Showing posts from October, 2016

Northwoods Fall Bassin'

I lived in Central Wisconsin for 7 years but never fished it much (I had a first baby, first house, while working full-time, getting certified in my day-job field, and attending college full time).  Kayak fishing is huge in the area.  I've had the privilege to fish with some of the guys in that area, such as The Wisconsin Bass Yaker and other amazing members of the Wisconsin Kayak Fishing Club.  Having been so busy this summer, heading east to my old stompin' grounds was on my 2016 season bucket list.  The opportunity arose when FeelFree HQ contacted me about helping a customer.  I was happy to, and it gave me an opportunity to fish over there.
I reached out to the guys and planned for a 6:30 AM meet at their place (a 4 AM departure required from my house in Western Wisconsin).  The decided to take me to a honey-hole they discovered in the Northwoods (for those of you not familiar with Wisconsin geography, the Northwoods is a place that consists of most of the northern part o…


This bass season has been one of epic proportions.  When I began kayak fishing, I never imagined the new world it would open up.  I can fish more often, exponentially cheaper, and in areas previously untouchable.  A week prior, my buddy and I had an epic day on the water.  We went back to our fall honey hole in hopes to come close to repeating the events of that historic day in our fishing careers.

Fall in Wisconsin is a bittersweet season.  The trees are afire with their natural colors.  Flocks of geese can be seen and heard overhead, heading south to avoid the frigid northern winter.  The bass bite is amazing as they gain weight to store calories for the hard winter.  However, as the temperatures drop, sounds of geese cease, and trees become bare, we are reminded temperatures of -30 degrees Fahrenheit are soon coming.  The bitterness gets worse when the bass bite begins to dwindle.

The morning started as a beautiful fall morning.  The air crisp, sky clear.  The mirror-like water giv…

Are you fishing fall correctly?

Well guys it's happened...probably THE WORST time of the year! I had to break out the pants for fishing this past week.  After flirting with some questionable weather with shorts and rain pants, I finally had to bite the bullet and I'm not happy about it...on another brighter note FALL FISHING IS HERE or has been here depending on your latitude.  Now I know that everyone has their personal preferences on what they have confidence in throwing during all seasons of the year, this is especially true during the fall.  Hopefully my yakbackwards way of thinking can help you try something that maybe you aren't so keen on throwing in an attempt to put more fish into your small craft!

Now one thing I really dislike in articles is vague descriptions of many critical aspects such as what to look for in a spot, water temp, and other critical details.  So I will do my best to include all of these, but if you have more questions feel free to comment below! Now onto the fun stuff!

So fal…

Moving Water Fun

Hello there everyone! I would like to thank you for going through the several clicks needed to take a look at my first blog post as a part of Small Craft Fisherman.  Needless to say, I am very, very excited and honored to be a new addition to this blog.  I hope I can educate and entertain you through the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences I somehow always manage to have on my kayak.

So my recent experience was a first for me.  After getting let outta work early, I found a few hours on my hands.  Now at this point I was beyond fed up with bank fishing and NEEDED to get out on the yak, plus I really wanted to try out my new micro power pole that I had just installed on the Jackson Kilroy LT.  Unfortunately for me, my go to fishing spot is 40 minutes away and with only 5 hours till I had to be at work for my part time job, I was left searching for some new territory.  I thought about braving out onto the dreaded Lake Decatur (seriously if you don't believe me look up the electro…


It is well known the bass are larger in the south.  They grow and feed all year.  In the northern states, there are lunkers out there.  However, they are more of a rarity.  Typically I land one 20" bass in a season.  The rest are respectable, fat, fish, but not the "lunker" length.  This year has been different.

