOCATING REEFS The number one ... more

August 2005


Keep Canada Fun, Eh
by Steve Ryan
Planning a trip to Canada takes considerable time and effort, including gathering information on lodges, talking to references, selecting the perfect week for the trip, putting together the right group of guys, and packing every piece of tackle known to man. However, upon slamming the trunk shut and pointing the vehicle north, all lists, worries and time schedules should be left behind. "Stuff... more

May 2005


Lake Michigan Salmon - Charter Captains' Secrets Revealed
by Steve Ryan
The big pond - the name anglers affectionately give that enormous body of water more properly known as Lake Michigan. A great lake by any standards, Lake Michigan's borders stretch across four states and provide boundless fishing opportunities for thousands of anglers. World record size brown trout skirt its shorelines and harbors each spring. Huge schools of firecracker Coho salmon provide angl... more

April 2005


Leave the bacon in the frig - time to fish with Kirk!
by Steve Ryan
Giggles resounded from the other end of the telephone. Not the reaction I expected while ordering a Texas fishing license over the telephone. After providing the licensing agent with the usual name, address and date of birth information, I inquired about any special fishing tips or locations. The agent spontaneously boasted of such great Texas bass lakes as Lake Fork and Toledo Bend. I pointe... more

March 2005


Crankin' Trophy Walleye
by Steve Ryan
Spring is here and the smell of walleye is in the air. As water temperatures creep up, deep-bodied walleye head toward their spawning grounds. With proper planning, this period offers anglers the best opportunity to land multiple trophy walleye in a single outing. LOCATION: Most river systems in the Midwest contain a good population of trophy walleye. Key spawning locations include shall... more

February 2005


Top Ice Toys
by Steve Ryan
Lets face it; life on the ice can be cold and boring. What one needs to add excitement to the icefishing game are gadgets. The thicker your wallet, the more gadgets you can afford. Mind you, I have had plenty of fun catching fish with nothing more than a homemade spud bar, a make shift jig rod and a handful of ice jigs. However, if I had my choice, the following toys would accompany me on the ic... more

January 2005


Jigging Success for Winter Pike
by Steve Ryan
Pack away the tip-ups. Grab a jig rod in one hand, a small box of lures in the other and set off on the ice for a full day of pike action. No bait necessary. With a basic understanding of the movement of pike throughout the ice season and a few simple jigging techniques and tackle requirements, winter pike are easy prey. Sure, everyone has enjoyed some good days of pike fishing while monito... more

December 2004


Ten Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques
by Steve Ryan
Everyone can stand to catch a few more panfish through the ice. However, ice anglers typically settle into a routine when they head out onto the ice. They catch several fish and then the action slows down or stops entirely. Maybe they change depths, colors, or holes a few times but that is about it. Once they stop catching fish based upon this routine, they quit and blame it on the fish - "they ju... more

November 2004


Stripers After Dark
by Steve Ryan
Ever cast a seven-inch lure into the night, hoping to hook a monster? Ever have the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up as an unseen fish throws water behind the lure? With each crank of the handle, the sound of erupting water intensifies. Ever have to repeat over and over in your head - don't slow down the retrieve; don't set the hook; don't slow down; don't set? As the weight of t... more

October 2004


Rockin' Walleye
by Steve Ryan
One of the easiest ways to catch late summer walleye is to fish mid-lake structure - in particular rock piles and reefs. Walleye relate to this structure from mid-summer to late fall. Reefs concentrate bait and provide land marks by which walleye navigate throughout the lake. The most difficult part of fishing rock piles and reefs is locating and marking them. LOCATING REEFS The number one ... more

September 2004


Classic Bass
by Steve Ryan
The sounds of classic topwater bass lures are ingrained in anglers' memories like songs from an old LP. The record spins at 33, 45, or 78 revolutions per minute depending upon the anglers' age. For those anglers who have retired these lures, the tune has faded. For those who have kept these lures in their play selection, their tune rings as true today as the first day they were released. These... more

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