Coleto 6/21/16.


Boat Decal Home of the all time great Bang O Lure!

I spent yesterday working on boating issues trying to get both boats squared away.  One thing about having 2, there is always something that needs doing.  I have seriously considered becoming a one boat operation, and it just might happen.  Will just have to wait and see.  And to add to things I hit something with the lawn mower and busted a part, and it took a couple of days to get that resolved, or at least maybe in a few weeks!  So then it was trying to find someone to mow my lawn.  There is supposed to be someone coming tomorrow, I hope so, the Code Cops may put a sign in my yard soon.  The reason they could not come today was the same reason I chose to go to Coleto today, somewhere between a 50 – 70% chance of rain.

So with a real chance of rain, which of course we have not had any today, I dropped the boat in the water.  The lake is still up and there is plenty of cover in the water.  Buzzbait on a couple of down lake banks resulted in exactly zero bits.  So since it has been a while it was time to play it safe and head up lake and pitch plastics.

Once you go past the bridge it starts to cloud up some, and when you make the big turn it is really off color.  The first couple of places resulted in nada, so I headed further up.  Though it was really off color I finally had a few bites.


Finally caught a keeper on the 4th fish.  But it wasn’t much.

One thing I will give them today is that when they  bit that lizard they held on.  I put 3 or 4 in the boat on one bank way up lake.  Basically the rest came off little points here and there and if there was some rock it helped.


But they never got any bigger.

I kept after the plastics but only caught one here and there.  The watermelon lizard was by far the better bait.  The senko style got several bites but they did not hold on to it near as well as the lizard.  Both baits I was pitching to shallow cover and grass.  I thought that the swim jig might work some in the cover but it did not result in a bite.  So after a couple of hours I went back down lake to try a couple of other places.



Nice when you can bed down and eat your shade.

I tried a popper like they were hitting last month, and other than one blow up, not another bite.  I fished a couple of small deep coves and the end of a channel bank, all without success.  It might have had something to do with it was approaching noon, smoking hot, and not a breath of wind.  If I had known it was not going to rain even a drop I would have gone to the Gulf.  Oh well.  So finally at 11:30 after catching 8 I called it a hot day.

One thing that happened, and it is the second consecutive trip I have seen this, the fish came up chasing shad.  Neither time could I get to them in time, but bait and fish were frothing the water.  The fish are clearly on a shad diet right now, so there must be a better way to go as far as catching them.

It is hot folks, and whether the lake or the bay, go early, drink lots of water, and cover up.  And there has been another case of vibro.  We are off to another fast start this summer.  So take what precautions you can.  My wife is a PA in the ER and after seeing how it was last year she laid down the law, no wet wading.  There are other things you can do, no immersing cuts or wounds in saltwater.  Your chances of getting vibro are probably astronomical, but it never hurts to keep your risk factors to a minimum.


After fishing the Powderhorn Ranch shoreline the other day I got this great comment from Jason on catching fish in the Powderhorn.

Hello. Name is Jason. Emailed you once before. Grew up fishing out of indianola. Family has lost 2 fishing cabins over the years and we have not rebuilt since Little Claudette took the last. Still fish there from time to time. Enjoy reading your trips. Was there a couple of weeks ago and the trout were there and easy to catch. Recognize some of the places you fish. One thing about powder horn is that the best fishing is usually within a few hundred yards of the marina. And we have fished all over west Matty and powder horn. Right before a tide change trout get stacked up in the cut. Bouncing soft plastics and big sassy shads on the bottom with the tide. Fish the last hr of a incoming and hang on. Mr Bell showed that to my grandpa a long time ago. But still works.

First I remember your prior comments on Indianola.  Folks I do not know how he could be any clearer.  This is a bona fide piece of information.  Funny all the times I have fished there I have never tried that.  Especially since I do a similar thing in Kellar Bay in front of the park where it narrows down, making a funnel or a drain.   And as much as I like fishing drains around POC it is clearly case of blinders on my part.  When I dropped him a note making sure he did not mind me posting this, my usual course of action on “places”, I got this answer.

Enjoy your blog.  Doesn’t matter to me. 95 percent of the people fishing that area usually get frustrated and leave. That’s why my family has loved it for so long. Hope the powder horn ranch park deal doesn’t bring too many people in.    Just to let u know I lived on garcitas after deer season for a few yrs camping out with big mullet free lined all night. Didn’t get my state record trout that I thought I lost one time there trolling, but tried. lol. Those big gators would swim by every once and awhile while sleeping on a sand bar. Yikes. Young and dumb. I thought one big trout might be in there. Lots of decent ones   Then I moved to north padre and fished 4-5 days a week.   I slept in my boat in Baffin weekly.   East kleberg.  Cat head etc.  with big live baits.  Caught some nice fish. But not the one. Best was 10.75 lb  33 in just didn’t have it.  I have 2 yr old twins now and enjoying life but I gave it my all.  Good  luck.  But I will say for some reason the best trout I have ever caught in indianola was 28 inches.  That was the norm down south per day.  Don’t know why that was. Nobody in my family caught any bigger.  Heard of a 32 gigged one night and a few 30 out front.   I caught a 30 at the jetties.  I use to help lee richter the inventor of the green lights at the big jetties at night.  Lots of stories there.  Good luck.

Love your response and stories.  I am sure it is so different now from what it was just a few short years ago.  Reminds me of when I was young and hard after it in Arkansas.  Sleep was optional.  And as far as good trout, as I have said all along I am not the best trout fisherman, but more over 25″ have ended up on my line in the last year than the 6 years prior.  I know there are definitely better fish, so it is probably a combination of better fish and getting to be a little bit better fisherman.   I can not thank you enough for your tip and continued readership. Your comment about fishermen getting frustrated and leaving is one of the things I have said about sharing info, most fishermen want info, want to know how and where someone catches fish, but rarely actually act on it.  We are creatures of habit, most bad.  Feel free to comment anytime.


Sorry about the dearth of reports but the weather combined with other stuff has kept me busy.  But I should get everything back in order shortly.  I do not have a clue what is next.  Tomorrow I have to find someone to cut this grass.  Then it will be trout fishing next.  It is  supposed to stay real hot so it will be up at 4:00 to be on the water at daylight.  The tide is still not quite right for the perfect morning, though that will not keep me from fishing, but it should come around in the next 2 weeks.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Indianola 6/16/16.


Boat Decal Try a KnockerB today, you will like it as much as the trout do!

And considering where I fished today this was one timely comment.

I really enjoy reading your blog. Even though I am a lady angler and pick up on your humor. My husband and I fish for trout and reds and we are headed to Powdwehorn fishing for a few days. We are new to Powderhorn and have found a few spots holding trout. Any suggestions on Powderhorn would be most helpful. We put our boat in there at the Indianola Marina.

First Barbara I want to thank you for reading this stuff.  I love hearing from lady anglers and let me first get to the fishing today, and then a little more specific for the Powderhorn.

It Is The Bait Stupid

Often when we trout fish we are fishing a bar, a weed bed with potholes, drain, point, or some other structure that either holds fish or directs water and bait.  It can actually be pretty simple if you think about it.  Today was not simple but when I got my mind working I was able to pull it out.


Get out early to beat the heat.

When I got to Indianola Marina at daylight the tide was still moving in just a little and the water color was ugly.  I assume it was from the freshwater runoff.  But it was not an issue as the plan was to wade a long stretch of the Powderhorn Ranch shoreline.  I started about half way between the Ranch house and the boat ramp.

Idling into 2 foot of water the color still did not fill me with confidence.  Topwater was the bait of choice and there was tons of baitfish.  I had one just jump all over it and miss, and the missing went on.  Before I finally put it down 5 took a pass at it one way or another but just did not hook up.  That was a mistake on my part.  I wear a wading harness with a tackle box and spare rod, but today no different topwater.  Who knows they may have wanted one a little bigger like the mullet or just another color.


Finally caught a fish.  Took a picture of the first one, was starting to wonder if he would be the last.

After not catching anything for a couple of hours I finally started using my head.  So I picked up the watermelon red paddle tail on a 1/32oz jig head.  The first fish was this small red.  Then I caught a smaller trout, and then another.


A finally a trout.

The bites on top were shallow but as soon as  I turned around and casted out I started getting bites.  Three or four were ok and then I caught a couple of nice ones in a row.


Getting bigger.

One thing about that shoreline there is miles of it that other than a few troughs it is fairly featureless.  But what really made the morning was I finally started following a big bunch of bait, both mullet and shad.  While I did not get a ton of bites, maybe 10, once  I concentrated on the bait it was a nice bite.


Now that is a trout!  There is the plastic they wanted today.

It just took me a little time to figure it out.  That bank usually has tons of bait on it, moving up and down with the tide.  You can see it everywhere, and I did actually catch a small mullet on the topwater that actually hit it.  It was interesting thinking  back on it how they hit the topwater in a 2 foot or less and when they quit, or I did, the bait was in 3 – 4 foot of water, and so were the fish.  I made a pass on the grass along the shoreline and caught 2 little bitty reds, the future of the fishery.

Then just to see what it looked like I went in the big pocket on the left inside as you come into the Powderhorn to see the water color and see if I could catch a red on spinnerbait.  The tide was stagnant, the color was marginal, and that pocket has more grass in it than it has had in a while.  I should have boated one on a topwater but missed him, and never had a bite on spinnerbait.

And before I quit I made one drift along the grass near the boat lane.  I did not have a bite on plastics trying to catch trout so as it headed to super hot  it was time to call it a morning.   Having not been on the Gulf in a while it took me a second to get in that mind set.  Speckled trout are another animal, easy to catch, if you can locate them.  As usual location, location, location.  And today that location was under the bait.


Back to your question Barbara.  There is basically 4 places I catch trout in the Powderhorn.  Now that does not mean it is the only places depending on time of year, conditions, etc.  Nor is it related to the redfish.  But as far as trout here is where I have caught them the most.  First, as you come around the boat lane and head straight as you go towards the back there is a long bar, with grass and sand, that runs along the left side of the boat lane.   It slowly flattens out and gets deeper about 3/4’s of the way down the boat lane.  I like fishing the back side of it.   Usually I set in the slot that runs on the other side of the bar.  That can be 3 – 4 foot deep and has isolated oyster, but I rarely catch them on the oyster, they are usually on the flat.

The second place is about half way back on the left.  It is near the second old well platform.  If you stop there and idle to towards the bank you will see a pole which marks the end of the bar.  There is a small pocket to the right of that that has a channel running into it.  I have waded that quite a few times and when they are there it can be good.  Just remember that when the tide is out the back area can get pretty shallow.

As you follow the boat lane in the very last stake on the right has a small oyster reef that seems to start past the last stake then heading right towards the small town.  It can be good but has mainly been a winter spot.

And last is drifting the right hand side of the bay past the last stake.  I try to keep in 3 foot of water and drift down that right hand side.  Do be careful back there as there is a couple of obstructions that I believe are from an old RR track.  And it seems generally if it gets shallower than 2 feet I am generally not successful on a regular basis in the Powderhorn.

So there you have it, where I catch trout.  But really the Powderhorn is my redfish go to spot.  If I intend to trout fish I usually wade the ranch shoreline out in the bay.  And that bank can be easily drifted depending on the wind direction.  So I hope this gives you a place to start and would love to hear from you on how your next trip goes.  And feel free to comment anytime.


Mac sent me this on a bait he discovered and caught some fish on.

Doug, the heat index in Bastrop is 108 degrees!! I may slow down bay fishing until Sept. I just found out about some new baits, ordered a few and boy howdy did they catch shallow water Reds. Heath Hipple, owner and founder of Buggs Fishing lures. They are tied like flies, fished like lures–Buggs catches fish. They come in different weights, and are made with feathers and rabbit fur His redfish lures are fabulous. I fished Burgantine lake at the back of St Chales Bay last week with them. The water was still clear and I had a blast with these baits. Reds came up from behind and sucked them in from a foot out Heath is a personable young man who will tell you how to use these when you order some. I just love sightcasting. It is fishing and hunting combined together. Mac

Actually I know about his baits.  I met him 3 years ago at the Houston Fishing Show and will confess I did not buy any.  He was actually tying them at the show.  Looks like I will have to get a couple, love to see them eat it like that, kind of like catching bonefish on jigs.  As usual it is good to hear from you and comment anytime.


Looking at the tides and weather I may get back out there again in the morning.  I will be sure I have 2 different spare colors and sizes of topwater, and if there is that much bait all I have to do is think back to today – It Is The Bait Stupid.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Back To It. 6/15/16.


Boat Decal Try a KnockerB today, you will like it as much as the trout do!

The last couple of days have been a matter of me catching up on stuff.  My old body feels the 1700 mile drive and the short nights.  So the last couple of days have been detailing the truck, putting stuff away, reorganizing tackle, and resting up.  New line on reels, tackle back in the right box, and a little repair work on odds and ends.  Today I will finish up a few things and then back at it.  And with the Boss living it up with family on Broadway in New York City I am baching it for a few more days.  I ain’t much for singin’ and dancing’, hell I can’t even carry a tune so I passed on that extravaganza.

Starting tomorrow it will be back on the Gulf.  If the reports of the morning topwater fishing are even close to the truth it should be some pretty good fishing.  Where I am not sure yet, depends on whether my buddy Chris is going to fish or not.  Could be POC or maybe the Powderhorn, but I am somewhat leery of what looks like is a bunch of fresh water influx.  And remember freshwater can relocate trout, but if yours are gone the redfish are still there.  I was really surprised at how high the river is, you all must have gotten a bunch or rain last week.


I got lots of comments from folks and wanted to share a few with you.  The first one is from Faye and Steve.

Good morning,

I’m sorry your trip was cut short.
We made a trip to Cabellas and got a new graph. While there I stopped at the Cocoons display. I would never noticed them if not for your blog.  I came away with these awesome slip ons and Steve got a pair of fit overs. We love them and he’s also used his golfing.
We made a trip down to install the graph and fish a couple days.  Steve rocked that install! But the fishing was not rocking.
We are headed down tomorrow for a couple days on the water and will have our new Cocoons on duty!!
Looking forward as always to all of your reports,
Faye & Steve

I hope you like them, I sure do.  Several folks have tried them and the comments I am getting are all good. Optics are critical in many types of fishing, amazing what you see at times.  And be sure to register your warranty.  Unlike some companies they stand behind their stuff, as long as you register them they will take care of you.  And good luck the next couple of days.  I will be looking forward to hearing how it went.


I got this comment form Peter on my page about redfishing for the bassfisherman.  This is the kind of comments that keeps me writing.

Thank you for this article. As a bass fisherman visiting SC, this helps a lot. Tight lines!

Good luck on your trip and we would love to hear how it goes.  A redfish is a redfish no matter where you are.  And thanks for reading.


And I got this comment on my post Saltwater Lures – The Basics from January of this year.

Awesome Post !!.

First thanks for your kind comment Jack.  What makes it so interesting is just a couple of days ago I was watching a fishing show from Australia and saw what turned out to be one of your baits being used.  So when I got this comment I visited the website where it originated – Noeby Fishing Tackle Australia.  Since I am visiting Australia next year it could not have come at a better time.  And then I went to your facebook page and love the fish you catch.  My only problem is how to fit it all in.  I want to fish offshore and would really like to catch a Barra.  They look like my kind of fish.   I will be looking for you baits to appear on the US market.  From the pictures looks like they catch fish!  So if the rest of you want to see come cool baits and pictures of some really awesome fish check out their website and facebook page.


And this one from Raymond really goes to the heart of what I hope comes from all this.

Thanks for your blog, I enjoy reading about the different locations you fish and one day plan on fishing as many as I can.
Raymond ( Bastrop )
Mac turned me on to you a couple years ago and I can’t stop reading!!

Thanks for the comment and thanks to Mac for turning you on to the site.  Mac has been with me from the beginning and I really appreciate his loyalty.  Getting to fish different areas and species makes anyone a better fisherman.  What I have found over the years it is a matter of money and time to keep expanding your fishing, but it can be done on the cheap if you want it bad enough.  In the old days it was a tent and a budget that would not even buy a rod and reel these days.  But the important thing was to make the decision to try something new, make plans, and get it done.  Often it is nothing more than deciding to get up way to early and drive to some place you have never been and just go for it.  As an example – The first time I went to the Everglades not only had I never fished there, I barely knew where it was.  Once I got there I sat on the dock for an hour and looking out over a very imposing sight, 10,000 islands.  And then I got in the boat and got it done without help or a GPS.  If I can do it anyone can.  So good luck, start small and go from there.


