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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 fishing. When fishing through the ice, an angler is generally much closer to the fish as compared to open-water fishing. Remember, when ice-fishing, you're fishing straight up and down. Much of the time the fish is only a few feet away from you when they move in to look at the bait. Anything that make... more
It is nearing ice fishing season, a certain excitement fills the air this excitement enters my thoughts, clogging my mind of it's daily routine, hindering my level of functionality, umm, shall we say it's now similar to
"Yes teacher!?! No, I wasn't daydreaming."
I'm sure most fishermen recognize the 'fever'. It has a profound effect upon most all of us. During this time, I daydream of past outings -- some memorable and some not so. Some of the fondest are of my dad, although he has passed away a few years back, I still like to recall fishing with him. What would help my fading memory any better than a journal could? I only wish I had started writing years and years ago so I could reca... more
Tip-Ups are one of the most popular and effective ways to ice fish. They will catch a variety of fish provided the angler knows how to rig them for maximum effectiveness.
Monofilaments are not well suited for this type of fishing. Spool up with a quality braided line or one of the special coated lines designed for tip-ups. A 30-40lb test line is adequate. These lines handle easier in cold weather and are less prone to tangle on the ice.
For Walleye and other game fish a mono leader is preferred. To allow the use of a mono leader tie a small barrel swivel to your braided main line. This will allow you to attach your mono leader. Use about a three-foot s... more
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 first ice-fishing trip of the year.
Number one thing. Make sure the ice is strong enough to support you and your gear. There are plenty of fish out there; let someone else be the first one on the ice. By the same token, let someone else be the first one to drive their four-wheeler or snowmobile on t... more
Just as the first month of the 2002 Duck Season, is winding down, hardcore waterfowlers are looking to "Big Waters" & Divers. With unseasonably cold weather this season, Divers are already showing up in this area! My clients have not only been harvesting Ringbills, but Bluebill, & Bufflehead are showing up in our game bag! I have also decoyed some nice flocks of Canvasback this season as well. I hope this is a sign of better days for these birds, as I have seen quite a few already this season. Hopefully waterfowlers will exercise caution when hunting, and identify these ducks before shooting!
Diver hunting requires a few different skills, & approaches, than pursuing Puddlers, so lets sta... more
Does the moon phase really have an effect on the fish activity? This question was one I often wondered about, and depending on whom I talked to the answer varied. While over the course of time the response from experienced anglers began to say consistently that yes this is a legitimate factor, I still wasn't convinced. Sadly enough, I will say today I wished I had taken to heart what those people where saying.
Think about how many times somebody has shared with you a tip or technique that they would swear by? If you are like me you listened politely, and carried on your way never to even try it. While I'm about to share my limited level of experience with moon phases, please take into co... more
It impacted the water with more of a detonation than a splash. Once the mushroom cloud settled, I began cranking. The lures mass constricted the line like a tightrope. The pole bowed. No black bass could consume such a mammoth bait
The lures blades flashed brilliantly and pounded like timpani. The retrieve continued; I was halfway in. Confidence was waning, though. It must be too large. But then, contained within a nanosecond, faith was restored. Somewhere, beyond the weedline, down the break, the freakish spinnerbait was waylaid. At first there was the feeling of emptiness in my hands, but that vacancy was soon replaced by a jolt, a waterskiing takeoff sort of dislodging. A good fall ... more
In its simplest form, the hamburger is a slab of ground beef sandwiched between two buns - genuine Americana, but boring. Same can be said for the jig. It's a formed hunk of lead with a hook sticking out its backside - classic, but boring as well.
Surely, despite its plainness, you could find someone to gobble the bland burger, but it might take awhile. What if that baby were spruced up? Might the number of suitors swell? Likely. So begin by adding slivers of provolone and Munster cheese. Next, maybe a crisp hunk of iceberg lettuce and a ripened tomato slice. Perhaps two or three strips of blackened bacon and kosher dills. Top it all off with Dijon mustard and ketchup. Now that'll trigge... more
A few weeks ago in the late afternoon while I was re-spooling one of my fishing reels my wife had yelled down to me in the cellar and said that I had a phone call. Right in the middle of my winding I had asked her who was on the phone to which she responded, I think youd better get this call." So I stopped what I was doing and picked up the phone and said hello. The voice on the other end of the phone introduced herself as Cheryl from the Make A Wish Foundation," she then proceeded to ask me if I was the Bass Coach?, to which I responded yes!... She then asked if I was the person that had the bass fishing school and a bass charter service located up in the Lake Champlain region... more
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 fish that are abundant throughout the Midwest but are overlooked in many areas are yellow bass, white bass, and catfish. All three can be very easy to catch, fight well on tackle that allows them to display their strength, and are excellent table-fare.
