are my tackle recommendations for the various fish:
those fishermen who haven't tried carp fishing, you are
seriously missing out. They're fun to catch and pull like
a freight train!
In rivers, most carp can be found in slack waters. Some
fish will be in
stronger currents or even up at the dams, but you will find
most of the
carp in stretches of calmer water and in backwaters.
6'6" to 7' in length, one piece, medium to medium
heavy action, spinning rod
Spinning reel with the capacity for approximately 200 yards
of 17-20 lb. test
Gamakatsu Octopus #6 Hook, 1/4-1/2 oz. bell sinkers, small
Corn mixed with a little vanilla extract does the trick!
Take a can of sweet corn and pour it into a Ziploc bag.
Pour a few drops of vanilla extract in the bag, zip the
bag up and shake it up. Let it sit for a few minutes. The
vanilla draws the carp to the bait and gets them to hang
onto it longer without blowing it out.
of the carp we've caught have taken our baits and move with
it right away. If you lay your fishing rod down on the ground
and tighten the line, they will usually set the hook on
themselves and all you have to do is lift your rod up up
when they pull. Pay attention and be patient. The bites
will happen very quickly.
Chumming is a technique to lure carp into your fishing area.
Just take one or two handful of sweet corn and throw out
in the area you plan to fish. I would say two to three chums
per hour is plenty. This will keep the carp in your area
and it will give you a better chance of having a carp pick
up your bait instead of the chum.
here to view our Carp Album.
trout are a medium to dark gray or olive color with white worm-like
wavy marks on their backs and on top of the head. Occasionally,
they have bars or spots along the side mainly tinged with red.
Lake trout average between 20 and 24 inches and 3 to 6 pounds,
but are capable of reaching 50 pounds.
trout require cold, clear, well oxygenated water, so they are
found almost exclusively in oligotropic lakes. In summer they
often move to depths of 50 to 100 feet, but in spring and fall
you can find them at depths of 20 feet or less. They prefer
water from 40 to 52 degree F.
I like best about lake trout is they do not leap, but instead
wage a strong, determined underwater battle. My personal best
is 31" caught in May 2005 on Rowan Lake in Ontario, Canada.
The most important piece for your tackle! At least a mid-priced
Lowrance and being able to read it at your fastest speeds is
6'6" to 7' in length, one piece, medium to medium heavy action,
Baitcasting reel with the capacity for approximately 165 yards of
12 lb. test
PowerPro (20-50 lb. test), Sufix Elite (10-12 lb. test)
Mepps Flying C Spinners, Rapala X-Raps #10 or #14, Worden's T-50
or T-60 Flatfish, 2 oz. bucktail jigs, and Sutton Spoon (As for
color you can't go wrong with silver; white, pearl, chartreuse and
orange are also great colors. For stickbaits like a Rapala natural
colors are best like black & silver or blue & silver.)
There are two ways I fish for lake trout. Jigging and trolling.
Jigging is a numbers game, not so much on size. Trolling is for
size. During the spring and fall when I travel to Canada the lake
trout are shallow and usually less than 20 feet deep. With good
electronics finding lakers is very easy. When in deeper water,
anything you see of size, is usually a laker. By early July the
trout should be set up around structures related to the main basins
of the lake. This usually happens once the surface temperatures
get above 52 degrees. Cruise the lake and find the holes. Everything
60+. Then cruise the edges of the holes, focusing on points, underwater
humps, etc. and you will see the trout very clearly. If you are
not seeing any trout in the holes, they might still be in shallower
water (where they often spook before you can drive over them and
mark them on your depthfinder). They'll bite vertical jigged spoons
and lead heads, or trolled lures that get in their depth range.
