Some Days Don’t Produce

Spent the first day of the weekend searching, and I mean searching, for a crappie bite that just wasn’t going to produce. Spent the afternoon going from deeper water to shallower water and later afternoon, back out into deeper water. Just couldn’t find the crappie, all in all, was only able to put 3 bluegills on the ice and we won’t even talk about their size. Had no problem finding the fish as just about every hole they were there. They would come up and look at it and just sit there and stare, then go back down. Changed several jigs from shape to size as well as the plastics I was using. Colors were changed, sizes were made shorter and shorter for finding something that would work. Nothing

New Friends on the Ice

After my seminar back in December one of the attendees, Summer, had pulled me aside and asked for some advice on catching fish. She'd said that they could see fish on their flashers, but they hadn't caught anything in almost 3 years of trying out ice fishing. I gave her a little advice and ask her to contact me again with any questions or to possibly arrange a time that we could meet up on the ice for some in-person instruction. About a month after the seminar, she contacted me for some fishing tips on Sylvan. I sent her a map of where to go and depths to look for spots as well as lures to try. A couple of days later, she messaged me a big thank you and had some pictures of trout that she an

Trying Something New

I am always about trying new things and there are times that they don’t work, but when they do, can be something that will be used more than others. Todays technique was to try tight lining and get a feel for that, as the tournaments that we fish, it is becoming a critical part of the fish catching process. Tight lining is using a fiberglass noodle rod, a small Schooley reel, light fishing line and a light jig with some sort of meat or plastic. This setup is a hand lining option and is typically used in shallower waters. The Schooley reel allows the line to come off straight and doesn’t have the coils that the spinning reel creates. This keeps the jig and bait/trailer from spinning, which is

Trout Bonanza

Like most, whenever I take a group out for ice fishing, particularly beginners, the hope is always that the fish will be plentiful and hungry. You can fish in an area that has been productive for a few days, but then the next day, poof, there's nothing there. It is the nature of fishing that things never stay the same from one day to the next. A fellow co-worker of mine had his mom, Vicky, visiting from California and she'd heard that he'd been out on the ice with me a few times and said she wanted to give it a try. For someone who's never been ice fishing to ask to come, especially from a warm state that doesn't get ice, it was exciting for me and I was hopeful I'd get them all on some fish

Florida Fishing

We drove 3 hours from Kissimmee to Bokeelia FL to fish with Bo Johnson. Our plan was to go out about 18-20 miles, offshore where it was only 75ft deep. It was a very windy day. Captain Bo navigated around and in between 3-foot swells. The water splashed over the sides getting the boys wet. Saltwater running down their face and wet cloths. I was worried they wouldn’t make it the whole trip. Once we arrived at our spot, we rigged up some spinning rods and a jig head tipped with fresh shrimp. Most the time it would get eaten before it hit bottom while catching Lane and Mangrove snappers. Blake was fishing on the bottom and every time he caught a fish, something would eat his fish and the rod wo

Ice Time with Dad

Every year, I get a few opportunities to fish with my dad. My siblings and I were fishing with him from early ages, both in the boat and on the ice. He was always one of the reasons why I grew up loving the sport and learning about conservation of this precious resource. As a "walleye purist", as I refer to him as (hates catching anything that isn't a walleye), he rarely kept fish unless we were wanting some for dinner and anything over 20" was automatically thrown back. As kids, we didn't really ice fish per se. It was more family time on the ice, with my brother and I doing almost anything other than fishing. It was tip-up fishing only when we were kids as dad didn't have a flasher yet, so

Boys on the Ice

Got the boys and their friend out for some early morning action. Caught a few right away in the AM and it looked like a promising day. Until they started running circles around the fish house, pushing shovels and throwing footballs. Lol, I just sat back stared at my Vexilar and listened to their goofy comments. Getting them out to enjoy the outdoors is important whether they are fishing or not. Boys will be boys!

How do I put my reel on here?

The number one question I get as an ice fishing professional is, "How do I put my reel on this rod?" "You want me to spend how much money and it doesn't have a real seat?" Yes, I want you to purchase quality, high end rods whether they are custom, or mass produced. Why? Because your results will be increased tenfold. The new revolution of fishing rods has become paramount to the ice fishing industry. Consumers are appreciating the same quality and action as they would with open water rod presentations, though fishing through a hole with a 24" -36" fishing rod. Back to my most common question asked. Where does the reel go, and how do I put it on? Most of the high-end rods, are designed with l

A healthier alternative to "Fish Fry"

As the new year brings us in, a large percentage of folks attempt a new goal or change a few habits to be a bit healthier. Of course, in our home we love to fish, and we love enjoying our harvest from time to time. For Christmas this year, I purchased an air fryer for Alie. Yes, it is an unwritten rule not to get your lady appliances, dishes, pots, pans etc. but she really wanted one of these. I must admit, it does not disappoint. One of our favorite ways to have fish is fish tacos. It's a lighter meal, and usually on the healthier side. Well, now with an air fryer, we are really eating healthier and not sacrificing any of the flavor or taste. Here is the recipe for you to try. Enjoy Ingred

New Waters

Winter ice is about fishing and learning new waters that you can’t do on the open water season for a variety of reasons. Ice fishing keeps everything basic and anyone can do it with minimal equipment and still be able to catch fish. Every year the goal is to learn a few more new waters and that in turn, gives you more varieties and options for fishing all depending on how the winter season goes. Learning local waters, waters that are an hour away to longer distance destinations will allow you to cover your whole season no matter the conditions. This trip was two hours north, there are a couple of other waters that we fish regularly in the area but always looking for something new. Friends me

Making New Friends

For me, one of the best things about doing seminars or on-ice videos is meeting new people and making new friends because of it. They've allowed me to put myself out there as a resource for others to use, to help them be more efficient or put more fish on the ice and I've made some new friends because of it over the last few years and even been able to meet them on the ice on several occasions. This happened recently when Aaron got a hold of me through my website and emailed me looking for some help to get into ice fishing more. He was wanting to fish more at Deerfield since his in-laws had purchased a cabin nearby and he was looking for some winter entertainment. So, he asked about places t

Must Have’s

There are numerous new tools that are available in the fishing industry. Some are gimmicks, and some are a game changer. I am going to go over a few of the products that I have checked out and used this year. The K-Drill This product is a must have in your fishing lineup. This auger is lightweight, durable, and cuts amazing. Did I say it’s amazingly lightweight? It has made foot travel in early season so much more enjoyable. The run time on one battery is very impressive as well. Vexilar Glo-Ring The Glo-Ring is another must have in the fishing arsenal. Yes, the button style glower still works, however with the Glo-Ring, makes it very simple with its hands-free design. You simply drop your l

Thirty Minutes of Conservation

When people ask me “Robby what’s the best way to get my children involved in the outdoors”, I often respond with one simple answer “thirty-minute hunts and one-hour fishing trips.” Soon after my response I get an eye roll in disbelief. Children love to be outdoors but their love for the outdoors does not come with sitting in a blind for hours on end, waiting for the perfect buck to walk out. Capitalize on what you know when it comes to hunting and fishing. If you notice every night for a few days, deer walk out on a meadow between four and five, then take a child to the location to join you in harvesting a doe. Don’t try to sit there for hours before the deer walk out, getting a four-year ol

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