Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rapala X-Rap Walk 13

As mentioned in the previous post Doug and I boated two fish over the fifty inch mark on film the other day. I'm pretty excited to tell you about the lure we caught the fish on and how we had success but for complete details your going to have to watch the show.

Here is a little Taste!
I have often spoke about how each lure is part of play that should be in your playbook. The lure alone isn't going to give you success but it's the totality of the circumstance you are in. What? I'm saying there are many factors that have to be taken into consideration to consistently put trophy fish in the boat. You have to be able to read those factors and make correct adjustments to your game. The best anglers can just do that! Make the right call at the right times. Just like it takes so many factors of the Vikings Offense to have a successful touchdown. In short the Offense has to read the opposing defense and make the right play call then the boys up front need to fill their roll and make blocks, Favre needs to handle the snap, and then you just give the ball to Peterson and we score! With fishing for muskies you need to consider many different variables and apply that to your lure selection.

Odds in your favor
While Doug and I were on the water we had fished some outside weed edges but we did not contact the size of fish we wanted. Clue #1 we weren't fishing where the big fish were. We adjusted and looked shallow. We had calm water and low light. Typically from past experience a topwater lure would come to mind. A topwater lure also gives me almost 100% clean cast as the water we where fishing in was weed choked. A huge part in the game of musky fishing is having as many odds in your favor as possible. When you have clean cast, no weeds, you have more chance to boat a fish. Cast angle another part of our successful play. We decided to push up into super shallow and cast out towards the break. After getting all of those pieces of the play we needed to present the lure in a manner that would cause the fish to loose its grip and smash the bait! A large piece of presenting the lure in the correct manner was using a smaller then normal musky rod that being a 7' 11" Fenwick Elite Tech Flipping Stick, with Suffix Line and Suffix Fluorocarbon Leader.

Lure Presentation
The playbook was set in motion and we fired our cast. The Rapala X-Rap Walk 13 was called up to make a play. The lure is an amazing lure to say the least and I'm excited about it! Although you can work the bait in super fast motion I slowed the bait down in a rhythmic cadence. As I mentioned it takes a little practice but the goal is to get the lure to almost stay in a straight line but to flip back and forth in a Z pattern. I see a lot of guys work this lure with long sweeping rod pumps causing the lure to swing way left and right. I feel that by working the lure this way it will cause you to miss more fish. So with the goal is to work the lure back and forth but keeping in the same path while searching for fish. I do this by casting the lure out and with the a small amount of slack in the line I pump the rod tip with small twitches while reeling the reel just the right amount. Once you get the rhythmic cadence down you will have it dancing as it should. Now there are times when I have a fish come up behind the lure and sometimes it takes a change in that cadence to trigger a strike so I first try to speed the lure up. If that isn't working I will stop the bait and do long hard twitches causing the bait to stay in one location for a period of time but will turn from side to side throwing more water. If the fish still is following and won't take the bait on the surface go into your figure eight bringing the lure sub surface moving your rod tip back and forth while in the figure 8. Make sure to not only change speeds but to change water depths as this is by far one of the most crucial parts of the figure 8. I like to make my L turn at the boat then go really deep with the lure then come back up like a fleeing fish would to the surface and that is when I get almost all of my figure 8 strikes.

A Little More About the Lure
The Rapala X-Rap Walk 13 is made of super tough plastic, VMC hooks, a ball bearing rattle which causes a unique noise and is weighted perfectly making long casy easy. The bait is also one of the easiest walk the dog lures on the market. While filming with Doug I boated six muskies on this lure and had six bites. That is a 100% and that is one of the top aspects that this lure has over many and trust me I have missed many fish on other brand of topwaters. The hard plastic does not allow for a muskies teeth to sink into it and small body allows for the fish get good hooks while it chows down.

(Photo courtesy of Rapala)

The Rapala X-Walk 13 is just another important part of my playbook and I can guarantee I will score again with this bait!

Check out more at Rapala X-Rap Walk 13

You can purchase the Rapala X-Rap Walk 13 from KrugerFarms.com just go here KrugerFarms.com Sign in and look at the largest selection of Rapalas online!

