Archive for the ‘Walleye Fishing’ Category

Time to Get into the Spring of Things: Big Eye Spring Baits

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Tis that time of the year, despite the snow and ice hanging on by a thread under the pine trees, it is time to gear up for spring walleye fishing on the Great Lakes. I have hauled the shanties upstairs and lugged the tackle bags full of cranks downstairs.  Jigging boxes are ready to get tuned up, and there will be many nights of snelling crawler harnesses in the near future.

Big Eye Custom Lures Deep Husky Jerks

Big Eye Custom Lures Deep Husky Jerks


One of the things I will be doing is putting an order in with some more Big Eye Custom Lures.  I have one or five patterns that I want to get this year. The standard colors on the website produce some really nice fish like this 12 lber caught on a Purple Craw.

Purple Craw

Purple Craw


I had to get this color last year, and six of them too, Redhead Wonderbread, and this year will be load up with another half dozen of Chartreuse head Wonderbread.  They are both Lake Erie staples in both the spring and fall when rigging up the St. Croix’s.


The bad thing, or really good thing is you look at it with the right frame of mind, Big Eye added Willow Blades this year.


There are three things I really like about these willows, first off they come in gold blades.  Gold is just starting to get really hard to find and it works on Erie.  Second thing I like about willows is running them up high in the water column, they give the fish a bigger profile to see.  I also like running them over deep water suspended roughly halfway down. They tend to call fish in from the bottom with their longer size.

Finally the last thing I want to get is some #4 blades for drifting and dragging spinner rigs down on the bottom.  Often when the sun is high, the fish are low, so get down with them and mix it up in their strike zone! Besides, Big Eye added a hot new “Blossom” pattern, which means I will need to get some #6′s in those too.


Those and a few more baits that I already picked up at the Ultimate Fishing Show in Novi, and the MI-OH Sportfishing show here in Monroe, I will be plenty busy getting ready for the first trolling bites of the 2014 Season

Copyright, 2014







The EZ (store) Concept Applied to Planer Boards

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014


It may not look like it, but spring is technically here, and mother nature should start acting accordingly before you know it. She better, I spent the better part of two days hauling the ice fishing gear upstairs and started getting the open water walleye gear in order.  One of the first things I did was put on the new for 2014, EZ Store tow arm clips from Church Tackle. This year I will be running the TX-22 boards, so that was one of the first projects to get done before snelling all those crawler harnesses with Big Eye Custom Lures new spinner blades.  Will show the new blades off in an article coming soon,will call it a “What’s New for 2014″ kind of thing.

Why convert the standard board’s tow arm to the EZ-Store clips?  Because dealing with tow arms is more than cumbersome, they poke out, get snagged on everything and in general …. are a pain in the arse!  With a slight twist of a screwdriver the tow arms now come off quickly and can easily be put back together and installation is a breeze!


The EZ-Store’s can also be installed on the Walleye Boards, but I put them on the TX-22′s.  The nice thing about the -22′s is that you can quickly reverse the boards to ride on either side of the boat.  When putting the clips on the boards, the first thing you need to do is separate your boards by port (left) and starboard (right) like in the picture above.


First put on the back plate.  It is a simple process; make sure you have the lock nut placed underneath squarely, then drive in the two screws. Take the cover plate that will secure the tow arm, and place a washer on a small bolt, and screw the bolt into the lock nut.  Leave some slack.

IMG_20140323_184554_905 Once installed, slide the tow arm that comes with the board into the newly created slot. Then tighten the bolt down, it forms a vise like clamp, and holds the tow arm securely.  You can slide the arm out with relative ease.


You can see in the picture that the Double Action Flag Kits have already been installed.  You can either set them up for having the flag go up with a fish on, or the flag go down when a fish hits your bait.  I prefer the flag to ride in an upright position and then have it go down with a fish on.  The main reason is that the board is easier to see, not only for myself in bigger waves, but for other boats to see my boards and lines as well.  Nothing is worse than having a boat coming straight in your direction, not see your lines and cutting what could amount to the loss of $100 dollars or more worth of equipment.