Yellow bass go through cyclical highs and low... more
Fifteen feet of water and less, "crank and pause" a simple method that can take lot's of fall-time walleyes whether on Little Bay de Noc or any waters in this Midwest!
Not being crank bait specific our choices most often are the Frenzy Baits. Lipped crank baits with varied diving lips and I'd choose several to cover different depths of water covering close this fifteen feet of water and less we are talking about. Casting a crank bait and it lets us know what lies under the water; weeds, sand or rock. A crank bait is like another sonar device for us only on the end of our fishing line. The key ingredient with all diving crank baits is that although floating when on the surface and crankin... more
Most waterfowlers,especially those in the southern states, equate Duck Hunting with Mallards. While they do harvest other puddle ducks, it is usually while pursuing Greenheads! The ducks I'm referring to, are Teal,Wood Ducks,Widgeon,Gadwall, Pintail, and even Black Duck! Like the old saying goes"variety is the spice of life",and variety is what makes waterfowling interesting!
As most of you reading this article, duck hunt in "Northern States", I will take you through a progression of the species in Wisconsin waters. Early in the season if hopefully we didn't have a good frost by the ... more
October is upon us once again, and all my favorite things are taking place. Football is back in full swing, the leaves are changing colors, my sweetheart has a fresh batch of chili simmering on the stove, and muskies are back on the structure! While fishing along with a client the other night I caught myself drifting off into the horizon pondering, "What would be a good topic for my October article on Lake-Link?" Just at that moment the toughest musky this side of the weed line nailed the perch pattern Undertaker I was working with every bit of her 41-inch bad self. My question was answered as I even thought, "Why don't I throw this lure more often?"
For those of you who have read my a... more
A snake charmer removes the lid from vase-shaped wicker basket. Sitting cross-legged, he presses his lips to a wooden flute and plays an evocative tune. The woven container stirs. Soon, the flared hood of a king cobra appears. Arched and mesmerized, the beast climbs as its tongue flicks, sensing the air. The haunting string of notes seems to captivate and control the asp, but onlookers wisely keep their guards up nonetheless.
Although not as dramatic, nor as dangerous, I grow a wee bit anxious, almost unnerved, each time I open my serpent box. Its plastic, not wicker, and the contents arent alive or poisonous, but they are snakelike and unquestionably the longest lures a bass will ever ... more
As I brought back in my retrieve I could sense it felt spongy. This registered the impulse to set the hook a short tick later and I was positive I had another one. Just as I saw the bronzed colored back, it was all over. That is, everything but the second guessing.
After beating myself up and plaguing my guide, Steve Tieman of the Rock
River Guide Service, I stopped the assault. Later it would dawn on me as I
reflected on the events and misfortunes of that chilly November morning. It
wasn't about what we did, it's what we didn't do. We tipped our jig and
twister offerings with minnows, solving whether or not the fish would hold on
long enough to be acknowledged with a hook ... more
Soon, the grassy fields will be clipped to precision and white lines painted in. On Friday nights, overhead lights will illuminate the gridiron, players, and cheerleaders. Gotta love those varsity football games
Pigskin season still carries significance for me today, but not in a traditional sense. Nowadays, my footballs are tossed to largemouth bass, not wide-outs or tight ends. The balls no longer made of leather, but oddly shaped lead. And best of all, I dont have to wait for autumn, because the games already underway.
Bass have been eating football roller" jigs for years. In fact, the lures gained tremendous popularity in the early 90s, but have since lost some identit... more
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 be successful on the water.
Think about how the underwater world changes this time of year. Several weeks ago there was lots of food for the predator fish to eat. The perch and bluegills that were spawned in the past spring were plentiful just a short time ago. Now, there are a lot fewer of those ... more
Waterfowl Fans, its almost that time again, HUNTING SEASON! That time of year some of us wait for, the rest of the year. It won't be long, with youth hunts, early goose seasons, and duck hunting opening the end of the month in the north. For a fun, and successful waterfowl season, it's important to be prepared! I think for myself, and most other hunters, the pre hunt activities are almost as satisfying as the hunt itself. So to give you a little head start, I would like to go into some of my activities used to prepare for DUCK HUNTING!
One of the main areas of concern for me is care and training of my hunting partner the, retriever. This of course is a year round undertaking, especially ... more
I remember my father teaching me to fish many years ago. "Cast over there, That is where the big ones like to hide"! "Don't reel against your drag, It will twist your line!" I remember Dad saying these things like it was only yesterday. My father told me back then that teaching me to fish had made him a better fisherman, and I did not know what he meant until I started to teach my children to fish!
Children don't have any preconceived notions about what rod or reel is best or even what bait to use. They really don't care how many ball bearings are in the reel, or what type of graphite is in the rod. All they care about is learning how to catch fish. They are fishing with an open mind! Te... more
Theres a place where the waters dark and cool even while surface temperatures seethe. Forage abounds and the oxygens thicker than a rain forest canopy. Covers plentiful too, and its surprisingly peaceful below despite the fact that this fantastic place is quite shallow, sometimes, unbelievably shallow.
"Shallow?" you say. "Sounds like a description of a deepwater hideaway..."
Thats true. Conditions are agreeable down there as well. But when the heats on, walleyes split-up. Some retreat to deeper environments as thermoclimes develop and baitfish plunge. Others recoil to vegetated areas. Places where stalks grow tall and foliage gets thick, nearly impenetrable; places where walley... more
The other day I was at my local Wal-Mart stores sporting goods department and a gentleman was standing by the fishing line rack and he had this confused look on his face. He looked my way and read the logo on my hat and said, are you a guide? I said yes. Would you mind me asking you what line you use. I said to him, sure but before you buy any line, there are some questions I'd like to ask you. I ask my clients this as well just to see how they choose the line they are using. He looked even more puzzled now. Well, tell me what kind of rod and reel do you use, and what species of fish do you generally fish for. You mean I need different line for different species he said. I said not necessari... more
If you're like me, then you most likely share many of the same sentiments regarding fishing anywhere this time of year. It's too damn hot during the day, and too many boats and wave runners tearing the lake to pieces even if you wanted to try fishing any more. What used to be "hot spots" are now "not spots", and I'm beginning to wonder if the musky population in my favorite lake suddenly became extinct? If this sounds similar to your mid-season experiences then hold on, and check out this alternative. I've been spending more time each year on the water after dark and the reasons are simple.
Let's start with the obvious
boat traffic. Boat traffic is an easy excuse in general, because it is... more
It's what we've been waiting for those hot, lazy, crazy days of August and then someone says it's too "hot" to catch any walleye! The excuses start: too hot, too calm, too much humidity, too many fish (walleye's) and not enough days to fish them!
If your looking for a time of the year when the temperatures are hot and the fish are biting, it's those so-called "dog-days" of August. There's always some non-believers but let me tell you that these warm days are definitely hot fishing days. Let's concentrate on the methods used to capitalize on some excellent walleye catches on the waters of both Little and Big Bay De Noc.
Starting Where? The Key in finding those Summer fish!
When it... more
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 to almost forty feet of water. Of course there are many bodies of water throughout the Midwest that are very deep, but for most species of fish, most of the time, forty feet is about as deep as you'll want to go.
When fishing deep water, it pays to do some looking with your sonar before even wet... more
This month I would like to share a technique that has worked well for me. I am sure someone else has also had this idea, but I have yet to see anyone else use it.
This is really a hybrid of two of the best techniques that have come along in a long time. This combines the use of a drop shot rig with wacky rigged soft plastic baits. Both of these are great when used alone but when they are combined it can be a great way to draw strikes from Bass that have seen countless baits and have become immune to Texas rigged or Carolina rigged offerings.
With a drop shot rig the weight is attached to a dropper line so it is below the hook; the length of the dropper depends on how far above the bot... more
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 of all, at times, fish will really slam them. Here are some ideas for catching more fish on crankbaits in the next few weeks and months.
