Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter PIke Article

Hey guys I recently wrote an article on Early Season Pike Fishing and you can find it at Clam Fishing Team.

It’s an honor to be part a company that makes the best ice fishing products available. Clam Corp and the Ice Team are always on the leading edge of product development and quality.

Check them out at > Ice Team or Clam Corp

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A few Guide Photos

OK so I have lots of stories to tell but no time. So I’m going to post a few photos from some past fishing trips. Stories to come when the water turns to ice!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Mom

Hey Guys! Life? It’s amazing we live day by day and get into a routine and we take for granted the important people in our lives. I’m going to admit I’m guilty of this. My Mom has always been a women who has put her children first. I love my Mom more then anything and I always have looked at her as being invincible. She doesn’t stop moving and is involved with the community helping so many different organizations and of coarse putting her family #1. My life is so busy with fishing, my family (Kristine and Gavin), running ASPEN and with all the busy things I wasn’t the best son spending time with the women that raised me with my Dad.

Why am I writing this? Well this past spring my invincible Mom was diagnosed with lung and liver cancer. My Dad, Steve, called when they were on their way back from the Mayo Clinic and said, “We are going to stop by and see you.” “Great!” I said as we hung up the phone. They pulled into the driveway and I soon saw my invincible Mom changed to my Mom I had to help walk into my house. The last time I saw her was two weeks prior and I couldn’t even recognize her on this day. I didn’t want to believe this was happening to a women who cared more for anyone else then herself. We helped her into my home and there we sat. I was broken. So many emotions and so many questions, why? I didn’t allow my Mom to see my broken inside and it was all I could take from braking down in-front of her but I needed to be strong. I looked her straight in the eye and said, “You can beat this, we can beat this.” After we spent some time together, drank a cup of coffee, not too strong just they way she likes it, I pretty much carried my invincible Mom to the car and they drove off. Life soon became something so much more.

My Mom is now doing well. She is invincible and she is winning this battle. She has gone through many chemo treatments and it seems to be working. She has had so much support from so many family and friends. We have put together a benefit website at www.suzettebenefit.com. Please take a moment to stop by and say hi. We are holding a benefit dinner on Oct. 4th in Bemidji and an online auction you can get more details on her website. Your support would be appreciated.

As we go through our busy lives remember you are never too busy to pick up the phone or make a lunch date with the ones you love. My Mom has found a way to bring our family closer and hopefully yours as well.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Figure 8 Musky

I had the pleasure of spending the morning in the boat with Bob Johnson (musky fanatic) Bob and I had fished late into the previous evening and nothing. The musky bite has been so spotty with the weird weather we have been having. So we decided to get up early and try a different lake. After a few wrong turns at a detour we finally made it to the access.

The lake we were fishing was pea green with a super bad algae bloom. I was a little worried. We started on a mid lake hump and didn’t move a fish. We then switched tactics and went into the bull rushes and moved a few fish and it seemed like that was the only thing going but still wasn’t much. We made a decision to go out and fish a cabbage spot and not the second cast I see Bob go into the figure 8. I didn’t see the fish right away because of the horrible water conditions but after several turns I saw the fish was right on the bucktail! I told Bob, “Go deep then come up, go deep then come up!” As soon as Bob went deep on the turn and then up the fish bite on about the ninth or tenth time around. It seemed like forever! We landed a nice chunky musky! We were pumped.

We went to the next cabbage spot and they started coming out of the wood work. I was throwing a Fish Stick HD made by Lee’s Lures and I pulled it away from several fish. Bob took the rod and made some a cast right where they came from and a fish unleashed on it but it didn’t get hooks. It was a blast seeing all of the fish react to this bait. I had three different follows in three consecutive cast. Bob really wanted to catch a big one so I kept pulling it away so he could have a chance at them. We never converted another fish but we turned tough conditions into a good day on the water. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many follows we had from one cabbage pile but there is no doubt that these fish feed in packs.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hey guys,

Toby K and I just finished fishing in the Northwoods Fishing League. This is a multi species fishing league that extends throughout the summer months. We had a blast fishing with some of the best anglers in the Brainerd Lakes Area. We also enjoyed fishing several new lakes. I’m amazed by all the quality lakes that we would never have fished, if we didn’t fish in the league. This is meant to hang out with fellow fisher men and women but of coarse it is pretty competitive. Toby and I were trailing going into the last lake and we pulled out the big WIN! We set a new record for most points in a season. Thanks to all the guys that we fished with and we can’t wait for next year.

