Following the Panfish
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#getrugged Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 â€¢ Page 1
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Destination Sections Park Rapids, Minnesota 14-15 Lake of the Woods, Minnesota 18-19 Northern & Central Minnesota 20-21 Devil’s Lake, North Dakota 24-27 Glacial Lakes, South Dakota 28-29 Missouri River, Lake Francis Case, SD 30-31 Missouri River, Pierre, SD 32-33
Winter Junk Weed
WALLEYES ......................................................... 6 Following the
PANFISH BITE............................................. 10 QUICK TIP....................................................... 12 Ten Good Reasons to
LOVE SAUGERS........................................ 16 PROS POINTER.......................................... 23 Ice Fishing
DEVILS LAKE JUMBOS...................... 24 So, you want to
BUY A BOAT?.............................................. 34 Teaching
OUTDOOR PRINCIPLES.................... 38
COYOTE CALLING................................ 42
Recipes with Cheese that are Sure to Please.................45 Dimock Cheese Don’t Let Winter Become a Pain in the Back.............46 Avera.org
Teaching Outdoor Principles Part 1
Cover Photo: Rapala
CEO/PRESIDENT: K.A. Lesnar MANAGING EDITOR: Paul Nester OPERATIONS MANAGER: Hosea Bennett COMPOSITION MANAGER: Catherine Krause Composition: Dan Brauer, Jesse Bierman, Dawn Giedd, Dustin Scheideler
Marketing 605-274-2640 Paul Nester - Paul@midwesthuntfish.com Brian Bashore - Brian@midwesthuntfish.com
Contributors Jerry Carlson Tanner Cherney Randy Gaines Josh Hagemeister
• Avera Health Joe Henry Geremy Olson Curt Reeff Don Shumaker
The opinions expressed within are those of the authors and do not necessarily
Note from the Editor Well it is officially here, WINTER! And that means time to get out the ice fishing gear. We have been attending several ice fishing shows and the new products that are out are amazing. Pretty soon the fish will not have a chance! We have some great ice fishing articles in this issue. Captain Josh teaches us to find walleyes in the weeds, Jerry will help you use your summer fishing locations to track down winter panfish, Joe from Lake of the Woods give us 10 Reasons to Love Saugers. Tanner from the Devils Lake area hooks us up with the jumbo perch bite. Even though it is winter, it is time to start planning your open water season. Randy Gaines has an article to help you with buying that new boat for the 2020 season. If you are looking for the first place to have open water, make sure you are planning a trip to Lake Francis case in SD. This part of the Missouri river opens up in March usually, and the fishing is amazing.
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 • Page 5
Just like throughout the summer months, active walleyes
throughout a variety of lakes can be found all day long in water less than 10 ft. deep lounging and eating in large weed beds—even throughout the mid-day hours! One of my favorite patterns is hole hopping for shallow junk weed walleyes. This pattern can hold through January and February depending on oxygen levels, weed life span, and fishing pressure. The notion that suddenly when the lakes freeze over the walleyes head for deep water and can only be caught on a rattle reel at night couldn’t be farther from the truth! Page 6 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020
Large, shallow, and expansive weed beds (5-12 ft. deep) that have a deep edge that plunges into deeper water (20-40 ft.) via a moderately steep break is what I look for. A good mix of many different weed types is great—coon tail, cabbage, milfoil, and the other unidentifiable weeds are perfect (kinda like when your pheasant hunting)—whatever holds the baitfish on the lake your fishing will do the job! Many anglers ignore the “junk weed” mix combinations due to the fish only like “cabbage” weed type hype--mistake. I think it’s a conspiracy to keep anglers out of perfectly good “junk weed” fish-holding areas. Midwesthuntfish.com
It is much easier to pay attention to the best weed beds when you’re still in the boat fishing. Certain weed beds will hold fish all year ‘round, so if the weed bed produces fish throughout the summer months there is a good chance the same weed bed will be pushing fish out of a hole when it’s frozen. If I drop a coordinate (which I rarely do) when fishing in the boat it’s probably going to be used during the upcoming winter season. I really like to “outline” the weed bed with the Humminbird Helix and save the trail so I have a perfect picture of the size/shape of the weed bed with me when I start jigging’ junk weed process ( I mount the Helix on the fourwheeler and then in my truck for Navigation purposes). Try to locate a weed edge (created by thin weeds, sand hole/gravel patch, etc.) within the weed bed itself. This is where your pinpoint location/scouting in the boat comes in handy. Shooting through the ice with the Vexilar and actually “marking” the weeds can help speed up the actual junk weed location process if you are starting from scratch. An Aqua view camera can also help in this process to verify the health of the weeds (brown dead weeds should be avoided) and the presence of baitfish (the baby crappies/’gills/ etc.). Remember, no food—no fish! I like to fish the junk weeds starting at the break to deep water to about 200 yards up into the weed flat towards the shore. Better yet—75 yards. And do not forget about the inside weed edge that could be in that 5-8 