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MidWest Outdoors Fishing Articles

Featured Articles
10 Techniques to Ice More Walleye  
By Joe Henry

There are many criteria to consider if your goal is to catch more walleye and sauger this winter. For starters, fish on a body of water that holds good numbers of fish. Whether your choice is Lake of the Woods or another body of water with a healthy walleye population, once you are actually fishing, make your time count.     “The fish are coming through on our electronics, but we can’t get them to eat.” Has this ever happened to you? Is it that the walleye and sauger will truly not eat, or, is it that they are looking to eat via a different presentation or offering? In many situations, by changing something a...
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Canada’s Jig and Minnow Combination  
By Larry Ladowski

The jig and minnow combination has been around for what seems like forever, especially for walleye anglers. It’s an extremely easy presentation—just tie on a jig, hook on a minnow, and there you have it. Not a real difficult thing to do, right? The hardest part of the equation is usually deciding what size jig to use. In Canada, this presentation has and continues to be a staple. And not just for walleye! And even though it is a relatively easy type of presentation, if you really break it down, a few subtleties can either make or break a productive day on the water.     This past fall, prior to heading up for a sho...
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Shiners For Winter Steelhead  
By John Murray

It is winter on the tributaries of Lake Michigan and the anglers gear up to try their luck for these tough fighting migratory rainbow trout, commonly know as steelhead. Most winter steelhead anglers are using salmon eggs. These eggs consist of either natural single eggs, egg sacks, plastic artificial eggs or egg flies. There is no doubt that these eggs are an effective choice of bait. Nine out of ten steelhead anglers will tell you that without hesitation. But, the one out of ten steelhead anglers aren’t saying much about the bait they are using. They are using shiners for bait—emerald shiners.     Naturally prese...
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The Full Canadian Fishing Experience  
By Jim Zegar

Come for the fishing. Stay for the food. Come for the food. Stay for fishing. We did both. It is, indeed, the full Canadian fishing experience.     My good friend Tim Parker of Mundelein and I headed up to Clinton’s Ash Rapids Lodge this past August and what a great time we had. Fishing for smallmouth bass and walleye was excellent. As in really, really good.     I’ll tell you about the food later.     The lodge is located in the western part of Lake of the Woods, a one million acre gem of fishing potential and scenic beauty. It’s in a secluded location in Ash Bay with easy con...
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Fishing Article Archives

The One-Two, Three-Four Punch for More Fish this Winter!  By Walt & Poppee Matan
There are search lures, aggressive lures, flutter lures, vertical lures, horizontal lures, 30-degree lures and negative lures. Basically, there are a lot of lures. But one thing for sure, if you use good equipment and have on the right lure, you will...
Feel the Jig - Know the Bites  By Mark Strand
Dave Genz Teaches Bite Detection  As readers of IceBreakers have come to know, we like to tap into the mind of the man most responsible for the modern ice fishing revolution. He’s a fascinating guy to talk fishing with, and he spends almo...
First Ice, Are You Ready?  By Mike Cyze
It’s inevitable; one day very soon here in the Midwest we are going to wake up and find our favorite fishing water has turned to ice. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to this happening as it signals that another season of drilli...
Ice Fishing River Backwaters  By Tom Berg
 Ice anglers routinely chase fish on small farm ponds, deep natural lakes and large reservoirs. One place that they tend to neglect during the winter is rivers. One good reason is that some rivers never freeze solidly during the average Midweste...
There Can Still be Good Fishing in November  By Darrell Taylor
Fortunately, the fall fishing period comes at different times depending on the latitude of a lake. For instance, in Illinois the bass in Lake of Egypt should be in their fall pattern now, but you can also cheat on the calendar period by fishing warm-...
Blitzing Weed Bass  By Dan Galusha
Heavy surface and subsurface weeds can often be a nightmare for anglers, but they can also be a bass fishing gold mine, if fished properly. While there are several lures and methods used, my favorite is to “blitz the bass.”   &...
October Crappie on the Mississippi River  By Mike Cyze
 Here we are once again in the month of October. Changes in the weather patterns are becoming more obvious day by day as another fall season is knocking on our door. When these changes are occurring, there is a great bite going on all up and dow...
The Rise of Fall’s ‘Eyes  By Mitch Eeagan
Pulling Crawler Harnesses and Snap Jigging Take Top Honors This Time of Year When artists depict walleye in their natural environment, their brushstrokes often reveal an image of these sensational fish practically bellied to bottom while feasting on...
As Midwest Temps Drop, Action Heats Up  By Colby Simms
Autumn Action Heats Up Soon As the air temperatures drop and the leaves change, some of the most consistent fishing action of the entire year heats up in the cooling waters of autumn. Fall brings with it one of the very best times of the year to cha...
How to Catch Transition Time Bass  By Glenn Walker
As bass begin to transition from their deeper summer haunts on the lakes, to shallow water cover in the fall, they’ll be cruising the scattered vegetation or inside weedline that is still remaining. I go about locating these fish in two ways. O...
Small But Mighty Rock Bass  By John Bennett
At least two decades ago, the late, great Jim “Moose” Carden, a longtime writer for MidWest Outdoors, penned an article entitled “Gosh, Oh Gee, Oh Goggle-Eye!” in which he extolled the virtues of the diminutive rock bass. I re...
Do-it-Yourself Lake Erie Walleye  By Ron Stresing
As I steered the 21-foot Starcraft over the GPS waypoint, I knew we were going to catch another walleye. “Watch the poles, guys, we are in the spot.” I think I may have gotten the entire sentence out when the portside downrigger rod began...
Finding Active Kings In Slow Times  By Capt. Lee Haasch
FISH, FISH, GET THE RIGGER! BIG FISH LOOK AT HIM RUN! We all like to hear that kind of action every time we go fishing. Every morning when I leave the dock, I have one goal—fill the cooler with fish. Reality is, that does not happen every time....
From The Midwest To Mexico  By Jim Quinn
I’ve always fished in the Midwest—that’s where I grew up and that’s where I’ve always lived. So when I got the invitation to fish with Mike “The Griz” Ritz in La Paz, Baja Mexico, I was quick to accept. &nbs...
Wormin’ Your Way To More Fish  By Darrell Taylor
We were in a tug of war—the worm and I. I wanted him in an empty Campbell’s Pork & Beans can but he was making a heroic effort to crawl back into his hole. “Nightcrawler” is a fitting name because this critter is prone to ...
Bugs As Indicators Of Water Quality  By Gene Clifford
Benthic macroinvertebrates are organisms that spend some, if not all, of their life cycle on or near the bottom of a body of water. They are large enough to be seen with the naked eye, even though they have no backbone. They make up the majority of t...
Secrets of Fishing Piers and Docks  By Tim Mead
Piers and docks are increasing on the nation’s lakes, rivers and reservoirs. More folks move “to the lake” and when they get there, they extend their reach into or over the water. Bass, crappie, bluegill and other panfish all relate...
Simple Refinements For More Summer Bass  By Jerry Carlson
As anglers settle into summer patterns for bass fishing and we start working a little deeper water for bucket mouths, I find there are some refinements I can make that will increase my level of success. These refinements are simple, yet will get resu...
Smallmouth Bonanza  By Ted Takasaki
Dave Genz may be the father of modern ice fishing, but he doesn’t spend his summers twiddling his thumbs waiting for cold weather.     Genz fishes open water on a 60-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that runs outside his do...
Want Big Kings? Go Deep!  By Capt. Lee Haasch
“FISH, FISH – DEEP RIGGER! We found them, they’re deep!”     Weather plays big part in fishing. Not really a news flash, is it? There is nothing we can do about the weather, and grumbling really never made a d...
Dip Bait and Worms for Channel Catfish  By Ron Stresing
The rod tip quivered for just a second before the 6-1/2-foot baitcasting rod doubled over in the pole holder. There was no need to set the hook, as this catfish had swallowed the slip-sinker rigged dip worm and was making a head shaking run out to de...
The RV Lifestyle  By Jim Quinn
What is the RV Lifestyle? It might have a different meaning for every individual or family, depending on their needs. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and visit with Bill and Laura Strand from Valparaiso, Ind. and their 11-year-old son Wil...
