Friday, 20 July 2018

Minnkota I-Pilot Technology

I-Pilot Technology

Kyle Sorensen with OB Outdoors talks about the benefits of using the I-Pilot feature on your minnkota trolling motor specifically for trolling! Don’t miss out on the LIVE CATCH during the interview!

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Monday, 16 July 2018

SPY Cameo Sunglasses-For the Woman Outdoor Addict

SPY Cameo Sunglasses Review

SPY Cameo Sunglasses

The SPY Cameo sunglasses are the perfect sunglasses for any woman angler

As hunters, fishermen and outdoor lovers, we all need good glasses to protect us from the sun. We spend a lot of time covering the best of the best for men, but we thought it was time to show you what to buy the ladies so that they’ll tag along with you on your future fishing trips (if you want). The SPY Cameo sunglasses are some of the best out there for women.

SPY Cameo Sunglasses

SPY Cameo Review

SPY makes some of the greatest angling and outdoor optics available so it’s no surprise that they make stylish and practical glasses for women as well. The SPY Cameo sunglasses fit tight and feature the Happy lens and are available with polarized lenses as well. They allow anyone to get a good look at the water and hit their spots when casting a fly at a finicky trout.

SPY sunglasses review

The Cameo won’t only turn heads with the fish you’re landing, but it’ll also turn heads on the street. These shades are made for “trail to tavern” so you can wear them anywhere. They come in an assortment of frame and lens colors and offer a sleek, versatile look.

SPY Cameo Review

The lenses are SPY’s patented Happy Lens, which help foster and uplift in mood and energy. They boost optical clarity and have SPY’s Trident polarization. As always, the frames are durable and built to withstand all the elements without looking clunky or beat up.

You can purchase your very  own SPY Cameo Sunglasses here on their website. If you want to read more about other SPY Sunglasses reviews, check out the Angler and Hunt sunglasses.


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Friday, 13 July 2018

SPY Ejack Hunt – Outdoor Frames for Any Activity

SPY Ejack Hunt Sunglasses

Spy Ejack hunt sunglasses

The Eric Jackson signature model SPY Sunglasses are the best for fishing.

Eric Jackson is a star on the mountain and a force to be reckoned with on the water, so it’s no surprise that SPY Optics would make his own signature sunglasses for the best of everything outdoors. As a pro snowboarder, Eric relies on SPY’s goggles every day and when he’s not on the mountain, he’s on the water fishing where he needs his SPY Hunt Sunglasses.

The most versatile frames that SPY has to offer come with the Hunt glasses. The new Ejack Hunt sunglasses are the only SPY sunglasses to have Happy Lens Technology in the new Trident polarized Rose base lens with the awesome Green/Gold Spectra mirror coating. What that means is that you can look great while fishing all day and your eyes are not going to give you any trouble.

Any serious angler knows that you need the best in polarization for fly fishing and Eric Jackson is no exception. The lenses in the SPY Ejack Hunt sunglasses enhance clarity, definition and color during mid day fishing or early mornings.

SPY’s Hunt sunglasses feature a frame that is comfortable and stylish. The molded grips are not glued so you don’t have to worry about anything falling apart. They fit perfect to your head and won’t fall off with a quick movement and they are very lightweight. On top of that, you can bend them, sit on them and they offer pin hinges that add durability in case you shove them in a tight space.

Having a good pair of polarized fishing sunglasses is the most important piece of equipment for a serious angler. SPY’s Ejack Hunt model gives you everything you need to stay on the water longer and see the fish you’re hitting with that dry fly from further upstream.

Snag a pair of the new Ejack Hunt sunglasses here on SPY’s website and check out more SPY Optics sunglasses reviews.


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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Green Bay Walleye

Bay of Green Bay Walleye

By: Jeff Boutin

Opening day of fishing season is upon us. Even though summer does not officially start until June 21st, I have always considered the first Saturday in May the start of my summer season. I, as well as anglers from all over the state, will head out to their favorite lakes and rivers in pursuit of the most sought after fish in the Midwest…walleye! My favorite place just so happens to be, the Bay of Green Bay.

The Bay can be a very intimidating body of water. When you head out to any one of the boat launches located around the lower portion of the Bay, the parking lot will be full of boat trailers but all you will see is miles and miles of open water and only a few boats in sight. Even though the surface looks the same as far as the eye can see, it’s what’s lurking below it that all of us are after.

