2017 Articles

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December 2017

Lake of the Woods: A Fishing Destination
by Jerry Carlson
It had been a couple of years since I made my last trek to ice fish on Lake of the Woods. Because of this fact, I was quite thrilled to be invited to join tourism director, Joe Henry and a group of Ice Team anglers on a mid-March excursion to Arnesen's Rocky Point Resort. Although it was my first trip to Arnesen's, I was quite familiar with this resort. It has been a mainstay in the Lake of th... more

November 2017

Early Ice Panfish Junkie
by Jerry Carlson
The early ice is always an interesting period in the fishing calendar. It is definitely one of my favorite times of the year for angling. Although most of my open water fishing is spent targeting walleyes and bass, when it comes to the early ice period, I most certainly become a panfish junkie. I enjoy eating these tasty fish, I like the fact they are cooperative biters and I appreciate being a... more

October 2017

Fall Weed Walleye Tactics
by Jason Mitchell
Weeds hold walleyes all summer long but aquatic vegetation can become even more appealing in the fall when water temperatures drop. While many productive patterns can emerge, what can be so appealing about weed fish come fall is that there is often a level of stability. Fall can be a whirlwind of change and when deep fish become nomadic, weed fish just kind of hang around. This consistency ... more
Time-tested Fall Fishing Pattern
by Jason Halfen
The arrival of fall announces some of the best smallmouth bass fishing of the year. Image by the author. Head to your nearest river, because Mother Nature's clock is ticking and smallmouth are smackings Our experiences as anglers are coupled to the rhythms of Mother Nature. When the lilacs bloom in spring, expect to find crappies and bluegills in the shallows. Forty-five days after ... more

September 2017

An Autumn Sleigh Ride: A Guide to Trolling for Fall King Salmon Out of a Kayak
by Mark Rasmussen
Imagine a cool, fall evening as the sun starts to set on the horizon. You're paddling your kayak around a harbor, trolling a couple crankbaits. You glance over at some people who are pointing and wondering what you could possibly catch out of that plastic boat. Suddenly, you feel your kayak turn sharply to the right and the sound of drag starts peeling off your reel. FISH ON! This is what you... more

August 2017

Structure Trolling Refinded
by Jason Mitchell
Historically, trolling structure come mid-summer was "big picture thinking" in that we chose long contours and consistent break lines where we could put lures behind the boat and go. Because of the amount of line behind the boat, we needed room to work for trolling to be effective. Large flats and or a long consistent contour line was a perfect candidate for trolling crankbaits. Big spots were ... more

July 2017

Find The Winning Spot, Then Stay On It.
by Mark Courts
Coming off my recent Cabela's National Walleye Tour (NWT) win at Prairie du Chien, the big question anglers asked was "how'd you get 'em?" That's a pretty big ask, because there are so many factors involved in the answer. The first key to the victory was finding fish in practice. Honestly, my practice days at Prairie du Chien weren't the greatest. I struggled to find good bunches of fish relating ... more
Shallow Crank Bites for Walleye
by Jason Mitchell
Walleye anglers have long loved crankbaits. Across many walleye fisheries, tried and true tactics incorporate trolling and for good reason. Trolling cranks allow you to break down big locations and cover water. There are several opportunities however where anglers can cast crankbaits and catch more fish. Casting crankbaits is predominately a shallow water affair for fishing in less than fi... more

