Sunday, December 30, 2012

12/29/12 Northern Minnesota Crappies- Leech Lake

                                       What's black and white and bends my rod over?

I got out with my friend Brian on another local lake inteding to C.P.R. some big Crappies. We had a tough time at first hole hopping the rim of a huge basin. At lunch time we decided to try next to our first two holes and it was game on. We set up his big hub shelter, had a brat and reeled in two dozen slabs with half being between 12" and 14-1/2". I love lake hoppin'.

                                                       Happy new year everyone!

Cheers and hooksets!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

12/23 Leech Lake Area Donkey Slabs

I tried a new lake today for some Crappies. I'll just say it exceeded my expectations. I got to lip multiple fish (like 8) over 14"! The biggest went 14-1/2" and all went back in the drink.       

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Crappie new year!

Man we have some great fisheries in the north country!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

12/16/12 A Few More Walker Bay Walleyes

I checked out a shoreline break on Walker bay this afternoon and had 6" of ice all the way out. It was a little slushy but a crust has formed and supported my weight. I decided to wet a line and found some active fish in 18 f.o.w. but they were mostly cigars @ 6"-13". I love seeing these smaller fish in the lake, bodes well for the future. Before I went in I checked a 12' flat and picked up a couple decent fish. There was a lot of portables headed out this evening, I'm sure some fish will be caught this weekend. All of my bites came on either a Gold Frostee or a Forage minnow under cork. Fatheads worked fine.

Attach file:

11026_50d4e7dc112af.jpg 3648X2736 px11026_50d4e7775ea66.jpg 3648X2736 px

11026_50d4e83744c00.jpg 3648X2736 px

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12/15/12 Spooning Walleyes

I got out this afternoon for a few hours and the 'eyes were hitting on gold spoons tipped with a minnow head in 12-18 f.o.w. I managed to ice about a dozen and kept four. This type of spoon that flutters back down on the drop can really be effective. I like Lindy Rattlin' Flyer's in stained water because the rattle will really call them in. In clear waters like Leech Lake I like C.J&S Slender Spoons and   Do-Jiggers. Fish in clear water seem to prefer flash over noise.



                                                                  Leads to forking!

Click on this pic!...are you hungry?

Fancaster's Crunchy Fish Batter

1/4 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup plain or seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Mix ingredients.Dip fillets in egg then dredge in dry batter. Fry in hot oil!

Cheers and Hooksets!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

12/09/12 Round-And-Round

I got out and checked some ice this afternoon on my local 'gill hole and it was good to go with five inches of solid ice. My first frozen foray this season. Hooking up on a Bull-'gill right away I am reminded of the that terrible '80's song by Ratt...Round and Round. It's fitting for these aggressive fish that run circle after tightening circle up to the hole. It's good to be back on the ice!


                                     "We will find some to fillet, just give it time...Yow!"

Sunday, November 11, 2012

11/11/12 Crossed One Off!

I just got back from visiting the inlaws in North Carolina and I snuck in a day of fishing for Stripers on Lake Nottely in northern Georgia. I have been dreaming of catching one of these fish for years, nothing huge but I thought I would share.

Tech Notes:
Water temps were 55-60
We fished with gizzard shad, rainbow trout and blueback herring on circle hooks.
Two rods with "down lines"- Just a 1-1/2 oz sinker rig like a sturgeon or catfish rig.
Two rods with 1/2 oz "tweener lines"- same rig with lighter sinker, further back on the drift.
Two balloon rigs or planer boards for fish up high and to keep the baits away from the boat.
The down and tweener lines were fished with light 6'-8' Flouro leaders.
I fished with Josh Garrison of Blairsville Ga. Great guy, awesome fishery.
These fish are really tough. My best fish pulled 100' of 15# flourocarbon off of the line counter reel TWICE! We chased a few fish that were feeding on the surface but we didn't have the major surface bite going. I really wanted to catch one on topwater. Maybe next time. One smaller (6#) fish was bleeding a  little so I kept it. I made fresh caught Striper fingers battered in a corn meal/starch crust. I was glad I did, they were a real hit.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

10/21/12 Oh Rainy Day Walleye...

