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Thread: Fishing gurus, experts, or just hacks like me???

  1. #71
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    Yes we have caught a bunch trolling "Current" areas does not matter natural or wind produced, best was 4 passes 4 fish in a very tight spot to troll. I am also hoping to try to get up to Heaven yet this fall working very hard from a loss we had this spring when our biggest customer decided to go BK and owed us 90K (Ouch that hurt). First summer in 16 years did not get up there Maybe the muskie gods will let a little extra money our way so we can get up there. Hope everyone up there is safe and has great trips.
    Darren

  2. #72

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    Darren, if you need a place to stay to cut costs so you can make a trip up north this year, I may have something you could use for free. Its nothing special, but has heat, TV, beds, etc. just no running water after next weekend (8th). Anyway, if your interested just let me know.
    Thanks

  3. #73
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    Ran into this while trying to research the difference between water movement at night vs day.Kind of interesting.

    http://saltfishing.about.com/od/tide.../aa070517a.htm

  4. #74

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    You've love it up here right now! Gusting to around 35 MPH or more for the last three days and suppose to get real windy tomorrow (wonderful!!!!!!!).

    I doubt that the fish even know it's windy, but I sure do!

    We got three today, on the calm side!

    Doug

  5. #75
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    Keep a hold of your hat Doug!

  6. #76
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    Good going Doug-although it likely was calm only on the surface.
    I hope someone posts a few pics,I should give photo lessons I guess.

  7. #77
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    Damn wind.
    GO BIG RED!!

  8. #78
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    This wind is causing me to lose hats but I love it.The ducks and geese are knocking them off they are so low.

  9. #79
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    Did I ever tell you my duck hunter joke Dick?
    GO BIG RED!!

  10. #80
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    Don't think so Tim but....what was your Q again?

  11. #81
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    No question this time, Dick but I thought since you're a duck hunter, I thought you might like my duck hunter joke.

    A duck hunter dies and goes to heaven. He arrives at the Pearly Gates and there's a long line. Despite that, St. Peter rushes out and warmly greets the old duck hunter and begins to escort him forward, obviously ignoring those ahead of him.

    The duck hunter is bewildered and confused. "Wait a minute!" he exclaims. "There are all kind of people ahead of me. There are priests, bishops and even popes ahead of me. Why am I going first?"

    St Peter smiles and says, "I know, but you're the first duck hunter we've ever got!!"


    GO BIG RED!!

  12. #82
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    Amen to that.

  13. #83
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    Tim,
    The boss bought me some voice recognition software(Dragon)that would allow me to dictate to my computer vs hunt and peck typing.The book threat might be closer to reality now.Time will tell.
    Just a warning.

  14. #84

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    Hopefully has an obscenity filter.
    Walsh's Bay Store Camp
    Frank Walsh

    Web Site: http://www.baystorecamp.com

  15. #85
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    It did but I already melted the * * * thing.

  16. #86
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    Was reviewing and working on some stuff and ran across this oldie.Believe it or not,I wasn't drinking-and probably not thinking either.

    "
    ‘ STRUCTURE’-WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?