Click Here Northwoods Fishing League

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gull Lake Walleyes

Over the past couple of days the walleyes finally decided they wanted eat! It has been a fairly tough summer on Gull but for the last week the fish have been hungry.

I have been using Bigtooth Walleye Snells and catching fish anywhere from 22 to 38 feet of water. The fish have been relating to deep structure. It seems the fish will move up to feed in different spots each day. That is why it is so important to have confidence in your electronics and drive until you mark the fish. I use Lowrance Graphs and they are awesome. It’s so fun when I can say, “Someone's going to get a bit!” and it happens. There has been many spots I caught them one day and not the next. As my good friend Toby K says, “Don’t fish in the past!” Put some time looking for fish and you will catch them. Also boat control has been key. Once I see the fish I have been sitting right on top of them without moving. It seems they want the bait to dangle right in-front of their nose before they bite.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Big Pike

So the boys, Kevin, Scott and Sean wanted to catch a big pike! We loaded up the big baits and went Hawg Hunting.

We were trolling big Jakes and Ernie baits made by Musky Mania Tackle over suspended bait fish. I told the guys if we had a shot at a real monster we were going to have to put some serious time over open water. Sometimes finding these big fish are like a needle in a haystack. Well we found that needle and it didn’t take long. About 20 minutes into the trolling session I saw the rod bend and the fish was on.

Sean took the rod and did battle! About 30 feet from the boat I saw this fish come up and I realized we had a real fish. This was Sean’s first big fish and he fought the fish like a pro. We netted the monster and took some shots and let her go!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Musky Mission

Toby K and I had the pleasure of fishing with Dave, Rick, Wayne and Jared over the past couple of days. Our mission was to catch a few muskies....easy task right? Rick especially wanted to catch one to get a replica made for his office. Our work was cut out for us!

With the warm water temps the musky fishing was pretty good prior to the guys showing up but we where faced with a tremendous cold front. Yikes!

Day one it was Dave, Rick and I in my boat and Wayne and Jared in Toby’s boat. These guys had never musky fished before so I was pumped to be able to show them some fish and hopefully get a few to eat despite the cold weather. We pulled up to our first spot and we started to cast. Not ten minutes into fishing “fish on” and a nice one. Before we knew it fish off. Crap! The next cast “fish on” right next to the boat and again the stupid thing got off. I couldn’t believe it! Two fish in 10 minutes lost. Although we lost the fish it was pretty intense and fun for the Dave and Rick but we needed to get one in the net. They were nice fish by the way. I’m guessing both of them were mid 40 inch fish. That is the size of fish we were after. We continued to fish and we had a follow and she was pretty hot. We drifted down the spot a little ways and I said lets make one more pass. “Fish on” yeah buddy! Rick did battle and we netted a healthy 38 incher. We snapped some shots and gave a few high fives and back to fishing we went. The next spot I went to was a small rock pile that was holding some fish. We got half way around it and bam a fish nailed my bucktail but no hooks. I couldn’t believe it? What in the world is going on? This was another really nice fish and another lost opportunity. “How do they not get hooks?” we all asked as this has been a question of mine for 15 years of fishing these fish. Onto the next spot and the next and the next with a few more follows. It was almost time for lunch so we moved to one more spot. Dave was throwing a Pacemaker and all of a sudden I hear a huge explosion. “Yes” I thought to myself and as soon as went for the net I noticed it didn’t get hooked. Holy Crimany! The fish was another 46 to 48 inch fish and it never got a hook but managed to put some big chomp marks in the new pacemaker. The muskies were kicking our butts. The score was 1 for us and 4 for them. We had enough and went in for lunch. We met Wayne, Jared, and Toby and they had also lost a fish.