June 2017

Power Rigging
by Jason Mitchell
Live bait is a critical component to catching walleye on many fisheries. Even with the advent of soft plastics and the fact that more walleye anglers have confidence with artificial baits, there is still a time and place for live bait. With today's presentations that have replaced live bait with soft plastics in regards to both rigging and jigging, the fall back to live bait often correlates wit... more
Thoughts on Big Baits for Largemouth
by Jerry Carlson
I have often had conversations with anglers about their favorite go-to bass lures. This is always an interesting topic as it seems every angler has their own personal favorites. However, most anglers will agree that big baits not only catch big bass, they are also appealing to smaller fish, as well. Over the years, I have heard anglers talk about the crazy things they have found in the stomachs... more
Guide Perspectives on Natural Lake Walleyes
by Jason Mitchell
Early season walleye patterns on many of northern Minnesota's most renown walleye fisheries often occur in less than twelve feet of water. While classic deep structure patterns will quickly emerge as the summer progresses, many anglers miss opportunities by looking too deep during early summer. Crestliner Boats Pro and guide Scott Seibert has spent a lot of time on these fisheries, particul... more
Speedy Spinners
by Dennis Foster
Toss a hard-breaking fastball for a winning changeup in your spinner presentations. Speed and spinners for walleye's sounds like a direct contraction in terms. Running spinners-typically baited with night crawlers-has always been a somewhat tedious affair. Standard fair is dragging them up and down structural elements with the standard weighting system of a bottom bouncer ranging fro... more

May 2017

Have you Tried the "Ned Rig"
by Bill Schultz
I began hearing about the Ned Rig, or, Midwest Rig late in 2015. It's named for Ned Kaedy, who is credited with developing it and using it with success for decades. It's maybe not quite as simple as swimming the Kalin's Lunker Grub, which has been so productive for me, but, still very simple. Here's why I began using the Ned Rig early last August. In mid-summer most of the better smallmouth ... more
Midwesterner Fishing The Flats
by Scott Stankowski
Florida magrove flats fishing offers an excellent change of pace for the Midwestern angler. Florida has a huge variety of fishing opportunities for the sportsman from trophy bass fishing to deep sea fishing. Fishing mangrove flats is a unique fisheries that provides some excellent opportunities for a select variety of fish. Recently while in Florida we headed to Tampa Bay where w... more
Dragging and Slow Trolling Plastics
by Jason Mitchell
So often with walleye fishing, we get conditioned to think a certain way regarding a presentation. We fish life bait rigs below the boat. We troll crankbaits. We pitch jigs. We get locked into how a specific presentation should be fished. What can become detrimental to our own growth as anglers is we quit thinking and quit experimenting with the potential of how some presentations can be used.... more

April 2017

Enjoy All-Season Success from Shore
by Jason Halfen
The author hoists a hefty pre-spawn walleye, taken from shore along a medium sized river. These five tips will help you to enjoy more consistent catches from shore, no matter which species of fish you pursue. Five ways for the shore-bound angler to enjoy more consistent catches Let's face the facts: nearly everyone gets their start in fishing by casting a line from shore. Thes... more
Opening Day Tactics
by Jason Mitchell
A new season of optimism awaits. In many states, the inland walleye seasons open in May. Even in states where there is no closed walleye season, the kickoff on many natural lakes and some reservoirs begins in earnest during the same time. What has always amazed me is how patterns and locations can sometimes vary from year to year. No two years are quite the same. Ice out dates flux, surface w... more
Tweaking the Classic Live Bait Rig
by Jerry Carlson
Sometimes I get the feeling that the angling world is moving in a direction of extreme sophistication and technical fishing. I am not against that movement as I have seen the rewards from experimenting with something new. However, I think it is still okay to fall back on the good old basics that continue to put fish in the boat. When it comes to basic walleye fishing, there is little doubt ... more
Turkey Hunting's Three Seasons
by Jason Mitchell
Arctic Shield Pro Staff Hunter Art Helin has hunted turkeys all over North America and has guided turkey hunters for over thirty years. With so many turkey hunts that blur together over the years and across such diverse areas throughout the Country, Helin is quick to point out so many regional nuances. "We have seen where osceola turkeys pitch right into the open field at day break because of ... more
Northern Lake Oahe. First class fishing. Hospitality second to none.
by Dennis Foster
Lake Oahe has a well-deserved reputation as a walleye factory. And rightly so. No matter what Mother Nature throws at it or how questionable the management decisions the Corp of Engineers makes; this expansive Prairie reservoir just keeps churning out plenty of toothy, glassy eyed and oh so tasty walleyes. And lots more too. The potential for trophy sized pike, those reaching and even far exc... more
Early Season Checklist for Walleyes
by Jason Mitchell
For many walleye anglers across the upper Midwest, some of the first open water walleye fishing opportunities occur each year on river systems like the Wolf River, Missouri River, Mississippi River and Rainy River to name a few. While each system can have specific nuances that make that system somewhat unique, river walleyes also follow some of the same general rules regardless of where they swim... more