    Well ,to be honest,I’m not sure anymore.Based on questions I’ve been asked via e-mail or following seminars,I’m clearly not alone.I suspect asking ten fishermen would generate ten different definitions.What at face value may seem straight forward to many,perhaps really isn’t anymore.Should we care?I would think we ought to.I sure do.We often hear things like 90% of the fish are in 10% of the water.Well,whether true or not on any given body of water,its clear there’s a lot of sterile water out there and therefore if,as I believe, the fish are related to structure,seems to me we ought to carefully define and understand what structure is.
    Is it composed of hard traditional elements like reefs,points,breaklines used by fish as travel routes or does it include less permanent elements like bait,thermal lines and so on?What about things that guys like myself write and preach about such as ‘edges’,’comfort zones’,’cover’ vs ‘structure’,’climatic factors’ and on and on.Are these structural elements or something different?I suspect all this is causing unnecessary confusion-particularly to newcomers to the sport.I suspect we need a new definition of what structure is-one that fits an evolving,ever changing fishing scene.A common language if you will-a language we all can understand.Then again,maybe I really am crazy.Lets see where this goes.
    First a little historical perspective.The first discussion of structure may have gone something like this;
    Caveman to Cavelady:”Honey,stoke up the fire,I reached down behind that same rock in the stream and by golly I grabbed another fish.Woman,that rock rocks!Its one great piece of structure!”
    OK,OK maybe that isn’t exactly how it went,but in reality,at least in the sport fishing context,significant advancements beyond that simple approach didn’t occur until fairly recently.In my view it wasn’t until Buck Perry came out with his book on Spoonplugging in 1965 that the concept of ‘structure’was intelligently discussed and considered.In the same era you get Fishing Facts magazine,pioneers like Bill Binkelman,Tony Portincaso and the Lindner brothers,and then of course,Lowrances little ‘Green Box’,the depth finder(fish finder?) that changed the world of ‘structure’forever.At that point ‘structure’became THE buzz word.Man I can remember rowing around on lakes looking for ‘migration routes’.’feeding flats’ and other hyped locations til my arms ached.I recall how stunned I was by the simplicity yet ingenuity involved in the concept of using a lure to find or follow ‘structure’,say a deep weedline-not to mention the fishing success that came with it.I wasn’t alone,thousands and thousands were waiting to take fishing to a higher level.Given the impetus,entire sub industries grew up and sport fishing took off.Really took off!
    But,you know what,muskie fishing lagged behind.Muskie fishermen for the most part remained pretty basic and one dimensionable.If you were from the Midwest,you primarily casted-and almost always casted at or around weeds.That was your structure.If you were out east you likely trolled,trolled rivers or reservoirs,and again,’structure’was pretty basic with the focus on current edges,bars,maybe flooded timber in reservoirs,but still basic and traditional.
    It wasn’t until the late 70s and early 80s that other than basic traditional structure was discussed or popularized in most muskie circles and even then change came grudgingly and slow.In 1982 my wife and I had an article published in In Fisherman magazine where we talked about fishing walls,deep rock reefs,neck-downs,wind and wind current edges and other alternative types of structure and I can assure you many good muskie fisherman then,and for years thereafter,thought we were nuts.(I know,no comments please,many still do.)
    So I submit what constitutes ‘structure’has changed and will continue to change-and perhaps continue to confuse newcomers to our sport unless we correctly define it.So where are we now in terms of a definition.Well I suspect we are kind of in limbo.Some consider it to be only ‘hard’traditional elements such as weeds,points,reefs,or breaklines,while others would consider less permanent features such as wind or baitfish as structure.In other words there really is no clear definition most can agree on.For example look at how I defined it in my book ‘Muskies On The Shield’when it was published in 2001:
    “ In the simplest sense,structure is something that ‘holds’fish.Most often,the term refers to a physical feature of the lakes topography-breaklines or drop-offs,islands,inside turns or points.Structure,though,at least in terms of how fish relate to it,can also mean less permanent features of a fish’s environment-thermoclines,current,both natural and ‘unnatural’,mud or algae lines,even schools of forage.Though these kinds of things aren’t exactly ‘structure’in the traditional sense and are somewhat impermanent-a school of ciscoes moves around,while rock reefs pretty much stay put-they do affect fish location,sometimes more so than traditional structure,and in many cases are approached the same way in terms of how you fish them.As we shall see,it pays to expand one’s perception of what ‘structure’is beyond the traditional.”