After a huge burger and some fries we hit the water. Rick was up front ready for action casting a bucktail. Not five cast into the first spot I hear him say, “I got one!” I looked up and this fish was doing some huge head shakes and I went for the net. Just as I grab the net you will never believe it.............Gone! She was gone! Your probably thinking by now my hooks weren't sharp. I can tell you they were razor sharp as always. We were pretty bummed at this point but were pumped to have the chances. We continued down the stretch and I look down as a fish was coming up to eat Rick’s bucktail. With the sun and high wind it was really tough to see the fish and as the fish was coming up Rick didn’t see her coming. Bummer! We fished the rest of the day with a few more follows but no takers. We fished hard and were ready for dinner.

Day two it was Rick and Wayne in my boat fishing muskies and Dave and Jared in Toby’s boat fishing walleyes. We were pumped but knew with the weather condition the bite was going to get fairly tough as it was suppose to be flat calm and sunny. We pulled up to the first spot and didn’t have a follow so I said, “Last Cast!” to the boys and as I was putting stuff away Rick said, “I’ve got one!” I look up and this fish was doing some crazy head shakes on top and I knew it was a musky. Rick did battle and we netted Rick’s second musky a 32 incher. Sweet! It wasn’t a monster but a fish in the boat. We fished several of the good spots and didn’t have too many follows or bites like the day before. By this time it was hot and calm on the water and our spirits started to diminish. I told the guys keep casting you never know! We moved to one of my big fish spots. Wayne was throwing the pacemaker that Dave was throwing the day before. As Wayne went into his “L” turn I looked down and here she came. I said, “She’s going to eat, she’s going to eat!” and she did just that right in-front of our noses and the battle was on. Huge head shakes boat side in the flat calm water and then hard runs. While Wayne was doing battle I said, “Turn her head this way!” and the musky said, “I don’t think so” and made several runs. After the long battle we netted a dandy 45 incher. Wayne’s first musky! We took some photos and let her go! The spirits were lifted and we casted hard for the next hour with a bunch of lazy follows except one on Rick’s bait that we thought was going to eat but didn’t. We decided to head back and take a break from the heat and do a little celebrating.

Dave, Jared, Toby and Travis were catching some big walleyes and one really nice pike! We decided to go out for the evening and try and catch a few walleyes and fish by the other crew. We caught a few fish and called it a night.

What a fishing trip! Rick that big one that followed your bait is still lurking waiting for the next time your up

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Boys are in town

I got to spend the morning fishing with my buds Lee Tauchen, Mike Crawford, Brian Truax and Ron Labrosse. I was in Bemidji spending time with my family and couldn’t resist a morning musky trip with all my buds.

It was Lee, Mike and I in one boat and Ron and B.T. in the other. We ended up boating this cute musky!

Thanks boys I had a blast catching up with everyone!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Whitecap Splash Guards

Hey Guys I pumped! I just finished putting my brand new Whitecap Splash Guards on my boat and let me tell you they are a life saver. O.K. maybe not a life saver but they keep me dry!

If you are in the market for splash guards these are the ones you want to put on your boat. Below is some info about why! I will post some better pics soon.....

(From Whitecap’s Website) Click Here for Whitecap Website
* 1/4" virtually unbreakable tinted gray polycarbonate adds a sleek look to your boat and can withstand trailering.
* Whitecap uses die-cut Santoprene thermoplastic rubber; the best rubber available. Santoprene remains flexible in cold weather, has excellent ozone resistance, outstanding durability and flexibility. Santoprene is used in products such as windshield wiper blades.
*Aluminum rivets, along with a solid backing plate, holds the rubber firmly in place.
*Whitecap splashguards remove quickly. Simply remove wingnuts and lift guard out of slots. Slotted and aluminum angle brackets are permanently mounted to boat with stainless steel screws.
*Heavy duty slotted brackets are made out of 3/4" HDPE plastic. Slots are machined 3/4" deep.
*More than a 1/4" between transom and guard allows clearance for transducer cords, bolt and rivet heads. Guards angle out at 7 degrees for boats with extruding gunnel end caps.
*Guards are also available to accommodate Minn-Kota's Vantage troll motor.
* 3 year warranty.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Kristine

