2018 Articles

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December 2018

Meaty Tactics For Big Winter Browns
by Craig Ritchie
Big bass are impressive, and big walleye are tough. But many anglers will agree that few freshwater fish can be tougher to catch than a trophy brown trout. But there's one time of year when even the wariest brown trout become downright easy to fool, and that time is right now. The keys to catching big browns are like the keys to catching any other fish - you have to be in the right place at the... more

November 2018

Fish Early, Fish Safe
by Joel Nelson
First ice safety is something that comes up annually this time of year, and despite our best efforts as anglers, is highly ignored. We’ve seen the graphics, know how thick the ice generally needs to be, and we understand the risks involved, but somehow these risks are weighed and the balance is deemed acceptable no matter how unsafe the ice actually is. Most advice you’ll read on the subject inv... more
First Ice Panfish
by Bob Jensen
Here's a photo from a while back: Duane Peterson with a big crappie that he took on a small jig. I was at an ice-fishing Open House at a retail tackle shop recently. There some anglers there who had been looking at a long range weather forecast. According to this forecast, cold weather is headed to the upper Midwest, and these anglers were guessing that they would be on the ice in north... more

October 2018

Berkley FireLine Ultra 8: Impressive!
by Bill Schultz
Recently, I caught and released smallmouth bass number 22,300 since catching my first in 1994. Many of those smallies have been caught in the ultra-clear waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan in Door County, Wisconsin. My primary presentations require long casts. I've loved and still use FireLine Crystal and Nanofil, but was intrigued when the new Berkley FireLine Ultra 8 was introduced, and, w... more
Establish A Pattern For More Fish
by Bob Jensen
It's that time of year when some anglers are starting to think about ice-fishing, but there are still a good number of anglers who are open water fishing. Regardless of how or where or when we fish, anglers want to catch fish. To do so, we need to figure out where the fish are, what they want to eat, and how they want to eat it. This is called establishing a pattern. You need to find an area t... more
Trophy Walleye Time Has Arrived
by Jason Halfen
Cooling waters brings fast action on North America's river systems You must have noticed it. Summer's familiar clear blue skies have turned turn angry and gray. Gentle southern winds have evolved into frigid northerly gales. Bright leaves of crimson and gold now hang perilously from branches, and yes, ice scrapers and snow brushes have become must-have equipment to support the morning commu... more
Deadly Vertical Fall Tactics
by Jason Mitchell
Perhaps more than any other year, fall fishing locations can be spot on the spot where specific structural elements hold fish. An advantage that anglers have when fishing fall patterns is that so often, many fish are relating to deeper structure where you can really trust your electronics. If there is a mistake many anglers make when fishing structure, that mistake would be fishing the spot vers... more

September 2018

"Reel" Deal Q & A
by Bill Schultz
For the type of fishing I do, spinning reels are my reel of choice. Over the past 15 years I've had the pleasure of fishing and then writing reviews on dozens of reels by all the major companies, and, I'm picky about the reels I use to chase smallmouth bass. Some of my all-time favorites are made by Pflueger and Abu Garcia. In my current arsenal are the Pflueger President XT, Supreme and Su... more
Catching Trophy Great Lakes Salmon
by Craig Ritchie
Many anglers consider fall to be the best time of the year for catching big fish, and that's especially true on the Great Lakes. Cooler temperatures and lower light intensity bring big fish back into shallow waters, creating tremendous opportunities for anglers fishing from small boats or shoreline piers. September is when large numbers of coho and chinook salmon return to the mouths of tributary ... more

August 2018

New Innovations in Dropshotting
by Craig Ritchie
Drip-shot rigs exploded onto the tournament fishing scene a few years ago, but the basic idea of hanging the weight a foot or more below the hook has been around for decades. Anglers and commercial fisherman on coastal waters have caught bottom fish like cod and flounder this way for generations, while walleye pros have fished with similar rigs and live baits this way in the 1950s. The big innovat... more
Late Summer Trolling for Walleye
by Jason Mitchell
Have often heard not to fish memories. When I look back however over my own fishing career, some of my greatest fishing memories involved trolling deep diving crankbaits over deep water. So many situations from mid-summer on where traditional live bait locations and tactics just got tougher. Situations where big fish were difficult to find until we put deep diving crank baits behind the boat an... more
Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Pro Angler?
by Scott Stankowski
This past week, the boys finally had no sporting events or fitness programs to go to so we planned a few hard core days of fishing so they could tackle some fish off of their master angler list. We spent four days from sun up to sun down tackling the water from small lakes to Green Bay. After the second day we were getting exhausted and by day four we were ready for a break. That got me to th... more
Late Summer Walleyes in the Weeds
by Jason Halfen
Hit the salad bar for consistent summer walleye action Conventional wisdom calls for walleyes to be found in cool, shallow water during spring and fall, and lurking in deeper water during the heat of summer and the dead of winter. However, this binary distribution of walleye locations is far too simplistic; indeed, modern electronics and contemporary presentations have worked in tandem to... more
Summertime Mixed Bag On Deep, Clear Inland Water
by Capt. Justin Kohn
As a full-time fishing guide in the south-central Wisconsin, I am fortunate to have some very high quality fishing lakes in my area. I get the opportunity to spend most of my time during the summer work weeks learning and developing different technique on lakes like Winnebago, Puckaway, and Big Green. I guide on many bodies of water across Wisconsin, but I am going to share how I make targeting... more