Time To Take A Kid Fishing  By Jerry Kiesow
Well, Anytime Is A Good Time “Take a kid fishing!” It is a self-explanatory phrase we have heard and seen written for years—decades, perhaps. It’s a good idea. I have done it (still do). You probably have too.   &n...
Twitch, There It Is!  By Mitch Eeagan
The Strike’s So Violent You’d Swear It’s More About Settling A Score Cast. Reel. Stop! Count to 30. Twitch. Wait...now another twitch, twitch. Stop! Let it sit. No, longer...okay, twitch it again.     Wham!  &...
When Smallmouth Go Wild  By John Bennett
My fishing pal, Don Hamilton is a real smallmouth fanatic. It is true that he has caught beaucoup golden-flanked walleye while on his many trips to Ontario, but, nearer to home, when he slips into a pair of waders and picks up his spinning rod, it is...
Catching Carp On A Surface Bait  By Paul Liikala
We were carp fishing a river that runs through a city park. My partner and I were bottom fishing the usual dough and bread ball baits. It was a warm lazy day. The carp also appeared to be lethargic and ignored our bottom offerings.    ...
Fish The Trinity For More Bass  By Tom Luba
Several years ago, when cooking shows first took off on the TV Food Channel, I watched Emeril Lagasse’s show pretty regularly. I must confess, it was as much for the live entertainment and backing band he had as much as the dishes he cooked. &...
May Muskie Madness  By Jim Saric
The month of May means a lot of different things to muskie anglers. For those in Minnesota the season hasn’t even started, yet for those in southern Illinois you could characterize May as early summer. In Wisconsin, with a cold spring like this...
Slab Crappie in the Spring  By Bob & Ginny Riege
I watched old Ed bring a small white jig with a spinner on it to the boat and immediately cast again. A flick of the wrist, dropping the lure softly into a partly exposed brush pile, he paused for a split second. Letting the bait sink briefly, he sta...
Ten Tips To Catch More Walleye With Jigs  By Jason Mitchell
Jigs are the most versatile tool in any walleye angler’s tackle box. Like any technique, there are details and nuances that can make you successful or unsuccessful. If there is one aspect of jig fishing that is often overlooked, it would be the...
Hot River Tips For More Walleye, Sauger And White Bass!  By Walt & Poppee Matan
“There’s one!”  Poppee exclaimed.  I looked over and the rod was being ripped out of his hand.  Drag was squealing, rod was bouncing, it looked like he hooked the back of a bass boat running 75 miles and hour—th...
Largemouth Bite Well In The Spring  By John Bennett
One of the most beautiful times of the year is the spring, when the trees are leafing out, and the ice is long gone from the rivers and ponds. The spring peepers are in full throat, the grass is green once again, and the mosquitoes and deer flies hav...
New Gear For 2014  By Larry Ladowski
After one of the toughest and longest winters that I can recall, the season opener of 2014 is within reach. I, for one, am ready and have been for quite a while. It is time to “gear up” for the new season.     Last July, t...
Shore Casting’s Magic Lures  By Marc Wisniewski
While Some Lures Look Great, These Have Proven Themselves Time And Time Again       I’m not proud of this, but the only thing that exceeds the amount of lures I drag around in my backpack is the amount sitting on the shelf...
Trolling—It’s The Way To Fish Stripers, Hybrids And Catfish  By Robert A. Vaughn
There are all kinds of freshwater fish and all methods to catch them. Of course, we know there are all kinds of fishermen. In my younger days I believed that trolling for fish was a lazy man’s approach to a fantastic sport. I could still be rig...
Big Bass Shakedown  By Glenn Walker
For some anglers the pure excitement of catching any fish is all they need, while for some it’s the time spent on the water with friends or family. Now there is nothing wrong with these motives, and in my mind, anytime on the water is a great t...
Fishing the Northwest Ontario Wilderness  By Al Lindner
Boasting thousands of lakes and rivers teeming with fish, Northwest Ontario is home to some of the finest angling opportunities on earth. Many are drive-to locations where you can trailer in your own boat and a truckload of gear. Others are remote, b...
March Right Into Catfishin’ This Spring  By John Bennett
When I was a lad, my high school chums and I used to camp on the banks of a nearby river. We’d impale garden-dug nightcrawlers on long-shanked number six hooks that were tied onto monofilament line, which also sported a heavy chunk of lead or a...
Pre-Spawn River Walleye Hot Spots  By Mike Cyze
Here we are in the month of March and the Mississippi river is opening up once again from its winter cover of ice. When this happens every year, those anglers that have been stuck in the house are chomping at the bit to get out and wet a line in sear...
Why Some Guys Catch More Fish  By Tim Mead
Over the years, I’ve fished with some fine anglers with guys like: Pete Maina of TV’s “The Next Bite,” “Squeak” Smith one of Trout Unlimited’s “10 Who Made a Difference” in TU’s 50-year hist...
Another Fly-in Adventure  By Roger Cormier
Our annual dads/kids trip to Ontario to visit Showalter’s Fly-in Outposts this past August brought more lifelong family memories along with spectacular early fall weather and great fishing.     MidWest Outdoors TV Producer Matt ...
Backing Down For Big Panfish  By Ron Anlauf
By mid to late winter, more and more bluegill and crappie show up in deeper water and can make for some easy pickin’s. They’re easy because they show up on good electronics and can usually be caught, as long as you’ve got the &ldquo...
Catch Walleye Fever on Lake Erie  By Alan J. Garbers
Few would argue that walleye is tops in table fare, but open a debate on the best place to fill a limit of walleye and anglers will start putting on boxing gloves. Names like Lake of the Woods, Mille Lacs, Devils Lake, Green Bay, and Bull Shoals are ...
Eelpout: A Fun Alternative!  By Tom Gruenwald
  What a day!     Temperatures are relatively mild. No wind. The lake trout have been biting and we’ve done well throughout the day, catching several nice fish from a steep-dropping rock ledge. While sad to see it end,...
Fishing Tips For Strike Detection  By Babe Winkelman
Have you ever fished while having an underwater camera pointed at your bait? It’s easiest to do this while ice fishing, since you’re fishing vertically from a fixed position and can easily adjust your camera for a perfect view. If you&rsq...
Have A Great Canadian Adventure... Your Way!  By Walt & Poppee Matan
We’ve had some great fishing trips in Canada. We’ve gone to drive-to destinations and brought our own boat and we’ve taken all inclusive fly-in trips. With few exceptions, they have all been great trips. A week fishing in Canada sti...
Change Your Muskie Luck In 2014  By Jim Saric
Saric’s Secrets     Although many of my friends tell me I wear a horseshoe, I am not a big fan of believing in luck. This is simply because with good luck comes bad luck. I have always felt that success is when preparation meets...
Cold Front Cocktails And Hung-Over Pike  By John Cleaveland
A WILDERNESS PARADISE     “The view from our cabin perched on a bluff overlooking the lake is spectacular. Below me sits the lake in a glacial bowl carved out by majestic rivers of ice millions of years ago. Tall eskers line the...
Ice Fishing On The Cheap?  By Walt & Poppee Matan
 You drill a hole, you catch a fish! What could be simpler? Yet all these so called ice pros make you think you need all kinds of new fangled gear to catch fish. All a guy needs is a rod, a few jigs, a bucket and an auger—then he can dri...
Ice Fishing Safely  By Mark Strand
 Check The Conditions And Bring Safety Gear   When it comes to ice safety, Dave Genz has always said essentially the same thing: if you move more, you will catch more fish. He wants ice anglers to be mobile, but be careful. He’s ...
Ontario’s Fly-In Adventure Outposts  By Dan Armitage
Family Fishing in Algoma Country     The “silence” can be uncomfortable for those not used to hearing only natural sounds. But for anglers who enjoy the solitude and have experienced a week at a fly-in outpost camp in the ...
The Best Canadian Campsites  By Tom Berg
It’s not always easy to find a good campsite in the Canadian wilderness. As you paddle from one lake to the next in your canoe, you quickly realize that campsite space is at a premium. The reason is simple: trees are everywhere! Birch and pine ...
Three Game Changing Lures For Bass  By Glenn Walker
 Getting out of a fishing rut is sometimes hard to do. An angler can get in the habit of fishing the same baits, same colors and going to the same fishing spots trip after trip. To bust yourself out of that rut, here are three lures that will tu...
