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Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 1
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 3
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 5
I’ve heard some complaining on the price, but as a guy who spends a great deal of time in a boat in open water, I’m blown away by what they come out with compared to days of old. Safer, lighter, stronger, and that’s just the hull & main motor materials. It’s the accessories and add-ons that really catch my eye, as for the most part, boats are much more customizable now. Get the model you like, add features from other models you like, allowing you to configure the perfect boat for your style of fishing.
I owned a few clunkers in my youth, but stepped up to my first “real boat” in the year 2000. It was a ’97 LUND Pro-V 1775, and had been remodeled inside extensively. The wiring under the dash looked like a roadmap for New York, electronics were hodge-podged together, and the rest of the layout was sound though not as well-thought-out as today’s models. It was still an incredible boat, & I was lucky to own it, yet I often found myself saying, “If there was only a door here, a drawer there, a place to put my ruler…” It’s getting harder these days to critically evaluate what else you would do to these rigs—it is possible to under-order. FLIP-UP AFT SEATING These are simply flip up seat configurations that operate independently, rather than lifting or dropping an entire bench.
UNDER-CONSOLE DRAWERS Like a junk-drawer on steroids, but filled with tackle & fun stuff. These drawers are very convenient for changing a lure, etc.
Page 6 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 6
Under-powered boats make it tough to tow kids on tubes, load your boat up people, gear & gas, and get through heavy water.
TRAILER ROLLER GUIDES Vertical guides on the left & right ends of the trailer make it easier to load the boat. Plus, they help prevent dings and dock rash.
Ask your dealer which props offer the best performance for the specific motor and boat hull you order.
SHALLOW WATER SPIKE ANCHOR
Will help you anchor on fish, lock in near the dock, plant the boat away from the ramp, and stabilize in shallow water.
SIDE IMAGING Make sure the graph you use has effective side-imaging capabilities. I would lump in a 360 or Panoptix/Livescope tech to this category.
NETWORKED ELECTRONICS Let a dealership with professional riggers make the connection between console & bow electronics. Many are tied into the trolling motor, etc.
RULER HOLDER I’ve tripped more metal rulers than I care to remember. Rulers also gouge trim, plastic, vinyl, & wood, so stowing it right yet having it handy is a nice option.
While snap in carpet or full carpet may seem like an upgrade, nonslip, non-staining vinyl is the best. It’s cool to the touch & cleans up easily.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 7 7
I get it. You have to save a penny wherever you can, but I want to highlight 10 different features that I’ve come to love in boats these days, such that you can see if they work into the budget for your next purchase. 1. Flip-up Aft Seating Most boats come with the option these days, and if possible, see if they’ll do multi-part aft seating These are simply flip up seat configurations that operate independently, rather than lifting or dropping an entire bench. I only run two main seats, then flip up the platform/aft-seating to reveal even more floor space. If two people in the boat, seats are flipped down for additional casting. At the back of the boat, these are the safest seat options for kids as they feel less slam from waves in big water, and there are great handles near these seats most often. For me, these are a musthave. 2. Under-console drawers Picture a junk-drawer on steroids, but filled with tackle and fun stuff. My under console drawers hold up to 10 Plano 3700 boxes, and are always at my fingertips for a lure change. Talk about convenient. The one under my steering wheel holds plastics, bottom bouncers, fluoro, and other line too. 3. Max horsepower It sounds like a sales-tactic to say “you’ll never wish you had less horsepower,” but the recommendation goes so much further than that. I tow my kids on tubes, sometimes have a big boat full of people, gear, and gas, and at times operate on heavy water. In those situations and more you will find out what you’re missing the hard way if you under-power. 4. Trailer Roller Guides If you’ve ever had to launch or land a boat in a river with current, big lake with a cross-wind, or when pleasure boat traffic is buzzing around like bees, you’re happy to have these vertical roller guides on the left and right ends of your trailer. For my boat, when the trailer is backed into the water at the correct depth, it’s almost hard to load it wrong. They’ve saved me on numerous occasions from dings and dock rash too.
Page 8 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 8
5. Shallow Water Spike Anchor Again, brand is less of a concern than the actual functionality. I run a 12’ Talon, and I don’t know that I’d order another boat without it. I use it to anchor on fish, but more importantly, to lock in my boat near the dock, plant myself away from the ramp until things settle down, and otherwise stabilize the boat in shallow water. It’s one of those features that you keep finding new applications for. 6. Upgraded Prop It’s likely that your dealer will know which props offer the best performance for the specific motor and boat hull you order. Most dealers like mine, will order the motor standard with upgraded stainless and correctly pitched prop without even thinking about it. Others yet run with standard models, but there can be a big difference in performance, hole-shot, mileage, and a number of other related factors. 7. Side Imaging I don’t care what graph you run, just make sure it has effective side-imaging capabilities. I would lump in any 360 or Panoptix/ Livescope tech to this category too, as they’re all effective in their own right at seeing to the sides. The applications and species are too many to count, but once you get used to using it, you’ll be hooked. 8. Networked Electronics As the networks get more complex, it’s best to let a dealership with professional riggers to make the connection between console and bow electronics. Many now are tied into the trolling motor, talon, and even main motor. Save waypoints that transfer front and back, utilize map cards for both units, and generally get ready for a much smoother experience. 9. Main-Floor Vinyl While snap in carpet or full carpet may seem like an upgrade, I actually prefer the non-slip, non-staining vinyl. I also appreciate how it stays cool to the touch in hot weather, and how easily it cleans up. If you do want to upgrade the main deck, consider a snap in marine mat or other padding option that’s stain-proof and durable. 10. Ruler Holder It’s a petty one on my part, but I’ve tripped on more metal rulers in my life than I care to remember. They’re also great for gouging trim, plastic, vinyl, and wood, so stowing it correctly yet having it handy is such a nice option. It keeps your boat more picked up, safer, and looking better.
