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Bye Bye Boat

This is a guest post by Patsy Harvey

For years and years we have gone to Chetek, WI to fish. In the 1980’s we stayed on Chetek Lake at a great resort called Pine Park. The owner was named Sam and it was a real clean resort with older cabins. Sam would check every morning to see if we needed anything.
On this particular day we decided to just float near our cabin, toward the middle of the lake, to catch crappies. It was a beautiful 80 degree day and the fish were biting. We put on a yellow mini jig with a white lead head , which was the bait that we were catching  fish on. We carried a huge assortment of colors and baits in our boat.
As we floated and caught crappies, more and more boats floated along with us. We would all float across the lake and them slowly move back over to float again. About 1 hour into our fishing, a larger boat (ours was a 16 foot fiberglass) came barreling across the lake and stopped in the middle of all of us floating. Kids dove off the boat and also a dog. People all around yelled at the driver and ask him to move to another area as we were catching fish. The boat driver just ignored us and kept letting the kids jump in. Finally one of the kids yelled they needed to go to the bathroom so the guy cranked up his boat and went to the shore, yelling to all of us, “I will be back”.
Within a couple of minutes one of the boats that was fishing with us, cranked up his boat and followed the other boat to shore. Then we heard a shot, or what sounded like a shot from a gun. The boat that had been fishing came back from shore and started to float again with us. We never did see the boat with the kids and dog again.
On that trip we caught our limit of crappies and learned a good lesson. “YOU DON’T MESS WITH A FISHERMAN WHEN THE FISH ARE BITING”

Dam Fishing At Sunset

I went fishing on the dam again last Saturday night at sunset. Actually I got there about an hour before. The sky was overcast with light rain off and on. I started off fishing with a jig and caught a few Warmouth, but most of my fish came on the Rooster Tail.

The rocky dam is very good for this type on fishing, casting parallel to shore. As I covered the shoreline the bite seemed to come and go, it died altogether for a while when the wind came up, but came back as the wind settled down.

I caught several smaller Smallmouth as the light faded, but the best bite came as it was really getting dark, when I caught the biggest Smallie of the evening. Then I caught one Walleye, about 12″.

The light continued to fade to the point I was sometime just guessing where my lure was landing, but I hated to call it a day because I was catching fish. Then I caught a nice Largemouth for light tackle, about 15″. This is when things got really interesting because this fish was hooked well, two treble hook in the corner of the mouth, and I couldn’t see to get the hooks out. The only light I had with me was the light on my smartphone. After quite a bit of trying I finally managed to somehow hold both the fish and my phone in the same hand in such a way that it provided enough light for me to get the hooks out. Man did I wish I had clipped my hat light on instead of leaving it in the car. After that I decided it was time to quit for the day.

Since the best fish of the evening came after dark I didn’t take any pictures but I probably should have at least attempted it. I did however get a nice photo of the sunset with a gap in the clouds to provide some color.

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Note to self – Clip your hat light on every time you go fishing at sunset.

Go Fish

Fishouflage – Camo for Fisherman

If you love fishing and the outdoors like I do, now you can make a statement with the cloths you wear. For the longest time, I have worn camouflage clothing because of my love of the outdoors, but I didn’t have anything to wear that represented my passion for fishing. Now I can proudly wear Fishouflage. That’s right, camo patterns specifically designed for fisherman. Like their website says, ” not for cover or to conceal, but simply to be enjoyed.”

Fishouflage has some great clothing with high quality graphics available in  Bass, Walleye, Crappie, Redfish, Musky and European Carp patterns. Each pattern displays the fish we love to catch in the aquatic habitats that would be typical for that species.  As a matter of fact, I have been wearing some for several months now and I get compliments on how sharp they look quit often.

Just go to www.fishouflage.com and you will find short and long sleeve tee shirts, polos, hoodies, caps, and more great cloths, even apparel just for the ladies. They also have accessories with new items being added all the time, so you will want to check them out often.

Plano also has a line of tackle bags available in three of the patterns. These bags are not available for order on the Fishouflage web site, but you can read about them there along with news about other products carrying the patented patterns such as wraps for boats and trucks, and even rods and reel with Fishouflage.

So, which pattern would be your favorite?

Check it out and let me know if you love Fishouflage as much as I do.

