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Free Ice House Plans

posted on 01/24/2011
I'm currently doing some 3-d modeling and drawing up some nice ice house designs. I'll be posting them on here as soon as they are ready. First one will be a simple portable fold up ice house. Cost of about 100 dollars to build when buying the materials from Home Depot. I'm almost done drawing this one up so it will be posted pretty soon.

I'm also working on a design for a rigid walled portable ice house. Currently I'm trying my hand at designing it so it all fits into a single sled design. This one is much more tough and will be a completely original design. I'm getting there but it's definitely tricky to come up with something I'm actually proud of.

Keep an eye out for the free ice house plans!

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7 of 10 Minnesota Fishing Tips

posted on 01/12/2011
7 of 10 Minnesota Fishing Tips

This list may not make a lot of sense at first but I promise if you do these things you'll end up a better fisherman and your chances of catching fish will be much higher. My reasoning for each of these tips can be found below the list. The final three tips will be released later on as they are somewhat of a secret weapon and I want them to be presented just right!

The Tips

1) Leave live bait alone. Instead, use plastics, hair-jigs, and other artificial baits.

2) Next time you go fishing forget the fishing pole. Seriously, bring everything else but leave the fishing pole at home.

3) Sign up for a fishing forum and actively participate.

4) Fish with kids.

5) Do not, under any circumstance, buy any new fishing lures this year. Just don't do it!

6) Start journaling, blogging, or in some way keeping track of your fishing trips.

7) Save articles, tips and literature in a binder or word document.


1) Don't bring out live bait. Instead, use plastics, hair-jigs, and other artificials. The reason I say this has nothing to do with my preference of live bait over artificial. In fact, I actually use wax worms, minnows and larvae on a regular bases when crappie fishing. Instead, what I am trying to get you to understand is that artificials can be just as effective at catching fish as their wriggling counterparts. By leaving the live bait home you're forced into finding colors, sizes and actions that can trigger bites. Colors, sizes and actions are huge factors that people overlook all the time. After you've mastered some finesse techniques and you consistently catch fish on artificial baits, it's time to stick a waxworm on! You'll be ten times as deadly as you were before. Successful fishing trips will become much more common and you'll be much more versatile on the lake. Plus, it's really fun when your out fishing your friends without live bait. They'll keep sticking the minnow on as they watch in disbelief as you pull fish after fish through the hole without even using a minnow!

2) Next time you go fishing don't bring your fishing pole. Seriously, bring everything else but leave the fishing pole at home this time. Your not going to catch many fish but let's face it, it's not your first time getting skunked. Now that your on the lake without a pole you might as well drill holes and start studying the under-ice world. Locating humps, bumps and break-lines is huge when it comes to locating fish. Look around enough and I promise you'll find things that none of the other fisherman on that lake have ever seen. I bet the next time you're out on that lake you fish a new spot! Now that you've done some real preparation you'll have plenty of new and exciting opportunities to catch unsuspecting fish. Not many people take the time to do this but I'll bet you'll find yourself out on a lake doing it again in the future after seeing the benefits first hand!

3) Join a forum and participate. You might think people keep all their fishing secrets to themselves but in reality most fisherman love sharing stories and stories are pure information. They probably won't give you exact spots but by keeping an eye on the forums you can get up to date reports, keep tabs on who's catching fish and who isn't, where they are catching those fish and what strategies they are using to catch fish. I like to watch for pictures being posted, pictures can tell you a lot of information. Besides the fact that pictures are proof of a story, lots of times in the pictures you can see the bait used to catch the fish or notice the weather conditions at the time of the catch. That's more information to work with and learn from! Forums are simply little communities of people with like interests. After being around that community for a while and contributing to the communication you'll be accepted as a true member where sharing, teaching and learning is the name of the game. Try myfishingpals.com, a non profit, non biased resource for fishing information and fishing forums. They'll give you a free blog, fishing picture page and more! There are also many other forums out there and they are valuable resources to the fisherman so what are you waiting for? Go sign up to a forum and start participating.

4) Fishing with kids is important and super fun. Nothing is better than the way a child's eyes light up when catching even the smallest of fish. With kids you have no need to worry about the size of your catch, meaning you can really get into some pure action. Crappies are a great species to chase in this situation because they school up in bunches and tend to stay in one place. The pure joy a child gets from his first fish will stay with them forever and it'll leave a lasting impression on you as well. Bringing a kid out will give you a great chance to teach a little fishing etiquette as well. 10 years ago, if you went around advocating catch and release people acted like you were a crazy elitist snob. Now, because of education, people are much better stewards of the lakes and of fish populations which makes the sport better for everyone and much more sustainable for the future. Our kids are going to have plenty of great fishing opportunities and it's mostly because the way we take care of fish and habitat. Put a kid on the school of fish, give them a wax worm and a hook and you'll have a great time, I promise. Bring a few home, fry em up and enjoy!

