• Recent Article Comments


    10 Destinations for Giant Pike

    Nice list, but after ice fishing Fort Peck last year. I'd say that one should be on here. Go to last post

    Wlueck 12-14-2017 12:48 PM

    Walleye Fly Ins

    " I can tell you that Grayston is wrong when he said it’s something you can check off your bucket... Go to last post

    Zogman 11-25-2017 08:03 PM
  • Articles

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    How to Find Panfish on Big Lakes

    by Cory Schmidt

    If you ever doubt humans have herding tendencies, travel by air over Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota, or Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, on a clear January day you can spot clusters of ice shelters crowded into specific sections. Stretching for acres and miles between are white expanses of lonely ice. But if you look closer, you might spot a single shelter off in the distance, all by itself. Does that angler know something the crowds don’t? Or is he a non-conformist sitting over an unknown school of bluegill beasts?

    Psychological research has revealed that humans do indeed flock, similar to sheep and birds, and subconsciously follow a minority of ...
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    Make a Plan for Northern Pike in 2018

    by Tom Carpenter

    It may seem early to be thinking about northern pike fishing, but as spring takes over and game fish seasons open, it’s time to get rolling. (Photo by Tom Carpenter)
    If you want to catch northern pike consistently, you need to make a plan. Here are some tips to get you started.

    It’s easy to like pike. If you’re already a pike fan, you know the truth. Northerns are handsome, streamlined, toothy and mean-looking; they usually are hungry, they hit hard and fight well, and they taste
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    Strategies for Pike Fishing in Wind

    Steve Ryan

    Much of angling success is driven by weather, and no weather element is more influential than wind. Too much and conditions become unsafe or unmanageable for effective fishing. Too little wind and things go stagnant. Large predators like pike become lethargic and catches of big fish dwindle.

    Anglers have no control over these conditions so wind can be the bane of our existence. We curse it and praise it, sometimes within the same day. The best we can hope for is to understand how it affects fish, then ...
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    Last-Minute Winter Walleye Tactics

    by Mike Gnatkowski

    Don’t be afraid to fish shallow, especially near moving water, in late winter. (Photo by Ron Sinfelt)

    Winter walleye anglers get conditioned. Most realize that walleyes spend much of the winter shadowing deep structure — humps and reefs — and their movements are relatively limited.

    Targeting the same locations throughout the winter capitalizes on the brief feeding flurries winter walleyes exhibit, usually at dusk and dawn, before reverting to a prolonged period of relative inactivity.

    But at some point in late winter there’s a stirring, a beckoning, a calling
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    Nothing quite replicates the feeling of casting a line into a shimmering lake after a long week. From salmon, to brown trout, to walleye, the fishing possibilities in North Dakota are among the best. But if you need to get a new ...
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    2 Killer Late-Season Rigs for Big Pike Through the Ice

    These rigs will work no matter where you fish


    Bryan Sathre (left) and Sabin Rasmus with Lake of the Woods pike.

    Bryan Sathre

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, a photo of Bryan Sathre’s icefishing spread would be a boring novella—a couple of drilled holes, tip-ups, and a lawn chair. If you’re lucky, you might catch a quick pic of him ...
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    Bottom Presentations for Winter Walleye

    by Cory Schmidt

    If the situation’s right and the mood strikes it, that 10-pound walleye you’ve been trying to catch might turn its snout away from your lure and scarf up a dead minnow instead. It’s a fact of walleye behavior that’s often discounted.
    Fishing “The Graveyard” years ago—a popular rock and gravel bar on Mille Lacs, Minnesota—friends and I deployed an underwater camera inside our large wheeled shelter to spy on a school of walleyes that refused to bite. It didn’t take more than an hour to realize walleyes were ignoring ...
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    4 Lures That Changed Fishing Forever

    by Keith Sutton

    Each of these famous lures dramatically changed the way anglers fish.

    Before writing this article, I asked my Facebook friends to share ideas about lures that changed fishing. That post elicited more comments than any I’ve ever shared on social media. I got literally hundreds of suggestions for history-changing lures to include.

    Were I writing a book, I could include them all — if it were a big book. But my assignment was to choose four lures — just four — that have changed fishing.

    It wasn’t easy, but each of the following lures has changed forever the way we fish. And the stories of the men and women who created those lures show the amazing foresight, inventiveness and entrepreneurship of those who gave us fish-catching tools still used by millions of anglers today. (Staff photos by Ron Sinfelt; ...
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    Ice Fishing: Late-Season Panfish Tactics

    by Mike Gnatkowski

    Although last ice is fleeting, it offers the perfect chance to end winter with a bang. (Photo by Ron Sinfelt)

    These ice fishing tips will make your winter panfishing more predictable and your success more reliable.
    Last-ice panfish can be fickle. A lot depends on where you’re at in the last-ice cycle. If you’re still in the throes of winter, perch fishing can be hot in the lake’s middle basin. If runoff has begun, fish will be on the move and bluegills, sunfish and crappie will be more active and relating to weed edges.

    The million-dollar question is, “Where are we in the cycle?” If the lake you’re targeting has yellow ...
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    Panfish Lures That Rock

    Cory Schmidt

    There’s so much happening on the panfish scene that you can scratch big bites on literally hundreds of fine jig and plastic pairings without tapping into your spoon supply or livebait. In recent winters, I’ve watched the rise of smaller lure companies, often hardcore anglers with an idea and a passion for creating stuff that catches fish. Some of the best lures these days come from the minds and out of the basements and workshops of individual entrepreneurs.