Getting this post written was the last thing to do on the list.  I am fully caught up and looking forward to watching a couple of 20″+ trout smash the Bagley KnockerB a foot in the air before they crash down on it and eat.   And again I than all of you who take the time to comment, I really appreciate it, it makes this a much better place.  I learn from you and I hope you learn something from me.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Home 6/9/16.


Boat Decal Home of the Bang O Lure.

Unfortunately the last report will be the last report from this trip.  Circumstances required that my trip  be cut short so that is why no reports the last couple of days while I was driving back.  When you travel there are things that come up, and it often does not go as planned.  So I am home and will be reflecting on the trip in the next couple of days.  For now it is time to unpack and reorganize.  I see on all the local fishing reports that the topwater fishing on the bay is going strong, so I can not wait to get back out there.   So thanks for following me, and after a day or two to get settled it will be back to fishing.  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Bear Bay/Day 6 6/8/16.


Boat Decal Home of the Bang O Lure.

Excuse Me?

One of the baits we are using is the Whopper Plopper by River2Sea.  It catches fish and we all decided to buy some before we headed up here.  Shoedog and Clyde have caught bass in Arkansas on it and I have caught a couple in Texas on the medium.  So our buddy John was at the store and picked out a couple, including one that caught a big muskie yesterday.  He picked out a couple of colors that he thought we good and took them to the counter.

The clerk looks at him and said, “You have a monkey butt.”  John goes, “Excuse me?”  The clerk repeats, “You got Monkey butt.” John goes, “Huh?”  Then the clerk goes, “That is the color, Munkey Butt.”  As that Redneck comedian says, “Now that is funny right there!”

But do check them out if you have not seen them yet.  Designed by Larry Dahlberg, who I contend is the best all around fisherman on the planet, it comes in 3 sizes and it catches fish.  Occasionally a new bait comes along that really works, and the Whopper Plopper is that bait.  So check them out.  If you like explosive strikes you will love them right out of the box.


Almost all my life I have had the get up gene as far as fishing goes.  It is now 5 a.m. and I am up making coffee, writing this, and getting ready to make lunch, pack the cooler etc. for what will be a long day as we drive up to Sioux Narrows for the long ride to Bear Bay.  Clyde must have heard me, I try to be quiet, and his response – Are you insane!  It was not a question, and back to bed he went.

But wait, here they come.  For the first time this trip folks are moving around as early as me.  I am shocked.  But the annual pilgrimage to Bear Bay is on tap and it is hard not to get excited with the though of over 100 smallmouth, many in the 3 – 4lb range with a few bigger ones tossed in.  So we shall see, I will fill you in tonight.


Paul and his son Jake were guiding yesterday and had a good day.  Walleyes were on tap and they found them in 9′ on the outside edge of the deeper weedlines.  The water temp is rising rapidly and the fish are in various stages of transition.  The pike are way done as they are really early spawners, the walleye are done and are moving deeper every day, and the muskies are getting ready to spawn, which is why we are seeing so many.  The bass are in various stages depending on the lake and area. Clyde and John saw 19 muskies the other day, which is a whole bunch of muskies.  The opener is in a week and those guys are absolutely going to knock the crap out of them.


Bear Bay

Before I get to today’s fishing we need to talk about something.  Today John had a smallmouth thrashing around in the boat, his popper pulled out and hit him like a shot right in the face.  It is a good reminder of how things like that can happen, and what you can do about it.

Bear Bay is a 30 minute run from the nearest ramp and this thing was buried.


Well here he is, Munkey Butt as he will always be known from now on, with a Pop R in his face.  We told him not to eat his bait but he wouldn’t listen.

Clyde buried a hook in his hand a couple of years ago and I used the line out method and popped it right out.  The hook in John was not all the way through and the line out method worked like a charm.  So instead of a 30 minute boat ride, a 20 minute car ride, and a $500 ER bill he was back to fishing.  The only thing that was really hurt was his pride, and I am not sure even that was to bad other than the guff he took from us.  So if you want to see how we get them out go to my video page and watch Hook Out.  It works.  Now back to the fishing.

There may be some places in this world with better smallmouth fishing but Bear Bay, off Yellow Girl Bay, way up on Lake of the Woods, is right up there.  The 4 years we have come here we always make it up there, and it always is an adventure.

LOW is almost at mid summer level, which is low.  To get into Bear Bay you go through 2 channels and 2 small lakes and we barely made it all the way.  But we made it, and it was game on.


Shoedog starts it off.

We started with jerkbait and buzzbait and were catching a few when we talked to John and Clyde a little later and they were using small topwater minnows, so we started using topwater and it was catch, catch, catch.  They could not have been more right on the bank if they crawled out.  Toss it to the bank, twitch it once, and they smoked it.


Now that is a smallmouth.

A nice jerkbait fish.  They were eating it but once we went to topwater we pretty much stayed with it.


No wonder my hands are sore.

We also fished some for pike and caught a few, and I missed the first big one I have had on.  Clyde and John did some fly rodding and kept catching smallmouth.  To tell you how good a fishing hole it is, they stayed in the main bay for 9 hours and caught them the whole time.


I mean it is just hard to explain how awesome it is to catch big smallmouth until you can barely look at another one.

 I was using a Chug Bug for a while but went to small light balsa minnow on a light spinning rod and had a great time.  Back to my Cocoons, but they are an absolute mandatory.  You could see many of them and it was so fun to twitch it at just the right minute and have them exploded on it.


They were just sucking that topwater down.


Somebody took a big bite of out this guy.