Most anglers who come up to the Bay struggle with where to fish and which presentations to use. Either they setup near the boat launch, or they head out in the direction other boats are heading also looking for a group of boats. When they find them, they throw a few lures in the water and start trolling. Well that’s a good start, but most people spend countless hours on the water only to go home disappointed. We’ve all been there.

Here are a few tips and tools that will make you a more successful angler. First and foremost, you will need a good GPS locator. I prefer the Humminbird Helix series locators. They are high definition and very easy to use for the average angler. For those of you that are more experienced, the upgraded units are equipped with Side and Down Imaging. The next thing you will need is a map chip for your GPS. The Lake Master chip is made for your Humminbird unit and can highlight different depths of water making it easier to see the areas you may want to fish. This is going to show you where the structures are, eliminating the areas without structure and water that is deeper than 20 ft. That just eliminated 90% of the water! I recommend a set of trolling rods with line counter reels, spooled with 10 lb. to 12 lb. monofilament line. I suggest a quality set of planer boards. I use Churches Tackle TX-22 boards simply because they are of high quality, they cut through the water nicely, and when you stop, they won’t fall over and tangle up your lines. The last piece of equipment is a Minn Kota trolling motor. Most fishing boats sold today come with one mounted to the bow. They work so well, it’s almost standard to have a Minn Kota on your bow. When the Minn Kota trolling motor is equipped with I-Pilot, you will be able to fish and let the I-Pilot steer your boat for you. Just set a course, set the speed, and fish, it’s that easy.

Now for the fun part; catching the fish. We’ve reviewed the Lake Master maps so now we can focus on the areas we want to fish. In May, the walleye tend to feed on the rocky reefs and the areas with shallow weeds. The baits of choice in these areas are the Flickershad. Start out with the basics; purple, chartreuse, maybe a gray or white. Since it is early and the bait fish are small, use number 5’s and 7’s. It is a good idea to get the trolling app. This will assist you in determining at which depth the bait will run. The App will tell you how much line to let out in order to get your bait to a certain depth. For example, a number 7 Flickershad with 30’ feet of line let out will dive down 6 feet. With 40 feet of line, the Flickershad will dive down 8 feet. Speed will not affect the depth at which the lure will dive. You will attach the Churches Tackle planer board after you let out your set distance of line. The next part is speed. Since the waters are cold in May, you are not going to want to troll too fast. Keep your speed between 1.3 and 1.7 mph changing it often until you find a speed the fish prefer.

When setting your lines, start out with several colors and set them at various depths. Be careful not to set your baits too low in the water column. Walleye feed up and you do not want to put your bait underneath them. As you work your way over and through different reefs and humps and that first board goes back, make sure you keep track of the depth the bait was running. In addition, note your speed and hit a waypoint. This will be your first waypoint of many. Troll another 5-10 minutes and if you have not gotten another bite either turn around, if it is not windy, or pick up and go back to make another pass. The biggest mistake I see anglers make is when they catch a fish they just keep on going and do not return to that spot. This is your chance to make your first adjustment. Set a few more baits at or near that depth and make that pass right over the same spot. If you catch more fish, repeat the process and make another adjustments to your presentation, color. If the fish bit on the same color, add a few more of that color. Continue to refine your presentation until either you can’t keep your lines in the water, or they quit biting. If they quit biting, move on until you find the next bite. Sometimes you will have to go back to different depths and colors until you get something to work.

Another place you can find these fish is shallow. Yes, I did say shallow, 2 to 3 feet shallow. On bright days, in the mid to late mornings, the sun is warming up the shallows. Walleye will head into these waters even if the water is crystal clear, it’s warmer, and it only needs to be 4 to 5 degrees warmer. This is when your planer board comes in handy. I’ll run my closest planer board 100 to 150 feet from the boat. These fish will spook easy, so being stealthy is critical. Using the Minn Kota is really important. In this case, you are only going to put 6 to 8 feet of line out behind your planer board. These areas are generally sandy and you want the front lip of the bait to either tick or slightly dig right into the sand. This will help entice a strike. These fish are not the same fish as the ones you were finding on the reefs. These are generally the larger females coming into the shallows to feed. It is very important to keep your distance, if these fish even see a shadow from your boat, they will be gone!