March 2017

'Perchanator' is New Panfish Weapon
by Ted Peck
Perch are a perennial source of torment for rabid anglers. Frustration is understandable in pursuit of walleyes or muskies. These piscators are gamefish. Perch are panfish. Conventional wisdom says panfish are easier to catch. Legions of fishers across the upper Midwest have discovered the enigmatic nature of these golden tiger-barred devils, sometimes going to extreme measures to figure them ... more

February 2017

Guntersville Outstanding Winter Bass Destination
by Ted Peck
When Bill Lewis Lures CEO Wes Higgins found out I was planning an extended fishing tour of the American southeast a couple of months ago he asked if I could participate in the Lake Guntersville Rat-L-Trap Classic bass tourney on Feb. 12. This meant I would have to extend the planned month long fishing adventure through southern Illinois, Mississippi and Florida from a month to 36 days. Since H... more
Crappie Crusade on I-55
by Ted Peck
We are in the dead of winter. The only hunting opportunities are for rabbits, crows and coyotes. Fish are in a perpetual negative mood, with short flurries of feeding activity. Even a bucketful of St. John's Wort won't fend off depression. Crappies are a sure cure for cabin fever. By far the best way to catch 'em now is with a horizontal presentation-and I'm not talking a Northland Puppet Minn... more
Wisconsin’s Winter Wonderland of Rod Building
by Joe Sills
There's a place up north, covered in snow, where even now thousands of hands are steadily working on thousands and thousands of holiday toys. The toys they build are magical. They're handcrafted with the power to bring joy to all, year round. But this place up north-you won't find any men in red suits there. You won't find any sleighs or reindeer. What you'll find is better, an entire factory ... more
Ice Sonar FAQs For Beginners And Experts
by Joel Nelson
Think you know your ice electronics? Even if you're a seasoned veteran of the sonar world, here are some bits of advice that can help!Photo by: Ben Larson - In-Depth Media Productions Every year, a new set of anglers both young and old, learn to use ice fishing sonar or flashers for the first time. That said, I encounter many anglers on the ice each year that still have their ice s... more

January 2017

Choosing Your New Boat… Wisely
by Dennis Foster
The author discussing details at Dave's Marine in Webster, SD In this article I will be conveying some of what I have gleaned over the years as it pertains to making one of (if not) the most significant of your outdoor investments. That being selecting the very best fishing boat to fit your personal needs and wants. Hopefully what I share makes picking out your dream boat just a little les... more
Horizontal Options for Hardwater Success
by Jason Halfen
The unique design and swimming action of the Fin-Wing is irresistible to apex predators that have grown accustomed to the simple yo-yo motion of simple, vertical presentations. Photo by Bill Lindner Philosophies borrowed from the boat prove highly effective on the ice Open water anglers have long recognized the importance of a two-pronged approach to mobility. First,... more
Destination Delavan Lake - Winter Perch Bonanza
by Dave Duwe
Delavan Lake is one of the finest ice fishing destinations in Southeastern, Wisconsin. The lake is an hour from Milwaukee and one and a half hours from Chicago. Delavan Lake is roughly 2,200 acres with a maximum depth of 52 feet. The lake has many different fishing opportunities, whether it's deep-water yellow perch or weedline walleyes. The shallow bays make available a lot of Northern Pike ... more
Put Some Life Into Your Ice Angling: Use a Dead Rod
by Dennis Foster
Doing a whole bunch of nothing can serve a useful purpose. I realize that there are an awful lot of folks doing this already. Picture grabbing a case of beer and tallying empties as opposed to fish on the ice. Good work if you can get it. But for this discussion, incorporating a dead rod as a serious presentation option will infuse some life into your fishing. So in reality the rod I am refer... more

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