To see a video of the TX-22, EZ-Store and the Planer Board Double Action Flag Kits, check out these video available on

Copyright, 2014




Church Tackle’s TX-007 Stern Planer, with a Rattle Modification

Monday, March 24th, 2014

stern planer prototype2


Church Tackle made a big splash in 2013 with the introduction of their TX-007 Stern Planer. The -007 allows anglers to target fish that you are seeing below the boat with your fish finder.  No longer is bracketing the sides of the boat with boards your only option.  The stern planer allows you to drift your baits back, far away from the noise of the engine and the shadow of your boat.

stern planer diagram

A good friend and fellow Church Pro Staffer, Steve Berry made an early observation that proved quite effective.  He thought of making it a rattling planer.  I converted a couple of them and started catching fish right away last season.


Making your -007 into a Rattlin’ Stern Planer is quite simple.  Church designed the planer with a small plug to add water for balancing the buoyancy while in the water. Easier to detect bites, ride better in the water…etc.  Just remove that small plug and add 12 to 15 BB’s, and then put the plug back into the rear of the planer.  I used a spoon to work around the plug when removing it, so as to not damage the plug.


For easier identification  I take a black Sharpie permanent marker and write a letter “R” for rattling on the back of the planers I have modified.  Yes it is pretty easy to tell that you have modified an TX-007 when you pick it up, but when you have a few together, the “R” just makes it easy to just grab it and attach it to your line.  In the picture below, you will also see the hole where the plug goes back in after you have placed the BB’s inside.


Once you are done with the BB’s and put the plug back into the planer, you are ready to fish.  When you have a fish on the other end, the rattling noise increases and actually makes it easier to detect the bites.  When using the rattling -007′s, the type of rod you choose to fish with can also help detect these bites and that is why I choose to fish with a softer downrigger rod.  The rod will telegraph the action of a fish on the other end of the line.


With a season of using the Rattlin’ TX-007 Stern Planers in the books, the experiment was a big success.  Four out of every six fish we caught came on the rattlers versus the unmodified  stern planers.  A new thought just occurred to me, looking back, that was all in what could be called deep water, 20 ft or deeper.  It could be that in the shallower water, say 14 to 16 foot of water, during the spring bite, that the rattlers could possibly spook fish.  Good thing I have an equal number of each and should not have to worry!

Edit Note:  I was just asked where you can buy the TX-007′s online and in retail stores…

I believe they are available at Franks Great Outdoors, but are not listed on the website, call ahead if you are in the area.  The reverse goes with Cabela’s, they are available online, but not sure if they are in the Dundee or other Michigan stores yet.

Copyright, 2014

Late Ice can be the BEST Ice, but….

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

… your step!


Even though late season ice fishing can be incredibly hot, it like the early season is also the most dangerous time you can be out on the hard water.  That is why I carry the Jiffy Deluxe Mille Lacs Ice Chisel, or what is commonly called a spud here in Michigan.  Although many consider how much an item weighs when they go ice fishing, trying to keep it down to minimum when walking or dragging equipment, here is a case of heavier is better.  Yes, there are cheaper and lighter weight spuds on the market, but when walking on the ice you want as much weight as possible when checking the ice in front of you.  A lighter weight spud might barely go into rotten ice, but the heavier Deluxe model will give you a true indication of just how safe the ice is in front of you.

Also if you are braving the big water for one last trip, this spud can save your life in another way.  Imagine riding your quad, side by side, or snowmobile and your heading out or heading back to shore and you come up to a crack in the ice.  Take the extra few minutes, get off your machine of choice, and use the chisel to check the ice on both sides of the crack for thickness before crossing!  Also, once you do that, please do not “slow roll” your machine over the cracks, get a decent start and have some momentum built up when you cross over it.  Even though you checked it, it is far better to be safe, than sorry.

Copyright, 2014

The 7th Annual Michigan-Ohio Sportfishing Expo…THIS WEEKEND….

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

….February 8th and 9th!