    Thinking of folks like Darrin Anderson and Brandon and Michelle Young, owners of B-Y Baits; Brian King of Contraband Baits; Travis Krousie of J & S Custom Jigs; Jeff Wenger of Jeff’s Jigs; Cory Robinson of Venom Floats, and more. B-Y Baits uses a proprietary injection molding process to produce ...
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    Searching for Giant Yellow Perch

    by Richard Smith

    Ice fishing on Michigan’s Lake Gogebic can result in jumbo yellow perch. (Photo by Ron Sinfelt)

    Special regulations and size limits make Michigan’s Lake Gogebic a hotspot for taking giant yellow perch.
    Based on our DNR’s Master Angler Award entries for yellow perch from 2017, 3 p.m. is prime time to be ice-fishing for giant yellow perch from the western U.P.’s large boot-shaped Lake Gogebic.

    Fourteen inches is the minimum length necessary for entering a yellow perch into the Master Angler Award Program.
    Three perch that qualified were pulled through Lake Gogebic’s ice and were entered during the first three months of 2017.

    One of those fish was 14 inches long and the other two measured 14 1/2 inches in length.

    Even though those perch were iced on January 23, February 19 and March 3, the time each of them were hooked was listed as 3 p.m. That timing has to be more than a coincidence, and bears considering if you plan on ...
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    7 Lessons Towards Bigger Winter Pike

    by Gord Pyzer

    Back in the late 1970s and ‘80s, I was so smitten with pike that I pursued the big toothy critters with abandon throughout the winter months. That drive laid a foundation in my understanding of pike and taught me lessons that I’ve been able to refine to this day.

    It helped, too, that I was able to bounce my on-the-ice observations off some of the greatest minds in the science community. Four decades later, we’re landing more and bigger pike than ever before.

    LESSON 1: An Ounce of Biology Beats a Pound of Tackle
    One-hundred-mph ...
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    Five Top Hardwater Hacks for Ice Fishing, Off the Radar

    by Game & Fish Online Staff

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    Stay safe outdoors this winter

    • DOUG LEIER N.D. Game and Fish Department

    A winter outdoor outing that results in a call to 911 or a trip to the emergency room is not a successful outing.NORTH DAKOTA GAME AND FISH

    If your winter ice fishing or spearing success and satisfaction lean more toward a limit ...
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    Fluorocarbon Line is Great Ice-Fishing Choice

    Resistant to abrasions at the hole is just one reason Mr. Bluegill (aka: Troy Peterson) prefers fluorocarbon line when ice-fishing. (Photo courtesy of Troy Peterson)

    While fluorocarbon has been available for decades, anglers are just now taking note of its superiority for ice-fishing.
    By David A. Rose

    My thoughts often turn wistful when I step onto a frozen lake these days. It’s not that I’m sentimental from four-plus decades of ice-fishing the waters near my home in Michigan’s Northwest Lower Peninsula, but it’s more a recollection of the fish I caught as a kid ...
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    Ice-Fishing: 10 Dos and Don’ts of Using Tip-Ups

    Like Cliff’s Notes for some class you snoozed through in high school, here’s Kalmerton’s Top 10 Tip-Up Dos and Don’ts to ace this winter semester’s tip-up test. (Photo courtesy of Frabill)

    Frabill’s Pat Kalmerton wrote the book — and keeps re-writing it — on tip-ups.
    By Traditions Media

    Amidst the focus on jigging and mobility over recent years, some proven strategies have been lost in the icy shuffle. Like tip-up fishing, which has consistently produced fish and forced guys into head-to-head 50-yard dash sprints since ...
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    Refresher reviews rules for ice fishing


    If fish houses are left on the ice unoccupied, like for part of a day or overnight, they must have identification on them.
    N.D. Game and Fish Department

    In the spring of 2000, the new North Dakota fishing proclamation carried a provision that eliminated the requirement ...
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    Moderate conditions take ice fishing back to square one

    Doug Leier, NDGF

    Ice fishing is certainly a hot topic in North Dakota this year.

    I can’t remember a year when I’ve heard so much positive chatter, and many anglers, who haven’t yet ventured out to their favorite lake or a promising new destination, are waiting in anticipation of good ice to get their ...
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    10 Destinations for Giant Pike

    Steve Ryan

    What better excuse for a road trip than the chance to chase giant pike. North America is blessed with a bounty of fine pike waters, and winter is an excellent time to sample some of these fisheries. Buckle-up and leave the driving to us.

    Madison Chain, WI
    The Madison Chain, consisting of five distinct lakes, is one of Wisconsin’s best managed pike fisheries. Each basin offers different options. Lakes Monona and Mendota are big pike powerhouses. They have every type of structure, from shallow weedflats to deep cabbage, rock reefs, extended points, and fast breaks into deep basins. Plus, with a one-fish,
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    Proven methods do not require modern gadgets

    DOUG LEIER N.D. Game and Fish Department

    There’s something to be said for anglers who understand the heritage and realize that, while modern technology, gear and gadgets are fine, they aren’t afraid to try tactics and techniques that were successful in the past.

    Lately I’ve been intrigued by the growing interest in hunting and fishing ...

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