Another bait I like to use is the Team-Outdoors inline blade attractor. They come in 10 different colors and 4 different sizes. These are attached to your line about 12 inches above the crankbait. These will attach to your line without tying a knot or cutting your line. Crankbaits rattle, and wiggle, but they don’t always have flash. The attractor blades are either a #3 Colorado or a #3 willow blade. This adds additional flash and vibration to your crankbaits without affecting the depth or action of the bait. If I pass over fish and they are hesitant to bite, I usually add these to a few of my lines. If the waters are a little murky, again this is a great way to add flash to your presentation.

Time spent on the water is always special, so enjoy it, have fun, and most importantly, be safe.

I’ll see you on the water,

Captain Jeff Boutin

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Monday, 9 July 2018

Raising Dogs

Raising dogs…slowing down speeds things up 

By: Jeremy Moore 

As a professional dog trainer, I’ve been able to work with various breeds of a large number of dogs over the years, ranging from 7 week-old puppies to dogs as old as 10 years or more.  I strongly believe that one of the only ways to get better at anything, whether you’re talking dog training specifically or life in general, is to put in the work.  And more times than not, the whole “work” part is where things start to get hard!  Thankfully, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to put that work in when it comes to the dogs.  And, consequently, I know I have gotten a lot better as the years passed.  As I have personally improved, the dogs have mirrored that improvement as well.  Today, I can say with strong confidence that when I have a chance to work with a puppy or dog, I will be a positive influence on them and my hope is they are better off because of it as well.   

But what about the people when it comes to training?  I think that one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to training, or as I prefer to say, “raising” dogs or pups, is the importance of what the trainer brings to the equation.  One of the most desirable traits all dogs possess is that they want to please and are naturally looking for a strong leader.  That is simply how they are wired.  On the opposite hand, one trait that they also have because of this wiring is if they don’t find a leader they will become the leader.   

The great majority of training topics and articles I have written over the years and have read for that matter, have revolved around dogs in the field and how we prepare them for “the hunt”.  It’s the hunt that is the most fun to talk about.  It’s the hunt that is the most exciting.   And why not? I mean, the hunt is what so many of us have as the end goal right?  The hunt is the fun part, and in all reality the hunt is what comes the easiest for most dogs.  Hunting has been bred into them for centuries and is relatively natural.  As their handler, our job is to simply bring it out.  It’s the other stuff, beyond or before the hunt, that most struggle with and typically that is the reason things fall short.    

Although the majority of what I have read and written about has focused on the hunt, what’s interesting to me is that the great majority of questions I receive by phone call, text, posts or direct message on the various social platforms, and even when face to face at seminars and shows is centered around the basics.  It seems most struggles and headaches are not due to dogs that won’t handle well on challenging doubles and blind retrieves.  It’s rare that I am asked what to do when your dog stops to the whistle out beyond 100 yards but doesn’t want to face you in order to take a good hand signal.  (Recall the dog a step or two in order to square them up, stop them again and then cast…btw)  Instead, the questions that come up over and over are almost always related to their dog’s foundation, or more accurately their lack of foundation.   

Now, I’m certain that the direction this article is taking following that last line will have some folks turning the page.  Nowhere ever, have I read about the idea of “foundation” being described as exciting, fun, easy, or the overall end goal.  But the truth is, most struggles are directly connected and the majority of dog owner’s struggles are rooted there.  I also find that the reason most struggle with the foundation is because they just don’t know how or what to do in most situations.   

One of the most commonly asked questions I get about our dogs is, “How do you keep your dogs calm?” This question usually comes when I have multiple dogs ranging in age lying quietly at our feet on their “place” amongst a lot of distractions.  I am asked constantly how to handle pups that are just full of energy?  I hear about how their dogs must need to have more exercise than others but because of work, kids, school…the list goes on, all the reasons they just can’t seem to do enough to wear them out.   I’m asked how much time I spend running my dogs in order for them to always seem to be calm and under control.  The reality is, I wish I were able to run and exercise them more.  In fact, it’s likely that I might give the dogs I’m training less physical exercise than the dogs of those asking the question.   

So, what’s the difference?  I think the difference lies greatly in the culture that the dog is being raised in.  Here is an easy idea to understand-  a dog’s body is no different than the human body when it comes to their athletic conditioning.  The more you exercise, the greater your endurance becomes.  The greater your endurance, the longer it takes you to tire or wear out.  Why would this be any different with your dog?  In an attempt to physically “wear them out,” they are actually conditioning them to simply be better athletes which will in turn take more to tire them.  It’s a snowball effect, in the wrong direction.   

