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Is it just me, or is time moving extremely slow this week?
It started Monday morning as I arrived at work. It got worse when Captain called to tell me the battery is charged and the fishing vessel is ready to go. Cruising the fishing forums is slowing time down even more. Last night I picked the lures that I am bringing in my portable boxes. Spooling up some new line on the reels. I am ready to go.
I think the lead up week is worse for me this year because I haven't really been fishing since early February. Weather, work and chores have filled my time.
I am ready to go. Bring on the walleyes. The Minnesota State Holiday is just 60 hours away!
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March and the early spring months are coming and that means bed fishing! I am not an experienced angler with bed fishing so could you please comment what I should look for, what I should use, and techniques to catch the big females. Thanks!
MOST OF THE time I have a hard time starting an opening paragraph for a update here at Lake Iwanttobethere, that is not the case here this past 4th of July as I have many. So I am just going to throw some out there in random order.
4th of July is of course is a time for celebration but it is also a time for bright lights and fireworks and also the time for blowing things up under the cover of fireworks. I received a call from the wife there is one less woodchuck in the garden at the cabin as it was shot by her using my twenty gage. I will need to clean the shotgun when I get home and she told me the body was tossed off the dock into the waters of Lake Iwanttobethere. I started to complain about that asking why she did not just bury it till she told me a big northern scooped up the wood chuck almost as soon as it hit the water. I guess I need to start fishing off the dock with a bigger sucker minnow.
At the RESORT there is no longer a curve in the driveway as Hammering Hank and Skinny blew out the big maple stump that was in the way.
A few beaver dams have been removed from the trout stream (Arlo) and there is a pool that has been deepen (Arlo)
Remember when you were young like twelve or thirteen and you had these great ideas but you lacked finical backing? Well when you get to be fifty or sixty that is no longer a problem. You can use cash, savings, borrow or barter, wheel and deal or share your ideas with others. On the fourth of July this year a number of things were tried that were first thought of in our youth. First off I do want to say that a gathering of men without kids or wife’s are usually done at deer camp and now we have the RESORT where kids and wife’s don’t belong on the 4th. Early in the day the FELLOWS tied several of their kid’s GI Joe miniature solders to bottle rockets duck taped together and then shot them skyward to watch them float back to the ground using their parachutes
Next estes rocket engines were placed inside their shipping tubes with a cherry bomb as a nose cone and launched off into the sky. They gave a satisfying explosion about five hundred feet into the sky. We had to stop that when somehow we shot out a passing drone. The drone sank in the waters of the bay before we could get to it. Funny because Vic had gone out to the mailbox that morning and put up the big sign that said explosives were going to be used that day and it had the skull and bones painted on it. We had borrowed the sign from the mine and will return it tomorrow, funny how people just can’t read warning signs.
The night before we had taken the outboards off the wood rowboats and had a bottle rocket and Roman candle war was held on the bay. I will add at this time the disclaimer that there was no drinking involved by any of the participants, just like it would have been if we were twelve.
4th of July night was a lot of fun as we did something we had been planning for months. We were going to try and out do Nytelyters Fireworks display down on Root Beer Island. I heard on KCUM radio that 43 % of al Americans go to a public fireworks display, the rest stay at home and shoot off their own or do nothing, we had a plan. Some where somehow the FELLOWS picked up what is suppose to be a civil war motar. It is big enough to shoot a bowling ball and of course that is what we started off with at dusk. So does a bowling ball make noise when it lands in the woods on the other side of the bay if we hope no one is there? Does a bowling ball make noise when ten bowling pins are in front of it when they all land on the other side of the bay?" I might add it was a perfect strike about halfway across.
Awhile back I wrote about how the FELLOW had brought back a crane to the RESORT. Well we have found many uses for the crane all the way from a very very high deer stand to moving picnic tables and outhouses around the RESORT. Well it also works very well in moving a civil war mortar to the edge of the bog where the FELLOWS dug it in and used the bog as a cushion. We also moved all of our fire extinguishers to that location and the old boat was filled with water and suspended over the motar just in case it was needed. Now I hear the first shot that was fired was perfectly timed between some shots Nytelyter and fired off and a few people down at the boat landing took notice of the cloud in the sky. Second shot was noticed a little more but our third shot was kind of special. I will take credit as it was something from my youth that I wanted to recreated
When I was maybe twelve or so A couple of my buddies saved our money and we bought about ten boxes of paper book matches from a very young Ma and Ma grocery store and we clipped off all the match heads and put them into a glass freeze dried coffee container that was shaped like a motar..We than ran a cord or something I don’t remember and lit off about 10,000 match heads at the same time. A roar of flame maybe ten feet high went skyward and it was the hottest est coolest thing we had ever done up to that point. Now being 756 months old I wanted to recreate that using the civil war motar. The last several months we have been secretly buying up paper book matches we cut off the heads, and now we put in a bowling ball and filled the motar with thousands of match heads, well maybe tens of thousands of match heads, actually I don’t really know, it filled the area in front of the bowling ball and I guess we forgot about the charge we had placed in behind the bowling ball.
