Showing posts with label walleye. Show all posts
Showing posts with label walleye. Show all posts

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Fishing trips are the best with some fun friends.  Before the Minnesota bass, pike, and walleye season closed on February 25th, my homie Ed drove up from Chicagoland to go ice fishing with me and Troy.  The chosen destination was Leech Lake and we were staying at Trappers Landing.

Of course I caught a small fish.  It's what I do.
The fishing was slow, but the beer and laughs were plentiful.  I made a short video of the weekend trip.  Check it out below, and don't forget to subscribe to the new channel.

MY GEAR Camera - Lens #1 - Lens #2 - Lens #3 - GoPro - Microphone - Laptop - Memory Card Case - **The above links are Amazon Associate links**

Monday, January 15, 2018


Lightfield BBQ and I were back on the ice and exploring new hard water.  I don't know what I would do without the phone app Navionics.  It's seriously the best $10 I've spent in a long long time.  Without it, I would have no idea the depth I am fishing in my raft, kayak, or when I am out ice fishing.

Is your Navionics working??
On this day, we were on the hunt for anything.  Having only caught 1 fish in our previous outing "WALLY WALLY - WHERE YA AT" we decided that we would set out with the goal of just catching fish.  Any fish.  So we targeted some shallower water.

How Swiss Cheese is made.
After popping a popping some holes and contributing to making this lake look like Swiss cheese, we set up shop, and got our flashers in the holes and were immediately marking fish.  Time to get our jigs down there and see who wants to play.

Red illumination coming from the heater is a very welcomed sight when the temperature is in the single digits.  Lights on the flashers are even more welcome, and get the adrenaline going so that you can temporarily forget about the cold.

The game of lights.
We both were making so many fish.  I literally had my face in the hole as I was watching the fish take turns swipe at my jig.  I spotted a few sizable fish with my eyeballs, but the small ones were the only willing participants.  I changed jigs a few times to bigger sizes, but still nada.

Monsters Exist.
Lightfield and I had some fun none the less, hooking up with a plethora of small perch and 2 sunnies.  Nothing worthy to keep, but still a lot better than just sitting there wonder if I was ever going to see my rod bend.

The long arm technique to make catches look bigger.

The release back into the ice hole.
This ice fishing sport is quickly growing on me, and I'm looking forward to getting out on the ice a lot more, and hopefully experiencing what it's like to hook into much bigger fish.  My first fish of the 2018 year was this 10 pound perch (pictured below).  I couldn't believe the gut on this one.  It looked as if it had eaten a bowling ball.

10 pound perch.
Some advice for all fisher-people, regardless of time of year, fly fishing, gear fishing, and ice fishing.  Don't forget to close up your tackle boxes before bumping your ass into them.  That is of course, if you're not in training to be the best at the game pick up sticks.

Gear all over the place is my favorite.
Instagram - @JUSTINCARF


Rod Holder -

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018


This was my first fishing outing of the new year, and we were on the hard water in search of anything...but mostly walleyes and crappie.

Lightfield clearing some snow for the hub.
We pulled up to the lake we were going to fish, and there were quite a few vehicles and ice shelters already out.  It was a good sign to my homie, but to me, it just added to the fear of being on the ice.

Poppin' holes.

A gas powered auger is a luxury...need to get one for myself.
After drilling some holes, setting up the hub, we were inside sitting pretty.  I have never had such luxuries in the few times I have been out ice fishing.  A gas auger, 4 person hub, propane heater, and camping chairs...I felt like I was in the Presidential Suite.  I could get used to this...

The Presidential Suite.
We each had 2 rods rigged up.  One setup to dead stick a minnow, and the other we were jigging with.  The fishing was really slow.  We were fishing in about 26 feet of water near some drop offs, with hopes there were be fish hanging around the edges.  We also chose our spot, because, there were a bunch of other ice shelters around. :)

Working it.

I could get used to this.