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Watertown, SD | 605-882-4590 | danosmarine.com So there you have it, a couple of things to look for in any new rig. While you may not need them all, each has become crucial to me & the way I fish. Honorable mentions would’ve been a troll down feature built into the dash of my Mercury main motor, and maybe a full windshield. Like anything features depend on the fisher, but this list is a great start.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 9
P 10age 10 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021
July and August are in my opinion the instigators of awesome midsummer fishing. The dog days of summer are a myth. Someone who had a dog started this “fake news” long ago—lol. In reality, the fishing this time of the year is at its peak—for all species of fish. And why not? As the water temps boil so do the metabolisms of the fish— which means they burn more calories, which means they eat more, which means we catch more. See what I mean? The problem is what to write about, so I have decided to do a July/August sampler. A bunch of short blurbs of hot summer options that come to mind.
1. Walleyes in the shallow weeds
Yup, I said shallow weeds—preferably cabbage weed, but any thick lush weed can work. I’m talking weed beds, weed flats, inside weed lines (the weed edge closest to shore, not the deep water weed line) or shallow outside weed edges—all in the 5-10 ft range. Of course if the water is brown vs clear it can be shallower yet. Work the edges or tops of these weed beds by casting or dragging jigging Rapalas at a fast pace. Hit the weeds once in a while and tear the bait free. Another option are swim baits and/or plastics worked the same way. Forget the deep walleyes, the hogs are always shallow. Anytime of the day is good.
2. Sunset Largemouth & surface baits
Hit the edges of the slop, lily pads, docks or comb the tops of big weed flats. Slow moving surface baits like a good old fashioned Jitterbug or the plain jane cackling of a buzz bait are easy to use options. Whatever you choose, pick something slow and easy to grab if you’re a fish in the dark, throw in some watery noise and hang on. Use a long rod with a forgiving tip in case your hooksets are premature. The soft tip will allow the fish a tad more time to inhale the bait and also has a built in delay you might need if your trigger happy. I usually don’t pay attention to the bait and only set the hook after I feel the fish—not when I hear the fish.
3. Suspended Summer Crappies
Most anglers give up on the big slabs when the spring bite is over. Mistake! Crappies can form huge schools during the summer. Find the suspended schools over deep water with your sonar during the day. They love to hang off weedy points that cut out into the lakes basin, little “cuts or nubs” along lengthy straight massive deep weed lines or off the sides of underwater humps that have weeds growing on the tops. Typically they will roam around these objects suspended at the weed line depth. So if the weed line is at 12ft, they may be suspended over 30 ft of water (usually 50 yards of less from the structure) at 12 ft. That is also the depth they will be feeding at. The crappies will simply swim to the weed line as dusk approaches to feed. Once you figure out their “contact point” your set. The fish will generally be there every night. Simply cast a 1/16 oz tub jig, count it down to the “fishy depth” and slowly swim it back to the boat. The fish will typically eat the bait within the first few feet of the retrieve. Pay attention to the surface near these areas as well-especially during an insect hatch.
4. Jumbo perch deluxe
Why wait for winter. Sleep in and head out around 9 am. There can be huge perch roaming deep weed lines or even the nearby mud flats. Make sure to also check mid lake rock piles–that’s a secret by the way. Search and destroy is the key. Cover water fast to find these roaming scavengers. I like to use a 1 oz. bottom bouncer with a JB Lures hot flash series crawler harness. Use a small blade like a #2 Indiana and tip the harness with a night crawler chunk. A gold blade is a good choice. Move the boat around 1-1.5 mph. Depths can vary but the 15-30 ft range is a consistent window. The bonus are the walleyes and big bluegills you will catch as well. 5. Eelpout on crankbaits Just kidding, that’s an attention getter lol. Seriously, a good #5 option is the forgotten deep water northern pike. A good way to catch a summer monster is to fish them deep. Everyone can catch shallow warm water eater sized pike, but the bigger pike like cold water like a Midwesthuntfish.com
trout. Key on mid-range walleye spots in that 20-35 ft. depth profile. Mid lake sunken humps topping off in that depth range, deep under water points intercepting deep water (50-80ft), and deep weed lines next to deep water all have potential to hold a big old water wolf. If these areas connect with the thermocline—perfect! Keep an eye on the sonar, because the big pike mark easily. The areas I described can also hold walleyes—which is important. Now get out the deep water muskies baits, giant jig/plastic combos, deep diving monster crankbaits, or the biggest live bait you can find on a live bait harness and start fishing. Oh yeh, you are going to need a bigger net. Well there ya go, a short 5 topic burst of a few fun things to do when fishing on a hot July or August day. Next year I will do 5 different options. Until then, enjoy the rest of the season. Lotsa Fish! Lotsa Fun! Captain Josh Hagemeister, Minnesota Fishing Guide Service. .minnesotaguideservice.com minnesotaicefishhouserental.com 320291-0708, 218-732-9919 Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 11
Tips For Fishing Success
Lake of the Woods is a vast body of water located on the U.S. / Canada border. It is known as The Walleye Capital of the World as the lake and Rainy River are home to literally millions of walleyes, trophy walleyes and a fishery that kicks out good fish 12 month a year. The lake has 14,552 islands, over 65,000 miles of shoreline and just about every kind of fish holding areas anglers look for. There are so many places to fish. There are so many ways to fish. Where do you start? With its sheer size and so many choices, here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your Lake of the Woods fishing trip. Page 12 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021
1. Initially, consider a guide or jump on a charter If this is your first time to the lake or you simply want a relaxing fishing trip, much learning can take place by fishing a couple of days with someone who really knows and understands the water. I like to say your first time up you get a good lay of the land and then decide if you would bring your own boat or rent a boat your next time up. Nearly everything you need, rods, reels, tackle, bait, fish cleaning and a very high probability of fishing success is included.