    Good enough?Maybe-if I’d quit after the first sentence.But note,I didn’t,nor does anyone else who tries to define it.In fact,I and others seem to just confuse and complicate it the more we talk or write.For instance,about a year after my book came out I started to talk and write about ‘edges’and ‘environmental factors’.Then a couple years ago I had an article here in EA about those concepts and appeared to use them interchangeably with ‘structure’..I even talked about ‘traditional’ vs’ non-traditional’ edges and yet,at least indirectly,implied these ‘edges’were not structure.
    I and others continue to go beyond and write about’comfort zones’.thermal lines,twi-lite zones,chaos and turmoil areas,and so on.Some,particularly in the bass world,draw –or attempt to draw-distinctions between cover and structure.Is it any wonder there’s confusion about what structure is?
    More importantly does it matter?I believe it does,for a number of reasons.First in terms of communication and education its tough to teach-or learn-something that isn’t defined.Confusion has to follow. Seems to me a new,more inclusive definition would simplify things and remove this confusion.
    Secondly,as new technology comes into use,types of ‘structure’,such as thermal lines,oxygen readings,etc will be more readily available to use and certainly will be discussed and written about,likely causing more confusion absent a clear definition.
    Finally and perhaps most importantly,as new frontiers such as the Great Lakes and even just ‘open water’fishing in general becomes more popular and widespread,a framework to talk about new,or lets say impermanent,types of structures will be needed.In my view,a key mindset for success in these new frontiers will be to try identify and then combine as many of these less permanent types of ‘structure ‘ as possible to increase your odds of fish contact..Or put it this way, a key to success out there may well be trying to create non-traditional ‘complexes’ in the middle of nowhere-complexes composed of structural elements such as bait,current,temperature and oxygen comfort zones,favorable weather,light conditions(dawn/dusk/clouds/whatever.),etc.Absent a common language,ie,simplying and clarifying the definition of structure,how will we ever communicate and understand each other as we go forward?
    So what am I suggesting?A new all inclusive definition of structure.One that doesn’t cause confusion.One that frees the mind to think about things that attract or affect fish WITHOUT having to characterize where they fit or how to label them..If they affect or attract fish,that’s enough,its ‘structure’and lets move on to how to fish it.
    Well whats a good definition?I grabbed Websters New World Dictionary seeking some guidance but none of the definitions of structure there completely fits,although a couple are tantalizingly close to my frame of mind when I suggest putting structures together leads to fishing success.For instance,’to heap together,arrange’;or,’the arrangement or interrelation of all parts of a whole’;or,’something composed of interrelated parts forming an organism or an organization’.
    Recently during a seminar in Chicago I proposed a definition that seems simple and all inclusive.How about:”Structure’is anything that fish relate to or are affected by”?Adapt that definition and it seems to me the confusion inherent in talking about,’factors’,’edges’,’zones’,whatever disappears.Let the gurus pontificate all they(I) want,ignore our labels and pithy concepts,if it affects fish or they relate to it,consider it as structure and move on.If it doesn’t,its not likely worth considering in the fishing context anyway.
    Folks,as I sit here in mid February watching a blizzard roar across the hills outside I read and reread this wondering,have I said anything worthwhile?Is there anything here worth writing-or more importantly-reading about.?Something profound-or something stupid and unnecessary?Is my sense of all the confusion out there a product of age or senility?I doubt it,I think fishing has advanced so fast and far that we have left old definitions way behind.Even though at this point I’m still obviously struggling to get my arms around this topic,at a minimum,I hope this gets a conversation on ‘structure’going.
    Remember:thinking is just being thoughtful.
    See you next issue.
    Dick

  17. #87
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    so in a body of water like Lake of the Woods that has a ton of constantly changing current...wouldn't there be "rivers" flowing into/through/out of the large basins? their courses likely change constantly, but they must exist. these would be a form of structure under this broad definition since they would affect baitfish and predator fish.

    if we presume a fair number of large fish are located near large basins during mid-to-late summer, then it would be important to locate structure in or near these basins, yes? and the places where current "rivers" in the basins (non-traditional structure) contact reefs/islands/points (traditional structure) would make for complex (big mama) structure, yes? perhaps this might account for the reasons "good" traditional structure can sometimes be hot and sometimes be cold?

    knowing that current is created by more than just the wind, how do i locate open-water current? i see something eariler in this thread about flotsam during late summer and think this would be useful, but is there anything else i should be looking for???

