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What’s Hot when it “HOT on the Mo. River Reservoirs Gary Howey

   These are the “Dog Days of Summer” when no matter where you’re fishing the fishing can be tough.

  I remember those days, where you could set out there most of the day, using several different presentations and all we had to show for it was a bad sunburn and a tackle bag with less tackle than we started with.

  We knew where the fish were deep as we located them with our locators, but we had a tough time getting our baits to them. They suspended in the deep water, hanging out at different depths in and amongst the trees left when the reservoir filled.

  We tried bottom bouncers and spinners, loosing many of them before switching to another method, which performed about the same as the bottom bouncers.

  Years later, we were filming with Guide and Team Outdoorsmen Adventures Member Joel Vasek of Missouri Valley Guide Service on Lake Francis Case when he introduced us to pulling crankbaits on lead core, which helped us to fill our limits while other anglers were coming up short.

  Hot weather fishing is different from the rest of the year, requiring different presentations: different baits, different rigs, presented at different speeds.   

 I’ve fished many of the hot weather deep-water methods, but by no means am I an expert. 

  Some of the most successful guides and tournament anglers, those individuals that spend hundreds of hours on the water use need to put fish in the boat, no matter what the season or water temperature may be, have methods they use during the Dog Days of Summer.

  To get the best information on this, I contacted some the most successful guides and anglers I know, and quizzed them about deep-water fishing during the “Hot” weather.

  Below you’ll find their suggestions on the lakes they fish and the methods they’d recommend to catch walleyes when it’s “Hot”.

Lewis & Clark Lake:

 Anglers in a recent tournament held on Lewis and Clark had to deal with water temperatures of 75-77 degrees used lead core line to troll the deeper water of the old river channel were awarded 1st place in the event.

   Lead core line and Off Shore snap weights are used to get your bait down deep, along with Off Shore Plainer boards that will spread those lines out seems to be a good bet when water temperatures warm up on Lewis & Clark.

Joel Vasek, Geddes, S.D. Missouri Valley Guide Service, www.walleyetamer.com:

Joel guides on Lake Francis Case on up to Chamberlain. S.D. and feels that deep-water walleyes are easy to pattern as they seem to suspend in 30′ to 50′ of water and as long as the baitfish are there won’t they won’t move much.

  To get deep, where the walleyes are located he uses lead core, snap weights and downriggers. He also uses Off Shore Planer Boards with lead core as when you make a turn with the boats the boards stop and this is when the walleyes seem to like to hit.

  Vasek feels that the best deep-water fishing happens when there is the right sun with a little chop on the water and feels that cloudy day’s hurt deep-water fishing. As the depth increases, visibility becomes poorer, with the sunlight penetration helping the walleyes to locate your bait.

  Walleyes will follow the Gizzard Shad and when they move, some of the walleyes will stay put as larger fish during the heat of the summer don’t seem to like chasing bait and this is when the odds are in your favor, when crankbaits work well as there’s less baitfish for the fish to feed on.

  Vasek and his guides have excellent luck trolling crankbaits over the trees or along 45′ to 55′ break lines. [Read more…]

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Jumping Fish and Anchored Mussels…Who Knew?

We have been sending emails to you all summer, trying to keep you informed of the laws and what South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is doing to try and slow the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in our great state.

We thought with the dog days of summer upon us, we would lighten the mood a little with a few interesting facts about AIS.

1. Asian carp were brought to the U.S. in the mid-1970’s to help clean commercial catfish rearing ponds, but did you know that in terms of aquaculture (producing fish for food),these carp are the fourth most produced fish in the world? They are a valued fish for eating and are extinct due to overfishing in much of their home range. Here is a video showing how to clean and prepare silver carp.

2. Asian carp are vocacious eaters of plankton and can eat 20%- 40% of their body weight in the micro-organism every day!

3. Although they prefer lakes, they require large rivers for spawning.  The eggs are semi-buoyant and it is believed they must remain suspended in the water column to survive. [Read more…]

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How to not Launch Your Boat By Gary Howey

  Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time setting at boat ramps waiting to launch and load my boat.

  Most of these were quick and painless, but a few that really sucked!

  Most anglers or boaters know where I’m coming from, when you have a 20 to 30-minute wait while there’s someone who is trying to launch their boat.

  More than likely, there will be several other boats who are in the water waiting to get to the dock that will have to cruise around the bay, with others waiting in their vehicle as one-boat clutters up the launching area.

  I’m sure the person who is doing this wouldn’t be doing it on purpose, they just aren’t aware of proper boat ramp etiquette.

  Most of you reading this column have run into similar situations.

 Another thing that will drive a person crazy who’s trying to launch their boat is the person that pulls into the boat ramp with their tarp on the boat, backs down just short of the water and then proceeds to remove the tarp while other boaters waiting to launch.