It was my wife, Kristine’s, birthday on August 11th and I asked her what she wanted to do? I was thinking she would want dinner and a movie, a day at the spa, shopping or family day at the beach? She looked at me and said, “We are going fishing!” I have to admit I’m the luckiest guy on the earth. Fishing! My wife said she wanted to go fishing instead of all over all that stuff mentioned above. I was pumped!

Now you need to understand with a new little boy in our relationship she hasn’t been in the boat fishing with me except for a few times up North with Dad/Grandpa Todd when Mom/Grandma Suzanne could babysit Gavin. So she had the itch to catch some fish!

We dropped Gavin off at the new daycare place and Northbound to Leech Lake we headed. We only had a few hours so I had to make them count. I was so pumped to spend the day on the water with Kristine but knew if we didn’t catch fish she would kick my butt!

We pulled up to our first spot and rigged up crawlers on spinner harnesses and started to troll at 1.1 to 1.3 in about 14 to 16 feet of water. I was marking fish but couldn’t get them to bite for the first 15 minutes. It was flat calm and sunny so I was a little worried about catching fish. As we were fishing we were very close to one of my favorite musky spots and I was telling Kristine about some of the fish we caught of the spot. I also told her I left the musky gear at home! She couldn’t believe it but we only had a few hours and I new if I had a musky rod I would have spent some time casting for muskies and again I only had a few hours to figure out these walleyes. I made another pass with only catching a few smaller fish and these fish bite when I was making a turn. They bite on the inside line which means it was going slower. So I slowed the boat down to .8 to 1.0 mph and moved into 11 to 13 feet. We were making our first pass and I saw a musky boat pulling up to the musky spot I was telling Kristine about. I could hear the musky baits clanking and plopping on the water. I then heard the sound of a big head shake and looked over and they had a fish on. Man my heart sank until I looked over and saw one of our rods bent over and I said, “fish!” Kristine fought the fish and I scooped a 27 inch walleye and looked back and saw the other rod bent over and I said, “Another one take it!” It was another hawg and just as I unhooked the first one I netted a second one that was almost identical. What a double! We had a pattern and we continued through out the day catching some real big walleyes including a 28 incher with a total of five fish over the 26 inch mark and several in between. We took pictures of the big ones and let them go. Through out the day we did try trolling cranks and caught a few fish but most of them wanted the slower spinner rig. It was amazing how two feet shallower and .2 mph slower made the difference. If we wouldn’t have changed it could have been a long day on the water.

I should note that Kristine caught all the big walleyes and I caught the rock bass and pike when she let me take the rod. She is a fish catching machine! I should also note I didn’t think once about the musky that was caught only a 100 yards away the whole day. I just enjoyed catching fish with my wife!

Happy Birthday Kristine!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Brothers put on a clinic

On the water again! Sorry I have been a little behind on the updates but we have been rockin’ the fish the past couple of days.

I had another great trip this morning with Kathleen, Mike, 10 year old Jack, 12 year old Bobby and their grandpa Jim. The first two hours I had Kathleen and Mike in the boat. The fish were a little slow waking up but Kathleen managed to catch both a walleye and a bass. Congrats to them as they are getting married in October. I won’t rub it in too bad who caught the most fish…….

Now it was time for the two studs Jack and Bobby and their grandpa Jim. I went back to the same location we had caught the big bass with Hailee the day before and the bite was on. The fish had moved just about 150 yards up the shore. Those guys caught fish left and right. It was so good we didn’t have to move the whole two hours. I got to know my fishing buddies pretty good and we were having a great time. I told Jack if you want to catch a Hawg Belly you have to put a super big minnow on. Fearless Jack was and of coarse he said lets do it. This was a huge minnow and I mean huge. I told Jack if he gets a bite to make sure to give the fish some time to get the whole minnow in its mouth. I should also mention the five-minute warning was starting. (Five minutes until we had to go in.)