ft. range on the shore side of the weed bed. The inside weed edge is often overlooked by anglers simply due to the fact that the deep weed edge gets all the press. Blanket two areas with a couple of dozen holes and start fishing. Once an area has been located that tends to have more action, take close observations as to why that might be. Check the exact depth, bottom content, actual weed mixture, etc., so you know exactly what to look for “copy” throughout the rest of the weed beds in the lake throughout the day. Classic hard water presentations are all that is needed. Typically these shallow fish are actively feeding so I tend to lean towards quick fishing swim/jigging baits like the JB Weasel Glow Bones spoon, Northland Buckshot Spoon. Northland Puppet Minnows and classic Jigging Rapalas are also in my wheelhouse. And since two lines can be used, I will set a tip-up (dead stick) as well. Match the hatch with the colors. Colors that mimic young of the year crappies (black/silver/ white/purple), bluegills (light green, white, brown, gold) or perch (light yellow, white, light green, gold, black) will do the job in 90% of situations. The bright colors are pulled out if the water quality is poor/dingy. No matter what the bait of choice is, make sure it is within 12” or less off of the bottom. I tend to start to work the baits starting at 4” off the bottom and roam up to around a foot—or whatever depth the Vexilar is telling me the fish are “coming through” at. I tip the jigging baits with a small fresh minnow head (crappie/fathead minnow) so the weight of the minnow head doesn’t ruin the swimming action of the jigging bait. The swimbaits/ spoons are fairly small (1/8 oz.) so it does not work well if you put a huge minnow head-on for scent. The same applies to clean weed-free deep water spots by the way!
“Guarantee you will catch fish” 320-291-0708 218-732-9919
MinnesotaGuideService.com Winter junk weed walleyes. Summer junk weed walleyes. Same thing—ya just gotta wear more clothes! Add it to your winter arsenal of fishing tactics and have some fun! Lotsa Fish! Lotsa Fun! Minnesota Fishing Guide Service, www.minnesotaguideservice.com www.minnesotaicefishhouserental.com Captain Josh Hagemeister 320-291-0708, 218-732-9919
Photos: Josh Hagemeister
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 • Page 7
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 â€¢ Page 9
It is just like CLOCKWORK A surefire guarantee. Seasons change and along with this change we experience winter. Winter: A time of hibernation and lackluster activity for some. Others, on the other hand, embrace the change and take advantage of the opportunities winter has to offer. One of those opportunities is ice fishing. I am one of the growing numbers of outdoor enthusiasts that enjoy ice fishing. For me, ice fishing is all about chasing panfish. And just like the seasons changing, panfish bites change as winter marches on. In order to experience continued panfish success in the frozen water period, it is imperative that anglers understand the fact that their honey hole may lose its appeal partway through the season. On the other hand, other locations that were void of fish early will improve as the winter wears on. There are lots of factors that can contribute to this migrating fish bite. They include light penetration, dying or growing weeds, low oxygen levels and availability of food. I have a number of locations that I fish early in the season that are good for just a few weeks. Once the bite starts to dwindle, it is time to move on. Several of my early spots are weed oriented locations. When the weeds start to die off and the aggressive fish are caught, the activity will totally die as the panfish move to deeper haunts. Too many times I see anglers continue to pound these unproductive spots. They will catch a fish or two, but the numbers are not going to be there. (It is important to note that panfish will sometimes move back into these early ice areas during the late ice period.) Once the early bite is over, I like to concentrate my efforts on deep basin fishing. When I say deep, it is all relative to the lake. On some lakes deep may be 20 feet while for others it is over 40. I will admit I donâ€™t like fishing in 40 feet of water, but if that is where the fish are, that is where I am going to be. Page 10 â€˘ Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 10
During a typical season, I will easily fish 15 to 20 different lakes. Keeping track of where to go on these lakes can be tricky. I am a big fan of the Navionics map that I have on my phone. I always drop a pin on places where I catch fish as the same spots are often good year after year. Dropping a pin is critical as it is impossible to tell exactly where I was when I caught fish on a lake two years prior. I also have a 12-volt connector in my truck so I can run my Lowrance unit from my boat in my truck. Again, I have icons placed where I have caught fish in the past. There are times when I save a location in the summer that I feel needs to be checked in the winter. This is especially true of cabbage weed beds. Understanding the fact that it is rare to be able to fish the same location all winter is critical for continued panfish success. Fish move as conditions change. In some situations, the quality fish are simply caught and gone. Following the panfish bite is not rocket science, but it does take effort and a willingness to search and learn the patterns. Once this is figured out and locations are logged, winter success will increase.
