Archive for May, 2007

Take the Jet, or thow on a Disc

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

Have you ever heard of a Lil’ Diver, Jet Diver, Mini-Disc or Dipsey Diver?  All are tools that an angler can use to take their favorite shallow crankbait, spoon and crawler harness down to a desired depth.  Like the bottom bouncer, all can be used instead of a downrigger system,  and allowing for more versatility.

The Fishlander Lil’ Diver is a 2″ disc that is similiar to both the 1, 3/4″ Mini-Disc from Big Jon and the Luhr Jensen Dipsey DiversDiver which comes in multiple sizes.  The Jet Diver, also from Luhr Jensen, comes in several sizes as well. 

The various sizes of the dipsey and jet allow you to take a bigger bite out of the water as you increase the size of the diver.  At some point you have to figure in the trolling speed, possible depth of fish and depth of the water in choosing which sizes you want to use while fishing.  The larger Dipsey Divers are extremely poplular when fishing for salmon and trout species in Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior.

I always seem to buy things to get started, and later seem to find a better mousetrap later on.  Sometimes I can come up with something that I can make myself for less money that is just as effective, but molding plastic just isn’t in my future plans. 

So with all the the different types of divers out there,  what would I pick up for the Plano box to get started?  I would start with the Lil’ Divers from Fishlander.  Like the Big Jon Mini and Dipsey (most models), they have a swivel plate with a weight at the bottom.  This is to control the direction you want the diver to take, straight, port (left), starboard (right) or shallow.  Weight forward for deep/straight, shift to the left if you want to go port, and to the right if you want it to swing starboard away from the boat.  Reverse the weight to the rear if you want the diver to run shallow,  which is good for spring time walleye while using spoons and cranks before the eyes head for deeper water.

So why the Fishlander model, because they come in a 2″ clear model.  Its also easier to find in the stores than the Big Jon two inch disc.  Running depth is easy to remember as well.  When your boat speed is 1.8 to 2.5 mph, depending on your line diameter, you can translate one foot down for every 2 ft of line you let out quickly.  So if the fish are 20 ft down, you let out 40 ft of line.  Running depth bottoms out between 40 and 45 feet.  The clear plastic make up  also allows for a tapestealth approach, or a quick change of colors by using the stickers provided, or ones you cut out yourself.

Jet Divers can be purchased in a variety of colors, including clear.  Most commonly the sizes 20 and 30 are used for walleye, while the 40 and 50 are used for the salmonoid species. Size 10 can be useful during early spring fishing to target suspended fish in roughly give or take 15 foot of water.  Jets tend to run truer in rougher water, but don’t have the ability to swing away from the boat like the round divers.  Best applications are on planer boards are directly behind the boat.

Handy thing to have right in with your divers is a small phillips screwdriver,  most of the small discs are adjusted on the bottom with a small set screw.

good luck

WWA Tournament @ Bolles Harbour Sunday

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

The World Walleye Association will be having a walleye tournament launching from Bolles Harbour on May 20th.  Its a two person team event.  For more information you can go to their website, .


Knot Page

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Here is another good website for directions on how to tie a variety of knots, and not just those for fishing either.  Best part is that there is animated instructions to follow.

Erie Fishing Report

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

Provided by the guys at Matthews Baitshop.

Easy limit catches of 3 to 4 pound Walleyes are being taken in 12 to 15′ of water in the Brest Bay area. Limits are being taken in 20′ of water off of the raisin river. Trolling with jets (Luhr Jensen Jet Divers) and spoons (Jr’s and Scorpion spoons)  or bottom bouncing crawler harnesses are producing best!

Nice catches of Perch are beginning to come in from 15′ of water in Brest Bay as well.

Good Luck & Good Fishing!!

Thanks Captain Mike.

FLW walleye on Fox Sports

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

Just found out, if you want to catch some walleye action on the Detroit River, you’ve got a half hour to get to the TV.  Fox Sports Detroit will have  coverage from the FLW tourney that was held on the Detroit River out of Elizabeth Park a few weeks ago.  11 am.  Its late notice, but should be worth tuning in to see.  Has got to be better than the “Redfish” edition they have been airing lately.

The Newest Mason

Friday, May 11th, 2007

My neice was born Wednesday night, at Monroe Mercy.  Her name is Helaina, plan on calling her Lani.  Congrats to my brother Scott and his wife, Michelle,  and dad and mom who finally got their grandchild.


Fishing Mudlines

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

With all the rain yesterday, here is one of the better tricks in catching walleye out on Lake Erie.  Before the lake gets to be like chocolate milk,  look for those mudlines when fishing.  Whats a mudline?  Its a 5 ft to 20 yd swath of muddy looking water that comes out into the lake from the cricks, creeks, canals and rivers into Lake Erie.

Why bother to fish them?  Because all kinds of food is thrown out into the lake from discharged water after a heavy rainfall.  Worms, crawlers and bugs are all there,  and when the fish come looking,  they will find the food up and down the water column.

You can troll up and down the sides with suspended baits.  Casting Weapons, Erie Dearies, Nuggets and other weight forward spinners works well, too.  Let sink by counting down to various depths and bring back at a slow steady retrieve. Just fast enough to get the spinners/blades to turn.

Gearing up for the Bass Season

Monday, May 7th, 2007

I’ll be the first to admit,  with so many species of fish available to anglers in Michigan,  bass are not really high on my list  to target.  They fall only slightly higher than sliver bass, cats and carp in priority,  and I haven’t EVER targeted the bottom three.  Seriously this is the Great North, where God has given us the whitefish, pike, walleye, perch, bluegill and crappie to eat. If I really want to go fishing for something that I can throw back, muskies rule.