I was cleaning the boat and I heard Jack say what every guide likes to hear, “I got one!” I looked up and again it was another monster bass jumping out of the water. Jack fought the fish like a champ and we got em’ in the net and we all cheered as though the Twins won the World Series! We took some great photos and let her go to fight again.

What a blast and thank guys for the great time!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hailee the Pro

I hope everyone is doing well. I have had some great trips in the past week. The walleyes are starting to bite and of coarse the bass are on fire. We have been fishing mostly deep weed edges and some of those weed edges are normal spring locations in the past years but not this year. Most of the fish have been around 13 to 15 feet of water.

I had the pleasure of spending the day with Monte, Penny and new fishing pro Hailee who is 10 years old. We had a great trip! We started out fishing a mid lake hump that has a ton of good weeds around the edge and caught some walleyes and bass. We were fishing with Bigtooth Flourcarbon Snells tipped with a tasty red tail minnow. After catching a few fish we decided to go to a shoreline spot where a school of walleyes have been hanging out. We caught a few fish but it wasn’t gangbusters and before we knew it time was up.

Hailee had started catching some fish so I told her she had five minutes to catch a fish. If she doesn’t catch a fish within those five minutes we had to go in. I also explained that if she caught a fish it would add another five minutes onto the clock. Well, one hour later we were still fishing. I couldn’t believe it the girl was on fire and I think I was having more fun watch her catch fish then she was catching them. I was fixing a rod when Hailee said, “I got one!” I looked up as this monster bass was jumping out of the water. I grabbed the Beckman and scooped a huge bucket mouth. We gave some high fives, took some photos, and Hailee let the big bass go so some other lucky angler could have a chance at catching it later. We decided to end it on that fish as we were all pretty worn out from the excitement.

Thanks guys I had a blast!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sabaskong Bay Trip #2

So Northbound, back to paradise on water, Sabaskong Bay we, my good friend Josh Kragthorpe and I, headed. I was excited as before but this time was the musky trip and it was time to get serious.

Josh and I arrived, unpacked and bada boom bada bing we were on the water. Holy criminy I new we were going to put the smack down on em’ this trip and I was pumped. The water temp was above 70 degrees and the sun was shinning. Josh and I headed to our first spot and we moved one fish and then to the next. I had a fish try and eat but it missed the bait. Crap! Josh and I then fished some new areas and we moved some fish and we had some close calls but no fish in the boat for the first day.

We headed back to the resort and unpacked and cooked some brats and for some reason we thought it was a good idea to go out in the pitch black and try to catch a walleye. Well let me tell you when I say pitch black I mean pitch black. We couldn’t see two feet in front of us and thank the Lord for Lowrance and LakeMaster because we would have never have made it with out them. Well we made it out to the reef where my Dad, Brother and I caught all the monster walleyes and it was fairly rough. We fished one time around the reef lost one lure and we looked at each other and said lets go in. I white knuckled it all the way in and made it safe. I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone because it was nerve racking!

Day #2 and we are up and ready to rock and roll. We kept hearing everyone talk about fishing cabbage and Josh and I were moving fish on the rocks. As we were on our way to our first cabbage spot I couldn’t pass up a little rock hump and we started to make some casts. About half way around I felt tick on my bait and I set the hook and nothing but a huge boil. “It missed it, that stupid fished missed it!” I explained to Josh who had a smile on his face. Onto the next spot which was cabbage and don’t ask me why since we had fish going on rocks. I said, “For fun I’m putting on the Pacemaker.” Which is a top-water lure and not 30 minutes later mister pike bites but that was all that was in the weeds so we continued to fish around a rock point and straight from the shallow rock a musky grabs the pacemaker and skies straight in the air. I set the hook as Josh yells, “Musky…That’s a musky!” The fish then jumps straight out he air a second time and the battle was on. Around the back of the boat she went and finally I won the battle and with one scoop of the Beckman she was ours for a quick picture and back in the water to fight again. Sweet! 

