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Posts Tagged jigging

Pathfinder Walleye!

We haven’t posted any trips since our last Grayrocks trip but we’ve actually been to Pathfinder for a couple days and nights of fishing and camping as well as another trip up the canyon at Alcova with my parents. We caught fish on both of those trips but nothing to “write home about” ;).
This morning was a quick run to Pathfinder with good friend Jeff Harmsen and Benny Roberts. We only had a short window to fish before the wind would blow us off the water. We had a stellar morning of big fish bites! We caught 5 fish one being just over 7#s, one 6# two 4.5#s and one dink. I can’t wait for the next trip out as the big fish are starting to cruise and feed shallow!




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Canada and North Dakota

Last year we skipped going to Canada.  We just weren’t sure what to expect with Samantha.  We barely knew her.  What if she cried a lot, what if she couldn’t handle the cool days, what if she got sick???  Being new parents we had a lot of unsure-ities, and asked a lot of what-ifs.  In hindsight, we probably could have gone…  This kid is an outdoor girl through and through.  She is always happy out of doors and so are we!!  Here is a photo journal of the last 2 weeks.


liveoutdoors's Canada and North Dakota 2013 album on Photobucket

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Glendo is becoming quite the metropolis these days.  With the local weekenders, greenies and a tournament nearly every weekend; the census could rival that of the booming Gilette right now.  And in this neighborhood of such high dollor real estate we are but the lower middle class.  However, It doesn’t take a $60,000 boat to land the big ones, it does not take a 225hp motor to find the honey holes, and it does not take a tackle box as big as a cooler to entice a bite.  It merely takes the desire to spend time in these great outdoors and the patience to learn about the species you are after!

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Boysen is as low as we have seen it.  We were fishing new territory this trip.  It is interesting to see the lay of the land under the water we normally fish each year.  ‘There is that hump’, ‘I didn’t realize that little hole was right there’.  Makes for a less than dull trip even if the fishing isn’t fast….Which it is was not.  We still were able to pick up several walleye between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, but we decided it would be more fun to get back to Pathfinder, pick up a good friend, and look for trout.  So, we loaded up in time to hit the road with lunch in the cab of the truck.  We drove through Riverton and took Hwy 135.  The views were amazing!  It looked as is it was early May with all the snow in the high country of the Wind Rivers.  We got to Pathfinder and met up with our friend Tyler.  Headed to Bird Island. Picked up three nice Brown’s but not many rainbows.  We then headed back towards the marina and found the feeding rainbows again feeding shallow on top in the evening.  It was one after another of big rainbows!  What a perfect evening of  fishing 🙂

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A lot of fishing is best in the evening and early morning.  So, it is great that we have reservoirs nearby that we can get to for these bites.  We got to Glendo around 3pm Tuesday and headed to a spot that has not been drowned quite yet.  It is a place we know we can always catch fish when water levels are still not too high.  We jigged for walleye while also dropping a smaller jig to the bottom for perch.  It was a chilly, breezy night, but the fishing was quite good.  We stayed until well after dark and used the almost full moon to guide us back to the ramp.  We were in the water by 5am and limited out by 5:30, but we kept fishing around the lake looking for other potential hot spots for the rising depths.

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3rd Day’s a Charm

We had heard about a pond north of Casper that was hot for perch this year.  So, on Sunday we took Mary and hit the road around 6am.  By 8 we were on the lake and searching for the 9 inchers we heard of.  No such luck.  We each caught a few perch, but the fishing was not fast and the size left a lot to be desired.  We decided to check out some local shops and have a nice lunch before heading back to Casper and heard of another pond that was fishing very well over the last year or two for monster trout.  So, Monday we got out around 5am and just happened to forget a map and a gps.  Finding a lake you haven’t been to in 15 years in the dark without a map is not a good idea.  3 1/2 hours later we found the fishery and it was true that there are BIG fish in it.  Mary hooked a giant within minutes of setting up, but lost it at the hole before landing a nice 18 inch rainbow.  Erik caught two nice sized trout and a couple 18 inchers.  We figured we had missed a good morning bite when we were driving all over Wyoming earlier and decided to pack up and try again Wednesday morning.