Waiting for some action on the flasher.
Late in the afternoon, just as I was about to go out to the truck for something, I had glanced down at my flasher, there were some extra lights.  Finally some action!  I slowly jigged my lure and then my rod bent.  I set the hook and began to quickly reel, but the fish came undone after 2 seconds.  Bummer!  It felt like a good one, too.

Shortly after my failed attempt to bring a fish in, my buddy Lightfield marked a few more fish and he was then hooked up.  This fish put a solid bend in his rod.
Lightfield hooked up on his custom FSA Custom Rods ice rod.
Lightfield found Wally.  It was the only fish that we caught, and it was a good one.  Would have been nice to hook up with a few more, but I was just happy to be out fishing.  Looking forward to getting back out on the hard water.  Just need to get some ice fishing gear of my own.

Lightfield and Wally.



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Friday, May 26, 2017


Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop in Saint Paul Minnesota just dropped some big news for all Minnesota fly fisher peoples.  You can for sure count me in on this, although I'll be out of town in Sioux Falls South Dakota from June 19-23rd for a work training course, so, I'll be at a huge disadvantage missing the majority of the week.  Oh well, it's going to be awesome.  Peep the details below!

Details from the original post.
In this land of 10,000 lakes, 70,000 miles of rivers and streams and 162 species of fish (according to Wikipedia) we have fishing diversity that is second to none. This summer let's celebrate what we have with the 2017 GRANDER SLAM TOURNAMENT. Starting June 16th and spanning 10 days to June 25th, the fly angler who catches the most species of fish wins. So clear your calendar, and get ready to use up some over due PTO. Be ready to explore new waters and techniques. You're going to need to get out of your comfort zone to win this one. Registration will open 6/2. More details to come. #GranderSlam2017 #mnflyshop

Friday, February 12, 2016

Field & Stream Hook Shots

Have you ever heard of Field & Stream Hook Shots?

Well, you should have.  Joe Cermele and Captain Eric Kerber have been making, in my opinion, the best fishing videos on the interwebs.  Each episode is a maximum of 10 minutes long, and it's filled to the brim with killer content, quick tips, first rate commentary, hilarity, and some rad tunes.  Mix all of that together, and you have a recipe for some high quality fishy entertainment.

Joe also just hosted a pretty sweet fly swap that I wasn't able to get in on, but he hints he's going to be hosting more of them, so, be on the look out!

Do yourself a solid, check out their videos, and website.

That CARF Outdoors deek looks great on your truck, Joe!  Hopefully, it brings you some fishy mojo on all of your trips!

If you have a CARF Outdoors sticker, take a picture and send it to me.  I'll get it on the sticker sightings page.  Looking forward to seeing where they all end up across the country.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Secret Spots

Don't ya just love seeing photos like this!

Taken sometime this summer, as you can tell by the fluttering butterfly.
I caught this walleye on a spinnerbait rigged with a Stankx Bait Company swim bait. I caught another one a few casts later. Such a beautiful fish! I was really shocked when I caught it. I haven't caught a wally in probably over 3 years. It's a fish I rarely target. If you couldn't tell, this walleye was caught on Planet Earth, and more specifically, North America.

Where's your secret spot? You can tell me :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Camp food

Just going over some itinerary with Dave (Urban Assault Fly Fishing) for our upcoming Musky Country trip. Got me thinking about food...

I'm always jealous of the meals that Jeff (High Plains Fly Fisher) has cooked up on his trips. I'm curious what everyone else enjoys cooking out there.

What are some of your favorite campfire grilled meals?

Some chicken I cooked up on a Missouri float trip.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I hate it, but not really....

Is there a body of water that you absolutely hate, but can't seem to stay away from?

Well, Busse Lake is that place for me. It's a large body of water that offers a variety of species.  An angler can catch bluegill, crappie, carp, largemouth bass, walleye, northern pike, and musky...and it's only been 10 to 25 minutes from me for the past 15 years, so, what's not to like!