We continued to fish a mix of structure including weeds, rock points and rock reefs with not much happening. My Dad had a 46 incher follow on our previous trip and Josh and I headed to that spot and not five cast into it she bites Josh’s Water Chopper which is made by Lee’s Lures. The water erupted but she didn’t get hooks. We couldn’t believe it! Onto the next spot and again the water erupts but she didn’t get hooks. “What in the world is going on!” we said to each other. We continue to fish and another one chases Josh’s bait and he goes into the figure 8 and she bites and gets the bait for seconds and gone. Three bites in about 30 minutes and no fish. I was bummed and we where now 1 fog the good guys and 5 for the stinkin muskies on the trip. We continued to fish until dark with a few more follows but no more bitters.

We stopped in to see my friend Mike Mccullen, owner Fudally Tackle, and his Daughter Sammy. After a few, o.k. maybe several, fish stories it was again 1:30 in the morning and pitch black and we had to drive back a few miles thought the maze of rocks. We made it back and bam I was sleeping!

The next morning we met up with Tim Anderson my friend from Brainerd and they had caught a few fish in the weeds. Weeds, Weeds, Weeds and we had all of our fish going on secondary rock structures that were connected to larger islands. Mike also said he was catching fish in weeds. So weeds it was or should I say wasn’t for us. Josh and I fished so many weed spots with no fish I couldn’t believe it. We then went back to rocks and no fish. I was sore, tired, frustrated and couldn’t believe I couldn’t catch a musky. I told Josh I needed to set the hook so lets go catch some walleyes in the weeds. I hooked up the jig and gulp and looked at Josh and said, “If I catch a musky doing this I’m going to be so mad.” We started to cast towards the shallow cabbage and bam I set the hook. I looked at Josh and said big walleye. Well it came to the top and we soon realized it was a musky. I couldn’t believe it. We fished for almost 10 hours and I put a stupid walleye jig on and boom I hook a stinking musky 10 minutes into it. The battle was on and it was approx. 40 incher and I told Josh we might as well net the stupid thing. The fish must have heard me as it lay next to the boat and with on quick flick of the tail she snapped the line and was gone. After catching a nice walleye we went on to try and catch another musky with no luck. What a tough day!

We got back to the cabin and met up with Tim, Greg and Steve and they were on em’. They had been fishing a different part of the lake and were moving fish, guess where, in the cabbage. They had caught a few really nice fish and were seeing lots. I was really humbled and stumped. Josh and I had on more quick morning to put a fish in the boat so we decided to fish cabbage. Argg!!! We fished the greenest most beautifulest (I know that’s not a word but you know what I mean) cabbage ever and didn’t move a thing. We went back to our rock locations and with 10 minutes before we had to leave Josh sets the hook on a really nice fish. It ended up being a 36 pike!

Over all I think we should have stuck to what was working for us but when you hear so many reports of fish being in a certain type of structure it’s hard not to give it a good honest effort.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sabaskong Bay Trip

Northbound we headed! Where? My favorite body of water Lake of the Woods and my favorite place the Sabaskong Bay area. I decided to take a break from guiding and took my Dad, Steve, and my Brother, Joe, on this fishing adventure.

Prior to planning the trip I knew we were going to be targeting walleyes. I didn’t know where to take my Dad. I wanted him to have a blast catching fish. I thought about Lac Seul and some of the more renowned big walleye waters but we didn’t have a whole week so I wanted as much fishing time as possible. So it was Sabaskong Bay.

We arrived at Mylies Place and Daryl, Ellen and Justin greeted us as we drove in. They have to be some of the nicest and best hosts around. We purchase our license and got the run down on the fishing from Justin. Talking with Justin it sounded like the muskies were still in transition from their spring locations to there summer home and the walleyes were out on the rock reefs but had lots of forage from the mayfly hatch. I have to admit I was little worried about the bite and not to mention the wind was roaring out of the west!