5) Following a reoccurring theme here I'm going to suggest no new fishing lures this year. Why you ask. Well, because you probably have plenty of jigs, lures and baits that haven't even been tested yet. Learning how to get the most out of those lures you already own will benefit you a lot more than running out to get the hot new item of the winter. Don't worry, if those hot new lures work at all, they will probably be around next season and besides, the lures you have in your box are probably just as capable of catching fish. Learn to use what you have and you'll be less likely to make impulse buys and you'll be a more successful fisherman. Understanding what works best for any given situation is the best way to prepare for the unexpected.

6) Start Journaling or blogging about your fishing outings! Myfishingpals.com offers a free blog to all members. Wordpress, yahoo, and many others also offer great places to start blogs. Blogs not only act as a great tool to refine your writing skills but they can keep your memories in order as well. You might start noticing patterns on certain lakes or even find out that spots you loved as a child just don't produce fish like you thought they did. A blog or a private journal ensures your honest with yourself and prevents from the old "viewing the past through rose colored glasses" trap. No one argues that experience is the best learning tool and by journaling or blogging you can get the most out of every experience. Besides that, you might find it fun and attract a following. You never know!

7) Open up a word document and start cutting and pasting articles and tips into it. Do this every time your out searching the web for information. Grab interesting posts from blogs or online articles and save them to read again later. You can also start a physical binder for articles from magazines or news papers that you find interesting. After a while you'll have a huge database of great information which you can look back at again and again. So many times we'll see good tips or strategies and our intentions are to try them out but after a while we forget and we end up not learning anything at all. Instead of trying to re-find that article on the internet or in your stack of magazines just keep the information close at hand and you'll become very well versed with tons of fishing knowledge.

Well, that concludes the first 7 of 10 tips. These tips are meant to make you more knowledgeable and therefore more successful on the lake , I promise that if you follow these tips you'll be a better fisherman because of it. You'll fish more effectively, efficiently and you'll be more likely to bring home a nice meal of crappies next time you go out. Thanks for reading!


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3-20 Last Ice Outing

posted on 03/23/2010


Woke up at 3:30 and started driving at 4:00 AM. Had to pick up a friend, his gear and hit the road to BSL. Missed one turn and ended up arriving at about 7:15. I didn't know what to expect but I was hoping to meet some cool people and hopefully catch a few fish in the process.

When I showed up Crappie Keith had set up a trailer and ramp for access to the lake so we wouldn't get wet and then it was a 200 yard tromp out to the spot. CK's buddy showed up with a four wheeler and helped tow our stuff out to the spot.

They had about 200 or more holes drilled so it was really fun hopping all the holes. Mark a fish, drop a line in and see if you could trick them into biting.

I went small with a ratso, no meat. The day started slow with not much more than a few perch but as the sun got higher in the sky the fish started showing up.

Me and my buddy left with our limit of nice crappies. We also caught a bunch of perch, a few rock bass and two small walleyes.

One guy out there pulled in a nice gill over ten inches.

It was a great GTG with awesome food and super cool people.

Thanks CK!

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posted on 03/09/2010
went out again yesterday and hit two areas... First we went and grabbed a few more perch then we hopped around throughout a bay chasing some crappies and ended up with a few bass too. Spent most our time in 10 ft of water but went as deep as 20 for some of the crappies.

All in all about 15 crappies, 3 surprise large mouth and some perch for fun. Not a bad couple hours out on the ice!

1/80 oz green hair jig for the crappies, 1/8 oz spoon w/minnow head for the bass and perch.

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NE Metro perchin 3/6/10

posted on 03/06/2010
Had a good day even though the perch were a bit smaller than usual. Still plenty of good fish for the pan and still tons of fun.

Most the fish we've found in the shallow water less than 8 ft and as little as 3 ft.

These areas are void of other fisherman right now as most are still out hunting the deeps for crappies and whatnot.

Our best bait has been an 1/8th ounce spoon with euros hanging chandelier style or just balled up on all the trebles. Going small is useless and minnows won't catch anything. Instead, and this method has been producing constant action for two plus weeks now, drop that spoon all the way down and slam it into the bottom. Immediately pick it up about 8 inches and let it sit for a couple seconds.

We only had about an hour today so getting onto the real nice ones didn't happen but we'll find them and report back soon. I think in total we had about 30 fish this size today.

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