Until we went in we only say one boat all day.  LOW is a freakin’ monster.  Grouse drumming, Golden and Bald Eagles, flocks of geese overhead, this is the great outdoors.  It gives me a renewed appreciation for Mother Nature, God, The Grand Poba, whoever you believe is responsible for this world.  I am lucky to get to do this, lucky to be alive, and lucky to have a wife who puts up with this passion that burns inside me.

Clyde sent me a couple of his pictures.  Hope they are not sideways,  If they are pick up your computer and turn it sideways, it will all work out.


Clyde with a good one.


John did his part.


Clyde with another of those muskies that won’t leave us alone.

It is 10:30 as I finish this.  I am blind tired and happy.  And nothing like venison loin on the grill that Clyde cooked.  Paul who owns the resort guided today on an area of LOW we know fairly well and they caught 50 pike.  His customer was reeling in a 23″ pike when a monster pike came out of nowhere and latched on.  That is the second time we have heard that this week.  So as I close, visions of monster pike will fill my dreams, and I will wake up ready to go.  My hands will never be the same, but I will still hold on to that rod for dear life.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

(And a word to my coastal boys – There has already been a case of vibro on the coast.  Be sure to wear waders if you have an open wound.  That stuff is ugly.)

(Please keep excusing the lack of editing, but it just ain’t happening!)

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South Narrows Lake 6/7/16.


Boat Decal Home of the Bang O Lure.

South Narrows Lake  – Smallmouth Madness

There is a small lake right across the road from Muskie Bay that we had not fished before so Shoedog and I decided to give it a try.  Only a minute from the resort, it is 2 miles long and deep and really clear.  Basically it has nothing but smallmouth, no problem.  The wind was supposed to blow out of the north again today so we decided to stay close.  And tomorrow it is off to Bear Bay on Lake of the Woods for the big smallmouth extravaganza and then some walleyes on the way home.  Since it is 25 miles to the ramp, and over 20 miles up there, it was a good day to rest, if catching smallmouth on jerkbait all day is resting.


Nothing like catching this size.

We just picked the deep side and started down the bank and it was almost 2 minutes before we started catching them.  Not only could you see them eat, we say several bunches swimming around.


Talk about fight, you get your monies worth!

Shoedog started with the Red Bream Smithwick suspending Rogue.  I tried lots of stuff and though I caught a few, I finally got with the program and it was game on.  The water temp was 59 or so and though the north wind was cold it warmed to the mid 60′ by time we quit.


Now that is a moose!

We caught little ones to big ones, maybe 75 give or take a dozen.  Funny how bass everywhere like it retrieved, jerk/jerk/pause/jerk and do it again.  Rarely did you feel them hit, usually we saw them roll over and eat.  We had tons of follows and occasionally several would be after it.


This is the medium size we caught a bunch of.

Before the day was over we caught a few on buzzbait, swim jig, and grub, but that suspending jerkbait was the ticket.  And Shoedog is one big jerk, so it worked out perfect.


An old bass fisherman like me loves catching these things.

Like most places around noon they slacked off.  Finally around 4 they started up again and we caught them until we quit at 6.  It was nice to catch fish most of the day and not have crappy weather.


We probably saw an easy 40 – 50 hit it,way cool.

We had a good day and are really looking forward to tomorrow.  Clyde and John got out late today and went to LOW.  It was slow for them early afternoon but before it was over they caught some walleyes, perch, smallmouth, and a musky.  Fishing is getting better all the time.

We have seen a couple of minks, of course the bears and eagles, beaver, and several big snapping turtles.


This guy was hanging at the ramp.

I am not sure what they are up to but we have seen quite a few of the big ones.  All I have to say is good thing we can’t take them.  I love me some turtle slow fried in mushroom soup.


I got this question from Logan who I met 2 years ago here at Muskie Bay.

Hey bud its, Logan Eller (Troy’s son from Tulsa) meet you the year before last when we stayed in the cabin beside you. We are headed up next week. Just wondering what the water temps were ranging from, on both Lake of the Woods and Crow.

We are looking forward to seeing you guys.  The water temp when we got here this week was in mid to upper 50’s.  The weather had turned off a little cold and it dropped a little but the weather is about to really warm up.  Jake found some in the high 60’s as did Clyde on LOW.  Here it was approaching 60.  To give you an example there were no bass in Bass Alley but that will probably change.  We fished South Narrows today and it went from 59 to the mid 60’s in the afternoon.   Fishing has been good for most fish, so you may hit it just right.  So have a safe trip and holler when you get here.


I hope you all are enjoying fishing along with us.  So far it is everything we could hope for.  Hope is running rampant for tomorrow and Bear Bay.  So it will be up early and off we go.  If it is anything like it has been in the past there is about to be a killing.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

(Please disregard the total lack of editing, but it is 10, we have just ate and it is off to bed.)

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Lake of the Woods 6/6/16.


Boat Decal Home of the Bang O Lure.

Day 4

In what has become my ritual up here, rising at the crack of dawn, it is one of my favorite things.  It starts getting light at 4 and everything is quiet around here.  I get to listen to the birds and get my mind right for what is to come each day.  And speaking of birds, Canada has some great ones.

When you see things like the bears we saw yesterday you forget the common things you see, like the eagles.  I was reminded of that when I got a question from Catfish Tom asking if we had seen any eagles.  There are lots and lots of bald eagles and some golden eagles up here.  They are majestic birds and so big.  They are also surprisingly aggressive.  Last year the boys fed one a rock bass, and this year one tried to take matters into his own hands.

