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Brainerd Daily Dispatch
October 6, 2011
Fishing has been good but now that the leaves are falling and that smell of autumn is wafting up my nostrils, I am really starting to get the bug! I have practiced my shooting and I feel pretty good about my groupings, the clothes have been aired-out and will soon be sealed-up in my no scent bag for that first hunt of the season. My first hunt this fall will be the special archery hunt out at Camp Ripley. I have participated in this hunt a few different times and it's always fun to go roam that vast wildlife haven once again. If nothing else, I'm sure we'll see some "scrubs and rapes"…..right Jim? I have never let an arrow fly at Ripley and I don't plan on it unless I see a trophy (in my eyes). Deer hunting with my bow and arrow is where I find my peace (not necessarily at Ripley). It's getting harder and harder to find a quality place to hunt but I guess where there is a will there is a way. This year will be my first out of state archery deer hunt, I am going next door to cheeseville to see what I can see (and maybe shoot). Enjoy this awesome month and keep yourself clean! Walleyedan p.s. We are not done fishing and won't be until the ramps are frozen!

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
September 23, 2011
Are you superstitious? I think we all have our little idiosyncrasies especially as fishermen and women but, "what about bananas?". Have you heard about the guides in Florida that won't let you onboard with a banana? I went through my little issue with bananas and fishing too, I don't really eat them throughout the summer and I really don't like my customers having any contact with bananas in or around my boat either. Superstitious, probably but I have had some bad experiences with bananas and not many fish. The other day I picked up Tom and John over at Reedy's house and there was a clump of bananas on the counter and the topic came up. John had heard of the guides in Florida and their issue but Tom had not. Tom had eaten a banana earlier in the day and John actually grabbed the cluster and moved it while I was sitting there. I wasn't too worried but of course it was part of our conversation throughout the evening. Guess what? We hammered the walleyes that evening, they were going banana's! Maybe our "confidence" overtook the banana theory, not sure.

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
September 8, 2011
I was just listening to 102.7 and listened to a deputy speaking about his experience on 9/11, what a chilling account he gave of that day. He had said goodbye to his fellow firefighters before they stepped across the threshold of one of the towers shortly after it was struck. It was a final good bye because he was the only one of his crew that made it out alive! On this weekend we can only imagine what that day was like (on site) and pray for those that lost loved ones. This is for all the firefighters, police officers and emergency workers that put their lives on the line for people they might not even know. That day in 2001 was a real for all of us, but I have tried to put myself right there on that day and boy does it ever make a person thankful for what he has! P.s. Happy birthday to my awesome wife Shelley who turns 40 today (9/10)..I am thankful for you! p.s.s. The walleyes are getting a later start, but it's going to be really good really soon (and I am thankful for that too).

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
August 25, 2011
One good fishing experience can keep them coming back for years…and years. Bruce Meinz, one of our guides was out with a customer earlier this summer that hadn't been to the "lakes area", but had been to "other" places in our beautiful state to fish. This particular customer was so impressed with his experience compared to his past fishing experience that I would guess this will be their new destination. A quality fishing trip for some, means a whole heck of a lot. And it means a lot to our area! They fish, they eat, they shop, they go to movies, they drink, they rent boats, they golf, they spend money and of course sleep a bit. Not all of my fishing trips have been "fairy tale trips", but a good fishing experience can sure lead people right back here to our area year after year..after year! We have had a good season. And now that the walleyes are starting to be a little more interested in our minnows, things are going to get really fun! Jingles the fish is out there to be had and we are going after her this fall! I will keep you posted! P.s. Tim Hankse another Walleyedan guide put one of his customers on a 40" northern this week. It came out of Wilson Bay on Gull Lake and I guess the smile from the elderly gal was awesome!