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Not using fresh bait is the most common mistake I observe amongst ice anglers. It’s the main reason why I provide fresh bait to my ice fishing clients! And in the ice fishing game where bite triggering presentation movements are limited— fresh lively bait is even more important! Here’s what not to do: Do not use the same spike or waxie for more than 5-8 minutes, do not use the same minnow on the hook until it’s motionless, and don’t forget to change “minnow heads” about every 10 minutes while using jigging spoons/baits. This is the main reason why one angler seems to catch more than the others even in the same fish house. It is because that angler is inadvertently putting fresh bait on the hook after each fish caught—while the others are not. Do yourself a favor and get some fresh bait now from www.Speedyworm. com delivered right to your door! Lotsa Fish! Lotsa Fun! Captain Josh Hagemeister Minnesota Fishing Guide Service 320-291-0708 • 218-732-9919 www.minnesotaguideservice.com www.minnesotaicefishhouserental.com
Page 12 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 â€¢ Page 13
A TRUE MINNESOTA VACATION PARADISE
MN Fifteen years ago I was looking to buy a cabin/basecamp somewhere in Minnesota to help with my fishing guide business. Since I travel and guide all over the state, it was a difficult decision. After careful consideration, I chose the Park Rapids area for many reasons such as: awesome fishing opportunities (obviously important to me), 1,000’s of acres of public hunting opportunities, the classic “Up North” feel of towering pines and hundreds of under fished lakes, beautifully groomed snowmobile trails, and of course—a multitude of things to do for any family member year ‘round! Options such as: Itasca State Park, hundreds of miles of maintained ATV/snowmobile trails, all the comforts of a bedroom community (movie theatre, restaurants, cozy shops), endless family style resorts, and quick access to the big waters like Leech Lake or Red Lake made the decision easy. Another reason that makes the Park Rapids area so great to visit is the lack of traffic and crowds like can be found in the Brainerd/Nisswa area or the Walker area. Even at the height of the summer tourism season, Park Rapids still behaves and feels like a small “Up North” “On Golden Pond” type of getaway. Loons, campfires, and the smell of fresh pine, it doesn’t get much better than that. Contact the Park Rapids Chamber of Commerce to plan your summer vacation today! Lotsa Fish! Lotsa Fun! Captain Josh Hagemeister, Minnesota Fishing Guide Service, minnesotaguideservice.com • minnesotaicefishhouserental.com •218-732-9919
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Thousands of ice anglers flock to Lake of the Woods every hard water season. As anglers make their way to the Walleye Capital, there are a variety of expectations that make for a successful trip. In many cases, catching fish and having a fish fry are somewhere on the list. Comedian Rodney Dangerfield coined the phrase, “I don’t get no respect.” One of the fish that doesn’t get respect, yet day in and day out keeps anglers busy and fills buckets is the sauger. This smaller cousin to the walleye is sometimes taken for granted.
When headed up to Lake of the Woods, many anglers’ focus is on the fish that has made LOW famous, the walleye. On days when going after those walleyes is a test in great patience, saugers play a big part in what makes Lake of the Woods such an enjoyable fishing destination. Here are ten good reasons to love saugers. 1. Saugers bring consistent action. In between schools of walleyes or if the walleyes are not biting well that day, saugers normally bite well and keep the activity level high. There have been many days ice fishing that saugers have saved the day and certainly preserved the evening fish fry. If the walleyes aren’t dialed in that particular day for whatever reason, having saugers whacking the lures and dead sticks really adds to the enjoyment.
The author with a nice Lake of the Woods sauger. As a slightly smaller cousin to the walleye, saugers provide great action and are delicious in the fry pan.
Most anglers minds are thinking about the fish that made Lake of the Woods famous, the walleye. Saugers, however, can play a big part in first filling the bucket and eventually, filling the fry pan.
Page 16 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 16
2. High population and good sized. Sauger numbers at Lake of the Woods fluctuate year to year. One thing we know, right now, there is an extremely high population of saugers in the system and many of them big. When I say big for sauger, I am talking up to 17 or 18 inches. This creates a perfect scenario for a lot of action, that exciting red line appearing on your electronics and that heart pounding â€œtapâ€? at the end of your ice rod. 3. Living Quarters. Saugers will coexist with walleyes. It is common to come in with a bucket of walleyes and saugers mixed. As a rule though, saugers tend to prefer a bit deeper water than walleyes. In addition, they normally hug the bottom vs walleyes that will utilize more of the water column, often suspending while targeting tulibees and other baitfish. 4. Great for kids. Depending upon the day, walleye fishing can take some patience. Saugers are typically more cooperative and help to bring consistent action to a fish house. Kids want and need action and saugers will typically keep electronics lit up and bobbers bouncing. 5. Saugers are unique. Many waterways throughout the Midwest do not have saugers. Saugers traditionally live in waterways associated with a river system and do well in stained water. Thus, most anglers do not have the opportunity to catch saugers on a regular basis. Looking at the sauger vs the walleye, there are differences. Saugers do not have the white tip on the bottom of the tail, they have splotches on their skin, are browner, do not have a dark area at the base of their dorsal fin and have spots on their dorsal fin. 6. Saugers taste incredible. The firm white meat of a sauger is very much sought after. Some locals will tell you they like the sauger better than even the walleye, as they believe the meat is a bit sweeter. Regardless of opinion, one thing is for sure, they taste good. 7. Liberal daily limits. There is a strong population of saugers in LOW. In the winter months, anglers are allowed a combined total of six walleyes and saugers per day. Of these six, up to four can be walleyes. With these limits, it lends itself well to filling a bucket of fish for an evening fish fry and bringing a few fish home. 8. Saugers bite all winter. In some lakes when the oxygen levels decrease in February, fishing really shuts off. Lake of the Woods keeps on trucking in February. It is big water and luckily, there are so many saugers in the system some fish seem to cooperate every day making for a successful outing. March can be incredible fishing for both walleyes and saugers as it is the month fish are putting on the feedbag for the upcoming spawn and catching fish can literally be nonstop. Midwesthuntfish.com
Photos: Joe Henry
Most saugers are caught on the same tackle and bait used while walleye fishing. Notice the different markings on a sauger, browner in color, splotches, spots on dorsal fin and no white tip on the bottom of the tail.