Friday, July 23, 2010

In Fisherman Musky Show

The past three days I had the chance to film with a long time idol Doug Stange with In-Fisherman. We were fishing in Northern Minnesota on Cass and Bemidji Lakes. The plan was to put a television show together featuring "Hot Bites" and we needed to put some decent size muskies in the boat for the show. Easy task right?!

I pulled up to the launch at Cass Lake and I'm being honest I was a little nervous as there was a tad bit of pressure on my shoulders to catch some fish. I spoke with Doug many months back and was pretty confident as I explained we could catch some muskies if we we put some work into it. Yes I said confident then but I was a little nervous now! Doug pulled up and we packed the boat and off we went camera and all. Holy Buckets!

I was pumped as we had clouds and a light to moderate rain which is typically pretty good musky weather. We pulled up to our first spot and waited with a ton of anticipation as the rain had to slow before we could start fishing. Rain stopped and the baits were flying! This spot we were fishing has been pretty consistent and it didn't take long. "Doug Fish!" I expressed as I felt my bucktail get stopped in its tracks. Fish in the boat and we were off to a good start to the day with a 40 incher. We fished through out the day seeing a lot of small fish and catching them too but they weren't the fish we wanted for the show. We ended a pretty good day of fishing but didn't get what we needed. Bummed but we still had a few more days to put things together.

Day two we decided to fish Lake Bemidji. Another early morning but I was pumped because I knew the size of fish that live in this lake. And this is where the story here ends as you will have to watch In-Fisherman television this comming season as Doug and I put two fish over fifty inches in the boat along with several others. We didn't get pictures of the really big one but below is a photo of the last big one we decided to take a picture. We didn't want our buddy Chuck to kick our butts.

All I can say is what a memory! Over the past many years of spending time on the water I have been blessed to fish with so many great anglers and now I get to add another name to that list. Doug, Dave and I had a great time and it was such an honor to be able to catch some real giants on camera with Doug. He has been a someone I have watched and learned from for so many years. Thanks Doug!

I should also say thanks to our camera man Dave as he worked his tail off holding that monster piece of equipment for many, many, many hours and nailed some sweat shots!

We as musky anglers sometimes get stuck on big baits but sometimes a little down size can make a huge difference. The two big fish we caught were on a Rapala X-Rap Walk 13. You can view the Rapala lure here Rapala X-Rap Walke 13 This bait is smaller size musky lure that is 5 1/4 inches. It features a walk-the-dog-action, sharp VMC hooks and has a couple of rattles that give it a noise that not a lot of these muskies have heard. Don't be afraid to down size baits if your not getting bites! This type of bait requires practice so don't get discouraged!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sabaskong Bay 2010

The planning was complete and the boats were packed and off to Morson, Ontario to fish my favorite body of water Lake of the Woods - Sabaskong Bay Area. We had three boats headed North and all of us were filled with anxiety to get on the water.

If you remember last year it was just Joe, my Dad Steve, and I that went on this trip. It was a trip filled with unbelievable walleye fishing. It was also a time when our Dad told us that our Mom, Suzette, was battling cancer. Since the trip last year most of you know our Mom is now in Heaven looking down on us. Before each fishing trip she always said, "Make a Memory!" and for this 2010 trip our intentions were to do just that.

Here is the link to last year's photos and story Sabaskong Bay 2009

We arrived at Mylies Place and of course greeted as we drove in by Justin and the crew. The fishing reports were good so if you know me I was chomping at the bit to rip some lip. So, yes I probably rushed everyone to hurry up to get on the water! Justin got the boats in the water right away, we got licenses for those who didn't have them, picked up some bait, unpacked the trucks and off to paradise we went.


Lake of the Woods is over seventy miles long and wide, and contains more than 14,552 islands and 65,000 miles (105,000 km) of shoreline. It would amount to the longest coastline of any Canadian lake, except that the lake is not entirely within Canada. Lake of the Woods is also the 6th largest freshwater lake located (at least partially) in the United States- after the five Great Lakes. So there is not shortage of spots to fish.

