Tip.of.the.Week

Tip of the Week

October 17 2017

Fishing is an outdoor activity all people can enjoy successfully, and from many types of boats, and shore fishing as well. Don’t get caught up in thinking an expensive boat loaded to the gills is needed to catch fish, all kinds work.

We did a trip with Josh, Kyle, and Jay in Josh's pontoon fishing machine. The guy had a good time fishing, I ran the boat and netted fish. Jay is holding one of the keeper saugers.
I did a trip with Josh, Kyle, and Jay in Josh’s pontoon fishing machine, it was a well laid out toon. The guys had a good time fishing, I ran the boat and netted fish. Jay is holding one of the keeper saugers.

So I use the word successfully above in terms of catching – all types of boats can catch fish.

Here is a pic of Josh's pontoons live well with nine keepers caught during a half day trip. We also got white bass and sheepheads.
Here is a pic of Josh’s pontoons live well with nine keepers all saugers and one walleye caught during a half day trip. We also got white bass and sheepheads.

 

October 2017

Crankbaits must track true (dead straight) to be of optimal fish catching performance.

Sharp hooks are a must.

September 18

You can land large fish if you play the fish right. Here are a few things to remember:

Big fish can be landed even when you are under powered with the line test strength you are using. Tips below:
Big fish can be landed even when you are under powered with the line test strength you are using. Tips below:
  1. Time is on your side, there is no rush to get that HOG in instantly.
  2. If the fish runs… let it. Have your drag set right.
  3. Some times the fish will do a burst and your drag can hesitate to give.. help the drag and pull line off of the reel at the same time of the burst.
  4. If the fish runs – a burst – give the fish the rod tip and even stick most of the rod in the water. I do this all the time. – while keeping tension.
  5. If the fish runs do NOT pull up or away from the fish.
  6. Fight the fish with a bent pole and not by continuous reeling.

Show a big fish some respect and play the fish. and of course ENJOY the moment!!

September 9

It is never too late in the season to fish the windward side to find fish.  Often anglers use the wind to their advantage to fish game fish while fishing on the windward side of the river or a lake. Or fish the windward side of underwater structure like a reef.  To me this wind tactic peaks in the height of summer.  My tip is that this tactic is still effective in late summer and early fall.

August 17

Quality line is a must.  Suffix 6 pound Elite is very dependable while river fishing,  With your drag set right and the fish fought properly there isn’t a smallmouth bass that can break it.

August 4

Fathead minnows are good when teamed with a spinner rig. You can also use two fatheads on a two hook “crawler harness” spinner rig. This double minnow rig shows a beefy presentation to the fish.

July 14

If  you fish a lot and use your battery power trolling motor you need to make sure the battery cells are full of water to keep them running most efficiently.   Keep the water level just over the cells. use distilled water as well.

Crankbaits are only as good as their hooks are sharp and as true as they track straight.

June 29

People just don’t hit the water in the rain.  Even fisherman – well some.  What does that mean on a busy body of water? It means you can have a lot of places to yourself and find a bit more relaxation.  In my business catching fish is a big deal.  But in my opinion the ultimate goal should be to come back refreshed by getting away from it all for a little while, not being frustrated if you don’t get fish.  Easy to say – I know… but food for thought…

June 17th

Spinner rig fishing tipped with livebait either crawlers, minnows, or leeches is a great presentation to find active and aggressive walleye.  You must use a high quality swivel to prevent line twist when “spinner” fishing.

In the past I have used a ball bearing swivel as they are high quality – costly too. By accident I started using a high quality but still much less expansive – Rolling Swivel – and it is as good as a ball bearing swivel, but a fraction of the price.  Who doesn’t love to save some moolah!!

June 8th

If you can fish two lines well… do it!  If fishing two lines makes you miss fish on one of your rods fish one rod then.  A rod hold helps a lot when fishing two rods. Consider one a “deadstick” and leave that alone compared to the one in your hand.

Two rods fish well can really make a difference in your catching. BUT two rods done wrong can land you less fish. Heck some guys don't want fishing to be much work. I say more power to you! If you want to just relax... so be it.
Two rods fished well can really make a difference in your catching. BUT two rods done wrong can land you less fish, as a result of snags or having your line at the wrong depths constantly, or two lines eating up your concentration as to where the boat needs to be…. Heck some guys don’t want fishing to be much work. I say more power to you! If you want to just relax… so be it.

