Miljat’s Monster Walleyes
Location: Bay de Noc, MI
Show Date: December 6th & 7th, 2008
Guide: Steve Mijat: [414-791-9496 | miljat.com]
We haven’t taken this trip in a while, so it was nice to have Steve Miljat guarantee us at least one ten pound walleye. We are on a hot night-bite that happens every year, trolling Lake Michigan in Little Bay de Noc. Steve Miljat is an avid muskie guide in south-eastern Wisconsin during the summer, and a fantastic artist in the winter. Just after he puts away his muskie gear and right before he picks up his paint brushes, he heads north to show a lucky few this fantastic bite. This late fall bite only last for about a month and he fishes right up until the boat launch ices over.
We are doing a standard trolling set-up with plander boards, lead-core and big rapalas or floating jerk baits. We are trolling in 20-30 feet of water, and trying to keep the baits at around 18 feet down. It is a night bite so our boards have a light on them so we can see the bite. And bite they do, we land some huge trophy walleyes. We land four over 10 pounds, and we’re only on the water for a few hours.
Ely Ice ‘08
Location: Ely, MN
Show Date: December 13th & 14th, 2008
Guide: Matt Bichanich, Uncle Josh Baits [unclejosh.com]
We are back on the ice again, and the fishing is great. We head up north to Ely, Minnesota to another backwoods lake. We are guided once again by Matt Bichanich of Uncle Josh Pork Baits. Matt is a good friend of ours and he always has a lake in the middle of nowhere. Matt went to college in the area and while there he did a lot of fishing, his reconnaissance has paid off for us in a big way.
We head out targeting crappies jigging, and pike using dead bait and tip-ups. We catch some quality crappies and pike, but also some nice bluegills and large mouth bass. It’s a great trip, and catching some nice fish is always a great way to kick off the ice fishing season.
A Cold Day on Winnebago
Location: Lake Winnebago, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Show Date: December 20th & 21st, 2008
Guide: Pro Ice Guide Larry Smith [920-361-4996 | walleyeguide.com]
It’s a cold day on the Winnebago, and despite the weather we’re after the walleyes that have made this system famous. We are guided by pro ice guide Larry Smith, who has us setting tip-ups and jigging. Larry always had us on the spot, and today is no different. We are using minnows on our tip-ups, and Larry stresses that we should us a small presentation when the fish are finicky. When setting you tip-ups, set them really light and always keep and eye on them. For the jigging we are using jigging rapalas, ZIP Lures, and a jig and minnow. It’s a fun day on the ice and we catch a bunch of quality fish, but as always with early ice make sure the ice is safe before venturing out.
Frigid Northern Wisconsin
Location: Vilas Co., Wisconsin
Show Date: December 27th & 28th, 2008
Guide: Pro Ice Guide Rob Manthei [715-477-2042 | robmanthei.com]
It seems like a cold start to the season is a theme this year. Continuing with that cold weather theme we‘re up in Vilas County, Wisconsin. The temperature is 7 degrees below zero, and 30 below with the wind chill. We are after walleyes, but with the high winds, we have some challenges ahead of us. We have our Frabill insulated tip-ups out, and windbreaks up next to each hole.
When our tip-ups begin to pop it’s time to bare our hands and set the hook. We’re up here for two days of fishing, and we catch some nice fish while braving the elements. We are out just after a 40 degree temperature swing, considering that we are glad we caught the great mess of fish that we did.