W t t t g t r h g f
Opposite page: The author with a big walleye caught jigging from a charter boat. Anchored up and vertical jigging is very effective much of the year on Lake of the Woods. In most cases, LOW walleyes prefer the vertical presentation with a jig vs moving around.
If you are bringing your own boat to LOW, it is helpful to do a bit of homework. An app like Navionics Boating on your smartphone is not only helpful ahead of time looking at navigation and potential fishing areas but also a nice backup on the water.
2. Do your homework The fish are always biting somewhere on Lake of the Woods. The trick is to find them and understand what techniques the walleyes respond to best. The info is out there, you just have to look for it prior to your trip. Lake of the Woods Tourism puts out a weekly fishing report that gives you a good starting point. After that, Facebook, talking to your resort prior to arriving, and bait shops can be good resources before you hit the water. Check out a map so you have a lay of the land prior to coming up. Navionics has a good map online for free as well as an inexpensive map app for your smart phone with most lakes including LOW. Midwesthuntfish.com
3. Most fish are caught close to the bottom You will mark a lot of fish with your electronics. Some are suspended and at times, these fish are caught. The vast majority of fish caught during the open water season on Lake of the Woods are relating to the bottom of the lake. Regardless of whether you are jigging, pulling spinners or trolling crankbaits, the fish you are most likely to catch are fish on the bottom. On occasion, tournament anglers will target suspended fish with success, but more often than not, they are tough to catch. 4. Colors of lures The water on the Rainy River and LOW are stained, meaning the tannins from the bogs and other plants in the watershed causes the water to have that light brown or rusty color. This is actually a plus for walleye anglers as the fish will bite during the day and are less spooked. The go to color in this stained water is gold. As one old timer put it, “You can use any color you want, as long as it’s gold.” Other bright colors such as orange, chartreuse, pink and glow are good also, but gold or a combo of gold and these other colors are dynamite. 5. Get your jig on! Anchored up and jigging with a jig and frozen shiner is the ticket much of the year when the water is colder and fish are schooled up more. April, May, June, September, October and November as a rule of thumb are good jigging months. Walleyes here prefer the bait vertical, rather than being drifted or trolled. The walleyes and saugers move around a lot and if you are anchored up in an area with fish, they will find you. 6. Drifting or trolling crawler harnesses When water temps are above 50º, usually June September, snelled spinners can be really good. The spinner has flash and vibration. That teamed up with a minnow or crawler is tough for a walleye to resist. The fact you can cover water when fish are spread out is another plus to this technique. It flat out puts fish in the boat. Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 13
7. Crankin’ Trolling crankbaits is a strong technique on most bodies of water including LOW. Believe it or not, there aren’t many months pulling cranks doesn’t work. In the early spring or fall on the Rainy River, puling cranks in cold water can be really effective. Normally slowing down to 1.5 - 2 mph is a good rule of thumb. This technique covers water, will help you locate fish, produces reaction strikes and allows you to put your bait in the faces of many fish which normally leads to success. In the months of July – September, anglers will troll the basin of LOW which is from 32-37’ of water with great success. Downriggers, leadcore line or large bottom bouncers 3 - 4 oz with a 6’ fluorocarbon leader and shallow diving crank will get your lures down to the fish. 8. Pay attention to the charter boats Charter boats are extremely effective at catching fish. Licensed charter captains spend a lot of time on the water and know what is happening. They also are networked with other guides and their business is to catch their guest’s fish and of course make sure they are having a good time. There is plenty of water on LOW to give them their space, but pay attention to where they are fishing and what they are doing. 9. Dress for success It’s northern Minnesota. Some days might be 90º. Other days the same time of year, you need a sweatshirt in the morning. Be sure to dress in layers, have rain gear in case of showers, bring sun screen and a good pair of shades.
10. Know the fish limits and have proper tools on board There is a slot limit on LOW in which walleyes between 19.5” - 28” must be released. Anglers can keep a combined limit of walleyes/saugers of 6 per person with no more than 4 being walleyes. Only 1 walleye over 28” is allowed. Having a reliable measuring device is necessary as you will catch some nice walleyes in the slot along with your eaters and maybe even a trophy or two. In addition to these tips, we encourage guests to have your cell phones charged up for both communicating and for taking pics of big fish. Some find it helpful to bring on board a backup battery pack. Good food is part of the adventure. Eat at resorts, cook in your cabin or both. Sometimes resorts offer meal plans called the “American Plan” that includes meals with your lodging and fishing package at reduced rates. On most trips, Lake of the Woods does not disappoint. This is a very good fishery. With that being said, there is a lot of water and having some basic tips can really put the odds of a successful fishing trip in your favor. The lodging community is very accommodating. Whether you bring your own boat and food or utilize the resort packages, there are lots of ways to enjoy the area. In today’s world, creating special times like a fishing trip with friends or family is more important than ever. Knowing a few tips prior to your trip can make all the difference in the world. Charter boats are a great way to experience fishing success on Lake of the Woods. They provide a licensed charter captain to put you on fish, rods, reels, tackle bait and even fish cleaning. They are easy, relaxing and very successful.
