Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fishing With Plastics

Plastics are scary....

Plastics don't catch as many fish....

I can tell you fishing with soft plastic tails while ice fishing is not scary, and they can catch more fish if fished correctly.

People have emailed me asking how do I fish with plastics, everyone is different, but below are some things to try and remember when giving scary plastics a try.

Pistol grip your rod- You have better control of movement of your bait. You also have quicker hook sets.

Use your wrist, not your arm- A lot of guys violently jigging away. Use only your wrist to jig the rod up and down. It does not take much to move the plastic tail.

Use a spring bobber- I don't care who makes the best rod, or how much action it provides, it is still to rough for plastics. Attach a spring bobber to the end of the rod, that added movement will give you finesse when jigging with plastics.

Make sure the tail is horizontal- Even on a vertical jig, make sure the tail is at a 45 degree angle. On a horizontal jig feed hook through the tip of the tail until the tail is in line with the hook.

Buy a flasher-The best investment before buying plastics, is buying a flasher (Vexilar) Using a Vexilar to determine where to fish and then how the fish are reacting will be the key to success using plastics.


Good Luck

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Browns In The Marina

I have had a number of emails with questions about fishing for Browns in the Sheboygan Marina. Here is something I wrote up a while back to help out. I am sure you can adapt some of this info to other marinas around the state.


As far as browns in the Marina, it is hit or miss, but some of the things I have found to increase my catch ratio is....

On my tip-ups I run 5ft of fluorocarbon as a leader, then a #14 treble,( gold or red work the best) browns are very very line and hook shy so that's why I go so light. I use medium shiners, hooked in the back of the dorsal fin.

I set up my tip-ups from east to west straight across the marina, starting at the docks, then in a straight line to the rock wall. I know the second to last set of docks to the north create a channel between the rock wall. If you can set up in there and run them north to south that works too.

I stagger my depths as well, start with one rig near 1ft off the bottom, and don't be afraid to set one as high as 6ft from the bottom.

Also don't be afraid to move your tip-ups if they don't produce within 1 or 2 hours. Some of my best days have been the days where I stray away from my normal set up and start experimenting.

If you get a flag with a set up like this, don't pick it up right away, let it sit for a couple of minutes. The key is they have to swallow the hook. Then once you have them landed you can cut the line. But you have to play them out using the small line size.

Hope this helps.

If you ever have any other questions go ahead and shoot me an email.

hardwaterjeff@gmail.com

Crystal Lake 1-27-2008

Out today...

1:30pm-5:00pm

Fished 15-20fow.

Pink and Black Little Atom Stealth Optic Jig tipped with Little Atom Motoroil w/Sparkles Wedgee.

10 Crappies, and lots of small gills. Kept 7 Crappies for dinner.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Crystal Lake 1-26-2008

Was out from 6:30am-3:00pm today. Bite was slow at first.

We were using Little Atom Wedgees. Motor Oil w/sparkles.

Fishing 20-12FOW.

Produced This......



Plus 6 other panfish for the pan.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Check this out!

For the last few weeks I have been using this http://www.automaticicefisherman.com/

Its a great tool to have in your arsenal. I was skeptical the first time I saw it, then I met the Co-inventor of the product, Kerry. He answered any questions that I had, and relieved some doubt that I couldn't help but have when it comes to new products.

Contact Kerry through his website or visit your local sporting goods store and check them out. They are worth the money.

Jeff

It has been a while...

Update:

My TV time with Dan Small has been rescheduled for Feb. 1st.

This Saturday January 26th I will be the guest on "Lets Go Fishing" with Axl from http://www.winnebagofishing.com at 12:30pm on 1330 WHBL. Call in,ask questions to myself or Axl.

Crystal lake has been producing big gills this winter, many over 9", the Sheboygan Marina has slowed down a bit, part of that is the ice is just now safe to walk on again. I expect the Marina action to pick up again within a week.

Winnebago is calling me and I will be answering the call soon. I think I will wait till February to fish Ol Lady Bago for walleye.

Don't forget to check out http://www.iceteam.com for other tips and tricks and advise form my fellow PowerSticks.

Jeff

Friday, January 4, 2008

Crystal Lake today

Gonna hit the ice today, Crystal lake, should be a nice day.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Live "Lets Go Fishing" on WHBL

January 26th I'll be on WHBL live with Scott "AXL" Ehricke. He has a show that runs on HBL and because I know how to run the board in the studio I'll be on as a guest and it will all be live!

Plus I am taking a Charter Trip with Scott on Winnebago this summer and that is all going to be recorded.

This is to much fun

Jeff

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Going Ice fishing with Dan Small....

Yep! Dan Small from Outdoor Wisconsin. Him and I started talking earlier this year when I was "looking for a job". We got to talking about doing some taping and now its gonna happen. My friend Adam and myself will be on the Feb. 28th episode fishing for Browns in the Marina. But this will be with Dan fisning for Crappies somewhere in Sheb. Co.

Now I have to find fish!



Some pics of fish this year...




A tale of one County

We all know what it’s like in Wisconsin. Sometime shortly after Thanksgiving we get a healthy dose of cold weather and a blanket of the fluffy white stuff. But for some people in the state, that cold snap and even a little bit of the snow is a welcome sign. These people wait all summer in anticipation of something that only happens in 1/3 of the United States.

ICE FISHING!

Now I am not going to go into a big long speech about how great ice fishing really is, but what I do want to talk about is some safety and the great opportunities there are in Sheboygan County to get out on the ice.

So many of us ice fisherman plan big expensive trips to Little Bay De Noc or we travel over to Viking country to experience the thrill of a lifetime. So many of us don’t take full advantage of the abundant possibilities that our own county hold, such as Big Elkhart Lake or the Sheboygan Marina.