9. Season open into April! For the avid ice angler who cannot fathom the end of ice fishing, no worries. Lake of the Woods season for walleyes and saugers is open until April 14th. Ice houses can remain on the lake until March 31st. Depending upon the year, we are often still ice fishing and catching walleyes and saugers through the ice until the end of March. 10. Fun to catch! Sauger fishing is much like walleye fishing. The fish are typically hugging the bottom of the lake and they are normally a bit deeper. Jigging your favorite lure with a minnow head in one hole and having a dead stick down the second with a live minnow suspended 6 inches from the bottom will usually do the trick. Much like walleyes, every day is different. One day they will be chasing down your jigging lure with wild abandon. On other days, the jigging line will attract them, but if in more of a neutral mood, they may prefer a wiggling minnow on a plain hook or small ice jig. Although walleyes receive most of the attention, saugers play an important role in the overall fishing success during the ice fishing season on Lake of the Woods. Saugers are fun to catch and swim the waters of Lake of the Woods in abundance. More often than not, when you come for that epic walleye trip, saugers will be happy to pay you a visit!
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 â€˘ Page 17
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There are over 50 resorts, sleeper services, and hotels in Lake of the Woods County. A wide range of winter services are offered. Visitors can have all the conveniences of home as they stay in a warm cabin, condo, motel, or sleeper fish house. Travel is available in heated track vehicles: van, bombardier (which seats 12); or by conventional trucks on plowed roads across the ice.
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 • Page 19
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Page 20 â€˘ Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020
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From mid-December through February, Central and Northern Minnesota come alive with the roar of snowmobiles and the sounds of ice augers. The lakes become ice villages, complete with roads, shacks and a population of ice anglers. They are all on the ice to take advantage of walleye, northern pike and other game fish, even Eelpouts. Ice fishing is one of Minnesota's top winter outdoors activities, and with more than 11,800 lakes, Minnesota is an ice anglerâ€™s paradise. Many of these lakes become winter vacation destinations and are home to winter resorts, ice house rental and guiding business.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 â€˘ Page 21
We specialize in custom hybrid portable fish houses on a drop axle frame. Designed to haul your UTV/ ATV to your favorite hot spot.
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Unicovercaps.com Page 22 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020
PKLures People often ask what I’m doing differently which leads to my success ice fishing. Whether I’m chasing Greenbacks on Lake Winnipeg, Lake Trout in Northern Manitoba, or Jumbo Perch on the prairie potholes of the Dakotas I believe correct Lure presentation is key. Flash, noise, and vibration are important elements for catching fish. If I’m fishing for Lake Winnipeg Greenbacks, I prefer a larger PK Spoon or Flutterfish usually a 1/2 oz to 1 oz lure and I add a PK Wyoming Blade for additional flash. I like to use glow colors in the morning and evenings such as Red Dot Glow, Red Tiger Glow, or Crawdad Glow. In the afternoons I’ll switch to metal colors such as Gold, Nickel, or Nickel Blue.
Being able to switch gears is also important when stalking Jumbo perch. Once you find them staying on top of them is everything. The PK Predator series offers 3 different sizes along with several color options that will not disappoint. The PK Predator series is offered in 1/8 oz, 1/16 oz, and 1/16 oz Tungsten which are the most versatile lure I’ve ever used on the ice. All are equipped with a PK Wyoming Blade out of the package and all hooks can be changed if you want to use them for multi-species. Aggressive fish may want a larger lure presentation while neutralnegative fish may want a more subtle jigging presentation. Be sure to watch your electronics to see how the fish are responding. I’ve caught my largest fish using these concepts and I won’t forget to bring all my PK’s on my next fishing trip!
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 • Page 23
Jumbo Perch and Devils Lake go hand-in-hand. Devils Lake is a glacial lake tucked away in North Central North Dakota that provides some outstanding perch fishing and an opportunity at a true trophy jumbo perch!
