Wednesday, August 29, 2012

hidden gems


Illinois does have some real hidden gems. Cold water creeks with deep blue pools do exist here!


This certainly isn’t my spot. More a spot from a friend of a friend. I’m content just being allowed to capture some of it on film, but that’s all your getting from me.


If I ever go back to smallie fishing on spinning gear I’ll have to make a mental note to buy some chigger craws. Damien put on a show worthy of an T.V. advertisement with them.


Stay tuned as we wrap up our warm water wading season and stat to transition to our fall fishing haunts.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Archery Season Is Right Around The Corner!

  As summer is nearing its end, and fall is on the horizon, my mind is slowly slipping away from fishing and I am starting to focus on the upcoming hunting season. In the next month to month and a half  archery seasons for all big game animals across the country will be in full swing. In Wisconsin the Whitetail archery season opens on September 15th, while in Illinois the archery season opens October 1st.  There has been a few changes in regulations in both states this year, so be aware of changes in your areas. Most importantly now is the time to get sighted in and form a plan for the upcoming season. Here are a few things that I like to do before the opener.

1. Getting sighted in: After the long wait between seasons, and my bow case being moved around in the garage many times, it is a must to check your bow BEFORE the season opens. To do this I like to shoot my favorite 3d target course a few times a week. Figure out if your bow needs to be tuned, arrows need to be replenished, etc etc. Right now archery shops are being bombarded with bows in need of service. There are currently long waits to get anything done to your essential tool for hunting. Get it in now or you might be faced with sitting on your couch opening day rather than in a tree stand. Also as stated before, I love to shoot 3d targets as a great practice tool before the season opens. There are several locations throughout both states. My go to place is TAZ Archery located in Woodstock,IL. Taz has a 20 target outdoor course, and a 20 yard indoor range. TAZ offers some of the best products on the market and a full service pro shop. If your ever in the area stop in and see Tim Zimmerman the owner, and he will always be more than happy to help you with any of your archery needs. TAZ's 3d course is top notch in my book. Yardage of targets along the course range anywhere from 20-50 yards. This helps in all scenarios of hunting. The 3d course is well maintained, and targets and yardages change every week.



2. Pre Season Scouting- This by far is one of the most exciting things to do before the opener. If you have trail cameras get them set out ASAP. Now is a great time to figure out those moving patterns on your hunting grounds. With the advancement of trail cameras over the past few years, figuring out what deer our on your grounds has never been easier. Take an inventory of your deer heard, and see what big bucks may be lurking around your woods. Form a "Hit List" and target that next wall hanger. As of right now I would be placing my cameras in travel corridors between bedding ares and food and water. Water is going to play a big key this year I believe with the extreme drought we have had this year. If you have water on your land consider focusing around that for the opener. As the magical month of November nears deer will scatter and tend to move throughout the day as the Rut kicks in. Most deer around the opener will be moving in the early mornings and late evenings to and from food sources.

video
 
Try the video settings on your trail cameras as well. Sometimes this helps determine which direction those deer are coming from. By doing so you can determine where your best chance of setting your stand is going to help you put a big buck on the ground.


3. Tree Stand Placement- As stated  above, the pre season scouting is essential to figuring out which tree you should be perched up in this fall. Scouting can be a pain, but come open season this could make the difference between a successful hunt or hours wasted sitting in a tree.  Once you hone in on where deer are traveling across your grounds and what time they are moving through there, then get those stands hung. The sooner you hang them, the more used to them the deer are. Whitetails can be spooky and setting that stand a week before the opener can make them turn the other direction rather than walking right by your stand. Also be sure to wear a safety harness while in a tree stand! The number 1 cause of hunting accidents and deaths occur from guys and gals falling out of there stand. It is a must! Your life depends on it!

4.Inventory your gear- I like to do this a few weeks before the season opens. You never know what you might need or forget. Broadheads, arrows, deer drag, knife, flashlight, scent spray, deer scents, etc. etc. The list can go on and on. Make sure you have all the essentials you will need while in the field. Check now while you still have time to find your field knife, or time to go buy those broadheads you need.