Sure, I've spent exponentially more time on the water this year than in the past.  I have also spent more time refining my techniques.  Both have contributed to increased success in my season.  I attribute both to kayak fishing.  My FeelFree Lure allows me to explore and dissect waters I had never considered before, even in my john boat.  Since I can't fire up my gas motor and cruise to a new spot, I am forced to increase my attention to detail.  This includes careful planning of launch sites, keen observation of structure, and refinement of my fishing techniques.  The kayak forces you slow down and fish.  I've even pulled several respectable fish ou…

The Next Chapter

When I started this blog adventure in April, I never expected such warm and positive response.  And never did I expect to cross the 30,000 hit mark in 6 months (I was expecting a few reads a month).  Thank you again for all of your support, kind words, and taking time out of your life to allow me to share my journeys with you.
I love sharing my adventures, but I wanted to do more.  I wanted to use the platform I've been working hard to grow and take it further. This will give my readers a greater variety of styles, stories, and content.  I also wanted to give someone the opportunity to share their stories with my established platform.  The natural next step was expansion by adding a writer to the team.
With that, I am excited to welcome the first staff writer for Small Craft Fisherman, Patrick "Pooti" Tharp.  Pooti has a unique style of writing that I enjoy.  His writing puts you in his tankwell, watching over his shoulder.  Please take a moment to check out our team bi…


After spending some time recovering from my tournament push that started in my article "I'm Back - The Saga Begins", I was ready to hit the water again.  I had already washed and polished my FeelFree Lure, it was looking like new.  My gear was loaded up and ready to go.  I had spent the last few days seeing my Facebook feed filled with kayak anglers catching toads as the fall bite was ramping up.  I was ready for a piece of that action.  When I was in "tournament mode", I had left my Garmin VIRB action cam at home.  I was looking forward to again documenting my adventure.

I woke up before light to frost surrounding my house.  The thermometer read 27 degrees.  Having anticipated these conditions, I had prepared my winter fat biking gear (Under Armour cold gear, athletic pants, and a performance sweatshirt.  Upon arriving at the lake, I covered my pants in my rain gear pants to deflect any paddle splash.

The lake was covered in a thick fog, a normalcy this time o…

The Saga Ends

The final chapter of my tournament marathon picks up where I left off in "The Saga Continues".  Instead of grinding the water after work like in the previous week, I take a few days to rest by body and mind.  I also perform some basic maintenance and cleaning on my gear.  I have the final two days of the tournament off work to cover as much water as possible.

The first day is a beautiful morning, but it was not a great day for fishing.  I did my usual seeking with a spinnerbait.  It produced, but nothing of size.  I tried cranking, but it produced the same.  By the afternoon, I had worked the entire reservoir without locating the big ones.  I sat slumped in my kayak asking myself, "What now?".

The Wisconsin fall was moving in.  We were reaching 40 degrees at night and 70 during the day.  This weather pattern makes for difficult fishing.  Water temperatures are in the mid 50s in the morning, rising to the upper 50s by the evening.  At this point, I need to make a b…

The Saga Continues

The saga of my absence from blogging picks up where I left off in "I'm Back - The Saga Begins".  I had just caught a tank bass, putting me in the running to qualify for the Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship.  Getting the privilege to fish south of the Mason-Dixon, via kayak, with the best kayak anglers in the country has been a pipe dream since I got into the tournament fishing this year.  Never did I think I had a chance.  Sure, I put in a lot of time on the water but never considered myself a tournament angler.  I decided this was a great opportunity to make a push to make "the cut".  The spinner bait seems to be the magic lure, so I make a restock trip to my local Mills Fleet Farm and stock up on Northland Tackle spinners.  My spinner box now full, I'm ready to hit it hard.

My kayak stays permanently at the ready on my trailer.  Tackle, PFD, net, hawg trough, and my Kayak Bass Fishing identifier nestled in my TourneyTag are in the vehicle ready fo…

I'm Back - The Saga Begins

First of all, I'd like to apologize to my regular readers for going mostly silent recently.  I try to give my regular readers something to read every weekend.  That said, this is the reason I've been only posting pictures to my Facebook page and Instagram accounts:

In my last installment of shenanigans, I was resetting my fishing.  Going back to my basics with my time-tested tactics.  I also opted to stay local, though my home water has challenged me since the late freeze during the spawn.  All fish patterns from years' past had changed and I became frustrated.  My amazing wife reminded me that I learned my home water patterns quickly.  I needed to reset and do it again.  With success using my time-tested tactics, I regained confidence in my knowledge of the water and opted to continue fishing local.

This long adventure begins the weekend after "Back to Basics".  I hit my local waters again, where I'm met by my friend Chang Lor of (check out…