Day #1

We headed out and stopped on a reef where we had caught most of the big fish last year and also named, "The Suzette Reef" in memory of our Mom after our trip last year. We boated a few small fish and off we went. Our goal was to put some fish in the boat for a fish fry and also to get the itch of setting the hook off my back. We headed to Miles Bay area and stopped on some of my old honey holes and put a bunch of eaters in the boat. As we were fishing the wind and weather took a turn for the worst. So we decided to stay in this area as moving from spot to spot was pretty rough and we where catching fish. Here's a few photos from the calm spot!

(click on photo for larger picture)

This is Leah, Jason's Daughter, putting a hurt bag on the keeper walleyes!

After a great evening of fishing we decided to head back to get things figured out in the cabin and clean fish. Well it wasn't that easy. We had to cross a large section of water in which the wind was coming across at 30 to 35 mph. We battled some waves that where close to 7 feet and made our way home. I wasn't too worried as the ol Crestliner 202 and Mercury 250 Verado kept us safe. We cleaned a big bag of super jumbo perch and walleyes.

Day #2

Leah, Jason, and Joe hopped in my boat for the day. We went out caught a few walleyes and Leah said she wanted to catch a musky and let me tell you this girl can cast with the best of them. We fished some of my really good musky spots with out a follow. I couldn't believe it as I was frustrated with the high wind and tough bite I couldn't fish several of my other really good spots. We fished through out the day a mix of walleye and musky spots with catching again keeper walleyes but no muskies. This girl wanted a musky and was determined. On the way in we decided to make one last stop. We were gabbing away when from the depths a large fish came up and crushed my topwater lure. "Got her, Leah get back here!" I said. I gave her the rod and she did battle like a pro. I grabbed the net and scooped a monster fish. We took a few quick photos and let Leah's first musky go.

OH did I mention it was a 50 incher......

Day #3

My buddies Erik and Derek said we want a musky! So we got up early and headed out to hunt for another musky. The wind was again rockin and we were so limited to where we could fish. First spot Derek had a mid forty incher turn on the figure 8 and it looked like it nipped the bait but it was so tough to see in the rough choppy water. We fished several more spots with not much moving. Again frustrated with wind we headed back to the camp to eat some lunch.

Jason, Joe and Leah hopped back into my boat as Leah said she wanted another musky. So I went to an area I hadn't fished much and looked to the sky and asked Mom to give me some wisdom on where this fish are bitting. As tough as the bite is I always believe there a fish bitting somewhere on the lake you just have to figure them out. Well we did just that. Our first spot Leah had a musky eat her topwater bait on three different times and didn't get hooks. We continued down the spot and she had another fish bite and didn't get hooks. We caught two really nice pike and the lake was starting to show some true colors!

So feeling pretty dialed into where and what the fish wanted to eat we found another spot similar to the last and it didn't take long. Leah had yet another fish come right up to the boat and try to eat again. Holy Buckets that was three bites in under an hour. We turned back to make another pass and older brother Jason sets the hook as a monster chomped his bait. This fish made a huge jump and I said, "Yep that's a big one!" and the battle was on. Joe grabbed the net and stretched out to get the monster in the net.

After a few loud cheers we got her unhooked and took a photo and let the monster go. The fished was Jason's second musky ever and his first fish over 50, that measured 52 inches. Wow!

A tough musky bite turned pretty good really really really fast. We continued to fish with not a boat in site and ended up losing three or four other bites. The fish were hitting the topwater baits so hard it was pretty tough to get them hooked but Jason was all smiles.

It was getting dark so we decided to work our way back. Jason said, "One more spot!" We all agreed and it didn't take long and the water again was flying. Jason hooked into another fish and I think the whole lake heard it!!! I grabbed the net and Joe grabbed the camera and we netted a cute mid 40 incher.

What a great day! Did I mention it was my Birthday and I think this is the 6th time I have put a fish in my boat over 50 inches on my birthday. So who wants to go fishing next year on July 17? Although we had lost some nice fish we were pretty pumped to get out for the final day. We had some birthday cupcakes I was ready for bed!

Day #4

Today my Dad said he wanted to catch a musky! So it was one of my best buds Erik "Hopper", my Dad and I out to find one of these crazy fish. It didn't take long. About the 10 cast in I watch my Dad's bait get chowed with a pretty good grunt he sets the hook and the battle was on and as soon as I went for the net it was off. It was another monster and this would have been my Dad's first fish that he hooked by himself and probably his first 50 incher. We continued to cast a little defeated but not to defeated as it was my Dad's third cast after the water again erupts and he was hooked up. This time he was to going to be denied and my Dad's first fish was in the net! A beautiful 47 incher!

A few photos and back at it! Joe, Leah and Jason pulled up to say hi and at this point I was casting. We were sitting jabbering about the fish my Dad had just caught when a fish came up slurped my bait underwater and I was hooked up. This fish went ballistic with violent head shakes causing the water go everywhere. I yelled at my Dad and said come get the rod, I knew it was a monster! He took the rod and this fish was a fighter. Made some huge runs and finally with a quick scoop my Dad had landed a 50 incher. Hopper and my brother Joe, who was in the other boat, took some fighting shots. We got her unhooked, some photos, and back in the water. This fish was a super tanker! I'm not too sure but these fish must be on the same diet as I am because they are chunky!

That same day Jason boated another 44 incher which was his third fish for the trip and Joe had a fish that he said was close to 60 inches bite but missed the bait. This same fish followed several times before it bit so they saw her really good. Hopper also had a chance at one later in the day and so did my Dad.

(Joe and Hopper both took some pretty awesome pictures)

So a Memory was made! Thanks Mom for looking down and giving us the wisdom in finding these fish. Yes we lost a lot of fish and yes we couldn't fish our good walleye spots because of the wind but we put three fish over 50 inches in the boat along with some other super nice fish.

If you guys are looking for a spot to get away let me recomend my friends at Mylie's Place. Their goal is very clear and that is to make your trip comfortable and fun. The cabins are clean, up to date, and they have all the necessities at their store and Justin will put you on fish. Please visit their website at Mylie's Place click here

Thanks to everyone for a great trip!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Leech Lake Walleyes

Had a pretty good trip on Leech Lake today. The fishing wasn't fast and ferrous but we managed to put some nice fish in the boat and kept some for dinner.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Muskies are on the move Cass Lake Minnesota Musky Guide

So Chris and George said they want to catch a muskie. We fished two days and this was their first time fishing for these crazy fish. So Day #1 we had a several follows and saw a ton of fish just sitting in the cabbage. We also had two nip at bucktails that got off and had a couple areas that had several fish. We were pumped as it was hot and sunny and we knew the clouds and rain were on the way!

We got up and went to a spot were we had several fish following and one fish sitting that was 55 to 56 inches, A MONSTER! The silence of the calm morning was broke by the sounds of our cast...oh what a sweet sound! We though our large muskie baits to the specific location were the fish were holding and we had a few fish follow but they were lazy. I couldn't believe it. The weather was perfect and I though for sure they would bite. So nothing on spot number one and onto spot number two. Chris was a little sore after a long day of casting and I kept telling him it's going to happen. Well it happened and Chris had a fish come up and bite his bucktail and didn't get hooks. Heartbroken! I just smiled and said that's fishing' Chris looked at me and said, "After 888330 hours of casting I have my shot and I blew it!". Oh if he only knew how many times that has happened to me!

So we continued to fish and we had fish sitting but not following. We all looked at each other with a little less air in our balloons after hours of casting and couldn't believe it. I kept telling these guys this was perfect weather. We would fish a spot and not move a fish and then drive up on it and see them laying there. So that kept us motivated.

"Should we go walleye fishing?" Chris said to George. "Well lets give it two more spots" George replied and what a good idea. On the second to last spot we got a fish to bite and stay hooked. Chris landed his first musky a 49 incher that wasn't too worried about her diet.

Congrats to Chris and George and thanks for letting me be apart of a great moment!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hawg Belly Pike-Gull Lake Fishing

The walleye fishing has been a little spotty from lake to lake and from guide trip to guide trip but the bass and pike continue to be on fire! Wendi caught this monster pike today. We caught a couple of walleyes and a ton of bass. Thanks guys for the great trip!