My cousin’s son wants to be a tournamnet bass angler,  so she calls me from time to time with questions on how to go about acheiving the goal.  Perhaps even fishing with him the first year or so, just to get adjusted to the level of skill needed.  Even with all my suggestions about targeting walleye,  with all the associations and clubs here in the state, he is bound and determined to chase those green and bronze fish for a living.

So the other day I am up in the shop, going through the gear.  Have to admit, I just might be too much of a fish head for my own good, ’bout the only thing I don’t have are the new goby style plastics that have come out in the last couple of years.  Who knew when they invaded the Great Lakes, that those darn smallies would just eat them up.

So what do you need to get started bass fishing, probably less than what is in the shop,  but it is a good starting point to refer back too.  There are crankbaits that run shallow, dive deep and suspend.  Most of the suspending baits are also jerkbaits.  Topwater baits that include wobbler, poppers, buzzbaits and floaters.  Spinnerbaits for shallow and deep, slow and fast. Plastic trailers and jigs for deep water bites, flippin’ and pitchin’.  More plastics for rigging and dropshoting.  Then rods and reels, hooks and line, weights…..there probably is more to the list, but I will quit right there!

Start with a few rods and reels to accurately and effectively toss baits that can be 1/16th of an ounce all the way up to an ounce or more.  Actions will be from light to heavy on the rods. Reels will have six to 25 lb monofilament, with braids up to 50 lb in strength.Bass rod setups Your lighter lines will be predominitely be used with spinning reels,  although a dropshot rig on casting reel works, as well.




What lures are there to choose from to fish for bass, answer is TOO MANY.  Many of the bass lures that were used 40 yrs ago are the basis for many of the lures we use for pike and muskie today.  They are just a little bit bigger is all.  In warmer weather climates like those in  California and Florida, many of the muskie baits are being turned into bass baits. Warmer water equals more active bass, more active bass equal larger bass, and the term bucket mouth really isn’t a stretch when discussing largemouths.

Cranks are an universal bait for many species, and they apply to bass as well.  The newest generation of baits have come from Northland and Storm in recent years, plastic molded suspending baits.  Jigheads made of resin for the weight and made to look like lifelike fish.bass cranks  If you are just starting out, get a selection of shallow to medium to deep diving baits. Some that susupend and others that sink and rattle.



Bass PlasticsWith the large slections of plastics available, you cannot go wrong with any of your selections if applied to the right circumstances.  There are worms and twisters, lizards and crawfish,  and the faithful tube.

Spinnerbaits are probably the most commonly used bait for bass fishing.  Choose the right weights, colors and blades to match the tactics you are using to catch the fish.  Shallow water, lighter weight for control.  Heavy and willow blades for fast moving fish and those suspended.spinnerbaits  Deep down and cold water conditions, pick heavy and colorado blades for slow rolling.





Bass Jigs and TrailersOne of the more unique baits to bass fishing is the use of the jig.  Doesn’t look anything like the standard jig used for walleye or crappie.  Usually accompanied with a piece of plastic or pork for some extra flash at the tail.  Supposedly to mimic crayfish, the jig n pig set up can be pitched, twitched and flipped into cover or along the edge before a drop off.  Make sure you bring a towel, because the stuff they spray on their plastics, well, it just don’t smell right!

TopwaterHave said it before, and will say it again, topwater is a blast!!!  Is there a more effective way to target bass? Maybe, is there another more fun for the angler, nope!  Its one thing to see a fish take a swipe at your bait in clear water below the surface, its another thing to watch the water explode as a bass goes after your lure.  Watch them wobble, wiggle, pop, walk and buzz through the weeds and pads, where you might think it too thick for a fish to be, and just wait for it!

Kind of remember now why I do have all this bass gear.  Hard to beat a day fishing for anything, but when the challenge is there,  the fire gets going.  Think I hear a fishing show on the tube, good luck !

April Showers bring May….Crawlers???

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

Its Monday night, and there is thunder in the background.  Ever get tired of paying two sometimes three dollars a dozen for night crawlers?  Here is a simple solution for the young at heart,  go pick your own!

Nights like tonight are the perfect weather conditions, hard rain, ground soaking with expected let up around midnight. All you need is a flashlight and coffee can.  Ok, so that is just to get started, but you really wont need much more than that.  And with what you spend in one year to get started, will last you years and years to come.

Here’s what you need to get started,  one or several bait containers, worm food and bedding.  Also doesnt hurt to have an understanding mom, girlfriend or wife.  An extra fridge helps too.

Its good to have the bedding wetted and in the container before you actually go out picking on a rainey night.  Not too wet, just follow the directions on the bedding bag.  Frabill and Magic make a good paper product.  Same companies make the containers and the food, too.  You can choose from several varieties, including these old style Bait Canteens, which are still in productions.  Styrofoam ranch models are also available,  all in different sizes to match your needs and ambition.

Once you have your catch, place in the paper material, and then into the fridge to keep cool.  Once a week check for wetness, sprinkle food on top of mixture and then turn box upside down and shake.  Not exactly sure on the how and why, but a weekly shake up of the material has produced the best results since I was in ol’ Ida High, some 22 yrs ago.

With proper care, you should be able to sustain your crawlers or even leaf worms well into the fall.  You may need to change the bedding once or twice as needed.  The crawlers I had from last year went into the compost pile last November, and the leaf worms just went in last month.  Way back when, it wasnt uncommon to get 30 to 50 dozen in one night.  A couple of nights like that should last you a whole season.

*Hint, if you spray for dandilions, forget about it.  You’ll be buying your crawlers for that year.  If you can hold off until you have some in the fridge, do it.  The spray either kills them off or drives them from the area.