 Or how about the person that backs down to the water only to spend the next ten-minutes unloading all the ski equipment, inner tubes and picnic supplies into the boat?

Then there’s the person who backs down, unhooks his boat and ties it to the dock, then heads off to park his vehicle.  While he’s up there, he uses the bathroom and then five-minute later makes his way down to the boat.  As he finally pulls away from the dock, he can’t understand why the people in the six or eight boats waiting to launch behind him are not very friendly.

  Then how about those who pulls up to the dock, tie up, right where the next boat needs to launch and then heads up to get his rig and trailer.  

  With low water ramps and the distance a person has to go to park their trailer, it takes quite a while for you to get to and from the ramp and to the parking area.  If a boater or angler doesn’t launch or load the boat properly, it can tie up a boat dock and really screw things up.

  How about the person who backs their boat down to the dock, hits the starter and realizes the motor is not going to start.  Instead of putting the boat back on the trailer and pulling it up into the parking area to check it out, decides to pull the cover off the motor and thinks that the boat dock is a good place to overhaul the engine. [Read more…]

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Going deep with Lead Core by Gary Howey

  The thermometer says it’s close to 100 degrees out there, and everything getting “hot.” With temperatures like those that we’re having, the summer sun warms everything up, including the water, the warmer water forces fish to go deep to find comfortable water temperatures.

  To many anglers, it’s one of the toughest times of the year to catch walleyes, as deep-water fishing is something that many anglers don’t do that often.

 Some fish a deep-water using snap weight that’s attached to the line out in front of a crankbait, while others use bottom bouncers with spinners or crankbaits, which works fine until the fish you’re after suspended in the tops of submerged trees.

 If you’ve fished over submerged trees, you know the depth the trees lie in can vary from a few inches to a few feet.  If you’re fishing these areas using

bottom bouncers/spinners or with crankbaits, you’re going to be hung up and loose tackle.

  When going deep for walleyes is when Lead Core on a line counter reel really shines, allowing you to put your crankbait to the exact depth the fish are using. When you catch a fish, it allows you to return to about the same depth.

  What exactly is Lead Core and how does it work?

  The easiest way to describe Lead Core is that it’s a line where metered colored Dacron is woven around a lead wire core. It’s available in numerous pound tests including: 12, 15, 18, 27 and 45# with the breaking strength measured using the outside Dacron’s breaking strength.

  The heavier pound Lead Core take up a lot of room on a reel as it’s larger in diameter and contains more lead in its inside the Dacron sheath.

  When fishing Lead Core, I run 27# as it works well for the lakes that I fish.

 With the line you’re able to fish deep because the line sinks, allowing you to get your baits down where the fish are located during the heat of summer. [Read more…]

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Deer Food Plot Tips : Creating Visual Barriers

Have you ever had a really nice food plot that the deer just didn’t seem to use that much, especially during the daylight? One really easy way to encourage whitetails to use a food source is making them feel safe by planting a food plot screen like BioLogic Blind Spot. The older age class of both bucks and does can be really shy of big, open fields or food plots that are void of close cover. Here are a few suggestions you can try to make your food plots as effective as possible.

  1. Creating Screens For Increased Daylight Activity

Create a screen around the perimeter of the plot or areas that allow the plot to be seen by a road or neighbors. We have seen great results from using tall growing blends like Blind Spot to create a transition zone from woods and thickets where the deer are coming from and the food plot. Planting a screen around the field can really help the deer have a b3 Beetter feeling of security and encourage daytime use. If you have plots that are easily seen by a neighboring property or public road, plant a screen to shield the view. You’ll be amazed how the deer know when they can’t be seen.

  1. Hide Your Stand Approach With Tall Varieties

Use blends like Blind Spot or Whistle Back to create a hidden path to your stand. We have all had one of those stands that was in a great spot for an afternoon hunt, but almost impossible to get to without being spotted. The 8-12 ft tall variety of sorghum in Blind Spot can make a great covered path to get you to your stand un-noticed. Just a tractor width wide planting is all it takes. [Read more…]

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It’s Hot and They’re Deep By Gary Howey

  There have been days when I wondered if the warmer weather would ever get here. Not here right now, but have no fear when it arrives, it will be with a vengeance.

  When it does arrive, it warms up quickly. This along with the higher humidity we get in our area will be the perfect combination for nasty weather and of course, tougher fishing conditions.

  This is the time of the year, when fish need to adjust to numerous conditions, which includes low water, high water, rising water temperatures, rising or falling barometric pressure and the summer’s bright sunlight all making walleye fishing during this time of the year, tough.

  We anglers will need to adjust, heading to be fishing  deeper water and water where there’s  less sunlight penetration as this is where the fish ware going to be once temperatures start to rise.

  With these hotter temperatures, walleyes and other species of fish will go deep, searching for comfortable water temperatures.

  These deep-water haunts provide the cooler water temperature the fish need to survive when things heat up.

