Ted Pilgrim's Articles

December 2016

Hardwater Bassin’
by Ted Pilgrim
Alternative Winter Activity Comes of Age Ice fishing for largemouth bass is sort of an economized version of its openwater counterpart. Hobbit-size rods. Little bitty plastic worms, micro hair jigs and small spoons, and even scaled-down "ice crankbaits," each worked with utmost finesse, mesmerize wintertime bass. We say mesmerize because sometimes in freezing water, bass like to hover and s... 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

February 2015

Dropshot Panfish
by Ted Pilgrim
The Best Rig You've Never Fished? Written in conjnction with Brian "Bro" Brosdahl Amazing that such a versatile rig- this prefect presenter of soft plastics and livebait- would be so little employed by panfish fans. In reality, a dropshot rig can be as productive as a bobber and bait, or even a tiny jig. It's even possible that the dropshot is the most versatile rig of all, providing instant d... more
What Lies Beneath
by Ted Pilgrim
Discovering Hidden Hotspots on Ice Written in conjnction with Brian "Bro" Brosdahl Right now, there's a hidden hot spot in your favorite lake, and most years it never gets touched. "There's this lake I've fished my whole life," says legendary ice angler and guide, Brian "Bro" Brosdahl. "Thought I knew it pretty well. Then several years ago, I ran the entire basin in a boat armed with Side Imag... more

June 2013

Underwater Surveillance
by Ted Pilgrim
Top Bass Pro Reveals Subsurface Secrets Written in conjunction with Joe Balog "I'll never forget the first time I got a peek at the underwater world on one of my favorite lakes," recalls Great Lakes bass pro, Joe Balog. It was the summer of 1997, and Balog had just acquired one of the very first underwater viewing systems. "I was so excited to check out this particular spot I could hardly sit ... more

October 2012

Bronze Triumvirate
by Ted Pilgrim
Three Master Anglers Share Fall River Smallmouth Secrets For river smallmouth bassers, "fall" carries a wonderful meaning. Across their North American range, smalljaws are on the move. Whether their riverine travels take them on lengthy journeys or short sojourns, bass respond to shorter days and cooling waters in one very important way: with great hunger and aggression. At the epicenter... more

May 2012

"Artificial Intelligence" for Walleyes
by Ted Pilgrim
Written in conjunction with Tony Roach Springtime arrived earlier this year than maybe anytime over the past century. It's been a truly remarkable season of prematurely warm weather - not that we're complaining. But even the old-timers, who were around to fish the Original Rapala Minnow, can't recall another year like this one. Melting ice ended the frozen water period almost before it started.... more

January 2012

Bizarro World Walleyes
by Ted Pilgrim
Written with Tony Boshold Redefining "Classic" Ice Fisheries Some of the best walleye fishing you can imagine is occurring in places you might never think to look. Historic numbers of fish up to 10-pounds, even larger, are today living and thriving in lakes and reservoirs that only five years back were nearly empty of these coveted freshwater animals. In the scope of the past two ... more

December 2011

Resurrecting Deadsticks
by Ted Pilgrim
Why "Live" Beats "Dead" on Ice The rodtip of the deadstick springs suddenly and energetically to life. 'Dead'stick? It seems at once a confusing mix of metaphors for a tactic so reliant on the vigor and vitality of a wild baitfish. Below the ice, dormant or just plain dead minnows take pike, maybe the occasional wintertime catfish. But hang a limp, lifeless shiner or chub before the gaping maws... more

November 2011

Underwater Surveillance Mission
by Ted Pilgrim
Co-authored with Tony Boshold Champion Ice Angler Discusses his Favorite 'Fish Finder' Ice fishing ace Tony Boshold sees the big picture. Give the world champion angler an auger and an underwater camera in the morning, and later that day, he'll have discovered the lion's-share of a lake's secrets. Many of the top anglers fishing the competitive ice fishing circuit these days utilize a Ma... more

October 2011

The Art of Triggering the Bite
by Ted Pilgrim
Co-authored with Tony Roach Lure Moves for Walleyes in Reality Last February, fresh off a phenomenal trip to the current version of hog walleye heaven-Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba-Tony Roach could hardly keep himself from jumping out of his Snosuit. "Here we were," Roach exclaimed, jigging arm twitching randomly, "Standing out in the middle of the 'Winnipeg Wasteland,' ripping these clunky rattli... more

