Category Archives: Uncategorized

Field testing the new Lil Shaker

Last weekend I was able to get out and field test a new lure called the Lil Shaker. I was very impressed on how the lure performed especially since the bite wasn’t exactly “Hot” at that time. I started with the purple and chartreuse tipped with a 2.5″ Berkeley Gulp Black Shad Minnow. First I used a slip bobber and sinker. I tried a horizontal presentation and hooked the treble hook through the back. I was instantly catching pumpkinseed sunfish one after another. They were larger in size than I had caught using a different presentation earlier. The sunfish would hit the lure as it dropped and the bobber would  not fully reach the bobber stopper. I then started catching a few Crappie as well. I switched colors to see if this would affect the bite rate and it did not.

Second, I tried hooking the trebble hook through the mouth of the bait. I did catch a few more fish but not at the same rate when i was using a horrizontal presentation.

I then tried jigging the lure without the slip bobber. I had success with a horrizontal bait  presentation. Both Blue Gills and Pumkinseed Sunfish favored this method.

I would recommend using Berkely Gulp minnows or live bait when using the Lil Shaker.

I would say that the Lil Shaker is an outstanding lure for panfish and I would highly recommend using them.

Brian Koshenina”Pro Staff”

The new “Lil Shaker” is the HOT lure for Panfish

Gary Snyder has outdone himself once again! He has taken the proven fish catching ability of his lure the”Shaker”, shrunk it down, and will now be offering the scaled down version called the “Lil Shaker” to the public. The “Lil Shaker” will be offered in many colors including chartreuse, purple/chartreuse, red, blue and will also be offered in glow colors as well. Look for them at a retailer near you!

I “SPOON” feed fish

If your like me than you probably have an addiction to spoons. I almost always have a spoon on during the ice season. Spoons bring more to the table than a jig in my opinion.
Spoons come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Some have smaller spoons attached that flare out the water while jigging them. Some have rattles inside for calling in fish in murky water. Some have a bullet like profile and they shoot straight up and down in the water while others have a slender wavy profile that allows them to flutter as they fall giving the impression of a dyeing bait fish. Some have feathers on them and some have colored beads on them.
The larger profile of a spoon generally attracts the more active fish who are on the feed. Fish that wont just nibble the bait but will come in hot and just smash the spoon. Spoons are made for almost every specie of fish. Everything from Crappies to Lake Trout. You can tip the spoon with everything that you can tip a jig with whether it be a whole minnow, a minnow head, wax worms or even plastics.
While using a spoon you can utilize many different cadences. Sometimes the fish like long, fast jigging with a free fall back down. Sometimes all you have to do is quiver your rod tip enough to make the spoon just bounce in the water. I prefer to give the fish long jigs and a flutter down until I have their attention. Once they move in, I will change that to a quiver while slowly rising up in the column until they commit. Your cadence will depend upon spoon size and the species you are targeting. It will also depend on the mood the fish are in.
When I buy a new spoon I like to fill a pitcher of water up and drop the spoon in and bounce it around in there so I can see exactly how it acts in the water. This will give me a good idea on how to use the spoon in most situations effectively.
A little advice, you can never have enogh spoons!
I hope this helps you in your future fishing endeavors.
Good luck and tight lines!
Kyle Lynn
Snyder’s Lures
Team IFM

A weekend of fish and memories.

 

