AIM Recap

This past weekend, my tournament partner Doug Robinson and I fished the AIM Professional Walleye Series State Championship on beautiful Lake Vermillion. The event was based out of Fortune Bay Casino. Let me tell you, the folks at Fortune Bay were more than accommodating to all of us. They have a large protected bay with plenty of dock slips and very helpful marina staff. Before pre-fishing and entering the waters of Lake Vermillion, all teams had to go through a brief AIS Inspection at one of several sites around the lake. We were then given a sheet of paper, which was signed by the boat captain and the inspector as proof of inspection. Being I had the Alumacraft TPro all washed and shined u

Trolling motor Tip

Not everyone will agree with me on this but for the few who do, they understand. I live on a lake that has rocks and car size boulders all over. If you are like me, sometimes you are not looking down directly into the water when fishing. Whether you are watching your line on your drop shot or poppin’ a frog, sometimes we get distracted. I was more than distracted when throwing my fluke the other night and didn’t notice a huge rock that decide to give my trolling motor a big hug. This is definitely not the first time this has happened and will not be the last. But instead of potentially snapping my trolling motor, all that happened was the wood screws ripped out and I needed to re mount the t

Alexandria Area: A Hint of Fall

Can you feel it? The trees are starting to show their colors and the water temperatures are starting to fall. I know, the summer heat that we had a few weeks ago might be done, but let's hope for some warm weather for the Labor Day weekend. Looking ahead, it looks to be in the 70's with stable weather which is always a great sign for great fishing. This week the water temperatures dropped from 73 degrees to 68 degrees and the fish are still in the areas where we have gotten them during the summer months. The one thing is the crappies and gills were more active. The cooler water temps. will trigger feed mode and this past weekend was a sign of that. The one thing to start thinking about is up

Hooked on Hardwater Canadian Adventure

Back in February this year I was honored to take part in the annual The Club for Boys outing in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. This event offers fellowship and mentoring to 60 boys from the club for a 1/2 day of ice fishing. These fellows are teamed up with professional fisherman from all over the USA and Canada. Each year at their fund raising dinner on the Saturday of the event the club has unique and exciting outdoor related silent and live auction items. My back story here is I was once one of these boys myself. Getting introduced to fishing by a mentor changed my life for the better and made me the man I am today. Fast forward to now, and as one of these Professional fisherm

Our Story of the Great American Eclipse

This is a bit of a long story, but a fun one. Never in most of our lifetimes has one naturally occurring scientific event captured so much of the country's attention as did the total eclipse from last week. There was so much build-up for the eclipse that it became a must-see event for those who could make the trip to the totality area of it. I myself was one of those who wanted to make the trek. With totality coming through Wyoming and Nebraska and within three hours of Rapid City, there were many options as my wife, myself, and an old Cabela's friend of ours made our plans as well as back-ups areas should the weather not be optimal. Alliance, NE was a first choice despite an estimated 10,00

Stripers on Incoming Tide

One thing we are still working on is catching stripers on a more consistent fashion. There was an incoming tide in the early morning hours so we made the trek out onto a breakwall where a river is coming into the ocean front. With the tide coming in, our setup was to run bait chunks for trying to catch these stripers. The setup consists of a three way swivel that has a 5/0 circle hook and also a 3oz weight tied on. On the circle hook we will use either a cut piece of mackerel or a chunk of clam. Casting this presentation out into the current, the weight holds the bait in position as the bait flows in the current. The bite can be very subtle to a viscous attack on your bait. But typically you

Isolated Structure Fishing

Summer time water temperatures have the fish looking for cooler and more comfortable water zones and that means fishing deeper water. There are many deep water locations that hold fish and then there are areas that hold better quality and more variety. Finding these locations can be very rewarding and typically do take a good amount of work, but once they are found, can be goldmines on a regular basis. Good electronics these days, allow you to create mapping on demand, and this work up front, can show you these locations that may not be on your current charts. Creating a grid pattern of these locations, allows your electronics to create a very precise picture of what is down there. Watching

Aluminum Vs. Kevlar Canoe

Now don’t get me wrong, the good ol” motor and trolling motor are my number one choice, but I can’t always have that. When I first started fishing back when I was 16, I threw an old beat up aluminum canoe on top of my Chevy Monte Carlo and went on my way. I have upgraded and wouldn’t trade a bass boat for anything, however, now that I’m only feet away from the BWCA, I have to handle canoes on a daily basis. At Nor’wester Lodge, we rent out canoes each and every week and usually they are Kevlar, why the answer is simple. Kevilar Pros: Light weight Tough Same Size as aluminum Can carry a lot of gear Cons: Not as durable as aluminum Expensive Thin so when damaged rapiers can potentially be hard