We fished friday near Clementson on the Rainy River and had good luck with eaters and two fish at 29". Saturday the Walleyes shut down completely so we switched to Sturgeon Gear. I was able to put my wife and dad on their first dinosaur fish and even ended up getting a double with my dad.   My best sturg was 55". Totals for the two days were 6 Sturgeon and 37 Walleyes. Not gangbusters but all-in-all a good trip. I also got to fish with Brian from Moose lake, a great guy who seems tuned in to all things finned and who is welcome in my boat anytime.

A 1/2 oz pink jig or gold Northland Whistler jig tiped with a live Emerald shiner was the ticket for the 'eyes while a gob-o-crawlers on a 3/0 J-hook and a 3oz No-Roll sinker was just right for the Lake Sturgeon.

                                               I woke up this mornin' to the sunshine
                                               It sure as hell just looks like rain
                                               But I know just where to go on a cloudy day....

cheers and hooksets!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Fatties Leech Lake Muskies and 'Eyes 10/12/12

10/12/12 Fall Fatties

I couldn't decide whether to chase Muskies or Walleyes this afternoon so I did a little of both. I found water from 48-52 degrees and baitfish stacked up on south facing weedy breakines. The Pike were really bangin' but managed a few 'eyes on a Live Target smelt. The biggest marble eye was just under 27" and quite girthy. I got several Pike in the 30" range and saw one tank. I also managed to shake up a nice 50" x 24" 'lunge on a good ol Suick.  My best 'ski of the year. My knees are still shaking. The same little inside turn produces for me every October. Fall fishing is here, the best time of the year by far.

Cheers and Hooksets!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

9/30/12 Leech Lake Night Bite Marble 'eyes

We trolled for five hours this weekend and ended up with 18 fish with 10 being keepers (only kept 7). Amazingly no big fish, biggest were 24". Quite a few at 12"-16". Trolling Live Target Smelt or Minnow Raps in 12 f.o.w. was the ticket. Going slow (1.2-1.4) while pumping the rod seemed to get the most bites. Fishing seemed to get better into the wee hours but, a night owl I am not.

Cheers and hooksets!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

9/23/12 More Wind! Leech Lake Muskies

And my best fish from Sunday.

This big wind event is really something else. I haven't had this many follows in the last two years! No one else one the lake with 25mph blows the last three days. It's amazing how easy it is to hold the boat near  this wind battered shoreline. I can't help but think that the same dynamic that allows me to cruise along in 5-10 f.o.w. on wind pounded frontage somehow makes the top-o-line predator Muskie's job kind of easy too. I can't believe how shallow these fish will set up in a big wind. This 46" fish crushed a Bulldawg as I tested it's skinny water limits.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

9/22/12 More Cowgirl!

I am tormented by several active giants today. I'm learning that it is best to play smashmouth with these pre-turnover coldfronts. I got a small one on a figure 8 this morning. Fish are moving but turnover could put a damper on that soon, at least for a few days. Water was 58 today.

Friday, September 21, 2012

9/21/12 Equinox Esox - Fall Muskies Leech Lake

With the wind and weather the past few days the Muskies were on the move. I boated three fish today with the biggest being a stout 47 incher. Burning double cowgirls near shallow rocks was the ticket.

Water temp today was 60 degrees but it's dropping every day. I think the lake and bay will turn over soon.

Cheers and Hooksets!

