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Reintroduce yourself to slip bobbers

I’m seeing renewed interest in slip-bobber fishing for walleyes, a technique that can be extremely productive along inside weedlines, rocks, and reefs – especially in wind-blown areas. A prime way to fish, for example – if you have wind coming into a rock pile, reef, or weed edge – is to drop a jig or hook with some live bait…

Surviving summer, and awaiting fall

I’m not wishing away the summer. Not really. Well, kind of. I look out the window at the lettuce in the garden… wilted, listing a little to the left, as if it can’t stand up against its own weight in the 90-degree heat. I empathize. I see the deer in the field down the road at night, venturing out only…

Once they're here, can we stop exotic species?

Eurasian watermilfoil. Hydrilla. Zebra mussels. Emerald ash borer. Asian carp. The list of exotic invasive species in the United States is long and growing. Every time a new one makes the list government organizations get blasted for their ineptness and these agencies scramble to come up with programs to quell the anxieties of the masses who are shouting for solutions….

Weird Catches, Revisited

Every few months, Offbeat Outdoors offers a heaping portion of wild angler catches, and with the dog days of summer approaching, we figured the timing was right for a fresh serving. Bon Appétit! Michigan Angler Snags Omni Michael Foor has fished Michigan’s Grand River for the better part of two decades, so when he felt the pull on his line…

It's Time For Plastics

There are all different styles of fishing, and one of my favorites is fishing with plastics.  Plastics offer an opportunity to fish cover that you might not be able to with any other baits.  They also allow you to fish much slower and work an area with much more precision.  These combined will mean more fish in the boat. Plastics…

Fishing plastics: the method

While fishing, I observe lots of angler behavior, and I can definitely say many people tend to fish plastics too fast – especially for bass – whether it’s a tube rigged wacky or Texas-rigged. We need to slow down and try new techniques for retrieving a lure. Most anglers simply work the lift-drop, lift-drop. There’s nothing wrong with casting out and…

Single or treble?

Some Great Lakes fishermen prefer lures with single hooks. Other prefer treble hooks. Which group is right? Obviously, if one kind was demonstrably better than the other, the argument would be finished. Almost all of us would be fishing with one style or the other. One could surmise treble hooks would be three times as effective in hooking and catching…

It’s always time for crankbaits

Crankbaits are one of my favorite multi-species lures, but they don’t perform unless you employ them properly. Set your crankbait at the correct depth, or in a tough bite or with less-aggressive fish, fish won’t chase it. Use your electronics to mark the location of fish, then put the crankbait in their zone. We need to match crankbaits with conditions….

"Fishing Getaway" has another successful Rend Lake visit

The United Special Sportsman Alliance recently rolled in to southern Illinois with a convoy of 12 families, 23 children and 18 anglers for its 7th annual “fishing getaway" at Rend Lake. The USSA is the largest "dream-wish-granting" fishing and hunting charity in the U.S., according to founder and C.E.O. Brigid O’Donoghue. The USSA, along with anglers from Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee…

Freshwater to salt water

Many of my favorite fishing trips are local in nature – when I fish with my dad on Lauderdale Lakes in southeastern Wisconsin. Recently I experienced a whole new type of fishing.  My fishing buddy (Dad) just moved to Florida and I was dying to fish his newfound waters.  My family took a trip to southwestern Florida to fish the…

Backwoods and Farm Pond Favorites

A day on the lake or at a park full of strip pits is great when you can pull it off, but during the long daylight hours of summer, quick fishing opportunities can also present themselves when the work day ends. Those without boats, with little time or who simply like a more isolated fishing environment can have a lot…

Lifetime licenses? Devil is in the detail.

Legislation has been introduced in Lansing to create a package of lifetime hunting and fishing licenses. On the surface, it sounds like a good idea that would save sportsmen and women a few bucks. But the devil is in the detail. The legislation, HB 5334 sponsored by Rep. Richard LeBlanc (D-Westland), calls for establishing lifetime licenses for fishing (restricted and…

Rule No. 2

My purpose here isn’t to keep rule No. 1 a secret, it’s a takeoff on the saying my high school football coach often eschewed. Odd though it may seem, he’d find a way to fit it into pep talks, chew-outs and general conversation time and again. He’d say, “Watermelon is the second best thing in the world. Everyone has their…

Is 10 brook trout too many?

The Department of Natural Resources’ proposed change in the brook trout creel limit from five fish to 10 fish is more controversial than I thought it would be. It wasn’t that long ago that the daily limit was 10 fish, and it had been 10 for quite a few years. From what I understand, the change from 10 to five…

Bill for Fish Management Fund on the move

House Bill 4193, Rep. Frank Mautino’s DNR Sustainability Bill, was placed on the schedule for a second reading and short debate today.  At 3 p.m., I learned that floor amendment No. 1 was filed by Mautino, and that the bill was assigned to Rules Committee. In other words, the bill is moving. Enter retired DNR fisheries chief Mike Conlin. He…

Fun fishing in early walleye territory: crankbaits!

I hear from anglers who assume that crankbaits only work in warm temperatures. Not true! Crankbaits will work opening weekend and all the way through summer, trolling or casting. Most people troll crankbaits, but in a rip-rap area or other structure, there’s nothing wrong with experimenting with some crankbait casting. When trolling cranks, you have three choices: long-line, use lead-core, or…