Good Laughs and Easy Fishing

Sometimes when the going gets tough, you just find a spot where you know you will catch fish, even if the size of the fish isn't the most desirable. With the Sturgis Rally happening this week, my wife and I had a college friend visiting for the week who wanted to attend it. Jared has visited us before for the Rally and we're always happy to have him visit. So I had the day off a few days back and asked him if he wanted to give fishing a go for one morning, not knowing if he wanted to since he said he hasn't fished in at least twenty years. But he agreed to come and spend the day with me and I planned a trip to Pactola to a couple of spots where I'd caught trout in the past and hoped there wo

Deep Water Structure Fish

Waters are warm these days, with being near the 80 degree mark and that has the fish going deep for the cooler waters. Fishing deeper water requires good electronics and an understanding of what they are showing you and how to fish that structure. One location that I have found, is a very small sunken island that is about the size of a boat, and is void of much vegetation because of the depth. Utilizing the SonarPhone Tpod with the Navionics application this has allowed for creating current contour information on daily trips. Typically on this hump, the fish would relate to the top and by keeping your boat off to the side and working your bait over the hump, this was how the fish wanted it.

Alexandria Area Report: Dodging the Weather

It seems that this past week as been a little cooler and with some storms that have cut fishing short. But, even with that the fishing has been very good. The one positive is that the water temperature has started to drop with the rain we have been having. Speaking of water temperatures, last week the temps. were 79-82 degrees and this week they dropped to 72-75 degrees and it showed to. The fish were in a little shallower than last week as well. The crappies and gills were pretty active in between the storms and you should look in 8-12FOW this week if your heading out. The areas that produced the best were sunken islands that had good weed growth and pencil weeds. You might say that you see

Lakers on the Hard Line

As the saying goes necessity is the mother of invention. Today was an interesting day on the water. The plan for Kelli and her dad was to go down rigging for lake trout. With an early morning start to the day we arrived nice and early. Uncovering the boat..... DRATS!! I forgot my down riggers! How on earth does that happen?? Getting old I guess! Oh well, with an hour drive back to town to get them not an option. It was time to improvise. I had been experimenting with leadcore line set ups over the past few years for trout fishing with some success. Today we were forced to forego the original plan and try this method. My leadcore setups consist of a high gear ratio Daiwa Saltist line counter

Father Daughter Walleye Adventures

The highlights of a guide's life is to get families involved in good times on the water and in the Outdoors. HSM's Kelli Patrick & her dad Tom decided to make a trip up to fish with me on Rainy Lake. We managed to get out for 5-6 hours today fishing. All while dodging thunderstorms and lightning. The walleyes didn't disappoint either. We found them on main lake structure feeding shallow in 18-22 feet of water. Fishing just a simple Northland tackle RZ jig and a minnow was the ticket. Kelli's dad Tom had the hot hand and it always seemed like he had a fish going. With a limit of walleyes in the box in just over an hour it was time to cruise and dodge a storm cell or two. Fishing is only part

Some Cool Morning Bass Action

Stockade Lake has become a favorite target of mine since this past fall thanks to a good population of big bluegills, perch, pike, and bass. Since last ice season, however, I'd been trying to catch some of the bigger smallmouths there without any luck. I'm still learning how to fish for bass here in the Hills since up until last fall, I'd never really gone after them specifically. Trout and panfish have usually been my go-to species with walleye mixed in as well. So it's been a lot of trial and error which any fishermen can attest to when trying something new. There's also been plenty of YouTube and TV show watching and magazin articles on the subject. And it's always great when the homework

Jig-Worming the Weed Edges

The dog days of summer are upon us and that means fishing deep water weed lines is the order of the day. Finding irregularities along these weed lines are key locations that these deep water fish relate to and there are times, certain small areas will have numbers of large fish. Setting up on the shallower sides of these weed lines has been key lately. The larger fish seem to be cruising the outer edges or just tucked inside of the weeds in their ambush locations. Casting the jig-worm out to the deeper water and slowly working it back to the weed line and if you don’t get bit, keep working it into the weeds as they may be further in. Using the Northland Nature Jig 1/8oz and an Impulse Nightc

Porpoising Bluegills

Fishing in the early morning hours, there are times that you see things that you may not during the rest of the day. We were out bass fishing recently in the early morning and the bass were cooperating quite well on the deeper weed lines. There was little wind, so the water’s surface didn’t have much for ripples and while we were fishing, we started noticing that there were pods of fish swimming at the surface. Having seen this before, figured that these were schools of small bluegills and didn’t give it much thought. One pod got very close to the boat and we noticed, these were some nice hunchbacks coming out of the water. Luckily we had one rod in the boat rigged and ready and my son cast

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