September 2011

Dirty Day Muskies
by Ted Pilgrim
When "Cold, Dark and Damp" actually signal Comfort and Good Fortune If you're not careful, being on water when most everyone else isn't can quickly become the central theme of your muskie strategy. Since fishing during the closed-season months is automatically ruled out, what we're left with are those 'dirty weather' days when winds howl and rains fall, right along with plummeting air temperatu... more

May 2011

"Fishing Platforms" - The Ultimate Foundation for Proper Presentation
by Ted Pilgrim
Writen in conjunction with Scott Glorvigen Don't worry, this isn't a complex story about boat control. We promise not to make you read all about how to execute the perfect backtroll; slip-drift a steep breakline while quartering with a 30-knot gale; half-circle troll for king salmon with three different motors while standing on one leg. Yes, they're all show stopping techniques given certain se... more

September 2010

Pixel Fish or Live Fish? Find Bass and Walleyes Fast with Reality TV
by Ted Pilgrim
It's a little amusing to consider the level of technology that's been applied to the humble pursuit of angling. For a quest whose only core requirements are a hook, line, bait and sinker, the addition of military-level gadgetry can at times leave you feeling a little sheepish. Not that we mind the advantages. Satellite-enhanced mapping software pinpoints our location on the lake, and guides us ... more

May 2010

For the Love of Muskies
by Ted Pilgrim
Catch-and-Release lessons from a toothy-critter master - with Pete Maina Pete Maina has in his day handled thousands of big muskies. Ex-guide, lure inventor, TV personality, angler extraordinaire, Maina has worn many hats. Today, while he remains a zealous hunter of the big green fish, his real crusade is a message of placing fisheries first. "No one is handling more muskies each and ever... more

February 2010

Top ice anglers test skills, electronics at the 2009 NAIFC Championship
by Ted Pilgrim
Reluctantly biting fish and the need for well-tuned electronics…everywhere lakes freeze, these two themes figure largely into the schemes of ice anglers. So it was during the 2009 North American Ice Fishing Championship. Eighty-four of North America's finest ice angling teams recently converged on Boom Lake, Wisconsin to test their skills against both finicky fish and extreme fishing pressure... more

November 2009

Joe Knows Panfish - Tournament Champ Talks Tactics and Tackle
by Ted Pilgrim
The North American Ice Fishing Championship (NAIFC) team of Captains Joe Pikulski and Myron Gilbert are on to something. Last year, the dynamic Michigan duo—both Great Lakes charter boat captains in the “off season”—took home their fourth NAIFC Team of the Year title, in nearly as many winters. Helping cement their win, the boys took two 3rd place finishes, a 5th, and various other top tens. In... more

September 2009

A “Power” Program for Walleyes
by Ted Pilgrim
With Tony Roach... Nearly fifty years after the inception of the modern live-bait rig-what's today known simply as the 'Roach Rig'-its sheer effectiveness still raises eyebrows and turns heads. Take a vigorously squirming minnow, nightcrawler or leech, and couple it with a hook, leader and sliding sinker and you're fishing the deadliest walleye presentation of all time. Get a natural, lively ba... more

August 2009

Summer’s Triple Play
by Ted Pilgrim
Top guides reveal three tricks for tagging fish at the plate Every guide worth his salt has one. You know, that sneaky trick up his sleeve that always keeps his clients' rods bent. Cold fronts, breathless firecracker days, July blizzards (it could happen)-the conditions are almost beside the point. These slick tricks simply catch fish, atmospheric conditions losing their bark and bite. Ask any ... more

May 2009

Big Water Humpheads—An Alternative Approach to Panfish
by Ted Pilgrim
For trophy panfish sleuths today, it's all about staying two steps ahead of the pack; going where crowds of anglers haven't been for a while. Sometimes, it's a simple matter of circling back to lakes that were hot several seasons back. But from a broader perspective, the game has changed. Most of the smaller, more obvious lakes have been plucked of their panfish gems. Sad but true. Fortunatel... more

Article Archive

2018 Articles

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