I don't claim to be an expert fisherman ... just a guy who loves to fish and has been blessed for his efforts. I learned a long time ago that in fishing, and in much of life, you get out of it what you put into it. I work hard when fishing, I study a lot, and always try to learn something on every outing. I hope you can use the information I post on this blog to learn something as well. Thanks for following along!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Beautiful Chrome Steelhead

Went 1 for 1 today fishing with my friend and taxidermist Tom Wendel. This gorgeous hen steelhead took about 10 minutes to land. Watch for the video to be posted shortly.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Day of Flurries

Caught a pair of Steelies today ... went 2 for 6 with one break-off at the hole again. I need to look for new leader line! Fished for 9 hours (7 am to 4 pm) and had all of my bites in two different flurries ... one from 11:45 to 12:15 (2 for 4) and the other from 2:30 to 3:00 (0 for 2). Spawn accounted for 5 of the bites with the other coming on a small lake shiner.

Gorgeous day ... 30 degrees and sunny. Found all of the fish in the shade near pumps. I struggled today until I found that pattern on my 5th move of the morning. Sometimes you just have to keep working ... and your efforts will pay off. I drilled a lot of holes and just kept hopping until the pattern became evident.

Supposed to get rain and melting the next few days. Hopefully that will pick the bite up a little. Everyone seems to be struggling to some degree.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tying up some sacs tonight

What could be more fun on a cold, snowy December night than enjoying a beer, watching your two least favorite football teams play (sorry to my friends from Chicago :-))on TV, and tying up a few dozen fresh spawn sacs? For those of you who aren't familiar with the process, it starts with this ...

and ends looking like this ...

I prefer to tie my sacs in orange and chartreuse mesh (bridal veil) using magic thread. I like them about the size of your thumb nail but will go smaller at time, specifically when fishing clear water.

Good, fresh spawn sacs are difficult to find, especially those made from Brown Trout spawn. When you find them in a bait shop they will usually cost about $.50 each. Fishing 3 lines for 10 hours and keeping fresh sacs on ... you can go through a small fortune in spawn if your buying it.

Here's an easy-to-follow guide to tying sacs.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Frustrating Day!

Did not lack for action today ... had 14 bites, 4 hook-ups, 3 broken lines, and caught one smaller steelie. Didn't end up fishing the virgin territory we hoped to because whitefish boats had opened up that stretch of river. Ended up traveling 90 miles south to more familiar territory. Unfortunately the water in that river was 2' lower than normal. Ended up in a marina where we had most of our action. The vast majority of our bites were extremely light ... they were tasting, not eating. Lost 2 fish on break-offs at the hole and another large fish on a strong run. Days like today remind you of why they call it fishing ... and not catching.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ever see a 20 lb brown come through a hole in the ice?

A facebook friend sent me this pic he took this morning of a 20 lb brown he saw caught.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Three fish that highlighted my year ...

The year is quickly coming to a close. I might get one more ice fishing outing in ... but whether I do or not 2010 had some definite highlights!
January 9th ... my biggest Brown through the ice (Approximately 34" and 17 lbs)

September 16th ... My largest King Salmon (36", 18 lbs). One of four I caught that day.

October 21st .... My largest Brown (31", 20 lbs, 23" girth).

It was an awesome year for me in the harbors of Lake Michigan. My bass fishing was cut short by back problems.

My goals for 2011 ... 33" Steelhead, a 25 lb Brown, a 40" salmon, and a 7 lb largemouth. It sounds ridiculous, but I think they're all within reach.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Big Steelhead Caught Ice Fishiing in Wisconsin

Sorry, but I'm drooling a little just thinking about it!

The weather looks like it will allow me to chase some slob browns and steelies tomorrow. We might get the unique opportunity to fish both long and short rods at the same time. If you haven't discovered these yet for ice fishing predatory fish ... you need to!

The Automatic Fisherman allows you to fight fish with a short rod and reel as opposed to using the traditional hand-over-hand method through the ice.

The harbor I plan to fish has enough ice that we should be able to fish both Autos and long rods tomorrow. And THAT'S why I'm drooling! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snow, snow, go away ... so I can fish on Saturday!

Want to get fishing on Saturday ... but the forecast now calls for 3 to 5" on Friday night and 1 to 3" on Saturday. Of course it's beautiful all week while I'm working!