An angler can cast or troll with crankbaits. If you are trying to fish a small spot, maybe a point in a weedline or a shallow sunken rockpile, casting is a goo... more
When I hear the word frog, the first thing I think about is not a Leopard Frog or a Bullfrog
.but a Plastic Frog. Weedless frogs typically have two upturned hooks that rest on the back of the bait; this is what prevents it from snagging the weeds. You won't have a hard time finding these baits, most tackle stores have them buried away some place in the back. Almost everyone has one in there tackle box
usually still in the box. In this article I am going to cover everything you will need to know about fishing a frog.
When fishing a frog, don't skimp on the equipment, stout tackle and heavy line is a must. Rod length from 6 ½-7 ½, that are Medium Heavy or Heavy action. I li... more
I am sure it would come as no surprise to anyone that is a frequent visitor to Lake-Link.com that there would be an article here about water. But this article is not about the Tannic stained waters of the Wisconsin River, the crystal clear waters of Lake Geneva or the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean. This article is about the water we drink to keep our bodies healthy!
According to the American Dietetic Association, most people replace only 50%-75% of the water they loose during activity, being dehydrated as little as 2% can cause a drop in endurance of 7% or more. Fishing is an activity! Some anglers are more intense and active than others, but the effects of dehydration can strike... more
The article youre about to read is true, the names are changed to protect the embarrassed (especially the victim within this article.)
In the early Spring of last year (2001) towards the end of the month of March, I received a phone call from a prospective student who was inquiring about my 3-Day On-Water" Bass Fishing School. For now, we will just call him John Doe, anyway in our conversation while acquiring about my school he stated that he had been bass fishing for several years as well as belonging to a bass club. After listening to him for awhile, I drew the conclusion that the problem with Johns frustration was that for over the past four years with all of his tournament fish... more
Walleye's, walleye's and always walleye's, but what about the Smallmouth Bass fishing on the Bay's de Noc!
When the great lakes are mentioned now-a-days it's getting to be known as a fishery of large proportion with species like lake trout, salmon, northern pike, walleye and smallmouth bass. Many people throughout the midwest are finding out that the Great Lakes waters of Lake Michigan support some other tremendous species of fish. When it comes to action, acrobatics, and just pure fun it's the Bronze-Back of all sports fish, the Smallmouth Bass!!!! Whether the scrappy little one-pounder's or the trophy's reaching 5 to 6 pounds and larger, Smallmouth Bass without a doubt are soon becom... more
I enjoy getting E-mail about the articles I write, I read them all and I try to answer as many as I can! If you have any questions or a comment please let me know!
As I write this I am AMAZED at all of the good fishing that the CHICAGO LAND area has to offer, just drive down any of the highways that cross our area and you will see countless small lakes and borrow pits that were left when our highways were built, these lakes are loaded with fish and many of them are on public land.
The first fishing spot I will tell about in part two is the Fox-Chain of lakes, these lakes cover more than 6200 acres and are fed by the Fox river from the north and empty in to the Fox river to the south. I... more
A Lipless Crankbait, not a bait a lot of Anglers think as a bass catcher but instead a dust catcher in the bottom of their tackle box. What is there to a Lipless Crankbait, some plastic, some bb's and finally some paint thrown on. Sure doesn't sound like a good bait, but trust me it is. In this article I am going to explain how to fish it, when to fish it and what you need to fish it.
How To Fish Lipless Cranks
A Lipless Crankbait is not just limited to a steady retrieve. It can be jigged, burned, yo-yo, and my favorite what I like to call Rippin. Jigging a Lipless Crankbait is simply letting your line fall down vertically under the boat and jigging it up and down much like a jiggi... more
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 the jig that will do the best job in the situations frequently encountered in the Midwest.
A round-head jig will do a great job much of the time. If you want to swim or hop a plastic tail, a round head jig is tough to beat.
If you will be hooking a minnow, leech, or crawler to the round hea... more
Wisconsin is blessed with an abundance of tremendous smallmouth bass waters. A few friends and I have identified some of Wisconsin's top smallmouth hotspots.
