Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fishing January 27, 2008



This day was one of those days that were going to test you in every way possible once getting to your fishing spot and the walk before. The previous day was gorgeous with high sun and mild temps but projects around the house had dominated that day and we were unfortunate to be able to take advantage. So Sunday arrives and we wake to a snowstorm with gusting winds to 35mph.


We arrive at the lake, one that we usually only fish a couple of times a season, and there is between 1-2 inches of fresh snow on top. If someone wanted to make a home video to send into one of those TV shows, this one would have done well. Since there was a fresh coating of snow the footing that we had was never really there. The ice surface was very slippery and while pulling our portable house along with us I had fallen to the ice at least 15 times before getting to where I wanted to fish. As I sit here and type this report my right knee is still in a good amount of pain as well as one of my elbows. There were a couple of times that I laid there on the ice wondering why I continue but I wanted to fish and made my way to that area.


We concentrated on a deeper hole of the lake and punched a number of holes looking for active fish. What we were finding were a number of dead holes and finally one produced a couple of small sunfish for our efforts. I had decided to work my way towards shore as I was contemplating walking the shore back to avoid another round of slamming myself to the ice. As we worked into a little shallower water the last couple of holes started producing and started with a pickerel. After getting that fish out of the area the bigger sunfish started coming in and there were a handful of nice ones caught.


With the winds and snow howling outside and not much action happening inside of the house we decided to pack it up and head out. Most of our fish came in 10 feet of water and were caught on a green/black T.H.E. Jig worked ever so slowly and the smallest jig that I had along with me. These fish were very inactive and fortunately the last hole that we drilled there were some active fish to save the day. This lake has numbers of these bigger sunfish and that is what we were looking for but with the cold snowy front passing through the area, I have a feeling that most anglers out there had a tough day as well.


One piece of equipment that I need to purchase this week before going out again next week is a good set of boot cleats as I am not going to put myself through that punishment again. We as sportsman put ourselves through some very tough and demanding situations to do what we truly love to do. It takes dedication and sometimes a little craziness to keep getting out there and going but when that day comes where everything falls together, those are the days that we live for. Would I do it again and the answer will always be yes as my wife asked me that when I came limping and hobbling into the house.


Here is our latest video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=LCOAGj7wcgU

BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:
www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:
outdoors@backwoodssportsman.com

Monday, January 28, 2008

Our latest Video Jan 28, 2008


video


Panfish fishing through the storm

BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:

www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:
outdoors@backwoodssportsman.com

Friday, January 25, 2008

Cold Temps Making Ice

The weather as of lately here in New England is being very favorable for the ice anglers out there and cooperating with ice forming. The temps lately have been very cool especially at night and lack of snowfall is helping immensely. The warm weather and rain that we had received a week ago or so has taken most of the snow cover off of the ice and this is allowing the cold to take hold. Some area ponds still need to be watched as the shorelines were opening with the warm weather and still be unsafe to navigate onto. Bringing all the safety equipment along is always encouraged and letting people know where you are at is getting to be standard practice. We are still enjoying time on the ice and are finding good ice where we have been and will be trying a new body of water again this weekend. Be safe out there and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer but also be aware of what and where you are walking and be safe to enjoy another day out on the ice.
BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:
www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dead Sticking Panfish

As the winter months are progressing further along here that is bringing along high pressure days more frequently. This in turn makes the fish a little tougher to catch as the bites are more finicky and also very light hitting the baits that we offer them. Until we start seeing the spring thaw anglers are going to have to work a little harder to being able to put fish on the ice but we are starting to see a technique that is starting to pay off on these high pressure days. What we are talking about is dead sticking which is just like it sounds. Instead of giving any type of action to the bait, just leave the bait sit there motionless and this is attracting fish. Once you notice that the fish are hovering around your bait then you may want to put a very minimal action to it and usually one of those fish is going to grab the bait. Then there are times that just letting it sit there they will attack it as well. Play around with this technique and see what you can get to work for you and this may help you put some fish on the ice when others either are having a tough day or not getting bit at all. Adjusting your fishing methods to what the conditions are is what is going to make a mediocre day into a fruitful day.
BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:
www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:
outdoors@backwoodssportsman.com