John said Clyde was fighting a small pike when an eagle swooped down after it, and almost took Clyde’s hat off.  That is the kind of thing that happens up here.  What a place.  We saw a major crow vs. eagle fight the other day.  As the crows would come to harass the eagle he would roll over and use those awesome claws as a weapon to keep the pesky crows off.   He was almost flying upside down.  And  we also could hear ruffled grouse drumming.  Interesting way to get a girlfriend!  And the Loons are awesome.  Their call can be heard for miles.  They are one cool bird that we sometimes see in Texas in the winter.  Kind of hard to be a fish eating diving bird when the ice is 3 feet thick.

Today it is off to an area we have fished before, Stevens Bay.  A flatter shallower area of Lake of the Woods it has lots of reeds.  It is known for its walleyes.  Now I have  caught some in my life, including my biggest up here, but you can put all I know about fishing for them in a thimble.  My knowledge is limited to how wonderful they taste in the fry pan.  Besides minnows and worms, you catch them on leaches.  So yesterday evening here comes Clyde with a sack full of squirming blood sucking leaches.  That is creepy.  I just might act like a girl, no offense to girls, and have the Shoedog bait my hook.

On another note, Lake of the Woods has lots of access points being so big, but very few free ramps.  One we use at a resort close to here charges $15 to launch.  Now that in and of itself is a rip off but what are you going to do.  So before I came up here I checked their website and they have a deal for $50 and you can launch for the week.  So when we put in yesterday as Shoedog paid he asked about it.  Well guess what?  That is only for their guests!   So in other words you pay to stay there for the week, and they charge you to use the ramp.  That is crazy.  And even better, if you leave your boat in the water at their dock, you have to pay more.  Think about it, you pay big bucks to stay there, where fishing is the reason for the season, and they charge you extra to do the thing you are staying there for.  And you would think that there would be common curtesy between adjacent resort owners, but in that guy’s case not.  When Paul takes a client over there to fish and uses his truck and they come in another vehicle they get charged $25 for the pleasure.  You find those kind of folks in many places we visit, but this seems extra wrong.  I do not fault anyone for trying to make a living, but when you stay with good people like Paul and Chris it makes that guy like that look petty.  I have stayed lots of places but this is only the second place I ever heard of doing such a thing.

And speaking of their ramp, it was a mass exodus off the lake yesterday.  As the storm approached we all headed for the ramp.  Lake of the Woods is big water, and the storms can be pretty rough.  I have stayed to long in many other places when we should have quit, but on LOW you do not mess around.  It could be the worst decision you ever make.  So to all the wives back home, we are not as stupid as you might worry about.  And we are wearing our life jackets.  We want to live another day, hell the fish might be biting!

And one last word about weather before I get the rambling hoard up.  It changes, and I mean hour to hour.  Yesterday was a perfect example of that.  It was raining and calm when I got up.  We put on our raingear and for the first hour we needed it.  Then it cleared off and was calm and beautiful.  So we shed clothes.  Then the wind starts blowing a 100 and a little later it starts raining.  We put our stuff back on for an hour, then it cleared off again and was steamy hot.  Then the storm came and on the stuff goes again.  Then as we eat supper it clears off and is beautiful.  Then near dark it clouds up and starts raining again.  Like I said before we left, bring all the stuff, you will need it, maybe several times in one day. Time to make the lunch, fill thermoses, and get them moving.  It is day 4 and we only have 10 days left so there is no time to waste!

Same Old Song  –  Different Day

There is really nothing more to say, while we caught fish, there was a another great moment when the Shoedog did his thing.  He is having the trip of a lifetime.


Look at how thick that thing is.  So freakin’ big I could not get the whole damn thing in the picture.

We started the day off walleye fishing.  They are in the grassy areas in 5 – 7 feet of water.  Clyde and John were using leaches, we were using nightcrawlers.  We were using spinner rigs and bottom bouncers.  It was really tough with high winds and the temp never got above 60 all day.  Before it was over they ended up with 7 and we only had 2 keepers.  They are all headed to the resort as guests of honor at tomorrows fish fry.

Around noon the wind was just plain blowing probably 20+ so we  started fishing for other stuff.    When Shoedog and I first put in we fished one small cove with weeds and cover and we put 4 or 5 bass and pike in the boat  Then when we gave up the walleye fishing we started fishing buzzbait and jerkbait.  Unfortunately the water started to muddy and because of the lay of the land there were very few places to fish that were right.

So we headed back to the one big cove that had perfect grass and weeds and the catching began.  The musky above hit Shoedog with about a foot of line out, talk about exciting.  I alsocaught a small one, and we caught several pike.  I also caught a couple of smallmouth on jerkbait.  John caught a musky and they caught a couple more fish before they quit.  They tell you not to target musky, but how in the bloody hell you can fish for bass and not catch them I do not know.  Hell, we even changed lakes and still caught a couple.  Everything is moving and it will only get better as the weather improves.

Tomorrow will be about the same weather so we are planning to fish a small lake close that is covered up with smallmouth and no musky.  I think John and Clyde are going back to Stevens Bay to try something different.  When they cleaned their walleye they were full of big crawdads, same as ours when Shoedog cleaned them.  So they are going to fish crankbaits.  We are all tired, so tomorrow the lake we are going to is right across the road and we may go early and quit early.  Time to rest up for the long day that will be Wednesday.  That is the day we are headed to Bear Bay for the 100 smallmouth day.

So there you have day 4.  Not to bad considering the weather.  But that is Canada, sometimes you just have to man up.  When you come this far there is no taking the day off, but boy it was tough today.  Tomorrow I will get back to taking a few pictures and maybe  make another video.  So keep stopping in to the Shoedog show and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Lake of the Woods 6/5/16.


Boat Decal Home of the Bang O Lure.