With another snow storm about to hit tomorrow, you just cannot help but love this winter and all the ice fishing it has to offer!  BUT, it is the show season and despite the winter weather, it is not too early to start thinking about this upcoming open water fishing that our states have to offer. I love going to Novi for the Ultimate Fishing Show, lets face it, it has everything an angler could want. I must admit though, I like MI-OH Sportfishing expo even more!

The Expo, held in the MB&T Expo Center at the Monroe County Fairgrounds, has everything I want to see! From product to guest speakers and seminars, it’s all about fishing Michigan and Ohio waters….locally!  From the Saginaw Bay down to the Detroit River, and the waters of Lake Erie’s Western Basin…these are the waters that you and I fish all year-long!  Why not get the gear, lures and boats that match our style of fishing. I hope everyone comes out to support the local show, or we might not have one in the future, and it is a great resource right in our own backyard.  Lets face it, from Trenton to Jackson, from Monroe to Port Clinton, this show covers everything walleye, bass, and salmon that you would need to either get started, or improve your catch rates already.

The Huron Valley Sportfishing Club is proud to present the 2014 Mich-Ohio Sportfishing Expo, Feb. 8th & 9th in the MBT Expo Center at the Monroe County Fairgrounds

7th Annual Mich-Ohio Sportfishing Expo Presented by: Huron Valley Sportfishing Club

Feb 8th 9am-6pm & Feb 9th 9am-4pm @ MBT Expo Center, Monroe, MI $5.00 Admission

• Tackle deals from Local and Major vendors  • 2100 sq ft of boats  • Food and soft drinks available  • Professional Charter captains  • Crawler harness tying demos  • Over 100 tables ONE ON ONE SESSIONS WITH LOCAL BASS & WALLEYE PROS !!Fishing information at a family oriented fishing expo!!! Free Parking Free Fishing Seminars Kids 12 and under FREE Free Door Prizes—must be present to win Free Fishing Simulator Free Walleye Lure –to the first 100 paid admissions Sat. and Sun.


Capt. Dan Boileau- Detroit River Walleye

Jerome Dorlack and the Reel Naughty Team- Trophy Walleye All Season Long

Capt. Matt Sell- Trolling Crawler Harnesses

Matt Vermilyea- Bass Fishing Lake Erie

Capt. Brian Woodard- Trolling Crankbaits

Capt. Greg Warsow & Jerry Hinton- Perching the Detroit River and Lake Erie

SPONSORS Brest Bay Marina             Fisherman’s Cave Bait & Tackle

Don’t have a boat, no problem!  Some of the best charter captains for both the Detroit River and Lake Erie will be there!  These guys make their living on the river and lake, if they don’t catch fish, they go out of business, so they all keep on top of their game to give you the best trip/fishing experience possible! I just looked at the list of people coming, and I better add catfishing to the list of target species, these guys have everything at the show!

If you do have a boat, the product booths will be where you need to go.  This year they have everything to choose from, whether its cranks, spoons, blades, jig or tubes, bass, salmon or walleye, you can definitely add some goodies to your fishing arsenal!



ABC Seamless- Specializing in premium custom home improvements for over 30 years including seamless steel siding, premium metal roofing, retractable awnings, windows, and more.

American Legion Post #224

Amish Outfitters-Why Knot Charters- Manufacturers of the “Buggy Bag” – marketing trolling bags, drift socks, tackle bags and organizers and operating a charter service by Capt. Frank Kittrick.

Angler’s Quest Charters/Angler’s Quest Tackle – Owned and operated by Capt. Paul Doute. Offering educational charters on the Detroit River and Lake for  walleye and perch. Manufacturer of unique foam storage solutions for the fishing industry. Online retailer for Dutch Fork Custom Lures Ghost Blades,  and Custom Angler inline weights and spinner blades. Walleye101 Seminar  speaker. or

*Home of the Ghost Blades and a great captain!


Big Papa Sportfishing Products LLC - Offering trolling bags, tackle storage, rod holders, downriggers, spoon and harness blades in addition to other tackle items. Also offering custom embroidery, vinyl graphics, hats, shirts, banners and custom fishing shirts.