I know personally that the biggest fish one could ever catch can be caught right here in the Sheboygan Marina. With the amount of work and effort to preserve the fishery in Lake Michigan our Marina should be one of the hottest destinations on your list. Brown Trout, big Lake Michigan Northern Pike and even the occasional Walleye present you with a challenge unlike most other bodies of water. Be careful though at early ice, the Marina has been known to break up a bit which makes travel a bit tougher.

A bucket full of palm filling bluegills and a wall hanging Northern Pike, it’s not a dream, and it’s possible on beautiful Big Elkhart Lake. A gem in the northwestern part of the county Big Elkhart lives up to its name being almost 300 acres and 120ft deep. Walleyes and Largemouth Bass are common in the winter as well, but don’t kid yourself, you must do some research to find where the fish are. But give it a chance; once you find them you won’t be disappointed.

Jetzers Lake on Hwy A near Howards Grove is a fun lake to bring the kids and share the joys of ice fishing. A small lake with lots of Panfish to catch al you need to do is pick up a container of wax worms, tie on a jig and fish away. You may have to sort through some of the smaller Bluegills and Sunfish, but the big ones are waiting for you in the deeper water.

You can have a pretty Crappie day on Crooked Lake, nestled in the Kettle Moraine State Forest near the western edge of Sheboygan County. There is a mix of everything in Crooked Lake but if you set yourself up right you could have a great fish fry when you get home. Put your time in here near the weed lines and go ahead set up a tip-up or two and see what happens with the Northern Pike.

Safety is always an issue when it come to ice fish, but it’s not to difficult to be safe on the ice. The first thing you must remember is: There is no such thing as safe ice. I know that seems odd to say but it is true. Ice does not always form evenly, if there is any current under the water, wind and even the amount of snow on the ice can change the thickness dramatically. It’s a good practice to always have some simple items with you when venturing onto the ice.

Life Jacket- It seems goofy to wear a life jacket while standing in the ice, but you will be thankful you had it one should you fall in.

75ft of 1/2” Rope- It may not be you that falls in, always have rope with you just in case there comes a time you may need to help someone else. The rope I carry has a small boat buoy tied to the end to make it easier to throw out to someone should I ever have to use it.

Spud Bar- In the “Old Days” this tool was used to cut holes in the ice to fish, with the invention of the ice auger there really is no need to use a spud bar to make a hole. But what it is great for is testing ice in front of you. Every couple of feet that you walk take a couple of chops with the spud, a good spud bar will break through 2 inches of ice in one swing.

Everyone talks about people that drive on the ice with their cars and trucks. Personally I don’t do that. I have an ATV I will travel with. If you do wish to drive on the ice here is just a couple of things to keep in mind.

Always, always keep your windows open and seatbelts OFF when driving on ice. If you vehicle should break through the ice the pressure that builds around the vehicle will be too great to open a door or window. You should always wear a seatbelt on the road, but when it comes to driving on ice forget it. That is the last thing you want to worry about if you need to exit quickly.

Ice fishing can be just as much fun and just as comfortable as fishing in the spring summer and fall. Portable ice shanties, heaters, fish finders, and even clothing designed for ice fishing have turned this sport from something to pass the time to something more and more people look forward to every year.

Get out in Sheboygan County and enjoy what it has to offer, explore the lakes, ask around at bait shops where the fish are biting, do some research on the internet on baits and other tips that may help. I do not know everything about ice fishing, I am always learning, but if you would like to contact me with questions please feel free to do so hardwaterjeff@gmail.com is my email address. You will find that most people that ice fish are willing to help. Don’t be afraid to ask.

First Tip

Make The Flags Fly
Jeff Kelm- Power Stick

In 1988 I ventured on to the ice with my Father and Grandfather. Hope was high that the flags would be flying all day; dreams of northern nearly jumping out of the hole ran threw my head.

What I didn’t know at the time was that the rigs at the end of our tip-ups were a good reason those dreams were never realized that day. Large steel leaders with that big ole’ Swedish hook and a large smelt.

Now for those of us who can’t get out on to a trophy Northern Pike lake every weekend, here is a setup that may work for you to at least to get the flags flying:


1. Grab your set of Beaver Dam Tip-ups.

2. Fill the spool with your favorite tip-up line. (I like 30lb coated Dacron line)

3. Once the line is spooled tie on a barrel swivel, size of the swivel is not an issue.

4. Attach 3-5ft of 12-15lb Fluorocarbon to the swivel. This is your leader. (I like using Leader Material Fluorocarbon)

5. Lastly tie on a No.8 Circle hook. (I like the circle hooks, but you can use a No.8 treble)

Bait with your favorite smelt, shiner or chub and off you go. (Use a split-shot if needed to keep live bait from swimming into everything.)

Now for the sake of this article, this is a setup for Northern Pike that I like to use, you can vary the size of the leader for other species. For Walleye and Trout I will use 6lb. Fluorocarbon. Same with the hook size, when fishing in very clear water for Trout I will tie on a No.10 or smaller treble hook. (I have caught a 6lb Brown with a No.16 treble using this rig.)

This really is a great way to fish lakes that have a lot of pressure, or an abundance of small Northern Pike. And anyone who has taken kids out with them knows that they get bored if the action isn’t hot, this setup should correct that issue. I will tell you that if you are going after the monster of the lake that this rig can still work, you just may want to beef up the leader and hook size.

I still have that dream of Northern jumping out of the hole (And if you have an idea on how to get them to do that email me) but now at least as I fish that lake every winter the dream of flags flying comes true.

It's my first time..Be gentle...

Well this is exciting , my first post on my offical blog. What do I do now? I suppose i will start posting pics and tips and a few stories about being out on the hardwater.

Time for fun!