When other rigs were not producing, the Spin-N-Glo kept getting action. Thanks to its buoyancy and the ability to make a lot of noise under water, it will catch fish ranging from bluegill in Illinois to giant halibut in Alaska. Not to mention, giant walleyes in Wisconsin.
Available in hundreds of color combinations and several sizes, this rig can be used as a bait floater to keep your bait off the bottom, for trolling and back-trolling, as well as drift fishing.
Check out this video as Jarod Higgenbotham from Yakima Bait explains the rig.
When I got an email from Mark Smith, Director of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers to join a few other outdoor journalists on a walleye fishing trip to Green Bay with Wolf Pack Adventures I jumped at the opportunity.
Packing for the trip, I tossed my normal fishing clothes into my bag, along with a couple of sets of “normal” clothes for other activities besides fishing. But, in the back of my mind I could not see past big walleyes, and couldn’t think of anything else that I would possibly do while I was there than fish.
Our night began with a fabulous supper at St. Brendan’s Inn. To say the trip was off to a good start was an understatement. Old friends reunited, and new friendships were born.
Six o’clock came early the following morning, but all were eager to see what the day would bring. The weather forecasters were not on our side, but we were optimistic for a good day of fishing.
On day one, I would be fishing with Paul Smith, Outdoors Editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Tyler Chisholm would be at the helm of the boat for the day. Our plan was to troll Slip-N-Glo rigs, nightcrawlers on spinner harnesses, and Mag Lips behind planer boards in about 10-feet of water. We had a total of eight lines in the water.
Because of the Spin-N-Glo’s buoyancy, you can troll at speeds as slow as .3 mph and still get the action you are looking for from the baits. On this day, the cruise control was set at 1 mph. The Mag Lips are high action trolling plugs that dive deep and entice many species of fish to strike with its erratic, darting “skip-beat” action.
The setups did exactly as they were supposed to do, and it did not take long for the first rod to double over. The only question was what might be on the other end of the line.
We were hoping for walleye, but University Bay where we were fishing has many species of fish ready for a quick meal. The battle was tough fought, but unfortunately the first fish of the day was a respectable sheepshead. None-the-less, it was a fish, and the Spin-N-Glo proved it is a multi-species rig. Throughout the next few hours, we boated a few walleyes, sheepshead, and even a couple catfish any “river rat” would be proud of.
After a morning of fishing, lunch was served at Mackinaw’s Grill and Spirits. Josh Lantz from St. Croix Rods gave a presentation about the rods we have been using.
Boarding the boats for the afternoon trip, it was obvious we were going to get wet, but nobody knew how dangerous it was about to get.
Shortly after departing the harbor, the winds increased speeds, calm waters turned into rough seas, thunder began to roll with lightning strikes not far behind. As we were preparing to head for safety, a lightning strike within 100 yards of the boat was enough to get us to the safety of the harbor a little quicker than we had figured. Needless to say, our nerves were a little rattled.
After a brief break, the weather finally broke, and we were able to get back out on the water. Either the fish were going to have lockjaw, or be on a feeding frenzy after the storm. We were hoping for the latter.
The fishing started off slow at first, but we were catching the occasional walleye, sheepshead, and catfish. We were on a schedule that would have us off the water by four pm in order to make it to supper at 1951 West located in Comfort Suites.
Wouldn’t you know it, with 10 minutes left to fish, the bite came on. In the last 10 minutes, we boated 5 fish between 18 and 22-inches. As hard as it was to leave, we had reservations that had to be kept. Hopefully the following morning would start as good as this day had ended.
With full bellies, a game plan was hashed out and boating assignments were made for the following morning. I would be sharing the boat with fellow AGLOW members, Kristen Monroe, Barb Carey, Gary Nski and Director Mark Smith. Captain Pat Kalmeron, co-owner of Wolf Pack Adventurers would be our guide for the day, as well as provide the entertainment through his never-ending comical side.
The day started out fast, and continued to hold that trend the rest of the morning. Several respectable walleyes were netted, sheepshead that put up battles as if their lives depended on it, and Kristen managed to land an 18-pound blue cat, along with several channel cats.
The waters outside of green bay also hold good numbers of perch, smallmouth bass, musky and northern pike. Each strike is truly going to be a surprise as to what might be on the other end. One thing is for certain though, the fish are going to fight, and you are going to have fun fighting back.
Jarod gave a presentation about Yakima Bait after our meal at Hagemeister Park. Yakima Bait is based out of Washington, and is just finding its way into the hands of Midwest anglers. Once the secret is out, the way walleyes are fished will change in the great lakes and other bodies of water.
The afternoon fishing segment proved successful as several walleyes hit the cooler. The crew at Wolf Pack Adventures went out of their way to get us on fish. Yakima Bait provided lures that were unlike any I had fished before. St. Croix offers several fine trolling rods that can take punishment from the biggest of fish. Paired together, they made a deadly combination.
The trip ended with dinner at 1919 Kitchen & Tap at Lambeau Field. Not only is there great food served at Lambeau Field, but I heard mention of a football team or something that plays there. We were fortunate to get a tour of the stadium to see where the Packers play. Tours are available throughout the year for anyone wanting to see where history was made.
