Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ice Fishing is just around the Corner

The ice conditions in the Brainerd Lakes area, like Gull Lake, Round, and North Long are very close to being fish-able or I should say safely fish-able.  The farther you travel north like Leech Lake and Cass Lake should also be making some pretty good ice.  So it's time to get that equipment ready!  I just put together my brand new Clam Voyager TCX and let me tell you this bad boy is awesome!  If you are in the market for a sled style fish house you wouldn't be disappointed with any house from the Clam Corp line up.  I can say that because I have a 10 year old Clam Voyager sitting in my garage that still looks new!  Seriously the thing is in great shape and yes I used it a few times just ask my wife....  Check out the line of fish houses here Clam Corp Fish Houses  If you do have any questions please let me know and I would be happy to help out. 

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone too.  I'm so thankful for a loving family.  This was the first Thanksgiving since my Mom, Suzette, had passed away.  It was hard on all of us but my wife, Kristine, put together an amazing spread of food in Memory of Her.  We know that she wasn't at the dinner table physically but spiritually she was sitting there happy to see her family together. 

I'm looking forward to a great year of ice fishing and guiding this winter.  If you or you know someone who is looking to hop on my snowmobile and take off onto the frozen water of Central and Northern Minnesota lets do it!  I will be guiding on many lakes like Gull Lake, Round Lake, Leech Lake and too many to name.  Send me an email if you would like more details.  My buds WalleyeDan and Tim Hanske also have some sweet sleeper houses and I would love to set you up with those guys too.

So to get you in the spirit here is a little video of my buddy and Bigtooth Pro Staffer Mike Crawford showing you how to set the hook on monster northern pike using Bigtooth Tackles Natural Quick Strike Rigs and Tip ups.  You have to love Mike he is a funny fishing maniac!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Big Buck Story Minnesota Deer Rifle Season

Once in awhile you get to hear a story that is truly what outdoor passion is all about.  My friend Paul, AKA Pablo, called me and I could hear the excitement in his voice.  He said, "Jeff, I just shot a huge buck and the best part is that Braedon was sitting right next to me!"  Oh man I felt the chills go down my spine as I could hear an excited father not only did he shoot a big buck but his five year old son was able to experience that moment with him.  I can tell you that excites me as my little boy Gavin turns two in February and it will only be a few years and I, hopefully, get to share moments like this with him.  I ask Pablo to give me the play by play so he sent me an email with photos!

This is what is all about!!!

"I asked Braedon who is five if he wanted to go deer hunting with me this year and of coarse he said "YES"!!  Opening morning I didn't have to ask him twice to get up and out of bed.  We had a quick bowl of cereal and we were out the door.  As the sun hit the top of the trees we got into my deer stand and we saw squirrels, geese, swans but no deer.  At noon I figured he needed to stretch his legs so we went to the truck for a quick sandwich.  My brother had been seeing deer most of the morning and I thought Braedon would have a better chance of at least seeing a deer if he sat with him.  So, I asked him if he wanted to sit with my brother and he did.  I told my brother that at 2:30 Braedon had to make a decision either to sit with you or come back to my stand to sit till dark.  Well, he chose to sit with my brother.  I was kind of bummed because it was fun sitting with my son, showing him the many things that were taking place around us and just spending time together.  My brother texted me at 3:30 and said Braedon wanted to sit with me and was bringing him back.  Cool, by buddy was back with me and now I was just hoping we would be blessed with seeing a deer.  We were sitting with a lot of anticipation and excitment.  It was down to only about 45 min left of the hunting day and through the corner of my eye I saw some antlers to my left coming through the brush.  After I see it turn it's head all I could see was antlers I knew it was a shooter!! I asked B "theres you see you see it"  OK Daddy was pretty excited at this point but he finally he says, "Yeah I see it I see it!"  We went through this like 5 times while the deer slowly made his way.  My heart was ready to pop right out of my chest!  I could tell the deer started to get antsy (or maybe it was me) so on the last "do you see it" and B says "yes" I drop the hammer down.  The monster deer didn't move an inch and we had a deer of a lifetime down! The two of us went NUTZ!!!!  All I can say is what an experience, and to have done it with my 5 year old son by my side" Priceless"!!"  
Paul Manecke

Holy buckets if that doesn't give you chills I don't know but all I can say is thanks Paul and Braedon for sharing such an amazing story!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Minnesota Deer Hunting - Big Buck

Here is a few photos of Joe, my brother, of a buck he shot during the Minnesota Deer Hunting Season.  I will post the story soon.  It's a good one!!!

(click on photo for larger view)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Photo Walk-a-bout

I went out on a morning walk and snapped a few photos.  They are not the most mind blowing but what a great way to get out and get some fresh air.

(Peek a boo squirrel)

(Minnesota Pond Fog on the Water)

(Turkey's on the Ridge)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ice Roads Walleye Weekend on Leech Lake, MN

From fall musky talk to winter ice fishing.  Yep it's almost time to get that ice gear read to rock and roll.  I wanted to let you know about a great opportunity to learn ice fishing tactics from some of the top anglers around.  On January 14th and 15th fellow fishing bud, Jim Hudson, and crew will be holding a comprehensive ice fishing school on Leech Lake.  I will also be there to help the guys out.  As if I know what I'm talking about!  The focus will be on ice walleye tactics from start to finish.  Their goal is to shorten your learning curve and to increase your odds on your next walleye adventure.