See maybe if this example sounds like something you can relate to:  You got to bed last night later than you had hoped because you stayed up to finish a project for work or school (or you had to finish your article for The Badger Sportsman Magazine…nevermind, that’s me!?!)  You hit the snooze button twice and now you are rushing to get the kid’s lunches made and ready for school or work.  In the midst of all of this, you let the dog out of the kennel and then back in after the morning’s food and water.  Off to work, then back in the evening only by rushing home to let the dog out of the kennel quickly before grabbing a dinner on the fly and then out the door again to basketball, soccer, baseball, football, gymnastics.  Day after day, your specific routines and reasons may vary some, but the pace is constant.  It’s FAST and HIGH ENERGY.  How can you expect your dog to slow down if that’s not the culture you are instilling in them? 

Now your schedule doesn’t have to be exactly like that, but you get the idea.  The speed at which we move and the amount of things we take on these days is scary.  In a lot of ways, it’s great and with the help of technology we’re able to be much more efficient, get more done and pull it all off faster.  But, I have to remind you that dogs are not interested in technology helping them to become more efficient, and getting more things done faster.  We, and our society, have changed greatly over the last several hundred years. However, our dogs have not changed one bit.  They still learn by forming habits and habits are formed by repetition and consistency.  Their behavior is influenced greatly by the culture they are raised in.  That repetition, consistency and culture comes from us as their leader.  When you think about it that way, it’s not a lot different than the process of raising a child.    

I literally see people that are in such a big hurry with their lives schedule, they will jump on an ATV or UTV in order to get their dog’s walk in (which ends up being a sprint).  Look back on what happens before these runs.  The dogs go from zero to 100 miles per hour when they are in any kind of contact with us because they match our pace.  When we take dogs out in a hurry and have them run for miles behind an ATV with the idea that they need the exercise and that this will help “burn off energy,” I think the owner’s heart is in the right place, but unfortunately they’re trying to put out the fire by pouring gasoline on it.  The faster, harder and more you run your dog, the faster, harder and more your dog will be able to run. 

So what can you do? I do think there are a few easy things we can do to work on this by simply changing the culture.  But if you remember what I mentioned early on in this article, “More times than not, the whole work part, that’s where things start to get hard!”  We need to take a good look at our lives and how we operate day to day.  Think about your schedule and instead of simply trying to figure out how to get more miles in, see how well your dog can focus while covering a 1/10 of the distance, but under great control while in the heel position.  Vary and set the pace in everything you do.  When your dog is part of the equation, slow that pace down. If your dog wants to go fast (and the “excitable” ones usually do) you need to slow down to counter that.   

In training, I often talk about the importance of balance.  This is another example of when it needs to be found.  You might break up the walk with 2-3 minutes of just sitting still.  Two or three minutes doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re used to a fast pace with everything you do all day long, stopping and standing still for that amount of time can feel like an eternity.  From that, add layers into the exercise that will challenge your dog to have to think about what they are doing instead of just mindless physical exercise.  Mentally stimulating our dogs within their routine of physical stimulation can be by far the most effective way to “wear them out”.  By simply doing a few things like this, you begin to work towards building patience in both your dog as well as in yourself.         

The best way I have found to speed things up when it comes to raising dogs is very simple…just slow things down.  Best of luck to you in your training!  

Jeremy Moore 

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Thursday, 5 July 2018

The Versatility of the Soft Plastic Swimbait 

The Versatility of the Soft Plastic Swimbait

Big Bass Baits, Jig Trailers and in between, the Soft Plastic Swim Bait Can do it All 

By: Glenn Walker

When you say the word swimbait around a bass fisherman, many times their thoughts go to big baits that cost a lot of money and only work for targeting big bass.  However, the soft plastic swimbait is also a great lure option to target big bass in a variety of fish holding cover.   

The soft plastic swimbait has also evolved into a versatile option to present bass with a natural presentation in numerous situations. 

One of the ways that soft plastic swimbaits, both solid and hollow bodied can be rigged is on a Texas-rig.  By rigging your baits this way you are able to fish the bait through heavy cover, thus presenting a very natural looking presentation in the dense cover that bass live in.   

Some of the areas that this presentation shines in include, shallow vegetation, such as eel grass flats and lily pad fields.  You can fish this bait along the edge and let it just tick the vegetation or cast it into the grass and bring it through the cover; this will look like a baitfish or bluegill fleeing a predator. 

