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Fishing with Vets Weekend

Last weekend, I ventured to South Dakota to catch some walleye and smallmouth bass. The trip was special, as my boat had two special guests, Jack and Mike.

Both are Veterans, Jack, a two tour Vietnam Chinook pilot, and Mike a three tour Iraqi combat Veteran.

A weekend holiday facilitated by a nonprofit organization called Fishing with Vets. This group hosts several events throughout the Midwest annually to give back to our nation’s heroes. Men and women of service are treated to an all-inclusive weekend at a resort with a guided fishing excursion.

This weekend was in the northeast region of South Dakota at a beautiful lodge called Hidden Hill Lodge. Owners, Lorrie and Carla Sanderson are some of the best when it comes to lodge life. They are prepared with the best atmosphere a sportsman or woman could ask for,

They sport a stunning lodge overlooking a private lake full of quality walleyes and fields of colorful roosters. When you arrive as a guest, you are treated like family. The accommodations are second to none. From comfortable classy rooms, to amazing hearty meals.

We ventured out in the morning to find some active fish. As we arrived at the lake, I admit I was a bit confused because we were eager to launch, but several anglers were leaving the lake in frustration of a tough bite.

Being at the launch, I felt committed, so we dumped our Crestliner in and went to the rocks. I had several St. Croix Premier spinning rods setup from medium to medium light action. The goal was to pitch jigs in the shallow water to see if we could find some active fish.

Rods rigged with the Clam Pro Tackle Drop TG tungsten jigs and BFishin moxi tails and Pulse R plastics we began pitching jigs. It didn't take long, and smallies were being netted!

For those of you that ice fish, tungsten is sure to be in your arsenal, as you know it has more density than lead. So, smaller profile, yet heavier weight which allows a quicker drop.

For summer or open water fishing, that same mentality can be of value as well. Instead of using a 1/8 oz lead jig to feel bottom, we were able to use 1/8 oz tungsten jigs which have a much smaller jig head so we wouldn't get snagged in the rocks.

The other great feature these drop TG jigs offer is a solid wire keeper for your plastics. Rarely do your plastics come off or slide down the hook. These jigs are my new go to for several presentations, as I became a firm believer this past weekend. I put them to work for walleye fishing in deeper water, along with jig worm presentation for largemouth bass.

Our Veterans had a great time in the boat this weekend with several walleyes and smallies hitting the net. It was a memorable weekend that will never be forgotten. A big thanks to Fishing with Vets for the invite, and Hidden Hill Lodge for the outstanding hospitality.

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