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wildlife Activity

Have you ever noticed on days when you are in the field that sometimes the wildlife activity is either very active or none existent. Weather plays a huge role in how much activity are in the wildlife that we seek. It has been mentioned that you are able to look out your window and be able to gauge if this will be a successful day or not. If you have bird feeders in your yard those are good indicators that you could use to determine if there will be activity while you are out. Most of us are not able to pick our days that we take to enter the field and have to take whatever mother nature throws at us, but if we have a little idea as to the activity that is happening around us then we can adjust our plan accordingly and still make it a successful outing. Fish are going to be doing the same as well and many folks say to watch the bird activity around your favorite body of water and this will let you know how the day will be going. If there is a lot of activity then most creatures are going to be active but if you are not noticing much activity things may be tough and you will have to work a little harder to have an enjoyable day. The next time you go into the field take a look at what is happening around you and see if these things are as we describe.
BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:
www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fishing Video for Ice Fishing

Click on the following link:

BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:

www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:
outdoors@backwoodssportsman.com

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fishing January 19, 2008




Finally to be on the ice once again as the weather and conditions here in New England do and will change from day to day. While we were in MN for a week the weather here was in the 60’s and that melted a lot of the surface of the ice as well as opening up the shorelines on many ponds. We heard many reports that folks were using long board planks to get out onto the ice and after having another 12 inches of snow we had decided last weekend to stay off of the ice and wait for more favorable conditions.

We ventured out onto our favorite winter pond this day and with the spud bar in hand and the ice picks around our neck we found very favorable ice for our latest ice fishing adventure. The total ice thickness was around 12 inches with the top layer of 6 inches of frozen snow and the rest being hard ice. The thickness that we had now was thicker than we have had all winter and we should be set now for the rest of the winter with the cold temperatures coming in this week.


Since the snow has melted from the surface of the ice, this made for easy travels around searching for our fish today. Drilled a few holes right away and concentrated in depths from 13 – 18 feet of water. On this particular pond this area that we fish is the deepest hole of the lake and we always figure that there are going to be concentrations of fish here and usually are never disappointed at that.


Our game plan for this day was to fish for crappies and sunfish but at the same time we were going to jig for some bass as well. Upon dropping the transducer of our Vexilar down the first hole we were marking fish and dropped the Chubby Darter down and a couple of jigs later had the first bass on ice. Unfortunately since this fish had hammered the bait and taken it fairly deep we easily worked the hooks out and quickly released this bass back into the water unharmed. We tried a little more with the Chubby Darter but were more focused on searching for panfish and concentrated our efforts more towards them.


The plan that we generally use is drill around 20 holes in a circular pattern and once that is done then we will start hole jumping until we find active fish. As time goes by we generally find that there are only a few holes that are very productive and that were this case this day as well. The fish that we were marking were suspended from 3 feet to 9 feet off of the bottom and if we were to see the higher fish those were of a much bigger size. We had caught a number of fish but a majority of these were in the 4 – 6 inch range and we haven’t seen this many small crappies in this location ever.


After weeding our way through a number of fish we were able to bring home a few for a small fish fry and they were greatly appreciated on the dinner plate. The fish that were caught were caught on the Loby Baits Mousi in the white color and also others were caught on a yellow/orange T.H.E. Jig which we are finding as a popular color on this particular pond. The lift method was used on all of the fish that were caught and if they were reluctant to bite after working them for a few minutes then we would move onto the next hole.


We had figured that the bite would be much easier than it was as a small storm front was going to be coming through the area and the temperatures are falling as well. But that didn’t seem to matter as the fish were there and fish were caught but the numbers of fish that we did catch were worked for and were not going to come easily. Now that we are getting our ice forming more firmly these days this is going to open many more avenues for us and start looking for more reports from us and we are going to start venturing to lakes and ponds that haven’t been visited yet this winter.


BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:
www.backwoodssportsman.com/

If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ice safety

This is getting to be an old record lately around here in New England but we want to keep these thoughts on everyone’s mind this ice season. The ice that we had form early in the season had started out very clear and hard, but with all the snow that we have received this winter has melted and there is a layer of frozen snow/slush. Then came along the few days in the 60’s with a rain as well and what that did was melt the surface fairly well as well as open the shorelines also. Now we have received around another 12 inches of snow the other day on this weaker ice and snow/rain in a couple of days coming again. Luckily the cold weather is starting to come back but if you are venturing out to do some ice fishing, be very cautious and check the shoreline and all ice that you may walk on to making sure that it is strong enough to support you and your equipment. We have been talking about this scenario almost the whole season so far because the ice is ever changing and with the weather that we have been getting, this is not helping matters at all. Spud bar, life jacket, ropes and ice picks are standard equipment that needs to be taken along and you should not be out there without any of this equipment. Have fun and enjoy your ice outing but keep in mind that safety is number one and always should be and use that safety equipment and we all want to see everyone being able to fish another day.
BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:
www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:
outdoors@backwoodssportsman.com

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fishing MN January 9, 2008 with recap

Today was going to be a rest and travel day and being on the ice for 5 straight days was starting to take its toll on my back and I could definitely feel all of that fishing. Later in the afternoon I started my travels back towards the cities and met with a couple of friends before getting to my aunt and uncles as I spent the night with them. Very early morning flight on the next day had me back in New England by noon and the last numbers of days are all of a memory now that I am going to be carrying along with me for quite some time.

After looking back on my trip I had met a number of old friends met a load of new friends and will definitely be trying to get out with all of them upon my next outing to MN once again. I am already starting to plan my next years ice trip and I know that I will be in the same areas seeing the same folks that I had the pleasure of fishing with this year, but will be adding a stop in Wisconsin the next time around and fish with the Loby Baits gang over there on Redstone Lake. I tried to figure out how I could possibly get there this time around but the drive was going to be to long and I know that next time I will fly into Milwaukee and catch up with Loby and his crew for those outstanding days of fishing that they have over there. This was a very good trip and the days always go by way to fast but again I want to thank everyone that I met along the way for their hospitality and was a joy fishing with all of you. I am looking forward to doing it again next year.

BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:
www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fishing MN January 8, 2008

Dad and I decided that we were going to go and fish the lake that I fished earlier in the week for crappies again but with the conditions that we had we were never able to get there and fish it. Since we had to walk and had no other means of transportation out to the fishing spot, I was trying to find a location on the lake that we could park and walk but with the very dense fog that we were having, made it impossible to find that location. We ended up at a connecting lake and tried there for an hour and the fish were not biting there. The fog was lifting so we loaded the gear and headed back to find that other location and still were unable to find it and unfortunately never got back to the crappie honey hole. Went back to the homestead and I fished there the rest of the afternoon but the sun was out once again and the bite was tough but was able to put together another meal for the freezer and that was a goal that I wanted to do for my parents.
BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:
www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:
outdoors@backwoodssportsman.com

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fishing MN January 7, 2008




Since I had been traveling around the state the last three days I decided to stay and fish my parent’s lake and was nice to be able to walk out the door and start drilling holes. Across the bay there is a point that comes out and after finding that and drilled a number of holes to locate the break line and had holes in depths from 5 feet out to 26 feet. We found out that the best depth’s that were holding fish were from 8 feet to 16 feet with 12 feet the best. Today the bite was the best again when the clouds were around as later in the afternoon the bite dropped off dramatically once again. We were able to catch numerous sunfish and later in the day the crappies starting showing themselves and a few of them were caught as well. It was amazing at the number of northern pike that I had caught as I had a back to back battle with two pike on two consecutive drops of the line. These were all great battles and on the ultralite gear and 2 pound test line that I was using, this was a little nerve racking getting them in. we were able to get fish in the freezer and I know that mom was especially happy at seeing that. Was nice being able to fish with my dad for a change as this was something that we haven’t done in a number of years as well, this was some great times that I am going to remember for a long while.


BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:
www.backwoodssportsman.com/

If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fishing MN January 6, 2008




This was another early rise morning as this day was going to bring me to Big Sandy Lake in the McGregor area and a day of fishing with internet acquaintances and meeting many new people as well. The meeting place was at CrappieKeith’s house and man was there a number of people there to shake hands with. Shaking hands for the first time with Dave ”Hoggie” Hoggard and “CrappieKeith” Keith Nelson was something that I have wanted to do in quite some time and finally was able to get that chance. Also, the gang from WhereIFish.com had been there with Keith for the last few days and was truly a joy meeting all of you as well. We loaded and headed for Big Sandy and met up with another member of Catch-N Shannon “SandBurr” there with his kids and crew and a number of handshakes once again were put out and was great meeting all of you as well. Were moved out onto a narrows area on Big Sandy and everyone started drilling holes on a break in that area. With cloudy conditions and a light breeze this proved very productive until midday when the sun decided to poke out and slow the bite dramatically. Everyone was catching fish with whatever techniques they were using and many varieties of fish species were hitting the ice, walleye, northern pike, perch, crappies and whitefish were being caught. This day was one of my most memorable as I had met and fished with so many people in one day that goes to show me that ice fishing is so much more fun and we are able to share that time with more folks as opposed to open water fishing. At the end of this day Keith and I had done a Catch-N Radio show with Hoggie and hopefully other anglers are going to be able to get information from that. Again, this day was really the highest highlight that I had from the whole trip and look forward to doing this again next year.


BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:

www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:
outdoors@backwoodssportsman.com

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fishing MN January 5, 2008


The same friend and I decided to meet up early Saturday morning and try a lake that we haven’t fished in 15 years or so. After unloading the 4 wheeler and gear we traveled across the lake and decided to try an area and see if we could find some sunfish. Drilled a number of holes and nothing was in that area and as we looked across the lake there were two distinct pods of houses and we ventured towards the smaller one. We drilled a few holes and turned the Vexilars on and they were lit up like Christmas trees and wasn’t more than a few minutes and the crappies were hitting the ice. What we learned was that in this area there was a deep bar running through there and we were catching these fish in 36 feet of water with them suspending a few feet off of the bottom. The thing that I was amazed at was as the morning went on the fishing got better and before 11:00 am we both had our limits and had thrown a number of fish back as well. We packed up by noon and said good wishes to each other with a slap on the back and the memories were really starting to form already as neither of us has had a fishing outing like that in quite some time. Spent the rest of the day visiting with my brother that I am only able to see every other year and always look forward seeing him as well.


BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:
www.backwoodssportsman.com/

If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Week spent in Minnesota Recap

As I sit here back in New England and reflect back on my trip that I made to Minnesota from January 4 - January 10, 2007, there are many memories that I have taken and already I am starting to look and plan for the same trip next winter. I am really looking forward to being able to make this trip on a yearly basis and also meeting with old friends, business acquaintances and new fishing pals along the way that made for a very enjoyable trip this time around.

January 4, 2007

After being able to get an earlier flight at my connecting destination, I was able to get into Mpls a few hours earlier and met up with a friend for a few minutes as a surprise as he didn’t know that I was coming into town. Always good meeting up with him but I really need to get him out of the office and back onto the water one of these days. Then the road trip started towards St. Cloud to meet up with my old hunting buddy and we haven’t seen each other since I have moved here to New England 9 years ago. After a handshake we loaded the truck and headed to the Howard Lake area to try our hand at some ice fishing as he hasn’t been out in quite a while as well. We were able to use a friend of his fish house and we were on fish as soon as we started but the sunfish and crappies were really on the small side and only a few were kept. Was more fun just reminiscing about the old days and things that we had done over the years and time sure does fly by.

BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:
www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you:
outdoors@backwoodssportsman.com

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fishing Minnesota

With a whirlwind of fishing across Minnesota the last week look forward to reports that are going to be coming soon as we work our way back home to the East Coast...
BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors web site:
www.backwoodssportsman.com/
If you have an outdoor related question that you would like to "Ask BackWoods Sportsman Outdoors", send those inquiries to the following e-mail address and we will be glad to post a response for you: