Memorial Tourney for MAC on the Maumee River



There is going to be a tournament April 18th (2015) on the Maumee River in Ohio, it is a memorial tourney held in honor of James R. McAllister who passed away this past winter.  James left behind a wife and two little girls.  The event is a fundraiser, which the funds will be used to set up college funds for the children.  For each two person fishing team, the entry fee is a $50.00 donation to help the cause.


There is more information as far as rules, and a form for the teams to be filled out on the Facebook page that has been set up for the memorial event. You can copy and paste this link to your browser, or click on this link to go to the page.  MAC’s Memorial Tournament  There is a link on the page that allows you and your team to make your donation through PayPal.



Copyright, 2015

Posted in Community News, Maumee River, Tournament News, Walleye Fishing | Leave a comment

Catching Walleye on Floating Jigs…On the Lake?

IMG_20150325_103256451   Every year, without fail it seems, I come up with some screwy idea on how to put more fish in the boat.  This year ironically enough, it revolves on a floating jig, called the Screw-Ball Jig from Northland Tackle.  In my ever running on the hamster wheel type thought process,  it makes perfect sense.  Floating jigs rule while fishing the Maumee River this time of year, so with a little borrowing of concepts, maybe some tweaking …. this just might work. I chose these for colors for various reasons, and they should cover my basics.  One like the Firetiger on the bottom left, it looks like a perch, but is also can be used as a dark presentation in muddied water.  Orange and chartreuse, it’s just a much have color combination in any walleye angler’s arsenal.  I chose to get two glow colors, one blue and the other pink.  I like blue, specially on Lake Erie, and as for pink, pink just has a good track record when it comes to catching walleye. Roach-walker-sinker-08-slug Since Lake Erie is pretty devoid of structure, or obstructions for that matter, my way to get the jig down to the bottom is going to involve a walking type sinker like the Roach Rig Walker Sinker, also from Northland Tackle.  Considering that zebra mussels might be the only thing on the bottom of the lake that could cause problems, I think the walking sinker should be just about perfect.  If not, a sinker like the pencil shaped style should be effective also.  Right now, in pre-development stage of this process (hamster still turning), I am thinking if you have three sizes for your sinkers, you should be able to cover just about any wind condition.  3/8ths, 1/2 and 3/4 ounce should allow you to keep contact with the bottom, specially if you are running some sort of drift anchor, or trolling bag to slow  your speed down. Trolling_Bag-Green If you have never thought of employing a trolling bag to slow you down, they are an absolute must when jigging on Lake Erie in the spring, and drifting under almost any other condition throughout the year as well.  These green trolling bags are from Big Papa Sportfishing, and you might have seen them at every fishing show in the state not only this year, but going back for quite a few years!  Good product, reinforced, long lasting…etc, they take a beating and are tourney tested to boot.  I absolutely hate shopping for a bag and not having a clue what size to get, none of the big box stores rate their bags by the size of your boat anymore, so the chart on Big Papa’s website is a nice resource for picking out the size you will need for your boat. You can copy and paste this link to the website to see what size you will need if you are shopping for the first time. Screw-ball-floater-22-slug Ok, so all the major points covered, in theory anyway.  Breaking it down, I would want to use a light to medium light action, fast tip rod, 6’6″ or 7 footer should be ideal. In my experience when it comes to walleye, the lighter the action, then the longer the rod.  It is all about the leverage and effectively fighting the fish.  I would spool my spinning reel with a non-stretch braid, 8 to 14 lb test.  It’s not so much about the line weight, but the diameter when slicing through the water column. Screw-ball-floater-108-slug Next up in the decision-making process, get an eight or 10 lb spool of fluorocarbon, a pony spool is fine if you can find it in the pound test you want to run.  I usually have some left over from ice fishing, so I just need to figure out where it all went during the transition of hauling ice gear up in the shop, and bringing down my spring gear. I plan on cutting my leaders off in 28 to 30 inch lengths, so by the time I get done tying on the jigs and making my other knots, it should be down to the 24 inches in total length that I am trying to achieve. Screw-ball-floater-135-slug Why 24 inches?  I am thinking that most of the walleye that I will be targeting in that 12 to 14 foot depth range between Turtle Island and the Toledo Light, will be hugging fairly close to the bottom.  I want to keep my floating jig, live minnow presentation within their feeding zone throughout my drift.  Any shorter and it might be too close to the weight, or under where they may be feeding in the water column.  More than anything else, it’s a length that I feel comfortable with for a starting point.  You can tie up any length on the fly while on the boat and it wont take long.  It might even help to have some of the jigs pre-tied on a foam roll, with each roll representing a different leader length. Screw-ball-floater-136-slug Will my grand plan work?  It should, it’s not a brand new concept as to catching walleye, just applying it to a different location and employing a technique that is successful nearby on the same fish, just in a different area during their spring migration.  I have confidence in the jig, love the big #1 sized hook, and will be easy to employ a Northland Sting’r hook to catch the short striking fish.  I know I have the right St. Croix rods for the job, so all the tools are there.  So since I am fairly certain that the rig/setup will catch fish, the only factor that I am really looking for is this, “Will it be just as effective as using a hair jig or blade bait?”.  I have one more trick up my sleeve in order to prove my theory, so stay tuned for the results….. Copyright, 2015

Posted in Do-It-Yourself, Lake Erie, Product Reviews, Walleye Fishing | Leave a comment

The Walleye Jig goes HEAVY on the Detroit River

One of the most popular walleye jigs for fishing the Detroit River is the “Walleye Jig”.  The unique wedge-shaped head is able to cut the current flowing down the river, allowing anglers for the most part to stay vertical while jigging.  For many anglers though, the jig wasn’t quite heavy enough, and for those who prefer to fish with heavier jigs, the solution is now available through Captain Brian Woodard of Monkey Business Sportfishing charters renown. MonkeyBusinessSportfishing-header-logo Brian has been working on producing this jig for a few years now, and when you see the jigs up close, you can tell it was worth the wait.  Taking the best qualities of some smaller walleye styled jigs,  like the 90′ bend in the hook for eye placement and single upturned barb to hold your bait in place, the end result is a heavier jig that will stay straight up and down no matter what section of the river you are fishing in. 11063065_944409008925876_1361520060_n The jig was put through the ringer last year while testing, and is already tournament proven.  During last year’s MWC (Masters Walleye Circuit) event on the Detroit River, eight anglers who cashed checks were using the new and heavier jig.  Coupled with a Fin-S minnow, or famed Wyandotte Worm, it proved deadly on the river. 11015336_944405012259609_745859652_n One of the things I personally like about the jig, is the choice made when choosing which hook to use.  Matzuo’s Sickle style, black nickel hook is one of my favorites when rigging my crawler harnesses, and it is killer as a jig hook.  These hooks are sticky sharp, but I really like the natural anchor point provided by the bend of the hook.  When you set the hook, that bend doesn’t leave walleye a lot of room to work themselves back and forth possibly getting loose, they stay locked on that bend, and up they come. 11039745_944405715592872_800719312_n Another quality about the jig I like is the choice used when it came to the paint.  Areas of the Detroit River can be treacherous; lots of rocks, cement chunks and other debris can strip a jig of its paint.  By using a powder paint finish, the jigs become practically chip proof.  If you have never used powder paint,  it is all in the process.  First by heating the jig, and then applying the powder coat, they get really hard while curing in an oven during the final step, and when they come out, you can drop them on cement without the paint breaking off. 11047014_944404582259652_1635046266_n With spring fishing around the corner, many who fish the “DR” are stocking up and putting new jigs in the box(es) for the upcoming season.  These jigs are available in 5/8ths and 3/4  oz (75 cents) and in 1 oz for $1.00, and you can place orders through Brian’s  (click on highlight) Monkey Business website or copy and paste this link: .  You can call or email Dan to place orders, contact information is available on the charter’s website.  Even better, for those who always wanted to fish the Detroit River, but didn’t know where to go, or how to really jig even, get some buds or family together and book a charter while on the website. The rates are very reasonable with several time slot options available.  Then you get to see these jigs up close and get a valuable lesson in fishing from Capt. Brian at the same time!