5. Field Scouting - Once you have the movement of deer dialed in, get out one evening or morning and set-up at least 100 yards away from the travel corridor. Sit and watch,video, or photograph those deer moving through. This helps determine what direction they are coming from and where they are going to. This can also be a key tool in figuring out where there bedding areas are, and what food they are going to eat. Most deer will be feeding in soy bean fields and of course cornfields. If you can figure out where they are eating you can bet that you will have a deer down in the first few weeks of the season.

  In closing these are just a few key tips I like to focus on before the season starts. These are not all of them, but it is defiantly a great start. Get your skills sharpened, stands hung, and start scouting. If you accomplish these tasks your season will be a great success. Good luck to all, and straight shootin this season.

TAZ Archery (815) 337-0332
13814 Washington St. Unit 2
Woodstock,IL 60098

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

fox river wisconsin- fly fishing smallmouth

The Fox River in Wisconsin certainly is worth a look for some of the serious fly anglers who frequent the borderlands. Just as I have given the lower reaches in Illinois a look, I have also made a few trips up to Wisconsin to fish the Fox. In Wisconsin, finding rocky riffles and runs aren’t hard and the clarity here tends to be clearer then down south which seems to work out better for throwing flies.

a foggy morning on the fox river in wisconisn

Fly Guy Brian has done a wonderful job helping me scout out some new areas and our exchange of information is something that I have grown to look forward to. He spent a foggy morning diving into an area on the Fox River in Wisconsin that I thought had some serious potential. He proves my theory again on the Fox, if you spend half a day fishing here you will catch some smallmouth but also have at least one big bite opportunity.

fox river smallmouth on the fly - wisconsin edition
Obviously he has done well to capitalize on that bite!


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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Grilled Walleye Recipe To Try



 Needed:

  Walleye Fillets
  Lemon Pepper
  Garlic Salt
  Butter
  Lemon Juice
  Foil

Instructions-  Cut fillets in half or thirds depending on size. Squeeze lemon juice over fillets covering the surface of the fillet. Let stand for 10 mins. so the fillet can absorb the juice. Sprinkle on the Garlic salt and Lemon Pepper. On a piece of foil cut up a few chunks of butter and place fillets on top of butter. Add ant veggies you would like to throw in. Green pepper and onions are usually my go to but I was out when I made this. Wrap everything up in the foil and cook on grill 8-10 mins. or until the fillets are thoroughly cooked. Add meat to a base of rice and any other sides of your choice and enjoy.

 This is just a basic but delicious way I like to cook my walleyes,
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Friday, August 10, 2012

Green Bay Walleyes Part 2 of 2: The Tournament

  4am the alarm goes off, not much sleep because you where up worried about the fish. This is the feeling of an average tournament angler the night before a tournament. This was an experience I have dealt with before, but not as bad as this time around. I have fished small bass tournaments before, but this MWS event was the biggest tournament I have ever fished in. My partner Scott, has dealt with this many times before as he fishes FLW all the time and the entry fee is much steeper than the MWS tournaments. As stated in part 1, the MWS entry is $300 per team or $150 an angler, whereas the FLW entry for a pro angler is $1250 per angler. Price tag is much larger!

  After crawling out of bed and chugging the morning coffee it was time to get focused and ready for the days event. Make sure we have all of our gear set, bait in the boat, and rods rigged and ready to go. Most of this was checked the night before, but you always have to run through things at least twice to make sure because it can make or break you. Everything is check and it was time to head to the launch.

  The tournament start and finish was based Out of Metro Park. Which is right at the mouth of the Fox river at the southern tip of the bay. Teams had to start arriving around 5:30am for a pre inspection of your boat. Always a good rule in a tournament where money is involved. After inspection the boat is launch, trailer is parked, and anglers anxiously await there start. There was a total of 75 boats in the field. They sent out 2 flights of boats. First flight was able to leave the launch in single file line in order of team number, and they had to return to the launch no later than 2:30 pm. Second flight was able to leave at 7 am and return by 3 pm. If you are 1 sec-15mins late than half of your weight was deducted from your weigh in. If you are later than 15 mins. you where disqualified. Pretty steep price to pay if your late, but a rule that is good and makes the stakes even among teams.