Here is a little video of this fish and one from Nov. 2011

Sunday, August 19, 2012

8/19/12 Bass

I got out for a couple of hours Bass fishing this morning on a Woman area lake. First time out for Bass this year and second time in ten years fishing this lake. No real size to speak of but plenty of action and two different flavors.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

8/14/12 Quick Report- Trolling Leech Lake Walleyes

I got out with my bro for a 4 hour trolling session this afternoon. It started out a little slow but we ended the day with seven eyes, four fish between 24 and 27 inches and another three 'eyes and a Pike for the pan. All of our fish today fell to #9 Shad Raps trolled over 18 to 30 f.o.w. @ 1.8 mph. I managed a small 'ski as well.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

7/29/12 Red River Channel Cats

I finally got my wife up to the G.F. area for some cat'n Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning(actually our anniversary getaway, what an awesome spouse!). We managed twenty cats with a few decent ones. Great fishery!

We bought sucker minnows saturday...little did we know, nothing opens Sunday in Nodak until noon!  It didn't matter as the half rotten suckers and frozen shrimp that I payed $15 for at the grocery store produced way better when compared to the fresh-and-pampered sucker of the day before.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Leech Lake On TV

Leech Lake Vido Links

Midwest Outdoors

Roland Martin 2010

7/1/12 Leech Lake High water 'gills

I tried a Walker area lake this evening for some Bluegills and they were on fire. There is plenty of water in the reeds now and I found them near the thickest bunches. You don't have to be in there long when they are feeding before the tell- tale POP-KISS betrays their location. I believe these fish were feeding on deerflys. A flip of a bobber and a 1" power tube sealed the deal for me with 40-50 stout sunnies, all between 8-1/2 and 9-3/4 inches.

Have a good 4th everyone.

Cheers and hooksets!

Friday, June 29, 2012

6/29/12 Leech Lake Walleye Trolling

The crankbait bite has picked up a little for me. We have had our best luck on Husky Jerks and Minnow Raps behind boards over 10-15 f.o.w.@ 1.5 mph.

Plenty of 24-27 inchers with some bonus Pike mixed in.

Cheers and hooksets!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

6/17/12 Power Corkin' eaters

I have a pretty reliable pattern going now for eaters. It's called power corkin'.  I'm finding active Walleyes are set up on weed patches in 7-15 f.o.w. with steep breaking bottom. A slip bobber and Leech has been working best for eating sized fish but running your boat over these fish seems to spook them out. I like to run the breaklines in 18-25 f.o.w. until I mark good bunches of bait and hopefully fish. Then it's time to shut the big motor off and quietly work shallow. When there is a wind blowing in it allows me to drift shallower otherwise I will creep shallower with the trolling motor, constantly pitching  with a cork and Leech. The key to this system is to keep moving until you catch a fish. Just because you are fishing with a bobber doesn't mean you have to sit in one place all day. If you have someone else in the boat you can try having them cast a jig or crankbait to show them something different. The fish tend to run bigger on artificials and bite-offs from Pike are common so it depends on what your looking for. If it's eaters that you are after, try power corkin'!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

6/9/12 Play The Hand You're Delt-Leech Lake Bass

Nothing but high Sky's today. Not exactly great fishing for Muskies, Walleyes or Pike. These bluebird days can be however pretty productive for Bass and Bluegills.

 I like to look for Largemouths in heavy rice or Lilly pads this time of year. Both is even better. In fact my favorite sunny day bucketmouth pattern is a small clump of pads inside of a Wild Rice bed. Usually 2-5 f.o.w. The Lilly Pads act as parasols and offer cover from overhead predators such as Eagles. Between the Bald Eagles overhead and the 30# Muskies in the 5'-10' weed flats, the thick shallow weeds and rice of Leech lake mean survival for the Largemouth. The best way to extract these fish is with a weedless frog or spoon. And not just because of the heart-stopping strikes. It's actually the best way to get them out. On overcast days I might opt for a swimming jig, fluke or spinnerbait worked around heavy cover but when it's sunny, look to the slop.

 I guess they don't call them Sunnies for nothing. Look for Bluegills in the thickest weed clumps or reed edges near drop-offs adjacent to spawning areas and pitch small jig and plastic combos under a float. My favorite presentation is a 1" smoke Power Tube under a small Thill slip Bobber.