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
August 18, 2011
The season is winding down as the engines are revving up over at the track. Race week can be considered the end of the summer for some folks as we head back to school and shift gears into the next season of our lives (whatever that may be). Traffic will start to slow (on the water and the roads) a bit in the weeks to come and it won't be long before the trees start their transition and soon the water temperature will drop, the Gull Lake walleyes will start to feed (on our minnows) and then….it's time for the "rut" (the most exciting time to be in the woods for a deer hunter)! Sorry to jump ahead on you so far but who knows, maybe we will end up with summer lasting through September and fall lasting through December, I guess it is all possible when you look at all the other "funky" things happening in this world! Here are a few of the moments to remember or forget from some of my trips this open water season: There was Katie falling out of the boat after a short photo op with she and her mom and a walleye, thankfully she had her life jacket on. The 38 inch northern that jumped into the boat after being hooked during superstars weekend. Margeret hooking a fish and then to only reel in the Senko (rubber worm) that was in the fishes stomach. The first zebra mussel sighting for me on Gull Lake and definitely not the last. Awesome people that come fish with us year after year. The new pontoon was a hit among our customers and our family, it's now up for sale! There will be more moments to come (more than likely) but for I will say enjoy the waning days of summer eleven! Walleyedan p.s. Off to the Let's Go Fishing trip with Randy and the crew!

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
August 11, 2011
Totally fresh back from a 3 day houseboat family vacation on Lake Vermillion. Maybe fresh isn't the word, in fact I know it's the wrong word choice but you catch the drift. I love that part of the world but the houseboat threw a different wrinkle into things. We tied off the first night on site #8 and the west wind was blowing right down the pipe. Just before dark I had to go out, untie and move the boat so it wouldn't get wrecked and so we could possibly get a little sleep (possibly). We fished from the houseboat for a while that first night and caught two bass (camp meat). We moved the next day and the wind was still rocking but we made it to the next site (#25) further north. The sun cracked out from beneath the clouds just as we approached our tie-off spot. This turned out to be a beautiful little spot that had a sandy beach and was loaded with crayfish for the kids to catch. Not many fish to be had though! This wasn't meant to be strictly fishing vacation and as it turns out we caught 5 fish (2 bass, 2 nice walleyes and 1 big northern) and 20 plus crayfish. Most of our family isn't the roughing it type so we definitely learned a whole lot on this little adventure up north. Sorry Alex it didn't turn out to be the happiest of birthday's but you will also realize as life moves on everything isn't always peachy! How do you know unless you go? Would I go again? Yes I would but I know it won't be with the exact same crew as this past trip. Shelley gets to pick the next trip. Right now I feel like turning it in but I better unpack and get ready for tomorrows trip! P.s. locally, the fishing has be just o.k.!

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
June 16, 2011
First off I would like to clear something up, our new Harris FloteBote pontoon is an addition to our business, it's not replacing our fishing boats. I have not traded in my fishing boat but we now have another option for our customers that might want their whole party aboard one craft. Thursday morning was the maiden walleye trip in the new pontoon and it was a success. I really enjoyed the change of pace and the Texans that I had out had a blast. 5 lines can be a handful no matter what kind of boat you are fishing from but we made it work quite well with only a couple of tangles. The wind was blowing lightly in the morning and we walked our Lindy Rigs (tipped with leeches) along the bottom with ease and on the first drift we caught our first walleye, a 19 incher. The next few drifts we caught fish too and even had a double. The wind slowed to nothing and now it was time for plan B, what would this be? Spinners would be the answer in my boat, but in a pontoon? That's what we did, we snipped and clipped and tied on bottom bouncers and spinners (tipped with leeches). I trolled forward, kicking the motor in an out of gear, it worked and the fish liked it too! I think back trolling might have been a better answer but I will try that a different time. Back in the boat tomorrow.

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
June 10, 2011
Let's remember, it's not summer yet! What a wild week though. One day it's a hundred degrees with a tropical wind howling out of the south and the next day we're putting on as many layers as we can find. Only in Minnesota right. Do the fish feel the same way about what is going on with the wild weather? Of course they do, they sense temperature change and most definitely have a clue what's happening. My fishing season has been one of mediocrity, that was until yesterday! We finally had non-stop action and it really made me feel good again. I had a good day on Gull Lake last week (one day before the MTC Fishing Challenge) but that next day I tanked. So it goes with this awesome sport we call fishing. Yesterday we were "catching" and it really reminds you of how fun it is to set that hook and of course what the others do the same. I am hoping today (Friday) brings some great action once again but if it does not, I guess we can say that we tried hard and still were able to get out and enjoy God's awesome creation. Next weekend we will be raising some money for some folks that don't have a lot of the same abilities that you and I have, it's the Fishing Classic Weekend to benefit the Confidence Learning Center. Come join in as spectator, guide or participant you will be glad you did. This time around I will try and save some hungry fish for the day of the tournament.

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
June 1, 2011
When is the best time to fish? When they are biting! June is typically and awesome month for catching fish and with the late spring that we have experienced this year the action should continue for a while. Our busy guiding season is kicking in right now and for the next three months you will see us coming and going! Tim Hanske, Bruce Meinz and myself will be the "regulars" this year and if all goes well we will be keeping a few others busy too. This season we will also be trying something new, a pontoon. It's a 230 Fisherman by Harris FloteBote out of C&C Boatworks in Crosslake. We will have this new "rig" wrapped and ready for fishing trips, lake tours, parties, business outings or whatever else the customer wants to use it for. It's not a rental, we will be at the helm whether were cruising or fishing. It's a tri-toon with a 150 hp Mercury Verado, this baby is solid. It's an option that we are looking forward to offering our customers. We will be able to put you on the fish with this rig and it comes complete with a couple of live wells, a pop up potty station, swivel fishing chairs, bait station, rod locker, Lowrance HDS 5 fish/depth finder, awesome seating with table and a canopy to keep you out of the sun, rain, hail, snow or whatever ever else decides to come down from above. So, I'm shifting from 3rd to 5th gear right now and probably won't be down shifting until the leaves start to turn colors.

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
May 26, 2011
It's Memorial Day Weekend, the official kick-off of the summer season here and around the country. It's time to remember the men and women who are serving and who have ever served in the USA military. The older I get the more I do appreciate all of you and I thank you for keeping guard and putting your lives on the line for us. I now realize we have to protect what we have and without the willingness of those in the service we would be in a lot worse shape. So, let's enjoy this holiday weekend and thank God for what we have and who we have. The fishing has been pretty good and to date a 26.5 inch walleye has been our big fish and it was caught on a ¼ ounce Northland Fireball Jig (perch color) and a minnow. Bass season opens Saturday and there should be some real hogs caught as some are still with eggs (I would guess). A spinner bait is going to catch you some bass, northern and maybe a walleye. Times…..they are a changing!

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
May 20, 2011
The first week of the 2011 Minnesota open water fishing season (for walleye and northern) was a good one. Lots of interesting people (3 really interesting), some nice walleyes (northern, crappies, sun fish, perch, bass), some sunburn, a few different bodies of water, one terribly slow day (and long), trying to dial-in the system for speeding up the AIS (aquatic Invasive Species) inspection, finally a season pass to the Corp. of Engineers boat landing and the week isn't even over yet. The boat landing situation is going to be a little challenging for some for a while so here are a few things that might help you out. If you are heading to the lake from your house, it is fine to have minnows in your bait well but if you are heading off the water you must have a way to transfer that bait over to some fresh water. I have been carrying a cooler in the back of my truck with cold water and when I get my boat loaded on the trailer I will scoop some of that fresh well water from the cooler and put it in a aerated bucket and then transfer my minnows. Then it is time to drain the bait well, live well, check for weeds on the trailer and put your fish on ice. You may have a better system but the bottom line is the fact that this will slow things down a bit at the landings and keep this in mind as you work your way through the season. P.s. We have a new addition to the business and it is 23 foot Harrris pontoon boat that is equipped to fish.