  The was a catch and release tournament. Meaning after the fish where caught and weighed they where then released back into the bay. Dead fish counted as a penalty as well. Penalty for dead fish was .10 pound. Not as steep as coming in late but in this tournament when you see the results could have made all the difference. Teams where allowed to keep 6 fish and only weigh in there best 3 fish. This was also a no cull tournament, so once the fish goes in the box and can not come out and be upgraded for a bigger fish. This plays a big role and sometimes makes it a tough decision on what to keep and what to throw back.

 The Start: We where team 70 which meant we where in the second flight of boats to go out and almost at the end of the line. Not a huge deal as we had thought we had the fish figured out for the most part. Well water conditions had changed overnight as a huge thunderstorm blew through over night and the winds kicked up quite fast and out of the North. Winds started at 15mph straight out of the North in the morning and built to 18-20mph by the end of the day. This made for a rough ride to say the least. Waves started at 2-3 feet in the morning, and by the end of the day when it was time to head in they where 3-4 feet tall. Also a very very rough ride, especially when you have a 15 nautical mile run to the fish, but we managed. Right out of the gate we where off racing to our spot getting tossed in the waves as we had to ride in the ditch the whole way there. I also managed to lose my hat during this which has given me the name of Rudolph because my nose has been bright red from sunburn ever since. NOT FUN! Bring an extra hat!

  The Fishing: Because of the change of wind direction and the size of the waves, we had to switch up a little. The previous day was an East- West wind so we where able to make our long trolls staying along our drpth contours. Tournament day was a little different. We had a North-South wind so we where forced to make short trolls along our targeted depths that we knew where holding fish. This in the end created more work setting lines, bringing them in, and resetting them back out. It seems easy but when your running 6 rods and each rod has to be set at different depths to cover the water columns, it can become a little confusing especially in 3-4 foot waves. Our hot spinner blade color the previous day was purple. It seemed that anything with purple on it attracted the walleyes. The three blade color names that we ran where, Boy Girl, Purple Boxer, and a solid purple.
Boy Girl

Purple Boxer is exactly like this minus the yellow dots

 
Small Solid Purple

Out of these three blades it seemed that the little purple came in first, purple boxer second, and boy girl in last for catching fish. The fishing was a lot slower compared to the previous day, and the fish came in a little smaller. Our 6 fish came in as follows: 25 1/2", 24", 23 1/2", 23", 21", 20 1/2". We had a decent bag, but not the bag we where looking for. Of course through out the day we had caught the infamous Green Bay Sheepshead. The biggest surprise came as we where starting to pack up and fight the waves back in. Our biggest fish of the day (25 1/2") came right at the end when I was reeling in my first line. This was huge as before this fish our bag for the day was looking pretty small. Thank god we got him cause our standing would have been bad. We started to pack up around 2pm as we did not know how long it would take getting back in fighting through 3-4 foot waves. We made it back in time and actually a little early, but with the huge penalty of being late I am glad we left when we did.