July 2018

Catch Walleye During Summer Cold Fronts
by Craig Ritchie
Stable, warm summer weather often makes for fantastic walleye action as the fish pack into predictable spots and put on the feed bag. But then like flicking a switch, the easy pickings come to a halt with the arrival of a cold front that brings cooler temperatures, clear skies and stiff winds. All of a sudden, it's like every walleye in the lake has developed lockjaw. Cold fronts are notorious... more
Why Everyone Needs A Baitcasting Reel
by Craig Ritchie
Spinning reels exploded onto the fishing landscape in 1948 with the introduction of the venerable Mitchell 300. Able to cast lightweight lures without tangles or backlash, spinning reels quickly gained a loyal following across North America - to the point that some people began to question whether they might push traditional baitcasting reels off the market altogether. But for all the advantages t... more

June 2018

Trolling Weed Walleye
by Jason Mitchell
Large weed covered flats seem to hold walleye particularly through the first half of the summer. These often-large nondescript locations can be often overlooked by anglers who have been preprogrammed to look for structure. Depending on the lake or water you are fishing, these flats can range anywhere from five to fifteen feet of water. Stained water typically sees weed growth topping out in much... more

May 2018

Hard Bait Strategies for Post-Spawn Walleyes
by Jason Halfen
Jerkbaits and Rattlebaits prove potent on aggressive, actively feeding fish One of the hallmarks of spring is the predictable movement of walleyes. On inland lakes, walleye slide into shallow waters along rocky, windblown shorelines to spawn. Major rivers see mass upstream migrations of walleyes, to be interrupted only by natural or manmade obstacles. And on the Great Lakes, fish funn... more
Cast Rippin' Raps For Big Walleyes This Spring
by Tony Roach
With baseball season in full swing, walleye anglers should warm up their pitching arms and get ready to rip. To catch the most early-season ‘eyes, rest your kicker motor and work out a Rapala Rippin' Rap, casting it to shallow rock piles, sand flats and break lines, rather than trolling over them. "When early-season walleyes are up shallow feeding, they can get spooked if your boat's right on ... more

April 2018

Rigged and Ready for Live Bait
by Jerry Carlson
Live bait rigging for walleyes is about as classic a walleye presentation as anyone can find. It is a standard for catching fish on just about any body of water anglers choose to visit. However, there are subtle tweaks to this presentation that can make something great even better. One of the first recommendations I have is to always take advantage of the low visibility of fluorocarbon leaders.... more
Dissecting the Pre-Spawn Bass Bite
by Jason Halfen
A trifecta of tips from a Bassmaster Elite Pro The bass pre-spawn period is a time of anticipation and transition. Largemouth and spotted bass slide out of their deeper,n thermally-stable wintering holes and begin a systematic movement toward the warming shallows, where they will binge feed in preparation for the rigors of spawning. Along the way, tempestuous spring weather can cause ... more
The Spread on Spring Walleye
by Jason Mitchell
By nature's design, not all walleye spawn on the same day. Not all fish use the same reef or tributary. Spring spawning activity is often staggered. As a result, post spawn patterns and locations can range all over the board. Not only does each fishery has a unique personality but what makes fish movements even more confusing is that the entire population of fish as a whole is not always on th... more

March 2018

Top Tips for More Spring Crappie
by Jason Mitchell
Crappie fishing is a right of passage signaling spring for many anglers. Pre Spawn fishing opportunities are often consistant and coveted. Might not be a better time during the entire calendar year to target panfish. Locations and presentations are fairly straight forward and in many cases, spring crappie locations are no secret. The staff at Jason Mitchell Outdoors offers a few insights on ho... more

February 2018

Crappies Anywhere
by Jason Mitchell
If there is one certainty with late ice crappies, there is no sure-fire location or formula for success that works across the board. What always amazes me on our travels as we travel across the Great Plains and upper Midwest is just how much fisheries can vary. The strategy and location on a small reservoir in North Dakota will be completely different than a deep natural lake in northern Minneso... more
A Quest For A Beast Finally Seen Through
by Austin Stankowski
For months I had been on a quest to catch a trophy brown trout ice fishing. It was something that soon consumed me. I began to learn the ins and outs of it and realized it was not as easy as I first thought. I figured my dad and I could go down to Milwaukee where many of the big brown trout lurk in the winter, set up and catch fish. That was far from the truth. Although I had good confid... more
Grave Yard Shift Walleyes
by Jason Mitchell
So many fisheries come to mind where after dark patterns offer some of the best opportunities for catching fish. After dark strategies and locations however can vary dramatically from where we might find fish during daylight or twilight hours. What happens so often to us as anglers is that we simply figure out one window or movement of fish and when that window ends, we assume that the bi... more

January 2018

Tungsten vs. Lead for Panfish
by Jason Mitchell
In pursuit of big panfish, our travels take us across the Country. We have explored big panfish patterns in reservoirs, natural lakes, farm ponds and beyond. My billfold usually has fishing licenses from at least half a dozen states or more. What always amazes me and in my opinion makes fishing exciting and fun is how we encounter different factors, different influences wherever we fish. Lake ... more
Love Those Deep Basin Panfish
by Jerry Carlson
Many times I have heard anglers share frustrations over the lack of winter panfish that are showing up in their favorite honey hole. I have been known to make the same complaints from time to time. However, I have also learned the remedy for staying on winter crappies and bluegills. When it comes to location, I am all about deep basins. Although I do occasionally target some weed oriented fish ... more
Soft Plastic Insights for Crappie
by Jason Mitchell
Some of the greatest lures of all time don't necessary look like anything in particular but at the same time have the general appearance of something that a fish wants to eat. Trout anglers often fall back on a simple wooly bugger which we can argue can look like a caddis fly larvae or perhaps a damsel fly nymph... not really a spitting image of anything specific but looks kinda, sorta like a lot... more

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