Page 14 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 14
LOW is best known as the “The Walleye Capital of the World” and it lives up to its reputation. The walleye season extends to mid-April. Large numbers of fish and some monsters are possible. The Rainy River also is famous for it Lake Sturgeon fishery. These fish live to over 100 years old with weights of over 100 lb. Arguably, the river and 4 Mile Bay offer the top sturgeon fishing in the Midwest.
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(800) 448-9260 wigwamresortlow.com Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 15
The beauty of crankbaits is that it is extremely versatile— fast, slow, deep, shallow, etc., with many color patterns to choose from. The “wobble” and rattles sounds are deadly when other baits are not.
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P age 16 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 16
Of course, I fish every day...
mostly walleyes because of demand by clients. But a few trips a week, I get a request for bass, largemouth or smallmouth bass. The conversation starts with questions like this from the clients: Are we using spinnerbaits, or plastic worms? “I used them as a kid” they say.
My answer is: “Whatever works!” There are 3 types of basic baits for bass: 1. Surface baits (floating surface baits) 2. Mid-level (spinner baits or diving cranks) and 3. Bottom (worm baits—Texas, jig etc).
Yes, VERY BASIC CONCEPT, but easy for most to remember. I start at the top and work my way down, and depending on the activity level of the fish, will settle on 1 of the 3—and many times it’s the crankbait—which will catch both active and non-active bass because of it’s unique characteristics! The beauty of the crankbait is that it is extremely versatile much like the spinner bait—fast, slow, deep, shallow, etc., and many color pattern variations to choose from. The main difference is the tight or loose “wobble” and possible rattles sounds that most spinner baits do not have. Frankly, most weekend bass angler rely on spinner baits far too much! Crankbaits are far better when used correctly and deadly when other baits are not! I was reminded once again of the importance of crankbaits just the other day when everything seemed to produce minimal results! I’m a huge fan of the Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap series MR-6 crank or the actual Rat-L-Trap itself. Both bass species (along with bonus pike) will crush them! Weedy flats in the 10-14 ft. range with weeds reaching about 4-8 ft. below the surface is ideal. The MR-6 dives down around 5-6 ft. deep and the Rat-L-Trap will go as deep as you can count (it sinks so use the countdown method). Vary your retrieve—fast, slow, erratic—experiment until the perfect retrieve is found.
Comb the flats by trolling and fan casting large areas throughout the top of the weedy complex. Do not forget the edge of the weed beds—the inside weed edge towards shore and the obvious deep weed line on the lake side of the drop off. If all is well, the baits will run through the weeds catching a few once in a while. If the bait gets snagged on a weed top—give it a quick “snap” to free the bait and keep “crankin” Keep the boat in deeper water and cast the bait up onto the shallow weedy flat and retrieve back to the boat running down the slope of the break. And try it visa-versa—meaning, sit shallow up on the weed flat and cast deep water and retrieve back to the boat towards the shallows. Do the same on the shallow inside weed line (ignored by most anglers) facing shore. And yes, it will be shallow so you may need shallower diving crankbaits! Pick colors based on the environment Stained/dirty water means bright annoying colors— chartreuse, florescent orange etc. Clear water tends to dictate a need for more natural colors like perch, sunfish, baby bass patterns etc! So next time you’re bass fishing, branch out and try a crankbait! I love worm fishing or chuckin’ spinner baits just like the next angler, but trust me, crankbaits should take up a large chunk of your tackle box portfolio! Lotsa Fish! Lotsa Fun! Minnesota Fishing Guide Service Capt. Josh Hagemeister www.minnesotaguideservice.com www.minnesotaicefishhouserental.com 218-732-9919 320-291-0708
Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 17
L Many anglers associate spring and fall as some of the best fishing of the year, but as the calendar flips to June the fishing on Lake Oahe is only beginning to fire up
Many anglers associate spring and fall
as some of the best fishing of the year, but as the calendar flips to June the fishing on Lake Oahe is only beginning to fire up. An expansive reservoir, Lake Oahe connects two capitals. Beginning at Garrison Dam in Bismarck North Dakota, the reservoir stretches down to the Oahe Dam in Pierre, South Dakota. While Oahe can produce excellent salmon and smallmouth fishing opportunities, it is the walleye that keep anglers coming back year after year.
P 18age 18 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021
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Lake Oahe is a special fishery Any angler dropping a line in has both a chance at a limit of eater class walleye or the fish of a lifetime! The cold, deep waters of Oahe are the perfect recipe for trophy caliber walleyes. Walleyes enjoy a year-round forage base of high protein meals, highlighted by rainbow smelt and lake herring. This combination allows fish to grow large and enjoy a long life, which makes it no surprise Oahe holds state record walleyes for both North and South Dakota. In March 2021, a 16 pound, 6 ounce walleye pulled out of Lake Oahe surpassed the previous state record of 15 pounds, 13 ounces caught in 2018. In February 2021, a 14 pound 15 ounce walleye was taken dark house spearing on Lake Oahe. This fish claimed the unrestricted state record category. Indeed, walleyes in the 14-16 pound category are present and there is no doubt the next North or South Dakota state record fish resides in this special reservoir. However, Oahe is more than a trophy fishery. The upper-end of Oahe features excellent recruitment of new fish into the system and can produce triple digit days during the right time of year. This recruitment is courtesy of the major tributaries and creek arms that offer excellent spawning structure.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 19
As summer progresses, the best fishing can be found between Mobridge and Pierre. The area between Mobridge and Onida is right in the heart of the action. This stretch of river features three main tributaries: Grand River, Moreau River and Cheyenne River. Walleye will move into these tributaries in the spring to spawn and although many will migrate back to the main river there is a resident population that will remain throughout the summer months. As fall progresses fish will begin moving back into these tributaries and produce some excellent fishing.