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
May 12, 2011
The 2011 Minnesota Fishing Opener is here and it is now! It's time for some of us to work and for some to play, some people say fishing guides get to do both (we will keep that a secret, o.k.). Whatever your situation on this opening weekend, it's pretty certain that many emotions will enter into the picture. Memories will be made and remembered. One of my most memorable "opener" memories was sleeping in a fish house on the south end of Mille Lacs and hearing the waves crash against the rocks all night long, wondering if a rodent was going to make the rounds. Sleepless, yes. Whether you are sleeping in your normal environment or in the fish house, it pretty certain that most fishermen/women on this opening weekend will be a little out of sorts (just a FYI). So if you are pulling a Rapala across your favorite flat or hopping a Northland Fireball along your favorite break line or maybe slowly walking a Lindy Rig through the masses, I hope you have some action. The crappies and sun fish have been biting quite well so keep this as an option if the walleyes don't like your "stuff". Plug in..plug out!,

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
May 5, 2011
Hi mom and you other mother’s (Shelley and Beva and all the rest) out there, Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope you enjoy your day.  And isn’t it nice that you get the undivided attention again this year?   It’s almost time to start hunting the fish.  With the “other” big day only days away, it’s time to get rigged and ready (if you aren’t already) for this next season.  Aren’t the seasons great?  Wouldn’t life be so boring if we had just one season?   I think that is why we live here in this great state of Minnesota.  I am writing this column on Thursday the 5th of May and I am just now seeing the green appear through the forest floor, it’s taken a little longer than last year but it’s here!  My boat has been fired-up but I still have many preparations remaining.  I will be adding new line to my spools and rigging rods, changing gear oil, making sure the life jackets, throw cushion and all the other necessities are in place and I might even get out and do a little “Aqua-Vu (ing)” (maybe).  The turkey hunting season and the fishing season are overlapping just a bit so that can get a little challenging but it will be done.  Opening morning will be spent with some paying customers and an annual tradition at Lost Lake Lodge, followed by some family fishing time in the afternoon and a big birthday bash for Mac and Elizabeth on Sunday!  Let the fun begin, Walleyedan  p.s.  Here is the opening day tip from the mother of our house:  “Can’t fish on memories”! Shelley Eigen.

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
April 27, 2011
The turkey hunting season has been a success. I am measuring the success not on the amount of birds harvested so far but on the hunt as a whole. The people that we have met, the time spent up against the trees and in the blind, the close encounters with many different creatures and just the all around experience. One of the best quotes came from Elizabeth last week when we were in the blind together. We had two big Tom's gobbling their waddles off about 20 yards away and they would not come into our shooting lane. When they turned the other way and gobbled their way out of there, Elizabeth said "It's like being at the finish line and having to start over again". I really love that quote! That same day, she was making me up with camouflage face paint and also trying to braid my hair as she was sitting on my lap in the one and only chair we had…boredom in the blind. I have met some super people this spring (and last spring) as I have wandered the woodlands, It's pretty cool to be invited into people's homes and have them share their stories. Turkey hunting is the most fun sport there is, figured I would slip that in there in case you didn't know. Another great story unfolded about as fast as it started last Saturday a.m.. I picked up Cody at his grandma's house and on our way to turkey country, we spotted a big Tom crossing the highway. The brakes were engaged quite fast and we were out of the Ford and into the woods pretty quick (Cody quick). We set up Cody's decoy (that his grandma Janette made with the feathers of the bird Cody shot last spring) and found the nearest big tree to sit against. We got the gobblers attention and within 10 minutes he was strutting around the decoy and with one perfectly placed shot Cody had his first Tom! Season over for Cody and another awesome memory for the bank.

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
April 14, 2011

Turkey season opened up on Wednesday and we were out there. We had quite the gang, my son Mac (8), his school buddy Jack (8), Jack's dad Tim, Susan (camera gal) and myself. So, 5 people in a blind opening morning, turkey time! As we were setting up the blind, the first gobbler let loose (with a gobble) and at that point I felt pretty darn good about our chances. With a couple of 8 year old "shooters", safety was number 1. Tim, an area police officer was a good person to have keep tabs on his son and I took care of Mac. I had placed a hen decoy out in front of us at about 20 yards and it was time to get Mr. Gobblers attention. I let out a few yelps with my Hunters Specialties Tech 3 diaphragm call and that was about all it took. He flew down from roost shortly thereafter and he was at the crest of the hill within minutes, staring at our decoy. A couple more soft yelps and he came in even closer to investigate! Safety's were off and the big bird was at 35 yards or so. I told Mac to shoot when he was ready and apparently he wasn't ready and after a couple of putts, Mr. Big was that much smarter! The day ended with a marathon stalking job on another big Tom (this one was even bigger, I think). Mac and Jack waded through the swamps, belly crawled through thorns and deer droppings and kept still enough to get within 40 yards of the "boss". Once again, you or I would have dusted him. But at 8 years old I don't think too many of us were crack-shots!

