Tuesday, October 23, 2012

north shore

every october i take a weekend off and head to the north shore to do some salmon fishing. this year i made one stop on the st. louis to try for gobys and ruffe. it was ridiculously cold and windy so detecting bites was nearly impossible. if that wasn't enough the spot was loaded with tiny yellow perch that grabbed the bait almost instantly. i spent an hour freezing on the river bank catching one tiny perch after another. i started thinking about giving up because it was already 1pm and i had a few hours of driving ahead of me. right as i reeled in i noticed i had a small fish on the end of the line and sure enough it was the goby i was after! satisfied with the new lifelister i got back on the road and continued north. 

i met up with my brother in lutsen and we headed down to a favorite spot of mine hoping for some big salmon. we were not disapointed one bit. looking over the cliff into the river we could see dozens of them. i tossed fluorescent orange egg flies while he threw around a small spoon. on my first cast i landed a nice coho and almost as soon as i got it unhooked and back in the water randy hooked up on a nice fish. it turned out to be a 23" rainbow! a great catch.

randy didn't have much luck with the salmon, he hooked up on two but lost both fish i was a little more fortunate and ended up getting another nice one followed by a new personal best 16" brook trout.

the second day we went farther north to fish the river where i caught my lifer coho last year. we saw quite a few fish but only managed to catch one. it ended up being a new personal best at 21 inches.

we headed back to the first spot to try and get randy a coho. it didn't take long for a nice one to blast his spoon. 

i caught a few more on the egg flies before hooking into something that felt a little different. as i brought the fish closer i noticed red on the belly, it was a brookie and a giant one at that! soon the fish was brought to the net. i didn't think i would beat my 16" personal best over the weekend but sure enough this fish was bigger. 17 inches long and fat! an absolutely amazing fish with the most beautiful coloration i have ever seen. 

i made the drive back this morning stopping at a few fishing spots along the way with no luck. i wish i could've stayed a few more days. i think i'm gonna have to go back very very soon.

Friday, September 28, 2012

bullhead bonanza

i finally caught the last minnesota species of bullhead for my lifelist, a yellow. i have had a hunch as to where to find them and with a little help from a friend i was able to locate a good population of them. at the spot i also caught some very large black bullheads and a suprise giant brown bullhead. 

first yellow bullhead

larger yellow

large black bullhead

personal best brown bullhead


Friday, August 31, 2012

st. croix crocodiles

took my buddy greenwood out fishing on the st. croix in hopes of getting his first longnose gar. we started off the day targeting other species with just crawlers on the bottom but didnt have much luck. i caught a few small drum and kept them for bait. i rerigged both of our bottom rigs with floats set about 2 feet above the hook and we moved down to the mouth of the canal. we cast the lines a few feet out and it didn't take long before greenwoods float shot under and his rod doubled over. unfortunately the fish didn't stay on. the next cast he threw made up for losing the fish because again he got a take almost instantly. the fish pulled hard and thrashed all over until he dragged it up onto the bank. a nice longnose gar and a new species for greenwood.

we continued to fish this way and caught one gar after another.

 i even caught my new personal best 30" longnose.

greenwood even got a lifelister shortnose gar and a nice one at that.

we fished into the night and eventually the gar bite turned off. we rigged up a rod with a huge chunk of cut fish and the other three with worms. we continued catching nothing but drum and bluegill for about an hour till greenwood hooked into something much larger. the fish didn't even bite he just adjusted the rod and felt the fish on the end of the line. it screamed the drag several times and eventually was brought closer to shore. i waded out to get a better look and saw a large pale fish in the light of the lantern. i grabbed ahold of it and carried it to shore. it was a smallmouth buffalo. i have dreamed of catching them for a long time and must say i am quite jealous of greenwood for beating me to it.

the bite slowed down and we began packing everything up. just as i was going to pick up my line with the large cutbait chunk the clicker screamed out. i let it run a few seconds and picked it up only to miss the fish. next week i will be back here night fishing to see what else lurks in the depths of the st. croix.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

a week on the river

i spent the last week in western wisconsin in a small cabin by a lake. the lake held quite a few large panfish but not much else so i spent my time fishing the nearest river. the water was crystal clear and packed with fish.