Strategies While the river may be expansive, anglers who are going to have the most success will break the water down into smaller areas. These smaller areas are likely the creek arms that can be found on the main river channel or off one of the tributaries. These sections often feature points, drop offs and flats that can hold fish that are moving through the area. Many larger creek arms will also feature resident populations of fish as well. One of the best tactics for targeting these areas is bottom bouncing with Mack’s Lure Smile Blades and a minnow or nightcrawler. Start your search relatively shallow fishing in 8-12 feet, but don’t be afraid to drop out and try depths of 15-20 feet as well. Fish will generally be sitting on the backside of points or other features.
Page 20 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021
Throughout this time, walleye are generally quite willing to bite. You don’t have to do much to coax them into your offering, which means less is usually more. A smaller .8” Smile Blade is often just enough to help draw attention to your bait, but not steal the show. Silver, pink, green and chartreuse are all top colors, but purple and blue is tough to beat on the Missouri River system. It’s a good idea to have multiple options in your boat for baits, as the fish’s preference can vary by the day and hour. While nightcrawlers are a proven option, both minnows and leeches can excel at times as well. Varying your blade colors and baits when you start your day will help you find a pattern more efficiently.
Piling on the Walleyes While these areas can produce excellent fishing particularly May through July, main river structure will begin to produce as August rolls into September. The best fishing will often take place in deeper water and be focused on more vertical presentations. During this time, ripping Rapala Jigging Raps or similar baits along the bridge pilings can often produce some of the best fishing. The Mobridge area has no shortage of bridge pilings, featuring several bridges that cross the river within only a few miles from each other. Anglers can also find productive pilings along the Highway 212 bridge in Gettysburg. The key to finding success in these areas is fishing quickly. Don’t waste time on unproductive pilings, if you go 15-20 minutes without a hit on a piling it’s time to move to the next one. It is critical to understand how current impacts these pilings. Baitfish will tuck in behind these pilings for a rest from the current and predators such as walleyes will follow them, enjoying a one-stop shop featuring a current break and a meal. Water levels will also have a role in these locations, as rising water levels can push baitfish shallow, while dropping water levels will push this bait and thus walleyes out to these deep water structures.
It is also important to note, walleyes caught from water roughly 30 feet or deeper will very likely die due to the pressure changes. Many of these pilings and other deep water structures will range from 40 to 120 feet deep, so these are not areas where catch and release is possible. If you’re fortunate enough to catch your limit but wish to keep fishing, it’s a good idea to go search for walleyes in shallower water. Whether you are searching for the next state record or the main course of a fish fry, Oahe has something for you! Anglers flocking to the lake will be greeted by excellent hospitality as communities such as Mobridge, Akaska and Gettysburg truly live on the river each day. Anglers will also experience why Oahe is known as one of the greatest walleye fisheries in the country!
Nick Harrington Guided trips, information & tips for anglers of all skill levels! For More Information Visit: midwestliprippers.com nick.harrington.outdoors @gmail.com Call/Text: 402-689-9947
Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 21
Come Fish Where The Pros Fish
Page 22 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021
Chase Parson s of Denmark, W I weighed 10 fi sh for 31.70 pou nds over two days to win the Chamberlain/ Oacoma NWT Tournament! Big shout out to ou r Chamberlain SD our second place first place winner winner Tommy Ke Chase Parsons, mos, and our 3rd place winner Drak e Herd.
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 23
Arrowwood at Cedar Shore was the host for the two day tournament in April, 2021
Page 24 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021
Francis Case delivered 84% of boats bringing in their limits, making Chamberlain/ Oacoma the 3rd highest ranking tournament in it’s history.
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 27
After a year on hold-like just about everything else in the country-the Northern Oahe Series is back online for the 2021 Tournament Season. Lake Oahe is one of the most well-known and prolific walleye waters on the Continent and the reservoir is currently in great shape.
With the diversity of baitfish and present population of our walleyes, every single tournament is wide open for victory. Wins could be had with any number of presentations or, a combination thereof. It could range from pitching jigs and cranks into inches of water all the way out to deep structure trolling patterns and everything in between. Passive or aggressive approaches could rule depending on prevailing conditions. Tree top trolling could be a wildcard for those willing to decorate a few branches with lures. Artificial baits will definitely play a role in top finishers programs. More than just crankbaits too. Many savvy anglers now rarely tip jigs with meat, opting more for the vast array of plastic options.
Page 28 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 28
This also applies to mainstay presentations such as pulling spinners and live-bait rigs. Plenty of attractive and effective choices to replace the standard fair of minnows, leech’s and crawlers. Despite the name, Slow Death rigs originated here and do not require the killing of anything. You guessed it, there are great artificial options here as well. Nothing is less alive than a heavy chunk of metal. But get the right movements and cadence down on a swimming jig and the action can be quick. A couple of well-placed casts can result in the largest fish of the day.
All of our past loyal participants are raring to go and we invite all the newcomers to come and join us for high-spirited competition & camaraderie amongst the finest anglers of our area. You will find our competitors and host communities are quite welcoming to fresh faces. If you are not a South Dakota resident, you will find a trip over here and our approach to Covid,
a welcome relief... Most any technique that you may have confidence in can and does work on this particularly aggressive strain of river run walleyes. Once again, every single tournament can be won with any number of techniques. No matter where you may place, there is a winning aspect to joining in on some clean competition. The enduring friendships made, continued camaraderie and experiencing the hospitality of each hosting community has incalculable value. Not to mention the learning aspect as you will witness first-hand what is getting it done… each & every day. This hands on & observational experience offers benefits many times the quite minimal expense of entry fees.
