Monthly Archives: October 2013

Trolling Shad Raps

What a great day of fishing  yesterday turned out to be, even though it didn’t start out that way. But you know what they say about any day of fishing.

I wanted to get in some casting for Muskie and the weather looked right for it.  I call it “casting for Muskie” because other than one smaller Muskie that I caught on Cass Lake in Minnesota by accident, that is all it has been. So Jim and I headed to the lake about noon. Jim doesn’t cast for Muskie but he just likes go along and besides it’s nice to have a net man and a photographer. (ha ha) I took a couple rods with Shad Raps tied on so he could cast for whatever.

After a couple hours or so of casting a 1 1/2 ounce spinner bait my back was betting sour and my confidence was waning, so I decided we would troll. I trolled a 6″ Jake for Muskie and Jim trolled a Shad Rap for a while with no action.

My confidence waned some more so I decided to just troll both Shad Raps and I soon caught one small Large Mouth at the dam. We continued trolling along the shore up toward the shallower end of the lake with no action until we got to the west end where the deepest water is about 12 foot. This is where the action started.

I caught a decent Large mouth, then a Wiper (Cross between a White Bass and a Striped Bass) and then Jim caught a Wiper so things were looking up. Then I caught a 17″ Large Mouth. Probably the biggest I’ve caught out of Thunderbird so far.


We continued to troll in about 8 to 12ft  of water for a bit longer with no more hits so it was looking like they had stopped hitting, but that was about to change.

Suddenly my pole bent and the drag started to scream. I grabbed the rod out of the rod holder and put the trolling motor in reverse as fast as it would go for a bit. Then I tightened the drag so I could fight the fish. As I fought the fish it actually came toward the boat and went in the other direction. The fight probably lasted another minute or so before we were able to see that it was a Wiper. As I got her closer to the boat Jim was ready. (Net man and photographer)



This beauty was 22 1/2″ long and weighed 5.4 lbs.

Since it was almost sunset by that time we both decided that would be a good way to end our day of fish, so we headed for the boat ramp.


Your Favorite Fishing Destination

What is your favorite fishing destination?

At this point I would have to say that Leech Lake in Minnesota is my favorite fishing destination. One of the main reasons is that it is a great multi-species lake with Walleye, Perch, Northern, Blue Gill, Rock Bass, Large Mouth Bass, and Muskie. I think the other main reason is because it has been a great family vacation spot for us since the mid 90s.

A variety of fishing techniques work well here also. You can drift with live bait rigs, cast lures, troll, or even fish with a bobber. Many times in the past a large part of the fish we have brought home were nice size perch caught right off the docks with a bobber and minnow.

At one time the Walleye fishing had fallen off but it has come back in the last few years. I was fortunate  enough to be able to talk to Al Lindner at an outdoor show in  the Chicago area last year and he talked about how the Walleye population was coming back strong on Leech because of getting the Cumerant population under control and also because of slot limits.

There are over thirty resorts around the lake, but we have always stayed at Brindley’s Harbor Resort. We have always enjoyed Brindley’s because of the nice cottages, great hospitality, great service (fish cleaning included), and the protected harbor. It is also centrally located on the lake near Pine Point.

There is also a casino, a nice sporting goods store, and numerous other shops in the town of Walker.

One thing about Leech Lake to be aware of is that it is a big lake, 112,000 acres. This can make for a challenge on a windy day and you would not want to go up the with a small boat.

All in all though, this is my favorite fishing destination. Plenty of different species to fish for and plenty of lodging to choose from.

So what about you?

What is your favorite fishing destination?





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.


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 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.