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November 2020

  • AdjustingTto The Fall-Winter Transition

    AdjustingTto The Fall-Winter Transition

    Nothing is better than the magic of fall fishing. Frigid water temperatures paired with cold, windy and rainy weather provide the perfect recipe for catching feeding bass in quantity. The conditions for catching a lunker are optimum during this time of year as Mother Nature sheds her leaves and orch...
  • It's Sauger Time!

    It's Sauger Time!

    On major rivers across the Midwest, the cooling waters of fall translate into bountiful fishing opportunities, particularly for sauger. These turbid water-loving cousins of the walleye really pack on the pounds as the leaves start to fall, concentrating in deep holes, along main channel edges, and b...
  • Ned Rigging Tips For Beginners

    Ned Rigging Tips For Beginners

    Ned Rigging is a finesse fishing technique that can put fish in the boat when the bite turns tough. This simple technique not only can consistently catch large bass, but it can easily cross over to other species you may want to target on your fishing trip. The Ned Rig is not a complicated techniqu...
  • Advanced Vertical Jigging For Late Fall Walleyes

    Advanced Vertical Jigging For Late Fall Walleyes

    As walleye collect below dams and in deeper holes along river bends, there are few presentations that will produce big numbers, not to mention wall-hangers, like the time-tested method of vertical jigging. But modern vertical jigging is not the same "minnows-and-mono" game played for decades by gene...
  • Going Deep For Fall Smallies

    Going Deep For Fall Smallies

    November is a hard time for anglers in the Midwest, because it seems like its prime time for just about everything. With the clock ticking down before winter's ice brings open-water fishing to an end, muskie action is peaking, walleye action is peaking, and of course it's prime time to stream fish f...

October 2020

  • Keeping Up with Fall Bass

    Keeping Up with Fall Bass

    The first cool fronts of the fall are always a welcome relief to the sweltering days of August. The cooler weather heightens the anticipation for weekend football games, filling deer feeders and, for bass anglers, reduced traffic on area lakes. Successful fall bass fishing is all about keeping u...
  • Catch More Jumbo Perch This Fall

    Catch More Jumbo Perch This Fall

    Fall is a great time to target the biggest panfish in your favorite lake, river, or reservoir. Jumbo perch, slab crappies, and bull gills are all packing on the pounds before cold north winds convert the colorful autumn landscape to shades of brown, and eventually, white. Here are three tips to hel...
  • Trout Time

    Trout Time

    October is a tough time for anglers in the Midwest, because it seems like it's prime time for absolutely everything. October is when smallmouth begin to gather in huge schools in deep water, packing on weight to get through a long hard winter. Walleye are also gorging like mad as they too try to pac...
  • Prime Time For Night Walleyes

    Prime Time For Night Walleyes

    The cooling waters of October draw large numbers of walleye into the shallows to feast on bountiful baitfish in advance of winter's arrival. One of the most enjoyable and productive ways to target these toothy predators is by trolling shallow-running crankbaits under the light of the moon. Here are ...
  • Prime Time For Fall Muskies

    Prime Time For Fall Muskies

    These crisp mornings and vibrant colors signal the coming of fall, and there's no better time than the fall to try and tango with the fish of 10,000 casts. Here is a quick overview of my favorite fall musky baits. Blades Arguably the most efficient way to cover water, bucktails have been a s...

September 2020

  • The Trophy Crappies of Fall

    The Trophy Crappies of Fall

    Fall is a time of incredible angling abundance. Across the northland, musky hunters are buying every large sucker in sight, walleye anglers are testing headlamps and respooling trolling reels, and salmon specialists are trolling crankbaits in Great Lakes harbors for four-year old kings. Crappies, ho...
  • Small Details Can Create Big Catches

    Small Details Can Create Big Catches

    In the autumn season, fishing can be good. Really good. Fish instinctively know that colder water will be arriving soon. Their metabolism will slow down and they won't be eating as much. They need to rely on stored energy to keep them going during the next few months of cold water, so they eat a...
  • Get Ready For Fall Fishing

    Get Ready For Fall Fishing

    Boy oh boy oh boy, summer of 2020 is already starting to exit. There are lots more butterflies on the bushes, birds are gathering, and football practice has started. And many anglers are spooling up with fresh line to prepare for fall fishing. I've often said that June and October are my favorite...
  • Plugging September Salmon

    Plugging September Salmon

    September has always been a month of transitions. The leaves begin to turn yellow, orange and red in September, as summer transitions into autumn. Cooler September nights and shorter days bring deep-water predators like pike and muskie back into shallower waters for a fall feeding extravaganza. ...

August 2020

  • Little Baits: Lots Of Fish

    Little Baits: Lots Of Fish

    The summer of 2020 is starting to wind down. Lots of anglers, in many places more than usual, are on the water in search of a fish that wants to eat the bait that's on the end of our line. Baitfish populations are at or near the highest levels of the year. A good number of those baitfish were spa...

July 2020

  • Speed Up For More Summer Fish!

    Speed Up For More Summer Fish!

    Spring is a time when shallow fish and cold water often mean methodical presentations designed to tempt fish that may be a bit lethargic into biting. During summer, however, faster presentations that trigger aggressive, reactionary strikes are often more effective. For example, walleye fishing ...
  • Fishing the Multi-Species Option

    Fishing the Multi-Species Option

    There are days when my fishing efforts revolve around targeting one species of fish. On these outings, I may pick a bass lake or walleye water, or maybe even look for panfish. However, there are those times, especially when I am taking less experienced anglers, that I opt for the multi-species appro...