    (wow...this is a crazy good thread.)

  18. #88
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    Thought I'd responded earlier today but...????
    Anyway,I hesitate to respond cause Oh boy do I love this stuff.I'm sure not short of theories and opinions here.A few facts even but hell,who needs facts?
    I'm in the hunting mode for a couple days but here's another 'oldie' to ponder Mike-at least til I can respond further.

    " FISHING ‘OUT THERE’

    Hi Folks.Sure hope your season has gone well so far-complete with big fish and smiles.
    What I want to talk about in this column is fishing ‘out there’,you know,the ‘open water’thing.Some of you have been doing it since opening day,some are thinking its time to try it out there,and some I suspect have never tried it,or have,but without success and have no intention of seriously trying it again.Regardless of what category you’re in,I suspect all of you at times have concerns about how random it seems when fishing out there.How much water there is,how little ‘structure’there appears to be,in reality how futile it seems..Well,lets take a closer look at that and see if we can’t crank(no pun intended)your confidence level up a notch or two.
    First a few threshold concepts:
    1.Clear your mind a little with regard to what structure is-or isn’t.Don’t get hung up in meaningless terminology-ie,whether structure is just traditional hard things like points,reefs,weeds,breaklines,etc;or non-traditional like current,weather,moon phase or bait;or whether’edges’are structure;or are comfort zones structure;and on and on.Forget it.As I’ve said before,if fish relate to it or are affected by it,consider it structure and move on.
    2.Remember,species don’t survive by random movement.Fish are related to structure out there,its just that we have trouble finding much of it.Understand we are conditioned to throw at or troll around structure and the sense of futility is fed by our difficulty in locating what structure exists out there.
    3.There are two keys to finding fish out there.One is eliminating as much sterile water as possible(shrinking the box).The second is combining as much structure as we can identify while out there and focusing on those ‘busy’areas.
    First lets focus on eliminating some water.Every body of water will have certain key areas’out there’that are consistently good.For years I’ve called them golden triangles just because my best area in one of my favorite open water lakes was roughly a half mile square area between 3 pieces of traditional structure that formed a triangle.Whatever you call these consistent hot spots,all lakes have them but how do we find them short of fishing everything out there?What follows are my ideas on how to eliminate water and find these spots.
    1.Consider what I just said regarding my favorite spot.A logical area to consider is between and/or adjacent to good traditional structure.If you have a great point or weedbed and a quarter or half mile out in the lake you have a favorite reef,isn’t it likely the open water between should be fished?The same can be true with respect to deeper traditional structure such as isolated humps IF they appear to have the consistent bait I’ll discuss next.
    2.Pay attention to your electronics and the birds to monitor‘bait’whenever you are on the water.You will eventually find areas that consistently hold the heaviest bait concentrations and these almost undoubtedly will be some of the key open water areas on that lake.Thats nearly guaranteed if there happens to be fairly consistent current(natual or wind induced)in the area as well.(ie,the open water areas on each side of good saddles or above or below neck down areas on larger bodies of water.)
    3.Speaking of current,I believe it plays a huge role here.It affects bait distribution,temperature and oxygen distribution,and lord knows what else but the open water areas adjacent to my favorite current areas are solid winners.A separate article in itself but see and reread the two part article on current in Esox Angler last year by Pete Maina and I if you’re unsure of what areas I’m talking about.
    4.So far we’ve looked at the body of water in a horizontal fashion.Where should we travel to and focus our attention while on this lake?However,equally important,we should consider the body of water in a vertical sense if our goal is to eliminate sterile water.If the lake is 100 or more feet deep and you have to be concerned with only the top 10,20 or 30 feet did you eliminate some water?Lots!Likely the bulk of it.
