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Looking Back at Another Year By Gary Howey

  It’s the time of the year, when temperatures are dropping and the northwest wind is making a visit to our part of the country.

  I’m in the office working with my computer, hating to think that I’ll have to head outside again, when I think about all the last year, 2016, which will be ending soon.

  Overall, it was a very good year, where Team members and I spent some time on the water and in the field with old friends as well as making some new ones along the way.

  We started out our year in Howard, S.D. on a late season hunt where Team member Josh Anderson and I filmed a pheasant hunt, on this trip; it was easy to see why South Dakota is the “Pheasant Capital of the World”.  This trip brought back memories, reminding me of how the pheasant hunting was when I was a boy growing up in Watertown, S.D.  

  Back then, they had a government program, the Soil Bank program with a potion of the farm left idle. This and the method they farmed back then, created thousands of acres of habitat, which help to create excellent pheasant numbers.

  Current pheasant numbers in our area are down, but I’m optimistic and looking forward to bird numbers improving. The new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will create thousands of acres of wildlife habitat, which gives birds a place to nest, roost, raise their chicks and help to protect the birds from predators.

  Following that trip, Team member Simon Fuller and I headed to the Aberdeen-Webster area to do some ice fishing. On the trip there were some big walleyes caught and returned into the icy depths of the Glacial Lake we were fishing. On that trip, I set a record for the most fish caught; unfortunately, they were minuscule, about the length of my hand and released, allowing them to grow up. It was a great trip as it gave us the opportunity to spend time on the ice with folks cut from the same cloth we were, spending time with others who loved to spend time in the outdoors, on the ice on a cold winter day. [Read more…]

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Fishing the Hot Walleye Bite In N.E. South Dakota By Gary Howey

 The Glacial Lakes of N.E. South Dakota are one of my favorite places to fish, as some were the lakes we fished as a kid growing up in Watertown, S.D.

  Many of the lakes anglers are fishing today in the area were just sloughs or much smaller lakes and now are some of the largest natural lakes in the state.

  Just a couple of weeks back, I had the pleasure of returning home to do some film and fish with Team Outdoorsmen Adventures members Larry Myhre, Sioux City, IA., Cory Ewing, Webster, S.D. Waubay Lakes Guide Service and our Outdoorsmen Productions Cedar Catholic high school intern Austin Creamer, Hartington, NE.

 We got together for supper at Perebooms where our first order of business was to check the weather report, which indicated it would be another hot summer day in northeast South Dakota.

  Secondly, we had to decide which of the hundred lakes in the area we would head for. Bitter lake, the 15,000-acre body of water located just south of Waubay had a good bite going on; not really huge fish, but eager biters and those caught were fat and health. Bitter it would be and because of the predicted high afternoon temperatures, we planned to meet early, trying to be on the water before it became miserably hot.

  Cory would launch his boat at the south dock, allowing us to get to the area we wanted to fish without having to take a long boat ride.

  Our plan was to fish the mid lake area, not too far from the old roadbed where we’d look for aggressive fish in and around the weed beds

  As we approached mid lake, there was a raft of boats working the old roadbed, which was fine with us as we were going to fish somewhere else where there would be less boat traffic.  We’d be fishing by ourselves where the fish would feel less pressure and won’t be spooked out of the area as easily.

  When Cory’s bow mount went down, the front locator lit up, marking numerous active fish, coming up from the bottom.

   Our plan was to use light jigs tipped with minnows, which was right up Larry’s alley as light jig fishing is his proffered way of fishing.

  It wasn’t long before we were all getting bites, Austin, who had never fished for walleyes got right into it looking like an old veteran, keeping up with the rest of us in the crew, boating numerous walleyes. [Read more…]

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Summer walleye bite on Bitter going strong By Larry Myhre

WEBSTER, S.D. | Bitter Lake appeared to be a sleeping, gentle giant as I peered across the big lake from the east shore boat ramp. Its waters were flat calm, a very unusual thing in this year of constant wind.