It is 4 a.m. and of course I am up.  The others are snoring the paint off the walls and I will let them sleep.  Hell, they are a bunch of old men and might get tired after 14 days of this.  So I thought I would add a few things before todays fishing.  As you know from yesterdays report Clyde and John had a good day.  He sent me these pictures and I wanted to share them with you.  And if they are sideways let me know.


Clyde with a hoss of a smallmouth.

And after Shoedog started catching them on buzzbait John got in on the act.


One good musky.

IMG_0554 (1)

A pretty fish.

Today we will be headed to Lake of the Woods.   65,000 miles of shoreline, 15,000 islands, it is a monster.  You can almost always find a place out of the wind, usually to yourself.  Some days we only see a couple of boats all day.  It is one of the special fishing destinations on the face of the earth and I look forward to this all year.  With the way the fishing is shaping up it looks like this trip may be one for the books, a truly epic time that makes up for all those other days we fisherman have.  Today will be lots of spinnerbait and buzzbait with maybe a walleye or two tossed in.

Muskie Bay Resort, with Paul, Chris, and Jake, go the extra mile to keep it fun.  Every evening there is fire dockside where folks get together and only the truth is told.  But on a more realistic note it is so refreshing here, unlike the coast.  It is all not some big secret, fishermen share information and techniques all with the same goal, lets all catch some fish.  And a cold one fireside lets you meet the other guests, a nice touch.

We came in Friday while most guest come in Saturday.  So when we got to the dock there were a bunch of folks having a cold one and sharing church stories, or something like that.  There were some guys from Mtn Home, my old stomping grounds, that Clyde knew and a couple I knew from the old days.  The crossing into Canada at International Falls is a mess and one group got turned around and started back into the US after crossing.  When he turned around in no man’s land he caused an international incident.  So here comes the border guys and they had to go back into the US and turn around and re-enter Canada.  Then since he forgot to sign his passport he reached for a pen and ran into the back end of a new $85,000 Ranger and had a new international incident.  They finally got back into Canada.   So it was cross, re-cross, and cross again.  But that got sorted out and they made it without ending up in jail.  Great story.

Both Shoedog and Clyde play the guitar and sing and it was cool to lay in bed reading and be serenaded to sleep.  Good times shared with friends, much less whacking some big fish, are times we get to share so rarely that you have to appreciate every day, and I do.  It is the classic trip every fisherman should make at least once in their life.  And speaking of that, Terry are you listening?  You need to get your ass up here next year and bring that new boat, we will be happy to help break that sucker in.  Plus we need a level head around here to keep these knuckleheads in line.

Time to get those bums up, I have waited as long as I can stand.  It is completely light out and the birds are chirping.  Coffee is on and I am ready to get after it.  So when we get back tonight I will get todays report up.  This is always an adventure doing these kinds of trips but this one is shaping up to be one of the great ones.

One For The Books!

Even though you often could not prove it by me, I have always said it is not all about the fishing.  And today it wasn’t.  Today will go down in my memory as one special day.  The great outdoors is just that.  So without further adieu!

IMG_4417I saw her and hollered at Shoedog, its a freakin’ bear, and we went towards her.


We thought we saw something else close.


She has a cub! And she was not happy to see us.


OMG! Twins.

I can not tell you how long I have wanted to see a bear in the wild.  We first saw her from about 400 yards so we got the  camera and headed towards her and then we could see the cubs messing around along the shore.  As we idled to her her ears came up and she was not a happy camper.  Then she kind of reared up, the cubs came running and off in the woods she went.  What an experience!  Ontario is a special place and seeing those bears made the whole trip.  We had a feeling this would be an epic trip, and it sure is headed that way.

Today we went over to Lake of the Woods for a change of pace.  Shoedog and I have fished here several years now and had plenty of places we wanted to try.  First up it was a big cove but we struck out.  The next cove we started catching fish, and other than 2 places we caught them off and on before the weather ran us off.  It was forecast to rain early morning, then clear, then thunderstorms in the afternoon.  The problem was it was supposed to blow 25+, and as the day wore on it did, and more, before we called it a day around 4.

We were looking for a few for a fish fry so we kept 2 small smallmouth, a perch, and a nice walleye.  For the day we easy caught 40 plus small pike and bass, with one walleye.  Shoedog had another big musky follow him to the boat but not hook up.  He stayed with a swim jig and paddle tail most of the day, I alternated with jerkbait and spinnerbait.  He was reeling the the swim jig in through some reeds in the back of a cove when he had a bite.  His luck continues.


This is a flat out monster largemouth for Canada.

The Shoedog is having a fishing trip of a lifetime.  He said it can only go downhill from here, but I doubt it.  Tomorrow we are off to Stevens Bay for some walleye, hopefully we can put a few keepers in the boat for the folks in Texas.  Nothing like fresh walleye, and tonight’s supper was proof of that.


One of the better pike we caught today.

Clyde and John had it a little slower than we did but still caught fish.  Lake of the Woods is so big it takes a little time to develop a pattern for the bigger fish, but with 11 days left to go we will figure it out.  In the next couple of days we are headed to Bear Bay for smallmouth.  Way the hell and gone on LOW, our last spring trip there we caught around 150 up to 5 pounds, it is one fine fishing hole.  So the trip goes on.  We caught a bunch today and it really has a feel like something great is going to happen, again.  After the storm blew through it cleared off and is sunny and cool.  After reaching the high 70’s today it will top out at 58 or so tomorrow.   Like I said bring it all, the weather here treats you to all mother nature has to offer.  And I would like to thank her for sharing the bears with us, what an experience.  And look out, cool weather or not, the Shoedog is on a roll and I can’t wait to see what in the hell he does next.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines.