Photos: Tanner Cherney Page 24 â€˘ Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020
A big component of having success with perch fishing on Devils Lake is the ability to be mobile. When one arrives, they must have a hunting mindset and be ready to drill, drill & drill. Unlike walleyes, the perch in Devils Lake do not relate to structure and are nomadic basin roamers that can be found anywhere in the lake from 10 feet all the way out to as deep as 50+ feet! Most anglers utilize portable ice houses behind ATVs and UTVs to remain mobile and on top of an active school of perch. What I like to do best when pulling into a new spot is to get all of the hole drilling out of the way and make an â€œXâ€? pattern. Once I have my holes drilled, I will then hole hop and fish each hole for five minutes to see if I can mark any fish below the ice. Midwesthuntfish.com
Once I start to find fish, I then set up the house and get dialed in on presentations. The perch bite on Devils Lake is very notorious for being a subtle light bite, so the lighter the rod and reel setup you have the better. A couple of great lures to have in your tackle box at any given time when perch fishing will be a Genz Worm, tiny small tungsten jigs, the Perch Talker and the old staple Northland Buckshot. Anglers may notice fish following but not committing, this is when anglers will want to start downsizing lures or even adding dropper chains to make it an even smaller profile. A key component to staying on a feeding frenzy of active perch is to get the lure back down to the bottom as soon as you unhook your fish or rebait. This is where having two-rod setups ready at all times will help you put fish on the ice quicker. When you find an active school of perch, remember not to fish the bottom foot like you do with walleyes but instead fish 2-3 feet off bottom to generate some competition between the perch, trust me on this it may seem a little different at first but you will notice a big difference in bites when you start raising your lure that far off bottom. Weather can play a key role in how the perch bite is if you have any control over when you can make a trip to Devils Lake look for a stable weather system that is around for a few days. Perch are very notorious for biting best on bright sunny days. Midwesthuntfish.com
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 â€˘ Page 25
Lastly, have fun and check out the local bait shops in Devils Lake to learn more about the hot bites and what colors are working best when you are up fishing. Visit www.devilslakend.com to see updated fishing reports throughout the season. If you are looking to set your hook into a oncein-a-lifetime jumbo perch, then look no further than Devils Lake!
www.gopeakpro.com • 701-739-9232 FB: https://www.facebook.com/peakproductionsllc IG: https://www.instagram.com/peakproductionsllc Videography and photography aimed to capture the authentic feel of each unique moment. Each experience, brand or product featured is unique and content is custom to each project and audience.
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 • Page 27
In the heart of the Northeast South Dakota, you will find endless opportunities for your ice fishing adventures. With a very wet year behind us, the South Dakota Glacial Lakes Region is bursting with more water and ice fishing opportunities than ever before. Jumbo perch and walleye are the most targeted species, but you will find that northern pike and panfish opportunities are plentiful. Within just a few minutes from most bodies of water, you will find very accommodating lodging and dining options. If you want to leave the fish finding up to the experts you will have no problem finding a guide, but they do get booked up fast, so don’t hesitate to book. Glacial Lakes South Dakota is an ice angler’s paradise with overwhelming options to put a nice limit of fish topside the ice.
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bpssport.com Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 • Page 29
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Platte SD | (605) 337-9777 | plattecreek.com Page 30 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020
The Missouri River is one of the most sought out destinations for early spring walleye fishing. With surrounding states having walleye fishing season closed until early May. South Dakota's acclaimed Lake Francis Case is a hot spot for anglers looking to scratch that early season itch and get into some great fishing near Chamberlain, SD. No matter your method of fishing or even lack of a boat. These fish are feeding and most all techniques and methods can be effective from early March through May.
Shore anglers are able to utilize the fishing piers and rocky shores located throughout the town of Chamberlain while boaters have plenty of opportunities to explore all 540 miles of beautiful shoreline along Lake Francis Case.
Photo credits: Tammy Bashore
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 â€˘ Page 31
Pierre’s Hunting & Fishing Headquarters
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Pierre, SD•605-224-8871•lynnsdakotamart.com Page 32 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020
curtislaganguiding.com • Gettysburg SD Midwesthuntfish.com
Pierre is in the heart and soul of South Dakota and the main artery that keeps South Dakota going is the Missouri River. The Missouri River offers ample opportunity for anglers and family fun. Early spring is a great time of year to target large walleye out of the Pierre area. With many of the walleye moving upriver to spawn and the first open water occurring near the Oahe Dam located just on the edge of town. Pierre offers some of the best early season open water walleye fishing. Pulling cranks baits or pitching jigs tipped with minnows or plastics are just a few of the best tried and true methods for these early spring walleyes. After an eventful day of fishing, Pierre offers lots of lodging and restaurants to refuel and relax at. Check out Pierre, SD this spring for your fishing getaway and bring the whole family.