Speed and erratic lure movement will trigger lakers to bite. Note:
Make sure you set your drag properly. The laker will make big
runs and strip line!
bass are acrobatic and put up a fun battle! My personal bass
record to date is 21" weighing 4.8 lbs.! Click
here to view the fish in my personal records.
bass are moderately compressed with a deep body. The back of the
mouth, when closed, extends past the eye. This characteristic
distinguishes it from the smallmouth bass where the back of the
mouth does not extend past the eye. The largemouth also has a
black band that extends down the side of the body.
bass prefer ponds, lakes and slow, sluggish streams.
average size largemouth bass in Minnesota runs from 1 to 2 pounds.
bass usually spawn between mid-April and mid-June. They eat
crayfish, frogs, large insects, and other fish.
6' to 7' in length, medium action
Spinning reel with the capacity for approximately 200 yards of 8
Sufix Elite (8-17 lb. test)
1/8-1/2 oz. jig and pork/plastic trailer, Rebel Pop-R, Rapala Fat
Rap, Banjo Minnow, Yamamoto 5" Senko and Kreature baits, Rat-L-Trap,
spinnerbait, Mister Twister 5" Curly Tail Grub, buzzbait, Moss
Boss, 4" tubes, and Silver Minnow. (As for colors
mix and match between pearl, black/blue combination, silver, chartreuse,
gold, red, purple, pumpkin, etc.
Largemouth bass can be caught on a wide variety of natural and
artificial baits using casting, spinning, and fly fishing gear.
The best time of year to catch largemouth bass is May, June,
and July, but they can be caught throughout the year.
My favorite way to catch a bass is using a topwater such as a
Pop-R. Make a long cast with the Pop-R. Let it settle for a few
seconds, then begin popping the lure with your rod tip a couple
times and let it settle again. Then pop again, followed by a series
of short snaps of the rod tip reeling in between the jerks. This
creates a side to side darting action which drives bass nuts!
In deep weedbeds, a Texas-rigged 5" Senko flipped in pockets
is deadly! You will want to keep semi-slack line as the worm sinks
and watch for any line movement. Any bump line could mean a largemouth
taking the worm and an irritating pecking sunfish. You will know
the difference after a few outings. Reel in the slack line and set
the hook immediately if you detect a bass has picked your lure.
you've ever had a huge musky follow your lure to the boat only
to turn away at the last second and your heart is throbbing
and your knees are shaking, that's the feeling you never really
ever forget. Or the time when a monster took a massive strike
at boatside and missed... It is one of the most heart wrenching
feelings you can have and your adrenline just kicks in. Oddly
enough, the musky makes up all of my Fish
Tale stories. My personal best musky record is 50"
in length. Click here to view the
fish in my personal records album.
are strong fighters and provide a great thrill and challenge
to anyone lucky enough to hook one. Many people say to me that
a musky is caught in about 1,000 casts. Although I do remember
the countless casts and hours that rolled by without even seeing
a fish, all it takes is one cast with the right bait at the
right place at the right time. Well I can't say more other than
I am always ready on every cast for that elusive fish!
are long, slender fish with a large duckbill shaped mouth and
needle sharp teeth. The dorsal fin is soft and located near the
tail. In contrast to its cousin the northern pike, only the upper
half of the cheek and ear flap have scales.
caught in Minnesota average from 30 to 40 inches long and weigh
from 5 to 15 pounds. Muskies in the mid-40 inch range is considered
musky habitat is found in heavily vegetated lakes with lots
of tree stumps and bays. Muskies usually spawn in April and
early May when water temperatures are in the low to mid-50s.
Muskies prefer suckers and gizzard shad as prey.
7' in length, one piece, medium heavy to heavy action, baitcasting
Baitcasting reel with the capacity for approximately 200 yards of
36 lb. test
Sufix Elite (20 lb.), Cortland Musky Master (36 lb.)
Mepps Magnum Musky Killer, Musky Mayhem Double Cowgirl, Banjo Minnow,
Bucher Super TopRaider, Hi-Fin Mag Teasertail, 1 1/2 oz. J-Mac Musky
Jig and 6" Lunker City Salt Shaker trailer, and Suick Jerkbait
(As for color you can't go wrong with black. Black offers the best
silhoutte against the sky. Firetiger, orange, perch, white, silver,
chartreuse, and any combination of these colors will work.)