My wife and I just recently took a trip to the Red Door Resort on Mille Lacs Lake with 2 other couples who are good friends of ours. The weekend was filled with fish, food, and good times.
As we made our way up there Friday afternoon we stopped for lunch and found out one of the couples would not be able to make it untill the following morning. After lunch we continued our way to the lake. Made a quick stop at Johnson’s Portside Bait and Tackle in Isle for bait and another quick stop at Nitti’s Hunters Point Resort to see a friend and pick up a new rod from him.
As we pulled into the Red Door I started to get excited to get my wife on the ice as she has never caught a fish from this lake and I knew she was determined to grind the lake out untill this happened. We quickly checked into our cabin and unloaded the trucks of our bags and hit the lake.
We decided to try a smaller flat about 3 miles out from shore that had a 31′ hole in the middle of it and boy did it pay out! Jeff and I started drilling holes in a big circle around and through the hole in the flat and before long we had fish topside. While we were drilling Lisa and Amy started to drop lines in and as if the fish had heard my thoughts my wife hooked into a beautiful Mille Lacs walleye. Funny part is, is this walleye bit her depth bomb and held on for dear life untill he hit the ice! The look on my wifes face was enough for me, if had we not seen another fish all weekend I couldn’t have cared less. She got her first walleye on Mille Lacs.
As the evening progressed I managed to miss 3 fish and ice 3 more walleyes and a rogue fat crappie that in my opinion was incredibly lost. Around midnight we returned to the cabin for some hot dish and cribbage.
The next morning we headed down to Nitti’s for the United Way tournament and met up with Tyler and Nikki. We decided to head back to the same spot we were at the night before. We marked fish consistently but was unable to convince them to bite. Tyler and I decided to move just off of the flat into the basin and within 10 minutes Tyler managed to hook into a big fish. After what seemed like an eternity we caught a glimps of a monster walleye on the end of the line. With a little coaxing and some luck he iced a 27 3/4″ walleye. After some quick pics and some high fives she was safely released back into the water. This was the only fish caught that day.
That night we took a break from fishing and found ourselves at The Good Life Cafe on Liberty Beach for dinner and drinks. Then we returned to the cabin for more games.
The next morning my wife and I headed out for one last quick expedition before heading home. We tried a flat about 1 mile south of where we were the day before and within the first few minutes I was able to ice another pig walleye and my wife lost one that we can only assume was comparable to mine.
After that we headed home back to our kids with another great weekend of fish and memories behind us. We are all already planning our next trip to Mille Lacs Lake.
Kyle “Willow Daddy” Lynn
Snyder’s Lures

Froggit for Panfish

IMG_2655The froggit is a lethal lure for panfish. I like to set the froggit up on a bobber. I tip the lure with twister tails or froggit tails. I am always keeping the lure moving to keep the tails twisting.

The froggit has been getting more fish in my boat this spring/summer! The froggit quality is out standing, Snyder’s use the best products to make this outstanding lure!

Myles Longfellow

Hunting for big Spring Crappie

Hunting for big Spring Crappie
By Brian Koshenina

BrianIf you’re like me you can’t wait for opener. This is just simply “the best time of year”, But what to do in the mean time? There’s open water, the suns out, the lakes are slowly warming and you are all ready to go? Personally, I like catching big Crappie and here’s how I do it…..

First of all, not every lake in your area has a healthy population of Crappie let alone big Crappie. I suggest you do your homework first before you head out. I have a lake that is fairly close to me that has been producing larger size Crappie year after year and you will often find me there come spring. If you are not as fortunate as I, the first place I would head is your local bait shop. They hear where Crappie are biting every day and they often over hear stories of big Crappie caught. You can always stop in or give them a call, they’re always glad to help. If you want even more information, your state wildlife agency should have information that can be useful. I use the Minnesota DNR “Lake finder”. You can get information on just about any lake in your state. From lake maps, fish populations, lake access to gill net numbers, it’s on the site.  They have recently come out with a mobile app for your phone that allows you to get the same information from the site, anywhere, as long as you have a good signal. This comes in very handy.

Once you have picked out the lake it’s time to be efficient. You need to eliminate the areas of the lake you know won’t hold fish this time of year. Crappies seek warm water in the spring to spawn, so look for the section of the lake that gets the most sun. Bays, shallow humps, shallow flats with structure and anywhere you find shallow water next to drop offs. This will eliminate about half of the lake. Watch for temperature changes on your electronics and also pay attention to structure variations in shallow water. A couple of seasons ago I was having a hard time finding a good spot that held Crappie. I was watching my Humminbird and noticed a depression from 4 feet to 6 feet back to 4ft, surrounded by cabage on a big shallow flat. I marked this spot and waited a few minutes, just encase they were spooky. On my first cast I landed a 17” and after several cast had a limit of Crappie in no time. What this taught me was that, any variation on the bottom, any standing structure, or areas between weeds were spots to target in shallow water.

Boat control is critical in the spring. Most Crappie will be schooled up in small areas so you need to be as stealthy as possible. I usually set my trolling motor no further than 2 on the foot control. I literally “Creep” up to my marked spots often circling them as I cast. I recommend that you stay at least twenty feet away and make long cast to your spot. Keeping your distance will allow them to stay in a school rather than have them scatter and become less likely to bite.

