Fishing with Technology

There is no doubt that the new technology in today's fishing world has made things easier on our generation of anglers. There are new advancements being created every year to help anglers be more successful. There are a couple of key tools I use that help myself be more successful! One of my favorite ways of finding new lakes to fish is the use of the local netting reports that MN DNR puts out every year. Looking at these reports helps me determine which lakes have the numbers and size of the species I am chasing. I than tie these reports in with my Navionics app to help zone in on the areas that I believe the fish will be concentrated in at a certain time of the year. Underwater cameras and

Road Tripping, Fishing New Waters

Living in the Black Hills, I have had plenty of opportunities to get out on the ice for some trout this year. But, there hasn't been anywhere to go target other species. I had been dieing to get after some jumbo perch this year after ending last year with a few good ones. I did a bit of online research and got a few tips from friends about some of the glacial lakes on the Eastern part of the state. It looked like about a 6-hour drive and only having 36 hours before having to be back to town for work, I decided to set out at 2am when I got off work. We "my girlfriend Felicia and myself" arrived at one of the lakes I was referred to, and apparently, I was not the only one who was told that the

Trout Lakes, Black Hills SD

Until this great weather that most of the Ice Belt is getting right now, about the only safe ice in the Black Hills has been the smaller trout lakes that are scattered about here and most, generally, have small trout in them. One lake, Roubaix, had reports of better sized rainbows coming out of it most of the summer, but I was unable to find any during my trips there. With a good 6" of solid ice on it, the lake was the place to be on ice at, save for a few other locations. Brandon and I planned our trip early to try to get there before anyone else did since there were a few places that had been the best spots to find the better trout and avoid the small perch that were also in there. Well, w

Twin Ports Fishing Report 12/28

High pressure and cold slows fishing. Living in the Northland, one needs to have what it takes to handle these brutal temps, oofda. Before this cold system arrived, we were having some fair weather and successful fish outings. Now fish seem to have a case of "lock-Jaw". That's the way it goes sometimes (as I sigh). Best time to get out fishing in my opinion is right before a front sets in. Fish tend to bite good right before a change in climate happens. Since we were delivered this frigid climate for Christmas, fishing has slowed down. Angler pressure has also slowed down, but a few die-hards are still getting after it. I want to remind anglers the importance of taking care of, and not harmi

Importance of Ice Cleats

As the last week of the year winds down on us, old man winter has reared his ugly head. Temps have dropped and the mercury has fallen out of the thermometer. Ice conditions continue to vary across the metro area with 5-10 inches on most lakes. Some houses have arrived on Lake Minnetonka as of late. With these cold temps, ice will be very consistent and I predict atv's and trucks on the ice by the new year. Fishing has been steady for sure. Panfish have been striking hungry in depths of 10-16 FOW. The lucky set up has been Clam Outdoors Drop Kick Jig with the NEW Maki Leechi plastic. Crappies have also been feasting on crappie minnows over a deadstick. I wanted to also touch base on a sometim

First Big Group Trip/Black Hills Ice Update

One of the best things about ice fishing, at least for me, is that it gives anglers the opportunity to fish with more than just one or two other people. I enjoy those few days out of the season when there could be five or more in our group of hardwater walkers because not only does it allow us to cover more area and see where the fish are at, but it also allows for lots of chatter and camaraderie on the ice. Recently, a few of my fishing friends came out for a morning on Roubaix and one of them brought his dad, son, and brother with him as well, making for a good size group of guys. It was great to see such a wide range of ages and experience levels and we all enjoyed chatting and fishing am

Revisiting Favorites

Every fisherman has their favorite go to lakes that provide a great bite. Unfortunately, these gems become discovered by others and obtain more pressure than one desires. Once the word gets out, it can deplete the population in a quick hurry. With the gaining interest in the ice fishing world, this is happening more and more and it can be very frustrating. One thing to keep in mind is that the lake is good for a reason, whether it's the forage that is present or the vegetation that provides for great spawning. Even if the lake gets a lot of pressure, it's tough to completely fish the whole lake out and overtime the lake will heal itself! I like to revisit these lakes from time to time checki

First Ice: Always a Great Feeling

Finally, there may be a winter this year and hopefully it makes up for the lack of them the last couple of years. First ice always feels good being out there, but at the same time, great safety measures need to be taken as the newly formed ice sheet, will have irregularities to it. The ice was setting up very nicely with the week of cold temps, then enters a mid-week snow storm leaving 6 inches of snow and that didn’t help the ice conditions. There are patches of snow on the ice and now, those areas need to be avoided as they have slush under them and a SPUD BAR is your best friend. Once making my way through the maze of snow on the ice, made it to the area that I wanted to start my search f

Sight Fishing Panfish

Catching fish through the ice is always fun, but, when you can watch them swim up to your jig and inhale it, that makes it even more exciting! Watching the red mark close in on your Vexilar and having the ability to watch how a fish reacts to your bait and how your jig moves is priceless. It gives you a better understanding of why your flasher blinks, changes color, and how the fish is reacting to your presentation firsthand. It’s valuable information that can help you to adjust your cadence and become a better fisherman. The perch, crappie, and gills all reacted quite differently. Watching the flasher and seeing the mark fade in and out and at the same time seeing the fish in real-time, I c

Seminar Time: Sharing the Passion

As someone who is very passionate about fishing and ice fishing in particular, I believe it is important to share that passion with others a