Cory Ewing backed his big Lund into the water and Austin Creamer, Hartington, Neb., and I jumped in while Gary Howey, Hartington, parked the trailer.

Soon the three of us were motoring over the flat water and the slight chill in the air made me glad I had the pull over windbreaker on.

It wasn’t long before Cory cut the RPMs and we glided into a saddle between the shoreline and a sunken island. The water here ranged from 6 to 9 feet deep and the weeds on either side of us gave away the shallower structure.

“Walleyes were in here thick yesterday,” he said as we idled through with our eyes glued to the graph. Soon the familiar arches of fish showed up. “They’re still here.”

We dropped down one-eighth-ounce jigs tipped with minnows and began to jig vertically while Corey moved us slowly with the electric motor.

Austin, an intern with Gary’s Outdoorsman Adventures, had never caught a walleye, but the high school senior was a quick learner. He landed the first fish, a 15-inch walleye. That was a fine start and we worked the area for about an hour, landing several more walleyes from 14 to 17 inches.

And then we moved.

This time Corey selected a saddle between two sunken islands. Again weeds gave away the shallow water on either side of the 6- to 9-foot deep area we were fishing. I had retied with a 1/16-ounce, chartreuse lead head, a size I am much more comfortable with in this shallow water.

Again, the depth finder told us there were fish present and again we proved it right by catching them.

It was good, steady action and we caught what looked to me like three separate year classes. They are just good eating-size walleyes. And then the big fish hit. [Read more…]

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Cranking Near Webster By Gary Howey

No doubt, most of you have heard about the Waubay-Webster areas great fishing, the many lakes and sloughs holding numerous species of fish.

This would be our teams destination as we traveled back home after filming in Minnesota, Ontario and North Dakota.

It was after noon when Larry Myhre, Sioux City, IA. and I arrived in Webster, where we grabbed a quick lunch at Perebooms and met with Team Outdoorsmen Adventures member Cory Ewing.

On this trip, we would be on one of the small lakes, one that was 200 acres and like many of the sloughs and smaller lakes had no boat launch, which meant, we would be fishing out of Cory’s smaller sixteen-foot boat.  As Cory launched the boat, Larry and I looked over the lake, the wind was blowing hard into the west shoreline. That area looked as if it would be a good place to start fishing as there are numerous things happening in the waters beating into the shoreline. [Read more…]

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Shallow water walleyes love crank baits By Larry Myhre

Reprinted from the Sioux City Journal.
WEBSTER, S.D. | I don’t think there is a more fun way to catch walleyes than by casting crankbaits on spinning tackle.
And the best time to do that is right now. The big female walleyes have recovered from the rigors of spawning and are back in the shallows, feeding up big. Find a windy shoreline on the right lake, and you’ll have action to dream about.  The Webster area is full of lakes and sloughs that fit the description of the “right” lake.
Last week, Gary Howey, of Hartington, Neb., and I met with Cory Ewing, of Waubay Lake Guide Service, to film a segment for Howey’s “Outdoorsmen Adventures” television show and to get fodder for our newspaper columns.
We’ve fished with Ewing a number of times over the years, and that guy is so tuned into the fishing here that every trip has been an exciting fish catching experience. This trip was no different.
Although the lake that gets the most attention right now is Bitter Lake, an overgrown former slough that is currently South Dakota’s biggest natural lake, we chose to fish a 200-acre nameless slough with no boat ramp. Ewing met us at Perebooms Cafe in Webster with his 16-foot boat in tow. I knew then we were heading for the boondocks.
As we motored out of town, Ewing told us, “We need that wind to blow. That will bring those big fish into the shoreline.”
We dropped the boat trailer over a 3-foot drop to reach the water and before long we were casting the shoreline.
“There’s some really nice walleyes in here,” Ewing said. “And there are lots of northerns and some perch.” [Read more…]