Archive for January, 2013

Woods-n-Water News: February Issue Mention

Monday, January 28th, 2013





Ice fishing with plastics definitely has a time and place in any angler’s approach to catching fish through the ice.  My favorite time of the day to use plastics is in the early morning at the first bite of the day.  Fish can be overly aggressive during the dawn’s first light and they will gobble up what normally would be considered an oversized bait for panfish.

Copyright, 2013

Back Channel Crappies

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Fished one of the back channel cricks off of Lake Erie yesterday for a few hours before dark, and every ten minutes or so the shiners would come under the hole and flood the bottom three feet on the Vexilar screen.  The bluegill we were catching got lost in the marks of baitfish.  Moved my Northland tungsten Jig up about two foot above the fray and it was game on for what turned into a nice mess of crappie.

They were following the baitfish through the back channel and when they saw the jig dancing above the bait they just hammered it. Some dove straight down and others popped the spring bobber on the way up. As soon as I got them on the ice, I had the line on my St. Croix on the way back down. Had a really nice flurry of action going on for the last two hours.

If your screen lights up and the gills shut down, give this tactic a whirl and you will be surprised at the results.


Copyright, 2013

6th Annual MI-OH Sportfishing Show @ the Monroe County Fairgrounds

Thursday, January 24th, 2013



It is that time of the year again, time for the MI-Ohio Sportfishing Expo at the Monroe County Fairgrounds this February 9th and 10th.

See new products like these “No Loss” Quick Change Clevises from Dutch Fork Custom Lures  (home of the plastic blades), sold through Angler’s Quest Tackle. You get the quick change capability you want, but never worry about losing a blade again.



You have to like the selection of accessories and tackle at Big Papa Sportfishing Products.  Bob really makes and sells some quality product and will have a nice booth display at the show.




Capt. Dan Boileau of Tight Line Charters will be there too. If you jig in the river, or down on the lake, he has the best selection of Fin-S plastic minnows and the famous “Wyandotte Wonder Worms”. My favorite is the metallic blue! Check out the line-up of T-Rex jigs too, designed for the Detroit River and to cut its current.


Domka Outdoors will be there with a huge selection of jigs, blades, and cranks, lots of new stuff and patterns from Dave this year.



My one place I have to stop at is the TJ’s Tackle booth.


Last year I went whole hog with the whole fluid bed set-up and absolutely LOVED it.  I had given up on powder paint years ago, the constant fluffing of the powder drove me crazy, but with the powder being in constant motion in the fluid bed, it made painting jigs a snap. I had to play with it right away, even though most of the jigging season was over with by that time, but look how good these jigs came out, ready for some hair and the spring bite down on Erie!


This year my big purchase from TJ’s is going to be the powder paint air gun, for a little fine tuning on blade baits and bottom bouncers.


Captain Jay will be there too, with new blade baits at his If n When Charters booth.  Hard to go fishing on Erie in the spring without a fine selection of his blade baits!



See you there, at the Monroe County Fairgrounds, inside the MB&T Expo Center!  Come support a great group of anglers that put on the show every year, the Huron Valley SportFishing Club.  Let them know with your support, that having a fishing show in our own backyard, on the greatest walleye lake in the world is awesome!

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Sponsors Pull Out of the Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

In response to the show organizers not allowing sales of so called “black guns”, major sponsors and celebrity speakers have pulled out of the Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Here is an excellent post by fellow blogger CarrieZ:


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Downriver Walleye Federation Seminar Tonight

Monday, January 21st, 2013

2700 Westfield Rd, Trenton, MI 48183-2443

Tonight I have been invited by the Downriver Walleye Federation to give a seminar on ice fishing.  Will be concentrating on walleye fishing, but also will be touching on all things ice fishing from equipment to techniques. For non members there will be a $5 fee at the door, I have to be there at 6:30 to set up, so thinking the meeting starts at 7pm Walleye Blades: some old faves and a couple of new twists

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

There are fishing companies, and then there are those who just produce good product locally.  One of my favorite local companies is definitely D&B Fishing located in Algonac, Michigan.  I was just up at the Ultimate Fishing Show in Novi, MI and had a little time before the doors opened to the public to hit their booth to see what was new in their product line-up.

Being a walleye guy, I went right to their spinner blade section and these are the ones I got to get started in gearing up for the 2013 season.


The place was packed so I did not get a chance to talk to Kathy, one of the owners so I will just guess or give you the best description of the blades.  From left to right;  going to call this a junebug pattern (half purple/half antifreeze), bottom a muffin pattern, top center, an antifreeze mixed veggies, and to the far right, my fave blade…..Maui Waui.

I had to reload on my favorite blue blade from D&B, Maui Waui has been one of the most consistent blades in my box over the past four years.  Any type of muffin pattern in a must in your box!  I have to admit, definitely a sucker for anything antifreeze, and when you mix it with purple and orange dots, that bug pattern should work all year-long.  Same goes for the AF mixed veggies, its got all the good colors going for it.

Copyright, 2013

Walleye Ghost Blades: Do You Prefer Copper or Plastic?