From cranks, blades, storage, and bags, Bob Bell from Big Papa Sportfishing has it! Plus stop by the booth and talk to Brian Woodward, a pro who uses it all!


Brest Bay MarinaA full service marina on Lake Erie near Newport, Michigan, offering dockage, rack and launch, winter storage, full service repair shop, gasoline, pump outs, parts and accessories, bait, tackle, ice and snacks.

Cabela’s  Sponsoring our popular “Ask Your Local Pro” promotion, with local bass and walleye pro anglers, and exhibiting some of their most popular fishing boats by Ranger and Alumacraft in addition to their line of the latest and greatest in electronics.

Catfish Andy’s Guide ServiceOperated by Andy Brennan, offering guided trips on the Maumee River for flathead catfish. Andy has been a catfish enthusiast for 25 years and has spent the last ten years pursuing flatheads on the mighty Maumee. Trips are available from late April to late October. Check out his website at

Cisco Fishing Systems - An internationally recognized brand name supplier of Premier Trolling Products and Accessories including downriggers, rod holders, planer board masts, electronics mounting systems, track and gimbal mounted systems from a first class company based in Cleveland, Ohio. They specialize in high quality, advanced techniques and top notch customer service. For more details, visit their website at

Dr Bugs Charters  -Offers perch and walleye fishing trips operating out of Wild Wings Marina April thru mid-Sept and then moves to the Huron Boat Basin until Nov 1. Capt. Dave has 21 years of charter experience and has fished the lake since the late 70′s. He is the 2013 recipient of the Lake Erie Charter Captain of the Year award for Ohio, and will be offering a special April rate for the walleye jig fishing season. Check him out at

Domka OutdoorsQuality handcrafted tackle manufacturer and creator of the original tight line rig. They carry walleye harnesses, spoons, spoon harnesses, jigs, and custom painted Husky Jerks.

You have to support local talent, and Dave Domka is one!  From custom cranks to blade baits, the booth will have it ready for your spring needs.


Downriver Walleye Federation- DWF was organized to unite walleye fishermen that ply the Detroit River and Lake Erie, for the purpose of exchanging ideas and information about perhaps the finest walleye fishing in the world.

Economical Bass Baits – Mizmo BaitsOwned and operated by local Bass Pro Matt Vermillyea, featuring spinners, jigs, terminal tackle, weights, hooks and a large selection of soft plastic baits, including the Mizmo Bait brand. Matt is one of the Mich-Ohio Sportfishing Expo’s featured “Ask Your Local Pro” participants that any attendee can approach for some one on one time with a real Local Professional Bass Fisherman.

Edgemaker Knives

Everdry Waterproofing With custom tailored solutions, innovative products and a one on one approach in dealing with homeowners, their basement waterproofing team will help you create a safe dry and liveable space in your basement.

Fish and Game Finder Magazine – One of the premier hunting and fishing publications serving Ohio and Southern Michigan. See our show advertisement on newstands and tackle shops or Contact them at 

Friends of the Detroit River - Their mission is to enhance the environmental, educational, economic, cultural and recreational opportunities associated with the Detroit River watershed through citizen involvement and community action.

Gale Force Tackle - Gale Force Tackle is a Michigan family run business with over 25 years of fishing experience who supplies a complete line of custom painted spoons, harness blades and kits for walleye, salmon and steelhead.

Great Day Improvements/Patio Enclosures- Your one stop shop for all your home improvement needs and the exclusive manufacturer and installer of custom built Patio Enclosures brand sunrooms, screen rooms, and solariums. Newest to our line of products is Stanek vinyl windows- synonymous with quality and style. With over 100 years experience and a lifetime limited warranty on all products, every day can be a Great Day!

Great Lakes Art- A small Michigan based company. We hand pick all of our wood so it’s the best. Then, its turned on a lathe, by hand. Our finally project could be a lighthouse, a bowl, a tree, snowman or even a bouy or bobber. We look forward to bringing our lathe and talent to the Mich-Ohio sports fishing expo. Please feel free to stop by and say hi and watch a demonstration.