Adding To The Ice Revolution  By Mark Strand
  The modern ice fishing revolution is about mindset and tools—about approaching ice fishing as real fishing, rather than focusing on its limitations.     We all know the limitations. Mainly, you can’t cast or troll,...
Manitoba Lake Trout Paradise  By John Cleaveland
  GOOD MORNING COFFEE!     At 6:30 a.m. there was a knock on the cabin door followed by a pleasant salutation of, “Good morning coffee!” When I opened the door, a fresh pot of delicious, steeping hot coffee was perch...
Traveling to Canada—The Choice is Yours  By Larry Ladowski
  Whether to take a Canadian fishing adventure or not is the easy question. The hard questions actually begin after the decision to go is made!     Since my job with MidWest Outdoors requires me to take some trips into Canada, o...
Winter Crappie Strategies  By Tom Gruenwald
  It’s been nearly an hour now, and I’m starting to wonder.     According to fisheries records, I’m fishing waters supporting a strong population of crappie, with excellent size distribution. Since an equally s...
Discover Ice Fishing Know-How Firsthand  By David A. Rose
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It’s Time To Get Ready For First Ice  By Mike Cyze
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Laydown For Late Season Bass  By Glenn Walker
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Perch Shallow, Perch Deep!  By Walt & Poppee Matan
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The Modern Ice Angler  By Troy Smutka
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Breaking The Rules On River Fishing  By Mike Yurk
    There is never anything “normal” when you fish the Mississippi River. What the river was like last year at the same time may not be anything like it is the next year. Heck, at times things on the river can change from d...
Go Big Or Go Home  By Ted Takasaki
Going fishing is a great thing to do anytime, but walleye fishing is at its best, two seasons of the year.     One time is spring when big egg-laden females mass in big schools and food is scarce before forage fish spawn. But frankly,...
Big Kings Are Attacking Our Shores!  By Capt. Lee Haasch
September is one of my favorite months after a long summer of long days on the water (I often put in 12- to 14-hour days on the water). Now, that isn't all bad. I am fishing and enjoying the company of lots of fine fishermen (and gals) that all enjoy...
Open Wide And Say, Rapala!   By John Bennett
    As an avid river smallmouth angler I know well the value of using Rattlin’ Rap lipless crank baits to tempt red-eyed, hard fighting bronzebacks into striking. The combination of realistic body design, life-like paint jobs, in...
Tactics For September Pike  By Ray Hansen
Northern pike are among the most exciting freshwater fish you can catch. They don’t spook easily, so you can motor around looking for them, and you might catch several from one spot. In this article, I’ll pass along some information about...
Big Bluegill In The Bulrushes  By Mike Cyze
Here we are moving along quickly through the summer of 2013 and the fishing overall in many locations has been somewhat spotty. With the heavy rains we have been experiencing lately throughout the Midwest, most of the waterways have continued to stay...
Catfish Rule Summer’s Highland Reservoir Bite  By Darrell Taylor
“I’ve got a fish,” said Nadine Spizzirri. Her rod bent in a huge arc while the reel’s drag complained loudly.     “No, you must be snagged; the rod isn’t throbbing,” I replied. Nadine and her ...
Small Baits Big Bites  By Ken McBroom
    Every angler has heard the old saying “big baits catch big fish.” Well, there are times when smaller baits catch bigger fish and here is just one example of that. This article is about big catfish, and namely the flathe...
Why They Are Called "The Great Lakes"  By Jerry Pabst
The advance of the Asian carp to the doorstep of Lake Michigan has brought the Great Lakes to the attention of many Midwesterners who had never before given them much thought. It is safe to assume that even most people who live easy driving distance ...
Cool Tactics For Hot Panfish   By Ted Takasaki
It’s often hard to decide what season and species of fish is our favorite.     The biggest walleye and sauger of the year are often caught just after ice-out when water still freezes in the guides of our St. Croix rods. Late spr...
Micro Fishing Produces Maximum Fun  By Dan Galusha
All of us remember the days when we had a cane pole or similar rod that gave a lot of action when fighting a fish. Even a small bluegill produced a lot of fun. Then, as time progressed, equipment changed, and the fun and challenge went another direct...
No Live Bait—No Problem!  By Chad Maloy
The Masters Walleye Circuit will be making a return visit to famed Devils Lake, N.D., on August 2 and 3. The circuit has been there several times so most anglers will be pretty familiar with the waters. But this year they will all be tossed a curve b...
Tips For Fishing Soft Plastics  By Babe Winkelman
    Those who know me (people and fish included) know that my favorite lure for catching virtually anything is the jig. Sometimes I use jigs that are dressed with feathers and marabou. Other times hair jigs seem to have the magic appea...
Bassing The Basics For Largemouth  By Jerry Carlson
Summer is a time of plenty in the world of the largemouth bass. Food is abundant, weed cover is peaking and living is easy. Every day is a great day for feeding, and the nights are even better.     So how does a self-respecting angler...
Crappie Can Save The Day In 2013!  By Mike Frisch
This year’s “endless winter” means early season walleye fishing could be tough, as extremely cold water could result in a difficult bite. Crappie, however, might “save the day” during the early portion of the fishing sea...
Farm Pond Bluegill Bonanza  By Mike Cyze
When I do seminars on bluegill fishing, I stress that mid spring and summer are truly prime times to get out and get a nice mess of these very tasty panfish.     As we move along in the year and water temperatures start to rise, farm ...
Getting Chummy With Catfish   By Doug Thalacker
Some days you can’t buy a bite. You know the catfish are there but they ain’t a comin’ to lunch. When this is the case you often have to increase the bill of fare. When a tiny morsel on a hook isn’t enough to get a fish excite...
Small Baits For Muskie Year 'Round  By Bill Takacs
  Right now muskie anglers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and New York are probably throwing bite-sized lures for early season muskie. This has been the “rule” for many years as closed seasons open and the water gradually warms...
Bowhunting to Bowfishing  By Garry Burch
    The first glimpses of spring usher in a new season for the archer. Not long ago, we were in the woodland in search of big and small game. Now we’re antsy again to get out with our bow in hand. So, what season is it now? Well ...
Opening Season Bass Tips  By Glenn Walker
Finally, after a long and over welcomed presence of winter this year, the bass opener is on the horizon in several states. For many anglers this will be their first time getting the boat in the water and wetting a line. Some anglers have that knack o...
Spring Walleye Tactics  By Mike Mladenik
One of the biggest misconceptions about the spring walleye run is that all the walleye will spawn below a dam. To be sure, below any given dam on a northern river there will be a degree of spawning walleye activity. Trying to avoid the crowds over th...
The Most Important Fishing Tackle  By Dan Galusha
Thinking of all the equipment and tackle used in fishing, there are three pieces that are the most important—rod, reel and line. This is because they are the direct link to all of the fishing. No matter if an angler is fishing from shore or boa...
Bowfishing 101  By Brian Miller
The water temperatures are rising each day with the warm spring sun and the carp are spawning. As our boat slowly inches closer to the shallows, I see them swirling the top of the water in the backwaters among the lily pads. My heart rate picks up as...
’Crawler Magic—Getting More For Less  By Paul Liikala
Recently, I walked into a bait shop to purchase three-dozen nightcrawlers. When the storeowner said, “That will be $9.59.” My heart started racing. Once the fog cleared from my brain, I quickly calculated the cost of the worms. They were ...
April Showers Bring Spring Brown Trout!  By Capt. Lee Haasch
Spring rains mean a couple of things to me. First, water levels, after seeing the city of Algoma spend all winter and over $200,000 dredging the municipal marina this winter to keep deep-water slips and nice launching facilities for our angling guest...
Mini Lures For Mega Crappie   By Doug Thalacker
Papermouths, slabs, calico bass. A fisherman might be confused by the many names and think that he/she is fishing for different species. But he doesn’t need to be confused about how much fun crappie are to catch and to eat. Even though they are...
The Cabin Vacation  By Garry Burch
The evening light was just a glow in the western sky. My son Adam and I were fishing on the lake just down the logging road from my cabin. As we were casting for bass and anything else that might grab our lures, we suddenly were listening to the howl...
A Big Finish to Another Ice Season!  By Walt & Poppee Matan
March is the tail end of the season for most ice anglers, although there are still some large catches to be made in April in the upper Midwest. It’s time to pull out the sleds and leave the tents behind for Illinois and Iowa ice anglers and tim...