The Results:
Place
Name
City , State
Team Number
Total Fish
Total Weight
1
Phil Pahnke
Chad Wertepny
Luxemburg, WI
Green Bay, WI
73
3
21.16
2
Josh Hietpas
Matt Hietpas
Kaukauna, WI
Little Chute, WI
4
3
20.96
3
Ronald Goldapske
Vickie Goldapske
Van Dyne, WI
Van Dyne, WI
28
3
20.62
4
Scott Valleskey
John Clumpner
Mamitowoc, WI
Little Suamico, WI
71
3
20.56
5
Rick Henriksen
Tom Zollar
Green Bay, WI
Green Bay, WI
18
3
20.30
6
Matt Miller
Jason Miller
Oshkosh, WI
Winneconne, WI
47
3
20.20
7
Greg Wierzba
Tim Skenandore
Little Suamico, WI
Seymour, WI
2
3
19.88
8
Joe Marshall
Scott Zupon
Deerbrook, WI
Deerbrook, WI
58
3
19.72
9
Nick Wenninger
Ben Schmoldt
Hartford, WI
Kewaskum, WI
5
3
19.66
10
Doug Larsen
Vince Raimondi
Westmont, IL
Addison, IL
66
3
19.62
11
Steve Buechler
Scott Miller
Seymour, WI
Pensaukee, WI
74
3
19.14
12
John Schneider
Bill Bobber
Shawano, WI
Appleton, WI
39
3
19.08
13
Brian Keller
Larry Eaton
Winneconnie, WI
Amery, WI
40
3
19.04
14
Norb Wisniewski
Jeff Hanson
Maribel, WI
Manitowoc, WI
33
3
18.64
15
Jon Janiak
Brian Smit
Fond du Lac, WI
Brandon, WI
14
3
18.62
16
Chris Spiering
Ryan Deeg
Depere, WI
Menasha, WI
72
3
18.52
17
David Mydlo
Melissa Mydlo
De Pere, WI
De Pere, WI
23
3
18.50
18
Matt Kolb
Steve Kolb
Plover, WI
Depere, WI
62
3
18.50
19
Dave Van Oss
Eugene Van Oss
Appleton, WI
Elkhart Lake, WI
35
3
18.42
20
Pat Mertens
Chris Osgood
Elkhart Lake, WI
Oakfield, WI
57
3
18.38
21
Gary Gevaert
Eric Balstad
Green Bay, WI
Green Bay, WI
1
3
18.22
22
Michael Gengalo Jr.
Michael Gengalo Sr.
Wausau, WI
Pelican Lake, WI
27
3
18.20
23
Gordan Rabetski
Jim Leanna
Neenah, WI
Green Bay, WI
17
3
18.18
24
David Lillge
Scott Sheppard
Menasha, WI
Neenah, WI
24
3
17.94
25
James Keller
Travis Dittmann
Neenah, WI
Fremont, WI
60
3
17.86
26
James O'Brien Sr.
Chris O'Brien
Waukesha, WI
Waukesha, WI
54
3
17.82
27
Wayne Gregor
Dale Boeck
Rosendale, WI
Oshkosh, WI
56
3
17.58
28
Stephen Paulsen
John Hynes
Peshtigo, WI
Green Bay, WI
3
3
17.52
29
Doug Mc Donough
John Vogel
Depere, WI
Suamico, WI
49
3
17.30
30
Scott Robak
Jason Kehler
Suamico, WI
Suamico, WI
30
3
17.12
31
Pete Petta
John Van Norman
Tomahawk, WI
Tomahawk, WI
7
3
17.04
32
Jerry Zimmerman
Adam Feustel
Appleton, WI
Kaukauna, WI
51
3
17.02
33
Mark Kuzniewski
Kathy Kuzniewski
Spring Grove, IL
Spring Grove, IL
64
3
16.58
34
Josh Hafner
Matthew Huempfner
`Weston, WI
Antigo, WI
63
3
16.22
35
Louie Apitz
Scott Hausauer
Menasha, WI
Appleton, WI
21
3
15.80
36
Ted Winkelman
Shawn Mc Laughlin
Kewaunee, WI
Leona, WI
46
3
15.62
37
Dan Roth
Eric Carlson
Wind Lake, WI
Milwaukee, WI
59
3
15.52
38
Chad Burns
James Kissinger
Randolph, WI
Markesan, WI
38
3
15.16
39
Hugh Mc Aloon
Dustin Mc Aloon
Iola, WI
Iola, WI
52
3
14.82
40
Travis Trepanier
Shawn Wendt
Plymouth, WI
Van Dyne, WI
20
3
14.52
41
Adam Walton
Chris Schollmeiier
Edgerton, WI
Coon Valley, WI
45
3
14.50
42
Bob Ellenbecker
Scott Thimmig
Green Bay, WI
Wrightstown, WI
9
3
14.48
43
Ken Van Oss
Elliot Van Oss
Chilton, WI
Elkhart Lake, WI
61
3
13.94
44
Chris Bork
Mark Brandlin
Manitowoc, WI
Larson, WI
44
3
13.72
45
Scott Perz
Brian Schiller
Crystal Lake, IL
Poplar Grove, IL
70
3
13.68
46
Lee Bain
Peter Arbeiter
Green Bay, WI
Green Bay, WI
55
3
13.48
47
Brian Kaczmarek
Shawn Dougherty
Greenfield, WI
Burlington, WI
13
3
13.38
48
RJ Harwood Jr.
Jeremy Hurst
Oshkosh, WI
Oshkosh, WI
69
3
13.36
49
Robert O'Connell
Gary O'Connell
Menasha, WI
Neenah, WI
37
3
13.34
50
Russell Ory
Marcel Cardinal
Fremont, WI
Fremont, WI
48
3
12.02
51
Mike Bonow
Dave Knueppel
Milwaukee, WI
Fond du Lac, WI
34
3
11.76
52
Scott Jankowski
Rick Tadyszak
Germantown, WI
Grafton, WI
8
3
11.36
53
Tor Millonzi
Alan May
Menomonee Falls, WI
Kewaskum, WI
15
3
11.22
54
Eric Paulowski
Daniel Hobbs
Green Bay, WI
Wisconsin Rapids, WI
19
3
10.96
55
Tom Pocian
Stephen Pocian
Kewaskum, WI
Hartford, WI
36
3
9.58
56
Tim Pizzi
Nicki Pizzi
Menominee, WI
Lakewood, WI
16
2
9.38
57
Mike Hildahl
Bud LeFever
Oshkosh, WI
Menasha, WI
11
2
9.18
58
Thomas Krueger
Kyle Krueger
Larsen, WI
Larsen, WI
26
3
8.92
59
Paul Mahlik
Matt Benzshawel
Green Bay, WI
Menasha, WI
6
3
8.10
60
Albert Bohn
Steven Bohn
Kewaskum, WI
Kewaskum, WI
25
1
7.44
61
Dan McGuire
Jake McGuire
Tomahawk, WI
Tomahawk, WI
31
2
7.42
62
Paul Gutowski
Mike Gutowski
De Pere, WI
De Pere, WI
53
2
7.26
63
Jim Moser
Frank Herrmann Jr.
Merrill, WI
Spring Grove, IL
12
1
5.66
64
Sam May
Mike Pagel
Rhinelander, WI
Argonne, WI
42
3
5.15
65
John Herrmann
Sean Freund
Antigo, WI
Fond du Lac, WI
43
3
4.84
66
Mitch Lamal
Andy Deer
Green Bay, WI
Green Bay, WI
22
1
3.88
67
Matt Witter
Travis Krueger
Wausau, WI
Weston, WI
32
1
3.84