The two other areas of shallow water cover that a Texas-rigged swimbait is a good choice are laydowns and boat docks.  The bass that inhabit these areas see countless jigs, spinnerbaits and even shallow running crankbaits.  So if you can present something different to them, you are likely to have some great days on the water. Around boat docks there is a plethora of baitfish and bluegill, so a swimbait mimicking that forage will tempt bass to come out from underneath the dock to hit your presentation. 

Some of the tackle that you’ll need for this presentation includes a hook, the two options you have include a standard extra wide gap hook with a small tungsten weight in front of it, or a specialty swimbait hook that has a corkscrew up at the hook eye and a weight on the shaft or bend of the hook. My two choices would be a Lazer TroKar Magworm (TK120) 4/0 or 5/0 hook, depending on the size of the swimbait, with a 1/16 or 1/8 oz. tungsten weight pegged in front of the hook.  I’ll use this setup when fishing in and around vegetation, as it will come through the cover with ease.  When fishing around boat docks or laydowns, I’ll opt to go with a swimbait hook like the TroKar Magnum Weight Swimbait (TK170) hook. 

Regardless of which rigging option I go with, I’ll use a long 7’6” Witch Doctor Tackle Voodoo II Medium Heavy Power Fast Action rod. I can make long casts, feel exactly what my bait is doing and then have the power to get that bass out of the heavy cover.  For line, I’ll either use 15 or 17 lb. test Seaguar Inviz X Fluorocarbon line, as it is very abrasion resistant and I can make long casts with it. 

Another reason that the swimbait is so versatile is that it makes a great trailer for several lures.  Using a swimbait as a trailer on a swim jig, vibrating jig or spinnerbait is something different than a standard grub, thus giving your bait a bigger profile and different than what other anglers are presenting to the bass. 

Since the lures I mentioned above are used to replicate baitfish or bluegills the majority of the time, adding a swimbait as a trailer makes a lot of sense because it completes the lure package and makes it look very natural in the water.  Two of my favorites are the Zoom Swimmin’ Super Fluke Jr. for a smaller lure profile in the water, or the bigger Boot Tail Fluke to show the bass a big meal. 

Selecting colors for swimbaits as a jig trailer can go in two different directions.  The first being, match the hatch as they say, meaning if you are fishing in clear water and the bass want a natural presentation, then go with a swimbait that looks like what the bass are eating.  If they are eating shad, go with a shad colored swimbait, and if they are eating bluegills, go with bait that has more of a brown, green and blue color pattern to it. 

The other color selection possibility is when fishing in stained water, go with a swimbait that stands out and brings attention to your lure.  Such as when fishing a white swim jig or spinnerbait in the spring on a stained river, use a chartreuse colored swimbait, this will really make your bait pop and catch the bass’s attention. 

A subtle soft plastic swimbait that I rely on is a soft plastic jerkbait, like the Zoom Super Fluke.  This bait has the body of a baitfish and a uniquely shaped fork tail, that when left still, will move ever so slightly.  Fishing a soft plastic jerkbait like this is ideal when an active school of bass has shut down feeding.  Casting a white soft plastic jerkbait out to the school, letting it sink down, and then ever so slightly working it back to the boat with minor twitches of the rod tip will drive hungry bass wild. 

I will also employ a soft plastic jerkbait in areas where other topwater presentations would get hung up.  A weedless soft plastic jerkbait can be fished through heavy vegetation and dead sticked in the sweet spot to coax a tight-lipped bass into biting. 

It is important to use an extra wide gap hook when fishing a soft plastic jerkbait, as the bait has a lot of plastic that needs to slide up the hook when you set the hook.  If I’m fishing light line on a spinning setup, I’ll use the standard wire Lazer Trokar TK-110 Extra Wide Gap, but when I’m fishing around heavy cover and with baitcasting gear, I’ll go up to the TK-120 Magworm hook. 

If you are looking to add a new fishing presentation to your list of options this season, give swimbaits a shot. They can help you catch bass in tough situations, along with help increase your chances of catching that big bass you’ve been looking for. 

Glenn Walker has been fishing tournaments for over ten years, spreading his passion and knowledge of the sport via articles and videos.  He keeps busy fishing events across Minnesota and on the Mississippi River.  Glenn’s sponsors include:  Bass Boat Technologies, Humminbird, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Plano, Rayjus, Seaguar, Snag Proof, The Rod Glove, TroKar, War Eagle Custom Lures, Witch Doctor Tackle, Wright & McGill and Zoom Baits.  For more information check out or on Facebook at 

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