Happy Days Boating Company -  Authorized dealer for Sportcraft, Parker, Striper, Tidewater and Rinker boats, as well as Yamaha, Evinrude and Suzuki Outboard engines, and Mercruiser and Volvo I/O and Inboard Power systems,  located in Port Clinton, Ohio. The Happy Days team will have new boats on display, and will also have information and photos of their large selection of used and brokerage boats and accessories.

Hawghunter Baits – A local company that produces some of the finest custom soft plastics for bass,walleye, and pan fish. We offer expert color matching and excellent customer service. We have over 17 different baits in over 40 colors. We work with you the angler to give you what you want.

Hot Hooker Fishingis a fishing clothier. As a new player in the industry we can offer logo merchandise of any kind for you to show off your inner Hooker. We are currently carrying men’s and women’s t-shirts and can coozies, with the availability to order just about any item you desire. Grab Your Pole and show everyone you are a Hot Hooker.

The Huron River Fishing Association- A club group dedicated to fishing the Huron River out of Flat Rock, Mich., specializing in river fly fishing. Contact Ed McCarter at They will also be making and distributing a special “Dragon Fly” and soliciting donations for the Cancer Prevention Cause. The hand tied flies are made and given away and used to help raise spirits during weekly chemotherapy treatments.

If -N – When Charters / Captain Jay’s Blade Baits  – Operated by Capt. Jay Nieman, offering fishing charters specializing in springtime blade bait walleye fishing, but also any method throughout the year. They also offer a custom blade bait lure selection, worm harnesses and ice fishing lures.

You might not know Jay Nieman personally, but if you fish Lake Erie in the spring, you know his baits, simply referred to as Captain Jay’s, and these blade baits catch walleye:


Jar Head Salsa & Tortilla Chip Co. – Headquartered in Flint, MI, this premium salsa was created by Gunnery Sgt David Smith, USMC(Ret). Gunny Smith was responsible for feeding 3000 Marines a day for much of his 20 yr career, including 2 tours of Iraq. By purchasing his products you are helping to support Veterans, since Jar Head donates 10% of their gross revenue to the VFW! Common reaction to trying his product? “This is the best salsa I’ve ever tasted!”

Michigan DNR - Have questions about fishing laws or invasive species controls and programs? These are the folks to ask!

Michigan Outdoor News - is the #1 local Hunting & Fishing publication in the Great Lakes Region. Everything related to hunting, fishing, conservation and outdoor activities all in one publication. Our local Outdoor columnists and writers keep you up to date every two weeks, instead of once a month like most.

Monroe Art Studio

Ohio Division of Watercraft - The friendly staff of Ohio Conservation officers will be on hand to answer any of your questions regarding boating and fishing regulations. They are good people to know in case of problems on the water!

Ready 2 Tackle Charters - Operated by Capt. Todd Robbins,  one of our seminar speakers last year, with his custom line of walleye lures and baits. Capt. Todd also offers his special type of charter trips utilizing his 20+ years of experience.

Sit Means Sit Dog Training-   We provide basic & advanced obedience specializing in off leash control around severe distractions. We also address behavior issues including aggression. Contact us at 734-347-8228 for a FREE in-home demo/evaluation to discuss your training goals.

Slide Diver

Tackle Junky-  supplies a large variety of custom painted crank baits and Colorado blades. Now offering J.T Custom Tackle patterns on Husky Jerks sizes 6-14.  Most custom crank baits are available in deep and shallow dive versions, Shad Raps, and Visions. Whether trolling on Erie or bass fishing your favorite lake we have a bait to change your fate.

I know these guys, when I needed some special blades for a tourney once, if the painting took too long, they were ready to drive them down to me here in Monroe! I really can’t say much more than that, well I can actually…at the show there will be for the first time, fourteen new patterns on their cranks!


Tiger Quill Images  Providing vinyl graphics for boats and charter services, brag boards for dockside charters, full boat graphics and painting, stripe replacement and logo design since 1989. Jennie will be cutting vinyl graphics and MC numbers at the show, so bring your boat info!

