Fishing technology is advancing at a blistering pace. Nowhere is this more apparent than the shifts in portable sonar popularity. Historically, traditional portable flashers dominated the ice-fishing scene. This was partly due to the slow operation of yesteryear’s LCD units in freezing temperatures.  LCDs also had a nasty tendency to drain battery power like lead-acid vampires. Some still do. For the most part, these shortcomings have been improved and other benefits have been added. While traditional flashers remain amazing ice tools, here are 4 reasons to consider a sonar & GPS combo for ice fishing:   The scrolling history on fishing…
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After launching my boat in the river the other day, my sonar unit registered a water temp of 35 degrees—Burrr!  Gamefish such as bass, walleye, crappie, and yellow perch can still be caught in frigid water, but it’s often necessary to hang something right in their face.  When they are schooling along major structures and deep edges the most productive “something” is typically a jigging spoon.   Spoon-Fed Smallie: This cold-water smallmouth fell victim to the enticing “hang” of a jigging spoon. Here are a few tips for fishing with a jigging spoon in cold water: Track ‘Em Down The…
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With many different types of scissors available to the avid fly tier, trying to pick out a quality pair is not as easy as it might sound. Different sizes, styles and lengths can all effect how scissors perform.  Understanding the basics will help you choose the perfect pair. Choose the Best Blades Tying scissors can range anywhere from 3 to 8 inches in length.  Every fly tier has their own preference, so experiment with a few until you find what is right for you. Blades should be long enough to make trimming easy, but short enough to allow for precise…
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Walleye on the Transition Edge

Monday, December 29 2014 12:14 pm - for Ice Fishing
By midwinter on many bodies of water, walleye location can often trend towards off shore structure and in many cases, deep structure.  With the advent of GPS map chips, more anglers are discovering and fishing these locations.  A mistake I have made in the past when fishing deep structure is relying too much on what the contour line on the map charts.  What is more important than any contour is the transition.  The transition between one type of bottom and another.  Could be an edge where gravel meets mud.  Could be where large boulders transition to smaller rock.  This edge…
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There is a certain joy in potential. After applying a coat of super glue to the collar wrap, I removed the bucktail jig from the vise and hung it on the edge of a cup.  It joined a dozen others I’d tied during the evening session.  Some would end up buried in a stump or boulder, lost forever.  Others would endure a great day of fishing, then be retired.  There’s always the chance, however, that one could even end up hooking the fish of a lifetime. I couldn’t help but wonder what adventures lay in store.    During a guide…
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8 Tips for Wading the Saltwater Flats

Wednesday, December 10 2014 8:00 am - for Saltwater
Wading is, by far, the best way to approach spooky flats species such as redfish, bonefish, permit, and sometimes snook and trout. When the fish are in water that's barely ankle deep, stealth is critical, and that gives wade-fishers a big advantage. Your profile is low and small, you can move very slowly, and you have complete control of those breathless moments when you need to stand stock-still as a fish comes by within a rod-length. But there are a few things to know about being part of the wet-pants brigade. Here are some tips, gleaned over decades of tromping…
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Gear Guide for Shrimping

Monday, December 08 2014 12:00 am - for Saltwater
Smother this little fellow and a couple dozen of his friends in garlic and butter, and you have a feast you caught yourself. Shrimping. It’s simple really. Especially if you have the right saltwater equipment; or better yet, a friend who does. Here is the account of my first experience and a few simple ways you can catch a mess of these delicious crustaceans. We launched my friend Margaret Ellen’s 17-foot boat just two hours before low tide; right around 3:00 p.m. Out through the creek and into the expanse of Bull’s Bay just off the coast of South Carolina,…
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Some anglers destroy the fish on topwaters, some manage only a few, fishing the same waters with the same lures. Why might this be? Fishing a topwater bait is a lot like Dancing with the Stars. You have to have all the right moves to be successful. The zig-zag action that drives fish crazy takes the right lure, rod, line and leader, not to mention a "10" in technique.  1. Choose a lure that's easy to walk. Most look like a tapered cigar. The Heddon Spook was one of the first and it's still great, but now there are many…
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Gulp Alive minnows are a great alternative in the winter months. They are durable and convenient to store. Plus, they are much easier to hook than a wiggly minnow when your fingers are frozen. Best of all, walleye love ‘em! While using minnows to tip jigs is a proven combination when fishing for river walleye during fall and early winter, the colder temperatures can make that strategy a challenge.  So instead, I rely on artificial minnows such as Berkley Gulp! Alive! minnows to spice up my leadheads. From a tactics standpoint, there’s not a lot to say regarding using Gulp…
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Look down in your rod box and chances are you see . . . a mess. Not only that, but the fishing rod you really need, RIGHT NOW, is the one on the bottom of the mess! How to avoid this headache? Here are a few tips, gleaned from years of tangles: 1. First, use a good rod sleeve such as the Bass Pro Shops XTS Rod Sock to keep your line under wraps. These sleeves not only reduce tangles, they also protect rod guides and tips as you slide a stick in and out of the box. Use a…
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