Photo credit: Tammy Bashore
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 â€˘ Page 33
Photo: Randy Gaines
With most of the hunting seasons winding down across the Midwest, many of us turn our attention back to the upcoming fishing and boating season. In the current economy, it’s no surprise the lure of a new, or new to me boat, takes center stage in many of our minds. Let’s chew the fat about a few of the steps in the boat-shopping process. Choosing the Right Boat: The first step is also the most important—determining what type of vessel will best fit the fishing style and the desires of both yourself and those you plan to bring along on your adventures. A few things to consider are: Are you going to engage in tournaments or recreation fishing with family and friends. Your intended angling activities can largely dictate both the design and cost of your new rig.
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Watertown, SD | 605-882-4590 | danosmarine.com Page 34 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020
Budget: Now that the decision has been made to purchase a boat, how much can you spend? Your budget will likely be a discerning factor whether you purchase a new or used boat. With your budget determined it’s time to start building a prioritized list of “have to have” and “nice to haves”. It is through this exercise where we usually determine new or used. Size Matters: What are your space constraints? Measure your existing storage for a boat. Most of today’s garages are a little wimpy which can make it hard to store a larger boat. This, sometimes, calls for getting creative. Thank goodness for the swing-away tongue! While doing your research, measure your potential boat and trailer in every
possible way including, width outside to outside of trailer wheels, height at the highest point (note: with modern four-stroke engines the top of the engine can easily be the highest point). I typically measure the prospective boat in two ways. The first being what I like to call relaxed meaning, just like it sets as you tow it down the road. The second measurement process should involve the tongue swung all the way open, motor lowered off the transom saver as low as it will go and turned to the stops, either to port or starboard. This will give you the most compact measurements possible. The last thing you want to happen is to get your new baby home and not have a crib that fits it. Towing: If you are trailering your boat, keep in mind that the size of the boat will directly impact the size of the vehicle needed to tow it. The Hunt: Now that you have listed your perimeters, let the hunt begin. Fire up your favorite internet search engine and dig in. Search on manufacturer’s websites, dealerships, along with the masses of online fishing and boating forums. These forums are a great place to find reviews. Someone out there has experienced both good and bad with just about anything you can think of. Lean on your friends who may own or know details about the boat you’re considering. First-hand friendly knowledge is hard to beat! If you’re going to be purchasing a new boat, a point well worth mentioning is creating a dialogue with the
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 • Page 35
right dealer for you. Compare dealers. Just because he’s just down the road doesn’t make him the right one for you. Good dealers have a good reputation for a reason and are well worth a little road time to visit them. You’ll know you found your dealer when they are eager and willing to work hard for you, offering advice based on their experience and making for a less stressful shopping journey. The Boat: Once you’ve located “the boat” you’re considering buying, there are a couple of steps that should take place before agreeing on that final price. If you’re purchasing used, go for a ride and make sure everything works. Make note of what you find that may need repairing. These items can be useful bargaining points. If possible, securing a marine survey is always a good idea. At the very least, ask for any service records and get an engine printout (you may want a marine mechanic to help decipher it). It is advisable to check all the major mechanical and electrical components. And above all, check the trailers tires, breaks, bearings, and lighting hooked up to your tow vehicle. Do the Deal: If you’re purchasing a new boat, the process is quite similar to purchasing a new automobile. There will be dealer cost such as rigging and delivery. You will also need insurance on your new boat before it leaves the dealership or the private seller’s possession. This is one place you should not cut corners. Don’t be fooled into believing your
homeowner's policy has your back because quite frankly it does not! Do yourself a huge favor and call an insurance provider that specializes in Marine Insurance. I, as well as many of the professional tournament anglers and guides, use WorldWide Marine Underwriters Insurance, (517) 627-8080 and ask for Bob. He will customize a policy that makes the most sense for you. Buying a boat can be very stressful but also very exciting! Hopefully, you found value in these pointers and they will help you to have as much fun buying a boat as using it. Feel free to reach out to me if you would like to chat further about this topic, I’m easy to find at https:// www.facebook.com/nibblethischarters/
Nibble This Charters Capt. Randy Gaines Tournament Angler, Tackle Innovator NPAA# 598
36160 Shining Tree Ln Salem, OH 44460
Follow me on Facebook
The UlTimaTe ChoiCe in BoaT insUranCe
www.worldwidemarineins.com | Bob@WorldWideMarineIns.com Page 36 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020
THE LEADER IN BIG WATER PERFORMANCE.