In Madison, Lake Mendota is becoming one of the best smallmouth lakes in the state. Eric Walls (608-246-1876), a top Madison area guide, tells me, "Lake Mendota is a great smallmouth factory because of the amount of unfished water and, the 18-inch, one fish, size limit." When hunting these big Mad-town smallies Walls says, "I look for the several points and rock bars off of Picnic Point, Second Point, Dunns Bar, Brearly Street and Tenney Park." He also targets any large rocks he can find, steep drops, fish cribs ... more
Every fisherman has from one to four deep cycle batteries in their boat. Some fisherman remove them from their boat at the end of the fishing season, some leave them in the boat. Some trickle charge them all winter, some charge them once in a while. Is there a right way or a wrong way to maintain your deep cycle battery ? I hope to answer this question, and give you some information that you will find very useful. Unless you are quite wealthy, you will want to take care of your batteries, and they will take care of you for a long time.. Average battery life has become shorter as energy requirements increase. Life span depends on usage; 6 months to 48 months, yet only 30% of all batteries a... more
Finally it's here! This Saturday, May 4th, it's a new season for Musky and all other game fish on our lakes here in SE Wisconsin. I will be out there with the rest of you trying to get that first Musky to boat side.
After the last few articles I have completed on Musky lures, I thought I'd start the season out with detailing a solid opening day program that you can use for your maiden voyage. Another point of interest is that this presentation got my PMTT partner Gregg Laffin and I our first PMTT musky last month in Kentucky on Cave Run Lake, along with "big fish" honors on day two of the event.
What does Kentucky have to do with Wisconsin you might be thinking right about now? When w... more
Have you ever thought to yourself or mentioned to your spouse or a friend, "I've always wanted to fish for smallmouth bass in Door County!" Then you think, "But I don't know where to go, or where to stay, or where to launch, or where to fish, or what to use." Then, finally you decide not to give it a try.
A number of years ago I began hearing about the great smallmouth bass fishing in Door County. However, it wasn't until May of 1995, when my brother-in-law and I hired a guide that I had the opportunity to fish this tremendously productive and beautiful fishery. That outing gave me the confidence to fish it on my own. Since that day I've fished the waters in Door County many times, ... more
Control wins in NASCAR. The ability to draft and "trade paint" while jockeying for position. The dominance of one team over another.
Control is an underlying force that breeds success in everything we do, fishing included. We see it in skilled fly anglers as they strip line and precariously place poppers in the pads. In seasoned jiggers, as they deftly tick lead across rocks and timber without snagging, yet remain able to decipher the slight nip of a walleye. Surprising to some, though, might be the fact that control is equally as meaningful to a bobber fisherman.
Control means hanging bait at a precise depth, as well as balancing a float to where the sniff of a bluegill makes it pl... more
When I set out to write this article it became apparent that it would have to be published in two parts. There is just so much good fishing in the Chicago area that I could not cover it all in one article. If you are planning a trip to Chicago please E-Mail me and I would be happy to help you plan a day of fishing.
What do you think of when you think of Chicago? Do you think of Al Capone, tall buildings, the hustle and bustle of one of the biggest cities in the United States, or the best pizza in the world? I bet that almost no one thinks of Chicago as a fishing destination. There are many angling opportunities within the Chicago city limits and many more if you are willing to travel an h... more
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. When the females are ready to drop their eggs, they find a nest and lay their eggs. The males will then guard the nest for a few days until the newly spawned fry are able to be on their own. That is a simplistic description of what happens, but it gives an idea of why the fish are shallow this time of... more
Long before there were rattling crankbaits, holographic spinner blades, and scented plastics, the simple jig occupied a prominent place in every tackle box. Some things never change, and any angler worth his or her lead continues to hold jigging in high regard. It's a time-tested method for catching walleyes in a variety of conditions. From clear to stained water, cold to warm water, and current to slack water, a properly presented jig puts fish in the boat.
The verb "jigging" implies an action imparted by the angler, bringing something as innate as a piece of lead and hook to life. And few fishing experiences compare to the feel of a walleye when it snatches a jig on the upswing.
One of those most overlooked places to catch loads of bass are found on almost every lake across the United States. They are docks, piers, slips, and boathouses are some of the names of these fish holding structures. Skipping under docks gives you an immediate advantage since most bass under piers don't get a lot of fishing pressure, making them easier to catch. Skipping to these bass is not as hard as it looks; it just takes practice (and patience).