We headed out fishing right away and I was pumped to be on this body of water. It’s just paradise to any fisherman. On our way out to the walleye spots I knew we were going to pass a few musky spots and I couldn’t resist. “Dad do you mind if we cast a few spots?” I asked my Dad. He just smiled and said, “Yes”. We fished one of my favorite spots and didn’t see a thing. I couldn’t believe it so I talked him into one more spot. I was casting a jointed Super Stalker made by Drifter Tackle and on a long pause I felt my bait stop. Fish on! I handed the rod to my Dad and the battle was on. We landed our first fish of the trip and it was a healthy 40 incher. “OK that’s all I need. Lets go fish walleye’s.” I was pumped! We fished a few mid lake reefs and caught some decent fish on Kenkatch Banana Jigs and a minnow, leech and a few on Berkely Gulp. The wind was cranking so I couldn’t really fish several of the spots I would have liked. It is pretty important to stay vertical while fishing these rock spots because of the snaggy rocks and as soon as you let that jig drift it will get hung up. After setting the hook and catching a few more walleyes we headed in and to unpacked. The cabin was beautiful, clean and right on the water. We cooked some brats and got ready to head back out on the water.

My Dad had the itch for another musky so we went out that evening for a couple of hours and had a few follows and one that almost bit a topwater bait right next to the boat. It was great to see my Dad’s expression after the fish turned away from his bait. “Did you see the size of that?” He remarked. It was awesome!

That night we ran into “Prairie Dog” a local guy who stays at Mylie’s Place. He showed us some spots that were holding some walleyes. I couldn’t wait to get up the next morning to fish some of these spots.

We got up; cooked some breakfast, got bait and gas from Jordan, stud hockey player, and we were off. We pulled up on our first spot and started catching fish right away. We blew up a little on the edge of a reef and as I started to back out Joe set the hook. “This is huge, Jeff, this is really huge!” he said and I grabbed the video camera and my Dad grabbed the net. We didn’t know what it was? I thought sturgeon and then maybe musky but the whole time my Dad said it’s a huge walleye. I mean this fish was doggin Joe and he couldn’t move it. I could have had a cup a coffee and caught a bunch of fish by the time Joe landed this fish. Around and around the boat Joe went. Well final the battle was won and the fish came up and with one scoop of the Beckman Net my Dad captured a 30 inch monster walleye. This fish was built like a tank! We took some great pictures of the fish and let it go! After a bunch of high fives and even a few hugs we got back to fishing. It’s amazing what a big fish does to a bunch of macho men. Hugs? We spent the rest of the day catching walleyes, saugers, a nice pike on a pink Rapala Pink X-Rap and some really nice perch. We had a blast but other then the monster 30 incher we struggled to find the solid 20 inchers. So I had to figure out a different game plan. Went home and cooked some awesome fish but we were a little short on the fish batter so we added some pancake mix and honey graham crackers and let me tell you it was good. I will be trying that again!

We were fishing pretty far West of the resort and I thought for the last day we should stay close. We got up cooked another amazing breakfast and were off. We didn’t go two miles from the resort and started fishing. We still were fishing with jigs and didn’t really find too much on the first two reefs. We went to the third reef and started jig fishing and didn’t have much happen besides a couple of 18 inchers. I was marking a lot of fish about three to four feet of the bottom. I was using my new Lowarance HDS-10 and I can’t believe how awesome it is. I decided to switch tactics and boy I’m glad I did. It was a lesson learned; trust your electronics. Not ten minutes into it my Dad caught a 28 incher (walleye) and after that is was 27, 26.5, 27 and so on. I can’t tell you the exact number but it was gang busters along with several 20 inchers and little ones to boot. We stayed in that same area and put the hurt bag on em’ the rest of the day!