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+Nationally Advertised Price; actual sales price determined by dealer. Price does not include freight, dealer prep, and T.T.L. *Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Prices may vary due to supply, location, freight etc. Actual prices are set by the dealer. *Terms and Conditions: Nationally Advertised Price with Rebate. Consumer benefit for purchasing a new (unused, not previously warranty registered) eligible MY 2020 and prior boat from 1/1/20-3/31/20 is an instant rebate applied at time of final sale by dealer, at no extra cost to consumer. Actual rebate amount is determined by model selected. NO BENEFIT SUBSTITUTIONS. Promotion is only applicable from authorized participating Skeeter dealers in the U.S.A. and Canada sold to purchasing consumers residing in the U.S.A. and Canada. Promotion is limited to available stock in dealer inventory that is sold, PDI completed, delivered and warranty registered in accordance with Skeeter’s promotion and warranty registration requirements during applicable dates. No model substitutions, benefit substitutions, extensions or rain checks will be allowed. Not redeemable for cash. Boats sold or provided for commercial, camp, resort, rental, promotional/demo, government agency, competition, tournament or sponsorship use are not eligible. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other Skeeter offer or discounts. Some exceptions may apply. See authorized, participating Skeeter dealer for complete details. Skeeter reserves the right to change or cancel this promotion at any time. Other restrictions and conditions apply. ©2020 Skeeter Products, Inc. All rights reserved. This document contains many of Skeeter’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only, and are not intended to be an endorsement. Remember to observe all applicable boating laws. Never drink and ride. Dress properly with a USCG approved flotation device and protective gear. Boats may be shown with optional equipment. See your local Skeeter dealer for complete details.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 • Page 37
Raising Them Outdoors Series
PRINCIPLES By Geremy Olson
A lot can be learned about gun safety when kids tag along with an empty gun.
Page 38 â€¢ Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 38
Having fun in the outdoors has a lot to do with staying warm and having a full belly. You never truly understand what you’ve learned in the outdoors until you teach it to someone else.
G OS P E A KS Geremy Olson, Inspirational Speaker
“He makes complicated things simple and understandable.”
“Gifted with humor and a great speaking ability.” Midwesthuntfish.com
Huntinggo & Fto ishing - January-February 2020 • Page 39 For a listMidwest of topics, GOspeaks.live
When it comes to the outdoors, the definition of success is having a positive outdoors experience while learning together.
Geremy Olson grew up in the outdoors. After being burned as a volunteer firefighter, he had to figure out how to teach outdoor skills to his children from a wheelchair while learning to walk. Today he is an inspirational speaker, FCA Outdoors volunteer, tournament director, video producer, wildfire consultant and proud father of the owners of Missouri Secrets Tackle. GOspeaks.live
Page 40 â€˘ Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 â€¢ Page 41
The large, male coyote burst into the small clearing in the woods and I was lucky enough to dump him with a load of copper-plated #4 buckshot at 25 or so yards. Thank goodness! I was hoping that this coyote was the one that had been killing sheep on this small farm (or at least one of the ones responsible). When you get paid to stop depredation on livestock (or wildlife), you have to produce. If you can’t get the job done, pretty soon you will be looking for another occupation. Animal Damage Control has been a big part of my life for many years now. I have trapped, hunted and snared critters for going on 63 years now and have had the opportunity to do this over much of North America. While it has afforded me a grand lifestyle, it has not been an easy one. Physically and mentally, it has taken a toll on my old carcass and I will die a poor (but happy) man. In the early years of my career, I depended primarily on the sale of furs to pay my bills. As time passed on, more and more ADC work came my way where I was paid to eliminate or control skunks, groundhogs, raccoons, possums, foxes, otters, bobcats, beaver, wild dogs and coyotes. At times I have worked ADC
Page 42 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 42
“I have used all of these calls from Virginia to Montana to Arizona and places in between. They work or I wouldn’t use them.”
on bears and mountain lions. In the past 20 + years I have concentrated more on old “wiley” coyote. The coyote that was killed at the beginning of this writing was called in and shot with a Mossberg pump shotgun that I paid $175.00 for (used). The coyote responded to the call in less than 5 minutes, Quick, easy, simple and cheap, eh? Well, this one was, but most aren’t that way. It can be nearly impossible at times to call in and kill some coyotes when you are using six thousand dollars’ worth of guns and gear and spend all day and night attempting to do it. Some are never killed. That’s a fact of life for the professional ADC man. I have always been a proponent of having and using the best tools I could find and afford to do my work with. Good tools in any trade rarely let you down, junk stuff does. Many “wannabe” coyote caller/killers have sought my advice over the years on what calls, guns, etc., I use in my line of work. Being as that I’m rather ancient in years, I’ve seen a lot of coyote calling products come and go. There aren’t many that I haven’t used or tested. I’ve used those that played records, some that used 8 track tapes and then