Copyright, 2015

Posted in Fishing Websites/Stores, Lake Erie, Product Reviews, Walleye Fishing | Leave a comment

Taking Care of your Ice Fishing Gear


It is the end of the season and the fishing has been great, but many of us are coming close to hanging up the augers and are ready to pull the trigger on getting the boats fired up.  So lets just take a minute to talk about proper care before storing your ice fishing equipment until next season.  With slush and standing water on many bodies of water, it is not unusual to get a little water in your shack while traveling.

Maybe not as bad as the shanty above, but you get the idea.  This pic was taken by my friend Scott after a trip on Saginaw Bay.  More than anything it illustrates my point about proper care of the equipment.  Simple answer for this situation is to turn your shack over and dumb out all that water.  When you get home, take two more steps and you should be ready for the 2016 season.

First I would mop out the floor of your shanty.  Get some old fish towels and do a really good job of getting it dry.  Secondly I would extend my poles and set the shack up to allow the material of the tent section to properly dry.  If you shanty happens to get as wet as Scott’s, then you might want to reverse the procedure and let the tent air out first, and if any additional water happened to drip into the tub, then mop it out.

Why worry if you don’t have any water?  Because more than likely your shanty did get a little wet at some point, you were traveling on frozen water, it is bound to happen.  By getting everything as dry as possible, you do two things that jump to mind.  First off, you preserve the material for years more of fishing, secondly this will prevent mold from developing and you wont have that stink or cleanup next fall to deal with.

*This is also a good time to take stock of your lures when you break down your rods.  Reload on some old colors, and maybe pick up a few new sizes and colors that worked for others this season.  Kind of hard to find the items in the stores right now, most are sold out, but when the shelves are restocked next November, you will be first in line to add to the arsenal!

Copyright, 2015

Posted in Ice Fishing, Ice Products | Leave a comment

Replacing Jigging Rap Belly Hooks



So last night I am going through the gear from last Saturday’s trip out on Erie, and started looking through the various sizes of my Rapala Jigging Raps. Not only find out that there was some gold in the old Plano cases, at least one Crawdad color pattern in each size, and a couple of hard to find Rainbow’s, but that the sizes of my belly hooks varied greatly within the same, depending on when I bought them over years. The newer ones have bigger hooks, so I will be replacing them soon. If you want to check through your Raps too, you can go to the Rapala website, and see what hook sizes match up with each size you have, just click on the series you want to check: Rapala Jigging Raps



Posted in Do-It-Yourself, Ice Fishing, Ice Products | Leave a comment

Good Video for Tweaking Rapala’s Jigging Rap

Posted in Do-It-Yourself, Ice Fishing, Ice Products | Leave a comment

Sometimes, Old School Just Works Better!!!


Sometimes you just need to step back and put it all in perspective, for me, last weekend in Indiana was a wake up call.  Sometimes you just need to go old school, find the bottom, lift up your rod tip and rock your jig.  The hard part is remembering that you still have that in your bag of tricks.  There are so many lessons left out on the ice, best thing to do is practice them, and it doesn’t hurt to have a log from each experience.

I try to read up on them before a season begins, but it seems like I have 50 cent log books scattered everywhere around the house, the shop, boxes and tucked away in travel bags.  Think my next small project will be to build a small bookshelf and try to keep things a little more organized.  Once the information is there, it will be a little easier to review these small details that be the difference between catching and fishing!

