Yellow River State Forest 5/16-18 2014

We went camping with extended family in Iowa last weekend. We camped at Little Paint campground in the Yellow River State Forest, this a beautiful area of Iowa with a rolling landscape of river bluffs and crystal clear trout streams. Paint creek runs through the campground and is stocked with rainbow, brook and, brown trout. The fishing was tough because the water was so clear and the fish were easily spooked, and at times you could drop your bait right on there nose and they wouldn’t even move. I started fishing at 6:00 on Saturday morning and caught this beautiful 11″ brown trout on a beadhead nymph on my fly rod,

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then moved up stream and got this 11″ rainbow about an hour later on a live nightcrawler on a slip sinker rig. 

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After breakfast I went back upstream and flyfished with nymphs around a foot bridge and picked up two 11″ inch brook trout.

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A little while later I got this little rainbow on a nymph further downstream.

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Later on that evening we drove to a spot on the yellow river and my great aunt and I fished while the rest of the family went looking for morel mushrooms. We caught 6 brown trout 3 of which were too small to keep, as well as 4 river suckers ranging from 8″-14″.

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Meanwhile the rest of the family found us a nice mess of mushrooms,That night we had a feast of fire cooked trout and fried morels.

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Sunday morning I got up and started fishing around 6:00 again and had a fairly productive morning and caught 2 rainbows on nightcrawlers and a 14″ brown on a small in line spinner.

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That afternoon we packed up and left, I’m already looking forward to another trip to Iowa later this summer.

Walleye Opener 2014

Walleye and northern pike season opened in Minnesota at 12:00 AM on May tenth, I went to Splithand lake near Grand Rapids minnesota. Over all it was a very good opener, we boated over 35 walleye including 12 keepers. We started fishing at 12:00 AM and the fishing was very slow until about 5:30, then it started to pick up. We caught 10 walleye saturday morning and went in for breakfast at 8:00 AM. An hour later we went back out and the fishing was a little slower we only boated a couple fish all of which were over the slot limit. The fishing saturday night was slow with several we caught 3 fish 2 of which were keepers. Saturday evening we did not go out in the boat, but I fished off the dock for an hour and caught a couple of crappies. Sunday morning the fishing picked up and we got 8 fish including several keepers, and 5 more fish that night. Monday morning was our last time out before heading home, it was cold and raining but we decided to go anyway, and we caught ten fish, a 22″ that was my biggest fish of the weekend and 4 keepers. All the walleye caught this weekend were caught on a slip bobber rig with a 1/32 oz. jig tipped with a leech or a shiner minnow, fished in 7′-11′ of water.

Here a few pictures.

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the lake friday evening

 

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19″ walleye

 

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22″ walleye (caught by my aunt)

 

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18.5″ walleye

 

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2 keepers from saturday morning

 

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10″ crappie

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22″ walleye (my uncle photo bombing in the background)

Lory Lake 3/15/14

Last saturday I finally got the chance to get out on the ice and wet a line. We didn’t get out on the ice as early as I would have liked but once we were out things went pretty smoothly. We went to a spot where we have done well fishing for bluegills in the past and drilled a dozen holes scattered through out the 6-12 foot range. I started out by setting a 1/32 oz. tungsten jig tipped with a wax worm under a slip bobber 2 feet off the bottom in 8 foot of water. I walked back to the truck to get my other pole, when I got back my bobber was down and and i nailed this nice 9″ bluegill on the first drop.

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I re-baited and set te line back to the same depth, and proceeded to set the other rod at the same depth (I fished this one without a bobber, and kept the bait in motion). About 10 minutes later I was checking the other line and got this nice 14″ walleye (which I immediately released, walleye season has come to a close here in Minnesota).

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The next two hours were uneventful except for the fact that it was steadily getting colder and windier. Then at about 11:00 am i added two more keeper bluegills to the pile.

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The next hour passed without incident, and we packed up and headed home at noon. 

Tight Lines, NSAngler

 

New Rods- First Thoughts

I’ve gotten two new rods in the past couple of months, and i wanted to post my first thoughts. Obviously here in Minnesota I won’t be able to give these rods a full test and review until spring so this is just going by the “feel” of the rod.

 

Abu Garcia Vendetta Casting Rod

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Specs:

Model#: VTC70-6

Length: 7’0″

Power: medium heavy w/ fast tip

Lure Weight: 1/4-1 oz. 

Line Weight: 12-20 lb.

Blank: 30 ton carbon

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Features: 

  • fuji reel seat and guides
  • machined aluminum reel seat nut
  • EVA foam handle
  • aluminum butt cap
  • texas rigged hook keeper

My Thoughts:

The first thing I noticed when i picked up this rod was how light it was for a rod in the sub-100$ range. I held it and played around with it for a while and the next thing I noticed how comfortable the real seat was, it fits very well in the hand. This rod seems to be stiffer than most other medium heavy rods that I have used, which is something I had heard before about Abu rods before, so be sure to play around with and get a feel for the rod before you buy it. I am going to use this as my flipping and pitching rod paired with a Quantum tour edition pt reel in the 7:1.1 gear ratio.

Conclusion: So far it seems like a great rod for the price, and I would compare it evenly to some more expensive rods. 

 

Daiwa Ballistic Casting Rod

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Specs:

Model #: BLS 691MHFB

Length: 6’9″

Power: medium heavy fast taper

Lure Weight: 1/4-1 oz.

Line Weight: 10-20 lb.