How To Skip
Most fisherman that skip would agree that spinning equipment is better for skipping than baitcasting, although with a lot of practice you can learn how to skip with baitcasting equipment. The key for skipping docks is no... more
OK, you've been fishing for a while now, happy with your spincasting reels and the spinning reels that you've been using lately, but with the long, lousy winter just about over, you're itching
to go fishing.
So, you've been just about going through withdrawals, traveling to sport shows, talking to guides, tournament pro anglers and idly spinning all the shiny new reels that are at the displays. You've
also been driving your spousal unit and yard apes nuts, watching fishing shows on end. One thing that you've noticed is that it seems that just about everyone on tv and at the shows uses a
baitcasting rod and reel.
All right, you've decided, "This is the year of the baitcaster!" T... more
During a recent conversation we started talking about the ethics practiced by ourselves and other anglers we know. Although most fishermen adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the Department of Natural Resources, there are always a few who try to get around the laws. These are the fishermen who seem to catch the attention of the media and general public. To provide a positive image for our sport, we need to do what is right and teach young anglers to do the same. By doing what is right we don't just mean staying inside the law or other rules we have to fish under. For the good of our sport we must try to stay squeaky clean. Nothing so motivates our detractors like a good story of... more
Another month down and only 32 more days until Musky season opens here in SE Wisconsin! My office right now is completely littered with musky lures, rods, reels, and other terminal tackle as I sharpen hooks, change split rings, oil reels, check rods, and of course, pamper my "Dirty Dozen". I have the Dirty Dozen spread out in front of me as I write this article, a shrine if you will, and just looking at these lures is making my heart begin to race with anticipation as I wonder, "Which one will be the first to get bit in 2002?" I think it will be a 6" Slammer, perch pattern, twitched slowly, with a figure-8 boat side conversion for the hook set on a solid 39"er
a 49" musky on ... more
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 generally be in areas just at the edge of the current. They like a little current, but not too much this time of year. As the water gets a little warmer, the fish might be more tolerant of current, but right now concentrate on areas that provide relief from the fastest moving water.
It doesn't take mu... more
I can remember my Dad teaching me to fish and hunt many years ago. He said that those were some of the best days of his life. I really did not know what he meant until I got older and had a family of my own. Seeing your own child catch his or her first fish gives you a feeling that you will never forget.
I have had some great fun fishing with my friends before my children were born or old enough to get out and enjoy the outdoors. I have friends that are excellent fisherman and they have taught me many things, I like to think that I have also taught them a thing or two! But these days there is no one else I would rather fish with than my children, they are always eager to learn and never ... more
Location of Spring Birds
You received your permit for Spring Turkey hunting for the 5th time period,not your first choice( you wanted that first season),but at least you have a chance to hunt,right? After receiving your approval notice, you contact the landowners,notify them of your season, and setup some scouting trips. You wanted to scout closer to your season, but the landowner has other hunters out before your time period, so the... more
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 just a couple by the time you're actually ready to buy the rod that will best fit your needs. Following are some ideas as to rod selections.
Remember that fishing rods are kind of like golf clubs: There is usually a rod that will do a certain job better than another. You wouldn't tee off with ... more
Stay Out of the Pits...
You may as well admit it; we know you've done it too. Just as we are beginning to head into the new fishing season you decide that you're missing something in the boat. A new rod would fill out that emptiness perfectly.
"Another new rod?!" she says, looking at all the spare rods, each an early retiree for its own reasons, standing in the corner of the garage. However, this one is going to be different from the others. This is going to be your new hot rod, the rod that will dramatically improve your fishing success.
You walked into your favorite sporting goods store knowing exactly what you want and got it. Well, maybe you looked around a bit. Maybe even sca... more
Well, here it is, March already! You do realize that the winter's almost gone and you'll be fishing pretty soon, don't you? Well, trust me, you will! And let me guess, even though you promised yourself that "this year is gonna be different", you still haven't touched your fishing tackle from way last fall, the last time you used it.