Foul Hooked; On South Dakota Salmon

Living in South Dakota I've gotten to experience a fishing opportunity that isn't available in most states, which is snagging Chinook Salmon. It was about 6 years ago that I started targeting salmon. Every October, they spawn on Lake Oahe, bringing them in close enough to reach from shore. However, I quickly learned, they are very hard if not impossible to get to take a lure during spawn. Year after year, I would throw lures from dusk til dawn and strike out. That was until 2 years ago, I started exploring new areas to search for them. I found several areas where I could visibly see the fish, but still couldn't get them to take a lure. I ended up taking up bowfishing last fall just to target

Northern MN Ice Report

With the cold snap that came through this last week, we could comfortably venture out on local lakes this past weekend. We fished two of our "go to" backwoods gems and found much success! Both lakes had an average of 8-10" and were safe for four-wheeler access. We did however, find a couple lakes that have strong springs and still had open water in areas. So, travel with caution if you don't know the lake. Both the bluegill and crappie bites were hot. Most of the fish were caught using the Clam Outdoors Epoxy Drop Jig tipped with either a waxy or Clam Maki plastic. We found the crappies suspended out over the deep basins and the bluegills were relating to the edge of what cabbage was remaini

Fish House Inspection

It won’t be long before you see wheel houses scattered across lakes looking like tiny little villages. If you haven’t already, taken the time to do some quick maintenance on your fish house. Not only will it help the longevity of your house, but also give you a piece of mind knowing everything is in proper working order before you set out on your adventure. It’s much easier to fix it in your driveway than in a middle of a frozen lake. Get yourself a grease gun and locate all grease zerks on the suspension and jack. Pump grease into the zerks until the grease starts oozing or it no longer easily flows. Now lower the fish house all the way down to get the grease spread around. I like to check

Getting on the Ice with Dad

One thing I always look forward to when the hardwater season starts, is the couple of times I get to fish with my dad. Normally I fish with him on his home waters when we go up to visit my folks in Lemmon, but on the rare occasion, I get to take him out if they visit during this time. My folks came down last weekend to Christmas shop, so I asked dad if he wanted to get on some ice since the lakes and stock dams up by Lemmon were nowhere near to locking up, thanks to the warmer temperatures and he, surprisingly, agreed even though I told him the pond where we were going, only had smaller trout and maybe some pike in it. Being the "walleye purist" that he is, I didn't expect him to want to go,

Twin Ports Report

We are during the Ice Fishing Show Season and are excited to get back to the water. We have been finding a little time to do more checking and things are shaping up now that the temperatures have been in steady freeze mode. As always, use best judgment and utilize proper safety equipment when venturing out on the ice. Smaller lakes, shallower areas and back bays of larger waters have walkable ice. We are still not at a point of total confidence and do not encourage people to go out, unless they have complete understanding of the conditions. Ice thickness varies from 2"-9" depending on body of water. Lakes to the north have better suitable conditions. As we climb further into December, ice co

Weekly report: Metro area

We don't have fishable ice quite yet in the twin cities. The weather is looking promising and it shouldn't take long now. This is the perfect time to get your gear out and give everything a good "once over". Re-spool reels with fresh line. Check the drag and grease to make sure they are in good order. Organize your jig box. I like to separate my panfish jigs by tungsten and lead, I also separate my walleye tackle from panfish tackle. I like to travel light so there is no need to bring walleye spoons when you are targeting panfish. Also, make sure your Vexilar is in good working condition. The battery should have a good charge on it. Check your auger. If you have a gas auger, make sure that y

Waiting on the Ice

Many locations have tasted their “Ice Season” already, but, there are many of us that have yet to see the ice and are waiting eagerly. So that means, dawning the winter warm gear and hitting the open water for getting our fishing fix in. By having access to open water yet, this is allowing us to find the areas that the crappie is using and with water temps near the freezing mark, they won’t be moving far come first ice. Using ice fishing strategy, watching the Vexilar flasher, slowly moving the boat around, looking for fish on the screen. You will come upon areas, when the screen will light right up, and tossing out a buoy in that location, this will give you a good reference point as to the

One Last Boat Adventure

Every group of good friends, have that one thing that has become an annual event that they look forward to. For myself, fellow HSM member Colby Gallagher and one other buddy, it is taking the boat out on the big pond (Mille Lacs) as soon as the walleye season is reopened for the “Winter Season”. The weather conditions leading up to the date, have a lot to do with the ability for this trip to happen, and unfortunately this year, had a lot of ice to deal with. This meant busting ice, 4-5 inches of it, for about 20 yards at the access we used. After roughly 30 minutes of chiseling through the “tough stuff” there was just a fresh ¼ inch for about 200 yards. Once we made it free and clear of the

Warm Weather Woes Continue

Some people probably are loving this extremely warm start to the winter we have been experiencing across the region. Well, I for one, cannot stand it! Temperatures have been in the high 50s to low 70s for nearly two weeks now and as a result, none of the big lakes in the Black Hills area are close to freezing yet and even some of the smaller ones that were iced over with at least 4" before Friday, are now nearly wide open, and those that have walkable ice on them, require extreme caution and every piece of safety I own before getting on them. Such was the case with a trip earlier this week. Matt and I had planned a trip to Sylvan Lake this week, since last Friday proved to be a good day with

Home Built AR

I have always wanted to own an AR style rifle, but the prices ranged from $600.00 to $2,000.00 for a rifle just take to the range was unreasonable in my mind. After talking with other gun enthusiasts and looking on the inter-web, I found that I could purchase all the pieces I would need to do my own AR build. I found the upper receiver and butt stock that I wanted, along with the trigger assembly and buffer spring. The most important part of this whole project is the lower receiver which you can purchase from your local gun store. State and Federal Laws need to be followed with this part of the process, which your gun dealer will have this information available for you. This was an afternoon

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