May 30

North of Stillwater is good fishing. However when the water is over the islands it is tough.  This is because the flow doesn’t stay in the same channels as normally directed by the islands.  Consequently the fish scatter then and spread out.

May 24

Smallies open this coming Saturday on the St. Croix. The “bronze back” as they are called are a willing attacker of soft plastics.  A great places to start to catch these fun fish is a tube worm on a jig. Slide the jig head into the tube. Smallies love this presentation on a cast – fall – hop – fall (repeat).

Axel with a beast smallie! His fellow 10 year old buddy netted it. I sat back and let the boys do their thing. Fun to watch.
Axel with a beast smallie – caught on a crawler! His fellow 10 year old buddy netted it. I sat back and let the boys do their thing. Fun to watch.

May 18

If you are getting short bites, you need to feed fish line. this is one of the best reasons to use a “Lindy Rig”.  a “rig” employs a sliding weight, held on the line by a swivel, then swivel to leader and hook.

May 11

Using light line catches more fish.  Fish become line shy of heavy thicker lines. All fish do…  This short story solidified my belief… On the TV show “Wicked Tuna” The captain of the Wicked Pissah explained to one of his crew members why he used a lighter line than a heavier one.  To sum up the conversation, The crew member told the captain that heavier line won’t break – the captain told the crew member that the heavier line won’t get bit!!! Right on captain! Even in the Atlantic Ocean captains consider line diameter.

The lightest line pound test rating you can use is the test strength you should use.
The lightest line pound test rating you can use is the test strength you should use.

May 4

Some livebait like leeches are not a good bet when fished too fast as the roll.  So when it is windy and the boat speed is fast a leech is not a good bet.  Presented at just the right speed a leech can get many a fish to bite.

April 30

Line twist is often created by: 1. Reeling in a decent fish with too loose a drag. 2. The reel design itself is junk and twists line (believe it or not).  3.  Your livebait or lure is rolling continuously in the water.

The best braided line that I have never seen hold its twist via memory is Suffix 832.

I have used braids that when they twist up  you can NOT run the line through your fingers to untwist.  I have never had a single issue with the 832.

April 17

It is important to know that when the water hits 50 degrees presentations can greatly be sped up.  For almost two months slow and steady has been a key to catching fish, but as May is almost here speed can be your friend in catching fish.

April 5

A jig and minnow once the hands down most popular presentation is now just one of many ways to catch them on the river.  It was and always will be a fish catcher, don’t over look its charm to fool fish.

This sauger could not resist a jig and minnow.
This sauger could not resist a jig and minnow.

Vertical jigging is done best with fine and light line. 6# test is all the heavier you need.

March 24

I try to have my main line, the line on the reel to be heavier than the leader line.Most times when you snag up it is the hook.  Then if you  need to break off on a snag the line will break at the hook leaving you with your swivel and weight.  This is especially helpful when rigging with all the combinations of rigs you can fish with a three-way swivel technique.

Mid March

One key to river fishing is to know when the fish are concentrated and when the are spread out.  Even a “minor” water level change of 1.5 feet will move the fish.  Normally lower and slower flow spreads out the fish.

When fishing Rapala’s in the dirty river water I find the red painted bill is a good fish attractor.

note the red bill.
Note  – the red bill I like these in spring time river water.

March 1, 2017

Walleye and sauger move deeper when cold fronts happen.  When cold fronts happen especially in slower and deep rivers (like the St. Croix) fish will hit lightly.  If I am jig fishing and I want the bulk of the jig to trigger bites I put a stinger hook on the jig.

Here is a pic of a Northland Fireball jig that still has the stinger in the fishes mouth. This is exactly how the fish hit and was caught. No stinger no fish.
Here is a pic of a Northland Fireball jig that still has the stinger in the 17″ saugers mouth. This is exactly how the fish hit and was caught. No stinger no fish. The trick is you don’t always need a stinger. Let the fish tell u.

February 16, 2017

Hard to believe but trolling in cold and I mean cold water ice cold water does work to catch fish.  As you would guess the fish, trolling speeds need to be adjusted for the cold water. Today with 36 degree water on the river we boated a good sauger trolling a Rapala stickbait.  The key was a slow steady pace into the current. Give crankbaits a try in the winter.

January 2, 2017 —

For ice fishing panfish 2-3 pound line is a must.  It is very fine and hard to work with. Colored line really helps. I like the orange line, the dark blue line is also good.

16-Jan7.Turk.bluegill.2247