Tight Line Tackle – Tight Line Charters - Operated by Capt. Dan Boileau, specializing in custom walleye tackle for the Detroit River and Lake Erie, and offering perch and walleye charters on the Detroit River and Lake Erie. Member of the Lockeman’s Boats and Evinrude E-TEC Pro Staff.

First met Captain Dan Boileau right at Sterling State Park one fall during one of the late November bites a few years back.  What a nice person and a wealth of knowledge about both the lake and the river.  His T-Rex  jigs are made for the Detroit River and he has all the worms and minnows you need to rig them with!




Tight Lines Jewelry - A quality line of unisex sterling silver jewelry that reflects the passion of the angler with emphasis in Fly Fishing. Renee Schatzley Gall has fished all her life and has blended her custom designing talent with her passion of fishing. There is something for every angler- pendants, rings, earrings, lapel pins, cuff links, even bracelets. Trout, bass, walleye, even the bluegill are represented along with fly reels.

Western Basin Charter Boat Association - An organization composed of United States Coast Guard approved charter captains whose goal is to educate the public on the benefits from natural resources that Lake Erie provides.

Wolverine Tackle – “The Silver Streak Family” - One of the most recognized names in the fishing products industry featuring spoons in multiple sizes, colors and patterns, custom designed and hand painted crawler harness blades and a new custom painted body bait line.

For what may be the largest tackle producer in Michigan, you will never meet a nicer or more soft-spoken owner than Chip Cartwright.  A couple of years back I picked up a #8 Indiana blade from the Silver Streak booth and first time out trolling that spring with spinner rigs, popped a 10 lber in Brest Bay.  You can see the proof on the wall behind the counter at Jeff’s Bait and Tackle!  Well naturally, I had to have more!



I cannot wait until Saturday, lil shopping for spring, and then back onto the ice to hold on to winter as long as I can!

Copyright, 2014

The Spring Show Season is Upon Us!

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Just wrapped a nice weekend of ice fishing and made the yearly trek to the Ultimate Fishing Show in Novi! Nothing like catching some panfish, then switching gears (at least mentally) back to the open water season. Caught some nice fish down on Bolles Friday and Sunday, including this 11 inch perch the last day out.


Did pick up a few odds and ends while there, like this depth/trolling chart for Rapala’s Jointed Deep Husky Jerks. And, yes I did cut out the good info :)


I also picked up some extra ice jigs just for the Hamlin Lake tourney, the Michigan Open/Feb. 1st in Ludington. These are from Kodiak Jigs and you may remember the name from a couple of posts a few years ago.  They are back and carried everywhere in Michigan!


If you want to learn more about ice fishing than you can do in any seminar, then sign up for the Open. It is a great event and Ludington goes all out to welcome the anglers, click on this link to learn more, it is only two weeks away!

Michigan Ice Open!

And with spring around the corner (cough, cough), I also hit up one of my favorite blade shops while at the show, Michigan’s own D&B Fishing!


Some new colors, and if you have read this blog at all the last couple of years, that Maui Waui on the top right, has been a killer blade when combined with some blue and green pearl beads and my Matzuo hooks!  Rumor has it, they will be at the Monroe show, the MI-OH Sportfishing Expo at the fairgrounds the weekend of February 8th! For more info on D&B, and the show, here are two more links!


Mich-Ohio Sportfishing Expo

You can also keep track on Facebook:

Also, I will be visiting Bass Pro Shops at Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills March first and second. Look for me by the St. Croix rods, and that is a Saturday and Sunday!  All the major reps will be there and know BPS as I do, there will be seminars all day long, both days!

Copyright, 2014

Tricking Out Your Ice Lures

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

I don’t usually repost somebody else’s work, if fact this might be the first time ever. I first heard of Gord Pyzer I believe in an old In-Fisherman ice fishing video.  The discussion I believe was something about fitting the mood of the walleye to action created by individual spoons. After that, I stocked up on Acme Phoebe’s for the aggressive fish!