As a matter of fact, I'll bet that it's still sitting in the corner of the garage, right where you put it when you got back from that last trip, isn't it? C'mon, don't be ashamed to admit it, I'm right, aren't I?
Well, that's ok, cuz you still have time bubba. The rivers are still a little too ice clogged for consistent fishing right now, and if you ge... more
One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is, "So, what is the best lure?" What a question! With a gazillion lures on the market today, in every size, shape, and color it's hard to single it down to just one lure. What I can do though is share what I affectionately refer to as my "Dirty Dozen". Yes I have more than 12 lures in my arsenal, but when push comes to shove I have the top 12 producers that I will turn to time and time again.
Before I get into breaking these down, I have a few comments I'd like to make first as a point of reference. My honest answer to the initial question, "what's the best lure", is this, "whatever lure you throw the most, with the highest level of execu... more
With some of the most abundant waters throughout the Midwest we have some pretty big ponds, Lake Michigan is one of them! As the tell tale remnants of winter pass and longer, warming days bring a time when the Great Lakes awaken to the activity of feeding fish!
April usually sets this time-capsule into full swing and after a long winter's nap, Brown trout without a question just like northern pike, walleye, bass and other predator fish are definite scavenge eating fish. Hears why? After the long winter stressed baitfish like smelt, alewives and shad common to the Great Lakes waters lying dead on the lake floor, twitching yet on the surface swimming circles become easy targets for this... more
It's Friday, you just got finished with another week of hard work As your driving home, thoughts of walleye fishing come into your mind. Your wondering if the ice is off the river? Is the landing open so you can get your boat in? and how far can you go once you get your boat in.? You just have to know don't you? So you make a little detour and head for the river to answer your questions. As you drive along near the river you can see Golden Eye Ducks with wings set! You say to your self YES OPEN WATER!! Well, your not disappointed, you can see open water for as far as you can see, and the landing looks like you can get your boat in. It may mean that you'll get to use that 4wheel drive after ... more
It's Winter in Wisconsin. Your boat's been in storage for a couple of months, college football is over, there's only a month left of pro football, deer hunting and the holidays have come and gone, and you don't ice fish. It's about time for cabin fever to kick in big time.
How do you deal with not being able to get on the water until the first Saturday in May? Last year I found a great way to get through the winter and quench my thirst for fishing. I began seriously fishing the web and found it a great way to learn, interact with others who share my interests, and basically be entertained. As some of you know I'm a smallmouth bass enthusiast and enjoy fishing rivers and streams, so... more
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 success this time of year is mobility. In some years, mobility is limited due to snow. This year, so far at least, snow isn't a factor when it comes to moving around. On most Midwest bodies of water, you can get to pretty much wherever you want to go. If you keep moving until you find the fish, yo... more
It was an unseasonably warm March day, in an unseasonably warm spring,a few years ago.The ice had just cleared off of the east end of Puckaway Lake,a day or so before,but there still was a large ice mass on what we call the "Big Lake" area on the west end. With air temps in the 50s at midday, and water temps generally in the high 30s to low 40s,I had a whim to try and see if I could locate some active pre-spawn Pike before water temps rose too far, and the Northerns began spawning! Because of the mood of fish at this time of year, and the clarity of the shallow water, I opted to anchor, and fish dead bait, rather than casting, and moving. After about a half-hour of watching that big bobber, ... more
So, you're bored out of your skull, waiting for spring to come, ice conditions are lousy and sitting on a bucket, staring into a hole in the ice isn't your cup of tea anyway. What are you going to do?
If you're like me, you're dreaming of warmer weather, open water and CASTING for fish. My casting thumb is getting itchy and my casting arm is twitching. With current low interest rates, a slow economy and boat dealers willing to make a deal, now just might be the time to get that boat of your dreams.
Admit it, you've been thinking about it. You've been running the same toothpaste green 14' MirroCraft with a 1964 Johnson 10 horse outboard for the last couple of years and while it's ... more
Life is full of firsts. First kiss, first date, first dance, first touchdown, first ticket, first boat, first fish, first musky, and first 10-pound walleye! Over the holiday break this season, I found myself paging through some pictures and re-living some of the days on the water from this past year. While every day on the water is always special in it's own way, some of the best moments are being part of my client's "first's".