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Kakagi or Crow Lake 6/4/16.


Boat Decal Home of the Bang O Lure.

An Epic Day

Some days it is your turn, some days it is not.  Today was not my turn, but it is hard to describe the day the Shoedog had.  All I have to say it I am sure glad I was here to see it.  The plan was to head back to the weed bed from yesterday first for some pike, then off to a new area for smallmouth.  Shoedog got right with the program and boated another nice pike.



Let the games begin.

We are throwing jerkbait, grub, spinnerbait, and buzzbait and we started with jerkbait over the emerging grass, a classic spring pattern.  The pike were not there like yesterday so we headed down the bank and here came musky number 1.


A great fish.  This would be 1.

Clyde and John were coming down the bank the other way and as we went to give then a hard time Clyde hooked up.


Clyde with a nice pike.

When we got close John said we forgot the net so I gave them the boga grip and they used that.  After fishing that area it was time for a move.  We headed up lake to an area known as Bass Alley.  A huge spawning cove, it is only 7 foot or less, with a few weeds, and a sand bottom.  Last night there was a cold front, imagine that in Canada, and combined with a cool rain it was apparent they had mostly vacated the premises.


Shoedog with a nice smallie.  This is what we were after.

We hit a rocky point at the mouth and managed to put a couple of smallies in the boat.  His on jerkbait, mine on grub.  I missed another one but that was it for me for quite a while.


Look at the gut on that thing.  Little did I know it would only be one more for me the rest of the day.

From there we headed to Peninsular Bay.  Clyde and John were there with us, catching pike and smallies right along.  I could not catch a cold.  Shoedog put on a buzzbait and this 40″ exploded on it close to a beaver dam.  It was an epic struggle.


This would be number 2.

We worked that area over pretty hard and though the other guys were catching them, we just could not seem to get it going.  From there we all went back down lake to try for some lake trout.  We trolled for about an hour and it was either take a nap or go back to casting.

At this point the sun finally came out and the water started to warm immediately.  Shoedog and I headed to the area we caught some nice smallies yesterday.  I caught another bass, and of course the Shoedog caught another musky.


But he was not done yet.  Number 3.

He was throwing a buzzbait and they were right on the bank.  No wonder the smallmouth deserted us.  If you are eating at McDonalds and the Hells Angels show up you would hit the road too.  To finish the day we headed back to the weed bed to try one more time for pike. And of course what happened?  You know.


Musky number 4  –  A freakin’ epic day!

So there you have it, congratulations to Shoedog.  They say they are a fish of a thousands casts, but 4 in one day when not fishing for them is to crazy to believe.  As I look out over the lake typing this the guys are down at the dock, a fire going, chatting with friends new and old about fishing.  The new crowd is here for the week and things are getting ramped up.  It is beautiful here, and I will get a few pictures up to give you a feel for what we are suffering with right now.

It is almost 9 and when they get up here we will eat and make a plan.  Probably over to Lake of the Woods for some smallmouth, walleye, and pike.  There is so much to say but I just can’t get it all down.  I wake at 4 and by time we eat it will be straight to bed.  This has the look of one of the more epic trips of all time.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines.

(There is so much more and when I take a break one day I will get more for you.)

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Muskie Bay Resort – Ontario 6/3/16.


Boat Decal Home of the Bang O Lure.

Let The Games Begin

I am so tired right now I can not see straight.  1600 miles, 2 1/2 days, 2 motels and we are finally here.  We got up this morning at 3:30 to cross the border so we could fish some today.  And here is why we do this.


A nice healthy pike on 8lb line on grub fishing for smallmouth, no leader.

We got out about 11:00, quit at 5, and had a pretty good first day on Crow Lake.  Our main quarry was smallmouth, but of course we are happy with whatever.  Sorry but this will be a short report, I am getting ready to hit the sack.  Time to catch up before we really get going.


Shoedog got in on the act.

We found the pike in a weed bed in 7 foot of water and they were slamming it.  I had a muskie follow it to the boat and cream it with about 2 foot of line out and go nuts, jumping 3 times.  Before Shoedog could get the net he jumped off.  It looks like that is the way it is going to be the next 2 weeks.  Scary!   Looks like the smallies are on the beds and the muskies are following any and everything.  Good optics are a must and my Cocoons do the job.


This one knocked the crap out of the spinnerbait.

Clyde and John also caught fish this afternoon, good smallmouth and pike, and the muskies are shallow and moving around, though we can and don’t target them as they are out of season.  Try telling that to a 45″ predator with a mouth full of teeth when he flairs his gills and swallows your lure to stop biting.  And I am already mad at Clyde and John, on their way to the border this morning they saw a wolf, one of my bucket list critters.  How stinkin’ cool is that!  Maybe this year.


A nice smallmouth.

We also chatted with several folks who have been here this week, and the fishing has been pretty good.  The plan is to fish over here a couple of days and then off to Lake of the Woods.  The walleyes have been biting and there is several fish fries in our future.


Another spinnerbait smallmouth.

It was great to see Paul, his wife Chris, and son Jake.  They own Muskie Bay Resort and as usual made us feel like we were home.   Clyde has been coming here for years like so many of their customers.  They offer everything from just cabins to full service, including cooking your meals.  Just a great place to come.

So that will do it for now.  I am headed to bed to get rested up, if that is possible.  As usual it will be fish until you puke, but that is how we roll on our trips.  You only get one run at this life, and there will be a day when it will be to tough to act like this.  But that day is not today.  So come along with us, 13 more days to go.  If this is any indication it could get ugly.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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