I can't think of a better spot then Leech Lake to get out and put some new tactics to the test and catch a few fish together.  So get the boys/gals together and lets go catch a few walleyes together!

Check out more information at Ice Roads Website

"Make a Memory"

Jeff "Breezer" Andersen

Monday, November 1, 2010

Minnesota Monster Musky - Lake Bemidji Guide

The phone rang and my buddy Kevin said, "I wanna catch a musky!"  "Well yeah don't we all!",  I replied. Well lets get rocking and go catch one!  So we were off to hunt down one of the toughest freshwater fish.  Easy task right?!  Kevin has been fishing his whole life but never for muskies so this was a new experience for him and the pressure was on.  As I prepare for our Musky Hunt my mind starts to dive into the lake, are the fish going to be deep, shallow, suspended, on the rocks, in the weeds, outside the weeds, inside the weed line or are they on the sand, in the bullrushes holy buckets I didn't know for sure but all I could do was try and put the pieces together.  Just a week prior we had warm weather and the fish moved into the cabbage, but that was a week ago, and we were hit with a nasty cold front with strong NorthWest winds.  

So the hooks were sharpened, all of the hooks I should say, as I was up till 10:30 getting baits ready.  Did the fish want small bucktails, large bucktails, spinnerbaits, or did they want top water baits, or maybe soft plastic baits, or crankbaits or jerk baits?  The book would say in the fall use soft plastics, crank baits or jerk baits, but there have been times when I have caught some of the biggest fish in the fall on topwaters.  That is what this game is all about!  Putting the pieces together and when you do it can pay off huge.

Northbound we headed with the Crestliner 202 and Mercury Verado ready to rock we were greeted with 26 degree morning.  It was picture perfect!  Not another truck and trailer at the access and we had the lake all to ourselves.  "What is everyone doing?" I thought to myself and Kevin was probably thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?"  We put the boat in the water and I bundled up with my IceArmor and off we went.

We started fishing a steep edge like I mentioned in the previous post and our presentation was focused on fishing with Crankbaits and Jerk baits.  Both of these lure have different triggering qualities but both have the ability to stall out in the water.  This means to work the bait either back and forth or twitch, twitch and then a long pause.  That long pause can be the difference in a bite or just a methodical follow.  Every lure you throw has a triggering quality so learn what they are.  We had moved three nice fish on this steep edge but no bitters.  I thought to myself, as it was early in the morning, "Let's try a small little cabbage pile that is adjacent to deep water as an active fish could have moved up."

We started to work down and as we were casting the money spot I saw a huge boil behind the bait appeared.  Twitch, Twitch, Twitch Pause.........Fish on!  Kevin did battle!  As I was grabbing the net Kevin exclaimed, "It's a big one, it's a big one, it's a big one!"  Well this was Kevin's first time musky fishing and the first couple of hours into it for that matter so I was thinking it was just a nice one, until I looked up and saw the Blue St. Croix bent over and was starring down at a giant!  The fish was doing several hard head shakes just out of nets reach.  "Kevin just take it easy and bring her head around!" I said in attempt to stay calm but the fish said, "I'm the boss!" and made several runs back and forth with violent head shakes by the boat.  After a short period Kevin was able to bring her head around and into the net she went.  "It's a giant!  Kevin you just caught your first musky and you just caught your first 50 incher!" I yelped!  There was no doubt this thing was over 50 and I was pumped and Kevin, I think, was a little shell shocked.

So number one thing on my mind is the fish's safety.  Kevin handed me the release tools as it didn't take much to get her unhooked.  We grabbed the camera, bump board (measuring board) and I told Kevin how we were going to take the picture, measure her and let her go.  It's always a good plan to have a good systems as this fish or any fish for that matters is a precious gem so we don't want to hurt her.

Ok so Kevin, previously semi pro basketball player at 6'5", looked down and asked, "Do you see the size of that thing?"  I showed him how to grab her and with a grunt she came out of the net.  This fish was a giant!  Man I wanted to get the best photos possible but it's tough when it's this cold, we don't want the fish out of the water too long, and Kevin never holding a monster musky before I was little worried, but he nailed it.  The fish relaxed and posed for some quick shots, down to the bump board she went.  "54 1/4!" I said to Kevin and with a 26 inch girth!  Kevin's first musky, first 50 incher and first mid forty pounder.  That's a way to start things off!

Lures Selection

We were using a variety of jerk and crank baits like the new  Rapala Glidding Rap  

We caught this monster muskie on a 7 1/2 inch Phantom Softtail Lure

Congrats to my buddy Kevin who landed a true Minnesota Trophy Musky!

So here are couple of shots.  Like I said before Kevin at 6'5" wearing a ton of winter clothing and this fish still made him look small.

You can do a weight calculation here Musky Hunter Weight Calculator

"Make a Memory!"

Jeff "Breezer" Andersen

(click on photo for larger view)

I cropped the above photo just to give you an idea of the girth on this fish!