 

 

I go against the rule of using long, light weight rods when I fish for Crappies. I use a medium 7 foot rod with a fast tip. I know it gets intense when you catch a large Crappie on a light weight rod but in the spring but larger fish bite also. When I am slow trolling, searching for Crappies, I will often catch very large Bass and I do not need to snap a light weight rod fighting a 6 pound Large Mouth. I also go against the grain and use 6 pound mono. I know about the sensitivity factor, light weight rod and line equals more sensitivity and more fish caught but I’m not after the small ones. When I catch large Crappie, I often find that they hit the presentation with authority and not with a light pull. This is when you need to count on your rod and line and there is no room for a chance of losing a potential trophy to a rod snap or a line break.

My lure selection is simple. I use a Snyder’s Lures “Crappie Spinner” or a “Froggit” usually works best tipped with either a Berkley Gulp 3” Black shad or a 1.5” Mister Twister. I use the Gulp when they are “Up Biting” and a Mister twister when they are chasing the lure. Throwing a small split shot on your line helps get the bait to them faster and makes it less likely that a Blue Gill will bite it first. The presentation I use is what I call “Aggressive” bobber fishing. It sounds “Old Fashioned” but it works! I cast out to the desired spot where I know the Crappie’s are holding. If I do not get a bite within 5-7 seconds I reel in and cast out again. Most of the time you are casting into shallow water(Less than 10 feet) so the action can be fast and furious. Using plastics saves time when you fish this way. There is no time to waste losing bait off your hook. You can catch multiple fish on one plastic which keeps you casting when you’re on a hot bite.

 

Take advantage of the time you have before the fishing opener and use these tips. It can make your spring Crappie fishing more successful and the spring much more enjoyable.

One day in a little bait shop

One day in a little bait shop, I found a jar full of little baits I’d never seen before (doesn’t happen often). I ended up purchasing a few, and they turned out to be Snyder’s crappie spinners. Little did I know they would become my go to lure for fishing with minnows for crappies, perch, and walleyes. Whether it’s summer or winter, under a bobber or tipdown, these have produced fish. I’m not sponsored or pro staff or endorsed. I’m just a fisherman that likes to catch fish! My buddies ask what my secret is, and I show them, next trip, they have some of their own. Keep up the great work Snyder’s Lures!

Ice Bluegills Deep

Ice Bluegills Deep
By: Dave Duwe

Deep blue gills 2After first ice, the bluegills will migrate from the shallow water of early season ice and suspend over the main lake basin. The best time to catch deepwater bluegills is usually late January through February.

I consider deepwater any water depth over 15 feet of water. Deep water bluegills are roaming and don’t concentrate in any area for a long period of time. When they move they are usually in small schools of 5 or 6 fish. I will always catch the upper fish in the school first not to spook the fish that are lower in the water column. I find that the upper fish in the water column seem to bite better the fish that remain tight to the bottom. The greatest asset to the deepwater gill bite is a fish locator; my choice is a Vexilar FL-12.

The equipment needed is a medium action jigging rod with ultra-light spinning reel spooled the 1 or 2lb test monofilament line. The most important part of the rod and reel combo is a sensitive spring bobber. Frabill’s tungsten spring bobber is a great choice. The better the spring bobber the easier the angler can detect the shy biters.

I will use two approaches for the deepwater bluegills. My favorite is a double jig dropper rig and for the real shy biters a small ice jig without a sinker using light line. The double jig dropper rig is a simple rig; it’s putting two jigs on one line. I tie a flying gold ant approximately 10 inches to a foot above a waxie rig made by Synders Lure’s. To attach the ant I will tie it on the line using a Palomar knot leaving the tag end about a foot long to tie on the waxie rig. The ant works best if it hangs horizontal, also making it easy to detect on the Vexilar. By using the two jig rig, it allows the angler to add extra weight to the line getting the lures into the strike zone faster. The two jigs allow you two opportunities to get bit. Using a sinker also works; however, it doesn’t give you two chances for a bluegill. I will always use two different baits on the double jig rig. The flying ant will get a waxworm or wiggler, the waxie rig gets one or two spikes. This gives you a subtle presentation. Getting a small jig down to 20-30 feet of water can take some time but some days that is the only way to get bit. Patience and fresh line is the only way that it can work. I bait the jig with two spikes which can help you pick the jig up on the fish locator.