Now all of us being hopefully a little older and smarter we also had brought up the back hoe to hide behind and with Nytelyters fireworks display coming to an end we had Elmer on his cell phone giving us the thumbs up to fire our motar off. It was not what we expected. It was way more!!! I only got to see a brief moment as the flame shot out of the motor and I was blinded by the light. It shot out in an arc across the bay and Elmer said from his vantage point it looked like a second sunset had appeared in the sky. The boom echoed through the bay and seemed to get louder each time. The crowd at the boat landed gave out a collective awe. And when it was done and we could see again we gagged at the sulfur cloud in the air. We all looked at each other with twelve year old grins and as we shook our heads back and forth saying no we said out loud we have to do this again ! Not this year though as the motor was gone. The explosion had driven it into the bog and steam was rising were it had been a moment before. Tiny tripped the release and the boat hanging from the crane dumped its load of water into the hole and the bog closed up around the mortar. We all agreed that later in the summer we would dig it back up, it would be safer that way here at Lake Iwanttobethere
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Chasing Dogs Riding BicyclesChasing Dogs Riding BicyclesI woke up in a panic. I’ve had nightmares before but this one was different. You see no one was chasing me, I wasn’t falling from a high place and I wasn’t behind the wheel seeing headlights. I had just knocked off a bluegill at the bottom of the hole that I suspected was an honest two pounds. In a world where most anglers rarely find a one pound bluegill, this was a nightmare of epic proportions. Waking up safe and sound on top of the covers and coming to the realization that I had never hooked this fish was a huge relief. Fish of this caliber, while extremely rare, do exist beyond my unusual dreams. Legendary bluegill hunter, Bruce Condello, and his group of bluegill aficionado friends, had shirts made of dogs riding bicycles because honest three pound bluegills are about as common. Bruce specifically has five bluegills to his credit that went an honest three pounds in his home state of Nebraska. If we were to start a fantasy bluegill fishing league, another of my top draft picks would have to be Clayton Davis of North Dakota. Davis recently captured a 12” two pound specimen late ice this past winter and has many other large fish to his credit. While scarfing down a gas station burrito on the way home from chasing bluegills all day may have led me to strange dreams of massive pie plates, I wanted more. I wanted to know what it really takes to land a personal best this ice season. How do these anglers select lakes that have the capabilities to produce this caliber of bluegill? Does it relate to the genetics of the fish or is it simply a matter of finding over fed obese populations? What voodoo mind tricks are involved in finding dogs riding bicycles?North Dakota angler, Clayton Davis, has really made a name for himself the past few seasons with his social media bluegill pictures. Living in an area where walleyes and perch reign as king, he has found populations of giant untapped bluegills. Davis has a system of finding lakes that have trophy potential and it starts with looking into state stocking reports. He explained to me that you not only need to check available data on bluegill populations but also try to locate lakes with large pike. Lakes that boast populations of large pike typically have a balanced population of bluegills. Balanced populations have the potential to grow large fish versus lakes that have over abundant populations of fish that will end up stunted. Lakes will only support so many inches of fish so these large predators are needed to keep the population in check and the size good.After selecting lakes with high caliber potential, Davis begins his search. He notes that pencil reeds are paramount when searching out a new lake and big bluegills are usually in close proximity. He will start shallow and work his way through the mid depth weed flats out into the basin. During late ice, which he considers the best time to chase pie plates, he often finds giants in as shallow as three feet of water. Using the weed fishing mode on his Vexilar FLX-28 allows Davis to see his jig and approaching fish in this heavy cover. He explains that the weed mode drowns out clutter from the weeds and has been instrumental in his success. When he begins to find medium sized fish, he will often drill a large concentration of holes to circle that immediate area. This allows him to dissect the weed beds and find the best vantage points. Places for fish to ambush prey, while also providing cover from large pike, are going to hold the largest gills. He described that a sort of pecking order exists in the world of bluegills and big fish will take these prime locations and push smaller fish out into the fringe areas.The founding father of modern ice fishing, Mr. Dave Genz, has been chasing high caliber bluegills since childhood. He likes to look for big bluegills in lakes that will sometimes experience a partial winter kill. Yes, you read that correct. This is a theory that has worked well for Genz over the years. It goes back to a lake only being able to support so many inches of fish. A partial winter kill will thin the lake enough for the remaining fish to thrive and grow large. In order for this to happen at least part of the lake has to be shallow limiting oxygen after the weeds die off mid-winter. This is one of the few events that can reverse the effects of lakes that house over abundant stunted populations.Pursuing pie plate sized bluegills is my passion. I have spent countless hours milling over maps and lake data looking for the next lake that may produce a fish over 11”. I have found a few