Bass In The Mud  By Colby Simms
Waters can get dirty at any time of year on most lakes and reservoirs. Some waters remain stained all year, but even these can get dirtier during certain times. During periods of high rainfall, creeks and rivers carry sediment into lakes and reservoi...
Early Season Mississippi River Northern  By Mike Cyze
As we move further towards another spring, the month of March signals a time on the Mississippi River when savvy anglers start thinking of the big northern that are cruising the river waters in search of a hearty meal after the long winter. Fact be k...
What Bait To Use For Early Season?   By Mike Frisch
Typical early season walleye lures include small jigs and slip-sinker live bait rigs tipped with minnows. One key to increasing an angler’s odds for success using these lures is picking the right minnow to use in conjunction with those lures. H...
Five Great Reasons To Buy A Boat This Winter  By Ted Takasaki
During this time of year, there’s an outdoors boat show to go to almost every weekend. With tons of new boats to drool over, the guys will kick the tires while their wives check the bank accounts to see if there’s money to buy a new one. ...
Pros And Cons Of Augers  By Chris McDonald
If there is ice on the water and the fish are calling your name there is one piece of equipment you need. Every ice fisherman needs an auger, whether it is hand-powered, gas, electric or propane, you won’t be able to drop in a line without one....
Remoteness Without Flying  By Casey M. Ladowski
A common theme that comes up when I talk to guys that want to experience a Canadian fishing vacation is remoteness. After all, when most of us think of Canada we think vastness, being the only boat on the lake, no crowds, unlimited waterways, lakes t...
Social Media Muskies  By Jim Saric
So what does social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have to do with catching muskie? For many the answer may be nothing, but for the savvy muskie hunter, social media offers a plethora of muskie fishing information and opportunities. &nb...
The Hunt For Big Winter Bluegill  By Tom Gruenwald
    Almost every die-hard ice angler enjoys jigging bluegill—especially big ones. But consistently catching trophy bulls—those honest-to-goodness, saucer-sized, bump-headed, 10-inch-plus giants with big, dark blue gill flap...
Three Spoons For Three Fish!  By Walt & Poppee Matan
Nearly every body of water in the Midwest contains these three fish species: walleye, crappie and perch. We’ve got some surefire tactics that will fool them every time, even when they are tough to catch. So let’s talk about how to use thr...
Any Day In Canada, And Away From Work, Is A Good One!  By John Bennett
    Some of the greatest angling days of my long life have been spent on the beautiful, sparkling, blue lakes of Ontario and Quebec provinces in Canada. Not every day has been a great fishing day, but not one day has been a bad day. Th...
Canada’s Fast-Water Smallmouth  By Tom Berg
    The splashing, roaring sound of the rushing water drew me to the water’s edge like a magnet. I was standing at the head of a long stretch of rapids that lay half way between Olifaunt Lake and Fern Lake in southern Ontario, an...
Ice Fishing For Kids  By Ted Takasaki
Cold winter days spent ice fishing can warm the bond between parent and child. It takes a little planning to be sure the outing is a success, but the effort is worth it. Self esteem, independence, responsibility, and decision making are all qualities...
Quick Trip On The Ice  By Dan Galusha
Often there are times when an ice angler goes fishing as a last minute “pick up and go” trip, or a planned short time out. This seems truer as the season gets later, and the temperatures are a little warmer. These are the times when tackl...
Strategies For Surviving The Dreaded “Wintertime Funk”  By Mike Cyze
Well, here we are once again with another holiday season behind us. We are now entering into that season of the year when time can really seem to drag. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays gone, many of us outdoor-oriented folks are experie...
Canadian Pike: Masters of The Ambush  By Tom Berg
Northern pike are among the most elite of Canada’s gamefish. They are at the top of the food chain in the cold, clear lakes that they inhabit, and they maintain that position by eating all other fish that are small enough to swallow. Rows of ne...
Christmas Wish List  By Jack Payne
The following gift list is items that I would enjoy, or are gifts that I might be purchasing for someone this season. A few are items from holidays in the past that have proven very useful to me and they should for you as well. UNDER $10  &n...
Hole Hopping For Panfish  By Jerry Carlson
Whether I am working bluegill on a flat or crappie in a deep basin, I am not the type of person that likes to set up a house and wait for the fish to come to me. On the contrary, I am going to go to the fish.     I spend a considerabl...
Hot Stuff For The Hard Water!  By Walt & Poppee Matan
    Every year, new ice products come and old products go.  As you know, folks, times have changed and technology has reached the ice belt in the form of specialized electronics, premium portable shelters, extreme clothing, super ...
Packing For Canada  By Larry Ladowski
One of the easiest ways to not ruin your fishing vacation before it even starts is to take some time prior to the trip and give some thought to packing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a trip when someone has said, “Boy...
50 Muskie In One Day  By Bernie Barringer
The fish of 10,000 casts…the elusive predator…the muskie has a reputation; it also has the heartbroken and frustrated muskie anglers to back up that reputation. But as Sir Isaac Newton would say, “For every action, there is an equ...
Ice Fishing’s Future Is Now!  By Mark Strand
During the course of multiple interviews for his new book, “Ice Revolution,” Dave Genz spent many hours digging through his memory banks, recounting the years he and his friends transformed ice fishing. Near the end of the process, he was...
Old School vs. New School Ice Fishing  By Walt & Poppee Matan
The beauty of ice fishing is you can make it as simple or as high tech as you choose. If your gear is simple—an auger, ice rod, a few ice jigs and bait—then you are an old school ice angler. Add a gas auger, tent, sophisticated electronic...
Winter Panfish, A Time of Plenty!  By Mike Frisch
    I must admit that I don’t spend as much time fishing panfish during the heat of summer as I should. The reason for my lack of attention to these feisty fish during summer is that the open-water bite for species like walleye a...
Indianapolis Angler Wins World’s Richest Bass Tournament  By Dan Basore
One of the most exciting, electrifying and richest bass tournaments was held at Georgia’s Lake Lanier in early August. The Forrest Wood Cup, known by many as the FLW Cup, is the culminating championship of the organization named for the founder...
The Heavy On Fishing Big Waters Small  By Mitch Eagan
It’s the time of year Great Lakes anglers can catch a stringer full of fish too weighty for one man to carry.     More often than not, the best way to find fish in big water is to fish it small.     With t...
Fish September For Big Kings  By Capt. Lee Haasch
Every year about this time it just seems like trophy time. The brisk September air, cool crisp nights, Packer games and tailgating…and oh, did I mention…BIG staging king salmon! It’s one of my favorite times of the year. After a l...
High-Percentage Crappie  By Tim Huffman
You probably think that some fishermen have a magic touch. They catch numbers of crappie even on days when you struggle. You’ll find you have the magic touch, too, if you do your homework, prepare, and use a logical approach.   &nbs...
Take A Swim For More Bass  By Steve Ryan
Each season new lure and trends emerge in bass fishing. Whether it’s a new concept like the Alabama rig, a hot color that wins the Bass Classic or just a fresh pattern that works on local waters, these trends instill confidence in anglers. This...
“Fishing The Heat”  By Dan Galusha
Anglers have always had the idea that when the weather gets hot, the bass fishing goes bad. That is definitely not true, nor do you have to get up at the crack of dawn to find good fishing.     Some of my best fishing days have been i...
Go Topside For Summertime River Smallies  By Mike Cyze
If you have ever had the opportunity to fish for smallmouth bass during the summer, you know just what a great time it can be. The explosive strikes an angler can experience when one of these bruisers decides to hit your lure is just great.  &n...
Key In On Current  By Bernie Barringer
Muskie anglers have a lot of factors that go through their minds each time they decide where to fish. On any given day, a “muskie-head” may be sitting in his boat looking over a map at the beginning of the day thinking about things like c...
Helpful Hints for Future Fishing  By Bob & Ginny Riege
Catch-and-release. The term explains itself. An angler catches a fish and then lets it go, alive back to the water. At first, it was mostly fly fishermen and muskie enthusiasts who were doing it. But now there are more people picking up on it; seriou...
Pike Presentations On The Great Lakes  By Ray Hansen
Summer Waterwolves From Big Water Pike are predictably pugnacious on large lakes. They seem to roam certain spots in search of something to attack, and if you have mastered a few proven presentations, you can join in the fun. In this article, I&rsqu...
Put Some Meat Into Your Trolling  By Dennis Foster
As the weather begins to warm in earnest during the summer months, we see not only the air temperature rise, but more importantly, the water temperature. Just as we tend to become much more active, fish of all species respond in kind, particularly my...
Twitch And Pause For Smallmouth Hogs   By Mitch Eagan
Casting Suspending Bodybaits For Brute Bronzebacks Is The Perfect Year-Round Ploy Cast. Reel. Stop. Twitch and pause. Twitch, twitch. Pause. The rhythm of your retrieve is limited only to what your brainwaves can beckon.     A small...
Early-Season Salmon On Lake Michigan  By Mike Yurk
The line snapped off the clip, and the drag on one of the trolling reels was clicking off line. “Fish on!” Captain Richie yelled as the mate, Scott, pulled the rod out of its holder and yanked back. The rod was bent in half and the line w...
Electronics And Downriggers—Two Keys To Modern Fishing  By Capt. Lee Haasch
When I think back to my early years on the lake, I remember the simplicity of the whole trolling experience. We didn’t have all the modern electronics that we have today. I started my trolling experience on Lake Michigan with nothing more than ...
Jigging Wood Cover For Crappie  By Tim Huffman
Multi-pole techniques put numbers of fish into the boat. Tournament results prove it. However, there are no arguments that dropping a jig beside a snag, feeling the bump, and setting the hook gives a rush you don’t get with the meat-in-the-pot ...
June Is Bassin’ Out All Over!  By John Bennett
June traditionally is the month when many anglers take to the nearby lakes, ponds and rivers to try to catch a few hard fighting, green-backed largemouth bass. Actually, if you have been out on the water at all, then you already know that they have b...
One-Two Punch: Wrangle ‘Eyes With Shiners   By Scott Glorvigen
Ply Bent-Over Bulrushes For Epic Shallow-Water Walleye     In this article I will discuss how one of the best early-season walleye bites coincides with the shiner spawn each year. It’s sad but true: one of the greatest missteps ...
Crappie Is King In The Spring  By Darrell Taylor
“In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” This line is from the poem, “Locksley Hall,” written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in the 1800s. Obviously, he wasn’t an outdoorsman, because during...
Five Techniques To Catch More Bass This Summer  By Glenn Walker
    With summer just around the corner and bass opener for Minnesota being Memorial Day weekend, bass fishing junkies like myself are all geared up and ready to go! There is nothing like the rush of catching a big old bucket mouth or b...
Mayfly Panfish  By Gary Nelson
A surfacing fish caught my eye as I fished an Iowa reservoir one mild, sunny morning. I eased closer and noticed several dozen mayflies floating on the lake top here. From my tackle vest I picked something that resembled the flies: a 1/32-ounce marab...
Those Bronzebacks Of Spring  By Mike Cyze
Once again, the month of May is a time of year when you can feel the warm winds of the season against your face as you look around to see nature in full bloom. When this season does finally arrive throughout the central and upper Midwest, the water i...
Get A Grip On Your Muskie Season  By Jim Saric
It was an unseasonably warm spring day. The short-term forecast was a warming trend with light winds today and giant winds tomorrow. So, I knew we had to make the most of today.     Pulling up to the first spot, it felt more like July...
High & Low On The Great Lakes  By Mark Hicks
“My two favorite months for walleye are July and August,” says Green Bay fishing guide Jason Muche.     It is during these hot months that Muche keeps his clients busy reeling in limits of walleye, including trophy-size fi...
Warm Up With Some Hot Panfish  By Ted Takasaki
April is a great time to be an angler in the Midwest as the action heats up, right along with the water. It’s a fun time to be outside after being indoors so long, and it’s a terrific time to replenish the fish supply in the freezer with ...
Deep Water Perch—Late Ice On The Great Lakes  By Ray Hansen
I expect to find larger perch when I fish deep water. In those places they seem to act more like small walleye or whitefish, rather than the panfish they really are. Another point to remember is that a 15-inch walleye is actually small, but a perch o...
For Big Bass In Springtime, It’s Spinnerbaits  By Mike Cyze
With the month of March upon us, we are quickly getting into that time of the year when the many anglers that love to concentrate on catching bass are chomping at the bit to get out and fish for some of those early season fish on their favorite water...
Introduce Our Youth To Natural Highs  By Rick Petrekovic
People take drugs to raise serotonin and dopamine in spite of the fact there are literally thousands of free ways to accomplish the same euphoria in nature. Playing video games, texting and spending endless hours watching TV will not give you a high ...
Adventures in Canada  By Walt & Poppee Matan
When it comes to being a fisherman in the Midwest, the true adventure begins with an annual trip to Canada. The mystical surroundings of the country and the effort it takes to get there are all part of the adventure. The best part of our adventure is...
Bass Are Suckers For Blade Baits  By John Bennett
There are few things that I would rather do in the early months of the year than catch a few largemouth and/or smallmouth bass, and one of my favorite lures for catching them now, or at any other time of the year is a blade bait.     ...
Brush-Bustin’ For Crappie  By Tim Huffman
The love affair between crappie and wood cover is no secret. Professional guides and other serious crappie fishermen have spent hours of hard work finding good spots and making others. Although brush is a general term describing a variety of covers, ...
Jigging The Great Lakes: Cold Water Trout Action Heats Up  By Cory Yarmuth
As the winter months begin to draw on and the area lakes develop their crisp clear coating of ice, the world outside seems to take on a peaceful feeling. Boats have been put away for their seasonal hibernation and the stand-up tackle is put away in i...
Jigging with Salted Minnows  By Dave Corbo
 Jigging with Salted Minnows   BY DAVE “OLD SALTY” CORBO   As I previously explained to my friends Dave and Karl, I walleye fish in Canadian lakes where live minnows are very expensive if purchasing from a resort or ba...
A Beautiful Day In Ontario  By Jack Hirt
    Fueled by the freshest air (air so fresh you wished you could bottle it and take it home with you), and serenaded at last light by the wistful yodeling of a lonesome loon not 200 feet from your door, you sleep the good sleep. &nbs...
Canadian Muskie Success  By Jim Saric
SARIC’S SECRETS We had been sitting out a thunderstorm for about two hours and I was anxiously awaiting an opportunity to start filming an episode for my Musky Hunter television show. Of course, once a big storm passes, the wind switches and t...
Cold Crappie Strategies And Tips  By Tim Huffman
Some northern spots may have ice but in the middle and southern states you’ve still got soft water. Many of these waters have crappie that are hungry and willing to bite if you know the right strategies for catching them. The following are an a...
Tackle Tinkering 101  By Glenn Walker
    The long winter months in the Midwest for some can be filled with ice fishing, skiing or other outdoor winter activities. Others (like me) dread these months and just count down the days for warmer temperatures and open water. One ...
“Small Ball” Ice Fishing  By Ted Takasaki
    Modern ice fishing methods have increased our enjoyment of the sport with advanced electronics, underwater cameras, and space age shelters/clothes that keep you warm. New tackle is also keeping anglers on the cutting edge. Rattles,...
Fish-Strip Jigging For December Sauger  By Gary Nelson
The jig head bounced along the rocky river bottom, then suddenly stopped. I felt the jerk of a fish bite and set the hook. After a minute-long fight, the fish, a one-pound wintertime sauger, came to shore. From its jaw, I unhooked the very productive...
Packing For That Fly-In Fishing Adventure  By Mike Yurk
You have just sent in the deposit for your fly-in fishing trip. The trip may be a few months away and there doesn’t seem like there is much to do but dream about the adventure until maybe a couple of days before you leave.     T...
Top Ten Reasons to Fish Ontario  By Steve New
There are many great reasons to visit Ontario. Without a doubt fishing is near the top of many people's list.  In my case, it's number one! Following is a "Top 10" list of reasons to fish Ontario this coming season. The first nine item...
Winter and Spring Break Escape  By Bob Gurskis
    My family, like many others, heads south to Florida during our winter and/or spring breaks from work and school. We hit the usual family hotspots—Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, etc. But as a d...
Ace In The Hole  By Jason Mitchell
    Even on lakes with good structure and good weed growth, it seems like a percentage of panfish, both crappie and bluegill will pull out and suspend over holes and troughs at first ice. On many bodies of water, most of the panfish wi...
