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March 2021

  • Late Ice Panfish

    Late Ice Panfish

    As we enter the last few weeks of winter, some anglers have already stowed their ice fishing gear and are preparing for open water. That may be a mistake, particularly for those anglers who enjoy catching panfish like crappies and bluegills. Right now, these fish are vacating some of the deep basi...

February 2021

  • Beat the Mid-Winter Ice Blues

    Beat the Mid-Winter Ice Blues

    No matter if it is open water or the current ice season, mid-season can be the peak of angler frustration. Hope that the early ice bite will continue fades as the calendar reaches the end of January or early February. Decreased fish metabolism, changes in the food chain and frequent weather fronts...
  • Don't Wait To Buy A New Boat

    Don't Wait To Buy A New Boat

    One of the big surprizes of 2020 was the massive surge in boat sales as people emerged from Covid-19 lockdowns looking for new ways to enjoy family time together outside. Demand for things like boats was so high last year that by mid-summer, some dealerships actually ran out of inventory. Yet peo...
  • What do fish look like?

    What do fish look like?

    Contemporary anglers are blessed with a dazzling array of sonar and imaging tools to help them find success on the water. At the same time, we need to know what we're looking for when using tools like Humminbird Side Imaging, Down Imaging, and traditional 2D sonar to locate fish. In this video, Dr. ...
  • Pound Sand For More Jumbos

    Pound Sand For More Jumbos

    Few fish captivate me like jumbo perch. I love chasing tigers in early summer as they gorge on emerging mayflies. I structure my fall vacations around peak cold water perch bites as schools of jumbos corral unsuspecting shiners in skinny water. But nothing - and I mean nothing - beats the thrill of ...

January 2021

  • Hunting for Big Perch Through the Ice

    Hunting for Big Perch Through the Ice

    The "Hunt" for BIG perch is on the minds of most ice wranglers here in the South Dakota prairie pothole/glacial lake region as first ice is formed. How are the biggest perch found and caught every winter? Drilling holes on the right water, understanding their behavior and having a variety of baits...
  • Proven Patterns For Hardwater Largemouth

    Proven Patterns For Hardwater Largemouth

    When most anglers think about largemouth bass, their thoughts turn to the warmth of summer, lush green growth above the water's surface and below, bone-jarring strikes and tail-walking fights. Yet, as snow blankets the landscape and open water recedes to a distant memory, those same finned adversari...
  • Dead Sticking Walleye

    Dead Sticking Walleye

    Sticking a lively minnow in front of fish hasn't really changed a whole lot over time. With all the technology, sonar, map chips and other tools to help us catch fish... there are times each winter when we have to go back to the basics. The mantra lately has been a power fishing approach where we ...
  • Blade Bait Fishing for Winter Bass

    Blade Bait Fishing for Winter Bass

    Some of my favorite fishing all year occurs during the winter. There is little fishing pressure on the lake, pleasure boaters are long gone; the cooler water allows me to search those deeper humps and points for winter-time bass. While the colder water temperatures demand a slower fishing presentat...
  • For Love Of Hardwater Trout

    For Love Of Hardwater Trout

    Trout represent one of the most unique ice fishing opportunities throughout the ice belt. Unlike most of the typical hardwater targets - especially walleye, pike, and panfish - trout sustain very high activity levels beneath the ice. Indeed, as a group of coldwater species, trout thrive in chilly wa...
  • Early Winter Crappie Tactics

    Early Winter Crappie Tactics

    Winter is not my favorite fishing season, if I'm perfectly honest about it. I like to cast, and I like to fish in moving water, working with the currents and solving the challenges they always seem to present - things that are pretty difficult to do when the water is hard enough to walk on. But ...
  • Fine Tuning For More Walleyes

    Fine Tuning For More Walleyes

    Avid ice angler John Crane and I talked on the phone recently. He has been doing a lot of ice fishing in his home area of north central Minnesota and on this particular day he had been after walleyes. After my usual questions of "wadja' catch" and "wadja catch'em on", the conversation got a little...

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