    THINK and err SHALLOW out there.I gave a series of seminars on this subject this past winter and hopefully some day I’ll finish the book I’m working on where this will be covered in detail but my theory after all these years is that 99% of the muskies are shallow 99% of the time.By ‘shallow’ I mean they rarely if ever are below what I’ll call the photo zone,the zone or depth wherein there is sufficient light penetration to allow photosynthesis to take place.Briefly,and somewhat oversimplied,that’s a depth approximately twice the secchi disc reading on a given body of water.Light penetrates further but in an amount insufficient for the creation of life.This zone therefore is easily ascertainable.Maps,the internet or your DNR can give you this secchi depth or determine it close enough on your own by dropping a white object(I use a white anchor)down until it disappears.Measure that distance,double it,(add a few feet if you’re skeptical)and then don’t fish below it.Ever.If its 10 feet,double it to twenty,and ignore totally the 60,80 or 100 feet below that.Because of the location of a muskies eyes, feeding habits,and some points that follow I’d urge you to err shallow if anything.
    Support for my theory?Lots beyond my personal experiences accumulated over the years which I’ll not discuss here because of space constraints.
    First consider that this zone is where the meaningful food chain lives most of the time.From photoplankton to zooplankton to ciscoes or whatever,that’s where its at.As Dan Cravens article in the last issue and the installment in this issue points out,even ciscoes are shallower than we thought and even if they go deeper,almost all sub species rise to this zone to feed.Necessarily.Guess who’s waiting for them to come to dinner?Perhaps waiting in that ‘twi light’zone of murky,light deprived water which Gord Pyzer has written about that really is the bottom of the photo zone.(studies suggest big pike utilize this zone to ambush prey silhouetted above-think muskies do?I do and my trolling records confirm it.
    Next consider a muskies ‘comfort zone’.We can quibble whether its 68 degrees or 72 degrees but regardless,their comfort zone in terms of temperature,unlike big pike or trout ,is clearly within this photo zone.If you wish,ignore telemetry studies that show they are never below this zone pre turnover,dismiss the phenomenom of muskie porpoising on the surface regularly,forget the big ‘swim bys’we all see while fishing away but get real,why in the world would the king(queen)of freshwater fish leave their comfort zone when their food is there as well.Stay shallow-eliminate sterile water.
    Okay lets talk briefly about the second key to finding fish out there-combining structure.
    Actually we really can’t ‘combine’it,that is create it or move it around but we can all develop a thought process of trying to recognize and be aware of as much ‘structure’as possible being present at a given time and place.The more present,the better our odds of fish contact.’Busy’places are fish places.By way of anology consider a traditional point in your favorite lake.Points are often great fish spots but a plain old barren point is not very exciting-particularly on say a cool,sunny,calm day.Now though add a weed bed and a little wind.Better?Add a few boulders,some baitfish and dusk coming-or thunder rumbling in the distance.Now better?For sure.In the open water context we may not have hard traditional structure to focus on but we can still try to recognize and’combine’as much structure as possible.Look for open water‘complexes’if you will.
    Well can we really do this out there?Sure,to an extent.Key structure out there like current,water temperature,oxygen levels that fish are relating to may be difficult or nearly impossible to ascertain meaningfully with existing technology but you can try.For sure you can find and focus on bait-or consistent bait areas-that likely are telling you a lot about temp,oxygen and current anyway.Bait,as structure,is as good as it gets out there absent actual muskie sightings or contact.But there’s a lot more.Wind(often chaos and turmoil exists out there as well),solar/lunar phases,weather(anticipate and use it),dawn and dusk(light changes),in short lots of things that affect fish,and which to me is therefore structure,are recognizable and combinable with some thought.
    Finally you have two critical structures out there nearly as important in my view as bait.The surface(busiest place there is for big muskies-where extremes of noise,temp,wind and water movement,light,oxygen etc are at their greatest)and the bottom.Not the sterile actual bottom,but the bottom of the photo zone,that murky light deprived twi lite zone where muskies can quite easily ambush prey above or prey coming through to get to the meaningful food zone.
    Weather, light conditions,bait depth and other ‘structure’present,often will suggest whether to focus on the surface or just above that bottom,but its hard to argue with keeping it simple and focusing on one or the other.If two or more are in the boat,try both.
    Well folks,hopefully this has made some sense and you’ll agree its not futile out there,that there really is less area and water than you thought to concentrate on,and that with some thought on your part there can be method to the madness of going ‘out there’.
    Catch-and release-the fish of your dreams this fall!
    Remember:thinking is just being thoughtful.
    See you next issue.
    Dick