It’s Hard Water Time Again  By Mike Cyze
Soon, the cold winds of the North will bring below freezing temperatures to the Midwest, causing the many lakes and river backwater slough areas to freeze over. This is something that many ice fishermen have been waiting for. When this ice over occur...
Salmon Fishing Rebounds In Lake Michigan  By Jerry Pabst
When dealing with a body of water as vast as Lake Michigan or any of the Great Lakes, to use the word “management” really overstates human capability. The biologists and other scientists charged with conserving these huge natural resource...
Tackle For The Ice And Safety  By W. Richard Dukelow
Ice fishing is fun, but the season is short. Normally, in the Midwest the season is only four or five months long. Ice fishing can be detrimental to tackle. It is used on snow and ice in freezing conditions. Equipment can become wet and is then often...
All Night Walleye  By Capt. Phil Cadez
November and December are months that sportsmen start thinking of hunting and start putting their fishing gear away for the winter. At this time, some of the local anglers in the western part of Lake Erie look forward to shore fishing at night. Many ...
Lessons For Fishing With Women  By Josephine Scorza
I enjoy fishing as much as the next person—actually, probably more than the next person, and I am fortunate enough to have a “fishhead” husband. He lives, breaths and dreams fishing. This means I have plenty of opportunities to hit ...
Power Of The Pounder  By Jim Saric
The wind was howling as my friend Mike Hulbert and I were fishing on Lake St. Clair last fall. We were tucked out of the wind in an adjacent river, but there really wasn’t much escape. As we fished several areas, we were dealing with the follow...
Adapt To Changing Water Conditions  By Rick Petrekovic
    For much of the Midwest, July, August or September can be as severe as January’s -30-degree F temperatures. Dew points above 70 combined with temperatures over 90 degrees equate to heat indexes over 110 and approaching 120. T...
Big Baitfish Take September Slabs  By Gary Nelson
    Crappie move to a little shallower level in September as their environment cools down some. These fish, now more accessible to the panfisherman, will include some big slabs, which in late summer and early fall are feeding on relati...
September Hot Tips!  By Walt & Poppee Matan
Looking for some great techniques to try this fall then read on, because we have some hot ones for you to try. These are some of tried and true methods of fish catching that other anglers pass up. Give them a try and you might just catch a trophy fis...
Aggressive Tactics With A Subtle Twist  By Dennis Foster
As we progress into summer with the resulting warmer air and water temperatures, our previously quite predictable walleye’d friends become increasingly difficult to pattern. This is due to the fact that they have completed their spawning ritual...
Late Summer Largemouth  By Mike Mladenik
For most of the summer I can be found on the river chasing bronzebacks. On a few rare occasions I have been known to venture away from the river and pursue a few bucket mouths. Not that I get bored catching 18-inch smallmouth, but I also like to take...
Test Your Walleye IQ  By Ted Takasaki
Testing your fish IQ can be fun, informative and useful when it comes to outsmarting your favorite species. The more you know, the better informed you’ll be when you’re trying to track down a trophy or a meal.     We&rsquo...
Tips on Catching a World-Record Muskie  By Steve Ryan
Most of us will never catch a world-record muskie. It’s like winning the lottery. Sure it’s a fun dream to have but you don’t put much stock into it ever happening. And yet, we are all reminded by the slogan “You got to be in ...
“Teasing” Deep Water Walleye & Perch  By Ray Hansen
Have you ever crossed deeper sections of a lake and observed marks on your locator indicating fish holding near bottom? On the northern Great Lakes where I live, these fish may be perch or walleye. At times, they can be caught by simply using common ...
Backwater Crappie Bonanza  By Mike Cyze
As we move along through the month of July, it’s a time when I like to take a brake from chasing the other species of fish and I start to focus on the large slab crappie that are available to be caught in the many backwaters and sloughs all up ...
Bank Fishing 101  By Babe Winkelman
“Andy Griffith” was a great TV series. Remember the opening credits? That classic whistling song played as Andy and Opie strolled along that country lane, carrying their rods and reels down to the fishing hole. Then Opie rushed to the ban...
Crayfish, Smallmouth bait? Or appetizers?   By Jerry Kiesow
Crayfish... crawfish... crawdad... crab—call them what you will. They live in freshwater; are eaten by smallmouth and rock bass, mink, and raccoons; look like miniature lobsters, to whom they are related; and have been known to disrupt swimming...
Keys To Crankbait Success  By Jim Crowley
It’s no secret that I love to fish for anything with fins. In my pursuit of our aqua adversaries there are numerous lures that can be successful. However, when it comes to figuring out the pulse of just about any body of water, it’s hard ...
Bassin’ In The Dark!  By Dan Nowak
If you are tired of putting up with water skiers, jet boats, and other fishermen, then take a shot at doing some bass fishing after the sun goes down. There are a lot of advantages to fishing after dark: very little boat traffic, no sunburn, a lot le...
From a Passion For Muskies To An Empire  By Josh Bear
Dawson Barringer is not your typical kid. It’s not unusual for kids to get fascinated by fishing at a young age, but most of them are thrilled to catch bluegill and crappie. Size doesn’t matter…action is the name of the game. ...
Hop To It—Fishing Top-Water Frogs/Toads  By Steve Ryan
There is no denying the excitement of fishing top-water baits for bass. The presentation plays to our most powerful senses—sight and hearing. We are drawn into the sound and action of the bait as it moves through the water. The anticipation of ...
Troll Your Way To More Fish  By Darrell Taylor
    “I’ve got a fish,” said Joe Spizzirri. “So do I,” said Patrick Chimmy. We were trolling a large arrowhead shaped flat that often holds walleye or white bass, sometimes both at the same time. The first ...
Learning To Feel Will Catch More Bass  By Mike Cyze
The Last Cast     When it comes to methods that will catch fish, the list is almost endless. Over the years, anglers have taken many basic lure presentations and have refined them to suit their needs when faced with a particular ...
No Boat, No Problem  By Justin Newkirk
One thing that keeps people away from fishing is thinking you need a boat to fish. Granted, there are some places you can get to only in a boat. On the other hand, there are places only a land based angler can reach and many think it's easier for an ...
Off-Season Tips To Boost Hunting Success In 2011  By Babe Winkelman
For every season ­ turn, turn, turn. Aren’t those the lyrics to that song? Every time I hear that tune it makes me think of the seasons we sportsmen and women find so magical. Hunting, fishing, trapping, spearing, for turkey, deer, elk, you...
Take Aim For Smallies  By Ted Takasaki
Mike Weinkauf is vice president of Field Logic, a company that manufactures and markets innovative products to the hunting industry. To hear him tell it, that explains his addiction to sight fishing early in the season for smallmouth bass.  &nb...
Three Essential Spring Walleye Tactics  By Ray Hansen
“Never Fail” Methods for May Success on Rivers"   Many spring anglers chasing walleye say that the fish are either biting or they are not. By stating this they seem to believe that nothing can be done to trigger fish. I will n...
Shallow Crappie: A Spring Tradition!  By Mike Frisch
I am a tournament angler and fishing guide. Yet some of my favorite fishing trips occur every spring when my daughter, Hannah, and I share a boat or bank, catching early season crappie. These fish are often pretty easy to find and can provide excitin...
Soft Baits for Every Species and Season  By Troy Smutka
Soft Plastics was a very general name given to an entire family of fishing tackle. With the advent of scented baits made from biodegradable, scent-impregnated materials with little or no plastic, the new name for this family of baits is Soft Baits. T...
Spring Means Crankbaits and Bass  By Cory Yarmuth
The beginning of spring is here, however the deep chill in the air would lead you to believe otherwise. The nights are still cold but the warmth of the daytime sun makes up for what the chill of the night has taken. This is an excellent opportunity t...
Catch Better Bass With A Better Spinnerbait  By Steve Ryan
  The right spinnerbait will make you a better fisherman. And when it comes to spinnerbaits, look no further than Strike King Lure Company to deliver a superior product. While spinnerbaits have been around for decades and each company puts thei...
Catfish—The Misunderstood Fish   By Doug Thalacker
If you’re feeling lazy but still want to catch fish that will knock your socks off and get your heart racing, grab some heavy-duty gear and try for those lazy bruisers—the catfish.   Here in Wisconsin, the land of muskie, northern ...
