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Eight lures you should fish, but may not By Larry MYHRE

Every angler is looking for the next hot bait. And when they find it, they buy it. And that is good. However, there are some baits that were hot yesteryear, are hot today and will be hot tomorrow.

So why do we tend to forget them?

I think part of the reason is that our bait choices are so high today that just trying to pick out a plastic worm, for instance, becomes an exercise wrapped up in futility. Four-inch, six-inch, seven-inch, or bigger? Three hundred and fifty different colors, 10 different flavors (scented or unscented). Flat tail or curly tail or double curly tail. Ribbed or not ribbed. And on and on. The original plastic worm was six inches long and offered in black or purple. It caught fish like crazy and still does. Things were so much simpler 40 years ago.

We’re going to discuss eight lures that have stood the test of time. They are fish-catching machines, yet they seem to get lost in the hubbub of Madison Avenue fishing advertising.

Let’s start with the Rapala Original Floater minnow. Eighty years ago, Lauri Rapala, a Finnish commercial fisherman, carved the first lure that became known as the Rapala minnow.

In 1959 the lure was brought to America. It became an overnight phenomenon. This balsa lure dives a couple of feet and has an action fish can’t resist. Few fishermen in the Upper Midwest use this lure consistently. They may have a box full of number 7 Shap Raps, another Rapala lure, but the Original Floater, if they have one, isn’t fished much.

Next spring, pull it behind a bottom bouncer and see what happens.

If you fish for northern pike, a Dardevle spoon is an absolute must. I would guess more northerns have been caught on this lure than any other presentation. While it comes in a lot of colors, the familiar red and white spoon is really the only color you need.

There are some secrets to fishing a Dardevle spoon effectively. First, you should use a snap to attach the lure so it has the freedom to make that side-to-side wobbling action. Secondly, mix up your retrieve. A stop and go retrieve and rod twiches will give it an erratic, darting action that gamefish can’t resist.

Yes, I said gamefish. The Dardevle catches more than just northerns. Use it in smaller sizes for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, white bass, crappies and trout.

This lure was created in 1906 by Lou Eppinger. It’s probably the most recognizable fishing lure out there. It deserves a spot in your tackle box.

Let’s look at another spoon. The Dardevle doesn’t do well in heavy weeds or woody cover. Its single treble hook will snag up. Not so, the Johnson Silver Minnow. This lure, with its single hook soldered to the back of the spoon, is protected by a weed guard. You can make long casts with this lure and cover lots of water.

While the Silver Minnow will catch fish when fished plain, I like to hang a “trailer” on the hook. A plastic worm, curly tail or double curly tail or a plastic frog will often give the lure more “fish appeal.” I used to always use a pork trailer on this lure, but I think the pork rinds have gone the way of the dodo bird.

[Read more…]

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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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The Poinsett Experience, A Proud Community, excellent Fishing, honoring Veterans and making Friends By Gary Howey

  On this trip, Team Outdoorsmen Adventures member Larry Myhre and I had our sights set on Lake Poinsett, near Estelline, South Dakota.

   We had made good time, as the 80 M.P.H. speed limits on I-29 allowed us to put the miles behind us quickly. 

  Growing up in Watertown, my grandparents had helped me cut my teeth on perch fishing on the lake, but a short drive south of home.

  This was the lake where My Grandpa Menkveld taught me how to catch perch; he had given us a dozen minnows and wished us good luck.

  As we plodded along the beach five-gallon bucket in hand with a few minnows, he mumbled something under his breath about not helping clean those tiny fish unless we had a mess of them. He thought he’d figured out, thinking he’d given us so little bait we wouldn’t catch many perch.

  Grandpa was at that age where he said many things while teaching us some of the tricks of the trade, like using the eyes of the first fish we caught for bait, allowing us to fill our bucket before even getting close to using all our bait.

  It was many years ago, but that was my first Poinsett experience and I had forgotten much about the city itself and many things have change in the years since I was on Poinsett.

We were to meet Estelline’s Mayor Don Zafft around noon, and as we came into town at 11:00, we hoped that the town was ready for us.

  We met the Mayor, Don at the city offices, and it didn’t take me long to realize that we would get along just fine as the back window of his pickup thanking Viet Nam Vets.  I thanked him for his service and we discovered we knew many of the same people, those I’ve spent time in South Dakota hunting, high school classmates and a salesperson who worked with my Dad at Sharpe Chevrolet.

    We did a quick tour of the town visiting, their school, football field, their incredible Veteran’s Memorial and the beautiful landscaping, the waterfall, pond and gazebo at their nursing home.

 We finished our filming in Estelline and headed for Dakota Ringneck Lodge, www.dakringneck.com a hunting preserve with 4,000 acres of prime South Dakota hunting ground. This beautiful Lodge, where we’d be headquarters for the next two days, is situated on a hill within sight of the lake with the interior decorated the way any person who’s into the outdoors would love to have it as the interior from all over the United States and Canada.

  Just as we finished stowing our gear, our guide, Jarrod Fredricks, of South Dakota Guided Fishing, pulled into the parking lot and we quickly loaded our gear and made the short drive to the boat launch. [Read more…]