Baitcasting and trolling are the most popular ways to catch muskies.
Cast to the edge of vegetation beds and submerged cover using a
fast retrieve. Speed and change of lure direction will trigger muskies
into biters many times. Trolling with shallow or deep running lures
during the summer months will take a number of muskies in the shallows.
here to view our Musky Album.
personal best pike record is 34" in length and weighing
about 10 lbs. It was actually caught in a nearby pond close
to my home. The pike population in Minnesota has declined recent
years but I am hoping with the new changes in the regulations
the northern pike population will rebound.
northern pike is a long and slender fish with a duckbill shaped
mouth and lots of needle sharp teeth. The dorsal fin is soft
and located near the tail fin. In contrast to the musky, the
lower half of the opercle (gill cover) does not have scales
while the cheek is fully scaled. Northern pike also have numerous
white or yellow-green spots on the sides of the body which are
arranged in oblique rows. There is no teardrop below the eye.
northern pike caught in Minnesota weigh between 2 and 5 pounds.
Northern pike spawn as soon as the ice breaks, usually in late
April or early May.
utilize cover to ambush their prey which is primarily other
fish such as yellow perch. Pike feed primarily on fish but will
take nearly anything they can fit in their mouth, including
frogs, muskrats, and small ducks.
ROD: 6'6" to 7' in length, one piece, medium
to medium heavy action, spinning or baitcasting rod
Spinning or baitcasting reel with the capacity for approximately
165 yards of 12 lb. test
Sufix Elite (10-14 lb. test), PowerPro (20-30 lb. test)
1/2 oz. Rat-L-Trap, 1/2-3/4 oz. Blue Fox Aqua Spoon, Eppinger DareDevil,
Banjo Minnow, Johnson Silver Minnow, Mepps #4 or #5 Aglia, Rapala
Husky Jerk (#12 or #14), spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. The key here
is to have a variety of baits, some of which are shiny and put off
lots of flash such as silver, white, firetiger, chartreuse, and
orange. Crankbaits are deadly for early spring and late fall.
is strongly suggested to use a wire leader when fishing for pike:
9-12" in length are most common. The titanium leaders are the
This fish will go after anything! The most productive method of
fishing for northern is to cast for them using various types of
spoons. In early spring and late fall, trolling crankbaits is also
very productive in luring these fish onto your line.
are my favorite fish to target during the fall period in the
early morning or late evening. I have missed, hooked, and landed
some of the biggest walleyes during this period than any other
time of the year. My biggest walleye to date is 26.5" weighing
close to 7 lbs.! It was caught in Nov. 1994.
walleye has a long slender body with a yellow-olive color with
a brassy overcast on the sides. The tail fin has a white spot
on the bottom edge. The eye is large and cloudy, and there is
a dark blotch on the webbing between the last three spines of
the first dorsal fin. The mouth is filled with sharp canine
teeth. The walleye looks similar to the sauger and saugeye.
walleyes caught in Minnesota average 1 to 3 pounds and are between
12 and 20 inches. Walleye spawn throughout the month of April
when water temperatures are between 40 and 55° F.
prefer clear to slightly turbid waters. They are usually found
over reefs, shoals of gravel, bedrock, and other firm bottoms.
6' to 7' in length, medium light to medium action
Spinning reel with the capacity for approximately 150 yards of 6-10
Sufix Elite (6-10 lb. test)
1/8-3/8 oz. Lindy Glo Fuzz-E-Grubs, Rapala Husky Jerks #12, Mister
Twister 3" Meeny Curly Tail Grub and 3" Sassy Shad, Rapala
Rattin' Rap and Shad Rap (As for colors black and white, blue and
white, firetiger, and perch are my favorites.)
My favorite method to catch these fish is to jig for them using
various size lead head jigs tipped with a minnow. The most important
key to jigging for walleyes is to be able to feel the lake bottom.
Other techniques I use include casting or trolling crankbaits
(this is best suited for spring and fall fishing when they are