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Brian Athern's Articles

October 2002

  • When to Tip and Sting for More Results

    When to Tip and Sting for More Results

    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...

February 2002

  • Tipping the Panfish Scales Under Ice

    Tipping the Panfish Scales Under Ice

    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. ...

July 2001

  • Camouflage and Stealth...<br>Not Just for Hunters

    Camouflage and Stealth...
    Not Just for Hunters


    If I had stopped to really give it some thought, I suppose my attire would have raised an eyebrow or two. By no means was I trying to make a fashion statement, just attempting to sneak up on a fish or two. The stares of bewilderment confirmed that this area received minimal fishing pressure ...

April 2001

  • Our Dad Took Us Fishing

    Our Dad Took Us Fishing

    The Klein brothers ascended our stairs with dad's long lost, green Coleman cooler. The suspense was killing me. What did they bring back!? The drama ended uneventfully with melted ice and canned pop being salvaged. "No keepers in there?" I asked. "Nope" Tom Klein responded. The trip began as a ...

March 2001

  • Early Season Equals Cold Bass

    Early Season Equals Cold Bass

    As I continued retrieving the #1 sized Vibrax, the bait's motion was disrupted by a mean THUMP! I jerked back on my light action spinning combo to find a pretty angry bass attached to my lure. I allowed him to wear himself out by peeling line from my ultralight Gold Max unit. The 13 inch combat...

January 2001

  • Beginning Ice Fishing - Grass Roots

    Beginning Ice Fishing - Grass Roots

    From an onlooker's point of view, how should the quest to become an ice fisherman start? There are some basics to keep in mind, including who, where, and what to begin with. I began my quest asking people that I'd spent time with during the open water season. Sifting through those who...

November 2000

  • Jiggin’ Fall River ‘Eyes

    Jiggin’ Fall River ‘Eyes

    A lazy retrieve of my Road Runner Jig was interrupted with a violent THUMP! The next few seconds included my light action spinning rod being buckled over, 4# Solar Trilene being peeled off the ultralight reel, and a real nice battle. Those events ended as my guide Steve Tieman of the Rock ...

October 2000

  • Taking Fall Smallmouth on Top

    Taking Fall Smallmouth on Top

    "I'll circle past the swirl, and anchor so you guys can pinpoint the spot with a few quarter casts ahead of that fish." That was the strategy set forth by our guide and Kankakee River veteran, Matt Mullady. "Pop it and let it sit a few seconds, and pop it a couple more times" finished Matt's...

September 2000

  • Catching Fire at Dusk

    Catching Fire at Dusk

    The last bit of sunlight was fading past the tree line and I knew it was time to expect good things to happen. I was not to be disappointed. A half dozen or so casts later by my brother and myself delivered the answer we were looking for. Fish on! Almost as fulfilling as booking that...

August 2000

  • Silent Factors - Exposure and Dehydration

    Silent Factors - Exposure and Dehydration

    While enjoying an outing with my mentor and editor Mike Yurk in June 1999, I relearned a valuable lesson. That lesson was the unforgiving toll the elements take on the human body. Now most people know about extreme cold and how it kills, but Chicago just a few years back saw heat and humidity...
  • Spider Grubs- A Hop, Skip, and a Thump

    Spider Grubs- A Hop, Skip, and a Thump

    Fishin' Docks for Summer Bass A dreary day was set forth and I was less than optimistic. I was elated to be sharing the boat with my new friend, actually old family friend, Frank Hyla, while he prefished for the Northland Bass Tournament on the Madison Chain last summer. What I...

July 2000

  • Borderline Bronzebacks

    Borderline Bronzebacks

    The rhythm of the jigs soft pop-flutter was interrupted by a violent THUMP! That's when all h-e double hockey sticks broke loose. What began as a tug of war in strength soon progressed into an aerial display of grace and beauty. Canada would not deny me on this cast though, finally surre...

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