The host communities are all eagerly awaiting us with open arms. They have been conducting their respective tournaments for decades and I can personally assure you that these are the most well-run team formats in the nation. And without a doubt, the most fun! Grab your partner(s) and head on out to Lake Oahe. Bring family members if possible as we encourage and welcome the continued growth in family participation. I cannot imagine a better experience for fostering an intense interest in fishing and the outdoor lifestyle in general than to initiate youngsters into the good-natured competitive spirit being offered. No zoom meetings or online learning here.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 29
The only electronics or video games needed are what plays out on the graph screen and that is all part of the plan to out-wit, fight in and experience holding nature’s bounty in their hands. It is truly amazing to see how involved the younger crowd can be if we as adults provide them with the opportunity to simply get outside, open their eyes and let their senses absorb everything nature has to offer. Building not just outdoor appreciation, but also positive core values that will prove advantageous for them in any venture life may present. The entry fees for the qualifying tournaments and the championship are quite affordable. Less than you would pay a guide for a day on the water and you are going to come away with far greater value. You can fish all events with either a 2 or a 3 person team. Rules allow declaring 3 members and an alternate for the maximum amount of flexibility. As long as 2 of the original 4 member fish an event, the points qualify for Team of the Year honors. Each tournament is considered an independent qualifier and ran according to the host’s format. You can fish in as few or as many tournaments as you would like. I would strongly encourage signing up for the series and putting the required $50 per tournament into a side pot that accumulates for an equal split amongst the Championship Winning Team and the Team of the Year. You can qualify for this by fishing at least 2 of the qualifiers. Teams then take the points from their best two finishes into the Championship event in Akaska. The more tournaments you fish, the better your odds for high finishes-equaling high points totals and a good shot at Team of the Year. The Championship will be weighted with double points to encourage participation. This makes it a real wildcard event as the race is generally tight and positions can and do move around dramatically. The Championship event will run concurrent-yet separately-with the South Dakota Walleye Classic. Each will have a separate Calcutta you are encouraged to participate in. So, you will be competing in both tournaments for places and the Northern Oahe Series Championship for potential Team of the Year honors.
Page 30 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 30
The lineup of events are as follows: Wolves on Water Tournament
Denny Palmer Memorial Tournament June 12 Pollock Men’s Club Tournament
Whitlock Bay Walleye Tournament July 10-11 SD Walleye Classic/Northern Oahe Series Championship July 23-24th What this all amounts to is that the winners of the Championship have the potential to walk away with tens of thousands of dollars once 2 tournament wins, the Championship side pot, possible Team of the Year and Calcutta proceeds are factored in. Makes for one hell of a bonus to participate in a low stress, low entry fee event. At this point, plans are being made for the Northern Oahe Series Championship/South Dakota Walleye Classic to be televised on Focus Outdoors TV www. focusedoutdoorpromotions.com and the weigh ins livestreamed on Outdoor Action TV www.outdooraction.com and our Facebook page. Please check out all of the details at www.northernoaheseries.com and keep up with all the latest news and developments at https://www.facebook.com/ northernoaheseries Dennis Foster is a long tenured outdoor communicator in all forms of mediaIn particular, Focus Outdoors TV. He also offers full and self-guided pheasant hunts in his home State of South Dakota. He can be reached via www.focusedoutdoorpromotions.com or www.dakotapheasantguide.com for comments, suggestions and promotional inquiries.
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Page 32 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021
Oct 16, 2021 through Jan 31, 2022 Start planning your
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Hunt the Greatest in South Dakota With rolling hills and endless prairies, South Dakota is home to the best pheasant hunting in the country. With abundant public land hunting opportunities, pheasant hunters have access to some of the greatest spots to chase birds and work their dogs. We do not have to be the ones to tell you that pheasants and pheasant hunting are solidly ingrained in the South Dakota culture - because that speaks for itself. Whether you live here or are here for the hunt, you will never forget that South Dakota is where you hunt the greatest land, live the greatest traditions, and make the greatest memories.
Photo credits: SD Department of Tourism
Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 33
Since 1919, the tradition of pheasant hunting has brought friends and families together. Every fall, opening weekend brings unprecedented enthusiasm, excitement, and activity to cities and rural communities across the state. Courtesy of SD GF&P
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 35
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 37
Any place can say they have something for everyone.
In Mitchell, it’s actually true. With over 50 restaurants, nearly 1,100 hotel rooms, 7 campgrounds, the most hunting guides & hunting lodges in eastern South Dakota, boarding kennels, excellent outfitters. Mitchell, South Dakota is home to pheasant hunting done right.
The SDGFP sets aside millions of acres of land throughout the state for hunting. In the area around Mitchell, you’ll find public land, private land & even dirt roads. Whatever your hunting preference, there are acres of adventure surrounding Mitchell.
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 39
South Dakota is renowned world-wide for its pheasant hunting, and rightfully so. Did you know the average annual pheasant harvest during the past 10 years is 1.2 million roosters?
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Pheasants are just part of the hunting package you can enjoy. We offer a variety of game animals in a variety of settings: Forests, River bottom, Grasslands, Mountains, and the vast Missouri River reservoir system. Courtesy of SD GF&P
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 41
The Glacial Lakes Region, known as Coteau des Prairies or "hills of the prairie" is a glacial moraine formation. Moraines are piles of sediments dropped by the glaciers as they stalled and retreated. The clear blue lakes were also formed when the glacier retreated.