June 2020

  • Summer Fishing

    Summer Fishing

    For many anglers, the fishing this past spring has been very good. Some even describe the fishing and catching in the spring of 2020 as outstanding. Now it's starting to feel and look like summer, and the calendar indicates that the summer of 2020 has arrived. The places and techniques that provi...
  • Troll Up More Walleyes

    Troll Up More Walleyes

    The summer bite has arrived across Walleye Country. Most species of fish have completed the spawning process and have one thing on their minds: Predators such as walleyes want to eat. If we want to catch more walleyes, we need to determine where they are and what they want to eat. If we do that, ...
  • Spoon-Fed Pike

    Spoon-Fed Pike

    If we're perfectly honest about it, we anglers are all guilty of what I like to call Hamster Wheel Syndrome (HWS). Because we spend far more time on the water than any sane human being ever would, we've come to realize that fish respond best to things that they've never seen before. It's precisely t...

April 2020

  • It's Steelhead Time

    It's Steelhead Time

    With boat ramps closed in many areas as a result of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, spring fishing options in some parts of the country are more restricted than usual. Thankfully there are still some terrific opportunities for anglers looking to wet a line, and that includes enjoying some of the b...
  • Early Season Panfish Secrets

    Early Season Panfish Secrets

    Winter has released its icy grip and lakes, reservoirs and rivers are once again open for springtime fishing. And that means prime time for panfish, especially crappies and bluegills as they make their migration from deeper waters into the shallows before the annual spawn. We talked with several...
  • REVIEWED: Nines Optics Sunglasses

    REVIEWED: Nines Optics Sunglasses

    I never gave sunglasses much thought. I always bought an expensive pair of polarized sunglasses for fishing, so I believed that I was using the best. After sending the sunglasses back multiple times under a "lifetime warranty" and paying $11.95 each time for the repair, I finally realized that there...
  • Slugging Spring Lakers

    Slugging Spring Lakers

    While it's always rewarding to persevere through tough conditions and come up with a decent catch at the end of the day, I don't always want fishing to be an uphill battle. Sometimes, it's nice to have everything click into place and enjoy some easy action. Maybe that's a reason I'm such a big fa...
  • Spring into Walleyes

    Spring into Walleyes

    It's springtime, and open water has arrived throughout all but the uppermost reaches of North America. For walleye anglers, it's a yearly ritual that's hard to beat. Hordes of fish are heading to pre-spawn and spawn locations, bringing on some of the best bites of the entire year – especially in som...
  • Simple Spring Walleyes!

    Simple Spring Walleyes!

    There are lots of things to love about early season walleye fishing! For one, spring walleye angling often signals the return of open water fishing for another year. And, walleyes in the spring are often aggressive biters and easily accessible in fairly shallow water. Another thing that I rea...

March 2020

  • Spring Fishing Tips

    Spring Fishing Tips

    Spring of 2020 officially arrived on March 19. In some areas anglers still see ice on their favorite lakes and ponds, but that ice will soon be disappearing. In other areas, anglers are already fishing in open water. Spring is a wonderful time to go fishing, and we can make it even more wonderful...
  • Targeting Early Panfish in Clear Water

    Targeting Early Panfish in Clear Water

    I will never forget my first experience with early season panfish on a lake that had super clear water. It changed the way I approached early season angling forever. The small, isolated bay we had selected to fish looked like an ideal spot for early season panfish. It was protected by cattails on...
  • Pre-Spawn Crappie Strategies

    Pre-Spawn Crappie Strategies

    Black crappies are one of my favorite fish to catch, and for a number of reasons. They're usually willing biters, and that's important in the early spring when you haven't been out on open water in a couple of months and really want to just unwind and enjoy some fast action. They're also incredibly ...
  • Late Ice Walleye

    Late Ice Walleye

    Some specific States and Provinces have open walleye seasons during the late ice period. These fisheries offer tremendously fun ice fishing opportunities. I love catching walleye any day of the year but what I love about late ice walleyes is the level of aggressiveness. Patterns and locations can...

February 2020

  • Jump-Starting Spring Steelhead

    Jump-Starting Spring Steelhead

    Throughout the Midwest, the back-end of winter can be a frustrating time of year for anglers. By the second half of February ice fishing tends to slump, as fish disperse throughout lake systems with no real reason to concentrate anywhere. That hot first-ice action is by now a memory, yet the furious...
  • Spoons Through The Ice

    Spoons Through The Ice

    When we go out on the ice in search of fish to catch through the ice, much of the time, we just want to get bit. If the perch want to eat our bait that's good: If a walleye or crappie is in the mood, that's a good thing too. Walleyes and crappies and perch are certainly different fish, but one lu...
  • Next Generation Electric Motors

    Next Generation Electric Motors

    Electric motors have always been a little strange in the way that technological developments seem to come in waves. The reality is that not much happened with electrics for years, then in the late 1980s and early 90s everyone suddenly had electronic steering as an alternative to the traditional cabl...
  • Size Matters

    Size Matters

    We've all heard the phrase "size matters" but how often do we think about that when we're out on the ice? The simple reality is, using the right sized baits can make or break a day of fishing faster than anything else, and that's especially true when you're out on the ice. In fact, I'd bet that b...

January 2020

  • The Joy Of Winter Bluegills

    The Joy Of Winter Bluegills

    One of the great things about ice fishing is that it gives us all a chance to slow down and take stock of the things that really matter. While catching big fish is always a thrill, the true joy in getting out is just in enjoying a nice day in the outdoors and having fun by catching a few fish. That'...
  • Winter Angling May Require Persistent Searching

    Winter Angling May Require Persistent Searching

    You can't quit looking. It's as simple as that. Hard water fish that aren't located where you expected them to be can create some location issues. Sometimes, you just need to find an alternate location where the fish are biting. This is the message I kept telling myself as an unusual winter began...

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