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!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Finally converted on a bite!

Went 1 for 8 today. Had two fish trip the auto and pound the rod only to come off before I got to them. Also had a number of bites from small stocker browns. Finally got this colorful 28" buck steelie about noon. Got a quick pic and let him swim away. Nice weather today, but a lot of water on top of the ice meant a wet foot and an early end to the day.

Got the new slammers out today. Finally got a fish to cooperate. It worked like a charm, but ... after a lengthy 3 second battle the fish came off as they so often do. I made a few modifications to theh trigger and it works like a charm!

Friday, January 28, 2011

And here we go again ...

Hoping to try a few new spots tomorrow. Unfortunately, the forecast calls for 3 to 4" of snow and possibly freezing drizzle tonight. I'll be white knuckling the 2 hour drive in the dark again.

I'd probably stay home and continue to set up my work bench but after chatting with my buddies and doing some advanced scouting on Bing Maps ... I really have to go fishing! If you haven't checked out the "birdeye view" on Bing Maps ... it really is an incredible tool. I'll place a link on my sidebar and a map gadget below for your use. Just double click on the map to zoom.

Good luck, and may your lines go tight this weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Think This is Good ... Maybe.

I give these guys a TON of credit for driving all the way to Gull Lake for this derby, but ... a 7.18 pound Northern Pike is his biggest fish ever and he's taking home a share of $20,000? Hmmm...


Monday, January 24, 2011

One to Remember

I think I've thawed out enough now to report on the weekend. The weather was cold, the fishing was fun, the bite sucked, and the football game was ... well, I guess thats a matter of opinion.

I don't think the temps ever really got above 15 degrees on Saturday, and what started as rather delightful weather at daybreak turned to COLD in the afternoon as the sky cleared and the wind switch to out of the north. There were big, beautiful snow flakes falling at 6:30 when I arrived at the river ... just in time to see 4 people in the hole I was hoping to fish. A set up a fair distance away from them and proceeded to watch my new friend Nate put on a Steelhead clinic. When I finally left at 10:00 they were 4 for 13 with some real nice chrome Steelies. Nice job, guys ... you had that bite nailed!

Off we went to try a little Marina action. Should have just gone home instead. If it were possible to get worse than zero bites ... I would have found a way to do it that afternoon. Just not my day on the ice. BUT, all was not lost. I made a couple of new friends and got re-acquainted with a few others I hadn't seen in months. The brats were good, by the way. :)

I wish I could tell you how the new slammers worked. They sure looked pretty sitting there while nothing bit! Hopefully this coming weekend we'll give them a better workout. I've kind of made up my mind I'll head out again on Saturday, but I also promised myself I would only go if the forecast called for a high temp of at least 25 degrees.

Blake ... we'll have to try to get out together again. You didn't miss much. Hopefully we'll pick a time when "the bite is right and our lines go tight!" :)

As for the football game ... all I'll say is ... to my friends and readers from the Chicago area ... hang in there. We know your pain. We felt it ourselves just a few years ago. The Bears played hard and never quit. (Well ... most of them at least.) It was good, hard-nosed football. We're going to have some fun together over the next few years fighting for the NFC North title!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Awesome On-line Fishing Magazine!

Good start!

My buddies over at Can't Stop Fishing Guides are having a great day on the river!  Collin just hit this double a few minutes ago.  Want to see some amazing fish including a 30+ lb Brown Trout?  Check out there blog at Can't Stop Fishin Guides

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

FINALLY getting out again!

I might have to get the rubber jacket out again if I don't get back on the ice soon.  I'm REALLY looking forward to fishing with my friends from http://illinoiswisconsinfishing.blogspot.com/ this Saturday.  I'm not sure the conditions are going to be this nice, but ...

If you ice fish in Wisconsin you'll want to check out this group: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wisconsin-Ice-Fishing/237552572711

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Completed Products

The slammers are REALLY close to being done.  Need to fine tune the hinge and the trigger just a touch and we're set to go. The beauty of these is the ability to make them any length ... to accommodate any rod. The two rods shown are a 38" Frabill Ice Hunter and a 52" Ugly Stik.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Week of Lessons Learned

It's the end of another long week.  I've learned a lot, some of it good, some of it not so good.
  • I discovered that sometimes fishing is a blast ... and sometimes it's not.
  • I discovered that cleaning my office didn't hurt as much as I thought it would.
  • I discovered that cleaning my facebook account up was actually kind of fun!
  • I discovered that you can learn a lot about people from fishing. 
  • I discovered that I needed to re-evaluate what fishing is really all about.
  • I discovered that for the amount of cash I've dropped on a local guide in the last 18 months ... I can fly my wife and myself to Florida and fish for Redfish with my brothers and another guide for 3 days. 
  • Finally, tomorrow I'm going to discover what it feels like to sleep in again instead of getting up at 4:00 am to go fishing ... unless, of course, someone calls and says "Let's go fishing!"
So, enjoy your weekend and remember ... GO PACK GO! Hopefully we'll be battling for the Super Bowl next weekend with our friends to the south! :)

Nice job, Natalie!

Not all of the fun takes place on the ice!

Started making my own whip-ups.  Having a blast and saving some cash.  Blake and Neal ... you'll get the first crack with them if you can make it! :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Has anyone seen my football?

After a third consecutive night of what I'll call "disturbed sleep", I've come to a conclusion regarding "what the heck I'm doing".  My conclusion is ... I'm doing it all wrong.

I started thinking back to years gone by.  Many of them.  Back to when I was just a kid who loved to fish and wished he could do it every day. I remember going to ice fishing derbies and getting a thrill out of watching people register their fish ... just to see the fish!  I remember getting dropped off (wasn't old enough to drive yet) at the river sloughs at first ice with a chisel and a couple of cheap tip-ups and spending all day trying to out-think a northern pike or two.  I remember going ice fishing with my buddies and making sure somebody remembered the football and the grill.

Somewhere, something went wrong. I've just realized that fishing has become trying to out-think other fisherman ... trying to get a step up on everyone else so they'd get a thrill out of seeing what I caught ... trying to out-spend everyone else because "the experts" said I needed this or that.

Somewhere along the line I forgot the football.

So, it's back to basics for this guy.  I pledge to myself (as I sit here at 3:55 a.m.) that from this day forward fishing will once again be about the fish, the friends, and the football.  If you're looking for me ... I'll be the guy turning the brats on the grill.  I'll be the first to help my buddy land his fish, because that means I'll be the first to see it.  I'll be the old guy limping around because his knees can't handle the post pattern anymore. I'll be the guy with the smile on his face ... actually enjoying himself again.

Let me know if you want to come along. I've got plenty of the latest equipment ... I've still got my football somewhere around here ... and I make a mean brat!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It took over 50 years to figure this one out!

Recently saw this quote on another fishing blog.  If only I had a a pinch of the wisdom of Thoreau!

"Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."  Henry David Thoreau

Great blog, John!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day of the Unexpected ...

- I didn't expect the snow to be falling when I got up at 4:15  Two hours of snow covered roads in the dark. I need to watch the weather more.

- I didn't expect what I found when I got to the river.  It was rather ironic, though.

- I didn't expect to catch much when I finally got fishing ... and I didn't. One small Brown today. I guess I wasn't in the mood to work for them.

- I didn't expect to run into 2 old fishing buddies I hadn't seen in 15 years. It was really great seeing you guys! Looking forward to fishing with you soon.

 - I didn't expect to be this down on fishing. Time to re-evaluate just what the heck I'm doing!.

Sorry, that's all I've got!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A nice, fishy break from winter is on the way!

Tracy and I are getting together with my two brothers and their wives in Florida in February.  This morning a friend suggested I try fishing for Redfish while I'm there.  Well, arrangements have been made!

We're going fishing with Joe!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A day full of little buggers!

Really unique day today.  Theoretically .. I went about 25 for 50.  Realistically ...  I went 1 for 3.  Got this nice hen Steelhead (29").  Fished an awesome stretch of river that looks like it will produce a ton of fish when conditions are right.  Today it produced a ton of stocker Browns, all about 8" long.  Little buggers ate all my chartreuse spawn sacks!

Put in a long day ... up at 4:00 am, 2 hour drive, on the water from 6:30 to 4:00, then a 2 hour ride back. I'm bushed!  Good night!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Is it tomorrow yet?

Taking the day off tomorrow to do some fishing in a new place. I'm really looking forward to do something different ... and experimenting in an area that has potential to be outstanding. Special credit to my buddies Scott, Matt, Nate and Troy for beating me there and sharing some of their experiences.

It could be a really cool experience ... literally. Forecast is for 17 and windy. Better throw on an extra set of thermals.

Finally figured out how to improve the quality of my video and avoid the "camera toss" technique Tom and I used on that Steelie last Friday. I guess they make these things called tripods now. :) I'm going to pick one up on the way home tonight and give it a try tomorrow, assuming I can get something to bite. Should be quite the display, setting the hook ... then setting up the tripod ... all while fighting the most powerful fish God has placed within our beautiful neck of the woods!

I'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully we'll see ... film at 11:00!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thanks, Tom

Fished with Tom Wendel yesterday and picked up my Brown. Thanks, Tom! It looks incredible on the wall of my man cave!

Steelhead from 12/31/10