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What Is Your Favorite Fishing Lure?

What is your favorite fishing lure, the one you use most often? It’s not good to get to focused on just one or two lures, but on the other hand, fishing is about confidence. Obviously if you have a lot of confidence in a particular lure you are going to use it more often and with more intensity. A Rooster Tail is definitely a confidence lure for me and one that I have tied on most of the time. In particular, a 1/8 ounce silver and white Rooster Tail. There are a lot of other color combination and I’m sure they all work, but I prefer the natural colors that imitate shad and minnows. I have this rigged on a 6 ft light spinning rod with 8 lb Fire Line. Since the 8 lb Fire Line is the same diameter as 3 lb monofilament line it allows me to cast the little Rooster Tail with ease.

Using a small lure like this is good for numbers of fish. It seems to be better for quantity rather than quality fish, although I do catch some good size fish from time to time also. In another post I wrote about Kayla catching a decent North Pike (about 24″) on this lure on our trip to Cass Lake Minnesota and I have caught some nice Large and Small Mouth Bass from time to time. It is especially fun fighting these larger fish on light tackle. It’s also good for a number of other species, such as Warmouth, White and Striped bass, Crappie, Blue Gill, and even the occasional Walleye or Sauger.

I believe the key to catching fish with the Rooster Tail, as with any lures, is knowing when and where to throw it. Although it will work in open water in the middle of the day, particularly when Hybrid Strippers are chasing shad on the surface, the most consistent bite is dusk or dawn, close to shore. Real close to shore, particularly a rocky shoreline. I rarely ever make any casts straight out from the shore when casting it from shore and most of my cast are often just a foot or two from shore. This is actually one situation where you can fish better from shore than from a boat if you have access to the right stretch of shoreline, because the strike zone is very close to the shore and you don’t have to worry about boat control. Keep the lure in the water all the way back to you and watch for strikes at the end of the retrieve. I have had fish hit right as I was getting ready to pull the lure out of the water.

Give this a try and Go Fish!

What is your favorite/confidence lure?

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Ever Have This Happen? Very Strange!

I had a very strange thing happen the other night when I was fishing our local marina. As I often do I was fish at sunset with a 1/8 oz Roostertail. I had caught a couple Large Mouth so far and was moving around the shoreline. I made a cast parallel to shore, as I normally do and a small fish hit my lure. After fighting that fish for just a couple seconds all of a sudden he seemed to get bigger. A bigger fish had hit the smaller fish and I was fighting him. I saw the back of the bigger fish, but not enough to tell what species, although I thought it looked different. Eventually the bigger fish let go and I landed the smaller one, a Large Mouth about 8 or 9 inches. Now that’s not the strange part. Anyone who has spent much time on the water has had a big fish hit a smaller fish when you were reeling it in. This has happened more than once to me. The strange part happened as I was unhooking the bass. I saw some movement in the water, so I looked up to see what it was. When I did, a fish came to the surface and looked at me. I mean we made eye contact. Now that was weird. Fish don’t normally do that and I couldn’t tell the species, but it looked like a Bowfin. What some would call a Dogfish. I caught one in the marina a couple years ago and they are different looking. This incident was very strange indeed.

Ever have anything like this happen to you?

Playing In The Creek

Did you ever play in the creek as a kid? If not, you missed out on a lot of fun. I have to admit , I have “played” in the creek just as much, if not more, as an adult than I did as a kid. The main reason is that I have learned what great fisheries they are. I’m talking about creeks in the local area such as Big Sandy in Marshall county and Bureau Creek in Bureau county, just to name a couple. I waded a stretch of one of these creeks yesterday and I caught Small Mouth, Large Mouth, and White Bass, Sauger, and Warmouth. I have to admit that most of these fish were small, but still fun on light tackle, especially some of the Small Mouth, which is my preferred species in this situation. In my opinion it is worth dealing with the smaller fish to get a couple bigger Smallies. Anyone who has caught Small Mouth in a creek or river knows that they are very scrappy fighters, as well as acrobatic. My lures of choice this day, as many days, were a 1/8 ounce Rooster Tail, white with silver blades, and a lead head jig with a white curly tail grub on it. Most of the fish were catch on my way up stream with the Rooster Tail, but a couple of the biggest Small Mouth were caught on my my back down stream on the jig.