This year I have been catching most of my bluegills on Turtle Lake and Pleasant Lake in Walworth County and Little Cedar in Washington County all lakes are in Southern Wisconsin.

Deep blue gills

The lake determines the depth I will start fishing. I usually start deep 30 to 32 feet of water searching for fish. If I can’t locate them I will move shallower, I will seldom go any shallower then 20 feet of water. A lot of times you will need to fish an area before ruling out that there are no fish. Sometimes the fish are so tight to the bottom you can’t pick them up on the locator. A lot of time you send a jig down the hole and the fish will fly off the bottom coming up 10 or 15 feet to inhale the falling jig. The deep water bluegills bite will last through February and this year most likely into March. The deepwater bluegills have a tendency to be a larger size then there shallow water counter parts. Ice depths can vary and ice heaves can create a dangerous situation, so be careful venturing out in the main lake basin.

Take a Kid Fishing, Ice Fishing that Is

Take a Kid Fishing, Ice Fishing that Is
By: David Duwe

Kids FishingWith the internet it has been almost impossible to get any kids to play outside or enjoy the outdoors. Most kids are always “plugged in” to their phones or computers. This is a big factor in the decline of the fishing industry as a whole. Given that fact I take every opportunity to introduce someone to the sport I love and make my livelihood at, teaching people how to fish is my small way to pay it forward. Taking first timer’s ice fishing is a little trickier: weather, deep snow and quite frankly the fish don’t usually bite as well as they do in the summer months. With all that you need to really plan for the trip out on the ice. Safety is paramount so safe ice is the number one requirement after that, factor in the best way to stay warm and comfortable.

040Recently my son Nate and I had the opportunity to tag along with Grandpa Jerry and Grandma Diane as they took several of their grandkids out ice fishing for the first time. The day we chose was carefully selected and the temperature was in the upper 30’s, I believe anything below 30 degrees means a very short trip. Nothing worse than getting all set-up and having someone want to go home.

We chose a couple of lakes (ponds) with a close proximity to the access point and home just in case. The small lakes had an ample supply of small bluegills and largemouth bass. It takes a little extra time but if you can it is always good to pre-fish the area before the children arrive. When taking first timers out ice fishing, I like working water depths of less than ten feet.

With the location chosen it was time for the hole drilling. A lot of holes!! After the holes were opened it was like an Easter egg hunt seeing who could skim out the most holes. This was not Grandpas first go around there were ice skimmers for all the children. Not only were they used to skim ice, they were used as hockey sticks, snowball launchers, and a hat. Before we even caught a fish all the kids were having the times of their lives. Keeping kids busy always makes time on the ice enjoyable.

007Being a fishing guide for over twenty years I know that keeping it simple adds for more success and less aggravation for everyone, ice fishing is no exception. For panfishing, I like to use quality non-expensive jig poles. Being in shallow water a reel is not needed. As a rule when I am jig fishing I will use 2lb line or smaller, however when novice anglers are involved I will go a bit larger diameter to 4lb test. The jigs I prefer are from Snyder Lures (snydercompany@citlink.net); I really love the Ladybug Button in a dark color. It’s slightly larger hook is easier for small hands to deal with. The tip-ups we used were the Arctic Fisherman- Beaver Dam, the sturdy construction and smooth spindle can take the abuse an inexperienced fisherman can give them. The baits of choice were medium golden shiners and waxworms. Smaller shiners can catch any sized fish that swims in the lake we were fishing. A good rule of thumb is placing your baits about a foot off bottom.

If available a good fish locator will bring the children back to the technology age. I had my Vexilar FL-12 along, which added some extra entertainment. It also gives you a better indication of where the fish are in the water column. The day we were fishing the bite was on!! As many two to three inch bluegills as you wanted. It didn’t matter; some of the kids had never caught a fish through the ice. Remember they still had the ice skimmers to play with so there were plenty of laughs.

As mentioned earlier safety has to be the top priority followed by snacks and drinks. When my son was little it was not uncommon for me to have five pair of extra gloves, socks and more warm clothes. When you are cold you will not have fun. That is a fact for any outdoor activity.

At the end of the day, everyone caught fish and no one had frost bite. And fun was had by all!!

Take a Kid Ice Fishing you won’t regret it and pay it forward to the future of the sport.