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Features: 

  • Daiwa custom reel seat
  • Fuji guides
  • mechanical hook keeper
  • machined aluminum reel seat nut
  • aluminum butt cap
  • EVA foam handle

My Thoughts:

First of all this rod has an MSRP of 109$, but tackle warehouse had it on sale for 55$. So I decided to pick one up to pair with my Daiwa Tatula that I am going to order soon, it was a bit of a gamble never having felt or even seen one in person I had no idea what to expect. The first thing I noticed when I un-boxed it  was that it had rather large guides not outrageously large but noticeably  larger than on the vendetta, and it was a little heavy for a 100 dollar rod. Neither of these are that big of a deal to me. This rod is also very comfortable in the hand, and is made of quality components. I am going to use this rod for spinner-baits, swim jigs, jerk-baits, and light crankbaits, iI will pair it with a Daiwa Tatula in 6:3.1 gear ratio.

Conclusion:

I would not buy this rod for full price (109$) I think there are better rods for the price ,but for 55$ dollars on tackle warehouse it is a steal.

 

Tight Lines, NSAangler

 

Ice Fishing For Pike on Shell lake and Lure Reviews

I haven’t been fishing much since the lakes froze, so I haven’t had much to blog about but I finally got out fishing this weekend. My dad and I decided to go ice fishing for some pike at my grandparent’s cabin on shell lake.

Saturday afternoon

I started fishing at about noon, I started out using a gold and green slender spoon and caught several small 14-18 inch pike then at about 1:00 PM I got a pike that was about 4 poundsImage

At about 2:00 PM I got 2 more small ones and then went back to the house to get minnows, when I came back out my dad was with me, so we each set up a tip-up with live sucker minnows and I continued using the slender spoon on my jigging rod. Not long after setting up I got another 4 pounder on the slender spoon and my dad got a small one on the tip-up.Image

At about 2:45 my dad got about a 5 pounder on a swedish pimple jigging spoon and I got a couple small ones on the tip-up.Image

The rest of the day was un eventful until when my dad was reeling in the tip-ups he got a 4 pounder on the live sucker.Image

Then we decided to head in. The weather when I started  was sunny and 29 degrees, with light wind, but by the time I headed in at 4:00 PM it was 7 degrees and cloudy with 25 mph winds.

Sunday morning

Overnight the temperature plummeted to 30 below zero, and when me and my dad decided to go out and fish for an hour before we went home it was still 20 below zero. We used the same set up as the day before except I switched to a VMC tingler spoon because I had snapped the slender spoon off the day before. The fish were more finicky than the day before because of the cold front that was coming through, we missed several lighter biting fish right away, then my dad got a small one on one of the tip-ups. After more missed fish I managed to hook into a 4 pounder with the VMC tingler spoon. Image

This was the only bigger fish of the day and the last fish of the trip.

Lure Reviews

Custom Jigs and Spins Slender Spoon

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This was the spoon that I used the most during this trip, I used a green and gold spoon in the largest size. They come in all sizes for anything from crappies to pike, and when jigged aggressively they have a wide fluttering action and give off a lot of flash or they can be twitched in place for sluggish or finicky fish.

VMC Tingler Spoon

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This spoon has a very similar action to the slender spoon and can be used in many of the same situations, one thing about it that I like better than the slender spoon is the hook it is more heavy duty and seemed sharper. this spoon also gives off a lot off flash and has a wide fluttering action. On this trip I used the 3/16 oz. model in perch color.

Conclusion

both of these lure are quality and versatile products and I will definitely buy more in the future.

Tight Lines, NSAngler

Shell Rock River 11/9-11/10/13

This weekend we took a family trip to Iowa, and managed to get a little fishing in on the Shell Rock River. We launched 2 john boats with three people each. We were casting hair jigs tipped with fathead minnows along current breaks and  and deep holes with slack water ,and slowly jigging them back to the boat.

Day 1

The first fish of day 1 was a 18 inch walleye caught by my cousin once removed, and then I got a 14 inch walleye and he got another 14 incher. All of these fish were caught within 15 minutes of each other and were the only fish of the day, then after many missed bites and snags we decided to call it a day.

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Day 2

Day two stared the same way as day one, except my cousin once removed had already been fishing for an hour and had two keepers in the cooler, 18 and 14 inch walleyes. We met at the access and my, dad my great uncle, and I got in the boats. we didn’t get any more fish until the end of the day when my cousin once removed got a 21 inch walleye and I got a 14 inch walleye and a redhorse sucker.

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We were all cold and tired so we decided to get back to the access. When we met the others at the access they had a 14 inch walleye and a 24 inch pike. we filleted the fish and headed for home in time to have a fish fry. 

Two weeks before we got there my cousins once removed were catching 200 walleye per weekend, but the cold weather shut off the bite, but it was a fun time on the water with family and friends. So despite cold fingers, lack of fish, many missed fish, and snags, as well as a lot of cussing at the previous, it was a great weekend.

Tight Lines, NSAngler

Hardwater Preperation

This time of year I like to make sure all of my ice fishing gear is ready, so I can hit the ice as soon as possible. Here is a list of simple things you can do to make sure you are ready…

  • I fish out of a portable ice house, so I take it out of storage and take every thing out, open all the doors and vents, and let it air out it gets a little musty smelling during the summer, something you can do to help this is to make sure yo put it away dry so no mold grows.Image
  • Make sure all of your rods are undamaged, check for nicks or cuts in the eyelets that could cut your line, and that the laminate coating is in good condition.
  • Give your reels a good looking over to make sure they are in working condition, and lube if needed.
  • Make sure you have good line on your reels, check the strength and run it through your fingers to find any abrasions.
  • Make sure that your auger, heater, lights, flasher, and other accessories are in working order.Image
  • Check your tackle box to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Once your fish house is aired out, go in and shut off all lights and close the windows and doors, then look for hole where the light shines through (patch if needed).

Then pack everything back up and your ready to go.

Tight Lines, NSAngler