cassette tapes. I killed predators with all of them. The hightech electronic game calls we use today are somewhat of a marvel to me. I will now share with the readers what gear I am currently using for calling/killing coyotes. I am not a “know it all” nor am I one of those writers who constantly attempt to sell products for a manufacturer so they can continue to get freebies and discounts. My go-to electronic game caller today is the Icotec “Outlaw”. Of all that I have used, I have found none better for the money. Their remote system is I believe, the best on the market. Icotec offers some of the best sounds of actual coyotes that there is to be had. When using mouth-blown calls, I have had tremendous success with single and double reed diaphragm calls. When using tube-type handheld calls (open or closed reed) the Sceery line of calls are great producers for me as are the old Circes. Critter Calls and the Stanley Scruggs calls. I still use a handmade cow horn coyote howler that has been the death of many a coyote. Mind you that I have used all of these calls (and many others) from Virginia to Montana to Arizona and places in between. They work or I wouldn’t use them. The make or brand of rifles that I use in my ADC coyote killing is not that important to me. As long as it is accurate and reliable, who cares who made it or how much it costs? The 2 calibers that I depend on now are .22/250 and .243. I prefer hollow points for the .22/250 (60 grain) and 70-75 grain hollow points for the .243. I am not a fan of the ballistic tipped bullets as I have lost too many coyotes with all that I have used. I want to show the people who are paying me a dead coyote, not tell them that I think the ones I have shot went off and died. The Ruger American rifle that I now use (.243) is considered to be a “cheap” rifle by many “snooty type” shooters, but it is a deadly coyote gun. My main night hunting rifle (the .243 Ruger) is equipped with an ATN Thor 4 4.5-18 thermal scope. For a handheld
spotter, I use the ATN OTS-HD monocular, 4.5-18. My rifle rest is a Bog Deathgrip carbon fiber tripod. I sometimes carry a Colt AR 15 .223 topped with an ATN night vision scope as a backup as well as a Flir Scout thermal monocular. My coyote “day” rifles are a Ruger M77 Compact .243 with a Nikon 3-9 x 50 scope on it and a Browning X Bolt .22/250 topped with a Zeiss 4.5-10x50 scope. Cheap optics are not an option for me. Many years ago, the legendary coyote caller Gerry Blair (deceased) and I shotgunned a lot of Arizona coyotes using copper-plated BB and #2 shot (12 gauge). Since then the art of choking shotguns has allowed me to use copper-plated #4 buckshot (Federal). With an open shot, I can take down a coyote up to 60 yards. It matters not what brand or kind of shotgun you use, as long as it patterns those #4 buckshot well. In closing let me say that there are many other coyote calling/killing products out there that are very good. Some may even be a tad better than what I use. It is not my intent to knock anyone else’s products, I only tell you what works well for me and what has served me well as I have made my living killing coyotes. Perhaps if the readers (and editor) wishes, I can write more on methods of killing coyotes in more detail in the future.
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020 • Page 45
Article courtesy of Avera.org
Don’t Let Winter Become a Winter can be a pain — a pain in the back, that is! Slips on the ice and shoveling snow from the driveway, sidewalk, porch, front steps can all cause or aggravate back pain. “About 80 percent of people have some back pain every year,” said physical therapist Samantha Schnabel, PT, DPT, CSMT, Avera Therapy Yankton. “However, people with chronic back pain — pain that lasts more than three months — tend to have more symptoms or injuries during the winter.” An injury from shoveling, for example, might be a muscle strain or a herniated disk. The cold can aggravate nerve sensitivity or arthritis. If the pain radiates into the leg, it could be a sign of nerve compression. Besides pain, a person may experience numbness or tingling. “In minor instances, pain should subside within a couple of days with light exercise, ice/heat and medication,” said Schnabel. “If it goes on any longer than that, see a doctor or physical therapist.” Physical therapists use a variety of methods to address pain and dysfunction. Electrical stimulation, ultrasound, hot and cold treatments, soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization are among techniques that relieve discomfort and promote healing. A newer option is functional dry needling, a therapy to manage musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems. Dry needling uses thin, dry filament needles to target treatment to muscle, tendon and ligaments. “With this treatment, we are targeting a specific structure to restore overall function. It’s an evidence-based technique, proven to improve pain, function and range of motion,” Schnabel said. Page 46 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - January-February 2020
in the Back Whether in the neck, back or extremities, therapists use dry needling to target trigger points, hyper-irritable spots, taut bands of skeletal muscle and fascia, or painful spots that produce pain, tenderness or motor dysfunction. Your therapist may also recommend a series of gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to keep the muscles flexible and supportive. Schnabel advises a proactive approach to prevent winter-related back pain from occurring in the first place. Here are a few tips: 1. Warm up. Shoveling in the morning can be a great “wakerupper,” but your body isn’t prepared for lifting, bending and twisting. Stretch your side by bending to the left and right. Put your hands on your hips and bend backward several times. Even a quick walk warms your muscles. 2. Take breaks often. Your body is constantly bent forward while shoveling, so putting your hands on your hips and bending backward counteracts that strain. 3. Don’t overload your shovel with snow and keep the toss close to your body. “Overloading your snow shovel can place excessive force on spinal structures especially the L5/S1 disc” said Schnabel. 4. Wear appropriate clothing. Dressing in layers will keep you warm and prevent your joints and muscles from becoming stiff. 5. Wear treaded footwear while outside to prevent falls. 6. Stay active. Walking, swimming and biking are great ways to build muscles and endurance. Even during episodes of back pain, take a walk to keep muscles warm and ward off stiffness. Learn more about this and other health topics at Avera.org. Midwesthuntfish.com
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