Monday, January 14th, 2013

I wanted to make the title a twist on the age-old question at the grocery store, “Do you prefer paper or plastic?” So I gave it a little Lake Erie twist and made copper a choice for an angler’s preference of what type of spinner blades  are preferred.  Plastic on the other hand, is the main focus of this piece and it could be developing into a serious question for walleye fisherman to ponder.

At the Novi “Ultimate Fishing Show” this weekend I stopped by the Dutch Fork Custom Lures booth and checked out their line-up of Ghost Blades.  If you have not heard of them before, you might be one of the last to do so.  I first heard of the painted clear plastic blades early last year, and the two reliable sources I know, have had good success on them on both Lake Erie, and Saginaw Bay.

I picked up these blades to try out in sizes #5, #6 and #8:




It was explained to me that each lure takes on a different look depending on the bead combination that the fisherman uses behind the blade.  It makes perfect sense, since the blades are made from clear plastic and even on the ones painted completely, they stay pretty translucent and the colors will come through.  The fact that they are so light in weight was the other major selling point. They will allow an angler to drag the bottom without picking up so many zebra muscles. I will pop a few of these on this spring and see if we can land a few more 10 to 13 pounders that we hooked into this fall.  I already have a few more colors picked out to order off their website.




Truth be told, and if you have been reading for a while, you already know I probably will not be waiting until after the first trials to place the order.  If you have not started tying for the 2013 walleye season, do not get too late of a start, April and May will be here before you know it.  I started tearing down my leftover harnesses last night after getting back from two days at Novi working at the Frank’s Great Outdoors ice fishing area.  It’s around the corner, and as soon as the cranks, blade baits and hair jig bite is done, it will be meat dragging time again!

Copyright, 2013


Mounting an Auger to Your ATV

Friday, January 11th, 2013

This year I got a new auger rack from Johnson Cargo Systems for the old Polaris ATV. Love it, this thing is built like a tank and powder coated to boot.  I had a little work to do to when attaching it to the back  rack, I had to take the composite rack off in order to mount the back plates for support.

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It worked great while mounting the new Jiffy Pro 4 propane auger with the six-inch drill assembly.  I also took the time to realize that that the auger mount had to be set up this way, because of the safety light I have attached to my rear tote.  Not only will it work with the six-inch drill, but when I hit the big water like Saginaw Bay, I can quickly attach the 10 inch drill assembly and have plenty of clearance.

Johnson’s Cargo Systems also makes additional rack systems for the ATV’s:  If I didn’t tow my Clam shacks, would be all over the shelter rack for my Fish Trap Pro’s.

This little honey of a rack also mounts to the rear of your quad….


With this rack you can load up your shanty up on the top section, and enclose your buckets on the bottom!

If you have a snowmobile, not to worry, Johnson’s makes racks for those machines too.

I couldn’t save some of the pictures for the sled assemblies, but here is the link to the site’s photo gallery with more pics of the snowmobiles, and some additional ones for the ATV’s, as well.

You can see my quad this Saturday at the Ultimate Fishing Show in Novi, MI.  I will be working with Frank’s Great Outdoors with their Ice Fishing Extravaganza area and doing two seminars on Saturday. Come talk about Ice Team, Clam, Vexilar, St. Croix rods, Jiffy Augers (check out my Pro 4, propane auger), FishCounter, Northland Tackle and more on Johnson’s Cargo Systems!

Copyright, 2013

How to Spool an Ice Fishing Reel

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

When it comes to ice fishing there are many types of reels being used.  When it comes to panfish reels the issue is this, you only need about 30 yards of line to get the job done, and that is for a whole season’s worth of fishing!  The key is to back the reel with line before you put on your ice fishing line.

Why take the time to back fill your reel when you can just spool on the ice line?  It’s all about gear ratio.  Everyone knows about gear ratio when it comes to spinning and baitcasting reels, but even on the simplest of reels like a Schooley, line pick up speed comes into play.  The more full your reel is, the faster the retrieval will be.

My solution is the frugal choice,  and one of my late mother’s favorite words to boot.   Besides doing things on the cheap is the ice fishing way :)  I literally take whatever line I have left lying around in the shop and will back fill my reels with anything from 2 lb test to 40 lb depending on ease of use.  Lets face it, trying to spool 30 lb filler on a teeny, tiny spinning reel is a recipe for disaster, the coiling of the line alone makes it a big headache.  Four or 6 lb test is much simpler to use.

Taking two of my new Genz Ice Spooler reels from Clam, I found some 25 lb solar green stuff bought at Meijer’s during one of their seasonal sales.  Hooked everything up to the spooling station and spooled up enough to cover about 3/4 ths of the spools capacity.  I actually could have gone more in retrospect, but it serves the purpose.


Next I took a foot of black electrical tape, and cut it length wise down the middle into two equal strips.  While holding the bright solar green line tight, I carefully wound the tape over it.  This provides a good surface for the ice line (Suffix Ice Magic) to dig into, while spooling thirty or so yards onto the reel.  If you have some spinning reels dedicated just to ice fishing for panfish, this method can also work on those kind of reels as well.  You use up leftover line in the shop/house, while being able to spool 3 to four reels with one, 100 yard spool of ice line.  Makes sense, dollars and cents!

Copyright, 2013