I remember one August morning in particular as I was dunking the boat into Sister Bay, putting my rain gear on with enthusiasm, and asking a young man named Dave, "So what's the biggest walleye you have ever caught?" I can't even begin to describe the warm feeling... more
My thoughts were filled with one hundred different things that had subconsciously followed me out on the ice. After getting situated, I started to think more about fishing and less about everything else. Unfortunately, I went 1 1/ 2 hours without a bite. I was marking fish but no takers.
Since there wasn't another soul out on this spot with me, I was left to my own devices. Sorting ice spoons with my index finger, I had found my remedy. After retying a #12 purple 2 spot on and then dressing it up with a few spikes, I returned my line down to 4 feet. Bingo! That was the ticket the bluegill and sunfish were looking for. I had deviated another rod only to blue and lavender shade... more
Well Im finally thawed out from the ice-outing at Fox Lake. The weather gives us snow one day, and 40 degrees the next. This isnt winter, its a ploy to make us wade-fishermen go crazy. One thing is for sure, icefishing season is in stride, and attending all the outdoor/RV shows makes me forget about how many more weeks until open water. Currently, attending the shows is not helping my cabin fever, so to take a break, I started tying up bass and panfish flies for the upcoming season.
Beware, photos of the two patterns I have enclosed are ugly! Ill admit, neither fly will win an award for content or elegance. Maybe what makes them successful for me is the fact that they do not r... more
I remember the first time I logged onto Lake-Link, I thought I was dreaming! Could there really be a Wisconsin fishing web site with so much to offer? No way! When reality finally set in I gradually got brave enough to enter a post or two. Now maybe I post too much!
One evening Steve Huber (from G & S Guide Service) called me to introduce himself and discuss... what else... but fishing. He challenged me to give him some competition, all in fun of course, and list myself in the "Guides Section". Well, I love challenges and obliged. Our common love for fishing and sharing our fishing knowledge with others has made us best of friends. Now he owes me big time for weaseling some of my Chequame... more
Ahh, the life of a fishing guide, what a piece of cake, go fishing and get paid for it. What could possibly be better? Well, I'm going into my ninth season and let me tell you right now, there's more to it than you'd think.
Don't get me wrong, I dearly love my time on the water with clients, but there are times....
I know that some of you out there have been thinking, I've got a boat, I've got fishing tackle, I know how to catch fish and I have free time, I know, I'll start a guide service.
Well, it can be that easy, but you've got to remember that there's more to guiding than having a boat and some fishing tackle.
First of all, you have to decide if you're going to specialize ... more
I find it odd, noticing how little we realize the enjoyment that we derive from the little things in life, especially when it comes to those at the end of a line dangling below the ice.
Panfish are probably the most sought after fish through the winter months, but few fishermen really cater their tackle selection to the tastes of these often-finicky fish. Although sometimes easy to catch, panfish can be connoisseurs of tackle, crowding in a tight circle around a bait, watching it, knowing that somehow it is food, but also that something isn't quite right about it. Finally, driven more out of competition than hunger, fearing that one of the others in it's group will get the tidbit first, o... more
Tight lips, covert movements, trying to blend into the surroundings, swearing those who know to secrecy - you might think these are the signs of some special forces team. Nope, these are the signs of a hard-core perch fanatic. The only problem is that none of these attempts at concealment will help once people realize you're fishing way off in No Man's Land because you're catching fish. Catch perch and there's no hiding it. Once word gets out on a new perch hotspot, the crowds will come. Like miners during the gold rush, they all set out to stake a claim, digging holes everywhere until they strike gold.
As we like to say: Ice makes bank anglers of us all. It's on this level playing field ... more
Sequester your tacky Hawaiian shirts and put away those droning Jimmy Buffet albums, or sadly, CD's if you've upgraded formats. This winter you're taking the family on an ice fishing vacation, and I'm playing the role of travel agent.
Sporting folks realize that ice fishing's moved past the status of being a quasi-fishing pastime for summer anglers in withdrawal, or an outlet for partygoers. It is a sport, and done right, can be enjoyed by groups and families, and ultimately, molded into a vacation.
Jane Sindelir, Executive Director of the Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau in Baudette, MN, first points to the breadth of activities that surround ice fishing.
"Up on Lake of the Woo... more