Spring Fever Has Sprung!  By Captain Russ Clark
  Old man winter is lightening his grip and the slow warming trend is beginning. This is the time when steelhead and brown trout fishing starts to really turn on in the St. Joseph River. Good fishing will continue through March into the middle ...
Try Crappie Jigs...For Springtime ‘Bows  By Gary Nelson
You cast a gray and white marabou crappie jig to the opposite side of a deep, clear-water hole. The lure sinks toward bottom and you retrieve it over a submerged tree trunk. The jig doesn’t travel three feet past the wood when you feel a hard t...
Finesse Jigging Tactics   By Tom Gruenwald
  Ice fishing. It’s becoming more popular each year. In fact, ice fishing could be considered the fastest growing segment of the entire sport fishing world—and for good reason!   Cold air is refreshing and healthy. Spending ...
I’ve Got Canada Fever!  By John Bennett
  It happens every year at about the same time. The whitetail hunting shows on television are being replaced by the fishing shows, and the fishing pros are hauling golden-sided walleye over the side of the boat in some pristine, Canadian wilder...
It’s Show Time 2011!  By Mike Cyze
  This time of the year it’s a good bet that within a short drive of wherever you live, you can find a sports show happening or coming soon.   Personally, this is one of my favorite times of the year. The reason that I say that is...
More Winter Bassin’ Tips  By Darrell Taylor
  Cold-water bass fishing typically requires a soft touch and finesse lures. Here are some tips from Luke Clausen, winner of both the FLW Forrest Wood Cup and the Bassmaster Classic. He likes an extremely slow fishing approach in cold weather, ...
2011 Lake Erie Forecast  By Capt. Phil Cadez
  The walleye fishing started off great in April of 2010 because of calming winds and clearer warming waters. Most of the reefs in the western basin produced good walleye fishing. Most of the successful anglers used purple or orange hair jigs. ...
Canada Can Still Be A Fish Factory  By Larry Ladowski
Years ago, whenever I thought of Canada and fishing it was in the context of a fish factory—all you needed to do was drop a line and the fish would bite. You could catch them one after another. In my mind, the fish were everywhere just waiting ...
Ice Fishing Past, Present and Future  By Tony Aloia
  The early days of ice fishing are remembered for cold feet, freezing hands and few options in the way of portable equipment. Option A was a mobile, but not very warm, five-gallon bucket with a lid to sit on, and Option B was a permanent shelt...
Safety On Ice—The Basics And Beyond  By Mark Martin
  For many, the thought of setting foot on top of a frozen waterway does not compute. The only ice their brain can even conceive are of the cube variety floating around a glass full of their favorite drink. What those individuals don’t un...
Three Keys To More Muskie  By Jim Saric
  One of the things I really enjoy is teaching people how to catch more muskie. I started teaching muskie schools with my good friend Joe Bucher back in 1982. When Joe decided to stop teaching his muskie schools, Steve Heiting and I started the...
Canada...Land of Adventure  By Casey M. Ladowski
The dictionary defines “adventure” as an exciting or unusual undertaking. Well a fishing trip that I took this past summer was both—exciting and unusual. Let me explain.   When my son Larry asked me if I wanted to accompany b...
Dead Sticking Walleye  By Jason Mitchell
  There are many environmental factors and conditions that can pin you down and keep you from making a lot of moves on the ice. Extreme whiteout conditions, arctic winds, deep slush and heavy snow cover can slow down the mobility concept in a h...
Fishing History: Creek Chub's Shur Strike Line  By Dan Basore
We get many questions about lures that look like they were made by the old Creek Chub Bait Company, (CCBCO), in Garrett, Indiana. But knowing that Creek Chub put their stenciled name on lures and/or pressed into diving lips, while the lures in questi...
Mixing It Up On Ice  By Jeff Sundin
  Recently, we as ice anglers have tended toward becoming species specialists. Some like walleye, others prefer panfish, and still others would rather target pike. You know, that's great, but I remember growing up fishing with my grandparents, ...
The Hunter's And Angler's Gift Check List  By Mark Martin
  Attention all hunters and anglers: this article is not for you! It is, however, for those who present you with gifts during the up-and-coming holiday seasons. In the following you’ll see new, inexpensive must-have items for the hunter ...
Color Makes a Difference, So Choose Your Ice Jigs Wisely!  By Walt & Poppee Matan
  We’ve been asked time and time again, does color make a difference? Of course it does! Would you eat a bratwurst without mustard and sauerkraut? Of course not! The right color is like a tasty condiment to the fish, the better the condim...
Plan for Ice Fishing Success  By Mark Strand
  When you pull up to the lake, you should know what you’re going to do first. And what you’re going to do next if it doesn’t work; how to make a plan, execute it, and change it on the fly.      Frozen lakes a...
Shiver River Walleye  By Jim Luce
  It’s November in the northwoods and after seven years of drought and steadily dropping river levels the rain gods saw fit to drench us this summer with frog drowners and gully washers galore.   My favorite river is once again ...
Vertically Nab Cold-Water Sunnies  By Gary Nelson
  With two-pound-test line, you lower a 1/100-ounce pitch-black jig tipped with a tiny piece of red worm 15 feet down. It takes a little while but the offering reaches a pile of submerged brush, where you immediately feel a light thump. You gen...
Crankbait Crappie  By Darrell Taylor
   “I’ve got a fish – but it’s not a very big,” said Erin Young. We were trolling small bass lures for white bass or walleye in an area known to hold both species.   Soon the fish came into view and Eri...
Thoughts on the Magic of Fishing…  By Babe Winkelman
There has always been something hypnotizing about water. Imagine the way it shimmers and shines like diamonds on a bright, breezy summer day. Picture the perfect pace of a moving river, churning along as if driven by something more powerful than grav...
Top Off Your Outdoor Memories  By Ron Kruger
 With hindsight, a lifetime devoted to outdoor pleasures is measured in scattered moments of memory, like perfectly composed still photographs that epitomize the entire experience with a single scene frozen in time.   I have hundreds of t...
Go Plastic for Crappie  By Tim Huffman
Who dropped the first plastic tube in the water with the intentions of catching a crappie? I don’t know, but I’m impressed that someone had an experimenting mind and was successful. The invention of the soft plastic baits changed the way ...
Sometimes Simpler Is Better  By John Bennett
In the fall of the year, the largemouth bass, as most of the predatory species of fish in the upper Midwest, will invade the shallows in search of food before the onslaught of winter. This is a pretty simple statement, and if the experienced fisherma...
Swimming Tubes…A Look At An Often Overlooked Technique  By Glenn Walker
Swimming in the lake or river with an inflatable tube probably came to mind when you read the title of this article. Instead I am going to cover a tactic that you can add to your arsenal to coax finicky bass into biting. By using the versatile soft p...
A Primer on Hooks  By Steve Ryan
Getting to the point of the matter, it's where all the action in fishing starts and finishes. It's the tool that keeps you connected with your quarry. It's the make it or break it element that often goes overlooked and is under appreciated. It's your...
Break The Cadence For More Muskie  By Jim Saric
One thing that's a given on any summer muskie trip is following fish. In some waters it seems as if the muskie were hired by the local chamber of commerce to make a routine visit to your boat to keep you coming back to the lake. No matter how many fi...
Bass Love Small Crawfish  By Ron Kruger
Next to a plastic worm, a jig and pig combination accounts for more bass than any other lure, and the captivating combo probably catches more big bass than all the other lures put together. The reason is simple. Jig and pig combinations represent cr...
Look Where You Shouldn’t For Heat-Of-Summer ‘Eyes  By Mark Martin
Catching walleye during the hottest time of the year can be daunting for any angler. When air temperatures swelter, the bite of lethargic walleye, in limbo due to tepid water temperatures, can often become difficult to decipher. But decades worth of...
Does Color Make A Difference To Fish?  By Justin Hoffman
Hidden amongst our carefully organized tackle trays and satchels are a never-ending collection of cranks, jigs, plastics, and flies—duplicates in a myriad of colors, and many in hues that often defy description. The old adage states that lures ...
Electronic Fish Finders: An Historical Advantage has Become Even Better  By Greg Keefer
There’s been a lot of improvement over the last several years in the world of fishing electronics. Fish finders have come out of the backroom technologically and can perform multiple tasks with unrivaled accuracy. Most anglers are looking for ...