7:15 found us on the lake and Erik had a phenominal day hooking 3 enormous trout (1 brown) and landing several 17-19″ rainbows.

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Nebraska ice

Considering we were fishing Pathfinder not too long ago, we figured the small reservoirs we fish in Nebraska would be more than frozen enough to fish this week.  Wednesday morning we worked our way out to the middle of one of our favorite stock ponds in western Nebraska.  We were there well before light, but the bite was quite slow.  We were very surprised.  After the sun started lighting the sky, the geese started moving off to feed in the fields.  Michelle commented that it seemed strange that the birds would want to sleep on the ice.  After watching them for a few moments, she realized they were on a huge expanse of open water!!  Her eyed followed the water line as it crept further and further toward where both entered the ice earlier.  Kind of a scary thought, we passed so close to wide open water in the blackness of the morning.  Erik figured the open allowed for enough oxygen in the water to let the fish wander where they pleased instead of being concentrated in our winter hot spot.  We decided we should check another of the stock ponds we like to frequent, so we packed up and headed out.  An hour and a half later, we were staring at another wide open reservoir…  We were able to skirt one edge of the pond and try it out for a while, but with no luck.  One more chance- a lake Erik had heard about recently but that we have never fished.  Another 2 hour drive and we were pleased to see a frozen lake.  This water holds perch of more significant size than the other fisheries and we had a nice evening and Thursday morning catching 7-9″ perch and palm sized gills.

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On the ice in Nebraska

Are we so privileged that 30+ fish a day isn’t good enough?  Michelle and Erik each caught several 9+ inch bluegill and 11+ inch crappie is that not a great trip?  Until asking ourselves this question and really thinking about the answer, we were a bit disappointed with the results of our trip this weekend.  But really we caught decent numbers and took home 12 gills 9 inches or better and 3 crappie 11 inches or bigger.  We are so spoiled with great fishing in our lives that it takes a (good) weekend like this to really make us reflect this fact.

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Ok, the truth is Michelle was not to keen on going to Boysen.  She hates to be very hot and let’s face it, the fishing was not phenomenal last week.
We put the boat in the water around 4:30 and headed for the South side of Tough Creek.  On her second cast Michelle had on a walleye.  We slowly worked our way back and forth on a shelf in front of a weed bank for a couple hours picking up fish or getting hits every pass.  In the end Michelle pulled in 8 walleye and Erik boated 6.  We kept two limits by 9pm and headed back to camp for a late snack and some rest.walleye limit
The trout are really giving us a hard time this year!  We trolled our usual spots with our usual cranks and didn’t get as much as one hit.  When we headed south on the lake to find the crappie, it was very muddy so we didn’t really spend much time on that project.  We haven’t searched for perch on this lake for years, so last effort to catch fish we went to the islands of cottonwood to jig.  Surely no one wants to see a seagull rookery, but if you are interested there are at least a million gulls on and surrounding these islands squawking, molting and pooping all over the place.  Oh, and we didn’t find the perch either- but Michelle did land a 7lb carp on a micro rod using 2lb line.

fighing a carp

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walleyeJust enough time to recoup at home and we are off again.  We picked up Chad and left for Glendo around 3:15pm.  We were fishing our spot in Muddy by 5.  The bite was slow and it was HOT(92º).  After only a few minutes the wind came up quite strong, so we decided to anchor to stay on our spot.  Michelle started fishing a smaller rod under the boat for perch and did well.  Moving to another spot didn’t prove to be any better fishing.  But we persisted in the heavy winds and it paid off.  By 8:15pm the fish really turned on!  We picked up 13 fish within about a 45 minute period before it got dark and we packed it in for the night.  Our walleye ranged from 16-20” and the perch were 10 and 11 inches.

We were back on the water by 5:15am and back at the sunken island.  Only needing 7 more fish, the morning was short.  Erik started us off with 3 fish in a row, two being walleye.  Michelle put one in the cooler and Chad put two in and one back.  At 6 Erik and Chad had a double putting us at our limit.  We fished for another while until a Colorado boat with two dogs pulled up 20 yards away from us and right into our casting hole.  Since we were limited out we took off for home.


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