factors that I like to look for when trying new waters. The first would be current. Lakes that are connected by rivers and have some current running through them for whatever reason are always top producers. While I have not completely figured out the correlation, give this trick a try and I promise you won’t be disappointed. The second thing I like to look for is the presence of shrimp. Amphipods or shrimp are high calorie meals for bluegills and can bulk up fish faster than other invertebrates. If obese gills are on the docket this winter, find the lakes with shrimp and current.The other piece of the puzzle is genetics. Male bluegills pass on genetics to their offspring. Just as my children will never be as tall as Shaqueille O’Neil’s children, 7” male gills do not have the proper genetics to produce 11” bulls. Bruce Condello, owner of the website bigbluegill.com, has his own strain of bluegill called Condello gills. He has created this strain on a private pond that he manages by netting the pond every year in October. By taking out all bluegills except the largest 1/10 of 1 %, he has created a sort of super strain that can grow to 10” in sixteen months. One thing this tells us is that when anglers sort to keep the largest bluegills as table fare, we are genetically making our bluegill populations smaller. It is important that the bluegill aficionado recognizes this and opts to release big bulls and instead harvest more abundant smaller fish.When hunting down giant Nebraska bluegills on public water, Bruce likes to look for lakes that house large concentrations of juvenile largemouth bass. It goes back to the theory of lakes only being able to support so many inches of fish. According to Condello, largemouth bass in the 11” range are eating machines and keep populations balanced. This allows remaining bluegills enough food to pack on pounds. He also looks for lakes that have, what he describes as, high water quality. Lakes that have submergent vegetation, clear water and low nutrient loads are his top choices. Clear lakes have better sunlight penetration for weed growth. These lakes with rooted vegetation produce oxygen from the bottom up so fish don’t get stressed and can continue to feed even throughout difficult periods of the year. Lakes that are highly nutrient laden lack the sunlight penetration to grow deep rooted vegetation so oxygen comes from algae and can dip to low levels. He also noted the importance of appropriate sized invertebrates for the fish to feed on in the early stages. If another species strips out the 1 mm sized invertebrates, young bluegills must become risk takers, leaving the protection of the weeds in search of an open water food source. This often leads to them being eaten by bass. He believes that having enough of the correct sized invertebrates is more important than the amount of available spawning habitat in a particular lake. Avoiding lakes with small stunted populations is paramount. Lakes with an overabundance of weeds will foster small fish and stunted populations. Ideal waters are comprised of less than 10% weeds. Heavily weeded lakes will protect more bluegills from predation than the food source can support and the population will stunt. Condello’s best advice for an angler looking to ice a personal best this winter is to first, find lakes that have big bluegills and second, sort through a lot of fish. Visualize the items that a large bluegill may eat that a medium sized bluegill cannot. Big bluegills have bigger mouths than their medium sized counter parts so bigger baits are often necessary. Pay attention to the depth that the bigger fish are using. Don’t be afraid to leave medium sized fish to search out giants.The ice season is finally upon us and with it brings an opportunity to spend time with friends and family on the hard water again. Whether you or I ice a personal best or not this season, the charm is what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope (John Buchan). I guess I just love chasing dogs riding bicycles.
Behind every great person... are a bunch of other people. Ahh the power of collaboration. We started this social network we call Fishing Minnesota in 1998. We've had our ups and we've had our downs but mostly ups. It's been a great ride so far and I'm sure many of you will agree you have come to know this place as home. We tore down the home in November of 2014 and started building a new place where you love to hangout and talk about the outdoors in Minnesota. The nice thing about this new home is we can add features you want to use easily because it suits more folks for what they are looking for in a community.
Inside Traders (IT) happens to be your collaboration tool. Right now the framework is still going up and we couldn't wait to put a few finishing touches on it if you want see a bit of it in action (See menu above). IT has potential for you to grow and gives you the ability to create your own outdoor network to collaborate with. IT is easy.
We work together, on the playing field, at the office, raising children, in the field and on the water. Humans are social animals, and civilization is the result of pooled effort. So it pays to figure out what got us here, and how we can continue to join forces going forward. Inside traders is part of that plan where you are involved in something bigger than ourselves.
We provide the platform and 'you control how your Inside Trader group works once we roll this baby out in full force. The early bird gets the worm.
We have a couple Inside Trader groups started and a third that will launch in the next week or two. The Bluegill and Crappie Inside Traders group is an invite only group. Members are selected and invited based on their posts in the Bluegill & Crappie forum. The same will happen with the Walleye and Sauger Inside Traders and the Walleye forum. This is just one type of collaboration YOU can start. IT can take many forms to fit you.