Wind Warriors  By Jim Saric
This season has started out with a beautiful spring. It’s nice to actually have warm water and warm weather for a change. It really bodes well for our summer. I really predict our topwater bite will be very strong this summer, which will make f...
"Nightcrawler Secrets" Revisited  By Ted Pilgrim
Co-authored with Tom Neustrom "Never before have I asked you, or anyone, to keep an angling secret. I'm going to break this rule now and ask you point-blank NOT to pass on this information. It is much too deadly, it took many years to accumulat...
Mastering The Suspending Lure  By Mark Martin
Casting or trolling; daytime, nighttime, anytime; suspending crankbaits and body baits are fabulous for fooling fish. They have great swimming action when they're on the move, and the stop-and-go motion you can create-the lure neither rising nor fall...
Moonlit Monsters  By Jim Saric
As the summer heat wears on it can deal a beating to any muskie hunter. We often struggle through the midsummer sun in anticipation of the last hour of light and the first hour of dark. This is magic time and a great time to be on the water. However,...
Not So Fast For Spring Walleye   By Steve Ryan
The morning started with some fierce walleye action. The sun was shining brightly and the fish were responding to the spiking water temperatures. Three- to seven-pound walleye were crushing everything we trolled. Ten quality walleye were boated befor...
Small Lures With Unique Style  By Jim Crowley
Everyone has his/her favorite lures. My favorites are usually the ones I am catching fish on at the time you ask me that question! This past season, several different lures came into play as, per usual, I fish for different species of fish. I thought...
The Ozarks Crappie Spawn  By Darrell Taylor
Aggressively pursued throughout much of North America, crappie are a culinary delight when breaded and cooked to a golden brown color. Because of their palatable qualities, crappie rank in the top three species creeled by anglers in North America and...
Trolling - It’s A Matter Of Speed  By Mark Martin
Speed kills: The phrase has been coined to strike a chord in us that driving too fast could have fatal consequences. The term, however, could also be used to remind us that, when trolling, if you’re not paying attention to your speed you will k...
Cold Water Bassin’ And The Overlooked Presentations  By Ken McBroom
Many anglers hang up their rods when the water temperatures fall. The bite slows for sure, but bass can still be caught in cold water. There are times when the cold water bite can be just as dramatic as any other time of the year. But, you must be on...
Hot Baits For Early Season Smallmouth  By Mike Mladenik
The problem is that many anglers believe that they can’t catch big smallmouth unless they are fishing big water. At times fishing big water is the best option but experience has taught me that small lakes can offer consistent fishing and good b...
Pixel Fish or Live Fish? Find Bass and Walleyes Fast with Reality TV.  By Ted Pilgrim
It’s a little amusing to consider the level of technology that’s been applied to the humble pursuit of angling. For a quest whose only core requirements are a hook, line, bait and sinker, the addition of military-level gadgetry can at tim...
Experiment With Crappie Jigs  By Tim Huffman
The old adage “getting there is half the fun” applies to fishing, as well as anything. It’s fun to pick the baits you believe will make your dreams come true. There are thousands of shape, size and color combinations, so stock your ...
March Is A Big Bass Month  By John Bennett
There definitely is more to do in the month of March than sitting in the recliner and watching college basketball. Throughout much of the upper Midwest the ice is off of the rivers, lakes and ponds and while there may be a few lingering snow showers ...
Winter Morning Steelhead  By Cory Yarmuth
The truck display read 25 degrees outside and the snow was falling softly against the windshield. I pulled the truck off the side of the road and slipped down a small access road that would lead me to my final destination. Stepping out of the truck t...
Buying A Boat In Tough Times  By Ted Takasaki
Co-authored with Scott Richardson There’s no need to allow the recession to scuttle your plans for a new boat. You might find the bargain you’re looking for at the next outdoor show you attend. Dealers and boat makers are trying to...
Dealing With Cold Front Pike: Something Old, Something New...  By Jack Penny
The something old is cold fronts; they've been around since the beginning of time. The something new is a lure to deal with those nasty fronts. You were there. Just yesterday as the storm approached and the big pike went nuts! As the black clouds go...
Sticky-Bottom Areas Refined  By Mark Strand
The real key to finding the mother lode of burrowing insects is to pinpoint the base of the break, where sediment accumulates. In many ways, the unexplored frontier in ice fishing is the not-too-soft, not-too-firm bottom composition that Dave Genz c...
Match The Hatch For Muskie And Pike  By Colby Simms
Co-authored with Walt Krause and Craig Fisher The term “match the hatch” is generally used by fly fisherman targeting trout during insect hatches. In these instances, anglers often catch lots of big trout if they can in fact match the ha...
Never Too Late And Never Too Old  By Rob Brodhagen
It’s a Saturday morning and snow is falling at a gentle pace. It’s going to last throughout the day, so you successfully argue with yourself that it would be a wasted effort to crank up the snow blower right now. You’ll peek out the...
Spinnerbait Tips For Crappie   By Tim Huffman
Spinnerbaits offer an alternative look. They are underutilized by the majority of crappie chasers yet offer many advantages. Jimmy Houston, one of the most popular fishermen on television, says, “If I was stranded and had to catch fish to eat t...
Where To Find Them And How To Catch’em   By Davis Viehbeck
After a short but enjoyable break offered by the completion of this year’s open water fishing, excitement levels have been restored for the start of the hardwater season with the first ice bite being just around the corner. First ice can offer...
Catching Clusters Of Black Crappie At Crunch Time - Hooks-Jigs-Bobbers-Plastics-Live Bait  By Robert "Dock" Stupp
Black crappie, in my opinion, are the Rodney Dangerfields of the fishing world...“They don’t get no respect.” Some northern anglers, myself included, sometimes mispronounced “crappie” as a joke; others simply did not fis...
Mobile Ice Fishing, Cadillac Style  By Steve Mattson
It’s been said that the beauty of ice fishing is that everyone can partake. No need for a boat, motor, trailer, and tow vehicle, all you need is a car (or even a ride for that matter) to get to a public landing of a lake. If the ice is safe wit...
Trolling Tips For When The Bite Goes South "Up North"  By Mark Martin
Nothing is more adventurous than a fly-in trip into the Canadian bush for a week’s worth of walleye fishing. At the same time, nothing can be more relaxing. As for the catching, well, let’s just say it can be stellar! Notice I used the w...
Be Loud And Be Heard On The Ice   By Ted Takasaki
Co-authored by Scott Richardson   Most ice fishermen choose a serene approach, fearing they might spook away fish that are already chilly and lethargic. Their main tactic is to use small baits to convince neutral to negative walleye and panfis...
Early Ice Is Set By Fall  By Mark Strand
Fall weather sets up fish location at early ice. Don’t assume they’ll be where they were last year.   In today’s fast-paced world, it’s not surprising that an awful lot of ice anglers miss the clues that would lead t...
Early Winter Crappie On Deep Wood   By Tim Huffman
Cold water temperatures make crappie move slowly but they never quit eating. Since crappie are more stationary when the water cools, it’s important to target the right structures where the crappie hold. Wood cover on a drop-off or river bend is...
Basics of Sloppy Bassin’  By Jim Luce
Among my favorite months for fishing, “Sloppy September” ranks right up there with “Everything’s Bitin’ June.” In June most species are active, shallow and pretty easy to catch. September, for me, is reserved for l...
Cold Front Blues  By Jim Saric
Wonderful, I said sarcastically as the cabin screen door was ripped off the front door by the wind. I peeked out the window and the rain/sleet squall was pelleting the window with ice crystals. The day before it was 75 degrees and warm, and today was...
Mowin’ The Lawn For Muskie  By Colby Simms
A bit of steam rose from the lake’s calm glasslike surface as the early morning sun began to warm things up. The lake was still and the woods quiet as we eased the big boat along the edge of a large weed flat that extended from the shoreline sh...
Breaking Down Big Summer Walleye  By Ron Anlauf
One of the main ingredients to finding and catching big summer walleye is quite often found along a change in depth or drop off (a.k.a. break line). Breaks can help concentrate fish, like where shallow water flat drops into deep, up along the top or ...
Summer Sloppin'  By Glenn Walker
Oh sweet summertime?long days of 90-plus-degree weather mean one thing to a bass fisherman? SLOP FISHIN! Much advancement has been made in the top-water frog market, but the roots of this lure can be traced back to fishing in the slop. Slop as it is...




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