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    Mike,
    Didn't get time to reply and leaving again tomorrow for a few days.Your answers are sort of in the 'out there' blip though.
    Here's my final for awhile.Soul fishing!!!
    The older I get,the more relevant the following has become.Guess I really am a social recluse.


    FISHING ALONE

    Hi Folks.Years ago I used to fish alone a lot.I still do occasionally but actually wish I could do more of it-and hopefully will be able to.Back in the day it often was because I was obsessed with exploring new waters on the Canadian Shield and few were willing to fish as long or hard as I did then-or,to be honest,they insisted on acting responsibly toward their jobs and families.But really,its always been more than that,I truly enjoy fishing alone.
    Why?A myriad of reasons really but what follows are the main ones plus a discussion of what I believe are some issues to consider when doing so.
    First and foremost I suspect I love fishing alone because I really am sort of what a friend calls a ‘soul fishermen’.Not necessarily religious,not one to try save souls,not that meaning at all.Rather someone that loves the outdoors,appreciates nature and fishes for a lot more than fish.Outdoors I find what I need to survive and maintain some sort of balance.Part is the solitude and serenity but its much more and very hard to describe.I’m retired now but back in the day I had a very stressful job.When at work,I worked long,hard and intensely.With my emotional set up,I believe it was crucial for me to get away,alone,to clear my mind of problems and stress- get restored if you will.Being alone doesn’t make that automatically happen by any means but being alone and aware of and appreciating your surroundings sure works for me.
    Most of my friends are soul fishermen and share my feelings and views but we all agree it’s a process and a part of the overall fishing experience that all can appreciate if they want.In my Spring 2006 column I suggested we all ask ourselves why we fish,and specifically why we fish muskies.I suggested answering those questions honestly would help us focus more on our fishing experience and lead to more enjoyment.Now let me challenge you a bit more.Test yourself as to how aware you are of your surroundings while fishing.What are you seeing?What are you hearing?.Its a magnificent world we are in if we are really aware of our surroundings.In a day of fishing how many different birds or animals are you seeing?How many natural sounds are you hearing?How many different types of trees,clouds or colors are you seeing?.Awareness,to me,is a large part of fishing.
    I know,I know,some of you are saying,’hey this is a fishing magazine,what does all this awareness crap have to do with fishing?’I believe a lot.With awareness and appreciation of the outdoors comes knowledge.Knowledge of how things work-including fish.Awareness puts you in touch with weather and wildlife-above and below the water.Awareness allows you to see how this all works,how it all fits together and be a better angler because of it.Knowledge really is power.I tried to suggest the importance of awareness in my book and DVD,’Muskies On The Shield’, so if you have read or seen those hopefully this will be easier to understand.
    Okay enough soul stuff.Another reason I like to fish alone is it allows me to test things.For instance ideas and theories.Many of my views on wind,current,walls,deep structure and so on were formed while fishing alone.When alone there are few distractions or restraints.Nothing is stupid and anything goes when it comes to experimentation.Think it- try it.Sometimes it works-and gives great satisfaction.
    The same is true with lures and techniques.When with others its often hard to devote realistic amounts of time to experimentation.Want to speed troll with jigs and plastics?Want to find out how fast you can troll a Jake or a 5 oz Grinder behind cowbells,or park your boat and get out and wade a sand beach to more effectively work a matted shoreline cabbage bed?Its very hard to devote significant time to trying these type things,or really anything new or experimental,unless you’re alone.
    Fishing alone also allows me to test the theories and ideas of others as well.For instance,the time tested In Fishermen formula of F+L+P=S was something I tested and tried to tweak for years.(to no avail for the most part)Their system is still the best and most logical way to approach fishing in my view but in the process of fishing alone and testing it,I learned a lot and developed my own way of applying the formula that usually allows me to make fish contact easier when exploring new waters
    Finally,fishing alone lets me test myself a bit-in many ways.Can I ‘think’ and then catch fish alone on a new lake-whether a small lake a few miles down the road or a massive river system or lake in the wilds of Canada?Do I have what it takes to be alone in certain places and the will and knowledge to do it safely?(see sidebar on common sense safety issues)In my view testing oneself is a crucial part of discovering what fishing and life in general is all about.
    Well I’ll conclude this rambling but I urge you to give fishing alone a try.Treat yourself,learn a bit about yourself,you deserve it.I’ll bet fishing alone once in awhile will not only make you a better angler and more appreciative of the total experience,but a more aware and happier person in general.
    Good fishing!