Largest Single Fish Caught Sunday: 8.2 Lbs.
Caught by:
Team Number 71
Scott Valleskey from Mamitowoc, WI
and
John Clumpner from Little Suamico, WI


Total Number of Fish Caught in the Tournament: 189
Total Weight of All Fish Caught: 1009.16 Lbs.

  We ended up placing 45. I initially though we where in the mid 20's, but low and behold there where a lot more boats that weighed in after us. All in all it was a fun tournament and an experience at that. I would defiantly do it again without a doubt, and in fact we might enter all of the tournaments that the MWS has to offer next year. If you have any interest go to http://www.fishtfm.com/ for more info.

Things to remember or change for next time: Defiantly get in some more pre-fishing. The top placers of the tourney where pulling cranks. We talked about doing it but never did during pre-fishing because we where on some nice fish. It would have been nice to have an extra day to give it a try. It is hard to leave a working pattern during a tournament to give another a try when you have money and time on the line. It is all part of the game.

Sorry for the lack of pictures from the day of the tournament. I was so caught up in the fishing tournament I didn't think about getting some good pics. Next time I will be sure to snap some off.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Green Bay Walleyes Part 1 of 2: Pre-fishing

  If you love walleye fishing, there is no better place to head than Green Bay,WI. Last summer was my first time fishing this tremendous fishery. Disappointed? Not a chance! My first trip up last year was to pre-fish for an FLW event with my good friend Scott. We caught fish constantly, and not only that they where of tremendous size. To catch a 16 or 17 inch walleye on green bay is almost unheard of. I think the average size of a walleye caught on Green Bay is in the 22-24 inch range, if you are fishing the right areas, and following the massive schools of fish traveling through the bay area. This was defiantly the case this past weekend.

  This past weekend I headed to the bay once again with my friend Scott to pre-fish. Only this time wasn't to help him pre-fish for an FLW event, it was to pre-fish for the both of us for a MWS walleye tournament on Sunday. MWS holds a few tournaments a year in the state of Wisconsin mostly, and is quite affordable to the average angler. Entry fee was $300 per team, or $150 an angler, with first place winners taking home a lump sum of around $4,000. It was our first time fishing in a MWS tournament, and my first time actually fishing in a walleye tournament. An experience it was, but a fun and enjoyable experience.

 Friday night we loaded up the truck with gear and bait and headed north for the town of Green Bay. Chattering over a game plan on the way up, we decided we would make are pre-fishing start around Oconto Shoal pulling crawler harnesses.

  Saturday morning came fast as we awoke around 4 am. We jumped in the truck and made a drive to the town of Oconto to launch the boat rather than making the long run from the Green Bay launch. We had the boat in the water by 5am and made a short jog out to the shoal and set-up in 25-30 feet of water, pulling are crawler harnesses as we discussed on the trip up.

Crawler Harness Set-up: Brief explanation on how we run our crawler harnesses. We where using 1 oz. in-line weights in front of the actual harness. In theory running the 1 oz. weight  for every 2 feet of line you set out your bait should go down 1 foot. In example we ran our outside lines out 40 feet which had the actual spinner depth around 20 feet deep. Our hottest length of line out was 45-47 feet, which should have had are spinners running at about 22-25 feet deep. On Green Bay you are allowed to run 3 rods per angler. So we had a total of 6 rods running at a time which can be confusing at times to say the least. We always run our shallower baits all the way on the outside, and have our deeper running baits running towards the back of the boat. The key to running these six lines without getting all tangled up is by running yellow birds on each rod. So for instance on our outside lines we would run the line out 40 feet, then connect a yellow bird and run the line out another 40-50 feet so the bird runs far out to the side of the boat. Then you set the next rod. 2nd rod we would run out 45 feet connect bird and run another 20-30 feet of line out keeping that bird running closer to the boat then the previous one that was set out. Lastly we would set our inside line out 47 feet connect bird and have it pull just off the back corner of the boat. Seems confusing, but once you do it once or twice it all makes sense. Here is a brief image I threw together to help make sense of the description. The red lines represent fishing lines, yellow with the flag represents the yellow bird, and I also marked the amount of line run out behind the bird.


 You may question why are we running that 40' length of line out if the hot lengths where 45-47 feet. Simply because the fish where scattered through the water column chasing bait fish. The 40 foot line would still pick-up fish just not as much as the ones that where run out a little farther. One important thing I have learned while chasing walleyes is that you want to try and reach a few sections of the water column and dial in exactly the depths that they are running at that current day and then make adjustments from there. Also the general speed you want to run your boat at is 1.0-1.2mph going with the waves if there are any. On Saturday there was a steady 1-2 foot chop.

 Fishing: As stated above we started on Oconto shoal as we had heard that the huge schools of walleyes where moving further North everyday, and the previous weekend the fish where running somewhere off shore from Green Bay Shores State Wildlife Area. We set-up in 25 feet of water and trolled out to 35 feet of water marking a few fish. We did manage a fish  on our first pass, but it was not the targeted species we where looking for. It was an average size sheepshead.


  After our second pass on the shoal and nothing but sheeps and perch hooking into our baits we decided it was time to pack up and make a move south.

  As we headed South we knew the fish where close as we approached about 100 boats in a small square mile area of water. We decided this had to be where the schools where and sure enough we where right on the money. We swiftly set lines and began our troll and in a matter of minutes we hooked up with the first target fish of the day, a 26 1/2" walleye. We threw the high five up and reset  the line back out. We figured if we could get 3 of these sized fish for the tournament we would be looking at taking home a check. This went on all throughout the rest of the day.The hot depth for the day seemed to be 30 feet of water. We ended the day with a 2 man limit of fish with the biggest being the 26 1/2" all the way down to the smallest of the day measuring in at 22 1/2".. That is a pretty healthy bag of fish wherever your fishing. Of course I can't leave out the infamous Sheepshead that we caught during the trip as well. I believe the biggest one boated was in the 28-30 inch range and probably weighed close to 10-15 lbs. They are a fun fight, but when you are trying to dial in with only one day of pre-fishing, then they can become very frustrating fish. Unfortunately I forgot my camera in the truck and my cell phone died shortly after the above pic of the shepshead was taken. However we did keep our catch for the day and I snapped a quick pic before we filleted up the fish.