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In the mid-90’s the Glacial Lakes region of South Dakota was inundated with precipitation. Many low-lying basins, many of which were public hunting areas, were flooded. The lakes are in a closed basin, meaning there is no natural outlet for the excess water. Land that had attracted pheasant hunters to South Dakota now attracts fishermen in pursuit of walleye, perch, and pike. High rainfall amounts in April 2021, has led to drought improvements, or eliminated drought conditions.
Many of these flooded low areas were not originally designated as lakes (aka non-meandered water). Since much the land under the waterways is publicly owned, lakes and sloughs make for excellent fishing. Shore fishing also remains a great option.
a Fishing from shore is a productive and easy way to fish in SD. Most of the non-meandered bodies of water have public roadside access. The roadside ditches also attach fish in the shallow water bodies since the ditches provide bottom structure to an otherwise homogenous below surface structure.
South Dakota Shore Fishing Methods Jig Fishing The most popular method for catching fish in SD is done using a jig and minnow or twister tail. Simply throw out from shore and use retrieve. Vary the cadence and speed of the retrieve to find what is triggering the fish. Minnows are a readily available bait in most towns. Still Fishing If you spend any time fishing from shore in SD you will notice locals setting stationary poles using a two-hook set up with a heavy bottom weight, known in SD as “crappie rig”. This set up is very effective method for fishing. An angler can use multiple bait on one set up to help determine what the fish are preferring. Since SD allows two poles, tying one of the poles with a bottom rig increases the chance of hooking up. Slip bobber rigs Slip bobber rigs are another method that can be used when conditions allow for it. Slip bobber fishing works well when fishing with kids or presenting other baits like leeches and crawlers. Crank & swimbaits For anglers wishing to keep is simple, a good alternative to bait is to use either a crankbait or swimbait. When other methods of fishing aren’t producing tying on a crankbait or swimbait can often trigger a bite. Crankbaits often produce fish during the middle of the day when bait fishing South Dakota walleyes is slow.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 43 43
INGREDIENTS • 6 Walleye fillets • 2 eggs • 3/4 c flour • 1 c Italian style bread crumbs • 1/2 tsp. salt • 1/4 tsp. onion powder • 1/2 tsp paprika For Frying • 4 Tbsp. oil INSTRUCTIONS
By: Beyond the Chicken Coop
Lightly beat eggs in a dish. In another dish combine flour, bread crumbs and seasoning. Dip fish in egg and then in flour mixture. Shake off any excess flour. Add a couple of Tbsp. of oil to a pan and heat pan over medium heat. When pan is hot, add 3-4 fillets to pan. Cook 3 minutes per side so each side is nicely browned. Remove fish from pan; place on a baking sheet lined with a baking rack. Place cooked fish in a 350º oven; cook remaining fish. Wipe out pan; add additional oil. Repeat with remaining fish.
By: Lee McMullen INGREDIENTS • 3 Tbsp. clarified butter, melted • 4 (4 oz) fillets walleye fillets, cut into pieces • 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper • 1/2 tsp. dried basil INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat an oven to 500º. Pour the melted butter into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Place the fillets into the butter, skin-side-down. Sprinkle evenly with lemon pepper and basil. Bake in the preheated oven until the fish is opaque and easily flakes with a fork, 5 to 7 minutes. The nutrition information reflects the full amount of the clarified butter. The actual amount consumed will vary. Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 190 calories; protein 21.8g; carbohydrates 0.1g; fat 10.9g; cholesterol 122.1mg; sodium 115.8mg. Serve over rice or couscous with seasonal vegetables and berries. Page 44 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021
By: Chatelaine/Photo Robert Caruso
INGREDIENTS • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard • 1 1/2 tsp. maple syrup • 1 1/2 tsp. red-wine vinegar • 1 Tbsp. olive oil • 1 Tbsp. chopped dill • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano • 1/8 tsp. hot-red-chili-flakes • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder • 1/8 tsp. salt • 3 180-g walleye fillets • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter • 1 green onion, sliced • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges INSTRUCTIONS
WHISK Dijon with maple syrup and vinegar in a medium bowl. Whisk in oil, then dill. STIR oregano with chili flakes, garlic powder and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle over both sides of fish fillets. MELT butter in a large cast iron or non-stick frying pan over medium-high until bubbly. Add fish and cook for 2 min. Flip and cook until golden, 2 to 3 more min. Top with green onions and serve with lemon wedges and mustard-dill sauce. Nutrition (per serving): Calories 131, Protein 18 g, Carbohydrates 2 g, Fat 5 g, Sodium 128 mg. Excellent source of Vitamin B12 Midwesthuntfish.com
• 4 fish fillets • 12 asparagus spears 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter 3 mushrooms (large, sliced) 1 stalk celery (chopped) 1/4 cup onion (chopped) 2 cloves garlic (minced) 2 Roma tomatoes (peeled & chopped) 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 tsp. dried basil 1/4 tsp. salt
Place fillets on paper towel; pat dry. Season with S&P. In covered saucepan, blanch tomatoes 1 min. in boiling water til skin splits. Remove with slotted spoon, cool, peel skin off; dice. Cut asp. into 6” pc. In same covered pan, cook asp. in sm. amount of boiling salted water 5 min, til almost tender. Remove with slotted spoon onto plate; cool. Wrap filets around 2-3 spears of asp., secure with long pick. While asp. is cooking, heat 1 T oil & 1 T butter in med. saute pan over med. heat. Add celery & onion; cook 3 min. Add mushrooms, cook 4-5 min, til soft. Add garlic; wine; cook til reduced in half. Stir in basil, S&P & tomatoes. Cook 1 min. Add fish & asp. rolls; seam down, cover, reduce to med; simmer 7 min. Spoon sauce over bundles. Place on platter, keep warm. Reduce tomato mixture, uncovered, til slightly thick. Spoon over bundles!