Needless to say, I am impressed with Pyzer’s knowledge and you may remember the television show where he used a type of snap that can allow you to easily remove a treble hook and secure a minnow head.  I looked at that and thought, I can do that same thing with a duolock snap. It worked on the water and this article is all about touching up existing lures and making them better. I love to tinker with lures, could be adding a 3-D eyes to a crank, taking a sharpie and playing with the back of a spinner blade, or something simple like changing up the way a lure is rigged. Point is, this article is right in my wheelhouse, and Pyzer does a great job in explaining the how’s, why’s and when’s!  It is a good read, click on the link and get some ideas that you can use!

Copyright, 2014

Scatter Rap’n for Fall Walleyes

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Every once in a while I look at a lure, tactic or even a presentation designed for a species other than walleye and the wheels start turning.  Last year it was the Alabama Rig, totally a bass thing by all accounts, but it reminded me of these saltwater teaser rigs (the name escapes me) that I had looked at years before, but never followed up on.  Long story short, I put on some willow blade teasers on four arms, and a short harness in the middle and it caught a fair amount of fish on Lake Erie.


This year while doing the spring shows at Cabela’s, Bass Pro and Jann’s Netcraft, I saw this new lure from Rapala. There are several “Scatter Rap” action bodies, but it was the minnow that really caught my eye.  My first thought was that have a real application for walleye fishing on the Detroit River.  Think about it, people have been handling with the Original Floaters for years on the DR. The size #11 Scatter Rap Minnow is the same size as the bait that they have been using, it made sense that the side to side action, like the famed Hot n’ Tot, could be highly effective.


Here is my plan that will be implemented for the first time  this weekend, perhaps for the first time ever.  The plan is to take two of my eight rods and rig each of them with a 3-way swivel, a six-foot leader to this Perch Scatter Rap Minnow, and on the bottom will be an 18 to 20 inch leader to a 2 oz bell sinker for weight.  Last fall was amazing, and most of the big fish came off the lake bottom.  This rig will target those pigs if they are down there again, even though the lure itself is a fairly shallow runner in the water column.  Even if the fish are suspended, by using a 2 oz weight, it will be easy to dial in the depth on the Daiwa linecounters to have the lure run just above their heads.


If you do not have any Scatter Raps yet, no problem!  You can take your favorite shallow running lure and use the same approach to target those bottom hugging fish.  A great choice would be the Rapala Husky Jerk, my other rod rigged with the 3-way swivel will have one on, in size #14.  In some cases when you don’t have the action of the Scatter Rap, the old adage is true, “Go big or go home.”

stern planer prototype2

While I will have some of my favorite big deep divers on  the St. Croix board rods (DHJ-12′s, TDD-11′s, Deep Thundersticks and Deep Shad Raps #9), these set-ups are going on a pair of downrigger rods that I use with Church Tackle’s new TX-007 Stern Planers off the back of the boat.  The reason is simple really, because of the 2 oz weights, it is going to take a lot less line to get these cranks down to the bottom.  If I were to run them right off the back, then I would risk line tangles when pulling in my Walleye Boards from Church.  By using the -007′s, and getting them back farther behind the boat, I can bring the boards in under the line and avoid any issues.  I hate issues!!!

Copyright, 2013

Time to replace the Line on Your Trolling Reels

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013


Some of the anglers are putting their boats away now that Labor Day has passed.  That’s their season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, that’s it.  A few others will continue to fish for perch until October when their attention turns to archery season.  Others will perch fish and then take a break for a few weeks, maybe get their buck, and then hit the lake in search of that big fall walleye that could be worthy of your wall.

There are several reasons for that last group not to take any chances of losing that big fish.  The simplest way to avoid such a loss is to take the simplest of precautions, replacing your line.  Its easy, simple to do, and for the Tiger’s fan, you can even do it during the game on commercial time.


So you are the knucklehead in the group, and you don’t think you need to replace your line till next spring.  There are a bunch of you out there, and you might actually get away with it.  Here are some things you should consider though before you spin the dial and take your chances.