  These where our 4 biggest fish of the day. 26 1/2", 25 1/2", 25", and a 24 1/2". These tasty little guys are going to be some great eating over the next few weeks. Stayed tuned as part 2 will be coming towards the end of the week with the results and some interesting stats from the tournament.
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Monday, August 6, 2012

milwaukee river fly fishing pike

Recently after posting on a local forum I received a private message. It went like this-

Something to think about.
Positive reports for waters in large metro areas bring unwanted pressure.
You might want to think about that when debating a report about the Milwaukee River.
I'm basing this on fact.

a nice bridge pool somewhere on the Milwaukee River
I replied-
It's a long river, over 100 miles and all of it has fish. I think the secret is out!

Milwaukee River pike on the fly "seaducer"
I thought forums were for sharing reports? Am I going about it wrong? Should I be making up shitty ones?

Here we go, I'll give it a try then-

Been fishing the Milwaukee River for the past 2 years. Haven't caught much other then a few bulhead and rock bass, some nasty carp, a few old tires, and a bathtub. If your looking for smallmouth bass, pike, musky, and crappie I would just move on. The last few years the salmon, steelhead, and brown trout runs have been dismal. Less then 10 fish per species have move in from the harbors. Spend your time more wisely somewhere else where you actually have a chance of catching a game fish. As for me I'm happy just flogging this empty scum pit over and over with no results.

Honestly buddy, try promoting catch and release fishing and selective harvest, you might get more bang for your buck.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

3 Kings & A Coho

  As of lately I have been overwhelmed by extra work resulting in no fishing time. I am certainly not complaining as the extra money rolls in, but bummed to here of all the great fishing opportunities that I have missed out on. With the extreme temps and the drought this year the fishing has been more exciting because the fish have become a little more predictable so to speak.

  This past Sunday I was able to finally make my maiden voyage out on the big pond, aka Lake Michigan, with my good friend Scott. Scotty has had a rough year on the walleye tour so he has turned back to his roots on Lake Michigan Salmon and Trout fishing for the time being.

  I arrived at Scott's home at 4 a.m. on Sunday and hooked the boat up and off we went. We headed to Winthrop Harbor and arrived around 5a.m. There was a line of boats waiting to be dropped into the lake when we had arrived. After a short wait, the boat was wet and we steamed out of the harbor while setting up our rods. After the no wake, we hammered down on the throttle heading out past the third hill. We started with a South East troll  in 100 FOW heading out to the 140 FOW depth. Fish where lit up all over the depthfinder in the 50-65 FOW range. We set Downriggers first with dodgers and flies and ran a slider line with a spoon attached about 10 feet above the ball. Dowriggers where set at 73 feet and 82 feet. When trolling you have to figure your bait attached to the ball is about 10% shallower than what the initial depth of the ball is do to the boat moving. Next we set are leadcore lines with 1 oz. snap weights and spoons out about 250-280 feet of line. Last but not least we ran out dipsy's with one set at 50 fow and the other running at about 60fow.  Lines where set and we ran a speed of 2.2-2.4mph.

  After a short time the first reel started screaming out line. Fish on! I quickly grabbed the rod and started reeling slowly, to find our first fish of the day to be about a 3lbs. King Salmon. He came on a downrigger line that was set at 73 feet. We quickly unhooked, tossed in the cooler, and reset our line. Not more than 20 mins. later the dipsy set at 50fow started screaming and this time we knew it was a bigger fish.Scott reeled and I netted the big fish of the day, a 10 lbs. King. Reset and back to the grind. Some time passed before we found our next fish which was a coho that came in 142 fow suspended about 55 feet down. We had a few misses here and there, but we managed to catch our 4th fish of the day at about 10:30a.m. It ended up being a nice healthy 3lbs. king.

   All in all we went 4 for 7 Sunday morning which was a success in my book after talking to a few of the fisherman in the parking lot and a good charter captain friend of ours. The charter only boated 12 fish and was running 15 rods, another group only ended up with 2, and some other gents got the skunk. 1 of our fish was caught in 120 fow water and the other 3 where caught in the 140-145fow water range with all of the fish hanging in the 50-65 foot water column. It was a great day on the water, we got plenty of sun, and plenty of fresh fish to eat for the next few weeks. If you ever get a chance to get out on Lake Michigan for some Salmon fishing, I highly recommend it.

 Hot bait for the day was a silver flasher with a little boy blue tube fly running behind it. We only got one of our fish on a spoon. It seemed that the dodger and fly was the hot ticket.


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