  Another reason is that their food source, the baitfish have moved down, bringing the predator fish with them.

  There are several methods where you can take these Deep-Water fish; those that have worked well for me in the past include leadcore line, snap weights or downriggers pulling crankbaits.

  During this time of the year, the movement of the fish can vary drastically, especially just prior to a sever weather change. [Read more…]

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When the fish won’t bite! Do a Change-Up! By Gary Howey

   What I’m writing about happened to me numerous times over the years and I’m sure it will happen again.

   We were fishing on one of the numerous lakes in the Glacial Lakes and Prairie Region of Northeastern South Dakota, near Watertown and not having much luck. I knew there was a tremendous fisheries here as I was born and raised in this area but was beginning to think there wasn’t a walleye in the lake and as I was about to call it a day, I finally located some fish with my locator.

   My eyes were glued to my locator, as they had most of the day, hoping to find these fish.

  As I was working my way back and forth over this one particular spot, there they were fish just off the bottom in 12 foot of water, as well as several on the bottom. They were showing up as those big lazy arcs indicating the presence of fish and by the size of the marks on the locator, they appeared to be big!

  Since they were located right on or just a couple of feet or so off the bottom, I guessed they were active walleyes and immediately marked the spot.

  Grabbing a couple rods one rigged with a live bait rig while on the other I used a jig. I put the one rod with the live bait rig in a rod holder letting it drag along the edge the drop off, while I used a jig, working it up from the deeper water onto the flat where my locator indicated the fish were holding.

  Even though the fish appeared to be active as they were off the bottom, it didn’t take me long to realize that these fish were in a negative mood or weren’t interested in what I was offering.

  I started digging through my tackle bag, switching from one walleye bait to another, going with my old standards, a bottom bouncer with a spinner baited with a minnow. I tried a livebait rig with a crawler, a jig with a Gulp leech, bottom bouncer and spinner and finally going to a crawler on a plain hook with just a small split shot for weight, all to no avail.

  These fish weren’t in the mood, no matter what I was putting in front of them; they just ignored my offerings or lay tight on the bottom refusing to move.

  Once again, I started rummaging through my tackle bag, looking for something different that the walleyes may not have seen before, something to get them to bite. I needed something, that might get the fish’s attention, and to pull them out of their negative mood. [Read more…]

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Boat plug, bait and fish transporting rules for South Dakota.

 

As summer kicks into full swing, we would like to give you a fresh reminder on the boat plug and bait and fish transporting rules for South Dakota.

DRAIN PLUGS: Boaters and anglers are required to open or remove all drain pluge or similar devices; except when in the boat ramp parking lot or when the boat is being launched and loaded.  Plugs must remain out of the boat during transportation and storage.

BAIT: Bait and fish may not be transported in water taken from a lake, river or stream. Bait may be transported in water taken from a lake, river or stream while in route to a fish cleaning station only if the cleaning station is located within the parking lot area and must be drained prior to leaving the fish cleaning station.

FISH: Anglers have three options for transporting whole fish for cleaning at home or at a cleaning station not within the boat ramp parking area:

  1. In a container –  (not a part of the boat) that is filled with domestic water (tap, well, bottled or ice).
  2. On ice – in a cooler or pull the plug on their livewell and fill it with ice (plug must remain out).
  3. Dry – put fish in an empty bucket or pull the livewell plug before leaving the boat ramp and let it drain while traveling.

Remembering these simple rules will help keep South Dakota’s lakes, rivers, ponds and streams free from invasive species. 

Stay educated, stay informed and help current and future generations slow the spread of AIS in our great state. You can also visit sdleastwanted.com at any time to learn more about what you can do!

 

 

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Zebra Mussel Facts

 

In 2015, zebra mussels were found in Lewis and Clark Reservoir in southeastern South Dakota and have since spread to nearby McCook Lake as well.

Since then, this invader has spread rapidly.  While you can still enjoy the beauty and water recreation on Lewis and Clark and McCook Lake, here are a few things you need to be aware of in regards to zebra mussels.

  • The zebra mussel population in Lewis and Clark is expected to grow significantly through the summer of 2017.
  • The largest number of mussels will be found in depths shallower than 10 feet.
  • In some areas of the US, mussel densities have reached 700,000 individuals per square meter.
  • Mussels typically attach firmly to hard surfaces such as rocks and pipes, however dead shells will wash up on shore…sometimes in great numbers
  • Mussel shells are extremely sharp and can easily cut human feet, legs and hands as well as the pads on dogs’ paws.
  • Beaches with zebra mussel shells pose no higher disease or pollution concerns than other beaches and the water is still safe for swimming.
  • To avoid injury, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks suggests that users who plan to enjoy the beaches at Lewis and Clark wear water socks, swim shoes or sandals to prevent contact with shells.

Stay educated, stay informed and help current