If you get the chance to visit Green Bay, don’t hesitate. The fishing is some of the best you will experience, and the historic city has a lot to offer when you are not fishing. Whether you want to shop, check out the museums, or just spend the day eating, Green Bay has it for you.
When I think of walleye fishing, the first thing that comes to my mind is Lake of the Woods in Minnesota.So, when the opportunity for my wife and I to spend a couple days in northern Minnesota the third week of June this year to fish for walleyes, we jumped on it.
Making the 14-hour drive from the sweltering heat of southern Illinois, to the mild temperatures of the walleye fishing capital of the world was a welcome relief.Being able to trade our tank tops that we were accustomed to wearing at home for hoodies was welcomed with open arms.
Our accommodations were at the River Bend’s Resort nestled along the banks of the Rainy River.Their spacious cabins had everything we needed to cook meals, rest comfortably, and if the need be, we had cable TV.But, I don’t believe the TV was ever flicked on during our stay.Why would it?The beauty of the area was all the entertainment we needed.
Unfortunately, do to fishing captains being out for personal reasons, River Bend was not able to provide us one of their vessels to fish from.Instead, they made arrangements with Border View Lodge to have one of their captains to pick us up on the dock at our resort, and to take us fishing.
On our first morning to fish, a vessel pulled up to the dock, and out jumped the Captain, Captain Foxy to be exact. Captain Foxy quickly greeted us, introduced us to the three other anglers onboard, and we were off.
The ride down the Rainy River was like riding on glass.The lake was a different story, as Mother Nature provided us with 20mph winds, causing whitecaps to form on the big lake.After traveling 24 miles across the lake, lasting 1 hour and 15 minutes, we came to a slow speed.
It did not take long for the electronics to start marking fish, and for the captain to drop anchor.We had to make quick work of catching fish because we had a shore lunch planned.Unless we wanted to eat just fried potatoes and baked beans, we were going to have to catch some fish.
It did not take long for my wife Lotte to catch a respectable walleye, and the rest of the anglers quickly followed suit.Walleye after walleye, and the occasional sauger were tossed in the cooler.Even though there is no minimum length limit, any fish we caught under 15-inches was quickly released to be caught another time.
Our fishing tactics were about as simple as they come.We were fishing in 24-feet of water, using a 3/8-ounce jig tipped either with a leech or dead shiner.We lowered our jig to the bottom, and simply jigged it up about a foot off the bottom, and let it fall back down.The fish were biting aggressive for us.Often times, as we were raising the rod, a fish attacked the bait and was hooked.Then it was simply a matter of reeling it to the surface to be netted.
Three hours in to our trip, we had 24 of the 30 fish needed for a day’s limit.The walleye/sauger limit on Lake of the Woods is an aggregate limit of 6 (not more than 4 can be walleye).Walleye and sauger between 19 ½ and 28-inches must be released immediately.Only one walleye over 28-inches total length can be possessed though.
As hard as it was, we pulled anchor and met up with another vessel from Border View Lodge for a shore lunch.The weatherman was predicting stronger winds to settle in mid-afternoon, so we made quick time of preparing and eating the lunch.We still had 6 fish to catch.
After lunch, captain Foxy parked us on top of where we had been before we departed to eat.Now, all we could hope for was that the fish stuck around for us to get back.Quickly, my pole bent over and I pulled up a nice sauger.The sauger was a welcome sight because we could only catch one more walleye before we had to begin releasing them.It didn’t take long before another angler caught a walleye, the last walleye we needed for the day.Now that we had all the walleye we were allowed, it was down to catching the last few sauger to get our limit for the day.
With the winds picking up, we were down to needing just one more sauger.The captains were communicating with one another, and decided for the safety of all on the water, they would convoy back to the Rainy River a little earlier than they had planned.That left us with 30 minutes to catch one sauger.In those 30 minutes, our poles continued to double over.But, instead of catching that one much needed sauger, all we were catching were pesky walleyes in the 15 to 18-inch range, and a few that were 20 to 25-inches long that would have to had been released regardless.
It became a joke among us on the boat that the walleyes were becoming a nuisance, that all we needed was one sauger, but all we were catching were those pesky walleyes.If you can’t catch the one sauger you need, I can’t think of a better way to fail than by catching a bunch of walleye.
Reluctantly, we had to pull anchor one fish shy of our limit.But, no fish is worth your life, and the captains made a good call to put the safety of their passengers first and foremost.The ride back was as rough as we expected.It was nice to see all the captains working together, not leaving a boat behind.If a boat were to breakdown in the middle of the lake alone, it would get very dangerous in a hurry.
Our experience at Lake of the Woods was one I will never forget.The accommodations at River Bend’s Resort were more than we could ask for.The friendly staff, comfortable cabins, and delicious meals served in the restaurant were above are expectations.
It was great seeing the two resorts working together to make sure we had an enjoyable and productive day on the water.Unlike some areas of the country I have fished before, there was no competition between lodges.They have a very good working relationship among all the lodges in the area.
The part that impressed me the most was seeing how all the captains worked together to make sure all the boats made it safely off the water.As I sit in the back of the boat and watched the string of vessels heading in, I got a sense of pride for these men and women who make it their job to ensure that we caught fish, but above all else, stay safe doing so.