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Even though I do most of my fishing from a boat these days, I still like to get out and “play” in the creek at least once or twice a year, and even though I have caught bigger Smallies in these local creeks on other outings, it was still a fun day, not to mention a great way to get some exercise.

What is you favorite creek in the area to fish?

What species of fish do you target?

Lindner Media

If you love to fish, and even watch fishing shows and videos, and reading about fishing, as I do, you will love Lindner Media. Their web site www.lindnermedia.com is full of archives of their show Lindner’s Angling Edge, tips and technics videos, blogs, and more. I have found this to be a very good source of information on fishing for many species, such as, Bass, Walleye, Muskie and more. Lindner Media is also available using a Roku, if you are familiar with that piece of technology. Not the exact same videos, ect. are available on the web and with the Roku, so you may want to check out both.

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The Bass Are Back

I’m betting not many locals are going to read this, or I would have to keep this little secret to my self. The Bass are back in the Lacon marina. For about 15 years now I have been catching Large Mouth in the marina on a regular basis. It started one evening when I was jonesing  for some fishing, but all of the spots I had been fishing, especially ones I had confidence in, were to far away to make a run to that late in the day. I decided I might as well go down to the marina here in Lacon, five blocks from my house, and give that a try. I didn’t have much confidence in bank fishing on the river, but I figured it was better than sitting on the couch. To keep it simple I took one rod with me with one of my favorite lures on it, a Spinnerbait. As it turned out, what I learned that night would prove to be invaluable, because it has given me many hours of successful fishing over the past 15 years. That Marina holds fish. Especially at dusk and dawn, and  especially Large Mouth Bass. Like any where you fish connected to the river, you never know what you will catch, but a lot of Large Mouth. Over the years the Bass I have caught have gotten smaller so I have downsized, much of the time, to an 1/8 oz Roostertail, or a small jig with a curly tail grub, but still finding good numbers of fish, and even the smaller fish can be fun on light tackle. Besides, like I mentioned earlier, it beats sitting on the couch.

This bite has remained quite consistent, except for during flooding, until last year. Last year the river was so low for so long that the marina just didn’t seem to be holding fish. At least not ones that I could catch, and other fisherman who had learned my secret and were used to catching fish there, told me they weren’t catching them last year either. Feeling certain that this was due to the prolonged period of very low water, I could not wait for this year to see if the Bass were back. But wait I did. Through all the flooding of this spring and early summer, I had to wait til the waters were at a level that would allow me to fish the marina. Once the waters were at a normal level, sure enough, I was able to start catching fish again, on a very regular basis, just down the street from my house.

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1st Muskie

Well I can now say that I caught a Muskie. It wasn’t huge and it wasn’t overly dramatic although it was acrobatic. I decided to do some casting off the dock in the morning before we went out to do some Walleye fishing. I was using a 1/2 ounce spinnerbait that I would normally use for Bass, thinking I might get a Northern or two. Unfortunately I was alone when I caught it but I did snap a couple pictures. Like I said earlier it was acrobatic, as it leaped out of the water shortly after I hooked it. It was still a long way out when it made this jump so I couldn’t tell what I had til I got it up close. When I realized it was a Muskie, I knew I wasn’t going to keep it, so all I could think of was getting pictures. I figured the best way to do that was to leave him in the water, so I grabbed my smart phone out of my pocket and tried to get the best pictures possible.

1st Muskie

This was of the best picture I was able to get. So at least I can say I caught a Muskie, but still in search of the big one.

Northern Pike on Cass Lake

After catching my first Muskie off of a dock on Cass Lake on a 1/2 ounce spinnerbait, I figured I should be able to catch more Muskie, hopefully bigger, throwing a 1 1/2 ounce spinnerbait. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but I did catch several Northern Pike. The biggest being this nice one, at about 30 inches.

30 in Northern

The best action I had was one morning, throwing the same spinnerbait, I caught 8 Northern. There were also a few Northern caught on one of my favorite lures, an 1/8 ounce Rooster Tail. These weren’t huge fish by any means, but were particularly fun on light tackle.

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 One of the highlights of the trip was when Kayla caught this 27″ northern on one of those Rooster Tails. What made this even more exciting was the fact that Kayla had not done much fishing before this trip and it was Kayla, Deanne, Dawn and myself in the boat that day.