By: Terry Twist
By: Food Huntress
• 6 walleye fillets • 1 1/2 c flour • 3 eggs, beaten • 1 lb butter • 1/2 c breadcrumbs • salt • 1 1/2 c almonds, crushed • 10 sage leaves • 1/2 c golden raisins
Season each fillet with salt; dust with flour. Shake off excess. Dip in egg; then med-coarse processed breadcrumbs & almonds in equal parts. Saute til brown; place in oven for 5 min., while you make the sauce. Place fillet over rice pilaf; top with Golden Raisin Sage Beurre Noisette. This beautiful preparation is a favorite during select seasons. For recipe, visit yummly.com
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021 • Page 45
INDEX A Aberdeen (SD) CVB.................35 Al’s Oasis................................23 Arnesen’s Rocky Point Resort.15 Arrowwood at Cedar Shore Resort - Oacoma, SD............22 B Bink’s Spoons.........................31 Boat 2 Trailer.............................3 Boomers Outback Hotel..........42 Browns Hunting Ranch...........27 C Chamberlain Food Center........23 Church Tackle Company..........15 City of Redfield, SD.................34 Cliff’s 1 Stop & Outdoor Store... 42 Curtis Lagan Guiding..............26 D Dakota Land Company............40 Dan O's Marine.........................9 Dave’s Marine...........................2 F Federal Cartridge Company.....32 G Grand River Resort & Casino...27
H Huron CVB..............................37 L Lynn’s Dakota Mart.................41 M Mitchell (SD) CVB...................39 N North Central Food..................45 0 Off Shore Tackle Company......14 P PDR Hunt................................38 Pond Tini.................................37 R Rugged Gear.............................4 S Skeeter Boats..........................48 SD GFP.............................31, 47 Speedy Worm.........................46 Stengel Oils.............................36 T The Edge of the Wilderness...............................5 W Wigwam Resort......................15
DESTINATIONS Aberdeen, SD............................ 35 Chamberlain/Oacoma, SD...... 22 City of Redfield, SD.................. 34 Glacial Lakes, SD..................... 42 Huron, SD................................... 37 Lake of the Woods, MN........... 15 Mitchell, SD............................... 39 Pierre, SD.................................. 40 Upper Oahe, SD........................ 26 ARTICLES 10 New Boat Features to Shop for on your Next Rig Joel Nelson.................. 6 Mid Summer Blitz 5 Ways to Catch More Summer Fish................ 10 Josh Hagemeister 10 Tips for Success on Lake of the Woods Joe Henry.......... 15 Crankbait Bassin' 101.............. 16 Josh Hagemeister Summer Strategies for Lake Oahe Nick Harrington...... 18 National Walleye Tour Chamberlain/Oacoma Recap (NWT)......................................... 22 Lake Oahe Tournaments Dennis Foster..... 28 Start Planning Your 2021-2022 Pheasant Hunt SD GFP............................ 33
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Recipes....................................... 44 CONTRIBUTORS Dennis Foster Josh Hagemeister Nick Harrington Joe Henry National Walleye Tour Joel Nelson SD GFP PUBLISHER/PRINTER Sioux Falls Shopping News, Inc. 3936 S. Western Avenue PO Box 5184 Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5184 Sales: 605-274-2640 Fax: 605-335-6873 firstname.lastname@example.org midwesthuntfish.com
All copy, pictures and graphics are reserved and may not be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The opinions expressed and information given are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect Midwest Hunting & Fishing Magazine. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part, without the written permission of the publisher.
MAGAZINE TEAM CEO/President: K.A. Lesnar Managing Editor: Paul Nester Composition Manager / Magazine Designer: Catherine Krause Composition: Dan Brauer Multimedia: Jessie LeGrand MARKETING Paul Nester 605-274-2640 Paul@midwesthuntfish.com Summer is here and the heat is on. I hope everyone is enjoying getting back to a more normal life and are enjoying the great outdoors. Vacation spots all over the Midwest are seeing a great rebound from our last season pandemic situation. This is the summer to take the family on a long overdue road trip, and do some fishing & vacationing. Big things have been happening in SD for the NWT, a very successful tournament was held in Chamberlain, and they will be traveling to Lake Oahe in July. We have a great article on walleye fishing on Oahe in this issue. Make sure you check it out, the walleye fishing all along the river in SD has been great this year. Also check out the fishing articles on MN fishing in this issue. It is also time to start planning your fall hunts, SD pheasants are looking great for this fall. Take care, be safe and have a save family fun summer. ~ Paul facebook.com/ midwesthuntfish • Like our page! • Post your photos & much more! Midwesthuntfish.com
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TEAMING UP WITH THE BEST LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY
Limited Lifetime Structural Warranty‡ 10 Year Limited Transferable Structural Warranty 3 Year Limited Component Warranty Strongest warranty compared to three of our leading competitors. ‡For the original purchaser; complete details in written Limited Warranty.
+Nationally N ti ll Ad Advertised ti d PPrice; i actual t l sales l price i determined by dealer. Price does not include freight, dealer prep, tax, title, and license. Prices may vary due to supply, location, freight etc. **Terms and Conditions: Nationally advertised price 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, pre-delivery inspection (PDI) completed, delivered and warranty registered in accordance with Skeeter’s promotion and warranty 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. ©2021 Skeeter Products, Inc. All rights reserved. This document contains many of
Page 48 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing • June - August 2021