1)     You are the same type of person that did not change out his line last spring.  That means you have at least two years worth of wear and tear on the line.  Definitely time to do it now, take the ten to $20.00 it will take and get it done.

2)     You actually respooled your line this past spring and you think you are good until next spring.  That is realistically fine if you put the boat after the holiday.  Think about it now, you caught your decent to big fish in the spring, and the size of the fish you were catching started to dwindle down to the eater sizes we all enjoy taking a bath in hot oil. When November rolls around, these fish are going to dramatically bigger, big enough to stretch out a treble hook on your favorite Deep Husky Jerk.  Now imagine what it will do to your line!

3)     You had a great year, caught a ton of fish, never had a problem all season…you are the angler who has been lulled into a false sense of security.  Now think about this, because even though it may have slipped your mind due to all the big numbers of fish you caught, I bet you had a few tangles here and there.  Somehow or another, one line with a board got under another board line.  Now that your mind has been refreshed, lets face it probably happened more than once, now think to the disaster that these tangles created.  Fifty to a hundred feet of line twisted into tight curly-q’s, and worse yet, think of the heat caused by the resistance of two or more lines rubbing against each other.  That line has been severely weekend, and one good tug of the line can cause your dream fish to swim off with one of your favorite lures!


Now that you are hopefully convinced it is time to change out your line, while you are at it, take a look at one more piece of equipment.  Not only can your line get stretched to its’ limits, but so can your terminal tackle.  Take a moment and inspect your snaps, the wire used is not indestructible and eventually they will show signs of fatigue. Not sure if they are still good, or if you think they are even borderline, do not take the chance of losing any fish over something that will literally take less than a minute to change out.  Cut your line, grab the new snap, and tie a new knot….easy peasy!

Copyright, 2013

Fishing the Algae Bloom

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Some people seem to be afraid of the green stuff floating in the water each year, but like the mayfly hatch,  walleye do not shut down, they just keep eating. The question you have to answer is where are they feeding. During the bug hatch, they can be found up and down the water column, and once you dial that in, it is game on!

During an algae bloom, you have to follow the food source and this time of the year walleye are chowing down on minnows, shiners to be exact.  Where are the shiners, they are up near the surface feeding on the algae.  Now you know where to target the fish in the column, but you have a new dilemma. What to do about it?

When fish are up very high in the column near the surface, you have boat issues, meaning the walleye can be spooked by your boat going by.  Simple solution to that is using inline planer boards, like the Walleye Board from Church Tackle.  Like all the boards from Church, they move your presentations away from the boat, thus with their small profile in the water, will not spook the fish!



Next up is all about which baits to use.  They are feeding on shiners, which have silver sides that catch in the sunlight, so mimic the natural forage!  Pick out some cranks, shallow running ones that will stay near the top five foot of the surface, and will catch the sun as well.  Rapala Husky Jerks (HJ’s) offer several silver metallic finishes like Clown and the black back/silver bottom that actually has a blue tint to the back stripe.  And, if you are lucky, you might have a couple of Tennessee Shads with their green backs in your tackle box!  The small #7 Rattling, Suspending Shad Raps also have a lot of nice finishes that work for this, as well as their glass bodied brethren.


Fishing crawlers, no problem.  Get some light weights, or split shot sinkers even and let out 20 to 40 feet of line out from your rod. Break out of the copper mentality and bust out some silver blades, or holographics like Northland Tackle’s Baitfish Image blades, the Rainbow is a great choice.

BFI-Colorado-blade-RB-RainbowDon’t over look something in white, with blues and greens involved in the paint scheme.  One of my favorite shiner bite blades is from Big Eye Custom Lures, and it’s actually called Emerald Shiner.  Also, from Big Eye is the Blue Perch blade, which is killer during a bite when the fish are up high and feeding. It reminds me of the old Huckleberry pattern on the crankbaits. Hmmm, think I just thought of a new pattern to get painted some of Big Eye’s Custom Deep Husky Jerks! Probably should have kept that one to myself!


Next time someone tells you that walleye have quit biting, you can either tell them what you know, or show them the pictures after you get back from your trip!

Copyright, 2013