Overall what a trip and what can I say I was proven wrong. This was by far one of the best big walleye trips I have been on and I have fished all over “big walleye” waters. Big walleyes, Big Muskies, Big Pike, the wilderness, great resort (Mylies Place) and only 45 minutes from the border. What more could you ask for?

Thanks Dad and Joe for an amazing trip and thanks Mom and Kristine for letting the boys go out and play.

If you are thinking about a trip to Canada I would defiantly recommend Mylie’s Place. You can find them at www.myliesplaceresort.com Mylies Place Resort

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Christopher says, "Lets catch a big one!"

9 year old Christopher and I fished last year together and he was back for more. I’m telling you this kid can catch em’. Christopher along with Dad and Grandpa got into the boat for the last trip in my 192 Crestliner. I told them the walleyes haven't been snapping but we have been catching some big ones. I asked Christopher, “Do you want to go for big ones or little ones?” Of coarse the answer was lets go for big ones!!!

(Looking for the Hawg Bellie)

I drove over a few spots with and didn’t mark anything my Lowrance Graph so I continued check some deep mid-lake structure. I marked a fish on the edge of a deep hump and said there she is. Christopher put his redtail down and he remembered everything from last year. Line on the finger, line tight, stay in contact with the bottom, let the line out when he feels the bite and reel up the slack before you set the hook. He did just that and the rod was bent and the battle was on.

I could see from the depths of the water the big ol head shakes from the large white tip and I told him it was a Hawg Belly. He did a great job fighting the fish and we landed trophy walleye.

Christopher said he wanted to let it go so some other kid can have a chance at catching it.

What a trip!

The New Ride

My new Crestliner 202 Tournament Series with a 250 Mercury Verado and 9.9 Pro Kicker. What a ride!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Brother vs Sister Fish Off

OK so I’m going to admit I forgot names but I guided a Dad, Brother and Sister and what a blast. Brother and sister had a fish off and sister kicked butt. With about 10 minutes to go it was tied. Time ended and we had to go into sudden victory. I said 10 more minutes and she scored big with this 19.5 inch bass with about a minute to go.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Leech Lake Walleye Tournament 2009

Dave K. and I fished the Leech Lake Walleye Tournament on May 30th and 31st. What a blast. Day #1 we battled the wind and went to spot #1. We caught fish but they were all 22 to 23 inchers so we moved. Didn’t find any fish and made another move and found em’. We caught one fish over the 26” slot and our limit fish under 18 inches. Day #2 sitting in 11th place we knew we had to catch two big ones to be in the top ten. The fish were bitting but we couldn’t find any overs. Dave had the hot stick! We released several fish between 20 and 25.5 inches and had a great time. We ended up taking 19th out of 125 anglers.

Next year we are going hawg hunting!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

So we headed north with a ton of shiner minnows and jigs to the famed Leech Lake for opener. I had a last minute cancellation so it was just my little brother, Joe, and I.

The fishing was phenomenal to say the least. Joe and I caught several walleyes in between 16 and 28 inches and all were on jigs and shiner. We concentrated on shallow weed flats adjacent to spawning areas. We caught most of the fish in 6 to 8 feet of water. It seemed like it took the right speed to get them to bite. Pictured below is Joe and I with two different 28 inchers.

Fishing Tip:
Usually earlier in the season I fish with Kenkatch Hair Jigs and Northland Tackle Stand Up Jigs. It seems both of these jigs have triggering qualities that most jigs do not. The Kenkatch Hair Jig has a large profile and floats through the water. It just seems to drive them nuts. Northlands Stand Up Jig has a special way it wobbles when you hook the shiner up through the head. There are many ways to fish a jig and one way I get a lot of bits is just swimming the jig through the water. Cast it out and just reel it back like a crank bait. The stand up jig is also designed to sit on the bottom of the lake with the hook up. This gives the appearance of minnows feeding on the lake floor or burring its into the weeds. If you not getting bits try and just let your jig sit for 5 seconds and sometimes that is what they want. There is no wrong way to fish a jig as long as your getting bits. Make sure you vary your cadence and you will be sure to get bit!