Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Fever

Spring fever has officially set in.  This yearly ailment usually strikes me around March Madness, as much as I like to watch the NCAA tourney, I would really rather be outdoors.  Temperatures here in Minnesota are on the rise and the snow is dissipating quickly, it is only a matter of time before the ice retreats from the shoreline. Unfortunately, it is matter of time before I can get a line wet.  

However, the weather is a different story up north around Big Hook.  I have been keeping a close eye on the temperatures in the Opasquia Provincial Park and have yet to witness temps above the freezing mark.  We just had a report from Sandy Lake Seaplane that the tankers are still running the ice highway with fuel.  This is excellent news because there is never a surplus of fuel in Sandy.  Looks like more snow is on the way up there, so that furthers the expectation of high water this spring.  

So let us get back to fishing...

Spring is a great time of year for great discounts at most retailers.  Fishing specials often roll out in February and March.  I like to keep an eye on Cabela's Bargain Cave.  Here are a couple great buys they are offering and other store specials.

  • Rapala Glass Shad-a great trolling bait for walleye in July and August. The Glass Citrus Shad looks like it could be effective for trophy walleye. 
  • Hot N Tot- another great walleye trolling lure.  The Orange Fire UV and Blue Chrome are my fav's. 
  • Free shipping on rod/reel combos, is a great deal.  It is often expensive to ship fishing rods. 
  • Cabela's Tackle Bag-These are perfect for a fly-in fishing trip and at $40 is not a bad price. 
  • Gander Mountain- has 20% off all soft sided tackle boxes. 
  • Fleet Farm is another great place to check out for fishing.  They don't post sales on the website often so check your local store.  I have found most of the time they will beat out Cabela's and Gander. 
Those are just a couple of deals I have stumbled across while browsing the web this morning.  I'll keep everyone posted if I come across anymore online deals. 
Big Hook Wilderness Camps



  1. Good morning Nathan. Getting ready for a trip to South Lake the week of June 10th and am getting antsy already. Just can't wait.

    Was wondering what one lure you would purchase if you wanted to throw for big northern during that time period.


    Was also wondering, do you have any pictures of inside the cabin on South Lake?

  2. Greetings Jack,
    Picking just one lure is a tough task. It really depends on the weather and the water temperature. Generally, that early in the year you'll want something that can be worked slow and shallow. Most fish will be congregated on mud flats in around 1-4 feet and around areas of current. Bucktails are great baits along with bass spinners because you can keep them off the bottom. I also like to toss broken back floating crankbaits such as Rebels and jointed perch Rapalas. I wouldn't go overboard on tossing huge baits that early in the year. Also, it is tough to go wrong with a silver Johnson minnow with a white twister attached. So all in all answering your question, I would most likely purchase a quality bucktail like a Buchertail or a Mepps Musky Killer or a Johnson Silver Minnow 1oz or 3/4 oz.
    I'll try and see if I can hunt down some pics of South Lake interior.

  3. I saw the gal you were fishing with in the video was throwing a Musky Killer - already bought one and have it in the tackle box. Will pick up a Johnson Silver Minnow as well. My grandfather used to swear by Mepps #5 Bucktails when he made his way to Canadian waters.

    I gotta tell you, I have really enjoyed your website and the videos. Use my lunch hour at school to watch a couple every day. Almost have them memorized.

    Another quick question for you - what type of line do you like to use when jigging/casting? I have always liked mono but have read where a lot of guys have gone to the braided lines. What is your opinion?


  4. We were fishing a warm week in early August and were tossing everything under the sun for pike and were successful.

    For jigging I like to use a mono, typically 6-8# P-Line is my favorite. I like to use mono for jigging because retying is simple and quick.

    For casting, I'll use braided line. For pike 30-50# braid is best. Great sensitivity, the line is less abrasive for longer casts and the no stretch allows great hook sets. Power Pro Green is my favorite brand. You'll have to learn a new knot for optimum strength. Also, get ready for sticker shock cause braid is pricey. However, you don't have to change braided line out as often as mono, it simply lasts forever.