the smallmouth bass fishing was incredible. in the crystal clear water it was not hard to spot large fish holding behind structure. the middle of the channel was shallow and easy to wade pitching a gold bead head wooly bugger hehind every rock and boulder on the river produced a fish.

redhorse were also quite abundant in the river. silvers, goldens and shortheads were everywhere with the occasional greater passing through. we even saw a few tiny lake sturgeon swim by. my brother Randy caught the first fish of the day and it was also his first redhorse, a shorthead. we caught dozens more along with some goldens and silvers there over the next few days .

 one of the days we fished the spot we caught all the redhorse at we had the perfect day to sight fish and spent our time tossing crawlers in front of fish. i watched in awe as a giant redhorse cruised right in front of me. i tossed a crawler a few feet ahead of it and drifted it down till it was in front of the fish. i saw its mouth move and my crawler vanished. i set the hook and the fish took off towards a down tree i turned it around and after a short fight had it up by shore. randy ran down to the water and soaked his shoes to land the fish. i had finally caught my lifer greater redhorse.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

no stone unturned.

using the dnr occurance mapper i decided to try and pinpoint the location of a few species today. i searched around some very tiny creeks north of the cities in search of tadpole madtom, mottled sculpin and several darter species. i narrowed my search down to two small bodies of water that according to the mapper contained what i was looking for. i tried each bridge that the shocking data was recorded at. most were just to shallow and weedy to fish right now but i did find one wide shallow spot with a nice rocky bottom. i waded through flipping over rocks in search of micros and it didnt take long. sculpin and darters were hiding under every bit of structure. i didn't find any madtoms like i had hoped but i did catch my lifelist mottled sculpin and johnny darter.

mottled sculpin

johnny darter

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

biggest channel catfish of the year

spent last night fishing one of my favorite cat spots. i have been very busy targeting new species that i haven't gotten out after cats in a while. after last nights success i think i will be spending some time chasing catfish this month. i caught one channel and one flathead but i also hooked a mistery fish on a crawler last night that screamed almost all the line out of my reel before wrapping something on the bottom and snapping the line.

the flathead was small and i didn't take any photos but the channel cat was quite dandy. a solid 30 inches long, my second biggest and the biggest of the year.

Friday, August 3, 2012

my lifelist.

"lifelist fishing is the pursuit of all species of fish with a hook and line with a photo of the catch.

bass, largemouth

bass, rock

bass, smallmouth

bass, spotted

bass, white


buffalo, bigmouth

bullhead, black

bullhead, brown

carp, bighead

carp, common

carp, grass

carpsucker, river

catfish, blue

catfish, channel

catfish, flathead

catfish, gafftopsail

catfish, hardhead

chub, creek

chub, hornyhead

chub, silver
crappie, black
crappie, white

darter, blackside

darter, orangethroat

drum, freshwater

flounder, gulf

gar, longnose

gar, shortnose

goby, frillfin

grouper, black

grouper, gag

grouper, red

jack crevalle

killifish, goldspotted

killifish, gulf

killifish, longnose

killifish, marsh



lizardfish, inshore

logperch, common

mackeral, spanish

minnow, ozark

minnow, sheepshead

mojarra, silver jenny


mosquitofish, eastern

mosquitofish, western

mudminnow, central



needlefish, atlantic

needlefish, redfin


perch, yellow


pike, northern


pinfish, spottail

pompano, florida

redhorse, golden

redhorse, river

redhorse, shorthead

redhorse, silver

runner, blue

salmon, coho

salmon, pink


seatrout, speckled

shad, gizzard

shark, atlantic sharpnose

shark, bonnethead

shark, dusky

shiner, bleeding

shiner, common

shiner, emerald

shiner, golden

shiner, mimic

shiner, sand

shiner, spotfin

silverside, brook

snapper, mangrove

snapper, mutton

stingray, atlantic

stingray, southern


stoneroller, largescale

studfish, northern

stureon, lake

sucker, northern hog

sucker, white

sunfish, bluegill

sunfish, green

sunfish, longear

sunfish pumpkinseed

tarpon, atlantic

trout, brook

trout, brown

trout, lake

trout, rainbow


whiting, gulf

102 species not counting hybrids and genetic morphs.