Copyright, 2015

Posted in Ice Fishing | Leave a comment

Packing for an Ice Fishing Trip

With the second of back to back tourneys this weekend in Indiana, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about what would be a good list of gear to take on an ice fishing trip.

1463545_10153175766077494_1256248244393462606_nNot that you need to go in any specific order, but first up for the list will be getting your rods in order.  Depending on what you will be fishing for, take a decent selection to match up with your quarry.  Meaning, if you are going walleye fishing, for an example, if you are fishing in a shack, shorter rods would fit the bill. Going to be fishing outside, staying really mobile, take your outdoor longer rods.   Make sure your line is in good working order, meaning no kinks..etc.  Pack them in something will stand up to the travel.


Check your electronics!  Most of this area would be covered by making sure your batteries are in good shape.  Whether it be your camera or flasher, Vexilar suggests that your battery should read at least 12.5 volts on the meter.  Not that your unit wont function on less, but if the battery is not coming up to that 12.5 v mark, then it is probably defective, or weak.  You do not want to plan a trip and have an issue, often you will be in areas where finding a replacement will be near impossible, so plan ahead.


Taking a machine to make travel easier.  Get all  your maintenance done before the trip.  Oil, antifreeze, batteries…etc, anything to do with making your ride more dependable, get it done before you go!  There will always be issues that arise that are beyond your control, but they happen less frequently with proper maintenance ahead of time.  It is also a good idea to have a can of fresh gas to take with you, and either battery charger, or take a jump starter with you, as well.

When it comes to clothes, always dress appropriately, and it doesn’t hurt to look at long range forecasts before you start packing.  Good wool socks with liners are important, as well as a base layer that will wick away any moisture build up.  Most ice fishing suits are water proof, and wind proof too, so have on a warm secondary layer, and you should be packed for success.

Copyright, 2015

Posted in Ice Fishing | Leave a comment

Sonic Ice Hopper Sport for Sale (SOLD)



I am selling my Sonic Ice Hopper Sport for $20.00.  Can meet in the Monroe area, Bolles or Sterling. Or, will be taking it with me to sell at this weekend’s NAIFC tournament on Croton Dam Pond, in Newaygo.  Fits any Vexilar or Marcum units, up to a LX-5, and mounts to a five or six gallon bucket. Can email or message me on Facebook.




Copyright, 2015

Posted in Ice Fishing | Leave a comment

Navionics to the Rescue

IMG_20150130_095957988The tourney season is about to start for me, and a couple of weeks back I realized that my map chip/SD card didn’t have the lakes I would be fishing on this year. One in Michigan, and one in Indiana, so I started doing some research on which route I should go.  I consulted two respected anglers in the walleye world, called Navionics and asked some more questions,  took everyone’s pro’s and cons into consideration and made my choice.

Navionics + sounded like the best choice to make.  I can pick the lakes I want, and update for a whole year. If I want more lakes after that, I can continue to update it for another year by paying 50% off the MSRP price.  I should be able to sit down and pick my lakes in that first year, but I liked the idea of being able to go beyond what is basically a one year subscription.

Called up my local Cabela’s, asked for the marine department, and a very nice young associated looked up on the computer and said they had one in their system.  Having worked a little bit in the retail outdoor world, I asked him to find and verify that indeed that “one” was in stock and call me back.  He did, it was, and I went to Dundee and picked it up.

I can now continue to use my Lowrance HDS-5m Chartplotter on either my quad or snowmobile and get open water quality, on a much bigger screen than any handheld device can offer.  To me that is huge, it is nearly impossible to read a small screen without continuously stopping to get a read on where you are at, much less read your waypoints!  It is a big advantage when traveling on unknown lakes, being able to read contours, waypoints, structure…etc.

The video’s available on Bass Pro’s website were a nice feature before making my purchase, just didn’t want to make the drive, when Cabela’s is literally in my backyard.

Copyright, 2015

Posted in Ice Fishing | Leave a comment