I have yet to hook something huge at Busse, and my visits to the lake have decreased throughout the years. I was proud of myself for only fishing there 5 times last year. It was a challenge, because, every week I would read reports on a local fishing forum of guys consistently killing it over here, catching huge bass, keeper walleye, and musky!

Fast forward to my heavier days a few years later. One of the first fish I caught on the fly.
Now that I have a kayak, I can now fish off the beaten path that is usually crowded. I can get to those places that I could only see from a distance. This is the year that I make Busse Lake my bitch!

After work today, I headed on over to the lake. As I was unloading a guy was just finishing up his day on the water from his kayak. He told me he landed a 30" musky on a night crawler. Awesome - I brought my 9 wt and musky flies :) 

4/0 single.


I floated around and tossed the usual musky meat. I hooked up with a few downed trees, but no fish. Paddled around some more. Saw some activity near some downed trees, so, I slowly and silently made my way to what looked like baitfish trying to get away from something. I casted. Thump. I could feel something with significant size on the other end...could this be?!?! Then as fast as it happened, the line went slack. I felt broken. I made more than a few casts back into the area, but there was nothing. Could that have been a Busski (Musky from Busse)!! I'll never know....

Crotch Shot!
Finished the day skunked for the 3rd time in the past 2 weeks at Busse.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Series: Walleye

After the purchase of my new kayak, +BrookField Angler, suggested to me that I join the Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Series.

The 3 part series is as follows:

May 3 - Walleye @ Fox Chain of Lakes
June 14 - Largemouth Bass @ Illinois River at Heritage Harbor Ottawa
September 6 - King Salmon @ Lake Michigan out of Manitowoc Marina

Yesterday was the first tournament for walleye. I have almost zero experience with walleye. I have never went out and targeted them in my fishing career. The only time they were ever caught by me, I was bass fishing.

The day had it's ups and downs, but overall it was a good day. The sun was out, but the wind was howling. It made it extremely difficult to paddle, but I managed. I toyed the idea of using my fly rod, but to decided to dust off my baitcasting and spinning rods. I casted crank baits, and dead drifted a 3" gulp leach all day. I ended the day catching 2 fish on my dead drifting leech, but none of them were walleye. At least I wasn't skunked!

I am not the fish you are looking for.

The guys who organized the event did a stellar job. There were a ton of giveaways on top of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes. They were even nice enough to start the grill and treat everyone to bugers and brats when everyone returned. So, a big "THANK YOU" goes out to them.

I believe there were 15 people in the field (just a guess). Only 2 fishermen hooked up with walleye. The guy who won first place caught 3 walleye (12, 14, and 23 inches). Second place went to an 8.5 in walleye. Since there were no other walleye caught, everyone else name was thrown into a pot, and the third place winner was randomly selected.

Looking forward to the next installment on June 14th. It's my birthday, so, I have to win, right? Haha. The fly rod will definitely be joining me on that one.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DIY - Scupper Plugs

So, I didn't get scupper plugs with my kayak. (The seller forgot about them, and I forgot to ask at the time. He doesn't know where they are.)

Had to make due. +BrookField Angler told me to go to the pet store and purchase foam balls found in the cat toy section. I went, but did not like the sponginess of those balls. (I just laughed.)

Today when I was walking around  Walmart, I seen the answer to my scupper plug dilemma, in the form of foam/spongy yellow practice golf balls. They were not as squishy as the cat balls, so, I think they will do a better job, and for $2, how could you go wrong. Worse comes to worse, I could make a floating key chain for any small tools, or keys with those foam golf balls.

4 Pack Foam Practice Golf Balls - My local Walmart had a 6 pack for $2....I have 6 scupper holes. It was destiny.

I also, scored a milk crate at work. Slowly but surly I am modifying this yak to my liking, and on the cheap!

Next project...sealing those 2 hatches to make them water tight. There was some water that came in with the rain we had the past 2 days. Not much, but it's supposed to be a dry hull....not a wet one.