    Remember:thinking is just being thoughtful.

    See you next issue.
    Dick

    SIDEBAR
    What follows is not an attempt to be politically correct and protect you from yourself,but rather a few safety and other considerations when fishing alone.The list is largely common sense or,as to a couple,things I’ve run afoul of over the years.
    1.If going to a wild rather unpopulated lake or river system,leave word with someone as to your plans and proposed fishing area.
    2.Be conscious of weather and act accordingly.I like to fish during storms but in most cases I know it’s foolish.At least have an intelligent awareness of the risks.
    3.Consider wearing a PFD all the time but certainly do so if alone when fishing in wind or bad weather or when traveling.As a few friends know,my failure to do so a couple years ago nearly cost me my life.In wind and big rollers,if you go in,the odds of catching up to your boat and getting back in are 50-50 at best in my view.(if you go in and manage to catch back up to your drifting boat,you will likely be very weak and have trouble getting back into the boat.Trust me on this.If you have power trim and tilt,take the elevator by standing on the trim tab and pushing the trim button on the side of the motor.)
    4.If trying to explore and cover lots of water,consider using “crescent wrench”baits,like say a spinner bait,that works in nearly any kind of structure or situation you encounter.(shallow,deep,rocks,weeds,etc.)As to baits,when alone,be aware of the risks and dangers inherent in getting ‘hooked’to a fish.A serious danger and one to be prepared for.Have the necessary tools and first aid kit.Consider going barbless.
    5.Along those lines,you must plan for the ‘release’.If you have little experience releasing fish you may not want to fish alone-for your safety and/or the safety of the fish.This subject could constitute an entire article but think through and prepare for the ramifications of releasing a big muskie while alone.Again,consider going barbless.Maybe single hook barbless in rough weather,the dark,etc.
    6.Plan for emergencies.First aid,extra clothes,shelter,food and water.If you have my mechanical skills,take an extra of all the above-all the time.Good fishing!
    Last edited by dpear; 02-05-2012 at 10:21 AM.

  20. #90
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    Dick...curse you, you've sent me spinning and thinking. fun winter digestion stuff!
    i've pulled out my Esox Angler mags to glean through your columns again. man i miss that magazine...

    one of my goals is to try and work on having more confidence in trying "outside the box" approaches, which can be hard for me to do when on limited vacation time.

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    Mike,
    Get Henry to help,you'll be fine then.

  22. #92
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    Just a heads up.
    Every once in awhile my home chapter of MI,Saint Cloud,is crazy enough to pay me to 'talk' about something weird and because of my connection and friends there I agree,despite being 'retired'.Tomorrow nite is one of those occasions.If you live nearby,like this kind of 'stuff' I rave on about here,stop by,there's no cover charge and I'll be waxing less than eloquently on 'Big Fish Spots'.

  23. #93
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    Oh and speak he did! He was introduced as "A man who's name is associated with perfection, Mr. Dick Pearson!" It could only get better from there. Seriously, thanks Dick for sharing a few brain cells with us. I'm always able to walk away with some slices of wisdom that I fail to apply properly.

    Now get back home and get going on that book.