These two Inside Traders groups will be sharing information among Elite anglers who have already proven they share good information on that topic. Those Inside Traders will be the only ones who have access to the information in their respective collaboration. Trading/sharing locations, tactics, trips, vacations and more.
The Fishing Reports for Inside Traders is for you who earn a certain Prestige level, because you share information, based on posts you make and reputation points you earned. Only those of you who have been automatically added, because you share good information in the forums, have liked others posts, and have earned likes in return, will be able to access the collaborations going on in this Prestige Inside Traders group.
Once you have earned your way into an Inside Traders group and we have given staff their chance to roll with an Inside Traders group, it's then you seize your opportunity to be one of the first to start an Inside Traders group collaboration. The decision you make will be based on your interest and how you want your Inside Traders group to roll.
We would like you to use Inside Traders to collaborate and 'have more fun'.
Available for you soon.
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One tactic this time of year that tends to excel in larger rivers and lakes is trolling leadcore line for walleyes. Basic tackle is a large capacity level wind reel and a 7-9' medium action trolling rod. I recommend a trolling rod as the taper is made to troll nonstretch lines like leadcore or superbraids. A line counter reel can be very helpful to replicate your presentation when targeting suspended fish but leadcore line is colored every 30' and you can get by with letting out line by how many colors you have out as well. Leadcore line is a dacron sheath around a fine lead filament and the additional weight of the filament is what causes the line to sink. A basic rule to follow is 5 feet of depth for each color you have in the water when travelling at 2 mph. In most lakes and rivers, 4-6 colors of leadcore will suffice with 6 getting you to the 30' plus range depndeing on your presentation and trolling speed. Leadcore is speed dependent so slowing down will get you slightly deeper and speeding up will raise your presentation slightly due to the water resistance against the line. This scenario is also true in rivers where current may cause the need to let out additional line to get your baits in the strike zone. For most presentations 27# leadcore is sufficient to cross over between walleyes and salmon fishing and there is really a negligible difference between 18# and 36# leadcore as far as sink rate. A mono leader of 10# line between the leadcore and the bait to be presented is the next addition to the arsenal. To attach the leader you will need to push the dacron sheath down to exspose 6-8" of the lead filament, cut the filament off and tie the mono leader to the dacron sheath. A double uni knot or a nail knot work nicely and I have even seen guys use back to back clinch knots. Leader lengths can vary from 10-50' depending on the lures used. The important thing to note is if you are going to troll diving crankbaits like slamo hornets or shad raps you will need to know the dive depth for that particular lure with the amount of mono leader that you have on as the baits will dive an additional few feet deeper then what the leadcore is achieving. So for instance, I have three colors of leadcore out and a 50' leader with a #5 shad rap. I know the leadcore will get me down 15' and that a #5 shad rap will reach an additional 8' on 50' of 10# mono for a total depth of 23'. When working with spinner rigs or stick baits your rigs will generally run just 2-3 feet deeper then the leadcore and it may take a bit of experimenting to get your baits right in the zone that you want to attack. This tactic can be particularly deadly on lakes with thermoclines and where suspended forage like whitefish or tullibees are present and allows you to target fish suspended out over the basin or sitting just above the thermocline that you would not normally be able to reach with just standard diving baits. Tightlines and good luck on the water!
Down to one shift and 24 hours of scrambling to not forget any crucial gear. Gotta pack clothes and buy food yet. Weather still looks great for the week. This time of year you have to pack for all weather conditions. With two young kids along, really got to make sure they are warm, dry, and well fed.
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Welcome to Shack’s Blog
Welcome everyone! This is the new bog format with the new FishingMinnestoa.com website.
We encourage everyone to join in and post/comment on our blogs. Whose blog is going to become the most popular? What will everyone blog about?
Most likely I will blog about catfishing but one never knows what could pop up in Shack’s Blog.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kolt Ringer, President
American Angler Leagues, INC.
Lake Minnetonka Youth Fishing League
Hosting Informational Meeting May 19 - 6:30 PM Lord Fletchers – Season Dates Set - July 7-August 15, 2015
“We are excited to be implementing a model that replicates other youth sports and gives kids the opportunity to fish as part of a team,” says Kolt Ringer who founded the American Angler League Organization.
Fishing will take place on Tuesday nights from 4:00-7:30PM, starting on July 7th. At 7:30PM each night all boats will report back to a pre-determined location on the lake to share scores, stories of the big catches, and of the ones that got away.
At the end of the fishing season, all the fishing scores will be tallied up and the “Lake Minnetonka Cup”, a traveling trophy, will be passed on to the winning team. Currently, the Insta-Gators from Mound are the defending champions.
There will be an informational meeting on May 19th, 2015 6:30PM at Lord Fletchers and families can register for the league in person at the meeting or online at www.fishaal.com.
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