Brainerd Daily Dispatch
April 7, 2011
The sky is lightening up as I speak to you and with turkey season only days away I think you know where my mind is. With the Minnesota turkey season opening up on Wednesday, April 13th here are some things you might want to consider: Kids (17 and under) can buy and over the counter tag for any time period or zone, if you have "turkey fever" go find someone in this age category that loves the outdoors and be a mentor this spring. Seasons G and H (May 13th-19th and May 20th-26th) are being sold as a surplus license so if you (adults) want to get a taste of this sport, there you are. The ticks are out! Consider purchasing some Elimitick clothing and make sure you "strip" and leave your hunting clothes outside when you are done hunting. Things could be moist, rubber boots might be the ticket this spring. Might those turkeys be flocked-up and hard to call in because of the late spring? Oh I don't know, a lot can change in short order. I say get out there and hunt and you will find out for yourself if the big Tom likes how you're talking. If you talk nice you should be able to pull him from any other distraction, keep practicing! My last little tip of the season is for you to keep the feathers from the bird you shoot this spring and glue them onto one of your existing decoys to make a more realistic one for next spring. I guess another option is to buy a "turkey skinz", a feathered covering that goes over your decoy. Yes I am still a fisherman and we are still Walleyedan's Guide Service but there are season's, and right now I think you know which one it is.

Gobble, gobble, gobble!!!,
Walleyedan

Northland Press
April 2, 2010
Things are good! Ice-out in March, nice. The sound of turkeys gobbling from my porch, nice. Wood ticks all over the place, nasty. Twins opener in an outdoor stadium, crappies on the feed, turkey season is opening up on the 14th. In general things are pretty darn good and let’s just pray that we have a beauty of a summer. Like the editor of this newspaper said, it would be nice if it would rain on Wednesday nights after midnight and this whole area might just be rejuvenated. I am with you Paul. I just finished my last of 5 turkey seminars at different Mills Fleet Farm locations around Minnesota and North Dakota and now it’s time to get ready for the real deal. In fact, my son Mac just shot his 20 gauge for the first time ever. The first shot was left but the next round put a lot of bb’s in the head/neck area and that would have been a dead turkey. He was a little scared of the recoil but once he shot he was ready for round two! It’s not too late for those of you that have considered going out to try this sport for the first time. You can get over the counter tags if there are any left for the time period and zone you are thinking about hunting. Also, children 17 and under can get a license no matter what for any time period or zone. Stop at the store and ask them some questions if you are unsure of what to do. Gotta go, just remember to mark the calendar for “Let’s Go Fishing Day” at Mills Ford on April 17th. Big day!
Walleyedan

 

 

Lake Area Advertiser
March 9, 2011
Hello people! It's pan fish time, which means it's portable time! I am using Clam portables this year and I have been impressed. I own the Scout TC (Thermal Cap), The Thermal X and the Summit Thermal. These houses are well built, lightweight and the "key" to being mobile and staying on the fish. I had a father/son out the other afternoon and they had a blast watching the sunnies eat their bait on the Aqua Vu. The action is only going to pick up as we move closer to spring. The shallows will warm up as soon as we burn some of this snow off and the bugs and fish will "come alive"! Are you ready? If not, get yourself into the newly remodeled Mills Fleet Farm in Baxter and pick up all the goods and get out there. If you have hung up your ice fishing stuff for the season you are missing out. But maybe you are getting ready for the upcoming turkey season and if that's the case, we'll let things slide. Make sure to stop in Mills Fleet Farm on the 23rd of March for the annual turkey seminar and you will hopefully walk away with some tips so you can big the boss gobbler this spring. Primos will have some very good buys the night of the seminar.

See you there,

Walleyedan

 

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