  24. #94
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    At least when he said the 'perfection' thing I was the 1st to burst out laughing.
    Good group of people.One of the best post-talk Q&A sessions I've ever had.Think we all learned a bit.

  25. #95
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    Henry Stommel.

  26. #96
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    Henry #1 just giggled at me.
    Henry #2 mumbled something about water conveyor belts.

    so...current moves one way across the surface of a body of water, and may return through deep channels.
    so...find where those deep channel currents run, and especially where they contact deep structure?

  27. #97
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    Wouldn't hurt to try every now and then IMO.

  28. #98
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    Hi all.A favor to ask.Anyone out there have any experience trolling surface lures you'd be willing to share?I've done a bit,have a friend or two that has done more but recently had some input on an InFish article due out in May which has got me going on something else.
    If you'd prefer not to do it publicly,feel free to e-mail me.
    (pearsondp@yahoo.com)
    Thanks,
    Dick

  29. #99
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    Just a thought, but if you were going to troll a tallywhacker type bait, it might be worthwhile either moving the nose attachment to one side of the lure's "face" , or maybe attaching a small blade to the side of the "face" to make the bait plane out to the side, so it's not directly behind the boat. Sort of fish catching side planer.

  30. #100
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    Hi Tim.Exactly!Tweaking to improve 'operation' is a necessary part of the surface trolling scene at this time for the most part.Creative minds haven't 'gone there' yet and what a shame it is.The 'ultimate edge' and yet few tools to explore it fast and efficiently.
    Anybody out there trolling existing salt water 'squid type'/sailfish type baits at high speed?
    Anyway,thanks for the input Tim.

  31. #101
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    Caught one once on a smaller "local" lake that has a prominent milfoil weedline. We had a Rapala Shad Rap straight back off the deeper side of the weed edge and a smaller planer board up over the weeds with a Super Topraider about 15' behind that. We zig-zagged on and off the weed edge and it hit when the surface bait went a little slower while turning back towards to the weeds. There was actually discussion about putting the lure right up next to the board in case the fish was attracted to the planer board, but we talked ourselves out of it since the back end of the planer board sinks a little when pulled. We tried a Thunderhead since it throws so much water we thought it would over rule the planer board attraction but we had trouble with line twist like you get from trolling a bucktail. I still like the idea but it would need some sort of keel weight at the line/leader connection to let the swivel work out the twists. Casting took over before I could get much further into it. I've thought about it for the times we are eating a sandwhich on LOTW. Great way to keep the chances of catching fish higher.

    Jeff

  32. #102
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    I think a mod like this might be quite effective?



    If it works like I imagine you could obviously put an attachment point on the other side of the face, so you could run it on either side of the boat.

  33. #103
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    When I mentioned creative minds I frankly didn't expect to hear from Jeff but.....
    I think we've got this discussion rolling a bit now.I've taken the liberty of contacting Frankies uncle Viktor from 'Badass Baits' about this and he and his staff are on it.Here's a short blip on Viktor and his crew.This shows their seriousness and their 'warm up' activities before starting each shift.
    http://www.badassoftheweek.com/leonov.html

  34. #104
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    When I mentioned creative minds I frankly didn't expect to hear from Jeff but.....I wonder what he meant by that...huh.

    Tim, that would be fun to cast also. The faster you go the farther to the side it goes. Could be pretty cool. The closest I've come to that concept is while working a Jackpot. You see a weed on the surface that you want to miss and you twitch the Jackpot with your pauses short, loooong, short, loooong, short, loooong and you can let it coast and move it to the side a little. Kind of fun to do when things are slow.

    Speaking of slow...how ya doing dp?

    Jeff

  35. #105
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    Doing OK Jeff-slowly.
    Was away attending the funeral of a good friends 16 yr old son.Man does that put a lot of things in perspective.On topic,while awaiting the start of services a screen was showing pics of his life and a few were very familiar muskie scenes.A couple were of him holding muskies and if memory serves,I think they were caught on surface baits.Was tough on this old man.More later.

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